Monday, December 29, 2008

Blue Nile

BLUE NILE

[Foodie Memories]

By

VIKRAM KARVE




My darling “foodie” sister suddenly lands up in the evening from Mumbai and commands, “Let’s go to Blue Nile!”

“You sure?” I ask, a bit incredulous.

“Yes,” she says peremptorily, “I’m in a mood for a nostalgic Biryani!”

And soon we are sitting in Blue Nile – a quaint, old-world, down-to-earth, high turnover, no-frills, old-world "heritage" eatery of Pune located near the GPO opposite the Nucleus Mall. This is no fancy restaurant for stylish gourmet dining in air-conditioned comfort, soothing tranquility and refined classy ambiance. Blue Nile is certainly not the ideal place for a discreet tête-à-tête meal or a romantic candle-light dinner. The moment you enter your nostrils may experience wafts of “aromatic pleasures” of the overpowering “mughlai fragrance” emanating from the open kitchen in front of you – so be prepared for a quick, hot, sweaty, hustle and bustle meal amidst din and hullabaloo.

There is no bar – that’s good – for they focus on the food, and the tipsy types come in only late at night. And you’ll always find an assorted crowd, students, office-goers, travelers, a sprinkling of families, foodies, young and old – and you will notice almost all of them gorging into a plate of Blue Nile Biryani. There are two halls and they have put the molded chairs and tables in the corridor too, maybe for the late night crowd, where we found onions being peeled. It’s quite a large place with a canteen-like atmosphere – a place for quick businesslike eating – not a place to hang out.

We order – a Mutton Biryani for me and, surprisingly, my sister orders a Chicken Biryani. I look at her in disbelief – “I’m off red meat,” she says.

Sad. Real sad! A pity. Chicken is ubiquitously boring – it’s put on the menu for those masquerading as non-vegetarians and those who don’t know what to eat.

And tell me, Dear Reader, tell me, doesn’t the word “Biryani” imply Goat Mutton? Can there be such a thing as Chicken Biryani, Fish Biryani or, just imagine, Veg Biryani?

Think about it. Just think about it. And while you think I’ll eat!

The food arrives in a jiffy – dumped matter-of-factly on the table with a few onion rings.

I feast my eyes hungrily at the tempting dish of Mutton Biryani in front of me, my mouth waters, I dig in, pick out a piece of mutton, pop it on my tongue, close my mouth and my eyes, focus my senses inwards, press the soft, tender, succulent well-cooked meat between my tongue and palate, gently roll it all over, imbibing the heavenly flavours as the mutton releases its delicious juices, then a delicate squeeze, a gentle bite, allowing the scrumptious meat to dissolve, savour the delicious taste and appetizing aroma, as the medley of flavours permeate deep within me.

On first impressions, how do you judge a Biryani? There are four tests.

First I try the “spread test”. I pick a little Biryani in my fingers and sprinkle it on the side dish. The grains of rice must not stick together but remain separate. The pieces of meat too must be succulent, clear and dry, not greasy.

The Blue Nile Biryani passes the “spread test” – not ten out of ten, maybe eight out of ten.

Then I lift the plate and smell the pieces of meat. The Biryani must be pleasantly aromatic [the sweetish fragrance and appetizing aroma of marinated spices] – not sharp or piquant. Again, it’s eight on ten. The Biryani has passed the “aroma test” with flying colours!

I taste the mutton – it’s excellent, succulent, superb – a perfect ten on ten! I roll some rice on my tongue – a wee bit too spicy, the slight hint of greasy aftertaste – maybe eight on ten. Overall nine on ten in the “taste test”!

A Perfect Biryani? Let me see! The fourth and final test! The “Potato Test”.

I search for the potato. The potatoes must taste as well as the meat – that is a hallmark of a good Biryani. I search for the potato. The potatoes must taste as well as the meat – that is a hallmark of a good Biryani. I dig deep, search – there is no potato. Just imagine – a Biryani without a potato! Can there be a perfect Biryani without a potato which tastes as delicious as the mutton?

My sister forces me to taste the Chicken Biryani. I wish I hadn’t – the chicken is quite tasteless with a sour tinge; certainly not well marinated, maybe they use a common stock of pre-boiled chicken for all the dishes.

Dear fellow Foodie – that’s my assessment of the famous Blue Nile Biryani – a fine deliciously tasty wholesome Mutton Biryani, maybe not “perfect” connoisseur cuisine, but certainly a trencherman’s delight.

And the Chicken “Biryani”? Well it’s quite run-of-the-mill. Nothing special at all.

You will find all the usual fare to fill up the menu card at Blue Nile. Like every restaurant Blue Nile has its own version of the ubiquitous “Chinese” Chopsueys and Hakka Noodles and a few “Standard” vegetarian dishes, besides tea, soft drinks, jelly, caramel custard, shakes and ice cream.

Dear Reader, please don’t experiment. Remember the “signature dish” of Blue Nile is Biryani, so when you go to Blue Nile make sure your relish their inimitable Mutton Biryani. At a hundred and twenty bucks, it’s reasonably priced, certainly value for money.

Blue Nile is simple, no nonsense, unpretentious, high turnover eatery focusing on food with a down-to-earth, commonplace, earthy atmosphere – a place for the gluttonous trencherman, certainly not for the refined epicure. If you are one of those high-falutin, snooty gourmets finicky about suave ambiance, classy dining, elegant décor et al, try the Blue Nile Take Away – their “parcel” service is so fast that you’ll have your food parcel in your hand almost the moment you place your order.

Dear Punekars – can someone please tell me where I can relish a “perfect biryani” in Pune.

By the way, can someone please tell me the difference between a Biryani and a Pulao?

Of course, I know the answer – just trying to cross-check!

Happy Eating!


VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

A Broken Engagement

A Broken Engagement

[Short Fiction – A Love Story]

By

VIKRAM KARVE



The moment I saw the email I did two things.

First I took a print-out of the mail, kept it in my purse and deleted the mail from my mailbox.

Then I called the airlines and booked my ticket on the next flight to India.

The e-mail contained a name and an address. That’s all – just a name and an address.

I cannot begin to describe the emotion I felt as I looked at the name.

I had so many questions to ask him – Unanswered questions that were haunting me for so many years.

It all began when my fiancé Anil suddenly broke off our engagement without any explanation.

“Why?” I asked him totally shocked.

“I can’t tell you,” he said.

“You can’t dump me just like this. I’ve done nothing wrong,” I pleaded heartbroken.

“I’m sorry, Rita. I can’t marry you,” he said trying to look away from my eyes.

“What do you mean you can’t marry me?” I shouted shaking him.

He didn’t say anything, just remained silent, averting his eyes.

“Is it someone else? What do you mean you can’t marry me? Actually you don’t want to marry me, isn’t it?”

“Okay, you can think what you like. I don’t want to marry you.”

“You have to give me an explanation. I am not going to accept being jilted like this.”

“You have to accept it. Don’t delve too much.”

“How dare you say ‘don’t delve too much’, you unscrupulous cheat?” I screamed in anger, taking hold of his collar.

“Cool down,” he said pushing me away. “It’s you who tried to cheat me.”

“I? Cheated you?” I said dumbfounded and furious.

“You shouldn’t have tried to hide things from me,” he accused.

“Hide what?” I asked.

“You never told me that you are an adopted child,” he said.

“What nonsense! Don’t talk rubbish. I’m not adopted!” I shouted in anger.

“You are.”

“Who told you?”

“We got some matrimonial enquiries done.”

“Matrimonial enquiry? You spied on me,” I accused him, “to blackmail me, to humiliate me? With all these lies!”

“Don’t worry. No one else knows. It’s a reliable and discreet investigation agency.”

“It’s not true. I’m not adopted,” I said feeling shattered, numb, as if I had been pole-axed.

“Why don’t you ask your parents?” Anil said as he walked away from my life, leaving me heartbroken, desolate and shattered.

I never asked my parents, the only parents I knew. They were the one’s who loved me, gave me everything. I could not ask them; hurt them. I did not have the heart to. They did not say anything to me but I could see the sadness and a sense of guilt in their eyes, as they withered away having lost the will to live. I felt deeply anguished and helpless.

My parents loved me, meant everything to me, and we carried on our lives as if nothing had happened, and I lovingly cared and looked after them till their very end; but deep down I felt terribly betrayed.

Years passed. I relocated abroad past and immersed myself in my work. I tried to forget but I could never forget.

One day I could bear it no longer. I decided to find out. And now I had found out.

The investigation agency had done a good job. Confidential and discreet.

For the first time I knew the name of my actual father. My real father, my biological natural father.

And now I had to meet this man and ask him why he did it – abandon me to the world.

I landed at Delhi airport in the very early hours of the morning.

It was cold, the morning chill at once refreshing and invigorating, the driver drove fast and it took me six hours by taxi to reach the magnificent bungalow near Landour in Mussoorie.

I checked the nameplate and briskly walked inside, eager to see my real father for the first time.

There was a small crowd gathered in the porch.

“What’s happening?” I asked a man in the crowd.

“Bada Sahab is no more. He passed away this morning. He was so good to us,” he said with tears in his eyes.

I pushed my way through the crowd.

