Thursday, 13 December 2012

Konark Festival

The Konark Festival was organized from the 1st to the 5th December this year. This annual dance festival, featuring major classical dance forms of India, is organized against the backdrop of the famous Konark temple, by the Department of Tourism, Govt. of Odisha. I longed to watch this Festival by being present at the venue but since Konark is 60 km away from Bhubaneswar and returning at night is not convenient, I suppressed my desire. However, to my good luck, it was announced that the programme would be telecast live by DD Bharati. I was overjoyed. So I was glued to the TV from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM on all 5 days.

The first item of the first evening was an Odissi dance presentation by Madhavi Mudgal and Group from New Delhi. She is an established danseuse and choreographer and set the tone for the 5-day event. The other item of the evening was Kuchipudi by Raja Radha Reddy and Group from the nation’s capital. I was eager and curious to watch the husband-wife duo dance together. The stage at Konark is quite large and no solo or duet performance is included. The presentation of the Group was very enjoyable. I have written about Raja and Radha Reddy in my post ‘Pati Pani Aur Woh’. Raja first married Radha and later, her sister Kaushalya also married him. Kaushalya is an accomplished dancer in her own right. That evening, Kaushalya was in the group playing the accompanying music.

Raja and Radha were married when he was 11 and she, 5. Later, so impressed Kaushalya was by the dance-skills of her sister’s husband that Kaushalya insisted on marrying him without delay. They came to an agreement to be a threesome. The two sisters each have a daughter by him, Yamini and Bhavna. The children, two half-sisters also have taken to dancing. In the following two videos, Raja, Radha and Kaushalya’s daughter talk about their life and dance.

The two items of the second evening were Mohiniattam by Bharati Shivaji and Group from New Delhi and Odissi dance by Meera Das and Group from Cuttack, the former capital of Odisha. The first item of the third evening was Odissi dance by a Group led by Kasturi Pattanaik who has set up a dance academy at New Delhi. The second item was Bharatanatyam by Mallika Sarabhai and her Group from Ahmedabad. Mallika is the daughter of the famous space scientist Vikram Sarabhai and the dance exponent Mrinalini Sarabhai.

The fourth evening started with the Assamese Satriya dance by Anita Sharma and her Group from Guwahati. I had never had the opportunity to watch a presentation of this dance form. Here is a sample of it.

The second item of that evening was Odissi dance by Surupa Sen and her Group from Bengaluru. The item was a fusion of Odissi dance with modern and contemporary dance forms. The fifth evening saw presentations of Kathak by Malabika Mitra and her Group from Kolkata. The last evening started with Kathak by Malabika Mitra and her Group from Kolkata.    
The 5th and concluding day of the Festival saw a Kathak presentation by Malabika Mitra and Group from Kolkata and an Odissi dance presentation by students of Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre, Bhubaneswar and of Utkal University of Culture.

On each evening, there was a jugalbandi of performing and visual arts. As the world famous danseuses and danseurs were presenting dance numbers with intricate nuances, the artist Baladev  Maharatha of B K Art College, Bhubaneswar, was busy painting masterpieces reflecting the theme of the dance numbers being presented on the stage alongside. It was a feast for the eyes. By the time the dance programme of the evening came to a close, the painting also was completed.

While the precincts of the Konark temple were reverberating with the dance and music in the evenings, an International Sand Art Festival was going on 3 km away on the beach of river Chandrabhaga. Thirty sand artists from India were busy every day, creating sand sculptures on the golden sand.   

Here is a link to the Konark Dance Festival 2012.

There is another annual event called Konark Music and Dance Festival which takes place nearby. It is organized by Konark Natya Mandap founded by Guru Gangadhar Pradhan. It is available on YouTube.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Hundredth Flower

This post is the hundredth flower in my garden.

My first post was published on the 16th May, 2010. I was encouraged – nay, prodded – by one who was later called by a fellow blogger,, as his ‘Blog Mother’. After reading this, I had commented that she is my blog mother too, although biologically she is my daughter whom I call ‘Daughter !!’. I must confess that I was a little – indeed, very - shaky to traverse the arena as I was –and am still - only a marginally literate person as far as computers and internet are concerned.

I still silently laugh when I recall the day when the head of the Circle Office of my Bank called me and told me, “From tomorrow you will be the TOE of the Circle.” I was at a loss to understand what he was saying. Then it occurred to me that TOE meant ‘Technology Overseeing Executive’. The earlier TOE had been transferred, (His earlier designation was DM-IT, Divisional Manager – Information Technology, and teasingly he was called “Dam-It’) and I was to step into his shoes and oversee the Technology Management of the Circle, in other words, look after the computerization of the Branches and Offices of the Bank under our Circle. Much earlier, I had once headed a partially computerized Branch but there were so many trained youngsters in the Branch that technical matters hardly came to me. This first brush of mine with computers did not rub me much. But I had now no escape and so had to accept the Big Boss’s diktat. Even then, my personal handling of computers was confined to sending and receiving e-mail. To my relief, my official duty was to ‘manage’ technology and not handle it much.

I used to send long e-mails to the daughters and these were narratives of my experiences, of the places I visited and, some times, my views. After my retirement, during a visit to Daughter II, she suggested a way for filling my free time. “Why don’t you start blogging?, she suggested. To dilute my fear of computers, she retrieved one of my old e-mails to her, chiseled it and posted it as my first blog-post. Then she prodded me to edit and convert some of my e-mails to blog-posts. Since then, I have progressed a little bit in the area and so here I am, releasing my hundredth post!

While doing this, I am reminded of the fact that a few months ago, Sachin Tendulkar scored his Hundredth Century and the cricket-world went ga ga over it. He has scored Centuries in 51 Tests and 49 ODIs, making a total of a hundred. Of course a few odd critics said that you cannot add 51 potatoes and 49 oranges and call it a hundred! In their view, a person can be credited with a hundred Centuries only if it is in either 100 Tests or 100 One Day Internationals!!

The late Chinese leader, Mao Zedong once said, “Let a hundred flowers bloom.” This was to encourage emergence of a lot of ideas. In the course of a speech in February, 1957, he said, “Letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend, is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and sciences and a flourishing culture in our land.” The slogan was used during the late 1950’s when the Chinese intelligentsia was invited to criticize the political system and bring to the surface, its flaws. However, it is suspected that the initiative was a deliberate attempt to bring out the secret dissidents into open by encouraging them to show themselves as critical of the Government. Such suspicion arose out of the fact that many of those who put forward views which were unwelcome to Mao, were executed.

