Friday, 12 October 2018

अमिताभ तो बस एक ही है


अमिताभ तो बस एक ही है 


ये कहना कि मैं अमिताभ का फैन हूँ, बहुत आम बात है,
ये कहना कि मैं अमिताभ का भक्त हूँ, ये भी आम बात है,
पर यह कहना कि मैं अमिताभ जैसा बनाना चाहता हूँ, ये ज़रूर कोई बात है.

पर अमिताभ जैसा बनना मुश्किल ही नहीं, नामुनकिन है,
क्यों कि रिश्ते में तो हम उनके फैन लगते हैं,
पर नाम अमिताभ सिर्फ एक ही का लोग जानते हैं.

वोह आवाज़, वोह अंदाज़ उस इंसान का है,
जो जहां खड़े हो जाते हैं, 
लाइन वहीं से शुरू होती है.

काबिलियत उसका नाम है जिसका  नाम अमिताभ है,
बस नाम ही काफी है,
और काबिलियत का परिचय हो जाता है.

कद इनको कुदरत ने दिया है,
पर औधा इन्होने खुद बनाया है,
इनके कारनामें से देश का सीना चौढ़ा हो जाता है.

ये जब पग घुंघरू बाँध नाचते हैं,
तो देश झूम उठता है,
ये जब सुर लगते हैं, देश गाने लगता है.

ये भाई को सैन नहीं देते,
और `पहले इसका, पहले उसका सैन लाओ` कहते हैं,
पर सब इनके सैन के दीवाने हैं.

ये डॉन हो या हीरो, हर किरदार बखूबी निभाते हैं, 
इनको सभी ढूंढते रहते हैं,
पर ये पता नहीं कहाँ इंतज़ार कर रहे होते हैं. 

ये बेमिसाल हैं, लाजवाब हैं,
प्रोडूसर के लिए दो और दो पांच कर सकते हैं,
खुदा गवा है, अमिताभ तो बस एक ही है.




Thursday, 20 September 2018

थकना ठीक है, थमना नहीं

थकना  ठीक है, थमना नहीं 

By Hariharan Iyer

थकना  ठीक है, थमना नहीं,
गिरना ठीक है, हारना नहीं,
नासमझी ठीक है, बुरा व्यवहार नहीं,
कभी कभी अनुचित संवाद भी ठीक है, पर बुरे सम्बन्ध नहीं

प्यार में गुस्सा ठीक है, पर औपचारिकता नहीं,
समाज के प्रति कभी कभी खटास ठीक है, पर ग़ैज़िम्मेदारी नहीं,
सबके लिए सहानभूति ठीक है, पर सबसे दोस्ती नहीं
हर समय ना हसों थो ठीक है, पर छोटी बातों पर रोना नहीं

गलती करो तो ठीक है, पर उसे दोहराना नहीं,
खुशी ना हो थो ठीक है, पर अधिक समय तक दुखी होना नहीं,
दोस्ती न निभाओ तो कदाचित और किसी सन्दर्भ में ठीक है, पर दुश्मनी नहीं, 
मरना थो ठीक है, पर जीतेजी मर जाना नहीं  











Sunday, 22 July 2018

My Sister Latha: A Legacy Of Cheerfulness


My Sister Latha: A Legacy Of Cheerfulness

Synopsis: Latha leaves behind a legacy of cheerfulness. She epitomised a life of fullness and laughter. She taught an important lesson - it is not the length of life that matters, but the depth of life that matters.
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The prayer meeting for my cousin sister Latha Iyer, who passed away few days ago, had a peculiar air about it. Solemnity was written all over it as her large and affectionate friends descended to offer condolences. Yet, after a while, the audience could not stop themselves from being more relaxed, picking up chatter and filling the air with 'happy' small talk.
The audience's behaviour was still conditioned by the smiling presence of Latha in the picture in front of them. There was a sense that Latha was still around and she just did not approve of the eerie silence in the hall. Spontaneous speeches honouring the presence of Latha in their lives was a poignant moment for all those present.
My sister was just like that - full of life and laughter. Her little frame packed in a kind of laughter that boomed across corridors infecting people with happiness.
Though she too lived in Chembur in Mumbai, we did not meet often. But I knew she was doing good, and doing good to others too. Whenever we met during family functions and otherwise, the bond was instant. We shared wonderful times together and were there for one another in happy and not-so-happy times.
My deepest memories are from our childhood spent in Chennai and Mumbai. While my brother and me grew up in Mumbai, Latha, her sister and brother grew up in Chennai. Our visits to Powai and Vihar lakes during their visits here are enduring memories. The simplicity of our picnics was far removed from modern day get-aways in expensive cafes and restaurants.
Latha leaves behind a legacy of cheerfulness. She epitomised a life of fullness and laughter. She taught an important lesson - it is not the length of life that matters, but the depth of life that matters.