My father’s lifeless body was lying on a white sheet bedecked with flowers, ready for the last rites.

As I looked at his serene face, tears welled up in my eyes.

Suddenly I lost control of myself and cried inconsolably, “I have become an orphan. An orphan!”

“Me too!” a familiar voice said softly behind me.

I turned around and stared at Anil, my ex fiancé .

Anil looked into my eyes in awe.

Slowly comprehension began to dawn on us, Anil and me, and we kept looking into each other’s eyes.

In silence. A grotesque silence. A deafening silence. An illuminating silence. An enlightening silence.



VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.


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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

LAMINGTON IN PUNE - Foodie Memories

PUNE NOSTALGIC FOODIE MEMORIES

LAMINGTON

By

VIKRAM KARVE


When I lived near Aundh, in the evenings I often used go for a walk on Aundh Road from Bremen Chowk towards the railway line at Khadki. It is one of the best places to walk in Pune, wide roads with plenty of greenery and foliage on both sides.

Of course, Girinagar, where I live now, is a fantastic pristine verdant walkers' paradise, where you can rinse and invigorate your lungs with pure cool refreshing unpolluted air; but then it's far far away from the chaotic polluted noisy concrete jungle of Pune!

But one thing is for sure. While you can rinse your olfactory senses to your heart’s content with the wonderful pure air, you can’t relish a delicious Lamington and indulge your epicurean gourmand desires on your evening walks out here.

back then, in my memorable days in Aundh, on my way back to my erstwhile home near the banks of the Mula River, I would treat myself with a Lamington at the Spicer College Bakery Shop.

Let me close my eyes, transport myself to the glorious past, stop at Spicer College Bakery on my evening walk, buy a lamington and delicately place the soft delicacy between my lips, press and squeeze a piece of the wonderful stuff on my tongue, focus inwards, enhance the sensitivity of my gustatory senses in order to amplify the experience of supreme bliss as the Lamington melts in my mouth and the chocolatty-coconutty luscious syrupy sweetness permeates into me.

A Lamington is a delicious cube of sponge cake, dipped in melted chocolate and sugar and coated in desiccated coconut.

They originated in Australia around 1898 in what later became the state of Queensland. Whilst the origin of the name for the Lamington cannot be accurately established, there are several theories.

Lamingtons are most likely named after Charles Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. However, the precise reasoning behind this is not known, and stories vary.

According to one account, the dessert resembled the homburg hats favoured by Lord Lamington.

Another apocryphal tale tells of a banquet in Cloncurry during which the governor accidentally dropped a block of sponge cake into a dish of gravy, and then threw it over his shoulder, causing it to land in a bowl of desiccated coconut or peanut butter. A diner thought of replacing the gravy with chocolate and thus created the lamington as we know it today.

Ironically, Lord Lamington was known to have hated the dessert that had been named in his honour, once referring to them as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".

Another theory is that they were named after Lady Lamington, the wife of the Governor.The Spicer College Bakery Lamington is my favourite – and can you imagine it costs just Eight Rupees [that’s five Lamingtons for a Dollar, for those who think in Dollars!].

The chocolate icing keeps the cake moist. The desiccated coconut protects it from drying out in the hot climate. And it’s quite a juicy generous lip-smacking treat!

The Spicer College Bakery in Pune serves a variety of healthy goodies like carrot cake, nut cake, doughnuts, samosas, soy patties, soya milk; but, for me, it’s always my all time favourite, the inimitable yummy succulent Lamington!

Tell me, Dear Fellow Foodies, have you tasted a Lamington, in Pune or elsewhere?

If so, do tell us all about it.

If not, enjoy one the next time you are in Pune and give me your feedback.



VIKRAM KARVE


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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Your Smile, Your Laugh and You

SMILE AND LAUGH

By

VIKRAM KARVE



While I was clearing up some old papers in my bookcase, I came across some jottings in an old diary I had made more than thirty years ago probably while sitting in my university library.

I had scribbled something about types of smiles and laughter.

Your smile (and your laugh) is like your signature – your very own personal imprint, password or signal.

Now I want you to keep a mirror in front of you and practice each of the types of smiles described below, and have a laugh.

Don’t you want to know which type of smile and laugh suits you best?

Come on, get ready, and check it out, and tell us which type of “smiler” and “laugher” you are.

SMILES

Lip smilers – Smile only with their lips.

Cheesy smilers – Smile with their teeth

Twinkle smilers – Smile and Laugh with their dancing eyes

Sweet smilers – Exercise their chubby cheeks

Wry smilers – Know something you don’t

Tee-Hee smilers – Smile with their necks

Body smilers – Smile wholeheartedly with their whole body

And of course you’ve seen the fake, contrived smiles of forced geniality.


LAUGHTER

Hearty Laughter – All heart

Belly Laughter – Body, belly and heart

Seal Laughter – Barking, high pitch, like a seal

Guffaw – Clearing one’s lungs and windpipe

Giggle – silly, embarrassed laugh

Titter, Snigger, Snicker – mocking laughter

Chuckle – A quiet laugh to yourself

Chortle – Gurgling laughter

We also have a burst of laughter, rolling with laughter, horse laugh, laughing up one’s sleeve (a secret somewhere), and laughing one’s head off.

I am sure there are many more types of smiles and laughter, so Dear Smilers and Laughers, do tell us all you have observed.

I wonder if one’s personality and character is related to the way a person smiles or laughs?

And would someone please tell me what is: “to smile like a Cheshire Cat” for I have never seen a cat smile [Dogs do smile though!]


VIKRAM KARVE

vikramkarve@sify.com

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/

Monday, December 08, 2008

Managerial Ethics - Food for Thought

MORAL DEVELOPMENT AND ETHICAL FITNESS

By

VIKRAM KARVE



[An article on Managerial Ethics based on an insightful model to look at various stages of moral development, ethical fitness for job roles and ethical issues faced in work situations]


When recruiting new people, or promoting/appointing persons to senior / sensitive positions, a number of attributes ( Hard Skills and Soft Skills) like Professional Competence, Managerial Proficiency, Domain-specific or Technical skills, and pertinent soft skills comprising leadership, communication, behavioural and emotional aspects, and even physical and medical fitness are assessed, evaluated and given due consideration.

But does anyone evaluate a candidate’s Ethical Fitness before recruitment or appointment?

No, I am not talking about the routine verification of antecedents or background integrity checks. I am talking of assessing Ethical Fitness.

Ethical fitness refers to ensuring that people are in proper moral shape to recognize and address ethical dilemmas. Ensuring Ethical fitness in a proactive manner will result in preventive, rather than corrective, Ethical Management.

Before launching any inquiry pertaining to the concept of Ethical Fitness, it is necessary to explore the moral dimension. Moral development is a prerequisite to ethical behaviour; in fact, a sine qua non for ethical fitness. Kohlberg offers a handy framework for delineating the stage each of us has reached with respect to personal moral development.

Stage 1. Physical consequences determine moral behaviour.

At this stage of personal moral development, the individual’s ethical behaviour is driven by the decision to avoid punishment or by deference to power. Punishment is an automatic response of physical retaliation. The immediate physical consequences of an action determine its goodness or badness. Such moral behaviour is seen in boarding schools, military training academies etc. where physical punishment techniques are prevalent with a view to inculcate the attributes of obedience and deference to power. The individual behaves in a manner akin to the Pavlovian dog.

Stage 2. Individual needs dictate moral behaviour.

At this stage, a person’s needs are the person’s primary ethical concern. The right action consists of what instrumentally satisfies your own needs. People are valued in terms of their utility. Example: “I will help him because he may help me in return – you scratch my back, I will scratch yours.”

Stage 3. Approval of others determines moral behaviour.

This stage is characterized by decision where the approval of others determines the person’s behaviour. Good behaviour is that which pleases or helps others within the group. The good person satisfies family, friends and associates. “Everybody is doing it, so it must be okay.” One earns approval by being conventionally “respectable” and “nice.” Sin is a breach of the expectations of the social order – “log kya kahenge?” is the leitmotif, and conformance with prevailing ‘stereotypes’ the order of the day.

Stage 4. Compliance with authority and upholding social order are a person’s primary ethical concerns.

“Doing one’s duty” is the primary ethical concern. Consistency and precedence must be maintained. Example: “I comply with my superior’s instructions because it is wrong to disobey my senior”. Authority is seldom questioned. “Even if I feel that something may be unethical, I will unquestioningly obey all orders and comply with everything my boss says because I believe that the boss is always right.”

Stage 5. Tolerance for rational dissent and acceptance of rule by the majority becomes the primary ethical concern.

Example: “ Although I disagree with her views. I will uphold her right to have them.” The right action tends to be defined in terms of general individual rights, and in terms of standards that have been critically examined and agreed upon by the whole society. (eg) The Constitution. The freedom of the individual should be limited by society only when it infringes upon someone else’s freedom.

Stage 6. What is right is viewed as a matter of individual conscience, free choice and personal responsibility for the consequences.

Example: “There is no external threat that can force me to make a decision that I consider morally wrong.” An individual who reaches this stage acts out of universal ethical principles.

