TGC Prasad is an outstanding professional. Those of you who have read “Go Kiss the World”, he appears in it as the young man I had met during my Wipro days, an HR rookie who had impressed me so much that even after many years, even as he no longer was doing HR, I had sought him out and requested that he set up MindTree’ People Function. At that time, we were less than a fifteen member team. Prasad did that for us and took us to become the world’s youngest company to be assessed at PCMM Level 5. Then Prasad changed roles, went on to set up a business unit for us and eventually moved on. A few assignments later, today, he is a much sought after strategy consultant who advises many young and not so young companies. But in the span of the last few years, Prasad has blossomed as an author and already has three books to his credit, including a work of fiction. As I write this blog for you, his book, “Unusual People Do Things Differently” is making its debut as a Penguin Portfolio publication on Saturday the 27th at 630 PM at Reliance Timeout, Bangalore. I wish I was there but for my itinerant work schedule. Prasad did come by to deliver an advance copy of the book and I quite loved reading it.
Prasad’s book is an eclectic collection of short essays. Each one is based on an encounter with someone interesting and unusual, from professional acquaintances to people in public life. Prasad has a photographic memory and an uncanny ability to suck in details from sometimes a fleeting encounter. In this easy-read, he graciously gives away life lessons. I loved many of the stories he narrates for their simplicity and relevance. So, if you get a chance, make friends with Prasad.
I am still my Mother’s little boy
My mother has been an abiding influence on my outlook towards things. As a small boy, I had the advantage of hanging around her for much longer because, as some of you may know, I was her last born and home-schooled until the age of 8. Living in small places, I would scamper away and spend hours by myself, scavenging the neighbourhood. Sometimes I would return with a small plant and seek her approval, a flowering marigold, sometimes a chilly or gourd or a beanstalk. After her examination and approval, we would dig a little bit of dirt and planted these and some of them grew so bountiful that we gave away bagful of vegetables to friends. Whenever I brought her a sapling and asked that we take care of it, she would appreciatively tell me, “Jake Rakho, Sei Rakhe’.
Whoever and whatever you may care for, and keep, would one day care for you, and keep you.
That applies to a sapling of what may look like a useful plant, to a piece of old cloth or a garage tool that has done the tour of duty and you think is no longer good for the original purpose for which you got it. You just don’t know.
The other day, I found a small pumpkin creeper growing outside our house, between the fence and the public road. It looked vulnerable and fragile. Someone could simply trample on it and there would go the little wonder with a few leaves, a tendril looking for support and a couple of flowers.The child in me said, take her home. But uprooting the plant wasn’t going to work. So, I gently let it come over our fence and then grow and lo and behold, she started growing all over and fruiting and fruiting like what? Look at this more than 10 kilogram fruit, we had one before this one and few more in the making. How I wish mother was here to approve. I am sure she is seeing from somewhere up there!
Finally, before signing off, thought I would share a lovely realisation that dawned on me some time ago while watching a flutist perform. I found myself asking, what does it take to be a flute? It was a fascinating thought.
Flutes are made out of bamboo. Young bamboo. Imagine you are a young bamboo, wanting to grow big; wanting to soar into the sky, wanting to flower some day and then, without asking, someone comes and cuts you. Then he makes a few holes into it. Dries it. It changes hands and someone sells and someone buys the bamboo shoot turned flute, it goes wherever life takes it. Finally, it is with a musician.
Every time the musician raises it to the lips and breathes air into it, the flute just comes alive and performs. After a great performance, the musician keeps it away, packed in a box and the flute stays in the darkness, waits patiently, in silence, to be taken out again to perform and enthral thousands of people. After every performance, as the audience stands in ovation and the musician is dutifully introduced and felicitated; I have never seen the flute being introduced and felicitated.
But it bears no grudge; it is simply happy to team up and play along, not for a moment ruing what it has left behind; what it could have been!