Archive | March, 2014

My Friend, Very young..

31 Mar

I started going out again in mornings and followed up my yesterday’s commitment. Every one has some thing that keeps them going, some have great jobs, some children, some desire to change the world, me have morning sun. I met my friend. I met her after a while. We always speak. I sometime help her pluck flowers by the street. She always carries a little bag or a pouch which has a scissor and a tape. She is keen on some update on my life. I have no update really. She keeps me updated about her travels. Today she told me about Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam. She told me they preserved war memorial very well. The American soldiers memorial. She told me about embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh . I wondered if its like St. Thomas body preserved in Old Goa. She read my thoughts as women always do. She said Ho chinh minh body is better preserved and it has changing guards. She asked me , you know about changing guards ? Like in London? I mumbled ” no”. She told me about Black Jesus in Philippines. She is my national geographic cum Discovery channel. She keeps me abreast of everything. She is my friend.

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My friend today! I have never met a more spirited and joyous person in my life. Occasionally she will complain of arthritis and injections for bone density but never whines and is always happy. She speaks to every one and every one is happy to see her.

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Me and my friend today morning. I had never taken her picture all these years that have met her. I know for her for five – seven years now. I wanted a picture today. Image

She always encourages me to  find someone and get married. Tell’s every one am her son. I sometimes feel when children live in  other cities and countries. Parents are very alone. But she never complains, is quite mischievous and fun. She speaks British English and chaste Hindi. Today encouraged me to travel as she always does. She insisted that me start with Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. She asked me ” Tumne woh lamba tower dekha hai kya, aur kuch nahi hai  wahan ” ( Have you seen that big tower ( Petronas) there is nothing else there ) 🙂 I promised I will. She laughed.

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I tried a selfie. She said light is not good.  I wanted to share this pictorial tribute of my friend.  I learnt from her, spirit is always young, you need to have curiosity, zest for life and a happy demeanor. She speaks to everyone. She always is fun.  Every one has problems. She always smiles. The spirit can never get old, unless we let it so. Yes she travels. I always felt she has the spirit of a 30 year old.

 

My friend, very young..

My friend is 83, a minor detail,

Age is not even a number

Just a happy, joyful spirit

My friend, very young..

 

Always let the spirit be Joyful and always keep smiling, you then will be forever young 🙂

Have a lovely day! Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

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Bob Marley Bike

30 Mar

” Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”

Rise up this mornin’,
Smiled with the risin’ sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, (“This is my message to you-ou-ou:”)

Singin’: “Don’t worry ’bout a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
Singin’: “Don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right! “

― Bob Marley, Three Little Birds

The great man sang. I was reminded today by youthful love and passion. I have not been going for morning walks and run. I have had erratic sleep and felt must go out in morning again. I had always been out in mornings for a run, walk or sun. I went half asleep promising to walk. I was pleasantly surprised by two boys, three really and a bike. One had a SLR Camera and was clicking pictures of a bike and his friends. It was 8 am and as me got closer saw they had a Bob Marley Bike. Three little Birds and a Bike. As is my wont was happy!

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Bob Marley Bike painted in rasta colors of green, red and yellow! The master would have been proud and said Jah Rastafari!

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Bob Marley Moped!

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The front view of Bob Marley Bike! The colors have been very thoughtfully done, see the beautiful singer’s face..

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“Love the life you live.Live the life you love.” ― Bob Marley!!

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I was done , but they wanted me to check the Speedometer!!! See this, loved it…

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Kunal and Koustubh!! The brilliant boys behind the Bob Marley Bike. I loved their passion,  attention to detail and warmth. I love young people! The kids are eighteen and  so happy with their bike. Adult life is boring! Their friend Prateek was busy with SLR camera! Lets call them Three Little Birds!!! Kunal Marley, Koustubh Marley and Prateek Marley 🙂 Imagine young Bob Marley fans, the world is good…

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Me@ Bob Marley Bike! They made me sit and clicked pictures, today @ 8am, still half asleep, the boys were very warm.

