Bring your best on the table

When Babubhai Mistry a name to reckon with in the Hindi Film Industry back in 1950s and 60s first met Pyarelal of the famous Music Composers Laxmikant Pyarelal Duo he was impressed with his sense of classical music and recommended him to Madan Mohan. Pyarelal was given a chance to play the violin in the famous film “Haqeeqat” for which Madan Mohan composed music. The song was “Mein Ye Soch Uske Ghar Se Utha Tha.”

The next that happened was Babubhai Mistry became their producer for a movie which featured them as music directors of Parasmani (1963), the film didn’t do well but the music was a hit. It brought them close to known music directors like Naushad and Ravi and film producers like Tarachand Barjatya.

Laxmikant–Pyarelal hit the big time with Rajshri Productions’ 1964 film Dosti. They’d worked as music arrangers for many music directors including Sachin Dev Burman and R D Burman remained their very good friend.[R D Burman played mouth organ for all songs of Dosti]

Often, our best work happens when we’re in a situation we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves. The hard part is choosing to be in that sort of situation in the first place, the uncomfortable one where we have no choice but to do better work.

Find a way to galvanize someone if you can and if you care.



Organizations that come out of the labrynth

Often, organizations don’t realize that they’re falling down the abyss until extraordinary efforts are required to make a difference. But it’s always easier to fix it today than it will be tomorrow.

And here’s the hard part: You don’t fall down the abyss all at once. You compromise, you cut corners, you don’t bring as much to your work, and nothing bad happens (at first). So the feedback loop is broken.

Working your way back out works the same way: You work harder, you raise your standards, you invest, and nothing good happens (at first).

The challenge is to have the guts to care even when you’re not apparently rewarded for caring.

Brittle organizations are focused on which end of the egg you open. Are you wearing the team jersey the right way, saying the incantations each time, saluting properly…

Resilient organizations are more focused on what you produce, and why.

Petty dictators care a lot about words, about appearances, about whether everyone is genuflecting in precisely the same way.

The problem with words is that they easily lose their meaning. Say something often enough and it becomes a tic, not an expression of how you actually feel. Not only that, but words rarely change things. Actions do.

It turns out that it’s a lot easier to sign up for a tribe that doesn’t ask you to think, or take responsibility for your actions. But, in the long run, those are the very things that lead to the changes we seek.

“Use your best judgment, care about your impact, do work that matters…” are significantly more powerful instructions than, “Do it this way. Say it this way. Behave the way I told you to.”

Words are dead

The whole concept of Social media is built on instant engagement, just now. The smartphone isn’t just smart, it’s merely hot. It pulsates you on the instantaneous. [Maybe you are checking a text which pinged on your phone just as you are reading this]

There doesn’t seem anything more urgent than checking the latest message, it is a powerful medium to reach you instant, immediate, personal like someone punches you in the face. Today, we’re getting virtual punches, from every direction, all self-propelled, many of them amplified.

Can you recall when was the last time you actually sat down to read a book? Those words on the book pages are asleep, inert forms, and can’t do a thing until they are powerful enough to interact with you, engage you enough. Otherwise Words are dead.

Words are a noun, attention is a verb. Slack is an adjective engineered for motion, the Kindle is a silent repository you have to press to divert your attention and actually engage into something enriching.

An audiobook, on the other hand, propels itself. The words are spoken, whether you listen or not, so you better listen.

And a video is just as alive.

The next level up is new. As in news. Or previously unknown. When it’s breaking, it propels itself even harder, because we know that we’re about to hear something previously unheard.

And beyond that? When humans are involved. Not just news, but news from a friend. News that our peers are about to be talking about. Not just propelled, but amplified by our cohort and our culture.

The ideas that propel themselves on the tailwinds of culture will dominate, opposed only by the people who care enough to propel ideas that matter instead.

This, I think, is one of the giant chasms of our new generation, always seen, not often noticed. That we’re moving from the considered words of a book or even a Wikipedia article to the urgent, connected ideas that propel themselves.

In conclusion one would say that to gain the attention of the reader there should be an element of   promotion associated with it, the act of introducing an idea to someone who may need it. What’s shifted is that the promotion has transcended most of the process, because the idea itself becomes the promotion.

That requires a lot of effort. Maybe my effort was worth it.

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