Happiness is a warm puppy - Charles M. Schulz

On one memorable occasion during my college days, I remember being hauled up by a professor for no fault of mine. Actually, this was something that happened quite often, but only one story is relevant to my post today. Dear Reader, will you bear with me for a moment while I slip back into memories of then?


Picture this. A building, with cobwebs so ancient that even the spiders were dead and gone, with plaster peeling off the walls, and in certain corridors the lingering smell of plumbing gone wonky. And stairs all over the place. The first time I stepped into the place that would be my home for five years, it looked a bit like a dusty labyrinth bereft of its Minotaur. But, leaving aside the exaggerated metaphors, to return to my story. I was a post-grad student at that time. PiGs we were called by the undergrads, mostly lovingly I might add. This nomenclature was merely a fine demonstration of the sense of humour that people in my department were famed for. We in turn, called the Under-Graduate students UGhhs; so that was alright.  But, I digress.


So, there I was going merrily down one of those ancient, dusty, labyrinthine stairs, with the easy conscience of one who has bunked a class she had no intention of attending. When suddenly, I saw a dog. Or, to be precise, a dog which had knocked over one of the judiciously placed dustbins in the corridor and was feasting gloriously on his unrighteous spoils. In other words an Unrighteous Dog! As a responsible member of the student body, I felt it was my duty to rebuke this deluded creature. So I ran down the remaining steps with every intention of sternly reprimanding the UD. And just as I reached the Dog, out of nowhere appeared Herr Professor. Who promptly proceeded to berate me! Why? Because he assumed that I was encouraging the Dog! Oh, the irony of the moment. To think that I, a PiG would encourage a Dog! I tried to gently point out the error in his assumption, but like the best of professors, he would not be stopped in the middle of a lecture. And he went on and on about how the students who showered the campus dogs with love and affection and (most importantly) food, were encouraging said dogs to walk into the buildings and interrupt the peace and tranquility and cleanliness (insert pre-recorded laughter soundtrack) of the hallowed sanctum of education.  And yada yada yada while I stood there with my jaw dropping and a sense of being grievously wronged by the universe. It was only when he stopped, after about three and a half minutes, for a breath pause that I got the chance to gently correct him. Whereupon he had another apoplectic fit and was quite profusely apologetic. Honour restored, we then worked together to chivvy the dog down the stairs and out of the building, and went our own ways. So that was a happy ending for everyone, except the dog of course. But when I next saw him, he was happily being fed by someone at the canteen, so I don't suppose he held a serious grudge against me.


That was then. Somebody mentioned college life a few posts back, and that's partly why I'm drowning in nostalgia out here. But the other reason for this post is that it's a farewell of sorts. For another dog, or rather a puppy.


Anyone in the office who has stepped out in the past few months for a smoke break or tried to get their bikes out of the parking area, has come across this little pup. His is a short story, but a bit of a sad one.

There was a dog, who had three puppies. And then she died. Some say she was crushed under a car, and I will take no names, but I hope the dog murderer's conscience caused him many a sleepless night. One of her pups met the same fate. And then there were two.


They were a pair of contrasts. The male was over-flowing with life and affection. He would cuddle up to anyone who stopped for a smoke, and caper and beg and get up to all kinds of tricks for a biscuit. The female was more quiet, shy and maddeningly finicky when it came to food. He lapped it all up, and she got the leftovers. It's not a new story really, it happens to a lot of human kids too. Anyway, to cut a short story shorter, I was away on a tour for over a fortnight once; and when I came back I heard that she was gone. She had been sick for a while, and I guess the winter wind was too bitter. Still I hope she's warmer in the Great Doggy Haven in the Sky.


And then there was one. This guy is a real fighter. So far he's been winning against all odds. Part of the reason for his survival is that a lot of people chip in to make sure he gets a little food, a little love and somewhere warm to stay at night.  Over the last month or so, he had been growing nice and plump and what with all the fancy living, he had even begun to look down on plain old Parle G biscuits!


But then someone told me a day or two back that the little chap had been banished from the office premises. I don't know why, maybe he was lowering the tone of the place or something. And now, whenever I go to feed him, there are guards telling me I shouldn't be doing it. Fortunately there isn't any commandment in my appointment letter that says Thou Shalt Not feed the Dogs, so usually I sneak a little away from the office and feed him stealthily anyway.  But he looks at me yearningly and at times it's easy to imagine that he's asking why he's being chased away from the same place that sheltered him. I tell him, 'It's the recession, Old Boy'; but he doesn't look as if he understands. He's only a pup, you see.


I started by talking about college, and because narratives can be viciously circular, I'll end by saying one thing about then.  Five years of university life taught me a lot of things. Many of these will have to be unlearnt over the rest of my years, but I'll tell you one thing the old place taught me for sure. There's a reason why street dogs are called strays; they just stray into your heart.but much like the elegiac wanderer, An exile's fate is decreed for him.


Delirium, once Delight

Written in 4 minutes.

