Rakesh did his schooling from the prestigious Lawrence School in Lovedale, located in picturesque Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India. His school motto being “NEVER GIVE IN” is so inspiring. After his graduation at Ferguson College Pune he did his MBA at Tasmac. He is now all set to join the Civil Services and serve the Nation.

Rakesh was inspired by the quote on roses in our previous post and was kind enough to share an interesting experience. Many thanks buddy!

 “Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses – Alphonse Kerr

Lovely Roses and the accompanying quote reminds me of an incident that happened a fortnight ago, when I was on a holiday with my family. We had been to the picturesque Papi Kondalu, in the Godavari River.

Before our boat cruise started in the morning, we had visited the temple at Polavaram, but had to hurry our visit as we were getting late. One of our more pious cousins was not very happy about us rushing out of the temple (on a river island). We tried to explain to her that by going late to the boat, we will be disturbing everybody’s schedule.

Later that afternoon, when we were about five hours into the cruise, in dense jungle (the nearest inhabited hamlet was about 40 KM downstream), our boat had a technical snag and refused to move forward. It only spun around in circles. Finally the engines stopped and we could all hear the loud silence.

People were tensed but the crew (young college boys, who work part time with the tourism company) showed great leadership and handled everybody’s emotions well. After overcoming the initial sense of panic (and the fear of naxalites), some people decided to swim in the river to beat the merciless Andhra heat.

Three or four hours later, just before a brilliant sunset, a rescue boat came to tug us back. As we approached the base camp at Rajahmundry, we sailed past the Polavaram island temple.

My cousin looked at me and said:

“It’s because we did not have a proper darshan of the temple, God punished us by damaging our boat”.

I didn’t know what to say, as being an atheist; I felt my views might be misinterpreted. However another cousin came to my rescue and told her:

“Why don’t you look at it this way?

It’s because we went to the temple, God protected our boat from sinking. And being attacked by the Naxalites. And from the crocodiles and wild animal. Besides we got to swim in the river, which the tourists on other boats couldn’t do. And God gave us all this mirth almost free, because the tour operator promised us a 75% refund”

I guess it is all a matter of perspective!!!

Adieus Rakesh and here’s wishing you the best of luck in all your endeavors!

About dilipnaidu

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are reading, music, growing culinary herbs, playing golf and yoga. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

18 responses »

  1. Dilip Kher says:

    Dilip It is great to see your blog so popular with the leaders of the future. Did you take those two pictures of the KHARAKWASLA lake and environs when you last visited my farm and spoke to me on tel from there? The pictures are lovely but I am becoming indifferent these days to the beauty of the lake and my farm there because of snakes and reptiles. All the snakes caught or trapped in PUNE are released in KHARAKWASLA by the snake catchers. The Forest Dept too has released some crocodiles in the KHARAKWASLA lake and I have seen a five foot specimen soaking the sun in near where I draw my water from in the lake. Oscar Wilde I think it was who said ART does not imitate NATURE, it is NATURE that imitates ART. Nature is our creation. What we see in nature and how we see it depends on the arts that have influenced us (paintings we have seen, books we have read, wise men we have heard and so on). We see in nature what our mind has been conditioned to see and it is the arts that have conditioned our mind. Fogs and sunsets have always been there but it is the painters that have brought them to notice. So obviously it is Nature that imitates Art not the other way around. Ever thought of it that way?

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Hey hey hey Dilip is it really you??? Oh what a lovely surprise!

      I believe the most exotic place in and around Pune is your farm. I read with surprise about the snakes and the crocodiles but the farm to us city folk will continue to be a place where one rejuvenates and energizes. It’s sheer scenic beauty and solitude brings to life ‘natures glory’.

      Please do have a look at the the beautiful panoramic views from ‘Kher’s Farm’ of the lake and of the amazing ‘star-fruit’ tree again in your farm. We tasted the juicy ‘star-fruit’ and found it very special. Both the links below are from my other blog –

      Lake view: http://jugnoofarms.wordpress.com/category/environment-and-nature/

      Star-Fruit Tree:
      http://jugnoofarms.wordpress.com/category/environment-and-nature/fruits/

      (The pictures of the lake in this blog are views from Peacock Bay in a earlier visit)

      Yes now I can understand Oscar Wilde’s profound philosophy that “…… the self-conscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realise that energy.” The evidence of this is right here … it was you and your vision that set-up and created this farm which now is considered as one of the most beautiful locale anyone can ever hope to see and savor. So you made it happen.

      Thanks my dear friend for stopping by and making this Diwali a joyful one!

      🙂

      Like

  2. LOVE this story. A positive perspective makes life’s sometimes turbulent waters much easier to navigate for sure. I’m definitely a glass half full person.

