Thursday, August 2, 2018


Desire is wishful thinking wanting to have something or for something to happen.  Dream is unconscious desire and wishes.  I am sure all you in this room have lot of desires and the list grows on a daily basis.  Good evening my dear TMOD, fellow toastmasters, visitors and guests.

You will also be nurturing some dreams in life and you would like to realise those dreams and make them a reality.  Should we have desires or dreams?  Should we nurture more desires or more dreams?  Is the desire leading into a dream?  Is the dream getting converted into a desire?  These are some of the questions that come up in our mind.

Sigmond Freud has said that “Dreams are not mere nonsense they are fulfillment of desires”.
I had a desire to become a Chartered Accountant and when I pursued that course I faced lot of challenges as it was extremely tough and demanding.  The stress level was very high as I had to work for a practicing Chartered Accountant firm as an apprentice to learn the ropes of auditing.  Simultaneously I had to also prepare for the exams.  The pass percentage was typically very low as it is a very tough exam.  The fear of failure was always looming large.  I used to dream of missing the train very often.  I will go near the train and will not be able to get in or I will reach the platform when the train has just left.  After all the struggle of preparing for exams and failing a couple of times eventually when I became a Chartered Accountant I did not feel happy but only felt relieved.  I stopped getting the dreams of missing trains.  Dreams are not mere nonsense they are fulfillment of desires.
I have a desire for engaging in different things at the same time.  I like to also start a new assignment with all the enthusiasm and freshness.  The attention that I used to give for the starting of new assignments was not there for completing the same.  It was a constant desire to get engaged into different activities.  I used to get a dream very often of being called back to the Audit Firm where I did my apprenticeship to complete an audit.  I will be in a fix on how to go about doing the audit as I am quite busy at work in the company where I was working as CFO.  When it dawned, I would realise that it was just a dream and feel relieved.  I changed my approach to work in 2006 and decided that I will focus on “start to finish” to ensure that my enthusiasm and interest remains the same from the beginning to the end of the assignment.  I also decided that I will think twice before embarking on any new assignment.  I stopped getting the dreams of being called back by the Audit Firm for completion of audits.

I remember the story of a Village Teacher who was always right and people always looked up to him for advise.  Two youngsters decided to trick the teacher into a wrong decision and expose him to the villagers.  They came up with a small butterfly in their hand and asked the teacher “Is the butterfly dead or alive”.  The trick was if the teacher says it is alive press the hand and show a dead butterfly.  If the teacher says the butterfly is dead then open the hand and let the butterfly fly.  When the teacher was asked this question in front of all villagers, he replied “the fate of the butterfly is in your hands”.

Having positive desires and turning those positive desires into dreams is in our hands.  Let us focus on positive desires and convert them into dreams.  When these positive dreams are pursued we will realise them one day and make them reality.  Happy living and helpful nature with empathy for others can be ensured with positive desires which are eventually converted into dreams.  Have positive desires, Dream Big and Achieve Success in life.

28th July 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018


The buzz word today in the whole world is Artificial Intelligence.  Artificial Intelligence is nothing but the intelligence that is induced into machines.  The capability that is infused into a machine to think and act rather than only follow given instructions.  If the machine is programmed and instructed to do exactly what is being told then it is Robotic.  However, if the machine is able to think on its own and do things beyond what has been told then it is Artificial Intelligence.

Our evolutionary path has been very interesting and the recent experiences of rapid growth in technology is quite amazing and at times a bit scary.  The early human beings were born with emotions and Zero Intelligence.  We had to struggle hard to get the intelligence.  The process of acquiring intelligence was long, strenuous and tedious.  It has taken several years and several decades for the human race to gather the intelligence.

When the human race developed the intelligence we started thinking that the intelligence should be used smartly so that we do less work and get the machines to do most of our work.  Instead of all work being done by human beings we felt the need for many of the efforts being transferred to machines.  The evolution of machines for every day life has been quite astounding over the last few decades.  Whether it is transportation or consumer goods or industrial applications, our ability to engineer and build capacity through machines has been incredible.

The machines and equipments have gone through a huge evolutionary process and with the advent of higher technology the machines, equipments and gadgets are becoming more and more capable.  With the increased capability and wide applications into which machinery has grown we started enabling them with little bit of intelligence.  The intelligence that is being infused into the machines have now reached a stage where the machines are capable of thinking on their own.

We have reached a stage where we are able to communicate with machines and the machines are using their own intelligence to respond to us and are communicating back to us.  We are going to see Customer Service Assistants; Self Driven Cars; Automated Delivery Drones; wearable gadgets; watches which can pre-warn about our medical condition and so on and so forth.

