Thursday, January 31, 2019

Anjali - What Is Bliss?

'What is bliss to you?'

'Umm...what is it to you?'

'I think ...playing with my friends in play time at school, chatting with you before going to sleep,
spending time with Mamma..'

'I think bliss to me water at the right temperature for a bath, water at the right temperature to drink, a whiff of cool air on a hot day..'

What is bliss?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Hyderabad Literary Festival - A Peek

Neeraj messaged me. He was meeting Ananta Parakrama at the HLF. Would I want to join in? I said I would. Vinod messaged me too. So I met him first. Vrinda came so it was good to see her. Had a long chat with Neeraj and Ananta in the food court. Abhinay dropped in. Briefly met Elahe who was launching a book. Also met Sridala while walking out. Praveen from MBA, Srinivas from Osmania Univ Cricket team that went to Calicut, Shashi - Mohan's sister in law, Harika, Ritwik and a couple more youngsters from VNR VJIET. Walked about a bit and headed into a session featuring Shashi Despande.
Shashi Deshpande
She is 81 but could pass off for someone in her 60s. Lots of energy and a simple and honest way of telling her point of view. 'Win an award and people will take you seriously,' she joked. Else people would be constantly butting in - writing was not considered serious work. She writes longhand and then types into the computer. She spoke about her novels, her new book 'Listen to Me', how men in the past would get an autographed copy from her and say it was for their wives or sisters, how a newspaper interviewed her and then came up with a 'grandmother' headline totally taking focus off her writing and making it an elderly grandma story. She is vocal about government inaction on Kalburgi's murder (returned her award and resigned) and speaks against hate politics. She in fact said that while on stage here too.

I went again on Sunday because Anjali, Shobha wanted to go. Shikha joined us. Vinod was there again. Rheeya joined us with a couple of her friends. Neeraj was there too, at the food court, and I was happy to see Jawahar Thomas who I was to meet. We spent a long time at the food court again. Abhinay came. Anjali and Rheeya went for a clay modeling workshop. The weather turned heavenly and very cold.

Left at 5. The Food Court was nice.

Notes of a Dream - The Authorized Biography of A.R. Rahman - Krishna Trilok

I received this book as part of a secret Santa project last Christmas. I was eager to get a lot of information about AR.

Allahrakka Rahman, originally Hindu, born to talented music director Shekhar, picked up music from his father and his many compositions. His father also asked his friends who dropped in to teach his son stuff about music. Rahman's father was tech savvy and used pretty advanced equipment even then. Unfortunately, he succumbed to an illness from which he never recovered and life at home was suddenly uncertain. AR's mother decided for him when push came to shove - music it was. Hiring equipment, composing music himself, a long period when he composed music jingles - Rahman put in his 10000 hours into his music and his equipment at a young age. By the time Roja happened he had a whole bunch of compositions that he had composed along the years. Roja was the turning point and he never looked back since.

His intense concentration is what sets him apart. His tech savviness is another feature I noticed in the super successful - a creative and solution-oriented mind I guess. The sheer body of creations is another. The number of hours he works. The eagerness to experiment. The drive to make it the best and not compromising.

A feeling that deep down that he is only the medium and not taking himself too seriously but taking the art and Him seriously, comes through. Complete humility, never complaining, never angry, respectful - many wonderful attributes of the man who won two Oscars and countless awards in India and abroad. AR lives out of Chennai, Mumbai and LA.

Interestingly he is now producing films - Le Musk, 99 Songs and another one. He is directing Le Musk. He has built YM Studios (in progress) on par with Ramoji in thought, the KM College of Music and Technology and so many more.

A good role model for all creators. Put all your energies into creating if you want to be a creator. Create the best you can even if it takes time, without waiting for public acceptance. As you create more and more, go deeper and deeper you will get better. And all these creations will come in good use.

Good effort by young Krishna Trilok.

Coffee Ani Barach Kahi - Movie

2015. Marathi. Two young people working in an IT company want to take their relationship to the next level but don't know how to. Egged on by their friends and well-wishers they finally do by professing their love for one another. (Wonder what happens when there are no friends and well-wishers to egg them on - dangers of friends)


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Baat Niklegi Toh Phir - The Life and Music of Jagjit Singh - Sathya Saran

Jagjit Singh brings back memories of Arth and Saath Saath to me. I also remember the famous duo of Jagjit and Chitra Singh on the cover of their music cassettes and records. I am also glad I attended a Jagjit Singh show at Hyderabad where he sang all kinds of songs after his main performance was over and regaled the audience.

Born in a normal middle-class family in Punjab with strict Namdhari values, Jagjit Singh was third of eleven siblings, seven of whom survived. His father worked in the state government and was deeply religious. The early singing of the gurbani and his initiation into learning music from Pandit Chaggan Lal first and then Ustad Jamal Khan prepared young Jagjit Singh. He was a keen student, enjoyed music more than anything else and would deeply immerse himself in music and instruments. His talent shone and he won several awards early on. Most of his education also seems to have been based on his singing talent - he had a Principal who nurtured this talent.

An invitation by character actor Om Prakash to visit Bombay and try his luck changed things a bit. After the first visit which was not fruitful Jagjit came again to Bombay and this time made a mark. He also met Chitra who was then married (and had one child) to a corporate executive who enjoyed music and had his own recording studio even. Chitra had made several jingles then before her marriage broke up. She was shifted to a smaller house while her ex-husband married his secretary. Jagjit helped Chitra in these years of struggle their house he helped Chitra and they were soon married - Jagjit asked her ex-husband whom he knew as well if he could marry her.

Jagjit stuck to ghazals and they both made albums which soon earned an audience of their own. One album after another, Arth and Saath, their own child Vivek, fame, travel and money followed. It was all one high after another until the untimely death of their son, nineteen year old Vivek, in a road accident in Bandra in 1990. I was surprised to know that Sairaj Bahutule, the cricketer was one of the other two passengers in the car. That changed their lives - Chitra stopped singing completely, Jagjit found it difficult to come to terms. Chitra's daughter Monica, a famous model then, was the one who tried to bring some sanity into their lives through spiritualism. Monica herself would commit suicide later when she was forty-nine battling depression after two marriages.

