Monday, August 30, 2010


Akshta was delighted to wear Yukata - a casual light cotton kimono worn in Japan during summer. I had a choice between silk and cotton - both brightly coloured designs but was recommended by Japanese friends to go for cotton. Silk in Singapore weather would have been painful as experienced with Chinese attire. The name Yukata comes from the word ‘yu’ (bath) and ‘katabira’ (under clothing). It seems during Heian era (794-1185), court nobles wore linen ‘yukata’ which were draped loosely after taking a bath. I couldnt get wide obi belt but managed to get matching geta (wooden sandals) and purse to complete the attire.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bangkok and Japan

I don't quite understand when and how Thai immigration charge visa fee. This time, they didn't but previous time they did and before that they didn't. I guess it could be based on their tourist numbers. If an airport were to have transit hotel inside, would it run profitably? I think Dubai has one; others have day rooms that are often booked in advance. I stayed at Novotel to get my 5 hours of sleep and shower. Another chance upgrade to First Class avoided long walks and stands at the airport.
How times change for Japan? A decade and half ago, Japan consumers were exhorted to buy imported products so as to make foreign trade gap palatable to her trading partners, mainly USA. Today, Japan's debt is almost twice that of her GDP, economic growth is slipping and Yen is below 85 to a dollar - 15 year low. I don't quite understand why Yen gets stronger when her economy gets battered? In most countries it's the opposite. Is it because its export driven economy but this didn't happen in case of Singapore. I must seek answer to this question that has bothered me for long. An interesting illustration of Japan debt : If one were to stack 1000 yen note, her 860 trillion debt would be 2500 times the height of Mount Fuji .
With this thought, I am now heading to Japan. One of the great places to visit that preserves her nature, culture, history and tradition.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Commonwealth and Yog

Commonwealth games are still three more month away but India media is made sure that event is well publicized with news from ' Kalmadi wealth'. I wonder what effect would it have on business managers that would be working round the clock to match the deadlines. In most countries, such an expose would have been covered till the conclusion of an event and later would have taken the culprit on task. But democracy in India never stops throbbing so Auditor or comptroller , who so ever he is took upon him to do the task leaving media blazing with all guns. Organizing committe instead of worrying about functioning of games now must be thinking how to defend their decisions. I only hope no fatal disaster happens when games are in full swing. Almost 32 years ago, India hosted Asian Games to the perfection. It took New Delhi infrastructure at a new level but it also coined a brand ' Asiad' from housing complex to Mumbai Pune Bus service. What would be the legacy of this year's commonwealth games?

The above story is in contrast to first ever ' Youth Olympic Games (YOG) by Singapore. Everything over here was low key till the start of grand opening ceremony. Even then, I could hardly find a mention of YOG in any international media. But that's what exactly Singapore Govt had hoped and planned for. They wanted to present their showcase money spinner ' Marina Sands' to all the prospective global clientele and they achieved in style. Everything about the show was under wraps, no one had inkling what to expect except that it was to be performed on a stage that would be floating. It turned out to be spectacular, fascinating and entertaining. Clever use of water, fire on stage with a theme of youthful aspiration of immigrants that flocked to this island in boats. Container - most visible symbol of modern Singapore was used to build the architectural framework of the stage and also to house various musicians and performers. Dazzling fireworks interspersed with shows in between ensured that skyline had enough time to clear of smoke and also gave enough time for stage organizers to change the setting. Normally, in Olympic parade, athlete are paraded at the end of the event , here they moved at leisurely pace like in closing ceremony but at the beginning of the event and became part of the audience. Event coordination, crowd management and punctuality were perfect. It's almost a week at YOG, medal distribution pattern reflects similar to the world Olympics. India is yet to see any medal. Singapore has already bragged three bronze and can hope for bright future.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy B'day India

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Bhaware Ki Gunjan

Life without songs from Kishorkumar would have been insipid. This song from early 70's hasent lost its charm after 45 years. Today, is Kishor Kumar's b'day and i am sure this song would make its presence.

Bhaware ki gunjan hai mera dil
Kab se sambhale rakha hai dil
Tere liye, tere liye (2 )

Mujhe kabase thi pyaar ki justaju
Meri zindagaani mein hai tu hi tu( 2)

Main aaya hoon duniyaa mein tere liye
Mere dil mein jhoome teri aarzooo
Bhaware ki gunjan hai meraa dil

Gagan se bhi ochaa mera pyaar hai
Tujhi par mitungaa ye iqaraar hai
Tu itanaa samajh le mere hamasafar
Tere pyaar se meraa sansaar hai
Bhanware ki gunjan hai meraa dil


Monday, August 02, 2010

HP sales Basics

It's almost three decades that I had my first exposure to this term but lessons taught by HP sales basics stayed, nourished and shaped my attitude and continues to be so. The written stuff was interesting but video presentation was more gripping. I remember borrowing bulky UMatic tapes from Blue Star video library over the weekend and watch them with great passion. A good coach would make those lessons live and vibrant with role playing techniques. Telephone speaking, non verbal communication, Art of Listening, making a proposal, Benefits versus Features and above all passionate zeal to lead a life.

