Thursday, September 06, 2012

IIPM Prof Rajita Chaudhuri's Review on Thoughts and Courage

IIPM Faculty Rajita Chaudhuri's Review on Thoughts

A person who can control his thoughts, a person who has a strong mind is the one who achieves the most. As someone said, “As you think, so shall you become.” Think about what you are planning to do today, for your thoughts become your actio ns. If your thoughts match your plans, only then will you succeed. The book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill says that if you have a burning desire to achieve something, you will get it, for that [burning desire] will help you overcome all obstacles and opposition. Thoughts become things, and as Hill puts it, “All achievements, all earned riches have their beginning in an idea!” So find that idea which will engulf you and make you work towards it like a man possessed, and you will never look back.

Both your thoughts and actions finally decide your future. So think right – this will help you to plan right. Before that, de-stress and declutter your life; simplify it so that you can focus on the really important stuff. Finally, once you have decided on something, don’t let anybody in the world change it... Just do it! Read Complete

IIPM Prof Rajita Chaudhuri's Review on Courage

Success also comes when you have the humility to accept you were wrong and change your course of action. The most difficult words to say are “I am sorry” and ‘I was wrong”. People who have the courage to use these words win in the long run.

In fact, it’s so important to accept your failures that kings of medieval times kept court jesters, who were allowed to comment on the king’s failures; something others dared not to do. Read Complete

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sacrosanct snakes

Thousands descend on Battis Shirala every year to worship live snakes on Nag Panchami commemorating the slaying of Kalia, the evil serpent by Lord Krishna. Shruti Murkutkar looks at the spectacle 

In common parlance, a snake usually has negative connotations: it is a deadly creature not to be trusted. But in the small town of Battis Shirala, 60 km from Sangli, people not only live in harmony with poisonous snakes but also worship these objects of dread.
Thousands of devotees descend on the town – it got its name because it is located amid a cluster of 32 big and small villages – on Nag Panchami day every year.

The day commemorates the legend of Lord Krishna’s slaying of Kalia the evil serpent. 

In Maharashtra and elsewhere in India, the usual practice is to worship snakes in the form of clay and mud idols installed in temples and homes. But the residents of Shirala do not believe in paying obeisance to inanimate snakes. They catch live snakes, often poisonous ones, and then shower their faith on the serpents.

A hilly town nestled in thick forests, Battis Shirala has no less than 75 snake mandals (clubs). It is not without reason that it is referred to as a land of snakes.
The villages around the densely-populated Battis Shirala are infested by snakes because, as the locals point out, the land here is soft and the climate is humid round the year.

The sarpanch of Battis Shirala, Devendra Patil, says Nag Panchami has been a huge religious occasion for these villages for over a hundred years.

But it is believed that the tradition began much earlier than only a hundred years ago. There are references to the snakes of Shirala in the songs of renowned 17th century Marathi saint-poet Samarth Ramdas.

Ramdas had travelled from Kolhapur to Shahapur in the year 1645 and was believed to have passed through Shirala.

RC Dhere, an authority on the literature of the Marathi saints, has also cited the Nag Panchami festival of Shirala in one of his books.
Snakes are such an integral part of the existence of these villagers that many residents of Shirala sport cobra tattoos. Shirala also has a town square called Nag Katta.

A sea of devout humanity converges on the town on the fifth day of amavasya (no moon day) in the month of Shravan to worship the snake god. On this day, people offer milk, bananas and coconut to snakes.

In run-up to the Nag Panchami festivities, after Ashadi Purnima, the villagers of Shirala fan out in different directions and start hunting for live snakes and poisonous cobras in nearby forests. The snakes are traced with the help of the trail thet they leave behind on the soil as they slither around.

The villagers are expert snake catchers and employ the usual methods of trapping a serpent. A stick is placed on the snake’s tail to prevent it from getting away and then the serpent is grabbed just below its hood and stuffed into a gunny bag or a mud pot.
On Nag Panchami day, the mandals (snake clubs) carry these snakes in a procession to a temple, where they seek the blessings of the goddess Amba Bai.

The captured snakes are then taken to Gorakhnath Temple for further rituals. People feed milk to snakes and perform special pujas.

The villagers take special care to ensure that the snakes are not injured during the annual festival. Once the rituals are over, the reptiles are released into their natural surroundings and allowed to return to the spots from where they were originally caught.
Shirala has followed this custom since well before the cobra was put on the list of protected animals under the Indian Wildlife Act 1972.

Legend has it that on the day of Nag Panchami, saint Gorakhnath once visited the town and stopped by for alms at the residence of a ‘Mahajan’ family, and demanded alms.

There he saw some women worshiping images of large snakes drawn on a wall. Touched by this gesture and impressed with their love for animals, the saint presented them with a live snake and instructed them to worship a live snake every year.