She was a great wife, a fantastic mother and an amazing friend. It would be a long and hard ordeal for people who love her to come to terms with her absence.

Rest In Laughter Latha.


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Shashi Kapoor: The Last Of The Kapoor Pioneers


Shashi Kapoor: The Last Of The Kapoor Pioneers


Though Deewar is a Bachchan-centered film, Shashi Kapoor stood out by choosing to let Amitabh's character stand out. Seen from a management perspective, this is an outstanding example of team work, where the individual ego is dismissed to make way for emergence of the larger perspective. Shashi Kapoor not only looked good, he made everyone around him look good too.

The passing away of Shashi Kapoor has invoked a feeling of sadness that comes with losing your friendly neighbour. That's what Shashi Kapoor was – a simple star, a friend who enthralled audiences for decades with his charm, simplicity of acting and intellectual potency. He was simply the star next door, not the one who rose above all of us on cinema screens.

Shashi Kapoor was never counted as amongst the megastars of his era –
like his own brothers, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Rajendra Kumar, Rajesh Khanna or Dharmendra. In the '70s of course Amitabh Bachchan's rise relegated all competent and incompetent heroes to the background. Yet, Amitabh's career graph is inseparable from Shashi Kapoor's as they paired to produce some magnetic performances in movies like Deewar, Do Aur Do Paanch, Suhaag, Kabhie Kabhie, Kaala Patthar, Shaan and Namak Halal. In each of these films, Bachchan is the show stopper, but Shashi Kapoor provides the anchor.

The trio of Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor and Rajesh Khanna had women swooning over them due to their incredibly good looks. In Sharmeelee, Shashi looks stunning to say the least. As his career evolved, he did not strive to be a specialist, like the `romantic Rajesh` or the `angry young man Amitabh`. Shashi was not a brand in that sense. His branding came only from the immortal `Mere Paas Maa Hai` line in Deewar. But even there, Bachchan stole the show with his intense dialogue delivery. Bachchan perhaps has a lot to owe Shashi Kapoor because he made him look good on screen by being a back-peddler than an equal on screen.

It is a tribute to Shashi Kapoor's humility that though he was elder to the Big B and his senior in the industry, he played his younger brother in Deewar. The film is a classic and is iconic for its dialogues, story line, action sequences and direction. Though it's a Bachchan-centered film, Shashi Kapoor stood out by choosing to let Amitabh's character stand out. Seen from a management perspective, this is an outstanding example of team work, where the individual ego is dismissed to make way for emergence of the larger perspective.

Shashi Kapoor aged gracefully and never felt tied down by any image. He seamlessly moved from being a commercial star to doing films with a parallel cinema touch to being cast in character roles. Though the chocolate hero next door in the early days of his career, Shashi Kapoor transited to doing films with depth like New Delhi Times. He even produced quality movies like Kalyug and Junoon. He was perhaps ahead of his times when he directed a super hero film Ajooba with who else, but Bachchan in the lead. While his brother Raj Kapoor will always be remembered for the RK banner and his path-breaking films, Shashi Kapoor too made no mean attempt to add to the intellectual horizon through his brand of film-making. The RK Studios banner has been fledgling since Raj Kapoor's death, but the brand of Shashi Kapoor's films have created a space for themselves in Bollywood. He was the last of the Kapoor pioneers. This is no mean achievement as the masses had mad adulation for his brothers Raj and Shammi and his nephew Rishi.