The integration of technology in the manufacturing process has been remarkable and it is now continuing its journey every where including medical field, hospitality and others.  See the remarkable changes that can be brought in a hotel room:

We are heading towards a very exciting and interesting phase of human life where the natural intelligence and talents gained by Human Beings are being transferred to machines and gadgets as they are acquiring the Artificial Intelligence. 

When the Artificial Intelligence spreads into different walks of life the Human Race will depend entirely on these gadgets and there will be a huge population of Human Race who would prefer to remain stupid and get the machines use its intelligence.

Step 1: Nature has always been beautiful and extremely intelligent
Step 2: Nature created Humans and Animals
Step 3: Humans evolved and gained sixth sense
Step 4: Human beings worked hard to gain intelligence - Natural Intelligence
Step 5: Intelligent Humans created Machines.
Step 6: Machines became part and parcel of Human Life
Step 7: Human beings transferred the intelligence to Machines
Step 8: Machines have become intelligent - Artificial Intelligence
Step 9: Human beings are placing more and more reliance on machines and its Artificial Intelligence
Step 10: We are in the process of creating a huge population of stupid humans who will entirely depend on Artificial Intelligence.

Nature is divine and has always been kind to the Human Race and let us hope that we will preserve Nature and Nature will protect us for a long time to come.  My personal formula is going to be "Use Artificial Intelligence combined with Natural Intelligence and stay healthy and happy by being always connected with Nature".

Dubai, U.A.E.
20th July 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018


Everyone of us is fond of receiving Gifts as it is always coming our way with a surprise and from either known or unknown source.  When it is really big gift then it is entirely due to the blessings of the God.  If the Gift is too small we tend to ignore it or palm it off to some one else.  If the Gift is not useful or interesting also it meets with the same fate of being palmed off to some one else as a Gift.

While receiving Gifts is a nice feeling and gives us the excitement and happiness, how about giving gifts.  Are we equally happy, excited and keen to give gifts which are surprising and useful to the recipient?

I am not a great fan of Gifts and do not even give importance to what people give as I am not keen to receive Gifts in the first place. 

I got a T Shirt from my friend K.Devanathan during our CA Final Coaching classes days in 1986 with the caption "When I knew the answers, they changed the questions".   I preserved it for almost 20 years and finally lost sight of it.  Hoping that it is in some corner in my house in Chennai.

The first expensive Gift I received was a tie in Singapore which was gifted to me on my birthday by my friend R.Aravind in 1993.  I have preserved this Tie for 25 years and it is one of my favorite tie that I wear for important occasions. 

I once saw a silk tie in my wardrobe and thought it was gifted by one of my clients.  I called my son Akshay and told him "give this tie to somebody in your friends circle".  He asked me "why?".  I said "I think I got this as a gift from somebody, I have not used this tie so far.  It is better to give it away to someone who will use it".  My son looked at his wife and both of them had a sheepish smile at each other.  My son then told me "Appa I bought this hand woven silk tie for you in Vietnam and I presented this to you just a few months ago".  It was now my turn to look at them with a sheepish look and I said "I am so sorry" and took the tie back.

If the gift is not important or given its due importance it will not stay with you.  If the gift is not liked or is acceptable then it will be put in circulation and surely will be gifted away.

My daughter in law gifted a picture of me and my wife with the autograph of Maestro Ilayaraja on the picture.  This is being preserved and kept right at the bedside by me as this is a very important Gift that I would like to preserve for my life time.

I have just realised that I have more than three dozen pens on my desk which have all been gifted by someone or the other at different stages in life.  None of these pens are of any value to me and none of these pens have ever been used by me.  Some of them have my name inscribed on the surface.  So what?  It matters if the name is inscribed because this becomes non-transferable.  Probably one of the reasons why some of the Pens have remained at my desk.

More than the recipient I think it is the giver of the Gift who has to be choosy, selective and careful in giving the Gift so that it stays with the recipient.  If the Giver is giving some gift which is not relevant for the occasion or fitting the circumstances, then there is every likelihood that the Gift will be passed on to some one else and it could even reach the landfill ultimately.  Plan the Gift well in advance and allocate time for planning and procuring the right gift.  Unfortunately most people decide to buy the gift on the way to the occasion.  It is last minute rush and last minute decision hence the Gift invariably ends up in circulation and is not retained by the recipient.

I believe in "Givers Gain" philosophy and it is important to give without any expectation in return.  Gifts should be given in a responsible manner so that the recipient will use it, value it and cherish it.  It is not about value of the gift but all about the occasion, the use and the thought that goes into selection of the Gift. 

Life is a Gift of God; the body we carry is the Gift of our Parents; the knowledge that we have is the Gift of our Teachers, Mentors and Guides; the Experience that we have gained in our life is the Gift of our Decisions.  We have thus received enough gifts in life let us focus on giving Gifts.  Give Gifts in a responsible and sensible manner so that the recipient will value your Gift.