India lacks smart, great sales people. Era of salesmanship has now arrived. Prior to liberalization, an art of bribing Govt officials, securing licence and approvals shaped the path of success. Post liberalization, flurry of foreign investments created many job opportunities. With euphoria for foreign touch, customers flocked and art of salesmanship had to wait. Now with global recession, most foreign companies have headed towards India as a favoured destination. Products are available in plenty, competition is severe, and margins are shrinking. A great opportunity for those with skills of Salesmanship. If I were to succeed, I must have a team that has selling talent. Not just for selling goods but ideas, services and approach.

As I start working on short training package, the following subject reverberates in my mind, most of them dating back to the days of HP sales basics Sales - arts of science? Is sales man born or developed? Steps of sales process: Contact, Qualify. Investigate Presentation and Close. Human behaviour aggressive and responsive - Driver, Expressive, Analytical, Amiable. Type of customers - Order Signatory, Decision Maker, Influencer, End User, Facilitator. Perfect glue that Ensures success is handling objections, a thorough understanding of the process, players and their roles. Communication skills -Verbal - written, spoken, presentation and Non verbal, Telephone skills Product and Applications, General Knowledge. What would be my message? Understand Analyze and Act immediately Be Sincere Passionate and innovative, Develop Patience, Learn the act of ' Listening ' be on the edge. Be on the forefront, be adaptable for change and be Visionary. India is a young country: there are always more and more young people who are more knowledgeable than you, willing work extra hours and at a lesser salary. Know your weakness and overcome them! Quickly and now. Keep your feet to the ground. Don't get overwhelmed by success or downtrodden by failure. Wow... this is turning out to be great course material for sales management!!

Thank you HP Sales Basics.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Anjanibai Malpekar

I remembered this day of 1974 when we got a message of passing away of Smt Anjanibai Malpekar. What I wasn't aware that the day was August 1st. Swarmandakini has profiles of musical maestroes. This is what it says about Smt Anjanibai Malpekar.

Anjanibai was born in musicians' family in Goa on 22nd April, 1883. She started learning music from Ustad Nazeer Khan at a tender age of 8 years. She used to learn from Ustad and then practise for herself and the sessions would extend up to 10-12 hours every day. She had stated that Ustad first taught her Raga Yaman for three and a half years and then Bhairavi for one and a half years.(both the ragas together covered all the twelve notes of the octave). After the two ragas were thoroughly mastered by Anjanibai, he taught her many other special Ragas. He also taught her Sangeet Shashtra and the method of writing notation for Bandishes.

She made her debut in a public performance in Mumbai at the age of 16 years. The performance was so exhilarating that she received an award of Rupees five thousand, which she handed over to her Guru. Ustad Nazeer Khan. After the first performance in Mumbai, her reputation spread across the music community in the country and she received invitations for participating in conventions all over the country. She commanded respect as a talented artist of a very high calibre. In the meantime she married Seth Wasanji Ved. While she was close to reaching the summit of popularity her voice got badly affected after a performance in 1904, making it impossible for her to sing. As the voice could not be restored after a yearlong treatment, someone suggested to her name of a spiritual Guru. Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon, near Pune. She approached him and her voice got miraculously corrected after consuming prasad - clove & sugar given by Guru as blessing She then continued to learn under Ustad Nazeer Khan and started giving public performances again. However, death of Ustad Nazeer Khan in 1920, was too severe a loss for her to sustain and created a void in her life which could not be filled. She lost interest in giving public performances and preferred to lead a spiritual life. After her last public performance in Town hall of Mumbai, in 1923 when she was barely 40 years old she retired from giving public performance.

Although she had cut herself off from public performances, she continued to offer guidance to senior musicians, such as, Pt. Kumar Gandharva, Shrimati Kishori Amonkar, Pt. T.D. Janorikar, Begum Akhtar and Naina Devi. In appreciation of her extraordinary contribution to Hindustani classical music, she was awarded Fellowship of the Sangeet Natak Academy at the hands of the First President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad. She led a meritorious life up to the age of 91 years when she passed away on 1st August, 1974.