Sunday, 30 November 2014

Teeny Weeny : Forever Yours ...

She looked at the setting sun from her bedroom window.

She looked at her wrinkled hands.

She looked around her .

So many memories ...

She got up from her bed and picked up her painting brush and wrote " I miss you"  on the wall....

 The promoters will pull down the house tomorrow .....

Her pet dog Snoozie snuggled beside her ...

"Snoozie... sorry ... I made you homeless .... "

She blew out the flickering candle and went to sleep.


Teeny-Weenies will spice up the monotony of the leadership posts . Hope you like them.   
 Looking forward to your comments.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

They look at you first .....

In one of my assignments , when I was working as a  Program Manager in a reputed organization,  I had to travel to a foreign country for a few client meetings.  I had never traveled to this country earlier and neither did I have any cultural training on that part of the world. There was a crisis and I just had to rush to meet the customer - a huge pharmaceutical company,  to placate him and give him the  reassurance so that we continued to get work.

Here in India, our official dress for a woman is either a sari or trousers or Salwar Kameej.  It was my post pregnancy days and I had bloated up and put on a lot of weight. The trousers did not fit me and I did not have time to buy some western official dresses. 

So, I packed my bags with lots of Sarees and Salwar Kameej and set off.  Unfortunately,  the weather there was very cold and Sari was totally unsuitable for the climate. I had to do with Salwar Kameejes. 

It really does not matter, I thought ... I have worked with them for almost a year now and I have regular phone calls with them, so they will see my mettle and not how I look .... 

In this post, I confess that it was utterly stupid of me to think like that. 

Like it or not, in this imperfect world, they look at you first ..... 

My customer meetings were almost  disastrous. I was not taken seriously.  That made me think hard about what had gone wrong .  I went to my mentor for guidance and much to my annoyance I found out that your dress and how you look matters. 

A lot. 

"Ananya"  he said " In a perfect world,  the only thing that matters is your performance.. but do we live in a perfect world ? No.... Here, we have to make sure that apart from our skills we also look the like person in that position ....

On the face of it, how you look or how you behave really does not have any impact on the job that you do and how productive and efficient you are.

But people do make assumptions about us by how we talk, how we look and how we behave. I may be sloppily dressed but the perfect fit for the role. In fact, I have recruited many people whose qualifications and experience matched with the job description though they did not look the role and they have proved to be excellent.

 But even now, I still agree with my therein mentor that the world is not perfect.  We are judged by our height weight, age, gender, dress, mannerisms . And again, whether we like it or not, perception matters a lot in the organization.  Unfortunate, but true !

People are selected and promoted who  look more like a person who is in the current senior role which you might be vying for.  So, my advise is, if you want to be selected or want to be promoted for a certain role, try to look like the person in that position.  If you think a bit deeply , you will understand that the people who are hiring or promoting are human beings . And as human beings we tend to be biased towards familiarity.  They want to take less risk. 

I am not saying that you forget about your skills and other requisite aspects about your employability or promotion prospects. I am just emphasizing on the fact that looking like the role might make things easier for you. 

It does not harm to conform . Especially so if  it makes you look more attractive as a candidate fit for that role . 

And on top of it, dressing appropriately also make us a wee bit more confident and there is  feel-good factor in our countenance which accelerates positive thoughts in our persona.

What do you think ? 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Teeny Weeny : The Tree

"I came here everyday to play ... I kept my bicycle here and played cricket ..." He told his wife , pointing towards the huge apartment.

He  had come to Varanasi, where he had spent his adolescent years,  for official work .

"There was a small house here and the adjoining playground used to teem with people in the evenings.... "

He could not tell about her... his first love ...  How he longed to see her standing on the roof of the house... her sweet smile,  her long hair , which she combed while looking at him....

She was looking so beautiful the day she got married.  He had gone to meet her with the other boys. As he gave her the gift, she touched his hands for the first time ... her eyes were full of tears... He will never forget her gaze ...

