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Even a ten rupee bill can guard you September 24, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Jara hut ke, Life and all.

I never preserved purchase bills till this incident happened with me. A few years back I was in Mumbai and moving from Bandra to Borivali in a taxi. Somewhere on the way, mid afternoon, our taxi was subjected to police checking. Probably there was some crime suspect likely to pass the way and as such each one commuting on that particular road was stopped at the check post. Everyone was asked to produce a proof of identity and whereabouts. It was a tough interrogation. I was asked about the reason why I was in Mumbai and from where I was coming and where I intended to go. Fortunately I had saved the prepaid taxi bill procured early morning and also the hotel bill where I had my meals. These two slips helped me to prove my innocence and we were allowed to go ahead on our way. Many of us who were not able to prove themselves were asked to stay back! (what happened next to them is not known to me, anyway).

I learned a very important lesson to preserve the bill till we reach home. Most of us when we go to a mall or railway station or a hospital, invariably we park the vehicle in the designated parking yard. I have seen people throwing away the parking bill, the moment they cross across the parking barrier. To all such people I suggest “pl do not consider the ten rupees parking bill as scrap, this can be of great help someday for you.” Yet another phenomenon I have come across is that the bill collector at the parking yard is keen to collect back the parking bill from us at the exit gate. The only intention is to reuse and misappropriate. Friends please beware of such miscreants, never give away your bill to potential misuser’s. This is like mineral water bottle, please crush after use and ensure no misuse in future.

Though bills are ephemeral still they provide a lot of education to us. Recently I had breakfast on a highway motel. After the breakfast I was given a memo kind of a shabby sheet with the bill amount scribbled on it.  When I asked the billing counter in-charge to give me a proper bill he immediately replied “Sir, what amount of bill do you need?. Surprised and unhappy at this comment, I quizzed him : “What do you mean by what amount?”  Whatever amount I am supposed to pay, please provide me a bill for the same amount. The person across the counter apologized, “Sir, rarely I come across people like you, mostly I am asked for a pukka (proper) bill only when someone has to misappropriate and make a claim somewhere!”

Friends I think people in general need to be more alert and better sensitive about bills. A friend shared with me that in a big town when he went to a restaurant to have meals with his family he learned a new lesson. While ordering the food he was cautious about the figures mentioned on the right hand side in front of the dishes in the menu card. However after the meals when the waiter served the bill there was at least 20% deviation in the amount charged vis-à-vis the price mentioned in the menu card! When queried about this to the hotel management they informed that the new menu card was under print and in some fine print somewhere on the menu card it was mentioned about the pro rata changes in the item rates. Not confirming your bills with the services / goods received can be injurious to your budget.

I sometimes see people extremely careless about their purchases. A laundry owner cry’s his woes, “Most of the affluent customers tend to miss out on their bills when they come to collect their belongings!” We have created a special indemnity clause for all such forgetful customers. After the burglary one gentleman was not able to get insurance benefit only because he did not have sufficient documentation required to support his claim. Raja, an employee with an insurance company, bought a computer from a local vendor but did not preserve the invoice. After a few months when he approached the service center for after sales service, he was refused by the service company because he could not produce the proof of purchase!

I share an anecdote here. “Two friends from Delhi once went to London for an excursion. They were moving around in a rented car on city roads. While at the air station they paid their bill for the fuel and got the ‘money paid slip’ in return. As they moved out of the fuel pump the bill was thrown out of the window by one of them. To their surprise they were immediately followed & intercepted by the traffic police and fined for loitering the streets! (Something we can never imagine in our part of the country!). What happens next was a sure setback for the London police. The car riders paid their fine to the police and in return the police exchanged a bill for the fine amount. As they say old habits die hard, they moved ahead and the penalty bill was tossed out of the window again!

Lessons for Excellence :

  • Big lessons are hidden in small incidents; we should have an eye to grab those.
  • Bills are important, not just from registering your expenditure in the profit and loss statements but also to make your life easy.
  • Never temper with your bills, preserve them for some time period at least.
  • Always ask for a bill even against a small purchase, you deserve it.
  • Always check your bills for authenticity.


Ajit Varwandkar

Email : md@fsindia.in


Beware, your mood may mislead you September 19, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Life and all, Management.
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Day 1, evening.

Shalin come fast, we have to go for the party. No Mumma, I am not feeling well today, I may not go along. Asked the mother : “But why?” The reply “am not sure, why so Mumma, but I don’t want to study either”.

Day 2, morning.

