Bhumika Desai Shah

Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

Book Review: Faster, Smarter, Higher: Managing Your Career by Utkarsh Rai

In Book Review, commuter's rage.., Learning Horizones, Uncategorized on September 16, 2016 at 10:13 am

Self help books somehow have never appealed me, yet one book has changed my perception! “Faster , Smarter , Higher – Managing your career” is a Book that will appeal everyone and help too.

This book helps in organizing and managing a successful career. Almost everyone who wish to rise high in their career depend on expertise on subjective matter and not on their skill. from Experts to managers, from employees to entrepreneur-it targets everyone. Though beginners who are stepping into professional world can be most benefited by the book, if implement and practice all what it talks about.


In this era of competition, we all face different professional threats. For different layers of corporate and social corpse, different challenges are faced. This book helps in overcoming issues and fighting fears. The insights given in the book helps one to excel one’s career to new heights.

Key points that I found worth noting (quoted from the book):
1) Never ask your manager ‘when can I get promoted?’. Instead, the right question is ‘what skills do I need to demonstrate to move to the next level?’
2) You need to subtly beat your own drum without being pompous about it. The best way to increase your visibility is to interact with more and more people, especially those high in the hierarchy
3) As a manager, the more you empower your employees, the more they take their job seriously and deliver with full accountability and responsibility
4) As a manager, earn your respect than demand it. Respect is directly proportional to a person’s behaviour rather than their position
5) It is very important to increase your interactions with stakeholders of the next level and to make them aware of your contributions, skills and your capabilities

It is also evident that this book provides straight guides. The author has used simple language so that readers could easily get what he tries to convey. He also adds up more information through the advice and case studies.

This book can be best suggested for those who want to improve with career perspective and also to those who love reading non fiction. Language simplicity and sharp Ideas makes this book Perfect!


About the Book:

Title : Faster, Smarter, Higher : Managing Your Career

Author :  Utkarsh Rai

Publisher : Rupa Publications India

Genre : Non Fiction / Management

ISBN : 9788129137500, 812913750X

Copy : Flipkart Review Program

Rating :



“Kavita Ramdas” ~ preserving traditions and welcoming changes…

In Learning Horizones, TED on January 18, 2013 at 10:48 am

If you love to nurture and preserve your tradition yet strongly will to bring necessary , revolutionary changes- A must watch TED video it is…

It says ~

“Investing in women can unlock infinite potential around the globe. But how can women walk the line between Western-style empowerment and traditional culture? Kavita Ramdas of the Global Fund for Women talks about three encounters with powerful women who fight to make the world better — while preserving the traditions that sustain them. …. and lot more!!!!”

Now after Listening to her, Let me Quote her….

“Being a philanthropist doesn’t mean necessarily writing a huge check. It can mean mobilizing your community to start asking questions.”

“Feminism, unlike almost every other social movement, is not a struggle against a distinct oppressor — it’s not the ruling class or the occupiers or the colonizers — it’s against a deeply held set of beliefs and assumptions that we women, far too often, hold ourselves.”

“Perhaps this is the ultimate gift of feminism, that the personal is in fact the political.”

“This LGBT singing choir has demonstrated how women are investing in tradition to create change, like alchemists turning discord into harmony.”

Kavita Ramdas

Knowing her highly flammable yet smart and sensible views, no wonder if you are curious to know about her….

Let me take the honor to share what i found searching about her 🙂

Kavita Ramdas is president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, a publicly supported grantmaking foundation that advances human rights by investing in women-led organizations worldwide. Over the past 22 years, the Global Fund has provided more than 7,000 grants, reaching more than 3,000 groups. Since Ramdas took the reins, the fund’s assets have more than tripled — and so has the number of countries the group works in, now at 170.

The Global Fund for Women contributes to groups that improve women’s economic security, work to end gender-based violence, increase access to education at all stages of life, provide critical health services and encourage women to take leadership roles in the public sector. In interviews, Ramdas has said that grantmakers can learn as much from applicants as applicants do from them. This is a philosophy she employs at Global Fund, where grants are often given with as few strings attached as possible, and proposals are accepted in any language. Her vision stands to change the game, not only in women’s rights but in philanthropy as a whole.

