Mathematics – Head of All Knowledge


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‘Kindly adjust’ to our English – Shashi Tharoor

I have long immodestly considered myself the inventor of the term ‘prepone’. I came up with it at St Stephen’s in 1972, used it extensively in conversation and employed it in an article in JS magazine soon after. Prepone, as a back-construction from postpone, seemed so much simpler, to a teenage collegian, than saying, “could you move that appointment earlier?” or “I would like to advance that deadline”. Over the years, I was gratified to see how extensively its use had spread in India. Now, in an era where too many claim credit for other’s work, I feel it may be time to clarify the word’s origins. Is anyone aware of an earlier usage?

I ask because the persistence and survival of what is called ‘Indian English’ (often with a sneer, as if to differentiate it from the Queen’s “propah” English) deserves to be taken seriously. Our English is a vigorous language, which draws strength from local roots. If Americans can say ‘fall’ for autumn and ‘gotten’ for ‘have got’, though both are archaisms in England itself, why can’t Indians say ‘furlong’, ‘fortnight’ and ‘do the needful’, even if these have fallen out of use centuries ago in London? So many words in Indian English have stood up to the only test that matters—the test of time and usage. If enough people find a word or phrase useful, it is, to my mind, legitimate.

Indian English is a living, practical language, used by millions every day. Many phrases we take for granted in ordinary conversation are actually quite unusual abroad—calling elders ‘auntie’ or ‘uncle’, for instance, or using ‘non-veg’ to convey a willingness to eat meat. That doesn’t make them wrong, or even quaint. It just makes them Indian.

Some Indian English was created by our media—’airdash’ (the chief minister airdashed to Delhi) and ‘history sheeter’ (“the police explained that habitual criminal X was a history sheeter”, i.e. he had a long criminal record). Some, like my ‘prepone’, came from school and college campuses: ‘mugging’ (cramming hard for an exam, with much rote learning involved) means two very different things abroad (a criminal assault by a robber, or an elaborate and often comically exaggerated expression). When an Indian student tells a foreigner he was “mugging for an exam”, bewilderment is guaranteed.

Some Indian Englishisms are merely translated from an Indian language: “what is your good name?” is the classic, since all Bengalis have a daak naam that they are called by, and a bhalo naam (or good name) for the record. But “what is your good name?” is still the most polite form, in any version of the English language, for finding out the identity of your interlocutor.

Some Indianisms are creative uses of an ordinary English word or phrase to reflect a particularly Indian sensibility, such as “kindly adjust”, said apologetically by the seventh person squeezing onto a bench meant for four. Our matrimonial ads have created their own cultural tropes— ‘wheatish complexion’, of course, and better still, ‘traditional with modern outlook’.

But acknowledging the legitimacy of Indian English and many of its formulations doesn’t mean that “anything goes”. Some things are simply wrong. The Indian habit of saying “I will return back” is an unnecessary redundancy: if you return, you are coming back. The desi practice of using ’till’ to mean ‘as long as’ is incorrect English; it is wrong to say “I will miss you till you are away” when you really mean is “I will miss you till you come back”! The Indian official doesn’t “waive off” a fine, he just waives it, though he could wave you off if you thank him too profusely. And, ‘back side’ for ‘rear’ causes much unwitting hilarity, as in signs proclaiming, “entry through back side only”. These can’t be justified under the rubric of Indian English. They are just bad English.

But for the rest, we have nothing to apologise about: we should defiantly celebrate their use as integral parts of our Indian English vocabulary. After all, “we are like that only”. And if you don’t like it, kindly adjust.


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Lakshmi: Vedic science of Wealth

Wealth is defined in modern English as “an abundance of valuable possessions or money” or “a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing.” Father of Capitalism – Adam Smith – in his book “The Wealth of Nations”, described wealth as “the annual produce of the land and labour of the society”. This “produce” is “that which satisfies human needs and wants of utility.” In popular usage, wealth is understood as an abundance of items of transactional value. Unfortunately, in today’s world wealth has become synonymous with money and property. This is the primary reason why a large part of populace suffers unnecessary poverty and the rich often become corrupt.

