Book Reviews – Eastern Mirror https://easternmirrornagaland.com The latest and breaking news from Nagaland, northeast India, India and the world. Current affairs and news of politics from around the world, latest updates on business news, sports, arts and entertainment Sun, 29 Mar 2020 17:41:13 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://easternmirrornagaland.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/cropped-FavIcon-32x32.png Book Reviews – Eastern Mirror https://easternmirrornagaland.com 32 32 A Treasured Legacy – Review of Naga Tales: Dawn https://easternmirrornagaland.com/a-treasured-legacy-review-of-naga-tales-dawn/ Sun, 29 Mar 2020 17:41:04 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=300085 Author: Dr. Achingliu KameiPublisher: Pamei & Gaare PublishingYear of Publication: 2017 (First publication), 2019 (Paperback edition)Reviewer: Veio Pou, Asst. Professor, SBSC, University of Delhi. For an oral culture, storytelling is an integral part of life. It forms the knowledge system of the people. It is in the telling that the tradition is passed on and preserved. For a long time, however, the oral tradition of the Nagas have been pushed to take a back seat owing to their pursuit of the written culture that came along with the various forces of change. It is in this light that Achingliu Kamei’s Naga Tales: Dawn comes as an important book of folktales collection. The set of ten stories presented in the book covers a range of theme. The first story “Chungailiu” is the story of a young village girl, her experiences of growing up and be initiated into the social life of the people. We are introduced to her being in the ‘Kailiu’, the girls dormitory, with her age mates who were all excited to welcome the season when “the forest comes alive with a brilliant burst of colours from the blooming flower trees.” As they venture into the forest to collect...

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Author: Dr. Achingliu Kamei
Publisher: Pamei & Gaare Publishing
Year of Publication: 2017 (First publication), 2019 (Paperback edition)
Reviewer: Veio Pou, Asst. Professor, SBSC, University of Delhi.

For an oral culture, storytelling is an integral part of life. It forms the knowledge system of the people. It is in the telling that the tradition is passed on and preserved. For a long time, however, the oral tradition of the Nagas have been pushed to take a back seat owing to their pursuit of the written culture that came along with the various forces of change.

It is in this light that Achingliu Kamei’s Naga Tales: Dawn comes as an important book of folktales collection. The set of ten stories presented in the book covers a range of theme. The first story “Chungailiu” is the story of a young village girl, her experiences of growing up and be initiated into the social life of the people. We are introduced to her being in the ‘Kailiu’, the girls dormitory, with her age mates who were all excited to welcome the season when “the forest comes alive with a brilliant burst of colours from the blooming flower trees.” As they venture into the forest to collect wild orchids, they were joined by boys of the village who were also out to gather canes and variety of bamboos.

The story “Rang-dai guan meipu” tells of a boy who was mistreated by the stepmother but kept it hidden from everyone, including his father. However, his girlfriend got to know about this. One day, he transformed himself into a hornbill using the clothes of the girl. To this day, the narrator tells us, “There is also a dance called ‘Rangdai-lam’, hornbill’s dance, that commemorates the dance of the hornbills.” A similar story is that of “Roukaeng” which tells of ill treatment by the stepmother. However, his endurance was richly rewarded when he found respite in the village where his sister married. While such stories seem stereotyping, they also bring the social message, a warning not to ill-treat orphans or that nature rewards them suitably.

The legend of Amang is told in the subsequent four different stories. In the first of the series, “Amang”, we are told that his birth was foretold in his father’s dream. Unfortunately, the parents passed away in quick succession leaving him orphaned with his sister. In “Amang rouhman latat mei”, we are introduced to the grown man Amang who is now married. Once while paying a visit to his aunt’s village he learned the trick of raising mithuns, thus becoming rich overnight. In “Amang kai dai mei”, we are told of the rich Amang who threw the grand feast of merit, the recognised feast that can only be hosted by men who are rich and have achieved social distinction. In continuation to the story of Amang’s feast of merit, “Amang kaidai khou khouring pari” tells us of the participation of all the creatures of the forest in the great feast – “It was the biggest celebration of the people and animals had experienced.”

“Kamangpu” is the story of a tiger who wanted to marry a girl, the youngest among and the most beautiful among the three sisters. But one day the girls tricked him to fetch water from a punctured pot leaving him to ever remain unsuccessful. The story “Rah alu gan” tells of a supernatural union between an earthly man and a daughter of the gods. But human vice caused their separation but the man undertook several feats to win her back. The last story “Mpou alaoliangmai” tells of how the youngest son of a family avenged the death of his brothers and father in the hand of a tiger-man. One can see the close affinity of animal world and the spiritual world with that of the human!

Many of these folktales, as was always the intent of the storytellers of old, comes with some anecdote or moral lessons in the end. While one finds entertainment in reading and listening to such stories, we also need to understand they perform certain social functions. Through these stories, Achingliu helps the reader to understand “the ancient traditions of social norm, beliefs, ethics, and value system found in the Naga society” (“Introduction”, p. 5). She judiciously blends the modern art of storytelling with the traditional nuances of consciously telling each particular story. In that, I think, she is able to accomplish what she sets out to do, “to connect with the younger Naga generation to their roots and identity, and inspire them to take pride in their cultural heritage”, as mentioned in the short introduction to the book.

Folktales, in a good sense, are a treasury of people’s legacy as they form a substantial portion of the traditional knowledge system. By retelling these tales in the English language, the author has widened the scope of their impact by reaching a larger audience. At the same time, even for the different Naga tribes, this effort has enabled them to find a shared heritage because many of these stories are told across tribes though with some variance. Of late, we’ve seen a surge in Nagas retelling their stories and such attempts need to be encouraged before folktales become a lost treasure.

The author Achingliu teaches at ARSD college, University of Delhi, and possess a huge interest in collecting folktales. She has lined up a series of books on folktales of which this is the first. We look forward to reading Morning Blush Naga Tales and Noon Tide Naga Tales which are in the pipeline for publication in the near future! The book in discussion is available on Amazon.

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Find What Drives Filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli, Empathise with India’s Isolated Tribes, Learn How to Inspire Millennials https://easternmirrornagaland.com/find-what-drives-filmmaker-girish-kasaravalli-empathise-with-indias-isolated-tribes-learn-how-to-inspire-millennials/ Sun, 22 Mar 2020 17:53:26 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=298618 Read about the journey of filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli, whose oeuvre is in Kannada but has a universal appeal, discover the pitfalls of bringing India’s isolated tribes into the mainstream, and finally, tips on hiring and retaining millennials. There’s much that the IANS Bookshelf offers you this weekend. It’s sure to take your mind off the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world! 1. Book: Mysteries of the Mundane – The Films of Girish Kasaravalli; Author: John W. Hood; Publisher: Orient BlackSwan; Pages: 219; Price: INR 495. The son of an agriculturist and a homemaker, Girish Kasarvalli, then 25, graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in 1975 with the Institute’s Gold medal for his Diploma film, “Avshesh” (The Ruins), and the President’s Silver Lotus Award for the Best Experimental Short Film of that year. Two years later, his first film as an independent director, “Ghatashraddha” won the National Award for the Best Feature Film. And, in a career spanning 45 years, Kasarvalli has won a staggering 14 National Awards, a clutch of international awards and has been exhibited at film festivals around the world. “What is remarkable or exceptional in his cinema is his keen insight into...

