Category Archives: Values

Spoken English


By Shashi Tharoor

As an Indian schooled in the English language, I have long been fascinated by its different variants in use around the world—from the Singaporean “la” suffixed to every sentence to the Australian “G’day” prefixed to every greeting. But most compelling are the multiple differences between British and American English, the two languages fighting for dominance in the Anglophone world.

In my first week on a US university campus, I asked an American where I could post a letter to my parents. “There’s a bulletin board at the Student Center,” he replied, “but are you sure you want to post something so personal?” I soon learned that I needed to “mail” letters, not “post” them (even though in the US you mail them at the “post office”).

In Britain, one concludes a restaurant meal by asking for the bill, and conceivably paying by cheque; in America, one asks for the check and pays with bills. What the Brits call chips are fries in America; what the Yanks call chips are crisps in Britain.

An English friend of mine says he nearly had a heart attack on a flight in the US when the American pilot announced that the plane would be airborne “momentarily”. In British English, “momentarily” means “for a moment”, and he says he thought the pilot was suggesting an imminent crash after takeoff. In American English, however, “momentarily” means “in a moment”, and the pilot was merely appeasing the passengers.

The plane took off, stayed aloft, my friend’s heart stopped thudding, and he lived to tell the tale. But he understood the old adage that Britain and the US are countries divided by a common language.

Anecdotes abound about the misunderstandings that arise when foreigners come to the US thinking that they know the language.

In one anecdote, a young man, in the course of a passionate courtship, tells his American girlfriend, “I’ll give you a ring tomorrow.” All he meant was that he would call her. But she understood him to have offered betrothal, and the relationship didn’t survive the misunderstanding.

Then there’s the hotel that failed to understand an English guest who called to say he had left his “trousers in the wardrobe”. Translators had to be summoned before the hotel staff finally cottoned on: “Oh, you’ve left your pants in the closet. Why didn’t you say so in the first place?”

Sometimes you can get the right word but the wrong concept. Our former foreign minister, M.C. Chagla, once ruefully recounted the time he wanted to order a modest bite from room service in a New York hotel and requested sandwiches. “How many do you want?” Chagla was asked. Imagining delicate little triangles of thinly-sliced bread, he replied: “Oh, half-a-dozen should be enough.” Six sandwiches duly arrived, each about a foot long and four inches high.

The language of politics is also not exempt from the politics of language. When a member of parliament in Britain “tables” a resolution, he puts it forward for debate and passage; when an American Congressman tables a resolution, he kills it off. A “moot” point is one the Englishman wants to argue; but if it’s moot, the American considers it null and void. Such differences of usage reveal something of the nature of American society. It is no wonder, after all, that while the British “stand” for election, Americans “run” for office.

A British linguist once told a New York audience that whereas a double negative could make a positive, there was no language in the world in which a double positive made a negative. A heckler put paid to his thesis in forthright American: “Yeah, right.”

Yeah, right, indeed. With the universality of English largely a result of US global dominance, it’s time for other English speakers to accept the American usage is winning worldwide. Even Indians are saying “elevator” and “apartment” rather than “lift” and “flat”. “Cookies” are supplanting “biscuits”.

And as the Americans have taught the rest of us to say: that’s O.K. Though not even they can tell us what those initials are meant to represent.


Boat holes ⛵

A man was asked to paint a boat. ⛵

He brought with him paint and brushes and began to paint the boat a bright red, as the owner asked him. 🎨

While painting, he noticed that there was a small hole in the hull, and quietly repaired it.

When finished painting, he received his money and left. 💰💰💰

The next day, the owner of the boat came to the painter and presented him with a nice cheque, much higher than the payment for painting.

The painter was surprised and said “You’ve already paid me for painting the boat Sir!”

“But this is not for the paint job. It’s for having repaired the hole in the boat.”

“Ah! But it was such a small service… certainly it’s not worth paying me such a high amount for something so insignificant.”

“My dear friend, you do not understand. Let me tell you what happened.

When I asked you to paint the boat, I forgot to mention about the hole.

When the boat dried, my kids took the boat and went on a fishing trip.

They did not know that there was a hole. I was not at home at that time.

When I returned and noticed they had taken the boat, I was desperate because I remembered that the boat had a hole.

Imagine my relief and joy when I saw them returning from fishing.

Then, I examined the boat and found that you had repaired the hole! You see, now, what you did? You saved the life of my children! I do not have enough money to pay your ‘small’ good deed.”

