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If you want to fly high, be prepared to leave the ground

NEW DELHI, Jan. 27 -- The Dalia Lama once said, "Change will not come from the sky, you have to work for it." It is extreme pressure that transforms carbon into sparkling diamonds.

We are all heroes in our life journey, trying to become better with every passing day. So, it is important to live life to its full potential.

Once, a boy lost his vision. He was depressed and scared about his future. Seeing him cry, his father told him:"Don't keep y... Read More


'Winnability' has given a halo to criminals

NEW DELHI, Jan. 27 -- We can be justifiably proud of our Election Commission of India(ECI)and its conduct of elections. Elections are held on time, every time, and the transition of power is invariably smooth, unlike in many other countries.

Yet if a fault line that has developed over the last three decades that is even more worrying than the misuse of "money" power, it is the growing number of parliamentarians and legislators with criminal ante... Read More


The ripple effects of fear

NEW DELHI, Jan. 27 -- The day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as the new president of the United States, I was in Bhubaneswar speaking at a literary festival. It took place in a bucolic setting, under a canopy of trees in perfect weather, far away from Washington. But as often happens at these occasions, many attendees had their minds on subjects other than literature.

After I fielded a few dutiful questions about my fiction,an audience membe... Read More


SAFE CITIES BEFORE SMART CITIES

NEW DELHI, Jan. 15 -- It doesn't sound quite so appealing but probably what we need first is safe cities before smart cities. Or better still safety, especially for women, should be top priority in smart cities. This should not be too tough given that technology is to be the bedrock of smart cities and it works well in promoting safety. But I am getting ahead of myself.

There is no Indian city which provides safe spaces for women in public place... Read More


RBI'S IDENTITY HAS BEEN COMPROMISED

NEW DELHI, Jan. 15 -- Yaga Venugopal Reddy is a man of few words, but his words carry a lot of weight - especially in the world of finance. Earlier this week, the soft-spoken former governor of Reserve Bank of India chose strong words to describe the state of play at the central bank. The "institutional identity of the RBI has been damaged" and it is facing "reputational risk", Reddy told a television news channel, referring to demonetisation - t... Read More


BLACK MONEY AND ITS SHADES OF GREY

NEW DELHI, Jan. 15 -- Two months into demonetisation is an opportune moment to assess what we've achieved. I plan to do so in terms of its main aim to eliminate black money which, undoubtedly, has attracted resounding support. The others simply do not justify extinguishing 86% of all currency. Actually, nor does an attack on black wealth held in cash but since the cause is so popular I propose to overlook the fact a virtual nuclear strike was dep... Read More


THIS IS WHERE INDIA MEETS THE WORLD

NEW DELHI, Jan. 15 -- Although married to a graphic designer whose mother was a painter, my knowledge of art is rudimentary. To be sure, I have visited museums while on the road, and retain vivid memories of works of art I have seen: a Goya painting of a nobleman in hunting dress at the Prado in Madrid, a magnificent Aztec sculpted head in the Xalapa Museum in Mexico, a chapel designed by Mark Rothko in Houston, a series of sketches in engine oil... Read More


Inner beauty is more important than outer beauty

NEW DELHI, Jan. 14 -- A young man was shouting at a crowd, "I have the most beautiful heart in the world." Many people looked at him, stunned to see such a beautiful heart. It had the perfect shape and there was not even a little flaw in its appearance.

Suddenly, an old man from the crowd challenged the young man, "Son, I have got the most beautiful heart in the world." To this, the young man asked him to show his heart. The old man showed him.... Read More


A silver linings playbook

NEW DELHI, Jan. 14 -- Heard about the former railway clerk from Nellore station who put the kids he found begging on the platform into school? Well,one of them ended up becoming a scientist and another is now a professor.

What about the vet in Kaziranga who rescues orphaned wild animals - including, once, a pair of baby clouded leopards - nurses them and then sets them free? The man who invented a bicycle that runs on water and land?The one who ... Read More


LOSING CURRENCY WITH THE VOTE BANK

NEW DELHI, Jan. 8 -- It is early morning and the Kachawa road vegetable mandi on the Varanasi-Allahabad road is crowded. Sacks of potatoes and peas are thrown into mini-trucks, as they speed away to sell the produce in towns and villages in the vicinity. To woo this market of truck drivers and farmers, Bijendra Nath and Ashish Kumar have set up roadside stalls to sell clothes. I ask them about the impact of demonetisation. (it was good)," says Ku... Read More