What got you here…Won’t get you there…Marshall Goldsmith..!!

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I was reading a Marathi book named “Majjano Monday” (translation: Joyful Monday) by Navin Kale and in one of his articles Navin Kale mentioned about Marshall Goldsmith and his book titled, “What got you here…Won’t get you there”. I was intrigued to read about it and thought I should give it a read as well. Hence I ordered it instantly and started reading it. I must say that this book was an eye-opener for me. It was like someone showing me a mirror about all the wrongdoings that I was unknowingly undertaking and a path to correct them as well.

The key message of this book is, in office/corporate life, there is a limit to which your professional, university degrees will help you. Beyond that limit, it’s always those subtle, magical soft skills, which you would not have learnt anywhere else, which will do all the magic. While reading this book, I could constantly relate the content to me, many of my colleagues, my managers to up to the top leadership level. This book was a real treat in terms of understanding what need not be done than what actually should be done. The book discusses in details the twenty habits that hold you back and stop you from advancing your career in the right direction. The analysis of all the twenty habits is so very well done, that after reading each one of them you get a completely different outlook and a new dimension to look at each one of the habits. Though it is easy to read and difficult to follow, as Marshall himself says in the book, it is better to at least start by reading and knowing them all. The habits that are discussed in the book are as follows:

  1. Winning too much
  2. Adding too much value
  3. Passing judgement
  4. Making destructive comments
  5. Starting with “No”, “But” or “However”
  6. Telling the world how smart we are
  7. Speaking when angry
  8. Negativity or “Let me explain why that won’t work”
  9. Withholding information
  10. Failing to give proper recognition
  11. Claiming credit we don’t deserve
  12. Making excuses
  13. Clinging to the past
  14. Playing favourites
  15. Refusing to express regret
  16. Not listening
  17. Failing to express gratitude
  18. Punishing the messenger
  19. Passing the buck
  20. An excessive need to be “me”

And the bonus one was “Goal obsession”.

The examples that are given while discussing these habits were real eye-openers. The problem areas are very well discussed and then the solution areas too, are very well detailed. The solution areas being:

  1. Feedback
  2. Apologizing
  3. Telling the world, or Advertising
  4. Listening
  5. Thanking
  6. Following up
  7. Practising feedforward

And in the end, Marshall Goldsmith points out the findings from his research where he interviewed 200 high-potential leaders from 120 companies around the world. The question that was asked was, “If you stay in this company, why are you going to stay?”. Marshall points out that the top three answers were:

  1. “I am finding meaning and happiness now. The work is exciting and I love what I am doing”.
  2. “I like the people. They are my friends. This feels like a team. It feels like a family. I could make more money working with other people, but I don’t want to leave the people here.”
  3. “I can follow my dreams. This organization is giving me a chance to do what I really want to do in life.”

With these findings, Marshall Goldsmith sums up by saying that it is not always the money that is the key driver alone and with all the small subtle behavioural changes made, the place of your work can be more joyful, filled with happiness and full of value for you as well for the company.

But while reading this book, I was constantly thinking about one more thing and that was more around being calm and composed from within. The twenty habits and the remedies to correct them are very well presented in this book. But for being confident from within, you should be really good at what you do, be really skilfull and then apply the dressing of these soft skills on top of it. I mean if you do not have enough knowledge about the area of your work, the proper hard skills, but if you are just good in soft skills, I think that won’t work. You still have to earn the hard skills no matter what, there is no escape to that. Having said that, soft skills are the ones which would make you go further and farther.

I enjoyed the read thoroughly and would highly recommend this book who wish to understand the essential skills required other than the hard skills to be successful and valuable at work.

 

Thanks

Sarang

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – MUST READ

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Finally finished reading the 500+ pages detailed autobiography of one of the most influential tech personality of the modern world, the ‘Apple’ man Steve Jobs. Most autobiographies influence you in a positive fashion and you tend to learn from them unknowingly but with this one, you tend to like reading about Steve Jobs but it does not leave a good taste about him as a person because of the way he treated the people in his office and in life in general. I mean howsoever intelligent, influential, powerful you might be but that’s a waste if you cannot treat your fellow beings with dignity and respect. I specifically remember one very powerful thought from Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography, which Sachin’s father (Ramesh Tendulkar) taught him and that is of being remembered as a great human being than a great cricketer. To quote what his father said to him:

“How many years will you play the sport? Twenty years; if you are very good, maybe even twenty-five years. Even by that yardstick, you will live the majority of your years outside the sphere of professional sport. This clearly means there is more to life than cricket. I am asking you, son, to keep a pleasant disposition and maintain a balanced nature. Do not allow success to breed arrogance in you. If you remain humble, people will give you love and respect even after you have finished with the game. As a parent, I would be happier hearing people say, “Sachin is a good human being” than “Sachin is a great cricketer” any day.”

