I do what I do | Book Review

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Book Name: I do What I do

Author: Raghuram Rajan

Publisher: Harper Collins, 2017 (978-93-5277-014-4)

One of the most anticipated Economic Book of the year, especially coming from an Ex-RBI governor and one who left RBI just before the Demonetization. As the sensation loving media, repeatedly asked Mr. Rajan’s take on Demonetization and his eventual silence had lead up to anticipation that this book may hold some necessary answers.

There is a wide spread rumor in media and general public that, Raghuram Rajan was removed by the government (Which is not true!) and installed a Gujarat Cadre Civil Servant Dr. Urjit Patel, who now has turned into a puppet of The current Government (again, not true!). Surprisingly, this book holds some answers, but not exactly to the sensational questions but to those questions, which may effect the credibility of RBI.

My Initial take on the book – A Bunch of well arranged speeches, which is not much of a sensational material for media, which may disappoint it and also to the critics, who wish to blame Rajan based on the fact that he was appointed by Dr. Manmohan Government. He tries to explain the rational, the well thought mechanism behind his every decision during his tenure as the RBI Governor. He makes it clear that, all his speeches are written by himself though eventually edited to avoid any political controversies before delivering them.

He makes it very clear from the beginning that, only his speeches were ‘One Sided James-Bondish’ but not actions. They were well thought, well guided and a collective team effort. The title of his book is derived from one of his sensational answers to media or in Rajan’s words the media made them sensation, made them headlines in the next day newspapers and pushed the policy to center pages.

Right from the second page, his use of the word ‘We’ clearly states his nature and method of work. One of the most prominent of his works as RBI governor is reduction in Inflation(I guess, you all remember – Dosanomics) but he gives most of the credit to ‘Dr. Urjit Patel’ Committee(The Current RBI governor).

If this book fails to change your opinion on Mr.Rajan, it will surely change your opinion on Dr.Urjit Patel, which is definitely a favorable factor for the credibility for RBI and thus the stability of Indian Economics.

Over the end he does accept that, there was no offer from Government for extension of tenure, which is a very general and normal thing to happen and had happened many times in the past. He doesn’t rule out the possibility to return back to Indian Economics in some power in near future.

The book takes you back to year 2014, when Indian Economics and India are relatively in turbulent state. He explains various issues, his thought process and the decisions taken by use of his speeches made during those instances. A very well crafted book, in terms of speeches which are generally very boring(at-least to me!).

Rajan tries to cover various issues right from the reforms related to inflation, Banking sector, debt markets, Financial inclusion, Resolution of Distress, Advice on Macro Economics, Some broad concepts like Democracy and Rule of law, Tolerance and Respect! The book holds some messages on the event of RBI’s 80th Anniversary and India 67th Independence day celebrations.

The book carries in lot of support for current Government’s(PM Modi Government) work on financial inclusion, Make in India and also emphasizes on importance of ‘Make for India’.

On broader scale Mr. Rajan stresses on mutual trust in market, credibility and long-term plans. The narrative is quite appealing though at times it may feel that, it is fluctuating between being too simple to being too hard.(May be that depends on your understanding of the particular topic!). All-in-all a good read to understand the dynamics involved at the central bank, the role of different committees, reports and the collective work between government, Central bank, markets and Banks.

Mr. Rajan tries to keep this book out of any controversy(or, is there any?!). Tries to instill trust in RBI, it’s current governor and the government overall. He says, he may have been termed a rock-star/James Bond by Media but in no means he is one!

The book clearly establishes, If there is indeed a Rock star, it is RBI and it’s team.

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Bang! Harry Potter and the cursed child is here. It’s been, 9 years since last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows was released. It ended with an Epilogue, which said, everything was fine after Voldemort’s death. All the three friends Harry, Ron and Hermoine had grown up, arrive at Platform 9 3/4 to give a send-off to their children, who would be boarding Hogwarts express now. We were introduced to Albus, Rose, and Scorpius(Son of Draco Malfoy) then. It ended there.

It left many questions unanswered. How did the wizarding world settle down after the exit of Dark Lord? How did Harry manage to live with so much blame on him, for the death of many in the Battle of Hogwarts? Did the three friends go back t Hogwarts to finish their education? What happened to Dumbledore’s Army? How did Harry adjust in the real Wizarding world, unlike the school? Many little details remained unanswered.

