Tuesday, July 26, 2022

1017. Carpe Diem - Rajagiri 2004-2006 batch meet after 16 years

June 2004 - A bunch of 160 students ( 120 in MBA and 40 in MHRM) gathered in the Rajagiri valley to pursue their post graduation in business. The next two years were a roller coaster ride. The rural camp in the first semester helped them bond together and taught them the basics of management. 

The professors facilitated their course and they all learned to be professional presenters. The summer projects, dissertations and Vanavasam made them to transition easily into the corporate world. Out of this 160 students ten of them became couples. They did find their life partners too. 

The memories they had in the valley include spending time in canopy, writing their exams in Chavara hall (which they called Club Chavara, because thats where the DJ party and all other entertainments also happened). 

The fish pond, the ducks, the grounds and the boat rides added beauty to their memories. The soda sharbath from Ikka’s shop and the bread omelette from KRL are still in their taste buds.

After 18 years of stepping foot inside the Rajagiri valley, this bunch of students decided to venture walk down memory lane again and after a month long preparation people from all around the globe started flocking back and on 23rd July 2022, this bunch of management professionals met again in Rajagiri. 






They indeed relived their college memories by dancing to the same song that they danced during their rural camp. Here is a video of our practice session





Most of them are holding high positions in their professional career; but when they met, they all became college students again. 


“It was memorable to see Shirley Luiz mam again. She was 61 years old when we studied and now she is 79, but she is still the same old mam” - Shanas


“I learnt three Ds from Rajagiri which I still apply in my life” - Joseph Pius Alapatt


Here is a video of the actual dance 




- Chronicwriter  

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

1016. Atomic Habits by James Clear

A full lock down on a Sunday was a blessing in disguise for me as I completed the 6th book of the year. His name is James Clear. He can actually introduce himself as "My name is Clear! James Clear" in 007 style. Such was his writing. The book that I read was Atomic Habits. Now I know why this book is in the top 3 list of books for most of my friends. My friend Bragadeesh Prasanna suggested me to read this book a couple of days ago and I must agree that this has been the best book for one main reason - I have already thought of implementing a few ideas from this book to improve my work productivity.


𝐌𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐬:

We all make plans. And most of us have New year resolutions. But we fail to accomplish it. Last year I had a goal of hitting the gym and get a chiselled body. I started strong, but after two days, I literally stopped going to the gym. This year I set a goal to complete 100 books and so far I am going strong. But if I don't have a good process and plan, I would not achieve my goal. I have been reserving 4 to 5 hours everyday only for reading. I may reduce this time to 2 hours everyday.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤:

This book is all about the processes and habits that we need to follow in our day to day life and how it helps us get better and better. Look at this picture ( Open image in new window if the text is not clear). When we set a goal, we would expect to grow in a particular way. But in reality the growth process is not a straight line but it has a different curve. The problem is that most of us give up when we go through the valley of disappointment. Once we cross the break even point, there is no stopping us. But the challenge is to cross that point.

𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
1 the cue
2 the craving
3 the response and 
4 the reward

𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐰𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐚𝐰𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞,
1 make it obvious, 
2 make it attractive, 
3 make it easy by not setting unattainable goals
4 make the reward satisfying through reinforcements

This is definitely a must read book and you should have this book in your library. This book is also one of Soni Shaw's favourite books from 2021

The image representation was designed by me using Zoho Show.

- Chronicwriter

1015. Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards


After the disappointment I had with my 4th book of the year, I had less expectations when I started my 5th book of 2022 - "Captivate" by Vanessa Van Edwards. But I am glad that I read it. I am gonna smile more than before :)



Key points from this book:


👉 More gestures you use, you will connect well with people. The more expressive you are, the bigger is your circle of friends. People who smile a lot, are seen as energetic and energetic people are likeable
👉 Eye contact with another person for more than 7 seconds will make both like each other.
👉  If you are a yes man you will end up in the wrong group by compromising your values and in your quest to be liked by everyone, you will end up depressed
👉 Use conversation sparks and use hot buttons to connect with people
👉 Pygmalion effect - compliment people so that they perform better
👉 Similarity attraction effect - concentrate on similar traits and not on the differences
👉 Make people talk and listen to them. Everyone loves to talk and when you listen to people, they start liking you

Good story tellers attract people 

- Chronicwriter

1014. Red Team by Micah Zenco

 Book 4 of 2021:




Red Team: How to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy by Micah Zenko. 

The book talks about an approach of analysis named Red Teaming. This is mainly used in military. Internet security companies use this tactic to strengthen their posture where they test the security of their systems by trying to hack them. 

The author talks about how to make good use of it in business and management. The case examples used in the book were boring and more often after stating the problems, the solutions laid out were not clear and concise. 

I lost track of some these key plots and after a point of time, I skipped some pages ( which I never do while reading a book). This book may be useful for some of you. But it was definitely not my cup of tea.

1013. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell


Blink - by Malcolm Gladwell - The third book I read this year has simply become the best book I read so far. I started reading this book late last night and ended up completing this afternoon. I started fanboying this man and started watching his videos on YouTube. Let me come back to this book, Blink - the power of thinking without thinking. The book talks about the pros and cons of taking instant decisions without much logical reasoning. He explains it through beautiful story telling. The book starts with a narration of a fake Greek statue and from that moment on, I bet you that you can't put this book down.

