Tuesday, December 20, 2011

3 Idiots- Life’s Learning

3 Idiots- Life’s Learning

When was it last time that anyone tried to come out with a list of useful lessons from a Hindi movie? I certainly cannot remember and it not surprising considering the cheap entertainment formula Hindi films follows.
But Aamir Khan is different and his movies are worth waiting for. I certainly do so and try to watch his movies on the first day. His choice of subject and production team has been impeccable in the last decade or so.
3 idiots turned out to be better than all my expectations and I cannot stop myself praising it. Here is an article which has very beautifully listed all the lessons that one can take from this great movie. Here is the list with my comments. Think over each point and you will not regret reading it.

1. Never try to be successful, pursue excellence• Success is the bye product & the result
• Excellence always creates Success & it is a process of continual improvement
• Never run after success
• Let it happen automatically in life

How true! It is well said that common sense is not that common otherwise why do we keep pursuing success knowing fully well that there are no shortcuts to success.

2. Freedom to Life - Life is beautiful• Don’t die before the actual death
• Live every moment to the fullest as if today is the last day
• Life is gifted to humankind to live
• Live & Live happily towards happiness
This is so difficult to imbibe but I am sure that those who do so are happier.

3. Passion leads to Excellence
• When your hobby becomes your profession , the passion becomes your profession
• You will be able to lead up to excellence in life
• Satisfaction, Joy, Pleasure & love will be the outcome of the passion
• Following your passion for years , you will surely become somebody one day

4. Learning is very simple-Never stop• Be humble
• Teachers do fail Learners never fail
• Learning is never complicate or difficult Learning is always possible whatever rule you apply
This is not much different from what another favourite of mine Sachin Tendulkar has quoted very often. He believes in “whatever level you reach getting better never stops”.

5. Pressure at head
• Current education system is developing pressure on students head
• University intelligence is useful & making some impact in the life but it cannot be at the cost of life

6. Life is management of emotions & not optimization of intelligence• Memory and regular study have definite value and it always helps you in leading a life.
• You are able to survive even if you can make some mark in the path of the life.
• With artificial intelligence, you can survive & win but you cannot prove yourself genius.
• Therefore, in this process genius dies in you

7. Necessity is mother of invention
• Necessity creates pressure and forces you to invent something or to make it happen or to use your potential
• Aamir Khan in this film, 3 idiots, is able to prove in the film by using vacuum pump at the last moment.

8. Simplicity in life• Life is need base never want base. Desires have no ends.• Simplicity is way of life and Indian culture highly stresses on simple living and high thinking, and this is the way of life: ‘Legs down to earth and eyes looking beyond the sky’ Money, material comfort and happiness are not related. The richest man is not the happiest man for sure and all the so called middle class also get a fair share of happy moments in their life.

9. Industrial Leadership• Dean of the institute in 3 idiots is showing very typical leadership. He has his own principles values and ideology and he leads the whole institute accordingly.
• This is an example of current institutional leadership. In the present scenario, most of the institutes are fixed in a block or Squarish thinking

10. Love is time & space free• Trust your partner
• Love is not time bound and space bound
• It is very well demonstrated in this movie same love was demonstrated by Krishna and Meera.
• Love is border free, time free, unconditional and space free.

11. Importance of words in communication• If communication dies, everything dies.
• Each word has impact and value in communication.
• One word if used wrongly or emphasized wrongly or paused at a wrong place in communication what effect it creates and how is it affected is demonstrated very well in this movie.
This is so true and this why people with the best of communication skills are at the helm everywhere.

12. Mediocrity is penalized• Middle class family or average talent or average institute is going to suffer and has to pay maximum price in the life if they do not upgrade their living standards.
• To be born poor or as an average person is not a crime but to die as an average person with middle class talent is miserable and if you are unable to optimize your potentiality and die with unused potentiality then that is your shameful truth.
• One should not die as a mediocre He/she has to bring out genius inside him/her and has to use his/her potentiality to the optimum level
The summary of this big lecture is “Seek excellence & Success will follow”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Does God Exist - An interesting conversation between a Science Student and a teacher

# POST 0040

An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem
science has with God -The Almighty.

