Live and Express

Live and Express

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BrownOut 666 – a book about living in a foreign land

How would you reckon living in a country whose culture and ways are different from the way you are used to and far away from your native? You got to study and figure that out first before you go live there, isn’t it? Check out “Brownout 666” by John Richard Spencer, which gives a detailed preview of how it is to live in #Philippines as a foreigner and the challenges faced.

You can buy the book here:

The official book review at OnlineBookClub for the book is here:

Hope you enjoy the book!

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The Key To Running Successful Businesses

I always like to do things – by hand, by thought. I have been denied opportunities to do things quoting several excuses – ‘Oh you are too young to do that’, ‘Oh, you don’t know how to do that’, ‘Oh, we have all the connections in the town, so we will get it done quickly than you’, etc. But these denials turned out to be great motivators for me to build myself to actually DO things, to learn, and get the satisfaction that I can accomplish things.

Today, business leaders are quoting that keeping the tabs on every first-line aspect of a business is the key to succeed in a business. What does that mean? Caring to the things that you actually do as a business – making sure that the threads are sorted properly in an yarn business, making sure that the ingredients are cleaned and kitchen is disinfected in a food business, making sure that items are sorted and ready to ship in a trading business.

If you delegate, making sure that the person is doing it has all the right tools, methodology, and ingredients to do it correctly.  Keeping tabs on what’s going on and keeping the ears to the ground, I would say, is THE most important thing on anything that you aspire to do.

Starting from taking care of yourself to running the most complicated large businesses in the world, and to being spiritual – one thing is key – and I am giving it to you right here:


If you pay enormous attention to your field or area, success is imminent. It can’t evade you.  With undivided attention comes the awareness and knowledge, and the action follows.

Practice it, and let me know what you find out in the comments! All the best!

Love always!

Photo by Emma Louise Comerford on Unsplash





Who am I or What is this?

Several self-inquiry schools towards self-realization seem to encourage the seeker to ask the question ‘Who am I?’

‘Who am I?’ is a question that would evoke an answer relating or associating the person to something. For example, ‘Who is Venkat’ could invoke the following answers:

  • A techie
  • A son
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • Likes Tea
  • Tall

and so on…

You will note that in all these, the person ‘Venkat’ is associated with something or someone to identify himself – Technology, Parents, Place, Food/Drink, Physical characteristic.

The whole self-inquiry process is to break the chains with something or someone and to exist as a free spirit.

If I sit with my eyes closed, I should be void of anything. If you keep your body in great shape, it won’t complain or make noise! Likewise, mind could become silent through meditation. In that state, I exist, not associated with even my body and my mind.

In such a state, the question ‘Who am I’ does not makes sense, because I am not related to anything!

Then the question ‘What is this’ would make sense.

Also, questions like: what is this that exists here? where did it come from? where will it go? when the body dies, what will happen to this? when I don’t have any thoughts, what is the use of mind? etc.

Give it a try, and let me know what you experience, in the comments!

Love always!

Photo by Carlos Domínguez on Unsplash



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On Writing

They say that writing is therapeutic.

To me, it has become the way of life these days. Do I like something, write a blog about it. Do I have to put out great content to develop my business? Write a blog. Do I have to improve my professional chances? Write a blog. Do I have to rant about my city’s and my country’s state? Write a blog.

This is the reality.  Often, with the topics that I deal with on a day-to-day basis, it looks like I have to write a blog daily. I am not that much of a writing person, although I like to share stories. I am a storyteller. So, I feel like starting my blog as ‘So, what happened was…’!

Be it blog, a tweet, or a Facebook post, I realized that writing and letting others know has become imminent.  Sharing builds communities. In today’s interconnected world, we make contacts and friends whom we have not even met.  Although the ‘windows’ through which we engage them are limited to the context and scope, I found that it’s still valuable and nurtures connections.

Putting out something in public is not easy for everyone. There could be concerns relating to privacy and security. And then there is this “If you write something in Internet, it stays for ever!”  There was this meeting in one of my previous companies, where a very zealous ‘manager’ declared the above statement while talking about sharing something in the company intranet. We all humored him by saying, “Before the company takes action, I (the writer) will be dead!” So, one has to overcome this “out there in the Internet” fear too.

In spite of all these, one still has to write, speak, and be visible to be successful, to build contacts, connections and get opportunities. I used to be a lab-rat for many years. I didn’t build my connections based on my skill-sets. But, no regrets, I am here now. And writing.

Cheers to success!

Photo by Kevin Erdvig on Unsplash

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Book Review: A-Z Of Minimalism – A Practical Guide to Freedom by Upasna Sethi

This is a professional book review of “A-Z Of Minimalism – A Practical Guide to Freedom” by Upasna Sethi.  This book has been placed under ‘Hoarding‘ and ‘Non-Fiction‘ under Amazon Kindle ebooks.  The audience of the book would be anyone who is looking to declutter their spaces as well as their minds, and lead a simple yet fruitful life.

The catchy, simple cover of the book invites the reader to open the book to read.  The book has been organized into small chapters, which are digestible and makes the reader ponder over the content after reading a chapter.  The exercises provided at the end of each chapter are helpful.  The graphics interspersed with the text look good and provide a colorful look to the content.

