I changed it !!

|0 remarks
Couldn't take my old template anymore !! :)

So ... Tell me how you like this one ... Comments or reactions welcome !!

Chinese New Year – A Valentines Day with a Difference

|3 remarks
Let me first start by wishing Chinese people all over the world a Happy New Year. That reminds me that I have been dumb enough not to wish both Jessica and Jeson today in office, who are the reason for my visit to the Nan Hua Temple here in Johannesburg to watch the celebrations. So better late than never.

Jessica … Wishing a Happy and prosperous New Year ahead to and your family.
Jason … May this new year of the Tiger bring in Happiness and well being into the lives you and your family.

If you independently look at this post, then you would never be able to guess that I am at Johannesburg. You would think that I am somewhere in Taiwan or somewhere in China.

This is one Valentine’s Day that I celebrated so differently that I was thrilled with myself to have made this choice.  (Update: My wife is upset !! :)) The Chinese New Year at the NanHua Temple in Bronkhorstspruit was to say the least absolutely awsome. It gave me a glimpse into Chinese culture that I was never before exposed to in my life. The experience as a whole has been truly exceptional.

The way to the temple is a 95kms beautiful drive through scenic landscape to Bronkhorstspruit. I started at about 8:00 am to reach the temple just in time for the first ceremony of the day called “Offering Light to the 1000 Buddhas”. The entering the temple, I was awe struck by the beauty and architecture of the temple.


Snapshots of the NanHua Temple
In the background of the continuous chanting, I experienced a unique peace standing in that crowded temple. I was even more amazed at the sight of the Thee Gigantic Buddhas in the main shrine. After the chanting, people slowly started to go in a line to place the lamps in front of the statues and pray to Buddha. I also joined the line and offered my prayers to the Buddha.

The Massive Buddhas in the Main Shrine
I saw the Buddhas in the other temples around the main shrine, which were also equally beautiful and intricately created by the artisans. Presenting to you some of the beautiful ones that captured in my camera.

The Buddhas @ the NanHua Temple
After the lamp ceremony, the main celebrations began outside in the Temple Court Yard. It started with the Dragon and Lion Dance along and the Drum Majorettes. It was am amazing experience to watch the Dragon and Lion Dance live, which I had seen sometimes in TV.

Glimpses of the New Year Function Celebration (Dragon and Lion Dance)
There were some other activities that were happening at the same time around the temple complex which I managed to capture and present a snapshot to you in a collage form.
Other Temple Activities

Clockwise from the Top Left (Chinese Wishing Tree, Prayer Assembly, Chinese Tea Ceremony, Couple in Traditional Chinese Dress, Chinese Calligraphy, 3 Chinese wise men – Wealth Health and Longevity (Fuk, Luk, Sau).

There were lots of stalls around the temple courtyard selling everything from Chinese Food to Chinese Goods. I enjoyed some yummy Chinese snacks and sweets to end my celebrations.

In all it was a wonderful ceremony, that was lucky to experience here in Johannesburg. I could only tell you all that whenever you get a chance in life, please do visit a Chinese Temple atleast once to get a glimpse of what I could feel and you would know why the Chinese Cultures is among the richest cultures in the world.

View all photographs of my visit at Google Picasa

Some Interesting Management Gyan

|5 remarks
Management Gyan for the Day ... Coincidentally both have to do something with the IIMs
  • Professor Y L R Moorthi of IIM Bangalore wrote this wonderful article that read today called 'Have Breakfast...or Be Breakfast'. Click here to read the article ... You would not regret it ...
Updates: My view after digesting the article.

A nice article … The points is well taken. But I have a few points that I can think of:
  • Its all ok to point out that competition can come from anywhere - looking in retrospect based on example of companies gone through the situations. In real life, its very difficult to predict cases of which company is going to be a threat to which company. – So a nice article .. point taken but can rarely be put into practice
  • Saying that Nokia has sold the most cameras would be stupid … In any case Sony the agile company (has mobile phones as well as cameras) …The market of cameras are more than the low end phone cameras that we are discussing … The Market of SLR and Digital SLR market (not to mention the sleek digital cameras) have its own market and its own margins …
  • Airtel. – by selling caller tunes – cannot become a music industry leader … because of caller tunes do we stop buying CDs or DVDs ??? No … So I don’t really buy that point. It’s a separate market of its own. And I really want to know how much money Airtel really makes out of selling ring tones … numbers please … I am sure it wont be much.
  • IPL killing movies is again a point that I don’t buy … I see movies when I see movies .. I see the IPL when I see the IPL … So there is a market for both to co-exist. Ask consumers do they want to see a movie or a IPL match and they will tell you they want both. No one is killing anyone.
  • I agree that alarm clocks are not in much existence .. but that doesn’t mean that markets for clocks are over … so its not that Titan or Ajanta clocks would die … people still want wall clocks and also smaller table clocks to have in their houses.

