Sunday, 16 August 2015

Free download of the book Just Kidding... Yours, Destiny on Amazon Kindle for two days - 16th and 17th Aug 15 only


Download a FREE copy of ‘Just Kidding…Yours, Destiny’ on Amazon Kindle NOW by clicking on the cover pic below. Based on humour/fiction genre, the implied essence of the story is about making choices, their consequences and the role of destiny. It is a contemporary love story with a twist in the tale.

Promo valid for TWO days only, until 17th Aug. Do remember to post your review of the book on amazon.com and on goodreads.com. Happy reading!!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Amazon Kindle one day promo - Free download of the book Just Kidding...Yours, Destiny


Do you believe in destiny?  Based on humour/fiction genre, the implied essence of the story ‘Just Kidding…Yours, Destiny’ is about making choices, their consequences and the role of destiny. It is a contemporary love story with a twist in the tale.
Download a FREE copy on Amazon Kindle NOW by clicking on the link/s  below. Promo valid until 20th July, 1 pm, Indian standard time. Do remember to post your review of the book on amazon.com and on goodreads.com. Happy reading!!
 
 
 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Book release Just Kidding...Yours, Destiny on 26th Jan 2014

 
Hi friends,
Happy to inform you about my book (fiction) Just Kidding…Yours, Destiny is now available on all major e-commerce channels.

To get your hands on a copy of the book, go to http://anirban-das.com/buy-1.html
and click on desired link. After the purchase, it would help a great deal if you could follow the steps below

1.       Open the package (not reqd for kindle version) & read the book
2.       If you like  (or dislike) the book
a. Share your review on the ecommerce link, from where you made the purchase
b.Share the same review on your social media circles

Visit  www.anirban-das.com to  catch the book video trailer, synopsis, sample chapters &  author details.

Hope you enjoy the book as much as I have enjoyed writing it and that it strikes a chord. That would be my reward.

cheers

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Just Kidding! ….Yours Destiny -- An upcoming Book video trailer




Watch the  preview of an upcoming book ( fiction) by Anirban Das on You Tube below ( you may need to wait for a few seconds before the link becomes operational)....Enjoy the trailer  & share it!


pic courtesy - www.123rf.com



                             

Synopsis of Just Kidding...Yours Destiny

The implied essence of the story is about making choices, their consequences and the role of destiny.

The plot is a simple story, revolving around the complicated life of Kunal Roy. Ambitious Kunal is living the great Indian dream, having purchased a house in Mumbai, driving an expensive car and striving to earn pots of money. Having slogged for donkey’s years in the same company, Kunal believes that he is a star employee in his company. He is determined to reach the top with a simple mantra - hard work and dedication.

Kunal’s seemingly planned life and ambitions turn awry with the sudden acquisition of his company and an abrasive new boss who puts Kunal to the sword. Kunal’s life is further turned upside down with the entry of a company rookie, Shristi, compelling him to change his world view and his life’s priorities. Is Shristi for real or is she an illusion? And who is the real Kunal? Undergoing upheavals in both professional and personal life, Kunal looks to jettison his ambitions by embarking on a journey of self discovery, in an attempt to regain his lost identity and a semblance of control.

This book aspires to strike a chord with the readers, engage and entertain them. The story has been set in a typical Indian urban backdrop but the emotions enunciated, would transcend country barriers.

About the author 


Ignoring his childhood aspiration of becoming a sportsman, Anirban Das obtained a degree in mechanical engineering and followed it up with a post graduation in Advertising. He worked with an Indian automobile conglomerate, before quitting his job to pursue his MBA. Anirban loves to read, travel, listening to music. And forgot to mention, writing too! He flirted briefly with singing but decided against pursuing it, in larger public interest. What he does not enjoy is cooking, notwithstanding consistent prodding by family members. Anirban can be reached at    anir345@gmail.com


Friday, 24 May 2013

A tryst with Royalty, a ‘Rann’ in the saltlands of Kutch and a heady Mafia cocktail –


Note – If this  blog invokes jealousy in the hearts of those who have been to Gujarat but have never been able to savor a visit to jungle land or the great white desert, then the blog would have achieved its purpose.

Lessons from Gujarat’s Jungle excursion – Gir

If you are really looking for some excitement, then get down from your vehicle & pat a ferocious looking lion, assuming you spot one. The idiot who  said “ dar ke aage jeeth hai” obviously didn’t face a lion, one on one. And yes, these jungle types haven’t heard of mountain dew. 







