Three cups of tea

The other day I was at the Strand store looking for books on topics that was a bit offbeat when my eyes fell on one that was sandwiched  between two hard bound books. The title read-Three cups of tea. I pull it out idyllically. The front page of its paperback illustrated three kids clad in white shawls intently reading from copies of disheveled books and the subtitle read – ‘One man’s mission to promote peace one school at a time’. Intrigued a bit, I turn over the book to see what this was all about and with that brief description – K2, Karakoram and building schools, I out rightly make my mind to purchase this.

I rarely read when I’m not travelling to and back from work. But believe me, this is one book that’s kept me hooked to it for quite some time! The topic in hand, the lucid language, Intertwining of mountaineering and his mammoth project – I’m not sure which of these made it that gripping.

The first chapter scales you up the K2 in Mortenson’s shoes and as you read through, you’re literally made to experience his struggle for survival on the towering peaks.  Touched by the hospitality shown by the villagers he makes a promise to change their lives for good. That one promise urges him to start on a project which gains mammoth proportions as time flies by. Through the chapters Relin, the co-author, dramatically brings about how Mortenson  works against the wind to setup schools for Kids in villages in Pakistan that have been left untouched by any aspects of the modern world. The last few chapters brilliantly describe how important child education is and how it could be used as a powerful and detrimental factor in combating terrorism.

Reading at times gets you thinking on things much more important that what we keep doing to earn that morsel and secure our future. This is one of those rare books that would put you at shame for having effectively whiled away your time fruitlessly!

Grab a copy of  this book here and do visit their site when you find some time!

The week that was…

It´s been a long long long week! Looks like the client out there has suddenly decided to catch up on things. Deployments are happening pretty frequently and every team claims to be on fire to push their deployment across. Next week looks to be even more hectic.But guess it´s all a part of sweet sweet life :).

Caught up with two books this week.

How Starbucks saved my life – Michael Gill

One of those simple yet powerful books that I´ve read after Richard Branson´s Losing my Virginity. At 60+, fired by a person whom he himself  had recommended, Michael walks you through his life as he miserably tumults down from the post of a Creative director at an advertising firm JWT. Exposed to the elite corporate lifestyle for 25+ years he brings out the mental stress he passes through having to work in a Starbucks store as a bartender. He soon learns to come to terms with life; learns to let go of his ego and finally builds up a ripe career at Starbucks. Working at Starbucks in the lower rungs of the hierarchial ladder he lucidly brings out what the real sense of Job satisfaction is and how important it is to respect the job you do however menial it is.

A perfect five on five! If you´ve still not read this book…High time you order!

Go Kiss the world – Subroto Bagchi

Happened to purchase this book from the Strand store just out of impulse. A quick simple read. One of those books that surprisingly got over in a couple of hours. Give´s you insight into how Mindtree was born and how they shaped up. One stark feature of this book is that though each chapter is good in its own sense, there seems to be no continuity in the flow. Wouldn´t really fall into the autobiography groove – Probably a mix of history and gyan. That said you may want to give it a shot

I would give it a 3.5 on a five point scale.

Scoop from the greener side:

  • Registered for the Jalori pass – National Himalayan Mountain Biking Expedition 2009 Off to Kulu – Manali – Aut in May – Yippee!Would be byking with 19 other unknown morons for 8 straight days. Their itinerary sounds pretty relaxing though..Gotta wait and watch. That followed by the marriage of a close friend. Seems to be  a promising outing! – All now hangs on my leave being approved!
  • Moved from Ibex to Ubuntu Studio. Had to install OpenOffice and a couple of other apps. Feels good with a different feel 😉
  • Upgarded the WP version. Played safe and backed up the data. Fell through smoothly though!
  • Tweaked the HydVentura website a bit. Lots of modification yet to be done.
  • Missed the HBC race. So did a short ride this weekend circumventing the Osmania Univ.

Keep off the grass!