Warning : This post may not make any sense. But who said we have to make sense all the time?

I got introduced to blogger sometime in the summer of 2004. Blogging , as a phenomenon had just begun to gather steam and I quite liked the idea of having a somewhat modified version of a personal diary. The anonymity could be maintained by hiding behind the alias, also, there was no one curtailing your freedom of expression. Sometime around the same time, social networking started to become a rage and geographical boundaries didn’t seem to matter anymore.
Blogs and social networking sites,both gathered momentum around the same time, both helped people come together, share ideas, make friends, make business and a host of other things. On the personal level one thing led to another, and from being just a platform where I could go out and give vent to my feelings, blogspot gradually became inseparable from college life/education. Whether it was having blogs dedicated to particular courses or using blogging experience to type out term papers, blogging was probably as essential as going to college. (Ok, I may be stretching it a little here. Somehow, there was no escaping blogspot back then).
All that euphoria has died down now. This is not to say that I have lost my faith on blogspot. With time, emotion gives way to rationality, and rationality does channelise raw energy into something constructive. What used to be a fleeting emotion, has become an introspcetion. I am now an advocate of 'slow blogging'
The Pearson India blog has also followed a similar pattern and become something constructive. At least it has come a long way from being something which was just a good idea or a trend. If I remember correctly, one of the first posts mentioned that we really did not have any objective behind setting up a blog. That was sometime in July last year. Initially, people didn’t know what to write about and posts on the blog were rather infrequent. Add to that the couple of hiccups we had when an entire series of emails went up as a blogpost by mistake and one was left wondering if there was any need for a blog in the first place. Then in December it received the much needed boost , thanks to Vivek. You had a weekly contest and you had an incentive as well. The difference was there for everyone to see. While the first 6 months( July-December) had seen some 32 posts in total, the last one and a half months have had as many as 40 posts on the blog. Even if people were not writing, almost everyone was at least reading what went up. We came to know some facets of certain people that we would never have known otherwise. I have heard of companies investing in a lot of money for team building exercises and suchlike. Blogging is perhaps own cost effective way of doing the same.
Anyway, to cut the long story short, this whole idea of blogging, has actually got me thinking a little further and an “idea” just hit me. I don’t claim originality though.
It’s been a recent corporate trend (or so I have heard) to set up an “Idea Hub” or something like that.. The objective is to have a platform where employees could share any business idea that they think might be useful for the company. It could be small, it could be grand and who knows, it could be something that will change the way the industry operates. One may argue that in our various roles, we do bring a whole lot of ideas on to the table, but mostly we limit ourselves to our current functions. An “Idea Hub” ( or whatever one may wish to call it) would bring in ideas from across all departments and from all levels. Maybe we could have an incentive for the idea that gives us maximum business.
They say there is an entrepreneur in every individual.Why not make use of it?

Gargi Banerjee.

Macroeconomics Book Launch

Finally, we have uploaded an edited version of video coverage of Macroeconomics book launch on YOUTUBE, which has a book launch ceremony followed by C.Rangarajan speech, the chief guest of the occasion.

For editing the Macroeconomics CD I would like to thank Navneet Khurana (Promotion Executive) for his support.

-Babita Chauhan.

This is one big WOOOWWW...

The smallest word to cheer up in college days.. Applause for the new suggestions & upcoming postings.

Wondering.. wat? (see another informal language)”The dress code” - luv this suggestion… & the upcoming views. Here’s a time to again go bit naughty with our thoughts and ideas of our day to work as were in earlier with studies.




Dress Code: My Opinion

Casuals are comfortable to wear and in my opinion each person should be free to decide the clothes in which he/she is comfortable in. It also saves time as a person doesn’t has to think twice before getting ready for work. It gives flexibility over the daily washing and ironing of the clothes. Because it requires less maintenance than formal (After all it’s recession time dear).


Gaurav Kr. Singh


Dress Code: My Views

This is in response to Vivek’s suggestion—yes, I agree that we should do away with the formal dress code that we now have. I admit that I am one of those people whose resolve to stick to the dress code lasts only till Tuesday. Come Wednesday, and you’ll see one more “informal” apparel on me with each passing day! I do, of course, try to make an exception to this on days we have formal meetings, but on other days, it’s so much easier to walk around in something you’re comfortable in rather than having to be all prim and proper.


I whole-heartedly support the idea of letting adults decide the dress code for themselves, and I hope I won’t feel half-guilty, half-annoyed the next time someone gives me the “today-is-not-a-denims-day” look!





Blog entry!

Blogging is still a fairly new activity for me. As long as I don’t write I am happy person but when I read what others have to say I start thinking I also need to add my bit.

You have already read Sariga’s post on ‘Reflections’. I am going add a little more, NO, quiet a bit more on the same. It was a two day orientation programme, well attended by the entire team. The main contributors were Vivek Govil, Alok Rai Chaudhary, our esteemed ELT Author Vijaya Subramaniam,G Balasubramaniam, Finance expert Sanjeev, Sumita and Sharmilee, Angshuman, Dr Prahlad, Naveen, Sudipta and last but the important cog in the editorial wheel Rohit.

