Children are our future. We need to nurture them carefully and build correct personality in them for a sustainable growth. During a table topics session at a toastmasters meeting, the Table Topics Master asked me to enact the role of a 9 yr old boy proposing his 8 yr old girlfriend studying in same class. This topic came to me on children’s day. I was not in a mood to change the topic or escape the situation after attending so many table topics session. Still I could not play the role. Not because I can’t but what I felt that time was I should not.

I ask myself often should I do something because that is the need of the situation and people are awaiting your response or should I assert myself well before any act, whether I should do that or not. My heart gives me the answer that you do something what you want to do and not under any pressure that somebody wants you to do that. Doing such an act just to have fun what message can I convey to my audience and the society at large? Some people might understand the reality and some may not. Those who can understand the situation and think laterally will find me right and those who can’t will find a fool in me. Somebody told me later that my daughter is 6 years old and she is talking about girlfriends and boyfriends. From where do children learn these things? It’s non other than their surrounding environment, I mean the media like radio, TV, newspaper, magazines, mobile phones and more over the people they interact with. This can be another topic of discussion. Let me stick on to the current topic.

There is another instance on a TV show I’d like to elaborate. It was a reality show aired on cable TV network. It was a song competition and the participants were of different age groups of which mostly are children from 7 yr olds. The judges nominated were all well known personalities from film and music industry. In one instance one of the judges told a singer that I can’t give you the top grade. Your performance is very good but it needs improvement. The child started crying. The child was curious what he did wrong. Trying to explain him the judge answered, I can understand that the song is of high quality and we can’t expect such a deep level of emotion and sensuality in your expression. It’s quite natural from you, so don’t worry. I just can’t figure out what the 7 year old might have understood from such an explanation. If that is the case, why can’t we select specific songs according to age group of participants?

In another reality show which was a song competition, the judge awarded a 7-8 year old as the best performer. As a part of congratulatory talks finally he talked to his parents. Everybody seemed to be happy including the audience. All of a sudden another judge from the panel came up with a compliment. He told the audience, you know he has four girlfriends and there was laughter all around including his parents. I’ll leave the readers to analyze such a situation and it’s after effect on the child. I’ve attended meetings where I got the privilege to listen to Dr. Ali Khwaja who is a counselor, trainer and a child specialist having a Ph.D in counseling psychology. He had authored several books of educational value on human behavior, children and counseling. I have a similar thought on education and caring for children how he writes in his books.

There is a need now to understand the reality and correct ourselves before it’s too late. My assertion about the topic goes like this. There is a definite age for maturity. It may vary over a range of time for some people. We can’t produce wonder kids by providing them with all the information before a certain age what I view as maturity. Let them live their life free from complexity of this world at least till their under graduation before they can decide their future and learn how to deal with life situations. We should not steal childhood from children.

With the advent of technology and the first changing information age, you can’t hide anything to anybody. Only we can teach children to perceive the right thing and do away with the rest.

* First published at on Monday, 17 December 2007


I was reading an article in a local newspaper few days back. It was written somewhere there that we are not just the size of our bank account, the neighborhood we live in, or the type of work we do. We are, just like everyone else, an almost inconceivably complicated mix of abilities and limitations. A new kind of New Year’s resolution is becoming increasingly popular. Instead of dwelling on something they think is wrong with them and resolving to improve, a lot of people are taking a different approach. They are resolving to accept themselves. They are good people, complete people.

I will tell you about a person who is a member of a group that spreads the acceptance philosophy. I came to know about this in a book on happiness. She explains that she used to feel like she was in a trap she could not get out of. She would try to correct herself and change herself, and the failure to change was actually worse than the original problem itself. She felt like a maniac because of the pressures to change and the weight of failure. Now she counsels accepting ourselves, which does not mean ignoring our faults or never trying to improve. What it does mean is to believe in our own value first, last, and always. Most of my friend’s have a similar idea to believe in our own value always and not to disrespect others values.

More often we find it difficult to accept the truth because of fear of its possible outcome. Sometimes we keep ourselves busy finding out fault, right or wrong about something. Eventually we could not decide about something well and live in a confused state of mind. These kinds of confusion and inability to reach a justifiable conclusion often hamper our growth process. There is a need to think differently and act according to the situation we face. We can do all these if we can accept ourselves.