This slogan is commonly misquoted as, ‘Let a thousand flowers bloom.’

However, the misquotation improves the idea of letting a number of ideas emerge.

To celebrate my 100th post let me a get a thousand Chinese hands dance.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Time Management

Very often, we hear people saying, “ I want to do this but I don’t find time.”? It was Henry Ford who said, “The busy man has time for everything.” When a person says that he/she has no time what it really means that he/she is not able to manage his/her time. Time-management is life-management. One who manages her/his time can manage her/his life.

When a person really wants to do something she/he will definitely find the time to do it. The way lies in prioritizing the tasks on hand. The most important task should get priority no. 1. This way, one should prioritise the things one wants to do in order of their importance. The least important task should be the last item in this list.

Stephen Covey, author of First Things First, narrates the story of a speaker who demonstrates as he speaks to his audience about filling a bucket with rocks, gravel, sand and water. He first puts rocks into the bucket and asks, “Is the bucket full?” The audience says, “Yes.” Then he puts gravel into the rock-filled bucket and watching him, people realize that the bucket can take more. Then he puts first sand and then water into the bucket and declares that the bucket is full. The audience realizes that it truly is full only now! Stephen Covey explains that if one tries to fill the bucket in any other order, not as many rocks, or as much gravel or sand could have been accommodated.

In this story, our time is the bucket and the big rocks are the most important tasks; the next important things are the gravel, sand and water in that order. If we start with filling the bucket first with water, sand or gravel, we would miss the most important thing, the rocks. The lesson of the story is that we should first arrange tasks on hand in order of their importance and start doing the most important task first. (Here we need not waste our time over the thought that if one first fills the bucket with water, the bucket can still take rocks, gravel and sand and the excess water will flow out. 'Water' here can be treated in a different sense and we can ignore this normal nature of water.)

If we do not prioritise the tasks, we shall miss out the important things.

Another way of managing time is to arrange things to do in order of our control over them. The item over which we have no control, for example the rush-hour traffic, should be on the top and the item over which we have full control should be at the bottom. We should try managing the time of items over which we have full control and move up to the next upper item, so that we will have some elbow-room while attending to tasks in situations over which we have no or least control.

The 80-20 Rule can be applied to time-management also. Eighty percent of the things we do in a day have only 20 percent value for us. Twenty percent of the tasks on our hand have eighty percent value. Hence we should concentrate on these 20 percent of the tasks, which should be our top priority. These are like the rocks in Covey’s story. If we fill our time first with ‘water’ or ‘sand’ in the story, we shall have no time left for the ‘rocks’, which give us eighty percent value.

In the present day of information-explosion and our unceasing accessibility thanks to mobile phones and communication-revolution, the demands on our time have increased manifold. Hence choosing what we can and should ignore has become one of the most important tools of time-management.

So throughout the day, ask yourself: What can I do now, which would be the most useful and beneficial this moment?


  1. When we go to some place where we know we may have to wait for some time, like going to the airport or railway station to receive someone or visiting our doctor or our hair-dresser, we can carry some light reading material like magazines which we plan to read, so that the waiting time can be gainfully utilized. The hair-dresser or the doctor may be keeping some reading materials to keep  the waiting customers occupied but these may not be of much use to you even if you read them for ‘time pass’ which will be really 'time-kill'.

      2. While traveling in a bus or car, which may not be suitable for reading, utilize the time for     
           thinking or planning.

       3.  Remember the Store Management Principle  PEEP - a Place for Everything and Everything in its Place. The second part is more important, everything in its  place.

So, keep back everything in its place after using it.   Arrange things in your kitchen, on your study table and in your office room properly and uncluttered, so that you don’t have to waste time searching for things. While working in my garden, I use different tools, big and small. Sometimes, due to laziness I would place the tool wherever I would be working and would forget to bring it while  leaving the spot. Because of this, sometimes I temporarily lose small tools and have to waste a lot of time searching for them. On one occasion, I found a lost small tool after about a year!!! It had got embedded under the earth and resurfaced when I dug the spot for some other work.

In the same way we have 'lost' some household items at the time of some of my several transfers when I was working with my Bank. We usually found these at the time of my next transfer!                        

  1. In office, follow the principle that you don’t have to see the same paper twice. Dispose incoming letters the first time you see them.

  1. Do not postpone doing things. Remember the saying, ‘Jo kaal karna hai, aaj karo; jo aaj karma hai, abhi karo’. (Do today what is to be done tomorrow; do now what is to be  done today.)
  2. Do not postpone; just do it. 
  3. Never put off till tomorrow, anything that you can dump for ever. 
  4. Nothing gives you more free time than being punctual.    

Q. What is the meaning of the word ‘procrastinate’?.

A. I shall look into the dictionary tomorrow.

2. a.I am going to stop putting off things - starting from tomorrow 

     b.Boss to subordinate: "Procrastination isn't your worst problem. I like it when you put off  
         your mistakes till tomorrow." - Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

On The Face Of Him

What differentiates a man from a woman? And a man from a boy? Apart from the soft voice, it is the facial hair. At the onset of puberty, the voice of a boy breaks and loses its softness. Around the same time, seedlings of dark hair sprout above and below a boy’s lips and later, they spread to the cheeks. The area below the temples slowly become hairy and the hair on the head join the growth on the chin. Facial hair marks out adolescent boys from girls.

A bushy, luxuriant set of whiskers is considered as symbol of virility and alpha maleness.

Some men try to clean out this ‘dirt’ from their faces and try to have a pre-puberty look but in vain. Their daily struggle with nature in this regard becomes endless. Even after a clean and close shave, the darkish shade remains on the skin. Some men make a virtue out of this natural growth; they either surrender to nature or try to give this natural gift a shape of their choice. This opens up myriad possibilities and an endless facial hair designs. Some people sport a linear and horizontal or even diagonal growth under the nose and shave off the remaining growth. Some men follow the path laid down by their religion and either shave off the growth blow the nose leaving the remaining crop untouched; some leave the entire growth untouched.

Ancient sages of Indian myths like Valmiki, Vyasadeb or Kanwa Muni had long flowing facial hair. Mention of the name 'Rabindranath Tagore' brings to mind the image of a sage with a luxurious flowing mane.