As he started to leave,  he saw the tree which she used to water everyday. It was in full bloom now with white champa flowers . The fragrance was permeating everywhere .

He touched the tree.

She whispered  "I am still here ...... Feel me, inhale my fragrance .... "

Teeny-Weenies will spice up the monotony of the leadership posts . Hope you like them.   
 Looking forward to your comments.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

"I want an Idea every Tuesday Morning"

All of us know that creative and innovative ideas are needed for the growth of the organization. No matter how smart we are,  we don't know everything . Ideas are precious, but hard to find . 

Here in this post , I present a couple of real life situations which will make us realize why we make it either difficult or easy for the employees to be innovative and give creative suggestions.  The situations are suggestive and I hope self explanatory. 

Situation 1 

"I want an idea every Tuesday Morning ... " the boss roared.  

"Senior managers like you should be innovative . Where are your ideas ?  "

Tuesdays came and Tuesdays went, but no ideas could be generated. The boss roared and ranted , picked up the marker , went to the whiteboard , paced about , but ... no ideas ! 

Exasperated, the boss complained to me  "I want to listen to them  , I want suggestions, but it seems that their lips are sealed !"  

I asked him softly " Have you established a receptive climate for them to give ideas ? You know, just like you cannot force anybody to love you or respect you, you cannot force ideas from your team. The atmosphere has to be conducive... "

"But whenever I give any idea, all of them nod their heads in agreement, I know they have good ideas, but when I ask them to tell me, they just say that they want to go along with whatever I said !"

I did some talking around and then I again went to the boss and said "Are you sure that in the past they have not given you their ideas or suggestions ?  Think deeply. Did you reject them outright with sarcasm ? That is why they do not speak out. They feel what is the use - Our boss cannot take disagreements . Our suggestions will anyways will not make any difference ...!

Read my Post : I don't Agree

Situation 2 

Veeru always kept her office door open.  She was proud that by doing so, she encouraged her staff to come and see her anytime with their problems , complains, issues and suggestions.  

But hardly anyone came.  They were allowed, but then why didn't they come ? Maybe they did not have any problems or issues. But they worked hard and Veeru was sure that they had good suggestions which would help the organization. She was also under pressure from the Corporate office to get innovative ideas . 

One day , one of her managers resigned and she was a part of the exit interview . 

"You have been in the organization for quite a long time. Tell me one thing. I always keep my door open and this is an encouragement from me that anyone can come and talk to me about problems or suggestions. But somehow , no one comes. Can you tell me why ?"

"To tell you frankly, people know that the doors are physically open but psychologically closed.  Whenever someone comes , there is a look of annoyance on your face. It seems either you are too busy or people are not welcome to open up in front of you ... "

Veeru pondered over the discussion. She consulted her friends . Then she started keeping her door partially open. She set aside certain time of her day when she closed her laptop and smiled at people who came near the door. She started looking at their eyes during conversations and tried to be genuinely interested in what they had to say. 

Things improved dramatically. 

Situation 3 :

Anne believed in Management by walking around. (Read my post : Recipe for Successful Leadership : MBWA) She always walked about in the factory floor where the toothpaste was manufactured and packaged.  She asked the staff how things were . She also reviewed the process changes, machine maintenance status , problems reported earlier and she asked them about these and elicited comments about the progress and the problems being faced by the changes. She usually got innovative ideas and suggestions while walking around.  The people also knew that she wanted to hear them and if the ideas were good, they were appreciated and implemented. 

For example,  for the last few months there were customer complaints that there were many packets which were empty, i.e, the toothpaste was not put into the packet but were shipped to the suppliers. Lots of brainstorming was done.  Consultants were deployed who spent a lot of effort and money and gave a complex solution, involving major costs and augmentation of manpower. One day, while walking around, she saw a worker who was in the packaging area, he had put a forceful pedestal fan where the packets were being finally being packed after putting the toothpaste tube into it. Anne went and asked him why the fan was needed. 