Moral development is in no way correlated with intellectual development or your position in the hierarchy or factors like rank, seniority, status, success or earnings, salary, material wealth. In the words of Alexander Orlov, an ex-KGB Chief, “Honesty and Loyalty may be often more deeply ingrained in the make-up of simple and humble people than in men of high position. A man who was taking bribes when he was a constable does not turn honest when he becomes the Chief of Police. The only thing that changes in the size of the bribe. Weakness of character and inability to withstand temptation remains with the man no matter how high he climbs.” Ethical traits accompany a man to the highest rungs of his career.

In a nutshell the governing factors pertaining to six stages of Moral Development which determine Ethical fitness may be summarized as:

FEAR – Stage 1
NEEDS – Stage 2
CONFORMANCE – Stage 3
COMPLIANCE – Stage 4
CONSENSUS – Stage 5
CONSCIENCE & FREE WILL – Stage 6

Before we try to delve into exploring how to evaluate Ethical Fitness, let us briefly ponder on the concepts of Ethical Susceptibility and Ethical Vulnerability.

Ethical Susceptibility is your inability to avoid ethical dilemmas. Ethical Susceptibility is environment dependent (on external factors) like, for example, your job, your boss, colleagues and subordinates, or the persons around you, or even the ‘prevalent organizational culture’.

Ethical Vulnerability is your inability to withstand succumbing in the given ethical dilemmas /situations. It is dependent on your internal stage of moral development in the given ethical situation.

Whereas being in an ethical dilemma is not in your control, to act in an ethical manner in the prevailing situation is certainly in your control.

Ethical vulnerability is a measure of the ease with which a man be ethically compromised, especially in an ethically poor climate. In situations where the ethical susceptibility is high, morally strong people (ethically non-vulnerable) should be appointed and conversely, only in jobs/situations where ethical susceptibility is low should ethically vulnerable persons be permitted.

If the environment is not conducive, a person can intellectually reach stage 6 but deliberately remain morally at stage 4 as he may find that he has to sacrifice too much to reach stage 6. This can be particularly seen in most hierarchical organizations where most smart employees make an outward preference of being at stage 3 or 4 (Conformance and Compliance) in order to avoid jeopardizing their careers, even if internally they have achieved higher ethical states. This Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde schizophrenic moral approach is at the heart of many ethical dilemmas people encounter in their professional lives and may result in internal stress due to ethical confusion.

Whenever two individuals at different stages of moral development interact with each other, both of them try to force or manoeuvre the other into their own appreciation of the ethical situation, thus leading to conflict. In a formal hierarchical setup, the players in the chain may not be at similar stages of moral development thereby leading to dissonance in the system. Where the ethical susceptibility is high, morally strong people (less vulnerable) should be appointed and conversely, in only such jobs where ethical susceptibility is low should ethically weak persons be permitted.

What is your stage of personal moral development? Be honest with yourself and recall the decisions you made in recent ethical situations. The six stages are valuable landmarks as they tell you approximately where you are and what changes you will have to make in yourself to move to a higher level of moral development. The ultimate goal is to engage in ethical decision making at stage 6. However, the level that you do reach will depend on your ethical commitment, your ethical consciousness and your ethical competence.

Food for Thought

What do you do if your boss is at a lower stage of moral development than you? Do you masquerade and make pretence of being at the “appropriate” stage of what moral development and practice situational ethics to reap maximum benefits.

This Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde schizophrenic ‘situational ethics’ approach may cause your outer masquerade to turn into inner reality. Do you want that to happen? Think about it!

Is there such a thing as Ethical Fitness?

Or is "Ethical Fitness" an oxymoron, not relevant in today's work environment?

Dear Reader, what do you think? Please do let us know your comments.


VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

CANINE PSYCHOLOGY

Canine Psychology

by

Vikram Karve


My pet Doberman girl Sherry gives me a grand rousing welcome every time I return home. She waits for me at the compound gate, and the moment she sees me, Sherry goes berserk with sheer excitement, wagging her tail vigorously round and round, jumping up at me enthusiastically, making unique welcome yelps, nudging me with her mouth and nose, and when I, overcome by a flood of love, have caressed, patted and cuddled her, she runs round and round the compound in happy joyful exhilaration and ecstatic glee.

And then as I proceed towards the house, Sherry does something unique which I have never seen any other pet dog do – she brings me a “gift”.

Yes, she comes to me carrying in her mouth a welcome gift, and drops the gift at my feet.

And do you know what this welcome gift is?

Well, sometimes it is an old bone she digs out, or maybe an old soiled rag cloth or the pair of socks she had stealthily pinched from the drying stand and hidden, buried deep in the lawn, or one of her toy “babies”, or an old shoe, or maybe just some piece of muck she has dug up, or a twig, anything – but Sherry always welcomes me home with a gift.

She does this to my wife, kids, mother, friends, maid and others she knows well and though her welcome may not be as vigorously enthusiastic as she does for me, Sherry always brings them a “gift”. [For unwanted strangers Sherry has a ferocious, rather ominous bark, and, if unheeded, and they dare to enter our compound, maybe a vicious assault followed by a memorable bite – she is a superb guard dog].

Sherry’s “gifting nature” has me perplexed. As I said I have never seen any other pet dog bringing welcome gifts.

Sherry’s fantastic welcome overwhelms me with a delightful emotion of happiness, gratitude and love that I cannot describe in words, and I always look forward to returning home to Sherry [My wife and kids do sometimes welcome me home too, but certainly not as enthusiastically, and there is never the “welcome gift” at my daily homecoming after work].

Dear Reader, have you ever seen any dogs demonstrate their happiness and affection in this way?

Please can some dog lover or canine psychologist throw some light on this “gifting behaviour” – why does my darling pet Doberman girl Sherry express her love in such an inimitably endearing manner?

VIKRAM KARVE

vikramkarve@sify.com

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Delightful Book for Dog Lovers

Canine Love Story

MARLEY & ME
Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog

By

John Grogan

[Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2006]
ISBN 0 340 92209 5


[Reviewed by VIKRAM KARVE]


The essence of this book is encapsulated in the ruminations of the author after he buried his beloved dog Marley: “Was it possible for a dog – any dog, but especially a nutty, wildly uncontrollable one like ours – to point humans to the things that really mattered in life? I believed it was. Loyalty. Courage. Devotion. Simplicity. Joy. And the things that did not matter, too. A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbols mean nothing to him…A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not.”

We have a dog – a Doberman called Sherry. We have given her our hearts and she has given us her unconditional loyalty, devotion and love. She never demands much. A walk in the morning, a walk in the evening, a bit of playing, a meal, a bit of baby talk and cuddly love, and she fills our moments with her natural spontaneous exuberant devotion, warm affection, zeal and joy. It’s true – in order to understand the art of living completely one must keep a dog at least once in one’s lifetime.

In this wonderful book the author describes his thirteen-year “love affair” with his Labrador retriever Marley, who enlivened the life of a young married couple, shared their moments of happiness and grief, and ensured there was never a dull moment in their family life.

Marley certainly wasn’t the “perfect adorable model dog” – in fact, the author calls Marley the “world’s worst dog” who won their hearts with his faithful devotion and wholehearted love.

The first person narrative lends an air of authenticity and intimacy to the story. The friendly, simple writing style makes this book an easy read foe all ages. In the preface, he describes his delightful childhood days with his dog Shaun who was his faithful companion from when the author was ten years old for fourteen years till the author completed his college education and moved on to work.

Shaun was a perfect dog who set the standard by which the author would judge all other dogs to come.

Having set such a high benchmark, it’s no wonder the author calls Marley the “world’s worst dog”!

I will not delve too much on Marley’s story and deprive you of the pleasure of discovering it yourself.

If you are a dog lover and have been a dog owner you will chuckle in your mind’s eye as you read about the naughty antics of Marley and recall similar frolics by your very own dog. If you have never kept a dog and are thinking of doing so then you’ll get an idea of what to expect! Marley’s life story makes one thing evident – once a dog comes into your home, he will soon win the hearts of your entire family and friends and change the way you look at life forever.

Narrating the trials and tribulations owing to Marley’s sometimes exasperating behaviour, interspersed with the story of his own family life including the spats with his wife due to Marley, the moments of happiness and pain the shared with Marley, and the hilarious episodes like the one when Marley was kicked out of the dog-training obedience classes, John Morgan writes in racy style which will keep you engrossed – once you start reading you will laugh, you will cry, at times a flood of emotion will engulf you; but you will remain captivated – the book is so delightfully written that once you start reading you will enjoy it so much that you will experience that the book is virtually “unputdownable”

I loved reading “Marley and Me” and commend this superb book. If you are a dog lover you will enjoy every moment of this enthralling tale. Even if you are not a dog lover you will love this mirthful, moving story of Marley and his family. At times, tears may well up in your eyes. This delightful memoir reminds us that like Marley, we must all live our life to its fullest and, most importantly, we must learn to love people unconditionally, like dogs do. Read this heart-warming book, give it to your children and you’ll be surprised how much a dog can change your life for the better and how much we humans can learn from dogs.


VIKRAM KARVE

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Book Review - The Importance of Living

BOOK REVIEW by Vikram Karve

[A book that enriched my life and taught me the art of living]


Title: THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING
Author: LIN YUTANG
Published: 1937 ( New York , USA ), Indian Edition: 1960 JAICO Mumbai
ISBN: 81-7224-829




There is one book you will never find in my bookcase – you will always find it by my bedside near my pillow. At night, just before I go to sleep, I open this book to any random page, and read on till I drift off to blissful idyllic sleep.

