Aylan Kurdi & iPhone7

Europe is facing its biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Thousands of people are displaced and many have died. European crisis calls for compassion and action but the world is yet to come to terms with the crisis. Many countries and many people are not even aware of the crisis. Many European governments and nationals are reacting in a very surprising manner. This is the crisis of humanity and will define how Europe and World value morals and human beings.

The death of Aylan Kurdi gave the face to the crisis. May his soul rest in peace. Read his story on Guardian UK

I was heart-broken to see his dead body. It shocked me. Here was my response in a short few lines.

Aylan & iPhone7

It was not Aylan that was drowned that day
A part of our humanity died that day

Thousands leaving their daily lives for a better tomorrow
Detaching their umbilical homes with a sorrow

Moving out for a better future in an alien land
Moving out seniors in wheelchairs and toddlers in hand

Will they find a better life?
Or will they perish in a man-made strife

Ash, what is the point of this poetry?
When entire Mediterranean is a growing cemetery

May Aylan find peace in Heaven
May the famous Syrian refugee show him iPhone Seven

Maybe they will take selfie in heavenly sunshine
And our world continues just as fine!



Paryushan 2015 – A Big Test For Jainism

It is always interesting to note how we find issues and get ourselves busy and play into the hands of politicians. And allow them to deviate attention from the real issues.

Jainism believes in Truth, Ahimsa (Non-Violence), Anekantavad (Respecting Diverse Perspectives) besides Aparigriha (Non-Posession). Jainism strongly supports right faith, right knowledge and right conduct.

Today Jain friends are dragged into the unnecessary controversy – the truth is being ignored and so right knowledge maybe not visible. Non-violence is practiced in thoughts, deeds and real actions – but our minds are being weakened as we experience emotions over the controversy. Certain miscreants went further and committed objectionable actions in front of temples to incite further passions. And this angered many Jain friends as it was designed to create further problems.

Paryushan is the festival of forgiveness and festival of introspection. Jina is one who conquers inner enemies of ego, pride, anger, deceit, hatred and greed amongst other evils. In that sense, Paryushan 2015 is our biggest test !



Avoiding Sep 11 Attacks, Happy Marriage Equation & Better Thinking Ideas


First Things First – Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast And Slow” Is A Must Must Read Book ! Yes – READ IT. It Is One Of The Best Investments You Will Make.

Daniel Kahneman is the first non-economist to profession to win the Nobel Prize in Economics. But do not worry – the book is easy read and very though-provoking. The book aims to help us understand our systematic errors (biases) so that we an anticipate, identify and avoid them. An accurate diagnosis of our errors of judgement and choice may prevent or limit the damages of our errors.

The central theme is that our minds have two systems for making decisions – System 1 and System 2.

System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control.
System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concentration.

The books speaks of the role and importance of System 1 in our lives and decisions – intuitions, illusions. It controls us more than we think it does. We become strangers to ourselves. Eventually, System 2 should drive us. And if System 1 is driving us, we should slow down and change course.

The book touches upon many topics and each one is worth diving further into. I am resisting my temptation to write about all of them – as I want you to read the book.

Let me touch upon selective interesting points:

1. One of the important point is about Focus. Multi-tasking is not a great thing as self-control and deliberate thought apparently draw on the same limited budget of effort. Self-control requires attention and effort. Focus and maintaining a consistent thought process requires discipline. Hence tired and hungry judges tend to fall back on the easier default position of denying requests for parole rather thank think more deeper on merits of the case.

2. High correlation exists between thinking and self-control. People with high self-control have higher measures of executive control in cognitive tasks, and especially the ability to reallocate their attention effectively. The children who had shown more self-control as four-year-olds had substantially higher scores on tests of intelligence. There is a significant difference in intellectual aptitude between people with different self-control.

3. Another interesting finding is the idea of money primes individualism: a reluctance to be involved with others, to depend on others, or to accept demands from others.

