The Tyranny of Merit : A Reflection


I am sharing here a somewhat longish video on Youtube.

Loved the extremely thought provoking and insightful conversation between Prof. Michael Sandel, author of ‘Tyranny of Merit’ and Yuval Noah Harari, author of best seller ‘Sapiens’.

The conversation covers the following aspects:

  • What is behind the recent phenomena of the spread of authoritarian popularism and the rise of authoritarian hyper-nationalists?
  • What has led to the increasing divide between Winners and Losers and the rising socio-economic inequality over the last four decades of Globalisation?
  • The increasing support for Meritocracy has a dark side. The strain between the hubris amongst Winners versus the resentment amongst those left behind. Unfortunately, the created Inequality of Income and Wealth has in fact led to a much serious issue of inequality of Honour and Esteem. What could be a way forward to decouple this strain?
  • The study of History has been such that we can very accurately explain WHAT happened but not WHY that something happened.
  • The urgent need to reconceive and reimagine the mission of social democratic politics of today.
  • The increasing obsolescence of the classical Nation State model due to the easy movement of Capital, Technology and Labour across the globe. What could be done to prevent the collapse of Nationalism in its true sense?

My Sensemaking:

If one were to accept the core premise of the conversation, it would imply that Meritocracy, which dictates that a few succeed and the balance fail, is not compatible with democracy which is about majority decision making.

A more worrying aspect seems to be loss of political space by left of center parties who have been espousing the cause of the masses but have supported the meritocracy structure in their socio-economic decisions.

In Learning………….

Shakti Ghosal

My Crucible moment and self-reflection


I was in a meeting with my new Chairman. I was passionately elucidating my future plans for the business.

The Chairman looked at me, made a sign of smallness with his fingers and said, “Your businesses generate too small a revenue!”. The stress was on the smallness, the inconsequence of all that I and my businesses were doing.

Stumbling out of the meeting, I was in a daze. To be told by your boss that all your efforts and dreams, all that you stood for, did not matter in the larger scheme of things, was devastating.

As I look back at that crucible moment, I can see how it changed the trajectory of my life thereon.

For days afterward, I was pummeled down by negative thoughts and low self-esteem. I swung between anxiety, anger and bitterness. 

The way it occurred to me, there were all these guys, less qualified and with less competence, who were being acknowledged because they seemed to be ‘at the right place at the right time.’

I felt small. I hadn’t done anything wrong to deserve what I had heard. From that one conversation, I seemed to have lost a significant part of myself, opening up hitherto un-noticed doors to self-doubt and self-flagellation.

But then a thought came to me, ‘Had I done enough right?’

I unburdened myself by speaking about the incident and my thoughts to my wife and a couple of trusted workplace colleagues. I felt less like an idiot when I shared what I learned from screwing up. This helped me to move beyond the dark side of my self-doubt and low self-esteem.

The incident supported me to work on that crucible moment question, “Had I done enough right?” It taught me the practice of Self Reflection. It is this that opened up for me new possibilities and opportunities of growth.

In his Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestseller, ‘The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights’, author Doug Conant speaks of his own journey of self-reflection and discovery that revolutionized his leadership and transformed his career trajectory.

Doug condenses his remarkable leadership story into six practical steps.

  • Reach High – Envision
  • Dig Deep – Reflect
  • Lay the Groundwork – Study
  • Design – Plan
  • Build – Practice
  • Reinforce – Improve 

In today’s world of uncertainty and disruption which can leave us stuck and overwhelmed, the above six steps have the potential to lift our leadership and performance to heights that would bring us career success, joy and fulfillment.

In Learning……….

Shakti Ghosal

http://www.empathinko.in

#shaktighosal #leadershipdevelopment #performancecoaching

Musings on a Father’s Day….


My Dad and me

Yesterday, my daughters arranged for an all-Italian supper of pasta and Pizza with garlic bread for their Baba. As I was washing down all that great food with a glass of coke I felt so blessed.

