Thursday, September 06, 2007


After my dad passed away, one of his friends said something to my mother, and this is still on my mind. He said "You know Aisha, Cassam was not a high achiever, but everything he did, he did it with honour" (that is the translation of my recollection of the 'Kreol Morisiyen' version).

I guess the reason why I still think about this is because there are moments in your life when your 'balance sheet' suddenly becomes clear. In the business world, this would be at the end of the financial year, when accounts are made public. In the life of presidents, it is at the end of their last term. In the life of most human beings, death is an occasion for others to reflect on your balance sheet.

And so it was with my Dad. He was not a 'high flyer', but all he did was with honour. I wondered if maybe we are also kinder to people who have passed away. Do we maybe not see their faults anymore... and if so, is that because we are sad they are gone ? I don't really know.

But I thought the idea that maybe it is more important to do something (anything) honourable, that it is be a 'high achiever'. Is there a parallel here with the idea of 'quality v/s qualtity' ?

Anyway, I would be interested in your comments/thoughts, etc ... if you are reading this :-)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Amazing new site from Flickr - dynamic pictures

This is just an amazing new site from Flickr... it displays a map of the world and shows you new pictures being posted onto Flickr and where they are from. I opened it up for about 5 minutes, and there were pictures from all over the world being posted every few seconds... from photographic 'moody' ones, to family pictures, to sports events...etc...

Just fascinating. Check it out

Friday, May 25, 2007

Orbiting the Giant Hairball

What a delightful book! You have to read this - if you interested in fostering creativity within a corporation.

The author is Gordon McKenzie, who worked for Hallmark Cards (the main greeting card company here in the US) for 30 years. His last title at the company was ‘Creative Paradox’.

The main point in his book is that corporations come into existence through the creativity of their founders, but subsequently start to become stratified and ossified because of the need to do things ‘that we know work’, thereby discouraging creativity.

The bias against creativity does not just exist in large corporations. I particularly liked his story about asking school children in different grades how many thought they were artists. Invariably, the older the kids, they less hands would go up. They have been taught that they were not creative, or that being creative is not ‘normal’.

The giant hairball is his analogy for the corporate body with all the rules and regulations, and his prescription is to know how to keep within the orbit of the corporation without being absorbed and suffocated into the main mass. Another useful analogy is how when water-skiing, you do not need to follow directly in the wake of the boat, but can at times move in an arc around the back of the boat, or even sometimes get ahead of the boat.

This is a small book full of gems! I highly recommend it.

Here is a quote I really like:

“If we do not let go, we make prisoners of ourselves”

The book’s subtitle is: “A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace.” So, go ahead and read it. You too can become a Corporate Fool J.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tracking down origins of my violin

I am trying to track the origins of my violin. My mother bought it for me when I was still in school in Mauritius. She used to go to Loretto Convent Port-louis, and had a friend there called Monique Bassy, whose father played music at the Immaculée Church in Port-Louis. Her father taught her to play the violin, and my mum and her classmates admired her for this.

The school attended a music concert at the Port-Louis Theatre one day, and Monique Bassy fell in love with Herbert Barnes, who played in the police band. They had a full-blown love affair and Herbert eventually left his wife to live with Monique.

Subsequently, Monique passed away from cancer, and when I got interested in playing the violin, my mother thought of Monique and called Herbert to see if maybe she could buy Monique's violin. But Herbert did not want to sell, but suggested two sisters who lived in Rose-Hill, who may have a violin to sell.

I remember visiting them with my mother, and seem to recall that one of the sisters played the cello, and the other played the violin; but she was having problems with her left wrist, and could not play the violin anymore. That was why she was selling it. She also gave us some sheet music. This is what I remember.

If anyone out there knows the name of the two sisters and more information on the violin, please let me know. :-)


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I am trying to use the new Google gadgets feature. I need a picture of myself so I can customize one of the gadgets. I realized I did not have one on-line, so this is just so I can hyperlink to it. Also, you get to see how I look like ! 2 for the price of 1. Actually 2 for free in the wonderful world of the web.
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