About kushsrivastava

A B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, I went on to do a Masters in Management from ESCP Europe in Paris and an MBA from AIT, Bangkok. With a flair for writing, I decided to pen down a few things. Soon, I realized that it could well be given a shape of a book/novel. I have published a book on Corporate Governance titled Motivation for Good Corporate Governance: A Peep into Thai Companies and a novel titled Three Cheers to Life. I am all set to publish my third one titled "Road to Bureaucracy".

Tag-Li!

Nothing to do with the likes of Bruce Lee, have you ever wondered, why tags are so significant in one’s life?

If you think about it, the digital world, where tags bring in lot of visibility to one’s posts etc.;

Is not very different from the physical world, where tags bring in social recognition and in turn lucrative professional prospects.

Be it ones who have done their bachelors from the likes of IITs,

or

The ones who have done their masters from IIMs or ISB.

With time, though, things are changing;

With online platforms of learning propping up day-in-day-out,

With more and more students dropping out and choosing to become entrepreneurs,

With advertising platforms talking about success of people, who might not have the luxury of owning the much wanted tags, yet have done some fantastic work, solving people’s problems e.g. “water-man of India“.

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Slowly, but surely the tags seem to be moving from an institutional construct to a knowledge and impact based construct expressed via different channels of communication.

The social hangover seems to be fading fast enough, with companies beginning to realise that their core hiring policy needs to focus on one’s ability to make things happen with relevant skill sets.

Does it mean that educational institutions would loose their relevance and importance in, say the next decade or so?

Well, it depends on how institutions respond to this dynamics and how flexible they are in terms of framing their own strategies, based on a fundamental understanding of the evolutionary process.

For those, who are at this point of time, wondering whether to go for an expensive Ivy league university course which brings in loads of debt to cater to after graduating and force oneself into the rat race,

or

To take up an area of interest, where one wants to create some positive impact and thereby indulge in self- and manav-nirmaan, 

The choice seems to be obvious!

The question, though is, whether one is prepared to do so?

Source for the Image: http://www.psdgraphics.com/psd/red-tags/

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Lap-topping the Baggage!

The inspiration for this post, I draw from the new platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, LinkedIn etc. which have become a place for putting across to the world, one’s accomplishments,

Be it parents posting it on behalf of their intellectual kids,

or

Be it the professionals who are awarded for their hard work.

From childhood, parents inspire or force (at times) their kid to become the best in academics/sports/anything and everything, to which a kid might have varied reaction, depending on factors like:

The state of mind kid has, at that point of time, under the influence of his/her peer group, more so.

Whatever be the reason, most feel the baggage of parents’ and society’s expectations in their growing up years,

What a pity! Considering the most beautiful days of one’s life is lost in chasing fulfilment of expectations.

Once, the kid grows up, the baggage shifts to becoming the best in whatever field of study, he/she manages to pursue,

More so because of the perceived nature of the college than his/her interest, which in any case, he/she hadn’t had the time to ponder over;

Too busy was he/she bearing the baggage!

Entering the professional world, literally puts that baggage in the form of laptop bags that most professionals seem to carry around in today’s world, having implications for one’s health,

Leave alone the mental torture one has to go through, sheerly because most don’t like the work that they happen to be doing,

And aren’t able to justify how this work is bringing about an impact to others’ lives, that being the derivative of highest level of satisfaction that one draws.

Top this with the pollution, traffic etc. in the city, and what you picture is a person, moving around with his baggage all over the city,

Not knowing why the hell is one doing so!

Money, which was more a matter of survival than accumulation, has become the basis of life for most of us, having all the negative consequences for us day-in-day-out,

Yet, we tend to stick to it, because of the fear and an inability to answer: what if we don’t have what we have?

Is there a way out?

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Well, yes if you want to find a way out!

One needs to understand the difference between survival aspiration and accumulation aspiration. 