4. Cognitive Ease allows System 1 to be in control while Cognitive Strain determines whether System 1 should involve System 2. Hence marketing works on creative cognitive ease and lead us to intended behaviours. Using bold colors, simpler language helps. If the message is to be printed, use high-quality paper to maximize the contrast between characters and their background. If you use color, you are more likely to be believed if your text is printed in bright blue or red than in middling shades of green, yellow, or pale blue. As we all know, repetition induces cognitive ease and a comforting feeling of familiarity. It is the exposure effect. A good mood weakens System 2 and hence one needs to be extra careful. Similarly, one should not dismiss an idea because it is badly packaged in a hard language or bad font.

5. The Wisdom of Crowds indeed makes sense. A collective judgement is often superior to individual judgements.

6. Whenever taking decisions, ensure that the different biases are checked:
Halo Effect
Substitute Effect
Optimism Bias

A checklist is a great tool for making decisions.

Example of Availability Bias: People feel politicians and celebrities often resort to Adultery? Does the aphrodisiac of power cause such behaviour? Statistically, politicians and celebrities have same amount of affairs as other people – it is only that their cases get highlighted more in the media and we tend to feel that they are more morally challenged.

7. Bad News: Some experimenters have reported that an angry face “pops out” of a crowd of happy faces, but a single happy face does not stand out in an angry crowd. The brains of humans and other animals contain a mechanism that is designed to give priority to bad news. By shaving a few hundredths of a second from the time needed to detect a predator, this circuit improves the animal’s odds of living long enough to reproduce. The automatic operations of System 1 reflect this evolutionary history. No comparably rapid mechanism for recognizing good news has been detected. Of course, we and our animal cousins are quickly alerted to signs of opportunities to mate or to feed, and advertisers design billboards accordingly. Still, threats are privileged above opportunities, as they should be.

8. The sunk-cost fallacy keeps people for too long in poor jobs, unhappy marriages, and unpromising research projects.

9. people expect to have stronger emotional reactions (including regret) to an outcome that is produced by action than to the same outcome when it is produced by inaction

10. The greatest test for professionals including fund managers is persistent achievement.

Most of the buyers and sellers know that they have the same information; they exchange the stocks primarily because they have different opinions. The buyers think the price is too low and likely to rise, while the sellers think the price is high and likely to drop. The puzzle is why buyers and sellers alike think that the current price is wrong. What makes them believe they know more about what the price should be than the market does? For most of them, that belief is an illusion.

The book contains many memorable quotes. For example:
– Pupil of the eye is the window to the soul.
– Emotional tail wags the rational dog

The book is replete with rich examples and interesting anecdotes. Some examples were really amazing and though-provoking.

1. The Equation for Success

According to Kaheman, his favourite equation is:

Success = Talent + Luck
Great Success = A Little More Talent + A Lot Of Luck

We tend to undermine the role of luck. Whether analyzing stock markets or other events, we tend to ignore the role of luck.

2. The Formula for Marital Stability

Frequency of Lovemaking minus frequency of quarrels

Sounds obvious? Now this is endorsement from the Nobel-prize winning Guru!

3. The September 11 Attacks

If an event had actually occurred, people exaggerated the probability that they had assigned to it earlier. If the possible event had not come to pass, the participants erroneously recalled that they had always considered it unlikely.

The worse the consequence, the greater the hindsight bias. In the case of a catastrophe, such as 9/11, we are especially ready to believe that the officials who failed to anticipate it were negligent or blind. On July 10, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency obtained information that al-Qaeda might be planning a major attack against the United States. George Tenet, director of the CIA, brought the information not to President George W. Bush but to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. When the facts later emerged, Ben Bradlee, the legendary executive editor of The Washington Post, declared, “It seems to me elementary that if you’ve got the story that’s going to dominate history you might as well go right to the president.” But on July 10, no one knew—or could have known—that this tidbit of intelligence would turn out to dominate history.

Could better thinking have changed the course of history?