Shalin rushes out of the house and shouts at his mother in a jubilant tone “Bye Mom, I have a busy day today, will come back in the evening, take care and be happy”.

Just a matter of 12 hours and there is 180 degree shift in Shalin’s mood. Many a times in life we come across a static state of mind.  The mind stops to work and body does not respond to our feelings. This mostly happens post trauma. In the common slang we coin it as: “I am feeling sick” or “I don’t know why but I am feeling down.” In the guise of a down mood we shun our responsibilities. These are those syndromes which we need to guard against. We can dodge our responsibilities but we cannot dodge the consequences.

Mood kills maturity. Bad mood spells doom.

…………………..  Complete write-up in my forthcoming book…. for announcement on the book title and launch, pl keep visiting www.aglakadam.com  ……………………………………… 


Be a good pilot, learn to smoothly sail your flight even in the turbulence of your mood.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : md@fsindia.in

How can I win from here? September 10, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Inspirational Story.
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I met two school students recently. In spite of there being certain stark similarities between both, they  were performing differently in their examinations. Both belonged to similar socio-economic family background and were from the same village. Incidentally both went down with a long drawn viral fever just before the examination. It took time for them to get well and only a few days before the examinations they could get back to studies.

I happened to ask both the students about how they plan to prepare for the test. Here are their replies: The first student said “Not  a problem, I shall somehow try to  get passing marks”. This student had never been the topper and had never tasted success. He did not have any aspirations to be the best in his class. He was satisfied with bare minimum numbers and never targeted high. His plan was just to maintain his status quo. On the other hand the second student replied “It would be tough, but I shall work hard to keep up my place in the top three”! This student was a topper all through and always aspired to be on the merit list. Just to pass, anyhow could not be his aspiration even in the toughest situation.

It matters where your thoughts extrapolate from! While one student was targeting just to manage and somehow pass in the examination the other was targeting to be at the top. It is the quality of target that you maintain at every stage in the process of your journey which matters. The result should not surprise you: the student who had the target to just pass actually failed while the other student topped in the examination.

Many of us start the year with very high targets and rich ambitions. However with the passing months most of us tend to miss on our targets. The natural reaction is to lose will and feel hopeless. It’s easy to feel hopeless but difficult to keep up the hope against pressure. It’s not tough to surrender but it is an arduous task to keep the spirits high when under struggle. As they say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog which makes it win. If you are not up to the mark today never should you do this mistake to assume that you will not be so tomorrow.  Tomorrow is always a new day and it comes with new promises. Let not the shadows of past failures darken your future.  Keep up the mental demeanor. Redirect your adrenalin to recharge your will power and not the blood pressure.

Everything in life has a beautiful end, if it’s not beautiful enough it’s not yet the end! Once you have started off with your mission, its utmost important how you finish. Thomas Alwa Edison, while he was inventing the bulb, could have very easily surrendered when he failed in his second or in the ninety ninth attempts. However he had the lamp of hope glowing till he succeeded in achieving his goal. On the way we might fall occasionally and this is but natural. In such low moments winners count the number of times they get up and get going while the losers would count the number of times they stumbled.

It’s must to continue giving your best performance till the end. Falling down should be considered as recharge coupon and the “will power balance” should get the necessary top-up with every setback. A battle is lost not when the enemy wins but when the other side gives-up and thinks he cannot fight any more. Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warn have been typically known for their never lose approach while playing on the field. Whatever may be the statistics on the scoreboard and irrespective of the field equations in the game, they prefer to ask their colleagues “How can we win from here”. Situations when the other team felt complacent about their victory these leaders were actually determined to turnaround the game. This approach has made their team win many games which they would have otherwise lost. Especially in the game of football and hockey you learn to keep up the winning will till the last-minute in the game. Many a match winning goals in international tournaments were shot just while the referee would have blown the finish whistle! It’s vital to be in the game till you finish strong.

Lessons for Excellence :

  • Past is a history and future is a mystery. It’s mandatory to execute in the present moment, that’s the real asset.
  • Hope is the only dependable weapon for a warrior who desires to win. Keeping the ultimate will to win will surely show you the well deserved victory in life.
  • In the journey of life defeat should only be taken as a mini stoppage and not as the destination.
  • At the end of the day it’s ones attitude, while facing adversity which defines the fate. It pays to manage and keep on the winning attitude.
  • “How can I win from here” could be used as a sure formula for success. Whenever you are under challenging situations, ask yourself ( at least once) : How can I win from here? I am sure you will get your answer.