Some people might say I, am comparing apples with oranges here, as the area of work for both the individuals is different. But even if that is true, treating human beings and their self-dignity with utmost care should be at the forefront, no matter which sport or business you are into. And that’s where, when it comes to learning from the life of Steve Jobs, you feel ok he was great, he was visionary, he changed the lives of millions but at the same time he was horribly wrong on one of the most important aspects of being human and that is empathy, which he lacked.

Steve Jobs life is full of twists and turns, packed with full emotions and drama at times. However, the most important quality about Steve Jobs that stands out is his vision and to work relentlessly to achieve that vision at any cost, no matter what. This approach actually led him to get the best from whosoever he worked with. And the people who could not bear his approach eventually left him or were fired. He always used to assert on working with A-players and separated and fired the B-players which he found incompetent. He would always make sure that the end-user experience is as simple as possible in all of his products be it Mac, MacBook, iPod, iPhone, iPad etc. and to achieve that simplicity in products he would behave as complexly rude as possible with the colleagues, subordinates. He would even comment an idea suggested by any colleague as, “Utter bullshit” idea and then in the next team meeting would highlight that same idea as “Excellent” and as his own in front of everyone, without acknowledging the owner of the idea. There are multiple examples given about this typical behaviour of Steve Jobs in his autobiography.

While reading such things about Steve Jobs I used to always remember one line from Gulzaar’s (very well known Oscar winner poet/lyricist from India) songs and the line goes like this:

“Badi nichi rahe hai uchaiyo ki”

Meaning – The path to success goes through lowest of terrains.

This line of Gulzaar saab can be interpreted in many different ways, as per your understanding and experience. But somehow that line always rang a bell in my conscience during the entire span of reading this autobiography. Also, one more thing that kept me surprised was he was a regular reader of “The Autobiography of a Yogi” (Autobiography of Swami Yogananda, which I have read and should be at the top on the list of autobiography readers)  but none of that reading actually was seen in his behaviour with other people. Even after facing death in the later part of his life, his egomaniac attitude continued till the very end. I mean Steve Jobs’s autobiography is actually a roller coaster ride, where at times it so happens that you start developing a soft corner for Steve but suddenly you read about his behavioural whims and fancies and you tend to get neutral or even getting puzzled as to “was he really such a jerk?”.

Having said that I still enjoyed the entire read, his struggles with himself as a person, the reality distortion field, the unwavering sharp pointed look, his observations about the eastern and the western world where he always used to rate East’s ‘Intuition and Experiential wisdom’ over West’s ‘Science and Intellect’, his issues with his family, his relationship with his daughter etc. About copying stuff, he had openly criticized Microsoft, Google throughout his life but he himself had copied the idea of computers from Xerox PARC. To quote it directly from the book:

“The Apple raid on Xerox PARC is sometimes described as one of the biggest heists in the chronicles of the industry. Jobs occasionally endorsed this view, with pride. As he once said, “Picasso had a saying, ‘good artist copy, great artists steal’ and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” 

By the end of the autobiography, all the events in the life of Steve Jobs, help you formulate his image in your mind and I must say other than being a great visionary and perfectionist the image that forms in the mind of the reader is not a favourable one. I mean these are my thoughts and people are free to disagree with it. Having said that in the last chapter (chapter 42) Walter Isaacson has shared Steve Jobs thoughts in his own words, about his life in general and his way of doing things and they are pretty justifiable. But all that matters, in the end, is how you are remembered as a human being and what legacy you have left behind. In the case of Steve Jobs, he has left behind a legacy of some great products, great companies, great transformations coupled with lack of empathy and respect for others.

Thanks

Sarang

Was “Hit Refresh” by “Microsoft Future Decoded 2018” – Part 2

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As mentioned in the previous post, with all those thoughts from “Hit Refresh” fresh in my mind, I just fully immersed myself into the event for the next two days. The keynote speeches, the HoloLens demo, Virtual reality demo, classroom sessions on various topics ranging from AI, Quantum computing to Augmented reality, PowerApps etc. were just amazing and fantabulous.

with Will Dorrington

For me personally, one of the major highlights was the mixed and augmented reality demo I had wearing the HoloLens and experiencing first hand what I had read so far on the topic of MR and AR. The demo was about the remote assistance, where the supervisor is guiding the field technician from his office. I was the technician in that demo and I got a chance to wear the HoloLens and perform the operation myself taking the cues from the HoloLens. With HoloLens on my head, I could see the skype window with supervisor’s face in it, on the left-hand side and the instruction steps on the right-hand side. The actual circuit on which I had to perform the operation was in front of me. The supervisor, on the other hand, was seeing exactly what I was seeing in front of me from the HoloLens. The supervisor then used pointers, highlighters on his Surface Pro, to guide me with what I need to do with the circuit that I need to fix. Whatever he was highlighting, I was able to see it overlayed on the actual circuit and based on his inputs and guidance I was able to perform my job. This was an amazing experience as I got to believe in what I have been reading so far on this topic.