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Read about the journey of filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli, whose oeuvre is in Kannada but has a universal appeal, discover the pitfalls of bringing India’s isolated tribes into the mainstream, and finally, tips on hiring and retaining millennials.

There’s much that the IANS Bookshelf offers you this weekend. It’s sure to take your mind off the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world!

Book cover of “Mysteries of the Mundane – The Films of Girish Kasaravalli” authored by John W. Hood; Book cover of “White As Milk And Rice – Stories of India’s Isolated Tribes” written by Nidhi Dugar Kundalia; Book cover of “How To Recruit, Incentivise And Retain Millennials” authored by Dheeraj Sharma. (IANS)

1. Book: Mysteries of the Mundane – The Films of Girish Kasaravalli;
Author: John W. Hood; Publisher: Orient BlackSwan;
Pages: 219; Price: INR 495.

The son of an agriculturist and a homemaker, Girish Kasarvalli, then 25, graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in 1975 with the Institute’s Gold medal for his Diploma film, “Avshesh” (The Ruins), and the President’s Silver Lotus Award for the Best Experimental Short Film of that year. Two years later, his first film as an independent director, “Ghatashraddha” won the National Award for the Best Feature Film. And, in a career spanning 45 years, Kasarvalli has won a staggering 14 National Awards, a clutch of international awards and has been exhibited at film festivals around the world.

“What is remarkable or exceptional in his cinema is his keen insight into the ordinary and everyday. His source is current – or relatively recent – India. Indeed, the images and the narrative details are drawn from Karnataka, and to a Western viewer, bear the appeal of the exotic to some extent. However, a basic universal import will indeed be appreciated,” writes Wood, who has spent most of his life studying Indian culture, has written a number of books on Bengali cinema and is known as a translator of Bengali literature.

Noting that right from the making of “Avshesh”, Kasaravalli “had a rare understanding of the relationship between camera, object and the created image”, Wood adds: “He is a man of his nation, critically and intelligently concerned with its history and tradition, and the society that has emanated out of that… In all, he is eminently qualified to nurture at the core of his cinema the mystery of the mundane.”

This is a must read for all students and practitioners of serious cinema.

2. Book: White As Milk And Rice – Stories of India’s Isolated Tribes;
Author: Nidhi Dugar Kundalia; Publisher: Penguin;
Pages: 241; Price: INR 399.

“Each time a new set of invaders charged into the Indian subcontinent, the Indian tribals were pushed further back into the shadows, where they learnt to survive on what was available. Subsequently, they came to be called ‘savages’. In the recent past, thanks to modern encroachments and development, they have been forced back into ‘civilised’ society, which they neither understood or were prepared for,” says Kundalia, a journalist who mostly writes on socio-cultural issues, documenting human lives and their journeys through various settings.

She also points out that over the years, various act have been passed with the intention of protecting ‘tribals’ against mainstream society, strengthening ‘tribal’ cultural institutions, while at the same time furthering their integration with mainstream society.

However, “over the last few decades, rapid urbanisation has affected the character of their lives; the loss of their innocence and the damage to the environment are, perhaps irreversible. As the country grapples with new laws, climate changes and policies these marginalised lives serve as a dire warning”, Kundalia writes adding that the book is her “humble attempt to not bring this margin to the centre, but to make the margin a place of reality”.

Is someone in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs listening?

3. Book: How To Recruit, Incentivise And Retain Millennials;
Author: Dheeraj Sharma; Publisher: Sage;
Pages: 255; Price: INR 595.

“The quandary that millennials go through in their job search has often been an overlooked topic for both industry experts and academics. Many researchers believe that millennials are more eager to see and implement rapid change in their workplace. Although not only do they bring with them higher levels of values such as innovativeness, responsibility and creativity, but they also appear to have lower resilience and underdeveloped coping mechanisms,” writes Dheeraj Sharma, Director, Indian Institute of Management-Rohtak and Professor (on leave), IIM-Ahmedabad.

He then proceeds to ask – and answer – five questions: Are millennials a truly unique generation in terms of their behaviours, what are the challenges that millennials face at the workplace, what can inspire millennials at the workplace, how should organisations adapt to leverage on the strengths of millennials while working around their inherent weaknesses, and what strategies can organisations utilise for an optimal person-organisation fit?

The 11 chapters that follow serve as a primer for managers to ensure that they recruit the right millennials but also make sure that they retain their services in a rapidly evolving world where disruption seems to be the order of the day.

A handy book to keep in the top drawer of your desk.

Disclaimer

This story has not been edited by Eastern Mirror and taken directly from syndicated news feeds.

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Ups and Downs of Kudankulam N-plant, Women Bikers on an Adventure, Journey of a Classical Vocalist https://easternmirrornagaland.com/ups-and-downs-of-kudankulam-n-plant-women-bikers-on-an-adventure-journey-of-a-classical-vocalist/ Sun, 15 Mar 2020 14:49:28 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=297388 Vishnu Makhijani | IANS Read about the storms that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), India’s largest such facility, has had to weather; take a 17,000 km motorcycle ride with four gutsy women that began in Hyderabad and concluded in Cambodia after traversing six countries; and finally, let the music flow by immersing yourself in the life and times of Ajoy Chakrabarty, one of India’s most eminent vocalists. The IANS Bookshelf offers an eclectic variety this weekend. Plunge in! 1. Book: Kudankulam – The Story of an Indo-Russian Nuclear Power Plant; Author: Raminder Kaur; Publisher: Oxford University Press; Pages: 374; Price: INR 1,395. “One of the most astounding developments of the twentieth century was how a phenomenally expensive and devastating war-time technology became pacified for national use. As with several other technologies of destruction and surveillance, nuclear power has been domesticated – in this case, in the form of electricity legitimated through consumer interest, energy security and national development. It can be surprising, even shocking to learn of what the nuclear lobby have managed to get away with in terms of human, environmental, financial and political costs, bulwarked by their special dispensation to act in the national interests,” writes Raminder...

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Vishnu Makhijani | IANS

Read about the storms that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), India’s largest such facility, has had to weather; take a 17,000 km motorcycle ride with four gutsy women that began in Hyderabad and concluded in Cambodia after traversing six countries; and finally, let the music flow by immersing yourself in the life and times of Ajoy Chakrabarty, one of India’s most eminent vocalists.

The IANS Bookshelf offers an eclectic variety this weekend. Plunge in!

Book cover of “Road to Mekong: Four Women, Six Countries – An Adventure of a Lifetime” by Piya Bahadur; Book cover of “Seeker of the Music Within” by author Ajoy Chakrabarty; Book cover of “Kudankulam: The Story of an Indo-Russian Nuclear Power Plant” by Raminder Kaur. (IANS)

1. Book: Kudankulam – The Story of an Indo-Russian Nuclear Power Plant;
Author: Raminder Kaur; Publisher: Oxford University Press;
Pages: 374; Price: INR 1,395.