_So, no matter who, when or how. Just continue to help, sustain, wipe tears, listen attentively and carefully repair all the ‘leaks’ you find, because you never know when one is in need of us or when God holds a pleasant surprise for us to be helpful and important to someone_.

_You may have repaired numerous ‘boat holes’ along the way… of several people without realizing how many lives you’ve saved_.

*✨So Keep up Good
work …✨💐*

🙏😁 I want to thank Everyone who Repaired my boat this year in every way like Good Wishes, thoughts, love, care & prayers…

Leaking pipes

*Aabid Surti.*
A few years ago, he was invited to meet the President of India to receive a national award. He politely declined.
But he has time on every Sunday for seven years now, to go door-to-door in Mira Road, a non-descript suburb of Mumbai, with a plumber to repair leaking taps for FREE.

Aabid has written around 80 books. He read an interview of the former UN chief Boutros Boutros Ghali, that by 2025 more than 40 countries are expected to experience water crisis.

A few days later, he came across a statistic:-

That triggered an idea. He would take a plumber from door to door and fix taps for FREE – one Apartment Complex every week-end.
First began by replacing old O-ring rubber gaskets with new ones.
He named his one-man NGO *’Drop Dead’* and created a tag line:
*Save Every Drop… or Drop Dead.*
His team – consisted of Aabid himself, Riyaaz the plumber and a female volunteer Tejal. By the end of 1st year they had visited 1533 homes and fixed around 400 taps.
Slowly, the news began to spread.
In March 2008, director Shekhar Kapur, who was working on water conservation film, wrote on his website:
“Aabid Surti, thank you so much for who you are. I wish there were more people like you in this world. Keep in touch with us and keep inspiring us.”
Newspapers began to write about Drop Dead. One of the most heartfelt messages was from Shah Rukh Khan.
In 2010, Aabid Surti was nominated for the CNN-IBN CJ ‘Be The Change’ Award. In the same year, a television crew from Berlin flew down to follow him on his Sunday rounds which continued come monsoon or shine.
Conservatively, he has saved at least *5.5 million* litres of water till date. 👏👍

Chake de

#Conflict #Management #Thomas-#Kilmann #Shahrukh #Khan

Do we face conflicts at our work & home. Everyone is having his or her opinions. If we are not facing conflicts that means that people see no point discussing with us.

It’s better to Agree to Disagree.

In my #Conflict #Management #programs I use #Chakde #India as a tool where #Shahrukh has used all the 5 styles.

1. #Avoid – During the 1st practice session, any player who disagreed to his instructions was moved out of practice session. The players also went out and sat.

2. #Accomodate – In the Indian Hockey Team joining session, 1 player from Chandigarh – Preeti Sabharwal is late and Shahrukh accommodates her by asking her to do some rounds.

3. #Compete – From the 1st practice session till the Korea match – (Man to Man marking) he doens’t allow Bindiya Naik to play as they were always at loggerheads heads.

4. #Compromise – As mentioned above – Man to Man marking match against Korea he goes to Bindiya and does a compromise with her to play and break the Man to Man marking.

5. #Collaborate – Before the Final match against Australia, in the Pre finale dinner, he calls Komal & Preeti to make them underatand the need of collaboration and not competing.


#Transactional #Transformational #Problem #Solving #Task #Obsessive #Managerial #Styles

In my programs, I have been questioned about leading teams as a challenging proposition especially when we have to deal with #problems and #crisis.

So I quote an e.g. which Managers should follow. Whenever a team member committs mistake in preparing a presentation, we usually get angry and vent out our anger. However if we call the colleague into a meeting room and ask him to look into the presentation. The colleague would always find out the mistake and take it positively to rectify the mistake.

Here the mindset of the colleague will be that despite committing a mistake, my manager is not #Task #Obsessive but understanding me and helping me resolve the #Problem.

This lead to openness and positive relationships get created between Managers & Subordinates.

We need to use the “Praise in Public, Criticise in Private” formula but with a twist. We need to use incoming call v/s outgoing call formula. Ask your colleagues to review the presentation and most of times, they would find the mistakes and take ownership to rectify it

Kindly connect for more such e.g. move from #Transactional to #Transformational #leadership


#Interpersonal #Personality #Positive #Relationship #Bonding #Behavior #Life #Skills #Aamir #Khan #Shahrukh #Khan #Salman #Khan #Amol #Palekar

We meet many people in life – family friends & acquaintances. We bond with some & not with some. Ever wondered, Why this connect & disconnect. It’s due to our #Personality #Traits which are been learnt & ingrained.

There are some people who are focusing on #Tasks & some on #Relationships.

