Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The best few lines I read today..


From Pratap Bhanu Mehta in today's Indian Express: "A sleepwalking economy"..


...The third fatalism comes from an excessive faith in deliverance by a leader. The complete abdication of responsibility by the top leaders of the Congress has sowed the seeds of confusion. It is also true that the institutional chaos in the wake of the corruption scandals has slowed down some sectors. But it does not follow that a single leader can come and fix this. For one thing, there is no evidence yet that the current opposition party has anything sensible to say on macroeconomics. And what Narendra Modi does in fact say on a range of issues of fundamental reform, from FDI to the value of the rupee, is not very reassuring. He also distinctly seems to lack control of his parliamentary party, which is busy putting its weight behind all kinds of half baked laws, including the Lokpal Bill. But it has little time to intelligently talk about the economy.
Admittedly, administrative decision-making at the top will help. But it will get you only so far. Cleaning up the institutional mess on a range of things from contracting to environmental clearances will be a huge task. The UPA's legacy of institutional corrosion is so deep in these areas that rebooting them will not just be a matter of one man's will to give orders. It will be setting new norms. Indeed, the big worry is that the system will again risk wheels getting stuck in the sand if new norms are not institutionalised. While there is some discussion of institutions to tackle corruption, there is very little about institutions to promote growth in a new context.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Right Reasons

Over the past year, life has been busy.. Quite busy in fact.. I never thought it would be such a hectic life, that I would not get chance to blog about something.. I made a promise to myself (kinda a new year resolution) to write every day for a 1000 words at a minimum, but that promise was a resounding failure.. About 5 posts in, I gave up.. (silly, silly me).. For about the first 4 months I started feeling very guilty about not keeping up to my promise.. I think sometime around April, I posted something again.. but did not keep up..

Months went by, and the odd acquaintance who read this blog once in a while, would remind me why I had not written for a while.. And it bothered me again..

As I have written before, writing for me is somewhat of a cathartic process. I write what I feel, and more often than not, what I don't think I can say in public.. Writing has been my refuge, my comfort food, my security blanket, and everything else.. (you get the picture)..

Over the last year or so, and especially over the last few months, there have been many instances where I have had the intention to write something.. Sachin Tendulkar's retirement, for instance, was one where I had everything in my head on what I wanted to write.. The words, however, never strung together to write a constructive enough post.

And this bugged me no end..

Here was I, who loved to write, who loved to write about cricket, who loved to write about Sachin Tendulkar, and I never wrote anything when he said farewell..

Don't worry, this is not a post about SRT.. It is about me..

It has taken me the better part of a month to realize what it was that made me not do what I liked doing best..

I think, not sure, that I was afraid, that whatever I write should be so good and so constructive, that everyone should "like" what I wrote. Everyone who reads it should comment, retweet, +1, or whatever it is that people do these days.. The fear of meeting and surpassing the expectations of others was why I never ended up going beyond the first word of the post..

And that's completely against why this blog was set up in the first place..

It was set up, long years ago, to write what I felt like, good or bad, sensible or tripe.. Not to receive likes and dislikes and anything else..

So, starting today, I am disabling the auto-post capability for this blog to any social network..

Because I am not writing for others

I am writing for myself..

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Argumentative Indian (in me)

I have not forgotten my new year's resolutions.

I have been meaning to write about so many things, it's just that I never got around to writing them, if you know what I mean. I have been busy, but really not so busy to avoid writing, just that I didn't allocate the time to do it. And so, what was supposed to be 1 post every day of the week, is now at latest count 4 posts in 6 months. Which is being charitable, since the 4 posts were there in the first 23 days of the year itself. Last 5 months and 7 days have been blank.

But then, I am not here to bore you with statistics of how often I write or should write. I know I should write, but to paraphrase Paul Simon, "If I could, yes I would". Nuff said.

So what got me out of this stupor?

2 things actually.

First was a spam post on this blog in Spanish or Portuguese or something. No bloody clue how it got there (there is still some chance that it will be back), but then it got there. Luckily D saw it early enough, and asked me about it, and I was able to delete it in time. But then it also left me with the feeling of someone crapping in my backyard without me knowing about it. And I don't like the thought of strangers crapping in my backyard (assuming I had one)

Secondly, I got to read a post last night about my favorite topic of the sole symbol of all that is wrong with this country, and that is the Times of India. I follow Thane Richard on Twitter, and he has excellent perspective on all that we're hyperventilating about, but then he's American and we Indians don't appreciate taking feedback you see. In some of his past posts, you can see the way he gets "ostracized" when he starts with his perspective on what's wrong with this country. (I wonder what his perspective on the other Indian darling, Mr. Modi is)

Anyway, I fully support Thane in his quest to boycott the Times of India !!! I would have asked you to support us in the cause as well (here), but then I am not the types who is a social mobilizer of outrage, and therefore it really is not my business whether you use it or not.