The former fits in well with the concept of maintain a good physical and mental health, allowing one to contribute to well being of others,

Whereas the second, leads to a path of disaster and chaos for oneself as well as the others.

Once that understanding is there, one wouldn’t be thinking of carrying all the baggage that one proudly carries in today’s world,

And justifies the same, labelling it as his/her ability to multitask.

The only question is whether one is prepared to change the very way one perceives things.

Are you?

Source for the Image: https://brandimpact.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/words-with-baggage/

Middle Path “Bakaiti”!

Most of us might have had the chance to come across the concept of “middle path” laid down in Buddhism as maintaining a balanced life, controlling our tendencies to tilt towards any kind of extremes.

From a capitalist point of view, it’s nothing but an opportunity lost, to accumulate loads of wealth and in turn become successful.

From a traditional Oriental point of view, though, the middle path offers one to utilise the opportunity one is bestowed with, sheerly because one is born a human.

If you are wondering, what that opportunity might be, it is getting answers to the questions that the mankind and possibly you, might be having since the time you began to have a cognisance of your existence in this world.

What this might be visualised as, is to picture a man standing on a T-junction, where in,

Walking on one path means doing the usual in moderation, without giving a thought as to where it’s heading,

Second one being adopting sanyas, or giving up the worldly desires and going in search of truth,

And the third, which is not as dramatic as the above two; the drama in first being the ignorance or the willingness to ignore the possibility;

The drama in second being the dissociation with what we consider life;

3rd one, is to lead a 2-sub-path life at the same time;

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One, where you are conscious about the accumulations at the same time, keeping a check on the tendency to accumulate;

Second, where you work towards realising the truth and figuring out the fundamental answers of life.

What this 3rd, 2-sub-path solution, does for you is,

To give you that one-shot at figuring out the truth, at the same time making sure that your survival is well taken care of, assuming that the benchmark for survival is much lower than, let’s say, owning and moving around in a Helicopter 😉

The only question is whether mankind in general and you in particular, is prepared to and would want to walk the path.

Source for the Image: https://unsplash.com/search/photos/crossroad

Bossing the GURU!

One of the most challenging of problems that an organization faces is to have a succession plan in place.

Going by the expectations, a boss is supposed to train his subordinate and if he does his job well, the organization would perform well in times to come.

Let us look at what might be the incentives he has, courtesy the very structure of the incentive mechanism in the organization, vis-a-vis insecurities that might pop up in the very act.

Having an employee learn the art of the trade, makes one insecure about what if the employee becomes a good shishya and goes beyond the capabilities of a guru. 

And if such insecurities were to become true, the employee becomes a much better candidate to bossing his own boss at a certain point of time.

Why would a boss want to do that to himself? Inherently, this doesn’t make sense for the boss.

Another scenario: What if, the company became prohibitive about the very concept of not allowing the worthy to become a boss? Huge opportunity cost for the company, having lost the chance to grow faster and better.

How does one deal with this kind of a situation?

Should the boss stop training his subordinates?

Well, if we go back to the good old times of guru-shishya parampara, the only incentive that a guru had for training his shishyas well was to enhance his and his gurukul’s reputation along with creating good citizens in society, and didn’t have any kind of skin in the game of taking up different roles in society, in his individual capacity.

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Does it mean that only if one doesn’t have a stake in the entire scheme of things, can make him/her willing to do his/her job of training the employees in the best possible manner, keeping in mind the good of the organization in particular and nation in general?

Does it mean that the very concept of boss training his own subordinate is invalid, considering the inherent nature of the same?

Does it mean the on-job training needs to be supplemented by an external entity, intending to create successors?

If it were so, how does one deal with the boss’s insecurity?

Does it in turn mean, that all roles should be treated as equals, accomplishing a feat together, rather than looking at it from a top-down approach?

If yes, then would it make more sense to have flat organizations for the long-term sustainability of the same?

Well, different structures have succeeded to different extent in different geographical set-ups.

Does it mean going to the very fundamentals of education, inculcating a sense of considering oneself as less important than the collective self?

