If you don’t dare to make mistakes now, when will you – My Journey with Piyush Sharma

Piyush Sharma, Dean (internationalization), Hong kong polytechnic university on IWSB campus

Piyush Sharma, Dean (internationalization), Hong kong polytechnic university on IWSB campus

Prof. Piyush Sharma, Dean (internationalization) from Hong Kong Polytechnic university was on the IWSB campus to deliver and interact as part of My Journey series of June. This initiated the Pg 11-13 batch too as it was their first My Journey interaction. The new batch was still trickling in and the pg12 was eager to take off this year.

Piyush who has had his university education in Engineering at Delhi College of Engineering, continued his MBA from IIM Bangalore after a few years of working in the corporate world. He went on to do his Ph.D. in marketing from Nanyang University a good 15 years later. In this interactive session he was not only sharing his journey but also was challenging the students to push themselves. Most of his interaction was through questions he himself raised or the ones raised by participants.

Why join acads, even when there was not much money?

Reasons could be –
– like to teach
– make name as a good facilitator and mentor
– Quest for knowledge
– Stable life

Then thought came about PhD.
o Which discipline
o After PhD what, where?

My education broadly can be summarised as –
– 1987 : BE, DCE
– 1993 : IIM Bangalore
– 2006 : Phd, Nanyang, Spore

What did I do before your PhD?

– 1987-89 BHEL, Jhansi
– 89-91 Consulting, Bureau of public enterprises, Delhi
o Economy opened up
o Mandal commission agitation
o Tinanmen square
o Government was thinking of selling off public enterprises
Then went to IIMB, followed by –
– 1993-2002
o Marketing at ITC, Dabur, Becton Dickinson, Hometrade
§ Move from one company to another, mostly for money. That doubles at every jump!!
– 2006-Nov
o Hong Kong Polytechnic, Hong Kong

What do you expect from your job and career? piyush asked
– Money
– Job satisfaction
– Discovering self
o Discovered that I can work under stress too
– Good work environment
o Physical
o Psychological
– Designation and status
– Challenges

What am I passionate about? Questions to be asked :
– What do I love
– What is my personality
– What gets me going

A few are successful and not every one. What are chief ingredients to succeed

o Forming an outlook that is positive
o Solution finder than problem creator
o Self correcting attitude
o Humility to acknowledge that I need to improve
Risk Taking
o To get into places
Ability to learn
Ability to analyse
o Recognizing right time to do MBA
o Should know when to strike it to make big impact
Think like a manager
o If I were the manager in the org, how will I go about.
o Balancing between how to act quickly and
o If it is my company, what would I do
o To be able to be in the zone 24/7
Take more informed decision
o Do good research
Be a good people person
o Understand people
o Motivating people
Be aware of the value that you are adding;
o Do not lose sight of what is happening beyond or behind

[OCB – Organizations Citizenship Behaviour : Understand
of Knowing about the organization, how it is impacting and how it is growing]

– Being able to learn on the job
o You are living in a world that is fast changing
o [Black Swann – book…]
o It always existed, but not many have seen it
o You cannot plan for a few incidents, but have to cope with
o There are people who have wider perspective and are able to see what every one talks about
o Make and see that you can adopt a few of things that you learn from
o Try and innovate and come out with your own ideas

– Have your voice
o Try and do things to raise your visibility in the organization
o When you are working in a team, take initiatives
o Eg When I was in ITC, based in odisha
§ Need to develop network with people with similar situations
§ Turn over tax was an Issue, which I thought should be taken up at the highest level
· Distribution via Bihar than directly in Odisha
· Presentation to be made to the CM
· Later they withdrew the tax
o It is about risk taking too
o Be open to learning

What motivated to do PhD?

– Passion, family in education could be one of the influencers
– I always took training modules in which ever company I have served in
· I was the best trainer in the company even when I was a sales guy
· Selling, talking to people is a passion,

How did you realize that money is not your motivation time?

– I could not see my son for the first four years of his existence
– So being with family was an important parameter

Changing companies? why?

– In the beginning it was mostly for money
– As I grew, things changed and I learnt more

Learning regarding human beings

– I worked through India and outside too
– Do not judge by the cover
– People look very different but give them a chance
– Let them share what they want to
– Do not pre-judge people

Structured vs Start up
– If you enjoy being in creative mode, dirtying hands then you will thrive
– Make mistakes now if you want to, since opportunities cost is low now

– Organizations shape the behaviour of people within, though People shape organizational behaviour too
– Cultural intelligence
o Different levels
o People are different – do not judge through your lense
o You have to have passion – learnt tamil when I was posted in Chennai

Understanding with my boss is a process, it is not an event. You have to be very cautious and figure out what and how.

