Saturday, November 28, 2015


A wealthy lawyer was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. He asked one man, 

"Why are you eating grass?" 

"We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied. "We have to eat grass." 

"Well then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you," the lawyer said. 

"But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree." 

"Bring them along," the lawyer replied. Turning to the other poor man he stated, "You come with us too." 

The second man, in a pitiful voice then said, "But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!" 

"Bring them all, as well," the lawyer answered. 

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine. Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said, "Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you." 

The lawyer replied, "Glad to do it. You'll really love my place... the grass is almost a foot high!"

I found this on the web and it was under the 'Jokes' category! What a cruel joke...

Anyway, it doesn't make you generous if your intentions are selfish. Similarly, it doesn’t make you needy if you try to be greedy. And collaboration of two self-seeking elements is hardly sustainable…! So, I will say it one more time, all what matters is intention...!

Way to go...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


There was a Second Bollywood movie ‘Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin’ (first being Rishi Kapoor starrer, a typical Nasir Hussain film of 1977) with a start cast of Big B, Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn, Aishwarya Rai supported by Satish Kaushik, Annu Kapoor, Anupam Kher and Paresh Rawal. The reason to list the entire cast is to establish the fact that the movie had to be taken notice of and although it was a David Dhawan movie and had all the privilege to be a no-brainer entertainment, it had some catchy (I will not say ‘brainy’!) things about it apart from the credit of the casting director who selected such a ‘towering' cast!

The film was an ‘enjoyable’ (pun intended!) version of a Robert De Nero starrer fantastic Hollywood comedy ‘Analyze This’ but that was not the only good thing about it. It had some great eye pleasing locations and some good Interiors, like Dr. Rastogi’s clinic, showing a great aesthetic sense. So the credit goes to the Art Director and Production Designer as well. However there is another element who could claim the credit for the success of this movie for doing their bit; the screenplay and dialogue – Robin Bhatt and Rumi Jaffery – the duo who, in the context of the settings and characters in the story, did their job right up to the mark.

In a Scene where Dr. Rastogi, completely frustrated by the constant bullying by Munna Bhai for persuading him to marry his sister to Munna Bhai, enters Munna Bhai’s Haveli and scolds him while losing his cool and says many nasty things to the Don. When the Doctor has finished, the Munna Bhai, in his usual cool tone responds…

"Apun ke ghar mein aake, apun ko gaali deke, apun ko dhamkakar, apun ko badmash bolkar agar tum zinda khada hai na ... toh isse badke aur koi sharafat nahi ho sakti!" 

[After coming into my house, after cursing me, after threatening me, after calling me a rowdy person if you're standing alive ... then there is no decency bigger than that!]

I don’t know what reminded me of this scene, but must be something 'filmy'! Let’s not waste our time on it anymore and let’s focus on another AK (Arvind Kejriwal), the hero who supposedly was the Maseeha (or should I say ‘Godot’) to bring the 'Rule of Justice' by following the path of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ and make this country ‘Incredible India’ and was recently ‘forced’ to hug Laloo Prasad Yadav (the picture shows otherwise, though!) as Laloo wholeheartedly believes in ‘Atithi Devo Bhav’! After all he is the man who can do it for you after Anna Hazare and not someone who is already PK and has a problem of Short-term Memory Loss!

Nevertheless, I am pleased that PK is living up to his reputation of perfectionist by sharing even the bedroom discussion between his wife and him and one must recognize the fact that it was his wife who is worried and not this secular, nationalist and most patriotic person who always fights for his nation… remember Rang De Basanti, Sarfarosh, Lagaan, Mangal Pandey… and to top it, Satyamev Jayate, in which he literally cried so many times? Now don’t you dare to say that he did all of this, or the TV commercials of Coca Cola and Snapdeal for money and fame. Because if you say that, you can even go to the extent to argue that whenever Mr. Perfectionist encounters any National or Social issue, it falls in the month of November while he has his most ambitious (he doesn’t settle for anything ordinary and mundane, you know!) and only movie of the year to be released in December… what a coincidence! ‘There is no chance of improvement in Perfection!’ as Aakash puts it in Dil Chahata Hai!

Now, if you have had enough of this, let’s get back to the work as we must work to earn the money to buy the overpriced tickets for the iconic value of ‘Dangal’…! Got it…? Sab Kushal Mangal Hai!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Honorarium ...!

