Quotes worth a Million

Archive for September, 2009

Book Review – ‘If Better Is Possible’

This post is a book review that I did for Business World.  It was published in Business World Online edition in Aug 2008 (http://www.businessworld.in/index.php/Books/More-Than-A-Pitch-Report.html).

Businesses and executives these days are in luck. They are getting (almost) free advice on applying knowledge from various streams of life to the corporate environment. Aussie cricket coach John Buchanan’s If Better Is Possible is case in point.

Buchanan offers valuable insight into the Aussie dressing room as he attempts to redefine the role a coach plays and draws analogies between the roles of national team coach and a corporate leader. Filled with many anecdotes from his tenure as a coach with Queensland Bulls and later on with Australian men’s cricket team, Buchanan has shaped his book into a handy guide not just for anyone aspiring to train a team but also for any executive aspiring to be a manager.

With 37 chapters dwelling on his life as a coach Buchanan shares his views on how strategies on the playground can be applied within the boardroom. For instance, Buchanan explains his views on how a coach or manager should regularly challenge the team and take them to where they have never been before. He reiterates the importance of communication, the need to plan, prepare a vision and strategise to ensure success. Buchanan also talks about the importance of having proper systems and processes in place not just to create a winning combination but also to keep the future in mind.

An avid sports fan is not left disappointed, especially if one is looking for some cricket controversies. Buchanan talks about his not-so-comfortable relationship with the Australian leg spinner Shane Warne although he holds the ‘Spin King’ in high esteem for re-inventing the art. Furthermore, Buchanan reminisces about the string of criticism that the team faced from former Aussie greats, the media and Cricket Australia soon after the Ashes defeat in 2005, which made him sit back and ponder about his role as coach.

Known for his unorthodox coaching style, John decided to hang on till the end of the 2007 World cup, helping Australia win their third consecutive title. John continues to serve as an ambassador for Cricket coaches in Australia and as the coach for the Kolkata Knight Riders team in the Indian Premier League. All in all ‘a nice to have book’ in your book-shelf.


RDB Aka Rang De Burman

Have been thinking about dedicating one post  for our very own Panchamda. On any day, if i were to select my favorite Hindi Film composer, it would be him. His versatility ranging from Indian classical tunes to Western music, slow melancholic numbers to peppy beats, has always left us craving for more. Its really sad, that this amazing musician died without getting his due.

There is one incident that comes to my mind, when i think of this genius. During the making of ‘IJAAZAT’, Director-poet Gulzaar left behind his poem ‘MERA KUCH SAMAAN’ at Panchan’s house and went home. Since Pancham was not at home then, Gulzaar called him up at a later time requesting him to compose music for this poem which was to be part of the movie. Pancham literally mocked at him saying ‘What is this? Tomorrow you will leave behind a copy of Times Of India newspaper and ask me to compose music for the same.’ Being supremely confident in Panchan’s abilities Gulzaar persisted with him to compose music for the poem. Pancham went on to create one of his best compositions, which fetched Asha a National Award for Best Playback Singing, Gulzaar a National Award for Best Lyrics and nothing at all for himself.

Below are some of the most amazing (perhaps not all that popular amongst GEN-X) Pancham compositions listed. Listen to these once and you will know in a trice why he was, what he was.

1) Aaungi Ek Din – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kox1uehyFOE 

Movie – Basera; Lyricist – Gulzar

2) Jeena kya aji pyaar bina – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaJ7H6a3fk0

Movie – Dhan Daulat;  Lyricist – Majrooh Sultanpuri

3) Kaisa Lag Rahi hoon – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myEFSdewZxM

Movie – Jhoota Sach; Lyricist – Majrooh Sultanpuri

4) Mera kuch saman – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mjFCidDpcY

Movie – Ijaazat; Lyricist  –  Gulzar

5) Jab chaha yaara tumne – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl2c-6PPPAw

Movie – Zabardast; Lyricist – Majrooh Sultanpuri

6) Humne sanam ko khat likha – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB3UGojCbMA

Movie – Shakti; Lyricist – Anand Bakshi

7) Chhoti Si Kahani Se – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9oJXgbK8QI

Movie – Ijaazat; Lyricist  –  Gulzar

8.) Tumse milke – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oW_x5MIn1I

Movie – Parinda; Lyricist  – Khursheed Hallauri

9) Ankhiyon mein chote chote – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP3q2vA5DWw

Movie – Naukar; Lyricist – Majrooh Sultanpuri

10) Dhanno ki ankhon mein – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rja031BlWbY

Movie – Kitab; Lyricist – Gulzar

The list above is rather endless. There are innumerable compositions of Pancham each unique for its tone, lyrics, instruments used, etc. This versatile musician will always remains India’s  best composer.