“To eat or not to eat, is the question !  searching for the chap who said kyonki cheetah bhi peeta hai”




If you wish to play it safe and still keep bragging rights, then you can always get to pat plastic avatars...but do make sure that they ARE plastic ! This is one time where you do not want original stuff. .  And yes, you need not be an expert and this stunt can be done at home also. But do check the rule book on molestation of the jungle beings and their look alikes.






“ Paapi picture ke liye kuch bhi karna padhta hai ( will do anything for a sinful picture)…make sure you pull ears from behind and always be ready to run, just in case…you never know “


When you hear someone laughing even though you are not the funny types, then chances is that a pack of hyenas waiting for their next meal. And you better hope that you are tall, else you should piggyback someone.



You are in Gujarat and you have not played the dandiya ??? You have got to be kidding. Now’s your chance. Check out the Antlers, they surely look bored, and should be willing to accept your invitation. Of course, antler behavior is not guaranteed. 






“Anybody for Dandia ? Or how about some Pakda – Pakdi (catch catch)? we play with the lions, but those chaps don’t play fair”





In case you wish to challenge the king of the jungle to a duel, you may want to plan for Z category security.  The important  attribute for selecting a security guy is that you should be able to run faster than any of them.





The challenge ---“There can be only one king of the jungle…where are you hiding ?.Agar himmat hai, toh samne aah ( If you have guts, come in front). And there is no need to take me seriously…”



For those who come this far and are still not able to book an appointment with the jungle king, fret not ! you can get to buy souvenirs as a consolation prize, with the king( or queen) bracing your chest. You don’t want to be telling the world that you came so far and didn’t spot any.


“Growl, growl…this pose should make people piss in their pants ! hey, why is that dog pissing near the bus ? and why is that stupid kid laughing ??”. 

Lion king on T-shirts “ I am ashamed to be here…wish this T-shirt could turn totally black”


Notes from the namkeen Switzerland of Gujarat


Forget to take your camera, so that you will NEVER ever forget to carry the camera on your next trip.


Surf Excel or P&G Tide ?  Arrey, bhaad mein gaye dono (x*&%$),  Rann of Kutch is the undisputed king of safedi (white). Film makers please take note, there is no need to freeze your heroines to death in chiffon sarees in Switzerland anymore, when one can Rann to  Kutch.


Gulliver’s Travels – Fact or Fiction ? This debate was resolved once and for all 






“Stricken cries  of help from hapless fellows trapped in The Giant’s palm, who looks all set to have his afternoon snack”






It is advisable to carry old newspapers to sit on, else one will land up with wet b*** which later transform magically into white. If you do land up with a wet b**, make sure you have company, else people will mistakenly think you were surreptitiously ………, when no one was looking ! But it does make for a great guessing game…WHOSE  B** IS IT ANYWAYS








“Think you are good in dart board games ? well here’s your chance …but hell hath no fury like hitting bulls eye !”








Aim high, reach for the skies…Keep trying  and  each time you will just end up  with more salt


Modigliani and Miller’s modified rule in play here “ It doesn’t matter how you jump, you WILL end up with bruised knees”. Knee doctor – “This is good for business and future cash flows. I estimate that over 50% of these guys will be going in for knee replacements 10 years from now”



Don’t be surprised if you spot a UFO. It is definitely not a plane,  bird or even Superman, but your humble Frisbee.






“So much fuss over one damn Frisbee !! maybe next time each of us should get one..”








Evolution of homo sapiens  explained in a single snap






3 stages –Tired woman – Burdened man – Frisbee man (trying to pass off as Lord Krishna)







Want to know how it feels getting your ar** kicked around  ?









“Messi, go take a hike, my kick is more powerful than yours”








If you want to get acquainted with our diversity and knowledge of cuss words, visit Rann  during a moonless night . There is no trace of white, its all pitch black. And yes, if you cellphone runs out of battery and you don’t even have a torch, well, then I will pray for you


Salty Kung Fu .. take a bow at the awesomeness, Kungfu panda !!




Snake in the Monkey’s shadow. Now if only a snake could be present, this pic would be complete”. 
Caution – Practicing aim is important, else you could unwittingly cause disability to the other person..



Lie on your back and watch the stars and say this is the north star, or that is Venus… you will seem very wise and few will in a position to challenge one, besides, the finger pointing can always be vague 


BMW’s, Mercs, Audis, move aside !! The new status symbol is in town ..



Yanna Rascala ( $%#@), make way for the future of Automovil”
 

For those aspiring to be professional photographers, here are a few tips

  • Search for the profound…everything around us has meaning and purpose, we just need to search for it. For ex. Tea pots and pans


Observe how the sun rays fall majestically on half the pot, while half is covered in shadow, in the backdrop of standing bikes. The master stroke is the Hitchcockian hand reaching out for the pot, even though there is no trace of tea. And yes, not a single fly hovering. Simply brilliant !  



