Sunday, September 15, 2013

Beyond the obvious from Suits!

Disclaimer: This is not a review of Suits
Suits, It's not just a court room drama about a law firm. It gives us a lot of insight into the functioning of a modern day corporate firm, and how we can make our lives better by following some simple rules. Some of them, I have listed below, and it goes without saying that this is not exhaustive.

Accept your mistake and fix it: If you do something wrong, instead of  finding someone to blame it on, take the onus on yourself and sort it!

'If you are lying to save someone then it's not a lie'- Bull shit!: Lying at work is a strict no no, you will only delay the inevitable and make matters worse, the truth will certainly come back to bite you later.
'Lying to me doesn’t protect me. It betrays me'-Harvey

Your associates are your responsibility: If your mentee is doing good then you'll be praised, and if he/she screws up, you have to be accountable for the same. On numerous instances we have seen Jessica and Harvey doing the same for Harvey and Mike respectively. Remember Harvey paying up for Mike's Rookie Dinner?
The camaraderie between the boss and his associate is the key!
'When you after Harvey you go after me'-Mike
Try and win big, not lose small: Always aim to win in a big way, only then will you end up winning, as they say 'Aim for the stars, you'll reach the sky'
'You’re never going to win big if you only look to minimize your losses'
Never say never: You are never in a position to not get back. You can always find a way out. As Harvey puts it:
'When your back's against the wall, break the god damn thing down'

Well, Sometimes it's all right to lose small: However, when you are completely taken down and biting the dust, try and get the best out of the situation!
'I'm not a gambler but on this case I can make an exception'

Break Rules, Don't be a pen Pusher: Following the rule books to the last bit is not going to get you anywhere. You are running a business, not a god-damn morality class!

Looks Matter: 'First impression is the last impression'. Let's accept it, we all are in awe of Harvey's and Jessica's style and personality. Imagine what effect it would have on your clients and competitors if you could be as suave and debonair.

Revenge is the best revenge: Gone are the days when forgiveness was the best form of revenge. You got to show them, right then!

Have an appetite for risk: Be bold and take risks, 'No Risk-No Return' As simple as that!

Keep calm and Be confident: For those who have following this season, do I really need to explain? The characters of Harvey and Jessica are an epitome of confidence. It simply oozes out from them. One needs to keep their composure no matter how tough the situation is.
"Jessica: Are you ready?
Harvey: You Kidding, I was born for this"

Pardon me for coming up with this not-so-humorous post, but I guess it's still worth a read ;)

Signing Off, 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Write, because you want to!

One of those days when you just want to write, you do not know what, but the bug inside you just doesn't let you sleep in peace. Yes, today is one of those days. Though this is a chronic event, but seldom is it acute enough to coax you into taking your pen out and jot down something, (figuratively speaking) however random or absurd it may be. I have noticed that this feeling has been creeping in, more often in the past year or so, and the conversion rate of the 'urge to write' to 'actually penning down' has also taken a nosedive in the same time frame. If my experience is something to go by, it seems that this bug hits you more when you have something inside, something you have not achieved but desperately want to, something that leaves you incomplete; and what takes you away from actually writing is the very urge to focus all your energies to complete that 'something' and gift yourself this amazing feeling of completeness. (I am assuming it's amazing, because that's what it's made out to be be and that's what it better be once I achieve it, unless of course success is over rated). But then, once in a while, you just happen to realize that writing gives you peace, (for some it may be music, painting or any other form of channelizing your energy) which in turn will only make you a happy man and bolster your spirits to get out of the hot spot you currently are in. It remains to be seen if it will eventually help me succeed in achieving what I aspire to, but then it does give me a momentary (or may be a little more) feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, which was long overdue. I have no clue why I am writing this but then, I can certainly resonate with the aforementioned feelings! (at least as of now!)
Damn, I am a waiter!

'You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write - Saul Bellow'

(Please excuse the grammatical mistakes if any. I did not want to review it as I stumbled across the above quote just before composing this post')
Signing Off

Monday, June 3, 2013

Shoes of the Dead..