My personal Shashi Kapoor favourite is his 1981 film Baseraa, in which he co-starred with Raakhee and Rekha. He presents a mature character who is caught between his love for his sick wife and a practical life situation. Though caught between two difficult choices, he stands out as a character and as an actor. This role in a sense typifies Shashi Kapoor for all of us. In his career, he never seen as a mega star, but every mega star he worked with got a fillip because of his presence.

Shashi Kapoor not only looked good, he made everyone around him look good too.

RIP Shashi Kapoor.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

A Lesson In Customer Service From A Hotel Waiter


The lady at the counter simply did her job. She was playing it by the book. While she was not wrong, she did not get it right either. But our smiling and caring waiter friend ensured his customers got what they wanted. He ensured we came back happy and delighted.

It is said we can learn from anybody, anywhere and anyhow. A wonderful lesson in creating customer delight came from an unexpected quarter - a hotel waiter.

Our family recently visited Pondicherry. We had to return to Mumbai by flight from Chennai. On our way to Chennai we asked our cab driver to stop at a restaurant which offered the quintessential South Indian meals. We arrived at a well known joint a little after 3 pm. It was closing time for meals but we hoped we could still get to eat. We saw a few people polishing off the meals and so I optimistically asked the lady at the billing counter whether meals were available. She said it had closed and we could eat something else, but not meals. I told her we had come all the way from Mumbai and were keen on having meals. I requested her to do something, but she said it was not possible.

I however persisted and shared our predicament with one of the waiters. I told him we had come from Mumbai. He asked us to sit and went inside. We got concerned as he took a bit too long to return for our comfort. But soon to our utmost delight he returned with three plates of meals and placed them on the table. He managed it though meals time had officially closed.

He ensured we got the servings we wanted. He said he got us the food from the staff quota. It truly was an outstanding example of someone going out of his way to ensure happiness for his customers.

He probably took a risk, bur definitely ensured customer experience was top class. He demonstrated the power of ownership and went beyond his call of duty. He showed us that ownership is a value and has got nothing to do with the money we get paid for doing our job. The lady at the counter simply did her job. She was playing it by the book. While she was not wrong, she did not get it right either. But our smiling and caring waiter friend ensured his customers got what they wanted. He ensured we came back happy and delighted.

He showed that customer service does not stem from politically correct statements on walls, but from an attitude of service and care. He proved Customer Is God, not just in words but also in spirit.

Thanks to him, we came back not just with our stomachs full, but a heart filled with gratitude. An `ordinary` waiter offered us not just food, but an extraordinary lesson in customer service. 

Monday, 2 October 2017

Home Is Where The Behaviours Are

Home Is Where The Behaviours Are


Observing and discussing behaviour styles is now part of dinner table conversations at my home. The other day my wife's cousin who was visiting us discovered that he was probably an Examiner as he simply answered two simple questions: was he slow paced or fast paced and was he people oriented or task oriented?. 

Charity begins at home is an old adage, but so do behaviours. After coming back from.the US post the Asentiv Train The Trainer workshop on Room Full Of Referrals there was a lot of curiosity within my family. "What exactly did you learn?," they asked. 

The best way for me to answer that was to invite them to my first workshop on Room Full Of Referrals. Besides others, it was a family gathering of sorts. My brother, my wife and our daughter sat as participants. As it turned out, my brother and daughter realised they were promoters and my wife found out she was a nurturer. Normally it is hazardous to guess anything about your wife, but I got this one right - yes I knew she was a nurturer. 

Observing and discussing behaviour styles is now part of dinner table conversations at my home. The other day my wife's cousin who was visiting us discovered that he was probably an Examiner as he simply answered two simple questions: was he slow paced or fast paced and was he people oriented or task oriented?. 

We also discussed behaviour styles of other relatives and it seemed so easy for all of us to make an intelligent guess. 

The power of Room Full Of Referrals is truly immense. It is now part of our daily consciousness. 

For me its application is having a huge impact on my interactions with clients and potential clients. I am now able to adapt effortlessly to other people's behaviour styles and structure my communication accordingly.

The other great benefit is that I am able to educate others regarding my own promoter style, which helps them understand me better. The benefits for business conversations are immense if you are educated on behaviour styles.