In my younger days, we neither had the awareness nor the luxury of such DAYS to acknowledge our loved ones. The only days I recall celebrating were Birthdays and the occasional special anniversary (the tenth, the twenty fifth etc.). Those were simpler times……

Times change. The bond, the love, that heavenly security in one’s father’s arms remain. This is how the feelings, the thoughts, the conviction to take one’s rightful place on the world stage flow down from one generation to the next.

My father Late Debabrata Ghosal gave wings to my creative imagination since childhood. He inculcated the ‘can do’ mindset in me. Decades after he has left my side, I continue to sense his guiding compass when confronted by life’s situations.

Though I too held my daughters in the same manner that Bapi held me decades earlier, have I been able to pass on the right values and mindset onto them? I suppose only time will remain a witness to that ……

Riya and me

Piya and me

In Learning………..

http://www.shaktighosal.com

Spanning a century between the Pandemics of 1919 and 2020


Spanning a century between the pandemics of 1919 and 2020, Dipen and Indranil are confronted by tragedies under vastly different societal conditioning and development. What is their link spanning four generations which arises from an old and dilapidated palace and its massive Shiva linga?

Santosh Jami

Santosh Jami from Bengaluru writes……

Amazing book, very easy read.

Honestly I am not much into books lately but when I read the preface and the first few pages, I could not put it down, especially the parts where historical facts were interwoven into stories is real magic. The narration of battle of Plassey, events surrounding fall of Bengal when mixed with the characters in the stories – all of them came alive.And the mix of history with contemporary events is beautiful.

The open ending where the Chronicler slowly fades away is really thought provoking and leaves the reader with self reflection and space for introspection in a very subtle way.

Overall, an excellent read.

The book continues to make emotional waves worldwide with around one hundred and fifty excellent reviews and ratings on Amazon and Good Reads. Available on Amazon, Flipkart and leading bookstores.

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#bookofthemonth#returntoreading

A New Voice


“Ghosal impressively weaves history and imagination to blend fiction and reality, thereby providing a voice of the unrecorded, the myths and legends around what happened on the other side of known history…” Professor Gracy Samjetsabam, column author in Sunday Guardian Live and copy editor•

“……What truly grips the reader is this wonderful complexity of ‘a touch of the old Raj’ and the deep humanity of the pages that captivate.” Dr. Viraj P. Thacker, Author of ‘The Myth of Prosperity: Globalization and the South’, US•

“…. sensitive treatment of the characters battling these tragedies that enriches these tales.” The Telegraph

The book is available on Amazon ( paperback and kindle )and Flipkart (paperback). I am giving below Amazon India and US links for fast access.

Amazon India https://www.amazon.in/…/B08XMBRP4K/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0…

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08XY355FP/ref=sr_1_1…

May I request all those of you friends who have read the book to kindly share this post with others who may be interested. Thank you!

http://www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#bookofthemonth

#historicalfiction#psychologicalfiction#emotionallygripping

Threads of History


A sunset cruise on the Hooghly which spins history and myth addictively across different dimensions. Across time as it takes the reader on a two and a half centuries journey. Across human failings and virtues of political intrigue, greed, betrayal, love and magnanimity.

The Chronicler of the Hooghly continues to make emotional waves worldwide with around one hundred and fifty excellent ratings and reviews on Amazon and Good Reads.

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#encourageauthorshakti#bookofthemonth novel, #readersgonnaread, #booklover, #bookworm, #ereader,

#kindlebook, #bookrecommendation, fiction, #bookloversunite, #booksbooksbooks#booknerd,#bookobsessed,#bookaddict

What a Master Coach says…..


Frank Marinko is a Leadership and Executive Coach and the Founder & Managing Partner of Empathinko. He resides in Melbourne, Australia.

Frank says this about the ‘Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories’ :

Reading a Shakti Ghosal story is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. His stories are akin to the gossamer of a fine and delicate spiders web, subtle, alluring and surprisingly clever. The narrative expands with coherence and a subtle obliquity and yet as I read, the feeling is one of being comfortably lost in a vast and sumptuous tale of intrigue and mystery.