The name of this book, which has had a profound defining effect on me, maybe even subconsciously shaped my philosophy of life, is called: The Importance of Living written in 1937 by the Chinese philosopher Lin Yutang.

But first, let me tell you a story, maybe apocryphal, about a scholar who had thoroughly studied the Bhagavad Gita for many years, considered himself an expert, traveled far and wide delivering discourses on the teachings of the Gita and was widely acknowledged as an authority on the subject. The scholar's ultimate desire was to deliver a discourse on the Bhagavad Gita at Benares , which was the sanctum sanctorum of learning.

So he went to Benares , and impressed by the scholar’s erudition and fame, the King of Benares invited the scholar to deliver a discourse on the Bhagavad Gita in his court. All the wise men of Benares assembled to hear the Scholar, but just as he began to speak the King interrupted him and told him to read the Bhagavad Gita one more time in the evening and deliver his discourse the next day. The Scholar was furious but he had no choice but to comply with the king’s wishes.

As he read the Bhagavad Gita with full concentration in the evening, he realized some new meanings and updated his speech accordingly. Next day the same thing happened – the moment the scholar began to speak the King interrupted him and told him to read the Gita once more and then come the next day to give his lecture. And again as the Scholar read the Gita he comprehended some new wisdom – something he hadn’t perceived before. So he incorporated his new findings and proceeded to deliver his talk.

Once again the same thing happened – the king interrupted him and told him to read the Gita once more before he gave his discourse. And again the scholar discovered some new wisdom in the Gita. This cycle went on for days and days till the scholar realized how ignorant he was and how much more there was to learn from the Bhagavad Gita that he gave up the idea of delivering the discourse and decided to totally devote his entire efforts to the study of the Bhagavad Gita.

Days passed, and suddenly one morning, when the scholar was deeply immersed in his study, the King went to the scholar’s house, sat before him with folded hands and requested the scholar to enlighten him about the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.

It’s the same with any great book. Every time you read it, something new emerges, and you realize you have so much more to learn from it. I have read The Importance of Living innumerable times, again and again, with renewed pleasure, and every time I read it I imbibe a special different philosophical flavor, and grasp new wisdom, which delves on all aspects of the art of living, and I have realized that there is more significance and value in Lin Yutang’s magnum opus than I am capable of appreciating. So let me not be as presumptuous as to attempt to evaluate this classic treatise – I’ll just try to gently pilot you along in random vignettes to give you a flavor of this delightful philosophical gem.

Let’s open this delightful book to a few random pages, read some lines to give you glimpse into the wisdom on the art of living contained in this masterpiece. In the section on Leisure and Friendship are these words: “Only those who take leisurely what the people of the world are busy about can be busy about what the people of the world take leisurely”. Reflect on this, let these words perambulate in your mind for some time. There is nothing that man enjoys more than leisure. The highest value of time is when you are doing what you love and want to do. During leisure you are free to choose what you want to do and enjoy doing. Leisure enables you to realize the highest value of your time!
Tell me, why do you work?Is it for job satisfaction, "on the job"? Or is it to earn money "on the job" so that you can enjoy satisfaction "off the job", to enhance the quality of your free time? In fact, most of us work for our leisure, because there is nothing we enjoy more than leisure. Elaborating on a theory of leisure the book says: “Time is useful because it is not being used. Leisure is like unoccupied floor space in a room…it is that unoccupied space which makes a room habitable, as it is our leisure hours which make our life endurable”.
Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.

Enunciating the distinction between Buddhism and Taoism: “The goal of the Buddhist is that he shall not want anything, while the goal of the Taoist is that he shall not be wanted at all”, the author describes the tremendous advantages of obscurity, and deduces that only he who is not wanted by the public can be a carefree individual. It is true isn’t it – only he who is a carefree individual can be a happy human being? Lin Yutang deliberates delightfully on his philosophical view: “Nothing matters to a man who says nothing matters”.
“How are we to live? How shall we enjoy life, and who can best enjoy life?” The feast of life is before us; the only question is what appetite we have for it.
The appetite is vital, not the feast. This delightful treatise gives us insights on how to develop, enhance and refine our appetites in order to enjoy various facets of living. The capacity for true enjoyment comes from an inner richness in a man who loves the simple ways of life. There is always plenty of life to enjoy for a man who is determined to enjoy it.
You may find some of the author’s views a bit passé – “mere relationship between man and woman is not sufficient; the relationship must result in babies, or it is incomplete” or “woman reaches her noblest status only as a mother, and that wife who by choice refuses to become a mother… loses a great part of her dignity…and stands in danger of becoming a plaything” or “a natural man loves his children, but a cultured man loves his parents” or “The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild” or “It is against the will of God to eat delicate food hastily, to pass gorgeous views hurriedly, to express deep sentiments superficially, to pass a beautiful day steeped in food and drink, and to enjoy your wealth steeped in luxuries” – think about it, reflect a bit, and you may detect a iota of authenticity in these nuggets.

The book has fourteen chapters, embellished with epigrams, teaching stories, ancient wisdom and wit, on various aspects of the importance and enjoyment of living and once you start reading it this book is indeed so engrossing that it is truly unputdownable. The Importance of Loafing, The Enjoyment of the Home, Nature, Travel, Culture, The Arts of Thinking, Eating, Reading , Writing, Loving, Happiness – the range and variety of topics covered indeed make fascinating reading.

Reading is the greatest of all joys. Extolling the virtues and charm of reading, Lin Yutang says: “The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world…the reader is always carried away into a world of thought and reflection”, and on writing: “a writing is always better when it is one’s own, and a woman is always lovelier when she is somebody else’s wife”. “He who is afraid to use an ‘I’ in his writing will never make a good writer” and “anyone who reads a book with a sense of obligation does not understand the art of reading… to be thoroughly enjoyed, reading must be entirely spontaneous…you can leave the books that you don’t like alone, and let other people read them!”

The best way to read The Importance of Living is to open any page and browse whatever appeals to you, randomly, in an unstructured and haphazard manner. Think of yourself as a traveler in the philosophical or spiritual domain. The essence of travel is to have no destination. A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going to; a perfect traveler does not know where he came from! A true traveler is always a vagabond – he travels to see nothing, to see nobody, with plenty of time and leisure, with the true motive to become lost and unknown.

Are you the ambitious competitive go-getter obsessed with an overpowering desire for achieving quick success – craving for power, wealth, fame, and the status and money-oriented aspects of life?Do you value material possessions more than peace of mind? Is external achievement more important than inner tranquility?

If your answer to any of the questions is “Yes”, then please don’t bother to read this book now, as you may be too “busy” in your own competitive rat race of your own making and probably you don’t have any time to “waste” on anything that doesn’t give you something tangible in return – a solid material ROI (Return on Investment) for investing your valuable time and effort reading this book. But please don’t forget to read The Importance of Living after you’ve burned out, had a heart attack or suffered a nervous breakdown – when you’ll have plenty of time and, perhaps, the inclination, to reflect, contemplate, and delve more deeply upon the more intangible philosophical aspects of life – and ruminate on how you could have obviated that stressful burn-out, agonizing heart attack or traumatic nervous breakdown. Here’s Lin Yutang’s take: “Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.”

If you are happy here and now, wherever you are, in whatever state you are, and you are truly content with what you have, you place living above thinking, and are interested in savoring the feast of life and its joys, then this witty philosophical treatise on the art of living in its entirety is the book for you.

The Importance of Living presents an uncomplicated approach to living life to its fullest in today's rapidly changing, fast paced, competitive, ambition dominated, money and status oriented, commercialized world, enabling each one of us to enjoy inner peace and happiness.

Sometimes, it is a great pity to read a good book too early in life.
The first impression is the one that counts. Young people should be careful in their reading, as old people in eating their food. They should not eat too much. They should chew it well. Like you should eat gourmet food only when you are ready for it, you should read a good book only when you are ready for it. Mature wisdom cannot be appreciated until one becomes mature.

But The Importance of Living is a book for all ages. Of 1937 vintage, an ancestor and precursor of modern "self-help" books, it is a delightful philosophical treatise, which advocates a humorous and vagabond attitude towards life and deals with a variety of topics encompassing the art of living. Is such a happy and carefree philosophy of life relevant today?

Why don’t you give it a try and see for yourself.Slowly, unhurriedly, relaxingly, thoroughly, do peruse this classic masterpiece, absorb the witty wisdom, reflect, try out, practice and incorporate whatever appeals to you in your daily life, ruminate, experiment, enjoy yourself, have a laugh, change your lifestyle, enhance your quality of life, elevate your plane of living, and maybe your entire way of life may change forever.

Dear Reader, I commend this delightfully illuminating book. Though enunciated with a touch of humor, the thoughts are profound. Do get a copy of The Importance of Living and read it leisurely. I’m sure you will find a copy at your nearest bookstore or in your library. And don’t forget to tell us how you liked it, and whether it changed your way of life for the better.




