The failed ” Mentor “

Can a failed person be a successful MENTOR?

Recently in a process of hiring for my organization, I met with a very interesting candidate who during the course of interview revealed how he had been academically below average student in school. But I was taken aback to know that in spite of being poor in studies how he later earned a good name in his vicinity as a good tutor. The students he taught did fairly well in exams.

When asked how he could do so, even he didn’t have an answer to it. I was flooded with questions in my mind. Can only successful mentors produce good students?? It reminded me of how people who could not themselves become Doctors and IAS officers give coaching to clear MBBS and IAS Test respectively. The only conclusion I could come to is that a teacher need not to be mastermind or successful to make a good student but he should be one who can understand students, empathize with their situation, motivate them to excel and can actually put in plain words what ever knowledge he has to his students.

What do you say??

“Low” is a Verb !

Ask yourself a question today, HOW AM I FEELING ? “Low” is it !!

And now remember low is a verb and not a feeling, you have to be low to feel low. Your ATTITUDE will decide your ALTITUDE .

Be high to feel high, its all about what you want to feel. The only thing which is ours in life is our reaction to the situations we face in life.

Be Proactive !!  Be high on life …. have a nice day.

Cheers to life !

Actually double Cheers to Life !!

Nothing to Loose

An acquaintance who had met me and made big from a low paying salary to a small size profitable venture said to me that when he left his job he had nothing to loose as he would try his hand on business and if it wouldn’t work out he’d join another company.

2 runs to win with over 21 balls left. 20 metres away from the finish line and not  even one competitor in sight. Investing in a new stock or some real estate when you have over a billion dollars in the bank or on the contrary trying to build a business with around zero capital when you know if you fail you can get back to an average job

Come to think of it if when one has nothing to fear he or she stops thinking about anything but the task at hand. Although having said that when faced with real life situations most of us fear the obvious and remain in a safe turtle position and have no inclination to face our fears.

Back with a Boom

Hello people!!

I know a lot of you are upset with me because of my long absence from the blog. But this time I am here back with a boom,  explanations will follow later.

I know you need an explanation, but I am not really ready up give one . All I can say are two things; first that biting on more then one can chew can be hazardous to ones health and Secondly it might prove to be an excellent learning experience.

So i am back with all of you to share what I have learned.

Welcome back to learning unlimited…….

Bapu Speaks


This article was written 15 yrs ago by my mentor Mr. Sukhdev Singh to address the issues of corruption and poverty in India that time, which remains now also.

On 28th October 1996, a friend called me, inviting me to join him for an outing in the afternoon.  I readily accepted the invite.  We drove out at 6 p.m. in a Maruti Gypsy from Sukhdev Vihar to a farm near Village Mandoli in Shahdara.  As we passed by the Inter State Bus Terminal at Sarai Kale Khan, Ring Road, my friend showed me a brand new One Hundred Rupee note.  It was light turquoise blue with a tinge of brown with a picture of Mahatma Gandhi, popularly known as “Bapu”.  Bapu’s mouth was wide open, as if he wanted to say something.

I recalled Bhagat – Dhanna Singh.  He worshipped a small stone until God was compelled to appear in person to grant him a ‘darshan’.  I took the Hundred Rupee Note from my friend with the same kind of faith.  Bowing my head before Bapu, I stared at him, as if invoking his spirit.  To my amazement, I succeeded.

Bapu Speaks

Bapu spoke in a feeble voice.  He asked a question.  “Which place is this”?  I promptly responded, “Bapu, this is earth and you are passing through the streets of New Delhi, the Capital of Bharat, which you left almost half a century ago.”  Bapu took a deep breath.  He closed his eyes and uttered in complete disgust. “Hey Ram, take me back to the heaven”.  He did not want to stay a moment in Bharat, lamed and maimed brutally by powers that be.  I fell upon his feet and pleaded to stay on for some time and at least bless an ailing Bharat.  His heart could not refuse my request.  Bapu agreed, hesitatingly, to spend some more time with me.

Bapu asked me to reveal my identity and the place I was taking him to.  I told him I was XYZ and we were proceeding to a farm.  He asked, “Is it cloudy outside”?  I looked out through the windowpane of the Gypsy and answered in the negative.  He retorted, ‘but there are a lot of clouds out there”.  I told him directly, “it is not clouds, but smoke, dust and pollution in the atmosphere.”  At Bapu’s insistence, I closed the windowpanes as he suffered suffocation.  We turned right at Hazrat Nizamuddin Bridge.  Traffic was moving at a snail’s pace.  It took us 25 minutes to cross the bridge.  Bapu felt very uncomfortable and almost fainted.  Even my friend on the next seat had dozed off to sleep.