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So  with  labour of love of the lovely boys, Bob Marley Bike!!!!

I had a pleasant morning thanks to beautiful Boys : Kunal,Kustubh and Prateek! We wished each other goodbye and went our ways, hope we meet again! Somewhere..

I love children and young people and treasure times spent with them. Pure unadulterated Joy!

Passion is so important in life. It adds color to our life. We must keep passion alive these kids reminded me again today. So as the master says ” Don’t worry about a thing,’Cause every little thing gonna be all right.” Bob Marley, Boys and Bike!!!

Hope you have a lovely day dear friends! Thank you!!

 

 

 

 

Link

Jonathan Ive Designs Tomorrow

29 Mar

Jonathan Ive Designs Tomorrow

” There’s no such thing as simple. Simple is hard.”

  ― Martin Scorsese

The great filmmaker is very right. Simple is harder than complex. Think Gandhi. Think Mandela. Think Chaplin.  Think their profundity and accomplishments. As the brilliant Steve Jobs said “ Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” I have a life long fascination with simple. I want to share  this very nice Time magazine profile and interview of Apple’s Head of Design Jonathan Ive. I was most happy to read this piece. Steve Jobs and Apple was synonymous with design. British born Jonathan Ive the perfect comrade in arms.  A little bit of me , before that, if you will..

I started out in entrepreneurship. I was always curious and liked creation. Entrepreneurship and any kind of creation is also a ” pleasure of finding things out.” As the great Richard Feynman documentary is named. I believe no knows anything for certain. Unless its  religious diktats or piracy. Then you blindly follow or ape. Everything else then is discovered and learnt. The greats go a step further and invent. Steve jobs is  an inventor. Jonathan Ive is very very able partner.

I have been most excited to work in entrepreneurship. Subsequently with Indian and cross border entrepreneurs. That was closest to thrill of entrepreneurship. You always hope to make a little difference. You always feel happy when you accomplish a mandate. I did not make money. Nor do have anything to brag about like those one time exit- entrepreneurs or investors. My experience is restricted to working with entrepreneurs who have a three to five year window for an exit. My assignments gave me inner happiness. Sometimes wonder does any one remember me or my work? some good people do, some willfully do not remember you. That’s okay. So my work gave me happiness. It took care of my brothers medical expenses and rehabilitation and my sister’s education. It didn’t do much for me. I would always imagine , how would it be to work for a game changing entrepreneur like Apple’s “Steve Jobs” or  Amazon’s  “Jeff Bezos” or Google’s founder’s ” Larry Page and Sergey Brin”.  I remember looking at awe for a few minutes ” Jeff Bezos” scribbled signature on walls of Amazon India office in Bangalore. These are brilliant Renaissance entrepreneurs who are in for the long haul.  My little saving grace did get to work with Amazon on a start up assignment.  I can go to grave peacefully 🙂

It’s precisely for the long and game changing work that loved the Time magazine article on Apple’s Jonathan Ive. Also for the game changing work and consequences of simplicity. I had posted a interview with  great Italian architect Renzo Piano where he had alluded that architects cannot afford to make mistakes . It is then visible to all. It cannot be undone. Hence the design is so crucial. The  head of Design of Apple says in the interview  “Objects and their manufacture are inseparable. You understand a product if you understand how it’s made. I want to know what things are for, how they work, what they can or should be made of, before I even begin to think what they should look like. More and more people do. There is a resurgence of the idea of craft.”

Please also see this ” Steve and I spent months and months working on a part of a product that, often, nobody would ever see, nor realize was there, It didn’t make any difference functionally. We did it because we cared, because when you realize how well you can make something, falling short, whether seen or not, feels like failure.” This then is perfect marriage of business, zen and invention. I find it beautiful.