Vedic philosophy has a phenomenal understanding about the real meaning of “wealth” and abundance in life. They call it Lakshmi. She is not simply the “Goddess” who is depicted in temples across the country. Although the image of the Goddess was certainly inspired by this science, Lakshmi in true sense is the Vedic science of wealth that enables people to understand, attain and sustain abundance and prosperity, at both outer and inner levels of life.

The word Lakshmi is derived from the Sanskrit terms: lakṣ and lakṣa – meaning respectively “to perceive, observe, know, understand” and “goal, aim, objective”. The word Lakshmi can be best understood as knowing and understanding one’s goal. Lakshmi finds mention in Rig Veda only once but the related term Sri is common for wealth and abundance. In Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda, Lakshmi becomes a complex concept with plural manifestations.

Vedic teachings define four primary objectives of human life: Dharma (Duty), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desire) and Moksha (Liberation), to be pursued in that order. Vedic wisdom suggests that an individual must address one’s desires during youth years and then become detached and strive towards liberation as one grows old, though there are exceptions to this rule. Liberation is best attained with full renunciation but to renounce one must have achieved something in the first place. Although Moksha is not seriously sought after by many people today; Artha and Kama are eagerly sought by the greater majority of people, often without any concern for either Dharma or Moksha.

Lakshmi, or wealth, is best understood in her 8 forms, namely:

  1.  Adi Lakshmi (Primary wealth): No matter how, where and when you are born you have some wealth and resources with you. Primarily this is your health, family, culture and education. Vedic teachings say that you must first be aware of what you have, then understand how to build on it for further wealth. If you do not understand what you already have – you will never understand what you need to get or how to achieve it We often find that people who complain, cry and curse their “fate” remain losers in life. Those who work without complaints or qualms, on the other hand, make great strides and go far, regardless of the poor circumstances they may have come form. Adi means first, so the first step for wealth is to understand yourself, then the people and things immediately around you.
  2.  Dhana Lakshmi (Monetary wealth): Understanding the things around you, you are better placed to make the use of it to generate a product or a service which will help you achieve monetary gains leading to Dhana Lakshmi, so that you are not dependent upon anyone and have time and resources to do what you want
  3.  Dhanya Lakshmi (Wealth of Grains): With money you can buy the necessary food to give you physical strength and  vitality for greater efforts in life.
  4. Veera Lakshmi (Wealth of Courage): With your body strong and knowledge and money by your side, to attain greater abundance in life you must have courage and be willing to exert yourself. It takes great courage to attain something that people around you consider you are incapable of achieving. By having knowledge, food and money with you already, you are in a better position to attain the wealth of courage.
  5.  Gaja Lakshmi (wealth of power and prestige): Through the appropriate application of knowledge, money, food and courage – the wealth of power becomes accessible to you. This power can be social, political, intellectual or even spiritual, allowing you to influence the world for good or bad.
  6.  Santana Lakshmi (wealth of offspring): With knowledge, money, food, courage and power you are in a better position to take of others and gain a following: to have a progeny (Santaana) in the broader sense of the term. It is only by having the right progeny that you can create a sustainable family as well as a supportive society, allowing your influence in the world to be perpetuated. So you seek Santana Lakshmi.
  7.  Aishwarya Lakshmi (Wealth of affluence and endowment): Having a following it becomes necessary that you provide them with adequate resources to secure their future. You can be a helpful benefactor using the wealth that you have acquired. For this you ask and work towards Aishwarya Lakshmi. You can help bring the wealth of Lakshmi to others.
  8.  Vijaya Lakshmi (Wealth of victory): Once you’ve attained the previous seven aspects of Lakshmi, you are in a great position to pursue anything in life and Vijaya Lakshmi is all by your side in your pursuits. You can overcome all opposition and go beyond every obstacle. You can even conquer your own desires.

