Monday, April 21, 2014

LIFE PLANNING - Self Help Tips

WHY LIFE PLANNING GOES ALL WRONG
Ramblings of a Retired Mind
By
VIKRAM KARVE

ARE YOU LETTING OTHERS PLAN YOUR LIFE ?

If you travel on a road which others have built – then you will reach the destination where the road goes.

You will reach the the destination those who built the road want you to reach, not the destination you want to reach.

It is true, isn’t it?

Since others have built the road on which you travel, you will reach the destination which the road-builders want you to reach.

In a metaphorical sense, it is the same with the journey of life too.

If you let others plan your life – then you will reach the “destination” which they want you to reach.

That is why you must plan your own life according to the “destination” or goal that you want to reach.

Unfortunately, it is easier said than done.

How do you land up travelling on the wrong road on the Journey of Life?

It all starts when you are small, too young to understand things, too immature to formulate your life goal.

The moment you enter school, your parents decide what they want you to achieve – the “destination” they want you to reach – and your ambitious parents start planning your life accordingly.

Your teachers play a role in this too.

And you are quite clueless to understand anything.

It happened with me too.

In Class 9, I was put in the “Science” Stream.

No one asked me my choice, because probably I was considered too young to make a choice.

In our school, there was a simple rule – only those “weak” in mathematics were sent to the “Arts” Stream.

And, unfortunately, I was good at Maths.

Sometimes, it is a great misfortune to be good at something you don’t like.

Later, my parents, teachers and “well-wishers” decided that I must appear for the IIT JEE.

I cleared the JEE, studied Engineering, got a B. Tech. degree, and reached the destination they wanted me to reach. 

The same thing happened during most of my working life too.

It was others who did my career planning.

The HR bosses in the Navy decided which courses I should do, what areas of expertise I should specialize in, which ships I should be posted on, my appointments, everything.

And I kept “travelling” on the “path” they planned for me and I duly reached the “destinations” they wanted to me to reach.

First, my parents and teachers planned my life.

Then, the Navy planned my life.

It was only after retirement that I had the luxury of planning my own life according to the goals I wanted to reach.

No longer do I have to “travel” on roads that others have built for me.

No longer am I reaching “destinations” that others want me to reach.

Now, I am my own master.

I decide my goal, I plan my life, and I “build” my own road towards the “destination” that I want to reach.

But I can do this only now, after retirement.

Just imagine what could have happened if I had been given an opportunity to plan my life in school.


MODERN PARENTING AND EDUCATION

I trust things have changed now and young children are being given greater independence to decide their own destiny.

I really don’t know, so you tell me.

Are young children being given the freedom to plan their own lives?

Or are parents still planning the lives of their children and making them “travel” on roads towards “destinations” that the parents want their children to reach?

Or are some parents trying to achieve their own unrealized goals vicariously through their children?

If you are a young student, remember that you have to plan your own life according to the goal you want to reach.

If you let others plan your life – then you will reach the “destination” they want you to reach.

And once you have travelled too far down the wrong road, it becomes difficult to turn back and you are left with no choice but to continue travelling till you reach the wrong “destination”.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
NB:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve all rights reserved
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this blog post?
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com
Twitter: @vikramwkarve
      
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION 

ARE YOU IN SYNC WITH THE PERSON YOU ARE TALKING TO?
MENTAL FILTERS AND COMMUNICATION MISMATCH
By
VIKRAM KARVE


THE 6 MESSAGES IN INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION

Suppose you are talking to someone, say your colleague or your spouse or your kid or your friend or even a stranger. 

Communication is a two way process. 

Assume that there are two of you talking to each other engaging in interpersonal communication. 

Now, when you speak to someone you will be watching her and observing her body language and similarly she in turn will be doing the same.

So interpersonal communication will comprise not only verbal speech but non-verbal cues as well. 

Let us assume that you say something to the person in front of you and she says something back to you in reply. 

There will be six messages present in this person-to-person communication process:

1. What you MEAN to say

2. What you ACTUALLY say

3. What the other person HEARS

4. What the other person THINKS is heard

5. What the other person SAYS

6. What you THINK the other person says


Interpretation of Communication (deriving messages from a communication) depends on many factors ranging from intellectual to emotional to cognitive - all these factors form your MENTAL FILTER.