"Well.  I have directed the fan towards the packets. If any packet is empty, it will be blown away and I will be able to detect that it does not have a toothpaste tube inside it !

Marvelous, isn't it ?

There are several other situations , but maybe I will talk about them in one of my next posts. 

In the meantime ,think about  how you will reject ideas without hurting the employee and without causing resentment.

Also, think, why the usual suggestion boxes kept in almost all the offices never get any thing in them! And put your thoughts in the comments below !

Till then , Ciao !!

Monday, 20 October 2014

How many times should you try ?

All of us have read the story of  Robert Bruce and the Spider. 

How the king - Robert Bruce, after being defeated 6 times was lying in the woods when he saw a spider weaving a web. Every time the spider tried to throw the thread to make the web, she failed and fell down. The seventh time the spunky spider won. This inspired the king to rise again and finally he won the battle. 

But in real life , how many times should we try ? 

Let me tell you the story of KFC . 

At 65 years of age, Colonel Sanders was broke and just  owned a small house in Kentucky.  He made a decision that things had to change. He loved to cook and his friends liked to eat the chicken he made at home.  The fact that this was the only novel idea as well as skill he had, he decided to act upon it.
He left Kentucky and traveled to  different US states to sell his idea. He would tell restaurant owners that he had a chicken recipe which people liked and he was ready to give it to them for free, in return for a small percentage on the items sold. He got rejections after rejections, but did not give up. In fact, he got over 1000 rejections.
He got 1009 NO’s before he got his first Yes. 
With that one success Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the eating habits of the whole world with Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC.
A few more counts : 
  • Steven Spielberg was rejected 3 times by the University of  Southern California before he decided to become a director
  • Sylvester Stallone was rejected 1500 times when he tried to sell himself and the script of "Rocky"
  • J K Rowling was rejected by a dozen publishers. Her first Harry Potter book got published because the CEO's 8 year old daughter begged him to publish it. 
  • Beethoven's teachers thought him to be hopeless in music. He composed his greatest works when he was completely deaf.
  • Vincent Van Gogh never saw success in his lifetime. But his works are considered to be the greatest paintings ever done .
  • Finally Thomas Edison. He only lasted three months in school where his teachers said he was "too stupid to learn anything." He eventually was home schooled by his mom. In talking about his invention of the light bulb, he said :

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that do not work.” - Thomas Edison

It is up to you to decide how many times you should try before giving up !

Thursday, 9 October 2014

7 Tips for Managing Content of the PPT

One day, when I was discussing some office matters with my brother,  my mother asked me . "Why do you always have to give presentations ? That too in office ? How much do you spend ? Do you always gift wrap it ? "

Both of us did not speak for a few seconds trying to comprehend her words.  It took us more than a few seconds to make her understand "presentation" in a business context. The vagaries of English language !!

Love it or hate it, you have got to use presentations because audiences expect it.   There are three basic tasks : Managing the content, creating appropriate supplements and delivering the content.  

I will elaborate on the first point in this post.

Managing the content :  
    • Content is the meat of your presentation.  This is what gives the presentation its weight and importance. But the content has to be organized in a meaningful way so that the audience knows why you are talking , Ask yourself "What do I want my audience to know ? "

    • The main point should be divided into sub-points.  This provides clarity as well as readability.  

    • Never ever put too much content on the slide. This will divert the attention of the audience from you towards the written words.  So, the content creation should be done very carefully . The main essence should be put on the slide , but the elaboration and the explanation should be done by your delivery. 

    • Also, the general claims you make in your content has to be supported for credibility. If you just say that " The company has made huge profits this year" , you should display the statistics of growth. Remember that pictorial representations makes greater impact than mere numbers. So, have fun with pie charts, bar graphs and histograms !

