Monday Reads – 28/09

In addition to the now regular articles on the impact of the pandemic on work and office, this week’s list contains articles on the surprising benefits of talking to strangers, coffee and travel.

Is the office obsolete? Many travelers hope so – It was interesting for me to read that the term “Digital Nomad” is over 20 years old. The pandemic and the rising numbers of people ‘working from home’ is quite likely to increase the tribe of these digital nomads. This article explores the pros and cons of this lifestyle.

What 800 executives envision for the postpandemic workforce – Results of a survey conducted by McKinsey in June 2020. To be honest, there are no real surprises here, but the article does point out some of the challenges that remain to be addressed as we live through some major shifts in how we approach work.

The surprising benefits of talking to strangers – It is interesting that I came across not one, but two articles on this very topic last week! This is one of the two (the longer one)

David Sedaris on the Joy of Talking to Strangers – And this is the second (and shorter) one!

Higher ground: the expert guide to making the perfect cup of coffee at home – My love of coffee started when I was living in Australia and continued when I was in Dublin, Ireland. While I am yet to find that perfect cappuccino in India, I am lucky to enjoy some great South Indian filter coffee made at home daily. This article is for all coffee lovers, who might be missing their favourite baristas.

12 Destinations in India Perfect for a Holiday Right Now – It was World Tourism Day on Sunday, 27th September. There is no doubt that tourism is one of the, if not THE, hardest hit sectors with the covid crisis. If you are in the mood for travel, then this ‘is a list of spectacular destinations in India which are off the beaten track, thus allowing one to spend their upcoming holidays in relative safety.

Monday Reads – 21/09

Photo by Ena Marinkovic on

Articles on History, Science, Music and Psychology make up this week’s list:

The Psychology of Money – A long article (also a book) that looks at the flaws and biases that pop up when people deal with money. “…investing is not the study of finance. It’s the study of how people behave with money.

How to Be More Present & Alive in the Moment – A few tips to be present in the moment and get better at getting things done.

The Himalayan invention powered by pine needles – ‘In Uttarakhand, in the western Himalayas, a local inventor discovered an unusual use for pine needles that is reviving the local economy, and the forest floor.

New York’s last great jazz parlour – Just a lovely story connecting music, history and people. “All of us matter. Every piece of our individual story matters, the colours of our flag matter. All of it matters.

Thripunithura and the History of the Kingdom of Kochi – A few articles about the history of my hometown in Kerala, written by a relative of mine.

Monday Reads – 14/09

Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary on Unsplash

Work Time, Impact Time, Algorithms and Bias, The Serendipity Mindset and the mighty Himalayas make up this week’s list. Happy Monday!

Work Time, Impact Time, Machine Learning & the Future of Jobs – This article is by Sajith Pai, a friend of mine. In addition to his day job in the VC industry, he is also a great researcher and writer. This is an interesting take on the future of work.

A Primer on Algorithms and Bias – Algorithms are having an increasing influence on our lives. As we start delegating more decision making to machines, it is important to understand the potential biases that might be at play. Not to mention that all algorithms rely on robust and high quality data which is very difficult to get.

The ‘serendipity mindset’: how to make your own luck – Have you ever wondered how some ‘successful’ people seem to have all the ‘luck’? As the author sees it, ‘since so much of our lives are influenced by the unplanned and the unexpected, it makes sense to capitalise on these moments.

Himalaya: Six decades of Photography – The Himalayas exert a certain aura that’s hard to describe but very apparent to experience. One of my memorable travel experiences was spending a few weeks backpacking in the Garhwal Himalayas 17 year ago. This collection of photographs will hopefully convey, to some extent, what it feels like to experience these mighty mountains.

Monday Reads – 07/09

Photo by Min An on

Why every year feels like the worst year ever, Knowing History and Knowing Who We Are, The Future of Mega-cities, The Hidden Risks of Cooking Your Food are some of the articles that make up this week’s list. Happy Reading!

Why every year—but especially 2020—feels like the worst ever – This article explores some of the biases that make many of us, especially in the Western World, tend to think of the present much more harshly. One of the ways in which we can address this bias creeping in? Step back from Social Media.

Knowing History and Knowing Who We Are – I have been interested in History for a few years now. This article explores lucidly, and at length, on why learning history is important. It also talks about how we could make learning history more interesting.

‘History of India’ series – On the topic of history is this fascinating series of articles that throw more light on lesser known times and facts of India’s long history. Worth exploring at length.

Here’s what New York City might look like after the pandemic – Yes, this article is about New York City, but it could just as easily be applied to any mega / global city across the world. It will be fascinating to see how this might play out over the next few months / years.

The hidden risks of cooking your food – It was over two years ago that I attended a course on healthy eating. One of the main points discussed was the harmful effects of processed food. Cooking is also a form of processing and there is a school of thought that believes it can cause harm. I still eat cooked food, but have become more conscious of the potential harmful effects of cooking and how these could be minimised, if not totally avoided.   

Monday Reads – 31/08

person reading book and holding coffee
Photo by Vincenzo Malagoli on

We are 2/3rds of the way into this year! We are also well into Festival Season here in India. And the anticipation of New Year is building! This week has an eclectic mix of thought-provoking articles:

Why You Never See Your Friends Anymore – This article is from last year and talks to American culture. But the world has changed so much in the intervening months that I would consider it relevant to many of us. I am sure most of us would relate to these lines, ‘Even if you aren’t asked to pull a weekend shift, work intrudes upon those once-sacred hours. The previous week’s unfinished business beckons when you open your laptop; urgent emails from a colleague await you in your inbox. A low-level sense of guilt attaches to those stretches of time not spent working.

How to Take the Perfect Breath – I have been practising some Yoga regularly for the past couple of years. And I believe it’s helping me. This article talks about the potential benefits to our sleep, digestion, immune and respiratory functions of breathing well.

The Last of the Monsters with Iron Teeth – Many of us in India from my generation (growing up in the 80’s) would easily relate to this article that speaks of the importance of unsupervised play in the learning and development of children. ‘The failure of adult culture, both its physical architecture and its social institutions, has impoverished children’s culture. And in return, children no longer avidly train, in their play, to take over the burden of preserving and remaking adult culture.

Why Finger Lickin’ Will Never Go Out Of Fashion For Indians – Today is Onam, the highlight of which for Keralites is the Onam Sadya. So it seems like a particularly apt moment to celebrate the tradition of eating with our fingers!