The first time saw Apple imac was stunned. The design and fluorescent green colors. I wondered would it be functional or like beauty queens to be admired from far. The writer says ” He ( Jonathan Ive) worked with confectionery manufacturers to perfect the translucent jelly-bean shades of his first big hit, the original iMac. He travelled to Niigata in northern Japan to see how metalworkers there beat metal thin, to help him create the titanium Powerbook, the first lightweight aluminum laptop in a world of hefty black plastic slabs.He spent “months and months and months” working out the exact shape of the stand of the desktop iMac computer because “it’s very hard to design something that you almost do not see because it just seems so obvious, natural and inevitable”. The little stand is hardly visible, but then artists and creators are driven by perfection and sense of inner happiness. Isn’t it brilliant? So much better than excel sheets and people who talk from all pores of their body. I only like women who talk.

Please see this  ” We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care — just like the people who make them. But what we’ve shown is that people do care. It’s not just about aesthetics. They care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made. We make and sell a very, very large number of (hopefully) beautiful, well-made things. our success is a victory for purity, integrity — for giving a damn.”

Finally want to share something from my little note books. Its from a Asia society India address by Drew Gilpin Faust ( 19 Jan 2012) in Mumbai. The Harvard university president stated and I quote below :

” We can unleash innovation and creativity in deliberate ways. Steve Jobs made it his stated purpose in life to combine the sciences and humanities to change the world.  Near the end of his life, he said the reason his company, Apple, resonates with people is not just innovation, but as he put it, because ” there is a deep current of humanity in our innovation.” It is no surprise that his inspiration for perfecting Apple’s greatest engineering products was drawn from the arts – a prized bootleg of tape of the Beatles perfecting and refining, over and over, the song ” Strawberry fields forever.” At his famous product launches, Jobs would unveil a highly anticipated device using words like ” revolutionary” and ” intuitive” and then show the image of two intersecting street signs, one saying ” Technology ” and one saying ” Liberal arts “.  “The intersection of humanities and science.” He once remarked ” there is something magical about that place.”

( Drew Gilpin Faust )

Truly that space is magical. Revolutionary and Intuitive. Imagine then iMac,iPod,iPhone and iPad , and the beautiful revolutionary people behind  the great Steve Jobs and  wonderful Jonathan Ive.

As for me ” Ah remember me, I used to live for music . Remember me, I brought your groceries in ….”  and ” And I thank you for those items that you sent me, The monkey and the plywood violin. I practiced every night, now I’m ready ..” ( First we take Manhattan/ Leonard Cohen) . I hope industry remembers me 🙂

I loved this Time magazine profile of Jonathan Ive. I am going to read it again and again for ” purity, integrity — for giving a damn”. I hope you love it too.

Good night friends! Hope you have a lovely day! Thank you!

 

 

 

Salad

28 Mar

I do not know to cook. I want to learn cooking. I have been thinking about it for sometime. I am shy to join a cooking class. I asked my sister once if she can teach me but then she only gets weekends and they like a young couple like to travel.  My childhood friend asked me some months ago ” If I know cooking” . I had to say embarrassingly ” No”. I remember even a incident few years ago when a friend scolded me in the middle of a  street about my lack of culinary knowledge. She had given me a serving of Israeli rice and i had behaved like Hamas.  Even one of my ex. bosses  had wondered ” what would i eat outside India”.  I was way too smart to know he was just offering me a carrot. It’s never on agenda.  May be its because my food preferences are basic. I like both non vegetarian and vegetarian food. I like mutton, kebab and salads. I like Biryani. I like fruits. I once had Vietnamese cuisine in Chennai with my ex. boss and a friend .I found it plain unpalatable. May be am no connoisseur. I like street food. I like Indian food. I do not know what western food is all about. I would just eat bread sticks . I remember telling in an important lunch meeting with a customer , ” Sorry do not know how to eat Chapathi ( Indian flatbread ) with fork, will have to eat it with hands. Thankfully my important customer, a fine lady and a gentleman indicated their hands,  they told me they were doing same”. I felt relieved. May be like quoted in an earlier post from Upamanyu chatterjee’s book, was like a dog who just wagged his tail perfunctorily in front of food with gratitude. I wish had done it in front of masters! I must learn to get better. I must improve. I must learn to cook.