4th June 2018
Dubai, U.A.E.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

My Writing Journey

My writing journey started more than 30 years ago as I have always been fond of writing short articles on varied subjects.  The writing journey on blogs started in 2009 when I started writing in my friend Sathyamurthy's website.  Some of my early articles in that site were quite popular and to name a few Typewriter; Housewife the best Manager; Ocean Receding Day have each seen more than 5000 visits by readers of the blog.

In October 2010 I started my own blog TP Talks and it has been a wonderful journey of more than 7 years with lots of ups and downs.  There have been times when I have written frequently and there are also times like the last couple of years when I frequency has reduced drastically.  In 2012 I wrote 120 articles in the blog while I have written only 9 articles so far in this year.

My focus is now shifting into writing books and I am happy to see my first venture as a co-author get published.  The Background Material on UAE VAT has been published by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India on 25th September 2017.  I am one of the co-author of this publication and it was a real proud moment.
The First Book in which I am the author was published in October 2017 from Singapore by Partridge Publishing House.  This is called Thought Provoking and it is a collection of 54 articles written by me over the last seven years in my blog.  This is the idea of my younger son Akshay and his wife Aishwarya.  They released this book on my behalf with a collection of 54 articles as I was born in 1963 and since the book is being published in 2017 they thought of this idea.

This book is available in Partridge Publishing, Singapore and is also available in Amazon Online store.

The book is available as e-book as well as hard copy in the Publisher's site as well as through Amazon.

I am now working on the next book which will be published very soon on Indirect Tax Laws in UAE.

Your continued support and encouragement will help me make substantial progress in this journey as "writing is a life-long journey". 

Dubai, U.A.E.
29th October 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017


I visited Sedona with my wife and our relatives in the USA in early July 2017.  Yes this article is overdue for 3 months and finally I found time today to pen this.

Sedona is a place surrounded by red rock mountains and is a very small town.  There are some unique aspects that really fascinated me about this small town in the US which is in Arizona State.

Wherever you go in the town you are surrounded by Red Rock Mountains which creates a unique and wonderful backdrop.

The major attraction lies 7 miles away from the town which is the Slide Rock State Park in which the oak creek flows nicely and creates slippery bed.  Walking along the slippery creek was real fun and a challenging experience.

The Sedona Trolley service which takes you around the downtown as well as the country side on the outskirts of the town is a great ride not to be missed. 

McDonalds in Sedona is the biggest surprise of all.  The logo is Yellow Arches on a Red background all over the world.  Only in Sedona because of the Red Rock backdrop, McDonald was forced to use Teal Green colour for the famour arches making the M.  The local authorities did not permit McDonald its usual colour scheme.

It was at first sight shocking when I was riding the Trolley and saw the McDonald outlet on the main road in Sedona.  It took me a while to understand that the colour scheme is completely different and unique.

The Red Rock backdrop and the beautiful background has attracted more than 70 productions to Sedona for shooting the films.  Many famous hollywood films have been shot in Sedona and it is still considered one of the great picturesque locations in the world for film shooting.

I would rate Sedona among the top 10 tourist attractions in the United States of America.

27th October 2017
Dubai, U.A.E.

Monday, June 5, 2017


MAD is not enraged and angry but MAD is Make a Difference.  First "Make a Difference" to yourself and slowly "make a difference" to others around you.  It is a long process but very fruitful and satisfying.

In our society we find very few people who are there to make a difference while the majority leads a routine, monotonous and lazy lives.  According to Robin Sharma 98% of the people in the society lead a routine, monotonous life.  It is only 2% of the people who constantly strive to "make a difference" and hence are MAD.

Great Leaders do not set out to "lead" but they set out to "make a difference".  They end up inspiring people and make a difference to their lives and thus create more leaders.  This applies to Corporate World and to our normal society where we live.

We have to first believe in ourselves and lift the spirit and self esteem.  This would help us to believe that we are made to make a difference.  There are very few people who are capable of reaching this pinnacle of thought process to "make a difference".  Are you there yet?  If not, get there quickly as we are a fast changing, technologically advancing, heavily populated planet with over 7 billion people.

Is it easy to become one MAD person?  No, it is not so easy.  It is difficult and it requires perseverance and within that perseverance lies the reverence that you will build.  The thought process and the mindset to take Action today is important to make a difference.

Books can make a difference, kids can make a difference, films can make a difference, blogs can make a difference, friends can make a difference, family can make a difference, society in which we live can make a difference, you can make a difference and I can make a difference.

