October 2014

Social Awareness

Why society should accept Alternative Sexuality

By Somali K Chakrabarti   Alan Turing, whose pioneering work laid the mathematical foundations of computer, was convicted for homosexuality and subjected to chemical castration that drove him to suicide. His suicide prompted the British government to amend laws concerning homosexuality. ~ Aamir Khan on ‘Accepting Alternative Sexuality’ episode of his show Stayamev Jayate that touched upon the sensitive issue of the rights of LGBT community to live freely and openly. Alan Turing was the British mathematical genius, logician and cryptanalyst who had invented the Turing machine, which laid the foundation for creation of modern computers. By cracking the German military’s secret code, Turing had helped the British Navy defeat Hitler’s U-boats and win the Battle of the Atlantic, in the World War II. He was a marathon runner too, with world class time, and was named as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, by TIME magazine in 1999.  

Travel and Culture

Why the World is more Indian than you think

By Somali K Chakrabarti China targeting Indian wedding market                                                                                                                                                               –  The Economic Times on 18th Oct, 2014 This catchy headline in ‘The Economic Times’ was hard to miss. On reading the article, I found that the glamour of Indian weddings has allured the Chinese, and they see a lucrative market and viable business opportunity in the lavish wedding celebrations. Here’s an excerpt from the article. Impressed by the lavish Indian weddings, Chinese Consul General Wang Xuefeng said his country was aggressively marketing several of its cities like Kunming, Lijiang and Dali as attractive wedding destinations. Many Indian families are now going to Thailand, Dubai and Mauritius for weddings, but now they are also looking towards China which has several beautiful cities like Kunming which is called the…

Leadership

Break the Worry before it breaks you

By Somali K Chakrabarti The largest part of what we call ‘personality’ is determined by how we’ve opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness.  ~ Alain de Botton We know that some people have a naturally strong mental built, and there are others who are inclined to worry more. While each individual, in any capacity, needs to cope with anxiety, but the ability to overcome anxiety is absolutely essential for any leadership role. During prolonged  periods of uncertainty, leaders must manage their own anxiety as well as the anxiety of their team. Anxiety may be due to various reasons ranging from environmental factors, to medical condition, to genetic conditions or substance abuse or due to a combination of these factors. Each of us would have experienced those moments, when we felt our palpitation going up, a strange churning in the stomach, or sweat on the brow just before an important meeting, or an exam, or before getting a medical report, or on any other occasion. Whatever be the reason for anxiety, it depletes a person of his/her strength. Continued anxiety causes excessive worry. You suffer from a victim mentality and believe that nothing ever works for you; You are restless most of the time, feel irritable at the slightest provocation….

Travel and Culture

Kolkata in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

By Somali K Chakrabarti Kolkata, the ‘City of Joy’, is a city with a glorious past! For those who live there, Kolkata is also about its alluring spirit, emotions, heightened sensibilities and creative energy. It is a city with fabulous heritage architecture where the old merges with the new. Going back a bit into the history of Kolkata (previously Calcutta), we find that Calcutta was developed by the British by merging three villages – Kalikata, Sutanati and Gobindapur. Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1772 and was the capital of British India, from 1858 to 1911, before the British relocated their capital to Delhi. The 19th century saw a socio-cultural resurgence and intellectual awakening in Kolkata, known as the Bengal Renaissance, which continued up to the early 20th century. During this time prominent literati of the city contributed immensely to the art, architecture, literature, science and philosophy. Charles D’Oyly, (1781–1845), a public official of the British East India Company, and painter from Dhaka produced numerous images on India. In 1848, Dickinson & Co., London published his drawings of Calcutta in a large folio-size book titled Views of Calcutta and its Environs. Here are some vintage pictures depicting the landscape of Kolkata from the 19th century. . ON THE RIVER – INDIA…

Leadership

How to be tactful in dealing with people

By Somali K Chakrabarti Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~ Winston Churchill As easy as it is to speak your mind out, doing so tactfully requires that a person acquire some distinctive skills. Tact is the talent that allows you to gracefully convey what you stand for and make your point without ruffling feathers. Tact or diplomacy is needed for managing a vast gamut of relations – ranging from personal relations, to relations with co-workers, to business relations, to national and international relations. Parents need tact to deal with their children, as much as teachers need tact to deal with their students. You need to act with tact while dealing with your boss, your partner, your spouse, and even your friends. Your ability to get along with people, while maintaining your individuality plays an important role in determining your success path. In business, tact is absolutely essential when it comes to managing diverse group of people. Leaders, with the use of tact and conviction can get people to willingly do what they want them to do, in a manner so convincing that they relate to the…

Leadership

Why do we procrastinate and how to stop procrastinating

By Somali K Chakrabarti Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.  ~ Christopher Parker Procrastination is too familiar a tendency that we all give in to at some point or the other. If you think of those several occasions when you waited till the last moment to do your work, it won’t take much for you to realize that procrastination is more of a behavioral problem than a time management issue. There would be instances when: You managed to complete your assignment just at the nick of time. You were so lost in surfing the net that you ended up doing a report past its deadline. You did not pay up the bill till the last moment and then paid the fine for it. You did not leave on time and turned up 15 minutes late for the urgent meeting. Mostly you would be aware of what you should be doing and when, and yet you simply can’t get yourself to do certain tasks. As you postpone your work and leave it for the last second, many things that were not so pressing before, suddenly become urgent and call for your attention.

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