August 17, 2008

Independence Day

This was an extended weekend in India, with 15th August being a holiday. This is the date when we celebrate our independence from the British empire. More than 60 years have passed since we became independent, and am not sure how good or bad we have performed. As a democracy, we have been very successful, and all the governments we have had, had been elected to power, and all the power transitions have been peaceful. However, as an economy and as a society, we haven't had the desired results.

Next day, 16th August, we had the festival of Raksha Bandhan. This is another Indian festival celebrated annually. Tomorrow the weekend ends, and another week starts. I have had couple of pending works on which I'm running late. Hopefully would be able to complete them this week.

Go Kiss the World

I recently finished reading the book 'Go Kiss the World'. The book is written by Subroto Bagchi, one of the co-founders of MindTree consulting.

Most of the books start with the important part of the story plot. For a biography, the most of important part is one's birth. That decides so many things in one's life. Here, Mr. Bagchi goes even beyond that, and starts with the life of his grand-parents. To some extent, one's destiny is largely influenced by one's family history, and values. And hence, to understand the person, its vital to know the full history.

The book then moves on to his education, and his early work life. He started working at a government office with a clerk's salary, and then went on to join DCM group in Delhi. That part of the book is really fascinating and has great lessons for everyone. Great lives need not start with a bang, and from the word Go. They happen slowly over time, and you learn from unknown sources. Overall, a good book to read in your free time. One of the better books I have read in recent times.


August 10, 2008

If GOD Was a Banker

I'm quite interested in Indian writing. When I read the European and American writers describing the beautiful places and scenery, I always wonder about a native writer writing about the beautiful Indian cities. Someone who would make an outsider fascinate about the country.

Alas, most of what I have read of Indian authors, I am quite disappointed. The basic problem seems to be that no one here actually thinks writing as a viable long term career option. Most of the people just intend to publish a couple of books, and feel happy about it. And none of them is a full-time writer, all are busy with their real profession as well. Books are just another feather in the cap, something they work on in their free time. And this explains the quality of the writing.

Well, 'If God Was a banker' is no different. It is just another attempt to write about one's experiences, and hasn't been given much time either. Nothing much to write about the book, its a tale of two bankers (which some people claim is a real life story) and how they grow within their company. Nice storyline, but the writing leaves a lot to be desired.

Kane and Abel

There was a time when I didn't read novels. For no great reason, but just didn't read. Then one day, one of my friend asked me to try one of them. He gave me 'Love Story' by Erich Segal, and I did like it. I borrowed another novel from another friend named 'As the Crow Flies' and I liked it too. Later that friend told me that it was one of the worse novels of Jeffery Archer, with 'Kane and Abel' being his best. I didn't have a great pocket-money in those days, hence I never bought the book to verify.

After 6 years, I finally read the book. Well, my choice have changed a little, and I mostly read Finance and Economics books these days. Hence, it took me a long time to buy this one, and give it a read. It's a story about two men, born on the same day, but in very different families. It narrates how both of them grows with vastly different experiences - one goes to Harvard and wins more and more scholarships, whereas the other survives the first world war, from the Germans and as the Russians. They both grow on to become rich and powerful, and somehow, start hating each other. Its a nicely written fast flowing story, and narrates the incidents from birth to death of both its characters.

For all the Jeffery Archer fans, this is a must read.