4. Michael Lewis’s bestselling Moneyball is a story about the inefficiency of the traditional mode of prediction. Professional baseball scouts traditionally forecast the success of possible players in part by their build and look. The hero of Lewis’s book is Billy Beane, the manager of the Oakland A’s, who made the unpopular decision to overrule his scouts and to select players by the statistics of past performance. The players the A’s picked were inexpensive, because other teams had rejected them for not looking the part. The team soon achieved excellent results at low cost.

5. The basic message of Built to Last and other similar books is that good managerial practices can be identified and that good practices will be rewarded by good results. Both messages are overstated. Because luck plays a large role, the quality of leadership and management practices cannot be inferred reliably from observations of success. And even if you had perfect foreknowledge that a CEO has brilliant vision and extraordinary competence, you still would be unable to predict how the company will perform with much better accuracy than the flip of a coin. On average, the gap in corporate profitability and stock returns between the outstanding firms and the less successful firms studied in Built to Last shrank to almost nothing in the period following the study. The average profitability of the companies identified in the famous In Search of Excellence dropped sharply as well within a short time. A study of Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies” finds that over a twenty-year period, the firms with the worst ratings went on to earn much higher stock returns than the most admired firms.

Photo Credit:

Please Find A Very Interesting Snapshot Of The Book by: Eva-Lotta Lamm

This sketchnote is featured in Eva-Lotta’s new book that gathers her sketchnotes from over 100 talks taken at design events and conferences in 2011.
In addition, Eva-Lotta invited 10 of her favourite sketchnoters from all over the world to contribute to the book. They all sketched the same TED talk and created some stunning sketches that show off the wide variety of styles and different ways of summarising content.


Hard Work vs Smart Work !!!

“Don’t work hard, work smart!”
“Smart work is more important than hard work”

Every person gets this message from his superior, colleague, friend, teacher.  The idea is to kill inefficiency, do things in a quicker and effective way, add intelligence to tasks, avoid silly errors etc. Noble intentions and nice management jargon! But is it real?

However, I think hard work leads to smart work. Hard work is essential pre-requisite to smart work. Only when a person gets his / her hands dirty and spends time on understanding the entire process cycle, he will get identify the bottlenecks and add intelligent ideas to make life simpler.

As they say, no elevators to success.


SeM Special : Rules of Happy Married Life

Sunday eMahefil and Gujaratilexicon Team have recently released ‘The Collected Works of Sunday eMahefil’. The idea is to meet the popular demand for the concept and spread the SeM magic to maximum people.

Please find the complete SeM here:

I was browsing the old issues of SeM. I found the following note on marriage by Shri Manibahen Dharamvir Bhakta from USA. It is really cool and practical advice on tension-free marriage.

Please find the wonderful article in English. For Gujarati version, check SeM


1. Never both be angry at the same time.

2. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.

3. If one of you has to win an argument, let it be your mate.

4. If you have to criticise, do it lovingly.

5.Never bring up mistakes of the past.

6. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.

7. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.

8. At least once everyday try to say one kind or complimentary thing to your life partner.

9. When you have done something wrong, be ready to admit it and ask for forgiveness.

10. It takes two to make a quarrel, and the one in the wrong is the one who does the most talking.


The Rise Of Nordic Noir

Nordic Noir is definitely a ‘Tour De Force’ and a genre to reckon with! It is exotic, visually stunning and very refreshing content.

Nordic Noir is the popular term for the Scandinavian / North European crime fiction. It has certain common characteristics – gripping reality, thrilling plots, memorable characters, morally complex themes, dark mood and overall strong impact. People love the distinct and appealing style – often bereft of unnecessary words and actions. It is simple and realistic in its own way. Most popular are the protagonists – often detectives who have own issues and real people and definitely not superheroes.

My own initiation to the cult happened, ironically, via Hollywood. I was fascinated by “The Girl With Dragon Tattoo”. It was long time since Fountainhead that something completely swept me – I researched and watched the original Swedish Series. It took one night to watch all the three movies and after this moviethon, I was hooked to Nordic Noir.