He asks one of his new students to stand and.....

Prof: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.

Prof: Is God good?
Student: Sure.

Prof: Is God all-powerful?
Student: Yes.

Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him.
Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How
is this God good then? Hmm? Student is silent.

Prof: You can't answer, can you?
Let's start again, young fellow. Is God good?
Student: Yes.

Prof: Is Satan good?
Student: No.

Prof: Where does Satan come from?
Student: From...God...

Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this
Student: Yes.

Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make
everything. Correct?
Student: Yes.

Prof: So who created evil?
Student does not answer.

Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness?
All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Student: Yes, sir.

Prof: So, who created them?
Student has no answer.

Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe
the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.

Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No, sir.

Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God?
Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.

Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student: Yes.

Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science
says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.

Prof: Yes Faith. And that is the problem science has.

Now the student said can I ask something to you Professor.

Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Prof: Yes.

Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Prof: Yes.

Student: No sir. There isn't. (The lecture theatre becomes very quiet
with this turn of events.)

Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega
heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything
called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we
can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is
only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure
cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the
absence of it. (There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)

Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as
darkness? Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?

Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something.
You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light...
But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called
darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were you would
be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?

Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?

Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there
is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing
the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir,
science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism,
but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death
as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot
exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the
absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that
they evolved from a monkey?

Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary
process, yes, of course, I do.

Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where
the argument is going.)

Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work
and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you
not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

(The class is in uproar.)

Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's
brain? (The class breaks out into laughter.)

Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain,
felt it, touched or smelt it ? No one appears to have done so. So,
according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable
protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect,
sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face

Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir... The link between man & god is FAITH. That
is all that keeps things moving & alive. .

WANT TO KNOW WHO THAT STUDENT WAS? This is a true story, and the student
was none other than

DR. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India.

Emotional Manipulation: The Importance of Being Likeable

# POST 0040
The technique of manipulating through emotional confusion is definitely the most popular one and is pretty easy to do. It basically plays on eliminating logic from the conversation. Logic allows the person to think and the last thing you want your target to do is think because it can block/prevent basic manipulation. What you want to do is steer the conversation to a place where he/she is in an emotional state so their ability of thinking rationally is severely diminished.
A lot of people think that emotional manipulation is all about constantly invoking strong emotional states to remove logic from the situation. This is only partly true, you have to choose the right moment to invoke that strong emotional surge! If you constantly switch between strong emotional states it will only confuse your target and actually prevent you from implementing your ideas.
This is where emotional control comes in, most of the time you have to keep your emotions in check, don't react, stay cool and friendly (I call this being the grounded friend). This is harder than you might think as your mind has the constant urge to react to every impulse that enters the brain! The goal is to stay friendly always and forever right up to the point where the manipulation starts, being likeable creates trust and prevents doubt!
But the real power in being the grounded friend all the time lies in how others will see you, they will see a very confident and down-to-earth person who is in total control of his life. This means that you'll almost always have the upper hand in conversations as your confidence outshines theirs... this will work on 60% of all people! It is however very important that you don't get cocky as this will break the illusion!
You might ask what to do with the other 40%? well, 10% of them are the alpha types, high in confidence but a lot of them are slightly less intelligent... which means they are easier to manipulate with logic! The other 30% are the tricky ones, this is where the real power of being always cool/friendly comes in... When you seem grounded all the time then the moments where you actually show strong emotions have an enormous impact! The impact is so big that even the tricky 30% will be fooled into thinking you're for real, this is why you do it, this is why you keep your emotions in check... because when you actually show emotions, people will notice and believe almost anything you say at this point!
Keep in mind that these tips can also be used to recognize situations where you are the one being manipulated!

