Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Tribute to my Class teacher - Sister Mary Deepa

I feel lucky enough to study from one of the best convent school in Bihar, Notre Dame Academy.I remember my school days, when I was a real naughty boy who loved playing pranks,making noises in the class and bursting crackers in the school bathrooms.
The sisters used to make me understand , gave punishments also a few times, but my immatured soul full of pure fun was unable to realize these learnings and take their words.
Sister Mary Deepa, was my class teacher in ninth std, who was very strict and always trying to make us undersatnd the disciplined way of living.
She always used to say " Once you go out of this school, no one will stop you doing wrongs in life and then you will miss us". I soon realized it after passing from my school and still these words always linger in my mind.
She was a strict disciplinarian with a pure soul, very hard from outside but totally soft from her heart.
She died in 2003 fighting with cancer. I write this post as a tribute from my side and Notre Dame Academy students.
Following is the excerpts on her life, taken from the website

Born: Sept. 1, 1946

Died: July 12, 2003

Sister Deepa, nee Claramma Cherian Kadaprayil, was born on September 1, 1946, in the village of Peringulam in Kerala and was baptised on September 7th, receiving the beautiful name of Clare. She soon adjusted to a large family, being the ninth child of fourteen.

She was quite a tomboy in her childhood, running around and climbing anything she could. Claramma received her education under the tutelage of the Clarist Sisters whose tender care she always felt. She was brought up in a very spiritual environment. Morning and evening prayers were a must, and Our Lady bore a central role in the family. The family members all took a turn in attending daily mass. Since the church was a distance of two miles from the home and there were duties to be taken care of, not everyone could attend on a regular basis.

During her high school years, Claramma became a member of the Mission League and of the Sodality. For some time she had her eye on the missions in the North, and despite protests to the contrary from her relatives, she wrote to Rev. Joseph Maliparampil for information about the missions. He told her about different convents, and she chose to apply to Notre Dame. On July 8th, 1963, in the company of 21 companions, she ventured north with Sisters Anima and Pratima and joined the candidacy on July 13th, 1963. She entered the postulancy on June 17th, 1965, in Jamalpur and was invested on Jan. 6th, 1966, receiving the name of Sister Mary Deepa. She made her temporary profession of vows on Jan. 6th, 1968. Later, on June 21st, 1974, she made her perpetual vows in Patna.

Sister Deepa was privileged to have a younger sister, Sister Mary Shobha, who also entered the Sisters of Notre Dame. Sister is at present on mission in Shinyanga, Tanzania, East Africa. Sister also has a Salesian priest-brother, Father Jose Kadaprayil. Both arrived in time for the burial service at which Father Jose officiated. Sister Tanuja, her niece, who is also a Notre Dame Sister, made it in time to spend the last moments with her aunt. During Sister Deepa's long period of illness, Sister Tanuja periodically visited her and was a source of consolation to her.

Sr. Deepa had been a dedicated teacher in many schools: Hartman School, Patna; Notre Dame Academy, Jamalpur; Campus School, Pantnagar; Sophia High School, Bangalore; Notre Dame Academy, Patna; Loyola School, Gomia; and again a long period of teaching from 1993 - 2001 at Notre Dame Academy, Jamalpur.

Certain features stand out when we look at Sister Deepa:

* Her prayerfulness. She was seen reflectively reading the Bible many times a day. She was known to say three rosaries daily and to have a great devotion to Our Lady.

* Her general knowledge about things. She was a well-read person and was always abreast on current developments, especially in science.

* Her conscientiousness as a teacher. She loved the high school students, especially the boys, and they in turn admired and loved her. She found teaching in an all-girls school a bit boring. "Boys are fun to teach. They don't hold grudges," she said.

* Her love of fun time. She enjoyed a double pinochle game with anyone, especially with those who enjoyed a good laugh and an argument about the score,

* Her giftedness as a cook. Her mushroom soup and her various types of pickles and preserves gave much joy to her Sisters.

* Her loyalty as a community member and as a friend. She stood by her friends come what may.

* Her ability to challenge anyone on any topic. In fact, we could always expect Sister Deepa to refute whatever we said with a "No, that's not right!" Of course, she often recapitulated and came over to our point of view when she knew that what she was saying could be argued with.

* Her love of all created things, especially of plants. As a teacher of biology, she inculcated this love of God's creation in all her students.

Having fallen victim to cancer towards the end of 2001, it remained a mystery to her as to why she had been chosen to suffer this particular cross. It was a cross she courageously accepted, and she endured all the pain, discomfort, and distress unflinchingly. In fact, not one of us could really make out the depths of her suffering.

At the offertory of a mass celebrated by her brother Jose, Sister Deepa prayed: "Lord, I am not asking why or how. I ask for the grace that each one who is praying for me will grow in faith and trust. I am overwhelmed by the love and concern which I am receiving."

Her last days of illness were filled with suffering and uncontrollable moanings of pain, expressions which she had been able to keep well under control when she was better. She surrendered her soul quietly to the Lord at 12:35 on the morning of July 12th, the feast of Saint Julie, our spiritual Mother. It was also a Saturday, a day in honour of Our Blessed Mother whom she loved so well.