If there has to be one word to describe this piece of literature it is 'Captivating'. I cannot thank Blogadda enough to present me this opportunity to review this book. The genre is a refreshing change from all the rom-coms the new age Indian authors are coming up with. The way the details are presented in such an articulate fashion would make even the best in the business proud! 
The story of a farmer, who succumbs to the pressures of life, crushed by successive crop failures and the burden of debt, and finds death to be the easier way out. As fate would have it, the powerful district committee of Mityala routinely dismisses the suicide and refuses compensation to his widow.
Gangiri, the farmer's brother, who fights for justice to his brother’s widow is the main protagonist of the story, while Keyur Kashinath, The antagonist of the Democratic Party.
The tone of the book is highly empathetic and it seems to have a heart of its own. The brilliant farmer battles his inheritance of despair, the arrogant politician fights for the power he has received as legacy. Their two worlds collide in a conflict that pushes both to the limits of morality from where there is no turning back. At stake is the truth about ‘inherited’ democratic power. And at the end, there can only be one winner. Passionate and startlingly insightful, Shoes of the Dead is a chilling parable of modern-day India.
One of the lines which struck me was "Where booked enjoyed better air conditioning than half of country's population" "Where family of dead farmer owned land, compensation was denied, so that family is forced to sell off land, where they had no land, compensation was granted so that debt could be repaid in cash".
The cover of the book and the sepia adds to the grave tone which is very well complemented with the narration. This sort of humane rendition to the characters and the storyline makes the narration effective and easy to understand. The dilemmas associated with pride and poverty are very well-sketched. The dilemmas faced by committees and the discomfort faced by people are also nicely done. This is a piece that will make you amble through the corridors of power and politics of India along with a perfect portrayal of how its consequences creep into the lives of the farmers forcing them to commit suicide.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A very Indian approach to management- Business Sutra

Every time I read a book, I try to find, what is different in it, and what the author must have thought before penning it down. As a Management student, business obviously excites me. We have been taught the principles of Management, which precisely are the ones derived from the practices and experiences of the western nation. Seldom do we see someone coming out with an Indian Approach to Management. There might be a Kishore Biyani who comes out with a “It happened in India” but that is not very frequent. In this book, the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group, and a veteran of over twenty five books and 400 articles on Indian Mythology comes up with something which was so long not thought of. Business Sutra by Devdutt Pattanaik is a masterpiece on business as it brings together the two most powerful things of our country – mythology and business (of course after cricket and Bollywood). Very rarely you come across a book on business which is so beautifully written that you remain in awe long after you have finished reading it. We might have had ‘As is belief, so is behavior, so is business. This is business sutra, a very Indian approach to management.’ We have always believed that the very base of our society has been made up on the various beliefs and myths from the Vedas and the other religious scriptures. However, to imagine the base of business being set on this is something one would have never imagined. Although I have heard tremendous things about his previous works, but this is his first book that I have gone through one, and trust me now I am going to go through all his previous works as well. True to its name the book begins with giving us a primer on comparison between the deep-seated beliefs of Indian (Jain, Buddhist and Hindu) and Western mythology that are derived from Greek and Biblical roots, and the two complimenting Chinese belief systems. You lean why the western managers have a high regard for order, while we in India are not worried with all the chaos around us. In Business Sutra Devdutt Pattanaik takes you on a mythological journey using symbols, stories and rituals to relate to how we look at doing business and how it is different from what western beliefs teach us. In fact the use of images and symbols to depict things and make business sense out of it was impeccable. He depicted things in a way I had never seen before, which compelled me to finish the book in one sitting. He questions the way of management we follow. In fact it is one of the basic premises of this book. Our approach of management is completely derived from the western approach to business, whereas the culture here, in India is quite complex and diverse than the west. How is it supposed to work effectively here? No doubt, the western approach is delivering numbers and goals but how do we justify it as the most optimal way of doing business in India or actually the many India’s that we have within our geographical boundaries?