My  friend Venu, advised me to prepare a salad and have it for dinner. I listen to him as he has been a brother to me. So I prepared my first salad. I just cut a Capsicum ( Bell pepper), beetroot ( table beet), two  carrots, a tomato and flake of cabbage. I used bit of iodized salt and black pepper. No salad topping. My brother looked at me curiously ” What am i up to” he watches me like a dog..

I am going to share a picture of my first ever salad. I am not even an amateur cook. I want to be good.  I guess this is open embarrassment 🙂

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My first ever salad ( just chopped vegetables really) is dedicated to my friend ” Venu” and my childhood friend. My childhood friends preparations ( Dhokla (  made with a fermented batter derived from rice and chickpea splits), chicken dish and mutton biryani) are my inspirations.

I guess you can forgo my salad and try these healthy salad recipes:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/26/healthy-salad_n_1167528.html#s570608&title=Croutons

Hope you have a lovely day! I will persist with salads 🙂 Thank you!

 

How Not To Become A Fossil

27 Mar

Tradition is accumulated past which people get attached to because they are not living  the present and they have no hope for the future. They do not know how to access that which is yet-to-be, so they sit on a pile of things done in the past and call it “tradition.” A flaky life is trying to find substance by attaching itself to thousands of years of tradition and thus becomes a fossil. Fossils are not a possibility; they are just proof of the past.

A tradition need not be made in hundreds or thousands of years. If you go to any new place, within ten minutes you form a little tradition of your own and hang on to that. The need for creating and identifying with a tradition of our own comes from a deep sense of insecurity and lack of fulfillment.

If you have a tradition, you will repeat the same things again and again. Repetitive means in some way compulsive. Compulsive means not conducive for consciousness. If your life becomes cyclical, that means you are going around in circles, not getting anywhere. Once you get into a repetitive cycle, you cannot explore new possibilities; you will be stuck in the same process. Too many people choose to do nothing because there is a great tradition behind them – they have a bag full of fossils and they are a fossil themselves. People like to sit on their laurels: “What all I have done!” What is done is a dead thing; what is yet to be is the live process. But never once has any award been given for a possibility, it is always given for what has already been done!

Past is never a possibility. Possibility is always of the future, but future looks bleak because it has no tradition. As long as you understand that a tradition is just a crutch you use until you become a possibility, it is alright. If you go by tradition, too many mistakes will be made with life because to live by the knowledge of the past means we have forsaken the possibility of being aware.

If there is a dead log here which has produced a million flowers in the past, we are not interested in taking care of it. We are interested in a tree only because it can produce more flowers. This is true everywhere. What we call a human being is not a fully blossomed life, unlike other creatures. He is like a seed, but if you remain a seed forever, it is a meaningless existence. Only if the seed sprouts, grows, becomes a tree, flowers, fruits, it is meaningful. If you become a tree, you will dissolve one day and become nothing or maybe become someone’s furniture. If you remain a seed, you will be preserved forever but only preserved, not lived. Unlived – a possibility never fulfilled.

So when you sit with a guru, the important thing is not to pick this or that, but to allow the energies to soak you, nourish you, and dissolve your traditions. This is what a guru means – a cascade of energy. You have to soak the seed, otherwise it will not sprout. It will only remain a seed. A seed is fantastic only because of the possibility that it carries. It is nothing if it loses the possibility of sprouting.”

― Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Source:http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-articles/faith-and-rituals/how-not-to-become-a-fossil?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_digest&uid=14203&date=20140327&suid=MTQyMDM=

I read this piece today first in morning and thought should share same with you dear friends. The essential message is ” Let go of past”. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev a realized mystic gives it an interpretation of a Fossil. All mystics teach the importance of “Present” and merits of ” Living in the here and now”.

