Friday, April 30, 2010


The “Much Married” Feeling
Musings on Marriage

Do you want to save your marriage…?

Then do as I say.

First, get hold of pen and paper.

Now, on the piece of paper write down and make a list of things you like about your life. Close your eyes, think, introspect, and contemplate about those things that you enjoy and make you happy. Think of all aspects of your life – love, work, play, family, friends, entertainment, recreation, material possessions…

This list can include activities you enjoy doing, joyful experiences, pleasant reminiscences…anything that produces happiness and a sense of satisfaction.

Now, ask your darling better half, your spouse, to do the same and make a “happiness” list.

Then sit together and compare your “happiness” lists and mark the common items, especially those activities which you can do daily or fairly regularly.

Now start doing these “happiness” activities together and confirm whether they actually enhance your happiness or not.

Maybe you have included some activities which you assumed would make you happy together but actually turned out to be unrewarding or stressful. Eliminate these activities from your “happiness” list.

Now make sure you do together the maximum possible “happiness” activities as frequently as possible, even daily if feasible.

Your married life will change for the better as your lifestyle incorporates a multitude of pleasant, happy and satisfying activities and happenings. With only limited hours in a day, the enjoyable events and “happy” activities will crowd out the mutually discordant, unpleasant, disagreeable and incompatible aspects, and your marital life will start resonating with harmony.

You will start experiencing the “much married” feeling, especially when you, your spouse and you, do things together, things which you both enjoy doing the most.

Now, Dear Reader, tell me what is it that you enjoy doing most with your spouse…?

Apart from the obvious, it can be so many things – like watching a movie together, eating out together, going out for a drive together, cuddling up and watching TV together….any one of the so called “Quality Time” activities – spending Quality Time together.

Yes, togetherness is the essence of married life.

Now let me tell you what we, my wife and I, enjoy most doing together.

Well, believe it or not, we enjoy giving a nice vigorous bath to our pet Doberman Hound girl Sherry – that’s what we do on most Sunday mornings – together, husband and wife, we bathe our pet dog – and if the kids are around they join in too.

Dear Reader, do try this out and let me know whether it improves your relationship – I look forward to your feedback.

I too will share my experiences with you.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.   

VIP Culture - A Mulla Nasrudin Story

A Mulla Nasrudin Story

Mulla Nasrudin decided to attend a grand reception given by the King to which he had not been invited.

He pompously entered the VIP area and seated himself at the foremost elegant chair. 

The Chief Usher approached Mulla Nasrudin and said: “Sir, this is the VIP enclosure and those places are reserved for Guests of Honour.”
“Oh, I am more than a mere guest,” replied Nasrudin confidently.

“Oh, so are you a diplomat…?”

“Far more than that…” replied Nasrudin haughtily.

“Really…? So you are a Minister, perhaps…?”

“No, bigger than that too….” Nasrudin said pretentiously.

“Oho…! So you must be the King himself, sir…” said the Chief Usher sarcastically.

“Higher than that…” Nasrudin said ostentatiously.

“What…? Are you higher than the King…? Nobody is higher than the King…!”

“Now you’ve got it right. I am nobody…!” said Nasrudin.

Dear Reader, think about it: Being nobody is the greatest thing in life, isn’t it – elevation comes through the abandonment of ego.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

P's and Q's of MARKETING - The Law of the Hammer

The Law of the Hammer

The Law of the Hammer

“Give a child a hammer, and the child will use it on everything encountered.”

This is the law of the hammer and this seems to be the leitmotif of the technology marketing scene in the Indian context today. And, in many cases, this approach seems to be succeeding, at least in the short term.

The premise is that the customer is buying technology for technology’s sake, simply as a gimmick or to satisfy a perceived hedonistic need for novelty.

Addressing the human need for novelty is just one aspect of technology marketing, albeit an important one, and may yield rich dividends in the short term. However, a technological marketing strategy based solely on this approach is likely to be characterized by short market cycle, fast but unpredictable market penetration, and quick product obsolescence.