The Times of India, nay the entire Times Group, (a.k.a. The Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd,) is the single most dangerous entity in this country today. It should be sent to the sin-bin before the Home Ministry does anything about the Naxals.

Long years ago, (on my first date actually) I saw a James Bond movie, where the villain was a media mogul who manufactured news to increase business. I dismissed it at as typical Bond movie hogwash, but thanks to the Times Group, I am now thinking maybe it was more of an indication of where things are headed.

And seriously, don't give me this freedom of the press bullshit.. If you really believe the Times is a constructive force and a conscience of this country, you probably also believe that this country is going to the dogs, ergo the conscience of this country is egging it on to the dogs, ergo I rest my case.

Phew.. 

So my pent up frustration about the Old Lady of Boribunder is now out.

My Outraged Indian avatar is now sated.

But there is another avatar inside me (among others).

The Practical Indian.

And this practical Indian believes  knows, that 6 people signing to a Causes  website to get a $1.5 billion behemoth to be sidelined, is beyond ridiculous. And that nothing is going to happen. And that moron Arnab is still going to holler on my behalf regardless of whether I have conveyed my grievance to him or whether I have asked him to represent him in airing my grievances or heck, even having a grievance in the first place. (From what I have seen, even if I did meet him, I doubt I'd get a chance to open my mouth to air my grievances)

There might be a chance, but it's about as big as a "dimple on the arse of an ant on the arse of the elephant". And even if with that minuscule a chance, we do succeed in ensuring that we have a boycott on the Times on a Gandhian scale, it's probably not going to make a difference. They've faked so much, that very likely they will fake circulation numbers (assuming they don't do so already). And then they'll still be number 1.

Which brings me to another Indian in me - the disappointed Indian.

Disappointed not with India per se, but with the absolute & stubborn refusal of people to see the obvious.

See, what is peddled in the Times, (and Times Now, and all their media entities) is what has been philosophically described as bullshit. I read a book (On Bullshit - Harry G. Frankfurt) and the description of Bullshit and the distinction from falsehood and truth is quite clear.

... bullshit either can be true or can be false; hence, the bullshitter is a man or a woman whose principal aim — when uttering or publishing bullshit — is to impress the listener and the reader with words that communicate an impression that something is being or has been done, words that are neither true nor false, and so obscure the facts of the matter being discussed; i.e. “the bullshitter is faking things, but that does not necessarily mean he gets them wrong.”
 In contrast, the liar must know the truth, of the matter under discussion, in order to better conceal it from the listener or the reader being deceived with a lie; while the bullshitter’s sole concern is personal advancement and advantage to his or her agenda;
Bullshit thus is a greater enemy of the truth than are lies..
- courtesy Wikipedia 

Now does this not align with how the Times treats us?

But even then, this is not what disappoints me. The Times group is free to peddle all the bullshit that it wants. People pay  for this crap (me included) for whatever reason. They have a right to sell us crap, and if we deem that crap to be worthy of the price we are asked to pay, pay we shall.

What's sad is this apparent role of being the voice of the country - and therefore by extension my voice. It is a sad indictment on this country, and the polity of this country that people assume the media to be the voice and therefore the representative of the country. Per process, it should be the political setup which should represent us, right? Isn't that what their job is? Be our voice to the powers that be? Ensure that we get basic human rights and all that? Basically, be our voice for all that is important to us?

If you haven't dozed off as yet, here's a little secret.. They do. Basically, it's how you define the term "us".

If by "us" you mean everyone that you interact with on a daily basis, your co-workers, your society people, your friends on Facebook and elsewhere, your secret crush, etc., then you being at the center of your universe, you may have a point about being sidelined and feeling like you don't have an outlet to voice out your frustrations.

But by "us", if you mean each and every single one of us Indians, irrespective of religion, age, caste, creed, sex, sexual preference, colour, regional location, then you will see that the political class represents pretty much the average of the various spheres.

It's just that you we are way out on the fringe.

