Showing posts from April, 2014


Pic.: Chetna Shetty

“Man proposes, God disposes.”
“Life is what happens to us, when we are busy making other plans.”
We make our plans so that our lives should go on smoothly. None of us likes bumpy rides through our daily journeys, leave alone big crisis and calamities – either natural or man-made.
Yes, we want our lives to be stable, as planned... We want our dreams to come true... Our money to grow and remain safe, too... We want the health and well-being of our near and dear ones, and our own, to be good - free from any accidents, major sickness or danger...  And, that’s what we call ‘security’, ‘stability’ and ‘peace’ in life...
On Saturday, I was in the midst of my lecture, when I received a call asking me to rush home immediately as my aged father-in-law had a fall at home and fractured his leg badly. My wife wasn't at home, and my mother-in-law, who is sick, was in a panic.
I immediately swung into action... called an ambulance and rushed my dad-in-law to the hospital... Being …


Pic.: Sherry Haridas
In my ninth-standard English text-book, there was a lesson on John F. Kennedy. And, that was the first time, I heard about the famous line from his inaugural speech: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Much later in life, when I came across the management jargon, ‘Being Proactive’, I thought of Kennedy’s famous words and realized, that when we all start blaming the country or the government for our miseries, we come about as  the worst lot to live in this country!
Let me tell you this:  no matter how much I pay in taxes and no matter how much I am made to believe that the elected representatives of our country are callous, corrupt etc... I have refused to buy the argument that all our problems can be solved by the government we vote to power...
True, the government has to be accountable... transparent, honest and committed. True, we expect our representatives to deliver what they promise... But, then, to paint a certain …


Pic.: Sherry Haridas

Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.
- Gordon Dickson
One of my students, who has just given his twelfth-standard exams (ISC ), has been keen to do Product Designing in a reputed design-school in India. He had joined a well-known coaching institute to prepare for its entrance exams... and, for, almost, two years the preparations were on... NID, the so-called the best one, did not happen. So, the choice was among the rest around...
This morning, I was intrigued by a FB status from this young-man: “Ppl all around the world which college will be better for product design among MIT, ISDI , Srishti and DSK. Which provide with good internship and good campus recruitment?? ....Plz help.—feelingconfused."
He was my student for two years. I used to discuss with him, often, about career choices, self-confidence, self-trust, our passions and talents... and, above all, about the need to break-free from a mindset of being sp…


Pic.: Pushpa Mistry Kamath

“But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people,  and do our best to help them find their own grace. That's what I strive to do, that's what I pray to do every day.” Barack Obama
Today, a gentleman had brought his ten-year-old daughter to be enrolled for our on-going PD course (Pre-teens). Once the girl was sent inside the class, he said, “Sir, she frequently back-answers us, which worries us a lot. See if she can overcome that habit.”

“We will help her to overcome; but don’t stress out... Children do back-answer while growing up... as we all had,” I tried to calm the father.

“But sir, we weren’t as vocal as today’s kids are... We were not exposed to so much of TV, Internet and cell-phone stuff...” Like this, the concerned father went on...

“Our parents said the same when we were growing up back-answering to them,” I said smilingly, “Every age has its own gadgets and one cannot shut children from them... We need to just guide the…


Pic.: Chetna Shetty
Presently, our Public-Speaking course is underway. The young-ones, who are clear as to why they need to speak well in public, invariably, do well in the course... They become effective speakers. On the other hand, those who aren't clear, they don’t. So, the key, always, is to help them identify the reason why they want to become good public-speakers... In other words, if they know what they would do with their public-speaking skills, they would, invariably, become great speakers...
The question, therefore, is not whether you will become a great speaker... The question is: What you will do, once you become a great speaker?
Once, a farmer had a dog. All through the day, the only thing this dog did, was: sit on the roadside waiting for the vehicles to come by. The moment a vehicle came by, he would run behind it, howling crazily, as if he was on a do-or-die mission of grabbing the vehicle! This would go on, all day long, day after day...
Seeing this crazy dog-act, on…


Pic.: Nachiket Jeurkar
“Sir, I like Easter Eggs,” a ten-year-old said to me with excitement, “The neighbor aunty gives us every year.”
Then, he asked me, “Sir, you like Easter Eggs?”
“Oh yes, dear, I like them,” I caressed the little head, “Easter Bunny brings them to us, every year.”
“Who is Easter Bunny, sir,” the little fellow asked me.
“The good Rabbit, who comes, every Easter, from the far away land, carrying those colorful eggs in his basket for all of us,” I narrated to my little friend. I added, “Just as the Santa Claus, who comes every Christmas carrying gifts for you kids.”
The little-one thought for a while, and, then, said in even more excitement, “Sir is he the same good rabbit who lives in the Moon?”
Now, I knew the Rabbit who lived in the Moon and the Bunny who came with Easter Eggs in his basket were both legends... just as the Santa was. They, always, fired our imagination... and, we all accepted the legends without questioning them... Because, they were something nice, som…