Does it in turn mean building a consciousness which goes beyond the concept of self and becoming inclusive in turn?

A call that needs to be taken by the founders in building up the culture is to evaluate various factors before they jump to any conclusion of sorts and more importantly, by the policy makers of a nation, to lay down well the very fundamentals of education.

In an ideal consciously awaken world, the problem may not exist,

Though, till we achieve the feat, bossing the guru or guru-ing the boss might need to find some kind of an equilibrium.

Source for the Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4HvJaAdgDI

Gurukul Recruiter!

There was a time when parents performed tapasya for having a kid like Lord Vishnu, and that’s how Vasudeva and Devaki might have ended up getting one in the form of Sri Krishna. 

Wonder, what today’s parents might be praying for?

To get a kid like Elon Musk or the likes of Bill gates, or even our own Tata’s and the Ambani’s! 😉

Well, times have changed, so why not the focus, many might argue.

And with changing times, skill sets that are supposed to run a nation or the world is slated to change big time as well.

With AI and Machine Learning, which have already become the buzz words, the time is not far, when the current technical skill sets that one has will become redundant.

Does it spell doomsday for the current educational setup?

Well, it would be too harsh to say that, though the focus of the very same might need to shift if they are to become relevant with changing times.

Seems like, there would be a need to go back to the fundamentals of education: manav nirmaan. 

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Does that mean, that the ancient gurukul system will be revived?

Well, to a certain extent, yes; but may be within the ambit of the current modern education system, which will start to have its leanings towards the age-old sensibility.

Does it mean that those graduating from gurukul like set-up will become the sought for, when it comes to companies competing for recruiting good talent?

Might be, which would in turn, require the companies and for that matter, all organizations to have a completely different perspective on recruitment.

How soon it might happen, is anybody’s guess!

Slowly but surely, the world seems to be moving in that direction.

Source for the Image: http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in

The Cultivated Indian!

Oh, you don’t even know, who’s Darwin?”, says a 7th grade student to her classmate who’s just joined her class, with an accent, which is quite common among kids studying in international schools.

Well, should I be knowing the same? Do you know who’s Ramanujan?”, replies the kid, in an accent, quite synonymous with kids studying in a remote government school, to which the girl makes fun of.

When you hear such conversations, you cannot help but wonder where our society is heading?

A language, which shouldn’t be made a prestige issue but a medium to communicate your thoughts and feelings, has unfortunately become a status symbol in today’s world.

In my childhood, if a kid got educated in a convent school, it used to be a matter of pride for the parents, which has translated to studying in an international school for kids of today’s generation.

What I see in a child today is:

A constant race to speak, act and live life as the westerners would,

A constant race to prove that you are better than someone,

A constant race to get that all coveted seat in a US university,

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Of course being supported by parents:

Who take great pride, if their kid succeeds in some competitive exam,

Who are all bent upon showing off their kid as a trophy to the world,

Without realising, that what they are doing is not manav nirmaan but a creation of a generation of youth,

who are driven by materialism,

who don’t have an understanding of what inclusivity would mean,

who look at every other object as it were to be used and exploited by them for their own needs,

Which by the way, seems a very dangerous situation to be living in.

For what’s the guarantee that the kids, when they grow up, would not see parents as a means to fulfil their own ambitions and needs,

which in a way is getting reflected in today’s world, especially where the husband and the wife, both are working in a professional capacity and just want their parents or in-laws to be present at home, wanting them to take care of their own kids.

Yes, we Indians realise that a kid’s interaction with grandparents is of utmost importance to their development, but, should the basis of the same be exploitative mentality, which is a result of addiction to materialism?

Weren’t love, respect and care meant to be the foundations of the same?

The way, every Indian in today’s word, is being cultivated and nurtured, brings about a deep concern for the future.

If getting a well-paying job is the only incentive to live and leaving behind the rest the only motive in the world, day is not far when parents’ trophies will turn into disasters for themselves, to begin with, and for society as a whole.