Jagjit Singh's humility, simplicity, intelligence and eagerness to learn and master his craft come across clearly. His comfort and mastery with technology, his desire to create his own path by using technology in ghazals, having English names for their albums, his brilliance at writing, arranging, composing, singing are well known. But it's his humility - in making tea, in ironing clothes, in finding autos even at the height of his success, his generosity to people who reached out to him for help, his conviction in himself and his art, all stand out.

The book took me down memory lane. It reminded me of the cassettes I have - of Jagjit Singh's ghazals and the other one which was the combination of 'Arth' and 'Saath Saath'. Despite not knowing the meaning of those words or emotions somehow the music touched me. My all-time favorite was and remains 'Jhuki Jhuki si nazar' which is a song I learned to sing a bit.

The book is well written and Sathya's effort in writing it shows in the easy flow and well organised and structured book. Lots of pictures. It's a collector's item for all Jagjit Singh fans.

Premachi Goshta - Movie

A 2013 Marathi movie about two couples who are on the verge of divorce. From these two damaged pairs forms one pair - Atul Kulkarni and Sagarika Ghatge. Told through a story that he is writing for a film, it has some interesting situations when the two writers - Atul Kulkarni and Sagarika fight over how the story should end, while his ex-wife to be who is to play the part listens and makes up her mind.

Anjali - And the Dam Broke!

The school has its academic fair coming up. Anjali's class had 'Save the environment' as a theme. She and Brahmani decided on the model of a dam. Thermocol was bought, dams researched and a dam was built.
Version 1 - No Gates

The model needed some more changes like gates and other stuff and the two used toothpicks and other material to make their dam with gates. Some help was sought from Vasu who builds actual gates for real dams.
Version 2 - With gates

The dam was deposited at the school to be kept in readiness for the show. Barely half an hour after she got home there was a call from the school. While shifting the dam it fell and broke. They tried to fix it but it was not working. Anjali kept her cool and when I walked in asked me if we could go to school and get the dam.

The dam was shattered to pieces. It was a pile. Her face was stoic as she walked out with the pile. The Vice principal Radhika offered to help. The teacher told her not to worry and take it to heart.

The most interesting part in this whole episode was to do with S, the girl who was moving the dam when it fell. S was very brave - she instantly owned up, apologized, wrote a sweet apology message and actually said she would build it back for them. Anjali and Brahmani were just as sweet and wrote back saying she should not worry and not feel bad and they could fix it. That was a nice exchange and I loved the ease with which they moved on. Good for you S for owning up an offering to build. It takes rare courage and integrity. And good for you Anjali and Brahmani for not once complaining and getting on with the job. Not one word, or even a sign of a complaint. They knew it was an accident and that was it. I don't see too many adults - starting with me - doing that. Stuff to learn from both parties.

Anjali and Brahmani got together again because they had to rebuild their dam. A few hours of work and it was in place. More colorful and according to them more sturdy. 'We did all kinds of tests,' said Anjali. 'The drop test, the hang test. It won't break now.'
New dam - more colorful and stronger
The next day we shifted the dam to the school.

Yesterday we went to the Academic Fair. It was really nice. They had little stalls and every child prepared on some subject and bombarded us with questions and quizzes. There was so much to learn. And they were so encouraging - the little girl who first quizzed me on some Telugu proverbs gave me a star even after I got many things wrong. Anjali's class had model of a magnetic levitating train (Sahith and Sripad), eco friendly 'green' homes (Mansi and Divya), dams (Anjali and Brahmani), producing electricity from lemons (Yeswantt and Rishab), a quiz on renewable and non-renewable energy (Jashmitha and Apoorva), Hasini and Manha (conserving natural resources), Saketh and Keerthan (carbon footprint and hydroelectric project), Kartikeya (Ways to save environment, Ooho), Shivani (puppet show on saving environment).
Presenting their dam and various types of dams
They all performed a dance on the popular ban plastic song 'Tik tik tik' which was very nice. Then there was a short skit on the future of the world if we continue to misuse our resources. Scary.

Shobhs and I then went to watch the seventh class children. They had some wonderful stalls about the cosmos - archeoastronomy, blackholes, telescopes. The clarity and conviction behind the team that explained the concept of black holes and singularity was exceptional. Anjali had told me to listen to them because she did not understand it fully.

I had to tear myself away at 11 but seriously, this is the kind of stuff you could stay

Friday, January 25, 2019

I am a Survivor- Dr. Vijay Anand Reddy

I bought this book more than a year ago perhaps thinking it might help a friend of mine who was dealing with cancer. I flipped through a few pages and somehow didn't connect to it and kept it away. Now after all this time I decided to flip through a few pages and ended up reading the entire book.

Dr. Vijay Anand Reddy is a world-renowned oncologist and the Director of the Apollo Cancer Institute, Hyderabad. He has also started the CURE Foundation to create awareness on cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation.

Apart from the celebrity endorsements from Yuvraj Singh, Manisha Koirala, Gautami and others, we noticed that the name of our friend Ajanta Sircar who survived cancer and was treated by Dr. Reddy featured on the back cover. On page 292 I also found a patient mentioning my friend Dr. Prabhu Dheer, a fabulous person and a wonderful ortho surgeon.

The book has 108 stories of cancer survivors who went through the ordeal of suddenly finding a symptom, hoping its nothing serious, getting a check-up done, finding it hard to deal with the C word and then slowly making peace with it. Dr. Reddy seems to have been a great help with his positive outlook and his clear instructions to his patients to 'decide' to live, to follow medical advise, hydrate, eat well, stop smoking, go to work - just get back to life. Their accounts sound so happy and optimistic.

Right up front D. Reddy gives us the seven warning signs of cancer - CAUTION - C for Change in bowel or bladder habits, A for A sore that does not heal, U for Unusual bleeding or discharge, T for Thickening or lump in the breast, testicles or elsewhere, I for Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing, O for Obvious change in size, color, shape or thickness of a wart or mole, or mouth sore and N for Nagging cough and hoarseness.

108 stories of breast, ovarian, throat, larynx, colon, tonsil, tongue, eye, nose, vocal chords, throat,  and all sorts of cancers. All cured of the disease and even more so, the fear. And I liked the fact that most of them look at their reviews as something like going back to meet old friends in the hospital. It does appear that Dr. Reddy has created a fine culture in his workspace. Couple of incidents of people who found courage after they saw some four-year-old kids going for their radiation and stuff like that.

It is hard but I guess what Dr. Reddy has managed to convey is that cancer is not the end. It is curable. Decide. Stay strong, Live life. Don't indulge in self-pity. Indulge yourself instead. Get family support. And you will be able to live a long and happy life.