When Harry Potter and the Cursed child was announced, Many expected answers to these questions. The excitement grew. But, they are few, who were in doubt. They didn’t want anything to go wrong with the memories, they grew up with. Before I began reading this book, it felt like the heart would crumble. Maybe because, I was scared, as does the cursed child himself.

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Harry, Albus and Ginny(cast in the Play)

Harry Potter and the Cursed child is nothing like any of the Harry Potter Novel. It is a rehearsal script for the Play titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It is not detailed. It only has some brief introduction on the scene to be followed by dialogues by different characters. Maybe watching the Play may give some cinematic moments but the book doesn’t. But we need to give a thumbs up for bringing a theatrics script in the form of Book. This may help in building back some interest in old theatrics.

When I finished reading it, It kind of felt like nothing. It took some time to process. When I am done processing, the whole world of Albus appeared before me. Since it is only a script, it won’t take much time to read. No details on the sets, clothes, backgrounds or any sort. We need to do all the imagination. But there is some advantage in the plot, all the scenes are set in familiar places to the Harry Potter fans like King’s cross, Hogwarts etc. Beautifully done.

The new characters, only have dialogues, but we can pretty much imagine them because they share pretty much common with the characters we knew like Harry, Ron, Hermoine. Beautifully Done again.

There isn’t much plot in there. It basically revolves around time and alternate endings to the Harry Potter world. Rowling recreated the magic by bringing back the crucial moments from the Harry Potter world and connecting it in the new plot. It only felt she is trying to answer some of the unanswered questions. At some point of the story, it did feel like a fan fiction. But in the end, it is not.

There are key moments all through the play. Many moments from Harry’s life like the death of his parents, Hagrid’s visit announcing him a wizard are all re-created, only to give them some dark element. The cursed child truly clings onto its title. It is dark from almost the beginning. Many of the characters, other than three friends, are also re-created. Dumbledore’s painting gives some saintly advice. Professor McGonagall is still the same.

The plot mostly revolves around, Albus and Scorpius. But Harry, Ron, and Hermoine do their part, only this time, they are not completely alone.

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At the end, there are many questions still unanswered. But are we really reading cursed child for answers?

Let’s face it. We are not.

This is a chance, for most of us to revisit our own childhood. A chance to read, the word ‘Harry’ once more. A chance to experience the magic created by Rowling one more time. A chance to convince ourselves, that the literary Harry Potter came to an end.

Do we get that?!

Yes, we do. In the end, All was well.

 

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Only Hope!

This is first Short Story in the series of Short Stories titledIrony of Emotions

She wrote them down. All her troubles, grief, sufferings, and fears. She wrote them down in her ancient-looking dairy. She wanted to flush them all, one day to her ‘Only Hope’. At the very thought of her ‘Only Hope’, she felt relieved. She knew it, She knew it for sure – Heavens aren’t far away. They are merely six months away, her heart reassured.

She faced them every day, she wrote them all every day. At times, the pages fell short. She wrote them all. She wiped the tears from her cheek, which had already turned red due to her constant sobbing. she fell asleep. Slowly her hand dripped down onto her belly, where she was carrying her ‘Only Hope’. The days ran slower than they usually do!!

Finally, He is out!

The day has come. It is the day, she will be freed of all her struggles! She looked at him. He is tiny, very tiny. Can he do, what she is expecting of him?

She touched his cheeks. She touched his hand. He held back her finger, firmly. She is lost – lost in his smile, beauty, innocence. She is lost!! Now, it turns out days seemed to run quicker than the time itself.

Twenty years passed away!

Her tiny hope is no more tiny! He comes, her son, all grown up now and asks her the forgotten question, “Tell me what is that troubling you? I’m here for you.” His voice echos in confidence, resonating in confidence. She is clueless. “Troubling’ me?! WHAAT?”, she wondered.

He is holding her dairy – Her ancient looking dairy, that she stopped writing twenty years back when he was born. She looked at him startled. She forgot about it, that very day and never thought about it or its contents from that very day.

Her thoughts flooded her mind. Her sufferings, pains, fears – what happened to them?! Did they vanish the day, her son was born?

No, she realized, they didn’t just fly out of her life! They were still there, the sufferings still tried to buck her down, but she hadn’t noticed any of them coming or going! The ease with which she  faced all her trauma never made her weak!