Talking of facial hair-designs, there is the trade mark Amitabh Bachchan design and that of the Odisha-born Sam Pitroda, who brought about the revolution in Indian telecommunication system when he agreed to be an advisor to Rajiv Gandhi. There is the ‘small triangle’ design just below the lower lip. There are ‘butterfly moustaches’ and ‘goaty beards’. These are only a few of the numerous designs and designing male facial hair designs has become a thriving industry!

The moustache on the male face symbolises honour. Some men are not satisfied with the density of their facial hair. There is good news for such people. A new and lucrative field in cosmetic surgery has started growing on male upper lips. Moustache transplant has started in the Middle East. A Turkish plastic surgeon performs about 60 such corrections in a month. A French surgeon is providing moustache transplants to a number of patients from the Middle East who travel to Paris as medical tourists.  

Men in the Armed Forces generally prefer to have big moustaches. Big whiskers give them a macho look. We once had a retired Army man with big moustaches as our neighbour. He used to love drinking milk. Whenever he drank milk, a white mark of this healthful liquid would remain on the lower part of his moustache, giving him a funny look. Looking at his huge moustache, my small daughter used to ask me, “While making tea, he would not need to strain it as his moustache would do the job of a strainer while he would be sipping tea!”

While on moustaches and beards, I am reminded of pictures of Akbar in story books. While his facial hair would be perfectly grey indicating his advanced age, his queen would invariably be a young woman. Did he discard his older queens.

Gyani Zail Singh, the former President of India used to dye his hair and moustache and beard jet black. He is reported as having once made a statement, somewhat like this, after being chosen as the Congress candidate for election of President of India, “I would do whatever assignment Madam (Indira Gandhi) gives me; even if she gives me a broom and asks me to sweep the streets, I would gladly do it.” Yet this man came to his own when, after her assassination, Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister and did not treat Zail Singh well. So much so that when the Post Office Bill strongly supported by Rajiv Gandhi and passed by both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha went for assent of the President, Zail Singh killed the Bill by just sitting over it. There is no time limit for the President of India for giving or withholding his/her assent, or sending the Bill back for re-consideration. (If a Bill sent for reconsidered is passed by the two Houses once again, the President has no option but to give assent.) Zail Singh did nothing and so the Bill was ‘killed’.

Facial hair leads one to ‘side burns’, the hair that grows below the temples and near the ears. At one time, having long sideburns became the rage. It is reported that this facial hair style was first sported by one General Sideburns of the U S Army. The style was named after him and called ‘sideburns’.

The latest fashion among the film heroes and heroes on the small screen has been sporting a 2-day old stubble on the face. But in the ads for razor blades, the girl still prefers a clean-shaved chin of her hero.

Talking of facial hair on male body takes me to chest-hair. In several novels and short stories which I have read, the lady, when close to her man, gently draws lines on his chest-hair with her finger-nails or strokes it with her finger.

Hormone imbalance leads to the growth of some facial hair on some girls to different extents. Sometimes, a single hair grows out of a mole on a female face. Many girls wax their hands and legs to remove the unwanted hair. Recently there was a news-item saying that a Sikh girl has facial hair and a mischievous person put this on the net for all to see. This should have embarrassed and enraged any ordinary girl but she is made of better stuff. She took this calmly and explained cogently on the net her belief in the sacredness of the body and why it should not be disturbed. The offender got the point and apologized.

Here I shall let out a secret about my ‘youngish’ look even as I am a senior citizen. I do not wear a moustache or a beard. In later years, I found out a benefit out of this. I have a good crop of dark hair on my top. This darkness has not disappeared lost its sheen with age; only very few strands have become grey but these are so overwhelmingly outnumber by the dark ones that they are hardly noticed. So, most people are unable to guess my age.  In contrast to the crop on the head, a single grey member in moustache stands out and gets noticed as it is on the eye-level of the viewer. Hence even a couple of grey hairs below the nose or below the lower lip of a male’s face indicate that he is past his prime!L(((((  My clean-shaved face serves me well in this regard.:))))))))))))))

And this leads me to the hair on male arms, which helped prevent a fraud in my Bank. A burqua-clad person came to a bank counter and presented a cheque. The bank-employee found that the particular Account belonged to a well-known and valued customer who had kept large sums in the Bank. The employee smelt something fishy, briefly left the counter, came back and told the cheque-presenter that the Branch Manager would like to meet her in his cabin. When the person went to the Branch Manager, the latter politely asked her to sit, placed the cheque on the table and said, “There is a small difference in the signature; please sign once again.” When the person took out ‘her’ hand to sign, the Manager noticed that there was a thick growth of dark hair on the fore-arm. He asked the person, “Are you Mrs. Khan?” The answer was, “Why, yes’ and the voice was a course male one!

It turned out that the son of the customer (a Muslim lady) had stolen a leaf from his mother’s Cheque Book, had forged her signature and was trying to withdraw a large sum from her Account without her knowledge!!!    

The whiskers on a cat’s face serve a good purpose. Before entering through a hole in the door or any other entering point, the cat puts its face through it and ‘measures’ the width of the opening. If its whiskers pass through it easily, it indicates its body can pass through the hole. So the cat enters it. If the whiskers get bent, it means that its body cannot pass through the hole. So it decides against trying to enter it. Nature’s this gift to the cat is made use while making the body of lorries. Two protruding thick spring-like projections are fixed on either side of a truck. While entering a narrow lane, the driver comes to know that if ‘these’ whiskers pass through, the whole truck can pass through.   

Here is poem on theft of moustache, by the the Bengali King of Nonsense Verses Sukumar Ray, father of the more well-known film-maker Satyajit Ray:   

Mustache Thievery
Sukumar Ray
Head Officer Chief Babu was a very peaceful man--
And then he turned mental--who knew how it began?
He sat drowsing in his chair, smiling a happy smile
When suddenly, it seemed, something drove him wild.

He leapt up and flung his arms about, his eyes red as brick,
He shouted out, “I’m lost, I’m lost, do save me quick!”
Some ran for a doctor, some yelled “Police!” with all their might,
Some advised restraint: “Careful, he could bite!”

Everyone was rushing frantic, leaving letters untyped--
Then the Babu cried, “Oh help, my mustache has been swiped.”
Lost his mustache? Incredible! How could it be?
But his handlebars were just the same, plain for all to see.

They tried to explain things, held a mirror to his face:
His whiskers weren’t stolen, that couldn’t be the case.
But angry as fire, an eggplant in hot oil, he sputtered and shook:
“I don’t believe a single man, I know each of you crooks.