“One of the most astounding developments of the twentieth century was how a phenomenally expensive and devastating war-time technology became pacified for national use. As with several other technologies of destruction and surveillance, nuclear power has been domesticated – in this case, in the form of electricity legitimated through consumer interest, energy security and national development. It can be surprising, even shocking to learn of what the nuclear lobby have managed to get away with in terms of human, environmental, financial and political costs, bulwarked by their special dispensation to act in the national interests,” writes Raminder Kaur, an anthropologist at the University of Sussex, in this scholarly book that has been 18-years in the making.

This is just one aspect of the storms that the Kudamkulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in the southern tip of Tamil Nadu, with an eventual installed capacity of 6,000 MW – India’s largest – has had to weather since construction began on March 31, 2002. Two units of 1,000 MW each are currently operational but their cost has spiralled from Rs 13,171 crore ($1.7 billion) to Rs 17,270 crore.

Construction of units three and four began on February 17, but these will cost Rs 39,747 crore — twice that of the first two units.

A General Framework Agreement (GFA) for setting up units five and six was signed by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) with Atomstroyexport (ASE) of Russian Federation in June 2017, Parliament was informed last July.

There have been protests galore by villages and fisherfolk of the area but the Supreme Court has ruled that KNPP is in national interest.

This book is arguably the first to present all the facts about the KNPP between two covers and is a must read for both experts and the general public alike.

2. Book: Road To Mekong;
Author: Piya Bahadur; Publisher: PAN;
Pages: 202; Price: INR 350.

“Wrestling with a 400CC motorcycle mired in the slush focuses your attention like nothing else. The back wheel of my Bajaj Dominor was skidding on the clayey road, and the adrenaline was was making me completely ignore the spectacular scenery of the valley below,” so begins Bahadur in this book about a 17,000 km 56-day adventure of a lifetime along with three other intrepid women.

It began from Hyderabad, ran along India’s east coast and through the northeast, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam along the Mekong river and on to Cambodia before returning to India through Moreh, making a stopover in New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then concluding at Hyderabad.

“While the idea of a motorcycle expedition through Southeast Asia was the stuff of dreams for any motorcycle rider, the thought that I could actually go an such an expedition seemed just a little fantastical, even to me. But then again, all ideas are fantastical, until they turn into reality,” Bahadur writes of the journey with Jai Bharati, the founder of Hyderabad’s all-women Bikerni motorcycle-riding group who had just returned from a 8,000 km Kashmir-Kanyakumari ride on a 350CC Royal Enfield Classic, along with Shilpa Balakrishnan, who had given up her corporate job for the ride and Shanthi, a constable of the Telangana Police who was part of the SHE teams established to further the security of women in Hyderabad.

Read this book and get inspired.

3. Book: Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty – seeker of the music within;
Author: Shyam Banerji; Publisher: Niyogi Books;
Pages: 232; Price: INR 1,500.

When the multi-faceted Gulzar writes the foreword of a book that is endorsed by a Nobel Laureate, four Bharat Ratnas, two Padma Vibhushans and two Padma Bhushans you can be sure of a delightful treat in store. And so it is with this book on Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, for whom the music of destiny becomes divine for someone who embraces every swara that fate has placed on the scoresheet of life with gratitude, regardless of the complexities of the bandish or the composition of joys and sorrows.

“I have heard him singing Tagore. His face takes the expressions of the poet. He sings Qazi Nazrul Islam with the same passion. He has quoted Beethoven so well, saying “To play a wrong note is insignificant, but to play without passion is inexcusable’,” Gulzar writes.

In sum, Chakrabarty’s musical journey illustrates that the song of life, is a duet rendered in two voices – the voice of destiny and the voice of human effort; both the voices are equally important. Singing this song is not about both voices being in harmony, it is more about both voices singing in sync and the human voice rising to respond to the complex musical notes of destiny’s challenges and opportunities.

That’s the true sign of a genius. This is a book to be treasured!

Vishnu Makhijani can be reached at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in

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The Yellow Dress: A Review https://easternmirrornagaland.com/the-yellow-dress-a-review/ Sun, 08 Mar 2020 19:17:31 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=296541 Imtiyala Jamir | EMN In sixteen short stories, Inakali Assumi gathers lost innocence, altered lives, and harsh memories—sometimes with bald realism, and sometimes with hyperbole and candid imagery. While not much happens and most of the characters aren’t provided the redemption they deserve, ‘The Yellow Dress’ shimmers with startling glimpses of people at the margins who confront their limitations. That being said, the book feels like one extended non sequitur, and having read it, I’m a little frazzled as to what should follow next. It has some wonderful set-ups, that leave the ordinary behind – it is just what comes after, or doesn’t, that’s the problem. An ambitious lad builds a school, a middle-aged unmarried woman metamorphs into an eagle; a young boy convinces a minister to build a road and another touches on folklore about afterlife in ‘The return of Azhali.’ The last is definitely worth mentioning for the heinous way it posits a more than decent scenario, but manages to do so little with it. Finally, I would defy anyone to fall in love with the story ‘The English husband’. Statements like “he spoke divine” though “his grammar was poor” provides a risible platitude that is supposed to...

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Imtiyala Jamir | EMN

In sixteen short stories, Inakali Assumi gathers lost innocence, altered lives, and harsh memories—sometimes with bald realism, and sometimes with hyperbole and candid imagery.

While not much happens and most of the characters aren’t provided the redemption they deserve, ‘The Yellow Dress’ shimmers with startling glimpses of people at the margins who confront their limitations.

That being said, the book feels like one extended non sequitur, and having read it, I’m a little frazzled as to what should follow next. It has some wonderful set-ups, that leave the ordinary behind – it is just what comes after, or doesn’t, that’s the problem.

An ambitious lad builds a school, a middle-aged unmarried woman metamorphs into an eagle; a young boy convinces a minister to build a road and another touches on folklore about afterlife in ‘The return of Azhali.’ The last is definitely worth mentioning for the heinous way it posits a more than decent scenario, but manages to do so little with it.

Finally, I would defy anyone to fall in love with the story ‘The English husband’. Statements like “he spoke divine” though “his grammar was poor” provides a risible platitude that is supposed to justify the underlying plot of the story.

On occasion, the narrator relishes in details, such as a bright yellow “shimmery” dress, and voices are amplified by emotional bruises and shocks. The book’s standout, “Age and death,” is a fragmented story that alternates between a young narrator’s tryst with orality to the death of her father. It is a thoughtful look on fables and their inter-relationship with the tangible and the real.

Short stories have their place, but I read novels almost exclusively. I like novels because they allow for a broader canvas, a broader range of human experience and a more sweeping plot. Some writers are very good at condensing all of that experience and story into a smaller illustration, but it is a rarer talent. I think a lot of the challenge is in picking a broad enough topic to be interesting and a small enough topic to fit the piece. Alternately, some good short stories read like scenes of a broader piece with the rest of the story being provided by the readers’ imaginations instead of the writer’s, but these scenes have to have an arc, have to have an end and have to have enough of a beginning so as to not throw the reader too jarringly into action.

