Shattered Dreams

ShatteredDreamCoverRamayana is probably the first story I heard as a kid, at my grandma’s knee. It has a special place in my life. Rama, the maryada purushottam, has been a role model, not only for me, but for most Indians. The story has been retold multiple times. Each narrator has had a different view point. Here is another narration by Shubha Vilas talks about lessons that we can learn from the epic, that would be useful in the contemporary period.

“Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail.”

Continue reading

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Diving into the past!

MahabharataQuestI am writing this post after a long time. Given my love for reading, it is quite natural that an intriguing book made me write a post!

The Mahabharata Secret: The Alexander Quest by Christopher C Doyle is an action-packed story that combines history, microbiology & genetics, mythology, ancient languages and contemporary technology. In short a very heady cocktail!

The story is based on a very well known incident from the Mahabharata, the  Samudramanthan and also on the story of Alexander III’s search for ‘the secret of the gods’. The plot is well defined and each of the connection between the two seemingly disjoint stories is perfectly explained.

The protagonist of the book, Vijay Singh, works for the Intelligence Bureau in Delhi. He and his colleagues unwittingly fall target to an invisible enemy, the Order. The tale begins when Alice Turner, an archaeologist, is working at a site in Greece. She and her team are trying to find the whereabouts of the tomb of Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great. They find an ivory cube in a chamber along with the tomb. Alice flees for her life when she witnesses the death of her co-workers and realizes that she too is being hunted. She leaves Greece and comes to Jaungarh, near Delhi, India to Vijay’s fort to seek protection.

Continue reading

Posted in Books, Reading | 8 Comments

Business Sutra – By Devdutt Pattanaik

BusinessSutra - Cover Page

Business Sutra – Cover Page

Devdutt Pattanaik“Chief Belief Officer” of Kishore Biyani‘s Future group has been one my favorite authors. I am always attracted to people who have chosen unusual careers and have been successful in them. Devdutta is one of them. From being a trained physician, to an executive in pharmaceutical and healthcare industry to a business analyst to a full time mythologist. What a career. :)

I have written two posts about his work in the past. One of them, Indian case study method, specifically refers to his television program named “Business Sutra”. I had bought the DVDs of the program and have watched them with great interest and insight. So when Blogadda made the book available under their book review program, I jumped at it.

Continue reading

Posted in Books, Reading, Business, Fundas, People | Tagged , | 9 Comments

चला, देश सुधारुया 

सोने की चिडिया

सोने की चिडिया

मागच्या लेखात आपण पाहिले की ब्लॉग्समुळे प्रसार माध्यमांचे लोकशाहीकरण झाले. आता लेखक, बातमीदार आणि प्रकाशक होणे हे कोणाही सामान्य माणसाच्या आवाक्यात आले आहे. आपण हेही पाहिले की ही शक्ती लोक आपल्या कळकळीच्या कोणत्याही कार्याकरता वापरू शकतात. किंबहुना अनेक लोकांची ब्लॉग लिहिण्या मागची ही एक प्रबळ प्रेरणा असते. पुढचे काही आठवडे आपण अशा वेगवेगळ्या प्रेरणांनी भारलेल्या ब्लॉग्सचा आढावा घेणार आहोत.

स्वत:ची परिस्थिती बदलणे, आपल्या कुटुंबाचे भले करणे ही सर्वच  लोकांची मनापासून इच्छा असते. मात्र समाजाचे किंवा देशाचे कल्याण करण्यची अंत:स्फूर्ती काही मोजक्याच व्यक्तींच्या ठायी असते. त्याकरता त्यांना आपले विचार लोकांपर्यंत पोचवण्याची , त्यांची मनस्थिती  बदलण्याची  त्यांना भारून टाकण्याची आवश्यकता असते.आणि ह्यासाठी सभा, भाषणे किंवा वैचारिक लेखन हे प्रस्थापित मार्ग नेते अवलंबतात. आपले विचार जन सामान्यांपर्यंत पोचवाण्याकरता टिळकांनी केसरी चालू केला, आगरकरांनी सुधारक तर महात्मा गांधींनी यंग इंडिया आणि हरिजन. ह्या सर्व नेत्यांना तेंव्हाचे जग, तत्कालीन देशांतर्गत परिस्थिती  बदलायची होती. साहजिकच त्यांचे विचार, भाषा ही प्रस्थापित परिस्थितीच्या विरुद्ध, anti-establishment,  अशी होती.

आजचे लीडर्स, नेते सहजच सोशल मिडियाचा उपयोग करतात आणि त्यांचे anti-establishmen विचार प्रकट करतात. नुकत्याच झालेल्या अरब राष्ट्रांमाधल्या उठाव मध्ये, “अरब स्प्रिंग” मध्ये, २०११ सालच्या अण्णा हजारेंच्या लोकपाल चळवळीमध्ये किंवा अलीकडेच झालेल्या “निर्भया” दिल्ली बलात्कार प्रकरणातील इंडिया गेट निदर्शनांमध्ये फेसबुक, ट्विटर आणि ब्लॉग्स चा खूपच मोठा सहभाग होता.

