blog post

Temperate Dreams

Dreams have troubled human beings in the strangest ways. They play the trickiest games and often act in the most insensitive manner. Like wisps of cloud and shards of glass they are impossible to gather, consolidate and capture. Yet they have us well and truly under their spell. These flippant guardians of our sleep and wakefulness often inspire outrageous actions and funny reactions.

My tryst with dreams is an ongoing process. They catch me unawares and besiege my plans and objectives. Often I’m transported from my immediate surrounding to unknown destinations without any authentic geographical dimensions. Last Tuesday as I was trying to fit myself into an extremely serious situation, suddenly all my efforts went awry. The grim location of the Prentice Hall gave way to a colourful mix of baroque architecture, little cafes, an intricate network of canals and a medley of fashionable people travelling through a haze of smoke. The picture was so vivid that I decided to take my reverie seriously and give it a significant thought. I got so absorbed in the scene that soon the Prentice Hall and the editorial meeting turned into a distant affair, incapable of affecting my scheme of thought in any way. I became a part of the elite crowd, strutting about in expensive fur and high-heeled boots, flitting past specimens of Gothic architecture and taking in the sights, sounds and (all kinds of) substances of an enchanted land. The mild breeze rejuvenated my jaded mind and the sun shone on me with the promise of a great experience. The soft strain of European classical music wafted in the air; the sweet smell of a wild weed hung persistently within the walls of the room.

Dreams seldom come with a face or a tag. They are best not to be labelled or categorized. But this one was too good to let go of. So I decided to assign a name to the magic that touched me briefly and held out fascinating prospects. A quick session of Google search took me to a small temperate city ensconced in the beautiful lowland country of Netherlands drained by the river Amstel and its wide network of canals. Amsterdam accommodated all the aspects of my manicured dream with superb élan and gave my unbridled reverie a purpose as well as a destination. Now I sincerely hope that the powerful and the influential individuals of our office shower their most generous blessings on me and help me carve out the passage from the Prentice Hall to Amsterdam.

Soumitri Datta

Meandering Thoughts

This one is certainly not for the wine.


A big part of why I enjoy my job and life thoroughly is the opportunity to learn something new almost daily. I never cease to be surprised at realizing how many things around me appears obvious and I take it for granted but I have never sat down to think why. Example: Ever wondered why bread is brown or why are different sets of flavors are normally associated with certain sets of products and not others. We have vanilla or strawberry flavored cream biscuits, ice creams and cakes but no bread, why? -- Questions from my 3 year old daughter for which I had no answers.


There are a number of occasions when we sit in important meetings in the office analysing important numbers and I must admit, I am not on top of everything I see but I try to learn. Here is something Vivek taught me recently. At the year end review we were all patting our back on achieving our DSO targets as a company amongst many stellar achievements. At the meeting I was happy that we did it, but had no clue what we did to achieve this and how this number was arrived. All I could remember was that this was a number credit control provided and every time this number became worrisome the sales would accelerate collections.


Here is what I understood. DSO (Day sales outstanding) is a measure that tells you how many days worth of sales that we have made to our customers that remains to be collected. This is irrespective of when the sale was made or the payment was due. The lower this number the better it is for the company. The mathematics of this can be understood if I really wanted but I got the logic and I was elated.




Publishing Manager: Higher Education & Professional


Pearson Education

482, FIE - Patparganj

Delhi - 110 092


Tel:    (91-11) 43030100

DID:  (91-11) 43030175

FAX: (91-11) 22146071



Well, I am in Lisbon, attending the European NSM after attending the US NSM last week. It’s freezing cold outside and being indoors is the best option. I am writing this because I wanted to share something I got to know in US. Did you guys ever know that India is part of North America?  I am serious………………yes, we are. Will Ethridge (CEO HEd Pearson North America) feel so and there is no denying the fact. When he puts up his first slide during his presentation it shows Canada up by 6% and India up by 30%. He then turns to the audience and asks them if they are wondering why India is listed. The answer is because India (Vivek) reports to Tim Bozik (CEO Professional & Career) and hence India is part of North America.


Being told that we are part of North America was fine but what actually made all of us (attendees from India) feel proud was seeing the name India up by 30%. We had lots of them coming to us and congratulating after that on our (We all at Pearson India) success. We were fortunate enough to represent you all and being invited by Tim and to be sitting in the front rows…………………….reserved seats……that felt wonderful!!! and the icing on the cake was……………..guess………………..Marjorie coming and joining the table and sitting besides Saravanan. Saravanan just couldn’t stop smiling all the while she was there…………….he will share his story and may be photographs with you guys once he is back.


Hope this gets us going to achieve greater things………….so that this isn’t one off experience. Congratulations to you all.  




The most important change that I'm looking forward to this year...

I’m writing this rather late, but Jonaki, I’ve kept my promise! 2008 has been a year of changes for me—I started the year by joining Pearson, changed houses thrice during the year, and got married at the end of the year. So, on the personal front, I’d look forward to stability more than any more changes this year! But when I reflect on the year that has just gone by, there’s one difference I wish the coming year will bring us…


The bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Guwahati, and scores of other places; the Mumbai terrorist attacks; and the increasing number of murders, rapes, and road rage in the city make me look forward to a year when there won’t be such utter failure of intelligence, alertness, and tolerance in the country. The Mumbai attacks were so horrific that they seemed to be out of a Hollywood flick on alien attacks. And while violence is not new to us, the extent to which such heinous crimes have progressed makes us cringe. Never before had we heard of terrorists bombing a place and lying in wait at a hospital where the victims of their blasts were being rushed to. The most recent blasts in Guwahati only remind me of how, when I visited a crowded blast site recently, there was no police presence or checking to ensure that a place that has been bombed over a dozen times doesn’t become a target yet again.


Violence is always meaningless, but what strikes me most that ordinary people—not just terrorists—seem to be becoming increasingly unfeeling too. TOI’s list of ridiculous reasons for murders in 2008 bears witness to this fact. So, as we step into a new year, the biggest change I look forward to is that the coming year will be a safer one for us. I hope we’ll become more alert and tolerant of others!



Shabnam Dohutia


About this blog

This blog is for all employees of Pearson in India . We hope to share updates - both personal and professional - from the worlds of education and publishing.