The Greatest Salesman in the World

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How do I choose a book to read. I use goodreads to find the ratings of the book before reading. I try to read only books with an average rating of 4 or more. But still I find lot of bad books. Bad books are a real bad investment. Time spent on reading such a book would be well spent on something else.

Lately I am finding a lot of books rated above 4 to be bad or not my type of book. That happens with friends suggestions too. Most of the recommendations are not good. I have become more choosy about the type of books I read these days, I will have to figure out a way to find the next best read.

So what is this book about? It starts with a small story to build the storyline. And they have 10 points to ponder upon.

  1. I will begin a new life.
  2. I will greet this day with love in my heart.
  3. I will persist until I succeed.
  4. I am nature’s great miracle.
  5. I will live this day as if it is my last.
  6. I will be master of my emotions.
  7. I will laugh at the world.
  8. I will multiply my value a hundredfold.
  9. I will act now.
  10. I will pray for guidance.

All these points looks straight forward stupid for me. Or might be not my book. This book had a real good rating on goodreads and turned out to be a not so promising one.

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10 Books I Wish I Had Read In My School Days

So I started falling in love with books real late in my life. I started reading books after my college days. So I literally wasted all my free time in college and school days, which was actually huge.

So If I can time travel back to my school days or If I am can recommend few books to a school kids, this is how the list would look like. Why 10? I can keep on adding books to the list. Just to keep a cap at the number. And the list is not in any particular order.

  • The Cosmic Detective
  • India’s Struggle for Independence
  • Problem Solving 101
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Untouchable
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Sivagamiyin Sabatham
  • A long way gone
  • The Dip
  • Why I Killed Pluto and Why It had it coming

Multi-armed Bandit Algorithm for Real Life

When I was just out of college, I started reading books. One of these book suggested to have measurable goals. So I took a piece of paper and started scribbling stuff onto it.

  • Have to read 100 books
  • Have to shoot 100 portrait photographs
  • and blah blah

Seven years down the line, I ended up getting addicted to reading books. The 100 books goal was to be crossed before I am dead. But I ended by reading about 300 books in seven years. I became this book nerd that If someone asks me to do say for instance gardening today. I will search for books on gardening and then read then before I get to do it. Realized it slowly thats not the best way to approach a problem.

You do learn a lot of stuff through theory and there is a lot to be learnt through practice too. And the ratio of how much you need to succeed in a particular task differs based on a lot of factors.

Success !== 100% theory

Success !== 100% pracical

Success = x% theory & y% practical knowledge

So how do you find this x & y? The ratio of theory & practice to be successful in a task. As a true Engineer I had to test it out. So I found this interesting algorithm to test it out. The Bandit Algorithms.

To be successful to run this experiment, the first thing you will have to define is success. To quantify it to measure it. Then you start with a particular percent and track your progress and you can play around with the ratio to find the perfect one.

Check out this short and concise book on how to do it.

15842784

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15842784-bandit-algorithms-for-website-optimization

 

Rain

What is your favourite season? For me its not a summer sky or a cloudy sky. For me the best thing is when it rains. It depicts abundance. For a farmer who depends on the monsoons its a gift from the Gods.

As Bob Marley once said

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.

I love to walk in the rain. I remember once when my manager was trying to convince me to stay in the office and work because it was raining outside. I laughed at his face at stepped out in to the wild. I stepped into water flowing till the ankle, and started walking to my home.

At some places the current was high, and the level of water rising almost close to the knees. When I had reached the main road, all the vehicles were waiting, stuck in traffic. Not moving an inch. All the bike riders had stopped and used the nearby bus stops to take some shelter. The whole world had paused except for the rain drops, and then there was this one guy walking in the rain like a boss. The look on peoples face to see me walking. They should have thought I was crazy. I was just enjoying the moment.