Dirty and ragged, an over-used broom--an obvious pretender!--
This kind of mustache was kept by Shyambabu’s milk vendor.
I’ll shoot the whole lot! if you say this mustache is mine.”
And right away he proclaimed for all a rather hefty fine.

Getting hotter by the minute, he wrote and underlined in red:
“Give anyone an inch of rope, they’ll climb up on your head.
These monkeys at the office, with brains of dung and hay--
Where my perfect mustache went, not one of them can say.

I should grab their whiskers and dance them up and down
Or shave their sorry heads with a spade upon their crown.
They claim the mustache is mine--as though it’s something you can own!
The mustache owns the man, my friend--that’s how we all are known.”

© 2003 by Prasenjit Gupta

How true! The moustache owns the man!!!

Do women love their men to sport a moustache? Here, there are as many views as there are women. A ‘sweet young thing’ was once overheard telling her buddy, “Being kissed by a man without a moustache is like having an omelette without salt; it doesn’t tickle.” 
2. It is heartening for whisker-sporting males to know that during a discussion in Indian Parliament on measures for strengthening security at banks and ATMs, one member felt that prominent moustaches can be intimidating enough to become a deterrent against heists.  Banks can train security guards but  they cannot obviously order them to change their facial appearance. Not every man has the means to grow and maintain sufficiently menacing moustaches; probably, providing guards with artificial whiskers of suitably daunting size can be thought of.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Sorrow From Cancer

In my last post ‘Joy of Cancer’, I had narrated about one of my close friends who had been afflicted by blood cancer.

He succumbed to the disease in the night of last Saturday, the 10th November. I received the news the next morning. I calculated that when he was taking one of his last breaths, I was having dinner at the marriage reception of one of my nieces.    

On receiving the news on Sunday morning, I rushed to his house. His body was encased in a frozen state inside a glass casket with ice. The family was waiting for the arrival of his younger daughter and son-in-law from Nigeria. They reached in the morning of Monday and soon after, his body was taken to ‘Swargadwar’ in Puri fror cremation. ‘Swargadwar’ literally means ‘gateway to heaven’. It is located near the temple of Lord Jagannath. In Odisha, it is believed that when a body is cremated in Swargadwar, the soul reaches salvation. I was there to bid him the final ‘goodbye’ when the vehicle carrying his body left his house for the final journey. Fittingly, the words ‘sheshayatra’ (final journey) was written on the rear of the vehicle. I looked on till the vehicle disappeared into the bend of the road.

After death, a person becomes a ‘body’! Talking of body, I am reminded of a scene in a T V Serial in which a accident occurs and several persons die. A man looking for his brother comes and enquires in the hospital where the injured were admitted. The person at the reception checks the list and says, “Your brother’s name is not in the list. Some unidentified bodies are kept in the morgue. Go and check.” The first man gets enraged and shouts, “What do you talk of ‘body’? He is my brother.” One man’s ‘brother’ becomes ‘a body’ for another!

My friend’s problem was detected on the 20th July and he lived exactly for 3 months and 22 days after that.

He was an established writer of short stories. His stories contained delicate and powerful emotions and human relations and were not of the run-of-the-mill ‘boy-meets-girl’ type. For his creative writings, he had received several Awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award. He was in the Jury for selecting books for Sarala Puraskar, an award for excellence in Odia literature, established by a well-known industrial house. He could not attend the function to release his latest collection of short stories as he had just been admitted to the hospital at Vellore. A review of this book was published in a newspaper and I had read it out to him over phone when he was in the hospital-bed.

After our studies, both of us had appeared at the State Civil Services Examination. I stood First in it and he occupied the Second Position. A month after joining this service, I left it to join a Public Sector Bank. When I was leaving, he quipped, “Now I have become Adwitiya (second to none”. He was referring to the fact that he was no longer second in seniority in that batch.

Good bye, dear friend! 

Post Script

I read a piece by Mukul Sharma in the Economic Times of 12.09.2013.  He has quoted from Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "It happens rarely, but there are cases of sel-induced healing... Due to some reason, the tumour starts in the opposite direction, gets smaller, resolves and disappears." The International Noetic Institute found medically-reported cases of spontaneous healing. There is a possibility that the altered state of prayer, religious faith and medication may allow the process of self-repair greater freedom to operate. "Neurotheology, a new field which seeks to discover the neurobiological basis of spirituality and health, tells us that the well being of our body depends almost slowly on the strength of our belief in ourselves.", Mukul Sharma says.   

Thursday, 1 November 2012

'Joy' of Cancer

In my post ‘Death Shall Die II’ of the 30th March, 2012, I have narrated about my visit to a relative dying of blood cancer. He died a few days after our visit. Now I have come face to face with another case of blood cancer. One of my closest friends, a retired senior Govt. officer and reputed short story writer, has got the same affliction. He retired a little earlier than me. His house is close to mine. My house is located near the route of his morning walk. Very often, he would drop in. (I do not need walks as I get enough exercise working in my garden in the mornings and afternoons.) He would straight go to my garden, I used to stop whatever I would be doing and then we would sit and talk about topics from kings to cabbages for about an hour or so and then he would leave. Often I used to give him some flowers and other produce from my garden.
I also used to visit him occasionally.

Suddenly, he stopped coming for what seemed an unusual period. When I telephoned to him, his son received my call and told me that my friend was suffering from fever for quite sometime and was sleeping at that time. During the preceding one month or so, he used to have fever rather frequently. I telephoned to him after a few days. This time, his daughter received the call (on his cell phone) and told me that they were in the hospital at Vellore and he had been diagnosed for blood cancer! I felt crest-fallen. I did not know what to say and only the word “What?” escaped my lips. Our conversation ended after exchanging a few words. My next call was received by his son-in-law, who informed me that my friend had responded well to the initial treatment and that the chances of his recovery were bright. My next call was received by my friend himself and his voice appeared confident. He felt happy talking to me. I felt equally happy.

For the next one month, I called him once a week and things appeared to be reassuring. He used to ask me to read out the headlines in the local Odia newspapers which I did gladly. Once a review of his latest book of short stories appeared in a local newspaper and I read it out for him. He was very happy. After staying at Vellore for about two months, he was advised that he could return to Bhubaneswar and have the follow-up treatment by regular visits to a local hospital. When I called him up the subsequent time, he was in a local hospital. But to my disappointment and apprehension, his voice was weak. His family-members told me that doctors had advised against his having any visitor.

