My prose writings

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Ampersand and Shree in Telugu

Mirror image of Amersand is a character in alphabet of Telugu – a south Indian language!

and1             shree




 – very true and thought provoking

CourtesyShri Vinod Patel – on Facebook

In 1923, nine of the wealthiest people in the world met at Chicago’s Edge Water Beach Hotel.

Their combined wealth, it is estimated, exceeded the wealth of the Government of the United States at that time. These men certainly knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth. Attending the meeting were the following men:

1. The president of the largest steel company,

2. The president of the largest utility company,

3. The president of the largest gas company,

4. The president of the New York Stock Exchange,

5. The president of the Bank of International Settlements,

6. The greatest wheat speculator,

7. The greatest bear on Wall Street,

8. The head of the World’s greatest monopoly &

9. A member of President Harding’s cabinet.

That’s a pretty impressive line-up of people by anyone’s yardstick.

Yet, 25 years later, where were those nine industrial giants?

Let’s examine what happened to them 25 years later.

1. The President of the then largest steel company (Bethlehem Steel Corp), Charles M Schwab, lived on borrowed capital for five years before he died bankrupt.

2. The President of the then largest gas company, Howard Hubson, went insane.

3. One of the greatest commodity traders (Wheat Speculator), Arthur Cutten, died insolvent.

4. The then President of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, was sent to jail.

5. The member of the US President’s Cabinet (the member of President Harding’s cabinet), Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail just to be able to go home and die in peace.

6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jesse Livermore committed suicide.

7. The President of the then world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Krueger, committed suicide.

8. The President of the Bank of International Settlement, Leon Fraser, committed Suicide.

9. The president of the largest utility company, Samuel Insull, died penniless.

What they forgot was how to “make” life while they got busy making money!

Money in itself is not evil; it provides food for the hungry,medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy. Money is only a medium of exchange.

We need two kinds of education:

a) One that teaches us how to make a living,


B-) One that teaches us how to live.

There are many of us who are so engrossed in our professional life that we neglect our family, health and social responsibilities.

If asked why we do this, we would reply that “We are doing it for our family”.

Yet, our kids are sleeping when we leave home. They are sleeping when we come back home!! Twenty years later, we’ll turn back, and they’ll all be gone, to pursue their own dreams and their own lives.

Without water, a ship cannot move. The ship needs water, but if the water gets into the ship, the ship will face existential problems. What was once a means of living for the ship will now become a means of destruction.

Similarly we live in a time where earning is a necessity but let not the earning enter our hearts, for what was once a means of living will surely become a means of destruction for us as well.

So take a moment and ask yourself, “Has the water entered my ship?”
I hope not!

Hope the above story will drive all of us in a better direction in 2016.

”Alone I can ‘Say’ but
together we can ‘talk’.

‘Alone I can ‘Enjoy’ but
together we can

‘Alone I can ‘Smile’ but
together we can ‘Laugh’.

That’s the BEAUTY of
Human Relations.

We are nothing without
each other

Three events on an American Highway

My car is racing at speed of 60 miles per hour, through interstate highway no.I-20, piercing the twin cities of Dallas and Fortworth, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans: one of the arteries of American economic system. This is rush hour and the four lanes including mine are full of myriad of cars, vans and trucks. There is hardly any gap between two vehicles and the flow of vehicles is  incessant.  Similar is the case with four lanes of traffic in the opposite direction.

I feel that I am one of the millions of red particles  flowing through many such arteries that invigorate  nation’s commerce and industry. The oxygen of money and energy of my being keep the red particle that I am alive and robust. Many red particles like me rushing in road vehicles, trains, and monstrous jet planes/ ocean liners keep the economic system of the nation healthy. All the countries of the world are engaged in a maddening rush to achieve economic status  similar to this wealthiest and most powerful country.

The entire human race is engaged in an unstoppable race and the speed of that race is increasing every moment like a supersonic jet engine. No end to this rat race is visible in near future too. All are rushing with a lunatic gusto, towards an unfathomable abyss of total destruction at tremendous speed. None has time, intention or leisure to apply brakes.

As I am engrossed in these depressing thoughts, suddenly a spark of truth and reality dawns  in my poignant  mind that I have missed my right exit and am heading towards west instead of east!


I am profusely sweating, lying like a corpse in my bed. An appalling dream has just awakened me out of my slumber. It pertained to the same highway I-20, after just forty years. The road was desolate even at the good old rush hour of 8-00 AM. Not a single vehicle was passing through it. Wild vegetation growth was rampant in each nook and corner of its stretch. It was lying like the rotting carcass of a panther of  the bygone economic and social system. Trillions of ants of misfortune had eaten away the once powerful being of at monster.

