Author (Ravindra Shukla) speech at the book launch

Book Launch:            A Maverick Heart: Between Love and Life
Author:                       Ravindra Shukla
Chief Guest:              Mr. Raj Nair
Venue:                        Press Club, Mumbai
Date and Time:          18 Feb, 12:30 p.m.

What inspired/motivated me to write this book:
When I was in school/college, focus was more on study and career. Stress was given to apply logic and understand and solve problems. Approach was more of academic in nature.

Once I got settled in career and life, curiosity moved beyond struggle of basic needs. Habit I developed to study science, keen observation, started playing role. I got active in social and public life and started reacting to events and issues surrounding me.

We might be professional as engineers, doctor, businessmen or socialist but we have to play role of husband, father, mother, uncle, guardian depending upon need. Same role get extended as we move beyond family and get actively involved in society.

We go thru various experiences in our life, develop our own view points – hence a strong urge to share our experience and views with others.

Reference to Cornell Visit -
I had almost decided to start my MBA from New York but Cornel visit changed my plan. In 2002, I saw screening of film “Seven Samurai” along with screening of “Godfather” at the Cornel University, NY. I had read the book “God father” and seen movie also. Screening of “Seven Samurai” next to God Father caught my attention. Since then I became fan of Kurosawa movies. I started following all classic movies of directors like Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Satyajit Ray, Quentin Tarantino.
I had been in love with literature and had been reading GB Shaw, Shakespeare, Robert Frost and William Wordsworth.  Books which have influenced me are Papillon, Fountainhead and God Father.
I decided to be a movie writer and director.
The pain and struggle I had seen in corporate world for some people really put me off. I have covered these aspects of corporate life and craze for money and success leading to robotic life. I did not want to be another silk worm of corporate world.
I also follow various issues in India and wonder about alternate. This led to my views on involvement of youth in critical issues and channelizing their energy thru effective unified and integrated platform covering students from various academic institutions. This platform is quite autonomous and independent.
The process has already started to manifest in middle-east and India.
I have also drawn inspiration from some of the followings -
- Benevolence shown by Warren Buffet when he donated 36 Billions to Milinda-Gate Foundation.
- Perelman (Russian Mathematics) refusal to field medal award
- Success story of Asha Foundation
- Arvind Kejriwal’s RTI movement
- Success stories of Indian billionaire’s in Silicon Valley

Talk about Book: 15 minutes
-        Journey of my own life, sharing experience and learning from same

Synopsis – When people of similar frequencies come together, output is not a simple sum of individual work, but exponential. In science we term this phenomenon as resonance. Output at this stage is beyond any logical limit. Three young kids, with different family backgrounds and outlook meet during their graduation days at IIT-Bombay campus and become close friends. Although, individually they are in sync, but the same is not true for their interaction with the world. How will their relation withstand the conflict of family and society pressure? How do their characters shape out, as they traverse from an educational environment through the corporate world to the realm of the social-political world? Inspired by the real events across the globe from the last decade, Ravindra Shukla brings you the characters based story – struggle and triumphs of young generation and their relevance in the current socio-eco-political era.

Key characters from the book – Rahul

Excerpts:  Approach any event/person – without any prejudice
“Look at this site - it is beautiful and deep. When we come here, we get ourselves lost in its beauty and vastness. Years of sorrow and pain lies in the depth of this lake. You do not know what was here 40-50 years back. Probably, a ditch full of stagnant water and mud breeding mosquitoes. Now here we have beautiful lake surrounded by lush green bushes and beautiful flowers. The place is beautiful today, so we come and enjoy its company, its presence. We do not think about its past or we do not to know what will happen here years later. We enjoy the beauty of its present.”

Practical Vs Impractical -
“You know if we had always thought from a so-called practical angle – we would’ve never had anything new in this world. We would’ve hidden under the security of practicality and taken no risk, we would have never discovered heart transplantation as a new possibility, we would’ve never thought curing cancer patients a possibility, and we would’ve never discovered a new galaxy in the universe. Taking the cover of practicality is more or less like hiding under the cover of security for fear of failure.”

Role of visualization in solving problems -
“Simplify? Let me try. In school days, we are taught that if there are four animals in a room and you add two more, the total will be six. That is logic. But behind this logic, there are underlying assumptions. Now, if somebody tells you, there are four rats in the room and if you add two more cats in the room, how many animals in total exist in the room now? The answer will depend upon assumption. If you just use your mathematical brain, you will say six animals. If you use your human brain, you will say two animals. Why two animals? Because the two cats will eat the four rats in no time.”