These are thoughts of mine. I am no expert on short stories.

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When India, Pakistan Were at Peace, a Hairdresser Who Rose to Dizzy Heights, Savouring the Flavours of Kerala https://easternmirrornagaland.com/when-india-pakistan-were-at-peace-a-hairdresser-who-rose-to-dizzy-heights-savouring-the-flavours-of-kerala/ Sun, 01 Mar 2020 18:22:14 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=295619 Strange as it may seem to today’s generation, India and Pakistan were at peace in the first five years after the partition of the sub-continent in 1947 in spite of the horrendous killings that had taken place after the separation. A refreshing new book details these years and the subsequent downward spiral. Next, read about a hairdressser who dared to be different and built up an empire of 900 salons and 65 hair academies across 24 states and 121 cities in India – as also in Dubai, Singapore, Nepal and Bangladesh — all valued at $30 million. And finally, explore the original Spice Route — the cuisines of Kerala. Diversity rules the IANS Bookshelf this weekend. Immerse yourself! 1. Book: Animosty At Bay – An Alternative History Of The India-Pakistan Relationship, 1947-1952; Author: Pallavi Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 247; Price: INR 699. “An alternate history of the India-Pakistan relationship is long overdue. It’s terms of reference are frayed and well-worn, and its trends are monotonously predictable. India and Pakistan have entered into three full-scale wars…they point out each others’ shortcomings at the United Nations and spend vast sums of money on maintaining armies on the border….A slice of land, approximately...

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Book cover Attitude Is Everything; Eating with History – Ancient Trade-Influenced Cuisines of Kerala; Animosty At Bay – An Alternative History Of The India-Pakistan Relationship, 1947-1952. (IANS)

Strange as it may seem to today’s generation, India and Pakistan were at peace in the first five years after the partition of the sub-continent in 1947 in spite of the horrendous killings that had taken place after the separation. A refreshing new book details these years and the subsequent downward spiral.

Next, read about a hairdressser who dared to be different and built up an empire of 900 salons and 65 hair academies across 24 states and 121 cities in India – as also in Dubai, Singapore, Nepal and Bangladesh — all valued at $30 million. And finally, explore the original Spice Route — the cuisines of Kerala.

Diversity rules the IANS Bookshelf this weekend. Immerse yourself!

1. Book: Animosty At Bay – An Alternative History Of The India-Pakistan Relationship, 1947-1952; Author: Pallavi Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 247; Price: INR 699.

“An alternate history of the India-Pakistan relationship is long overdue. It’s terms of reference are frayed and well-worn, and its trends are monotonously predictable. India and Pakistan have entered into three full-scale wars…they point out each others’ shortcomings at the United Nations and spend vast sums of money on maintaining armies on the border….A slice of land, approximately 90,000 square miles in size (Kashmir), has been contested between the two for more than six decades. The dialogue process moves along in fits and starts and is seen as being held hostage by a variety of interests that benefit from a further deterioration of the relationship,” writes Raghavan, an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Delhi’s Ashoka University.

But it wasn’t always like this. In the first five years after Partition (1947-52), “what was acknowledged on both sides was that the way to a lasting stability lay in finding finding answers that could lay the ghosts of partition once and for all. And, to some extent at least both governments made concerted efforts to bring this about”, writes Raghavan in this extensively-researched book.

It details the Nehru-Liaquat Pact between the two Prime Ministers that inter alia permitted refugees to return to dispose of their property, the return of abducted women and looted property, derecognised forced conversions and confirmed minority rights. Most importantly, a pact was signed on sharing the Indus Waters and has endured till this day.

The entry of the Pakistani Army, initially through the back door with the C-in-C, General (later Field Marshal) Ayub Khan, initially becoming the Defence and Home Minister and later overthrowing President Iskandar Mirza in a coup, upset the delicate balance and saw a steady downswirl in sub-continental relations.

Still, all is not lost.

If, in the immediate post-partition conditions, policy makers of India and Pakistan “could conclude that the best remedy for the situation called for a series of detailed negotiations about how to put to rest the lingering questions arising out of the partition, these arguments can also serve as a relevant guide to the maze of India-Pakistan relations today”, Raghavan suggests.

It’s a rare voice of sanity in an otherwise programmed world.

2. Attitude Is Everything – Achieving Hair Raising Profits in Business;
Author: Jawed Habib; Publisher: Sage; Pages: 212; Price: INR 395.

“As I ventured out of the coziness of my father’s salon by way of attending and addressing seminars or by curring hair in other salons, I realised that there is a tremendous opportunity to grow and spread the business of providing good, hygienic and proper hairstyling to Indians,” writes Habib, a true self-made giant in his lifetime.

It wasn’t easy because no one at the time thought that uniform hairdressing services could be replicated across salons and then multiplied across the country. Hairdressers worked in their salons day and night but hardly taught anyone how to do the same work efficiently because there was a sense of insecurity – what if my junior overtakes me?

That’s not me, declared Habib.

“My life is like a running train. It started from one station and only I know when my terminal station will come. Many have boarded it and alighted too but my train has kept on moving. From 1 salon to 900 salons, 1 academy to 65 academies, 1 city to 121 cities, 1 state to 24 states and 1 country to 4 countries. I will not stop. I am moving on. I request my partners to be part of my success story. I will not stop. I do not know how to stop,” Habib concludes.

Way to go!

3. Book: Eating with History – Ancient Trade-Influenced Cuisines of Kerala; Author: Tanya Abraham; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 202; Price: INR 550.

Tanya Abraham grew up in a small town in Kerala in a big ‘tarawad’ (family dwelling that housed not only her large family but also soaked in the town’s happenings. At its core, was her grandmother’s kitchen. It was called ‘kusinchya’, a Portuguese derivative of the word kitchen, and it was from here that the main artery ran to nourish the soul of the household.

There couldn’t be a better grounding for a foodie as Abraham dishes out a culinary trail that is extensive and varied as it can get – from Jews of the Paradesi and Malabari sects, Syrian Christians, Muslims, Anglo-Indians, Latin Catholics and others who mingled with and evolved from the local populace – and the innumerable traders that flocked the state.

“In the heart of Kerala, lies the love of its people for food. As cultures and traditions thrived in the state, food found a prominent position in people’s lives. Influenced greatly by traditions, religious beliefs and trade it led to the emergence of a variety of cuisines,” writes Abraham in this tour-de-force along the original Spice Route.

Vishnu Makhijani can be reached at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in

The post When India, Pakistan Were at Peace, a Hairdresser Who Rose to Dizzy Heights, Savouring the Flavours of Kerala appeared first on Eastern Mirror.