VIKRAM KARVE


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.


vikramkarve@sify.com

vikramkarve@hotmail.com

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Book Review of THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING by LIN YUTANG
[A book that enriched my life and taught me the art of living]
Reviewed by VIKRAM KARVE

Sunday, October 26, 2008

PLEASURE & HAPPINESS

Pleasure and Happiness

[A Diwali Resolution – Be Happy]

By

VIKRAM KARVE


The primary aim of philosophy and spirituality is to help ordinary people live a life of happiness, fulfilment, inner peace and tranquillity.

Every day you ask yourself - How do I live a happy life? Is it simple to be happy? What is the art of happiness?

Let us see what the Taoist philosopher Mingliaotse has to say: “The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild."

You know that whenever pleasure is present you are happy - this is a fact that cannot be denied - for a pleasure is an enjoyable event or delightful emotion which is bound to make you happy, at least for that moment.

Highfalutin philosophers and spiritual gurus may prescribe various impracticable esoteric paths of renunciation, asceticism or sectarian precepts eschewing enjoyment and pleasure as the sine qua non of happiness, but the fact of the matter is that to the ordinary person happiness and pleasure are inextricably intertwined.

Discovering simple enduring pleasures which you can easily and regularly achieve, realize and enjoy in your day-to-day life will produce contentment, fulfilment and happiness.

Pleasure is certainly not a bad thing in itself, but wanton pursuit of pleasures is counterproductive as it leads to over-indulgence and excesses which bring with them disturbances which are detrimental to our happiness and well-being.

In your search for happiness you tend to indulge in extravagant parties, unrestrained extravagance, conspicuous consumption, compulsive shopping, thoughtless profligacy, limitless spending, expensive entertainments and try to enjoy everything at once, instant gratification by over-indulgence in wining, dining and dancing, stretching yourself to the maximum limits possible.

At first you enjoy yourself and feel happy but when you come to the point of satiety you begin to feel a sense of repulsion, and if you overdo yourself, next morning wake up sick and feeling miserable with a sense of sadness and depression rather than happiness.

Grandiose, complicated, ostentatious, lavish, unrestrained and intemperate indulgences which you think will ostensibly make you happy, in actual fact, render you stressed-out, unhappy and cause you harm and misery in the long run.

There is no need to overdo things in order to be happy.

Just keep your pleasures mild.

Enjoying a simple, tasty and healthy meal with your loved one's and friends, or just sitting quietly and leisurely reading a good book, taking a walk enjoying melodious music, enjoying your work, leisure, hobbies are some mild pleasures which will make you happy and keep you healthy too.

It is simple to be happy.

The first thing you must do is to introspect and list your most pleasurable activities - things that give you true joy, happiness and satisfaction - in all aspects of your life.

Make your “happiness list” as exhaustive as possible and from this list select those “mild pleasures” that you can enjoy every day or very frequently, often. Then incorporate these pleasures in your routine and fit them into your daily life.

See what happens. Some “pleasures” that you thought would make you happy actually do the opposite, don’t they?

Delete those "pleasures" that you thought would give you happiness but actually made you stressed-out - things you think would be satisfying but turn out to be unrewarding.

Experiment, make changes, be watchful, dynamic.

Do not hesitate to add new items to your list - you can always remove them if they fail to produce the desired results.

Fine tune and religiously put into practice your list and experience happiness every day.

This prescription of keeping your pleasures mild will enable you to structure your life in way where your happiness will be in your control and you will find greater joy in your life.

It will be feasible and within your control to ensure that you enjoy these mild pleasures daily or at least fairly regularly and, with only so many hours during the day, these enjoyable events will begin to crowd out the neutral, unpleasant, and irrelevant activities in your daily life and make you feel fulfilled and happy.

Dear reader, start today, on the auspicious day of Diwali and discover the true art of happiness, the art of living.

Discover your mild pleasures that make you truly happy and joyful.

And do let me know your experience – did this simple philosophy of keeping your pleasures mild make you happier?

It is simple to be happy, isn't it?

HAPPY DIWALI.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.


vikramkarve@sify.com

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Leisurely Day in Pune

A LEISURELY DAY IN PUNE - Fond Memories

By

VIKRAM KARVE


[A Treatise on the Art of Leisure – Nostalgic Memories of glorious moments of idleness and leisure in Pune - my favourite city]

Art of Loafing

Please tell me Dear Reader: What is loafing? Idling away your time on useless things?

Aimless Loitering?

Loitering! Sounds a bit derogatory, isn't it?

Okay lets say it's aimless wandering. Perfectly useless time spent in a perfectly useless manner!

Yes. That’s how I would like to define the art of loafing - spending perfectly useless time in a perfectly useless manner!



Foodwalking


And what is foodwalking?Loitering, or rather walking, in search of good food. Not so aimless loitering!

That's what I did once – long back. I loafed in Pune.

Foodwalked. In search of good food.

I spent a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless manner – “Foodwalking in Pune”.

I still have fond nostalgic memories of that glorious day. Let me tell you about it.



A Glorious Day


It is a beautiful morning. I try to furtively slip out of my house unnoticed, but I am stopped in my tracks by my wife's piercing voice, "Where are you going"?

"I don’t know?" I answer truthfully, and this adroit answer probably precludes the next question she is about to ask me, "What time are you coming back?" for she knows I will again truthfully answer, "I don’t know".

It’s true – I really don’t know where I am going!

"Take the mobile with you," she shouts, but I pretend not to hear and make myself scarce and disappear as fast as possible for I do not want the manacles of technology to ruin my day.

Dear fellow loafer - If you want to truly enjoy life beware of the technology trap!It's a bright day. I feel good.

Flush with a sense of carefree irresponsibility, I walk with a spring in my step. I am going to enjoy my leisure. Should I turn left? Should I turn right? Should I cross the road and go straight ahead?

I am free. Free to go wherever I desire. Free to enjoy my day as I want.

True freedom – to be able to travel at will with no destination to reach, no task to complete, no deadlines to meet.

Just Loaf. Aimlessly. Timelessly. Pure Leisure. Spend a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless manner. I see a bus. I stop it and hop in. "Where do you want to go?" the conductor asks.

"Where does this bus go?" I ask. "Pune Railway Station."


"Okay. One ticket to Pune Railway Station," I say holding out a tenner. The conductor gives me an amused look and hands me a ticket and a rupee coin.

I sit down on a vacant window-seat.

I think interesting thoughts and enjoy the view through the window.

On these trips of mine I prefer travelling by bus and, of course, I love to walk on foot.

Driving my car on the terrible potholed, crowded and chaotic roads in the terrible traffic of Pune makes me go crazy, and, at my age, I dare not venture out too far on my scooter, lest I land up with broken bones in hospital or, worse, lifeless in Vaikunth or Kailas crematoriums!

That's what I sometimes do on these glorious trips of mine. Just jump into the first bus that comes along and let it take you wherever it goes.

Just go where life leads you.

Last time I landed up in the heart of Pune near Shaniwar Wada.

In Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi loafing is even more exciting, as there are so many more routes and choices, trains, buses, walks, and you can serendipitously explore so many novel and exotic places you would not dream of going to in normal course.

The bus reaches the Pune Railway Station. It’s been a smooth ride.


Anonymity


I get down and admire the magnificent heritage stone building of Pune Railway Station. I stand in the porch and look inside. Trains, crowds, announcements, horns, cacophony, and chaos – I love the “railway” atmosphere.

On impulse, I enter, and stroll on the platform, panning my gaze all over, and stopping once in a while to feast my eyes on any attractive object that arrests my attention.

"Want a seat?" a porter asks.

"No," I say.

"Where are you going?" he pursues.

"Nowhere," I say.

"Waiting for someone," he asks, probably in anticipation of porterage.

"No," I say.

He stares at me for a moment and walks off with a look of perplexed dejection.

I look around. Everyone is waiting to go somewhere, or for someone.

I am waiting to go nowhere, and for nobody.

So I walk out of the station and head for Shiv Kailash Milk Bar bang opposite on the other side of the road. If you arrive at Pune by train on a hot morning, never make the blunder of heading for the rickshaw stand. You'll get all stressed up waiting in the never-ending queue and haggling with the rickshawallas trying to con you.

Just cross the road to Shiv Kailash, sit under the shade on one of the stainless steel stools placed on the pavement, invigorate yourself with a tall glass of cool refreshing lassi (which is guaranteed to banish the depleting effects of the tiresome train journey) and tell the waiter to hail a rickshaw from the many hanging around.

This is what I have been doing for so many years, during my numerous homecomings, since the days when Pune was called Poona. Shiv Kailash serves the best lassi in Pune. It’s almost as good as the one at Pehelwan at the end on Lanka near BHU in Varanasi. The lassi freshly made in front of you topped off with a generous dollop of soft fresh cream. The sumptuous fulfilling soothing lassi is thick, lip-smacking, nourishing, and gives me a heavenly feeling.

I sip slowly, relishing every mouthful, almost eating the delectable fluid after letting it perambulate on my tongue, as I watch the world go about its business outside.

People come in a jiffy, gulp their lassis down the hatch in a hurry, and rush away, while I blissfully savour each and every drop of the delicious lassi.