In Lakshmi’s iconography, she is either sitting or standing on a lotus and typically carrying a lotus in one or two hands. The lotus represents reality, consciousness, karma (work, deed), knowledge as well as Self-realization – the desired goal that you wish to unfold. The lotus, a flower that can blossom in dirty water, symbolizes purity and beauty regardless of the good or bad circumstances in which its grows. It is a reminder that wealth and prosperity can bloom even in difficult surroundings. Therefore, if you so desire you can create wealth even in an economy where good opportunities seem bleak. And you can achieve an inner sense of abundance regardless of your circumstances. Such is the wisdom of Vedic wealth – Lakshmi.


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Secret Of Getting Ahead!


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Book Review – Ministry Of Utmost Happiness

I was expecting better from Suzanna Arundhati Roy but alas, this book does not come anywhere near close to the brilliance of her first novel. I’d bought this at a book promotion event at Dublin where author explained her reasons for writing this tome. Arundhati Roy never ever had anything good to say about India but looks like now she is on a crusade to denigrate anything remotely Indian in front of easily swayed western audience. Being an Indian it was humiliating to sit in audience with Irish readers and hear the author spell out outright lies and half baked truths about current Indian political and social landscape. After reading this book it becomes distinctly clear that the only reason she has written this book is to carry forward her known agenda of disparaging Indian state and spitting out venom against Hindu religion & culture. She herself has acknowledged in the past that she is not that well read but this book exposes her utter ignorance of history and sociology. She talks about high handedness of Indian state in controlling the Islamic terrorism in Kashmir fomented by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and increasingly by China, but conveniently omits out the plight of thousands of Kashmiri native Hindus who were brutally murdered, raped and thrown out of their homes. Nowhere in the world history there is another example of majority community suffering so severely at the hands of minority in a state. Arundhati Roy has gone all out glorifying Kashmiri Islamic terrorists and saves her choicest expletives for the nationalist party of current prime minister. Towards the end of this strange book, the author attempts another ludicrous attempt to somehow connect Kashmir issue to Naxalite challenge in Central India. For those not up to date with contemporary India, the only thing that links these two socio political issues is foreign illicit funding coming from Pakistan & China but other than that they just represent the two scourges of humanity in recent centuries i.e. Islamic Terrorism and Communism. I’m an Indian but reading this book it feels that Arundhati was visiting a different country when she was writing this third rate and possibly Vatican funded propaganda book to slander rapidly progressing India. She fails to mention any recent achievements of Indian scientists like space missions to Moon and Mars or the growth of Indian IT industry that is motoring the growth all around the world. Indians in increasing numbers are reaching the pinnacle of Industry, Business and Politics all around the globe. To just highlight a few examples, Indians are now leading major global corporations like Microsoft, Google, PepsiCo and numerous others. Indians are in American, Canadian and UK government cabinets. But for Arundhati what is worth the mention are the scums that operate in Kashmir, in Central India forests and their foreign funded representatives that crowd Jantar Mantar which is an Indian version of UK’s Hyde Park. My advise to the readers of this book is not to make any misguided inference about India after reading this collection of lies but visit India and see for yourself its magic and its multitudes. Its a miracle that such a place as India exists, it is the soul of this world and its young population represent the only positive force in todays contemporary world. Savour the magic of India by visiting it in person.

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Nasdaq and Citi Announce Pioneering Blockchain and Global Banking Integration

Sharing information on the Blockchain project where I was the Technology Lead from Citi side.
It was a ground breaking project and first production implementation of Blockchain technology by a major global bank and exchange.

