Search This Blog

Friday, December 28, 2007


Three books to conclude this year…. thin books but sweet ones…

“Our iceberg is melting” by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber…a fable, with penguins as characters, that took me back to the lectures I had attended on “Change Management”, reflecting the golden rules that lead to a successful change and a new culture -

Creating sense of urgency
Pull together the team
Develop change vision
Empower others to act
Produce short term wins
Don’t let up
Create a new culture

“Is New York Burning” by Dominique Lappiere and Larry Collins…. one of the fastest books (if such a phrase exists) I have ever read…a novel that involves the contemporary political situation and real life characters…. One thing that was particularly striking in this book is the depiction of Condoleeza Rice as a master negotiator.

“Screw it…. Lets do it” …a quick- read of “Losing my Virginity” by Richard Branson… a collection of Richard Branson’s favorite quotes with brief description of the events associated with the respective quotes.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Read one more book on magical realism – “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel.

A perusal of this book might give the impression that Yann Martel has described the adventures of a cast-way, who successfully spent 227 days in the Pacific with a Bengal tiger as companion. But this book is not just about survival instinct. It’s about pragmatism, yet it is about philosophy.

A closer look at the book takes the reader through a religious and spiritual journey, which is quite unique and novel. Pi Patel, the teenage protagonist of this novel practices all the three religions – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity. The reaction of the individual self-acclaimed protectors of religion towards Pi is interesting.

Pi, his family and all the animals (Pi’s dad was a zoo keeper) were migrating to Canada when the Tsim-Tsum (the ship which they had boarded) sank…. Pi was the lone human survivor…. he lost his world but he gained another…this book is about his new world.

Its about seeking harmony with the universe…spiritual illumination…. wild adventure…religion and faith…. restless energy and peace… all at the same time

But like any other book on magical realism, this book deserves a slow read.

The other book which I completed is “Losing my Virginity” by Richard Branson. Its about the real life adventures of Richard, while building the Virgin brand. A perfect management book…without all the drab jargons…and with the excitement of a roller coaster ride. An exhilarating experience it was…to get an idea of Richard’s definition of the perfect life…and perfect work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


"Every life is like a snowflake: individual existences might look identical from afar, but to understand one’s own eternally mysterious uniqueness one had only to plot the mysteries of one’s own snowflake".

Orhan Pamuk's "Snow" is a complicated book. It’s about a journalist who arrives in the city of Kars in Turkish border. Kars was going through tough times politically, with deep rooted religious impact. Confusing times, religious turmoil, the city of Kars….and within this setting….the life of characters like Ka (the westernized Turkish journalist), Blue (the Islamic fundamental), Ipek (childhood crush of Ka, and …..let me not kill the suspense), Kadife (Ipek’s sister and Blue’s lover) and a myriad of other characters.

Since Orhan Pamuk has deeply portrayed the inner turmoil of each of the characters, I did not find the pace of this book fast enough…a style of writing where the protagonist is not an inspiring hero, but an ordinary human being... with all the sub-conscious happenings.

The distinct element that is pervasive throughout this book is the regular usage of snowflakes to describe any situation or emotion. Its winter time in Kars….with heavy snowfall... and the whole context is submerged within the nature of snowflakes.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Its as if I am living in a different world….where life is nothing but revenue, profit, Q3 results, Q4 estimations…last one odd week has kept me busy…even more than what ISB managed to make me slog…

But yeah…at the end of the day…after 18 restless hours, when I get to bed, it is a sweet feeling…a mix of tiredness and a realization of a day well spent.

Not been able to read much over the last week...handling three books at a time since the last one month…Mein Kampf, Snow and Losing my virginity….and maybe it will take another month to complete these books.

Somehow could not resist writing about the first half of Mein Kampf…It is about Hitler’s complex thoughts and justifications.

From indifference to interest…. from interest to obsession…. from obsession to hatred…. Hitler’s anti-Semitic tendencies and his hatred for democracy and the then incumbent society traced this path…. Hatred is such a complicated emotion…. it grows within in a strange manner…. it stems from the way one aligns ones thoughts and understanding. This is exactly what this book is all about…unmitigated hatred… that originated from one of the most complicated genius the world has ever seen…

It’s strange to learn that little Hitler always dreamt of pursuing an artistic career – in painting and architecture. But he groomed himself to walk a different path…. and the dreaded complication of his thoughts that he allowed himself to drift into, proved too costly for the entire world.

He hated almost everything, which he thought was weakening the discipline of the German culture. He hated the education system, the attitude of the bourgeoisie, the politicians, their way of doing things…. and the interesting thing is that he got himself convincing reasons for doing so. He has clearly explained why he hated the then German democracy (of the early 20th century), the education system, the selfish politicians…. with cogent facts and convincing reasons. Intense nationalism was all that he could think about those days. He developed his thoughts into defining the ideal education, print media and method of governance and a whole lot of such issues…. and … thus took shape the most dreaded word in the History of mankind – Nazism.

This was my third attempt at this book…. and finally I completed the first half of Mein Kampf

Sunday, December 02, 2007


The sweeping breeze from the hills proving its presence….the red morning sun making its way through the fog…the crackling sound of the fire providing warmth to the people around….the wide, lonely roads guiding its daily commuters….

December is back once again...a month, whose responsibility is to close the year.