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 don’t 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 did’nt 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 Bagchi’s 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.