Sunday, November 27, 2016


26th November is an unfrogettable day for Indians as eight years ago the terrorists attacked simultaneously several points in Mumbai and in the process around 166 people died within a space of two days.

26th November 2016 after eight years I was sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of the Auditorium of the Emirates Institute of Banking and Financial Services.  From 6.15 p.m. to 8.15 p.m. for about two hours Capt.RaghuRaman spoke on the Leadership lessons to be learnt from Saichen Glaciers.

I have been to several seminars, workshops and events over the last so many years and this would rank among the top 3 in my life time so far.  It was a very inspiring and very gripping speech with real life instances from the Indian Armed Forces on how they handle the extreme conditions in Siachen Galciers to protect the nation.

The soldiers and officers of the Indian Army are stationed in Siachen Glaciers which is considered highly risky both from the weather point of view as well as the frequent fighting with the neighbouring country armed forces.  This is 26,000 ft above sea level where the weather is around -35 degrees most part of the year.  If it is summer then the temperature is down by about 5 to 10 degrees.  Summer or Winter the weather is around - 35 degrees - extremely chill, windy and dangerous.  The soldiers walk in the snow which is sometimes as deep as their full leg (see picture below) and they still have to walk with about 20 to 30kgs on their back to do the patrolling of the area and protect the nation from enemies.

The pre-read (The Rope) for the speech sent by Capt.RaghuRaman actually made my blood freeze for some moments.  His presentation was truly amazing and gripping particularly after the pre-read and the initial insights that he gave into the background of getting posted in Siachen Galciers.

"The Rope" explains in detail about how the patrolling in the Glaciers is so difficult with all the crevasse and the dangers of soldiers falling into the crevasse and not being able to come out.   The sacrifices that the soldiers go through is really unthinkable as we are all in the comfort of city life with all the comforts and least challenges.

Capt.RaghuRaman has worked in the Armed forces for 11 years and then spent another 11 years in the Corporate world before joining back the Government of India five years ago.  He said in the army you know which side the enemy is but in the Corporate world and Government Departments you really do not know which side is your enemy.

The speech started with three simple questions:

  1. What is the most difficult challenge you have faced?
  2. Have your efforts been rewarded and has life been fair to you?
  3. Do you have adequate resources to face challenges thrown at you?
He gave a few minutes for the audience to think of an answer to all the three questions from their own individual life experience.  The same questions were posed at the end of the speech and for me the answers to these three questions were completely different.  

He asked Why do soldiers fight?  They fight for their comrades and immediate troops and to save the people who live in the country.

The Leadership lessons that one could learn from the Armed forces was summarised very nicely in the form of five lessons.

Lesson No.1 - Good teams are joined at hips

Lesson No.2 - Walk the Talk.  It is important for the Leader to show to his team members and make them know that he knows the pain they go through.  Under the pain the team members go through.  The members who are on the ground are expecting a human leader and not the Ideal Leader.

Lesson 3 - There are no good or bad units/teams.  There are only good and bad leaders/officers.  Leaders make the difference.  Blaming the whole team is of no use when the leader himself needs to look inward and change.

Lesson No.4 - Safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first.  The honour welfare and comfort of men you command comes next.  Your own ease, comfort and safety comes last.  The moral of the story is "if you genuinely look after your people, they would do well".  Leader should always ensure that his team is happy and safe.  Jim Collins in his book Good to Great has said that great companies deliver 7 times better results.  These companies are Great because the Leader moves to the back putting their people in the front.  This is called Level 5 Leadership which can be taught and inculcated in Leaders of the Corporate World and Governments.  The leader should focus on team results and not on their personal individual achievements.

Lesson No.5 - Get a perspective.  Leaders have to change within before they can change the outside environment.  A good leader needs to have excellent practical knowledge and extraordinary ability to communicate.  The ability to communicate, story telling and empathy for ground realities are true qualities required for a good leader.

I salute Capt.RaghuRaman and every Soldier and Officer in the Indian Army for all the sacrifices and endurance they are demonstrating in their singular mission of saving the nation.  Capt.RaghuRaman request to the audience was the most touching - he said please send a "thank you" message to the Indian Soldiers in Siachen Glaciers.