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

I saw the movie. Then Komal asked me if I had read the book. So I decided to read the book. Augustus and Hazel, seventeen, both cancer patients with serious afflictions meet at a Cancer Kid Support group and fall in love. How they cope with life and death and love is the rest of the story.

The tone is irreverent. The boy seems fully devoted to her. She loves him completely. They are both heading to an early death it appears despite temporary reprieves. Augustus gives Hazel a book to read titled 'The Imperial Affliction' written by a writer named Van Houten who lives in Amsterdam. It's a story about a cancer-afflicted child and the two like it enough to plan a trip to Amsterdam to meet the writer who moved them so much. Augustus uses up a wish to get Hazel to realise her dream and they go. Van Houten, they find is unbearably uncouth. They return after spending a wonderful time by themselves in Amsterdam which includes making love and visiting the Anne Frank House.. Gus reveals his disease is fully advanced. Before his dies Hazel, another friend called Isaac, and Augustus arrange a pre-funeral service for Gus. Van Houten comes to attend the funeral. Turns out he wrote about his own daughter. Hazel finds that Augustus wrote to Van Houten - But the message was for her. A love letter.

It's the same as the movie. Hazel does not die as the book ends.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Anjali - I Rang the Bell

Anjali's school went for an overnight excursion to Deccan Trails, an adventure camp near Vikarabad. She had a good time and had lots of stories to tell when she got back. One of her highlights was that she did the rock climbing challenge and was one of the seven girls who went all the way to the top and rang the bell. 'Only three boys rang the bell,' she said. She has all the makings of a feminist.
Long climb up
So she did a great job with Burmah bridge and some other activity and the Activity Sir took notice of her. 'I will see that you will ring the bell in rock climbing,' he told her. 'Come to my side.' But Anita aunty asked her to go to the other side. The Activity Sir was miffed and said 'Po,Po' (go, go). Anyway her attempt on the other side did not work and she came back disappointed. So did Mansi and they both sat watching.
The bell
Then they saw another girl trying a second time. They had thought that they were to get only one chance. So they went to the Activity Sir and asked if they could try again. Yes of course. 'This time I will make sure you will do it,' he told her.
I did it!
This time she did. 'I am short and can't reach the bell, so I had to let go of the rope and leap at the bell to ring it. Then I was hanging in the air with the harness and they all cheered me. It was such a nice feeling to ring the bell.'

Hmm. Good for you that you tried again. I like the way you are going - without giving up at first try or first failure. End on a high.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Anjali - One More Game of Chess

So we decided to play a game of chess after dinner last night. I asked her before we sat down 'will you get upset if you lose?'. She does not take losing easily. She laughed and said I lost so many games to you, why will I feel bad. I told her that I know it hurts to lose and I feel bad when I lose too. Anyway we started playing.

She had got better at the game and was more watchful and making less mistakes than she did earlier. But I won the first game. The pain was evident even if it was fleeting on her face. Another game? she asked. I know it happens in chess - we want to play another game to get back. One can empathise with Yudhishtra.

Ok, I said. We played and she lost again. Again that fleeting pain across her face. Again, she asked. Ok, I said. We played and she lost again. This time the pain was less on her face. It was time for bed almost.

'Again?' she asked. Sure, let's play. This time I got an early advantage and decimated her ruthlessly. It was over very quick. My reaction normally would be to give up at this stage and mope over the result - something which I did many times in my life and still continue to do. But Anjali was not me and I hoped she did not pick that from me.

Another one? Ok, I said. Once again she lost. Now, it was getting a bit too late and she had every reason to give up and go back feeling lousy. But she pushed her luck despite calls from her mother to go to bed. This game she was far more involved than ever before, spotting my causal mistakes quicker, making careful moves so she did not lose any powers, and within minutes I had lost my minister, rook, bishops, knights and was cornered.


It ended on a high for her. Something which I realised was important. Can't end a session in the pits. 'I lost three games to Nanna but I beat him finally,' she told Shobhs. I am so glad you did. It's an attitude that will fetch you good returns - you only lose when you quit.

Wind / Pinball (Two novels) - Murakami

I have read six or seven Murakami's. The experience is pretty much like life or those parts of it that don't touch you. It's nice while it lasts and seems to promise something as it is happening and in the future but by the end of it you don't know what actually happened. To me, the best thing about him is the way he keeps the reader going despite having no clue or no reason to because after some time you realise he is on his own trip. Suffice to say that I remember nothing of any of the books I have read - a scene here or there. A feeling.

'Wind' and 'Pinball' are two early novels. They are about the same person growing out of college, his life filled with western music, cold beer, girls, books, cigarettes.

'Wind' is about a time when the boy is in college. He helped a girl with nine fingers who passed out in a bar, taken to her home and stayed with her to see if she was ok. The girl is suspicious about what he did to her when she passed out. He also has a friend called Rat who is very rich, hangs out at Js bar, and does nothing much else. The narrator pursues his nine-fingered girl who works in a record store and also thinks of the three major affairs he had.

'Pinball' is about the same person who has now moved to Tokyo to set up a translation agency. He has taken in two girls, identical twins, and he has no idea where they come from or what they do except that the girls make great coffee and perhaps are great in bed. The narrator has found a great love for a pinball machine in J's bar and seems to have a secret love affair with it. His model is missing and he tracks it down to a warehouse and has a conversation with it. Take care says the pinball machine and he returns home to find the twins packed up to go.

Why do I read this guy still? There is something he is saying that I don't understand - I think. I am sure a lot of people do of course. There is another big book of his lying in my shelf and I know I will read it. That's the problem with Murakami. You can't ignore him.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Sunday Column - Cot on the Couch

Sunday Column in the Sunday HANS

Happy 70th Birthday Brother Joseph!

It was Brother Joseph's 70th birthday and Joseph Fernandes and Joel Wilson from All Saints High School hosted a small get together dinner at Joseph's house in Habsiguda. I was glad to be in attendance and spend time with our favorite teacher, our 'cricket Brother' who taught us so much.
Joseph Fernandes, Brother Joseph, me and Joel
I asked Brother Joseph about some of the things he recollects from his years as a teacher. He smiled and said he could share a few incidents.