  • The classic “Pulitzer“ pic 



“ I hope to feature on New York Times cover some day.OR maybe I can cure  people of insomnia by asking them to count the goats in this pic.  If nothing else, I can check out how thin I really was 20 years from now.”







  • Making a pic good to GREAT ( and no, Jim Collins has nothing to do with this) Tag  your pic with erudite sounding captions. In example below, choose any of the captions below….



                                                               IN PURSUIT OF ENLIGHTENMENT

                                                     HOWZATT, UMPIRE ?

                                                     HELPPP, I’M STUCK !!!




  • Follow the professional photographer …click whatever he/s she clicks, if nothing else, take the photographer’s pics.




“I don’t know what the hell you are clicking, so I will just aim at what you are aiming at….by the way, don’t know why are YOU making that pose lying down in the salt...maybe there is some genius here or maybe you are plain tired…heck with it, will take your photo, its more interesting”





  • Capturing the expressions of those who could not make this trip would also make for a great award winning pic !


Parting shot - Don’t ever complain that your food has too much salt. We just can’t appreciate what’s free (almost anyways)!!




Mafia addiction - Whodunit


Antakshari during boring bus journeys, is old hat, where one would wish the bus made more noise to overcome the cacophonous torture... Mafia has everything  – betrayals, murders, , anger,  hatred, , laughter,  strategy and is tailor made for a bunch of MBA types  who love to yakk away ... so the game  is divided into 3 sets of characters – mafia, villagers and arbitrator. The role of mafia  is to systematically kill the villagers without arousing suspicion, role of villagers is to detect mafia, while the arbitrator ensures everyone plays by the rules .......some characters voluntarily kill themselves after they have had too much of the yakking.  ..… ironically those who tried to convince the others that they were not “killers”, were the first to be booted out of the game, demonstrating that life is not fair…

Statutory warning – This game is an addiction, some of the players could take this game a little too seriously, with sulking being the pre dominant after effect.


Pictures shown above used for representational purposes only and are not meant to be associated with the persons shown. The comments accompanying the pictures are not meant to offend anyone’s sensibilities, and if it does, I would like to apologize for the same. 
Courtesy of the pictures – Kaustubh Patwardhan, Viral Sura, Shubhonil Ghoshal, Nithin Devarajan

Monday, 18 February 2013

The Sleeping Times @IIMA

Disclaimer - This blog is totally fictional, based on true rumors...if anyone finds across resemblance to any personality, event or data, no need to shout from the roof tops, it maybe just a co-incidence !


I'm not asleep... but that doesn't mean I'm awake.  ~Author Unknown


Revealing Personality Traits ?


They say that sleep tells you a great deal about a person (its best to credit some stuff to “they” when one doesn't have a clue as to who the h%$# said it). Let us look at this from the perspective of a classical 2x2 matrix *



       GHISUGIRI ( defined as the art of slogging your butt out)


High
Low
SLEEP
High
Liar, Liar
Boss, you are plain lazy
Low
Nerd- Get a Life  !!
Confused in Life
Note : The above results are  statistically insignificant at 95% confidence interval. The balance 5% is for exceptions.

*2x2 matrix is one of the useful inventions of modern management and used to explain everything from making chappatis, to finding God. It is generally used by those who hate talking and like to keep things short or alternatively, don’t have much to say.
Let us explore each of these categories

Liar, Liar –  Devilishly competitive, these guys love to announce to the world that they care two hoots about studies and that they are either sleeping or freaking out, hoping to create awe and envy in others. What these guys# will never tell you is what they do behind closed doors  or when they are in their toilets, and I term them “ closeted Ghisus”. Ape this breed at your own risk.

Lazy – Now this category love to seen as  the chilled out group, but methinks that they are plain LAZY. By coming to IIMA, these guys have arrived in life and now they wait for the world to queue up for their genius. These guys honor the professors by attending their classes and their syndi mates by allowing them to include their names in the group assignments.

Nerd – This guy is  trapped in a triangle, unfortunately not a love triangle but a less complicated one as his/her life revolves around his syndi room, classroom and dorm room. I call these guys “The Invisibles” and are normally greeted by their classmates by the incredulous expression “ hey, are we in the same class ?”, no pun intended.

Confused  – These guys lose sleep, deciding whom to follow - the Liars, the Lazys or the Nerds. So these guys joined IIMA to give some meaning to their life and are still searching for it. God bless their souls !

