Sunday, May 31, 2020

Quran Bangla Translation Online

Here is a convenient online audio and text translation of Al-Quran in Bangla -

I tried it out from both my mac browsers and iPhone safari to make sure I can clearly listen to the audio and read the text. This is particularly great as you can choose to read and listen to both Arabic and Bangla recitation and translation or just either Arabic or Bangla.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Thomas Friedman on the New World Order after COVID-19

The author of The World is Flat Thomas L. Friedman  is another eloquent speaker and an optimist. In this interview he talks about the current COVID-19 situation and how we should prepare for the world once this pandemic is over.

Friedman calls for a sustainable strategy to maximize lives and livelihoods with a moral/ethical trade-off. Because if you are all focused on lives, mother nature will kill every job; and if all you are focused on jobs, she will kill as many lives as she can.

Then he touches on how we are reacting on the COVID-19 situation -
  • Chinese model - complete lockdown
  • Swedish model - partial lockdown, natural hard immunity
  • US model - tired of lockdown, opening up before it's safe
He calls for humility, coordination, and strategy dictated by chemistry/biology/physics as that's the only logic mother nature understands. He points out the winners will not be those who are the strongest nor the smartest and nor the richest; it will be those who are the most adaptive

He also talks about the breakdown of USA and China relationship which got accelerated due to this coronovirus situation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Challenges of Leading Engineering Teams – AHappyJob Post

AHappyJob, an online portal for job-seekers, recently contacted me to ask a few questions around the challenges of leading engineering teams. They published a blog post with my answer about it here –

What do you wish engineers understood the challenges their managers go through?

My Answer: When engineering managers are giving relatively high dev estimate for an apparently small task, they are not moving slow, they are adding time to account for the unexpected. When they are going to meetings after meetings, it’s so that you don’t have to. They can answer some of your questions, but they don’t have all the answers. Also, they crave feedback but rarely get it.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Earlier this week I finished Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. Essentialism is doing only what is important and essential while saying No to all the rest of the things that come to us. This book has made me think if I am doing too much with my limited capability and time. In fact, I am very sure I am doing too much and the book merely pointed out that to me in a crystal clear manner. The idea of essentialism is similar to minimalism, although I think essentialism has a more positive connotation to it. It's fundamental personal discipline and leadership quality. You may have also heard about doing smart work instead of hard work, which is also relevant to this.

Greg tells us that the way of essentialists is to (1) explore and evaluate, (2) eliminate, and (3) execute. With that in mind, I am thinking that I need to optimize my life for the following essential things - family, health, profession, and knowledge. However, I am wondering if there are any of these above 4 I should further consider eliminating. For example, family will cover not only my immediate family members but relatives and friends. Health will cover both physical and meantal health. Profession will cover what I do best in my work and getting better at it over time. Knowledge will cover many of the other things I do including reading, writing, travel, music, spirituality. However, am I again getting into the trap of being too inclusive? I need to think more to come up with the right words and narratives in the coming days. So you can imagine that this is a book which will make you think and hence you should read it.

Here are some of the quotes I liked in this book.
  • Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.
  • The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities.
  • A popular idea in Silicon Valley is “Done is better than perfect.
  • You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.
  • Today, technology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It is not just information overload; it is opinion overload.
  • The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution.
  • Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.
  • Essentialists see trade-offs as an inherent part of life, not as an inherently negative part of life. Instead of asking, "What do I have to give up?" they ask, "What do I want to go big on?"
  • We overvalue nonessentials like a nicer car or house, or even intangibles like the number of our followers on Twitter or the way we look in our Facebook photos. As a result, we neglect activities that are truly essential, like spending time with our loved ones, or nurturing our spirit, or taking care of our health.
  • Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.
  • If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.
  • Just because I was invited didn’t seem a good enough reason to attend.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

I finished Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill yesterday. This is arguably one of the most popular personal development books of all time. In this book, Napoleon emphasizes that success comes to those who are success conscious. He lays out 13 principles to get rich which can also be used for any other goal than money.


  1. Burning Desire - Wishing alone won't bring money.
    • fix your mind on the exact amount of money you desire
    • determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money
    • establish a date you want it to achieve
    • create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and putting into action
    • write out the exact amount of money you intend to acquire and what you are willing to give in return for it
    • read our your statement out loud twice daily
  2. Faith - When you truly have faith in a desire and believe that it will come true, it starts manifesting its own physical self. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
  3. Auto-suggestion - Just saying words is not the magical trick to bring success but rather a mental process where you use words to convince yourself that you will succeed. Auto-suggestion helps you reach through your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind only acts on thoughts that are emotionally charged.
  4. Specialized Knowledge - The way of success is the way of pursuit of knowledge. Come off with a plan, try it out and if it fails replace it with a better plan. Don't be a jack of all trade, be a master of one. The quitter never wins and the winner never quits.
  5. Imagination - You want to imagine where you want to be. Man can create anything which he can imagine. It's crucial to manifest your desire.
  6. Organized Planning - Write down the plan and follow it to get to your goal. The steps have to be practical.
  7. Decision - Rich men can make decisions quickly and rarely change their mind based on other people's opinions. They also do a lot more listening than talking. Sometimes to succeed in life you have to burn the bridges, to not go back.
  8. Persistence - Lack of persistence is a major cause of failure. So keep at it and you will find success. Don't give up.
  9. Power of the Mastermind - A group of people you put together, they can help you go over your ideas and you can help each other achieve success. They openly share ideas and take advantage of each other's knowledge. The result of synergy can be 1+1 = 3.
  10. Mastery of Sex Transmutation - Sexual desire is one of the strongest desire a person can have, and you can use this to focus on other things besides physical act of sex. Transmute that power into a different channel.
  11. Subconscious Mind - Fill the subconscious mind with positive feelings over the negative ones.
  12. The Brain - There is a collective mind, a universal intelligence that we all can tap into through the vibration of thoughts. When we think about positive emotions, our vibrations are higher. Our subconscious mind is the sending station of our brain.
  13. The Sixth Sense - It defies description, it can't be compared. You master the other 12 principles and it comes to you automatically.
Napoleon finishes the book with the following - life is a checkerboard and your opponent is time. If you hesitate before moving, your pieces will be wiped off the board by time.

Thoughts on Life, Death, and Overcoming Fear

I've been pondering a topic that's universally relevant yet rarely discussed - death and the anxieties it evokes. As I delve deeper ...