The first was when he was Principal of the school. A parent had come with his child and something in that interaction fuelled a flareup. Angry words were exchanged and both parties shouted at each other. The parent left. After he left Brother Joseph realised that he should not have behaved like that. He wrote a note to the parent, apologising for his behavior.  The next day the parent, a bank employee, came to school with sweets and fruits, and in an emotional tone told Brother Joseph how he showed that note to everyone in his office and how much it impacted him to know the kind of a person his child's Principal was. Brother Joseph says he remembers that incident clearly.

The second was when he was Principal of a school in Gannavaram. There was a leper colony closeby and the lepers had to go to a well and draw water for their needs every day. Considering their state it is not easy and a lot of hard work. Brother Joseph asked the children if they should do something by contributing some money. The children contributed money and they had an overhead tank installed with taps near each house so they get running water. When the leper colony administrator said that he could have their name written on the tank, the students decided that it was better they did not take credit. It was enough that the job was done.

Another incident was when a particular section was notorious for bad results - 8D or something. As Principal Brother Joseph decided to have an honest chat with the boys. 'Do you want to pass?' he asked. 'If so, I will organise special coaching for you.' The boys agreed. Brother Joseph had classes for the boys in the morning before school and after school in the evening going up to 11 pm. The boys stayed in the school for that month. Twenty of the forty boys passed and Brother Joseph says that when some of those boys meet him, they still remember how that helped them.

In another incident, Brother Joseph says he used to see an old couple begging near the church. He would always give them something when he saw them. One day he found that the old lady was unwell and had not been coming to beg. He went in search of her and found her in a bad state. She was crying perhaps and he asked her gently 'Are you afraid of dying?' She looked at him and said in Telugu 'Dora, nuvvu unnappudu nakeme bhayam?' (Dora, when you are there what fear do I have?). Brother Joseph was very touched when she said these words. When he left she was peaceful. She died the next day.

Another student wrote a two-page poem to Brother he said. Brother Joseph does not remember who the boy was but he has preserved the poem. 'Sometimes I feel like putting it on facebook and asking who has written such a beautiful poem to me. Please identify the poem and get in touch with me.' I asked Brother Joseph to share the poem. I will share it here if he does.

There were so many more stories - of a girl who fell in love and had no one to tell at home and was in trouble. Brother Joseph counselled her and she wrote a long letter to him thanking him for his support. Or when a bright student Ravi Shankar, a prominent businessman now, always remembers coming with some fever or headache to Brother and taking some medicine and feeling better.

A word here, an act there, Brother Joseph went about giving relief and solace to so many confused, angry, scared and frustrated children, one act of love at a time. And there are so many more stories to hear from Brother Joseph which I will record as I hear them.

Happy 70th Brother. What can I say? Thank you for everything. And Joseph, Padma and Mili, thanks for your wonderful hospitality.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Leadership Training Program - Infiniti TechLabs

Infiniti TechLabs is doing is absolutely right. They decided on a team-bonding plus outdoor activity combined with training first and we did a cricket-based 'Win by Design' first on December 25, 2018. We followed that with a 'Visioning and Culture Setting Program' for the leadership team where the entire leadership team got together and visioned their 'Why, What and How - Purpose, Goals and Values'. Yesterday we got together for a leadership training program on leadership principles, building teams, performance management and people management. The program was conducted yesterday.

The participants were Gautami, Ajay, Suresh, Suresh Narayanan, Rajneesh, Inder, Lavish, Neelima, Purnima, Murali, Raghu, Santosh, Ramesh. We started with the Knowledge or Learning prayer - to be able to say 'I don't know' and to quickly learn that as soon as we can by asking for help or seeking guidance from those who know.
The Infinians!
Principle and Practice 1 - Double your enthusiasm 
The first part of the program was about the importance of energy. Through and exercise and a story we discovered that enthusiasm is a trait within us that we need to constantly work at until it becomes second nature. High energy attracts people and as a leader one needs that enthusiasm. Most importantly, as Frank Betteger says, 'If you double your enthusiasm, you can double your income and happiness.'

Principle and Practice 2 - Evolution of leaders
Leaders evolve from
1) personal leadership (being an expert at own role and outperforming others)
2) completing one's work and then helping others in team to perform better for team benefit
3) putting up hand for higher responsibility when team needs
4) leading a team effectively and delivering better than average results
5) growing leaders in team and making oneself redundant so succession is easy
10x Game
Principle and Practice 3 - Leadership is about showing the way and influencing others to follow
We watched the TED talk of Derek Sivers "How to start a movement' and understood the importance of other team members in creating a movement
Leadership is about influencing as many followers as one can. Key - if you lead a follower you get one follower but if you lead a leader, you get the leader and his followers to follow you.

Exercise - We did an exercise where two teams competed on gaining the advantage in an opportunity of manufacturing and delivering paper rockets. Some learnings were - organisation of resources, everyone pitching in, putting right people in right jobs (squares in squares)

Principle and Practice 4 - Leadership Blackbox
The leadership black box consists of Why, What, How and Who.
Why is the Purpose
What are the goals to be achieved
How is the process - values and processes
Who is about people concerned

A leader who knows his why, what, how and who is in a good position.
Exercise: All team leads can ask these questions - why does my team exist or what is the purpose of my team, what are the goals that are possible for my team to achieve - committed goals and aspirational goals, how can we achieve them - what values do we practice and recognise and what processes can we adopt to make 10x change and who are the people involved and how do I get their best work.
Some suggestions
Principle and Practice 4 - 3 As
To make genuine connections with people and to be in a position to influence them, practice these three As
1) Acknowledge people - Greet and meet people everyday with enthusiasm, say hello, look into their eyes, shake hands, ask about their life, families, treat them like they exist - with everyone
2) Appreciate - Find every opportunity to appreciate people. The principle is this - when you focus on what they are doing right and appreciate, that behavior will grow.
3) Ask for help - Asking for help is a great quality in a leader. It not only allows people to feel useful, it helps forge bonds. A leader has to constantly ask for help from so many sources - so get comfortable with that.
Gautami, Ajay and me
Principle and Practice 5 - Learning Mindset
Of the two mindsets Growth and Fixed mindset, develop the learning mindset as a culture. The only desire is to learn, to seek higher challenges, to see effort as the path to mastery, to not be afraid of failure, to play with higher leagues, to seek feedback, to ask for help, to persist in the face of setbacks, to get inspired by and learn lessons from others success.