Sister Deepa cherished community life. Even in her illness, she participated in the daily eucharistic celebration and community prayers and gatherings. She was ever grateful for all the services rendered to her by the Sisters. Sister Deepa's presence will be missed by the entire province. May her memory live on and inspire her sisters, collaborators, and students.

And so we all say: May your soul attain that eternal happiness, Deepa, that we are all striving for.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blue Ocean Strategy - how long it can work ?

W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne argue in their book “Blue Ocean Strategy” that tomorrow’s leading companies will succeed not by battling competitors, but by creating “blue oceans” of uncontested market space ripe for growth.
There are lot of reviews written on it by different Management Gurus, highlighting the pros and cons of the strategy. I have tried to analyze some of the questions which came to my mind on reading about the “Blue Ocean Strategy”.
First point, that comes to my mind that how to find an uncontested market, especially in the information rich globalised world where the information and competition is spreading very fast.
True, there are many uncontested market; let’s take an example of the Indian IT companies.
I was reading few months back in Economic Times, that the total IT market size of Europe is around 800 Billion $ , and most of the market is unconquered in terms of IT implementation. All, the Indian IT companies have majority of pie coming from US (more than 50 % for all the Indian IT companies) , and I was also reading that almost all the big IT companies are looking for Europe as their next destination with growing Rupee Appreciation against Dollar and the recent sub-prime crisis and fear of a slowdown in US economy.
Well, how does a company find an uncontested market is the biggest concern, because an uncontested market will always be attractive and this will make it competitive?
A positive point which comes in my mind regarding going for an uncontested market is the first mover advantage. A company for example, Satyam finds an opportunity in an East African country and is the first one to set up its shop there. The country’s economic landscape is low on the Business Confidence Index, and most of the capitalists don’t find it an attractive destination.
Satyam develops the infrastructure there, and starts getting return on its investment. The other companies will soon to be following in, and the advantage of “Blue Ocean Strategy” will fade away.
But, definitely Satyam can have a “first mover advantage” in terms of market penetration. But, with the innovation being copied easily, the lifecycle of first mover advantage has reduced in recent times.
So, I feel that there can be many issues for having a successful “Blue Ocean Strategy” in implementation, but theoretically its one of the best strategy which has come up in recent times. Not completely rejecting the theory, I also feel that it can be used as an advantage by the company with proper planning and execution by creating a high degree of “Brand Value” in the “Blue Ocean” to retain its first mover advantage.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Romance, Inheritance and Adventure

Hi Frens,

I am writing on
Word of the Worlds
after a long time. Life becomes challenging managing so many things, especially after one starts working. But, I always agree, that people can take out time for their interests and passion. I have also been taking out time for my interest i.e. writing, but for long time it has been offline then online.
A kind of trying to convert some dreams into realities, but anyways I am not going to bore you with stuff about me and come straight to the topic.
In this phase of introspection and silence from blogging, I watched many movies and read many books apart from usual work routine. I want to share about a movie, and two books (I am still reading one), which I really liked.
I watched a Hindi Movie called
Cheeni Kum
few days back. The movie is a romantic special as it shows romance between a 64 year old man and a 34 year old woman. The romance between them is simple, just like any other romantic pair of permissible age difference by the society.
They are together because they like each other. Its not infatuation, neither compromise and nor erotic. I felt while watching the movie, as if they are one of the best couple, I have seen in both reel and real life.
Tabu and Amitabh, both have acted very well, and I would recommend this movie to all those, who wants to see the simplicity of love between a couple minus the age difference.
I really liked the movie, may be I like more than many people, because I never felt age difference while making frens in life and some day I may fall in love with an older woman. Anyways, try out this movie, chances are most of you will like it.
One of the recent book, I really liked is by Anita Desai, an Author with an impeccable command over English. This Booker prize winner penned
The inheritance of Loss
. I would term it as a social fiction, which travels miles between America, England and remote parts of India, with such an ease.
The novel revolves around some 10-12 characters who are struggling to settle in a place, where they dont belong to (immigrants). A very surprising thing was the kind of detail, Anita knows about life in a small town or village in India. The psychology of people, the behavior, and the description of the physical features of a land, all seems perfect.
A very good read for all the book lovers!
The latest book, that I am reading (it’s a 950 page fiction) is
by Gregory David Roberts.
The book is a fiction, some sort of Autobiography as well, mixed with lots of his personal experiences. This is a book depicting the black and white shades of Mumbai through the experiences of the Author, who was a Drug dealer and also an absconding criminal lands in Mumbai, and makes Mumbai his first home. He stays in a slum in Mumbai, and narrates his day to day experiences from selling drugs, running a health clinic, working with Mafia, acting in Bollywood to falling in love. The majority of story revolves around Colaba in Mumbai, especially Café Leopold, where he meets many people, observes lots of things and discuses on philosophies of life.
This book is an internationally acclaimed one, and very famous among all the Mumbai lovers. I also heard from one of my friend, that a movie is going to be based on this book and is going to star Johnny Depp, as the Author. I recommend this book, not because of my love towards Mumbai, but the love towards adventures in life.