Let’s have a look at a survey on adults of different age groups. In a study of adult self-esteem, researchers found that people who are happy with themselves take defeat and explain it away, treating it as an isolated incident that does not reveal anything about their ability. People who are unhappy take defeat and let it grow, making it stand for the people who they feel are the cause behind their defeat and they use it to predict the outcome of their future life events. They are usually pessimists by nature. They can’t view things positively at first in case of any such event and keep themselves worried over it for long. This is because they are not in a sound frame of mind to accept them unless and until they realize how much damage are they causing to themselves by not accepting their fault. We need to treat them with care, honor and dignity and listen to them carefully before giving them any suggestion.

Sooner we can accept ourselves; the faster will be our growth. No body can restrict our growth then. We can take the example of the former American president Mr. Bill Clinton. He accepted himself, his fault and American people allowed him to live a life with dignity in their society. Well it came after a long exercise and a grueling experience. Let’s don’t do that with ourselves. We must accept ourselves sooner than later for prosperity and growth. The more we try to escape situations the bigger will be our problem.

We often face difficulty accepting ourselves at first because of the fear of failure, rejection and often social acceptance at times. There is a need here to accept ourselves unconditionally without attempting to prove ourselves right and others wrong. Healthy discussions, arguments and conflicts are good for the growth of all. Let’s don’t try to prove others wrong just to make our point right. There is a definite way to make people understand the reality and truth about something by proper approach and discussion. We need to find that out according to a particular situation because it may vary from one situation to another. That does not mean to compromise with situations. So let’s come out of all kind of pressure, accept ourselves, life as it comes to us and help ourselves in building a convivial workplace & society at large for optimum growth.

* First published at on Wednesday, 26 December 2007


 We often see so many cases in court that could not be resolved due to lack of evidence. There are so many dramatized guilty characters in movies we see escape successfully because of lack of poof against them. There are so many pending cases in real life that usually take a very long time before the judgment. Is our system full proof? This is not the same with the Chinese or American system of governance. So, why is this with us and where do we fail? Do we really fail? If so, what can be done about it and how can we speed up the process of judgment? Let’s analyze.

Hypothesis theory says unless proven guilty you are innocent. When a guilty person escapes punishment after the trial in a court, they call it a Type I error while if an innocent person gets punishment they view it as a Type II error which is more severe by nature. According to hypothesis theory, all these kinds of error need to be avoided to design a full proof system. An innocent should not be punished at any cost. So what is your problem with all these absurd thoughts what my friends and acquaintances say to me when we sit for a discussion over such a topic? Does that affect you anyway in your personal life? Why are you worried over it, it’s no the part of your job. Let the judiciary think about it. Do you all view it the same you as they say to me? We are all responsible citizens. Let’s think more about it.

Another theory says truth can’t be hidden. It will come to you in some form or the other at certain point of time in your life. Very often I hear the judge saying, the case is closed due to lack of enough supporting material against the verdict and the guilty is set free. The consequences to these kinds of judgments are many. It provides new ideas to criminals to commit a crime and escape. The guilty will first try to prove him innocent. If he can’t find evidence to support his claim, he will try to destroy all the evidence against him so that he can’t be proven guilty. This is usually the fact in most of the cases where the guilty finds a way to escape.

There is another instance of celebrities who escape such trial because of their higher social status and often in the name of their contribution to the society. The judge feels like they are very popular among a larger mass and they have less negative aspects to them compared to the positives they bring to the society. This is a new innovative way to promote crime and criminals. They are our politicians, film stars, sport personalities and many more.

Gujarat chief minister Mr. Narendra Modi accepts in public that a person was murdered because of his actions though he has not himself committed the crime. He also supports the act and always tried to prove the relevance of his act whenever questioned by media people. He is still popular and won the election again. Is he god? Famous personalities like Mr. Amitabh Bachhan or Mr. Sachin Tendulkar get special privilege and time limits to pay the heavy income tax on them but all other citizens has to file their returns within a fixed time that can’t be changed. But it can be changed for celebrities. Why is this discrimination while rich people like them can always pay anytime they want?

There is another way people try to escape. They accept the truth when they don’t find a way out to escape. Usually they do their research well on the facts for and against them. When they find the evidence is much against them, they look out for sympathy. This kind of situation is common among celebrities like Mr. Salman Khan or Mr. Sanjay Dutt. They don’t make it too late to accept the truth but try to gain sympathy from their fans and followers and eventually from the judge so that their punishment can be minimized say, to five years while it could have been a life term for an ordinary citizen.