Thank You Indian Army for protecting the Nation.  "Thank You" to every soldier and officer in Siachen Galcier.  Jai Hind.

Dubai, U.A.E.
27th November 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016


The latest addition to the world of Transportation is Hyperloop transportation technologies.  I had visited the Innovation Live Programme in Dubai on 21st November 2016 and had the virtual ride on the Hyperloop.  This is surely going to revolutionalise the land transportation.  I am quite excited to know that this is going to be a reality in UAE in the coming years.  It is unbelievable that the journey from Dubai to Abu Dhabi will take just 12 minutes.

This is a Transportation System which will connect people at goods at the speed of sound.  The best feature is we would travel at the speed of sound with safety and efficiency.  The system will operate in fully enclosed environment protected from weather and crossing.  The electric propulsion will enable emission free transport.  The levitated pod reduces fiction and operational cost will be minimal due to the use of alternative energy and full automation.

On a single line 40 Pods can depart every 40 seconds and transport 164,000 passengers per day at a maximum speed of 760 mph.  While speed is important, safety is paramount and that is the basis on which the hyperloop is designed.

The Co-Founder and CEO Dirk Ahlborn used JumpstartFund's crowdfunding and crowd collaboration platform to greatest effect in co-founding Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

We are just on the threshold of some breakthrough innovative ideas which are going to drastically change the way we live.  Some of the illusions and fantasies that we are used to as children about 20 or 30 years ago are now turning into realities.

Dubai, U.A.E.
25th November 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Dr.Balamuralikrishna is a legendary Singer and Composer who attained the lotus feet of the Lord on 22nd November 2016.  The first time I met him was in Bangalore when I was working for TT Travels and he had come to perform in a concert.  I had the golden opportunity of interacting with him and also had dinner with him in 1995.  After that chance meeting and listening to his concert I naturally got attracted towards his singing.

I have heard him in Dubai in a concert in Crowne Plaza Hotel several years ago and every time I had the chance to listen to him I would listen to his Carnatic Songs, his Thillana and ofcourse the unforgettable three classic songs that he has sung in movies.

Oru Naal Poduma in Thiruvilayadal can be heard at any time during the day and you can listen to this any number of times without being bored.

I heard his song in Kalai Kovil which he sung in 1964 when i was only one year old.  This song is so fresh that it has stood the test of time and will continue to be fresh even after another 50 years.  This song is "Thanga Ratham vandadhu veethiyile".

The crowning glory is "Chinna Kannan Azhaikiran" which is a great composition by the Great Living Legend of Musci Ilayaraja.

Chinna Kannan Azhaikiran - Ilayaraja concert من طرف moncoco92

In every concert (he has performed more than 20,000 concerts in his life) the audience will request for atleast couple of thillana and he sings Thillana with such ease and enjoyment that it is a real treat to listen to him.  He has performed on stage for more than 75 years and dedicated his entire life to Music.

This one is very special as I have heard this several hundred times:

He has composed several hundred songs.  This varnam that he composed is one of my all time favourites of Dr.Balamuralikrishna:

We are lucky to have his songs available in digital form.  Long Live Dr.Balamuralikrishna.  Thanks Sir for leaving behind some wonderful music for the world.  We shall continue to listen to your songs and through your songs you will live forever.

Dubai, U.A.E.
23rd November 2016

Saturday, November 19, 2016


People who are enthusiastic and ambitious are generally self motivated.  They do not need any pressure from outside to motivate themselves as they are self motivated.  They get ignited to initiate action on new challenges.  They show an uncanny willingness to take up new challenges and are not afraid of making mistakes as they are confident that these mistakes will teach them a few lessons and help them improve.  The self-motivated people are driven by Optimism, Goal Orientation and clarity in communication.  On most occasions these people would be communicating within themselves.

Organisations are struggling to motivate people and get the best out of their employees.  I feel it is a waste of time trying to motivate people.  Instead of motivating people it is important to hire the right people for the right jobs.  The right people are self-motivated and hence always give their best.

People who need to be motivated and need the external pressure from outside always will have reasons to explain their inaction as there are several actions which seem impossible for them.  The Self-motivated will always see the "possible" within the "impossible" and start acting on every goal with specific plan.