Monday, December 12, 2011

10 Mistakes to avoid in your First Job !!

# POST 0039

Your first job is what gets you set for a long and fulfilling career ahead. Fresh out of college, eager to race ahead and make it big, you often overlook some small but nevertheless important items. Some mistakes can be costly some not. Here are some of the most grievous mistakes that young Indians make on their first job.

1. Don't run after money

It is easy to get starry eyed with your pay package and dream about all the things you would be able to do with the extra money. No more asking for pocket money from parents, the independence, the freedom. But in this don't forget your long term objectives. The job which pays you the most right now might not be the best thing for you.
So think from a long term perspective. Once you have spent enough years doing one kind of work (not necessarily in the same company), you will be type casted and your next job will be in a similar setting unless you get another degree or start again at the bottom rung. So for your first job don't go after the job which pays you the most today, but think about what suites your skills, capabilities and interests. Go for the job with the maximum learning potential that complements your capabilities and skills and the money will follow.

2. Learn to climb the ladder of success slowly and patiently
In most cases, your first assignment will not be rocket science! You will not be researching the next wonder drug or developing the next smartest smart phone or cracking a huge deal. You will in all probability spend your initial days doing tit bits of routine, low end work. Your desk will be the magnet for all grunt work! This is a big let down for a lot of people. You would have been a topper of your class, but in the corporate world you are still a newbie.
You have to do the rounds, learn the tricks of the trade before you get the cream. A lot of people get disappointed by this and switch to a new job instead of sticking it out. Trust me, your next job will be no different. You can't escape this. You have to go through the grind once. Stick it out for at least one annual cycle if not longer. That is the minimum it takes you to figure out the real deal. By switching too soon, you miss out on the opportunity to get to the real work besides having nothing really worthwhile to show on your CV
3. Dont be Afraid to ask for Help
No matter how much you know and what your background is, there will invariably be instances when you get stuck and don't know how to proceed. There may be things you don't know how to do, where to start even. The biggest mistake new comers make is to keep going at it without asking for help.
Don't be afraid to say 'I don't know' don't be shy of using the two words 'Please help'.
Remember you only have to ask and ye shall receive. Your seniors, team mates, work colleagues will be willing to lend you a helping hand if only you ask. Trust me, you will not be perceived as dumb or stupid. Everyone understands that you may not know everything so ask for help. So don't struggle alone, find mentors, ask for help. 
Moreover, everyone (even your enemies) gets an Ego boost, from helping someone...They feel superior. Let them feel superior.
4. Your Online Profile
In today's increasingly digitized world, it is easy to share every minute detail with your contacts via status updates and tweets. Even though you have not added your boss as a friend, but you don't know who is going to read it. Anything that goes online, stays online (residing in someone's cache or some server's backup) even if you delete it later.
So if you have to rant about your boss, or think you are stuck in a shitty job, refrain from posting it on social networking sites. Your boss may not read it, but your potential employers might or some friend of yours might like or share your update and you never know who it reaches. So be careful of what you share or say on public forums, social networking sites and your own blog.
5. Reach out to people. Don't isolate yourself
The biggest asset you will develop while at work besides the monetary kind is your network. The people you work with, the clients you talk to, the vendors whom you employ are all potential doors to your next job, your next assignment. So while you are fighting it out with your colleague in the next cubicle to get that A or 5 on your appraisal, don't forget to forge good relationships.
Don't be an island.
Network and cultivate not only good working relationships but also genuine friendships. In the rat race, we often forget about this aspect and end up isolating ourselves. So while a little competition is good to heat things up and get you in the flow, don't be too competitive. And don't forget the gatekeepers, the assistant, the office boy, the liftman. They can open more doors for you than you can think.
6. It's easy to miss the point. Don't
While you are too focused on getting your job done, don't miss the big picture. Take time to ask how what you do fits in the grand scheme of things. Don't be too rigid about your job description. If occasionally you have to do work that goes beyond your job description, do it with enthusiasm.
This is your opportunity to show case your other skills and talents to your superiors. This is your chance to get some diversity on your CV, to get some experience that goes beyond your routine work and a good chance to get noticed. At the same time don't go overboard with it. Don't do everything extra that gets thrown your way at the expense of your regular responsibilities. Know where to draw the line.
7. Watch what you say before you end up in a soup                                               Whether you like it or not, office politics is a reality. The extent differs from office to office but its there at all levels. And whether you like to play it or not, you are in it. So failing to understand when you are being taken for a ride and not being able to cover your ass (CYA) when put in a spot for no fault of yours is one mistake you don't want to make.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying you cover up your mistakes. If you make a mistake, own up, take a rap, correct it and get moving but don't be a scapegoat for someone else's mistake. Document your work, have approval emails saved, be careful what you put in writing.
Mind your water cooler conversations, be careful what you say to whom and use your own common sense before taking any grapevine seriously and acting on it. Seen the movie Corporate? Need I say more?
8. Figure out where your interests lie 
It's your first job, you still haven't seen enough, but that shouldn't stop you from planning your career. You may like to wing it, and take things as they come. This will seem a very good strategy now, but 5 or 7 years down the line you may regret it or if you are lucky maybe not. But why leave it to luck alone?
Understand your capabilities, your skills, your strengths and weakness. Figure out where your interests lie and take a call on your dream job. Then work towards it. Not to say that this plan has to be set in stone, it can and will change as you progress but have a broad outline in place. This will help you work towards getting the right kind of experience, building the correct skill sets and most importantly keep you alert to the right kind of opportunities which will get you where you want to be.