While it may seem like I am countering all that points and trashing the article, with all due respects, that is not that case … The article is nice and sensible … The points is well taken – that competition can come from anywhere and if you don’t innovate then you will perish.
  • India’s premier business school IIM-Ahmedabad did the unthinkable: it junked its day-based placement system that has been around for decades and replaced it with a cohort-based system. Read more about that here
Update: My views again on the above article.
  • Scraping the Day 0 thingie is one of the good things that IIM A has started. Earlier, placement was all about a time frame of a “placement week" with both employers and students having very little time to make their choices. Also this phenomenon of “placement week" came with a euphoria that clouded the sane thought process of students to make the correct company choice.
  • People were too hung up on the Day 0 - Students to get placed and companies to be there on the day 0. Eventually the correct student - company match rarely happened. This was bound to happen as focus was more on time – choosing Day 0 companies, regardless of whether you want to be in any of those companies or not based on the PPT (pre placement talk) that they gave.
  • I have personally seen that less than 10% people hang on to their MBA campus jobs, others switch within a year. This shows that there was something wrong with the previous system. I hope that this extra time would give time for students and companies to find a better fit / match.
More gyan later !!

Minor updates to my Blog Template

|4 remarks
After a long time I was  fiddling with the template, was planning to change to an entirely new template but skipped the idea on "popular demand". But I am conceptualizing a new template that I would make on my own ... Wait for it ... But for now I did add some new tools and gadgets to my blog ...
  1. Follow me Button: Looked like a cool thing to add to my blog. I forcebly made my wife and close friends "follow" me. Looking for more to follow voluntarily. 
  2. Added a Twitter gadget: probably that would give me reason to twitter once in a while.
  3. Added the reactions options after every post, so that people lazy to comment can atleast choose one of the three positive feeling about my blog :)
  4. Recent Comments: Again to give me a good feeling that people say good things about my blog .. and also to show off !! :)
  5. Ad Sense: I know I can never earn a cent out of my blog ... But what the heck ... its worth a try !! :)
Hope you like it and atleast use the feature 1 and 3 and make my blog look better !! :) Enjoy !!

Picnic @ Emmarentia Dam

|4 remarks
After the fun, frolic and festivities at the Pongal function, where I made many friends in Johannesburg, it was time for the next event. This was a Picnic at the Emmarentia Dam in the Johannesburg Botanical Garden.

I was pleasantly surprised at discovering such a beautiful place , right in the heart of the city. The place was so tranquil with a huge lake where people were Kayaking and ducks and pigeons at the banks of the lake. I noticed while some people were coming in to relax on a Saturday, others were into various activities like skating, cycling, painting etc.
I arrived there an hour late only to discover that I was not actually late !! The Indian Standard Time prevailed here as well !! So as people started to trickle in, we started to warm up with a game of Frisbee !!

Srinath and others came in a bit later as they had to arrange for the most difficult part of the Picnic – The Food !! As we attained complete attendance, choice of the game shifted from Frisbee to the Indian (unofficial) National Game – Cricket.

While the gents played the cricket, I am guessing, the ladies relaxed, looked around the place and played some other games like chit-chatting, ring, running race and the amusing “Train” game that managed to temporarily interrupt/disrupt our game of cricket … But it was all fun !!

As we completed 2 games, hunger and tiredness struck and we decided it was lunch time. Menu included – Idlis, Vadais, Dosai (plain and podi), Sambar, two types of chutnies. We also had the usual South Indian food “full stop” – amazing Thair Sadaam (Curd Rice) with amazing Lemon pickle.

After that wonderful lunch, ideally it would have been best to take a nap under one of the trees in the shade. But we decided on continuing the Indian (unofficial) National Game. You can imagine if people were giving up sleep to play cricket, then it must have been a lot of fun … And Indian men can get very involved in the game … so much so that every run-out appeal, every wide ball was contested, argued and fought over with full enthusiasm as is it was the World Cup at stake. :)

After two more matches (and lot more arguments), we concluded the cricket session and gathered to celebrate the Marriage Anniversary of Chandramouli and Rekha – excuse enough to have a small cake cutting ceremony.
Day culminated with a group photo.

It was starting to get overcast and we decided to call it a day and head back home. It was a day where I had so much fun that - its been three days after the picnic, and my hands and legs are still a bit sore of cramps that got due to all the physical activities :) …But the fun was worth it !!