I have wondered sometimes at the remarkable results achieved by me at certain times.  When I look back to see how I got motivated on my own and how I managed to derive such results, I have invariably seen the root cause being "Self Belief".  "Believe in yourself" and find ways and means of staying focused on every task.

 At the beginning or at the conceptual stage every task is looming large and looking like an elephant.  This is overwhelming and some times intimidating.  If the task can be properly defined, understood and if a plan of action is put in place with the necessary baby steps required to achieve and attain the Goal, then the elephant does look comprehensible.

I have faced situations in the past wherein the task is undertaken by me on a voluntary basis and then the whole task had to be defined by me.  The goal setting had to be done by me with specific timelines and milestones to be achieved.  At regular intervals I have myself made the evaluation of the progress and criticized my own progress or lack of it.  However, the entire exercise has always ended up as a great learning experience.

For people who lack self-motivation this may look like a self inflicted pain.  But the self-motivated persons this is another opportunity to learn or improve.  The sense of satisfaction and fulfillment at the end of the task is unmeasurable.   Every step taken by Self-motivated is a step towards success.  The moral of the story and my personal experience is "Self-motivated seldom fails".

Dubai, U.A.E.
19th November 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016


This article is written by Pradip who has just completed his Grade 12 Exam and is joining soon in Purdue University for his under graduate programme in Mechanical Engineering.  He is the son of my Family Doctor Dr.Gandhi Murugan, who has been directing me on all my health issues over the last 15 years.

The world isn’t short on quotes about failure; from Thomas Edison’s “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” to Bill Gates’ “Its fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed to the lessons of failure”.  Despite the negative connotations associated with “failure”, it never fails to motivate humans to get back on the path they were on, provided that they are strong enough to accept their mistakes and be able to brave the unknown that’s yet to come.  It’s been said that failure often works wonders but I stand by the opinion that failure is that rap on the head which serves as a reality check and what you do next defines the kind of person you are.

The failures that I was beset by growing up has moulded me into the person that I am now.                                                                                                                    

The most pertinent one occurred when I was in the 5th Grade.  I was up against a good friend named Joshua for the Gold Medal in Academic Excellence.  My school handed these out to only 3 students from a population of about 4500 every year.  I knew I had worked hard, and I thought I deserved it in every sense and, therefore, had to get it no matter what happened.  I felt like even God couldn’t stop me from getting that medal if He wanted to.  But come the moment of calling the winner onstage, I was the one who was left behind, broken down and defeated, in the half-lit spotlight when Joshua received the honor along with his parents.  It was then that I realized that bleeding hearts have an ironic fear of their own blood.  I did get a consolation prize, but no one ever understood why I let this loss get to me.  

After all, I was just a kid in secondary school with his whole life ahead of him.  But the world doesn’t reward the person who tried the hardest or longest or the person who came second, and this was the dilemma that the deterred 10-year-old me faced because I worked too hard to come within an arm’s reach of the prize only to have my hand cut off just before I seized it.  It wasn’t the loss of the medal that threw me off-balance, it was my failure to prove myself to my father. Coming from humble beginnings, my father is a testament that hard work and dedication is the key to achieving one’s dreams.  I was often reminded of this when my father recounted his stories of failure to me and how he overcame them to become the man he is now.  I fell short on my goal to make my dad proud that night and I’ll always remember it as the day I almost won.  I realized that failures are a necessity rather than a necessary evil on the path of realizing one’s dreams.  Even though it wasn’t much of a deal to those around me, it was a defining experience as my self-confidence was shattered that night which in turn fueled me to rebuild it stronger than before to make up for the moment that my father and I missed out on.

Going back, I later found out that I lost out on the medal by a paltry margin of two marks.  Every experience I’ve had from that night henceforth was both an attempt to make up for those two marks and a result of what I learned when my building blocks came crashing down. 

Staying true to the beginning, “It’s best to have failure happen early in life. It wakes up the Phoenix in you so you rise from the ashes”.

Pradip Krishna Murugan
Dubai, U.A.E.
29th July 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016


There are 114 Chakras in our human body and Chakras represents a meeting point where several energy points meet.  Out of these 114 Chakras the most important Chakras are the 7 Chakras.