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India a $5 tn Economy by 2025 Unrealistic: Montek Singh Ahluwalia https://easternmirrornagaland.com/india-a-5-tn-economy-by-2025-unrealistic-montek-singh-ahluwalia/ Sun, 23 Feb 2020 17:52:13 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=294548 Vishnu Makhijani | IANSPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of India rising to a $5 trillion economy by 2025 is unrealistic though it will happen at some time, says Montek Singh Ahluwalia, a former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and whose document prepared in 1990 largely influenced the economic reforms unveiled the next year, in his book “Backstage – The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years”. He is also extremely harsh on “two major policy mistakes” of the present government — demonetisation and the hasty implementation of GST. To become a $5 trillion economy “calls for an average growth rate of about 9 per cent in real terms over the six-year period from 2019-20 to 2024-25. With growth below 5 per cent in 2019-20, and only a slow recovery expected next year, achieving an average of 9 per cent for the period as a whole is simply not credible. We will certainly get to $5 trillion, but it will be a few years later,” Ahluwalia writes in the book, which has been published by Rupa. “A more realistic target would be to try to reach a growth rate of around 8 per cent per year as quickly as possible. This...

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Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia. (IANS)

Vishnu Makhijani | IANS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of India rising to a $5 trillion economy by 2025 is unrealistic though it will happen at some time, says Montek Singh Ahluwalia, a former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and whose document prepared in 1990 largely influenced the economic reforms unveiled the next year, in his book “Backstage – The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years”. He is also extremely harsh on “two major policy mistakes” of the present government — demonetisation and the hasty implementation of GST.

To become a $5 trillion economy “calls for an average growth rate of about 9 per cent in real terms over the six-year period from 2019-20 to 2024-25. With growth below 5 per cent in 2019-20, and only a slow recovery expected next year, achieving an average of 9 per cent for the period as a whole is simply not credible. We will certainly get to $5 trillion, but it will be a few years later,” Ahluwalia writes in the book, which has been published by Rupa.

“A more realistic target would be to try to reach a growth rate of around 8 per cent per year as quickly as possible. This is certainly necessary if we want to continue to reduce poverty and generate the employment needed to satisfy our young and aspirational labour force. Is 8 per cent growth feasible? India did achieve GDP growth of 8.5 per cent in the first seven years of the UPA, but a return to that growth rate is easier said than done,” Ahluwalia warns.

India’s growth was at 6.8 per cent in 2018-19 and dropped to 5 per cent in 2019-20. It is expected to “strongly rebound” to 6-6.5 per cent in 2020-21 the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament on January 31 said.

Demonetisation, Ahluwalia writes, “came as a complete surprise when the government on 8 November 2016 announced that all currency notes of denominations Rs 1,000 and Rs 500, accounting for 86 per cent of the value of currency with the public, were no longer legal tender. Holders of these notes were given up to 31 December to take the notes to banks to convert them into new notes. The decision was originally presented as a decisive attack on black money and corruption, but as that particular justification seemed difficult to sustain, several other justifications were advanced.”

“Raghuram Rajan, who was then governor of the RBI, was consulted informally about a possible demonetization and he had advised that any long-term benefits would not be worth the short-term costs. In any case, he counselled that if the government was determined to demonetise, there should be careful planning to ensure adequate supply of new notes. In fact, demonetisation was hastily announced a couple of months after Raghu’s term as governor came to an end.”

Rajan’s fears were “amply vindicated. People rushed to banks to exchange their holdings of old notes for new notes, but as there was a shortage of new notes, amounts handed over to banks could only be credited to their bank accounts, from which cash withdrawals were permitted on a restricted basis until the supply of new notes could catch up with demand. The shortage of cash disrupted agricultural markets and operations in the informal sector, both of which are highly cash-dependent”, Ahluwalia writes.

Eight months later, “the economy received a second jolt when the GST was introduced in July 2017. Unlike demonetization, which had very little support from professional economists, the GST was universally regarded as a major reform of the indirect tax system. It was expected to generate larger revenues, and also simplify the system but it failed on both counts because of a flawed design and poor implementation.”

Also, “frequent changes in the rates added to the confusion, giving the signal that rates could be adjusted through lobbying, which goes completely contrary to the signal of stability that GST should normally convey”, Ahluwalia maintains.

He also cautions against “strong centralised governments”, a scenario that is now unfolding in India.

“Strong centralised governments have some advantages but they also have a major disadvantage: the failure to provide room for different views. This reduces the likelihood that policy mistakes will be acknowledged and corrected.

“Manmohan Singh recognised the importance of encouraging free expression of views and descent in a liberal democracy. We are now about to go through a different experience with a government enjoying a strong majority and also one which was expected to rely on much greater centralisation of power in the PMO,” Ahluwalia maintains.

Ahluwalia concludes that India’s “transition to high growth was not a chance development. It was achieved by deliberate policy steps taken by those who had conviction and belief in the need for change. Changing policies in a country as complex as India has to go much beyond making declarations of intent. It needs an open society where businessmen and other stakeholders are free to criticize the government and draw attention to whatever is not working. It needs a team of technically skilled professionals with the ability to understand economic issues offering honest advice to the political class. It also needs a political class that can combine the unavoidable compulsions of adversarial politics with working towards building consensus on the broad direction of economic policy”.

“Good economics may not seem to be good politics in the short run, but wise political leaders will realise that it is almost always the best politics in the long run. How to marry the two is, in some sense, the real test of political leadership. I remain an unrelenting optimist that our political system can resolve this conflict and that the India story of high growth and development will therefore continue. India can and must return to its high growth years-our younger generation deserves nothing less.”

Vishnu Makhijani can be reached at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in

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Of a Battle that Changed Indian History, a New Kid on Currency Block, Ensuring Good Products are Pitched Correctly https://easternmirrornagaland.com/of-a-battle-that-changed-indian-history-a-new-kid-on-currency-block-ensuring-good-products-are-pitched-correctly/ Sun, 16 Feb 2020 18:04:15 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=293546 Read about the Battle of Plassey on June 23, 1757 between the forces of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-Daulah, and East India Company troops led by Robert Clive, an ambitious soldier of fortune, that saw Britain on the way to becoming the dominant power in the region; educate yourself about a futuristic option called cryptocurrency; and finally, navigate the moat-full of dragons and turbulence that you must cross to make it to ‘Startup Paradise’. There’s much knowledge to be gained from the IANS bookshelf this weekend. Don’t let the opportunity pass! 1. Book: Plassey – The Battle That Changed The Course of Indian History; Author: Sundeep Chakravarti; Publisher: Aleph; Pages: 392; Price: INR 799. “Some say India was won, or lost, at Plassey, when forces of the British East India Company led by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Clive defeated the compromised forces of young Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah. Others claim an extension of the stumbling, fracturing Mughal India, bereft of any mooring after the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, lost to aggressive mercantilism married to geopolitics,” writes Chakravarti, an award-winning author of bestselling works of narrative non-fiction and an extensively published columnist. Whatever the nuances, in a hundred years from a memorable...

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Read about the Battle of Plassey on June 23, 1757 between the forces of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-Daulah, and East India Company troops led by Robert Clive, an ambitious soldier of fortune, that saw Britain on the way to becoming the dominant power in the region; educate yourself about a futuristic option called cryptocurrency; and finally, navigate the moat-full of dragons and turbulence that you must cross to make it to ‘Startup Paradise’.