I walk leisurely towards Camp. Past Mira College, GPO, Zero Milestone, Police Headquarters, Nehru Memorial Hall, where I cross the Moledina Road admiring the imposing Lal Deval Synagogue, and turn left, past the place imperial Dorabjee Store Building used to be once. Now there is a huge shopping complex and a glitzy mall opposite. I reminisce. West End, New Empire, all the adorable landmarks gone. Now there are Malls and modern places like Landmark. Landmark – you know it don’t you?

Landmark is Pune’s swanky new music-cum-book store. Like Crossword – giving competition to the grand old Manney’s, International, Popular, TBS and the bookshops at Appa Balwant Chowk.

I walk in. The place is swarming with chic salesgirls and sales-boys. No one pays any attention to me. Maybe I blend well with the surroundings.

I realize the tremendous advantages of obscurity and the benefits of anonymity.

Had I been a successful person, rich and famous, or someone with a striking personality, people would notice me and I doubt I would have been able to enjoy myself with such carefree abandon.

Only non-achievers like me can truly enjoy a life of carefree irresponsibility and the unadulterated joys of genuine leisure. I roam around the ground floor music section. There are no music stations where you can listen to music like they have in Rhythm House and Planet-M in Mumbai. So I go the first floor bookstore. It’s spacious, neatly laid-out and looks impressive.


Browsing


The books are arranged subject-wise, clearly visible from anywhere. There are cushioned stools to sit and browse and also two long sofas below the huge tinted windows towards the far side.

I start from the left side. Food, Philosophy, Self-Help, Travel, Coffee Table, Erotica, Classics, Fiction, Computers, Children, Indian Writing there are books on every topic you can think of.

The tranquil ambiance is so soothing and conducive that I browse to my hearts content, loosing myself into that wonderful state of timelessness I experience sometimes when I am totally immersed into doing something I love. By the time I leave Landmark, cerebrally satiated, it is almost three in the afternoon, I am hungry, and in desperate need of gastronomic satiation. So I walk past Manney’s, West End, turn right on Main Street, cross Aurora Towers, turn right, walk past ABN Amro Bank, and turn left on Dastur Meher Road, a walk leisurely towards Sarbatwala Chowk till I reach Dorabjee and Sons.


A Leisurely Meal


I dive in through the low entrance and look around. The eatery is crowded, with noisy families bashing away regardless greedily devouring the heaps food before them. The mouth-watering aroma, and the sight of the appetizing food, creates in me such ravenous pangs of hunger that I quickly sit on the only vacant table and order a Mutton Biryani the signature dish of Dorabjee.

As is the hallmark of specialty cuisine restaurants the menu is select just a few choice dishes a single page. There's Sali, Curry, Masala and Biryani in Mutton and Chicken; Kheema, Brain, Eggs, and combinations thereof, cutlets in gravy, and a few Veg dishes, for appearance sake. On Sundays, you can have Dhansak, maybe on your way to the races in the season.

Pune may have changed but heritage institutions like Dorabjee still preserve the flavour of yesteryear Pune. I spoon some Biryani onto my tongue, seal my lips, close my eyes, turn my senses inwards with full consciousness to imbibe and savour the unique medley of juices released by the succulent piece of mutton, the bitterish-sweet taste of the slightly burnt crisp fried onions, and the spicy flavoursome rice. It is superlative delicious authentic cuisine at its best. Dorabjee serves the best heritage mutton biryani in Pune – no doubt about it. [Blue Nile and Good Luck are nearly as good].

The fervent atmosphere of the place and exquisite quality of the food is such that one eats enthusiastically, with wholehearted zest and gusto; not apologetically and self-consciously, as one tends to do, trying to be prim and proper, in highfalutin restaurants.

At Dorabjee, you can enjoy every morsel of your food with passionate ardour.

And as I reach blissful satiety I realize that a well-filled stomach radiates a kind of spiritual happiness.



The Art of Leisure



The ideal way to end this rich spicy repast is to cool it off with a Falooda.

So I walk down Sachapir Street, cross Main Street, and head for Badshah on East Street to down a deliciously sweet and chilled Rose flavored Royal Falooda.

And then to Kayani, down East Street, to pick up some Shrewsbury Biscuits and Chocolate Walnut Cake. I stand outside Kayani, wondering what to do. Maybe I can go to Manney’s and browse some more. If Landmark has got the ambiance, Manney’s got the books!

And then just loiter down Main Street admiring pretty looking things, till I am tired and hungry.

Maybe I will have some sandwiches, a roll and cold coffee at Marzorin. Or pastries and a softy at Pasteurs.

Or a Burger at Burger King, or a Chopsuey at East End, down East Street.

Maybe Kathi Rolls at Olympia, Chicken Masala at George, Chana Bhatura at Monafood, Sev Barfi at Bhavnagri, Wafers at Budhani, or Sizzlers at The Place next to Manneys, or one more Biryani at Blue Nile near the GPO.

The possibilities are endless!Or should I see the movie at Victory opposite, or at West End nearby?

Maybe I'll jump into the first bus I see and let it take me wherever it goes.

How about going for a long walk on Laxmi road into the heart of town?

Or an idyll beside the river in Bund Garden, or Saras Baug, or Sambhaji Park?

Or maybe I will just head home.

Oh, yes indeed, the possibilities are truly endless!

I am free to do whatever I choose to do! Loaf to my heart's content! To continue to spend a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless manner! Relish moments of perfect leisure.You can take my word for it, dear reader.

There is nothing you will enjoy more than loafing.

It is when you cease to do the things you have to do, and do the things you like to do, and you want to do, that you achieve the highest value of your time.

The freedom to enjoy life is the ultimate reward.

Why should you defer happiness waiting for some elusive abstract rewards?

What reward could be greater than a life enjoyed as it is lived? If you do not find happiness as you are, where you are, here and now, you will never find it.

There is always plenty in life right now to enjoy for one who is determined to enjoy it.

The feast of life is before you. Do you have the appetite to enjoy the feast of life?
So my dear friend, discover the art of loafing, and you will redeem the art of living from the business of living.

The Art of Travelling, The Art of Happiness, The Art of Eating, The Art of Living, The Art of Loafing, The Art of Leisure - all inextricably intertwined, aren't they?

Dear Reader, do tell us about your glorious carefree leisurely loafing experiences in your favourite city too!

And let us know what you think about the Art of Leisure.


VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.


http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/


http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve


vikramkarve@sify.com


vikramkarve@hotmail.com

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Art of Amrutatulya Tea - Pune Style

THE ART OF AMRUTATULYA TEA – PUNE STYLE

By

VIKRAM KARVE



When I was a small boy in the nineteen sixties Pune was a “Tea Town”. Everyone drank tea and all over the town there were chiefly two types of tea for the laidback discerning gourmet Punekar to relish – AMRUT TULYA CHAHA at the ubiquitous Amrut-tulya Tea Shops in every nook and corner of Pune, and the peerless IRANI CHAI served by the numerous Irani Restaurants all over Pune City and Camp like Café Naaz, Lucky, Good Luck, Volga etc.

Amrut means Nectar, and Tulya means Comparable, so “Amrut Tulya” means “Comparable to Nectar” and indeed, true to its name, Amrut-Tulya Tea is comparable to nectar – sweet, ambrosial, like the elixir of life! Amrut Tulya Chaha is not brewed in the traditional Tea service style – the tea is “cooked” in front of you.

Come, my dear Tea Lover, let me tell you how to make Amrut Tulya Chaha - The Art of Tea – Pune Style.


Assemble the following Ingredients for Two cups of Amrut Tulya Tea “Special Chaha”

Assam CTC Tea or, if you live in Pune, get the famous CTC+OP “Family Mixture” Tea Powder from your favourite “Tea Depot” in the heart of Pune City.
[By the way, the acronyms are: CTC – Crush, Tear, Curl; OP – Orange Pekoe; BOP – Broken Orange Pekoe].

Full Cream Buffalo Milk [I like Chitale’s]

Fresh Water

Sugar

Fresh Ginger Crushed [Better still you can crush the juicy fresh ginger with the chimta directly in the water-milk concoction to let the ginger juices flow out and blend in smoothly]

Cardamom – peel, crush and powder the pods


[NB – Amrut Tulya Tea is not your traditional Masala Chai so please don’t add any Tea Masalas or spices like clove, cinnamon, black peppercorns or herbs like gavati chaha (lemon grass?), tulsi leaves etc. and neither is it the “khada chamach” or “cutting” Chai so please don’t boil away to glory – remember, you must achieve Amrut Tulya Chaha of just the right consistency!]



In a brass vessel [or stainless steel, if you can’t get a brass vessel] mix one cup of water and one cup of milk. Add four teaspoons of sugar. Put on the stove. Medium heat.

Squeeze in a bit of crushed ginger and add a pinch of cardamom powder and the peel.

Lightly stir, let it warm, and bring to a boil.

Smartly add two teaspoons of tea powder and keep stirring gently to ensure the boiling concoction does not spill over. Keep boiling till the tea attains beautiful bright golden-orange colour – the moment you see a reddish tinge, give the heavenly brew a loving last stir, twirl the vessel, and sieve the Amrut Tulya Tea Special Chaha directly into the cups.

Sip the delicious tea slowly and mindfully, roll it on your tongue, let it emulsify in your palate, close your eyes, absorb, discern the flavour, the rich taste, relish every sip lovingly.