The choice is yours:

Whether you want to change the very fundamentals of upbringing,

or

Allow your kids to be cultivated into something which ensures sadness for all stakeholders in times to come?

Source for the Image: http://edtechreview.in/news/2632-technology-for-students-education

Willingly!

One of the most used words I feel is willingness, or want or liking or the intention of what one might want to do in life.

Though, the understanding behind that willingness to set goals seem to be a little misunderstood when it comes to their alignment with the very aspect of what living is all about.

Willingness to accumulate,

Willingness to be successful, though we can have a much larger debate on the very definition of it,

Willingness to be doing a certain no. of trips in Europe or some other so called exotic locations on this planet,

Willingness to be treated significant,

Willingness to be at the top of your game, whatever it might be and whatever one might consider it suited to his/her wants,

I can go on and on with the prevalent willingness in the society.

But hold on, let us delve into it a bit more.

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What is needed in this country is the willingness to restore the status of its economy as it might have existed at one point of time in the ancient history and wisdom of this nation.

Does it mean increasing the interest rates by RBI?

Well, may be not, as it leads to reduced purchasing power, leading to shutting down of many SMEs.

Does it mean creating a culture of entrepreneurship in our country, aimed at solving issues in community?

May be yes,

May be it needs some kind of a support from the society in order to enable people to come forward and take up issues in their surroundings, be it the banks or in turn the government at the policy level of it,

Does it require reducing the cost of capital?

May be yes, but more so, building an ecosystem and structure in this country, which enable the very fundamentals of the same.

Don’t you think, it’s an excellent opportunity for the budding brains of this country to take up this and become relevant when it comes to the very fundamentals of life?

Well, if the willingness is there, the means can surely be figured out!

Source for the Image: https://www.emaze.com/@AOQZCLRO

Comparison Kills?

A series of incidents:

A guy born and brought up in an effluent family in India, goes to Canada to pursue his higher studies and commits suicide for the want of not being able to meet his own expectations, based on the comparison he draws with his classmate.

A guy makes it to a premier institute in India and commits suicide while in his final year, because he gets an F (fail) in one of the courses.

Makes one ponder what kind of society one is living in and the kind of upbringing it has to offer to the next generation.

Conditioned from the childhood itself to draw comparisons,

Conditioned to compete and be a part of the rat race,

Conditioned to jump to conclusions for the want of immediate gratification and not having a long-term perspective in mind,

Conditioned to think in a manner which might make no sense at all to the very fundamentals of life,

Is this what we desire for our kids and the next generation?

Is this what’s the purpose was to bring a new life in this world?

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Well, it’s high time, one delves into the above questions and begin to change the way we all have got habituated to living our lives in a senseless manner.

For, if we don’t respond, the day is not far, when such inclinations might become the only guiding force in life, needless to say, leading to a much worse situation that what it is right now.

The question though is, do we have the mindset and willingness to bring about this change?

Source for the Image: http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-comparison-and-difference

P2P Competition!

You know what, my son Siddharth is doing great in his coaching classes for IIT Jee. Today, his teacher was telling me that he would surely make it to top 100″, says a parent P1 to another parent P2, who is the father of Shreya, who’s Siddharth classmate.

Oh, is it! That’s wonderful. Shreya is somewhat lagging behind in Chemistry. I just hope she is able to catch up, am a little concerned whether she will be able to qualify the exam”, responds P2.

You know what, you should start sending Shreya to this wonderful coaching institute in our neighbourhood, if you really want her to succeed”, P1, being a proud parent that he is, is always on look-out to offer free advise to other parents living in the same community.

I guess, you are right! Let me enrol her in the same program as Siddharth”, conforms P2.

If you are wondering whether P1 and P2 might just be an exception to the rule when it comes to parents demonstrating concerns for their kids, think again, for that’s what you tend to see in majority of parents these days.