Just another book from an IIM grad. Don’t these nuts have any work? Five point someone, Joker in the pack and now this? Guess even I’ve got to start writing on my sulking life in SCSVMV!

I was just looking around the racks searching for William Fotheringham’s ‘Put me back on my bike’ when I chance upon ‘Keep me off the grass’. Not finding anything else interesting I decide to give this a shot. Way back home in the bus as I read the first few pages, I start getting queer views from people beside me. I care a damn and am instantly engrossed in the book. Surprisingly, every other page has something or the other that gets you beaming out. Be it the typical ‘Collegian’ lingo or the out of the box expressions and language.

If ‘Joker in the pack’ in someway touched upon the lifestyle in the IIMs, this book in various ways has brought about the other side of it. How true only an insider would be able to judge but for a debut novel this is a kickass hit. The story is woven around an immigrant confused desi Investment banker from the WallStreet coming down to the IIM-B in the pretext of exploring India and reaching out to his roots. Unrealistically hilarious, this debut novel of his would indeed strike a chord amidst any person who’s graduated from the IIMs or for that instance anyone who’s experienced college. The pages reek of marijuana and ganja that you’d be stoned by just reading it! Ah and if you’re one of those who is averse to using or reading the so called ‘unparliamentary’ words – this book is not for you.

The epilogue is the best part.Karan tactically walks you through a  self realisation high for sometime and leaves it to you to answer a few questions which seem to crop up in everyone’s mind now and then but is rarely given much thought. Indeed an interesting read!

You can purchase the book here

How contrasting can your own opinions be? Why do you humans [ Remember? I’m not one 🙂 ! ] take things for granted ? 🙂

Losing my Virginity…

Whether you’re a hard core business strategist, a budding entrepreneur, an adventure loyalist or just someone who reads books to while away time, You need to give ‘Losing my Virginity’-Richard Bransons autobiography a read. I picked this book randomly sometime back at a Crossword store in Pune and believe me, this is the best book I’ve ever read till date.

Written in a lucid language, this close to 600 pages book would give you a wonderful insight into the interesting up-bringing of Richard, his ideology in working to set the system right, how he entered the entrepreneurial world starting off from the Student magazine, how Virgin broke ground,  how it organically diversified into the plethora of fields it currently operates in, hardships the group faced due to unhealthy and healthy competition, Richards take on life and adventure, insight into his world record breaking ventures and finally Virgin’s take on social responsibility. While every other page gets you smirking for one reason or the other, you’re intermittently given insight into corporal responsibility and the onus that rests on each one of us to mend the way we use natural resources.

Indeed an incredible Autobiography!

You could purchase the book online from these locations or download sections of the recordings from this page.

Virgin and the Joker

Of late, for some reason I’ve stopped reading fiction novels. ‘The Client’ still lies in my office desk half read. I just read a page or two to keep me awake after lunch!

Last week when I’d been to E-Square to watch ‘A righteous kill’ , Rahul and I wandered into the Crossword store. Two books in particular caught my attention. ‘Losing my Virginity’ -An autobiography of Richard Branson and ‘Joker in the Pack’ by Ritesh Sharma and Neeraj Pahlajani. I’ve always had high respect for Richard for his attitude towards life and business, So I’d picked the book with no second thoughts. The reviews on ‘Joker in the pack’ on the other hand were pretty interesting. I sifted through a few pages and plop it went into my cart.

Next day morining as I sat in the 7:45 service to PhaseII, I started reading ‘Joker in the pack’. Believe me! I’ve never sat glued to any book for more than fifteen minutes with full concentration. But there was definitely something in this book that made me flip the pages. A wonderfully woven story to bring about the life of a person who’ made it to IIMB and his experience there. Frankly, this book has sort off changed my perception of the IIMs. The simple language and the vernacular tinge makes things much more interesting.

A must read for any MBA aspirant. You can visit their website here or purchase the book online here. Worth every pie spent on it!