Special Treatment

Posted: March 16, 2014 in Uncategorized




I saw this sticker on facebook and commented “I have never allowed myself to feel special and not bothered to check whether I am unwanted “.  That was a month ago.

Now, I think its worth a discussion, since everybody goes through this situation and others will have to, some time in future. Its just a matter of time. It is as certain as death

Very early in my life I realized not to fall for the special treatment. I did not have any personal experience, I saw it happening all around me and I learnt.

You can see this in every walk of life. The treatment is not for YOU.

You walk into a bank and tell them you want to start an account and deposit some money.  The manager along with the entire staff will hover around you carrying you off your feet. Here, let us fill the form for you, you need just sign here , here and here. Thank you, I will fill them. No Sir, you are special. Coffee, tea or something cold ?

The elections are round the corner. It is time to visit the huts, hug the grannies and pull the cheeks of the month old babies, have tea with them, at least pretend a sip. I am your servant, shall take care of all your problems -water, house, road, rice, brinjals, just vote for me.

Its appraisal time, treat the boss time, leave it to me , Sir, you relax, this is a gift for you, got it from Singapore, I felt you are the one who deserves it.

The official, whose signature has power to sanction, remove obstacles or holds an important title  is a VIP and made to feel like one.

When the title gets prefixed with an ex- or retired, the mask falls off and  the reality dawns.

Meanwhile there are people who basks in the glory of being a relative of a VIP and misuses the position as long as the uncle is in power and then a day comes when the power fails. What a fall…

How much the person gives me or his potential to give is what  influences my admiration, respect and behavior  towards someone, neither the giver nor the receiver realizes this. They all get carried away by the moment.

Don’t get carried away, think why , is it me or my position because the dump, later can be very hurtful.

I remember an Ad where Yuvaraj Singh says as long as your bat talks, you are there. It shows it’s the cricketer and not Yuvi that is special. I forget the product, get the message.

The other day, I visited my Aunt, a renowned professor,  whose house is located in a very envious location in  town and asked her you must be having lots of visitors stopping by ? As a matter of fact she replied causally, oh ya, lots of them…not these days,not after my retirement.

A guy orders for tea and pays a large tip on his way out. The next time when he comes with his friend for lunch to the restaurant, he gets a huge welcome and the waiters  vied with each other to serve him. After  the lunch he drops a coin as tip to the shock of the waiters. Sir , last time…

Yes, last time I tipped for this time and this time it is for  last time.


Visit http://gokelp.com, freelancers,  let Kelp find a market for you

May I Kelp you

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

“I met a harried HR person today. She was talking about getting the right trainer. They meet many trainers and coaches before they decide on one for their requirement. And then it turns out  a flop. They have to handle various vendors  and time is consumed in administrative jobs with little energy to focus on the core.”

“Interesting… I was talking to a friend who is a freelancer. He has expertise but finding a market has been a nightmare. “

“You know what, you guys are talking about pain points of the corporate and freelance professionals.  How will it be if an angel steps in to take care of them  and help to focus their entire energy on …”

And the discussion went on.

An exciting idea was born, an HR marketplace.

Thus KELP (gokelp.com) was  co-founded   by a few enterprising HR and Tech Professionals, backed up by strong Board members.

Kelp  aggregates freelance trainers, coaches, mentors, consultants and other HR service professionals and  the demands of corporate on  a user friendly platform. On this platform,  corporate will be able to post demands and professionals their expertise.

The Kelp team will additionally have  processes to ensure quality and reliability on both sides.

Value Proposition for corporate

One Stop  marketplace

Competitive Pricing

Quality Assurance


Value proposition for  Professionals

Market Access                                                   


Ease of Use

Write to info@gokelp.com or register with http://www.gokelp.com 


All about talks

Posted: January 18, 2014 in Uncategorized



A priest bunked his sermon hour in church to play golf. He hit a miraculous shot where he had a hole in one. It broke his heart because he could not TALK about it.

If you notice, people enjoy talking about their holidays and foreign trips more than their actual experience. Then there are people, who return from a great trip and talk only about the flat tyre and how it delayed their home coming, the agony part of it.

Talk can be stressful on many occasions. You work for eighteen hours a day for a week and you talk about it. It is the thought and talk about the working hours that creates stress, not the work. If you think of the work and the accomplishment and not the time, it will be less stressful. For some, talking to others to let them know about how hard they are working, gives them relief, then they have vested interest.

Talk can also be a stress buster on many occasions. When a lady comes to you with her problems it is not for any solutions. Just let her talk and talk about it, she will go back home relieved.

I had the habit of interrupting and giving solutions before they finish talking about their problems. Now I do not. Along the way I realized, you are not helping anyone. First I let them talk and ask a few questions, which may have long answers. And they end up with their own solutions.

I had lots of opportunities to help people find their solutions. One day somebody called me and said you are a great coach, thank you, Sir.  How come you never became a CEO, when you could help me become one. Err… that was coaching ? I thought to myself. I told him, I do not practice what I preach or talk.

