When you give credits, your credibility goes up, really?

When you give credits, your credibility goes up, really?

“No cheating”, I was told the first time I started playing hide & seek and when I sat for my first exam. The warning message changed as I grew up, yet the essence remained.

If you deal with originality, be it preparing a keynote, a graph, analysis, writing a song or a book – knows the heartache behind plagiarism. Lifting work, modifying and presenting is common. The attention span is so less today that ‘inspirations’ have become ‘new originals’. Hardly people have time to go to the source or question the authenticity!

In my book, I have narrated immigration history, its influence and how it shapes the resident’s worldview. The US is a confluence of immigrants, and it is hard to differentiate who is an outsider looking at the face. At one place, I had to depict geographical spread of immigrants in the US.

“I seek permission to use your map in my book”.

“You don’t need to express permission. Feel free to include it with proper attribution”, came the reply.

Avoids plagiarism issue. Establishes authenticity. Integrity.

When you give credits, your credibility goes up!

Teach your kids about Credibility, this Children’s day!

Get a copy here.

#Behindthescene #1Bestseller #7UntoldSecretsofLivingAbroad

When Sir Ratan Tata replies to your email!

When Sir Ratan Tata replies to your email!

As a kid, I would idolise Shahrukh Khan… Sonu Nigam… Shaan… stars of my generation. Sachin Tendulkar took it to the next level. Mr Bachchan remained there forever.

Then I read the book ‘Beyond the Last Blue Mountain‘ on JRD. That changed the definition of a hero for me. JRD, Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, Sam Walton, Indira Nooyi became heroes for me. Satya Nadella and Ajay Banga in the current lot among others.

Tatas have a special place in my heart. I chose Tata companies to study in Security Analysis during my MBA studies. Started corporate career with the Tatas. I have been eating Tata salt since birth so there is too much of a Tata to take it out of me! 🙂

I sent my first book and a letter to Mr Ratan Tata. The final reply came from the man himself and not from his office! My letter was stamped, scanned, saved in my name and attached as an acknowledgement in his email! He replied a commoner like me taking time out of his busy schedule. Such gestures make a leader, a great leader!

#Tatas #RatanTata #1Bestseller #7UntoldSecretsofLivingAbroad

Why an Indian nod creates confusion?

Why an Indian nod creates confusion?

An American, James and an Indian associate, Rohit are in a discussion over a video conference. James is referring to a keynote and explaining a critical Business change, and Rohit is listening to it with rapt attention. Rohit is nodding his head slightly forward periodically signalling ‘he is with the speaker, he is attentive, he is following the discussion, he is on the same page’. He was told to do so while attending college lectures.

James read the nodding of Rohit as – not being excited about the matter. Rohit hasn’t understood the explanation, is not with him or worst, he disagrees. The half nodding sent confusing signals to James.

Both are right as per the interpretation in their culture, yet there is a considerable miscommunication! 

Indian culture: A lot of communication with Indians (and the Asians) is implied or implicit: body language, blinking eyes, hand signals. Tone, variation in voice need to be interpreted. The meaning of same action may also change as per the context. In short, one has to read between the lines. One has to be an observant.

American culture: Americans are explicit. They will say everything that they want to communicate explicitly. It may be felt ‘repetitive’ or ‘you being considered naive’ at times, though that is not the intention. Nothing is left for interpretation, no reading between the lines, clear communication. So much so that after cracking jokes, they may say ‘just kidding’ in case anybody didn’t get it! In the Indian context, it is not even a worthy joke, if you have to tell that explicitly!

The misinterpretation of Indian nodding is one of the few cultural differences that came out while writing my book ‘7 Untold Secrets of Living Abroad’; not just by the Americans but by most of the European nationals too. Implied communication is common among the Asians or the Eastern part of world!

When was the last you had a miscommunication due to cultural differences? 

Get through the cultural maze of 12 top nationalities around the world: read the Amazon Bestseller: 7 Untold Secrets of Living abroad

The article is part of the ‘Culture maze series’.

#Culturemaze #Immigration #7UntoldSecretsofLivingAbroad

They say, ‘the best thing comes at the end!’

They say, ‘the best thing comes at the end!’

As I was signing off the other day from the office, the main door guard asked me,

“have you written this book?”

“Yes”, I said, not expecting that question.

“It is nice, I have read two pages!”, she said. And I was taken aback.

I wasn’t expecting it from her. I killed the stereotype thoughts that were about to come in my mind.

“If I gift you, will you read it?” I asked.

“Yes”, with a broad smile and twinkle in her eyes, she said.

And I wished her to follow her dreams, thrive with dignity in whatever she does!

#serendipity #Booktalk #7UntoldSecretsofLivingAbroad

How do you handle nervousness?

How do you handle nervousness?

“Were you nervous on the stage?”

A good friend had asked after I came from the book launch.

“A little. Actually more than a little until I was on the stage”, I replied.

“How did you manage?” He got curious.

“Sachin Tendulkar has played 200 Test matches, scored a hundred centuries. Do you recollect his body language every time he was at 88 and till he crossed the 100 mark – a little nervous, trying to focus hard? Being persistent, ” I took a pause.

He was nodding his head in an Indian style.

“And we are talking about ‘The legend’ of a game! I have just started out. Nervousness is part of the human wire. It helps to focus and practise hard. I try to draw inspiration every time I feel anything like that.”

How do you beat the nervousness out of you?

How is it to celebrate festivals abroad?

How is it to celebrate festivals abroad?

As a kid, I used to wait for the evening of the Dussehra festival. I would go to the nearby temple with my cousins and friends. On the open ground within the premises of the temple, huge effigies of the mythological character Ravana along with his two brothers would be erected. The effigies would be stuffed with firecrackers. An energetic lad disguised as Hanuman would be seen entertaining the crowd with his mace (gada). Little kids would release fire-tipped arrows from a distance, hitting Ravana’s chest and setting the effigy on fire.

I would clap and shout along with my tribe, watching the effigies collapse head-first, on the ground. The festival is a symbol of victory of good over evil, and I would run back home feeling elated and victorious as if it were I who had personally destroyed evil! I would then visit each house in my colony to exchange Apta leaf (bidi tree leaf) called ‘sona’.

When you move to a foreign country, however, even finding a ‘tithi’ can be challenging. Your mom is missed. Your dad is missed, too. And that regional calendar hanging from your kitchen window, listing all the tithis is also missed.

How is it to celebrate festivals abroad? A sneak peek attached from my book, available on Amazon India and worldwide!

#Festival #7UntoldSecretsofLivingAbroad