Two of the take homes from the session are –
· Passion is fundamental
· If you do not make mistakes now, when will you!!


Wonderful World – The US !

The US - libertyThe US - Getting ready for HalloweenThe US - The wine at a vineshopSFO - The USon the way to SFO - The USSFO - The US
SFO - The USSFO - The USThe US - Napa vineyardsSFO - The USSFO - The USAlcatraz, SFO - The US
SFO - The USSFO - The USSFO - The USSFO - The USEnroute - The USEnroute - The US
Enroute - The USLas Vegas - The USWonderful World - The USLas Vegas - The USLas Vegas - The USLas Vegas - The US

Wonderful World – The US !, a set on Flickr.

The US is vast and we really enjoyed driving across this nation….Roads are as good as runways and driving across is a breeze…. on one of the trips we covered about 5000miles.. This set has stills from all oof our journeys..A detailed individual sets will come up soon.. We cover the East and mid west – Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, capitol hill, New Jersey, New York and in the west – San jose, SFO, Las vegas, grand canyon, San Diego and LA….

Photowalks – Chawri Bazaar to Jama Masjid

I am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama Masjid
I am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama Masjid
I am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama Masjid
I am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama MasjidI am set for the day - Chawri Bazar to Jama Masjid

Photowalks, a set on Flickr.

Early morning 6am is a wonderful time to take a walk through the bylanes of any old city. Certainly Delhi’s does offer a myriad situations and emotions. Here was one such walk…

Dances of India – What richness!!

World Dance Day - IHC - The Exuberance That Is DanceAnanya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Anupriya's BharatanatyamKathak Samaroh 2010World Dance Day - Natya Vriksha Young dancers festival 2011Natya Vriksha - Women's Day
Odissi - Madhavi MudgalAnanya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Ananya 2010 - Odissi - day 1Ananya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranWorld Dance Day - IHC - The Exuberance That Is DanceNatya Vriksha - Women's Day
Parampara 2010, Natyatarangini's festivalParampara 2010, Natyatarangini's festivalKathak Samaroh 2010Ananya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Utsav - Dances from OrissaKathak Samaroh 2010
SNA Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2009Parampara Series - Radha Raja Reddy presentKathak Samaroh 2010Shovana Narayan - Kathak - BVB mahotsavNagalandSPICMACAY-2008-06-16-01262009odissikelu-1-2009-04-07-0050

Dances of India, a set on Flickr.

Indian dance forms are rich portrayal of the history, culture and living, of our nation and also of the social context. Each form weaves the stories beautifully that are either passed on over generations, or that are carried through amazing literature – epics, upanishads, vedas etc.

Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Kuchipudi, thayyam, odissi, kathak, mohiniyattam, manipuri, chau are a few of the forms. There are scores of variants, along with other folk forms that are very prevalent.

As I enjoy watching and also dancing, I created this set of my experiences…. Keep catching here the updates as I meander through my journey of soul searching and visual treats..

Incredible India! Sikkim

Children in SikkimDarjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!Darjeeling, Sikkim - People, places and lifestyleChildren in SikkimDarjeeling, Sikkim - People, places and lifestyleDarjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!
Darjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!Darjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!Darjeeling, Sikkim - People, places and lifestyleDarjeeling, Sikkim - People, places and lifestyleDarjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!Darjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!
Darjeeling, Sikkim - People, places and lifestyleDarjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!Children in SikkimSikkim - oft spotted animals!Children in SikkimDarjeeling, Sikkim - People, places and lifestyle
Darjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!Darjeeling, Sikkim - People, places and lifestyleDarjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!Children in SikkimDarjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!Darjeeling and Sikkim - Nature bountiful!

Incredible India! Sikkim, a set on Flickr.

Sikkim is in the lap of nature!! calm, quiet, tranquil; land of gurgling streams and roaring waterfalls; dence thickets to untouched tropical forests; peace loving, creative and god fearing people; A land that abuts our friendly neighbour ..Chini.. A great place to explore.. keep at least two weeks!

These photographs cover our journey – Delhi -> New Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok, Nathu La and East Sikkim, North Sikkim, South Sikkim, NJP -> Delhi

Children, Flaura and Fauna, People, places, and lifestyles, and finally the animals of the Himalayan ranges!