Success with high-tech products requires a confluence of technical understanding and marketing skills.

The P’s and Q’s of Marketing

Marketing is something which the producer or manufacturer has to do, or get done; it is not conferred on his product as if by right.

Marketing can be defined as “getting into the heads of your customers, identifying what they want, and giving it to them”.

Marketing, therefore, is addressing a need or a desire.

In the case of conventional products, the general need or desire is well known.

With new technological possibilities, the need or desire that is addressed is not always obvious. Therefore, in the care of new technology products, the technological marketer may have to take one step backwards to identify the fundamental role that his product can fulfill in the marketplace.

This fundamental approach can be modeled as “The P’s and Q’s of Marketing”.

The six P’s are: People, Product, Place, Price, Packaging, Promotion.

The three Q’s are: Quality, Quantity, Quickness.

The first step in technological marketing is to identify the role of technology in the new product, and hence how the PRODUCT relates to PEOPLE.

Technology can have four roles in new products. It can be the product itself, it can increase availability, can enhance distribution, and it can be present in the promotion.

•       The technology can be the Product itself. Technological inventions or innovations may lead to a revolutionary or exclusive which creates a dominant niche in the market [Examples: Mobile Phones (cell-phones), PC, Laptop, Walkman, Radial Tyre, Digital Technologies]

•       The technology can be in the Availability. A historical example is the gramophone record, which made available to the masses the virtuoso performance of the musical masters. People bought music. The technology is simply an enabling mechanism. Previously, the masses could have had access to some of the music only by attending live performances which was neither always feasible nor affordable. A more recent example Direct to Home (DTH) Television services. Thus, modern technologies make available desires that previously could not be met economically or practically.

•       The technology can be in the Distribution.  For example, Internet has revolutionized the whole approach of marketing, banking [with instantaneous electronic transfer of money], with increasing online sales. Hence, it is imperative today that manufacturers design their marketing strategy keeping the Internet in mind.

•       The technology can be in the Promotion. The image of a traditional product can be subtly changed by the means of presenting it, using modern packaging and design technologies, combined with high-tech advertising, promotional, marketing and sales techniques.

The Q’s relate to the ways in which technology can transform the availability and distribution of products aimed at fulfilling existing human needs.

•       For example, in the Indian context, the advent of Japanese and Korean technology made possible greatly increased QUALITY of automobiles and two wheelers (motorcycle, scooters) and therefore has expanded the availability of efficient quality cars and two wheelers in the Indian Market. The same is the case with most consumer, entertainment and household items. The technological marketer can often identify an existing need or desire for quality goods, and use technology to develop a quality product for this wider market.

•       The QUANTITY of attractive jewelry has been expanded with technological developments in the production of diamond simulants like cubic zirconia. Other examples include Digital Storage Technologies, Digital Quartz Watches, Automation Technologies, Agriculture, Dairy and Food Processing Technologies. Technology can often make possible products for that mass market that emulate up-market consumption without threatening the elite market place.

•       Today, satellite technology allows sports events to be simultaneously observed on television throughout the world; in fact, it facilitates instantaneous worldwide video, telephone, or data transmission, which evidence the way in which technology can improve QUICKNESS. At first, messages could be transmitted and received by the postal service (transportation technology), then telegram (telecommunication technology) and now Satellite and Information and Communication technologies [ICT] have made the communication process instantaneous [real-time].  Microwave Ovens are another example of how technology can improve QUICKNESS.

A Model For Technological Marketing

Technological Marketing focuses on inducing substitution, or seducing the buyer to purchase the new product or service.

However, it would be wise to remember that seductive propositions can cause unplanned babies. In the technological marketplace unplanned babies take the form of unexpected outcomes that offer new and potentially exciting product and service opportunities.

“Unplanned Babies” come out of using technology to ‘modernize’ something that has a well-established place in everyday life. One very common example is the use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). The original idea was that machines would carry out the age-old cash dispensing function more efficiently [The initial aim of the ATM was to use new technology to automate an old function carried out manually by bank tellers – cash dispensing].