While on the learning mindset it is also the best approach to be a secure leader - one who is not afraid to be the one who knows the least in his team, one who has no fear of growing others in the team. The learning mindset is a great way to keep the ego in control - you are always receiving, not giving.

Principle and Practice 6 - OKRs
We looked at John Doerr's OKRs and tried to set organisational and team-wise OKRs as a first cut in 15 minutes.
The principles guiding OKRs
Set 5-6 broad, directional objectives that are 10x in nature over a time period (1 year). If you achieve 70% of the target at full stretch you have achieved your target -they should be that big. If you achieve 100%, it is an easy target. You can first set the objectives and then finetune with the consultation of the manager.
Ideally for the organisation OKRs flow top down. The company OKRs are set and then it cascades down per team- and always per individual. OKRs are for individuals not teams.
For each objective set 3-4 Key Results which are specific, measurable, time-bound. Key results are not actions, should contain numbers. By achieving all three key results, the objective is achieved.

Exercise- We played a ball game where we proved how 10x is possible by
getting all inputs from team members, deciding the objective first and then finding the ways to make it happen, that we cannot achieve 10x by working in the same process, we need to radically change the process

Principle and Practice 7 - Leadership Process
The process for any leader to know

  • Have a vision - purpose
  • Set goals (OKRs will help)
  • Clearly set roles (write them down as in One Minute Manager clearly setting expectations without ambiguity)
  • Provide inputs (help people perform by providing training, support, mentoring, coaching)
  • Monitor performance (without interfering, monitor performance)
  • Feedback (provide feedback to improve performance)
  • Achieve goal

Raghu, Lavish and Ramesh

Principle and Practice 8 - People Management tools
3As - Practice the 3As vigorously
Making connections with people - making eye contact, touching them, using their name often, sk questions about them, being vulnerable

Principle and Practice 9 - Feedback Management
All progress in the group, including working towards a learning culture, are driven by feedback management. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. If practiced diligently, this could be the biggest driver of growth and innovation.

It works on the A, B, C principle - Activator (goal), Behavior and Consequence (feedback)
When people have no confidence give only positive feedback. Praise all progress however small. They will try to repeat the behavior when praised. When they do not perform, do not say anything. Appreciation is addictive.
When they reach a level of confidence and commit a mistake, give them a reprimand as feedback so the error is not repeated.

Feedback principles
Do it immediately after the act
Tell person why feedback is necessary (for improvement)
Tell them what they did right/ wrong
Tell them the impact of their action
Tell them how you feel
Integrate the feedback by shaking hands
When giving a reprimand always isolate the action and never make it about the person. When it ends the person must feel that he is not rejected as a person, but that the act was noticed and he must correct it.

Role play was performed.

Principle and Practice 10 - Conflict Management
When there is a conflict it means two people have different points of view. The more each person hardens his point of view the more the other will feel threatened and wronged and it ends in a deadlock. As a leader, you must first make the other person feel secure. Always include, even if there
are differences. Eliminate personal biases.

  • If conflict is rising, break the momentum, energy by distracting or taking a break
  • Re-engage
  • This time let go of your point of view and let the other person talk
  • When the person talks without feeling threatened, listen carefully and non judgmentally
  • In this secure atmosphere, gently look for a middle solution
  • In whichever scenario, do not try to foist your decisions on others, listen, allow for a fruitful discussion with all parties in an honest manner and then bring the group wisdom out

Some feedback
It was nice, informative, life-changing for the Infiniti team.
Amazing mentorship. Amazing learning.
The same kind of sessions are required for all team members apart from leaders.
Very encouraging and motivating which will help in future growth of organisation and individual
Understood how leadership thinking should be and how leaders are made with their vision and effort 
Session on conflict management was very good. I learned new people management skills.
Can be put into practice immediately.
Asking for help, energy, enthusiasm are useful in life.
A wonderful program to bring all seniors together as part of a common objective and share a common vision.
Provoked deeper inner thought with a slow and steady mentoring methodology was the core of this program. Structuring is nice. The journey from fun to win seems exciting and I think this will help grow the belief in ourselves. 
Your program has greatly helped in driving and executing the transition than any of us thought of.

A lot was achieved in a day. Thanks Infiniti Tech Labs. Thanks Shobhs for helping.

The 15:17 to Paris - Movie

Based on real-life story of the Thalys train incident (2015) when a terrorist aboard a train with 500 passengers was overpowered by three childhood friends from the US on vacation, two from military service and one from college. All three, Anthony Sandler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone were recognised for their courage and bravery. Stone, who charged the armed terrorist barehanded and unarmed and disarmed him was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government. They acted in the movie as themselves - directed by Clint Eastwood.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Victory - Poem by Herbert Kauffman

A nice poem by Herbert Kauffman titled Victory that Frank urges us to read

- Herbert Kauffman

You are the man who used to boast
That you'd achieve the uttermost
Some day

You merely wished a show
To demonstrate how much you know
And prove the distance you can go

Another year we've just passed through
What new ideas came to you?
How many big things did you do?

Time...left twelve fresh months in your care
How many of them did you share
With opportunity and dare
Again where you so often missed?

We do not find you on the list of Makers Good
Explain the fact!
Ah no, twas not the chance you lacked!
As usual you failed to act!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

An Early Morning Trip to Shadaab

It's been a while since Vasu and I planned on the early morning drive to Shadaab in the Old city and taste the paya and stuff. Much has been said about it in the circles and we decided that enough was enough and went there this morning. We met at Banjara Hills at 545 and were off. The roads were empty enough and so was Shadaab.

Apparently the outside section is not for the serious and heavy eaters. The moment we told them of our intentions and preferred food they asked us to move inside, a cosier place. There the Marathi speaking waiters came and took the order and it was clear that we did not really know what to order. He used his own discretion and came back with paya, sheermal roti and kheema and sabzi gurda. These were the suggested items (along with mutton biryani - at 6 in the morning?)
Vasu - obviosuly enjoying the paya
Anyway this was a first time for me with sheermal which is a solid piece of bread and good to keep you going for days, and the paya, which was a nice and spicy gravy. I took a bite of the kheema and the sabzi and never felt so full in my life. I polished off some hot tea after that.
Another menu
We were the first paya and sheermal eaters inside and we were soon joined by the regulars. One young lad walked in alone, sat with all the confidence of a king, or rather someone who has put away thousands of payas in his life and with great care and precision said - ek paya. There was a pause and hen he said - ek sheermal. Pause, And then, sabzi gurda. There was some gravitas to the entire situation. Aha, that's how it ought to be done.