    • A picture talks a thousand words.  Again, be careful that your slides do not look cluttered.  Select an appropriate picture and make it the background.  This makes the slide look professional. Choose colours that contrast well. 

    • It goes without saying that the sentences should be grammatically correct , with a consistent capitalization style.

    • Use the notes section of the ppt. Since you will put short simple sentences - the best practice is to put not more than 6 bullet points , with each point not having more than 6 words in it, be sure to use the notes. This will help you practice and remember your talking points.  

Hope this helps. 

I will write about creating appropriate supplements and delivering the content in the next post.

On a lighter note,  I had attended a seminar a few years back when a speaker had started her talk without a presentation . She had made a powerful opening sentence , which I still remember . 

"If you have a powerful point to make, you do not need a powerpoint " !

Ciao !

Monday, 6 October 2014

Teeny Weeny : Sequined Mariage Veil

He opened his eyes and saw her standing near the bed.

"The veil has golden sequins... please get me a new one without sequins.  My neck really hurts ... see ... my skin is red ... it hurts ... "

She had hung herself from the ceiling fan two months back with her sequined red marriage veil.

Teeny-Weenies will spice up the monotony of the leadership posts . Hope you like them.   
 Looking forward to your comments

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Shhh ! Your Email is showing !

Sometime back  I was reading about an ongoing research on sending fragrance ( perfume , flowers, food etc.) via the net.  I don't know whether the research will be successful or not, but if it does, it will be a revolution. 

Inhaling a fragrance over the web might be a distant reality, but e-communication is the norm of the day today.  I have worked with many virtual teams in globally distributed models, where I have not met the person with whom I talk several times in a week !  And again, 90% of the conversation is via emails.  

Emails have invaded our lives.  Snail mails have become a thing of the past. Telephone, VOIP, video conferencing have made the world very very small.  All said and done,  technology  cannot replace face to face meetings and conversations as 70% of the communication needs body language. 

But yes, emails can be used to replace some of the body language communication.  And in this blog post, I will try to elaborate on this aspect. 
  • Your email reflects your personality .  How we use words and how we write emails shows the different aspects of our personality.  Extroverts write about fun related words,  An autocratic person writes more of "I", "Me", "Mine".  An inclusive leader will write "we", "our" .

  • Emails conveys the tone . And , similar to a face to face conversation, tone makes a lot of difference, It is not just what you say, but how you say it. You can say "Come here" in various tones which conveys different meanings . Similarly, in emails , you should be very careful since a word here and there can change the tone of the email completely. 

  • Emails reveal a lot . Example, absence of typos and spelling mistakes tell about your conscientiousness.  Grammatical mistakes show poor academic intelligence and  emoticons show your friendliness.  So, be careful !

  • Emails can develop trust . The language you use, the opening line, the closing words and the main body of the email reflects the integrity of the person.  The opening is different for different audience.  You may write "Team", "Dear friends, "Folks" or just "Hi" Hello". Remember, this is important and  should be altered appropriately.  Similarly, the closing . "Thanks", "Regards" etc also convey a lot.  "Yours sincerely", "Humbly" etc do not match with the new era of  business communication.

  • Be to the point and crisp in your emails. If it is a long email and you are asking something from your audience, write what you need from them in the first paragraph of the email. You don't know how many will read till the end. Subject lines are also of great importance.

I don't know whether fragrance will travel on the web or not, but emails are here to stay.  So, tune your emails and see what difference it makes in your business communication.  

And let us wait for the future where , like Star Trek, we can use a machine to physically transport us to anywhere and come back the same way !  And you bet, that is not too far off ! 

READ another related blog post of emails : 5 Situations where emails fail.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Prioritization & Time Management

My friend got the shock of her life the other day when she was chatting with her eight year old daughter - Meenu.  

As usual , she had come back about 8-ish in the evening, and after finishing her dinner, she sat with her laptop, working on the power point ppt which she was to present the next day. Meenu wanted to hear her favourite story of the princess with the golden hair. 