Always read the footnotes first, they say…

# Guys imply boys, girls, men and women, so no group should feel marginalized.

Sleep patterns as  indicators ?


Can  one look at sleep patterns and determine at what stage a person is, in his/her PGPX life ? Empirical studies done after pain staking & back breaking research, show  that this is now possible, as illustrated graphically as follows




Pre PGPX – Well, this the last period that one sleeps peacefully for 8 hours, because once you enter PGPX, to quote a local term “dimaag ka dahi ho jaata hai” – loosely translated “ brains turn into curd “.

Term I – This is when the pressure start building up and one starts reducing the sleep cycle thinking how to maximize  the return on Rs  21+ lacs that one has paid for the course fees and so pores into books and more books. Here the students are influenced by the belief that more hours of study = better grades, “so what if there is GND …We will compete and show we are THE BEST “… This is the period of “Vaat Laga,” translated into “ Got S*&%8”. Well experienced executives study in 1 week, what they would have studied in two years.

Term II – This is when the “S*&^ hits the fan, or 10X Vaat Laga”, as the studyload is doubled and the time halved. The guys, fresh with the learnings of segmentation, Hathi, Cheetah breakup their sleep into small pieces, as they plan for survival. Strangely, but the guys who were looking for returns on their fees, don’t look too happy with the increased study material. This is also the period when cruel realization hits that hrs of study not necessarily equals better grades. Thank God for GND... !!

Term III – This is the “vacation period” where guys make up for 4 months of lack of sleep

Term IV – One doesn’t know when one has to be awake, when one has to sleep. Everyone from the administrators to the students are  “dauda dauda bhaaga bhaaga sa” translated into “run, run, run run” as one moves from one elective course to another.

Term V – There are two types of people. Employed, who sleep without a worry in the world and the unemployed who carry all the worries of the world and some more!

“Class”ic  sleeping types

 Do this exercise in class when the next time you do have not done your pre read or your assignment and are generally “ what the h*** is going on ??” . Study your classmates  and observe which category they fall belong to




The objective of this article was to render a service by either entertaining the reader or put him/her to sleep.  I hope that I have been able to achieve my objective once the reader is  finished with this article. If not, then there is a basic problem of understanding and the reader  should read this article again, and again… Till such time, I am gonna go and catch a few winks.




Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Making of a Miracle

There are three kinds of people in this world – there are those who accept status quo, those who create change and then there are those who become the change



So how many of have heard of Roald Dahl? And please don’t check on Google before you answer….ok an easier question, who is the author of The Famous Five?  Now I can sense some more grins and hands raised. And why not, after all, these are elementary questions meant for SECOND grade students in a ramshackle Marathi medium MUNICIPAL school in Mumbai!!  When a smartly dressed teacher asked these questions, I barely had time to think when about 40 pair of hands went up in the class at the same time.  One scraggy kid, no taller than 2 ½ feet in a disheveled soiled frock and a crumpled tie spoke up in chaste English ‘Roald Dahl is the author of the Twits, the story that you will be teaching us today. The writer of the Famous five is Enid Blyton’.

The teacher, who had  energy levels which would give Boost and Complan a run for their money, then asked “ what is meaning of the word disgusting ?” and again 30-40 hands went up, before one kid answered innocently “Teacher, when we do not want to discuss with someone, it’s called ‘discus ‘ting ”.  There was some good spirited laughter all round before another small boy stood up and gave the correct meaning.


I was zonked, to put it mildly.  I mean, these kids could not have been more than 7-8 years old and lived in shanties and chawls, spoke better English than my kids, who were studying in an up market ICSE school in Mumbai. And what confidence these kids possessed!! Looking around at the classroom, I saw that individual photographs of the children had been put up along with their aspirations when they grew up. Interestingly, on one of the walls, amidst the collage of trees, animals, birds, one observed that the children’s names were divided into groups of Oxford, Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford. Looking at the young teacher more closely, she looked fresh out of college, could well pass off a prospective TV anchor and looked so out of place in this municipal school.  I happened to glance at an adjoining class room and saw that there was no teacher, the classroom walls were barren, weary and tired, and the children were making a ruckus. I learnt later that teachers were mostly absent# in municipal schools and even if they were present, the students barely noticed. 



Every child has an aspiration, we have to nurture them, as shown in this TFI classroom…aspirations have been written by the each child..










See the Thank You video below





So, what on earth was going on in the first classroom?