Do you have any such pic that whenever you see it you feel happy. I have one such pic. Its a pic of rain, water flowing in the grounds. Seeing that always makes me happy.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

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So the 22 immutable laws of marketing are

    1. Law of Leadership
    2. Law of the Category
    3. Law of the the Mind
    4. Law of the Perception
    5. Law of the Focus
    6. Law of the Exclusivity
    7. Law of the the Ladder
    8. Law of the Duality
    9. Law of the Opposite
    10. Law of Division
    11. Law of Perspective
    12. Law of Line Extension
    13. Law of Sacrifice
    14. Law of Attributes
    15. Law of Candor
    16. Law of Singularity
    17. Law of Unpredictability
    18. Law of Success
    19. Law of Failure
    20. Law of Hype
    21. Law of Acceleration
    22. Law of Resources Warning

One year of JustBooks

Here is a small study of the books I have read in a year through Just Books a lending library.

Total books: 23
Total pages: 4062
Total price of all the books: INR 6635
Longest book: Eriyum Panikaadu (336 pages)
Shortest book: The Dip (85 pages)
Oldest published book: Autobiography of Charles Darwin (1887)
Latest published book: Eating wisely and well (2012)
Most read authors: Khuswant Singh (5), Richard Feynman (2), Seth Godin (2)

The reason why I am discontinuing with them. I don’t find the books I want to read. I always search for the book I wanted to read next and reach them just to find the book missing. When asked they will ask sorry. the book is missing sir, we will let you know when we find it. But never found a book which I wanted with all their support.

 

Failure at Hills

Back in September 2012, when along with few friends, we were roaming in the highlands of UK we discovered Ben Nevis Track. I still remember that evening, I was going crazy with all the green beauty around me. Scotland is a beauty that can make anyone fall in love with her. I can bet on that. The high mountains, the crystal clear water flowing in the rivers, cool weather, the quite environment, friendly people. What more would you ask God for?

I started walking in the track expecting my friends to join me. But my friends were so busy in their photoshoot that they didn’t mind following me. I started walking. Deep in my mind I knew if my friends aren’t accompanying me to the top, they might call me anytime and ask to come down as they are waiting for a long time. This is one more reason why I like travelling solo.

I was so cheerful, greeting all the British people coming down the mountain. Few enquired about my whereabouts and encouraged me to go to the top. I knew my clock was ticking. I might have to return back when my friends gave me a ring. I literally started running as much as possible to reach the target before that call happened. And finally the call happened, and till date I feel bad for not conquering the mountain.

Anyway for a traveller, its about the journey and not the destination.

Before Ben Nevis, I have climbed to the Uchi Pillayar temple in Thiruchengode. Ok some might not consider that a mighty task. But yeah I am not Tenzing Norway trying to climb Everest.

After coming back to India, my first solo trip happened to Hampi. I wanted to climb the Mathanga Hills to witness the sunset. Started all alone with my backpack. And that was the time when the movie 127 was released. I was scared to death of falling down somewhere and I might end up there till some tourists find me. I checked the mobile and there was no mobile coverage. This place was scary like hell. No humans around, completely deserted and with no mobile coverage. The terrain here also was a bit different and a bit scary. After around 50% of the ascent my fear overcome my courage and made me return. First attempt to climb the hills a failure. And to add salt to the injury after reaching the bottom I was able to hear kids shouting from the top of the hill.

That actually broke me. When all these kids could do it, why not me. Enquired a local about the way to reach the top. He informed me that the way I took was so steep and their is a much easier way to the top. I made myself believe it and felt a little better for not going to the top.

The second time I was back in Hampi, it was in my list of things to do in Hampi. This time I tried in a different path. I would say I was about to complete the track. Fear over took again. This time I returned back convincing myself  that I had to catch the last bus, and it was already late. Second failure.

The third time I went to Hampi with my friends and did try to climb the hill to witness sunrise. And so Mathanga hills are done.

 

Saavandurga night trek, Tadiyandmole trek, VVS Dam in Coorg and hope the list continues.