Bapu Weeps

We needed to refill the fuel tank after we had crossed the bridge.  At the petrol pump, a six-year-old girl knocked the windowpane of the Gypsy.  The barefoot girl was nearly naked.  She was begging.  Bapu had recovered somewhat by this time.  He needed some fresh air and asked if I could down the windowpane.   He leaped out to stretch his feet and inhale fresh air.  He immediately sighted the poor girl in most pathetic condition.  Bapu asked me, “who is she”?  I answered spontaneously, “a daughter of Bharat”.  Tears rolled down Bapu’s eyes in shock and frustration. “Shameless Bharat”, he uttered.  “Could Bharat not provide her a yard of khadi cloth for this daughter to cover her fragile body”?  It pained me to explain how khadi had gone away with his ‘dhoti’, ‘langoti, and ‘soti’.  Khadi had become unaffordable in Bharat due to far cheaper synthetic fabrics imported from China.

Bapu murmured in great anguish, “I left behind ‘dhoti’ to cover the dignity of human body, not to uncover it.  Now I see ‘dhoti clad’ make bundles of illegally acquired cash.  I left behind ‘langoti’ to promote truth, morality, integrity, simplicity, love, light, compassion, tolerance and non-violence.  It is a shame that bundles of currency notes are tied with it.  I left behind ‘soti’ to beat corruption and to keep the National Flag flying high.  It is disgusting to see it wielded as the symbol of authority to suppress the voice of people.  God save Bharat – it is on the brink of disintegration”.

As we drove past Rajghat, Bapu protested naming it his ‘Samadhi’.  In anger, he asked me, “Did he ever rule?”  Bapu insisted it was ridiculous to name the Samadhi of Jawaharlal Nehru as ‘Shanti Van’, as Nehru was the real ‘Raja’.  Bapu knew well how high profile leaders visited his ‘Samadhi’ at least twice every year for the sake of political goals, even as they paid mere lip service to his ideals.  Many, who vehemently hated him, also visited his ‘Samadhi’, without caring a fig for the ideals he cherished.

Some leaders are great at hypocrisy.  They wash the ‘Samadhi’ with milk to purify it.  “What for”, Bapu asked.  Bapu was pained seeing hordes of dirty souls trample his ‘Samadhi’.  “Why did not they purify their own souls, instead, by doing some good deeds”?  Bapu recalled how some ‘Sadhus’ who had been elected to the Parliament, conducted ‘havan’ in the House to purify it.  “Did not they know that the stones of the House were not evil, but the presence of many evil souls made it evil”?  There could be no greater mockery than this of a sacred institution, adorned by the life size pictures of great and noble souls.  Bapu taunted, “Can one purify this House with adulterated ‘havan samagri’?  Bapu lamented bitterly, “The great Parliament House was now a fountain-head of corruption”.

Bapu was greatly disturbed seeing his smiling face on the Rupees 500, 100, 50 and 10 notes in circulation.  He retorted, “these notes are exchanged in all kinds of scams, bribes and hawala transactions, becoming case properties, kept at dark and dingy ‘maalkhanas’ of Police Stations for exhibition in the courts.  Bapu was apprehensive that one day even he might be accused of conspiracy and tried under Section 120-B of Indian Penal Code.  I had to reassure Bapu that he was visible only to me and no one else.  Bapu heaved a sigh of relief.

I told Bapu that his former Personal Assistant, Kalyanan, was trying to sell his old letters through public auction in the United Kingdom.  Bapu shook his head, as her knew it well.  It saddened his heart that unscrupulous and greedy men acted with such irresponsible manner.

Seeing the intensely sick Bharat, Bapu was filled with anguish.  “Bharat was not being rule, but ruined by the so-called leaders, robbing the public exchequer, lacking strong political will, moral values, integrity and honesty”, he claimed.  He was shocked to the teeth that not one political party had its hands clean.  Each had their share of blots of scandals, looking healthy by swindling the wealth of the nation, making Bharat sick and wary.  Corruption was sucking in blood of democratic institutions.  It was infusing a culture called C+ (corruption at its peak) into the body of Bharat.

