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INTERACT “Get a mentor who can guide you so that you shorten the learning curve, and make fewer mistakes.”

Ian Faria - the motivational speaker and corporate trainer. Introduce us to the person who lies beyond these terms.

ing, it is time to look at new options. Training just fell into my lap while I was a builder… and looking for new options, since I was not really comfortable with the high Motivation is an intrinsic part of my DNA. level of corruption in the industry. Fourteen I remember pushing my classmates and team mates to do better from the time I was years after I took on the profession of a property developer, I decided to drop that in the 9th standard. Speaking has been an and move into the field of Training. Again… attribute that I enjoyed… and when I can motivate people to greater heights, that re- doors opened for me to get in and create a niche for myself when India was still not ally keeps me enthused and excited. too keen on training for professionals. But You were a Merchant Navy Officer. Why today… one knows that Training is an inthe change in career? trinsic part of the success of any company. Life has its twists and turns. When I joined Tell us about your family. What do they the Merchant Navy, I was sure that this was mean to you? the career I wanted. My dad was always a hero to me, and in some way I guess I want- My family is at the core of my being. My ed to emulate him. I then met a young lady wife, Anita and two fabulous kids – Craig 27, and Nicole, 24 are the hub around which I who I decided to marry… and when she said that she couldn’t live without me, I de- revolve. My sisters and brother, Mom, aunts cided my career was only a part of my life… and uncles… and my in-laws too are all very and I decided to become a builder and stop close What is your driving force? being a sailor. I did that for 14 years. Training happened after that. For as long as I can remember, I am driven How did the training bit start?

Nature has strange ways to take you where it wants you to go. When doors start open-

by learning and sharing. I realized this when I was in school … in the 9th standard, where I used to feel good when I motivated classmates and team mates. Ever since, I

have been doing that in one way or another. Once we find that driving force within us, then we do what we need to do… not because we have to… but because we WANT TO. Nicole - how do you feel about her achievements? Nicole has gone way beyond our expectations. What she has achieved through her own choices… backed by hard work and determination is truly commendable. However, while many may think she has already climbed her mountain, Nicole herself only sees this as her first mountain… and she knows she has many more to climb. She will surely do more with her talent and her commitment to succeed.

of the current generation? A leader is one who continually grows and becomes a role model for others to follow. Then the leader does what has to be done, to grow and empower others to greatness. The more leaders one can create, the greater is the ability of the leader. The current generation is very talented, and has a much wider horizon than the previous one. The missing ingredient may be mentoring and With the elections being just around the corner, what is your take on the political scenario in the country? I am sad that India does not have even one visible candidate who I would love to see as our Prime Minister. Each of the participants has something… but lacks many other things. I do see this as a sign that more good people should enter politics… and more of the good people who are already on the inside need to be able to project their thoughts and ideas in a more effective and efficient way. I am doing my bit to ensure that the next election will have more suitable candidates for MPs and Ministers. If you get an opportunity to go back in time and change something, what would it be? Why?

A few lines about the challenges you face as a corporate personality. Actually, since I love the work I do, I really do not see any challenges in my path. I only see opportunities… to do more of what I was called to do. Striving to fulfil one’s purpose automatically removes any challenges…. And this is a great feeling. If something is not meant to happen… it won’t, and there is a reason for that too. Who according to you is a perfect leader? What do you think of the leadership skills

I would probably listen to more people in the period between 25 and 35 years. That is when crucial decisions are taken, and having a mentor at that stage would make a huge difference to ANYONE. So I would surely have done better in life with a little guidance at that stage. Conservation of nature is a big concern at the moment. What is your take on that? We owe it to the next generation to keep the planet in a pretty good condition. I am confident that we can do more for our planet… even in terms of reversing things like the green house effect. We should learn from the mistakes of the past, and we

should proactively protect the future from similar mistakes. Further… each of us can do something to save the planet… or at least we can ensure that we … individually… save or protect what we can. For example… lets have a bucket bath… instead of a shower or a tub bath. What does Bangalore as a city mean to you? It is and will always be my home. Many of my best memories and my closest friends are from here. I love the energy of the place… its climate… and I am sure the traffic situation will get better… when the infrastructure that we require is created. I think of Bangalore as the Learning and Culture capital of our country. That one place that you’ll always cherish going back to: I am assuming you mean outside Bangalore. So I would choose Hamburg in Germany, Venice in Italy and Montreal in Canada… so there are 3 places … and I guess a draw of lots will determine which one… if I have to choose just one. But… Bangalore is HOME. If not your current profession, what would you have wanted to do? I would probably be a doctor… or an educator…