Lands I have wandered till date

The tag line of my travel blog goes like this

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

All these travels are listed in my blog http://kadambai2london.blogspot.in/.

I was wondering about the places I have travelled through my books as a character. So thought of listing them here.

Ok started making the list and realised, its difficult to list down all the places which I had come across in all the books I have read so far, and its really tiring to do a research on it.

So the list actually lists the following books

select * from books where read by me and title in (select * from places)

Things to do in Bangalore

Heard from a friend about this list. Posting it here, so that I have a record of mine.

  1. Eat Masala Dosa at Vidyarthi Bhavan
  2. Take a Morning Walk/Jog along Sankey Tank
  3. Watch a Derby in Bangalore Race Course
  4. Death By Chocolate (DBC) at Corner House
  5. Attend Flower Show at Lalbagh
  6. Idly, Chutney n Benne at Brahmin’s Cafe
  7. Shopping on Commercial Street
  8. A Walk on the MG Road Boulevard
  9. Visit Bangalore Palace
  10. Visit Iskon Temple
  11. Early Morning Drive/Ride to Nandi Hill to witness Sunrise
  12. English Breakfast on a Lazy Sunday at Koshy’s
  13. Take a ride in the Toy Train at Cubbon Park
  14. Watch a Match at Chinnaswamy Stadium. Do you prefer a Gayle Storm or a Ind-Pak Match ?
  15. Paddle Boating at Ulsoor Lake
  16. Sky-Theatre Show at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium
  17. Standing “Under the Sun” & witnessing Surya Kiran’s show off their acrobatic skills at Aero India
  18. Mid-night trek to Skandagiri Peak to witness Sunrise
  19. Food Walk during Ramzan at Mosque Road
  20. Visit Vidhana Soudha
  21. Argue with Auto Driver over rigged Meter
  22. Watch a Play at Ranga Shankara
  23. Visit Tipu’s Summer Palace (Srirangapatna)
  24. Window Shopping at UB City Mall
  25. Burgers at Indiana Fast Food (Now Available at The Chocolate Room, Brigade Road)
  26. Visit the Central Library at Cubbon Park (Guess the number of books they have)
  27. Mid-night Drive to BIAL for a cup of Coffee/Tea
  28. Morning Walk in Cubbon Park
  29. Cycling early morning around the city or to a near by destination
  30. Half Masala Dosa at Siddappa’s, Sampangiram Nagar
  31. Attend Chitra Sante by Chitrakala Parishat
  32. Play a round of Golf
  33. Visit St. Patrick’s Church
  34. Ride in a Chariot around Bangalore Palace
  35. Spotting a Sparrow in the City
  36. Visit Bannerghatta National Park
  37. Buy/Sell second hand books in Avenue Road
  38. Attend the Sunday Soul Sante
  39. Have Idly Vada at Veena Stores
  40. Musical Fountain at JP Park, Mathikere
  41. Masala Dosa at CTR
  42. Have Gulab Jamun at Bhagatram Sweets, Commercial Street
  43. Flower Vendors at KR Market
  44. Ride in Namma Metro
  45. Super Car/Bike Spotting on Lavelle Road
  46. Binge at Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR), Lal Bagh Road
  47. Visit Army Park (National Military Memorial near Raj Bhavan)
  48. Visit Freedom Park (Formerly Central Jail)
  49. Visit Shiva Statue on Old Airport Road (behind Kemp Fort)
  50. Rev your Engines on NICE Road
  51. Visit Venkatappa Art Gallery, Kasturba Road
  52. Visit Nandi Teertha (Nandi Kalyani) Temple, Malleshwaram
  53. Attend the Annual Cake Exhibition
  54. Visit Bannerghatta Butterfly Park
  55. Watch a Dollu Kunitha performance
  56. Have Sulaimani Chaya
  57. Have Biryani at Shivaji Military Hotel, J P Nagar
  58. Attend a Live Gig at Counter Culture, K R Puram
  59. Visit Buddha Vihara, Sadashiv Nagar
  60. Biryani at Meghana Foods
  61. Visit Higginbotham’s Book Store, MG Road
  62. Have Jolada Rotti Oota
  63. Bowling at Bluo-O, Orion Mall
  64. Chaats at Gullus, Sheshadripuram
  65. Visit Brigade Road for Shopping
  66. Visit Hebbal Lake, Hebbal
  67. Eat Boiled Corn on the Streets
  68. Visit the Art of Living Center, Kanakapura Road
  69. Have Ragi Mudde Oota
  70. Drink Coconut Water on the road side
  71. Visit National Gallery of Modern Art, Palace Road, Vasanthnagar
  72. Watch Dirt Bike Racing Live
  73. Try Zorbing
  74. Visit Pyramid Valley, Kanakapura Road
  75. Visit Wonderla
  76. Visit Malleswaram 8th cross (Old Market) during Festivals
  77. Visit Innovative Film City
  78. Visit Lumbini Gardens
  79. Visit Dodda Alada Mara (Big Banyan Tree)
  80. Visit Snow City (Jaya Mahal Road, Opp T V Tower)
  81. Visit Ramkrishna Ashram
  82. Watch a play at Chowdiah Memorial Hall
  83. Sing Karaoke at Opus
  84. Visit Tipu Sultan Palace
  85. Eat Bun Nippat Masala at Chetty’s Corner
  86. Eat Vada Sambar at Hotel Janata, Malleswaram 8th Cross
  87. Eat Biryani at Nagarjuna
  88. Visit Vishwa Shanti Ashram, Nelamangala
  89. Visit the Sunday Market (Chor Bazaar) in Chickpet
  90. Spend time at a Coffee Shop alone/friends
  91. Eat idly vada at Madurai Idly Shop
  92. Night trek at Saavandurga
  93. Friday night Raasta Cafe

