Innocuous role models

In the commercial business world, MBAs from Ivy league are sometimes our role model, Business leaders whom we have only seen on TV (and probably will only on TV ever) are sometimes our role model, the highly successful start up sensation is sometimes a role model and so are the charismatic politicians promising glory days again.Super heroes

We watch,follow,redistribute their moves,decisions,blurbs,thought pieces with intent to be like them , to learn from them ,to replicate some of what they do in our business and daily lives.

But what about the subtle , innocuous role models whom we see,hear,watch consciously and subconsciously every day,sometimes multiple times in a day .

Whom we did not stop to talk with , joke with,inquire more about ?

Who are unnoticied,unrewarded,unrecongnized

What about the lady in the park the other day,in her late 70s ,hunched from age , skin shriveled like used bed sheets performing a 4×400 meter in the head-wind

What about the impoverished animal care-taker in her teens, whom you met in the Old Jama Masjid slum area of Delhi on your last visit to India. Her job (the only job she will ever do , she said) taking care of strays dogs who could go rabid any day from negligence and hunger

Stray - image from Quora

What about your estranged parents, who in the twilight of their lives are still making an attempt to reconcile , to learn to love again ? , to learn to agree to agree

What about your son , who gave you some of his savings(and also explained why he can not give all) when you told him that you did not get the new role that you always aspired for , the bonus , the reward that you so truly deserved

So, what about them ?

Empathize with them,relate to them,hear their stories,learn from their struggles,share their pain,be part of their celebrations .

Then, be the sum of parts , of each of them

Of a granny who would never give up physiologically ,

Of a  care taker in the shittest job you have seen but with an undying mission and love for animals,

a couple ready to bury their egos and reconcile and failing and trying again ,even though they know it might be socially futile

a child who lets go of material attachment , who gives away without an expectation of your validation, without a desire of being rewarded,replenished or return.

If you are the sum of these parts , you are much more than the sum , you are a role model yourself !


— Images from and



Oh , wow , that is excellent

Unicycle Juggler

When I was 9 years old, I saw my 18 year old cousin performing a juggling act with tennis balls, without dropping the ball for about 10 minutes,a lit cigarette in his mouth all the while . I was stunned and thought that was the supreme act of excellence

Until, when I was 12 and was travelling around Europe with my family, in Paris one evening I saw a world renowned street artist juggling knives and riding a unicycle at the same time, I exclaimed in awe , “now THAT is an act of excellence !”

My definition of excellence, got revised again when I was 28 years old and was on a holiday trip to India, when in the state of Rajasthan , I saw a young(maybe 6 or 7 year old boy named Shivu) desert performer earning a living by juggling burning coals while riding a unicycle on a taut rope about 10 feet high , held by thin bamboo sticks.And he was doing it , to support himself and his family financially , surrounded by an excited crowed cheering him towards his success and also anticipating a fall next second.

Today, I am 34 , a father of two kids (8 and 1 ). I am proud father ,a grateful parent and a very fortunate husband.


My 8 year old son today,finally, opened up the acoustic guitar that I gifted him on XMas and almost instantly my 1 year old daughter , who was in vicinity, grabbed the guitar with curiosity, dragged it to her play area, started playing it ,  started tapping the strings , started drumming the body of the guitar, then she got me to turn on her favorite bollywood dance number and then she started dancing ,wielding the guitar around, cooing at the top of her lungs . She would fall on the guitar and sometimes the guitar would fall on her , but kept on waltzing with the guitar .It was a spectacle , I was breathless , I was joyful,stunned,hopeful and worried all at the same time.I said to myself, now that is truly excellent !

Again , today, my definition of excellence has changed and this latest revision has made me realize that excellence is surprising your incumbent definition of excellent.

Excellence is not chasing an excellent outcome, it is chasing a mission . A mission that is visceral to you (Shiva’s mission was making a better tomorrow possible for his family, my 1 year old daughter’s mission with the guitar was to explore and connect the unknown with her known)

Excellence is  knowing that you have to move forward but you also have to stay on the rope,And also that , you will fall, but being fearless of that fall

What is your definition of excellence ?


Am I in my senses?


I closed my eyes and the memories took me to a place that I pined for, wish that place had missed me too

I closed my eyes and the fragrance took me to a day of triviality, wish triviality took me seriously too

I closed my eyes and the touch took me to a day of pleasure,wish pleasure was obsessed with me too

I closed my eyes and the hum took me to a day of rejoicing, wish someone sang back to me too

I opened my eyes and ,

I wish I would have never opened them 


Gif source – Tumblr

Wild growth

A wild horse








When you or your team or your company,is in a growth mode

It is like riding a wild horse

As a leader, don’t try to tame the horse or make it predictable


try to create effective support systems that blunt the fall

and create learning systems that enable you and the team to learn from the last fall they had


Ajmer Sharif



mein Moin de rasta,usdi waat,usdi awaaz pehchaan dee si

oh khetaan which buldaan naalon waadh hungaa laaunda reha

tarke to shaam

tarke to shaam


osda deedar hoya

mein keha , “mein roti leaaye haan tere khattir”

“murg makhan which taleyaa”

“saag haandi aala”

“te mere niaare hatthan de naan”

parr us ne ik wee niwaala chakkhnaa taan ki,

mere wal dekheyaa wee nai ,

bas Ali de taak which Makke kani us deeyan akhaan giraftaar sigiyaan

usde bullan te bhukkh de nishaan nai , Ali daa raag siga

te mere bullan te Moin da


Leader “type”

Gordon Ramsey

You know that you are working with a leader,when they…..

  • are serious about making an impact
  • get stressed but don’t shout
  • acknowledge failure publicly
  • don’t hoard knowledge
  • self deprecate
  • check how you slept when your kid is sick
  • don’t create factual fog to justify their instinctive decisions
  • don’t hog the limelight
  • admit when they don’t have a clue
  • don’t ridicule others,when they have
  • tell you,how to tell that the bacon is done
  • don’t throw you under the bus
  • and don’t throw you under the bus (when you are not in that meeting)
  • are smart enough, to sense which way the political wind is blowing
  • and are brave enough,to face it
  • praise (and it feels genuine)
  • turnaround and smile (even though you interrupted their email draft)

How do you tell whether you work for a leader type ?

A judaai

Old man and the Goat


“Is that your goat Sir?”

“Yes, for now”

“What happens later?”

“I dont know,maybe I will have to sell her for slaughter , I am poor you know…….or maybe she will live with me until i die…..actually i wont sell her as I dont want her to die before me!”

“What her name?”

“Her name is Judaai”


Photo – Old man and the goat @ Jama Masjid , Old Delhi Feb 2015

“Judaai” in hindi/urdu means “separation”

Passion,Ration & Leading


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