Category: Propellers…


Our Ordinary Lives !

Let us have a look at few of extra-ordinary people living extra-ordinary lives…..

Last year, one of our Professors showed us clips from the movie, The Insider (based on a real story). It speaks about a guy who acted as a whistleblower. He lost his job. He was asked to sign a contract that would restrict him from divulging any information about the company. If he wouldnt sign, he would lose all the benefits entitled to him by the company. But he held his ground, gave an interview on CBS (which was not aired for 3 years) and let out all the secrets. His wife left him, he received death threats and what not… The movie was 2.5 hours long and it sent shivers all over my body. Imagine the struggle the guy would have had every day in a span of three-and-a-half-years. Today, this man Jeffrey Wigand is world famous because of his extra ordinary courage and perseverance. 🙂

In today’s ET, there was a news regarding a man named ‘Shailesh Rao’. The fuss was about him moving from Google to Twitter. I don’t know much about the guy, his managerial skills etc. But the thing that made him extra-special was his qualification. Rao has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, a BS from the Wharton School with a concentration in finance, and an MBA from The Kellogg School of Management.   !!!!!!!!!!

Taylor Swift, a 22 year old girl, is a world famous musician and singer. Lady Gaga, a 25 year old girl is renowned for her creativity, her openness and boldness. A thing that is common to them is that they both were bullied at school. Other students considered them to be eccentric and provocative… I bet those students today proudly boast of their friendhsip with Swift or Gaga in school days 😛

Emily Bear, a regular guest at The Ellen (Degeneres) Show, has composed over 350 pieces of music. She got to play at the White House for President Bush and is one of the very few to have performed at Mozart’s Piano Concert. I just adore her 🙂

A young boy Homer Hickam, lived in the town named Coalwood (where every person worked in the coal mines). The only way to move out was through Football Scholarships. It was 1957 and the news of Sputnik being launched successfully was a world wide event. Homer knew that he had to be a rocket scientist, the moment he saw Sputnik travelling across the sky. Even in midst of oppressions and difficult situations, he managed to create small rockets and won the first prize in the National Science Fair. Homer Hickam is today known as one of the most famous  NASA Engineer (retired). {Watch the movie ‘October Sky’ for more details}

Art, Business, Social Service may be the primary ones but there are a zillion ways of living an extra ordinary life.. Sometimes it appears to be sheer luck, sometimes it appears to be the result of a lot of hard work and struggle.. The safest assumption can be.. inorder to lead an extra ordinary life, one needs to have a combination of hard work, struggle, luck and a bit of divine intervention.

What about the ordinary people! When I see around, I find people struggling hard to keep their ordinary life normal (including me). We get overwhelmed and find it difficult to handle small successes and small failures in our lives.

“I got placed… woohoo.. the bestest thing ever..”

“I am married… yay.. I have never been so happy…”

“I am a Dad/Mom…woof.. the biggest sense of achievement everrr..”

There is a friend who knows that he is born to write, but is hesitating. Most of us often settle for much lesser than what we deserve. There are many of us who quietly accept defeat.  Ordinary people like us are short sighted, lack perseverance, we imitate others throughout our lives and often select the easiest and safest tracks for ourselves.

Perhaps the most significant thing that we do is ..we stay ordinary and let others shine 😐

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The above list of extra-ordinary lives is not even the tip of an iceberg. There are many notable personailities like Steve Jobs, Mother Teresa, Zuckerberg, Page & Brin, Gates, Buffet etc. I am quite sure that even a separate post won’t be enough to describe each one of them. And there are thousands of extra-ordinary people about whom I will learn with time.

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I bet you would have heard of the book ‘The World is Flat’… Ya, the one written by Thomas Friedman… I got the opportunity to read this book. And yes, it did make me happy (actually any Indian/Chinese would be).

The introduction part would be enough for one to predict how beautifully the book is written.  Friedman contrasts his journey to India and the journey of Columbus. Freidman says that Columbus proved that the world is round, but when he(Freidman) himself got to travel to India, he realised that the world is shrinking and has indeed gone flat. Flat world according to him is place where distance is not an issue… jobs can be done by anyone, anywhere and this leads to the development of all.. In short, a flat world is a connected world…!!