And the day we realize this, tempers will be soothed a little bit

And the Times will go back to reporting the news, and not telling me how I feel about hearing the news.. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

There's something about Modi..


Lately, whether I am reading the news or scanning Facebook, I get the impression that in 2014, we’re going to have Narendra Modi as the prime minister of India. It is just a small matter of having the elections over and done with. The shouting over the rooftops, the writing on the wall, the entire point of the discussion is that it is a mere formality, just the coronation is pending. All this dilly-dallying, nonsensical, rudderless style of governance will end, and will be replaced by a strong, patriotic leader who will bring India back to the days of 9% GDP growth till our kids have kids of their own. (After that, who really cares man, after all the whole point of life is to play with grandchildren!!!)

But given that this is being billed by everyone and their nanaji, that this is a straight fight between Mr. Modi and Mr. Rahul Gandhi, and given that I have already sent out an open letter to Mr. Gandhi on this blog (which you can read at leisure here) on what he would have to do to get my vote in 2014 (or whenever), I think it is incumbent on me to give a similar bhashan to Mr. Modi.

Mr. Modi, 
Please surprise me.
Thanks,
Chirag Panjikar.

Dang!!! That was so easy, I could even have tweeted it!!!

I have been accused of a Congress supporter in the past, but it’s truly not the case. I really don’t see the difference between the average Congress politician, and any other average politician. Which is what everyone seems to say anyway, when they utter the standard refrain of “All Politicians are the same!!!?”, and I do have extremely, extremely, extremely low expectations of the standard politician. 

But what I am hearing from Mr. Modi seems to be different, so I am interested & intrigued by this new language. I must admit I didn’t read or see the speech he gave at the Sri Ram College in Delhi, but whatever I read, seemed to be a fair representation of what I think is needed in this country.

Yes, the youth of this country is the future, and is where we can differentiate ourselves from the rest of the world. Yes, government has not business to be in business (among other things. I mean c’mon, why should there be a ministry of sports & youth affairs, or a ministry for animal husbandry). Yes, there should be no vote bank politics. And all that jazz.

All in all, it’s very difficult for me to decipher whether or not he’s going to be the one. But for what it’s worth, the guy doesn’t pass my “smell” test. I wish I could elaborate, and not be able to restrict myself to abstract smell tests to gauge the character of a person. There’s something about this entire narrative that leaves me as yet unconvinced that his policies are the best thing for India. But I’m still not convinced that he’s the guy to do this for us.

Here’s why:

Most of the people I see supporting or denouncing Mr. Modi seem to make emotional cases for their opinion, and very little data to convince me this way or that. Based on the material available on the internet, there’s really no conclusive evidence this way or that whether he’s the next prophet.

I read a report that Gujarat is the best state in India to do business, but I also read that off the 1000-odd MOUs of starting a business, the state has only about 50 or so projects which have taken off.

I read somewhere that Gujarat is at  9% annual GDP growth, but then so is Maharashtra and that too with a much higher base, and from personal experience I can vouch that the government of Maharashtra is ridiculously incompetent.

My Facebook wall tells me that he will take a bullet on his 56” chest before anything wrong happens in India, but then it also tells me that if I type 71 and “like”, then some kid in that photo will start dancing.

I don’t know whether it is the fact that while Gujarat has the largest amount of MOUs signed for investment every year, for some reason it has an extremely meager amount of businesses actually fructify. I keep hearing that business heads are saying we need a leader like him, but other than Mr. Tata*, no one has invested much in that state (anew. Reliance and Adani have been there since before. GM is there, but from what I recall, it has been there for a while, before this hype started). I don’t know much about the budget of the state, but surely given his popularity with the net savvy public, if the state had a budget surplus then we would have heard about it over and over and over again. (A simple search will lead to an RBI document (see here) which will suggest that the debt to GDP ratio of Gujarat is above average, and has the third highest interest-revenue expenditure ratio) Neither does it seem to have taxes any lower than the average state in India. Almost none of the people who are shouting over the rooftops to have him installed as the leader are from Gujarat, nor do they seem to have any intention of moving there.