I was already in awe with this experience and before that effect could fade away, I experienced one more mind-boggling facet of the unbelievable HoloLens technology and that was more around mixed reality. By the way, just one clarification, before this event I used to interchangeably use the words ‘Augmented reality’ and ‘Mixed reality’ and I used to think they are the same. But in this event, I got to exactly know and experience the difference between the two. The difference is as below:

  • Augmented reality superimposes the physical world with digital objects/animations of any sort.
  • Mixed reality integrates digital objects into the physical world making it look as if they are really there, completing the entire picture for the user.

Just to complete the spectrum, I am mentioning the definition of VR as well below:

  • Virtual reality replaces your world with a virtual one. VR was my next best experience at this event.

The first part of the demo involving the remote assistance was all about the augmented reality, where the real circuit was superimposed by the objects, animations that were guiding me to perform my job better. However the second part of the demo was about the mixed reality and that just blew my mind, literally. Long story short, there was a small part of a long turbine physically there in front of us, which I needed to repair but when I wore the HoloLens, the entire turbine was visible to me as if it was real, though it was not there physically. This technology not only superimposed the digital objects on the part of the physical machine that was there but also integrated the digital view of the remaining machine, which was not there, into the physical part of the machine, which was there. Ideally Mixed reality = Augmented reality + Virtual reality. On the HoloLens, I was able to see the entire turbine along with the computer-guided instructions to repair it, with all the hologram seen clearly from the Hololens. I was literally moving all the screens in front of me by doing all the birdy dance with my thumb and the index finger with the help of HoloLens, in the air and performing my actions on the turbine, just like the way Tom Cruise moved it in the movie ‘Minority report’. I would never forget this experience.

Other notable experience was the Virtual reality experience, as mentioned above, which was about experiencing the house even before it is built from the inside out. That experience too was mind-blowing as virtual reality would allow you to feel the end product virtually before it manifests into reality.

Experiencing VR and MR

Another notable stall was of SAP, where they were demoing the SAP HANA One Demand product. It was too good to see the Artificial Intelligence embedded in their product and what it could do with the help of IoT (Internet of things). The reporting capabilities and the AI around it too were superb to watch. Just to illustrate more on it, the presenter dragged the excel sheet with some sales data into the reporting application screen. Once the excel sheet was dragged and absorbed by the system, with AI and machine learning capabilities system itself first determined the type of data that was presented to it and then decided the best possible way to display it in the form of the visual report. This was similar to PowerBI but something even more than that. Having said that PowerBI too have AI capabilities when the user asks “Show me the sales for this quarter?” and the system displays that correctly.

Empowering a Modern Workspace with AI

This reminds me of one of the notable classroom sessions that I attended about AI and that was “Empowering a Modern Workspace with AI”. The speaker there gave very relatable examples about AI and that was really good. It was mentioned that there are three layers to AI and they are ‘Pattern recognition’, the middle layer is ‘Perception’, sensing more and more complex scenes and the final layer being ‘Cognition’, deep understanding of human language. The session again underlined the fact that though AI is in its nascent stages, everything around technology is ultimately moving in that direction only.

Apart from all this, there was one more session that I kind of did not understand fully but conceptually got what speaker was saying and that was about quantum computing. I understood the analogy of linear computing finding the way in the maze by trying one possibility at a time but quantum computing doing all the possibilities all at once to arrive at the correct answer and that too in no time. One more concept of a molecule present at two different places at the same time at a sub-atomic level, quite didn’t make sense to me, though I could relate to that concept spiritually as this same phenomenon is mentioned many times in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ (Steve Jobs’s most favourite book. This book is an autobiography of an Indian guru Swami Yogananda). Other than that I didn’t understand much but the benefit of that session was it left me hungry to know more into that topic, which is supposed to be the future technology trend. I actually then searched on youtube about it and found very informative Microsoft videos called ‘Explanimators’. You can watch them here.

Other key highlights of the event were, interview of the great actor Sir Michael Caine CBE, speech by the famous scientist and broadcaster Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, keynote speech by Satya Nadella and the famous author and sportsperson Matthew Syed. All the above 4 speeches were amazing and of great value.

Sir Michael Caine CBE spoke about being honest, truthful and full of integrity with whatever you love to do and perform and pursue it with full passion and hard-work. It was an experience in itself to hear from the legendary artist.

Sir Michael Caine CBE

Scientist and broadcaster Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE is an amazing orator. She just left everyone in the auditorium spellbound with her passionate and inspiring speech about having a crazy dream and having a fire in the belly to go after it and achieve it. The way she presented herself on stage, telling her whole life story and her achievements, no one would believe that she was dyslexic as a child and had to change 13 schools to complete initial education. That was truly amazing and inspiring.