The next stop in my Nordic Noir journey was my favourite Hollywood Director Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia. Another classic movie. And a few more Nordic Noir movies later, I was the latest convert. The most recent stop in Nordic Noir journey was Hypnotist.

“The Girl With Dragon Tattoo” remains the flagship Nordic Noir movie and it led to the rise of Nordic Noir cult. The movie and its sequel by Stieg Larsson are gripping tales of covering up dark secrets. The Millennium Triology consists of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. The protagonist is Lisbeth Salander – anti-social, technically slick and brilliant character. The original adaption of the international best-selling novels were telecast on Swedish Television. Based on the mind-blowing success, it was converted to Swedish Movies. The English version of the first part of the trilogy included Noomi Rapace and Daniel Craig. It was also a runaway success. (Only Dan Brown has outsold Stieg Larsson in the past decade). There was only one criticism against Larsson regarding the portrayal of sex but it was part of the plot. However, the other Nordic Noir movies continued to enjoy the success without being controversial.

Some of the top Nordic Noir movies include:
The Millennium Triology
The Hypnotist
The Keeper Of Lost Causes
The Hunters
The False Trail
The Hunt
The Accused
The Hour Of The Lynx
Easy Money Triology
The Pusher Triology
In Order Of Disappearance
Detective Kurt Wallander Movie Series – Faceless Killer, The Fifth Woman, The Man Who Smiled etc.

The Brits fell to the charm of Nordic Noir when The Bridge and Borgen swept the British TV Landscape. Nordic Noir was a different canvas and a different shade to the usual fare. Brits responded to the growing popularity of Nordic Noir with their own creative response – adapt the style ! It resulted in works like The Killing and The Tunnel and recently The Fortitude.

The Killing has been one of the most adored British shows! The show, the protagonist Sarah Lund (Sophie Grabol) and her sweater have swept entire Europe. The Bridge is another thriller about the cross-cultural conflict between the Danish and Swedish police forces who must work together to stop a maniacal killer who poses a woman’s body on a bridge between the two countries.

Nordic Noir has truly created a special genre of its own. Now Nordic Noir style movie originate from Belgium, Spain and even France ! Like Iranian movies and Far Eastern horror stories, it has created a new audience.

The ironic thing to note is that Nordic Noir and its themes come from the most advanced, social and happy countries of the world !





The Bollywood Watchlist – 2015 Version

During The Course Of My Professional And Personal Interactions, The Topic Of Personal Interests Often Crops Up! As Soon As People Know That I Am Passionate About Movies And Have Professionalized My Passion Through PhD In Management Of Movies, The Next Question Is : Which Are The Best Bollywood Movies? Which Are Your Best Bollywood Movies? Can You Give Your Recommendations? As Everyone Knows, It Is A Really Difficult Question…

Everyone’s Idea Of Favorite Movie Is Unique. It Depends On Individual Preferences & Taste. And Every Indian Has Their Favorites In Bollywood, Cricket And Politics. But This Is The List For My Friends, Film-Buffs, Non-Indians & Everyone Who Like Movies – We Can Match Our Favorites ! And I Have Created A Shortlist And A Long-List.

The Beginner’s Definitive Bollywood – The Beginner’s Guide To Eleven Movies That Give A Taste Of Classical Bollywood:

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
Hum Aapke Hai Kaun
3 Idiots
Mughal E Azam
Amar Akbar Anthony
Chennai Express
Ram Leela

The World Cinema Bollywood – The Eleven Movies That Give A Global Taste Of Indian Hindi Cinema:

The Ship Of Theseus
The Lunchbox
3 Idiots
Taare Zameen Par

Ash’s Favorite Movie List – My All Time Top 25 List:



Mughal E Azam

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
Kabhi Haa Kabhi Naa
Manorama Six Feet Under

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
3 Idiots
The Ship Of Theseus