9. Not delivering is the worst mistake 

In the workplace, timing is everything. There is no excuse for incompetence. 'Sorry the dog ate my homework' kind of excuses won't work. If you have been given a deadline, take it seriously and get it done well in time. If it means putting in extra hours, do it. Remember that unlike in grad school, a low grade on one assignment matters here.
Don't expect to get a free lunch. If you think the deadline is unrealistic, by all means approach your boss and seek guidance but do it in a professional manner. If you have too much on your plate and can't prioritise, don't be afraid to ask you boss to help you prioritize but not getting your work done in a timely and professional manner is not going to get you far.

10. Seeking Immediate Success
Unless you are very lucky or born with a silver spoon, chances are that you will not instantly become a top shot. There is no shortcut to success and the long cut is often filled with potholes and speed bumps. So be patient and give it time. Give it your best shot but be prepared for failure.
Set your expectations right! Very often, it is the first job which is an eye opener. Fresh out of college, we have high hopes and expectations which is good, by the way, but becomes a dampener when things don't go as we had hoped.  So set your expectations right and be prepared for a few let downs. And if you do become a big success overnight, do remember to be modest and, don't burn bridges. You never know who you will need on your way down.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


#POST 0037


Ever since I saw the old Jalebi ad on Anant Acharya's Facebook wall, I have not stopped thinking about Indian Television and the shows/advertisements/jingles that we used to watch in ’80s and early ’90s. If you are like me, then it is likely that you miss these old times much more and can’t wait to catch a glimpse of these.
(Btw...the two kids above are now known as Shahid Kapoor and Ayesha Takia)

1. Ek Titli Anek Titli - An old song that talks about the strength of unity.

2. Mile Sur Mera Tumhara- 
The objective of the video was to instill a sense of pride and promote unity amongst Indians, highlighting the different linguistic communities and societies that live in India. Created in 1988 by Doordarshan.