There’s much knowledge to be gained from the IANS bookshelf this weekend. Don’t let the opportunity pass!

1. Book: Plassey – The Battle That Changed The Course of Indian History; Author: Sundeep Chakravarti; Publisher: Aleph; Pages: 392; Price: INR 799.

Book cover of “Plassey: The Battle that Changed the Course of Indian History” authored by Sudeep Chakravarti; Book cover of “From Cowrie to Crypto: Blockchain and the Future of Money” authored by T.C.A. Sharad Raghavan; Boom cover of “The Startup’s Guide to Sales: How Not to Crash and Burn”

“Some say India was won, or lost, at Plassey, when forces of the British East India Company led by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Clive defeated the compromised forces of young

Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah. Others claim an extension of the stumbling, fracturing Mughal India, bereft of any mooring after the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, lost to aggressive mercantilism married to geopolitics,” writes Chakravarti, an award-winning author of bestselling works of narrative non-fiction and an extensively published columnist.

Whatever the nuances, in a hundred years from a memorable victory in a brief battle on June 23, 1757, fought in a mango orchard – today a four-hour train ride north of Kolkata – the British went on from becoming a significant European power in the Indian sub-continent to the only year power. The equally ambitious French company, the briefly soaring Dutch enterprise and the freely marauding Marathas under Shivaji were left in the wake, writes Chakravarti in this painstakingly researched tome.

“Victory at Plassey…began a run of geopolitical and geoeconomic dazzle before the destitution of the (British) Empire nearly 200 years later. The process begun at Plassey would fuel much of Britain’s industrial revolution and its many wars in the name of civilisation. Indian men and women, and Indian money would significantly underwrite both World Wars,” says the book, a welcome addition – from the Indian viewpoint – to the history of the subcontinent.

2. Book: From Cowrie To Crypto – Blockchain And The Future Of Money; Author: T.C.A Sharad Raghavan; Publisher: Westland; Pages: 226; Price: INR 399.

Book cover of “Plassey: The Battle that Changed the Course of Indian History” authored by Sudeep Chakravarti; Book cover of “From Cowrie to Crypto: Blockchain and the Future of Money” authored by T.C.A. Sharad Raghavan; Boom cover of “The Startup’s Guide to Sales: How Not to Crash and Burn”

“Imagine a time when, as easily as you can send a message to a friend on the other side of the globe, you will be instantly and safely send them money or any other information you want. That is the future of money,” writes economic journalist Sharad Raghavan in this handy primer on cryptocurriences.

Whether used as actual currencies, as assets to be invested in, or as smart contracts, cryptocurriences are based on a unique system called the blockchain – an immutable network that functions based on the consensus of its participants.

“All the people who make up a blockchain potentially have an equal say on how (it) operates) and what can be added or removed from it. This has opened up applications in record-keeping, such as digitisation of land records, education certificates, government-issued identification, know-your-customer records and so on. At present, the limits of blockchain technology are only our imagination and the computing power available,” the book says.

It explains what blockchain is, how it works, what it has to do with cryptocurrencies, and what the applications are for companies and governments. It also discusses the advantages of cryptocurrencies, what the dangers are (there are several), and whether banning them – as the Indian government is contemplating – is the best way to deal with them.

“The government is taking a very conservative stance on cryptocurrencies, which it might reverse in the future, but the heartening thing is that it seems to have recognised the potential for blockchain technology and is embracing it,” the author concludes.

This is a must-read if you want to stay ahead in the fast-evolving world of technology.

3. Book: The Startup’s Guide to Sales – How Not to Crash and Burn; Authors: Roshan Louis Joseph & Ram Mohan Menon; Publisher: Sage; Pages: 204; Price: INR 550.

Book cover of “Plassey: The Battle that Changed the Course of Indian History” authored by Sudeep Chakravarti; Book cover of “From Cowrie to Crypto: Blockchain and the Future of Money” authored by T.C.A. Sharad Raghavan; Boom cover of “The Startup’s Guide to Sales: How Not to Crash and Burn”

Noting that there are thousands of startups around in India, the book says “this is what developing an economy is all about. There is a hunger right across the country. Be your own boss is the battle cry. No doubt there will be casualties along the way. There will be successes too. They will inspire others. The age of startupis here and it will not go away”.

Sales and marketing “are like the selection of the Indian cricket team. Everybody is an expert. Everybody has an opinion. And the official selectors are always blamed when the Boys in Blue don’t do well. So its always nice when some genuine experts enlighten us on key aspects of sales manages,” Kurush Grant, former Marketing Director of ITC writes in the Foreword.

So, read on as Joseph, Managing Partner of B-More Consulting, where he promotes various international sales development initiatives, and Menon, who is engaged in sonsulting and offering management advice to medium sized companies in the sales and marketing domain, grow and prosper.

Vishnu Makhijani can be reached at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in

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Of Civilian Control Over Military, Madrasas at Crossroads and Transforming Life https://easternmirrornagaland.com/of-civilian-control-over-military-madrasas-at-crossroads-and-transforming-life/ Sun, 02 Feb 2020 17:09:31 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=291340 Read about how the pattern of civil-military relations in India has hampered its military effectiveness; learn about how madrasas should reorient to cope with the 21st century; and finally, soak in a guide on maximising your potential with well-defined strategies. The IANS bookshelf has much to offer this weekend. Broaden your horizon: 1. Book: The Absent Dialogue – Politicians, Bureaucrats and the Military in India; Author: Anit Mukherjee; Publisher: Oxford University Press; Pages: 313; Price: INR 1,100. It took the government close to two decades to approve the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as a one-point reference on all matters military as was recommended by a committee headed by the late K. Subrahmaniam, one of India’s most respected security analysts. However, the parametres for the functioning of this individual will be laid down by a civilian, Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor (NSA). This apart, General Bipin Rawat, the ex-officio Secretary of the newly-created Department of Miliatry Affairs, has also been saddled with a huge bureaucracy comprising two joint secretaries, 13 deputy secretaries and 25 under secretaries. Mukherjee, a former Armoured Corps officer and currently Assistant Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s...

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Read about how the pattern of civil-military relations in India has hampered its military effectiveness; learn about how madrasas should reorient to cope with the 21st century; and finally, soak in a guide on maximising your potential with well-defined strategies.

The IANS bookshelf has much to offer this weekend. Broaden your horizon:

Book cover of “The Absent Dialogue – Politicians, Bureaucrats and the Military in India” by Anit Mukherjee; Book cover of “Madrasas in the Age of Islamophobia by Ziya Us Salam & M. Aslam Parvaiz; Book cover of “No Limits – The Art And Science of High Performance” by Mukesh Bansal. (IANS)

1. Book: The Absent Dialogue – Politicians, Bureaucrats and the Military in India; Author: Anit Mukherjee;
Publisher: Oxford University Press;
Pages: 313; Price: INR 1,100.

