Friday, September 25, 2009

International Monetary Fund


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that oversees the global financial system by following the macroeconomic policies of its member countries, in particular those with an impact on exchange rates and the balance of payments. It is an organization formed to stabilize international exchange rates and facilitate development. It also offers highly leveraged loans mainly to poorer countries. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., United States.

Managing Director: Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Friday, September 18, 2009

Time Long Past


Like the ghost of a dear friend dead
Is Time long past.
A tone which is now forever fled,
A hope which is now forever past,
A love so sweet it could not last,
Was Time long past.

There were sweet dreams in the night
Of Time long past:
And, was it sadness or delight,
Each day a shadow onward cast
Which made us wish it yet might last,
That Time long past.

There is regret, almost remorse,
For Time long past.
'Tis like a child's belov├Ęd corse
A father watches, till at last
Beauty is like remembrance, cast
From Time long past.


(Percy Bysshe Shelley)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Love??


In terms of mature relationships and love, most of the times, people fail to distinguish between the true meaning of love and lust...

Every Cinderella longs to find her Prince Charming and live happily ever after. We all want to fall in love. Why? Because that experience makes us feel completely alive. Our emotions get magnified, senses get heightened, and we are flying in seventh heaven. It may only last a moment, an hour, a day, but that doesn't diminish its value....

But are you sure it’s love that we are talking about?

Why do independent, smart women become emotional wrecks after a romantic break-up? Why do older men gravitate towards younger women? Could it be estrogen and testosterone hormones that addict us to our lovers? In terms of mature relationships and love, most of the times, people fail to distinguish between the true meaning of love and lust.

Have you ever been swept off your feet by a man/woman standing next to you in a queue? Is it merely infatuation, a strong shot of chemistry, or budding love - the real thing? Is Cupid playing a prank or bringing you true love forever?

Love at first sight is not believable. Love takes time. Lust at first sight sounds much more accurate. A study done by testing the blood samples of twenty couples, who claimed to be madly in love for less than six months, revealed that serotonin levels of new lovers were equivalent to the low serotonin levels of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder patients.

It's hard to tell if you are in love because there’re no set defining characteristics of love. The dictionary says it's "a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection" or "a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person." What exactly is this feeling or attraction?

The question evoked the thought process of Paramita Roy, a fashion designer; she was surprised that she had never thought of this aspect of her relationship before. After much silence she concluded, "Emotions are not sufficient to suggest whether a relationship is that of love, no matter how strong the attraction may be." Sadly, there is not much awareness to distinguish between lust and love and that is why we have so many emotional and social problems.

Since time immemorial we are hearing that love is blind. But that’s a mistake; real love is not blind. Quite the opposite, it is a relationship in full awareness. Over time, through good communication and wisdom, you can start knowing your partner. Gradually, you become aware of his/her flaws and try to work your differences in a healthy way.

Lust, on the other hand, could be perceived as being "blind" as it usually distorts reality, especially when you're so involved that you don’t care to find out the real persona of your partner. According to Shruti Bhatia, a psychologist, we often idolize our partners, magnify their virtues and find a way to explain their flaws. This basically happens because many movies, books and songs paint an unrealistic portrait of love, which further builds a false perception of love in our minds.

When Sameer Nagpal, a commercial pilot by profession, was asked whether his six-year-old relationship was based on love or lust, he was quick to reply, "Love is full of sacrifices, trust and respect whereas lust is built on physical attraction, fun and thrills. Real love is commitment. I cannot categorize my relationship as a short sensational affair of love is in the air."

Do some real soul searching today and identify your relationship. If you're in a relationship which does not have fondness, respect, affection, devotion along with passion, it would be wise to back off. Or else, one day those wonderful romantic feelings will be gone and you will wonder what happened to your perfect romance. Accept the fact that you or your partner is not ready for commitment. After all, commitment is a choice which is backed up with actions and maturity.

Source: The Times of India

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Accepted Repentance



We have all had the experience of failing time after time in changing old habits. Then suddenly these old habits lose their hold on us. What was so attractive suddenly becomes unattractive. This is a sign that God has accepted our repentance.
At this point, my sheikh used to say that we are no longer responsible for those old sins. We have truly changed and we are now someone who is not even tempted to commit them.


(Robert Frager, Heart, Self & Soul, The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony p. 71)

Love Of God


When you seek love, by grace of God
Your spirit turn into wine and your body into a jar.
When He increases the wine of His grace, the jar falls into pieces
Every knowledgeable knows without thinking,
That where there is disturbance, there is a Disturber....


(Rumi)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

World Bank


The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides leveraged loans to poorer countries for capital programs with a goal of reducing poverty.

Formation : 27 December 1945
Type : International organization
Legal status: Treaty
Membership :186 countries
President :Robert B. Zoellick

Five key factors

The Bank’s mission is to aid developing countries and their inhabitants to achieve development and the reduction of poverty, including achievement of the MDGs, by helping countries develop an environment for investment, jobs and sustainable growth, thus promoting economic growth through investment and enabling the poor to share the fruits of economic growth. The World Bank sees the five key factors necessary for economic growth and the creation of an enabling business environment as:

1. Build capacity: Strengthening governments and educating government officials.
2. Infrastructure creation: implementation of legal and judicial systems for the encouragement of business, the protection of individual and property rights and the honoring of contracts.
3. Development of Financial Systems: the establishment of strong systems capable of supporting endeavors from micro credit to the financing of larger corporate ventures.
4. Combating corruption: Support for countries' efforts at eradicating corruption.
5. Research, Consultancy and Training: the World Bank provides platform for research on development issues, consultancy and conduct training programs (web based, on line, tele-/ video conferencing and class room based) open for those who are interested from academia, students, government and non-governmental organization (NGO) officers etc.

The Bank obtains funding for its operations primarily through the IBRD’s sale of AAA-rated bonds in the world’s financial markets. The IBRD’s income is generated from its lending activities, with its borrowings leveraging its own paid-in capital, plus the investment of its "float". The IDA obtains the majority of its funds from forty donor countries who replenish the bank’s funds every three years, and from loan repayments, which then become available for re-lending.

The World Bank is active in the following areas:

* Agriculture and Rural Development
* Conflict and Development
* Development Operations and Activities
* Economic Policy
* Education
* Energy
* Environment
* Financial Sector
* Gender
* Governance
* Health, Nutrition and Population
* Industry
* Information and Communication Technologies
* Information, Computing and Telecommunications
* International Economics and Trade
* Labor and Social Protections
* Law and Justice
* Macroeconomic and Economic Growth
* Mining
* Poverty Reduction
* Poverty
* Private Sector
* Public Sector Governance
* Rural Development
* Social Development
* Social Protection
* Trade
* Transport
* Urban Development
* Water Resources
* Water Supply and Sanitation