I was just doing what was coming naturally to me. One thing I realized, it helps everybody to have a coach, whether you are at the bottom or top of the ladder. The coach need not be more capable than you. Coach of Sachin Tendulkar, I am sure, could not play many of the strokes, he must have taught him to execute.

I am an introvert. I do not talk much. What I have been doing is observing and listening. I would like to talk if I have something to say, not to say something. People like me are a failure in group discussions.

The extroverts are thinking and talking at the same time. It’s an amazing talent. They can switch from one topic to another with great fluency.

In an organization, they talk their way up with out doing anything substantial. Not all of them but quite a few. The Boss likes to have someone like that next to him, to give some unpleasant talks, when necessary, to the team or a team member. 

The husband was surprised when his wife got off the phone within half an hour. That was quick, he said. She replied, that was a wrong number on line.

All those who enjoy talking, lage raho, keep talking and the silent ones, talk if you can improve onthe silence. The world needs all of you.


Four decades

Posted: November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized
“hello, this is col Tripathy”
“yes, sir “
“have you reached Mumbai”
“yes, I am at Mumbai central station”
“Ok,  shall give you a call once I am there”
Well this was the gist of a conversation with a person whom I will be meeting after 40 years. We were class mates at REC Rourkela (today, its NIT). The call was at 11 o’clock in the morning and we were to travel to Vadodara by the 2.20 double decker train, for Rakesh’s daughter’s wedding. The wait began, mind traveling all the way back, trying hard to recall, any special moments. Only a smiling face of a thin and straight personality appeared on the memory screen.  Another friend Subhash will be boarding at Borivili and we are all going to be in different compartments.
At 1.30, the call comes,
 ” where are you ” .
 “I am in front of coach, C3″
“So am I, and I cant see you”
As usual, in such meetings, we had our  backs facing each other while talking and searching.  I knew he will not be able to recognise me and I have to do it. I turned, there he was, the 40 years in between  has not changed his profile much except for a few grey hair. I have changed, more flesh, than those skinny skinny days. After about an hours update of each other’s 40 long years, we went to our respective seats and Subhash, another friend, boards at Borivili to meet at vadodara. The other ten names from our batch expected to be at the wedding, are all forty year gappers for me. 
Unlike today, those were the days and communication was an effort. Snail mails and expensive trunk calls were solid deterrents and it was very easy to fade away from each others lives. The ones who may stick together are generally the ones who gets a job in the same company or town or thick friends during the college days. And again, all class mates are not friends, there are about 200 of them in a batch, more of acquaintances, we may know each other, interacted on different occasions. 
Back to vadodara, earlier known as Baroda and three of us are in a guest house, rest of them expected to turn up the next day. 
Next day, meeting each one of them brings in the same excitement and we start filling up the gaps with updates between the irresponsible college days and the responsible free day, thats today. All of them have retired from active services with their children out of their orbit and on their own. 
It was fascinating to hear their experiences, all of them covering different paths and the conversataion were mostly in hindi. There were the shudh hindis, bhojpuri, guju, marathi, rajasthani, punjabi and I, the Madrasi. Those days, any body from the southern part of India was a madrasi, no mallu, telugu, tamil or kannadiga.
For me during all the recalls of the college days during our conversation, it is the colonel’s story that stood out. His words
” First time I am meeting menon is in front of the hostel notice board. Since I had studied in hindi medium school, my english was not good. I stood in front of the notice board and read it aloud as notyce board. Menon gave a big laugh and I got very angry and shouted at him and menon, like all gentle south indians, quietly walked away”.
Sorry Col Tripathy, I do not recall this at all. Knowing me, I must have laughed at the joke and your reaction is an outcome of your inner thought. Today, the colonel is a very good narrator, equally good in English and hindi, very disciplined, makes very good tea and I had the privilege of having them on all three days, we were together.
It was wonderful meeting, Rakesh Singh father of the bride, Subhash Mathurvaishya, Lal bahadur, Kamta singh, Bhagat, Nitish bhartiya Anil singh,  Sood, and the fire brand Dinesh Patel.
Now we are friends for the rest of our lives

