Ownership, Purpose, Passion, Responsibility, Perseverance, Excellence…

#Purpose, #Passion, #persevere
#Excellence #success #career #life

Watch the one min video….so much to learn !!
Love to hear your comments. Also kindly share.

#Fascinating #journeys!
#Pushing #boundaries!
#Celebrating #lives!

I was walking briskly with my #camera, with an intention to #photograph #Kite-making, in the short half an hour time I had. This young man, a #logistics-auto plier, tapped me as I was passing by his auto and asked, “#Reporter?”, “Write for #Magazine?”. I said I do write, for my websites and blogs, at times columns in newspapers. His #enthusiasm was so #infectious, I paused to talk to him….. As he started, realized this #interaction will be so invaluable for #youth who give a million reasons for their inability to perform. Hence recorded….

listen to him…..

Since I was in Ahmedabad, I had acceded to requests from Baroda and Ahmedabad offices of CL Educate to take PDP workshops. These we’re eight hour sessions, covering..

A. Understanding self
B. Personal Victory
C. Public Victory
D. Creating a vision for self
E. Building Profile
Leading to excellence in life

At the end of the sessions, quite a few participants started asking questions on how they keep their enthusiasm for long, overcome their language challenge etc…

I just showed them this video that I had just captured… Each one was overawed.

#Ownership is the key. Do you own yourself?


Sharpening the saw 25.3.2016

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Find your Mojo….if passion can be your profession, what else do you need!

Respected Sir,

Today’s session of yours at South Campus was very motivating for me. You asked us to write about our future, target and goal once we get back home. So here I have a question how to realize what is our goal. Since past three years I m trying to figure out what are the things that make me happy, What should i aim for…. But i didn’t get any answer till today.
I want to start a venture is the answer which i get many times. But I get bored of things very easily. Sometimes I wonder that if I will start a venture and get bored of it then what will I do??

I want to do MBA so that I may be around people who have the same mindset as I have. I want to be around people who are like me so that I can discuss things with them. I want to explore the whole life of a businessman or businesswoman. And As I told you I am the person who gets bored of things. So Sometimes I feel this zeal is also for just time being.

Please help me to solve this equation.

Yours sincerely,



Hi AC,

Ask yourself, what do you enjoy the most? when you are engrossed in it, time stands still… you forget day and night, lunch and dinner, diwali and dusshera…
what is the arena you would like to dance in…..
What are your unique skill sets
what do you love doing
where will these unique abilities of yours be invaluable
You never get bored of these for sure….
You celebrate them… and find ways to engage yourself in them..

Kashmir - Zannat Zamin par

As I addressed three classes today, in one of the classes a young gentleman shared that he is passionate about water and has been working on research projects with a developmental organization… he said, water is his all encompassing interest. He asked whether the IIMs will ever be interested in his passion. Do they want to hear about it?
Imagine a day without water and what a role it plays… … I am sure his passion of water will find its destination; no one could ever stop gushing waters…….and the institutions will be in awe of his purpose and passion! and the WATER WILL FIND ITS OWN LEVEL !!
if your story is compelling, every one will be glued to your screen…
HARSHA will play his cricket for life time, ‘BHOGging’ the rich treasures; DINA will continue to sing and run ‘parikrama’ ‘RALlying’ the crowd; Bhai, MALLIKA too will dance for ever conquering the ‘SARA world’….. ;
Each one found a meaning and purpose for themselves and the IIMs did take them to the higher planes…
Your passion can be your profession….you will never get bored. Will you?
if you are passionate you will find ways of putting it/them to use…either for yourself or for a corporate…or others.
You need to ask questions – why, what, where, how? and dwell deeper..
I am sure you will find your treasure too… Find your Mojo..
write to me once you finish the exercise…
Best wishes.

No dream is big, if you really chase it purposefully and passionately – Three Inspiring stories from India’s hinterland!

While the whole world is enjoying the summer vacations in the months of May and June, it is usually a testing time for the youth passing out of class XII – the tension of admissions – which college, which course? It certainly happens to all those that have not yet zeroed on what they want to do in life!

When I look at the chaos the DU admissions are in, I feel even worse for these youngsters and their families! But there are a few from this class of 2014, who by now have created headlines and have grabbed their coveted badge for life. One such badge, in Indian context is an entry into IIT!

Purpose, Passion, Perseverance

Purpose, Passion, Perseverance

In the last one week I came across three inspiring stories about youngsters, who despite all odds, are on the path to glory; Incidentally there are two sets of twins and also a boy who is considered too young to even know what IIT is all about. Yes, they have made it to the hallooed portals!