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE

Satya Nadella’s speech was the ultimate speech as he touched upon many different topics around the emerging technologies and how ‘Intelligent cloud’ and ‘Intelligent edge’ is going to shape, transform and disrupt the future in more productive and positive manner. He also spoke more on AI as this the ultimate aim where everything is driving to.

Finally, the talk delivered by Matthew Syed was also an engaging and enlightening one. The one statement that he made in this entire speech struck a special chord in me and that was about humility and confidence. Matthew made a very subtle but valid point about it. He said a person should have confidence in execution but humility while evaluation and not the other way around.

All in all those two days were full of amazement and enjoyment of having seen, experienced, listened to something that is truly incredible, promising and exciting all the at the same time. Along with me many of my office colleagues were with me at the event.

Lucy, Dan, I, Chris and Will

Just before I end, would like to inform the readers about the Microsoft Ignite event happening on 26th and 27th of February 2019. This event is happening at the same fantastic venue, Excel London and the most important thing, it is free and registrations are open, so hurry up!!!

Thanks

Sarang

 

Was “Hit Refresh” by “Microsoft Future Decoded 2018” – Part 1

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What a timing I must say, I just finished reading “Hit Refresh” by Satya Nadella and within a few days I received registration confirmation from Microsoft that I can attend the “Microsoft Future Decoded 2018” event. I was very much excited to attend the event as that was my chance to experience what I just finished reading in “Hit Refresh”. However, before I write about my experience at the event, let me first write something more about this wonderful book called “Hit Refresh” by none other than the present Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

Working day in and day out in the Microsoft product stack (like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, Customer engagement, PowerAps, PowerBI etc), I wanted to read something more about Microsoft, not from a technical or product related perspective but more from the organization perspective. With this thought in mind when I entered the Foyles bookstore in Waterloo and I got this book. I have always loved autobiographies as they are the first-hand account of what the person in question has gone through in his/her life. In terms of motivation and having a different perspective on life, autobiographies are way much better than the self-help books, because autobiographies are more straight from the horses’ mouth and hence more effective and long-lasting in terms of the impact that they make.

Hit Refresh

The book talks about Satya’s personal journey from his childhood in India to the point of he becoming a CEO of Microsoft and beyond. The book is a very engaging and interesting read but key takeaways from the book are some of these statements mentioned below. I actually have the habit of reading books with marker/ pen/pencil in hand, so that I can mark / highlight / underline the lines that I liked the most. In a nutshell, this book not only talks about his personal journey but also talks more about the journey on which Microsoft has been and what its journey would be like in future.

                                         

Some of the lines from the book “Hit Refresh”, which I couldn’t help from quoting it here are as below. They are mostly around leadership, technology, future trends at Microsoft.

    • Compete vigorously and with passion in the face of uncertainty and intimidation.
    • You must always have respect for your competitor, but don’t be in awe of it. You must go and compete.
    • One brilliant character who does not put the team first can destroy the entire team.
    • Leadership is about bringing the best in everyone, to bolster the confidence of the people you are leading.
    • An empathetic leader should always think about how the technology his team creates affect the daily lives of the people using it.
    • Consistency is better than perfection.
    • For anything monumental to happen, there has to be a great mind or a set of agreeing minds.
    • Microsoft mission – to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.
    • The world is divided into learners and non-learners, demonstrating that a growth mindset can move you forward but a fixed mindset can limit you.
    •  Learning to fly is not pretty but flying is.
    • To be a leader in this company, your job is to find the rose petals in the field of shit.
    • Bring clarity to those you work with (while explaining this point, Satya mentioned that he does not want someone to be the smartest person in the room, but he wants that same person to use their smartness/intelligence and use it to develop deep shared understanding within teams and define course of action in the event of uncertainty.
    • Leaders need to inspire optimism, creativity, shared commitment and growth through times good and bad.
    • Success can cause people to unlearn the habits that made them successful in the first place.
    • Trust is built by being consistent over time. Trust has many components as well, respect, listening, transparency, staying focused and being willing to hit reset when necessary.
    • Partnerships are journeys of mutual exploration and so we need to be open to unexpected synergies and fresh ways to collaborate. Openness is the best way to get things done and to ensure all parties feel terrific about the outcome.
    • Being straightforward with one another is the best way to achieve a mutually agreeable outcome in the fastest time possible.
    • Tomorrow always begins with a chance to create new opportunities.
    • Time needs to be managed with Employees, Customers, Products and Partners.
    • We tend to overestimate what we can achieve in the short run but underestimate what can be achieved in the long run.
    • Mixed Reality (MR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Quantum computing are all independent threads today but they are going to come together in future.
    • MR will become an essential tool in medicine, education and manufacturing.
    • AI will help forecast crisis like Zika epidemic and help us focus our time and attention on the things that matter the most.
    • Quantum computing will give computational power to cure cancer and global warming.
    • At Microsoft, we are betting that quantum computing will make artificial intelligence more intelligent and mixed reality even more immersive.
    • E + SV + SR = T/t (Empathy + Shared values + Safety and Reliability = Trust over time)
    • No product or policy works if it fails to reflect and honour the lives and realities of people and that requires those who design the product to truly understand and respect the values and experiences underlying those realities. So empathy is a crucial ingredient in developing a product or a policy that will earn people’s trust.
    • Trust is essential and it is also painfully vulnerable to a multitude of forces.
    • (Education + Innovation) * Intensity of tech use = Economic growth
    • Societies that utilize new tools quickly are likely to be more productive.
    • Although automation tends to reduce employment and the share of labour in national income, the creation of complex tasks has the opposite effect.
    • The third wave of globalization will come when telepresence and telerobotics(like HoloLens) become affordable.