    Like

  3. Sriram says:

    PS – To give you more evidence from a Movie – Perhaps in recent times the best movie to depict the concept of ‘managing change’ is Kung Fu Panda – 2. Watch how Po fights his own internal demons as he vanquishes the external villain – and the secret elixir this time is something which even Master Shifu found difficult to MASTER! (I am not going to spoil the fun by revealing the secret here!!)

    Cheers!

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      I must see Kung Fu Panda -2 soon preferably in the big theater (if its still running). And learn how to fight my internal demons🙂

      Ya good you did not reveal the plot!

      Cheers!

      Like

  4. Sriram says:

    Dear Rakesh,

    This is not a question of perspective at all because the Chinese have already seen through the ruse of difficulties and opportunities – they just have one CHARACTER for both – In effect stating that they are just 2 sides of the SAME coin.

    you can’t have opportunities in a placid, unchanging environment where everything is perfect! So the mantra is GO LOOKING FOR DIFFICULTIES and YOU WILL MEET OPPORTUNITY HALF WAY THERE!.

    I remember a quote by a miss india contestant Manpreet Brar – the question was what would you prefer – “stability and peace or change and strife for the world” – and she replied – its in the very nature of this world to change, for it is the ONLY Constant. She goes on to say that stability means DEATH.

    But why do we perceive change as trouble or difficulty instead of opportunity?

    Our Western Theorists have come up with some 5 reasons or 10 reasons for why change is not seen as an opportunity even when it is clearly visible as a beneficial one (you would have done this in OD / SM / SHRM sessions) – but have missed the heart of it all.

    We fail to appreciate that to perceive change you need a changeless substratum / background. And we can therefore be Changeless even in Change by focusing on that – which doesn’t change, but by just ‘being’ there ’causes’ it.

    Eastern Philosophers have called this substratum variously from shunya to brahman to zen and have exhorted all of us to just become AWARE of this FACT.

    all this is too simplistic and subjective – practical nahin hai – etc. are the REASONS given to not get after the real thing.

    the reason is we have this so called EXALTED IMAGE of our abilities that we CANNOT accept that such a simple thing will make us see CHANGE only as opportunity and nothing else – because simple solutions are never good enough for apparently COMPLEX problems!

    The Best First Line for a Novel (of course for me)goes to Charles Dicken’s. He Opens his Tale of Two Cities with this IMMORTAL line – “It was the best of times and it was the worst of times” in the SAME sentence.

    I rest my case!

    Best Wishes

    Like

    • Geetha says:

      Dear Mr. Sriram,

      This is an interesting observation in your comment:

      “the reason is we have this so called EXALTED IMAGE of our abilities that we CANNOT accept that such a simple thing will make us see CHANGE only as opportunity and nothing else – because simple solutions are never good enough for apparently COMPLEX problems!”

      I have read about the “Lake Wobegon effect”:

      “When people are asked to rate themselves, researchers often find what they call the “Lake Wobegon effect,” nearly everyone believing that they are above average on just about everything.”

      http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/lake_woebegon.htm

      I find that I learn a lot from your insightful comments. Thank you for sharing!

      And a big thanks to Dilip Sir for having provided such a unique platform for knowledge sharing.

      Thanks and regards,

      Geetha

      Like

  5. Rakesh Kotti says:

    Dear Sir,

    At the outset, I would like to thank you for permitting me to share my thoughts on your blog. I also express my gratitude Ms. Geeta, Prachi and Binod for their encouraging comments (with due apologies for the delayed response). It means a lot to me.

    I was a little preoccupied all of last week, with some work on the domestic front, which took me to various colleges in my native town, Guntur.

    They were in stark contrast to the college of the larger cities—the difference between India and Bharat, as some say. Having roots in small town India, but also being blessed with the opportunity to study in large cities, I seem to have developed a rather unconventional world view, albeit I am usually identified as urban in most of my circles. Thanks to globalisation.

    However this has often made me ponder over our future, given the double edged sword that globalisation is. From giving us jobs & a comfortable life to making us dangerously dependent on the precarious world order (or disorder) we have established. On the one hand ideas are being exchanged freely. Yet, we find extreme resistance to foreign culture even in historically peaceful places (reference to the Norway Massacre).

    I sometimes wonder where we humans are headed. Is this merely due to the sudden changes we are undergoing on a global scale? Frankly, I sometimes feel that the glass is half empty. Sometimes I feel the glass is half full. And then I wonder who drank up the other half!

    Is it foolish to remain an optimist?