In order to "make a difference" and be MAD we need to follow only three steps:

  1. Manage your time and thoughts with a proper plan
  2. Act on your plan and do not procrastinate or waste time
  3. Discipline yourself and people around you to respect and follow the plan 
It all begins with the shift in approach to life from ME to WE.  We need to change things upside down literally like how when M is turned upside down Me is becoming We.  The selfless thinking will bring the requisite change and the MAD journey begins.

My journey on MAD started way back in 2006 and it has been a wonderful joy ride for the last 11 years.  It is completely filled with immense joy, pleasure, happiness, deep satisfaction and above all mental peace.

The greatest advantage of MAD is it automatically puts you on the "path of excellence", which is a MAD Race, where there is no finish line.

 Get on to the MAD Race and enjoy the life by making a difference to yourself and to others around you.

To make a difference to someone's life you need not be in power or in position of strength or rich.  You just have to care to be there.  It is a philosophy of life where you strongly feel, believe and live to GIVE.

Dubai, U.A.E.
5th June 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017


I was really fortunate and blessed to attend the four day lecture by Sunandaji on the Three fold division of faith which was based on the Chapter XVII of Bhagavat Gita.  She explained the verses of Chapter XVII very clearly with very good examples.  I am summarising the four day lecture for the benefit of those who could not attend the lectures.  The lecture was delivered on 12th to 15th April 2017 in Dubai.  I feel this is extremely important for every human being irrespective of the religious beliefs and faith.

The three "Gunas" or mental temperament or qualities that are found in every human being are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.  Sattva is the highest quality where total calm and composure is maintained.  Rajas is a quality where decisions are made with desires in mind.  Tamas is the lowest quality where there is reckless behaviour.

Out of all the living beings only humans have the ability to analyse the cause and effect and choose actions.  The law of causation (cause and effect) is applied in every instance by humans and the individual nature and behaviour will determine whether we are Sattvik, Rajasik or Tamasik.  The greatest quality in human beings is the consistency and whether the person is having Sattvik or Rajasik or Tamasik qualities one will notice consistency.  It is believed that the Sattvik worship God; Rajasik worships Demi-Gods (Yaksas) whilst the Tamasik worship Demons (Rakshashaas).  The underlying principle is Shraddha which is consistency of purpose.

Every human is made up of the three Gunas/Qualities.  It is important to develop "Satvik" consistency.  Every aspect of life is subject to change.  Thoughts, looks, feelings all change.  Some people believe that food intake is important and if we eat Satvik food consistently then we can develop Satvik consistency in our behaviour.  Unfortunately food cannot affect the thoughts and food cannot control the subtle feelings and thinking.  Seed is important for producing the fruit but only if the soil is conducive.  Food will help in Satvik behaviour only if the person is willing to consistently follow the "Satvik" qualities.

Sativika will sacrifice without desiring the fruits or results.  Practice austerity as it is an intelligent use of energy.   We lose energy due to worries and anxieties.  It is important to conserve the energy and direct it properly.  We need to move out of self-centered approach and pursue goals in life in an unselfish manner.

Follow austerity in speech - speech without excitement, which is truthful, pleasant and beneficial and also the practice of sacred study.  Satvik quality will help to think clearly so that we do not act impulsively.  Don't be impulsively good, you need to be intellectually good.  Always act in the interests of others.  Be factual, truthful and use intellect with pleasant manner and let go ego.

Serenity of mind, gentleness, silence, self-restraint and very pure disposition are called austerity of mind.  Perfect mind will not oscillate or get disturbed.  The threefold austerity practiced by devout men with utmost Sraddha and desiring no fruit is declared Satvik.

Rajasik austerity is misplaced effort and needs to be corrected.  Austerity practiced with the object of gaining reverence, honour and worship is unstable and transitory.  Austerity practiced with foolish notion, torturing oneself or aiming to destroy another is declared Tamasika.

Gift given as obligatory to a recipient who does no service and in place and in time is Sattvika Gift.  A sattvika gift is a well thought out gift to the right person at the right time without any impulsive thinking.

We are all normal human beings and hence will keep getting thoughts and feelings which could lead to Tamasik behaviour and it is important to leave it.  Whenever we find Rajasik behaviour it is important to immediately correct it.  As long as we are able to identify and detect the Rajas and Tamas in our behaviour Sattva will take care of itself.

If you leave Tamas and correct the Rajas you would stay a Satvik.  Let our intake be of a high quality - Satvik.  The attitude will help to process the intake - sacrifice and austerity.  You gain a lot as you are productive and sensible in choosing the right inputs and processed it with proper attitude.

Your chase will end only when you find the truth.  You will not feel completeness in life unless you find the truth.  Steadfastness in sacrifice, austerity and gift is called Sat/Truth.  Without aiming at the fruit, various acts of sacrifice, austerity and gift are performed by seekers of liberation.  These are Sattvik.

Dubai, U.A.E.
21st May 2017