Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tale of two Indias

In order to attend a training program, I visited another facility of my company, which happens to be a building with seven floors. Also it is one of the well planned and truly upto the global standard, somewhat similar to Singapore technology parks. During the break time I opened up the curtains and observing the surrounding areas. This is basically a very well constructed technology park (called as Bagmane Tech Park in C.V.Raman Nagar, Bangalore) and houses about 7000-10000 technology professionals.It was looking really great from the seventh floor -- well designed parking lots with about 1000 cars , clean and green surroundings, regulated traffic etc.(See the picture below).


When I turned another 30 degrees to my right, I got a big shock. Just next to the technology park there is a slum followed by a dumping yard (See pictures below).



The experience was really an eye opener for me as it clearly depicted two Indias. If I can call the first case as the ‘developed India’, what name should I give for the second one? Should I feel happy or sad?

Monday, June 18, 2007

BOOK REVIEW: Give me back my guitar

Author: Potharaju Ravindra

Price: 160 INR

About a year back I read the book ‘Success Vs Joy’ by Geeth Sethi. Two things stand out about this book; its simple language and the overwhelming effect it has on an individual’s thought process. Built along similar lines is the book ‘Give me back my guitar’. In this book author Ravi talks about mind control, inspiration and energy management. The joy of reading and re-reading such books is in the inspiration and support that they provide by telling you just three words: Follow your dream. And just as success vs. joy, give me back my guitar is also blessed with the use of simple and unambiguous language which makes it a pleasure to read.

The first thing about the book that interested me was the title itself -- What is this topic all about? Who is going to give the guitar to whom? But, when I started reading the book I found that the book is all the nursery parables that we have all read and enjoyed being modified to suit the present scenario. Sounds different? read on!

Basically the title is derived from the story The ant and grasshopper ,where the ant works all summer by gathering food and the grasshopper ‘wastes’ time by playing the guitar. When its winter the grasshopper struggles to find food and learns the importance of working hard. But when he tries to work hard like his ant friends, he gets frustrated. This is mainly because the grasshopper really enjoys playing his guitar. Now -- What if the grasshopper gets a chance to do the work he ‘enjoys’ as well as ‘earn’ his food? What about converting the ‘wastage of time’ (as perceived by others) to a revenue generating task? Sounds interesting? In fact this is the crux of the book. It re-iterates the importance of choosing joy compared to success. As a matter of fact the latter is the by-product of the former.

Apart from this, the book talks about five other popular parables with a modern moral- known fable- unknown interpretation. The author urges us to ‘Enjoy, Adopt and Practice’ the ancient Indian wisdom by reading this book. It appears that the intention of the author is not to motivate but to make the reader think on each of the messages conveyed. This is typically recommended for folks who are bored with the grueling corporate life style - those who in their rush do not have time to stop and smell the roses.

As the book is targeted for wide range of readers, the author has written the book in both conversational and message style. I am not sure how it will be taken, as this style may not be liked by everybody. Also there are some stories in the ‘Epilogue’ which it not related to the main topic. On the cosmetic side, the author has given three email IDs for communication which can be reduced to one.

In conclusion, if you want a book to kindle your thought process this is for you. For more details about the book visit: http://givemebackmyguitar.com/

100th blog post

It’s been a year since I started blogging. When I started off, I didn’t have any clue of what blogging is all about and what I am going to write. The initial objective was to share my perspectives on certain topics to my friends circle and get their comments. But after a period of time I started writing in various topics, which helped me to connect with like-minded folks in the blogsphere. Google recognizes my blog pretty well and rated with page rank of two.

Nowadays blogging has become a ‘habit’ and its very much part of my life. I still have a long way to go, but happy to write this 100th blog post.


Friday, June 08, 2007

BOOK REVIEW: A biography of Charlie Chaplin (Tamil)

Author: N.Chokkan

Price: 80 INR

Whenever I see TV advertisements, short comedies or mimicry programs I cannot stop appreciating the creative thinking that goes behind the scenes. Over the years I am able to entertain my friends circle using my amateur imitation shows and I can very well understand the challenge to entertain people. Making others laugh is one of the toughest job and requires very high amount of creativity, timing and constantly coming up with innovative ideas. Added to that, the comedy artist needs to give a peak performance in a very short period of time, failing which will lead to negative impression among the audience. This book talks about one of the all time great comedian who entertained the whole world only with his actions (without words) using his amazing creativity. He is none other than Charlie Chaplin and this book talks about his life. Even though people know him only by comedy, his personal life is one of the standing examples for ‘rags-to-riches’ success stories.

Born in a very poor family, Charlie had no formal education and begged in London’s streets. He spent most of his childhood on the roadside, hardly ate three times a day but finally made a mark in the world history. He made history only by his sheer hard work, determination, hunger for success, commitment towards his profession and never ending passion for providing quality entertainment to the worldwide audience.

Shortly after Charlie’s birth his father deserts the family and the whole family responsibility falls under his mother’s shoulders. She was an amateur stage artist and hardly made a living by performing small roles. But she always used to tell Charlie that one day he will become a great artist and her son is the smartest kid. In spite of all odds, his mother planted sowed seeds of self-confidence in him. During one of the programs, Charlie’s mother gets throat problem on the stage and she was forced out of the stage by the audience. Now in order to save his mother’s skin, the young Charlie appears on the stage and starts entertaining the audiences in an effortless way. This way Charlie’s first stage performance gets on the way and there is no full stop for him after that.

After slowly getting popular among small plays, Charlie joined the ‘Karno’ troop as a theatre artist and slowly becomes popular in London. The urge to perform better forced him to constantly re-think and re-invent his acting. Finally it resulted as the ‘tramp’ character (most of them remember Charlie only because of this character) by which he became world famous. As his plays were more of a mime, it attracted audiences irrespective of the language. Till the end Charlie was very adamant and made only one feature film. After gaining popularity in London, Charlie moves to the United States in order to achieve more in his career. Initially he joined Keystone as a movie artist and slowly moved to Essnay and Edna. Every time he moved to get more autonomy in terms of movie direction and also made sure that his pocket is growing in size. After multiple job hops Charlie understood the pain of working for others (like any other professional) and co-founded his own production firm names ‘United Artists’ along with some of his co-actors. His vision was to provide quality entertainment to his worldwide audiences at any cost and finally lived up to it.

As Charlie comes from a very poor background, he always created characters belonging to downtrodden and labor class. This was mistakenly interpreted by CIA and the ‘communist’ tag was stamped on him. By that time the success of USSR and communalism has already caused huge amount of concern among Americans and Charlie became victim of this suspicion. After giving everything for America and Hollywood he was forced to move out of the country. This made him to move to Switzerland where he spent his final days and died in 1977.

This book is the first attempt to capture Charlie Chaplin story in Tamil and it is well written. The author has written the book in a conversational, story-telling type which makes this book an interesting read. In conclusion Charlie’s life is a standing example for commitment, self-belief, innovation and sheer hard work. Reading his biography is definitely an energy booster.