Jalandhar : Sumit and Amit, had secured 809th and 2014th All India ranks respectively this year in IIT-JEE, and they had secured 1800 and 1600 ranks last year, but could not join the prestigious institution as they failed to arrange the Rs. 80,000 deposit required towards admission.

Several readers have come forward to help the twin brothers who cracked the prestigious IIT-JEE exam twice in a row but failed to finance their college education.

Read the full story here –


Mumbai : With a collective income of around Rs 17,000 per month and a cramped 150 square foot room in Bhiwandi’s slums for their home, life for the Yadav family has been tough. But it looks all set to change. Their 18-year-old twins — Ram and Shyam Yadav — have cleared the coveted IIT-JEE exam with 267 and 1,816 ranks respectively in the OBC section. With a brother who earns Rs 9,000/- supporting his father to help these youngsters realize their dreams, they chose to make it happen with the dint of their hard work in the last two years!

The full story here –


Patna: A 14-year-old from Bihar’s Rohtas district has cracked this year’s prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE).

Shivanand, the son of a farmer, passed his class 12 exam this year with 93.4 percent, and got special permission to sit for the IIT-JEE, the results of which were declared last week. He secured 2,587 rank.

The full story :

Each of these youngsters prove that – No dream is big, if you really chase it purposefully and passionately.

The real ‘Chyavanprash’ of life…. have you got it?!

The real chyavanprash of life. life enlivened! The 'dream it, do it' professor!!

The real chyavanprash of life. Life enlivened! The ‘dream it, do it’ professor!!

[This story, I had come across many a time – various adaptations with the essence being same. When I got a mail from my brother, Dr. parameswaran, yesterday, I thought why not I do my adaptation… Here it is]

When things in your life seem, almost too much to handle,
When 24 Hours in a day is not enough,
Remember the ‘Chyavanprash’ jar and 2 glasses of ‘Nimbu paani’.

A professor stood before his philosophy class
and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly,
He picked up a very large and empty ‘Chyavanprash’ jar
And proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students, if the jar was full?!
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured
them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open Areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two glasses of ‘nimbu paani’ from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively
filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor, as the laughter subsided,
‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – family,
children, health, Friends, and Favorite passions –
Things that if every thing else was lost and only they remained, Your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else –The small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ He continued,
there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
You will never have room for the things that are important to you.


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play With your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

‘Take care of the golf balls first —
The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest! is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the ‘Nimbu paani’ represented.

The professor smiled.
‘I’m glad you asked’.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there’s always room for a couple of glasses of ‘Nimbu Paani’ with a friend.’

Please share this with other “Golf Balls”…
I just did……

[chyavanprash – it is an ayurvedic concoction for giving energy and vitality; Nimbu Paani is a refreshing lemonade]

Interaction with an enlightened Autorickshaw driver, Fakhruddin Iliyas!

Enlightened Autorikshaw driver, Fakhruddin Ilyas Mohammad

Enlightened Autorikshaw driver, Fakhruddin Ilyas Mohammad

Feb 12, 2012: It has been a wonderful day at Bangalore. The daylong BBC (b-school boot camp) engagement with brilliant youngsters who are keen to excel in life and also the hour-long stirring session with the IIM call-getters in the evening energized me immensely.

The intensity of the 10 hours of action, that transports youngsters to the world of self-belief is what I really enjoy, day after day.  When they walk out, each one has glint in his eyes, spring in his gait and the confidence in his voice. The day is worth all the effort. It is a way of self-actualization for me.

I had not bargained for a greater surprise that was yet to come at the fag-end of the day. The interaction with Sheikh Fakhruddin Iliyas Mohammad, the entrepreneurial auto rickshaw driver, was an eye-opener.  I am recalling the interaction to the best of my abilities –

As the auto starts to move after I boarded,

Sfi – sir u speak a very good Hindi, you don’t seem to be from here.

Rs – Though my roots are from Kerala, spent my childhood in Hyderabad.

Sufi – acha, Hyderabad people speak good Urdu

Rs – I am not sure about every one, but my Hindi has been honed in north as I have been based there since 1983

Sfi – main wahi samjha, you must be from north. Main Saath saal muscat, Oman mein tha and I realized that your Hindi is very sophisticated, like so many who were in muscat, that had come from Delhi

rs – main bhi yeh sonchoon ki aapki Hindi itni bhadiya kaise? I too was wondering how your Hindi is so good?