A new way of doing things is always subtly different from what has been done before.

ATMs changed two things – where the cash was available, and when. These two aspects caused a fundamental change in the utility of the service received by customers. For the first time they could get cash 24/7 round the clock, off working hours, and away from bank premises. This indeed was a major new bank service. The customers were so delighted, demanded more and more and the banks were totally taken a back – they had not foreseen that automated cash dispensing machines could in fact produce a new service and they kept on enhancing value-added-services to the ATMs.

ATMs are now seen to be more than mere cash dispensing machines. Customers use ATMs to recharge their mobile phone pre-paid connections, pay their utility bills, even mutual fund transactions – making them at par with flexibility given in internet banking – only more secure.

This is an example of a new technology used for the old purpose giving rise to a new market situation. Microprocessor technology, VLSI and Nano Technologies are other examples of unexpected multi-dimensional changes leading to a large range of new products embodying multifarious market desires.

The progressive marketer stands back, looks at such a situation from a distance and reappraises it objectively, since it gives him the opportunity to get a much deeper understanding of the real needs and desires of the market-place. 

In a nutshell, technology marketing comprises analyzing existing market demands, addressing these existing demands through technology, reappraising and redefining market needs and desires in the light of response to new technology, and accordingly fine tuning products for the developing market-place.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU, Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop’s School Pune, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. His delicious foodie blogs have been compiled in a book "Appetite for a Stroll". Vikram lives in Pune with his family and pet Doberman girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.
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Casey's Playful Pose, originally uploaded by Dog Lover 2009.





There is no better stress buster, health tonic and joyful activity than playing with your dog.

Here are a few games I play with my pet girl Sherry. [Her mother is pure Doberman and father the Caravan Hound, who prowled next door]

Did you like Sherry’s picture above, relaxing on the grassy green lawn of her bungalow in the verdant and lush hill forests of Girinagar.

Sherry is not a cute cuddly indoor lapdog, nor is she merely an excitable watch dog who only barks at intruders – she is a superb guard dog, strong, fast, active and ferocious, ready to attack in order to protect what she considers her territory, which includes our house and family, especially her Master – woe betide anyone who comes menacingly to close to me for her comfort, particularly approaching joggers, cyclists et al.

Whenever Sherry wants to play, she invites me to play by adopting the “playful pose” – her front legs lowered, her butt raised up in the air, her tail high up in the air wagging friendly, her eyes looking upwards invitingly into mine, her ears up alerts and her mouth is open in a "grin".

Normally I respond immediately, but sometimes if I am preoccupied and inadvertently do not notice her, Sherry will some near me, raise her paws, giving cyclic shake hands, beckon me with friendly entreating sounds, and if even that doesn’t work, she will run and get her ball [to play “fetch-the-ball], her toy bone [for the “ bone game”] or just run round and round at top speed in our garden [for the chase game] – now all these are vigorous outdoor games.

Indoors, our favourite game is “tug of war”, for it too is a spirited, energetic, rough and tough game; robust mental and physical exercise both for Sherry and me.

After a long hiatus, it is raining incessantly out here in Girinagar, so we’ve had to call off our evening walk up the hills, and Sherry is getting restless, so I suddenly command: “Pusa…Pusa…Gheun Ye…” [Now, Sherry is a Maharashtrian Doberman, and in Marathi, Pusa… Pusa means “wipe… wipe” and refers to her towel…when Sherry was a baby I would give her a bath and then say Pusa…Pusa while wiping her vigorously with her Turkish towel so she associates Pusa…Pusa with a towel or any such cloth].

Sherry rushes off delightfully and brings her towel in her mouth and offers it to me to start the tug-of-war game. A thick Turkish towel is the best tug of war toy – it is sturdy yet soft, good for her teeth and easy for me to hold, and even when the going gets rough, Sherry loves the vigorous feel of the towel rubbing against her neck, head and body.

It is a rough and tough game of strength and skill – you just don’t pull – actually it is not a tug of war, but rather a jiggle, wiggle, waggle, jerk, squirm, twist and turn, and shake of war so I do all sorts of manoeuvres, shaking, teasing, loosening and improvising; in fact Sherry thinks up numerous ways to win this tug of war.

