you can find the world in a person's diary who thinks He's the world

Oct 7, 2014

Increasingly environment conscious. #AbuDhabi is #recycling it's waste clothes

via Facebook

Aug 23, 2014


I don't want to attach any out of space, foreign help! Neither do I want to take any credit for any of my deeds. There can be a thousand and one reasons or there doesn't have to be a reason for everything that's around or everything I did!

I'm very glad that I came across and got associated with someone driven by passion, so early in my life! I can hear someone saying "it was just the right time, before you began your professional life"

Not just moments and feelings,
sometimes, humans happen too,
and they can happen to be the best things around.

I sometimes think,
He doesn't have to do it.
He could have settled down
in a leisurely town,
and go to sea every clear dawn.

He could spend his entire time
with his children and lovely wife.

And every dime
on his grandchild's life

But, He works,
He fights,
He initiates,
He propagates, and
He inspires,
Souls like myself.
Finally published this post, which was a draft since Dec, 2010!
General question: Are you called "lucky" even when you get something which your friends or peers or anyone else can get?

Jul 6, 2014

Fear is a privilege

Fear is a privilege. It means you have something.

Malnourished kids in Cambodia hunt for Tarantulas for a meal. It is one of the few sources of protein they can find there. When asked if they were aware of how dangerous Tarantulas are, they said, yes, it's very painful if you get stung by them, and it has no cure.

When asked if they were not scared of them. They said that only the rich are scared of them, the poor are not.

More about eating Tarantulas and insects (60 minutes) -

Jul 2, 2014

Defining Happiness

In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle wrote, “the happy man lives well and does well; for we have practically defined happiness as a sort of good life and good action.”  Happiness is not, he argued, equivalent to wealth, honor, or pleasure. ~ Carol V. Hamilton

Question: Do you think happiness is a) the end of all means or b) the end of all other ends?


Aristotle defined a happy man, but left the definition of happiness unclear. This post is an ongoing effort to define happiness. If you can help with your comments and suggestions, we can get there quicker.

I hit a wall thinking what makes a human live well and do well. I imagined a human and tried answering what makes him/her do and live well. After a few minutes, I thought I should read more to be able to define happiness based on its contributing elements. I then stopped thinking about an imaginary human being and started thinking what would make me happy, and suddenly the wall vanished!

I would stay happy on the long run if everything in my life went according to my plans. I have desires, the achievement of which and may be in some cases, the pursuit of which will keep me happy. For example, I'll do well as long as I am able to create a positive impact in other people's lives, which will enable them to achieve their goals.

It goes without saying that I'll not be happy when I'm unable to reach my goals or when I work towards my plans, but they fail.

Therefore, in trying to define happiness, we can certainly say that happiness is the emotional state when we are able to achieve our goals or thinking that we are on our way to achieving our goals. There goals could be personal, familial or societal.

... in the 1690 essay Concerning Human Understanding. There, in a long and thorny passage, Locke wrote:
The necessity of pursuing happiness is the foundation of liberty. Therefore the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of TRUE and SOLID happiness... ~ Carol V. Hamilton (emphasis mine)
What is true and solid happiness might be based on the types of our goals, the effort we put into them, and what we consciously or unconsciously lost in their pursuit.

When defining happiness, it helps to define what it is not. We can take Aristotle's help here.
Happiness is NOT
- Wealth/property
- Honor
- Pleasure
- a combination of just these 3
- suggestions?

Happiness is NOT POSSIBLE WHEN you are
- in danger
- under stress
- suggestions?

Here, I have to mention that on the 21st of June, during a lengthy discussion on "what's the most important thing in life?', within two iterations, three of us friends arrived at the conclusion that the answer is happiness. The three of us - because of the kind of people we are - showed a specific bias towards not falling into the "rut of life", but knowing where our lives are going at all times and actively making changes to MAXIMIZE happiness.

If we can extrapolate this to human development/well-being/welfare (I don't know the difference), people should be able to actively make changes to their lives to do what they WANT(?) to, or end up doing things which make them happy.

It is very likely that I'll explore the following next
- Happiness is the end of all means/ends
- Human development vs. human well being vs. pursuit of happiness
- Why do people opt happiness over other emotions like sorrow or surprise?

This is an ongoing exploration. Help with your thoughts, links, anger and opinions. Be generous :)

I am an environmental consultant trying to understand decision making. Exploring why one should or should not do anything, and extending it to leaders who decide for others.

Jun 27, 2014

Via Bhupinder Sawhney

via Facebook

Jun 19, 2014

There is no bad, only less good

Bad : Good : : Cold : Heat

There is no bad, only less good.