Tell me, isn’t Amrut Tulya Chaha lip-smacking tasty and soul-refreshing? Blissful ambrosia, an experience of nectar, isn’t it?

Now you know why they call it Amrut Tulya – comparable to Nectar!


VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

vikramkarve@sify.com

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

Monday, October 06, 2008

HOW TO MAKE TEA

HOW TO MAKE TEA

By

VIKRAM KARVE


I love tea.

You too love tea but don’t know how to make a good cup?

Let me tell you how to make tea.

Get some good Assam CTC Tea [CTC is an acronym for Crush, Tear and Curl]. CTC teas have a granular appearance and the fact of the matter is that if you are really interested in a Stimulating, Refreshing and Invigorating cup of traditional Indian Tea, Orthodox Leaf Teas [the OPs, the BOPs, et al] just don’t fit the bill – you need CTC tea to brew your strong, bright and full-bodied cup of milky Chai which looks deliciously appetizing – a lively reddish orange colour, not the dull muddy brown colour you get when you add milk to tea made from leaf teas the orthodox “teapot” way.

Take two cups of fresh water [one for you and one for me!] in a stainless steel vessel. Add four teaspoons of sugar. Put on the stove, cover with a lid and boil. Once the water starts boiling, remove the lid and boil for one and a half minutes – yes, exactly one and a half minutes!

Now briskly add two teaspoons of CTC Tea leaves, one teaspoon for each cup – the boiling water will suddenly erupt, and surge up, like a volcano, so smartly switch off the flame before it spills over and quickly cover tightly with the lid. Brew for five minutes till the liquor is full-bodied and the infusion is complete.

Have ready some freshly boiled full cream buffalo milk – yes, fresh creamy buffalo milk is a must – in Pune, I prefer Chitale’s. First pour in some hot milk in the cup, and through a strainer, pour in the rich tea brew and till you get beautiful reddish orange colour. Remember – always pour tea into milk, never milk into tea. This is the secret of the appetizingly attractive bright lively carroty red colour as it facilitates the perfect blending of the strong rich full-bodied intense tea liquor tea brew with the creamy white milk without producing any bitterness.

Now, go ahead, relish every sip, and enjoy your cup of ambrosial divine rejuvenating tea.

And do tell us how you liked it.



VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

vikramkarve@sify.com

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Quit Smoking - The NLP Way

USE NLP TO QUIT SMOKING

[REPROGRAMMING THE MIND – THOUGHT ANCHORING]

By

VIKRAM KARVE


The first thing I decided after completing NLP Practitioner Training was to try and apply the concepts I had imbibed on myself. I was a smoker, had tried to quit many times and now I’d try NLP to give up smoking. [The proof of the pudding is in the eating].

I succeeded, gave up smoking in a day, conquered the craving, the urge for smoking, never suffered any “withdrawal symptoms” and quit smoking forever.

Let me describe to you, Dear Reader, that red letter day of my life.

I woke up early in the morning, as usual, made a cup of tea, and the moment I took a sip of the piping hot delicious tea, I felt the familiar crave for my first cigarette of the day.

I had identified my first “Smoking - Anchor” – Tea.

I kept down the tempting cup of tea, made a note of the craving [anchor] in my diary, quickly heated a glass of water in the microwave oven, completed my ablutions, stepped out of my house, and embarked upon my customary morning constitutional brisk walk-cum-jog deeply rinsing and cleansing my lungs with pure refreshing morning air, which made me feel on top of the world. I felt invigorated and happy. I had overcome my craving and not smoked my first cigarette of the day.

Returning from morning walk, I stopped to pick up the newspaper, and spotted my friends ‘N’ and ‘S’ across the road beckoning me for our customary post-walk tête-à-tête with tea and cigarettes at our favorite the tea-stall.

Here lurked my second “Smoking - Anchor” – my smoker friends.

I felt tempted, but I steeled my resolve. I waved out to them, turned away and briskly headed home. They must have thought I’d gone crazy, but it didn’t matter – I had avoided my second cigarette of the day.

That’s what I was going to do the entire day. Be aware, conscious, and identify all the stimuli that triggered in me the urge to smoke – my “smoking anchors” which could be anything, conscious and unconscious, internal and external, tangible or intangible – people, situations, events, feelings, smells, emotions, tendencies, moods, foods, social or organizational trends, practices, norms, peer-pressure.
And then I would conquer and triumph over these stimuli, demolish these negative “smoking-anchors” and establish and reinforce new positive “healthy” anchors using a Technique called Force Field Analysis.

I’ll tell you more about Force Field Analysis later. Dear Reader, read on and see how my first non-smoking day progressed.

After breakfast, I didn’t drink my usual cup of coffee – a strong “smoking anchor” which triggered in me a strong irresistible craving and desperate desire to smoke. I drank a glass of bland milk instead, and thereby averted my third cigarette of the day.

It was nine as I reached my workplace and I hadn’t smoked a single cigarette [or not smoked my customary three cigarettes!]

It was a long day ahead and I had to be cognizant, observe myself inwardly and devise strategies to tackle situations that elicited craving for smoking – recognize and conquer my “smoking anchors”.

Anchoring is a naturally occurring phenomenon, a natural process that usually occurs without our awareness. An anchor is any representation in the human nervous system that triggers any other representation. Anchors can operate in any representational system (sight, sound, feeling, sensation, smell, taste). You create an anchor when you unconsciously set up a stimulus-response pattern.

Response [smoking] becomes associated with [anchored to] some stimulus; in such a way that perception of the stimulus [the anchor] leads by reflex to the anchored response [smoking] occurring.

Repeated Stimulus–Response [SR] action reinforces anchors and this is a vicious circle, especially in the context of “smoking anchors”. The trick is to identify your “smoking anchors”, become conscious of these anchors and ensure you do not activate them. And then transcend from the SR Paradigm to the SHOR Paradigm to set and fire new positive anchors. What’s SHOR? I’ll tell you soon.

The moment I reached office I saw my colleague ‘B’ eagerly waiting for me, as he did every day. Actually he was eagerly waiting to bum a cigarette from me for his first smoke of the day [“I only smoke other’s cigarettes” was his motto! ].

I politely told him I had quit smoking and told him to look elsewhere. He looked at me in disbelief; taunted, jeered and badgered me a bit, but when I stood firm, he disappeared. I had not smoked my fourth cigarette of the day!

I removed from my office my ashtray, my lighter, all vestiges of smoking, declared the entire place a no-smoking zone and put up signs to that effect. The working day began. It was a tough and stressful working day. I was tired, when my boss called me across and offered me a cigarette. I looked at the cigarette pack yearningly, tempted, overcome by a strong craving, desperate to have just that “one” cigarette. Nothing like a “refreshing” smoke to drive my blues away and revitalize me – the “panacea” to my “stressed-out” state! It was now or never! I politely excused myself on the pretext of going to the toilet, but rushed out onto the terrace and took a brisk walk rinsing my lungs with fresh air, and by the time I returned I had lost the craving to smoke and realized that physical exercise is probably the best antidote – a positive “non-smoking” anchor – and, of course, I had not smoked my fifth cigarette of the day!

It was the famous Stoic philosopher Epictetus who said: Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and cannot control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.

We often let our feelings set our anchors, govern our lives. We let feelings drive our thoughts, not realizing that thoughts drive actions, actions produce results, and results in turn produce more feelings, reinforce anchors, causing a vicious circle which may ultimately lead to loss of self-control.

Such “feeling-anchors” not totally controllable, as many times feelings are produced by external circumstances beyond your control, and if negative feelings are allowed to drive our thoughts and actions, then undesirable results emanate.

The best solution is to establish “thought-anchors” as drivers of your actions. It is in our control to think positive, good and interesting thoughts. [The happiest person is he or she who thinks the most interesting and good thoughts, isn’t it?]

That’s the essence of NLP. Reprogram your anchors, recondition your mind, control your life, change for the better and enhance your plane of living. This technique works for me, and I’m sure it’ll work for you too. It is so effective, so breathtaking in its simplicity.



VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

vikramkarve@sify.com

vikramkarve@hotmail.com

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Art of Eating

APPETITE FOR A STROLL

[Foodie Adventures, Simple Recipes, Authentic Value For Money Food in Mumbai and Pune and Musings on The Art of Eating]

By

VIKRAM KARVE

Please click the link and read the review of Appetite for a Stroll titled Food for Soul in the Indian Express [Pune] Sunday 7th September 2008

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/358363.html

expressonline book review

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Food-for-soul/358363/#

Happy Reading and Happy Eating

VIKRAM KARVE

PS: If you want to get the book just click the links below:


http://www.indiaplaza.in/finalpage.aspx?storename=books&sku=9788190690096&ct=2


http://books.sulekha.com/book/appetite-for-a-stroll/default.htm


I am sure you will enjoy reading the book.

Appetite for a Stroll - My Foodie Writings Book

Are you a passionate foodie?

Want to learn the ART OF EATING?

Searching for yummy heritage cuisine? Especially in Mumbai and Pune.

Then you must read APPETITE FOR A STROLL.

Want to know more?