The Human Body can be regulated and controlled by the mind if all the 7 chakras are in alignment and properly controlled.  Each of these seven chakras are at different strategic points in the human body and they are meant for controlling and regulating our emotions and instincts.  Each Chakra has a connotation and is also associated with a colour.

These Seven Chakras are Mooladhara Chakra (Root or Base); Svadishtan Chakra (Sacral); Manipurak Chakra (Solar Plexus); Anahat Chakra (Heart); Vishuddha Chakra (Throat); Agya Chakra (Brow or Third Eye) and Sahasrara Chakra (Crown).  While the six chakras are in the body the Seventh Chakra which is Sahasrara Chakra is just above the body.  These chakras are aligned and arranged along the backbone in our human body.

The smooth flow of energy through the human body is extremely critical and important for our health.  A very healthy body would mean perfectly aligned body with all the 7 chakras well synchronized and aligned for smooth flow of energy.

Blocked energy in our seven chakras can often lead to illness, so it's important to understand what each chakra represents and what we can do to keep this energy flowing freely. Here's our quick summary:

1. Root Chakra — Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.
  • Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.
  • Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money and food. 
2. Sacral Chakra — Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences.
  • Location: Lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel and two inches in.
  • Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure and sexuality.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra — Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives.
  • Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
  • Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem.
4. Heart Chakra — Our ability to love.
  • Location: Center of chest just above the heart.
  • Emotional issues: Love, joy and inner peace.
5. Throat Chakra — Our ability to communicate.
  • Location: Throat.
  • Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings and the truth.
6. Third Eye Chakra — Our ability to focus on and see the big picture.
  • Location: Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra).
  • Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom and the ability to think and make decisions.
7. Crown Chakra — The highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.

  • Location: The very top of the head.
  • Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality and pure bliss.
All meditation and yoga systems seek to balance out the energy of the chakras by purifying the lower energies and guiding them upwards.

Dubai, U.A.E.
17th June 2016

Sunday, May 8, 2016


I was fortunate and blessed to attend the Kala Sadhanalaya presentation "Jagat Pavani Ganga" a unique Dance-Music-Theatre Presentation at Narada Gana Sabha (Sadguru Gnanananda Hall) on Saturday, 7th May 2016.

It was a spectacular presentation very neatly and tightly packed in 100 minutes with rich music and a great message on "Save River Ganga".  This presentation is truly a great contibution and education to the people on the need and urgency of a very serious issue.  We all know that Ganga is polluted but there is nothing that we are doing as responsible citizens of this country.  Here when I write we I am only thinking of my family as there are some people who are continuously making noise for keeping River Ganga Clean.

Photography and Videography was strictly prohibited and hence I do not have any photos or videos from the Programme.  However, there is a teaser released by one of the dancers Manasvini which will give you a very brief glimpse of the Programme.

The Hall was packed to full capacity and everyone was mesmerized by the presentation.  As a fitting tribute the entire audience gave a standing ovation to the Kala Sadhanalaya Team.  There was rich music, excellently synchronized dance, brief narrative with emotion, mimed play behind the white screen and thus a wholesome package.  A great treat to the eyes and ears conveying a very strong message but in a very nice, soothing, pleasant manner.  The presentation very elegantly showed the glory of the River Ganga with specific emphasis on preserving Her purity and sanctity.

The entire concept was designed and choreographed by Smt.Revathi Ramachandran who performed with the team on the stage.  The dancers were Revathi Ramachandran, Aarti Mohan, Anjana Anand, Aparnaa S, Divya Arumugam, K.M.Jayakrishnan, Madhusudhanan, Manasvini Korukkai Ramachandran, L.Nidheesh Kumar, Niyanthri Muthuramalingam, Saindhavi, Sreenath N.R.

The Music Composition was by Lalgudi G.J.R.Krishnan who has really done an exceptionally great job.  I wish this album is released by him as a CD for the benefit of music lovers.

I wish this programme is staged several times over the next several years until we see a Clean River Ganga.

Great & Unique Show - Well Presented - Very Pleasing - Touching - Unforgettable Experience.

Thanks a lot to the entire team for presenting such a unique Programme which was a very nice treat to the audience.

TP Anand
8th May 2016