February 1, 2018

Dear Colleagues
As sun changed its course last month, spring is around the corner now. Here is another round of random reflections for your perusal:

  1. Ice hockey is perhaps the most popular sport in Canada. During its long winter months, every neighbourhood, village and city has ice hockey grounds maintained and used regularly. Its professional leagues produce some of the world’s champions. It is one of the fastest games to watch. The sheer speed with which players, and umpires, skate on ice is astounding. The stadium are well managed, and food/beverages and facilities are warm and exceptional, especially when outside temperature is -35C.
  2. As unemployment amongst the educated has been increasing in many countries of the world, political leaders have come up with an ingenuous idea. From Spain to Malaysia, South Africa to India, college graduates and young professionals are being discouraged from being job-seekers. Instead, they are being exhorted to become ‘job-creators’! Now, how many such graduates would create jobs? And how many jobs will be so created? What will be quality of such jobs? If it works, no capital investment would ever be needed for job creation?
  3. It is a pleasure to visit Niagara Falls in peak winter. First, there are fewer tourists. In summer months, tourist density is impossible to navigate. Second, much of the water and mist thrown from the Falls gets frozen on side -walks, trees and buildings; amazing sights indeed! Third, this winter especially, Niagara Falls on the American side, and the river waters were frozen, given the extreme cold weather. What a beauty.
  4. The design of railway stations and platforms in India has followed the old British model from the very beginning. This has resulted in crowding of platforms hours before the arrival of the train. In continental Europe, in Belgium & the Netherlands, the design is such that main station is on ground level, and platforms are one level above. Passengers go to platform only just before the train arrives, after their ticket is swiped on a machine. Otherwise, it is the main station area where food and facilities are available, and passengers can spend time there.
  5. Goddess Saraswati is an Indian goddess of knowledge and learning. Special day for her worship is held at the onset of spring. So, what is the connection between learning and spring season? In general, spring season brings longer days, better sunshine and cool breeze. Are these conducive to learning? How will Goddess Saraswati be worshipped in the new digital era? No longer books, but perhaps mobiles and tablets? Are these questions worth asking? Or, just spring is in the air?

All the very best