Then he was discharged and the treatment is continuing at home. When I called his home, his son told me that he had been quarantined to avoid any possible infection as the immunity system of his body has become weak. I have been talking to him every week and his voice continues to be weak. Last week, I spoke to his son and told him that I deeply wished to see my friend once, even if for a few minutes. He agreed and so my wife and I went with a heavy heart to meet my friend. We met his wife, son and other members of his family. Then my friend came with a slow gait. The hairs on his head have fallen off due to the effect of chemotherapy. He came wearing a mask covering his mouth and nose to prevent any possible infection. I spoke to him briefly after which he went back inside.    
My friend is a person of joyous nature and always used to talk with a lot of enthusiasm. Those were missing when I met him.

A couple of weeks before meeting him, I had come across an article titled ‘Joy of Cancer’ in an Odia daily. A part of this article was about the book ‘The Joy of Cancer’ by Anup Kumar. I found out some more about this book in the net. It is not only about the emotional and physical  anguish following the diagnosis of cancer but also about the power of human mind and body to turn ‘a death sentence’ around. It is said that the real experts on cancer are only the cancer-patients themselves. The book deals with questions like these:

- How do you accept cancer in your life?
- How do you conquer the fear?
- What are the side effects of chemotherapy? What precautions should you take?

From the net I read about the 10 good things about having cancer listed by Michele R Berman, M D. a cancer-survivor. The author says that the first good thing is finding out that “I was stronger than I was, with God’s help.” Some other good things listed in the book are: finding out what great people you have in your life, discovering your inner control freak or other part of yourself, being able to come up with creative answers when you don’t want to talk about something.

I had lost to cancer another close friend of mine, who succumbed to it at the age slightly above 50 years. He was a bachelor and is survived by his sister, a spinster and elder to him. He had no other sister or brother. She lives in my city and when we meet, we reminisce about him. To end his own suffering and the difficulties of his family-members, my elder brother’s father-in-law committed suicide by jumping before a running train when he realized that he had no escape from the clutches of cancer.

In 2006, there was a small growth at a spot on my body. It was diagnosed as a cyst and after trying oral medicine, my doctor advised a minor surgery to remove it. After the surgery, it was sent for examination to find if the growth was malignant. The test result was negative. I have never seen my wife as happy when she saw the report. She lost no time in telephoning all our relatives and friends to tell them about the test-finding.

In the early 70’s I had watched the film ‘Anand’ starring Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachan. In this, Rajesh Khanna plays the title role and Amitabh plays the role of his doctor. The protagonist, Anand, is a cancer-patient. Fully knowing that he had only a couple of months to live, and as if to justify his name, he spreads joy (anand) and cheer all around him. Here is the film.

I am trying to get and read the book. I am not able to decide whether I should present a copy of the book to my friend or to suggest to him to watch the film ‘Anand’ as both Anup Kumar and the Anand had ultimately succumbed to the life-taking illness.     

I don’t want to lose my friend.

Pray for him.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Golden Dusshera and the Third Eye

The festive season in India is on in full swing. Goddess Durga is on her 5-day visit to Mother Earth. This festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Most parts of India are agog with the puja spirit.

The most well-known festivities and puja pandals are at Kolkata. Next to Kolkata are the celebrations and puja pundals of Cuttack, the erstwhile capital of Odisha. My city Bhubaneswar, the post-independence capital of Odisha, is fast catching up, and perhaps has overtaken Cuttack in this aspect.

The silver city of Cuttack, famous for its silver filigree works, is known for its Durga idols donning gold ornaments against the backdrop of silver tableaux. This year there are 155 puja pandals decorated with gold and silver worth crores of rupees. One puja pandal has a silver backdrop made of 3.5 quintals of this precious metal.

Bhubaneswar, with its 170 puja pandals, does not wish to lag behind in the use of precious metals in Durga Puja. One Puja Committee has used 160 Kgs of silver in tableaux in the background and the Deity in this pandal has a crown of gold weighing 750 grams. The gold crown adorning the deity at one puja mandap at Cuttack weighs a little less than 4 Kgs. More and more mandaps are shifting to crowns made of gold.

Durga Puja at Alam Chand Bazar, Cuttack was started by Netaji Subas Chandra Bose in his younger days. (The ancestral house of Netaji at Cuttack, where he was born is still standing. He had his school and college education at Cuttack. Later, he shifted to Kolkata and joined the freedom movement.)

The former and the present capital cities of Odisha have become twin-cities. Earlier, people of Bhubaneswar used to visit Cuttack to watch the splendour of Durga Puja there. The flow has started in the reverse direction; residents of Cuttack have started visiting Bhubaneswar to see the gorgeous puja pandals in the capital-city..  

However, curiously, none of the pandals has been insured. The Puja Committes feel that insurance cover is not needed as they have taken enough precautions in the form of private security personnel, CCTV cameras and police arrangements.

One additional attraction of Puja celebrations at Bhubaneswar this year has been the 5-day Dandiya Dance Festival in the evenings. Anyone can participate or watch this by purchasing a ticket.

One question which arises in my mind when I visit these pandals is that in almost all cases, the image of Goddess Durga has a third eye. I know that Lord Shiva has a third eye by opening which He burnt down Madan, the god of love, when the latter tried to break Shiva’s meditation, but does Goddess Durga has a third eye?  And in many cases, the image of Lord Ganesh also has a third eye. In all cases, the third eye is positioned vertically (to give the face a better look?), not horizontally like the other two normally positioned eyes. Is this as it should be?

Or, is the concept of the vertically-positioned third eye meant to provide a view from a different dimension or a different angle, not reached by the horizontally-positioned eyes?

By the way, images of Kartikeya, the other son of Lord Shiva, are perhaps not given this third eye.

Talking of the third eye takes to me to another story. A man used to find defects in everything including the creations of God. His  wife derisively said, "You have indeed become a wise man; you can faults in God's creation." Proudly, he said, "If God gives me another eye, I can find more mistakes in His work." Immediately, God appeared, told that his wish would be fulfilled and then He disappeared. A third seemed to appear on his forehead but it remained like a bulge only and did not open. His wife became worried. However, he became calm and said, "Don't worry, it has opened inside and now I can see all my faults and these are numerous.From now onwards, I shall stop finding faults with others." He became really a wise man.