Disclaimer: The links above will work as long as the songs continue to be available in Youtube.

One Liners / Pun Liners

Pun intended one-liners have usually found its way into my conversations with my colleagues at work and at home (where it comes more naturally).

A colleague of mine CVS, often talks about spirituality when it comes to dealing with the problems at the workplace. So I call him as “Free Free from the Start of Leaving Foundation” because his advice comes for free.

A subordinate came up one Friday evening to inform me that he would come in late the next week as he was planning to attend the Art of Living Sessions. The next Monday morning as soon as he reported to work, I told him “Now that you have finished Art, you please Start of Living”

Another colleague calls me Nicole (sounds like my first name) and I retort back saying “Don’t Kid-man” in an obvious reference to former Mrs Cruise.

My colleague RKR was cooking at home, while another was watching the ease in which he was chopping the onions, adding the spice, etc. I casually commented “The expert that he is, he is completely at ease while showing his expertise”

We were on the way to attend a function. As always we had started late. I stopped at a signal. My wife said “Only we stop at this signal. The others drive away as if there were no signal lights here”. She added “Look at them, they are staring at us because we stopped here”. I retorted “They maybe amused to this, but I am-used to this”

On the way back home, a colleague asked me what i have been upto. I replied, “Nothing! These days I am technically weak and functionally cannot speak. ”

“Then why do you work so late every day?” she queried. I responded “I am getting killed, to get someone else billed”.

One colleague was rattling out bits and pieces of Kannada. Another asked him “Oh! So do you know Kannada?”. I responded “He speaks very fluent Kannada, apart from the fact that he knows about 2-3 words in that language.”

During an internal training session at work, we were asked to create punch lines regarding Hospitality. Our team managed to come up with “Hospitality is when your guest returns home and ….”. We were wondering what to add to make this sentence complete and meaningful and instantaneously i said “feels homesick”. My team members appreciated me for having delivered the punch in the line.

The icing on the cake is the final one for this post. This one made me realise how much my habbits has rubbed onto my wife. Just to surprise her one evening, I prepared tea.  Being the sweet person that i am, i added more sugar while preparing. As soon as she had sipped the tea, my wife had this to say “This is not my cup of tea!!!”.

Namma Preethiya Doddamma

Our beloved Anusuya Doddamma (Maternal Grandmother in Kannada) passed away last Friday, 28th Aug 09. It was all so sudden for us that it is still taking time to sink into us that she is not around. Like for example, couple of days back when I called up my maternal uncle answered the phone and after asking his well-being, I almost blurted out the lines “How is Doddamma doing? How is her health?

Most of my summer vacations during school were spent with her in Udupi. One of the incidents that I recollect most is that during the summer vacations in Udupi, I was tagging along with her in a crowded market place. I might have been 8 or 9 years old. Suddenly I realised that the hand I was holding was out of my grasp and sobbing anxiously I moved out of the market place. Luckily an elderly gentleman saw me alone, and helped me reach home. There I narrated this incident to a neighbour, who quickly pulled out his cycle to search for Doddamma and to comfort her that I was at home. Knowing her well enough, he managed to locate her at the right place, the “Udupi Krishna Mutt” where she had gone to pray to the lord for my safety. Once home, she hugged me tightly as if to say “What would I have answered to your mother, had I not found you?”

Many memories flash across my mind when I think of her pleasing smile, the delicacies she cooked, the many artistic handicrafts she created, etc. In fact I would often tease her that I would drop out of studies and open a handicrafts shop and that she could supply the goods. She would laugh these suggestions off and humbly say “Who will buy them?”

Many a times during my adolescent fights with my mother, she would silently support me without taking sides and comfort me.

During my graduation and post-graduation exams, I would often request her to come and stay with us suggesting that she brought in a lot of good luck along. She would always be considerate enough to agree to my childish requests and stay for the entire duration of my exams, cooking special food, feeding me when I would be busy revising notes and so on.

Being far away from home on work, I felt miserable not being around during her death and also for not having spoken to her as often as I would have wanted to. Although I am now a father of a 5 year old girl, whenever I visited her, I would shed all inhibitions, place my head on her lap, close my eyes and let her run her fingers through my hair. It was enough for me to forget any pain.

Doddamma, we will always miss you.