It is amazing how a small incident can make a crucial difference to your life and career. This was what Vishwanath’s test debut did to me. I was a relatively junior official in my company. I knew I was being trained to take over the Market Research Division. But that would have depended on my success in one or two difficult assignments . There was no dearth of competitors!
One such assignment came up in 1969- a survey on a new type of decorative closures. The liquor companies were the principal prospects. There were only three major groups and I could therefore approach each of them to conduct personal interviews.
(Satyajit Ray and I have had very little in common, personally and certainly not professionally. Most mornings I drove past Ray’s house on Bishop Lefroy Road and parked my car close by. I had, however never thought of meeting Ray, let alone, discussing his films. Yet I did meet him once…)
I had seen most of Satyajit Ray’s films, many without subtitles, in Calcutta’s theatres and had just started going to the Sunday morning shows of a film society. The film society movement owed its existence to Ray; it was pretty active in the 1970’s and 80’s and had produced renowned directors like Basu Chatterjee, Kantilal Rathod and Shyam Benegal. I had heard something about Ray’s shooting style and schedules from my colleague in Metal Box, Dhritiman Chatterjee, who had an offer for the principal role in Ray’s film Pratidhwandhi and had just finished shooting. Dhritiman was a management trainee and it took a great deal of pleading and the intervention of a Director, for the British company to bend its rules and let him take two months off for shooting.
In the Wikipedia pages on Kottakkal, there is a mention of Amrutabhashini . I quote ,” The development activities of women included modern publications such as Amritha Bhashini and Bala Chandrika, published by Kovilakam”. I do not know about Balachandrika but I have gained, while going through my mother’s papers, two volumes of Amritabhashini. (I am trying to digitize them)
These two volumes were produced by the Thampurattis of Kizhakke Covilagam more than 70 years ago. The fading pages of the handwritten journal are the fading footprints of a laudable literary effort!
Family Reunion-May 11, 2014
The Kizhakke Covilagam family reunion I attended in 2010 was my first experience of attending the annual family meet, started ten years ago. I attended it a second time the following year and then again this year. For the first time a Zamorin was present. → Continue
July 31, 2014 diagnostic tests
It is high time that a formal course in ethics is made an integral part of medical education.
An administrator of a leading hospital in Mumbai, herself a doctor, told me once that the general practitioner was on his way out. I asked her how much a practitioner would be earning in Mumbai. Rs 20,000 a month, Rs 25000? Her reply was stunning! An average general practitioner would, she said, be lucky if he earns Rs 10000 from consultations. Many , she added, are packing up and looking for alternative avenues of employment. My own doctor packed his bags two years ago and shifted to his home town.
Swami Vivekananda’s meeting with John Rockefeller is one of the lesser known facts about his stay in Chicago . The meeting has been documented although neither Vivekananda nor Rockefeller has written or apparently spoken , at least in public, about it. The impact of that meeting can only be inferred from subsequent actions.
It is said that opposites attract each other and that pairs of opposites produce great results. One could not have imagined a pair more unlike each other than Swami Vivekananda and John and Rockefeller in temperament, life style and social and cultural backgrounds. Rockefeller had brought up Standard Oil and was considered the richest man in the world and had all the material comforts he could have wished for. Vivekananada, on the other hand, was a penniless sanyasin who had renounced all material comfort but was in a position to give great spiritual energy to anyone who met or heard him. → Continue
[This is a speech I have preserved because it reminds me of my good old days at the Garware Institute and of the educational adventure the institute is in. I reproduce it in full below.]
This year the UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI’S GARWARE INSTITUTE FOR CAREER EDUCATION & DEVELOPMENT has attained the ripe age of twenty years, and we as a family and the GARWARE FOUNDATION take great pride in this achievement and the fact that our Late father Dr. Abasaheb Garware would have completed 100 years of his life. Unfortunately he is not here to share this proud day, but as his second son I would like to remember his dreams and his vision in establishing this Institute devoted strictly for vocational/skill-based education.
Introducing the Garware Institute of Career Education at the First Abasaheb Garware Memorial Lecture in University Convocation Hall, Mumbai on 8 December 2004. The memorial lecture was delivered by Dr Arun Nigvekar, Chairman, University Grants Commission.
I am indeed honored to be asked to welcome you on behalf of the Advisory Committee, the students, faculty and staff of the institute today to the First Abasaheb Garware Memorial lecture. I remember at the first anniversary of the institute in 1985 we had the then Chairperson of the University Grants Commission, Dr Madhuriben Shah as the Chief Guest. Abasaheb was with us then and was on the dais to grace the occasion. It would gladden his heart immeasurably to know, from where he is that today we have Dr Nigavekar not only to be the Chief Guest but deliver the first annual lecture named after him. On your behalf I should like to welcome Dr Nigavekar in our midst.
As the first Director of this Institute, I had the rare privilege of participating in its growth in its formative years. I would like to refer briefly to the guiding principles that helped us through a difficult period of infancy.
Disastrous defeats on the home turf against Pakistan and England have been hard to bear. Particularly since they came after the humiliation we had in England and Australia last year. Where do we turn ?
Commentators have been quick to call for several half measures. Sacking of Dhoni, Sehwag, replacing this person with that etc., quick fixes that, they hope will bring some improvement in performance.
Amidst all this, the BCCI has maintained an unusual calm, pretending that nothing serious has happened. Like the Bourbons, BCCI seem to have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing. As one foreign player remarked,they seem to be obsessed with cash more than with cricket. After all the next IPL season is not far away. That is where cash is and they must get ready for the big carnival.
This was during the inaugural function on 24 December 2011 at the Jamnabai Narsee auditorium, Vile Parle West, Mumbai. Dr R A Mashelkar inaugurated the series with a lecture on Reinventing India
Two decades ago, in a hall not far from here, an Indian R I President inaugurated one of Bombay West’s most prestigious projects- a Chair in Management of Non profit Organisations at a leading management institute in India. Today, twenty years after, we have another RI President, an Indian R I President-and I take the liberty of saying our own- President Kalyan Banerjee not to inaugurate but to witness the launch of a program in his name – the Kalyan Banerjee Leadership Lecture series. The Chair in Management was a momentous steo and has helped produce scores of young social entrepreneurs. It is our belief that today’s launch of the annual lecture series will prove equally auspicious and will have a significant social impact.