Most Important Point, hence direct from source 🙂

With all this fresh in the mind, I attended the two-day “Microsoft Future Decoded 2018” event here at the Excel exhibition centre in London. More about that in part 2 of this thread, till then hit refresh..:-).

Thanks

Sarang

New book on Microsoft Dynamics 365 FinOps – “Microsoft Dynamics 365 FinOps – Fixed Price Projects Revenue Recognition In-depth”

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I have released a new paperback book called “Microsoft Dynamics 365 FinOps – Fixed Price Projects Revenue Recognition In-depth” on Amazon about the fixed price projects revenue recognition last Thursday .i.e. 27th September 2018. In this blog post i am going to talk about the book and the motivation behind that.

I knew basic fixed price projects revenue recognition and how to perform it in the system. However, when it came to knowing all the possible fixed price projects revenue recognition scenarios, i always had to dig the internet and find out how this scenario works and how that scenario works. And while doing that i realized that apart from the basic information about the fixed price revenue recognition, there was not much available on the internet. This triggered me write this book. I thought lets put all the logical and allowed scenarios on paper in details, along with the screenshots, explanation, supporting T-accounts, other relevant details, exceptions, shortcomings, specific behavior  and have it all in one place, in one book. The aim was to stop looking the internet endlessly for this topic henceforth.

What i did initially was plotted all the permutations and combinations with all the elements of the project group like 4 values of ‘Revenue recognition accounting rule’, 3 values of ‘Calculation methods’ and 4 values of ‘Matching principle’ and put them on excel sheet. The number came somewhere around 36. Also added further scenarios when i brought the ‘Cost template’ and its values for ‘Completion based on’ in scope. This added few more permutations and combinations with ‘Straight line’ and ‘WBS’ type of revenue recognition further adding to the scope. However, after trying each one of them by setting them up individually in the system, i concluded that 11 unique scenarios are the ones which i should be writing about in this book.

I decided to name it as “Microsoft Dynamics 365 FinOps – Fixed Price Projects Revenue Recognition In-depth” as this book gives the in-depth explanation for all the 11 scenarios along with all the accounting and relevant supporting details in over 200 pages. The second important decision was to print this book in COLOR, as the screenshots had many markings in RED, which i wanted the readers to really look at and understand it at once. The aim was always to uncover this complex beast of revenue recognition engine for fixed price projects.

Being a functional consultant, i have always faced many situations when client used to ask questions about a specific revenue recognition scenario and whether that is possible in the system and can i explain it. My regular answer was, “Let me get back to you on this”, as i knew that this is a complex area and this needs thorough preparation before presenting it to the client. Now with this book in place, i am personally in a much better position than what i was earlier. Not that i would answer all the questions about this topic instantly but at-least the turnaround time on them and the confidence would be much higher. I seriously feel that consultants working in the area of ‘Project management and accounting module’ of Microsoft Dynamics 365 FinOps, should definitely have a read through of this book.

Amazon link for the book is as follows: http://amzn.eu/d/7cEcot9

If you happen to read the book and if you wish to provide any feedback, then don’t hesitate to email it to me on kusaresarang@gmail.com. And if you like the book, then please write a review on Amazon, so that it would benefit other buyers too.

Thanks again!!

Kind Regards

Sarang Kusare

Magna Bhaya Mann…Masta Bhaya Mann…!

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Again today i got a chance to listen to Kabir Cafe in yet another prestigious event called ‘The Darbar Festival’ here in Southbank Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. As this was the last concert before they leave for India, it was more special and that i could feel from the way they stupendously performed today. The entire audience was enthralled and entertained to the highest level. The concert at ‘The Bhavans’, few days back, was amazing too but then there is a very special reason for writing this post for the same band, music and people again today. And that is, this new song that i heard in today’s concert called ‘Masta bhaya mann…kya bole re’. I instantly fell in love with the lyrics and the overall presentation of the song in ‘rock’ style. No doubt the ultimate credit is of ‘THE LEGEND – KABIR’ for writing such a wonderful song or collection of doha’s you may say so. But equal credit goes to Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe for bringing these timeless gems in front of the people in the way people would like to hear, relate and enjoy, without causing any damage to the sanctity of the original doha written by the MASTER himself.

