Public speaking and holidays

This Monday we launched a book called "Social Development in Independent India" and I was asked to make a brief speech. ( You can see pictures and a more formal report from Babita below this) Following me as speakers were Muchkund Dubey and Montek Singh Ahluwahlia. If you don't know who they are, Google them, and then try and think what you would say about social development which would add to what they might be able to tell you.

Try as I might, I couldn't think of a single thing to say, other than welcoming all the guests. I did that in the first few sentences and then found myself telling this very learned audience the story behind the picture on the cover of the book - a beautiful picture taken by Madhur Bhatia at a village school outside Varanasi. Thankfully Dr. Ahluwahlia looked as if he was interested, and the audience was too civilised to boo this twit who was talking about the cover, when the content of the book was what they wanted to hear about.

For the future, if anyone asks me to speak without giving me a tight script, they run the risk of my blurting out whatever comes into my head at the moment.

Tomorrow I am off on 3 weeks leave, to drop my 18 year old son to film school in Vancouver. Its also the first family holiday we are taking since 2006, and so I am really looking forward to it. My next post might include some pictures of whales and glaciers!

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

The Launch of Social Development in Independent India by Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Dear All,

Pls. find attached herewith the photographs of Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of India and Prof. Muchkund Dubey during the release of “Social Development in Independent India in Delhi on Monday 18 August 2008 at Gulmohar, India Habitat Center, and the panelists were Professor S.N. Jha, Prof. G. Nambissan, and Prof. Imrana. Qadeer.

Among those who attended the book release function were academicians, scholars, and media persons like (DD News, The Week, Business, IANS, Business Bhaskar, India Times and Samyak Bharat weekly)

Dr. Ahluwalia told that we have been exceptionally good in outlining mantras but to what extent objectives are achieved remains a matter of debate and doubt and he mentioned that the book provides an overview of the course of social development in India in the past 60 years by throwing light on different government schemes and social issues.

I have pasted the media reviews below this text for your convenience.

Please spread the word to all the appropriate accounts (bookstores/ libraries) and use it as an effective sales tool. This would certainly get favourable results in terms of sale.


Babita Chauhan


As soon as Rajdhani express halted at the Madgaon station, the excited and restless team of Pearson School Division, jumped on to the platform of the "tiny emerald city"; Goa - a small and beautiful sea town wrapped up in monsoon serenity of dancing coconut trees, like a bunch of Portuguese travellers, finding their blessed land after a long voyage.

The boundless excitement & energy spilled on to the luxurious beach resort of Cidade De Goa, as soon as "Pearsonities" landed there, which was to be the scene of hectic corporate activity for the next three days.

By 8:30 p.m. the “Laranza” dinning hall was filled with cacophony of loud chatter of the Pearson
team coupled with the melody of romantic songs belted out cheerfully by 3 guys in colourful shirts.

While the marketing team - school division went running around to see the arrangements, the rest of the team headed for the sand & sea of Vainguinim beach…

It rained all night….

Day 1

Naveen set the ball rolling in Grand Sala convention hall by welcoming everyone......and showcasing Pearson Education's milestones & achievements in a brief documentary.... Then started the product presentations and areawise sales reports, marking the good work & success stories of the sales team along with the launch of new school titles 'Images & Uphaar' which the editorial (their Babies) bring out with “Joyful Labour” every academic year.

As Naveen said “Work Hard, Party Harder” … after the days work, the evening was for fun games. “Ramdulara” the donkey with missing tail stole the show, which blindfolded Naveen, Dipankar and Shafina successfully detected….!! So much so for missing links.....Pearsonities se bachna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai Ramdulare ji!!! Aap kya sooch rahe the!!!

The “Bindi” round saw all the lovely ladies of Pearson standing stricken as their faces were smeared with as many bindis as the chosen guys (Lucky men...) could stick......with great sense of competition… Nehal & Purba won (with 13 bindis on her face) ...

The ladies then tied the ribbon knots which our Pearson gentleman had to unknot (all ran thinking its Rakhi) Deepa & Rohit Dhar won, prompting Rohit to do a victory dance like a boxer..

After a stupendous meal the action again shifted to beach with everyone trying to ride the big waves that came rushing to the sandy sea shore…till it started to rain, yet again.

And it rained all night.....

Day 2

Vivek came on the second day and made up for his absence in more ways than one...Everyone was enamoured by the way he introdued himself during his presentation!! He interacted with everyone, shook a leg, met our authors..... and felicitated the sales teams for their stupendous performance in UP & Uttranchal, and Delhi/NCR.

It was a day dedicated to high energy perfromances: Derek O' Brien in his trademark sunshine yellow t-shirt with his team came, saw & conquered the entire gathering!! No wonder, he has women swooning to his every move!! More awards followed: The North Eastern team for their commendable performance, the editorial for winning the Star Performer of the year award through popular polling for Know & Grow with Derek. The cherry on the cake was the surprise award for creating the motto; "Aspire, Achieve, Inspire" - which went to the thunderstruck Gitesh, who couldn't believe that such an award had been announced......

It rained all the day…..yet again!!!

The gala evening party started with wishing Happy Birthday to Jitender Kumaria, who drank beer from the feeder bottle and opened the next round of party game “Drinking beer from feeder bottle” – where the big boys became babies & crawled and drank from the feeder bottles… Who else, but Sanjeev, the beer tanker, won. Girls did it with Coke & our new member of Pearson Arundhati won...

Soon after games, everyone hit the their best dancing shoes. Naveen was the “on-mike DJ”, adding frenzy to the dance fever… Vivek danced ….Sharmila, Ranjani, Rajni danced, Sanjeev, Mansi, Soumitri, Diyasree, Tandeep, Prashant, Gitesh also danced. Kamal,(who never stopped) … danced & dazzled, but behold who stole the thunder “ Mona Goyal”.. She danced as there was no tomorrow - Retro, disco salsa, hip-hop, she got it all – And won the Dancing Diva award!! The Jumping Jack award was handed over to Amrit Ranjan Pandey for his gravity-defying break-dance. And it rained all night!!!!

Day 3

Quiz time …..

Pearson Product Quiz: Prashant for once was Prashant O’ Brien the Quiz master.. Conducting the Pearson Product quiz 2008, shooting his brain twister questions to four selected teams & audience… Where did Naveen start his career in Pearson? Full form of CAMP? Full name of Bala? Everyone scratched their heads…..rattled their minds, tickled their grey cells….... Many won chocolates for the right answer, and the west zone comprising Parvesh and team won the Dazzling Quiz trophy.

Excursion: It was raining …went to Dona Paula beach and Saint Francis church … the old saint is mummified for centuries...

It rained….

Did Shopping in rain…“KAJU” and Feni buying frenzy took over……. Tons of Cashews was purchased by Pearson people ….after numerous rounds of hard bargaining by Pearsonities Goa gave up and sold out, causing wide shortage of cashew in Goa (Giggling)…………It is rightly said that all good things must come to an end.... and this corporate travelogue too is to be concluded, so let me do it by saying …till next NSM 2009, Goodbye. Rememeber to “Aspire, Achieve and Inspire.” till we meet again.........(Gitesh Sinha)

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