About the Author
Devdutt Pattanaik has written over twenty five books and 400 articles on Indian mythology for everyone from adults to children. Since 2007 he has been explaining the relationship between mythology and management through his column in the Economic Times; the talk he gave at the TED India conference in 2009; and the show Business Sutra which ran successfully on CNBC-TV18 in 2012, besides numerous other lectures at Indian Universities and management institutes. 
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Black Dog Easy Evenings with Elvis!

Black Dog, has been a brand which is synonymous to Luxury. They are a brand which cares for its consumers. They are aware of the taste of their customers and thereby they have come up with this unique initiative in the form of Black Dog Comedy Evenings and Black Dog Easy Evenings. They bring forth a concept which provides a perfect way to unwind and relax after a hectic day! On this concept they have hosted a number of evenings, bringing in international stars, from the world of comedy and music to their devoted customers. In a similar such evening, they decided to pay a tribute to the great 'Elvis Presley' to commemorate the celebration of 125 years of black Dog. The highly acclaimed, famed and renowned Elvis Presley tribute artist was flown down to India for a nine-city concert by Black Dog. this was the first time the people of India were witnessing something like this courtesy the Black Dog. Of course, in today's age that was the closest one could ever get to the age of Rock n Roll, and the king of that period 'Elvis Presley' himself. This tour kicked off at Delhi, and the show then travelled to Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Goa among eight other cities. The show was organized by Black Dog 8 Centenary, it clearly reflected their intent to bring alive the proposition of proudly old fashioned in a more contemporary way.  Stephen Kabakos enthralled the entire gathering with Presley's numbers. It seemed like he was born to play his impersonator, and he played it with much ease. It was not just his hairdo, looks and styling sense that made him what he is today, but he also executes a very energetic and Presley like performance which makes him the most coveted Elvis impersonator across the globe. He had an electrifying charisma which coupled with the charm and luxury of Black Dog, made the night worthwhile for everybody present out there!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

God's own things: Black Dog in Kerala!

I had heard enough of the state of Kerala, and how it is the ‘God’s own country’ but have never had a chance to experience it by myself. On the other hand, Black Dog, according to me is the ‘God’s own drink’, and yes I say only because I have never tasted anything as good and as relaxing ever! Now was the chance to experience both the pleasures together. I love traveling and obviously love Black Dog Scotch Whisky as well. So doesn’t it sound perfect? My two loves coming together to make me doubly happy! In fact I simply cannot do without Black Dog while traveling during my vacations. I am out because I want to relax and move away from the bustling and roaring towns. I find my peace in such eternal places completely letting myself go with the flow. These are planned to leave behind your mental pressures and for once, live luxuriously, like a free bird. How can one not have Black Dog as a company!! Whenever I go out for a vacation, I usually pack in two bottles of Black Dog Deluxe because I do not want to trouble myself once I am there. The world class packing of Black Dog ensures that I have no problem carrying it wherever I want to. One I was in Kerala, I landed at Thiruvananthpuram and straight away headed to Kovalam beach, where I had already booked a room for myself at The Leela, and I had already told them to give me a room facing the beach, and they were sweet enough to oblige me. As soon as I entered the room, and opened the curtains, there I could see the magnificent Kovalam beach. It was tremendous. It looked simply impeccable at the sunset. I relaxed myself, took a glass, poured my Black Dog in it and sat down in a chair in the balcony. The feeling was amazing! The winds hitting my face, the roaring sounds of the waves, the well lit beach and the company of Black Dog, it just could not be bettered! I realized why it was called the God’s own country and also that when two heavenly things mix with each other, the pleasure is second to none, and that’s exactly what I was hoping for.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Black Dog: The chosen one!