How you interpret a communication depends on your mental filters at that point of time which, apart from your intellectual, emotional and cognitive aspects, is also governed by various factors like your mood, quality and type of relationship with the other person, the environment in which the communication is taking place.

And it is similar for the other person talking to you.

In order to reduce communication mismatch, it is essential that your mental filter is in sync with the person talking to you and vice versa

Otherwise there will be ambiguities in the messages exchanged and this may have undesirable ramifications, and, at times, may even lead to discord and conflict.


AN EXAMPLE OF HOW MENTAL FILTERS DISTORT MESSAGES IN A COMMUNICATION DUE TO SELECTIVE INTERPRETATION
Let me try to explain this with an illustrative example: 

Imagine that a husband and wife are driving right across Pune from Wakad to Koregaon Park one evening for a party.

Their car crawls at snail’s pace in the heavy traffic on the busy crowded roads of Pune, a city where traffic is the worst nightmare, especially in peak hours like evenings.


The car is waiting at a red traffic signal.

Suddenly the traffic signal turns green and the wife says to her husband: “The signal has become green...!”

Now, in his mind’s eye, the husband can interpret this simple communication from his wife in a number of ways.

The way in which he interprets this simple statement made by his wife depends on his mental filter at that point of time. 

The husband
s response to his wifes simple statement will depend on how he interprets his wife's communication which in turn will depend on his mental filter at the point of time. 

Here are a few examples of how the husband will interpret his wife
s simple communication (“The signal has become green...!”) and how he may reply back to his wife: 

1. One husband may think his wife means to say, “Can’t you see...? The traffic light has turned green...!”


So he may retort angrily to his wife, “Of course I can see ... I am not blind...!”


(Remember, the wife merely said  “The signal has become green...!”
The wife never stated that the husband is blind)

2. Another husband may think his wife is hurrying him up and interpret the meaning of what his wife
s communication as, “Come on, you slow-poke, hurry up; we are already late,” 

On interpreting his wifes communication in this fashion, the husband may snap back at his wife, “Don’t unnecessarily hustle me, let me drive properly.”


(Remember, the wife merely said  “The signal has become green...!”
The wife never stated that her husband is a slow-poke and drives too slowly) 

3. A third “hen-pecked” husband may assume that his wife has started off her nagging again.


So this husband will say irritably to his wife, “Stop your nagging and backseat driving – why don’t you drive the car yourself instead of passing comments?”

(Remember, the wife merely said  “The signal has become green...!”
The wife just wanted to draw the attention of her husband to the traffic signal and had no intention of nagging him)  

Now, in each of these cases, on hearing her husband’s remarks, the wife may either choose to remain silent or she may “appropriately” respond to the husband’s comments and give him a “fitting” reply. 


If she decides to retort, the husband may reply back, and then the conversation will go on and on and the result will be that more “heat” and less “light” is generated.

What if a husband just ignores the wife’s remarks, remains silent, and says nothing?

Well, the wife may interpret her husband’s silence in a number of ways depending on her mental filter, and she will respond accordingly and say something to her husband again. 


Or she too may remain silent resulting in breakdown of verbal communication, though non-verbal communication may continue.

(Remember, SILENCE is a very effective way of conveying non-verbal messages, and sometimes silence can be quite powerful too - like they say “a deafening silence”...!)

Whichever way the wife chooses to give her husband a 
“fitting” reply, this may provoke the husband further and the “communication” cycle will continue.



HARMONY OF MENTAL FILTERS FOR EFFECTIVE INTER-PERSONAL COMMUNICATION
HOW TO BE IN SYNC WITH THE PERSON YOU ARE COMMUNICATING WITH


Interpretation of communication, drawing inferences – it all depends on your mental filters, doesn’t it? 

Your mental filters “colour” your cognition and influence (bias or prejudice) your interpretation of the message in a communication.

The sine qua non for Effective Communication is Harmony of Mental Filters

And if there is a Mismatch in Mental Filters the result is Misinterpretation of Messages due to interpreting implied meanings” where there were none.

Like we highlighted in the example of communication between husband and wife, repeated misinterpretation of communication can snowball and spiral into an unhealthy communication cycle and can damage inter-personal relationships both at work and at home. 

For example, in a marriage, repeated misinterpretation of mutual communication between husband and wife, due to mismatch in mental filters, may cause disharmony in the relationship and lead to marital discord, which in turn may snowball into disastrous consequences, and which can in extremis even lead to breakdown of the marriage.

