Monday, January 25, 2016

Developing Growth Mindset

I bought mindset a couple of years back. I read it like anyother self help book. Recently, I got an opportunity to revisit this book especially on "Growth mindset".  The author Carol S. Dweck has done a good treatment on fixed mindset vs Growth mindset.

I am referring this book at the right time - the new year.

Growth mindset is all about using the skills, developing the skills. Its also about dealing with failures.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Crossword Brick-and-Mortar stores need improvement

I always did a balancing (!) act in books shopping between online and brick-and-mortar stores.
Crossword, JP Nagar and Sapna Bookhouse are the ones I frequent.  Sapna bookhouse theme is a completely different.  Crossword, JP Nagar is not really attractive.

This is despite Crossword, JP Nagar having a Coffee Day outlet and engages Kathalya team for a weekend story telling event. 

Price modified by Crossword
Here are my top annoyances for the bookstore:
  • The floor carpet has too many bandaids and really turns me off seeing the carpet cello tape all over.
  • The staff do not know anything about books
  • They hike the prices 
  • Their telephone numbers are incorrect in their bill, on their portal, google search etc
  • Book events are too random
 Given the potential residential customers in the neighbourhood and also the Miniforest park visitors, Crossword is failing to bank on.

I discuss this with the shop supervisor time to time. There is no action from his end. 
I wish Sapna were around.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Pustaka Parishe - Jan 2016

I attended the Pustaka Parishe - a book festival to share books that happened in Bangalore.  The event is organized by Srushti Ventures.  

As there was not much details available, I went through this news item.

I spoke to the organizer Mr.Nagaraj before I started off.  Looks like, they have been doing this event for the past 25 years - twice in a year.  The event allows you to donate books and also pick free books.

I went along with my kids. We donated children books. But when we went to pick the free books, it was fully crowded and we could not get our space to get into the gaps to see whats there to pick. By then, our book has travelled from the front gate to this location and I saw someone holding our book.

The event had all publishers stalls for Kannada books, though it was advertised English books are also available.  For me, the most annoying stalls to see in any exhibition - especially in the book exhibitions - are the pickles, household accessories (vegetable cutting), vacuum cleaner etc. 

We returned without buying a book.  But the purpose of the book event is good.  The organizer said they can do this for any organization and big gatherings. 

Its also my first visit to the National Grounds, Basavangudi. The area was fully residential, with lots of Brahmins. We happened to park opposite a traditional house.  I was mesmerized for its rustic looks. 
 Looking forward for more Book festives in Bangalore.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Understanding death

A year back, lost my maternal uncle and on the new year day, lost my aunt (mom's sister).  Both went through a very painful experience.  Close friend of mine too lost his dad too through a similar experience.
Looking back, I have seen death close by.  My views on death has improved through various experience.
Death is not a loss.  
Death is not an end. 
Death is not something.

Death is the next stage.  It's also a living in a different world. I dont believe in heaven and hell.  But I am not sure where exactly someone will live after they leave.  Reincarnations, near to death experience, karma....all can get complicated for understanding in depth.
But I dont have fear of death.  When we grow, every stage is a death.  We moved past and entered a new age.  This is not just philosophical understanding, but also biological.  Our cells die and are newly born every second, and we are told we are a bundle of cells.

Very strange I picked a book on death in 2011 "The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying" by Sogyal Rinpoche.  Probably, its a Tibetan treatment or possibly it was a spiritual book.  I would have read it atleast two or three times.
My views on death were shaped by this single book.  I am yet to comprehend the whole of treatment. I will pick it again soon.
Every day someone keeps dying - known and unknown.  If I think about what will happen to their family, its empathy and compassion;  but if think about what will happen to the person who died, that is spirituality.
We possibly pain ourselves with the the memory of the deceased.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

For the love of Canis Familiaris

Dogs were part of my life since my childhood though my parents never grew one.  However, having lived in relatives house, I wont forget those memorable days with Julie and Caesar, the wonderful companions during school and college days. Later Raasthaa, Bruno and several other street dogs whom I 'socialized' with.  Haa...the dog whom we named Sabapathi after watching KamalHaasan's SathiLeelvaathi. 
Dogs are magical. I dont recognize the breed names - they sound always foreign to me. Dog lovers know they have human nature - all the dog lovers would share one or the other.  Though I have not grown one, I have several dog stories to share from my own experience.
And recently happen to read this article "Pass for Happiness and Companionship" recently in The Hindu. (aye, I am Hindu reader these days)
Often I wondered, whether these dogs get bored doing the same things again and again? What do they think? 
I think I got an answer from this marvelous book "Inside of a dog" by Alexandra Horowitz.
Though Alexandra is a psychologist, unless she is a dog lover she could not have written such a fascinating book. Someone like me, who has trained my senses to read neuroscience books for the past few years, got a fresh breathe of animal science after buying this.  Very fascinating read I would say.  There is so much of personal sharing by the author.
Having bought this in July 2014, I have read it only once. I will read another round of read this year.
By the way, the author and her associates have this Dog Cognition Lab.  Interesting.
I recommend this book.