The Art of Success

What do you define as success? Is it having millions? Having a 100 room mansion? Having lots of cars? Girls? Boys? Mingling with celebrities?

Here is one man who does none of those. Ok, meeting with celebrities maybe as that’s his line of work but nothing else. Is he successful?

Let me see. Following is an excerpt of his schedule for 2 weeks.

I go to India on the Friday of the week before Thanksgiving. I am Sunday morning in Bombay. Monday morning I am in Delhi. Wednesday I’m in Bombay. Thursday I’m in Bangalore. Saturday I’m in Trivandrum. Wednesday I’m in Johannesburg. Friday morning, at seven, I am in New York. I have a two-hour meeting with a CEO who has flown in to see me. I have two more meetings and I fly out that night to Dubai. I am in Dubai on Sunday and Monday, then I come back here. On Thursday night I fly out to Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Then I come back here. Tuesday morning I have a whole-day schedule in New York. Tuesday night I go to Milwaukee. I came from Milwaukee last night. They diverted my plane so I had to stay in Pittsburgh. I had a meeting this morning in Philadelphia. I had three meetings here in the afternoon. And I’m here tomorrow, with GE. Then an hour-and-a-half phone call. Then I’m going out tomorrow night to West Palm Beach. Monday morning I have a breakfast meeting in New York. And then I’m flying out to Perth, Australia.

While that’s one dream come to travel pour moi, and what I would not give to do this at the present point of time, the following excerpt puts the whole thing into perspective.

Before he was a consultant, Charan lived in dormitories. Before he was a professor and a student, he lived in YMCAs. Now he doesn’t live anywhere. Charan’s one nod to a conventional rooted life is the office he rents on North Central Expressway in Dallas (that’s the address on his passport – he is a U.S. citizen), but he can’t tell you anything about it because he’s never been there.

“I really thought the two ladies I interviewed with six years ago were just yanking my chain,” says Cynthia Burr, who manages Charan’s hideous schedule. “I said, ‘Where does he keep his stuff? Everybody has stuff.’ It’s really hard to wrap your arms around something like that, but it’s true.

Three days a week – on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – Burr and a colleague pack a cardboard box with shirts, underwear, and socks, perhaps a clean suit (there is a tailor at Neiman Marcus who has Charan’s measurements on file), and maybe a V-neck sweater or a pair of khaki pants. They toss in toothpaste, razors, shampoo, a shined pair of 9½ EEEE shoes, whatever he needs (“He doesn’t buy anything himself,” says Burr), and send it by FedEx to Charan’s hotel, wherever that may be. The box comes back two days later filled with dirty laundry.

A man who has never married (not a big deal), doesn’t have a house (not a big deal either), but home either. Yes, no home.

Would this be success? Would I want to do this? For a month, definitely, for a year, maybe, for a decade, hmm……for a lifetime? I need a quiet place to ponder, to read books which take me to place I can’t go and do things I can’t do. I need people to love, to hug; could I live so detached a life?

Charan never complained.
Dedication to learning and teaching and service, to the whole set of Hindu virtues embodied by one of Charan’s favorite phrases, “Purpose before self.”

God! I wish I can!



Hope is my mind’s secret fear.
Hope is my heart’s sacred courage.
Hope is my life’s daring experience.
Hope is my soul’s illumining success
And fulfilling progress.
Hope is my Lord’s ascending Perfection
And my Lord’s transcending Satisfaction.

— Sri Chinmoy

3 Days Gone

A long weekend gone,
Drowned in the wind.
With nothing achieved,
Nothing to seek.

Sleeping on the soft couch,
Staring at the plain sky.
Thinking of the sweetest dreams,
To help the dreary day pass by.

Reading the most obscure of books,
Watching all good guys fall to crooks.
Soon I find my rested eye,
Begin to droop and oh! so slowly by.

Freedom from Pain?

I may sound extremely prejudicial and biased but all inhumane and absolutely ruthless stuff being thrown to the world presently has come from the US. Some examples include (off my head):

1. Officially proclaiming that torture to obtain some information is necessary. [Digression: Interesting article here, on the development of torture.]

2. Arresting six year olds!! Imagine the mental trauma the poor kid goes through for just throwing a temper tantrum!

Partial birth abortion is one of the most gruesome and inhumane examples of killing I have ever come across. Nothing beats this, absolutely nothing!

Excerpt of the procedure here:

Partial Birth Abortion

Glad some people have some sense of non-cruelity (for lack of better words) left!

Some more links to the procedure:

Priests for Life [Above image taken from here]



Joy of Simplicity

A recent fad of writing seems to be posting long-winded sentences going round the bush with enormous mile-long words conveying whatever they want to convey.

The joys and advantages of writing, simply, clearly and succinctly, seem to be on the wane. It may just be a fad of the moment and I hope it is, but it’s quite annoying sometimes having to try and decipher an article on an interesting topic written in such an abstract way as to give technical papers a run for their money.

Having said that, looking at my posts, I can’t say I have a hand at simplistic writing either 🙂


An evasive species on the run,
Does not open, for any one.
She runs and hides behind politics,
Making one, tear to bits.

She comes and goes at her will,
Oh Work! do what you will!
Coz I certainly cant, run after you,
Hoping to snag, some work to do.

Welcome art thou to scatter from me,
Gleefully will I let thee be.
Afterall, in this world of neverending stuff,
Am sure your but just a piece of bluff.

Loads there are books to read!
To keep me busy and full of dreams.
Thus oft you go and find someone,
Willing to have thee, Work begone!