To End With

The West Bengal Government has declared a 10-day holiday from the 20th to the 29th October for its offices for Durga Puja and Kumar Poornima. In the original Notification, the 26th was a working day but it was declared as a holiday just before the Puja. So, the Govt.-machinery has to stop working for continuous 10 days! Add to this the fact that the decision of the newspaper hawkers’ Union not to deliver the papers from the 22nd to the 25th has forced the suspension of publication of newspapers for 4 days.

No news is good news!

Happy Dusshera!       

Friday, 19 October 2012

Management - In Laws And Out Laws

This is a sequel to my earlier post ‘Laws Made Not By Law-Makers

I came by an interesting feature relating to management in The Economic Times of the 9th October. Here is an extract of some interesting parts in it:

I. Hot Air Ride

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced the altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a little more and shouted, ”Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don’t know where I am.”

The woman replied, ”You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be an engineer.” said the balloonist. “I am.” replied the woman. “How do you know?”

“Well” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is, I am lost. Frankly, you have not been of much help at all. If anything, you have delayed my trip.”

The woman responded, “You must be in management.” “I am.” replied the balloonist, “but how do you know?”

“Well”, said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you are going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep and you expect people beneath you   to solve your problem. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

II. Mind The Chair

A crow was sitting on a tree doing nothing all day. A small rabbit saw the crow and asked him, ”Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?” The crow answered, “Sure, why not?” So the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Q: What do we learn from this?
A: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.

III. Rowing Speak

The American and the Japanese corporate offices of a large multinational corporation decided to engage in a competitive boat race. Both teams practised hard and long to reach their peak performance.

On the big day, they felt ready. The Japanese team won by a mile. The American team was discouraged by the loss. Morale sagged. Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. So a consulting firm was hired to investigate the problem and recommend corrective action.

The consultant’s finding: The Japanese team had 8 people rowing and one person steering, the American team had one person rowing and 8 people steering.

After a year of study and millions spent on analyzing the problem, the firm concluded that too many people were steering and not enough were rowing on the American team.

So, as the race day neared again the following year, the American team’s management structure was completely reorganised. The new structure: 4 Steering Managers, 3 Area Steering Managers and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat to provide work incentive.  

The next year the Japanese won by two miles. Humiliated, the American office laid off the rower for poor performance and gave the managers a bonus for discovering the problem.


- A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

- Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the problem.

- Exceptions always outnumber rules.

- If opportunity came disguised as temptation, one knock would be enough.

- Progress is made by lazy men looking for an easier way to do things.

- A meeting is an event where minutes are taken and hours wasted.

What Boss says and what he means:

That is very interesting. – I disagree.

I don’t disagree. – I disagree.

I don’t totally disagree with you. – You may be right, but I don’t care.

You obviously put a lot of work into this. – This is awful.

In a perfect world – Just get it working and get it out of the door.

We have to leverage our resources. – You’re working weekends.

Individual contributor – Employee who does real work

I’d like your buy-in on this. – I want someone else to blame when this thing bombs.

We need to syndicate this decision. – We need to spread blame if it backfires.

We have to put on our marketing hats. – We have to put ethics aside.

I’m glad you asked me that. – Public Relations has written a carefully phrased answer.

I see you involved your peers in developing your proposal. – One person couldn’t possibly come up with something this stupid.

I’ll never lie to you. – The truth will change frequently.

Human resources – A bulk commodity, like lentils or cinder blocks

Funny Business by Glasbergen :

Think globally, act locally, panic internally.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Milkman Of India

Dr. Vergese Kurien, the architect of India's White Revolution who catapulted India to be the largest milk-producer of the world, died on the 9th Sept. 2012 at the age of 90. The Amul (acronym for Anand Milk Union Ltd.) story, started by him at Anand in Gujarat became a catalyst for farmers' co-operative. Born in Kerala, he chose Anand as his karma bhumi.  He is fondly called the 'Milkman of India'.

 The film 'Manthan' made by Shyam Benegal tells the Amul story. This film was funded by 5 lakh farmers of Gujarat, who contributed Rs. 2 each.The lead roles are played by Girish Karnad ,Smita Patil and Nasiruddin Shah. Sadhu Meher, the well-known Bollywood actor from Odisha, makes a special appearance in it.The wife and I had watched this film in 1976 or 1977 when I was posted at the small District Head Quarters town of Etah in U.P. Daughter I  had accompanied us as a baby and had also 'watched' it. I am not sure whether she enjoyed it as much as we did because she laced her viewing with intermittent whimpers .

Here is the film

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Magic From A Piece Of Bamboo

Three years ago, I started attending the get-together of an informal group called ‘Friends of 70’. This group comprises us ‘boys and girls’ who passed out from Utkal University in the year 1970. In my 36 years of service in my bank, I was out of my home-state for 28 years (23 consecutive years preceding retirement). So, although this group was formed soon after most of us had taken up professions and jobs, I could attend its get-togethers only after retirement. When I attended it for the first time, I could recognize only a few of them. So I had to apologize and ask many of them their names. When I asked one such person to tell his name, he hugged me tight and said, “Xxx (my first name), can you not recognize me? I am Mohini, Mohini Mohan Pattanaik.” The name clearly rang a bell in my mind and I said, “Mohini, the chap who used to play the flute?” He gave me a bear-hug once again and said, “Yes.” Soon after, I came to know (from other friends sitting nearby) that he had become a Guru in flute-playing and that he is a big name in Odisha and India in playing this musical instrument!

The other day, I had the opportunity of enjoying a musical programme called ‘Bansir Sandhya’ (An Evening of the Flute) where Mohini and 24 of his disciples presented a heavenly flute concert.

 Here is a sample of his great skill.


In that evening, I learnt that the magic which can be created with a piece of bamboo was discovered when years and years ago, a person heard a sweet melody coming out of a bamboo bush. Intrigued, he probed and found out that bugs had bored holes in a bamboo and when wind was passing through these holes, it was creating this divine note.

A grateful salute to Goddess Nature!!!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Goddess of Odissi Dance

While on the subject of Odissi dance, one can never forget the late Sanjukta Panigrahi. The name is synonymous with Odissi dance.

As a small child, she would start dancing the moment she would hear any rhythmic sound – the sound of chopping of vegetables or splitting of firewood. She started to learn dance from the great Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra when she was barely 4. Her first public performance was at the age of 5. In that, she was to dance for just 5 minutes. With thunderous applause from the audience, she continued dancing even after her time was up!