So on what exact basis people are clamoring for him, is beyond me. However, there are some things that do trouble me, and these have nothing to do with any nonsensical labeling of “communal” politics. The Congress is, if anything, much more communal than the BJP, and is also spectacularly and shamelessly cynical about it.
What troubles me, is that anytime someone tries to write anything remotely negative him about him, you get a slew of trolls after you like zombies**. What troubles me is that any voice of dissent in his own state has been crushed ruthlessly like a dictator would do to a prospective coup. What troubles me, is that most of this seems to be the handiwork of a PR agency called APCO, which has been contracted to promote Mr. Modi (not the state of Gujarat). What troubles me is that any time I check anything remotely related to Gujarat, I see his face and nothing and no one else. What troubles me, is that other than Mr. Modi, the only other ministers from his cabinet that I hear of, are when they are convicted of carnage. What troubles me is that the justification of having said ministers in the cabinet, is the example of Kamal Nath, which really is not a factor of differentiation from the other team, when your main point is that you're different from the other team...

But then, surely so many Gujaratis cannot go wrong. Surely so many of my friends cannot be wrong (I mean, scientifically comparing a sample size of one (me) to a sample of a few millions, you know which one is more reliable, right?) Surely, they’ve seen something in the man that has them convinced that he is the one to lead us to the path of salvation, and is not really the BJP’s answer to Indira Gandhi’s despotism. Surely, when he comes to power all of India’s ills will get solved, even though the last time the BJP was in power, we had a year of about 4% GDP growth, terrorists attacked the Indian parliament, and the Indian intelligence setup failed so miserably that the Pakistani army actually crossed the border leading to the Kargil war. Surely, he is a patriot of unquestionable integrity, who just happens to be in politics, an area where anyone associated is immediately considered as ruthless, self-centered and corrupt. 

Which is why, all I can say is,

Mr. Modi, please surprise me!!!! 

*- Full disclosure: The company I work for has invested in a mid-size manufacturing plant in Gujarat and also has a Public-Private-Partnership with the Government of Gujarat. The post on this blog is in my personal capacity as a citizen of India, and has no bearing on any professional commitments. In any case, the main point of this post if you haven't figured out yet, is that the Chief Minister is no different from the average Indian Chief Minister in terms of performance, but certainly seems to be much better in making an emotional connect with the average Indian voter. 

**- I must admit, the 3 posts I have written till now about him, have been among the higher viewed on the net, including visitors from Russia, Brazil and Sweden, so there is an ulterior motive here. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Heal the World, Read Times of India..


If you want to know all that is wrong in India, all you need to do is pay the newspaper vendor 2 bucks and get a copy of the Times of India.

Like the other day, as part of its new found aura of social responsibility it had a wonderfully long article on the front page of the Pune Times on the evils of ragging. Needless to say, since Pune Times is an “Advertorial and Promotional feature” and the article was bloody long (at least longer than what I normally get the chance to read”, there was no way for me to know whether it wanted to advertise & promote ragging in colleges or dissuade people from ragging in colleges.

This article had all the standard Pune Times “glamour”. It had some Bollywood photo depicting ragging (3 Idiots, but of course). It had some two-pence celebrities telling their experiences of ragging in colleges. One smart ass actually told the story of how his cousin was ragged in college, and how that was an emotionally traumatic experience for him. For some reason he also mentioned in the same quote that his cousin has forgotten that incident, but this dude was traumatised enough to make a movie about it. 

I skipped through most of it, (I mean, who reads Pune Times for its journalistic excellence?) till I came to very the end, in a bright red box with bold white font was my absolute favourite TOI section.

Times View.

In case you have not heard about it, Times View is where the editors of ToI decide that they should show off their vast and superior knowledge of all that is just and fair in this world, and you know, for the benefit of the reader guide him through what is an absolute horror that this world has now become. This applies to politics, sports, civics and everything else where the ToI believes that the nation has a right to know. (It is another matter that with a circulation of approx. 7.65 million in a country of 1.2 billion, TOI has the eyes of roughly 0.58% of India’s population, or as a wise Parsi man once told me – “A dimple on the arse of an ant that sits on the arse of an elephant”)

Anyway, such insignificant details should not bother us.

This beautiful piece of socially relevant journalism had this fabulous insight.
Those found ragging should be punished severely, so it acts as a deterrent. We need stricter laws, applicable nationwide. Institutions should be vigilant and take immediate disciplinary action against senior students who rag.
Now, raise your hands all those who think that what we need in India is stricter laws.

Seriously?? We waste 7 million trees every day on tripe like this??

We have laws made from the 1860’s still in place.

We have laws where you can face serious jail time for a speech.