Mother India
Ek Ruka Hua Faisla
Andaz Apna Apna
Chandni Bar
Dev D

Dil Chahta Hai

Munnabhai MBBS

Taare Zameen Par

The LunchBox

Ash’s Favorite Movie List – The Long List Of Additional 15 Movies:

Do Aankhen Barah Haath
Uski Roti
Amar Prem



Ek Duje Ke Liye


Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
No Smoking
Page 3
Pyaar Ka Punchnaama

Ash’s Favorites – The Recent 25 Favorites:


No One Killed Jessica


Ab Tak Chappan

Ek Haseena Thi



Tanu Weds Manu

Rang De Basanti

Chak De India
Hum Tum

Gangs of Wasseypur

Paan Singh Tomar

Vicky Donor

English Vinglish
Bheja Fry

Ash’s Favorite Hollywood Movies – The Eleven All Time Favorites:


Citizen Cane

Life Is Beautiful

The Bridge On River Kwai

The Dark Knight

The God Father Series

12 Angry Men
The Pursuit Of Happyness
The Fault In Our Stars
To Kill A Mocking Bird
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Ash’s Favorite Hollywood Movies – The Long List:

The Bicycle Thieves
As Good As Is Gets
The Help
The Ring
The Bourne Series

Far From The Madding Crowd
Before Series: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight
Dead Poets Society
Cast Away
The Theory Of Everything

Ash’s Favorite Hollywood Movies – The Recent Favorites:

The Descendants



The Da Vinci Code

Midnight In Paris

The Contagion

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hospital
Sliver Lining Brookings
The Artist
12 Years A Slave

Ash’s Children Favorites – Bringing Out The Child In Us!

Baby’s Day Out
Tin Tin
Finding Nemo
The Lion King
Paddington Bear
Inside Out

Ash’s Favorite Marathi Movies:

Shyamchi Aai




The Rise Of India’s Independent Cinema

The 12th Phalke Memorial Lecture was ‘Multiplicity in Motion: The Rise of India’s New Independent Cinema’ by Dr. Ashwin Immanuel Devasundaram. The lecture series organised by South Asian Cinema Foundation has featured eminent speakers like Shyam Benegal, Saeed Akhbar Mirza, P K Nair amongst others.

Noted film-maker had spoken about India’s independent cinema at the same forum and hence the second lecture on the topic proves the importance of the new wave of Indian cinema. Dr. Ashvin has been passionate about new independent Indian cinema and his thesis has explored the socio-ideological impact of the new independent Indian cinema. Dr. Ashvin is currently working on a book that promises to be the first dedicated and comprehensive analysis of new Indian Independent Cinema and hence he was the apt person to speak on the subject.

Dr. Ashvin has been a fan of ‘The Ship Of Theseus” and he creatively and aptly presented the “Ship Of Indian Cinema”. There are different parts to the Superstructure Ship:
– Post 1947 Art Films of Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Bimal Roy
– The Parallel & Popular Cinema of 1960s
– The Parallel Cinema of 1970s-80s – The Cinema of Shyam Benegal, Mani Kaul, Gulzar etc.
– The Hinglish Cinema of 1990s-2000s
– The Regional Cinema
– The 1990s Rupture – Bollywood Beyond Liberalization
– The New Indies – Post 2010

According to him, the new Indies in India has been “inspired” by these various parts like Parallel / Art cinema movement, Regional Cinema and World Cinema in ample proportions. Thus it can be compared to a mutant hybrid ninja. It is very Glocal – Global in ambition and and local in content and cultural nuances.

The new Indies are more ambitious than the earlier parallel cinema movies. They seek wider audience, open to alternative source of funding and address the ‘state of the nation’. They liberally experiment with language, technology and narrative. The Indies seek creative funding and are open for new channels of distribution. Q showed the movie on Internet only. Film Festivals and Online are some of the preferred avenues for distribution. Indies are open for crowdfunding and cross-country deals. In fact, the collaboration with foreign entities goes beyond the funding requirement.