He has carefully chosen ten causes that have led to the flattening of the world and elaborates each in very simple language. All in all, the 10 flateners were impressive. It’s a breathtaking list. The first flattener is about walls (fall of Berlin wall) and windows (our own operating system). Simply brilliant, isn’t it!  While explaining each flattener, Freidman gives examples of various technology companies, their rise, in some cases fall & more importantly what changes they have brought to the world. As any expert would do, he explains how these flatteners acted together in benefitting the world.

And hey…he has written very good things for India 😀 Nice! But if you compare this book with Nandan Nilekani’s ‘Imagining India’, you would find that the latter is a much more balanced book. Nilekani has predicted the future of India based on some conditions….He does not just look at areas where we are excelling. His India, is much more closer to the real one…!

Though the book is a bit lengthy, anyone who works in a field like IT, or has interest in it, should pick this book up. This book can also act as a supporting evidence of why globalisation should be admired and also that India & China have much more than just low cost manufacturing 🙂

Stability is Curse!

Rockford…. Iqbal…..Dor…… ring a bell??

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Oh, yeah! I am talking about Nagesh Kukunoor 🙂 Got to know some interesting things about him while reading an article in The Hindu.

 And since I am such a big aficionado of his, I asked myself, “Why is he not on my blog yet??”  (The article excerpts are written below)

In the 1990s, a complete outsider to the film business — a chemical engineer who had an epiphany when a truck almost crashed into his car — gave hope to an entire generation of young filmmakers, that anyone can make a film.

After a brief stint working as an assistant director on the sets of “Veer Hanuman”, Nagesh Kukunoor realised he was never going to fit in. So, he wrote out a film in seven days flat, worked out the costs, went back to the U.S., saved up $ 40,000 in 10 months, and came back to make “Hyderabad Blues”, which Star Movies refused to buy even for Rs. 50,000 initially — but bought for Rs. 50 lakh, four months later, after the film became an overnight hit.

Very few people know that his production banner SIC stands for Stability is a Curse 😀

Life is Awesome :)

Watched video of Neil Pasricha on ted.com… It was so very inspiring…. To begin with, he spoke of all the hardships he faced in the year 2008, the year when the entire world was also battling with wars, hurricanes, economic downturn etc…… He got divorced, his best friend ended his life …Then one fine day, he had a realisation that we often miss to value many small but awesome things/moments in life..

What better than puting them all on his blog… the awesome things were written on a countdown format…starting from 1000. And you know what, this blog made him win the Webby Award for the best blog of year!! A significant accomplishment, as over 50,000 new blogs are created every day all over the world.

The blog consists of many beautiful observations.. Few listed below..

Today, that is, on 20th january, he has written the 326th awesome thing and the total number of hits is equal to 26,114,807..Isn’t this amazing? 🙂

I’m spreading the positive thoughts,  right now, because I’m not getting younger 🙂

You can find his blog at: http://1000awesomethings.com/ 

and the ted talk at http://www.ted.com/talks/neil_pasricha_the_3_a_s_of_awesome.html

I am a kind of person who gets influenced by positive emotions/speeches quickly…umm… very quickly…
But that’s how I am!

Actually, Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, oops.. Uncle Bala, visited our campus today.
He had to speak on ‘Higher Education in India’.
I made a guess, that he would talk about what’s good in US and what’s bad in India.

But I am glad to say that he did just the opposite.
In his hour long speech, he made it sure that each one of us would have no doubts about the strong foundation that we have. Strong in terms of values, morality and ethics…

He emphasized on his prediction that in the near future Great Ideas would come from the East, but definetly not from China. He said “Why dream of having a Harvard in India and not a Nalanda in the US?”

He said that we Indians seem quite sure that we are a tardy nation.But he proved this wrong by giving example of Satyam scam that got resolved in record 93 days while on the other hand Enron is still not out of it.

He defined MBA as an art of controlling (M)ind, (B)ody and (A)ttitude. He spoke that there are many who feel that MBA is all about bluffing and that they are wrong.
{Uncle Bala I Support You}

There is so much more to write about his speech, but time constraints are binding me..

At the end, when he was leaving the auditorium, he waved hands to the audience. He passed by my side, and there came an instantaneous “Thank-you Sir” from my mouth. And the reply was “God Bless You”..

I wish that one day, I would be in a position to inspire many just like him.. God Willing!