Image source:!buildings-media/4

I was traveling from Pune to Mumbai by train to attend a GRI-TCS one-day workshop ‘Moving beyond Disclosure to Drive Change’ at Thane campus of TCS on Friday, 20th November 2015. The Indian Railway is an independent ecosystem in itself of distinct and influential character and dynamics. Being the largest corporation with highest no. of employees in the world, it has to be. However, apart from the Rail Management and travelers, there are different types of elements in this ecosystem that bring it to life, sustain and maintain it. Hawkers are one of them who board the train to sell anything from snacks, beverages to accessories, toys and what not. There are help seekers of various types, right from singing blind beggars to transgender community members capitalizing their guise. I never pay any heed or money to any of these for my own philosophical reasoning. However there is a new emerging community I am witnessing lately that acts as a ‘silent worker’ whom I always pay!

Without making a fuss of their vulnerable category, pitiable situation or deprived status, they have discovered a ‘decent’ tool for a ‘clean’ purpose to earn their means, without even asking for it, most of the time. They sweep the floors of the rail compartment with whatever piece of cloth they can find and most of them do it almost professionally and with a commitment more than majority of the government employees. I always pay the member of this community that I find on the train I am boarding and also make it sure that I will not use coins but paper currency; coins make noise and declare the philanthropy to the world in an amplified tone! Now, why I pay these people has a multi-layered explanation on personal, social and global levels –

1. I am committed to cleanliness to the extent of developing an OCD for it, almost. I love everything spick-and-span, a major reason I love the conferences at star hotels. Everything there seems to be as clean as a mirror except for the thoughts and intentions of the humans I meet.
2. It’s a matter of national shame that its citizens make filth around them all the time, live happily amidst it and expect somebody to clean it silently for them without any demand or expectation.

3. The members of this community could have formed a group, union or a party to rebel against their ‘exploiters’ OR could have joined a Militia OR simply surrendered to their condition and have chosen to beg like their fellows without moving even a finger. But they chose otherwise.

That’s why, on behalf of all my countrymen who should be ashamed of filth they keep on creating, I pay them this ‘Honorarium’ that they deserve and not the ‘philanthropy’ they have intrinsically disclaimed.

Well, the workshop did not provide me greater impetus to write about it than this small mundane incidence happening round the clock and could have been smartly ignored, just like any other responsible and tax-paying citizen of the nation but somehow I found a thread between the take-away (Can anybody explain me the meaning and intent of this phrase in context of a seminar…?) of the workshop and this activity. Reporting merely cannot change the situation as it will always lack the complete transparency in first place and secondly it is like expecting the road vehicles to abide by all the traffic signals as we have installed the Signals, Speed-barkers and signs all over. We must not forget the very fundamental right and hard-earned mastery of any human being, particularly in this part of the world, to ‘Ignore’, ‘Bypass’ or ‘Manage’ anything that might discomfort it. Discipline happens only when each individual is ‘conditioned’ enough to follow the signs and lights just like its basic instincts, a very common thing for a self-centered human, mostly concerned with I, me and myself.

With the rise of personalized products, gadgets and equipments, the already dying ‘communication’ is entering the phase of monologue day by day. Loads of information and knowledge from all types of ‘sources’ is drowning the human brain in an info-pool (formerly known as info highway!) empowering it to have an opinion over virtually any matter (not just under the sky, but even beyond it!) that concerns it or not. The ‘smart’ gadgets competing with the jets in the speed and connectivity service providers trying to win over each other with light-speed guarantee have made it sure that the dozed brain full of trivial garbage would be over-armed to voice their opinions which would be immediately upheld by the Media and Social Media developed to be at their disposal 24x7. This has created a chaos that has a noise of its own and no voice of any specific value; exactly the situation for any government when it wants to govern the least! And this is the picture of all developed, developing and underdeveloped nations invariably, a pathetic picture for the humanity for sure!

And there is a bigger noise inside that needs a vent. The paradoxical state-of-affairs happening incessantly in every part of the nation in purportedly each field provides the opportunity to vent out this noise in the thought-crowded head at such a speed that there is no time to listen, understand, reflect or reciprocate… just express, emphasize and forget! If Sanjay Leela Bhansali decides to film a beautiful dance number by 2 gorgeous women of the nation by taking the cinematic liberty and fantasizing the ‘history’ a little for glamorizing his effort, suddenly it becomes talk of the town but nobody seems to be concerned of the historic monuments that are deteriorating fast to reduce to ashes. While, if a Yogi decides to diversify his ‘business’ with products of neighboring country with [supposedly] local and healthy ingredients and to achieve ‘revered’ purposes, we accommodate it in his ‘interests’ and chew it religiously but won’t pressurize the government to find the offenders who have blood bathed the war of thoughts by brutally murdering the rationalists and activists. 