The song goes like this:

Magna Bhaya Mann…Masta Bhaya Mann…
Magna Bhaya Mann…Masta Bhaya Mann…
Magna Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole…
Mann Masta Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re
Magna Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re

Heera paaya, Bandh gathariya
Heera paaya, Bandh gathariya
Baar Baar wako kyo khole
Baar Baar wako kyo khole
Mann Masta Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re
Magna Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re (1)

Hansa paaya mansarovar
Hansa paaya mansarovar
Tal talaiyya, kyo dole
Tal talaiyya, kyo dole
Mann Masta Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re
Magna Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re (2)

Halki thi to chadhi taraju
Halki thi to chadhi taraju
Puri bhayi tab kyo tole
Puri bhayi tab kyo tole
Mann Masta Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re
Magna Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re (3)

Surat Kalaari, Bhayi Matawari
Surat Kalaari, Bhayi Matawari
Madava pee gayi, ad tole
Madava pee gayi, bin tole
Mann Masta Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re
Magna Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re (4)

Kahe kabir suno bhai sadhu
Kahe kabir suno bhai sadhu
Sahib mil gaya, til oole
Sahib mil gaya, til oole
Mann Masta Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re
Magna Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re (5)

The meaning of this song is so good and the enthusiasm with which the entire band sings this song is brilliant. The meaning of this song goes like this:

Man Masta Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re…Magna Bhaya…Phir Kya Bole Re – Means, the person who is enlightened from within, there is not need for him to talk further. Is there anything left to talk once you have reached nirvana, eternal peace??

To augment this further Kabir gives many anecdotes, examples.

(1) – Once you have achieved the diamond of self enlightenment, why is there a need to see it and show it to the world time and again. There is no need, once it is safe within.

(2) – If the White sacred Swan has achieved his way through to swim across the holy and pure water of Mansarovar, why will it bother about swimming in any ordinary lakes or pond or a stream of water. Metaphorically it means, once you have moved up from the worldly desires and are having a peaceful time in that space, why would you bother to come down again the muddy swamp of selfish worldly affairs.

(3) – When you were not enlightened, your spiritual weight was not that much, but now that you have gained eternal peace, why even bother measuring it.

(4) – The self is (referred metaphorically as Surat here) so immersed in the spiritual zing that it does not even bother measuring the drink (alcohol here) and the effects of it. Such is the joy in which self is placed now, that it has gone mystically careless.

(5) – In the last stanza Kabir suggests that the concept of ‘God’, ‘Paramatma’ is so subtle that you can even experience that in the tiny grain of sesame.

This song was the highlight for me today personally. I loved every bit of it and enjoyed it thoroughly. Hope Neeraj Arya’s Kabir cafe comes up with further more such songs and entertain us and at the same time, make us ponder over the timeless, profound thoughts of Kabir…!!

Best wishes..Kabir Kafe and see you soon in UK again..!!

Neeraj Arya performing…Mann Mast Bhaya..Phir kya bole re..!!

 

Kind Regards
Sarang

P.S – Dear readers, if i have made mistake in explaining this song and if you have a better understanding and meaning of the same, i would really love to hear it from you!!

Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe…An Absolute Classic..!!

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I have been listening to Kabir Cafe’s songs since close to 2 years now and i was waiting for a chance to hear them live and feel the magic. I did listen to Indian Ocean and other similar bands earlier but this band struck a special chord with me. I finally got that fantabulous experience here at prestigious Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, London on 1st of September 2018.

The beauty of Kabir Cafe is the conviction with which they perform Kabir Doha’s. You can instantly connect to their purity and integrity. The concert is not only a philosophical treat but it is also a musical ones. They play extremely soulful music which not only engages you for the entire duration they are on stage but it takes you through very enjoyable yet soul searching journey at the same time with their classic songs like Chadariya Jhini re Jhini, Moh ko kaha dhunde re bande, Mat kar maya ko ahankaar, Fakiri, Bhala hua mori maala tuti and many more. My all time favorite is Moh ko kaha dhunde re bande. When i first listened to this song, i didn’t know what was coming in the last line of the third para and by then i was completely into the song and the mood and the full mystic conscience and then came the last line and i was taken aback and tears started rolling without me noticing it. May be this would be too much for many people to take, but honestly this is a true account of what that song did to me. And from then on i just started searching for each and every song, concert of kabir cafe available on the net. I listened to all of them and couldnt stop till date. Now not only our entire family listens to kabir cafe songs, including my 6 year old daughter but we have also introduced this to whosoever is interested in such soulful music with deep connect, be it friends, family, colleagues etc.

This staurday has been really special, as not only did i experience the routine Kabir Cafe songs but couple of new ones and those new ones were absolute bliss to the ears and intellect. The new ones were Tut gaya pinjara udd gayi muniya, Ghat Ghat me panchi bolta hai, Amritwaani, Charkha.