We play in a large area without distractions, clutter or dangerous objects. Outdoors is great, but the beauty of tug of war is that it can be safely played indoors if you have a bit of space. Make sure there is room for you both to move about and that there is nothing in the way should one of you back up.

As the game of tug of war hot up, Sherry [and me too] gets highly excited, wags her tail briskly and mock growls, so I rub against her and say in her ear…baba la gurr…baba la gurr – dogs love body contact and speaking in their ears.

With experience I learnt tricks of the trade – you cannot always win by pulling alone – it is like flying kites – you have to give dheel sometimes followed by a jhatka – and then jittery shakes – the possibilities are endless.

Conventional wisdom says that the “owner” must win all the time to assert his dominance in the “pack”. But I let Sherry win sometimes. I don’t need to “establish” my place in the “hierarchy” – do you need to establish your place in the hierarchy with your daughter, or son, or wife?

A tough dog needs to bite. Biting is in a dog’s natural instinct and temperament and it is one of the best natural ways for dogs to release pent up stress and energy. It is better Sherry happily releases her pent up stress and energy on the inanimate tug of war towel than some hapless animate object, isn’t it?

If things get too rough, or I am tired and want to end the game, I just softly say: “Drop it” and Sherry lets go of the towel and then I give her a tit-bit.

I love playing tug-of-war with Sherry – it is a mentally and physically stimulating game for Sherry and me and is a great form of aerobic exercise too. And it is so much fun – playing tug of war with Sherry is a most enjoyable and satisfying pastime.

Tug of War is a rough game so only I [or my son who is also a tough guy]play tug of war with Sherry – I never allow small kids near Sherry, let alone let them play tug of war with her.

As I write this on my laptop, Sherry is calling me to play tug of war. Sherry tries to entice me with her Pusa…Pusa towel in her mouth rubbing against my thigh, so here I go to play a vigorous bout of tug of war with Sherry.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

MUTUAL RESPECT A Mulla Nasrudin Story

A Mulla Nasrudin Story

Mulla Nasrudin, a distinguished teacher, was visited by a group of students, who wanted him to clear their doubts and teach them some important points before the exam. 

He agreed, and they set out towards his house, the students walking behind Mulla Nasrudin, who had mounted his donkey in an unusual funny reverse way, with his own face towards the donkey’s tail.

People began to stare at the strange spectacle and laugh mockingly.
They thought that Mulla Nasrudin must be a fool and the students who followed him even greater fools.

Who after all, walks behind a man who rides a donkey back to front in this peculiar opposite way facing the donkey’s rear…?

After a little while the students began to feel embarrassed and became uneasy so they said to Nasrudin: “Respected Teacher, people are looking at us and laughing, making fun of us. Why do you ride your donkey in this strange manner…?”

Nasrudin smiled benevolently and said: “You are worried about what people think rather than try to understand why we travelling this way. I shall explain it to you.

If you walk in front of me, this would show your disrespect to me, because you would have your backs to me.

If I walked behind you, the same would be true.

If I ride on the donkey ahead of you sitting on the donkey and facing forward with my back towards you, this shows my disrespect for you.

So this is the only way of doing it for all of us to maintain proper respect towards each other.”

Dear Reader, can you please tell us the moral, the message, the wisdom hidden in this teaching story.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 

GODSPEED A Teacher says Good Bye to his Students


A Teacher says Good Bye to his Students

A teacher is a trustee.

It is just like the birds. You take a flock of young students under your wings, nurture them, teach them to “fly”, and when they are ready, you release them into the world, set them free, watch them with pride as they fly into the sky, soar high above you, knowing that they will never come back, wishing that they reach great heights which you could never reach, for nothing gives a teacher more happiness than when his student excels and surpasses the teacher himself.

I have learned from experience that teaching has got less to do with knowledge and more to do with communication.

Teaching is about relationships as well as pedagogy.

