My favorite books on Writing

Some of my favorite books on Writing are:

The Tao of Writing by Ralph L. Wahlstrom

On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

The right to write: an invitation and initiation into the writing life by Julia Cameron

Bird by bird: some instructions on writing and life By Anne Lamott

Writing down the bones: freeing the writer within  By Natalie Goldberg

The right to write: an invitation and initiation into the writing life By Julia Cameron

The true secret of writing: connecting life with language By Natalie Goldberg

The Psychology of Creative Writing

 

 

 

 

Jabalpur, A town known as cultural capital

I was born in Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) in India. The town is famous for various personalities who made it big in spiritual circuits. Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, Mahant Swami Maharaj & Osho (Rajneesh).

The small town has some disadvantages when one charts a career for the want of resources and connections.

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River Narmada at Bhedaghat, Jabalpur (M.P.) India Image Courtesy www.pratikpatki.com

Just two days back i joined a “Books and Beyond” group in WhatsApp on an invite by a young friend and well wisher. I was excited, curious and wanted to know more about books.  I felt a bit perplexed. One because the group had 99% ladies whom i hardly knew. Secondly the books being discussed were not read by me earlier and i felt same low self esteem as i did when i was studying in Hindi Medium School till class 8th.

Studying in Hindi Medium School strengthened my Hindi vocabulary and vernacular first language but in career it was English which i knew was going to help me speak a global language and help in clearing competitive exams in career.

I took some early lessons by a English Teacher in my colony who was catholic christian and help me get on with Wren & Martin in class 6th and 7th.  I am still learning the language and vocabulary but it caught me on with the language.

As luck would have it my job in IT Industry started with Indian Languages on Computers i.e. with Multilingual Computing and we did killing business till Unicode came into picture and global software giants also adopted it.

The point about small town syndrome is that being in a place and studying in a college where local politics and mindset were not so nurturing, i personally haven’t gone back to my Alma Mater since 1995.  But recently when i wanted to share memories of the place and town Jabalpur, I got enthusiastic responses and collaboration proposals for writing and curating blogs on Jabalpur.

The images shared are by Pratik Patki from Pune & we hope to bring more blogs on this topic soon.

Till then, Enjoy your weekend.

(To be continued….)

 

 

Why are you pursuing this course?

When i told my colleague Vivek Bhattacharya (24×7 Learning) that i was enrolling for Advanced Program in Strategic Management, he asked me this question “Why”?

For me learning has been a passion. Most of the jobs i take up are for learning something new. The course was one of the three which i had applied at IIM-Calcutta why sending the application but i was shortlisted for this program.

For me fee in 2008 was hefty for an upcoming online course like this one. But what did i get?

Apart from the learning on a subject like Strategic Management, Case Study Method and Online Learning through NIIT Imperia, what i  got was amazing list of peers in the program.

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(Tejas Lagad, Baldev Ghanshani, Deepak Motiramani)

As three of us met in 2017 at Ahmedabad, we realized that networking with old peers and pals teaches a lot of life and profession as a whole. All three of us were part of technology industry and could learn a lot over a small conversation over breakfast.

An program/ course gives you a great set of people whom one connects with. The connections and contacts are important to carry forward in life, learn and also share the learning with peers).

I am sure the college graduates shall take note of this and keep connecting beyond the online world of Facebook and LinkedIn.

(To be continued….)

WhatsApp has become boring?

Same revolving messages & images from one group to another. Friends who just forward you messages and think they are connected and in touch. But frankly, I am bored with WhatsApp.

Yes it is a great tool to exchange information. But it is great so long as it is a useful information. Notice the unwanted messages you get every morning.

One has an option to spend unnecessary time reading those messages or finally delete and stop using WhatsApp.

Since past few days I have thinking of deleting and doing away with WhatsApp. What holds me that sometimes (May be 1% we get useful messages).

If this trend continues, I may switch to instil a habit of opening my data once a day to discipline myself but it looks difficult as the temptation to do something is always there.

Do you resonate with the same feeling as I have? Please do write back before I delete WhatsApp.

Daily Newspaper

I was having a conversation with a friend about newspaper reading habit. What’s your style? Do take part in this poll for more discussion on the topic.

Cafe Toffee Day

Cafe Toffee Day
January 15,2017
Mumbai Airport

It’s amazing day when I started from Pune to find cars blocking express highway for the England- India Cricket Match. The roads were blocked and filled with cars of all varieties. Rich and poor all flocking to see a mania called cricket.

I have never been a cricket fan except when one umpire used to say “Earrings” on television and the camera used to focus on faces with Earrings. Somehow television and cricket used to be attractive in those days. I have lost touch after Dicky Bird stopped coming on screen.

The express highway was an out let for exchanging the Rs. 2000 note while paying for the toll. The journey was smooth as it was a lazy Sunday afternoon.

When I arrived at airport I was checked by the security to frisk of any risk before the car entered the airport. My face probably caught his attention while sitting on the front seat. (I had shaved today yaar)…

As I entered the Airport, it was 3 hours before the flight take off which is usually my standard time. I need some 2 hours odd to enjoy Masala Chai and Scrivener to keep typing as I am doing it now.

Mumbai Airport (Domestic) Terminal 1 is quite crampy but has a Cafe Coffee Day Lounge. I entered with a hope of getting a Masala Chai in a Cup and Saucer but to my surprise it was in a paper cup and dip tea as they call it.

Fortunately I could get a space next to the glass for a better view and sipped my tea with delight. As I finished the tea, I took a chance to spend some more time there but the captain was watchful and asked the cleaner to clean up table F-1. Well thats how I knew that I was a F-1 participant.