Sfi –  hahahaha

Rs. How was your stay in Oman? People who go to gulf usually do not come back

Sfi – I learnt a lot about myself and the world there. What makes one succeed in life. It really changed my life. But, I did not like my stay there at all. It is inhuman

Rs. That is the reason I asked. I spent a few years running business in gulf. I did research about the labour who go from here and their challenges. I have written articles on the issue

sfi – zindagi wahan bather hai! Log yahan se kya sochke jaate hain, wahan jake kya banta  hai.. Idar zameen  bech  ke jata hai aadmi. Puri family, gaon aatha hai, mala pehnatein  hain, airport main Bharaat ke Saath chodte hain. (life is very bad there. People go there thinking what not, and what he becomes there.. He sells land and home, takes loans..entire family and village comes in a celebration mood, the person in garlands…)

Unko lagta hai ki iske gulf Jaane se saari family ki sudhaar hone walihai.  Woh gulf mein sheikh ki tarah rahnewala hai, aur bahut paise bananewala hai. Wey nahin jantehain ki usey Bali ka bakra banadiya hai…
(they all are thinking that his going to gulf is going to transform the family. He is going to be there like an oil sheikh, making a lot of money. They never realize that he is being garlanded and sent to the gallows)

The middlemen are making fool of every one. They Plant stories about prosperity and push families to part with everything to send a member to gulf.

I would not advise even my enemy to go to gulf. The life is very harsh and you get paid peanuts. The cost of living is too high.  You never manage to save anything. I started a mechanics shop with an arabi as my sponsor, the business is given in his name. I work hard to earn my livelihood, while the arab takes away the cream. It took me seven years to trying to come out of my debt and I made sure i came back the moment the king announced amnesty to all visa violators. People told me that this is a great opportunity to exit the country

Ladies who go there as housemaids, I only know what they go through. The Arabi leaves them with no chance, with his  retinue of mistresses and slaves. One maid came to me asking me to rescue. I ran away from there. You cannot afford to be at the receiving end off these arabis.

Rs – Indians live in inhuman conditions, with over a dozen people crammed in a small room. Their belongings can be seen on the attic outside the balconies, as there is no room inside. Most of the non-construction workers, who do not work in an organised business,  are illegally living, trying all the time to avoid the law. In the process, they are royally taken for a ride.

SFi – I can vividly recall every day, as if it happened yesterday, though it has been almost ten years since I came back. Though I am riding an auto ever since I came back, I feel like a king here. I work whenever I want, relax whenever I want. I am my own boss.

In my last 10 years of riding auto, I have not come across a person like you. You have been giving me so much respect and talking, valuing my story and taking so much interest in them. I like your way. Most people who get in, avoid talking even when you are very courteous. They do not treat us like human beings.

Rs – the most important thing in life is to be a good human being. That is the basic necessity. If you are good, everything else gets taken care of.

SFI – you are so right. Have you ever been to a government hospital? You should if you have not.

Rs – yes, I have been to many a times. I feel what you want to say..

I took a family elder who was not keeping well and got her admitted. I had stayed there for a couple of days. Rich and poor, all are praying for the well being of their family members. No distinction. In fact in the corridor, the rich who might have never bothered about us, keep coming asking me to pray for their well being. Everyone becomes naked when he goes back to god. Nothing matters. Only your deeds remain.

Have you ever been to a shamshaanghaat (burial ground)? That is the place that you get the greatest peace.

Rs – yes. Nothing else goes with you on your last journey. People just recall all your good deeds.

Sfi – people are worse than animals, most of the times. I recall an ad where they showed people interactions and then superimposed a dog, pig, donkey etc based on the way they were talking. It was very apt. I used to think how people become animals before becoming humans.

All faiths tell the same thing – truth, honesty and being humane are the basic qualities to have. We all read and pray from all holy books, but never follow the tenets.

Rs – the way you speak, you should write a book. You can narrate you story. It will be a fascinating one. You can do it on the Internet too. You will be an inspiration for many who are in the gulf and also to those who came back. They all will add their experiences.

SFI – I have been thinking about it. After talking to you , I am very motivated. I will do it and send you the story.  Kindly give me your visiting card.

I will check your website, you must be having one.

Rs – here is the card. Here is my website on the card. Kindly have a look and write your story. It has been a pleasure interacting with you. Loved the wonderful time. Thanks.

Sfi – thanks sir. You have been a wonderful person to talk to.

Social Media – tread judiciously to safeguard yourself and your institution

(An article written for a publication, to appear soon. While we are aware of all the lovely upsides, very few look at the downsides, especially in an institutional environment. This article / interview has been in that context.)