You have been an inspiration to a lot of people. Your advice to the up and comers: I think the youth of today have a tremendous amount of talent and drive. I like their ability to push their agendas. I love the way they bond and have that deep feeling towards friends. However, with the facilities and the options… coupled with the support that the previous generation is ready to give them, I think they can do two things: - Focus on doing more while they are in college – make deeper friends; get into the minds of the professors; ask better questions ad KNOW that this is the most important part of the foundation stage of life. - As they get into jobs, look at LEARNING at a deeper level… about systems and processes… but more importantly… about PEOPLE and RELATIONSHIPS. Finally… get a mentor who can guide you so that you shorten the learning curve, and make fewer mistakes. For people who are established as professionals and young business people… see how you can contribute to the growth of your generation… and the one that is slightly behind you.

The Tamasha It’s here. After five years of madness with inflation, scandals, scams, riots, dharnas, hunger strikes, protests, and all the usual happenings in the country, we are finally closing in on the big fat Indian election! Some people have just given up on the system. "It will never change", they say. The elections apparently don't matter to them. But many of the lot have been waiting for it, hoping that the new government will do at least some of the promised good. Well, will it? Therein lies the problem - no one knows. Each party’s candidate comes with his/her set of faults. One is known for causing riots, another for doing nothing, the other for just talking big; and all three parties are known for corruption. Maybe, that’s the problem. We have to vote for the respective parties instead of the candidates. You just can’t decide who’s good and who isn’t. It’s just too much ground to cover! But what baffles me the most is that people with criminal records are still voted for. Yes, the fact that the public is getting involved in the politics of the country is a good thing. People today are voluntarily stepping out and making use of their votes. But voting for criminals? Is that even morally ethical? As long as a candidate is not convicted by the court, they can contest elections - no matter how many are pending against them. That according to me is a law that needs to be changed. So, who is the public favouring this time around? Well, it’s a known fact that Narendra Modi, Hindu nationalist leader, is the frontrunner to becoming India’s next Prime Minister. He has the experience that people look for and most importantly, he’s improved Gujarat’s economy drastically. Says first time voter Vinita Kapoor, “I’ve been to Gujarat and the kind of infrastructure that is there, doesn’t exist in any other Indian city. I think Modi has the potential to develop India and that’s why my vote goes to him!” But is that good enough? He has to run a country here, remember. A state is much smaller a task! Then there’s also the question of his role in the Gujarat riots. It is unclear if he’s guilty or not. Yes, he did get a clean chit but if you go back and follow the events that took place in 2002, it’s difficult to believe that he didn’t play a part in those riots. Even his campaign manager and close aide - Amit Shah, has three murder charges against him. Modi might be a good leader but if he comes to power, we'll have nothing less than a fascist rule. And that shouldn't be the case in a secular democracy like ours. The world knows that we need no more communal problems in the country! Instead we need a leader with an attitude of acceptance of different cultures. Based on this, would you agree to vote for a criminal and an authoritarian rule just because he’s assuring you economic development? If yes, then its just the pathetic condition of our country that I can blame for your choice. Not that I’m saying that the other two candidates are any better. Arvind Kejriwal is just plain amusing. Maybe his intentions were good, but he doesn’t have the required patience and support to run a country. Rahul Gandhi on the other just seems to be answerable to his mother. He doesn’t seem to have his heart in the matter and even if he did, he lacks the needed experience. His sister Priyanka on the other hand would have been a

better choice against someone like Modi, but that probably won’t happen. Oh, well! Is this election a vote for change? Absolutely! Though what will change is still quite unclear. Amongst all the hungama that is surrounding you about using your vote, don’t forget to choose wisely. Singling out and casting your vote for the lesser of the evils is not a solution. But then again, we all have our opinions and choices to make. So, pick the one you think will be the right one to run a country; don’t settle for just anything. And if you don’t like any of them, I suggest you use the ‘None of the above’ (NOTA) option. But do go out and VOTE!