Whats in a name

Posted: July 22, 2013 in Uncategorized
to me
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet. Who said that ? One Mr. Shakeappaiyyer in Romeo and Juliet. Will Iyyer still smell as sweet as Shakespeare ? Hello, Mr William Shakespeare, I am asking you, can you hear me ? Everybody is touchy about their name, why not. The other night I sent a mail expressing my gratefulness. I woke up in the middle of my sleep, hey, did I spell the names right ? Checked up and found them misspelt.  They must have thought I am calling them names. I sent my apologies.
Long ago I had sent a mail to one Mr Nair. I addressed it as Dear Mr Nai, missed the r. Nai in some south indian languages means dog. Dog may be Mr Nair’ favourite animal but he would not like to be called one.
In our country we may have any number of ID cards, may be as many as the number  of alphabets in your name, ration, voter, PAN, passport, school, service, medical, adhaar, credit, debit and many more to come. If I ask, is your name spelt the right way in all your cards, a million hands will go up and say no. Some of the offices think, this is how your name should be and you do not know!!. A menon will be corrected as menan,  Indu as Hindu,  Pia as Priya, a Rajeesh as Rajishe, a banashankari as bhayankari and so on. 
While traveling, I generally introduce myself as raj or rajan to my co-passengers if we get engaged in conversation. Many of them looks uncomfortable with the simplicity of the name. They will cross examine you (just short of third degree) until they extract your full name. They want to deduce a lot of information like region, religion, caste, sub caste, nature (oh, he is a Gowda or Reddy or Nair or Yadav – you get stamped as a saint or crook). Good, I do not reveal my full name, it does reveal a lot.
Forgetting names is another bug in our lives. If you are sixty plus and you forget someones, you panic, is it alzheimers ?
This problem is there at every age. If you have not interacted with some one for a long time, their face and name goes into the back burner and subsequently burn out. And if our interaction was memorable, that depends on how you felt, the experience would keep the name fresh in your memory.
A good way to have a rapport with someone is to utter the others name during conversation. Good  raj, good of you to have called Raj (i did not call, you called), raj ,you know what raj the other day raj I was at home, around 9ish the bell rang. You know what Raj ,you wont believe this raj, I opened the door raj and guess what raj who is standing there raj…and the dialogue went on when every alternate word became raj. If you ask me what do I remember of the conversation, just a single word and thats my name-raj.!! 
That is  misuse of the name. 
I am sure all of you will have some story with names, please share.
Meanwhile, remember a Tim wont like to be called as Tom as much as a Mr. Tucker by some other name.
Remember to take care of the names.



Why me

Posted: May 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

I want to share a statement by Arthur Ashe and the difference it made in my life. Before that let me introduce you to Arthur Ashe, just in case, you have not heard about him

It was the year 1975,  first week (5th day ?) in the month of July I was with my friends in a restaurant in Rourkela. We carried a transistor radio with us,  ‘no TV’ days, to listen to a commentary of a tennis match, Wimbledon finals between the odds on favourite Jimmy Connors (betting is as old as the Mahabharath, and is still on, IPL6)  and Arthur Ashe. We were not involved in any betting , I don’t want anybody to come knocking on my door. Jimmy Connors plundered his way to the finals with out losing a single set. He lost only 3 sets in the tournament and that was in the finals to Arthur Ashe. He did not allow Connors to play any of his famous strokes like double handed backhand and powerful service returns. Arthur Ashe, was the first coloured American to win Wimbledon and we were an ear witness to a great event.


In addition to being a great athlete, Arthur Ashe also excelled in academics. Throughout his life he received honorary doctorates from numerous highly respected colleges including Princeton University, Trinity University, Hartford College and Virginia Union University. Arthur Ashe obtained high academic standards for people to follow. His hard work in school made him a role model for others and many schools of high academic achievement have been named in his honor.

The US Open and Wimbledon were two of the most acknowledged tennis accomplishments. In addition to those, he also won singles and doubles in Australian Open in 1970 and Winner, French Open in 1971. 

Arthur Ashe, was dying of AIDS infected from an infected blood transfusion for a heart surgery in 1983. From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: 
“Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease?”
His reply
50,000,000 children start to play tennis,
5,000,000 learn to play tennis,
500,000 learn professional tennis,
50,000 come to the circuit,
5000 reach the grand slam,
50 reach Wimbledon,
4 to semi final,
2 to the finals.
When I was holding a cup, I never asked GOD “Why me?”
And today in pain I should not be asking GOD “Why me?”Image


Arthur Ashe  public awareness to the subject of AIDS after he had been diagnosed with the disease. Arthur Ashe died at the young age of 49, because of this disease.


For me his ‘Why me” has been a life changing question which I will never ask. Life is full of situations to be dealt with, to be responded, no reason to ask why me. Since I do not ask why the blessings, I do not blame anybody for anything. Life has been easy for me after that.


What could or should have been has no meaning, the reality is “what is”. Accept the situation. Now you have an option, ignore it or respond. Everything happens for good. Everything in life is temporary. So when things are going good, enjoy it and if things aren’t good enough don’t worry, even that will pass.





Leadership from below

Posted: May 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

A  story of great customer service , a case study by Rohit Deshpande

On the 26th of November 2008, a group of terrorists struck a dozen targets in Mumbai, India including the iconic, 103-year old Taj Palace Hotel. The siege at the hotel  lasted two days and three nights and was covered extensively by international media. But there is an amazing, inspirational back story about the heroic actions of the Taj staff couched in the culture of the Taj Hotels company. What can the staff, who saved lives while endangering their own, teach the rest of the world about ethical behavior?

Thanks to my friend and batch mate from NIT Rourkela, Rajendra Prasad Gulyam for sending me this link