Well, the question remains the same as it was for decades – could any such new Legislation like CSR Act, or GRI Guidelines G4 or OECD principles make any difference in the situation? What could make the CSR more proactive than reactive? How the Corporate sector could be made aware, encouraged and facilitated to accept and imbibe the CSR, CSV or Corporate Citizenship in the business process? And, as for me, the answer also remains the same – by developing a culture of CSR / CSV and not appointing a ‘panel’ to take care of it!

It should be done as voluntarily and inherently by the entire organization as sweeping the floors without expecting any direct, instant or material returns from it. The moment Corporate will understand this, no more Act or Reporting Standard would be required as there is no effective evaluation of works and deeds than self-appraisal! [Read the story here] Way to go…

Friday, November 13, 2015

CSR India Inc - A Review

Recently I came across an infographic in a report by for Company Annual Reports that showed the distribution of CSR spent by India Inc on various sections of ‘Schedule VII’ under CSR that concerned me, as with great effort, I have put behind the fact that the overall performance of Indian Corporate Sector in its first year of CSR implementation is far from satisfactory, let alone significant, the reports of whatever is claimed to be done under CSR made me more worried. However, the same report has a very insightful illustration of CSR tree, I must say!

Most of the tycoons are taking the safest route of empowering ‘Education’ with infrastructure level developments without much probing into the quality, intent and content of the education that is being offered. Health is another soft target as it is easier to send some Ambulances in remote places and conduct vaccination drives than actually investigating the root causes of diseases, removing those and supporting health and hygiene by awareness and preventive healthcare. And the Third major sector of Community Development is doing a good job for Self-help groups and local employment so to say; however it’s a long way to go for achieving a nation of clusters of self-contained villages that are Independent in function yet Integrated in identity.

Unless and until we take CSR to the boardroom for the Strategic Planning, nothing can make much difference in the situation globally and in India particularly. We should start thinking of core business strategies from the CSR point of view and apply all available technology like Big Data to get the realistic figures of everything concerned, to begin with. As far as this infographic suggests, we are spending hardly 1% each on Agriculture, Art, Children, Culture, Elderly, Infrastructure and Vocational Skills. And almost 15% on Education and Health separated from Children and Culture or Elderly for that matter. While ideally we should have an initial breakdown of every single CSR Rupee as follows, I believe - Agriculture – 25%, Vocational Skills – 20%, Infrastructure – 15%, Children – 10%, Community Development – 10%, Environment – 10%, Art and Culture – 5% and Elderly – 5%.

My infographic has some presumptions as well as hypothesis based on the collective wisdom and conventional intelligence humans have inherited from their ancestors. Farming is the first ‘Invention’ by humans that separated the species from others in the physical reality of being. That makes ‘Agriculture’ the primeval ‘industry’ on the rise of which every other industry built its foundation. The imminent downfall of this fundamental industry has the potential to reverse the giant wheel of development as; however developed human brain could be, it is capable of cloning only living beings but not crops and vegetables. Experiment of genetically modified vegetables has already proved to be a disaster and human liver is yet to mature enough to actually digest the currency even it could do so in the figurative manner! So till the point we enter the age of ‘Demolition Man’, we will have to depend on food, alas!

It won’t take a Management Guru to establish the fact that in whatever circumstances, ‘Agriculture’ cannot be the ‘only’ industry and all other industries would need skilled manpower, hence the skill development. Infrastructure undoubtedly forms the backbone of any development and its importance is unprecedented. If we take care of our children (not ‘raise’, ‘develop’ or ‘condition’ them, mind you!), they will take care of themselves and ours as well as the future and environment; sustainability is no different! Health goes in with 'Children' only as it is common sense that a child with an immaculate body, responsive mind and generous soul will not only have a healthy life but will ensure a healthy environment around that would facilitate the Community Development. Art and Culture is the Second legacy of humans that make them standout from other animals. It needs to be inherited religiously, reinvented profusely and respected dutifully. Taking care of Elderly with respect and dignity is just an expression of culture!

This distribution of CSR resources should be monitored, checked, reviewed and revised vis-à-vis the progress report of the projects undertaken on annual basis. All this might sound very idealistic and romantic to an instantaneous and capitalist mentality, but justice and love both are blind and hold a sword and a rose in hand respectively! Way to go…