May 28, 2014

Environmental journalism

Image: Google Doodle (May 27th, 2014) celebrating Rachel Carson's birthday 
"As mankind, we are challenged to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves" ~ Rachel Carson

RACHEL CARSON changed human conscience by showing that short-sighted human activities affect all of earth's life, which is connected back to us. Her book Silent Spring helped us understand our limited planet does not have a place called "away" to pollute.

She is an inspiration and deserves respect from environmental journalists. Today's environmental journalists can learn from her to report science-based facts and not self-serving cries of crisis.


Summary of Silent Spring -
Wikipedia -

Apr 2, 2014


As much as I am a fan of fundamental research, which is defined as "gathering knowledge for knowledge's sake", I would like to spend my time on applied research. I think those who get to do fundamental research are lucky and gifted.

For others, who are not so lucky, and have decided to spend time on applied research because of their own choice or chance, here's a suggestion:

"Please always think about how your research will help the bigger picture. Always have that in mind.
At some point in your research, if possible at the beginning, define whose problems and what kind of problems you want to solve using your research."

All the best,
We have a lot of work to do!
Future depends upon your success...

Mar 31, 2014


Don't be too quick to criticize.
If you want to criticize your father, wait until you become one.
If you want to criticize politicians, wait until you become one.
After becoming one, if you succeed in doing something different,
share how you could do it with your fellows and future generations.

Feb 25, 2014

Most appropriate solution

A city or a community with a problem will not choose a solution just because it is the most appropriate solution. By appropriate, I mean the most environmentally friendly, economically viable and easily implementable. There's more than that to all decisions in this world.

This is probably the first time I'm writing an account of my work, but here's an example of what I mean.

For recovering energy from post-recycled waste, plasma gasification is not the best solution. Mainly because it is neither economically viable nor technically feasible at scale. One day, as part of my work, I came across a municipality which was calling for bids to build a plasma gasification plant to reduce the volume of their waste. Is that the best use for the technology or is that the best solution for the problem they were facing? It might be if it worked.

Since I have been analyzing various technologies from around the world as part of my education and work, I went to educate that municipality about plasma gasification to change their minds. I showed them many examples, and enormous amount of research on it. The guy I was talking to seemed to understand most of what I was talking. He was a chemical engineer too and we talked in our lingo. When you try to persuade someone, there will be a moment when they think "what does this guy get by doing this?" and you'll know that moment by observing their eyes. I got that look too, for a moment. Somehow, I did end up convincing him towards the end. But, nothing changed.

Nothing changed because some person higher up heard from somewhere about plasma gasification and thought it would be really "cool" to be the first municipality to do such a technology in the country. That person who was higher up could not be reached by the deadline to submit proposals. I don't think the municipality got enough proposals to go ahead at that time. I haven't followed up later. But, you get the point, cities don't choose technologies just because they're the most appropriate.

Another example from Kerala. I wrote about waste management in this state in my previous publications. They were in absolute crisis - youngsters in a village adjoining a dump were unable to get married. Guess what happened with them? They took many measures to make the situation better. One of them was to go for gasification. Gasification is more technically viable than than plasma gasification, but still not good for a developing economy, which cannot experiment with its public health or environment or for that matter with money. If they conducted a proper analysis of the situation, they would have gone with other solutions. But, they were talked in to gasification by a fly-by-night company, the management of which has set up numerous companies before closing them down a few months later. Last week, I read a slew of reports about how the entire project failed. Again, a decision made not just because a solution is appropriate.

I don't know if its me, but when I analyze these project failures (I worked a project analyzing waste management failures from around the world), I somehow always deduce failures happen due to a general lack of understanding about waste. I know situations where politics were a bigger reason for failure than education. But, by increasing awareness about waste solutions, we can create a level playing ground for politics and other factors, which are avoidable in the light of good information.

Feb 21, 2014


A community is an insurance to shared values.
An educated community is an insurance to the world.

Feb 19, 2014

Reel of evolution

Whenever I look up at the stars,
I forget all reasons for worry!

As I play the reel of evolution in my mind,
I'm reminded that
I'm related to the stars and
everyone I imagine in the apartments surrounding me!

I forget my worries,
not because I am surrounded by relatives.
But, because
the humanly incomprehensible timeline of
our origins, change and possible end
takes worries out of the equation,
It relieves me of desires and obligations.

It reminds me that
I can do whatever I truly want or
whatever makes me happy!

The reel of evolution is liberating and
it takes my worries out of the equation!

23:07; Feb 18, 2014; Hyderabad

History and Politics

The problem with quoting history for political goals is that you can choose to start from wherever it fits your story.

00:16; Feb 19, 2014

Jan 26, 2014

A good human being

Trying to be good is a perversion of its own kind!

Jan 7, 2014

When Emotion?

Emotion should drive actions, but not decisions.

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