That day, something magical happened. From that day, She was no more a girl or  women. She was no more living for herself. She became a “Mother”.

If she hadn’t been a mother, couldn’t she face them? – She questioned herself. May be or may not!! But she knew it for certain, being a mother, it was certain.

She grinned. She hugged him. Her heart said, “You have already done it, son!”.

“You did it yourself, O mother!”, her sons’ heart spoke back.

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Happy Mother’s day.

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P.S : I may have used “Son” in the story but I can be either of them. 🙂 Special Thanks to Mridul for the edit.

 

 

 

The Slave’s Irk

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Once upon a time in a long off kingdom, there lived a King. One day a slave tried to escape into the nearby forests. The guards caught him and brought to the king.

The king asked the minister, “How should we punish him?”

The minister replied, “O’ King, we should hang him to death so that no one else will attempt to do so again.”

Irked by the ministers words, the slave said, “O’ my dear mighty King, I only ran into the forest for freedom. I did not harm anyone. You will be cursed to hell if you kill me.”

Taken aback by the words of slave, the King said, “Really?! Please suggest me, how can I escape the hell?”

The slave said, “Dear King, allow me to kill the minister. Then you can punish me for the crime.”

Surprised by the Slave’s answer and his presence of mind, the king appreciated and freed the slave.

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Quote #8

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking of majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking about both.

 

– A.A. Milne.

“Hello…”

For ages, there are many stories said about this love. I never actually felt it until, you came. You came into my life, showed me how sweet this feeling is, But before I realized your presence, you left, leaving me in vain!

There are many theories on how this love changed over the years, rather ages. Poet Molla, in her version of Ramayana, describes the love story of Lord Rama in a dramatic way. Rama was sent by Dasaratha, along with Vishwamitra, to protect his yajna from Maricha. Having done that successfully, he receives divine knowledge from vishwamitra. He then goes along with viswamitra to sita swayamvar. When Rama enters Janakpur, he walks in between a garden, which is blossoming with flowers of different colours and fragrances. In the midst of this beauty, he saw Sita. They exchanged the looks and felt an instinct divine connection. That is what Molla describes as Love.

The relation between Krishna and Rukmini, though many see it as devotion, is love for some. The story of Krishna and Radha, family termed “Radha Krishna Katha”, didn’t quite end well but is still one of the most famous love stories sung along the countryside.

Fast forwarding to the new age love stories, which marked their presences with Novels, Dramas, and Movies, have taken altogether a different perspective. Love stories that end up in a tragedy are more often seen through the recent ages. We grew up with the love of Romeo Juliet around us, tried to understand this love with Devdas and Paru’s pain.

From Salim Anarkali’s love to Ye Maaya Chesave, love most often began with a glance, it grew with a smile, share, and care. It stayed there forever.

I may not be comparable to any person in those stories but my love for you is no less! It started even without a glance!!

It had been 5 years since I first talked to you. My education forced me to go to an alien world, for a kind of person I am. The day you called me on my mobile, I was taken by shock. It began as usual with a “Hello…”.A sweet surprise it was. It almost feels magic how a wrong call turned us together. Your voice is mesmerising. It made fall in love with you, my dear. bangaram., My Precious, I don’t remember when I started calling you that, but you turned to be one.

I always ask myself a question, Why I love you, without even seeing you. What connected us so much? I never asked if you love me, but I knew, I always knew, You do.

It sometimes felt that time is crawling, when I realise that, It took six months for me to complete my semester and go back home for holidays and see you. Distance seems infinite. The same time, the same distance, When I am talking with you, flies away so quick, feels so close, when I hear your voice.

Six months passed, I rushed home in the hurry, with such excitement to see you. I still remember the moment I saw you for the first time. I could see in your eyes and feel that love for me. I could feel my heart in you. You smile, filled my heart with a warmth. We laughed, We talked, We ate together – Everything happened quicker than I anticipated. My world is filled with such joy I could never dream of.

My joy doubled when you became a girl in my family. It felt holidays passed away just in few seconds. The next six months, I spent in those memories… Two years of my life passed, with you on my side, but then, the world broke. Stating some unknown family reasons you began to alienate me. It just happened all of sudden. Why?