Since then snakes are worshipped in every village of Battis Shirala. Nag Panchami is today as much a social event as it is a religious occasion with entertainment and competition thrown in.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

IIPM Faculty Rajita Chaudhuri on 'DO NOT BE AFRAID TO LEAD'

“Men rule because women let them. Male misogyny is real enough, and it has dreadful consequences, but female misogyny is what keeps women out of power.” --Germaine Greer

“What will electing a woman PM do for Australian women?” --Sun Herald, June 28, 2010

For any company to be truly successful and for any country to truly become a powerful nation, the rule is the same – making the women powerful. If there is one country that has done it and shown the world what a difference it can make, it’s China. Compared to 1949, the status of Chinese women as of today has changed significantly; and this has been possible due to (apart from numerous other factors) one milestone, which came when in 1954, a clause on men and women being equal was included in the country’s constitution. This meant that women had the same status as men; politically, economically, culturally and educationally, in all aspects of life. Additionally, this equality status became formally protected by law. China was now ready to take on the world, because a country that looks after its women grows the fastest. It is the best growth strategy that any company or country can adopt. After all, the world’s greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. The ones who have this foresight will stay ahead of competitors and lead.

One organization that realized this early was Google. When Marissa became the first woman engineer to be hired by Google, this is what Larry Page and Sergey Brin told her, “You know, we have seven engineers, and they’re all guys. But we’ve thought a lot about how we want to start our company, and we’ve read a lot of books, and we know that organizations work better when there is gender balance. So it’s important to us that we have a strong group of women, especially technical women, in the company.” Today, numerous Fortune 500 companies are being headed by women. They bring along with them two qualities, which are distinctly female; that of ‘patience and compassion’, which makes them better leaders. It’s said Krishna was a better leader than Ram because he had these two qualities, which Ram did not have. So though Ram became the perfect man, it was Krishna who became the perfect leader. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

IIPM Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri on 'DO NOT BE AFRAID TO DARE'

“Attacking is the only secret. Dare and the world always yields; or if it beats you sometimes, dare again , and it will succumb.” --William Thackeray

Do not be afraid to do different things; things, which had never been done before by any woman; for if a whole lot of women had not dared, the world would not have been the way we see it today.

If she had not dared to enter a “man’s profession”, we would not have discovered radium. Marie Curie went on to become the first woman to win the Nobel Prize; and she said, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” If it hadn’t been for these daring women who took enormous chances and made great discoveries in spite of or rather because of the resistance they faced in the male-dominated field, a lot of mysteries would not have been solved. If research is to be believed, then according to the book The Madame Curie Complex, women scientists have often asked different questions, used different methods, come up with different explanations for phenomena in the natural world, and in doing so, have transformed forever a scientist’s role. They have also proved that the concept of ‘male professions’ is a myth. If decades ago, Madame Curie had to fight hard against the general perception of people that science was not for women, then today a whole lot of women are fighting the perception that ‘technology’ is not a field for women. Those are daring women like Sheryl Sandberg and many more who have worked hard to change this mindset and pave the way for future female leaders. It’s not surprising that this time, IBM decided to appoint Virginia Rometty as its first ever female CEO, something unheard of in technology companies. However, women like Meg Whitman (e-Bay) and Carly Fiorina (HP) have already shown that women are as capable of handling technology as men!

The world may not always have been fair to the fairer sex, but it has not deterred many from daring to live their dreams. According to an old Chinese proverb, women hold up half the sky. Do they get their ‘half’ of the pie on earth too? We still live in a world that does not do justice to women, and this fact has been highlighted in the numerous true stories compiled in a book aptly named Half the sky. The best part is that these are stories of courage, of hope. These are stories of how women across Asia and Africa turned oppression into opportunity. One story is of a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery who had the courage to run away and start afresh. Today, she runs a thriving retail business. Another heart breaking story is of a woman from Ethiopia who suffered devastating injuries during child birth. Not only did she fight for survival but in time, became a surgeon. Ordinary women, but with extraordinary stories. They may not have changed the world. No, not yet. But they dared to change their world; that’s what courage is all about.

It’s time each woman dared to change the rules and dared to live her dream. 

Friday, June 08, 2012

IIPM Faculty Rajita Chaudhuri on STICK OUT AND STICK ON!

The aim of a marketing campaign is to make the brand stick out in your memory. Being different, i.e., sticking out, helps in doing that. The golden rule being, do exactly the opposite of what the others are doing. This rule holds true everywhere; the way you dress, the way you apply for a job, the way you advertise and the way you speak. If everyone wears a casual attire to work, wear a suit to stand out. If every competitor of yours is using advertisements with more visuals and less text, do exactly the opposite.
An MBA from Texas desperately wanted to get into the company Accenture, but nothing worked. Ultimately, he decided to do something different. He created a website ‘Hire-’, which had his flashy photos, his blog and his resume. Yet another job seeker mailed a shoe with his resume stuffed inside it to his potential employer with a note “Just trying to get my foot in the door”. One even sent his resume in a pizza box with a note, “Delivering you a great candidate”. Sometimes, the gimmicks work and sometimes they backfire; but if you have it in you, then a little extra attention goes a long way towards achieving your goal.
So set a goal, a target for yourself, and chase it passionately, while keeping in mind the simple fact that to stick on to people’s minds and to be remembered; you need to stick out, and keep thinking of ways of doing things differently from the rest of the world. You will be noticed. Advertisers have been using this trick for decades. Earlier (even now), advertisers used beautiful women to sell just about everything. You have a beautiful woman in an ad for a razor, for a shirt, for a men’s deo, for a bike, for a car, for just about anything. Now they are using men to sell products used by women!
The rule is simple. If you want to succeed in this highly cluttered and competitive world, then work hard towards not just being good but also towards being different from others, so that you stand out from the crowd. Do not blend in. Make your own rules and you will be noticed. Being noticed is the first step towards success. So while making your strategies, remember, “Stick out, don’t blend in”!