Pic.: Bhushan Thakkar
Nilesh*, who was one of my brilliant students, some twenty years ago, and who is now a very dear friend, sent me a sms, a while ago:

“Sir, please remember us in your prayers on this Holy Friday and specially pray for our project  ---------- . May Jesus Christ bless all of us. May we learn from His sacrifice, patience and humility in dealing with all our loved ones. Regards.”
I quickly replied:
“Good morning Nilesh. Yes, I will keep you in my prayers. Just pursue your dream with all your sincerity and passion. Keep faith. I am sure, Jesus will bless your dream. Love.”
This friend of mine is a very sincere, passionate and committed individual. I have watched him working hard and long. So, I have no doubt when I say, “Jesus will bless your dream.”
No matter how hard and long we all may work, and no matter how sincere, well-intended and committed individuals we all are, there are times, when we realize that we will not be able to do it alone with our own strength... The tun…


Pic.: Pushpa Mistry Kamath I love giving these three mantras of Public Speaking to whoever comes to me for that ghyan – little kids, young adults, adults or silver-haired. “Hey, here are the three mantras,” I tell them at the very outset:
You shall speak LOUDLY... You shall speak CLEARLY... You shall speak from your HEART!
Then, I tease them, “Your Public Speaking course – the Rocket Science... The Nuclear Physics - is over. You can go home, now!”
Actually, they all can go home, now!
Just think of it! If you speak loudly, clearly and from your heart, won’t it be sufficient? Won’t it help you carry across your message to your audience effectively?
Too much is made out of it. Fear will not go away till we all die... But, somehow, we have been made to believe it will. So, like a dog trying to catch its own tail, we all run in circles, desperately, to finish our fear off, once and for all!
If I tell them, “Honey, it is okay to be afraid... Fear is your best friend... He motivates you, keeps …


Pic.: Sherry Haridas
Some days back, I called up one of our Society’s watchmen. “Mishra*, are you busy,” I asked, “Can you come here for a minute?”
“Yes, sir... I will be there in a minute,” Mishra said enthusiastically.
“You are the Chairman of the Society,” the man next to me, who had overheard the conversation, reminded me, “Don’t ask ‘Can you come?’... Order him to come!”
I hid what I wanted to say to this man behind my smile: “My friend, my mom taught me so... and, I have been teaching, for years, this to my students. But, there in the village, my mom did not know it was called – ‘Manners and Etiquette’. She just knew that’s how it was supposed to be!"
There is a power that stems from our positions – as a Minister, a Police Commissioner, a CEO, a Judge, an Income-tax officer, a Chairman, a Secretary, a Principal, a Captain, a parent, a teacher, a doctor, an advocate, and, even, as a compounder of a doctor or a peon in a government office...
Power is heady! To realize how heady it …


Pic.: Manoj Nair
What makes a person strong and confident in life? What gives him the inside-strength which helps him walk like a king, speak like a scholar and touch lives like a saint?
Today is Ambedkar Jayanti. When I think of this man – Babasaheb Ambedkar – I feel more and more convinced, that it is never the color of your skin or the caste and class you are born into that decide to what heights you will rise in life... but, it is the substance that your mind, heart and soul contain, that will.
Look at Babasaheb’s life story: Born into a poor, low-caste family, yes, at a time when caste discrimination in our country was epidemic, he went about acquiring his academic, scholarly and transformational power... that, he became a beacon of hope for the entire suppressed community, members of which were shooed as ‘untouchables’... He took up their cause, fought for their rights and dignity... brought the noble teachings of Buddhism into their lives... drafted the newly-born nation’s first …


Pic.Sherry Haridas
It is, always, one step at a time, that takes us – all of us – through our respective thousand-mile journeys…
The Mount Everest is conquered with one brave step, at a time…
And, the mighty elephant is eaten, too, in the same manner – one spoon at a time!
A mother of two girls - age 12 and 13 respectively – was talking on the phone, just now. The kids go to a convent school and come about as quite expressive and confident. Today, while talking to the mother, she asked me if I knew a tutor who could help the kids in English grammar.
“Ma’am, the kids are very good in English; I don’t think, they need a tutor,” I said to the mother.
“But, sir, they have been losing marks in grammar,” the woman told me, “So, some help might help.”
I knew a very efficient English teacher, and, I did pass on her number to the concerned mother.
How did I put my own grammar in place?
These two kids, as I have told you, study in a convent school. Their parents are well-qualified and speak good Englis…
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...