Teaching is more about feeling than facts.

It is all a question of vibes.

Once you establish positive vibes with your students, you can feel the delightful chemistry between you and your students, it is like perfect impedance matching, the maximum power transfer theorem, and you can experience the classroom rocking with resonance, when all the resistance to the flow of knowledge disappears, the intellectual friction vanishes, the barriers melt away and seamless effortless learning is achieved.

It is not important how much a teacher knows.
What is important is how much the student learns.

Like I said, communication skills are far more important than qualifications.

Teaching is about relationships as well as pedagogy – it is more about feeling than facts.

Soft Skills outweigh Hard Skills as far as the art of teaching is concerned.

A highly qualified Ph.D. who does not know the art of teaching and fails to establish good vibes with his students cannot make his lectures engrossing which may result in students losing interest in the subject and in some cases an insensitive teacher may even end up making his students hate and despise that subject.

It is easy to make simple things difficult but it requires good teaching, effective communication and appropriate soft skills to make difficult things easy and enjoyable to learn. Yes, learning must be enjoyable, not dry, didactic, boring and painful.

It is important for a teacher to remember that learning comprises two pedagogic processes:
Getting knowledge that is inside to move out, and
Getting knowledge that is outside to move in.

The second part of imparting knowledge from outside into the student is comparatively easier, once you’ve got the students interested, eager to learn, and the teacher is proficient in teaching skills and knowledgeable in the subject and domain specialization.

It is the first aspect, getting knowledge that is inside the student to move out, facilitating inward discovery on one’s self, help unlock the treasure within the student that is more challenging and is the true test and indeed the hallmark of a good teacher. I trust I have succeeded in achieving this.

Today I feel a sense of pride tinged with nostalgic sadness as my protégés “fly” off to conquer great heights of success in their careers. It was a delightful experience to mentor young bright minds, to see them flower, blossom, bloom and flourish before your own eyes, observe them metamorphose from students into professionals.

I love being in the company of young talented people, full of zeal and enthusiasm, with a zest for living and a passion for learning. It makes me feel good and, as always, I “learn” more than I “teach”.

I feel sad, wanting to hold them back, not wanting to part, but I know I have to let them go to their destinies.

My dear students, as I watch you with pride in my heart, swiftly fly away, soaring high above me in the sky, vanish into the distance, to all my dear students, I sincerely wish you from the bottom of my heart: GODSPEED.

Godspeed – a wish for a prosperous journey and good fortune, my dear young friends, as you embark upon your first career, a new phase of your life.



Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.


Mr. and Mrs. X and the Baby  
Fiction Short Story  

(Dear Readers, this is a fiction short story, purely apocryphal, with a message for young working couples on the threshold of matrimony) 

Mr. and Mrs. X desperately wanted to have a baby.  

So they tried very hard to have a baby.  

Poor Mr. and Mrs. X, they tried and tried, all by themselves, but they couldn’t have a baby.

And as time flew, and the biological clock ticked away, Mr. and Mrs. X became more and more anxious, and so with resolute perseverance, they put everything at stake, made determined efforts, consulted the best doctors in town, spent huge amounts of money on the best and most sophisticated infertility treatments possible, tried all sorts of things, exoteric and esoteric, left no stone unturned, struggled and struggled, with dogged persistence, till, at long last, at the age of 35, Mrs. X conceived, and after a difficult, delicate, grueling, backbreaking, anxious, harrowing  pregnancy, she overcame all sorts of complications, and finally, after enduring for nine long months, successfully delivered a beautiful bonny baby.  

Everyone was delighted – the parents, having proved their mettle, the doctors, on the success of their treatment, the grandparents that the family lineage was preserved, the soothsayers, the relatives, the friends – everybody. 

Three months later I happened to be in town and decided to visit Mr. and Mrs. X and their bonny baby.  

On the way, at the jewellers, I bought a gold ornament as a present for the bonny baby.  

I found my way to their classy house in an elite condominium located in the most posh and exclusive neighbourhood of the city.  