I could not hold myself from informing Bapu that the Parliament and State Assemblies of Bharat has been invaded by a host of anti-social elements, criminals, dacoits, murderers, rapists, kidnappers, smugglers and cheaters.  Bapu instantly snubbed me, “Don’t insult the voters of Bharat”.  He insisted that the voters could not be fooled anymore. They are becoming wiser with intelligence.  They will sift the chaff from the wheat and elect clean persons to lead the nation.  They can make out who makes tall promises and fail to deliver.  They know who licks money like honey to get rich fast.  Criminals, at least, do not take false oath to protect the Constitution and abide by the law.  These leaders take oath in the name of God and then commit heinous crimes, demolishing the very Constitution they claim to uphold.

The corrupt in Parliament and Assemblies are seen as beehives for criminals. Criminals see Parliament as a safe haven to get rich quick with not an iota of risk.

What does these instances show?  Is this the sample of Bharat’s world renowned culture?  Vandalism such as these amounted to national shame:

  1. A Chief Minister of a State, a former Officer of the Armed Forces, slaps a University student.
  2. Leaders, workers and MLAs of a Political Party physically assault a former woman Chief Minister of a State.
  3. Leaders, workers and MLAs of another Political Party physically assault a Minister of their own Party, breaking his legs.
  4. Leaders and workers of a Political Party assault a media reporter.

Bapu exclaimed, “Bharat has been badly mauled by rampant corruption at high places, regionalism, scams, scandals, terrorism, riots, bloodshed, caste and communal hatred.  Potable water is scarce, housing and other essentials of life are beyond the reach of most citizens even after more than half century of independence.  He admitted without hesitation that Bharat was under the evil yoke of ‘Ravanas’.  Lanka was known as ‘soney ki Lanka’, enriched with streams of milk and honey.  Hanuman badly mauled that Lanka by burning and destroying it.  Yet, when Shri Ram took control of it, he re-innovated it to a far better place than it ever was – resorting peace, justice and tranquility.  Ravana’s father-in-law was the Urban Development Minister as well as the Home Minister, instrumental in making Lanka what it was.  Compare today’s Minister with that of Ravana.  Merit, efficiency, honesty and dedication were Ravana’s criteria while choosing his Ministers.  But, today, Ministers are appointed on the basis of sycophancy. Honesty, integrity, efficiency, dedication and sincerity held no value in modern Bharat.  Alas, only those who the pinnacle of corruption, dishonesty, inefficiency, and indifference to the rule of law, found cabinet berths.

At 7.15 p.m. we reached our destination – the 100-acre farm, filled with lush green plants and trees.  The beauty of the garden projected heaven on earth.  The pollution free environment presented wonderful calm and peace.  The moonlight cooled the skyline.   Joy blushed out of Bapu’s face.  A thought clicked my mind.  It was the most appropriate moment to ask Bapu to bless Bharat Mata.  Humbly I pleaded with Bapu to bless Bharat Mata so that it could be restored back to full health.   Against my hopes, Bapu declined to oblige me, saying, “Bharat Mata’s health was beyond restoration as its whole body had been rotten”.  Bapu explained that it did not need treatment, but complete transformation of its social order from down below upwards.

With great hope, I requested Bapu to at least bless me as I was a son of Bharat Mata.  Bapu readily blessed me and instructed me to have many more outings to this pollution free place and keep a distance from politicians, leaders, ministers, Parliament and State Assemblies, the time bombs that might explode any moment.   Bapu predicted that the days are no far when the people of Bharat will give a hung Parliament and Assemblies, with opportunistic alliances taking the roost.

Visibly, Bapu was extremely upset with leaders, yet, Bharat Mata and her children did not deserve to be abandoned by him.  Bapu reconfirmed that he always respected Bharat Mata and prayed to bless its children.

I specifically asked Bapu about two prominent members of his family.  He did not know about Rajiv Gandhi, but was aware that Priya Darshini Indira Gandhi was facing trial in the Court of God for her sins during her Prime Ministership.   She might get benefit of doubt, but an honorable acquittal was doubtful for her.

Bapu Smiles

I was now delighted to see Bapu smile.  He looked pleased that none of the leaders with their hands smeared with blood and face blackened with corruption will enter heaven to disturb him there.

With the twinkle of an eye, the noble and pure soul vanished and with him, the hundred-rupee note too disappeared in the wind.  I was left in the wilderness.  My friend got down from the Gypsy and pulled me out to breathe some fresh air.