But there are other ways too. A bunch of four fellows came in straight from the bed. 'Paya' they yelled. When the waiter said he only has sheermal they educated him on the order in which food must be made. Like for instance if sabzi gurda was ready at 6, then tandoori roti must be ready too at 6 and not 8 as the waiter said. The waiter bored them with some technicalities and they finally lost track of the story. V abrasive fellows. Somehow they settled down and we left  before more disharmony was practiced.

One item knocked off the list. This early morning Shadaab visit.

Anjali - A Lovely Hand-Made Wallet

Anjali was busy most of the day making something - some art and craft stuff. Then she came and showed me a paper wallet. 'Will you use it?' she asked. Of course, I said. We tried to fit in my cards but it was a bit too small. So she went back to the drawing board with one card for size.\
This time it fit. Now I have my own paper wallet - made by hand with a lot of love. I put all my money and cards in that.
Easy to open!
Thank you Anjali. 

Those Winter Sundays - Robert Hayden

Chitra Viraraghavan sent me this.
Pic courtesy Satish Nargundkar

Those Winter Sundays 
- Robert Hayden, 1913-1980

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well,
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

Hungry Stones and Other Stories - Rabindranath Tagore

Sagar gifted me four books - Tagore's collection - four Omnibus collections. The first one is the most daunting, one thousand pages in all. It has 'Gora' a 500-page novel, Gitanjali, Boyhood Days, Creative Unity and The collection of short stories.

I began with the collection of short stories. I had read a few before - 'Hungry Stones', a story of a haunted palace and 'Cabuliwallah', which is the best of Tagore's short stories to me. How Mini forgets the relationships she shared with Cabuliwallah and grows up and reminds the Cabuliwallah that he too must go and start the relationship anew with his own daughter in Afghanistan. Poignant in the way it's written and told.

Other stories include 'The Victory' (a story about a court poet who loses out to another because the new poet has more words than him, and in resignation the old poet merely sings, and is kicked out of the court for not having enough words to challenge the new poet - but the Princess crowns him the victor as he is dying from drinking poison), 'Once there was a king', 'The Home-coming' (the mischievous boy who is sent to Calcutta and dies in a delirium dreaming of his mother), 'My Lord, the Baby' (the servant who loses his beloved master's baby and who raises his own as if he was his master's son and gives him back saying that he is your own), 'The Kingdom of Cards', (a satire on how a few new cards change the caste system in a pack of cards thanks to their free will), 'The Devotee' (a woman who escapes the eyes of a fake guru), 'Vision' (the girl who goes blind thanks to her egoistic doctor husband who treats her and how her brother saves her from being relegated to being the second wife), 'The Babus of Nayanjore (the old man who is in dire straits but tries to keep up the pomp of his ancestors and how the narrator tries to fool him but ends up marrying the old man's granddaughter), 'Living or Dead?' (the story of an old woman who is left for dead when still alive, who finally has to prove that she is alive by really dying), 'We Crown Thee King' (an Anglophile young man who marries into a family of patriots and how his wife and sisters-in-law wean him away gently from giving up his self-respect) and 'The Renunciation' (a story of a high caste man who is fooled into marrying a shudra woman and how when he hears the tale of deception and the story behind it, decides to live with her and reject caste even at the cost of being forsaken by his father).

Each one a classic - my way of judging stories is by their stickiness. Do I remember what happened when I glance at the title, at the characters. If I remember the story and can reconstruct it in a line or two after a week, then it works for me. It has connected with me.

Cry, The Beloved Country - Alan Paton

Vinod knows books and authors far better than anyone I do so I asked him to suggest a book a month, actually lend me one a month, because he has one of the best collections of books I have ever seen with anyone. He gave me 21 Principles of Leadership a couple of weeks ago and then this 'Cry, The Beloved Country' by Alan Paton. It was published in 1948 and is considered one of the best novels of our time. Made into movies, twice.

It's set in South Africa and starts off in the small Zulu town of Ndotsheni in Natal far away from Johannesburg. Apartheid is in force and blacks are living in poor conditions. Stephen Kumalo an aging black pastor in the village church receives a letter asking him to come to Johannesburg because his sister Gertrude is unwell. Now Stephen knows nothing about Johannesburg, knows it will cost him a lot of money and trouble but sets out. his sister had left many years ago in search of her husband but more importantly, his own son Absalom has also been lost in Johannesburg. Kumalo goes to Johannesburg, finds his sister living in disrepute and rescues her and his little nephew, tracks his son relentlessly who is now revealed to be a serial offender who has been to a reformatory school (with no good effect). Kumalo has the help of a local pastor, an English priest and another white man. Kumalo meets his brother John who is a politician, trying to make a quick buck while appearing to leverage the black anger, wanting a share in the gold mining profits. It is with John's son that Stephen's son commits his illegal acts.

The death of a white man who is a crusader for black rights by young black men causes an uproar. Soon we know that the killer is none other than Stephen's son who is now in jail. Stephen's son has meanwhile made a girl pregnant and Stephen takes her in too with promise of marriage to his son. Worse, the white man who died, is the son of the white man who controls land in Ndotstheni, Jarvis. The scene where Stephen meets Jarvis is beautifully written and one wonders how so much pain can come on to the paper from a pen. The boy is sentenced to death, Stephen returns home with his daughter in law and unborn grandson, helps his own people find ways to sustain themselves so they do not need to go to Johannesburg and live in shanty town. And he is helped in this noble aim by the white man who lost his only idealistic son, a fan of Abraham Lincoln, to the growing discontent and lack of guidance among the young blacks, characterised by Stephen Kumalo's son.

Powerful writing, full of the wisdom of life, and the kind of stuff that makes you want to write like that - once in your life. Thanks Vinod. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Numaish - The Hyderabad Industrial Exhibition

I haven't been there for about 15 years now. The last time I went was a professional visit - just to see if an advertisement was displayed right. So I decided to give Anjali a taste of the Hyderabad I knew.
A rather crowded entry!
Anjali got a taste of the Hyderabad that is now. The Metro ride was a nice start - we got off at Gandhi Bhavan. But we could sense the press of the crowd right there. From under the station to the road that leads to the exhibition entry the crowd was packed. The road leading to the exhibition was choc-a block. The Sankranthi holidays are good for the traffic, not for visiting the Exhibition. Of course, we also chose to go at 7 in the evening.
A rather crowded walk
The crowd inside was worse. I was feeling suffocated myself and wondered how Anjali must be feeling at her view. I quickly led her off to less crowded spaces but by then she had already lost interest. My prime aim was to eat popcorn (which I ate then) and fried fish (which I wanted to eat them but never did). Popcorn was easy and wasn't too bad. We walked past the Usha showroom and a couple more regulars. Then a huge open area where lots of families spread out sheets on the ground and were picnicking.

