R Venkataramanan

R Venkataramanan

R Venkat's Blog

R Venkat's Blog
"To be an Inspiring Teacher,one should be a Disciplined Student throughout Life" - Venkataramanan Ramasethu



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

William Shakesphere Sonnet XVIII

Sonnet XVIII

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
   So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a Summers day?
Thou art more louely and more temperate:
Rough windes do ſhake the darling buds of Maie,
And Sommers leaſe hath all too ſhorte a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heauen ſhines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d,
And euery faire from faire ſome-time declines,
By chance, or natures changing courſe vntrimm’d:
But thy eternall Sommer ſhall not fade,
Nor looſe poſſeſſion of that faire thou ow’ſt,
Nor ſhall death brag thou wandr’ſt in his ſhade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’ſt,
So long as men can breathe or eyes can ſee,
So long liues this, and this giues life to thee,


I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead it took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft a poem would have had some
distance to go days and weeks and
much crumpled paper

the pie already had a talking
tumbling audience among small
trucks and a fire engine on
the kitchen floor

everybody will like this pie
it will have apples and cranberries
dried apricots in it many friends
will say why in the world did you
make only one

this does not happen with poems

because of unreportable
sadnesses I decided to
settle this morning for a re-
sponsive eatership I do not
want to wait a week a year a
generation for the right
consumer to come along

-Grace Paley

Thursday, July 14, 2016

We are all truly tidal

Question it all, but be prepared for answers you may not understand or want hear…
We like it simple, yet make it complicated as we try to trace the line in the sand.
But when we are blinded by the light (eyes wide shut in pain) the answers may come with the ebb and flow of our patience – don’t forget we are all truly tidal.  Responses (signs) may show up as a truth that that has all the markings of change (always moving) and will never settle in because sometimes we are simply not meant to know - it’s ok… be good with that.

“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.”

"...it's a mad world. Mad as Bedlam, boy!"

“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.”
―from DAVID COPPERFIELD by Charles Dickens

When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which will lead him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak and friendship and betrayal. Over the course of his adventure, David meets an array of eccentric characters and learns hard lessons about the world before he finally discovers true happiness. Charles Dickens’s most celebrated novel and the author’s own favorite, David Copperfield is the classic account of a boy growing up in a world that is by turns magical, fearful, and grimly realistic. In a book that is part fairy tale and part thinly veiled autobiography, Dickens transmutes his life experience into a brilliant series of comic and sentimental adventures in the spirit of the great eighteenth-century novelists he so much admired. Few readers can fail to be touched by David’s fate, and fewer still to be delighted by his story. The cruel Murdstone, the feckless Micawber, the unctuous and sinister Uriah Heep, and David Copperfield himself, into whose portrait Dickens puts so much of his own early life, form a central part of our literary legacy.  This edition reprints the original Everyman preface by G. K. Chesterton and includes thirty-nine illustrations by Phiz. REAd an excerpt here: http://knopfdoubleday.com/book/40441/david-copperfield/9780679405719/


"The sun will shine on those who stand , before it shines on those who kneel under them."
--from "Things Fall Apart" (1958)

"We shall all live. We pray for life, children, a good harvest and happiness. You will have what is good for you and I will have what is good for me. Let the kite perch and let the egret perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break."
--from THINGS FALL APART by Chinua Achebe

THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society. The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within. READ an excerpt here: http://knopfdoubleday.com/book/411/things-fall-apart/9780679446231/

Luke Skywalker

A prosthetic arm named for Luke Skywalker, designed by the inventor of the Segway, and funded by DARPA is going to be commercially available later this year. It is one of the most advanced prosthetics ever developed, with electrodes attached to the limb that control the movements of the arm in response to signals from the wearer's muscles. The prosthetic also has much more flexibility and degrees of motion than a standard prosthetic with the joints of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist each independently powered and an additional four motors in the hand controlling the fingers.

Brand integrity matters

During the last few weeks, I have blogged on the importance of sales and marketing skills. We’ve also begun to discuss the importance of building, nurturing, and sustaining a brand. I’ve tried to show you that behind the sales campaigns, promotions, and advertising you see on TV and in newspapers is a highly complex business tool which you must appreciate and master if you want to develop a profitable business.

This series has been one of the most successful ever, with reach sometimes topping 8m per post, according to statistics from Facebook.  I have totally enjoyed the amazing comments. Africa is on its way to developing some incredible businesses out there. I feel it in my spirit!

There’s a lot written about brands, and people much more qualified than I spend their careers studying and teaching about brands. You would do well to read and follow some of these experts.

One thing I’ve tried to instill is the important of "brand integrity." This is because, in the final analysis, a brand tends to take on the persona of its founders, and those who manage the business on a day-to-day basis.

You must do your best, and try very hard, to instill in your brand a culture of integrity. This is not easy, particularly as the business gets bigger, and you’ve moved away from the center of day-to-day action.

In my 30 years running a business (remember I started in 1986), I’ve met and known some highly gifted entrepreneurs who looked ready to set the whole world ablaze, but after a few years, some of them failed spectacularly.  Whenever I looked back on what had happened… more often than not, it was an issue of integrity.

The other day, someone brought me an article from an African Internet newspaper (I won't mention the name because I don't want to judge them, only to advise). The newspaper is run by young entrepreneurs who follow this platform. In the edition brought to my attention, they had an article in which they purported to have interviewed me, on the phone, whilst I was "in Denmark.” The interview was a total fabrication, and whilst I have heard that Denmark is a beautiful country, I’ve not yet had an opportunity to visit in my entire life.

This saddened me deeply because of the harm they did to themselves, and the integrity of their brand.

A newspaper, even one on the Internet, is a business. It’s a business whose brand must be based on integrity, because people come to it to be informed about what’s happening. The moment you start writing stories out of your imagination, and print them as true, you’re on your way to practicing the ideology of Joseph Goebbels (Hitler's minister of propaganda).

Last week I also commented on the practice of setting up fake websites on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other other social websites, pretending to be someone else. In the beginning, it seems to be a bit of harmless fun. This is how most drug addicts began -- a "little joint" became heroin…

It’s the same in entrepreneurship:  The fake website can lead you to fake credit card identity, and fraud, and fake drugs that kill others… and maybe a very long prison sentence. It's a slippery slope.

Africa has some of the most gifted musicians and actors in the world. Most of them go unrecognized, and live in poverty. They could be making millions, and standing on the world stage just like the most famous European and American artists. The problem is simple -- "pirating" of their material, supported by some of their own fans who happily buy the fake products!  This is blatant theft.

__Let's do our best, every single day, to try and build brand integrity.

We don't need fake newspaper stories any more than we need fake drugs, fake credit cards, fake DVDs, and fake websites.

The original is always the best, and it has brand integrity.