Continue reading

Posted in Current Events, General, People | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Lead to Regenerate

lead-to-regenarateBeing an alumnus of a prestigious institute like IIT Bombay, has it’s own advantages. One of them is being able to have a network of very accomplished individuals from various fields. A few days ago, on the alumni grapevine, I received a mail from Hemant Karandikar, a renowned management coach. The mail said that his book, Lead to Regenerate, would soon be available in bookstores and he would be happy to make it available for reviews. I jumped at the opportunity, and wrote to Hemant, and soon, I had the book in my hand.

The look of the book reminded me of a workbook, and as I started going through the book, it became evident that it was one. Hemant doesn’t believe in giving you reams of advice to digest with nothing to practice. Instead, he gives you some words of wisdom and then gives you clear exercises to experience the wisdom on your own, so it internalizes. He calls his exercises “workouts”. A very apt term I would say. Just as workouts in the gym build one’s muscles, these workouts build your thinking muscles.

HemantKarandikarAnother thing that I found very unique is action orientation of each workout. Each workout has two parts. The first part asks you to introspect with help of specific, pointed questions. As you answer these questions, it then makes you write an action plan based on your answers, with the dates. And he doesn’t stop by urging you to just write the action steps, but also guides you on making sure that they are not just good intentions, but either are tangible actions, with tangible results.

In some ways, I would compare these workouts to Edward De Bono’s Thinking Tools, or CoRT tools, specifically applied to different areas.

Continue reading

Posted in Books, Reading, Business, Fundas | Tagged , | 3 Comments

ब्लॉग म्हणजे काय रे भाऊ?

Maharashtra Times, one of the leading daily newspaper in Marathi has asked me to write a column about the blogs. Blogs Up is the name of the column and it will appear every alternate week. I will be reviewing various blogs in the column. I am so thrilled! The first article in the series was a backgrounder and appeared on last Sunday. It was slightly edited because of space constraint. Here is a link to the published article. But since blogs don’t have space constraint, I am publishing the unedited version here. :)

pplया सदरामध्ये पुढच्या काही आठवड्यात आपण वेगवेगळ्या ब्लॉग्सची सफर करणार आहोत. पण मला वाटते  की  त्याआधी ब्लॉग म्हणजे नक्की काय असतो हे सर्वांनी समजून घेणे आवश्यक आहे. ब्लॉग हा शब्द आपण सर्वांनी ऐकला आहे, पण “ते काहीतरी इंटरनेटवर असते” ह्या पलीकडे आपल्याला त्याबद्दल किती माहिती आहे?

ब्लॉग म्हणजे काय हे समजून घेण्याकरता आपण प्रथम बातम्या किंवा विचार कसे प्रसारीत होतात हे जाणून घेऊ. प्रसारमाध्यमे बातम्या किंवा विचार लोकांपर्यंत पोचवतात. एखादा बातमीदार किंवा प्रस्थापित लेखक वृत्त किंवा लेख निर्माण करतो आणि मग संपादकीय टीम त्यांच्या निकषांवर उतरणाऱ्या गोष्टींना प्रसिद्धी देतात. अशा प्रकारे प्रसिद्धीची मक्तेदारी काही मोजक्याच लोकांच्या हातात केंद्रित होते. पण तुमच्या आमच्या सारख्यांचे काय?  आपल्यालाही मते आणि विचार असतात. आपल्या आयुष्यातही अविस्मरणीय घटना घडतात. आणि हे सर्व लोकांपर्यंत पोचावे अशी आपलीही इच्छा असते. हे कसे होणार? अशावेळी ब्लॉग्स आपल्या मदतीस धावून  येतात.

माझ्या मुलीने स्वत:च ठरवून तीचा अठरावा वाढदिवस रक्तदान करून साजरा केला. माझ्या मते ही एक अनुकरणीय गोष्ट आहे आणि प्रत्येक वयात येणाऱ्या व्यक्तीने हे केले पाहिजे. पण मी हे लोकांपर्यंत कसे पोचवणार? मी ही घटना माझ्या ब्लॉगवर प्रसिध्द केली. ती बऱ्याच लोकांपर्यंत पोचली, आणि त्याचे पर्यवसन आमच्या ऑफिसच्या वाढदिवसाला रक्तदान शिबीर भरवण्यात झाली. काही तरुण मुलांनी त्यांच्या प्रत्येक वाढदिवसाला रक्तदान करायचे ठरविले. माझ्या ब्लॉगच्या गैरहजेरीत हे काहीच घडले नसते.

Continue reading

Posted in Fundas, General, Science / Technology | 5 Comments

F?@K KNOWS

Don’t be taken aback by the title of this post. You know that I am generally a very “proper” speaker, not given to using expletives. It’s the name of a book that I am reviewing in today’s post. :)

ShailendraSinghI am a confessed addict of self-help books. If spending few hours and reading a book can give me life lessons from someone who struggled to earn them, why not? So when Blogadda book review program sent me a mail, I was quick to opt-in for the review.

The introduction to the book and to the author was also very interesting.

What do you want from life? Are you on the right track? Are you truly happy? If your answer to these questions is ‘F?@k knows!’, then this book is for you. Find the answers to life’s most important questions with the help of uber-successful entrepreneur, Shailendra Singh, co-founder of Percept and inceptor of Sunburn.

Continue reading

Posted in Books, Reading, Fundas, Humour | Tagged , , | 3 Comments