Posted in Fun & Humour

I Never Take Risk

This is the English translation of the famous comic poem in Marathi “Mi Kadhi Risk Ghet Nahi”. It literally translates to “I never take risk”. It was penned by the poet Taliram. 

I had come across this poem long ago and found it really hilarious. And it brings a smile on my face every time I remember it. Read it aloud and enjoy! Hope it brings a smile on your face as well. 

I never take risk while drinking 
When I come from office in the evening, wife is cooking 
I can hear the noise of utensils in the kitchen 
I stealthily enter the house 
Take out the bottle from my black cupboard 
Shivaji Maharaj is looking at me from the photo frame 
But still no one is aware of it 
Because I never take risk…

I take out the glass from the rack above the old sink 

Quickly enjoy one peg, wash the glass and again keep it on the rack 
Of course, I also keep the bottle inside the cupboard 
Shivaji Maharaj is smiling 
I peep into the kitchen – Wife is chopping potatoes 
No one is aware of what I did 
Because I never take risk…

I: Any news on Chopra’s daughter’s marriage 

Wife: Nope, she doesn’t seem to be that lucky. They are still looking out for her 
I come out again; there is a small noise of the black cupboard 
But I don’t make any sound while taking out the bottle 
I take out the glass from the old rack above sink 
Quickly enjoy one peg 
Wash the bottle and keep it in the sink 
Also I keep the Black Glass in the cupboard 
But still no one is aware of what I did 
Because I never take risk…

I: But still I think Chopra’s daughter’s age is not that much 
Wife: What are you saying? She is 28 years old…like an aged horse 
I: (I forgot her age is 28) Oh Oh… 
I again take out potatoes from my black cupboard 
But the cupboard’s place has changed automatically 
I take out the bottle from the rack and quickly enjoy one peg in the sink 
Shivaji Maharaj laughs loudly 
I keep the rack in the potatoes & wash Shivaji Maharaj’s photo
And keep it in the black cupboard 
Wife is keeping the sink on the stove 
But still no one is aware of what I did 
Because I never take risk…

I: (getting angry) you call Mr. Chopra a horse? If you say that again, I will cut your tongue…! 

Wife: Don’t just blabber something, go out and sit quietly… 
I take out the bottle from the potatoes 
Go in the black cupboard and enjoy a peg 
Wash the sink and keep it over the rack 
Wife is smiling 
Shivaji Maharaj is still cooking 
But still no one is aware of what I did 
Because I never take risk…

I: (laughing) So Chopra is marrying a horse!! 

Wife: Hey ! go and sprinkle some water on your face… 
I go to the kitchen again, and quietly sit on the rack 
Stove is also on the rack 
There is a small noise of bottles from the room outside 
I peep and see that wife is enjoying a peg in the sink 
But none of the horses are aware of what I did 
Because Shivaji Maharaj never takes a risk.
Chopra is still cooking 
And I am looking at my wife from the photo and laughing 
Because I never take……..what???

Posted in Leadership

Tale of Two Pebbles – Lesson in Lateral Thinking

Many hundreds of years ago in a small Indian village, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant’s beautiful daughter – so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant’s debt if he could marry the daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.

So the cunning moneylender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag.

(1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender’s wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. 
(2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. 
(3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant’s garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.

What would you have done if you were the girl? 
If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? 

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:
1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.

Here is what the girl did…
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

“Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.” Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an advantageous one.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Most complex problems do have a solution, at times the solution is not so obvious and we need to think “Out of the Box”

Posted in Leadership

Can We Accommodate True Creativity?

Many of the most creative persons are also the most misunderstood people in the world because they choose to see the world and its problems through a different lens. Where the world sees problems they see opportunity. These are the people who change the world and in many case these are also the people who are the most ridiculed before they are accepted. We have many examples in history of such genius who walked the Earth. Here is one such story.
Some time ago I received call from a colleague. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed a perfect score. The instructor and the student agreed to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected.
The student had answered, “Take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to the street, and then bring it up, measuring the length of the rope. The length of the rope is the height of the building.”
The student really had a strong case for full credit since he had really answered the question completely and correctly! On the other hand, if full credit were given, it could well contribute to a high grade in his physics course and to certify competence in physics, but the answer did not confirm this.
I suggested that the student have another try. I gavethe student six minutes to answer the question with the warning that the answer should show some knowledge of physics. At the end of five minutes, he had not written anything. I asked if he wished to give up, but he said he had many answers to this problem; he was just thinking of the best one. I excused myself for interrupting him and asked him to please go on. In the next minute, he dashed off his answer, which read: “Take the barometer to the top of the building and lean over the edge of the roof. Drop the barometer, timing its all with a stopwatch. Then, using the formula x=0.5*a*t^^2, calculate the height of the building.”
At this point, I asked my colleague if he would give up. He conceded, and gave the student almost full credit. While leaving my colleague’s office, I recalled that the student had said that he had other answers to the problem, so I asked him what they were.
“Well,” said the student, “there are many ways of getting the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer. For example, you could take the barometer out on a sunny day and measure the height of the barometer, the length of its shadow, and the length of the shadow of the building, and by the use of simple proportion, determine the height of the building.”
“Fine,” I said, “and others?” “Yes,” said the student, “there is a very basic measurement method you will like. In this method, you take climb the stairs, you mark off the length of the barometer along the wall. You then count the number of marks, and this will give you the height of the building in barometer units.”
“A very direct method.” “Of course. If you want a more sophisticated method, you can tie the barometer to the end of a string, swing it as a pendulum, and determine the value of ‘g’ at the street level and at the top of the building. From the difference between the two values of g, the height of the building, in principle, can be calculated.”
“On this same tact, you could take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to just above the street, and then swing it as a pendulum. You could then calculate the height of the building by the period of the precession”.
“Finally,” he concluded, “there are many other ways of solving the problem. Probably the best,” he said, “is to take the barometer to the basement and knock on the superintendent’s door. When the superintendent answers, you speak to him as follows: ‘Mr. Superintendent, here is a fine barometer. If you will tell me the height of the building, I will give you this barometer.”
At this point, I asked the student if he really did not know the conventional answer to this question. He admitted that he did, but said that he was fed up with high school and college instructors trying to teach him how to think.
The student was “Neils Bohr” (quantum theory, physics, mechanics, hydrogen atom guru etc ) and the arbiter “Rutherford”.