Beyond the families, I spotted Lonavla chikki. We did one final attempt at joining the mainstream, felt faint at the crowd, spotted a kebab chap who sold very expensive kebabs at 270 bucks a plate and a shwarma chap who sold me cold shawarma. Of course, he asked me if I wanted it warmed up but since I already had spent a good 20 minutes waiting I decided against. A quick stop at the sugar candy chap and wild horses could not keep us back.
A hurried exit
The loudspeakers played 70s and 80s music of Hindi and Telugu songs - popular hits. Maybe they are inducing nostalgia too. The Kashmir handicrafts chaps, Lucknow, Rajasthan etc were all there with their wares. I saw a couple of stalls with some new products - my Dad would love those and always picked them up. Another memory of Dad was a poster he bought of a lake in Kashmir which he got mounted and we had it on display at home for decades.

My favorite memory - buying a Tears for Fears album 'Songs from the Big Chair' (Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Shout) on a trip with Sanjay. It's still there somewhere.

Anjali's first experience with the Numaish obviously didn't go as well. I doubt she will go back there in a hurry.        

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Shooting Water - Devyani Saltzman

Devyani Saltzman, Deepa Mehta's daughter, worked on the shooting of the movie 'Water' -  third in the 'Fire', 'Earth' series. 'Fire' got a lot of people excited because of the scandal of lesbianism (not our culture) and the culture-protectors finally made sure that a story of ostracised widows in society (to expiate their bad karma!) never makes it through Mehta's vision. The story is set in 1938 but then we can be offended at anything as long as there are headlines and cheap political mileage. The book is Devyani's journey through the shooting of the movie.

Devyani's father and mother divorced early on. Her father has European roots. She came to shoot 'Water', fell in love with Vikram who is working on the movie (but also has a girlfriend) and tries to mend her relationship with her mother.

The story of 'Water' is powerful. A group of fourteen widows are fending for themselves - the youngest is only eight (child marriage). The group is led by a 70-year-old cannabis addict who manages their finances by pimping a young widow. The young widow falls in love with a young Gandhian and attempts to run away only to find that his father is a client of hers. She kills herself. When the old widow tries to pimp the eight-year-old, another widow helps the little girl escape.

The shooting of the movie however never took off from its proposed shoot in Varanasi as mobs of Hindu saviors ensured that the set was burnt and the movie does not get shot. This despite the script getting clearance from the BJP Government - Minister I&B, Arun Jaitley. They met the District Magistrate, even RSS chief Sudarshan to no avail. Shabhana Azmi and Nandita Das shaved off their heads for their roles in the movie but the movie packed up after a day or two. Anurag Kashyap wrote the Hindi screenplay. Rahman gave the music.

After four years the movie is made - shot in Sri Lanka with a new cast. Lisa Ray. John Abraham and Seema Biswas. Devyani does the stills for the film. The making of the movie seems to mark some closure for the mother-daughter.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Family Katta - Movie

Marathi. How a fractured family gets together for their parents 50th anniversary and what happens.

My Way - A. Joseph Antony with Jayanti Jaisimha

This was perhaps my first printed word in a book and I must thank Joseph for thinking that I could add in any way to the biography of our Uncle Jai, M.L. Jaisimha. The book was released in 2005 in a glittering launch where Sunil Gavaskar, Azharuddin. Bishen Bedi, Shivlal Yadav and a host of other cricketers landed up. I read my piece and was thrilled to be part of the book and the launch. Now, ten years later, I picked up the book and got a fresh perspective into the man who shaped how we played our cricket and through that, how we dealt with our lives. "My Way' is, of course, Frank Sinatra's song - Uncle Jai would sing like a professional, dance like one, play cricket, tennis, shuttle badminton, billiards like one, apart from looking like a film hero with a baritone that one cannot forget. And there's more.

Tracing Jai's family history from the days as a family honored by the Kings of Vijayanagara Joseph sets the backdrop. Jaisimha's grandfather, Gangadhara Shastri, moved to Bangalore from Motganahalli to get a job as a railway clerk to bring up his large family of six daughters and two sons, the younger of whom, Laxminarsu, was Jaisimha's father. He was also a sharp young man and grew a huge business out of contracts with the Services. So well established was he that his house 'Laxmi Vihar' was the place where dignitaries such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Rajendra Prasad, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the Maharaja of Mysore etc were visitors. The senior Jaisimha was a wealthy man undoubtedly. He and his wife, Savitri, had four children - Pratap, Usha, Jaisimha and Indu. They lived in a sprawling estate in Marredpally - cars, servants etc.

Jaisimha grew up studying in Mahbub Boys High School in Secunderabad. After school he went to Nizam College for his graduation. There he met Jayanthi, or June, as she was known and they fell in love. Jaisimha was a good looking and charming young man who was the sports captain of the college and June was more academically oriented though she teamed up with Jai in shuttle badminton and some other games. Jai was known to be a ladies man, enjoyed his smoke and his drink and a good time, so there were many who warned Junie against the handsome cricketer. But they courted and married and stayed married.

Their romance, a chapter written by Junie aunty is stuff that movies are made of. How Jai would travel back with her in the bus from Nizam College to Secunderabad, where they would sit holding hands, and then walk all the way home (he would give his motorbike to a friend of his to bring home), how he and his friends rode a scooter and a motorbike all the way to Bombay to meet Junie aunty who was returning after a month-long Bharat darshan trip, the way he would bribe her brothers, sister and others when there was no one at home so they could spend time together, the time she visited him in hospital with her friend Bulan when he was down with jaundice, the way he got jealous when Shankar Melkote would be conducting theatre classes with Junie aunty, the way he would send his pals to threaten any who dared tease Junie aunty - one can straightaway imagine Hyderabad in all its glory then.