    Great minds of our times live in the audacity of hope. I feel that the rest of us simply muddle through in the hope of audacity…

    With these thoughts, I seek to initiate (with Sir’s permission), a debate on “How we perceive Our Times—rife with difficulties or pregnant with opportunities!”

    Looking forward to all your views.

    Warm regards,

    Like

    • Geetha says:

      Dear Rakesh,

      Here’s a very interesting excerpt from the book titled “Go-Givers Sell More” by Bob Burg and John David Mann :

      Focus on creating value in the world around you and for the people around you, and the greatest opportunities will come to you in moments and from places you never expected.

      Crisis

      These great gifts that come to you from unexpected places rarely arrive neatly wrapped and clearly marked, like lottery winnings in the mailbox or a new car in the driveway. Often they present themselves cloaked in the guise of crisis.

      It is often pointed out that the Chinese symbol for crisis is composed of two characters meaning danger and opportunity. This sense of crisis as a fork in the path is not unique to the East: the English word crisis comes from the Greek krisis, which means “choice.”

      Problems are simply opportunities in work clothes.

      When you live a life of generosity, the world will bring you moments of shining good fortune – and they will often be decked out in tattered, oil-stained overalls.

      That is why we often miss our greatest opportunities: we turn a deaf ear to the whispers of our intuition and fail to see through the work-clothes disguise. It’s important to have a plan – but if we are too narrowly wedded to our own carefully blueprinted footpaths, we are more likely to miss the broader avenues that appear unexpectedly around the next bend in the trail.

      Receptivity also means staying open to learning and to new ideas – and this takes courage.

      It takes courage to step off the clearly marked map of our own plans and goals and out into the uncharted territory of the Unplanned.

      Receptivity is a fragile thing, because to be receptive, you must leave yourself open. Keeping yourself genuinely open to a yes also means you expose yourself to a possible no. Having the courage to embrace an unexpected path also means embracing the risk that this path may (and sometimes will) lead nowhere – or nowhere good.

      Perhaps this is the most challenging thing about being receptive: it means allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

      The world can be a large and daunting place, at turns lonely and intimidating, brutal and perplexing. It is easy for us frail humans to feel jaded, burned, and embittered. Painful things happen. Deaths and betrayals, losses and failures, wounds and disappointments. These things are real.

      These losses and failures have deep value. They have helped make you who you are, and they have given you greater depth, compassion, and understanding. The key is to embrace those experiences and, rather than letting them diminish your sense of trust in the world, let them deepen that trust. Yes, those things happened, and yet here you are, and a richer person for it.

      Adversity changes us, but how it changes us is a krisis – a choice. Imagine losing your home, your family, your possessions, even your hope. For some, such an experience can lead to growth, wisdom, and great depth, while it leads others to become hardened and embittered.

      There was a young man named Augustine whose mother believed in him. “Some day,” she told her boy, “you will become a writer – and not just a writer, but a great writer.”

      The boy’s life was happy until one day, six weeks after his high school graduation, while standing in the kitchen making her son’s lunch, his mother suddenly fell dead.

      Augustine joined the army, went to war, and upon his return began a career as an insurance salesman. His business did not do well, and he drifted deep into debt and drink. Eventually his wife took their daughter and left. Augustine roamed the country, sleeping in gutters, until he found himself one cold November day staring through a pawnshop window at a revolver with a twenty-nine-dollar price tag. He had thirty dollars in his pocket. “There’s the answer to all my problems.” the wretched man told himself. “I’ll buy that gun, put it to my head, pull the trigger, and never have to face that miserable failure in the mirror again.”

      Krisis.
      He chose not to buy the gun. Instead he wandered off and slipped into a library to stay warm.. and there he began to read. And read. And read.

      Soon he got another job in insurance, and as soon as he took his eyes off himself, he became very successful – and he began to write. Within a few years he wrote a little book that fulfilled his mother’s prediction when it became an all-time best seller. The book is called The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Augustine “Og” Mandino.

      Standing at that pawnshop window, Augustine confronted a fork in the path. The choice he made led to sales of some fifty million books, and changed millions of lives.

      Not all of us will go through as much tragedy or pain as Og Mandino, but surely we each face moments of hurt and difficulty in the pursuit of our dreams. The work clothes can be grimy indeed. Whether or not we see past them is up to us.

      As Andy Dufresne says in that great film The Shawshank Redemption: ‘I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living, or get busy dying.’

      Danger; opportunity; choice.”

      Thanks and regards,

      Geetha

      Like

  6. Binod Luitel says:

    Hi Rakesh,

    It is very interesting to read and get to know about your adventurous experiences and your gut feeling about looking from positive way to everything.