In each chapter, the author provides helpful tips on what they did to minimalize.  I especially liked how the author impresses upon the reader how the quest for shopping is insatiable and one keeps buying more and more!  But, I could not quite agree with the author’s suggestion to delete shopping apps from the smartphone, as apps for grocery, medicine ordering, cab booking, etc, are a reality of today’s life, and one cannot avoid them. I presume the author’s advice is for addicted shoppers and not for all.

Also valuable is the suggestion to celebrate minimally by being together rather than making huge and expensive arrangements.  Thus, each chapter provides a very valuable tip on how to minimalize, which the reader, in general, would be able to relate to and implement in their own life.

There are several mechanical errors in the book, which could have been avoided by careful proofreading. For example, an unwanted hyphen next to the word ‘by’ in the phrase “step by step” on Page 1, unnecessary capitalization of the first letter in many words throughout the book (“Life of a Minimalist” on Page 1). These errors give an impression that the author is a juvenile one, in spite of the mature, valuable theme of the book. This reviewer recommends a thorough proofreading in the next edition of the book or the next book of the author.

The font of the Table of Contents could have been a bit larger. It would help the reader to provide the page numbers against the chapter names.  I have to mention about the formatting. There are unnecessary lines between sentences, and the formatting looks too awkward.  A sense of completeness in reading is lost because of lack of properly paragraphed text.

Overall, I found this book valuable for someone who is looking to cut-down on their shopping, life style, and in every sphere of their life. We all realize that too much is very stressful and makes us unable to manage things. Consumption has to be cut down, as it is very important for our own well-being, for the environment, and for our mother planet Earth.  In this regard, the author has done a pretty good job in bringing together the tips that the reader can readily follow.  The formatting and the mechanical errors have to be taken care of, to make the book more presentable to the reader.  Owing to the overall value that the book provides to the reader, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

You can order the book at Amazon at the following links:

Amazon India
Amazon US




The Water Problem (Episode 2)

Recently I wrote about the looming water problem in India. At that time, all I had was questions on the enormity of the issue, and how we can tackle this. I made a bucket list of all the stuff that I can do, and I quickly followed up with a few people I knew on social media and otherwise, and the results were a bit comforting, although the efforts are long-drawn projects that need constant follow-ups.

I was deeply heartened to see that many people are actually working on the water already at various levels – creating awareness, conducting sessions, executing implementations to effectively use groundwater and rainwater, and coming up with innovations that can made radical improvements to the abilities to store water.

Two of such groups that I came across were The Rainwater Club and Bhungroo. Both of them are well-known in the water circles for their work. The Rainwater Club is doing their work mostly in Karnataka and Tamilnadu, while Bhungroo has projects all over the world, but head-quartered in Gujarat.

The Rainwater Club has modules to conduct trainings and sessions in the schools, so that awareness can be created among the children. It would be great to partner with them to conduct sessions at your schools, especially if you are a group of institutions or a chain of schools.

Bhungroo is all about implementation, you can reach out to them to implement their solution in the usually drought-hit areas of your state, to see if their solution would help the situation.

These two were great starts for me to do something about the areas that I know of, while I am talking to someone in Kerala to see if there’s a potential solution for their unique issue of land level being the same as sea level along the coast, and hence water cannot be stored underground!  I am also planning to be in touch with a unique project in south India, to partner with them for projects and training on water for school children.

I will keep you posted!

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International Yoga Day 2018

Warm wishes to all of you on the International Yoga Day 2018 !

Events are organized as reminders for something that need be remembered on a daily basis, probably every moment. The days that are celebrated every year are also reminders for us to incorporate Yoga into our daily life, so that we are in tune with the Universe.

I once asked a spiritual person why Yoga only for human beings. Animals don’t do Yoga, other creatures don’t do.  The answer was that only humans need to work to be in tune with what they aspire to be. With Yoga, you could be pretty much anything you want to be by constant striving. With other creatures such possibility does not exist, and they are fixed to be in the way they are, and there are no opportunities for them to change or transform.  But for humans, its possible. So, we should make use of the opportunity!

Somebody died in our family recently, and that made a distinct change in my attitude in being regular towards Yoga. When that person died, we could clearly see for ourselves that they are not their body (anymore), and we don’t know what happened to that person who kept walking, talking and doing so many stuff daily. It was shown very clearly to me that the life given to us is to find out that we are not just the body and the mind. There should be something more.

Having said that, being in a human body is absolutely important while we live, not just for the compassion that humans show unlike many other creatures, but also for the opportunity to do stuff that others can’t. One fever showed me what kind of dances I had to do with my body to make it okay; body is such a complicated system. So, it needs be maintained properly, and luckily the Yoga system that’s currently offered by many groups, is not that complicated at all – simple practices for great benefits.

As many success coaches say, regular regimes are important. Sticking to them as far as possible is important. So, if we care for our body, our breath, flexibility, agility, liveliness and all the goodies, it’s important to do Yoga daily. And a diet that won’t strain the body but make it malleable, strong and vibrant.

Our life expectancies have increased – people live till 90s very easily, thanks to the advances in medical sciences. It’s important that we be hale and healthy while we live for such long periods of time. It would be cruel to see our body suffer because of non-flexibility while it is still maintained by medicines. Thus it is important to do Yoga daily irrespective of the age.

Thanks for listening. Have a wonderful International Yoga Day, doing Yoga, today and every day!