I also got to meet and talk to all the band members personally, namely Neeraj Arya (lead singer), Raman Iyer (Mandolinist), Mukund Ramaswamy (Violinist), Britto KC (Bass Guitarist) and Viren Solanki (Percussionis). And all of them seem to follow what they sing and perform on stage. By this i mean, they are the same onstage and offstage. Though they have been so popular, their feet are still rooted deep in the ground and their heads still without the iota of arrogance and pride. It is very difficult to embark on a such less traveled road and pursue what you really believe in. Though they sing Kabir but i cannot stop myself from quoting Amir Khusro here, whose doha they are literally living today and that goes like this:

Khusrao darya prem ka, Ulti waki dhaar
Jo ubara so doob gaya, Jo dooba so paar

Prem here refers to a metaphor which you can replace it with any passion that you follow, your beliefs etc. The meaning, if i could translate it correctly, is, “the sea of passion (love here) has a strange, peculiar behavior, it will drown the one who lifts its head out but strangely enough, it would save the one who would stay immersed in”

Metaphorically it means, if you flicker your attention from your aim, you might not get it but if you continue to pursue it relentlessly, you would swim across to your desired destination. I think the band members of Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe are literally the living example of this doha from Amir Khusro.

Coming back to Kabir cafe, one more interesting thing about this band is, they would not just sing Kabir Doha’s, which at times are pretty difficult to decrypt and understand, but will also explain the meaning of it in English and Hindi. Especially the explanation which Raman Iyer gives before Bhala hua mori maala tuti and the explanation which Neeraj Arya gives while performing Moh ko kaha dhunde re bande is just thought provoking and exemplary. I really wish Kabir Cafe all the success they deserve and wish they come up with new songs and decode Kabir musically and philosophically to all of us in future. Before i end this post, some photos from the concert:

Me in ‘Moh ko kaha dhunde re bande’ t-shirt with legend Neeraj Arya, the lead singer of the band.

(from Left to Right) Britto KC, Viren Solanki, Neeraj Arya, Mukund Ramaswamy, Raman Iyer in action..!

I would strongly recommend all those reading this blog, if you have ear for music and if you have that special philosophical, mystic liking in the deep corners of your mind then definitely Kabir Cafe is for you and i am sure you wont regret it..!!

Kind Regards
Sarang

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Leadership – my two pence..!!

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So what i wanted to talk is about my experience with the so called concept of “Leadership” especially within the context of our day to day company jobs. What i have observed is whenever people talk about leadership, mostly they are so obsessed with the external components of leadership, that i think they miss out on the core ones. I think people go by the bookish meaning of a leader who is a visionary, who leads from the front, who is confident, who is clear headed blah blah blah. But apart from these skills, i think the core ones are integrity, empathy, being able to deal with uncertainty and confusion, being able to be fair-headed in the situation of failure, having strong core values which are non shake-able at any cost, being honest. I think instead of externally learning about leadership and trying to copy what is mentioned in a so called leadership books, if these core values are practiced from the core of heart, everyone would be a leader in true sense.

I hear a lot about many companies following leadership culture and employees from those companies talking very big about it. But in practice what i have seen in my experience is that very few people truly understand what leadership means (not that i too have understood it clearly and fully but i am sure now what leadership isn’t at least) and rest others just try to put the pseudo layer of leadership on top of their personality to show the world that they too are like leaders.

To support this i have many such experiences from the company that I have worked with earlier in my career, which is an IT behemoth which harps a lot on leadership. But after i have worked in it, i surely can say that none of the so called leaders there were truly leaders whom i can follow. Maybe i got the wrong end of the stick for the time i was working there, but for the time that i was in (which was long enough to find one :)) i didn’t spot any. The reason to write about it with such intensity today is, i think there is something wrong in the way leadership is being perceived in these kinds of companies. The culture in these companies is always about directing work not about working together, it is always about junior-senior not about work peers, it is always about the blame game and not about problem solving, it is always about being cold and not about being empathetic, it is always about being low on emotions and more about being shrewd. I think thats the core reason why tyrants are manufactured under the guise of so called leadership in these companies.

I think leadership is a trait which just comes out naturally if you are true to your heart, empathetic and if you “really” have the knowledge of the field in which you are working. The other leadership traits which automatically comes if these three things are in place are, you become confident as you know the core of the field in which you work, you become a visionary as you can then think of where to apply the knowledge that you have learnt, you become more humble as you know that, with knowledge comes understanding / wisdom, with understanding and wisdom comes problem solving and a positive attitude, with all this you ultimately become more passionate about the work and life overall and then that energy transpires in the surroundings around you like an invisible aura to which then people attract and start to like, follow you and then you ultimately become a leader. The journey to become a leader is not from outside, its the journey from within. What is happening instead is people are concentrating on the outer layer of leadership. People are focusing on becoming a visionary without the basics being right, people are trying to be confident by just showing off externally, people are trying to show off the oratory skills and think that they are great leaders just because we always keep on hearing that great leaders have great oratory skills. I partly agree to it. I think oratory skills are important but before that the words that you utter should not only be confident but true, full of integrity and not just a pure show off. I think once you speak your heart, the words that come out of your mouth will be confident to the core and for that you need not be artificially confident. I think leadership is all about igniting that inner lamp of empathy, knowledge, courage and honesty, rest all follows and you become a leader in your eyes as well in the eyes of the world.