The mystic in this write up states ”  Past is never a possibility. Possibility is always of the future ” This is true. Actually ” Possibility is of present. Present is the future. There is no need to worry of the future.” . It is the “Present” which is a beautiful possibility. I struggle with Past on days when am not aware. I sink -25 degree below earth :). We are human beings and its only natural to be sad or suffer. We can come out of it by focusing on present. We must then live like a child ” happy and in the moment” with ” no burden of past”.  Even if we have responsibilities of adulthood as all of us do, we can have a ” inner life of a child”.  I am most fascinated by children and childhood.

I am most excited by innocence and magic. The only adult topic which have learnt and keep trying to learn is ” Understanding.” “Innocence, magic and understanding” are then my favorite states. We must dissolve ” past ” by meditation or by simple focus on breathing. I think if you have children, you are already blessed and can forever be happy. I think a pet also does this for others. Children and pet must be closest to God. God is happiness. So can a prayer. So can a belief ” Everything is fine. Everything will turn out fine”.

I was worried by the authors warning ” What we call a human being is not a fully blossomed life, unlike other creatures. He is like a seed, but if you remain a seed forever, it is a meaningless existence. Only if the seed sprouts, grows, becomes a tree, flowers, fruits, it is meaningful.

We must then all become the beautiful and successful beings we strive to be. I believe ” happiness  and success” is best answer and antidote for anything. Former doesn’t cost much , a smile can make us happy, good feeling in our heart, our dreams, nature, children, sea, music, painting,book,dancing, poetry….. so many reasons to be happy. The latter we can always strive towards, we can always give our very best at all times 🙂

So we must drop past and become the beautiful flower we all are 🙂

Have a lovely day! Thank you!

Elections 2014

26 Mar

The biggest talent show

The biggest road trip

The biggest jamboree

The big bang hope

Won’t you come

one and all

 

The slug fest

The slimefest

The liliput

The madcap

The beauty queen

The marketed strength

The proverbial young

The idealogue

The trade union

The poor and wretched

The supporting cast

The Analyst

The psephologist

Come, Come, Come

Won’t you come

One and all

 

So you are the favorite

The marketed strength

Messiah of development

Center of right

Or right of centre

Pumped up glory

Every one a fool

Every one a doormat

Even your elders

You are the answer

To a nation’s imbecile cry

Good luck Sir

You time has come

I want nothing to do

with this, that or future

 

You have been the anointed one

You are proverbial young

You baby faced  sometimes

You with a scrappy beard

You are earnest

You are even diligent

You are never relevant

Can you tell why ?

Your elitist government

Worst in recent times

I wish you luck

I wish you love

Your time will surely come

May not be now

May not be tommorrow

But it will come

One day

I will be old then

I want nothing to do

with this, that or future

 

You are the new block

Irreverent, courageous, madcap

The middle class hope

The clean one

Your intentions honorable

You made great in roads

forty plus days governed

Very impressive

You are in hurry

A tearing hurry

You do not get

What you want

You go and sleep

in the street

I love it,

Bed-sheet, pillow, street

Love it, love it, love it

Damn the world

Hell with the world

Bed-sheet, pillow, street

Tomorrow if dignitaries

come visiting

They will sleep on street

love it, love it, salaam sir

I wish you luck

I wish you success

Remember them communists

They are clean too

Does that make things relevant ?

Never mind ,

I wish you well,

I want nothing to do

with this, that or future

 

There are others too

The Good

The satrap

The mother

The madam

The chieftain

The communists

One day their time

may come too,

I wish them well,

I want nothing to do

with this, that or future

 

I yearn for a time past

There were leaders

They had a  core

They had a vision

Now times have changed

Am myself not young any more

I like things with a inner core

Never mind me,

You come

Won’t you come

one and all..

Does my life change

with a new government

Hope it doesn’t get worse

I like my freedom and yours too

Freedom of mind then is greatest freedom

Hope that remains for me and you

 

I miss my father

I miss my  friend

Desire work to be honorable

I have dreams

I have aspirations

Am a common man and zen

Will my dreams come true

Amreeka just in case..