We have laws where a Facebook post can cause you to be booked for sedition (it’s never been done 
before, but it’s possible. Look it up).

We have laws which still allow the death penalty.

That’s how strict our laws are.  

Our problem is not that we don’t have enough strict laws. Our problem is that we have too many strict laws.

In case you haven’t figured out yet, I have serious issues with this state of affairs. Two serious issues, at least.

One, given the strictness of the laws, the system always has to decide whether a. a crime was committed and if it was, then b. whether the crime merits the strictest possible punishment. This takes up a lot of time, (especially since we have 1.2 billion people, so the possible permutations are beyond the standard excel sheet). This, delays the entire judicial process and the justice is served at times when it is completely irrelevant.

And that is not taking into account frivolous charges, for which there is no penalty on someone placing frivolous charges.

Two, when someone is caught for the crime, everyone involved (investigator, investigated, support resources) takes all this into account and then individually determines whether it is worth going through this rigmarole or negotiate a suitable punishment among all concerned instead of going through the entire judicial system. Some people call this corruption, but in essence it is a bargaining tool for not having to go through years of litigation.  

All this nonsense about the government needing to be a stricter school principal is hogwash and cynical.

School principals need to be better at being school principals.

The world will then be a better place.. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

The Burden of Proof...

At this point, this late in the day, I am a little ashamed to say that I have not paid much attention to the Delhi Gang Rape case.

More so, because there really is nothing I can say about the entire sordid affair..

And also, being male, anything I say really has no meaning to what has happened, nor can I in any way even comprehend the brutality of the entire episode.

But now that I have decided to write on a daily basis, I decided to do a basic Google check on the entire affair.

And based on the aforementioned Google check, have come to the conclusion that there is no drop of sympathy and outrage that has not been oozed out at whatever forum there exists. Since the victim cannot be identified publicly, she has been given about 7 different names, by my count. I am not a sociologist by any means to have any treatise on why this happened, and what it means for society in general, and how it depicts how women are treated etc., so I really cannot comment, but everything (including the media coverage) just gave me the creeps and made me even more convinced that the criminals who did this should get the maximum possible sentence that a crime like this can get.

Other than one bit, which seemed a little odd to me.. And it is something that we seem to do, every time a sensational criminal case comes up in public hearing.

So, I am going to be asking this, and please don't kill me for asking this.

Why does the victim get full confidentiality, but the accused do not?? 

The case might be watertight, and DNA might prove it, and the fingerprints might exist, and there might be a dying declaration and all that.

But at the end of the day, the 5 men arrested are as yet accused, and not convicted of this crime. And here I know about how 30-year old Ram Singh, a bus driver, his brother Mukesh, a Pawan Gupta and a Vinay Sharma, did all this.. Not just that, I know that Ram Singh's mother says that if he did it, he should be hanged, his house where he lives with his parents in Delhi was shown on national TV, his wife died in 2010, and he once eloped with a girl. He was also thrashed by the inmates of Tihar Jail.

Rape is evil. We protect the victim's identity to avoid the victim from having to undergo further social stigma. However, we are accusing 5 men of having perpetrated this evil act, and have no qualms freely discussing their entire life history in public domain? What if it turns out that even 1 of them has been falsely accused and is acquitted? Who washes off this stigma off of that man? Will even a single one of all those protesting at Jantar Mantar and elsewhere asking for the 5 to be publicly hanged  come forward to offer such a man a livelihood?

Are they being flogged in public just because they cannot afford the PR campaign to defend themselves?

Or is it our CID / Adaalat viewing TV voyeurs who are just watching another show, where cases are cracked and justice is delivered inside 1 hour including commercial breaks? 

This has nothing to do with the attitude of men towards women in India, which is probably worthy of another post. My point is just that if we truly believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and that even 100 guilty parties can go free as long as an innocent is not falsely convicted, then the accused should have the same rights to confidentiality as the victim, as the repercussions of the accusations are probably longer lasting than the actual crime.

What am I missing?

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat  
(the burden of proof lies with who declares, not who denies)
**********************************************

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Healthy, Wealthy & Wise


Ever so often, completely unrelated things in your day to day life come together to create a larger meaning.

I have one such event over the last four days.