HAIL LEADERSHIP..!!

K Sarang

My latest book – Kavitashtak


Hello Everyone,

It gives me immense pleasure to announce the launch of my third book called कविताष्टक” (Kavitashtak, nearest possible translation is “8 line Poetry”). Prior to this two of my other books, which were published earlier, are: “गोष्ट तुझी माझी(Gosht Tujhi Majhi meaning “About You and Me”) and “संवादाक्षरे(Samvadakshare, nearest possible translation is “Collection of Dialogues”).

1 Kavitashtak

The e-book is available on amazon at http://amzn.eu/7BVwX3r and can be read using an amazon kindle app ONLY. The amazon kindle app can be downloaded on your phone / ipad / laptop free of cost from the google or apple store at https://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp.

To know more about the author, you can visit the author page at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarang-Kusare/e/B0721Y1V86/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1.

Hope you will all have an enjoyable read. You can leave your feedback on the amazon’s comments section of the e-book or can mail me at kusaresarang@gmail.com or poeticallytumchach@gmail.com.

Links to purchase the previous two books are as follows:

गोष्ट तुझी माझी –  http://www.bookganga.com/eBooks/Books/Details/5107332806760751159

 Gosth tujhi majhi

संवादाक्षरे – http://amzn.eu/gjeYCn8

संवादाक्षरे

One last thing…please do share this message with your like-minded friends / groups on all possible social media platforms (mainly WhatsApp and Facebook) and let them know about this new offering.

Thanks!

Kind Regards

Sarang Jayant Kusare

कविताष्टक – आठ ओळींच्या कविता (नवीन पुस्तक)


नमस्कार मंडळी,

‘कविताष्टक’, हे माझं तिसरं पुस्तक तुमच्या हाती देतांना मला अत्यंत आनंद होत आहे.
या आधी माझा “गोष्ट तुझी माझी” हा कविता संग्रह आणि “संवादाक्षरे” हा संवाद संग्रह प्रकाशित झालेला आहे.

जसे “हायकू” म्हणजे तीन ओळींचे काव्य, “चारोळी” म्हणजे चार ओळींच्या कविता, तसेच “कविताष्टक” म्हणजे आठ ओळींच्या कविता. यात निरनिराळे कवितांचे प्रकार, जसे की गझल, मुक्तछंद, ओव्या, छंदबद्ध इत्यादि हाताळण्यात आलेले आहेत. सगळ्याच कविता आठ ओळींच्या आहेत फक्त गझल प्रकारातील कविताष्टकात “मतला” (मथळा) वगळून आठ ओळींचा घाट घातला आहे. आशा करतो की तुम्हाला “कविताष्टकं” नक्की आवडतील…!

1 Kavitashtak

तुम्ही ‘कविताष्टक’ amazon.com या संकेतस्थळावरून विकत घेऊ शकता. पुस्तकाची लिंक:http://amzn.eu/7BVwX3r . हे पुस्तक e-book असून, तुम्हाला amazon kindle app वरूनचं ते वाचता येईल. kindle app तुम्ही तुमच्या मोबईल, laptop किंवा ipad वर, google किंवा apple store मधुन free of cost download करू शकता, या link वरूनhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp. माझ्या (लेखका) विषयी अधिक माहिती या link वर आहे https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarang-Kusare/e/B0721Y1V86/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1.

खालील links वरून “गोष्ट तुझी माझी” आणि “संवादाक्षरे” खरेदी करता येतील:

गोष्ट तुझी माझी – http://www.bookganga.com/eBooks/Books/Details/5107332806760751159

Gosth tujhi majhi

संवादाक्षरे – http://amzn.eu/gjeYCn8

संवादाक्षरे

तुम्हाला माझ्याशी संपर्क साधायचा असल्यास किंवा प्रतिक्रिया कळवायच्या असल्यास किंवा पुस्तकातील चुका सांगायच्या असल्यास तुम्ही मला  kusaresarang@gmail.com  किंवाpoeticallytumchach@gmail.com या पत्यावर email करू शकता.

आणि एक शेवटचं आणि महत्वाचं सांगायचं राहिलं…हा message तुमच्या like-minded मित्र मैत्रिणींमध्ये, social groups मध्ये, WhatsApp, Facebook वर  please share करा…जेणेकरून त्यांना ह्या नवीन आणि इतर पुस्तकांविषयी कळेल…!

धन्यवाद..!
आपला नम्र
सारंग जयंत कुसरे