Jai's friends were an interesting lot - apart from cricketers like Pataudi, his friends included film maker Shyam Benegal. His cricketing exploits are well known so I will not delve into those except that he represented India with distinction and earned many admirers. His biggest admirer is Sunil Gavaskar who named his son Rohan Jai Vishwa after Rohan Kanhai, Jaisimha and Vishwanath. Pranks and mischief galore - including going up on the stage in Dreamland theatre during the interval of a movie and dancing on stage. Uncle Jai was one hell of character - there can never be anyone like him.

It was wonderful reading the book again. if I can find the mail I sent to Joe with my piece I will try and paste that here. Thanks Joe for the memories.

The Man Who Haunted Himself - Movie

1970. Based on a novel 'The Strange Case of  Mr. Pelham' by Anthony Armstrong. Roger Moore in a role he cherished where he felt he actually acted. Gripping stuff.

Half-Ticket - Movie

Marathi movie. 2016. Two slum kids in Mumbai and their desire to eat pizza in a posh store near their slum. And their friend, philosopher and guide from the railway lines. Watch.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Chanakya's Seven Secrets of Leadership - Radhakrishnan Pillai

Radhakrishnan Pillai is the author of the bestselling book 'Corporate Chanakya' and the Founder Director of the Chankaya Institute of Public Leadership (CPIL). He has since, written several books using Chanakya's principles.

The seven pillars are taken from Chanakya's 'Arthashastra' and embellished with contemporary examples. Specific examples are given from the life of D. Sivanandhan who served as Commissioner of Police, Mumbai and DGP, Maharashtra.

Kautilya's Arthashastra is divided into 15 books, and book 6 defines the seven pillars of the state. The seven pillars are - Swami (the king), Amatya (the minister, advisors, counselors), Janpada (country, citizens), Durg (fort, housing), Kosha (treasury, money), Dand (army, team), Mitra (allies, friends).

1. Swami - King
According to the Arthashastra, the qualities of a king are
1) Intelligent and dynamic (capability to analyse the problem and having the dynamism to implement the plan)
2) Associates with elders (learn from real life experts)
3) Truthful in speech (can understand, face and speak the truth)
4) Does not break promises (deliver what is promised)
5) Grateful (be humble)
6) Desirous of training (learning mindset) and
7) Easily approachable (be available)

  • Boost morale of people
  • Be ready to experiment
  • Have high moral standards, integrity
  • Give resources to people
  • Admit mistakes

2. Amatya - Minister
The qualities of a minister or counselor or associate are
1) Desire to learn (learning mindset)
2) Power of retention (ability to recall what is important in time of need)
3) Thorough understanding (between leader and manager)
4) Intent on truth (ability to take the next step)
5) Ability to lead an army
6) Sweetness of speech (communicate effectively)

  • Be prepared for change, accept new assignments and projects
  • Manage yourself first
  • Set up systems and processes first
  • Know people by name
  • Empower your subordinates to take decisions

3. Janpada - Citizens or customers.
The king's approach to his citizens 1) Happiness of subjects - physical, mental, spiritual 2) democratic attitude of the king 3) self-interest vs subject's interest

The qualities of a janpada
1) Strong position in center and frontiers (not only the centre but also strengthen frontiers)
2) Sustainable in times of distress (provide for calamities)
3) Easy to protect (be like a mother to her children)
4) Providing excellent means of livelihood (ensure everyone has an excellent means of livelihood)
5) Capable of bearing taxes and qualities (impose taxes to the extent of people's capacity to pay)

  • Connect with people
  • Use the power of media
  • Show what you have done
  • Be accessible to everyone
  • Empower citizens through training

4. Durg - Infrastructure
The qualities of a good infrastructure are that it should be
1) aesthetically pleasing (makes workers and visitors happy)
2) beneficial to men (should make workers more productive)

  • Build world-class facilities
  • Build hard and soft infrastructure
  • Take help from others
  • Perpetuate your vision
  • Create landmark projects

5. Kosha - Treasury
The four stages of wealth are 1) wealth identification 2) wealth creation 3) wealth management and 4) wealth distribution

The qualities of a good treasury are
1) Acquired lawfully by ancestors and oneself (if you acquire x try to increase it)
2) Able to withstand calamity (Save -  Insure -Invest these are 3 ways to help withstand any crisis)
3) Can be sustained even when there is no income for a long time (work hard even when there is no income in the short term)

  • Consider multiple sources -  be able to raise money from various sources
  • Goodwill is important
  • Work for others - invest in projects that are financially beneficial to everyone
  • Think long term, financial planning should encompass both creation and maintenance
  • Share your wealth

6. Dand - Team
To create a good team first select the right person and then train the person. To train a person one must keep these in mind 1) training 2) discipline 3) accepting the authority of teachers and 4) teachers must be experts in respective fields

The qualities of an ideal team are
1) Obedient (many opinions but one decision, follow the leader)
2) Not disappointed during marches (keep moving ahead)
3) Able to face challenges
4) Experienced in fighting battles (nothing beats real experience, so get as much experience as you can)
5) Skilled in war and weapons (good weapons are not enough, give adequate training so they can be used to full potential)
6) Has no separate self-interest (All members should be committed to team goal, one rotten apple can spoil the entire basket)

  • Identify people who are honest and result oriented
  • People should go beyond their work
  • Create world-class institutions and training programs
  • Encourage people through events, sports and entertainment
  • Give credit, share success

7. Mitra - Ally
A friend can make or break you.

Qualities of a good ally are
1) alliance from the days of your father/grandfather (family friends whom you have known for three generations)
2) greatness (ally should have qualities you admire, those you wish to possess)
3) constancy (in good and bad)
4) self-control (shuld have self-control)
5) no separate self-interest (thinks win-win)
6) ability to mobilise quickly (will be able to come to your aid immediately)

  • Have a good network of friends
  • Help your allies when they are in need
Sound advise by Chanakya. Nicely put together by Radhakrishnan Pillai. Easy to read.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mrugavani National Park - Chilkur

While heading back from Farmville we stopped at Mrugavani National Park near Chilkur on Anjali's request. All types of deer and an expanse of 850 acres. A safari van that takes you around.
And a deer!

Mom and baby deer!

Mouse deer!
The mouse deer - really small and to me the biggest attraction of the park.

The 850 acre park, greenery, quiet, the deer, the viewpoint with three pairs of young lovers. All in all a nice 45 minutes spent. I would have never seen a Mouse Deer otherwise.