On Monday, I came in to work and had the opportunity to listen to an address made by Jim Collins made to some of the leadership at our company. No comments (good or bad) about the address, but the basic focus of the address was to emphasize on having setting goals which are so large that it takes special dedication to getting these accomplished. Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (B-HAGs, as he called it). These need to be structured, with a clear focus and with a greater purpose and meaning. These seem so outlandish that at first gasp the enormity of the exercise is beyond belief, borderline stupid. But when you do get there, it seems like the goal was so easy, and what got you there was the blood thirsty dedication that you displayed to getting there. Also, the discipline has to be relentless and no excuses should be given or taken.

Now, I am not the type who gets inspiration through someone’s address or talk nor am I disciplined, dedicated or any of those jazzy things, that a lot of the people keep preaching to me about. But something about that address did resonate at a personal level.

Monday was also the last day of 2012, or in other words, when I woke up on Tuesday I was saying hello to a new year and new beginnings. Somewhere I feel like this year is going to be more meaningful and the start of something amazing. Jim Collins’ address may have had something to do with it, but for the first time in my 34 years, I have actually had the urge to come up with new year resolutions.

However, since it was my first time around, I really didn’t know where to look. On Tuesday night, I had a feeling that my 2013 resolutions were going to go the way of 99.9% of all New Year resolutions in recorded history.

Which is when Wednesday came along, with a wonderful surprise.

And some clarity..  

Turns out, this blog has been quoted in the Financial Times. Not as a stupid, know-it-all, comment trolling someone, not as a question to an agony aunt or any of the standard stuff. Was actually quoted for my opinion aboutCricinfo being acquired by ESPN.

Gideon Rachmann, Tim Harford, Chirag Panjikar!!!! Needless to say, I’m feeling proud today about something that happened in 2007.

What does this have with New Year resolutions, you may ask?? What about that Collins guy??

Well, the FT incident cleared my head about the fact that blogging gives me some peace of mind and makes me look a little wiser. (And determined that the next time something like this happens will not be 6 years too late)

So here are my Big Hairy Audacious Goals for 2013, structured with catchy titles that I came up with, since everything these days needs to have a catchy title for association and maintaining easy narratives.

Top line, Bottom line, Waistline

Top line –

Now that we know that this blog gives me some peace of mind and some me-time, it is not acceptable that I get this peace of mind once every 100 days, or every 30 days, or every 7 days. I want it every day, 

Hence: 
B-HAG #1 - Every day, this blog shall feature at least one, newly written 500 word post.
Not on an average for a year, not once in a blue moon, no specific topics or anything like. I shall not blog about work and preferably not specific instances in my personal life (this is not a bloody diary, it’s my blog). But every day, I shall write (not attempt to write, not try to write, but WRITE).

If I don’t write one, you as a reader are free to ridicule me on any forum you so desire, regardless of whether you like the crap that I spew out, and will be spewing on a daily basis.

Bottom line -   
As the phrase goes, you cannot live on love and fresh air alone. I don’t know crap about investing and like to tell myself that I am not a financially driven person. However, there is income and there is wealth, and I’ve had enough of this income business, it’s time to start creating some wealth. Inflation is at 8%, and I need returns that are not just beyond this inflation, but also balanced and bloody sustainable. So keeping in line with this, here is:
B-HAG #2 – My overall investment portfolio for 2013 shall result in a return of at least 20%. All this without the help of a professional portfolio manager.
Don’t ask me how I can do that, since I don’t know the basics of this either. But I figure there shouldn’t be much to it, since most people from all these banks and shadow banks that approach me seem to be getting by by flashing clich├ęs at me.

Waistline –
At the latest visit to the pediatrician, I found out that I weigh 95 kilograms. I have weighed 95 kgs for a long time now, and I am bloody sick of this. All this portfolio and peace of mind is of no use if my health is not with me. 7 years ago, I went from 97 kgs to about 85 but that was then, and this is now. All the excuses I give are the lies I tell myself to make the reality sound palatable. So with all this in mind,
B-HAG #3 – As of December 31, 2013 I shall weigh less than 85.5 kgs. (A reduction of 9.5 kgs, i.e. 10% of current weight, seems fair).
As my good friends, I invite suggestions from you for what “punishment” should be bestowed on me should I fail to meet this particular goal, since there is a defined end date and a quantifiable deliverable. You can comment on this blog, or through Facebook / Twitter where this post will be posted.   

That’s it. These are my goals for 2013. 

Discipline is the key.

Please don’t pray for me.

Help me wherever possible through comments, suggestions, ideas, tips, encouragement and ridicule.

And welcome to a window to what promises to be wonderful personal journey!!!!