March 22, 2010

Keep Off the Grass; and 2 States

I recently read two books:

1) Keep Off the Grass by Karan Bajaj: I liked it. If you are confused with what is happening in your career-life..., read it. It promises no solution to your woes and confusion. But will tell you that, you are not alone in this rat racing world; that there are lots many confused souls [Peace be with them]. You will lose nothing, but gain, if you step back from the rat race and think for a while; and then enjoy the beauty of your life. I read it while I was on a flight. A sure page turner.

2) 2 States by Chetan Bhagat: Good time-pass book. Chetan's success lies in the fact that many metro Indians can relate to his stories. Besides he leverages the IIT/IIMA brand name quite well.

A few interesting excerpts from the book is listed down. Disclaimer: They are NOT "quotable quotes"; but '"interesting" observations.

Verma: Swaminathan, do you know why they made you deputy GM and sent me to become GM?
Swaminathan: Why?
Verma: Because South Indians are top class number two officers, but horrible in number one position
Swaminathan: Maybe Verma is right. We hate the limelight. We believe knowledge is not for showing off. If I do good work, people should notice me. I cannot go sell myself like that shameless Verma. Ten years back I had offers from MNC banks. But I stayed loyal to my bank. And I was patient to get my turn to be GM. Now, I have five years to retire and they send this rascal North Indian.
Chetan: If you don’t have marketing skills, then better admit that than take a moral high ground about knowledge. You have done good work, let the world know. What the hell is cheap or shameless about that? From now on, make sure that people know about the work you do. Look at my boss. He copies the country manager on everything. You definitely have to get noticed, you don’t have to do the work. That’s how corporates work, everyone knows it.

Chetan’s Mom: Don’t take any nonsense from these Madrasis. Give it back to them. They get scared fast.

In an Indian love marriage, by the time everyone gets on board, one wonders if there is any love left.

My mother did not respond. She switched to her favorite soap where a son was throwing his old parents out of his house. She cried along with the TV parents, correlating their situation to hers. Yeah right, she was staying in Park Hyatt and ate four kinds of ice-creams and bread pudding for dessert. But, of course, all sons are villains playing into the hands of their wives.

The world’s most sensible person and the biggest idiot both stay within us. The worst part is, you can’t even tell who is who.

Swaminathan: So why do parents object to love marriage. It is not only about another community. It is the fact your daughter has found a boy for herself. We as parents feel disobeyed, left out and disappointed. We bring our children up from babies to adults, how can they ignore us like this? All our frustration comes out in anger. Actually, the choice is simple. When your child decides to love a new person, you can either see it as a chance to hate some people – the person they choose and their families – Or you can see it as a chance to love some more people. And since when did loving more people become a bad thing.

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