"Mamma .. please tell me the story .. " Meenu pleaded. 

"Sweetheart , I have this important piece of work which I just have to finish ... "

"Everyday you say the same thing... why can't you finish your work in office ?"

"You know that your mamma is an important person ... she has lots of work to do which she cannot finish in office .... so some of it has to done at home, cutie pie!"

Meenu was quiet for a few minutes . Then she told her mother -

"Idea .... ! My friend Pooja also could not finish her work in the class. So, my teacher said that she should not be promoted to the next class ........Mamma, your boss also can do the same thing ... not give you a promotion .... !"

Sometimes , kids have simple solutions for complex problems, solutions - which  touches the core of the issue.  I had a difficult time trying to pacify my friend.   But I think Meenu has touched upon  a very basic issue of prioritization and time management. 

We all know that work never ends. You have to call it a day and close your laptop and leave for home.  And there are days when we feel that though we have slogged all day, we could not achieve any substantial thing today at work.  The problem is in the prioritization of work. 

Suppose you have 10 tasks to complete. Out of that you can choose which is the work which will bring about the most value to the organization. Then choose the next one which will add the most value and then choose two more.  Thats all. Just four tasks.  If you can complete these 4 tasks instead of all the 10, it will suffice for 95% of  tasks and  you will feel satisfied and get a sense of achievement.  Remember the 80-20 Rule ?

Another tip is to "Just Do It".  Sometimes, we get so overwhelmed with the magnitude of a task, that we procrastinate or make very detailed plans or find excuses for not doing it.  But we know that this is a big ticket item and if this does not get done,  you as well as the organization will be in trouble.  In such situations, we should just dive into it and start doing the task.  Whatever we can.  In my experience, I have seen that once I get started,  after a few hiccups, I get into the flow of it.  Then it gets done . Effortlessly. 

In the Time Management quandrants,  the most important quadrant is the second one - important but not urgent tasks - example planning , creating strategies, acquiring knowledge, etc. No matter what, the urgent tasks have to be done .  But most of the times, we ignore the tasks which are important but not urgent and put our energies on the low hanging fruits.  If we can be self disciplined to pick up and do the work which is really important, that will eventually lead to job satisfaction, better performance and a well balanced life. 

I agree that there will be days when we will have to open our laptops after dinner and work.  

But, even then , there will be many days when we will be able to tell  bedtime stories to our little Meenus and have cosy chats with friends and family and have a happy and well balanced life !

Cheers !

Monday, 15 September 2014

Game of Blogs - Roohi

Game of Blogs

BlogAdda’s newest initiative is to #CelebrateBlogging with a series of contests, starting with one called a Game of Blogs. Teams of bloggers take turns creating a round robin story of sorts that they post to their individual blogs.

Team: Blogsters 

Read the previous part of the story  Here


Nowadays Dad always calls me ‘kiddo’.  

I am a big girl now!  I am not a kiddo!  ‘Princess’ sounds still better.  Why can't Dad call me Rhea ? That is the name which he said would suit me better than my previous name Roohi .  Rooi, Rui, the friends of my previous school used to tease me.  

‘Your name is Rui - cotton - white and fluffy - just like you!’

I hated it.  

Jenny aunty calls me Rhea. I like the way she says ‘Rrrhea..’ It sounds so stylish when she rolls her tongue and calls my name.

Jennifer aunty is so smart! When I grow up, I’ll also wear shorts and tee shirts like her.  I love those big round earrings she wears.  And she has so many big rings! I like the red one the best.  She has promised me that she will give it to me if  I write an essay and it does not have a single spelling mistake. 

I don’t understand why Dad doesn’t like Jenny aunty. Whenever she calls him from her balcony, he hurries away and does not even smile at her.

I think Dad misses Mom. Whenever they weren’t fighting, and Mom used to call him ‘Shekhar...’ in her sweet voice, Dad looked so happy.  