So before you communicate with someone, at work and at home, make sure that your mental filters are in sync with each other (mutually synchronized).


Otherwise when you talk to someone you will mean something but the other person will interpret something else, and this may create serious misunderstandings.

Remember, there are six messages present in a person-to-person communication process

So when you are talking to someone, both of you must make sure that you are in perfect sync with each so that there is no ambiguity or confusion and you achieve seamless effective inter-personal communication.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Disclaimer:
1. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Abridged and updated of my article on Effective Communication by Vikram Karve posted in my blog. Here is the url link to my original post in this blog: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/09/are-you-in-sync-with-person-you-are.html

CAREER GUIDANCE - DEFENCE SERVICES

DO YOU WANT TO JOIN THE DEFENCE SERVICES ?

CAREER GUIDANCE TIPS by Vikram Karve

Disclaimer:
1. These tips are based on my own experience and represent my own personal views which may not be universal in nature and may not apply to you. You must make your own career decisions with due diligence.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
3. No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013 all rights reserved

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 


12 Unique Characteristics of a Military Career in the Armed Forces (Army Navy or Air Force):


1. HOLISTIC ORIENTATION

2. LIFETIME EMPLOYMENT

3. REGIMENTATION 

4. TOUGH DANGEROUS CHALLENGING WORK

5. MODERATE COMPENSATION PACKAGE

6. MODEST CAREER PROSPECTS

7. NON-SPECIALISED CAREER PATH 

8. CONFORMIST ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE

9. RIGID RANK BASED HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE 

10. INFLEXIBLE HR POLICIES

11. UNSTABLE FAMILY LIFE

12. EARLY RETIREMENT AGE


If you planning to join the defence services (army navy or air force) then you must ask yourself whether you have the right attitude to match all these attributes?

In future blog posts in this career guidance series, I shall elaborate on each one of these attributes in detail.

Click the links below to read further:








I will be writing further on this topic of a career in the defence services

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Friday, April 18, 2014

MAHARSHI KARVE - His Life Story

MAHARSHI KARVE
His Life Story in His Own Words

LOOKING BACK By DK KARVE (1936)

The Autobiography of Bharat Ratna Dhondo Keshav Karve

(Book Review by Vikram Waman Karve)

Today 18 April 2014 is the 156th Birth Anniversary of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve (18.04.1858 - 09.11.1962).

I felt that, on this occasion, it would be apt to tell you about his life and work as written by him in his autobiography titled LOOKING BACK published in 1936.

Dear Reader, you must be wondering why I am reviewing an autobiography written in 1936.

Well, sometime back, for six years of my life, I stayed in a magnificent building called Empress Court on 
Maharshi Karve Road at Churchgate in Mumbai.

I share the same surname ( Karve ) as the author.

Also, I happen to be the great grandson of Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve. 

But, beyond that, compared to him I am a nobody – not even a pygmy.
 
Maharshi Karve clearly knew his goal, persisted ceaselessly throughout his life with missionary zeal and transformed the destiny of the Indian Woman.

The first university for women in India, SNDT University, and educational institutions for women under the aegis of the 
Hingne Stree Shiksan Samstha Poona, later renamed Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha (MKSSS) Pune, covering the entire spectrum ranging from pre-primary schools to post-graduate, engineering, vocational and professional colleges bear eloquent testimony to his indomitable spirit, untiring perseverance and determined efforts.
 
In his preface, Frederick J Gould, renowned rationalist and lecturer on Ethics, writes that “the narrative is a parable of his career” – a most apt description of the autobiography. The author tells his life-story in a simple straightforward manner, with remarkable candour and humility; resulting in a narrative which is friendly, interesting and readable.
 
Autobiographies are sometimes voluminous tomes, but this a small book, 200 pages, and a very easy comfortable enjoyable read that makes it almost unputdownable.

Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve writes a crisp, flowing narrative of his life, interspersed with his views and anecdotes, in simple, straightforward style which facilitates the reader to visualize through the author’s eyes the places, period, people and events pertaining to his life and times and the trials and tribulations he faced and struggled to conquer.
 
Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve was born on 18th of April 1858. In the first few chapters he writes about Murud, his native place in Konkan, Maharashtra, his ancestry and his early life– the description is so vivid that you can clearly “see” through the author’s eye.
 
