Do you feel younger or older than your age?

In the comments, please tell me why you feel that way: Is it due to your diet, work, active lifestyle, cultural heritage, your mother, or something else? How does this affect your life view and ambition? Your relationship with others? Continue reading “Do you feel younger or older than your age?”

11 Secrets to Success

pics of colorful roses in a vase at home by Arun Shanbhag

Decades ago when I subscribed to the Investor’s Business Daily, they had an inside section called IBD’s 10 Secrets to Success. I clipped out that section, and every so often would go over the list to make sure I was following it. I am sharing it with you all, and archiving this valuable, yellowing scrap of newsprint.

Here the authors do not provide any philosophies or elitist quotes, but simple gems. Not to write in your diary with flourishes, or share on twitter or Facebook, but to apply to your life, every day. This is the real stuff. My pithy comments in parentheses. And could not resist adding a 11th.

  1. How you think is everything:
    Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment. (Avoid gossip and don’t believe it.)
  2. Continue reading “11 Secrets to Success”

You are Not Special ~ David McCullough Jr.

A fabulous graduation speech from last week by David McCullough Jr, English teacher at Wellesley High School. Very inspiring!

See complete text of speech from (The Swellesley Report) below; I draw your attention to my highlights in red. Continue reading “You are Not Special ~ David McCullough Jr.”

Steve Jobs commencement speech, 2005

Thank you for a great ride, Steve. We’ll miss you.

Notable: Click here for commencement speech by David McCullough Jr at the Wellesley High School Graduation (2012).
Continue reading “Steve Jobs commencement speech, 2005”

Video: Embrace Life

As you get ready for the Holidays, here is a British public service announcement encouraging riders to wear seat belts. WoW! What a beautifully executed video!

Not boring and no scare tactics here; just beautiful acting and the full play of emotions. A tear was ready to well up in my eyes. Stunning!

Video produced by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, UK.

Don Meera

Pictures of Don Meera, Mumbai 2010
When Meera was a baby, every time I wore my shades, she would reach for them. I would then mime Main Hoon Don, Don, Don! Soon, Meera came to associate dark glasses with Don!

When we passed stalls on Colaba Causeway selling dark glasses, she’d point and say, Don, Don, Don! SO I had to get her these oversized shades. She’d wear them all the time.

Here is Meera at a gathering in Mumbai. It was well past her nap time and she was super tired, but she persevered and did not get cranky. Verily Don Meera! Continue reading “Don Meera”

Video: Jana Gana Mana, List of Performers


With democracy comes a serious responsibility.
What are you doing with your democracy?

Happy Independence Day!


Continue reading “Video: Jana Gana Mana, List of Performers”

Embrace Infant Incubators

A global partnership for children, including the WHO and UNICEF, report that annually, 4 million babies die within the first 30 days of birth. Why are 4 million babies dying? Concise 2 and 1/2 page article. The common causes are infection, birth asphyxia and premature (including low birth weight) births. Premature and low-weight babies are particularly susceptible to hypothermia and need to be kept warm.

In the well-off world, such babies are placed in expensive incubators (costing upwards of $10,000), while vital signs are monitored and stabilized. In much of the developing world such luxuries do not exist and babies continue to die off. Multinational medical device companies are quick to donate expensive equipment to far off locales. Consider that in places where infant mortality is very high, there is likely no electricity to power incubators and no trained personnel to operate them. Most of the equipment is completely useless and gathers dust.

This lack of understanding local constrainsts leads me to believe that most expensive equipment donations are made primarily for tax right-offs and a way to showcase social responsibility to shareholders. But thankfully, social entrepreneurs in small teams are continuing efforts to develop baby incubators for the developing world.


Here is a creative solution by EmbraceGlobal: A sleeping bag-like device with an add-on warming pouch. It does not require electricity, is portable and costs $25. At that price, they are near disposable and can go home with the baby. Most likely, parents don’t have anything nicer to put the baby to sleep in.

A Neonatologist I spoke to voiced concern that for critical babies, it is important to be able to see the chest of the baby rise and fall as it breathes. I think this can be addressed by a zipper (or velcro) on the sides of the bag. These will also make it easier to get the baby in and out of the bag, and provide ventilation.

I think $25 is still a steep price for essentially a wrap-around quilt. If folks can build a laptop for $100, then such a sleeping bag should not cost more than $1! Yes, One dollar!

Any of you have ideas for modifying the designs to address local needs? Can this be made of locally sourced materials? How about involving micro-finance based women’s groups to fabricate/assemble them locally? This could improve their livelihood as well. Perhaps this may trigger other solutions in the local populations.

Make it for $1! Any takers?

Shri Rām: The Holy Name

Shri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram japa mantra by Arun Shanbhag
For city bred siblings, summering at our grand parents’ home in Bhatkal was essential nirvana. In the orchard we tied strings to dragon flies and watched them jet away. We foraged for bird eggs in old trees. With sling shots we brought down mangoes, not because our aim was any good, but because the trees were laden with fruit. Listening to abbu (grandpa) in his pharmacy store, we learnt a smattering of Kannada and many more swear words. On dark nights without power, gazillion fireflies flickering on mud walls, guided us home. Continue reading “Shri Rām: The Holy Name”

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