It took the government close to two decades to approve the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as a one-point reference on all matters military as was recommended by a committee headed by the late K. Subrahmaniam, one of India’s most respected security analysts.

However, the parametres for the functioning of this individual will be laid down by a civilian, Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor (NSA). This apart, General Bipin Rawat, the ex-officio Secretary of the newly-created Department of Miliatry Affairs, has also been saddled with a huge bureaucracy comprising two joint secretaries, 13 deputy secretaries and 25 under secretaries.

Mukherjee, a former Armoured Corps officer and currently Assistant Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, contends in the book that India’s pattern of civil-military relations is best described as resembling an ‘absent dialogue’.

“This consists of three factors: lack of civilian expertise on military matters, an institutional design which leads to strong bureaucratic controls, and military autonomy over its own domain,” Mukherjee writes and then analyses how these factors “shaped the variables most closely associated with military effectiveness – weapons procurement, jointness, officer education, promotion policies and defense planning”.

“There is no normative or even academic consensus surrounding the delineation of roles between the civilians and the military on all of these variables,” Mukherjee writes, adding that a possible way forward “is to accept the fundamental notion that civilians and the military should engage in a well-informed dialogue on all aspects of defence policy. Such a dialogue should be permanent and iterative without arguments of separate domains”.

2. Book: Madrasas in the Age of Islamophobia;
Authors: Ziya Us Salam & M. Aslam Parvaiz; Publisher: Sage;
Pages: 178; Price: INR 395.

“The madrasas are a world much removed from the 21st century India; it is a world where students are not allowed to wear jeans-T-shirts, watch television or learn secular subjects for fear of going astray. This is from a community which was once ahead of the global fraternity in matters of science and mathematics…It is a community caught in a time warp…The madrasas at the crossroads are symptomatic of what’s wrong with the world of believers,” lament the authors in this very timely book in the troubled times we live in.

What is it about madrasa education that divides the faithful; why can’t the madrasas that take pride in preparing hafiz (learning by memory) students simply stick to the message of the Quran and just be part of the ‘ummah’ (community); why should sectarianism be prevalent, ask Zia Us Salam, Associate Editor at Frontline and the Hindu, and M. Aslam Parvaiz, VC of Hyderabad’s Maulana Azad National Urdu University.

“The madrasas need to demolish the walls of sectarianism, overhaul their syllabus to survive with dignity. They need to change their teaching methodology in the age of smart classrooms and video conferences…In cohesion not exclusion can we hope for better days,” the authors conclude.

3. Book: No Limits – The Art And Science of High Performance;
Author: Mukesh Bansal;
Publisher: Westland;
Pages: 360; Price: INR 599.

The last 10 years of his career have brought Mukesh Bansal close to some of the topmost performers in various walks of life. “I observed that most of these high performers were not that different from the common man. They were not particularly gifted or destined for greatness. These were ordinary people who’d developed extraordinary skills over several decades, through concerted effort, following a specific system of working, either knowingly or unknowingly.”

And thus was born this power-packed book with a foreword by Rahul Dravid and a Preface by Hrithik Roshan that in 12 chapters in four parts tells you that to “excel at anything requires learning new concepts, skills and fresh ways of looking at the world. It also often involves unlearning things that might have served you well in the past but may no longer be relevant”.

Most importantly, all progress happens when you are outside your comfort zone and push your limits to the very edge of your potential. If you always stay in your comfort zone, there will only be complacency and stagnation and your dream performance will remain just that — a dream, explains Bansal, who founded India’s largest fashion retailer, Myntra, and headed the e-commerce division of Flipkart after a highly successful acquisition.

There’s much to be learnt from his journey.

Vishnu Makhijani can be reached at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in

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Understanding Different Shades of Grey, Coping with Change, of Leadership in Sports and Life https://easternmirrornagaland.com/understanding-different-shades-of-grey-coping-with-change-of-leadership-in-sports-and-life/ Sun, 26 Jan 2020 17:39:18 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=290142 Everything isn’t black or white – there are overlaps and shades of grey and this primer will nudge you into finding the answers that will help you navigate through the world; then, learn about overcoming critical barriers to change; and finally, digest some out-of-the-box thinking on unleashing the leadership potential within you. There’s an interesting thread running through the IANS Bookshelf this weekend that will sustain you for long. Plunge in! 1. Book: A Pinch of Salt In The Recipe Called Life; Author: Sanjay K. Jain; Publisher: Bloomsbury; Pages: 134; Price: INR 350. Sanjay Jain is candid enough to admit that all that is contained in book was learnt OUTSIDE of IIM-Ahmedabad, from where he is a double gold medallist. So, what is the book all about? “We agree everything isn’t black or white – there are overlaps and shades of grey. We agree that there can be different perspectives and one doesn’t have to be wrong for another one to be right. We can have win-win situations and lose-lose situations. However, the moot point is how can this help us as human beings,” Jain asks and then provides the answers through 19 pithily-written chapters with titles like “Disruption Is...

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Everything isn’t black or white – there are overlaps and shades of grey and this primer will nudge you into finding the answers that will help you navigate through the world; then, learn about overcoming critical barriers to change; and finally, digest some out-of-the-box thinking on unleashing the leadership potential within you.

Book cover of “Alchemy of Change – Managing Transition through Value-based Leadership” by H.N. Arora & Rajan Sinha; Book cover of “Winning Sixer – Leadership Lessons To Master” by W.V. Raman; Book cover of “A Pinch of Salt In The Recipe Called Life” by Sanjay K. Jain. (IANS)

There’s an interesting thread running through the IANS Bookshelf this weekend that will sustain you for long. Plunge in!

1. Book: A Pinch of Salt In The Recipe Called Life; Author: Sanjay K. Jain;
Publisher: Bloomsbury;
Pages: 134; Price: INR 350.

Sanjay Jain is candid enough to admit that all that is contained in book was learnt OUTSIDE of IIM-Ahmedabad, from where he is a double gold medallist. So, what is the book all about?

“We agree everything isn’t black or white – there are overlaps and shades of grey. We agree that there can be different perspectives and one doesn’t have to be wrong for another one to be right. We can have win-win situations and lose-lose situations. However, the moot point is how can this help us as human beings,” Jain asks and then provides the answers through 19 pithily-written chapters with titles like “Disruption Is the New Norm”, “Always Be a Student”, “Networking”, “Best Versus Right” and “Create Our Rainbow”.

What the book offers are “small, simple and obvious things” that are “as simple and common as salt. However, without that pinch of salt, a dish is never complete. Similarly the recipe of life is never complete without these basic and common things in life,” Jain concludes.

You might want to add this to your bedside bookshelf to delve into every now and then.

2. Book: Alchemy of Change – Managing Transition through Value-based Leadership;
Authors: H.N. Arora & Rajan Sinha; Publisher: Sage;
Pages: 228; Price: INR 550

The only thing constant about change, it is said, is change itself. And nowhere is this more true as we step into the third decade of the 21st century with its era of disruption, AI, ML, driverless cars, humanoid robots et al.

The question is: How does one cope with the fast-evolving changes before they overtake you?