3. Humara Bajaj Ad- Buland Bharat ki Buland Tasweer
We hardly get to see such genuine, patriotic ads these days!
4. Jalebbi  (Dhara Oil)  - 
Its hard to decide what is more better, the Jalebbi, the kid or life itself

5. Old Classic Indian Ad for Cadbury - Kya Swaad hai Zindagi mein !!
Cadbury sure still continues to make lovely Ad's...but this one propelled the love for what we called Anniversary Bars

6.Pepsi - Yeh Dil Maange More was coined
SRK, Rani and Kajol fresh after Kuch Kuch Hota hai, and a rather slim cute looking kid (recognise him as Shahis Kapoor)
7. Piyo Wonderful Doodh - Sparkling the White Revolution
 Garmi mein daalo doodh mein Ice...

8. Jungle Book - Chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai
The time when Mowgli was the only cartoon we knew of

9. Doordarshan - Signature Montage
The time before Zee TV, Star Plus became the norm. When "Sorry for the Interruption" was a norm
10. Old Fevicol Ad - Fevicol aise jod lagaye, acche se accha na tod paye
....and u recognise this man now as Rajkumar Hirani
11. Chal meri Luna 

11. Pan Parag - Pan Paraag Pan Masala
The legendary Shammi Kapoor, Ashok Kumar et all

12. Dabur Lal Dant Manjan - Raju tumhare daant to motiyon jaise chamak rahe hai...

13.Bajaj Bulbs - Jab mein chota Baccha tha, badi sharart karta tha...

The Monkey Story - Pictorial Decription

#POST 0036
The Monkey Story - Pictorial Description - courtesy Anuj Daga

Friday, November 25, 2011

How cultures are formed, and why we should learn to question

#POST 0035

There was this cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage there was a set of stairs leading up to a bunch of bananas hung on a string.
Now the monkeys, when they saw banana’s hanging at arm’s length in front of them, tried to run towards it and grab it. However, whenever the monkeys went up the stairs and tried to grabs the banana, chilling ice-cold water was poured on all the other monkeys in the cage.

This happened every time a monkey ran to grab the bananas. Very soon, the monkeys begin to associate touching the banana with being sprayed with ice-cold water on all of them. Thus whenever any of the monkeys tried to go towards the bananas, the others prevented him from trying to get the banana by pulling him back and beating him up.

After some time when one of the monkeys died, he was replaced in the cage with another monkey, who didn’t know anything about the cold water. This new monkey inevitably tried to get the banana, but the other four monkeys attacked him to stop him from doing so. Tired of getting beaten up, he stopped trying to get towards the banana, without bothering to know the real reason.
Sometime later another of the old monkeys died and was replaced with a newcomer; this newcomer also tried to grab the banana. Again all the monkeys including the previous newcomer also gladly took part in beating him in order to prevent him from climbing the stairs to the banana.  Neither the previous new comer knew the reason for beating up, nor the new monkey. It just became a custom to beat any monkey who tried grabbing the bananas.
Again, a third old original monkey was replaced with a new one. The new tries going to the stairs and is attacked as well. 

Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. 

Slowly, all the original old monkeys died and were replaced with new monkeys in this manner
After the cultural prohibition against “going for the banana” had been established the cage owner put away the cold water. He now did not plan to shower the monkeys with cold water to prevent them from grabbing the bananas
But, the cage is now totally filled with monkeys that know nothing about the ice-cold water.
No monkey ever again approaches the bananas. Why Not? Because as far as they know, that’s the way it’s always been around here.  
They will all not try to get the banana and continue to attack any monkey that tries to do so.

And that is how a company’s culture is formed: Acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are initially established in response to important external events but, over time, all that remains are strongly-held notions about what is and what isn’t acceptable behavior. The origins of these beliefs vanish with the departure of the members of the group who were present when the patterns and standards were initially established. In a long-lived organization, there might be no members left who know why a given behavior is considered acceptable or unacceptable. Yet all members of the organization are quick to enforce whatever the cultural standards might be.

It is always necessary in any given circumstance to ask the question “why?” before doing or not doing anything.
Don’t be a monkey. Challenge all assumptions.”