Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Recently I finished the reading of a great book "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr." written by Clayborne Carson. As this book is based on King's papers, it gives the account of events in his own words. Clayborne Carson played a perfect role in editing it and presenting all his papers in reproducing the chain of events for readers.

This book gives a very fair idea of Civil rights problem and movement in United States. It is unbelievable to imagine that even in late sixties, Black or so called colored people faced so distinct segregation in one of the best democratic country of the world. In one of the event during his India visit, someone introduced him to a gathering of students as "untouchable from the United States" and King was shocked to hear it. I too felt shocked to know, how a race can force another race to born, live and die for many centuries with a believe that they are not worthy of getting an equal opportunity and respect; what others are having privileged of. I have read about Abraham Lincoln on how he fought to end the social evil of Slavery in the States in nineteenth century but I never thought that slavery in the form of segregation could be so deep rooted in American societies even up to sixties of twentieth century. To put things in perspective, the segregation based on race in America in sixties was worse than the caste segregation in India at that time. Now when I compare it with Indian society, we have almost removed the caste untouchablity from our society but a section is still lagging far behind in coming up to ranks of others.

As we all know that King was a great follower of Mahatma Gandhi but this book shows on how he was a great follower of his Non-violent movement as well. I am unheard of any better instance of using Gandhi's non violent ways for any other movement in the world including India. King has successfully used it and demonstrated that non-violent method is more lethal than any arms movement and can produce the positive outcome for sure. In one of the first instance, People of Montgomery boycotted bus for more than one year and preferred to walk with a faith in Martin Luther King's non violent movement, for their rights. The book narrates a number of invoking stories of similar instances when colored people of different part of America could fight for the justice. The book shows on how MLK could achieve his dream of civil rights for colored people in his short but eventful life. Reading his famous speech "I have a dream" is still inspiring.

This book is sometime repetitive of the ideas of MLK and his movement struggle instances but it's a good read and highly recommended. This reveals the life of one of the greatest American and human being, very eloquently. This book is very eye opening for society also to understand the evil inside us. It is unbelievable that Carson presented such a beautiful autobiography out of MLK's papers and sermons.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Soothing Morning in Lalbagh

This was the first time I visited Lalbgh Botanical Garden which is in the center of Bangalore city. I had few guests and I took them for a city sight seeing. Timing could not be better. It was the first Sunday after 15th August when flower show is being organised in Lalbagh. This well famous garden was on its best. It was nine of early morning and garden was just opened. It was less crowded. Weather was very pleasant and so every one of us found this garden very much smoothing. Garden was well maintained and clean as opposite to what most of the people say about it. I never thought it could be so much refreshing. We spent few hours roaming there. I felt its always better to come here early morning. We could see hundreds of pigeon and different birds. Glass house and Rose garden are their attraction but I found bird watching and cool early morning wind very mesmerizing. A pleasant day started with a soothing morning.

After a good time we came out of the sprawling Lalbagh and had a short visit to Tipu Sultan fort which is very nearby. Though there was not much to see here but it is a nice place in the busy surrounding buzzing market. After that we went to Freedom Park which was converted from the central jail to a nice park and museum. Unfortunately in daytime it is closed and open in early morning or late evening only. Then we went to famous ISKCON temple. This was my maiden visit to this magnificent temple and I found it delightful in midst of the "hare krishna" chanting going on. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

11 Means of Success

  1. Nurture Personal Integrity- 100% Do Say ratio/ Ethical business practices.
  2. Love what you do- Give 100% on your job/ One extra degree effort.
  3. Organize time- First thing first/ Under promise-Over deliver/ Say No/ Limit Interruptions.
  4. Influence- Express yourself/ Propose solutions/ Take Initiative.
  5. Communicate and Present effectively- Listen to reflect/ Ask/ Plan & Organize/ Stay on target.
  6. Never complain- Be known for a positive, strong, energetic and enthusiastic person.
  7. Enhance competencies- Read & Research/ Take Course on Skills development or Domain expertise.
  8. Read personal development books- Takeout useful ideas.
  9. Devote time to fun- Pursue active hobby/ Spend quality time with family and friends.
  10. Meditate, Exercise, Pray- Be fit.
  11. Spend sometime with yourself– Review your week (Did I learn something/ Did I forget to compliment someone/ Was I rude).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Should I Do with My Life

In a leadership training, someone recommended a book "What Should I Do with My Life?". In the words of Po Bronson, the author, this book is the true story of people who answered the ultimate question."What should I do with my life?" is the modern secular version of the great timeless questions about our identity, such as "Who am I?" and "Where do I belong?" We ask it in this new way simply because constant disruption in our society forces us to- every time we graduate, or get downsized, or move to a new city, we're confronted with this version of the question. It's a little more pragmatic than its philosophical and religious antecedents, reflecting the bottom-line reality that we can search for our identity only so long without making ends meet. Asking the question aspires to end the conflicts between who you are and what you do. Answering the question is the way to protect yourself from being lathed into someone you're not.

The traditional search for a career begins with the question "What am I good at?" But that's often not the right starting point for finding a calling. The true search is for what you believe in. When your heart's engaged, the inevitable headaches and daily annoyances become tolerable and don't derail your commitment  Let your brain be your heart's soldier. 

Most of the stories shows that- It was in hard times that people usually changed the course of their life; in good times, they frequently only talked about change. 

These stories describes the life very beautifully- The good life wasn't something you owned, it was skills you mastered. The good life wasn't to own a big home, but to aspire of being a master builder. Not to have three kids and a fluffy dog, but to aspire to be a great parent.

Few people in the book talked in detail on how they chased their dream. We all must ask this test question if we are considering chasing a dream: Am I the kind of person who will find fulfillment even if I fail? It's easy to be a magnanimous guy if coin lands on heads. But to play a game of chance means you have to be capable of handling tails. Po mentioned the importance of having patience for converting the dream to real. For instance, if pursuing a dream required going back to school, you might wonder whether to quit your job and enroll in school full-time, or take the slow road and attend an occasional night class. The question's a bit of mirage. You'll have to nurture it, and you'll have to jump on its back. It take time, If you want to give yourself a fair chance to succeed, never expect too much too soon. Nine women can't have a baby in one month. Stories also say that its not the transition which is required for fulfilling the dream. Transition's not the right word- it'll require a transformation.

Few stories goes around the true success. A conventional "success' story is one where, with each next, the protagonist has more money, more respect, and more possessions. I'd like to suggest an alternate "success" story- one where, with each next, the protagonist is closer to finding that spot where he's no longer held back by his heart, and he explodes with talent, and his character blossoms, and the gift he has to offer the world is apparent. Po also talked about danger of success on some occasions. Failure 's hard but success is far more dangerous. If you're successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever. It is so, so much harder to leave a good thing.

The stories in this book are of people who've taken what life has offered, good and bad, and said to themselves, "I'm going to learn from that, I'm going to change". This book is not an attempt to give an answer on what should one do with his or her life but it put the readers on observers seat to provoke their own thoughts. This book is a worth reading and truly enlightening.