Ajit Varwandkar

Email : md@fsindia.in

The holy officer and the scientist September 3, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Inspirational Story, Social Casue.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(This blog is based on the story of a boy from a small village  who ventured out to make a mark in the world. Idea behind this write up is to inspire students from lesser Privileged places to think big and also to inspire  people to connect with students and contribute to the society. The content in the story is based on what has been told to the auther by (the then ) teachers  in the school . Names of the characters in the story are assumed.)

These days I have been on a mission to reach out to village schools. Seven days and seven different villages to address 2100 students on career selection. Main aim has been to inspire them and to educate them. I shared, with these less privileged students, the available career opportunities in the country. These children dwell in places where schools are scarcely equipped, students rarely have books in hand to read, computer and internet is out of question and hygiene & health are not just comfortably compromised but also taken in their stride. As they say lotuses bloom in the marsh! I get overwhelmed and amazed to see certain success stories coming out of these villages. Here I share one such story with you today.

I share a story as told to me by a set of school teacher from Karpawand which is is a small village 45 kms from Jagdalpur. With a sub 8000 population the place has not more than 500 hutments. The village is a nature’s paradise. So much of greenery that you can get overdose of oxygen! A village where you can see the greenery of Mais  farming in every hutment. A lot of corn ( bhutta) is produced and sold in other parts of the country by the villagers. Apart from Corn fields the only other occupation is cashew nut farming.

A school dress in light blue and dark blue ( given  by the  government to students under special schemes) is the only luxury that a parent can afford to their children. Study books and other learning material is scarcely available for students. There is no stationary shop even in the village . Light from the earthen pot (only no moon nights) enables the student’s to learn their lessons at home on examination days.

Ganaram ( assumed name) lived in a small outfit in the region and studied at a local school in the vicinity. He always dared to stare at the sun and asked many questions about the sun to his teachers and parent. He was curious about the light and the energy coming from the sun. Ganaram  demonstrated a keen interest in studying science . His parents wanted him to go for higher studies ( middle school) and as such sent him to  a nearby village, for further  education. He had to travel 14 kms on road or bullock cart or an occasional bicycle ride every day.

One old & retired teacher from the village tells that on one particular 5th September ( teachers day) one senior government officer was invited to preside over a function in the school. ( no one remembers the name of this noble government officer anyway )  While going round the school and chatting with children, this officer happened to meet a boy who looked sad. Ganaram  was unhappy because he wanted to learn more about physics and science but his family had told him that this was his last year of school education. Next year onwards he would have to get into the farm and start cultivating mais. The officer listened to all that this boy had to say and what happened next is unprecedented.

Enthusiastic Ganaram  got financial assistance from the holy officer to pursue his Bachelor’s degree from Jagdalpur and Masters in Science from some college in Raipur. Subsequently Ganaram  qualified to be a part of  some leading research institute as a scientist. Current status  of Ganaram  ( as informed by the local people)  is that he is a well established researcher somewhere outside India!

If the wonderful officer did not extend his support to Ganaram  would have we lost a great scientist? I guess Yes and am sure you will also agree with me on this. How great was that teacher’s day when Ganaram met with the angle!  Not just for Ganaram , that was a great day also for the nation and for the humanity. In real essence the spirit of mentorship and service to mankind was demonstrated on earth.

Friends we do not need to be employed in a school to become a teacher.  We all are teachers within. At least we all have the potential to be good teachers at home and in the society. Wherever and for whatever purpose we move, the network of being a teacher within should always follow us.  Its time all of us took this responsibility to spread the light of education. Not necessary that we make financial contributions, sometimes just one word of inspiration can as well push someone to great heights.

This teacher’s day lets all pledge that we shall mentor at least one under privileged child in the society. This I think this would be the best tribute to Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakhrishnan. Let’s strive to make life much more knowledgeable and fulfilled for every child on this earth.


* Scientist’s can take birth in a remote village, but they can become so only when someone from better access extends a helping hand.

* It’s our social responsibility to contribute to the upbringing of every student in the society.

* Imparting education is not just the duty of school and school teachers. We the members of this society have an equivalent role to play.

*. You and me have a teacher within, rejuvenate it.

* This teacher’s day, let us all pledge to share the light of education to at least one student in the society.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

Post Script : Recently I got an email from a person, who lived in the referred village, stating  that no such Ghanaram ( assumed name ) hails from the village and this story might not be factual.

My submission : Its not just teachers who are responsible to ensure the academic growth of the students, the society shares a collective responsibility. May be, the details shared with me by the school teacher could be distorted. However even if  the story is imaginary, still it can inspire & suggest individual’s to support student’s in distant localities.