Let me rewind the story a little. Pursuing my PGPX course from IIMA, I had recently bagged an opportunity to interact with the CEO of Teach For India (TFI), Shaheen Mistri, as part of the Shadow a CEO program, organized across business schools. On the scheduled day, I reached Akanksha office (another organization founded by Shaheen) at Tardeo early, and was waiting when suddenly this frail, petite lady came up to me and warmly asked me “You are Anirban aren’t you? Hi, I’m Shaheen“after which she served up a cup of tea whilst introducing me to her team. I was taken aback, maybe someone had not told Shaheen that CEO’s in India are not supposed to be so humble. The TFI team resembled a mini United Nations, with a youthful diverse team from different parts of the world, and a common thread – each one had left behind successful careers to work for TFI.  TFI’s vision, Shaheen explained to me is “One day, all children will attain an excellent education”. We were soon joined by a special guest for the day, Jon Scnhur, education advisor for President Obama. Shaheen then took us to the first Municipal school, so that we could understand for ourselves what TFI was trying to do.

Let’s come back to the classroom. Pointing out to the teacher who was clearly totally engrossed in her students, Shaheen explained that she was a TFI Fellow. The typical Fellow profile was 20-25 years old,      had rebelled  against his/her parents wishes by “doing a lowly teaching job in India at the beginning of the career and was a fool in spoiling his/her bright future”. Not only that, these guys had to give evidence of demonstrated leadership in their education/ career and undergo the strict selection criteria for TFI, after which they would need to spend 2 years, teaching the most deprived children in India for a token monthly salary, whilst most of their peers were busy minting money or climbing the corporate ladder.   Surely the Fellows were “impractical fools”. Did they think that they could really make a difference? On interacting with the kids from the Municipal school, the answer was a resounding YES. 

Students listening with rapt attention to a TFI teacher telling a story in class..




In the afternoon we visited another Marathi medium Municipal school near Worli sea face. In one of the TFI taught classrooms for Grade 4 students, we heard another smart, energetic teacher putting up interesting questions for debate, to illustrate the usage of the sentence “In my point of view”. She asked the students “Is there a God?” One girl replied “ In my point of view, there is, because my parents tell me so” Another boy replied “ In my point of view, God is not there in reality  as what we pray are simply photographs, sticks are stones”. It was an amazing demonstration of how to inculcate respect for other’s view points on such an emotive subject like God in India. Then the teacher asked “Should there be school on Saturday?” Pat came a reply from a front bencher with a mischievous twinkle in his eye “No teacher, in my opinion, we should not have school on Saturday, it is bad luck. There will be lots of studies, exams and we will not get to see TV or play with our friends “, leading to grins all around.

When Jon Schnur, education advisor to President Obama and special guest for the day, learnt that the kids had to make a promise to their classmates which they had to honor, Jon asked a boy at random “so what have promise have you made?” and the boy replied “I will respect my elders, will always be polite, will always tell the truth, will help others “. Jon had to decide whether he was awestruck or happy with the reply, and finally settled for both..




Shaheen then took  us to visit a non funded  private school , receiving no aid from the government and run by trustees– It was probably impossible to sell even fish here, it was that noisy, as twin classes were held side by side, with 2 teachers and 2 sets of students in the same room. But the kids were not distracted, as they grasped and absorbed every word said by their teachers in the midst of the din. It was almost as if these kids were aware of the expectations of their parents on their young shoulders and trying hard to succeed.



Different setting, same miracle...












Towards the end of the day, a Muslim girl, who could not have been a day over 14 years, walked up to us in a pre dominantly Muslim locality. The soft spoken girl, who has been taught by a TFI Teacher, expressed her desire to become a TFI Fellow Teacher and wanted to understand as to how she could become one. She was soft spoken but her eyes displayed a determination and self belief that she too could bring about a change. Shaheen had to explain to her that she would have to wait for a few more years.
Yup, it was day of miracles all right, and I had the privilege of seeing how they happen …but the big one is when we can claim that 100% of India’s children attain excellent education. Consider the numbers. Over 90% of India’s children do not go to college, which translates into 172 million children*. Could such children be converted into productive citizens?  One would think that providing classroom, school books, a teacher and mid day meal is the simple solution. Sadly, no. What matters more, is the Quality of education. This was where Shaheen’s vision would be a game changer. She is planting seeds for the future in which the Fellows would be the harbingers of change, in their areas of influence. Of the 200 Fellows who completed the program, 43% percent were now working directly in the education sector and 54% in socially relevant fields, indirectly linked to education. The TFI program has given young adults a platform to shape their leadership skills and create a positive difference to society.


Visionary, miracle maker – Shaheen Mistri





Sources
*From Teach For India website.
# Average teacher absenteeism in India is 25% and in some states as high as 44% (source http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4051353.stm )