Month: February 2021

Monday Reads – 22/02

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A few very interesting articles from the world of Business in this week’s list:

The future of work after COVID-19 – Many articles have been penned on this topic over the past 10 – 12 months. But this is one of the first, detailed and data-driven articles that I have come across on this topic. It also have some (relatively) good news for India.

A Framework for Innovation in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond – Another buzzword that has been very prominent lately in the context of Covid is Innovation. While my personal opinion is that some of it is just plain opportunistic, this article by a couple of academicians in the USA aim to provide a framework for assessing innovation.

Your Environment Shapes Your Decisions – A wonderful article on why the typical modern office is a terrible place for decision making. Just one of the great lines in this article – ‘If you’re not pushing paper, firing up hundreds of emails, calling and attending meetings, and chasing something down … just what the heck are you doing?

Solve Problems Before They Happen by Developing an “Inner Sense of Captaincy” – The second article this week from the excellent Farnam Street Blog. ‘If we want to get away from glorifying those who run around putting out fires, we need to cultivate an organizational culture that empowers everyone to act responsibly at the first sign of smoke.

How boredom can be a force for good or bad – In the modern work context, ‘being bored’ is not seen as a good thing (read the third article on this list). However, this article makes the point that boredom might not necessarily be a bad thing. What’s important is that we try to understand why we are bored and find an appropriate response. The article explains this with a few examples.

Monday Reads – 15/02

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Every Monday, I shortlist a few interesting articles that I have come across recently. Here is this week’s list:

The Algebra of Wealth – Regular readers of my weekly list would know that I do tend to recommend Prof. Scott Galloway’s articles quite regularly. And why not, when he makes such interesting and thought-provoking points. Please take the time to read this through.

12 Life Lessons From Mathematician and Philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota – Another regular source of articles is the Farnam Street Blog. I especially liked this one as I am also a part-time / Visiting Faculty (in Digital Marketing).

Let’s Talk About Social Media – There is no doubt that social media is a real time killer. Unfortunately, it can be quite addictive, as this short video highlights.

Why your mental map of the world is (probably) wrong – I love reading maps and I could thoroughly relate to this article. Worth a read even if you are not as fond of reading maps as I am!

More than just a bath towel: An ode to the Kerala thorth – And finally, in a lighter vein, an article about one of the most important pieces of clothing in a Malayalee (Kerala) household!

Bird-watching at Kaikondrahalli Lake

Kaikondrahalli Lake – evening

We went bird-watching to Kaikondrahalli Lake over the weekend. I usually go bird-watching in the mornings, but for a change, this was an evening outing. And it turned out richly rewarding, with two ‘lifers’ for me. Here is the complete list of bird spotted:

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Great Cormorant
  3. Little Cormorant
  4. Darter
  5. Spot-billed Pelican
  6. Grey Heron
  7. Black-crowned Night-Heron
  8. Indian Pond-Heron
  9. Cattle Egret
  10. Median Egret
  11. Little Egret
  12. Painted Stork
  13. Oriental White (Black-headed) Ibis
  14. Glossy Ibis
  15. Spot-billed Duck
  16. Northern Shoveller
  17. Black Kite
  18. Brahminy Kite
  19. White-breasted Waterhen
  20. Common Moorhen
  21. Purple Moorhen (Grey-headed Swamphen)
  22. Common Coot
  23. Red-wattled Lapwing
  24. Wood Sandpiper
  25. Common Sandpiper
  26. Spotted Dove
  27. Asian Koel
  28. White-breasted (throated) Kingfisher
  29. White-cheeked Barbet
  30. Black-naped Oriole
  31. Ashy Drongo
  32. Rosy Starling
  33. Common Myna
  34. Jungle Myna
  35. Jungle (Large-billed) Crow
  36. Red-whiskered Bulbul
  37. Syke’s Warbler
  38. Tickell’s (Pale-billed) Flowerpecker

Road Trip: Day 5 – Drive back

View from Agumbe

The last day of our Road Trip to Manipal was about the drive back to Bangalore.

After another delicious and filling breakfast at our hotel – The Country Inn & Suites by Radission – we left for Bangalore. The route we took this time around was via Agumbe and Sringeri.

Soon after we left Manipal, we were at the foothills of the Western Ghats and after a few minutes of ascending via steep road with multiple hair-pin bends, we were at Agumbe. Agumbe is renowned as a place that received extremely high rainfall during the monsoon season and for its views over the coastal plain and down to the Arabian Sea. But this is best viewed during sunset as the coast is to the east and the morning sun makes it difficult to see in that direction. I also saw the sad sight of a Lion-tailed Macaque, a monkey species endemic to this region of the Western Ghats, scavenging at the side of the busy road, hoping for food scraps from the cars passing by.

Lion Tailed Macaque

The next place we crossed was Sringeri – home to the Sringeri Mutt. This is one of the four Mutts established by Sri Sankaracharya in the 8th Century – the others being at Dwaraka in the West, Puri in the East and Badrinath in the North. We drove by the temple, but it was very crowded and wary of Covid, we did not halt, but continued driving.

The next part of our route took us past the stunningly beautiful Malnad region, with coffee plantations running up the hills on both sides of the road. After some time, we stopped for lunch at a small cafe by the side of the road. The food was nothing great, but the location, amidst coffee estates was stupendous.

Soon after our lunch break, we exited the mountains and were back on the plains. After a halt for tea and coffee at Hassan, we continued on and reached home at around 10 pm, bringing to an end a wonderful road trip in Southern Karnataka.

Monday Reads – 08/02

Photo by Tobias Dziuba on

Amazon, Twitter, Design and Personal Renewal are some of the topics in this week’s set:

Life after Jeff – The news that Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO of Amazon was one of the biggest in the business world in the past few days. This article takes a look at the challenges that the next CEO, Andy Jassy, will likely face as he steps into this role.

Overhauling Twitter – Twitter is, without doubt, a useful platform. However, it has faced challenges with generating revenue corresponding to its popularity and usage, as well as with moderating the content posted by users on it’s platform. Professor Scott Galloway has written about this before, but I believe this to be the most detailed one yet.

Personal Renewal – A wonderful, if slightly long, article on the topic of ‘Self-Renewal’, by the American author, John Gardner. It’s full of beautiful one-liners, such as, ‘By midlife, most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves.’, ‘Life is an endless unfolding, and if we wish it to be, an endless process of self-discovery, an endless and unpredictable dialogue between our own potentialities and the life situations in which we find ourselves.’, ‘There is no perfection of techniques that will substitute for the lift of spirit and heightened performance that comes from strong motivation’.

Taste for Makers – This is another longish article on an interesting topic – Taste. Specifically, is good design subjective or objective? Read on to find out what Paul Graham thinks of this.