Can we still say there is justice for all? Children today find a different meaning to the symbol of justice. Once I asked a boy who was studying in his seventh standard to explain me what he understands from the symbol of justice, I found a strange reply from him. He told the woman is blind folded so that see can’t see what we do and the judge while decision making so that he can make his decision without fear. When I asked him about the manual weighing instrument in her hand, he could not answer anything, he was just thinking about it. It was his perception. I fear how many of us know the truth about it. If all of us know the truth, why do our children have a different perception?

Now can I assume that truth can’t be hidden? Well, I can refine the theory from my thoughts and experiences that truth can’t be hidden or suppressed for ever. I may not be alive to witness the truth. It may take hundreds or thousands of years. It will show its face one day for sure. How clever the criminal may be, he can’t escape forever. He might escape the punishment during his life time but it will be a matter of shame for his descendants when the truth reveals its ugly face. You may think all these thoughts imaginary but it is the truth as I view it now. So, it’s always better to accept the truth and live a life free of burden.

* First published at on Monday, 7 January 2008


All living beings communicate by some mode or the other every day. If we observe closely we will discover some unique mode of communication among animals. I have been observing few animals from my childhood including our pet dogs, cats, parrots and white mouse. My mother is a great lover of animals. We used to discuss about the likes, dislikes and needs of our pets. One thing that we found common among all our pets is that all of them need love, care and affection. We will think more about them later. Let’s now focus on the most important species on earth – The Human Being.

As children, we start communicating to our parents, elders from the beginning even before understanding what communication is. A baby cries when she/he feels hungry. Crying is an effective mode of communication that a mother understands better as no body else. Very few people understand this fact including the father himself when a baby cries. As elders we cry at times for different reasons. We express our grief, sorrow and sometimes anger by crying. Some people cry out of happiness. Sometime we are so happy that we could not control suppressing our happiness before others and tears come out of our eyes. Especially we feel like this when we get surprise happiness after a long fight with our sorrow that we’re not expecting.

Sometimes negativities are so much around us that we suspect people even our well wishers. We don’t take care much about their words and try to find negative meaning out of it. We understand later when we realize the truth behind their words why it’s being told to us repeatedly. Particularly these things happen with children and at times with elders too. Why do we find it so difficult to live with others without sacrificing or prioritizing our personal needs?

Direct communication can be helpful to meet urgent requirements even if we have doubt over its long term benefits. Indirect communication is more helpful while there is no urgency and we want to meet our long term objectives. Let’s analyze a situation where we love two people who have conflict among themselves and we don’t want to lose anybody in our life because of their personal conflicts. A very common example of such a situation could be with a child whose parents often quarrel with each other and he could only witness the event keeping his mouth shut. He could not communicate his thoughts to them directly because of the fear of losing one or both of them eventually and at the same time finds it difficult to digest the fact.

Indirect mode of communication may help here. She/he has to play dual role here, sometimes as a daughter/son and sometime as a mother/father. Do I say the son/daughter has to be the father/mother of his/her father/mother? Yes. It may seem absurd and immature to at first glance but there is a real possibility of success if we can conduct such an experiment where the son/daughter has outgrown himself/herself in terms of life’s experience. How can I write this, is it from my personal experience? No. I have reached here partly from my discussion with people and significantly from a simple fact. That is “children are the best people to bond a family rather that any other friends/relatives”. This could be true with ‘n’ number of people in love even if outside our family if we can extend our love and empathy for others. Children can solve few problems effectively where a counselor fails using indirect mode of communication.

To understand human beings better we must develop effective communication skills in us. Sometime we pass wrong message to others through our notes or speech because of our uncontrolled thoughts and mood even though we don’t have any bad intention. I sometime try to recover something from my past memory and provide some information without analyzing the facts properly resulting in insufficient and incorrect information even though not false. These things happen because of improper analysis of our act prior to it and when we are in a hurry and fail to gain control over our emotions because of anger.

Sometimes we don’t want to provide personal information to strangers or people with whom we are not very familiar and in order to protect ourselves and trying to escape from a situation we provide wrong information to them intentionally so that the person will not feel neglected. Actually it causes more harm than good to us. It’s really very difficult to say no about something we don’t like effectively because of the fear of losing friends and relatives in our life. Indirect mode of communication helps where a direct mode fails.

There could be a situation where I want to make a person understand something and find it difficult to communicate directly because of the fear of its consequences. I may lose him/her in the process. This is often true where the receiver is a pessimist. Can we change pessimists to optimists? How can effective communication help here? This is a real challenge for managers. Personally I like comments and criticism as it helps me in my personal growth to become a better human being first before everything else. But how’ll the other person know about it unless I communicate?