What most kids’ routine would look like in today’s competitive world:

5:00 am Good morning

6:00 am Tutor at home, who takes care of kid’s Science and Math lessons

7:30 am Kid goes to school in an air-conditioned bus of the respective school which has curtains, and kids seem to be cut off from the world outside, few among who, spent most of the time in the bus, browsing on the internet, or watching some random video or chit chatting on Whatsapp

3:30 pm School gets over, kid sits in the same bus, comes back home, around 4:30 if he/she is lucky enough and his/her house comes first in the list of the drop-offs

5:00 pm After a quick snack of sorts, kid has some extra-curricular lesson with a relevant tutor coming to the house, be it a piano session or a tabla session, for kids need to excel in not only their studies but also other things, which gives a parent an opportunity to showcase their kid as a trophy of sorts to the who’s who of their society 

6:30 pm Kid goes to a coaching institute, where he/she is supposed to prepare for a competitive exam

8:00 pm Kid comes back to the house, totally drained out, but wait a minute, he/she needs to complete a set of assignments given either by the morning tutor or the school

9:30 pm Kid gets a chance to have his/her dinner and by the time, he/she is able to finish the same, there is no energy left whatsoever to remain awake, yet he/she, courtesy the mobile phone, spends sometime on the same, before falling asleep

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And this continues for the entire year, which goes against the very fundamentals of how a kid should spent his/her wonderful childhood years.

Courtesy the quality of teachers we have in the system, the school system kills the inherent curiosity of a kid, ensuring that he/she is thrown into the rat race from the very moment, he/she is able to perceive the world in a certain manner.

Courtesy the eagerness of the parents to see their kids not lagging behind, the kid suffers tremendous stress, few of them succumbing at times to the same, few who might be lucky enough to not meet the same fate as above, end up spending the wonderful years of their life in a tizzy.

Courtesy the immediate society who are thriving on the vary act of comparison, ensures that the kid, who is so called not able to make it big, ends up going through a mental and emotional trauma, which surely leads to having repercussion in the latter half of their life.

What a waste, I would say!

Just because competing with someone has become the very basis of life, parents have a tendency to put their kid through enormous amount of stress.

Just because a parent considers it as their right to get their expectations fulfilled by their kids, they forget that the very life they have brought into this world is meant to experience and explore, rather than just meeting those man-made targets.

It’s high time that we as a society and parents begin to realise, that what we define as success, is it really the case?

And if not, then why the hell we are bent upon putting our kids through such torture.

My advice:

Calm down parents, be sensible, for this competition among yourselves would end up in being a disaster for not only your kid, but also for the society as a whole.

Source for the Image: http://www.altonschools.org/index.cfm?page=1045

Deciding to Obey!

Since childhood,

Be it our parents or teachers,

Be it the moral science books,

Be it any other elder in the neighbourhood,

We have been told to obey, for the sheer reason being that all the stakeholders mentioned above have experienced life much more, in terms of no. of years, than what we might have.

Fair enough, some would say!

But few might ask, is this the only and probably the right way to approach any or every aspect of life?

Well, may be and may be not!

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May be, because of the communication relationship and the trust that you might have been able to build with the person over a period of time.

May be not, because, unless and until you have experienced it yourself, you might have a tendency to stop being curious and accept it at a surface level.

So, it comes down to whether the acceptance is because of the very concept of obedience or because you decide, having experienced the same, to give your consent to obey.

Considering the kind of argument one gives behind obeying, in a way, influences the way your thought process shapes up.

From a teacher or a mentor point of view, it is extremely important that obedience is a consequence of the decision a kid chooses to take, after having had a complete understanding of the relevant aspect of life.

For, all the kids out there, there is a strong need to delve deeper into what’s being said and ask as many questions as you can, before you decide to accept,

and

For all teachers and parents, the imperative is to encourage kids to be curious and let them explore before expecting them to obey.

Source for the Image: http://dawnhydebooks.com/montessori-how-obedience-and-will-power-develop-in-young-children/