- Deepika Singhania

Unbeaten Solitude I ran. I ran amidst the black-hearted, egregiously demonic wood. All I could feel was the vicious smell of the cacodemons approaching me. I held my breath and I ran. I ran faster, I ran harder. I had to save us. The limpid beats of Pari's heart and mine became louder to my senses. The stories of the woods my mother told me when I was a little girl always had given me goose bumps. But who knew these dastard woods will be my only refuge today! Pari was awake from the shock I gave her tonight. She looked at me and started crying. But I didn't stop. This is the first time Pari's tears didn't get me worried, didn't make my heart wrench. But I was afraid, afraid to lose her. Her cry made me irked and angry. It scared the hell out of me! I angrily whispered to her – “Shut up, Pari! Just stop crying.” But Pari, a girl who was more like her mother, stuck intent to her decision of crying and making me even more impatient. I could see through almost every quality that she has acquired from me; the restlessness, the beautiful little face which exactly resembled mine, and the curly hair - not an inch different from my long hair. Her pretty little face made me determined about my decision, about the drastic attempt I have taken tonight. I felt at ease. She wasn't even a bit like her father. No, she wasn't! My raging heart could never leave her alone with her father. I was restless every moment when she was with him, while I lay alone in this cruel dark world. I would tell the world, I would tell the court that she is the only thing I have. I love her like no one does. Her father cannot love her in the same way. Her father doesn't have a heart! I stopped in the dark looking all around. All I could see was darkness. It was a pitch-black world I lived in. I know I cannot give Pari the lavish life she led at her father's, I cannot render her expensive birthday parties and gifts like her father did, I can never buy her a dress like the one she's wearing right now. I know I can't. But I know I can give her my life and my love which was enough for her to be with me. I am her mother, I have carried her within myself for nine long months and this was a reason enough for the world to leave the two of us alone. The law, the courts, the judges, her father and his wife cannot snatch her from me. She is mine from breakfast to dinner. The only survivor of our relationship was Pari. We were constantly fighting over her, and I wanted to take her with me, because she was the only one I had. But Raman wasn't in a mood to leave her either. What else did he want when he had his beautiful Priya with him, I never understood! What had happened to those days when he made a thousand promises to me? He had knelt down and proposed to me! I was happy then. Pari came in our lives two and a half years after our marriage and made us complete. Our relatives had just left the hospital when Raman whispered to me – “I have another angel in my life! Thank you, love.” The pain of the stitches on my belly, the exhaustion from giving birth, vanished all of a sudden in a puff, when he said those words. I blush every time I remember those words.

I was excited to lead a happy life together. I dreamt of holding Pari's hands together and making her walk, telling her bed-time stories and then kissing her goodnight together. But then, Priya came into our lives. She snatched away my husband from me and destroyed our family and my life! The marriage, the promises, and our thousand nights didn't matter anymore to Raman. I didn't matter anymore to him. All that matters to him now is Priya. Then why, why is he trying to snatch Pari away from me? I thought not the whole world was this cruel but they tore apart my hopes when the court announced that Pari would stay with her father after the divorce! I died a thousand deaths the moment it was announced. They couldn't see the love that a mother has for her baby. All they could see was Raman's money, his big house, his luxurious cars and his charm with which he fooled even me! I saw Raman and Priya smiling happily the moment they heard the judgement. Raman looked at me and expressed his victory through his crooked gestures – ‘I told you, I would win!’ Pari finally stopped crying as I silently sang lullabies to her. Aah!! I know she must have craved for them each night while her father and Priya lay beside each other in some other room. I had missed her so much! I was holding her and kissing her after eight whole months. My hands began to tremble as I held her in the dark, cold wood. I only had one shawl which I had wrapped around Pari. I sat beside her in the dark, trembling as the cool breeze blew above us. But it didn't bother me anymore. I smiled my victorious smile! I am a kidnapper. Yes, just like the one which my mother had described to me when I was like Pari. I did just like what my mother had once told me; I went into Raman's big bungalow, killed the gatekeeper whom I once called Ravi-kaka, and entered Pari's big room from the window. Priya shouted on seeing me – so I had to kill her. Then I took Pari in my ever waiting hands and ran! The world would now call me a murderer, but I simply don't care. I have my Pari with me. I wouldn't have to kill them if Raman would have let me stay with her. He snatched her away from me, so I snatched away his happiness from him. I looked at Pari's beautiful face again and smiled my victorious smile - I told you, Raman. I would win!

