The Last Ticket and other stories - Book Review

This is a compilation of short stories of authors from Asia, published by the National Book Trust, India. It has 10 stories. But out of them, I liked few stories for different reasons. 

One was by Satyajit Ray, The hungry septopus. This is the story of a flesh eater plant. This particular captivated me because of the story telling, the imagination and intrigue factor. The way the characters are introduced, the way the plot unfolds and the way the suspense is sustained, I think this is a classic text book form of writing.

The next one I liked was by a Iranian author, Minoo Karimzadeh, The last ticket. The story is about a poor young boy who works in a factory. One fine morning he just has a single ticket. He boards the bus and decides to travel without ticket and save the ticket for his return journey as he would be dead tired in the night. But he faces a moral dilemma and gets off the bus. In the night, while waiting to catch the return bus, another poor boy asks him for a ticket. He gives the last ticket to him and walks home on his tired legs.

Then there is a story, A Kite in the sky, by Syed Fateh Ali, a Pakistani writer. The plot is very simple. I liked it for the imagination and vivid description. It is the story of a boy who loves to fly Kite. One day, he wants to fly and the Kite flies him.

Simple stories from Asia to make the heart warm.

Book Review - Training Camp - Jon Gordon

Training Camp - This is the third book from Jon Gordon, that I read this year. The book is again a management and motivational book written in the form of a story. The plot is very simple. A budding football player joins a training camp. He is bothered with self doubts, personal problems and an injury as well.

In the training camp, he meets a coach and several other folks, who take care of him well. The coach starts giving him lessons, day by day, while he recuperates from his injury and practices for his big game for selection.

He learns the following lessons:
  1.        The best know what they want
  2.        The best want it more
  3.        The best are always striving to get better
  4.        The best do ordinary things better than everyone else
  5.        The best zoom focus
  6.        The best are mentally stronger
  7.        The best overcome their fear
  8.        The best seize the moment
  9.        The best tap into a greater power than themselves
  10.        The best leave a legacy
  11.        The best make everyone around them better

While the story progresses, Martin, learns each of the lessons and keeps introspecting and improving himself. Finally, he gets selected in the last game and is able to raise money to treat his ailing mother. Later, he take up the cause to spread the above lessons among school children.

Like other Jon Gordon books, this a very light read. You can easily finish it off in a day and feel good about the message. There is nothing new in the lessons. But the presentation is good and it gives you dose of positivity. My verdict – Readable, give it a try. You will not regret!

Be a club officer, run a company!

Is the time for Toastmaster club elections, members would be selecting the best possible candidate to lead our club. These selected individuals would form the executive committee and would lead the club for the next term.

A club is a microcosm of an organization or a company. Being a club officer is like running a company. As there are different function heads in a company with their own teams, in the club, we have the different officers with the various committees under each.
Just like in your organization, you have a CEO, the club is led by the President. He has the supreme authority and power. He sets the vision of the club and shows the direction where the club has to go.

The vice president education is like the chief people officer or HR head. He is responsible for overall people development. He overseas all the operations of the club, schedules who will do what and when and certifies when the members have reached their goals.

The vice president membership is akin to the sales head of your company. He is responsible to convert visitors to the club to members of a club. This is just like the sales head of a company getting a new customer.

The vice president public relations is like the advertisement and marketing head of a company. He is responsible to get the word out to the public and increase the footfall in the club.

The treasurer is the finance head of the club. He handles all receipts and payments for the club. He also prepares the budget and maintains the accounts of the club.

The Secretary is like the administration head of the company. He maintains all records and presents them as needed.

Finally the Sergeant at Arms is like the facility management head of your company. He arranges all logistics and set up for the club.

Thus, if you want to experience how to run a small organization, stand up, nominate yourself and be a club officer. As a club officer, with respect to all, integrity to your word, an attitude of service and striving for excellence, you will be a true leader. Today you learn how to run the club. Tomorrow, you will be confident to fly high and run your own company!!

p.s: This was an article that I wrote and it was published in the Toastmasters District 98 Newsletter for May 2016