Social Media is a great tool to reap rich rewards, if tread judiciously.  Institutions and individuals have adopted social media (e.g. Facebook, Linkedin, blogs, Twitter) as a medium of sharing information and connecting with people.

  • Institutional uses include connecting with work groups, sharing knowledge, recruiting, rapid dissemination of information as conditions change, and connecting with immediate stakeholders or larger audience.
  • Individuals are excited about reconnecting with people who are distant in both time and location or engaging with others who share similar interests and many a times to show the face that would get them more following and LIKES!!

The impact of these tools of ‘unimaginable speed’ is far reaching. While this rapid and widespread dissemination has many advantages, many times the social networking sites end up being a place for big online cocktail party or even an open glasshouse! It is no more about reaching twenty people with ‘an image’, but about twenty million with a click of the mouse!

1. What are the specific concerns around security on social networks as it relates to the higher education sector (Institution, students and faculty)? Any incidents of security threat through the social network especially in academic environments?

The very nature of the medium makes an individual, institution, organization and even a nation vulnerable. The unintended and intended consequences are pretty high –

  • Classrooms with laptops and wifi connectivity have not only created distractions, but also made the institutions vulnerable – anything can fly-out any time!
  • Break-ins resulting from innocuous Tweets about being on leave or vacation
  • Students posting a short video on YOUTUBE –
    • A discussion among themselves about a situation or a faculty, tarnishing the image;
    • A video of preparing food in an unsanitary way leading to charges of health code violations
  • With corporate recruiters and other stake holders always cross checking the veracity of statements of individuals in their CVs or publications with their online presence and activities, every individual is vulnerable
  • Social friendship building to an emotional plane and at times threat to personal privacy leading to really bizarre situations; god forbid the extreme personal safety incidents that come to light!
  • At an extreme, institutionally –
    • It shapes perceptions and thinking like the one that may lead to revolutions like the African spring across nations, an Anna Hazare’s movement in India, ‘Occupy squares’ in the US – universities and institutions have always been the hubs and epicenters!
    • Educational, corporates, research labs, national agencies – The number of channels of exit of classified documents have multiplied: Wikileaks is a great example of thriving on such a phenomenon

Knowingly or unknowingly many of the innocuous acts on this medium of ‘anonymity’ and ‘lulled privacy’ are leading to damaging the public’s perception of an individual, institution, organization and nation.

In fact, the law has not yet caught up with the pace at which technology is moving, leaving many helpless! Nations like India are still groping in the dark!

2. What guidelines do you recommend/suggest to prepare students and faculty in the higher education sector for the security concerns on social networks?

Social networks are highly impacting channels to communicate to the outside world in an economical way. What could be a better way than reaching the target segment directly without clutter! World wide they have taken away about 20-30% pie from conventional marketing channels. But, yes, if it is not handled judiciously we can end up in a soup.

Recognizing the vulnerability and threats, intentional and unintentional, an institution has to safe guard itself and its community. The aforesaid reasons are compelling enough for most institutions to come out with behavioral code or advisory on ‘net-etiquettes’. Everyone will benefit if each one of us keep a few things in mind –

  • Discretion is part of valor – While creating your profile page or writing on any blog or public forum, do not divulge any detailed information [addresses, designations, birth dates, family details, schedules, business or financial information.] that would expose you or anyone else to unscrupulous individuals who may take advantage of it in the future or makes you vulnerable of identity theft or malicious threats.
  • Think before you type – Internet gives false security, your guard is low and at times you type things without any inhibitions.  This includes gossip, insults, obscenity or even outrageous claims. Be careful so that nothing will come back to haunt you.
  • Being a Skeptic helps for sure – Useful information as well as useless propaganda is abounding on social networks. While a few out there are wearing colorful masks or even masquerading as some one else to further their personal agenda, certainly a great number of posts or stupid or ignorant. Take everything with a pinch of salt!
  • Professionalism pays
    • Never post any picture or video of individuals, contexts and situations that can compromise anyone’s dignity and security, above all institutions.
    • Never download anything from untrusted sources that can compromise your personal privacy – computer, personal data, bank accounts and also institutions privacy.
    • Check the privacy and security setting details on your net-tools and bring in appropriate checks to thwart any untoward data flow.

  • Vigilant Firewalls save – Take precautions by creating monitoring methods to track individual accounts for unusual bandwidth traffic. This can help quicken any response towards untoward endings.

All in all, if our sensory and analytical antennae are conscious and alive, we can certainly take advantage of such a wonderful medium. Let us tread judiciously.

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