 

 My little thoughts on election fever here. I had a thought  today “No matter what, our lives are precious and we must love our lives.” Hope you have a lovely day! Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link

Developing leaders in a business : Marvin Bower ( The Will to Lead)

25 Mar

Developing leaders in a business : Marvin Bower ( The Will to Lead)

I want to share this  really nice piece ” Developing leaders in a business ” a  Book Excerpt from  McKinsey Quarterly. This is a extract from Book “ The Will to Lead” by Marvin Bower. Mr. Bower an erstwhile Mckinsey managing partner persuasively argues perils of a command and control structure in organizations and suggests a shift to a more empowered participative form of  leadership. I concur with the idea most sincerely. I have always held the belief ” Leadership is You”. I have been extremely uncomfortable with Jesus Christ Superstars. I am anti megalomania and anti narcissism. I find it boring.

This really nice piece advocates virtues of trustworthiness, fairness, integrity, active listening and unassuming behavior as tenets of leadership. These are covenants of leaderships as a service. It has great merits.  I really want to emphasize on merits of “active listening” . It not only gets us valuable feedback, counter points and ideas. Also good ideas can come from anywhere and  breeds a sense of empowerment and belonging.  To quote from the article ” Of all the skills of leadership, listening is one of the most valuable—and one of the least understood. Most captains of industry listen only sometimes, and they remain ordinary leaders. But a few, the great ones, never stop listening. They are hear-aholics, ever alert, bending their ears while they work and while they play, while they eat and while they sleep. They listen to advisers, to customers, to inner voices, to enemies, to the wind. That’s how they get word before anyone else of unseen problems and opportunities.” This is really important and builds ” understanding” which believe is a step above” linear intellect”.

The article also alludes to virtues of open- mindedness, sensitivity to people, sensitivity to situations, taking initiative , good judgement, broad -mindedness, flexibility and adaptability, capacity to make sound and timely decisions, sense of urgency and ability to motivate people. The article is like a ready reckoner for attributes of value centric leadership. I personally would like women to be claimants of more and more leadership positions. Not only its good for diversity but feel women would be good for business. They are less likely to speak like those TV evangelists and think ” life starts and ends with them”. I also believe they are more inclined to be fairer. I want them to succeed more and more since they so work hard in their homes and offices. I think recent trend of hiring women as COO is wonderful. So more power to women.

As for my self, recently remember giving a telephone interview, during a discussion was told curtly told by the interviewer ” I do not want your opinion.” He was asking a strategic question. I wondered ” what else can you give over a telephone”.  I  have  learnt discussions with egotistical windbags hardly go anywhere. I have met so many of them in my modest working life. In a recent assignment a superior would shout at me for no rhyme and reason, suddenly confessed on a phone conversation in a blithe humour ” I shouted at Suresh so much, luckily he does not have blood pressure problems ”  Shouting was a management practice in that set- up. I would wonder ” Would any one dare to do that in real life”.

My growing up friends, two doctors said something nice to me, which has stayed with me. The first one, who became a illustrious bureaucrat said ” see the most stupid egotistical experiences are displayed by small officials, Railway booking clerks, State Bus terminals operators, government offices..” This he said some twenty years ago. It’s true only small and petty people are egotistical. I  somehow always felt organizations are like Restaurants. You go to a bad restaurant, how can you get good service ? same with companies. Secondly my other doctor friend, who is in America now told me years ago in encouragement, he said ” You only need to meet one good person. You meet good people as you go through life. You meet better people as you go higher ” That is true of life and work.  When I started working, was asked  ” You don’t modulate your voice Suresh” . I was innocuous  and had never heard of modulating voice. I immediately thought of my favorite singers yodeling . Please see here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNWuacED1PE

I narrated this incident to my absent minded professor friend who started laughing ” Natak, natak karte hain woh ( they are just pretentious actors ) 🙂

I hope am not digressing and hope you really like this Mckinsey article and find it useful. I hope you  really excel in your chosen professions. My very best wishes. As for myself hope to have better luck 🙂

Have a lovely day dear friends ! Thank you!