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By Kamlesh Tripathi


    We all know the meaning of feedback. But just to refresh our minds – it is an advice, criticism or information about how good or useful something or somebody’s work is. Thus, many may consider feedback to be a frightful happening, and miss the cheer and magic behind it.

    I was once working on a rural project in Miryalguda. A small sleepy town near Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. Since, there were no decent hotels in the town then. And the project was for a long duration. We had rented a small furnished house as our guesthouse.

    There we had a cook-cum-caretaker 24×7. We were just the three of us staying there. All from North India. Although, our cook claimed. He knew well, how to cook North Indian cuisine. But the reality was quite the other way around. We, normally used to land in Miryalguda for a fortnight at a stretch. Thereafter, we used to hit Head Office at Mumbai for a couple of days. To report the progress of the project and to be with our families. Then return again for a fortnight. This continued for quite a few months. Locally, we had planned it in such a manner. That we used to have all are meals in the guesthouse. Where, we even preferred to carry our lunch, prepared in the guesthouse only. Just in case we were going out on a farmer-field visit, locally.


    Our cook out there, was reasonably smart, hospitable, and a sensible young fellow. Who, normally used to serve Andhra dishes for breakfast and lunch. While he used to attempt some North Indian dishes every day for dinner. Quite realising. We must be missing home food. That unfortunately used to be worse in taste. Than even the Andhra meal, he used to prepare for us. Gradually, we had two issues at hand, relating to food. One, with the continuous hot Andhra food. Some of us started getting bouts of acidity. Two, after a couple of days of landing. We genuinely used to miss home food. And so, we were desperately looking for a solution.

    One day in the evening while we all were having a cup of tea. We gave the cook some positive feedback about his culinary prowess. That charged him a wee bit. Next day. I gave him some tips on how to cook simple Dal, Chawal and Sabzi in North Indian style. Based on home recipe that i had carried.

    To my surprise next day’s dinner was a delight. Quite close to the home food. And, thereafter, it only improved, over the next few days. But what was more surprising, was the fact. That a simple pep talk had created a world of a change in the cook in less than 24 hours. This small episode changed my persona to a great extent. Where, I realised. How very important it is. To keep cheering every human being on a regular basis, and not wait for milestones. Without which they start operating like mere zombies.

    The incident changed me to a point of no return in life. Where, I would willfully compliment a cook for preparing a dish well. When, one could see the broad smile on his otherwise long face. Those days. I used to travel a lot and often by cabs. So, I made it a point to compliment drivers for safe driving. I could fathom the power of such small compliments. As they generated tremendous amount of positive energy. That is unimaginable. But could even race the progress of our country by leaps and bounds.

   I then had many field executives and managers reporting to me. I never missed an opportunity of complimenting them on the spot for having done a good well. This definitely increased their morale and performance exponentially. That reflected on their annual appraisals too.

    For let us not forget. Life is all about small building blocks. That makes the façade look grand. So, whenever you get a chance. Don’t let go the opportunity of passing. Small positive feedbacks to people around you.


Glamour, showbiz, One-upmanship- the veiled face of Facebook


Kamlesh Tripathi


‘A steadfast and voracious facebooker’ – is what I called him, till I met this old friend of mine Harish, recently in Mumbai, is when I came to know he’s gone off Facebook. I swallowed what he told me with a pinch of salt as it sounded quite incredible. Did he? I reminisced. And asked why? He replied.

‘Because you brag without being asked to. For how does it matter where you’ve been for a holiday, which car you drive, in what kind of a house you stay, how well connected you are both professionally and socially. How many jobs you’ve changed, how exquisite your new office looks, how you look in that dress, how many promotions you’ve got, your career path or even your designation. Or how grand was your birthday party, how well groomed and aristocratic you look while standing in that plush lounge of Mumbai or John F Kennedy airport or in that swanky lobby of a five star; and the number of flights you may have undertaken last week to show how busy you are, or how big and pedigreed is your dog or for that matter the brand, colour and size of your underpants?’ As all of this is fairly bugging.

‘But then what is so wrong about bragging? One can only brag, if one is accomplished and has possessions and achievements to show around.’ I enumerated.

‘Definitely, but not by making a public announcements. It’s like inviting everyone to snoop into your worthy life. I value the privacy of my achievements and possessions and would like to limit it to my family, relatives and some close friends. But in the Facebook, I find most talk only about their newly acquired possessions and achievements of life, and that to just for some digital ‘likes’ and appreciative comments.


Point made by Harish had rattled me for a moment, as there was a point in his point. Is Facebook taking us away from our vedic and ancient culture of sadgi (simplicity). And will Bapu, the strong supporter of non-violence and sadgi like and approve of this. I thought for an instant, as all websites have a domain culture; where members of Facebook appear to be drifting away from simplicity. Facebook, allows anyone above the age of 13 to open an account, and after registering the users can create a user profile, post status updates, pictures, share videos and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Also, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics and categories such as people from work or close friends. So the intent is very noble, exciting, knowledge building, innovative with perks of a global reach. But, I guess the gravity is moving towards mere showoff and showbiz. And, it is about time the members come up with something more mentally nourishing where Facebook can chart the way. Remember what our ancestors always said, ‘don’t brag and showoff- nazar lagti hai


Yes as most notifications in Facebook, are about self aggrandizement and digital announcements of achievement and accomplishments. Perhaps the longing vent of modern day etiquette better understood in otherwise traditionally starved India; and that insinuates about Facebook’s gravitational pull towards newfound consumerism of India. I guess it is now a war of between two cultures; the ancient aging culture of India that teaches you sadgi versus the materialistic web-culture mobilized via Facebook. Sure enough the soft world is taking on the hard world and maybe reason enough for China to ban Facebook?