For Immediate Release
Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C)
May 22, 2017

Nasdaq and Citi Announce Pioneering Blockchain and Global Banking Integration


Solution leverages Chain’s blockchain technology

New York – Nasdaq, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and Citi (NYSE: C) Treasury and Trade Solutions announced today a new integrated payment solution that enables straight through payment processing and automates reconciliation by using a distributed ledger to record and transmit payment instructions. A number of payment transactions have been concluded, including Citi’s automated processing of cross-border payments via a link between the CitiConnect® for Blockchain connectivity platform and the Linq Platform powered by the Nasdaq Financial Framework. This collaboration has created a pioneering institutional banking solution that tightly integrates blockchain technology with Citi’s global financial network leveraging API technology.

The partnership between Citi and Nasdaq leverages Chain’s blockchain infrastructure platform and draws on core competencies from industry leaders who are at the forefront of innovation in the global financial sector. Emerging technologies like Distributed Ledger Technology (“DLT”) are driving digitization and enabling new platforms and blockchain ecosystems that can provide real-time digital solutions. For example, this integration can allow businesses such as Nasdaq Private Market to address the challenges of liquidity in private securities by streamlining payment transactions between multiple parties.

Key benefits that this integration can offer:

  • A seamless end-to-end transactional process for private company securities
  • Direct access to global payments from Nasdaq’s Linq platform using CitiConnect® for Blockchain and WorldLink® Payment Services, Citi’s cross border, multicurrency payments service.
  • Increased operational efficiency and ease of reconciliation with real-time visibility of payment transactional activity on the blockchain ledger.

“This new payment capability marks a milestone in the global financial sector and represents an important moment in the commercial application of blockchain technology,” said Adena Friedman, CEO, Nasdaq. “Through this effective integration of blockchain technology and global financial systems, we can realize greater operational transparency and ease of reconciliation, which can have profound implications for outdated administrative functions in the capital markets. We are excited about this accomplishment in collaboration with our partners, Citi and Chain, and are looking forward to continuing our work together to scale this offering.”

Naveed Sultan, Citi’s Global Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions Group said, “CitiConnect® for Blockchain provides a crucial bridge between blockchain platforms and Citi’s global financial network. Our partnership with Nasdaq showcases Citi’s client-centric approach to innovation and is an example of how we actively engage with our clients to co-create innovative, leading and differentiated solutions for the global market.”

“Chain is delighted that our technology is supporting this industry leading network. Through this effort, we have seen firsthand that Citi and Nasdaq are pioneers, successfully leveraging breakthrough technology in order to enable world-class solutions for their clients,” said Adam Ludwin, Chain’s CEO.

This solution leverages Nasdaq and Citi’s founding membership of the IDEO CoLab in June 2015 to explore emerging technologies such as blockchain. In September of that year, both Nasdaq and Citi Ventures invested in Chain’s series B funding round with other leading financial institutions.

Media contacts:
NASDAQ: Stephanie Lowenthal, 646 441 5073
Citi: Nina Das, 212 816 9267
Chain: Elizabeth Alinikoff, 415 598 0346

Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a leading global provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets. As the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 89 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world’s securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to 3,800 total listings with a market value of $11 trillion. To learn more, visit:

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about Nasdaq and its products and offerings. We caution that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other factors beyond Nasdaq’s control. These factors include, but are not limited to factors detailed in Nasdaq’s annual report on Form 10-K, and periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to release revisions to any forward-looking statements

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: | Blog: | Facebook: | LinkedIn:

Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) enables our clients’ success by providing an integrated suite of innovative and tailored cash management and trade finance services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations across the globe. Based on the foundation of the industry’s largest proprietary network with banking licenses in over 90 countries and globally integrated technology platforms, TTS continues to lead the way in offering the industry’s most comprehensive range of digitally enabled treasury, trade and liquidity management solutions.

Chain, Inc. ( is a technology company that partners with leading organizations to build, deploy and operate blockchain networks that enable breakthrough financial products and services. Chain is the author of the Chain Protocol, which powers the award-winning Chain Core blockchain platform. Chain was founded in 2014 and has raised over $40MM in venture funding.

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Vande Matram


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