Providing an alternate
Do not talk just about the issues – but give an alternate. That’s what I have tried to achieve in this book. Share my solution (an alternate) perspective to current issues in India in last 1/3 part.

Significance of Faith
“Nothing exists in life as it is. The idea is to believe and make it possible through your passion. If she did not exist, I would have dreamed of her, imagined of her – in the same way I described. She would be in my mind, my heart and my senses and it is you, who’s taught me that your heart never lies. I feel her. I see her image. I hear her encouraging words. How can I doubt my own feelings? She exists – because I believe in her, because I create an image of her through my imagination and push her to that limit. What matters is who can bring this passion out of me, who can trigger these feelings. She has the potential of a heavenly angel and my senses, my beliefs, and my feelings turn her into reality.”

Richita character –
Quality time –
“Jindagi bhar gadhe ki tarah slog marane se aur kuchh din rich Arab Shaikh ki tarah paisa
bahane se quality of life change nahi ho jaati. We only remember one week of good time, but never go back to what we scarified for that one week?”

Making Millions and looking for retirement
“What about young age? You will be miserable all through your 15 years to reach that goal of $10 million. After 50 years, even if you pay a million to get back a week of your time at 35, you will never get that. Your beer will taste very different when you are at 50 from how it tasted at 30,”

Neerav Character -
“You want to make millions, look at this...” Neerav suddenly grabbed their attention and pointed to the TV. “You cannot earn $10 million. Nobody earns millions. You can rob, you can steal, or you can make $10 million in an IPO, but never earn so much. So just forget all this saving and consulting bullshit. Just look at this.”
Abhay and Mahesh turned their attention to the documentary.

“A retirement package for a CEO in billions? And these sportsmen signing a $10 million
contract for the next 5 years? At least these sportsmen have some skills to show for that kind of money, but these CEOs get paid billions for not working. If they perform poorly, you need to kick them out, but sacking someone at such a high level is not easy, so they are instead garlanded with billions.” Neerav was a little frustrated.

Robbery, Business vs Tycoons –
“Do not get bogged down in right or wrong and quantitative evaluation. Look at what pertains to today. How do you define who is the robber, who is the businessman and who is the tycoon? Consider these examples. In the first case, a robber robs one person for a $1000, so the total of $1000 increases in value in a very crude way. In the second case, a business man employs 1000 workers and extracts $100 from each worker and makes $100K. In the third case, a business tycoon reaches millions of people and steals a dollar from each and makes millions, he is the tycoon.” She paused for a moment.
“If you rob too much from one person, it becomes murder. If you steal little by little, it looks like business. Just find a way to refine it. The Internet has made it possible to connect to the whole world via one platform. Steal a penny from each person, call it service charge and you will be a millionaire. The volume makes a difference.”

Quotations from the book
“People should try to understand the circumstances before changing. If one keeps on adapting, their contribution will be limited. They can only imitate but never create.”      

Ignoring somebody’s mistakes in life from a powerful position makes you a saint, but the same act (whose intention does not matter), if carried out from a weak position, will make you a coward or helpless.

Do not follow crowd but follow yourself
“Richie – all this security and prospects are different for different people. Somebody is happy playing music and with a less pay, somebody is secure in the corporate world with a high pay with headache. We have individual tastes, tastes are not universal.”

Resonance happens when your mind and heart come into synch.

Joy of sharing
She could afford anything, she could give anything, but she could not share a moment of her life with anybody. She was a beautiful and a glamorous diamond with an stronomical price tag, but to a crude reality — she was still a stone, a living stone. Nothing else but a stone in an aesthetic sense.

I come from technology world – Powerful computer, powerful algorithm and challenging issues to resolve with huge amount of data at our finger tips. But the key decision has to be made by a person. That is intelligence part. Nobody can replace the person’s role.

Computers can not dream, they can not visualize – That is your part and that’s how you create, innovate and make difference.

Miracle happens in this world –
-        Example of Ramanujan – No formal education but his theory baffles  scientists for centuries
-        Beethoven – Best music composition came when he was deaf
-        John Milton – Best poem when he was blind
-        Einstein  - Part time clerk in county give new direction to Universe
-        Stephan Hawking -
-        Michaelanglo – Most of the painting came thru his dream
-        Discovery of Benzene structure in dream
-        James Watt, Archimedes and Galileo example

Miracle happens – Do dreams – and finally be detached from the results

Warren Buffet donated 36 billions to Milinda-Gate foundation

Bill Gate – one of hard core capitalist of the world – now working on social projects – Education in USA, Health in Asia, Africa

Sense of detachment - Harivansh Rai Bacchan poem – “Assman ka tara tha, mana behad pyara tha, toot gaya so toot gaya”