The hint to give the place to next customer was good enough to get up. I smiled at the captain and got up. He was caught in his act and apologized. I said, no you are just doing your duty. He asked me to wait for a minute, went away and got a chocolate for me. That’s why I call it “Cafe Toffee Day”.

I again recall my Indigo line, “Flying is a serious profession, please leave your worries beyond this point”.

As I boarded 6E446 to Lucknow I was a bit cozy in warm clothes for getting down at ease in Lucknow. It was expected to be lot cooler than Mumbai. Today again I was the first one to board and got the emergency exit at 13C. More leg space always is welcome for me. I was seated then next to me two young guys, one who had a difficult time locating his seat and the other on the window carrying Chetan Bhagat’s book “One Indian Girl”.

The books that come across in your life are also omens. It is upto you how you read them. As I was looking at the book and wondering Air Hostess Sana came and saw that 7 seats on emergency exit were filled in. She took the chance to brief the passengers on emergency safety procedures.

“Are you comfortable in Hindi”? She asked the guys in front row and got a cold response. “Sir emergency procedure hai, main hindi mein bolun ki english mein?” Two of the guys asked for explanation in Hindi. I was on 13C Aisle and 13D there was a Punjabi fellow traveler Mr. Khosla. On seeing Sana a bit confused about multiple languages, we both uttered “You can explain in Hindi to all”. She wondered as she was not expecting probably an explanation in Hindi and seemed to have a difficulty in language. I somehow felt that she was a new recruit. She excused herself and came back after a moment.

“Ok Sir Main Hindi mein batati hun”, She described in detail in Hindi. I guess that was a better explanation than most briefings of emergency safety procedures in English. Or was it me who could comprehend it better?

As passengers were filling up the seats, I noticed that the other two seats also got occupied near emergency exits. One was a lady near the window and other a seemingly looking politician just ahead of me on Aisle. Sana had to come again to brief them about emergency exit procedures.

“Sir, Ma’am I shall be briefing you about emergency exit procedures. Are you comfortable in English?” The lady said she was comfortable with English in second questioning. The politician just nodded. As time was running out Sana was in hurry as captain had started the announcement. Juggling between captains voice and her explanation, she noticed that the politician was instead busy in his mobile rather than listening to her. She hold up and requested him to listen carefully as it was important part of her duty. She had to sharpen up her tone to grab his attention. Ultimately the chap gave in.

With fast explanation Sana gave I was relieved of the confrontation which I was expecting. The taxiing had started and my eyes went on lighted up “One Indian Girl” under the reader’s light.

I took up the 6E in-flight magazine and lighted the B/W cover with the overhead lights. It was the most attractive cover I had seen. B/W has its own charisma. I wondered if the magazines will ever have more reading content than promotional contents.

During the flight I realized that people get up for washrooms more often when the crew serves with catering trolleys. May be they have a habit of loosening up before an intake.

“What would you like to have it Sir?” Sana asked the tall guy with tatoos reading “One Indian Girl”. “I know why you are smiling, it was a poor explanation in Hindi”. She felt guilty of her own explanation which in my view was rather detailed one.

And I remembered the Quote
“Every great business is built on friendship. ~ JC Penney”

Millennials, I can see them coming

Millennials, I can see them coming
January 08,2017
The Me Me Me Generation as I understand and feel about Millennials. The word is quite common these days and definitions are abound on Internet, Wikipedia and twitter.
I will just share my personal experiences in this blog.
When I visit my home town Bhopal, my father takes all the effort to receive us at railway station or airport, whatever the case may be. When parents visit my town, I am at liberty to tell them to take a cab and come home as I want to utilize time in something which I feel is productivity enhanced. So theirs is a generation more patient and caring and ours is out of time, busy on WhatsApp and Facebook, and we think we are smarter than their generation (courtesy smart phones).
Today I could see next generation of my young cousins visiting my home town. They did not even cared to meet, forget not even call. All we got was a WhatsApp message on common group with pictures telling us that they were around. Frankly me and my wife both did have an unpleasant experience. Well that’s progress of Millennials. We figured it out that actual reason for the same was that we do not drink alcohol and are somewhat outcast from social circles.
I can sense how my daughter is going to grow up. The kids at this age are demanding of all the facilities in life and parents do everything to fulfill them. The younger lot in my view has lost a chance to see challenges in life. By owning a flat and a car before they hit 30, the generation feels they have achieved everything. Everything yes, but at certain cost.
When I had a burn out at 33 I did not realize I was chasing dreams which was wanted fast and engrossed myself into work. Forgetting that time devoted to work, being an workaholic has it’s own cost. The need to mention here these points is that I can see my young cousins getting into a trap which all Millennials are going to face.
When I was young in school and college, I had friends. Friends who supported, chatted, discussed and did things unconditionally. Now this generation doesn’t talks, doesn’t discusses and is happy in their own world.
I really don’t know how they treat their parents but frankly our generation is different and so will be coming generations. Time which was supposed to be spent with family and friends is often spent on WhatsApp and Facebook.
No wonder Reliance Jio will be making money on data services as people instead of mingling with next door neighbor are busy on their small screens.
I read today in Times of India blog that French Government gave workers a New Year gift, by reversing the British novelist’s dictum and gave employees the right to disconnect from their mobile phones and computers so that office work didn’t disrupt their spare time.”
I think we need the same else the Millennials are going to need more life coaches like we saw in Dear Zindagi.
According to Simon Sinek, Millennials are typically people born after 1984, they are self interested, unfocused and difficult to manage. They get free food from office along with bean bag and they are still not happy. They always show life is amazing on Facebook and Instagram but inside they are depressed. I could have explained more but I would request you to see YouTube video “Simon Sinek on Millennials at Workplace “.
Trust me you will get the genesis of my today’s blog.