I’m stuck in pain. Even in the amidst of that pain, I laugh – for I remember you. I feel the joy, for I cherish the moments I spent with you. Its all a different kind of feeling, I one I never experienced ever before.  May be it is good or may be it is not. But I knew certain things for sure, I love you and will always do.

Some days are hard. Really hard. You may ask me, how do I get along those days – I don’t know! I always, somehow, find solution in the moments I spent with you. 3 years have been passed since, but my precious, It never feels so or may be it does! I cannot explain.

I will wait for you, come what may! I don’t have words to explain why I will live in your dreams. If I had to, I would simply say, “You are my Life”. Your voice will always echo in my ears, your smile, the laugh will follow me all along.

P.S: This piece is about my friend – Jagarlamudi Venkatesh. It is written in the first person only to maintain the continuity and carry on the emotion.

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Temporary Motivations

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There is this old saying, “Nothing is permanent, except for change”. It almost feels true. But we do not want to accept this fact! At least with respect to things, persons, we value most. we wish, they cling on to us. Love is definitely in the list. Another “Precious” that everyone aspires for is – success, if not success, we try to compromise with motivation, fuel to achieve the success.Even after the compromise, motivation doesn’t seem to be just a word as it appears but one with a pre- ‘Short-lived’ attached to it.

We derive motivation from many a sources, Books, Inspirational quotes, Speeches, Stories and last but not the least Visual means. Even with these many sources, bombarding Motivation on to us doesn’t it feel, it is just Temporary?!

For some, it may last for days, but for most of us, It lasts for at the maximum for a day. In, not so usual circumstances, it may prolong to next day’s dawn. There are many of us, who tend to postpone ‘the motivation’ itself. Let me explain. Most of us, see a movie, something related to the life story of a sports person or of a freedom fighter or something related to patriotism. We feel inspired – Motivated. A wave originates in us, to do something great!! To work hard!!!

Then, in a momentary time, we tend to postpone the plan to work hard to the next day’s morning. Thus, in a way, postponing motivation itself.

But why does this happen?! Why is this motivation, only a short-lived, if not momentary effect?!

The question is a tough one, for it doesn’t have any particular answer – varies from person to person. So let me present the one, that fits many. Let’s say, we saw a patriotic movie. We are moved by the lead characters patriotism, sacrifice and love for his country; We derive motivation from his role. Or, let’s suppose, we read a story of a sports person; true to it, we try to derive inspiration from his will to overcome those hurdles. But, where is the problem?!

The problem lies in the point that, along with the Motivation, we also try to get into our mind the situations he or she faced and try to co-relate with that of ours. We are not even closely related to them, in any way. There everything flatters and falls flat on the face. If I have to put in another way – Motivation doesn’t mean a solution to overcome our problems or a roadmap to success; It is just a catalyst, which drives us towards working out the solution or a roadmap.

So, when we try to derive a solution out of a catalyst, the action yields no results!!

There are obviously some other reasons on to why we can’t cling on to the motivations we derived. Distractions, Having no specific goal can be a few of them. Then how can we make the catalyst keep pouring on, continuously? There is surely no, hard hit answer for everyone in common. The answer for sure lies in our own interests, the way we try to derive motivations, the frequency by which we require them or how long they cling on to us. The question is not a hard one not just because it is difficult to find a generic answer to everyone’s problem, but it also lies in the fact that, there are many solutions and we may find it difficult to identify the one for us.

Let me propose a solution, motivated by the works of Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, former President of the Republic of India. By his writings and lectures, working towards his mission, Vision 2020, to see a developed India, Dr. Kalam, propagated a very important message to the youth of the country. He asks the youth to take an oath, To think small is a crime. This principle if understood properly can serve as “The Motivation”. Dr Kalam envisages that Individual development ensures that of society and thereby Nations. His guiding principle, do not think small is crucial in here. As is the larger vision for the country, you need to have a larger vision for yourself. That can keep you pushing. The moment you feel low or lack of motivation, wait, isn’t it thinking, and isn’t thinking small a crime?!

The principle again, may not occur to you, when you are low. So we need a workaround. Get a poster. Make it your wallpaper.For a moment take time, take time and preserve the very thought.

It’s just a simple idea. I would better say, it’s a hint. A catalyst. It is again, up to you, how will you manage to keep your motivation permanent. Remember, the earlier you get yourself freed from the vicious circle of Temporary motivation, the better it is.

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Image Source: Google.