The way Shakti writes this story with grace and ease allows the reader to immerse themselves into the main character’s experience. One can easily become that character, plunged into the complexities of the circumstances as the story unfolds.

The book continues to make emotional waves worldwide with close to a hundred and fifty excellent ratings and reviews on Amazon and Good Reads.

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#encourageauthorshakti#bookofthemonth#bookcommunity#bookaholic#bibliophile #shelfie#bookshelf#readers#bookoftheday#ilovereading#bookblog#bookgeek#bookalicious#readingforfun#ilovebooks#bookstagramfeature#booklife#bookaddiction#beautifulbooks#unitedbookstagram#bookishfeatures#bookgeek#bookprojects#readingforfun#addictedtobooks#readabook

We remain unique storytellers


As humans, we remain unique storytellers. There is always a story inside each one of us waiting to come out. It usually stems from that intrinsic need to ‘say something’ about what we feel passionate about.

The Chronicler of the Hooghly is all about four stories and five crucible experiences. In our lives, we at times get confronted with intense and traumatic events which force us to question who we are, what really matters to us and what we believe in. In some ways these events alter our sense of reality.

Each of the four stories in this book draw inspiration from such crucible events that I have had to face. The protagonists in that sense carry a bit of my own ‘experience and thought’ genes.

Best selling author Dr. Viraj Thacker from the US says about the book, “ ……What truly grips the reader is this wonderful complexity of ‘a touch of the old Raj’ and the deep humanity of the pages that captivate. The Chronicler of the Hooghly truly resonated with this reader on many counts & in a most heartwarming fashion, left me with a sense of hope-faith in the human experience.”

International reviewer Professor Gracy Samjetsabam says, “…..Ghosal impressively weaves history and imagination to blend fiction and reality, thereby providing a voice of the unrecorded, the myths and legends around what happened on the other side of known history.”

The Chronicler of the Hooghly continues to create emotional waves worldwide with more than a hundred excellent ratings and reviews on Amazon and Good Reads.

www.shaktighosal.com#chroniclerofthehooghly

#shaktighosal#chroniclerofthehooghly##bookcommunity#bookaholic#bibliophile #shelfie#bookshelf#readers#bookoftheday#ilovereading#bookblog#bookgeek#bookalicious#readingforfun#ilovebooks#bookstagramfeature#booklife#bookaddiction#beautifulbooks#unitedbookstagram#bookishfeatures#bookgeek#bookprojects#readingforfun#addictedtobooks#readabook#becauseofreading#bookloversunite#bookaholic#booksandcoffee#readersgonnaread

Those Raga Varsha days…….


With Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma

Those RAGA VARSHA Days…..

It was another time, another place.

It was near the end of last century in 1998. As part of the Raga Varsha initiative, we had invited Santoor Maestro, the legendary Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and his immensely talented son Rahul Sharma to perform at the iconic Al Bustan Palace in Muscat.

Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma during his lifetime has elevated the humble ‘Santoor’ to classical heights by modifying certain key elements. A chromatic arrangement of notes, increasing the range to three octaves and creating a new playing technique. To understand the stature of Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, he was the recipient of the Indian Classical music’s first platinum disc for the ‘Call of the Valley’ album. He went onto win further platinum discs for the music compositions of films Silsila and Chandni.

When he accompanied his dad to Muscat in 1998, Rahul Sharma was already a hugely talented and handsome young man of 26. Today, Rahul is a music director and classical santoor player in his own right. He has collaborated with international musicians to produce chart busting fusion music.

With Rahul Sharma

The mellifluous music strands created by the father son duo at the Al Bustan Palace auditorium  that day nearly a quarter of a century ago continues to be part of my album of wonderful memories.

#shaktighosal#panditshivkumarsharma#rahulsharma#santoor#classicalmusician#ragavarsha#chandni#silsila#callofthevalley