Is it a good idea to use negative mode of communication? I don’t know. It has a double impact. It could be disastrous and it could be fruitful. When it’s fruitful it has long term benefits. Sometimes we use this with people whom we don’t trust to know more about them. Nobody can hear unpleasant words about their loved ones in any mode of communication. When we hear such words our perception changes about the person who talks like this and we think negative about her/him even though she/he is our well wisher as we don’t realize the truth at first.

This often happens because we occupy the entire space in our life for our own thoughts and fail to think about others or provide some space for others in our life. But why do we hear such words from others. We may be the source and root cause behind it without our knowledge even though we are innocent. So, let’s analyze ourselves first before we start questioning others. Sometimes I don’t know right or wrong about much of my own writings that comes from my thoughts. We understand late only when it reaches us through comments and criticism. This is a very effective mode of communication. Personally I like direct mode of communication even if I fail to evaluate a situation well at first. It is beneficial to me as it corrects me without much delay and I find enough time to analyze the issue later. Be it direct or be it indirect, any mode of communication has some benefits and few drawbacks. These are all situational. The same mode of communication may be helpful for one person while irritating for the other. I am thankful to all who use a direct mode of communication while interacting with me.

* First published at on Friday, 23 May 2008


 Time is the most important entity in everybody’s life. Can it be measured? We follow certain standards for measuring time. These are all relative to one another. Can we measure our life span accurately? Nobody can do that though we can predict. Studies have found that average life expectancy today is about 77 years for human beings. Again there is a remarkable gap here between men and women. It is 73.6 years for males and 79.4 years for females. When we do research we collect data, both past and present for a known species and based on our findings we reach a conclusion. So, that is again relative to time and hence there is nothing called absolute time. Today is our present, yesterday was our past and tomorrow is our future. It’s all about time and how we measure it.

In economics we study time value of money. In simpler terms it means that “the value of money tomorrow may not be what it is today”. Money represents our purchasing power and varies over time. We don’t get the same amount of an object for the same amount of money all the time. Cost of gold five years ago was not the same as it’s today. It’s changed (increased) many folds over this period of time. When we invest our money somewhere over a period of time, we expect a good return on our investment at maturity.

Let’s have a study of time in sports and games. Time plays a critical role in rapid chess events. The referee blows whistle in hockey and football at specified time intervals as per rule of the game. I have watched athletes crossing the line at millisecond gap in Olympics. In cricket there is penalty for the side bowling first if they take extra time to finish the over. They have to reach the target runs at less number of over for slow bowling rate. At TMI (Toastmasters International) we measure time. The speakers and other role players have a pre specified time for each role to perform. Speakers have five to seven minutes to present their speech and evaluators should not take more that three minutes for each evaluation. There are time limits for other role players too. A speaker gets disqualified if she/he crosses the time limit even though the quality of speech is very good. Time management is so important that no body is allowed to break the rule and it disciplines certain activities. We can’t frame rules/guidelines ourselves. We need to abide by this. Rules/guidelines are generally built upon proven records and past experiences. So, we should respect and follow that. There is scope for review and change for a certain rule/guideline. Again that is dependent on time.

Environmental factors play a great role in managing our time. Natural calamities like earthquake and cyclone cause postponement of examinations. We don’t reach school, college or office in time because of traffic congestion and sometimes due to heavy rain. School going children who have pending task like home work often say “Thank god it’s a rainy day” and we have extra time now. In old days people were dependent on Sun to have understanding of time. And then developed the solar clock where the shadow of a pointer generated by sun rays was the basis of time measurement. Ancient cultures all across the globe made use of the changing rise and set position of the Sun to track the seasons. With the advent of technology, today we have so many options to look at time. We are not just dependent on wrist watches or wall clocks. Electronic gadgets like mobile phones and all form of computers give us time. If you have nothing around you at home to know the present time, just switch on to a news channel. Fortunately I have a TV at home.

One of my friends had a unique idea of time management. They had a computerized attendance system for each class and the professor was very strict on time. As per the rule students had to log on within a specific time interval from the start of the class or else they’d be marked absent for that session. My friend used to reach late everyday at the class. His problem was with traffic and the distance he covers to his class. For him the situation was unavoidable and without the minimum attendance he could not appear for the final test. He thought over it a long and come up with a solution plan. He used technology to a great extent here for his own needs at few occasions. He used to change the computer time and then log on to the system. After logging in he again restores the computer time to the present time. In that way he got full attendance at few classes. I don’t know how far he was successful in that and if ever caught up doing that. When I asked him about that he denied me to reveal any further information. Whatever he did, I am not analyzing right or wrong here, but was he managing his time? He made fool of others successfully and had a short gain but a great personal loss by doing this. He developed a very bad habit over a period or time.