A converse point of view also describes the young emerging India through Facebook that brings along day to day transparency by digitally describing even minor activities through notifications, pictures and videos which at times might even put your spouse in trouble for those occasional furloughs. And, last but not the least.

Harish needs to get back to Facebook. But no one shall tell him when, as he will figure out for himself, the smart bloke he is. I know him well enough and he is not the sort to give up something so easily- and that too his first love, Facebook. For I know he will still login at broader intervals to see how the war of cultures is brewing and the day he feels the tangy slant of cultures has lessened he will write again, what’s in his mind. To once again bring cheer, laughter, knowledge, information and accomplishments to others and that too in abundance.





    ‘I’m feeling low, sad or depressed’ is something we all hear almost on a daily basis from friends, colleagues, peer groups, relatives and even close family members. You may call it depression, a state of mind, a dejected syndrome, life style occurrence or all in one, as it is difficult to delineate? So, for the time being let’s call it a ‘Sad State of Mind (SSOM). The frequency in some may be high and in some low. However, it spares no one, except children up to a certain age group. Does it therefore mean, that as soon as you start facing life you encounter SSOM?

    Perhaps yes, and it transcends all age groups, sex and even professions. Where, it encounters everyone in the journey of life. I too have suffered from SSOM. It comes uninvited, and at odd hours like an unwanted guest, not knowing how long it will stay. One day when I got frustrated. I decided to cross check with some of my colleagues and friends if they too were infested by SSOM and most of them said yes. I wasn’t surprised. As it leaves you hapless, makes you lethargic and impedes you from doing even your normal chores at home and routine work at office. And, in this manner it also affects India’s GDP and leads to a negative trail. So, I decided to do something about it.

    First, I thought of ways and means to prevent it, if not cure it. Or, find a sound way to dispel it but failed in doing so. So, I decided to survey some men, women, students, professionals, academicians and politicians with just one startling question:



    Sample size was two hundred. And to my astonishment no one sulked at the very question. In fact, everyone just promptly replied in a one-liner, which I am writing below as quote-unquote or verbatim. Results showed that every person had a way of resolving his or her own SSOM but broadly preferred to stay under the nine sub-headings mentioned below.

SURRENDER TO #ALMIGHTY … He will take care

    I talk to God. I visit the temple. I chant verses from holy Ramayana. I read a few pages out of my handy Gita. I flip through my Holy Quran. I go to the Gurudwara. I pray to Goddess Durga. I read a few pages of Holy Bible. I watch a devotional channel on TV. I recite Hanuman Chalisa. I ponder over my equation with God. Mind you, I didn’t find anyone telling me that I go to a powerful person to resolve my SSOM.

INTROSPECTION & MEDITATION … helps you in rediscovering yourself.

  I meditate. I introspect. I ponder over my past. I start worrying about my future. When did I help someone last? I try and remember. Why did I hurt someone? I think. Why did I make fun of someone? I regret. Perhaps it’s a reminder for some noble deed.

TO SERVE … gives a feeling of soul cleansing.

    I donate. I feed my cat to some milk. I feed ants. I feed a cow. I feed a street dog. I feed my pet dog. I feed an old beggar.

PHYSICAL EXERTION … refreshes you to take on the world.

    I take my dog for a walk. I go for a swim. I jog for a while. I go cycling. I go golfing. I go swimming. I go to the gym. I go to the spa. I do indoor exercises. I do deep breathing, it helps. I go fishing.

ENTERTAINMENT … rejuvenates you.

    I open my bottle to have a swig. I read a novel. I switch on the TV. I go for a movie. I watch cricket. I start playing computer games. I read jokes. I play indoor games. I laugh in my toilet, as you would in the laughing club. I sing in my bathroom. I watch a cartoon channel. I Play with my Pet. I listen to music. I play my keyboard. I smoke a cigarette. I eat excessively.

MIND DIVERSION … helps you forget.

    I read anything just anything lying around. I start writing. I start painting. I go and sit in the lawn amidst plants. I call up my girlfriend. I call up my boyfriend. I call up Dad. I call up Mom. I call up my daughter. I call up my son. I call up my daughter-in-law. I call up my wife. I call my up husband. I call up my best friend. I speak to my boss, he gives me some sound advice. I start thinking of pending work in office. I speak to my mentor. I flip through a magazine. I read newspaper. I go for a drive.

KILLING SSOM … with other powerful thoughts.

    I think of my last holiday and the pleasant moments with my family. I build determination to confront the situation that makes me feel low. I recall, ‘No matter how bad things are they could be worse.’ ‘Nothing is permanent’ I say to myself. I think of the best surprise of my life. I think of the best episode of my life. I think of an ugly episode of my life. I still have a healthy body and soul so why worry. I have a loving family so why feel low. I have a bright career so why feel low.

DOING NOTHING … just another way of handling by not reacting.

I sulk. I just shut my mind for some time. I know something good is coming next so I don’t bother. I just doze off. I take a small break from work. I just have a cup of tea. I do nothing and wait for the mood swing to be over. I stop eating. I fiddle with my mobile. I consider it to be like common cold, so I just move on. I believe in- no matter how bad things are something is going right and no matter how good things are something is going wrong; this balances life. Even the President of the US suffers from SSOM so who am I? Feeling low is cyclic, so why worry. Once in a while we all feel low, perhaps it’s the order of the nature. Chalta hai- don’t be too serious about life, let life be serious about you.
    The moral of the story is we all feel low at times, and many a times during a lifetime. Whilst, such occurrences happen, we should not feel isolated and down beaten as it happens to most human beings on the planet. Life is not a bed of roses but a constant struggle and more the struggle is shared more life becomes easy to take on and this is a small attempt towards that.


By Kamlesh Tripathi


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