I would like to begin from the last that is the comment sent by Rema (Chennai team member).

‘Reflections' for me was more than just an orientation to editing. It was a chance to attach faces to astral voices and to realise that I was part of such a vibrant and vivacious team. I no longer feel like the significant 'other'!

And take you back to the inaugural session. There was a party after the orientation programme which was absolutely A-class. 482 FIE terrace was the venue and in winters evening with lights and Angithis on, the perfect place to be in after two day of sitting down. The food, drinks (both hard and soft) were aplenty. Kundan kept everybody in splits with his stand up acts and few of us even have nicknames like Dahi Mata (Shobhna), Non veg baba (Rohit), ELT baba (Dr Prahlad), Aloo baba (Ashish) and few more names. The party went on till late in the night.

The session before this was with Rohit in which he gave us few tips of yore for good solid type of editing. To quote him, ‘Try reading the Manuscript backwards for punctuation errors’, ‘ Look for one type of mistakes at a time’, ‘Circle all commas and then read the script to see if they are needed at all’ to name a few precious gems from his collection. Brain storming prior to this was literally brains being stormed for a unanimous and a comprehensive style of editing which school editorial should follow. Sudipta lead the entire team, minutes were taken care of by Soumitri and Diyasree to formulate a comprehensive style sheet.

Naveen’s session was short and sweet. He talked about what a great team we were. The friction between the marketing and editorial is healthy. He asked about experiences of the editors in their travels to different cities. But the most important thing was we are doing great but we can do greater. I mean as always we should give our work the best we can.

Lunch break, Hema took care that we were all well fed. Inspite of protests that there’s too much of food, I don’t think any one of us actually skimmed on the food.

Dr Prahlad’s session, one has to attend it to believe what all of us had to say subsequent to the session and post the orientation programme. He is MA, PGDTE, MLitt, PhD. His talk was like floating on a calm river. One wants to go back to classroom learning after listening to him. He theoretically held us by the hand and helped us wade through the deep end of editing step by step. I had written to him asking for his comment on the Orientation programme. He responded, ‘Well-organized, taken seriously by the participants, atmosphere very professional! I found the total ambience very inspiring. Very happy to have been associated with the event.’

Day 1, Angshuman, the guy to look out for where TMS is concerned and making of PNLs. Sometimes seeing him in action makes one think, hats off to him. He is so very patient with everyone about PNLs and TMS doubts. He never gets agitated answering colleagues. Everytime there’s a session, he goes through it like packing sand grains in a plastic, sorry paper bag (environmentally conscious). When the session is in swing, it feels we know PNLs and TMS like the back of our hands but when put into execution, there are hurdles which only Angshuman can help in crossing. Thanks Angshuman.

Sumita and Sharmilee, the Rights Department - Technically speaking it’s a very appropriate name because they assign ISBN codes to the projects which give the projects identity. The Rights department does let not any Wrong thing happen. Copyright issues, royalty payments to Authors and Adaptation rights, all make our lives so much easier.

Sanjeev, ah! the number guy in the office. Money which we feel is an extremely precious commodity, he makes sure it’s their in our salary accounts by a certain date. On a serious note, he talked to us about the scary big global meltdown happening in the rest of the world whereas we were still untouched by it. The reason being we are working for a fantastic organisation which is taking care of its employees.

Mr G Balasubramaniam, referred to as Bala Sir by most people in the office. He shared with us, from his unfathomable bank of wisdom, about teaching psychology. The contribution of the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere of our brains in our respective fields. As always a very informative session.

Vijaya Subramaniam, Vice Principal, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, looks are deceptive where Mrs Subramaniam is concerned. She comes across as a quiet and reserved person but she is a strong and a knowledgeable speaker. She talked about relationship between teachers, students, publishers and books. Her session gave us food for thought that we need to be more conscientious about what goes into the books.

Alok Rai Chaudhary, everyone who has been in the publishing industry for even less than three years would have heard of him. He is heading DC books at present. He was Publishing Manager, School Division, Oxford University Press for better part of his career. He spoke casually but very eloquently. There was a feeling of camaraderie in his conversation. He talked about his experiences in publishing industry. He is still on a look out for a good Author. He has come across only three, no make that four really good ones. People you can actually write home about.

Coming to an end, the session was inaugurated by Vivek Govil, CEO, Pearson Education. If we talk about change, modernisaton, comfort and a sense of security in the office, who better than him to wear the laurels of praise. The economic meltdown and how it is affecting the rest of the world was brought home to us by him. He said, ‘We are still untouched by it. But not to take it for granted. Our shares are also good. But we should be prepared for surprises in the coming year. We have done good but we need to do better.’

To conclude the blog writing, the post is a bit delayed but nevertheless it’s there.


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.