I would be glad if all of you could leave comments and I will be happy to forwarded to him and reply to your comments.

Goal…. Which Goal !!!?.

What are the Goals of my Organization?

It really was great meeting an old friend after a decade, and that too someone
as brilliant that one looks up to when one is a child. After 15 minutes in
conversation I asked him “are you still after your Goal ?” he replied “Goal…
which goal !!!?” this opening sentence was followed by some casual discussion
and then it was time to say our goodbyes.
On the way back I started reflecting on what he had said and compared it with
what happened in organizations. After deep digging I realized that most team
members in the so called “A-Teams” of brilliant
organizations don’t even remember what their main Goals are !
This was the cause of major failure of excellent startup organizations across
the world.
Do you have a Goal ? If yes , Do you remember it ? Even better “help the
entire organization remember it”….. Results will follow.

and the Adventures of life…

Its always amazing to see or read of an adventure series where a hero with his mates shows amazing courage and patience to achieve or to reach a destination or beat the enemy and come out as a victor . The situations in these adventures are unimaginable and almost impossible to survive in. The Fantasy of reading or seeing the story turn through jungles, ferocious beasts and monsters, the excitment of how this hero of ours and his team mates will overcome the next hurdle is unforgettable to the extent that it forms a relationship with the character in the adventure.

When watching or reading our way through this exciting series the heart seems to beat faster , and a smile with an inherent satisfaction is only obvious when we see the hero who comes out shining in the end. Althougth its only seldomly that one thinks of the dangerous situation the hero puts himself and his team mates.

Oh no ! Adventures are good for fairy tales and other fantasy stories in books and movies but not in real life. I don’t want any adventures , i just want it plain and simple. Me adventure !!! are you out of your mind , i am a family man.

Life is ready to take us on beautiful adventures but do we want to accept the invitation ?

Are we going to keep enjoying the adventures of others or are we going to go on our own adventure today..

Happy thinking…

Common dislikes = I like you

The Auto Ride

Its quite normal for me to want to start interaction with a driver of a Taxi whenever I sit in one. Its easy most of the time but it can sometimes be quite difficult.

This was in bangalore I had no choice but to take an auto rickshaw I had tried to speak to the driver about the absolutely beautiful weather in the city , about the historic monuments  and of course the great filter coffee, The only one word he said in our entire conversation was ‘ya’. The guy was still not interested in any kind of conversation whatsoever.

As soon as I was going to give up I  looked at a bad patch of road which made the rickshaw jump quite a bit, I uttered the magic words “ what is the govt doing ? “   he could relate instantly he and I had a long conversation about the inefficiency of the government and we were no longer strangers.

So common likes might not be able to bond you as quickly as common dislikes !

Give it a thought !

My Time Alone !

Time Alone

Do you want to spend some time alone to interrogate or gather your thoughts also increase your level of awareness. To rejuvenate and restore your energies so that you can recharge yourself ? 

However as soon as you try and spend ME TIME you are considered to be under depression one might also go to the extent of sympathizing with you and asking if you need any help. On the contrary research has shown that it is most important in this Dynamic – Hyper world to do so.

Hope you take out time and have a great date with yourself and get ready for tomorrow……

True failure stories

Effects of Failure

Effects of Failure

A senior colleague wrote an sms saying ” Don’t read success stories ,instead read the failure stories. Do you agree ?? ” quite a remarkable thought .  

You can buy an account of success stories from a book shop, or get them free on the internet. Most of the success stories are published by the person themselves or someone who follows them preserved to be lived on successfully for generations to come, but what about failure stories they are mostly hidden and buried in the background never to be revealed to anyone. 

Its quite interesting to listen to J.K.Rowlings explanation of the benefits of failure in her commencement address at Harvard university (some of you might want to go to the resources page on this website and listen to it)  and we have all also heard the old saying 99% of failure is equal to 1% of success so that essentially means that we are loosing out on the accounts of 99% of failure accounts the stories of half victories which for all we might think of them lead us to understand more about failure and how to cope with it, instead all we have are stories of success in which failure is mostly perceived as the victimization of our Hero’s and we are more engrossed in sympathizing with the victim rather than learning from there failures.  

So what choice do we have other than to learn from our own failures and from the people in our natural circle, so failure stories that we experience or get to know along the way will always be more important than any success story that we have ever known. 

Experience failures but even more so learn from them because they will always be in short supply !