Rudhra Veena loses its Master. Ustad Asad Ali khan will remain forever.

Master of Rudhra Veena, Ustad Asad Ali Khan Saab

Master of Rudhra Veena, Ustad Asad Ali Khan Saab

Within one week, I am writing a tribute to one more outstanding son of Mother India, Rudra Veena exponent Ustad Asad Ali Khan, who passed away yesterday at a rather young age of 74. I have had the fortune of listening and watching him perform live, many a times. Watching Ustad having the Rudra Veena across his shoulder in itself is a spectacular sight to behold. I always saw him completely lost in his own world when Rudra Veena climbs his shoulders. He imaginations and constructs were magical. The music that emanates from his strumming the strings has always taken me to yet another world.


Ustad  was one of the last existing advocates of the Khandarbani dhrupad school and represented the 12th generation of Jaipur’s Beenkar Gharana. He received the Padma Bhushan in 2008. He had underwent training under his father Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan Beenakar. His father, grandfather Ustad Musharraf Ali Khan Beenakar and great-grandfather Ustad Rajab Ali Beenakar were court musicians in the princely state of Alwar where Ustad Asad Ali Khan was born in 1937.

His father later moved to the princely court of Rampur where he undertook to teach him music. For the next 15 years he learnt to play Rudra Veena, practicing 14 hours a day. Ustad Khan was an artiste of the All India Radio and participated in ‘sangeet samelans’ and musical performances across the country and the world. He has also performed at concerts in Afghanistan, Australia, Holland, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the US and other countries.

A young artists rendition of Ustad Asad Ali Khan Saab, @ SPIC MACAY Convention, IIT Kanpur

A young artists rendition of Ustad Asad Ali Khan Saab, @ SPIC MACAY Convention, IIT Kanpur

Ustad has also been a professor of music at Delhi University. Rudra Veena, an instrument said to be created by Lord Shiva, has remained essentially unchanged for millennia. It comprises a bamboo piece mounted on two gourds and has 19-24 frets fixed with beeswax with four main and three side strings having a range of four to four-and-half octaves. Unlike a sitar or sarod, the rudra veena does not have resonance strings. Ustad used to play dhrupad in tile kharbandi style, which is one of the four ancient styles of Indian music. It is named after Khanda, the Rajput warrior’s traditional sharp curved sword.


Ustad who was unmarried, is survived by his nephew Haidar, whom he had adopted at a very young age and trained to become his successor. I only pray and wish, Haider saab will continue to enthrall the music lovers with his renditions on Rudra Veena for years to come, keeping the memories of Ustad Asad Ali khan alive in the heart of all his loving followers. Praying for Ustad’s peaceful last journey. Love.

‘Rangtoli’ of reflections on human emotions and aspirations – Parents’ day at Mallika and Nandu’s NSD’s theatre summer camp

Mallika and Anandita at the NSDs summer theatre workshop

Mallika and Anandita at the NSDs summer theatre workshop

Mallika was insisting on my not going on a tour till Sunday, June 5th, as I was scheduled to visit North-east India. Her NSD summer workshop, Rangtoli, has scheduled parents day and since Indira cannot make it due to her delivery a week ago, she wanted me to be there at any cost. So I deferred my trip by a day. Mallika and Nandu, along with Uma and me, landed at their NSD summer workshop center in Jamia Milia, prompt at 7:30am. Mallika and Nandu have been very secretive as far as revealing the parent day details. They would say, “We will not tell you, it is all going to be a surprise. You only discover when you come.”

When landed at the center, we were welcomed by the spectacular display of the works of the sixty children, 30 each from age groups 8-12 and 13-16. The works included caricatures with descriptions on different topics – My room, Most precious part of my body and why, My family and also their expression of feelings in words in the form of a letter to parents about why they are the best parents, how they feel towards parents response to their behaviour and outlook in life and so on.

Youngsters expressing their feelings to parents

Youngsters expressing their feelings to parents

I cannot express the feelings every parent went through, looking at each of the letters. Many parents were feeling very emotional going through the pictorial descriptions and also the letters written by the elder children to them. They were surprised at the eloquence with which each child shared their inner feelings towards their parents. As the letters did not reveal who is the writer, parents were guessing which letter is of their child, reading through the narration of an incident which they were part of. In the process, almost every parent read every letter. Every parent was touched going through each of the letters. These letters threw a lot questions about the struggles of a child in the adolescent age and what they are expecting from their parents. It was a great way to bring the parents in touch with themselves and the impact of their actions on the psyche of the children. Here are a few of the expressions..