Friday, 21 July 2017

People Are Different, Treat Them Differently

People Are Different, Treat Them Differently

Room Full Of Referrals program helps people identify four behaviour styles – Go Getter, Promoter, Nurturer and Examiner. Understanding the dynamics within each behaviour style is life changing and relationship altering because you realise why you connect with some people more easily and not so easily with others. It is also scientific as it involves a simple assessment that most importantly indicates what your own style is. 

The Golden Rule says treat people the way you want to be treated. But Tony Alessandra's Platinum Rule says treat people the way they want to be treated.

This was an incredible insight I gathered from the Asentiv Train The Trainer workshop in the US on Room Full Of Referrals. Understanding human behaviour is one of the most fascinating activities in life. Human beings present a wide range of behaviours with varying personality styles, which makes the whole aspect of dealing with people intriguing and absorbing.

A whole lot of research over centuries has been done on human behaviour and personality. While personality types are stored deep within, behaviours are more easy to decipher as they are expressed. Room Full Of Referrals steers clear of personality analysis and simply vouches for its expertise on deciphering human behaviour, which is visible and `in action`. Yet, the trainers insisted we need to keep using the words `tend to` and `typically` for any style of behaviour, as we cannot put anybody into a box.

Room Full Of Referrals is created from a networking and referability context. However, the architecture can be effortlessly adapted for corporates as Room Full Of Relationships. After all, everywhere it is about dealing with people and constructing meaningful relationships. Every business is about working with people. As Dawn Lyons, trainer and co-author of `Room Full Of Referrals` says in the book: “People know people, and the people people know, know more people. So, if referrals come from people, who should we learning more about? People!”

When interpreted in a corporate context, the principle of knowing people better works here too. After all, no organisation can meet its objectives unless its people are in sync with one another. Human beings are wired differently and the key lies in appreciating the difference, especially at the level of behaviour. As Steve Jobs said: “Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.” After all, the biggest challenge to any business does not come from markets or products, it comes from people.

Room Full Of Referrals helps people identify four behaviour styles – Go Getter, Promoter, Nurturer and Examiner. Understanding the dynamics within each behaviour style is life changing and relationship altering because you realise why you connect with some people more easily and not so easily with others. It is also scientific as it involves a simple assessment that most importantly indicates what your own style is.

It is an eye opener to know that Go Getters and Promoters are fast paced, whereas Nurturers and Examiners are slow paced. While Go Getters and Examiners are task oriented, Promoters and Nurturers are people oriented. Having said this, it is critical to understand we all are a combination of all styles, but one or two of them may carry higher intensity. There is no better or worse style or good or bad style. Each style is worth honouring and appreciating.

Now you can see why in a team if A is a Go Getter and B is a Nurturer, they are unlikely to connect at a deeper level unless they adapt themselves to the other person's style. That is the essence of The Platinum Rule – we've got to treat people in a manner they would like to be treated, for all the four styles are wired differently. When we adapt, we are not manipulating, we are in fact honouring the other person's style and wiring.

For me, this understanding has proved magical. Today, I am conscious of who I am and the kind of style I am talking to. As I meet people, I try to make a guess in terms of who could be what and try to adapt my communication accordingly. The workshop provides a framework in terms of being able to guess who is what based on body language, words, etc.

A great learning from the workshop was that within the English language, you can learn four more languages – that of the Go Getter, Promoter, Nurturer and Examiner. Yes, they speak `different` languages. Unless we appreciate and honour this aspect of human behaviour, we are unlikely to strike a great rapport with more than just a few people.

Each style's motivation is different – the Go Getters and Examiners look for results, but their pace and mechanism are different, whereas the Promoter needs fun and the Nurturer wants to build long term relationships.

The Room Full Of Referrals workshop teaches you how to use the four different languages. It is a package – it is result oriented, fun, helps build long term relationships and provides deep insights into human behaviour. Did you notice the language used in the sentence? It speaks to all four styles. This is just one of the benefits of undergoing the workshop.
(To know more about Room Full Of Referrals program, please write to me at: hariharan@theentertrainer.in / bharat.jethani@asentiv.com)