    First of all, I am amazed while reading your writing. Because, I never knew that you were a real writer too besides a proactive young man. Rakesh, I am very glad to say that your article grew my interest better than any fictions and stories. I have saluted to your idea of perspective—always looking things from positive angles no matter what happens in life.

    Your experience made me to think to Victor E. Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist. In his autobiography, Man’s Search of Meaning, he shares his real life experience in the Nazi camp “To live is to suffer; to survive is to find meaning in the suffering. If there is a purpose in life at all, there must be a purpose in suffering and in dying too.”

    In your case, though it may be less sever, it was enough to make a person in serious thought and let him to find meaning in the suffering. Good luck dude, you’ve got an adventurous experience in your life without any harm.

    And, here, I express my gratitude to Geetha Madam, for her contributing article with inspiring words to Rakesh as well as to we common beings.

    At last, thank you Rakesh, and congratulation for sharing your live experience. And, it‘s not to mention credit always goes to Dilip sir for his inspiration and encouragement on us and the platform he has created to share our thoughts.

    Best regards,
    Binod.

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Dear Binod … it is always nice to read your comments as you write from your heart … encouraging a fellow Tasmacian is a lovely gesture … you are right Rakesh was always a driving force for many events organized by students …

      Victor E. Frankl’s quote “To live is to suffer; to survive is to find meaning in the suffering. If there is a purpose in life at all, there must be a purpose in suffering and in dying too” is profound – I think it tells us that we must accept whatever comes our way and believe that there is a greater purpose behind it. With this belief the mind becomes peaceful.

      Thank you and all the best!

      Like

    • Geetha says:

      Dear Binod,

      Thank you but may I please tell you that I am also a commoner?🙂

      Warm regards,

      Geetha

      Like

  7. Prachiti Talathi Gandhi says:

    Rakesh, very well said. I will just take this opportunity to say that our perception is what matters. If you look at glass half empty you are going to make your life miserable, rather to be happy look at glass as half full. As Geetha said in her comment that good or bad, right or wrong are all subjective terms. What I think is right, it may be wrong for other.
    Sir, i agree with you that we need to change our perspective, life will automatically change.
    I will just quote one example to sum up :
    A person who is hungry for 2 days steals food. It is right for him but for another person who just had a lavish lunch it is wrong. The incidence is same just perspective changed.

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Hey Prachiti … so nice of you to make time from your busy schedule and share your views … your examples are apt to the theme … cheers and best regards🙂

      Like

  8. Geetha says:

    Dear Sir,

    May I please use this space to wish Rakesh all the very best in all his future endeavours in serving our Motherland? And my sincere thanks too for sharing this great learning experience.

    And I can’t help being amazed at the incredible maturity levels of the young college students who were working part-time as crewmen. Old heads on young shoulders indeed!

    And kudos to Rakesh’s cousin who proved that what Margaret Atwood says about ‘perspective’ in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is 100% true:

    “What I need is perspective…. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions. Otherwise you live with your face squashed up against a wall, everything a huge foreground, of details, close-ups, hairs, the weave of the bedsheet, the molecules of the face…”

    Michael Michalko has this to say in his remarkable book, ‘Thinkertoys’ about perspective:

    We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, or the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time or conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we shall live: with purpose or adrift, with joy or with joylessness, with hope or with despair, with humor or with sadness, with a positive outlook or a negative outlook, with pride or with shame, with inspiration or with defeat, and with honor or with dishonor. We decide what makes us significant or insignificant. We decide to be creative or to be indifferent. No matter how indifferent the universe may be to our choices and decisions, these choices and decisions are ours to make. We decide. We choose. In the end, our own creativity is decided by what we choose to do or what we refuse to do. And as we decide and choose, so are our destinies formed.

    Experiences and events are neither good nor bad. They are simply neutral. Good, bad, right, wrong, sad, angry, lazy, cruel, kind, and so on are all interpretations that people make. It’s a matter of what perspective you choose to take.”

    And Sir, am sure thankful to you for having demonstrated through your gorgeous roses that nature indeed has a lot of learning to offer provided we do not allow our “meddling intellect” to overlook it and keep ‘the power to receive’ in active mode throughout.

    Thanks and regards,

    Geetha

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Hello Geetha,

      It’s always a delight to read your writings. And your appreciation of Rakesh is very appropriate. How beautifully he has narrated the incident and the simple yet inspiring message – by changing our perspective we can avoid feelings of despair and despondency.

      Your formidable knowledge and recall of literature and apt quotes is just amazing viz. Margaret Atwood and Michael Michalko add newer dimensions to Rakesh’s “I guess it is all a matter of perspective”!

      Thanks for your encouragement.

      With kind regard!

      Like

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