After an hour of getting in touch with oneself, the parents were clubbed in groups in innovative ways. We went on to have a wonderful string of exercises that not only warmed all the participating families, but also familiarized most of us with one another. These exercises included –

a. In the enclosed space, walk at normal speed, slow speed and faster speed; while walking greet one another in whatever way you wish to. Then go on to maximize the greetings
b. Participants to form various clusters by likes – colors, flower, animals, fruits.. in the process every one got to know who all are alike in what respects
c. Random groups to be formed. Each group needs to think of a flower and form the shape of the flower. Other teams have to guess. Then the group has to enact how the flower blossoms, shakes when it rains, celebrates etc…
d. Each of the three groups were asked to make an elephant. Then these elephants had to do different actions as was shared by the facilitators…

Once warmed up and familiarizing oneself, we moved to the next phase of the day plan. Every child had made an invitation card that parents carried. So my invitation card made by Mallika had a pattern cut, and one of the children in their group had the pattern. Once you match the pattern, the child who had my pattern, Sheena in my case, became my facilitator for the day. Two to three families with their facilitators formed a group. We had to interact and get to know about each other families.

We were asked to close our eyes and my facilitator, Sheena, lead me along a path that was jig-jag to a destination. The exercise was about trusting one another and I felt really happy that I surrendered myself to Sheena and she lead me wonderfully. Finally at the destination she asked me to sit and after a while lie down and relax. While relaxing there were tender hands that was massaging my legs and arms and I could make out that it was Sheena. After a while a strong hand came and massaged, this could only be one of the adult trainers of NSD. Then finally there was another pair of hands that went all over the body, straddling, across while massaging and I could sense that this has to be very familiar person who has known me ever, that is Mallika. After half an hour of this relaxation exercise, I was ushered by Sheena to another destination with my eyes shut all the while. She helped me settle in one corner against the wall. I could hear and feel that others are being brought in to this room and helped to settle too. Finally we were allowed to open our eyes. The room was full of parents, forming the outer ring along the wall and the children were sitting in the center of this ring.

Parents shared their feelings about the whole day thus far. Many were obviously moved by what they read on the display and the tender massages they received. They were emotional and shared how this workshop has thrown open new dimensions to their relationship with their children.

Parents exploring children and themselves

Parents exploring children and themselves

After the feedback and sharings, we moved to the final stretch of the day. The groups thus formed, seven in all, each were given a situation to enact. The condition was that the adults have to be children and children were to be adults. The groups were given about 15 minutes to plan out before all assemble in the same room. A performing arena was demarcated and all groups settled in the audience spaces. Each group was called to perform. The scenarios included..

a. Children are getting spoiled; no idea what sort of friendships are being cultivated
b. Children are lazy and they neither understand the parents nor they help them
c. Children do not study and they are stuck to TV, computers and play-stations now a days
d. Chaotic family
e. Understanding family
f. Children misbehave when you take them to a marriage function
g. Children taking care of old parents

It was fun as well as learning experience interacting with other families and planning the skit. Many of the women and including a few men, were participating in such an exercise for the first time. It was a great experience for them also to open up and come out of the cocoon. On the other hand there were a few who were very uninhibited and were in acting with felicity.

Each episode was enacted and then all participants discussed the issues – as how do we make the environment better for the children at home. The process did throw quite a few thoughts and many parents took away new ways of dealing with situations and their children. It also made many parents aware of their responsibilities towards their growing children and how they can go about investing.

I came back and sat next to Mallika, after our group enacted the scenario – children getting spoiled. She was staring at me. I asked what was the matter. She immediately said, “you are a bad boy, you are spoiling others.” I could see that she did not expect me to portray such a character and does not approve of my dalliances. Nandu said that I was very funny..

With this exercise, the parents’ day came to an end. All parents were delighted to be there. I am sure the day would have thrown a lot of questions to each parent to ponder about and respond in a better way to children.

This one month NSD’s theatre workshop would make a world of good for every selected child, Since this workshop is all about helping children to come in touch with their inner journey and external journey, with oneself and their behavioural patterns, with their securities and insecurities.

Long live NSD, Long live TIE – Theatre in Education. Kudos to NSD’s facilitators. Kudos to children. It was truly a ‘rangtoli’ of reflections on human emotions and aspirations.

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