All highways, railroads, ocean routes, and airways were devoid of any means of transportation. The last drop of petroleum and last piece of coal had vanished from the world since last five years. All the water reservoirs were also empty, subsequent to all round bombardment in third world war, fought on a gruesome scale, for command over water and energy sources. Ninety percent of the world population had been annihilated. The unprecedented heat generated out of the nuclear weapons had melted the polar ice caps, resulting in rise of ocean level, that had engulfed all coastal ports. All the invincible powers of the globe had nosedived into irreversible devastation. Aye! the economic and social systems had  virtually disappeared into oblivion.

Only a few unfortunate human insects like me were roaming and moaning, here and there in the forests for water and food. The sky scrapers of the bygone metropolitan cities were lamenting of their past glory in the rampant vegetation kingdom. The human life was crawling at snail’s pace, sniveling, aching towards rejuvenated, cave age antiquity. I was standing there alone – depressed, lifeless, impotent, hungry and thirsty – on the same I-20 – now a part of the expanse of a thick forest. I was perspiring even in the prime winter and trembling with fear on the possibility that a wild animal may gobble me up any moment.

I woke up from that wicked dream; wailing over the fact that the exit in wrong direction had brought human race, as well as myself to this downhill destiny.


I return from the bathroom, reinstating myself from the poignant mental jolt. I realize that all the above was just a bad dream. I sleep immediately and start snoring to wake up in a fresh and fragrant dawn.

I am now driving a car again in the morning rush hour. But my car is a small, environment friendly, battery operated one. But the previous rush is conspicuously absent.

Now there are very few and small offices in the town. Most of the people are working over the internet from their  homes. All the merchandise is purchased from virtual reality e-Shops and delivered on the doorsteps, house to house, through giant trucks. People visit stores only for luxury items. They travel on road only to meet friends/ relatives or for pleasure like me, as I am going to a resort. All go to nearby rail station only and take up automatic, high speed electric trains; parking their cars in huge, multistoried parking lots.

Majority of transport is by myriad of trains much faster than the Japanese Bullet train. All factories are operated by smart robots. Most of commercial vehicles on road too are driven by such robots. All stores are operated by such smart robots only. The commuting  people are only those who maintain ultra smart plant, machinery and giant power houses or pleasure seekers like me. All routine production and maintenance is done by smart robots.

All the energy needs of the world are met by millions of large scale Tokomaks ( Controlled Thermonuclear fusion Reactors) . These small replicas of Sun are capable of generating virtually free electricity of the whole world for thousands of years. These have changed the governance of whole world. All industrial/ commercial/ civic/ residential/ transportation operations are driven by their power. They also produce abundant water for human consumption at gigantic desalination plants on seashores. Ocean liners and jet planes are also plying with Tokomak power.

Pollution is a thing of the bygone past. Conflicts between nations for possession of water and energy sources and gruesome wars are also matters of antiquity. The whole world is governed under a single flag of human race : it is a single nation world.

I murmur my choicest poem

The race for existence hinges on a single hope;

O Sun! create your controlled spark in tiny particles.”

(Tokomak is an energy source, that generates thermal power in a controlled way, resembling the operating process on Sun.)

And my car is also plying on the road , thanks to that mammoth source of power. All the evils, pride, jealousy, power struggle, rat race and pushes and pulls of human race are gone forever. I listen to my choicest Gujarati song on radio receiver of my car – a transmission from radio station on Mars.

This new exit has made me a corpuscle of a super human race.

And I wake up again; off this dream, fresh, encouraged and cheerful and take an exit to my notebook to narrate the first reality as also the two fantasies into this article.


Click here for original story in Gujarati

It gave me goose bumps…

The date was July 16, 2008. It was late in the afternoon and I was sitting in my hotel room in Louisville, Kentucky. I was scheduled to speak that evening for the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA).

I was a little “down in the dumps.” I hadn’t gotten to exercise lately because of my traveling schedule and recently I’d experienced some mild bouts of vertigo (that inner ear condition that can cause the room to start spinning.) You got it…speaking and “spinning” are not good partners!

My keynote presentation was scheduled for 7:00 PM, but I had been invited to show up at 6:00 to see a performance they said I’d enjoy. Little did I know that I was about to see something I would never forget.

They introduced the young musician. Welcome…Mr. Patrick Henry Hughes. He was rolled onto the stage in his wheelchair, and began to play the piano. His fingers danced across the keys as he made beautiful music.

He then began to sing as he played, and it was even more beautiful. For some reason, however, I knew that I was seeing something special. There was this aura about him that I really can’t explain and the smile…his smile was magic!

About ten minutes into Patrick’s performance, someone came on the stage and said…”I’d like to share a 7-minute video titled, The Patrick Henry Hughes story.” And the lights went dim.