Hyderabad Traffic Police

This incident happened on my last trip to Hyderabad in my friends Karnataka registered car.

The first incident happened when we had just entered the city. A traffic cop stopped us. We stopped and were ready to get down. He didn’t want us to get down. He asked us to sit inside and asked for the papers. When we took the papers, he went around looking for reasons to fine us. He found one at last. The font in your number plate is so small. The fine is Rs 1000. Give me 300 and you can leave. When I suggested to get a challan and pay the fine legally. My friends didn’t listen to me. They were happy they saved money by paying him 300 and left.

The funny part is, when we entered the city, another cop stopped us. He caught us in a place where there was lot of traffic. He didn’t even mind creating a traffic problem there. He also followed the same pattern. Don’t get down. He said “Number plate font is so small. Fine Rs 1000, There is stickers on your window glasses. Fine Rs 1000. Total Rs 2000. Or else you can pay me 300 and go”. My friend started pleading with him. The cop was not listening. He told us “Quick, there is a lot of traffic happening here. Give the money and leave”. At this point, I got so irritated and shouted at the police, “Give me the challon. I will pay the fine”. I don’t know what happened. He just asked us to leave.

And then in the next signal again cops stopped us. Same drama again. My friends again pleaded them saying “Just now we paid the other cop”. They asked for a challon. They know we bribed them. They wanted us to pay them. I think its like a competition within them. They follow this custom within them. The money from each catch goes to the cop who caught the vehicle. They stand as a bunch and hunt down all the vehicles.

This time the police guy came with a suggestion. “I can understand your problem. Pay us 300. I will get you a challon. You can show the challon to the next police, if someone stops you”. We agreed with this deal and he got us a challon for Rs. 100 for some small offence and paid the officer Rs 500. Then we went to the charminar. On the way back, we were stopped again by the same cops. On our first day in Hyderabad with a Karnataka registration car, we were stopped 6 times. After getting the challon, each time a cop stops, we show him the chalon and he waves us away.

The funny part is, later noticed that, we didn’t spot any law and order cop in the whole city but only a lot and lot of traffic cops.