Key takeaways:


1. First impression and snap judgments - lightning quick conclusions ( the swing between conscious and unconscious biases)
2. Thin slicing - The ability of unconscious mind to understand the underlying pattern
3. Looking like a reader - Hasty decision and its effects (negative effect)
4. Tragic first impression - 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, where four New York policemen shot an innocent man on his doorstep 41 times, as another example of how rapid, intuitive judgment can have disastrous effects
5. Too much information - makes us prone to mistakes

What I loved about his style of writing is the manner in which he connected each of his points with science, sports, politics, religion and popular culture. Check out his point on Tom Hanks. I would strongly recommend to buy this book and have it in your library.

- Chronicwriter

1012. The Practice by Seth Godin


The Practice by
 #SethGodin is the second book I read in 2022. I spent the first two days of the year lying in my bed and reading books. Godin has sprinkled loads and loads of wisdom in this book. In my town when I drink tea from a road side tea shop, there would be one old man who will be giving gyaan to everyone in the tea shop by talking about religion, politics, general knowledge, sports and even the country's economy. When I read this book, Godin looked like that old man from the tea shop.

One of the key takeaways from this book: Don't think about outcomes. Just take one step at a time. Take a look at the picture. The humour lies in all the steps that are missing. Everyone knows how to draw two ovals and a line. No one, least of all me, knows how to draw the owl. Only those who practice the steps in between will eventually draw the owl. Keep on practicing till you reach the goal.

-Chronicwriter

1011. Selling the invisible

One of my resolutions for 2022 is to read 100 books this year and the first book I read this year was "Selling the invisible" by Harry Beckwith. He shares 100s of tips in this amazing book. This is a must read book for service marketers.


Key takeaways from this book:


1. Raise your service bar by delivering the best quality
2. Understand the customer better through surveys and research
3. Marketing mindset across all team members
4. Positioning and focus - focus on your USP rather than focusing on many things.

What I loved the most about the book is the examples he used and the story telling approach he has.

You can search for the hashtag #prasonbooks on LinkedIn to read my views on the books I read.

-Chronicwriter

Monday, February 21, 2022

1010. Chronicwriter is getting older

If you are a reader of this blog, you would have realised that there is hardly any post here these days. The reason is I have been active on LinkedIn and on Instagram. We all go through lot of moments in life that changes our perspective of this world. The humorist in me is slowly dying. And I think I am making sense these days and that is something that I always dreaded. I was always scared to get old. One thing that I have been doing in the last two years is in spending more time with teenagers and people in their early twenties. I learn a lot from this generation. I don't look my age still and that is both a blessing and curse. Blessing, because I look young. Curse, because in some cases, I am treated like a young boy by people who are younger than me.  

Oh well. I wrote this blog just to post these pictures to indicate how I have aged over the past 16 years.












- Chronicwriter


Sunday, January 16, 2022

1009. Sethu, the movie that shocked us

It was the year 1999. I was in my first year of college. The film Mudhalvan had hit the theatres. It must have been the month of November. I don't remember the exact date. But I do remember that Mudhalvan was running full house. 

I did my Engineering in a college in Pondicherry, in the outskirts of Dindivanam bypass. To come to Pondy, we had to take a bus and as the college was 14 Kilo meters away from the city, it would take use 30 minutes to come to Pondy.

In our college hostel, we would play music cassettes and that would be a rage all the time. Mudhalvan songs were played all the time. And as college students, we learnt the art of bunking classes. The boys did two things when we bunked classes

1) Go to hostel, get drunk and sleep

2) Go to Pondy and watch a movie.

I think it was December. I remember this because the hostel was decorated with Christmas lights and all. We decided to bunk college and go to Pondy to watch a movie. As Mudhalvan was still running houseful shows, we thought of watching it. A few of our friends had not watched the movie yet and so we all started our long 30 minute travel to Pondy. 

The first theatre that welcome us in Pondy was the Muruga theatre ( after Gorimedu). Some Ram Naryanan movie was playing there. Then we crossed Ajantha, Ananda, Jayaram and finally reached Balaji theatre. We did not get the tickets for Mudhalavan and we were disappointed.  But we decided to watch some movie before we made our way back. And that's when we saw this movie poster of a tonsured man. It was Raja theatre.


We did not know who the hero was and we had no clue who the heroine was. But Illayaraja was the director of the movie and some director who had worked as an assistant to Balu Mahendra had directed it. Most of us were not interested to watch that movie. Reluctantly we went it, because we needed to spend 2 hours in a A/C theatre.

We were still angry at some of our friends because if they had started early, we would have got tickets for Mudhalvan. Soon, the lights were gone. And the movie started. When the hero was introduced, he was introduced as a rowdy hero. One of our friends remembered him and said that this is the same guy who acted in the Oh Butterfly song. 




Slowly the anger disappeared and we started liking the movie. The movie went pretty fast and this kind of direction was never seen before. During the intervals, when the lights were switched on, we were shell shocked, because the breaking the hero's head was the interval block scene. During the interval, we were all praises for the director and we were heaping praises for Balu Mahendra for producing a gem of a director. And soon the second half begun. We went from shocked to sadness, to shell shocked. Never in the past were we taken through such a shocker of a ride by a movie. This was not we had expected when we started seeing the movie. And finally when the movie ended, we left the theatre with a heavy heart. We did not know whether to praise the director or curse the director. But we knew that we had just watched a super hit movie. Back then, when we hated a movie, we would go and tell our friends that the movie was really great. It was our way of pranking our friends. So when we went around and told our friends that the movie Sethu was good, no one believed us. 

Sethu was a slow starter. But it ran till Tamil new year day of 2000. More than 100 days. Soon the songs in that movie were used by college students in Inter college competitions. Bala had arrived. B


-Chronicwriter