- Preeti De Sarkar

Growing Up or Growing Old? I was talking to my best friend today and while talking to her I realized that we never really grow up. In fact, growing up is a myth. If you look deep down in your heart, somewhere we always have the desire to be child like. When faced with a stressful situation, we have a natural tendency to go back into the past, travel time right to our early childhood when everything was peaceful- there were no worries and we were innocent, unaware of the worldly matters. Happy and content, we just used to hang out and trip on some ridiculous toys. As we grow older we move on from this phase to replace it with many other things and people which we believe will take us to the same place somehow. However, unintentionally we still travel back to that one place time and again where we were just happy- our childhood. There is a reason why we keep going back to our childhood. There are many memories from back then which can never be recreated ever. There are many things from back then which we have vague or partial memory of. A lot of what our personality today is comes from what we were taught and what we were molded into back then, when we had no control over it. As a matter of fact we might not even remember how some of our habits today were formed. It just feels like ‘but that's just how it has always been!!’ Irrespective of how many friends you have today, your childhood bestie will always remain etched in your heart even if you haven't seen him/her in ages; the endless tears you shed on losing him/her- the damage it caused your heart can never be repaired. You must've never experienced

such intense pain of losing anyone thereafter, the scars of the wounds you must have garnered while playing as a child still puts a smile on your face today because it reminds you of your childhood. The trashing from your mother for back answering her or the tantrum you threw as a kid for getting a fancy pencil like someone else in school is something that you will trip on for the remainder of your life. Deep down inside, we wish we could go back to that phase. Not to change anything but just to relive those moments and experience the whole thing once again because by the time you realized what was happening, it was over. You barely got to experience your own childhood. ‘Growing up’ might just mean moving on from this desire. We have grown older and acquired more maturity, but have we really grown up?

We grow older; we mature. Maturity comes to you when you realize that the volume control turns to the left also, when you buy more shaving cream instead of hair gel, when you realize the value of someone else's tears, when you realize that it's okay to not have perfect hair every day, and that it's not cool to be responsible for breaking someone's heart. However, you cannot please everyone; uou know that it's ok to not have a huge group of friends who meet to click pictures when you realize the misfortune of many others who are not as lucky as you are in many different ways. You realise that it is ok to not be treated as a fairy tale princess and that it is okay to apologise to your mother for having been rude to her, even though she’ll rub it in your face later!

You might feel like taking a walk alone in the night and others may think of you as a loner. But you know that the walk brings you solitude. And even though your ideologies might not be accepted in the societythey might be mocked and ridiculed but you still choose to stand by it because that you believe in yourself without an ounce of doubt. It takes courage to mature! It is a choice you make when you think you are ready. We never really grow up, we only grow older - we only mature.

- Reena Joy

The Blue Kites With lacy shoes and dangling bows, I long to stand on my daddy's toes. I want to wrestle on her tummy, I want to be a princess to my Mummy. The little teapots that you see, I shall call my friends for a tea party. I see something blue, they look like kites, Up in the sky, soaring at great heights. With hair as dark as ebony, I want a doll who can talk to me. I shall take care of you dolly, Not like the way I was abandoned silently. Into the trash that I was thrown, I wept through the night till it was dawn. An old lady who could barely walk, Carried me in her arms and began to talk: "Little angel, don't be afraid, I'm here for you, you shall be cared. Do not think that you were abandoned, You have been dropped for me from heaven. Your eyes are filled with fears unknown, Your bearers do have a heart of stone. I'm here to keep you warm and snuggled, I too had a story like yours - crumpled. I shall give you your freedom of might, You are free to live, you are given all the rights." These were the words my guardian said, She blessed me with this life but she's no more there. I'm alone in this tiring journey called life, Oh please let me fly like the blue kites.

- Asma Javid

My ephemeral walk - Abhay Tandon It seems so beautiful outside, just after the winter showers. Cold wind blowing through my hair, leaving behind a comforting sensation, tranquilizing my mind, transcending my soul. The instinctive thought comes to me again but this time, I want to abstain from thinking. I walk through these unknown roads, searching for something‌ something unknown. Music in my head draws me to memories, memories leading to dreams‌ A surge of happiness and hope fills my heart. A heart burdened a while back balming was the influence, the influence of such thoughts. The fear of thinking and dreaming leaves my heart, a new excitement twinkles in my eyes, a new outlook of the world sparkle my mind. The sun suddenly felt so warm, the air so pleasant, The grass so green and the people so cheerful! Fleeting was the stroll, coming to an end when I realized the touch of the spot, completing a circle, a circle of transformation. It felt so beautiful outside, just after the winter showers. Cold wind blew through my hair, leaving behind a comforting sensation. My walk - my ephemeral walk!

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