His struggle to appear in the public service examination (walking 110 miles in torrential rain and difficult terrain to Satara) and his shattering disappointment at not being allowed to appear for the examination (because “he looked too young”) make poignant reading.
 
“Many undreamt of things have happened in my life and given a different turn to my career” he writes, and then goes on to describe his high school and, later, college education at The Wilson College Bombay (Mumbai) narrating various incidents that convinced him of the role of destiny and serendipity in shaping his life and career as a teacher and then Professor of Mathematics.
 
He married at the age of fourteen but began his marital life at the age of twenty! 

This was the custom of those days. 

Let’s read the author’s own words on his domestic life:

 “… I was married at the age of fourteen and my wife was then eight. Her family lived very near to ours and we knew each other very well and had often played together. However after marriage we had to forget our old relation as playmates and to behave as strangers, often looking toward each other but never standing together to exchange words ... We had to communicate with each other through my sister ... My marital life began under the parental roof at Murud when I was twenty …” 

Their domestic bliss was short lived as his wife died after a few years leaving behind a son.

“Thus ended the first part of my domestic life”… he concludes in crisp witty style.
 
An incident highlighting the plight of a widow left an indelible impression on him and germinated in him the idea of widow remarriage.

He married Godubai, who was widowed when she was only eight years old, was a sister of his friend Mr. Joshi, and now twenty three was studying at Pandita Ramabai’s Sharada Sadan as its first widow student.
 
Let’s read in the author’s own words how he asked for her hand in marriage to her father – “I told him…..I had made up my mind to marry a widow. He sat silent for a minute and then hinted that there was no need to go in search of such a bride”.
 
He describes in detail the ostracism he faced from some orthodox quarters and systematically enunciates his life work - his organization of the Widow Marriage Association, Hindu Widows Home, Mahila Vidyalaya, Nishkama Karma Math, and other institutions, culminating in the birth of the first Indian Women’s University (SNDT University).
 
The trials and tribulations he faced in his life-work of emancipation of education of women (widows in particular) and how he overcame them by his persistent steadfast endeavours and indomitable spirit makes illuminating reading and underlines the fact that Dr. DK Karve was no arm-chair social reformer but a person devoted to achieve his dreams on the ground in reality.
 
These chapters form the meat of the book and make compelling reading. 

His dedication and meticulousness is evident in the appendices where he has given date-wise details of his engagements and subscriptions down to the paisa for his educational institutions from various places he visited around the world to propagate their cause.
 
He then describes his world tour, at the ripe age of 71, to meet eminent educationists to propagate the cause of the Women’s University, his later domestic life and ends with a few of his views and ideas for posterity. 

At the end of the book, concluding his autobiography, he writes:

“Here ends the story of my life. I hope this simple story will serve some useful purpose”.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve wrote this book in 1936. 

He lived on till the 9th of November 1962, achieving so much more on the way, and was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters ( D.Litt.) by the famous and prestigious Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi in 1942, followed by University of Poona [Pune] in 1951, SNDT Women’s University in 1955, and the LL.D. by Bombay [Mumbai] University in 1957.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve received the Padma Vibhushan in 1955 and the India’s highest honour the “Bharat Ratna” in 1958, a fitting tribute on his centenary at the glorious age of 100.
 
It is an engrossing and illuminating autobiography, written in simple witty readable storytelling style, and it clearly brings out the mammoth contribution of Maharshi Karve and the trials and tribulations he faced.
 

Epilogue
 
I was born in September 1956, and I have fleeting memories of my great grandfather Maharshi Karve, when I was a small boy, during our visits, till 1962, to Hingne Stree Shikshan Samstha (now called Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha).

My mother tells me that I featured in a Films Division Documentary on him during his centenary celebrations in 1958.

Here is a picture of me with my great grandfather Maharshi Karve taken in the year 1958.



Vikram Waman Karve with Maharshi Karve (1958)

It is from some old timers, a few relatives and mainly from books that I learn of his pioneering work in transforming the destiny of the Indian Woman and I thought I should share this.
 
I have written this book review with the hope that some of us, particularly the students and alumni of SNDT University, Cummins College of Engineering for Women, SOFT, Karve Institute of Social Sciences and other educational institutions who owe their very genesis and existence to Maharshi Karve, are motivated to read about his stellar pioneering work and draw inspiration from his autobiography.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.