‘Tara, I love you,’ he used to reply.

As if I did not understand. A boy and a girl say ‘I love you’ when they are married or they want to marry each other.  The other day, when I was playing basket ball, and I scored 5 goals, my sports teacher said, ‘I love you’ to me. But I don't want to marry him. He is too dark skinned for me.  

I’ll marry someone like dad - fair, with a stylish beard.  Even though he grew his hair now, I prefer the way he used to look.

And I will never fight with my husband . I have seen tears in my Dad's eyes when Mom used to quarrel with him. So what if he did not go to office and earn lots of money like my friends dads. He is the bestest dad in this whole world ! He too will become rich and famous when he writes about someone like Harry Potter.  Just like J K Rowling.  

You just wait and see ! 

Mom was also so smart and intelligent.  When she wore trousers and white fitting shirts with matching heels and kissed me before leaving for office, I loved her flowery perfume.  Dad used to tell me about the important meetings she attends  and how she was the best performer in the office and both of us used to feel so proud of her. We always talked about Mom when dad dropped me and picked me up from school. 
I miss my Mom. Dad says that she has gone far away to a land from where it is very difficult to come back. He says that there is no telephone there.  She is doing some very important work for which she has to stay away from me. That is the reason why Dad brought me here and also changed my name so that she cannot find me.  If she finds me, then she will get disturbed and will not be able to complete her work.  And this is a BIG secret.  I have promised dad that I will never tell this to anyone. 

But I miss her.  

Sometimes,  I want to cuddle her,  listen to the stories she used to tell me during bedtime , eat with her, go to the movies with her and Dad and laugh together as we used to do three years back.  The pink frilled frock which she had gifted me on my 9th birthday does not fit me anymore. But that is still my favourite dress.  

Nowadays, I just wear jeans. I know Dad does not like my short hair, but I do not want to wear pigtails anymore. I am a big girl now.

Today, when Dad comes back, I will again ask him when Mom is coming back. I can’t help myself. I know he feels sad whenever I ask him this question. His face becomes tight and strained.  

But I have to know, don’t I? 

There he comes.  I can hear his footsteps.  The bell rings twice. I know it is Dad, but I will first peep in through the eye-hole before opening the door. My teacher has told me never to open the door without checking who it is.  

And I just know he’ll call me ‘kiddo’ again. He should call me Rhea more often. I feel he does not like my new name.

But I like my dad's new name - Ravi - and I think Jenny aunty also likes it. 

"Hey, Ravi!" She calls him from her balcony , waving the camera in her hand and showing off the tattoo of the cross on her right arm. 

Her red ring flashes in the sunlight. My eyes follow it as she waves her hand. I really want to win it as a prize.

I’ll write an essay on ‘My Mom’. That’s sure to win me that ring.

Read the next part of the story: Here

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

Monday, 8 September 2014

Teeny Weeny : Twinkle-Twinkle

"Twinkle- twinkle little stars,
How I wonder what you are ?
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky "

During lunchtime, little Pompy went to her teacher.

"Miss, I don't know what they are , but I  know who they are ... two of them are not diamonds .  My uncle has told me - the big one is my Baba and the small one beside him is my mamma ...  I can see them but  ....

Miss , will you please teach me how to  send this  "Missing You" card to them ?"

Teeny-Weenies will spice up the monotony of the leadership posts . Hope you like them.   
 Looking forward to your comments.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Do it like Ants !

One of my favourite place in my house is the big open balcony attached to my bedroom

There is a Jackfruit tree just beside it. The green leaves and the soft rustling sound soothes me. Every morning , it is my ritual to sit there with a cup of Darjeeling tea, enjoying the cool and fresh morning breeze

Today, as I enjoyed my flavoured cup of tea, I saw a line of ants , carrying sugar crystals which I had spilled on the floor .  I  watched them.  Fascinated.  