“Everyone is trying to change. Somewhere it is a planned effort and somewhere ad hoc. Somewhere it is vision driven and somewhere it lacks vision or has a short-term vision. Societal behaviours and rigid norms that are adapted in organisations are mostly based on short-term focus with emphasis on shortcuts. Perhaps because of a ‘trader mentality’, we do not seem to have the patience needed to bring about stable and enduring change and look for cosmetic solutions for immediate profit,” say the authors.

They then hand-hold you through the maze in 23 chapters in seven parts titled “Change Is A Fascinating Kaleidoscope”, “Experiences Of Change”, “Manage It Or Be Ready For Oblivion”, “Your Toolkit For Change”, “Leadership: The X Factor Of Successful Change Facilitation”, “Culture And Values As Vehicles of Change” and “Indian Model For Driving Change”.

The last part covers areas like Sankalp (self-commitment) and Karta (collective) Leadership. In short, “articulate and continually communicate the reason for change and vision”, the authors conclude.

3. The Winning Sixer – Leadership Lessons To Master; Author: W.V. Raman;
Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 180; Price: Rs 295

A true leader has five Cs – credibility, clarity, connect, control and conviction,” writes W.V. Raman, a former Test batsman and current Head Coach of the Indian women’s cricket team.

He then goes on to expand on this, as first related to a journalist friend in Bengaluru a year ago: “No matter how good you are, you will be a complete failure if you lack credibility. The team will not trust you. Additionally, you must have clarity of thought and communication to enable the team to work as a whole unit, the ability to connect on the right wavelength to empower your team, the ability to control your own shortcomings and finally, have conviction in your decision making.”

Do you have it in you? Chances are that you do and need to discover and channelise these in the right direction – be it on the sports field or at the workplace.

Vishnu Makhijani can be reached at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in

The post Understanding Different Shades of Grey, Coping with Change, of Leadership in Sports and Life appeared first on Eastern Mirror.

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Creating Cancer Hospitals, Harry Potter Unites Youth, an Inspirational Guide https://easternmirrornagaland.com/creating-cancer-hospitals-harry-potter-unites-youth-an-inspirational-guide/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 18:09:33 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=288924 Read the inspiring story of an oncologist who chose his country over staying abroad in search of financial security to create India’s largest chain of world-class cancer hospitals; then enjoy a roller coaster ride of four very different people whose lives are brought together by Harry Potter; and finally, learn how effective communication can be a game changer in your profession or business. The IANS Bookshelf will keep you more than occupied this weekend. Plunge in! 1. Book: Excellence Has No Borders – How a Doctorpreneur Created a World-Class Cancer Hospital Chain; Authors: Dr. B.S. Ajaikumar with Hemanth Gorur; Publisher: Penguin-Portfolio; Pages: 233; Price: INR 699. His journey has been an adventure in two worlds: India where he was born, and the US, where he emigrated at the age of 22 but his “happiest moment has been returning to India for good and making a difference in healthcare” by building the HCG (HealthCare Global) chain of world-class oncology care centres, of which there are close to 30 across the country. The organisation’s work in health care, particularly in rural India, led to other paths as well. In 1988, Ajaikumar started the International Human Development and Upliftment Academy (IHDUA) to focus...

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Book cover of “Excellence Has No Borders: How A Doctorpreneur Created A World-Class Cancer Hospital Chain” by B S Ajaikumar; Book cover of “Accidental Magic” by Keshava Guha; Book cover of “The Gift of the Gab: The Subtle Art of Communicating” by Sankar Mukerjee. (IANS)

Read the inspiring story of an oncologist who chose his country over staying abroad in search of financial security to create India’s largest chain of world-class cancer hospitals; then enjoy a roller coaster ride of four very different people whose lives are brought together by Harry Potter; and finally, learn how effective communication can be a game changer in your profession or business.

The IANS Bookshelf will keep you more than occupied this weekend. Plunge in!

1. Book: Excellence Has No Borders – How a Doctorpreneur Created a World-Class Cancer Hospital Chain;
Authors: Dr. B.S. Ajaikumar with Hemanth Gorur;
Publisher: Penguin-Portfolio; Pages: 233; Price: INR 699.

His journey has been an adventure in two worlds: India where he was born, and the US, where he emigrated at the age of 22 but his “happiest moment has been returning to India for good and making a difference in healthcare” by building the HCG (HealthCare Global) chain of world-class oncology care centres, of which there are close to 30 across the country.

The organisation’s work in health care, particularly in rural India, led to other paths as well. In 1988, Ajaikumar started the International Human Development and Upliftment Academy (IHDUA) to focus on improving the economic condition of women. A house-to-house survey of 150,00 women found they were working an “unbelievable 18 hours a day, living a hand-to-mouth existence and eating only leftovers and that most of those in the reproductive age-group were anaemic”.

“It was clear that we needed to improve their economic condition before they could focus on health,” Ajaikumar says.

The answer lay in the self-help group (SHG) model and over the last decade this has helped thousands of women across the country to take loans at low interest to develop businesses and increase their per capita income manifold.

It’s truly a model for the development of Indian villages.

2. Book: Accidental Magic; Author: Keshava Guha;
Publisher: Harper Collins;
Pages: 240; Price: INR 599.

When someone like Aravind Adiga praises you to the skies, you can be sure you have arrived. And so it is with Keshava Guha, who was born in New Delhi and raised in Bangalore (Bengaluru), studied history and politics at Harvard, and writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

“A terrific debut. Sparkling, very (very) funny, and deeply moving, this story of a group of young people from different countries and social backgrounds who are united by a mania for Harry Potter will charm anyone who loves Harry Potter, and even those – like me – who have never read a word of J.K. Rowling. Guha’s wit, precision of words, passion for ideas, and skill in handling such a diverse cast of characters remind me so powerfully of Aldous Huxley at his finest. I can’t wait to read more from this author,” is Adiga’s ringing endorsement.

Need anything more be said?

3. Book: The Gift Of The Gab – The Subtle Art of Communicating;
Author: Hory Sankar Mukerjee;
Publisher: Sage; Pages: 195; Price: INR 450.

In the corporate race, all the people who are meeting their goals or even exceeding them are treated by their managers as ‘expected’ of them. The real question that crops up is: What else? What is it that differentiates me from others? What is my ‘X’ factor, asks Mukherjee, Principal-Education, Training and Assessment at Infosys, and then proceeds to provide the answers.

It is impossible for a manager, who perhaps has 10-30 people reporting to him, to keep track of what you have been doing, unless you explicitly talk about it. Your manager would also be armed with the inputs that he receives from the people you work with.

“Being busy with our work-life and managing daily challenges do not allow us to focus on this most important skill of communicating. It is primarily due to a lack of self-awareness, our past habits and the predominance of fear and anxiety to change, we need to initiate the changes, take baby steps in changing it. Communication is a learned habit. We need to practice and take corrective measures,” the author explains and then guides you through 10 chapters to flesh this out.

In short, you need to blow your own trumpet to get ahead in life.

Vishnu Makhijani can be reached at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in

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