Showing posts from January, 2011

Mystic Midnights

Rather, Midnights with the Mystic. That is the title of a book written by a fan of one of the new gurus of the current age who is a rage- his name is Jaggi Vasudev. Even if you don't like gurus, this guy is worth listening to. He speaks well, and is intelligible to people like us. Don't know if he cuts any ice with the masses.

A fan of his from Atlanta had a series of conversations with him when he visited her house. The gist of these conversations is what the book is about. I have heard him speak on TV, and seen him playing golf at Chennai (he was with a group ahead of us). I think he is a cool guy. His explanations of many things in life make a lot of sense (to me), as in there are no gaping holes in the logic, or let me say, mostly believable stuff about yourself, the higher self that remains unrealized mostly, and how to get there from here.

This fan is a white woman based in Atlanta. I think she is a real estate person with a long list of diseases or disorders that she ha…

Influential Thinkers

As I was listening to a presentation by students in my course on Thought Leadership, my thoughts wandered. To our college days. The reason? Funnily enough, the Age of Reason, and the author who propagated that line of thinking. Ayn Rand was the topic of the presentation. She was as popular back then, as she is now. Rarely would you come across a college student who doesn't adore her books like The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Difficult to come across such a clear-headed propounder of any philosophy of life.

Another line from an article in a newspaper crossed my mind too. This was a statement made by Edward De Bono, author of Lateral Thinking. He says, we have stopped thinking, for many years. That is a pretty strong statement, but it makes some sense. When was the last time we thought carefully, about anything? If we did, individually and collectively (according to Ayn Rand, collectivism is always a compromise of individual thoughts, because only individuals can think), no prob…


The thought of Excellence as a way of life strongly came back strongly last week- it does, from time to time. The trigger was a guest lecture I hosted for my course, titled Seminar on Thought Leadership. The guest faculty was Padmapriya, a former student of mine from the 2002 MBA batch of Kirloskar Institute of Management.

She has made a habit of excelling at everything she does. From academics, where she has been among the top of her class, to dance (a diploma in Bharatanatyam), to beauty paegents (Miss Andhra Pradesh at one time), to corporate work (at GE Capital doing high end analytics) and what takes the cake, a movie career with 33 odd leading roles in 6 Indian languages, winning several accolades, including National and Filmfare Awards. Not to mention NGO work designing a program for tribals in coastal Andhra to produce and sell organically grown farm produce. And the last was a part of her Diploma program at National Law School, Bangalore.

Can't help thinking how the world w…

Uplifting Movie-Golconda High School

Saw Golconda High School, in Telugu. It's at one level, a formula sports film, about a school cricket team that finds a coach who inspires them back to winning ways, in the process also saving the school ground from being auctioned off. Good performances from the kids, and a tightly edited script keeps you engrossed, aided by some upbeat background music and songs. The heroes for me are the young cricketers and the school Principal who shows courage in adversity, and is willing to stake his job for a cause he believes in.

But it has a deeper meaning if you care to look for it. It points a finger at all of us who don't do enough to achieve what (we say) we want in life. From a cricketing victory, to personal goals of different types, we want a lot, but we don't necessarily do the needful. Sometimes, due to our own immaturity or unpreparedness or lack of knowledge, we may need a guide, a coach, a sounding board, so to speak. At other times, knowing fully well what is needed, …

Differentiating Cars

Cars all look alike. I can't tell the difference between the Swift and not-so-swift, a car with an Accent, and one without, one that plays Polo or one that plays Golf, or the car that provides you with Esteem, or just drives you around the City. I used to think Corolla is a part of a flower (as the movie Chupke Chupke told us through its Botany professor character), until one appeared with four wheels on the road!

Similarly, Tavera sounds like a second cousin of the revolutionary Che Guevara, but is not. Alto sounds like 'facebookese' for altitude, like congo is facebookese for congratulations. Ritz, glitz and glamour is actually right for the fashion world,and not the world of the automobile. A Safari is supposed to be had in a jungle, but takes you through the concrete jungle today.

Infiniti is something that most kids are scared of in their Maths class, and elders, in old age. Micra sounds like a bikini for men, but is also a name of one and an anagram for my car (spelt…

Jessica and The Fourth Estate

I saw No One Killed Jessica yesterday. The impact of the film is like a Muhammad Ali punch in the solar plexus. The difference is, the punch would knock you out for a few hours, but this one gets you thinking, at least for some time, about ourselves as a society. Two other films which had a similar impact were A Wednesday, and Aamir (which I believe had the same director as Jessica). Aakrosh, about honour killings, was also good, though the punch was slightly held back, it seems.

The story was already there, but making it into a tight script and keeping the audience engrossed can still be difficult. Also, to make certain things stand out, effective dialogue is a necessity. The cop asking Vidya Balan, "Kaise logon ke saath ghoomte firte hain aap?" after every one of the 300 guests refuses to acknowledge they were present at the crime scene was very effective. Rani Mukherjee's unflinching attitude towards her work, and her acknowledgement that she made a mistake in not taki…

Seminar on Thought Leadership

This is the name of a new course that I am teaching this term at IMT Nagpur. This is an attempt to learn from diverse fields and innovations therein. We will cover a lot of ground in two months, ranging from Branding to Objectivism, and from World cinema to fashion, war and terrorism. The idea is to try and synthesise what drives innovation and how it affects us in business and in life. A team is assigned a topic, researches and presents it for about an hour, followed by a question hour (or half an hour).

Returned from a nice but short (aren't they all?) vacation at a beach resort in Shrivardhan in the Konkan area of Raigad district. This is a really unspoilt place, with basic amenities, in the lap of nature. You eat, drink, swim, play and generally relax. Food is typically custom-made, and seafood is a specialty. A big group of around 20 family members were there and we intend doing this once a year. Cheers to that!