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No one will tell you these, but you got to know them before you start out.

No one will tell you these, but you got to know them before you start out.

I read “Failing to Succeed” by K. Vaitheeswaran in just two sittings. The Indiaplaza and E-commerce chapter is a masterclass which no MBA will teach you. The book related a lot to me personally for several reasons. Vaithee is an old colleague from Wipro and we transacted a lot during our tenure there. Secondly, I too have experienced the discrimination he mentions in the book- not coming from a premier institute. As an entrepreneur myself, I have felt the unpredictable behaviour investors exhibit. Honestly, my experience reinforces my belief that these high profile investors have very non-transparent behavior,

It is not easy to stay focused on a single goal for eleven years. Vaithee also encourages entrepreneurs to experiment, and that it is okay to fail.

One critical aspect that the book could have dwelt in a some more detail is the fact how difficult it is to close down a company. There are passing mentions, and a couple of anecdotes, but this is a huge problem we have in our business ecosystem. The book is a must read for everyone who wants to be an entrepreneur to absorb every one of his experiences and anticipate similar episodes in their journey too.

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Posted by on August 28, 2017 in Book Review

 

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“Mahashwetha’ By Sudha Murthy

As a domiciled Kannadiga, I have been flirting with translated editions of Kannada literature from time to time- nothing heavy. Not the likes of Kambar and Kuvempu, but contemporary writers like Sudha Murthy and U.R. Ananthamurthy. Both have similar writing styles, in my opinion. And they both come from central Karnataka region, and not the much filmed Mysore Karnataka area. I fell in love with ‘Mahaswehtha’ by Sudha Murthy.

Mahashwetha is the story of a young, but poor girl named Anupama who studies Sanskrit in a college and is deeply involved in drama- especially classics like Kadambari by Bhana Bhatta. Anupama has been described as breathtakingly beautiful by the author.Dr. Anand sees a performance and falls in love with her. Dr. Anand insists on getting married to her though he’s from a well to do background and is planning to go to England for higher studies. In spite of the resistance from his mother and other family members, they do get married, much to the relief of Anupama’s step mother. The book vividly describes the conservative mindset of the Indian family in spite of its wealth and societal status. Within a couple of months of marriage, Anand leaves for England. Soon after, she develops leukoderma- she becomes ‘Mahashwetha’, or super white. The book brilliantly describes how she struggles to hide this for fear of being ostracised. She is abandoned by her in laws family and later by her own family.

Anupama moves to Mumbai with her friend, whose husband finds her a job and from there the story brilliantly describes how she finds herself, grows in confidence and becomes one of the best known drama directors among the Kannada Samaj in Mumbai. Though she was isolated by her family she believed that she is like a tree- A tree blooms several flowers, some of which become fruits which get pecked by insects and birds. The tree itself does not enjoy what it bears. Still can one say that the tree’s life is wasted? Though I read a translated version in Malayalam, this and such conversations have been captured without loss of its essence. That in itself is a commendable job.

It does not matter in which age this book is set. I was surprised that it was first published in 2007. The same mindsets that belonged to the last century still remain in our society. But the  never say die, single minded focus on your goals is what makes a human being. This is in stark contrast to one of our national shames- Bride slavery.

You can pick up an English copy of ‘Mahashwetha’ at Flipkart.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Book Review

 

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