The session also raised important questions about the Censorship. The Audience was treated to the wonderful clips from movies like The Lunchbox, Peepli Live, Gandu and The Ship of Theseus. These clips were enhanced by Ashwin’s wonderful perspectives and socio-economic inferences.

The season concluded rather early and we were still waiting for more from Dr. Ashvin. The event concluded with wonderful interactions with Dr. Aswhin, Farrukh Dhody Saheb and Nasreen Munni Kabir. The even was chaired by none other than Professor Rosie Thomas, Director of CREAM: Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media, University of Westminster. Rosie Thomas is a renowned expert and pioneer in academic study of Indian Cinema.




The 90 Second Summary Of Apple WWDC 2015

Apple WWDC 2015 – The beginning of generalization of Apple?

Apple Music: Apple Music is the most anticipated and biggest announcement. The New App combines Music and iTunes App and is Apple’s aim to take on Spotify and other services. It has the following interesting features:
Beats1: A Live 24X7 Worldwide Radio Station.
Connect: Connecting music makers and fans
For You: Curated content and recommendation engine

ApplePay: Passport App is upgraded to Wallet and will include loyalty and other cards apart from debit and credit cards. Apple Pay will also come to UK and will work with all major brands. Square is releasing a new card reader for Apple Pay.

Carplay: The new Carplay will be able to wireless connect to your iPhone. The automakers will now have access to Carplay system and will be able to create apps for Carplay.

iOS9: The new upgrade promises better battery life, multi-tasking capabilities for iPad users, QuickType facility, better search and a Flipboard inspired App – News.

OS X El Capitan: The new upgrades includes Spotlight enhancements, new apps and Window management features and Metal API for Games performance.



The First Timer’s Guide To Barcelona

Barcelona Is One Of The Top 10 Cities For Travel. It Has Everything for Everyone !

If you are visiting Barcelona for the first time, you might the following information helpful. It is an outsider’s guide, not a local Barcelona person view – so there will be a different perspective!

Top Places To Visit In Barcelona

1. Sagrada Familia
The Famous Church – Still Work In Progress
Go To Top Tower And Walk Steps Down

2. Barcelonata Beach
Wonderful Mediterranean Sea
Cool Fun @ Beach
Walk – Run – Sleep – Sit – Relax
W Hotel

3. Picasso
Master’s Best Work
Art & Art & Art – Get Inspired
Small Romantic Cobblestone Streets

4. Park Guell – Gaudi
Gaudi’s Wonderful Work
Must See Place

5. Pablo Espanyol
Showcase of Different Spanish Regions
Cultural Snapshot of Spain In Once Place – Food, Architecture, History, Shopping

6. Columbus Square – Barcelona Aquarium
Famous Square
Barcelona Port
Mare Magnum
Sit @ Port And Watch Life
Cinema, Aquarium

7. Mont Juic Castle
Wonderful Castle
Amazing Views From Top
Nice & Elegant Place

8. Mont Juic – Olympic Area

9. La Rambla
Walk The Famous Street
Lot Of Fun
Watch Our For People Dressed In Colorful Attire
Visit Fruit Market
Visit Liceu Theatre
Beware Of Pick Pockets

10. Mont Juic Musical Fountains
Visit fountains At Plaza Espanya
Overnight Musical Light Fountains

Top Restaurants

1. Eat Churros In Local Small Shops

2. Organics – The Best Burger Ever – Totally Vegetarian

3. Rangoli & Bambi – The High End Indian Restaurant

4. Bollywood Restaurant – Near La Rambla

5. Veg World India – Another good Restaurant

6. Michelin Star Restaurant
Barcelona has great collection of Michelin Star Restaurants – If you are gonna spend !

7. Tapas Is A Must Eat !
Veg Tapas Are There As Well
Note – People Eat Dinner – Late @ Night – 10 pm onwards

Other Things To Do

1. Watch Flamenco – Best Los Tarantos

2. Shop @ Desigual

3. Buy Travel Card for Three-Five Days

4. Places Near Barcelona To Explore – Osona, Penedes