I felt a tinge of envy thinking about Mr. and Mrs. X, the young IT whiz kids, who could achieve such expensive luxuries and an ostentatious living style so early in life. 

The proud grandparents opened the door.  

The baby, on her grandmother’s lap, looked cute, very cute and cuddly.  

The baby’s parents, the young mother and father, were conspicuous by their absence.  

It was late evening and I had expected Mr. and Mrs. X to be at home, doting upon their adorable little baby, so curious I asked, “Where is the young mother?”

“At work,” the grandfather answered.

“Oh… the young mother is already back at work…? She’s back to work so fast…? Okay, doesn’t matter, I want to meet her, I am in no hurry so I’ll wait for her - she should be back home soon, isn’t it…?” I asked looking at the wall clock.

“No! No! She won’t be coming for at least six months now. She’s gone abroad, to the States, on an important project,” said the proud grandmother, cuddling and mothering the baby.

“And Mr. X, the proud father, he’ll be coming…” I asked.

“He’s in Singapore. He got a fantastic job offer the day the baby was born,” said the grandfather. 

“You know, the baby has proved real lucky for them. Her mother got promoted as project leader, a hefty raise and this foreign assignment and her father got this fabulous job offer in Singapore,” said the proud grandmother, cuddling the baby, who suddenly started to cry.

“It’s her feed-time,” the grandmother said, handing over the baby to the grandfather, and she went to the kitchen to warm up the baby’s milk.

“It’s good,” the grandfather said lovingly fondling the bonny baby, “for all these years when they were trying so hard to have this baby, they had put their careers on the back-burner; now that they have got their baby, they can focus on their careers once again.” 

The grandmother came out with the milk bottle and began feeding the bonny baby while the doting grandfather lovingly looked on.

I looked at the grandparents – the surrogate parents – and the baby – the light of their lives, their raison d’etre, probably their reason for living and certainly the source of all their present happiness.  

As I said earlier, this is a fiction short story, purely apocryphal, with a message for younger readers on the threshold of matrimony. 

Any Comments…?

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010  
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ou Dieu vous a seme, il faut savoir fleurir




Long back I learnt a trick from an eminent trainer on how to get the audience to focus. I too use this technique on a few occasions when I want my audience to settle down to receptive vibes.

The moment you take the stage, you tell the audience to close their eyes for one minute and think of the one person who they consider as their most important mentor.

A few days ago, one of my brilliant ex-students, who attended a motivational lecture in her new organization and was subjected to the same exercise, rang me up and told me that it was my face that came to her mind as a mentor. Then she talked about her work, that she was not very happy with her new workplace which apparently did not measure up to her high expectations. I feel privileged that my ex-student considers me a mentor and I write this “pep talk” especially for her and all my dear mentees, protégées and protégés .

Ou Dieu vous a seme, il faut savoir fleurir


Every person, sooner or later, goes through a moment when it seems that he or she is on the wrong road, that his entire way of life is wrong.

Have you ever experienced this feeling?

Think about it.
Do you find yourself stuck in an incongruous career or in an incompatible relationship or in a redundant place?
And sadly there is nothing you can do about it, owing to compulsions and constraints beyond your control.
You cannot turn around and retrace your steps or change your road of life.

It seems you have crossed the point of no return and you have no choice but to keep on travelling on the “wrong” road of life.
Failure follows failure.
And with repeated failure comes the fear of failure.

It is indeed a terrible vicious cycle which gradually overwhelms you with the chill of despondency.

What can you do in such a situation?

Maybe the answer lies in a saying I read somewhere a few years ago and noted in my diary:

“ Ou Dieu vous a seme, il faut savoir fleurir ”
which roughly translated means

“You must know how to flower where God has sown you” or “wherever God plants you, there you must learn how to bloom”.

How does one learn to flower where God has sown you, bloom wherever God plants you?

One may turn to the Enchiridion of Epictetus for guidance.

Epictetus (A.S.55 – A.D. 135), the great Stoic Philosopher, states that happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not in our control.