Just click the links below:

http://books.sulekha.com/book/appetite-for-a-stroll/default.htm


http://sulekhablogs.sulekha.com/blog/post/2008/07/sulekha-book-series-volume-iii-appetite-for-a-stroll.htm


http://www.indiaplaza.in/finalpage.aspx?storename=books&sku=9788190690096&ct=2


Happy Eating

Vikram Karve

Pratap Joshi - RIP - Last Post

LAST POST

PRATAP JOSHI - RIP


In the early hours of the 22nd of September 2008, Pratap Dattatraya Joshi, breathed his last, and departed for his heavenly abode, at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune.

Pratap Joshi was an epitome of simple living and high thinking. Born on the 6th of March 1932, he imbibed sterling values from his father, DP Joshi, a Teacher and Scout, a legend in his lifetime.

A product of the prestigious First Course of the National Defence Academy [or 1st JSW, as he liked to call it], Brigadier PD Joshi was certainly not the archetypal pompous hard-drinking handlebar-moustached high-falutin Colonel Blimp type of Officer. He was a simple, down-to-earth, Spartan, unassuming, dedicated, sincere, patriotic, scrupulously honest, erudite person possessing a golden heart filled with humility and compassion. Throughout his distinguished career spanning 37 years, and even thereafter, he spread happiness, benevolence and goodwill owing to his cheerful disposition, kind-hearted nature and inimitable sense of humour.

Forever young at heart, Pratap Joshi didn’t suffer from the Auld Lang Syne Complex. After retirement he didn’t live in the past, languishing and brooding about the “good old days”, but moved on with exceptional enthusiasm and childlike zeal to his new loves – music and social work.

Starting from the scratch, he studied classical music with sheer dedication, resolute grit and passionate zest for many years till he was bestowed with the prestigious post graduate degree of Sangeet Alankar. Then he taught music to one and all, free of cost, making special efforts to teach the needy and underprivileged.

Travelling extensively, and roughing it out in the heart of the mofussil, to rural and far flung regions, he made a significant social contribution to enhancing primary education in backward areas, as the Chief Trustee of the Natu Foundation Educational Trust. He eagerly contributed his expertise to Jnana Prabodhini and for improving the efficiency of Hospitals.

Pratap Joshi loved animals, especially dogs. He always had pet dogs, and showered his unconditional love on them and all the dogs that he came across in the neighbourhood, pet and stray. It was distressing to see Dolly desperately searching for him soon after he had gone away from us forever. We shall always remember the love with which he snuggled and cuddled Sherry, our Doberman girl, when she was a baby.

He had a genuine zest for living, and enjoyed every moment of his life, indulging himself in his favourite foods, movies, travel, music – anything he liked, he did it! He laughed, and made others laugh.

I first met Pratap Joshi in March 1982 and he left such a lasting impression on me that I became his fan ever since. He was my father-in-law, more like a loving father who I could count on to stand by me, advice and inspire me, in happiness and in adversity, and I shall forever cherish every moment I shared with him. My son, a seafarer, was his favourite grandchild, the apple of his eye. It was a pity he couldn’t be with his beloved grandfather during his last moments as he is sailing on the high seas. Such are the tragedies and travesties of life, and death.

We will miss you dearly “Daddy”. You lived your life to its fullest and loved all of us from the bottom of your heart. We are sure you will shower us with your blessings from your heavenly abode. You were a noble and virtuous man who always did good to everyone you met and wherever you went. May your Soul Rest in Peace.


VIKRAM KARVE

vikramkarve@sify.com

vikramkarve@hotmail.com

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Decision Management

The SHOR Paradigm

[Decision-making in Uncertainty]

By

VIKRAM KARVE



“The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides” …Frederic Amiel



Decision-making is so pervasive that everyone, professionally or personally, is involved with making a variety of decisions.

In today’s fast-moving world, the timing of a decision is of paramount importance in many decision-making situations. In real life even the “perfect” decision may not be optimal if it is made too late.

Information is a vital resource in decision-making. One of the most important characteristics of successful managers is the ability to make the correct decision when confronted with imperfect or insufficient information (i.e.) Decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.

In the context of decision-processing, two realms or domains of uncertainty are:

1. Information Input Uncertainty which creates the need for hypothesis generation and evaluation;

2. Consequence-of-Action Uncertainty which creates the need for option generation and evaluation.


THE SHOR PARADIGM


A decision taxonomy: The Stimulus – Hypothesis – Options – Response (SHOR) paradigm, formulated by Wohl, is useful in such decision situations. The SHOR paradigm represents a qualitative, descriptive, model as distinct from a quantitative, predictive model, and comprises three primary decision-making task elements:
S: Stimulus Input Data Processing
H: Hypothesis Generation, Hypothesis Evaluation, Information Processing [What is?]
O: Option Generation, Option Evaluation, Decision-Making [What if?]
R: Response Output Action

The SHOR paradigm is basically an extension of the classical Stimulus – Response (SR) Paradigm of behaviourist psychology. The SHOR paradigm provides explicitly for the necessity to deal with information input uncertainty and consequence-of-action uncertainty, and helps us understand some of the peculiar human factors that affect the quality of the decision-making and answering questions such as:
What makes some decision-makers perform better than others, especially in placing high-value assets at risk, in business?
What are the sources and dimensions of “poor” performance?


HUMAN ERRORS IN DECISION-MAKING


Based on the SHOR Model, human errors in decision-making appear to lie in four domains:

(S) Stimulus: “I didn’t know…”
(H) Hypothesis: “I didn’t understand…”
(O) Options: “I didn’t consider…”
(R) Response: “I didn’t act…”

Stimulus based errors of the type “I didn’t know…” result from lack or inadequacy of information, the true inability to obtain information.

“I didn’t understand…” is the fundamental result of information input uncertainty, while “I didn’t consider…” is the product of consequence-of-action uncertainty.

It is possible to have accessed all significant information, to have developed the correct hypothesis and to have selected the best option and yet fail to take appropriate action. The two possible reasons for the “I didn’t act…” type of response error are:

1. Paralysis: This is a complete failure to act, the pathological ‘observation of an inevitable course’ without intervention. It is caused by an over-riding emotional struggle in which some internal factor is being placed in conflict with the course of action selected by the decision-maker. The final scene in the evergreen classic film The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) exemplifies such a situation.

2. Misjudgement: The decision-maker correctly decides what to do but errs in either or both of the two dimensions – how [the specifics of the action] or when [the timing of the action].

Prediction of the critical consequences of inaction may be of some help in dealing with paralysis whilst the ability to perform sensitivity analyses may assist in alleviating misjudgement.

Any Decision-Maker [and designers of decision aids] must address the four cardinal types of errors epitomized by the SHOR paradigm: “I didn’t know…”, “I didn’t understand…”, “I didn’t consider…” and “I didn’t act…”



DECISION-MAKING IN UNCERTAINTY


In the context of decision-making in uncertainty, the conflict theory paradigm developed by Janis and Mann may be apt. This paradigm postulates five patterns of coping behaviour which tends to occur in such situations:

1. Unconflicted Adherence in which the uncertain, or risk, information is ignored and the decision-maker complacently decides to continue whatever he has been doing.

2. Unconflicted Change to a new course of action, where the decision-maker uncritically adopts whichever new course of action is most salient, obvious or strongly recommended.

3. Defensive Avoidance in which the decision-maker evades conflict by procrastinating, shifting responsibility to someone else, or constructing wishful rationalisations and remaining selectively inattentive to corrective information.

4. Hypervigilance wherein the decision-maker searches frantically for a way out of the dilemma and impulsively seizes upon a hastily contrived solution that seems to promise immediate relief, overlooking the full range of consequences of his choice because of emotional excitement, repetitive thinking and cognitive constriction. In its most extreme form hypervigilance is referred to as “panic”.

5. Concerned Vigilance in which the decision-maker optimally processes pertinent information, generates and evaluates hypotheses and options before selecting a response as characterised by the SHOR paradigm.


In many real-life situations a decision-maker cannot always keep waiting until the entire information-input and consequence-of-action conditions are known a priori with certainty. In most cases there is no such thing as “perfect” certainty.

If a single most important characteristic is crucial to a decision-maker in any field, it is the ability to make optimal decisions in conditions of uncertainty. Qualitative descriptive models like the SHOR paradigm may prove useful in such situations.

To quote Frederic Amiel once again: “The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides”.


VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.


vikramkarve@sify.com

vikramkarve@hotmail.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

http://www.ryze.com/go/karve

Monday, September 08, 2008

Food for the Soul Appetite for a Stroll

APPETITE FOR A STROLL

[Foodie Adventures, Simple Recipes, Authentic Value For Money Food in Mumbai and Pune and Musings on The Art of Eating]

By

VIKRAM KARVE

Please click the link and read the review of Appetite for a Stroll titled Food for Soul in the Indian Express [Pune] Sunday 7th September 2008

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/358363.html

expressonline book review

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Food-for-soul/358363/

Happy Reading and Happy Eating

VIKRAM KARVE

PS: If you want to get the book just click the links below:


http://www.indiaplaza.in/finalpage.aspx?storename=books&sku=9788190690096&ct=2


http://books.sulekha.com/book/appetite-for-a-stroll/default.htm


I am sure you will enjoy reading the book.