Black Dog is the finest of them all. The chosen one by its consumers and the best connoisseurs across the globe. Yes, they have proven that time and again and here is another proof of their mind blowing presence. They won the Silver medal in the International Wine and Spirits competition in 2005. Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is an organization recognized by the European Union, which conducts annual competition for various spirits and wines manufactured all over the world. The organization is well known in spirits and wine industry through its expertise, professionalism, integrity and excellence of its sensory panel. These competitions have been held for the last 11 years. The committee of judges comprises of well-Known experts in the field.The competition is open to various categories of spirits like whisky, rum, fruit wines, liqueur, cognac, brandy, vodka and gin. This is not the end of the list. Now that we have already read about numerous awards bestowed upon the finest scotch, here is another one: It has won the Bronze medal in the International Spirits Challenge in 2006. It is one of the world's premier competitions held annually in the U.K.
 Founded in 1995, the International Spirits Challenge attracts a rich and diverse line-up of entries, judged carefully by chosen specialists. The strength of the ISC lies in its independence and the variety and quality of its tasting panels-encompassing blenders, distillers, importers and journalists.The ISC judges are chosen for their knowledge of specific types of spirits, a vital element to ensure quality judging. The judges are asked to compare only like with like, in narrowly defined categories, therefore ensuring only spirits deserving a medal in this prestigious competition, win. All categories are chaired by experts. The International Spirits Challenge has shown continuous growth with the 2005 event seeing over a 12% increase in entries and a total of 499 medals awarded, included six trophies, reflecting the quality of the competition. Although not yet represented, but Dr B K Maitin is listed in the ISC panel of judges.
Such a prolific list of awards adds a huge number of feathers to the cap of Black Dog, and that is what makes it the best Scotch Whisky in India!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The making of the Legend: Black Dog!

Many of us might be wondering what goes behind the making of this legend: the Black Dog. Well, there indeed goes a lot of hard work in the preparation of this magnificent drink. There are usually two types of scotch whisky, single malted and blended. Single malted ones are those are made entirely by distillations from a single producer at a single site, whereas a blend is created by mixing distillation from multiple producers. Black Dog Scotch Whisky is a blended scotch whisky and the finest among them. When one drinks scotch, he does not how complex the production is. When I went through the process it really amazed me! It is a very complex process, and there is no room for any mistake, it has to be absolutely perfect! The origin of the malt whisky distilling in Scotland dates back to the monks of 15th century or may be even earlier. What is amusing is the fact that the subtle aroma and the flavors of whisky could never be explained till today despite knowing the art of making it. It goes through a complex process which involves malting, mashing, fermentation, pot stills, distillation and spirit safe. The barley used in the process of malting must be of the best quality and this it must be done in a very hygienic place. The quality of water used during process of mashing must be proper, and must be the best quality Scottish waters. During fermentation, yeast must be used which feeds on sugar, and produces alcohol and the small quantities of congeners, which contributes to the flavor of whisky. Another point of importance is the shape of the pot, used to distill it. It has peculiarly been the same over the years and every distillery carries out the process in the same shape of the distillery. During the spirit safe process the Still man uses all his experience to test and judge the various distillates without being able to come into physical contact with the spirit. The newly distilled, colorless spirit gets reduced to 63% alcohol by volume and is filled into oak casks. Only after all this is done, the luxurious, exquisite Black Dog is made!
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bliss of Solitude with Black Dog!

Somebody must have very rightly said "Solitude is Bliss", but what I realised is that listening to music in solitude is even more blissful. But you know what, Solitude, with Black Dog Centenary and music especially Pink Floyd playing in the background is the ultimate feeling. Nothing, absolutely nothing can top that. There are times when I like to spend all by myself. Those days I drive down to the bar at Oberoi Grand, find the quietest corner in the bar, order a peg of Black Dog Scotch Whisky, plug the ear buds of my Ipod in my ear and started my playlist. I have named this playlist as bliss, and only play it when I am alone, in the company of Black Dog! It has all the beautiful numbers of the yesteryear. It has the beautiful Rock n' roll tracks by the greats like Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Beatles among others. True that I was not even born in that golden era of 1950's but then they have been my dad's favourite and eventually I have grown up listening to them. Their songs Hey Jude, Suspicious Minds are the most played tracks in my pod, and certainly for a reason. Some of my friends prefer listening to Jazz and Western Instrumental while having their glass of Black Dog, but that is certainly not my choice. For me Rock tops the list any day, and after listening to Pink Floyd, again from the genre of Progressive Rock, I have no second thoughts about that. I spend hours listening to the music, and the waiter comes and fills up my glass when it is about to finish. Those are some precious moments I enjoy being just with myself, savoring the exquisite Black Dog Scotch Whisky!

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