We submit our office timesheet regularly. Timesheet provides needed information for finance and accounting and it recognizes our true work efforts. It keeps track of our daily office activities like how much time we spend at work and how much away from work. How can we submit our timesheet for the entire week in midday of the week? Something might happen tomorrow and I may not come. In that case how can I submit my timesheet today for days of future that I haven’t worked and when nobody can predict the future? The constraint here is that the timesheet can’t be modified once submitted. If I need to go on leave or fell ill then how can I change my timesheet hours from eight to zero?

In my case when I am allowed to submit my timesheet for the days that I haven’t worked, I feel careless about the coming days and I feel three is no need to work when I’ve already been marked present for all the days. Also I feel like why I should work 8 hours for a day where it’s already submitted with 8 hours. I can safely leave home working 1-2 hours and no body can notice that. Is it not contradictory when we submit our timesheet before time? How can it provide our true work effort? So, when we submit time for days to come, we clearly provide false information. We should understand the importance of time and should not provide false information about our work. It’s a basic issue with everybody to be resolved soon without much delay. It’s impossible to get desirable results with this trend. After all why should we provide wrong information? Any information of the past that does not tally the records is wrong and all the assumed information of the future is wrong.

I have few collected thoughts and quotes on time as follows. To realize the value of ONE YEAR ask a student who has failed his final exam, To realize the value of ONE MONTH ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby, To realize the value of ONE WEEK ask an editor of a weekly newspaper, To realize the value of ONE DAY ask a daily wage laborer who has kids to feed, To realize the value of ONE HOUR ask the lovers who are waiting to meet, To realize the value of ONE MINUTE ask a person who has just missed their plane. To realize the value of ONE SECOND ask a person who has survived an accident. To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

“Many people seem to think that success in one area can compensate for failure in other areas. But can it really? True effectiveness requires balance.”
— Stephen Covey
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
— H. Jackson Brown
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
— Michael Altshuler
“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time.”
— Leo Kennedy

We can never ignore the importance of time in our life. Managing time or rather say managing ourselves is vital and has significant relevance in today’s context. We reach office late and blame it on the traffic. Some time we reach late at meetings and carry a bad name for us. At school few of my friends were popular as late comers among other students. We don’t have food on time and sleep late in the night. We have to meet deadlines at work and often we find it difficult to manage. We develop fatigue stretching ourselves too long at work that hampers our productivity. Infosys authority at bhubaneswar had conducted a time-management experiment. It passed a rule that for one week no employee was to stay in office after 5.30 pm. The management found that work was getting done as before. I had read this on The Telegraph, Calcutta-04th September, 2005. What I find is time controls us and not the vice versa. It’s practically impossible to manage time. We can only manage ourselves (and not time) by learning and developing effective time management skills in us which is essential for a better living.


* First published at on Thursday, 5 June 2008


Hollywood diva Katy Perry is in news again for her work on charity. Bids for her cupcake trampoline have sailed past a whopping $1,600 at a fund raising auction as a part of Japanese relief efforts. The item has attracted thirty seven bids with just two days left of the sale. The money from the auction will go to Red Cross to be on relief and rehabilitation work in the earthquake and tsunami affected areas of japan.

It’s not uncommon to see celebrities coming forward for charitable work these days ranging from sports personalities to movie stars. While it’s heartening to see celebrities contributing their worth to the society for a cause, it’s not without a purpose. Auctioning goods from the rich and famous often draws attention of a large crowd. The process of auctioning makes an ordinary item extraordinary as if it’s something to be possessed by everybody. They portray it as a lifetime opportunity to grab it at first hand. This process creates a competitive environment among customers who run after the item to own it. This way an item may get sold at a price hundred times its base selling price.

A common man may get unnoticed even with a big donation but when a celebrity volunteers for a cause it serves a dual purpose. While the money collected from auctioning goes to serve the needy, it costs very little to the primary owner of the good compared to the return they get from their fans. The already rich and famous become more popular among their fans that can definitely enhance their brand and market value. This way they always keep themselves in news. This is a big return on their investment. So, it’s never without a purpose!!

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