Prajatantra Prachar Samiti,  a literary and cultural organization founded by Odisha’s first Chief Minister,  has been organizing Bishub Sammelan,  a literary festival on Bishuba Sankranti every year since long. Sanjukta performed at this event and was adjudged the Best Child Artist consecutively for 3 years from 1950 to 1952. She performed at the Annual Festival of Children’s Little Theatre at Kolkata (then Calcutta) in 1953.

Recognising her potential, her parents sent her to Kalakshetra, Chennai, where she was trained by Rukmini Devi Arundale. There, she secured a Nrityapaveen  diploma in Bharatanatyam with   Kathakali as the second subject. She returned to Odisha in 1958. She got a scholarship from the State Government to learn Kathak at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai. However, she returned to Odisha to concentrate on Odissi.

While training at Kalakshetra, Chennai, she met her future husband, Raghunath Panigrahi, a fine vocalist. It was perhaps willed by God that two streams of art, complementary to each other, should meet to bring about a perfect fusion. He had a gifted voice and she had  a dancing talent. Both belonged to Odisha and divine will made them come together at a place far away from their homes.  They were married when she was 16. The common path and the common journey started. He left a very promising career in film music to provide vocal support to her dance numbers.

Sanjukta came to be known as the best disciple of Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra. The Guru-Shishya combine took Odissi dance to great heights. Her Odissi dance and Raghunath’s vocal accompaniment became integral parts. Her name spread far and wide and she was decorated with a Padmashee in 1975. The husband-wife team was jointly given the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1976. Sanjukta performed Odissi dance the world over and Awards came in search of her.

To her, Odissi dance was not a mere art form; it was her life. Together with her husband, Sanjukta has left behind a rich reportoire of Odissi dance both classical and modern.

Unfortunately, this legendary danseuse had an untimely departure. She was snatched away by cancer in 1997, at the age of 53, leaving in the dance-horizon, a vacuum which can never be filled. Isn’t it said that God takes away early those whom He loves the most?

How I wish I would have been fortunate to watch Sanjukta Panigrahi’s heavenly performance live on stage just as I have had the good fortune to watch the veterans Vyajayanthimala and Dr. Minati Mishra perform on stage at Bhubaneswar!

Whenever I watch and listen to Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi present his great vocal music on stage, a deep sigh escapes from my nostrils.

Their son Babu Panigrahi has inherited his father’s talent and has already a made a name for himself.
In the same way, Ratikanta Mohapatra, son of the late Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra has inherited his father's talent and has established himself as renowned Guru of Odissi dance. His wife Sujata is a well-known Odissi dancer.
Here is a link to some more information about Sanjukta Panigrahi and below are some glimpses into her world of dance.
Sanjukta dancing in the precincts of Konark temple

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

An American Odyssey

It has really been an odyssey – a long and adventurous journey, all the way from Detroit in U S A to Odisha in India. In my last post I have narrated how two foreigners – Italians – have devoted themselves to the mesmerizing Odissi dance form. This post is about the journey of Sharon Lowen to Odissi.

 Recently I had the good fortune of watching this wonderous artiste perform at Bhubaneswar.

Sharon started her journey in Indian classical dance forms in 1970 in her home town Detroit in U S A. Earlier, she had received training in Western ballet, modern dance, puppetry and theatre. While studying Fine Arts, Asian Studies and Dance at Michigan University, she was attracted by Manipuri dance. At the age of 22, she came to India in 1973 on a Fulbright Scholarship to learn more about Manipuri dance. She came in contact with the legendary Odissi Dance Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra when he was conducting a workshop. She was immediately fascinated by Odissi dance. Then she participated in workshop on Odissi dance for 3 months. For quite sometime, she stayed at Cuttack, the erstwhile Capital of Odisha and became a disciple of Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra who belonged to Cuttack.

Sharon has presented a number of concerts throughout Asia, North America, U.K. and Middle East. .She performed Odissi dance in the Festival of India in U S A in 1985. Sharon calls India her second home. She likes to call her home “ a small farm house in a city”. In her own words, she learned very early when she lived in Odisha that “my behaviour had to be equivalent of a good daughter-in-law and that one’s professional life should be above reproach and that’s an aspect of respect for the art.”

Sharon has set up MANSA , her ‘Centre for Arts Without Frontiers’ in Delhi. She also teaches at the American Embassy School and at workshops in India and abroad. She deeply believes in the traditional Indian ‘Guru-Shishya parampara’ and imparts this to her students.

 She calls the typical body stance in Odissi as ‘a beautiful asymmetrical S-curve which is very sculpturesque’. “While dancing, I feel like flying.” she adds. Odissi leans heavily on the Radha-Krishna lore and the typical stance of the flute-playing Krishna is Tribhangi Thani – Krishna stands with an S-like posture in which the body is curved at the waist and the neck and thus can be divided into 3 parts. Sharon has also mastered Chhau, the martial dance form of Mayurbhanj in Odisha.

 View her Odissi dance in the precincts of the famous Konark temple in Odisha in this  video.

 Here she has wonderfully presented the heroines of Kalidas in Ritusamhar, Abhijnana Shakuntalam, Malabikagnimitra,Meghadootam and Kumarasambhabam.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Odissi Dance by Two Italians

Almost everyone is aware about the most famous Italian face in India but here are two more Italian faces in India which are not as widely known. They are the Odissi danseuses Illeana Citaristi and Sanatani Rombola.

Illeana came to India (Kerala) in 1978. In Kerala she started learning Kathakali but was not very happy with it. She visited Odisha and met the legendary Odissi exponent the Late Sanjukta Panigrahi who introduced her to the great Odissi maestro and her own Guru the Late Kelu Charan Mohapatra, who took Illeana under his tutelage. She permanently shifted to Odisha in 1979 and is living here since then. She presented her first public performance of Odissi in 1981. She has devoted herself to Odissi dance. She is equally at home in Chhau, the martial dance form of Mayurbhanj in Odisha. Her dance academy, Art Vision, set up in Bhubaneswar, is functioning since1995.

She was awarded ‘Padmashree’ in 2006.

I have had the occasion of watching her spell-binding performance several times, including the one as a part of the International Odissi Dance Festival last year.

 One can view her dance in this video.

 This candid interview gives an insight into her life.