Patrick Henry Hughes was born with no eyes, and a tightening of the joints which left him crippled for life. However, as a child, he was fitted with artificial eyes and placed in a wheelchair. Before his first birthday, he discovered the piano. His mom said, “I could hit any note on the piano, and within one or two tries, he’d get it.” By his second birthday, he was playing requests (You Are My Sunshine, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). His father was ecstatic. “We might not play baseball, but we can play music together.”

Today, Patrick is a junior at the University of Louisville. His father attends classes with him and he’s made nearly all A’s, with the exception of 3 B’s He’s also a part of the 214 member marching band. You read it right…the marching band! He’s a blind, wheelchair-bound trumpet player; and he and his father do it together. They attend all the band practices and the half-time performance in front of thousands. His father rolls and rotates his son around the field to the cheers of Patrick’s fans. In order to attend Patrick’s classes and every band practice, his father works the graveyard shift at UPS. Patrick said…”My dad’s my hero.”

But even more than his unbelievable musical talent, it was Patrick’s “attitude of gratitude” that touched my soul. On stage, between songs, he would talk to the audience about his life and about how blessed he was. He said, “God made me blind and unable to walk. BIG DEAL! He gave me the ability…the musical gifts I have…the great opportunity to meet new people.”

When his performance was over, Patrick and his father were on the stage together. The crowd rose to their feet and cheered for over five minutes. It gave me giant goose bumps!

My life was ready to meet Patrick Henry Hughes. I needed a hero, and I found one for the ages. If I live to be a hundred, I’ll never forget that night, that smile, that music, but most importantly, that wonderful “attitude of gratitude.”

I returned to Chicago and shared Patrick’s story with my wife, my friends, and our team at Simple Truths. About two weeks later, I received a letter from a friend. He said, “Mac, here is a quote from Vivian Greene that I think you’ll love!”

“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…
it’s about learning how to dance in the rain!”

I thought…that’s it! We all face adversity in our life. However, it’s not the adversity, but how we react to it that will determine the joy and happiness in our life. During tough times, do we spend too much time feeling sorry for ourselves, or, can we, with gratitude…learn how to dance in the rain?

It almost sounds too simple to feel important, but one word…gratitude, can change your attitude, thus, your life, forever. Sarah Breathnach said it best…

“When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present….we experience heaven on earth.”


What I just shared is the introduction to my book, Learning to Dance in the Rain…The Power of Gratitude. My co-author is BJ Gallagher and she is one of the most talented and creative writers I’ve every known. It was an honor to work with her on this beautiful book that can truly change the way you think about life.

For more information, to look inside this great book, or to view the 3 minute inspirational movie, just click here. It also makes a wonderful gift for any occasion!

Keep Dancing,
Mac Anderson
Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths


MAC ANDERSON is the founder of Simple Truths and Successories, Inc., the leader in designing and marketing products for motivation and recognition. These companies, however, are not the first success stories for Mac. He was also the founder and CEO of McCord Travel, the largest travel company in the Midwest, and part owner/VP of sales and marketing for Orval Kent Food Company, the country’s largest manufacturer of prepared salads.

His accomplishments in these three unrelated industries provide some insight into his passion and leadership skills. He also brings the same passion to his speaking where he speaks to many corporate audiences on a variety of topics, including leadership, motivation and team building.

Mac has authored or co-authored twelve books, which have sold more than 3 million copies. They include:212°…The Extra Degree, Change is Good…You Go First, You Can’t Send a Duck to Eagle School, The Power of Attitude, The Essence of Leadership, The Nature of Success, The Dash, Charging the Human Battery, Finding Joy, Customer Love, Motivational Quotesand Learning to Dance in the Rain.

For more information about Mac, visit

Chetan Bhagat @ Symbiosis Pune – Awesome Speech.

Chetan Bhagat @ Symbiosis Pune – Awesome Speech.

 Chetan Bhagat – writer of a novel based on which current very successful Hindi film

Three Idiots

Thanks Chetan. You’re a fabulous speaker!

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates – there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party — several months in advance — just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.

I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost. So how to save the spark?

Imagine the spark to be a lamp’s flame. The first aspect is nurturing – to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms.

To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn’t any external measure – a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.

Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn’t the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr. Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won’t be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday? They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive. Just getting better from current level s feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.

Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.

Ther e is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

You must have read some quotes – Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school, where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One last thing about nurturing the spark – don’t take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said – don’t be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worke d up? It’s ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.

I’ve told you three things – reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.

Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades — how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be.

Disappointment’ s cousin is frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me fi ve years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved — movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result — at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan — I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.

Unfairness – this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it — not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you. In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty damm lucky by Indian standards. Let’s be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don’t. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don’t get literary praise. It’s ok. I don’t look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It’s ok. Don’t let unfairness kill your spark.

Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. . And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.

There you go. I’ve told you the four thunderstorms – disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.

I welcome you again to the most wonderful years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, your eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying – I come from the land of a billion sparks.