Have you ever wondered  how ants demonstrate leadership qualities ?  

They are tiny. But they are never afraid to pick up objects which are sometimes bigger than them ! We humans get intimidated by our goals or tasks. Sometimes so much that we are afraid even to start working on them.  We give up without even trying.  But the ants just get on their job headlong.  However impossible their work might look, they just do it. They are not unnerved by the workload !

I saw a team of ants , pull a huge (for them) piece of biscuit, taking it forward seamlessly.  They walked together clockwork precision , in the same direction . They are the perfect examples of teamwork. Together they can move objects sometimes ten times larger than themselves !  

Have you ever noticed that if  for some reason, their work gets derailed (as I did when I swept aside the rest of the sugar crystals near the wall of the balcony), they find their way back and get the job done. I observed how the small little ants crawled towards the wall and again with the same zeal started carrying the sugar crystals. They believe in completing the work, even if they have to face hurdles. They don't give up.  They are committed. They just have to accomplish their task . 

And yes, they save for the rainy day.  They know that everyday they might not get their cheese.  They are well prepared to face the adversity

Isn't it amazing ? 

Can we think and act like these tiny creatures and create a blueprint for success ?

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Teeny Weeny : Waiting

" I am late .... ".

As she hurried towards her usual bench,  she grimaced at the small rip near the hem of  her red dress.

His favourite dress.  It needed mending.

He had promised her that he will be there at 8.30 am.

Twenty years back.

Teeny-Weenies will spice up the monotony of the leadership posts . Hope you like them.   
 Looking forward to your comments.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Teeny Weeny : Anonymous

"I will never see you again .... " He had promised . 

His anonymous facebook profile was not bound by the vow .....


Teeny-Weenies will spice up the monotony of the leadership posts . Hope you like them.   
 Looking forward to your comments.

Incredible story of the Mountain Man

Do you think ONE man is enough to cut a mountain ? 

Is it possible for one person to bring down a 360 feet long, 25 feet high mountain and create a 16 feet wide pass in place of an almost an impassable gap ?

No ...... ? 

Think again . 

Dasrath Majhi , from Gaya district , state Bihar in India, did just that. 

Dasrath eked out a living as a farm hand, toiling in the fields of local landlords on bare subsistence wages.  One day, in the early '60s, his wife Phaguni Devi fell ill and Dasrath set off with her to the nearest hospital.  

Phalguni Devi died on the way.

If only there was no hill blocking the road to the town, Dasrath would have made it to the hospital in time, and perhaps his wife's life would have been saved.

The villagers had to take a circuitous route and travel 19 km to Wazirganj, the nearest district town. This was because the massive 360 feet long, 25 feet high and 30 feet wide sheer rock came in the way of the shortest possible route between the village and the town.

The situation would have brought about a feeling of resignation or fatalism in the average man—as if God had himself put this giant obstacle in the path of his ailing wife.   

Dasrath's response was different and radical, unthinkable and stunningly simple. 

He decided to alter geography with chisel and hammer.

To cut a road through the huge mass of rock.  


The next morning, armed with a hammer and chisel, he started off on a task that was to become an obsession. The villagers called him a madman. 

But that did not deter him. 

After 22 years of back-breaking, single-handed toil, Dasrath finished in the mid-'80s. The mountain had yielded to man.  Now, Wazirganj was just about six kilometres away. The people of Gelaur village  could reach it in under an hour.

In Manjhi’s own words, “What I did is there for everyone to see. When God is with you, nothing can stop you,” 

I will keep working for the development of the villages here so long I am alive. I am neither afraid of any punishment from any government department for my work nor am I interested in any honour from the government

Dasrath Majhi died on 17th August, 2007, at the age of 73. 

But he will be remembered forever as the "Mountain Man". 

A man who loved his wife . A man who thought about others.

A leader, who walked alone and moved the mountain.