The other Italian who has taken to Odissi dance like fish to water is Sanatani Rombola. She was born in Florence in Italy in 1982. Her parents were very attached to Indian culture and gave her the Indian name Sanatani. Hinduism is called Sanatan Dharma (eternal religion).(Hinduism is called so because it is believed to have been there ever since the appearance of human beings in the world. There is no one who started it as in the case Christianity, Islam or Buddhism which were started by Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad and The Buddha respectively.) Being a girl, she was named Sanatani.The family joined International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) and moved to Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath in Odisha in 1985. (It is beleved that Lord Jagannath is the manifestation of Lord Krishna.Hence the association of ISKON with Lord Jagannath.) Sanatani lived with her first Guru Bijayalakshmi Das for 6 years. She studied in an Odia medium school and fully imbibed the traditional Odia lifestyle. After Graduation in Puri, she went back to Italy when she was 21 and explored other options in the Western world but “finally realized that I can’t live without Odissi”. While Illeana learnt Odissi dance from Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra, Sanatani is a disciple of his daughter-in-law, the famous Odissi danseuse Guru Sujata Mohapatra, whom she met in 2006. After this meeting, she came back to India. (It is interesting to add here that Guru Kelu Charan’s son, Ratikanta Mohapatra is an accomplished Odissi danseur and Guru). Sanatani divides her time between Bhubaneswar and Vrindaban. Her dance guru is in Bhubaneswar and her spiritual guru, in Vrindavan. Her profile is available at this link.
Interestingly, in the International Dance Festival organised at Bhubaneswar, Illeana was one of the participants representing India and Sanatani represented Italy.

POST SCRIPT- February, 2015:

Illeana Citaristi was one of the guests at my niece's recent wedding. Here is a photo of hers with my niece:


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Laws Made Not By Law-Makers

One knows that laws are made by law-makers, viz. Members of Legislatures all over the world. Here are some laws made not by the conventional law-makers but by people who have least to do with law-making.
Most of us have read the 3 Laws of Motion which bear the name of Newton, the most famous of which is his Third Law: Each action has an equal and opposite reaction, which is applicable not only in the domain of science but in our day-to-day life as well, in each human interaction. Like this there are a large number of laws in the field of management some of which are listed below:
Heller’s Law: The first myth of management is that it exists.
Parkinson’s Law: Work expands to fill the time available for doing it.
Parkinson’s Fifth Law: If there is a way to delay an important decision, the good bureaucracy will find it.
Peter’s Principle: In a hierarchical organization, every one rises to the level of his/her incompetence.

2.Bureacracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.
Peter’s Placebo: An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.
Murphy’s Laws: 1. If anything can go wrong, it will.
2. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are ingenious.
Army’s Axiom: An order that can be misunderstood, will be misunderstood.
Oeser’s Law : There is a tendency for persons in the most powerful positions in an organization to spend their time serving on committees and signing letters.
Cornuelle’s Law: Authority tends to assign jobs to those least able to do them.
Dow’s Law: In a hierarchical organization, the higher the level, the greater the confusion.
Bunnel’s Law: Overdoing things is harmful in all cases even when it comes to efficiency.
Jay’s First Law of Leadership: Changing things is central to leadership and changing them before anyone does is creativeness.
Hull’s Warning: Never insult an alligator until you have crossed the river.
Jones’s Law: Friends may come and go but enemies accumulate.
Mile’s Law: Where you stand depends on where you sit.
Old and Kah’s Law: The efficiency of a committee-meeting is inversely proportional to the number of participants and the time spent on deliberations.
Peer’s Law: The solution to a problem changes the problem.
Unnamed Law: If it happens, it must be possible.
Agnes Allen’s Law: Almost anything is easier to get into than getting out of it.
Anderson’s Law: I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it the right way, did not become more complicated.
Berra’s Law: You can observe a lot just by watching.
Bolton’s Law of Ascending Budgets: Under current practices, both expenditure and revenues rise to meet each other, no matter which one may be in excess.
Boran’s Guidelines for Bureaucracy: 1. When in charge, ponder.
2. When in trouble, delegate.
3. When in doubt, mumble

Boyle’s Law: If not controlled, work will flow to the competent person until he submerges.
Bucy’s Law: Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.
Computer Maxim: To err is human but to really foul things up requires a computer.
Falkland’s Rule: When it not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.
Finagle on Corrections: When an error has been detected and corrected, it will be found to have been correct in the first place.
Wolf’s Law: Those who don’t study the past will repeat its errors; those who do study it will find other ways to err.
Corcoran’s Law: All papers that you save, will never be needed until such time as they are disposed of, when they become essential.
Definition of ‘Junk’ : Things you don’t need till after they are thrown away.
Gresham’s Law: Bad money drives good money out of circulation.
Laws of Flattery:
- Imitation is the best and subtlest form of flattery.
- When you flatter your boss, she/he knows that you are exaggerating but he/she still likes it
Human Relations: Man cannot live without others; he cannot live with others.
Perception: We don’t see reality; we interpret what we see and call it relity.
Urgent and Important: People are easily tricked into thinking that ‘urgent’ equals ‘important’.
Ethics: A concept invented by the poor to rein in the rich.

Principle of Store-Management- PEEP: A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

Praise: When your boss praises you, remember that praise and salary increase or   
               promotion are substitutes.

I keep cuttings from newspapers and preserve them in files marked subject-wise. While going through one such old file preserved in my personal ‘archive’, I came across a clipping from The Financial Express of 12.04.1989. Most of the above gems are from this clipping.
I had read about many of these Laws when I was heading my Bank’s Staff Training College at Patna from 1986 to 1992 and was preparing for taking sessions on Human Relations, Understanding Human Behavoiur and Organisational Behaviour,
Many of these ‘Laws’ are life’s lessons and expose the irrationality of human beings and show how the big bad world can many times be unfair, unjust, manipulative and irrational. One has to learn to live with this. However, one need not become a cynic but remain prepared. There are more good persons than bad and selfish ones.
I had come across Gresham’s Law while studying Money and Banking in Economics in my Degree Class in the College. I had read that once, Government of U K printed and released a series of new Currency Notes but it was found that most of the notes in circulation were still the old and soiled ones. Gresham, who was perhaps heading Bank of England at that time, was asked to find out the reason. He found that people who received new currency notes kept these with themselves and released the old notes with them. So mostly, old and soiled notes were in circulation. This finding came to be known as Gresham's Law.