This is the basic Stoic truth of subjective consciousness and it is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what is in your power from what is not in your power, and know what you can control and what you cannot control, that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.

On analytical reflection we find that the mind alone can be brought under our control. Everything else, the world of events and people’s behaviour, is beyond the scope of our control.
What disturbs you are not events but your attitude towards them.

Don’t demand or except that events happened as you would wish them to. Accept events as they actually happen. And you will be at peace with yourself.

Except for extreme physical abuse, other people cannot hurt you unless you allow them to. Don’t consent to be hurt and you won’t be hurt.

You must learn to approach life as a banquet and not as a buffet. Think of your life as if it were a banquet where you would behave graciously, when dishes are pass to you, extend your hand and help yourself to a moderate portion. If a dish should pass you by, enjoy what is already on your plate. Or is a dish hasn’t being passed to you yet, patiently to your turn. Carry on the same attitude of polite restrain and gratitude to your children, spouse, career and money. There is no need to yearn, envy and grab. You will get your rightful share when it is your time.

It then becomes our paramount duty to control the mind and practice total unconcern to externals. “When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it.”

To accept an event is to rise above it, to resent it to be overpowered by it. With acceptance comes happiness, with resentment comes misery.

Acceptance of an event is not to be mistaken for a life of passivity or submission to fatalism characterized by laziness and a sense of helplessness. “Simply doing nothing does not avoid risk, but heightens it.” Epictetus exhorts us, therefore, to brave the storms of life with planned action born of clear thinking. He recognizes, too, the practical necessity of working for worldly gains, but cautions us only against the false belief that happiness depends on the results such endeavours.
Being an integral part of social structure, you cannot live in isolation; social interaction is inescapable.

In your relationship with others at home, at work or in society, no matter how people behave, you have to maintain inner tranquility, with unwavering attention on achieving your own merit and excellence.

People act under their own inner compulsions over which you can exercise no control. Epictetus advises: “Focus not on what he or she does, but on keeping to your higher purpose.” He assures that if you truly live in tune with your will and resolve, and in harmony with your inner self, nobody’s words or actions (barring extreme cases) can disturb your mental equipoise.
Duty of any kind is not to be slighted. A person should not be judged by the nature of his duties, but by the manner in which he performs his duties. In his discourse on Karma Yoga Swami Vivekananda says: “A shoemaker who can turn out a strong, nice pair of shoes in the shortest possible time is a better man, according to his profession and his work, than a professor who talks nonsense every day of his life”.

Remember, Fatigue lies in half-heartedness.

If we do with sincerety, with full zest and enthusiasm, the duty which is in our hands now, we make ourselves happy. The key is to work with freedom and love and without too much expectation. Try to accomplish something wherever you are – do not compare with others. Undue hankering after rewards will render you akin to a slave of your expectations; you must work for your own internal satisfaction – work like a master and not as a slave.

This glorious attitude to life and knowledge of your self makes you free in a world of dependencies and enables you to flower where God has sown you, to bloom wherever God plants you.

" Ou Dieu vous a seme, il faut savoir fleurir "
Wherever God plants you, there you must learn how to bloom.
You must know how to flower where God has sown you.



Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Friday, April 16, 2010



If you want to learn the Art of Living just observe the way animals live and react to situations.

For me, my pet Doberman girl Sherry is my best teacher in the Art of Living.

Sherry is Doberman X – the “X” factor (father) is probably a Caravan Hound as her mother is a pure Doberman.

Sherry behaves spontaneously, joyfully, based on her inner instinct.

She plays, she barks, she chases, she eats and she sleeps in accordance with her natural instinct.

Sherry doesn’t need to go to gym [for physical fitness] or a therapist [for mental fitness].

Sherry is not a Goal Oriented person. 

She is an Inner Resource Oriented person – in short, a Source Oriented person.

Conventional wisdom teaches us to become goal-oriented.

From childhood there are goals set for us to achieve, and when we achieve one goal there is always another goal waiting for us – it is an endless pursuit, a chase which never culminates. 

We are taught that a goal oriented person is a person who always succeeds in life. 
But is there a final destination of success...? 
Do you ever reach your final goal...?