#Tasks #Oriented people are further classified on #Analytical – #Quality Oriented #Aamir #Khan who always likes to Focus on Details, Logic & Perfection.
& #Dominative – #Quantity Oriented #Shahrukh #Khan who always likes to #Win & only #Win, #Reach the #epitome by his #Rules & #Walk the #Talk.

#Relationships #Oriented people are further classified into #Influencial – #Extroverted #Salman #Khan who likes to #Socialize, bring #Excitement into #Work & be a #Mass #Person as #& #Introverted ( #Amol #Palekar in movies) who like to have #Strong #Relationships , #Emotional #Connect & #Empathize with others.

To know #Who are #You & How to strengthen #Interpersonal #Skills with your #Personal – #Spouse #Family #Friends & #Professional – #Boss #Subordinates #Peers #


#Appreciation #Praise #Growth #Empowermement #Ownership v/s #Criticize #Reprimand #Stagnant #Sylo #I #don’t #care

My programs have lot of #Life #Skills which I really feel are the need of the hour so that we can really have all round growth.

However one of the #Key #Skills – #Appreciation is practiced very selectively. This leads to lot of disconnect between people. Hence I use the e.g. of using #Appreciation by quoting this incident.

When we have a toddler who is taking baby steps to walk, do we #criticize or #praise for taking the initiative of attempting to walk.
Similarly when a subordinate is given a task and he is supposed to deliver it by 4 pm and we #Appreciate only when he finishes the task before the deadline which is way before that is by 2 or 3 pm & we #Appreciate. However if he sends it before the deadline which is 4 pm, doesn’t he deserve to be #Appreciated. Albeit if he sends by 4:05 pm we tend to #reprimand or #criticize immediately. This gets into -ve mindset of the employee.
We do the same at home when we eat dinner, out of 25-28 days we have 2-3 days when the food is not cooked properly & we #criticize immediately. Do we #praise the remaining 23-25 days.

Intelligence vs wisdom

Lao Tzu’s philosophy.

Differences between Intelligence and Wisdom….

Intelligence leads to arguments. Wisdom leads to settlements.

Intelligence is power of will. Wisdom is power over will.

Intelligence is heat, it burns. Wisdom is warmth, it comforts.

Intelligence is pursuit of knowledge, it tires the seeker. Wisdom is pursuit of truth, it inspires the seeker.

Intelligence is holding on. Wisdom is letting go.

Intelligence leads you. Wisdom guides you.

An intelligent man thinks he knows. A wise man knows he thinks.

An intelligent man always tries to prove his point. A wise man knows there really is no point.

An intelligent man freely gives unsolicited advice. A wise man keeps his counsel.

An intelligent man understands what is being said. A wise man understands what is left unsaid.

An intelligent man speaks when he has to say something. A wise man speaks when he has something to say.

An intelligent man sees everything as relative. A wise man sees everything as related.

An intelligent man is always insistent. A wise man is ever consistent.

An intelligent man tries to control the flow. A wise man goes with the flow.

An intelligent man is wordy. A wise man is worldly.

An intelligent man preaches. A wise man reaches.

Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right.

Growing old

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to, and less critical of, myself. I’ve become my own friend.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read, or play on the computer until4 AM? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60s & 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, eventually, we remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and too many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being older. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

Friends for life

I never sat on a sofa with my father & after my marriage, he had already left me…….
“Many years ago, after I got married I was sitting on a couch on a hot, humid day, sipping frozen juice during a visit to my father.

As I talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, my father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look at me.

“Never forget your friends,” he advised, “they will become more important as you get older.”

“Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends.

Remember to go out with them occasionally, do activities with them, call them …”

“What strange advice!” I thought. “I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we will start will be everything I need to make sense of my life.”

Yet I obeyed him; kept in touch with my friends and annually increased their number. Over the years, I became aware that my father knew what he was talking about!

In as much as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a man, friends are the bulwarks of his life.

After some years of life, here is what I learned:

Time passes.
Life goes on.
The distances increase
Children grow up & and become independent and although the it breaks the parents’ heart but they are often separated from them.

Jobs come and go.

Illusions, desires, attractions, sex … weaken.

People do what they should not do.

The parents die.

Colleagues forget the favors.

The races are over.

But, true friends are always there, no matter how long or how many miles they are.

A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need, reaching out to you intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or with blessings for your life.

When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead.

We did not know how much we would need from one another.
Love your parents, take care of your children, but keep a group of good friends.

Dedicated to all my Friends.❤❤❤