Friday, July 11, 2014

Zen garden - Conversations with pathmakers

I am back to reading physical books and am enjoying  page turning and the feel of the paper on my hand. Both reading on screen and physical books have their own pros and cons. But now I feel the joy of reading physical books outweighs the flickering screen read. Moreover, I  dont strain my ageing eyes anymore.

There are so many writers and books today that one is clueless as to whom to invest time and money on.  At times like these I rely on reviews by voracious readers and bloggers like Shilpa, Swapna and my own sis. I am yet to get hold of some of the books that they have reviewed since my local library or friends from whom I borrow dont have them.  But One book I decided I must own and not borrow was  Zen Garden – conversation with pathmakers by Subroto Bagchi which was reviewd by Swapna.

During my last visit to Landmark, I bought the book   zen garden by subroto bagchi.



  
The book is a compilation of  the very best conversations the author had with influential pathmakers and it talks aobut the qualities which sets a pathmaker apart from a follower. Some ot them featured in this garden are very popular and most of us know the famous pathbreaking  stories like that Nandan Nilekani, GR Gopinath, Kiran Mazumdar, Aamir khan, Dr. Devi Shetty, Kris Gopalakrishnan etc.,

But there are stories of lesser known pathmakers who have maintained a low profile. Their stories are mostly that of  people from humble backgrounds who come from small towns  and have made it big. 

The book decodes the qualities that best describe the qualities of pathmaking. The conversations which were a regular feature originally in ForbesIndia for three years has been presented in twelve clusters with qualities that define pathmaking. Like the quality of determination, vision, love and competence, pain, altruism, wisdom etc.,

For instance, in the cluster on innovation, he talks about the people with innovative spirit. What does the innovator do? What makes him or her restless enough to toil, try, fail, then get up from the mud to succeed only a little, before starting all over again.In this cluster, we read about the founders of Neemrana hotels,make my trip.com,biocon,naukri.com etc.

In the cluster on compassionate leadership he features doctors who have made a huge difference to the society. These doctors( Dr. Devi shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya, Dr. Sharan patil of Sparsh and and Dr. Rao of LV Prasad eye institute have believed that the profession apart from being a source of  personal livelihood is a force of change to deliver long lasting values to the society.Dr. Devi shetty believes that great surgeons come from poor backgrounds as it gives them fire to stay focused.

So many more stories of people whose products we use in our daily life but dont know the story behind it like Wikipedia(Jimmy wales), Orient craft( sudhir Dhingra), eastern treasure India tours(sanghamitra jena) , Rana kapoor(Yes bank) VG Siddhartha (café coffee day), Patu keswani( lemon tree hotel) cricinfo.com( Badri seshadri),google(Ram shriram)Sujatha keshavan ( indias first design graduate and owner of RAy+keshavan) etc., There are also the pathmaking stories of Cherie Blair, Dalai Lama and Jaggi vasudev.

I didnt read this book in one go although I could have. I read and re-read because I found some of the lines  powerful  and laced with human conscience. For instance, in the conversation with Nandita Lakshmanan who is the founder of "The PRactice", a Public relation company. To Bagchis question on what is her biggest learning she says the words of Infosys co-founder Narayan murthy a clear conscience is the softest pillow and, when in doubt, disclose.

Many such nuggets of wisdom and unique insights made me re-read the book .  The book  makes you believe that ordinary people can do extra-ordinary things. It decodes that unique quality that led to the path makers to the  path of success where power and wisdom combines to give more to society than take from it.

That said, one could be critical about the book saying there are many more pathmakers and if a few people like Ekta kapoor, Sanjna kapoor, shashikant shetty deserved to be featured there were many more too. But Subroto Bagchi himself has said these are the people whom he conversed with in the Zen garden. There could be many more pathmakers and perhaps we can await part 2.

Overall, Zen garden is a valuable addition to my home library. 

18 comments:

  1. Well reviewed Asha. I am marking this to read :) Have you read his other books? I really liked 'Go Kiss the World'.

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    1. Thank you Aarthy:) never knew he was an author of so many books till i read swapna's review. Will get hold of his other books too

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  2. good one mam, liked the way you reviewd the book.. lots of goood as you say in the book

    Bikram's

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  3. Thanks for the nice review.

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  4. Mmm. Break from your travel writing to do a book review. Subroto would be tickled pink !!!

    He's a fine writer indeed. Even while creating Mindtree, which would have been incredibly time consuming, he has kept on writing.

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    1. yes, a short break for travel writing, will resume shortly. Thanks ramesh, for being a regular reader of my posts and leaving insightful and encouraging comments although you yourself are rich in travel experiences.

      Never knew he was a writer although i have seen mindtree take its baby steps in front of me at Gandhi bazaar and then later on when it moved to Brigade soft.

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  5. sounds interesting.will try to get it..

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  6. Thank you for your review - I'll pick this one up in October when I'm in India :)!

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    1. Thanks so much.Shachi, this is also available on Amazon at discounted rates. I bought it for 500, you get it at 245 on Amazon. I am not aware of the shipping though:)

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  7. Very absorbing review! Asha, I loved reading such an exhaustive review.

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  8. Sounds like a very inspiring read. Must check it out! Like you mentioned, even I read and re-read some thought-provoking or profound messages in the book! Thanks for sharing about this book, Asha! :)

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    1. yes shilpa, do read, waiting to read your thoughts on the book.

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  9. Dearest Asha,

    Thanks so much for the Zen Garden mention. LOVED reading your review. You have done an excellent review. I loved seeing the down-to-earth, innovation-oriented perspective you brought to the review - capturing the best of everything in the book! LOVED reading your book review, keep writing more!

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    1. Keep inspiring me to read more books dear swapna:)

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