Goals are always outside you, goals are in the future, far away from you. 

Your goals are not in your control. 
If you design your lifestyle in such a way that your happiness depends on things outside you, things in the future and not in your control, then you may find happiness elusive and you may never be truly content and happy. 
If you are too result-oriented – you’ll always be chasing horizons.

Remember, if you run after something it runs away from you, and, conversely, if you run away from something it runs after you – so stop running and live a more Source-Oriented life.

Look inwards, discover and harness your inner resources, act instinctively and you will realize your full creative potential.

Like Sherry, you will live spontaneously, unpredictably, act on the spur of the moment and experience the joy of the glorious uncertainties of life rather than get frustrated by them.

You will live a more stress free life too.

Have you seen wild animals suffering from stress...?

Maybe some domesticated pet animals are stressed-out because we humans put stress on them by imposing our “goals” and demands on the poor hapless pets...!

We have become so preoccupied with achieving success that our lives are always heading towards something in the future. 

In the process, we lose touch with the aliveness and delight of the present. Sherry does not worry about the future, about achieving future goals, but live in the present.

Sherry does not live in the past either. 

She is very forgiving – even if I scold her, which I never need to do, she is back to her cheerful self in a jiffy and doesn’t hold any grudges either.

Anger is a reality. 

It happens inside us. 
Goal Oriented behaviour may result in us suppressing our anger creating stress within us.

Here is a lesson I got one morning from Sherry in Anger Management by Source Oriented Living. 

Our spacious bungalow, located high up on a hill slope, affords a beautiful panoramic view of the verdant wide green expanse of Girinagar all around. 

This morning while we strolled on our lawn sipping rejuvenating cups of piping hot amruttulya tea in the lovely mist and slight drizzle, I noticed Sherry standing alert at the bungalow gate looking intently, focussing on something outside, and gradually getting angry, as evident from her focussed eyes, slow growls, heightened breathing, stiff upright tail and vivid line of hair standing taut on the centre of her neck and back, hackles raised. 

I walked towards the gate and looked outside – the object of her attention was a huge white cat that was walking nonchalantly towards the gate, almost defiantly. 
The moment the cat came close, Sherry suddenly lost her temper, started barking, violently jumping, infuriated with anger, desperately pleading with me to open the gate. 
The cat stopped dead in her tracks and crouched, and I knew that if I let Sherry out, she would desperately, frenziedly chase the cat down the hill, and if she caught the cat, there would ensue a violent fight to the finish, and most likely it would be the cat who would be finished. 

So I just walked away and Sherry realized that I wasn’t going to open the gate, went so wild with rage, that she ran amok, running wildly all round the spacious compound, taking high speed runs, jumping over hedges, barking, chasing, leaping at birds, running fast at top speed round and round the bungalow, till she was totally exhausted, after which she went to her water bowl, lapped up cold soothing water, and lay down on her rug in a cosy manner, calm, tranquil, totally relaxed, her anger totally dissipated and dissolved into peaceful serenity. 

That’s what one must do when angry, isn’t it...? 
Let me tell you it works - the moment you sense anger rising within you start exercising, run, jog, take a brisk walk, dance, move your limbs, sway, do something.
Spontaneously do some physical activity till your anger dissipates and exhausts itself into a state of calm. 

So, Dear Reader, the next time you start getting angry, do what Sherry does – just start running till your anger disappears and you collapse into a cosy state of peaceful calm and tranquillity. And if you can't run, at least take a brisk walk...just see how physical activity dissipates anger...

There is a lot to learn about the “Art of Living” from our animal friends, isn’t it...?

So just behave naturally, spontaneously, doing you’re your inner voice and instinct tells you, observe fauna and flora around you, and most importantly, get a pet dog  and make him or her your friend, philosopher and guide.

I’ll end with a quote on dogs from Sigmund Freud:

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate in their object-relations.

So here is a Bow Wow to you from Sherry and she wishes that may you live a more doglike source oriented life...! 


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.