More from her talks ::

1) Why educating Girls is not enough..


3) Presidential lecture series

and list goes on!!!

“Benny Prasad” ~ Inspiration redefined!

In Learning Horizones, TED on January 18, 2013 at 7:57 am

“Inspire To Do” ~ An Inspiration in all ways is “Benny Prasad”!

What a musician will have to speak as an inspiration? – was the first thought in my mind before the speech!

Thinking of guitar or guitarist – all i could visualize was Yash chopra movies and Shah Rukh Khan! – Nothing inspirational about it, was the first thought!

But…But…But… I was totally wrong!

Speech , followed by his little magical guitar piece- shook me from within!

“Mesmerized” ~ is only one word possible to describe the feeling one gets , when he is playing guitar! 

Listening to the speech of Benny Prasad,  forced me to re-evaluate my views and perceptions towards ~ life, aim, happiness, family and specially god!


let me share few facts and information about this real life living inspiration with you all…

“God’s Power can bring any change in any ones life! “

Benny Prasad sets above quote true!

Born on 6th August 1975, in Bangalore, India, Benny was the first of his generation in the family. Parents had high hopes and lovely dreams for Benny, but his was not a promising start, as he suffered from severe asthma,  forcing him to take cortisone steroids from which  he developed rheumatoid arthritis, 60 % lung damage and an immune system regular failing him, which threatens his life even to this day.

His father a highly regarded scientist at the National Aerospace Laboratories & mother assistant director of FEBA Radio,  had bright plans for Benny’s career and life and to fullfill same they spent a lot of time trying to drill mathematics and science into Benny but in vain. This brought his family only shame and disappointment. Finding no fulfillment in life, Benny became depressed and his behavior continued to worsen. He reached out to what seemed the only way out for him and CONTEMPLATED TO COMMIT SUICIDE AT THE AGE OF 16. By this stage he was almost beyond caring about where he went or what he did, so it was not too difficult for his mother to “convince” him to attend a youth retreat as she had desired and there began his journey towards new life.

From being shame of his family, Benny Prasad became pride of the family!

In reality, Benny Prasad had AN ENCOUTER WITH GOD. It came to him unasked and unsought for as he heard GOD SPEAK TO HIM, saying. “Benny, even though you are called USELESS ALL YOUR LIFE, I NEED YOU NOW AND I CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE AND MAKE YOU A NEW CREATION.”

Finally a fresh start!

A new birth!

That was all it took to bring about a complete transformation in this lost and hurting young man. For the first time, He heeded this positive call, worked on it, and began life with what we would all long to have – A clean slate. God gave him new dreams, new goals, and a positive desire. This time, Benny walked with dignity and resonated with the joy of the Lord.

Benny says “If I could be made useful, any one in this world can. If my dreams can come true, yours can too. My sin and shame has been exchanged for righteousness and new life by the ALMIGHTY GOD WHO DIED TO SET ME FREE. For those with no hope, there is more to life than what today holds. I thank God that I did not end my life but rather chose to live through shame and failure so that today I’m able to be a blessing to the World. Remember, you are never too bad or sinful for God to redeem and transform”.

God’s power brought the most powerful change in Benny’s life. Before this transition he had displayed no interest or ability in music!!! But from that moment to the present, he has performed before PRESIDENTS AND PARLIAMENTS, CULTURAL STAGES OF THE 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES AND THE 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP. He has TRAVELLED TO 250 NATIONS (JULY 2011) performing music, earning him the honor of being THE FASTEST TO TRAVEL TO 245 NATIONS IN 6 YEARS, 6 MONTHS 22 DAYS (WORLD RECORDS ACADEMY – USA).

Where he had once been the destroyer of creativity, he has won renown by designing two guitars (THE WORLD’S FIRST BONGO GUITAR AND A 54-STRING GUITAR, THE BENTAR!). Today, through his music, Benny brings the Hope In God to thousands of people, travelling to 40 – 50 countries every year.

Truly Remarkable! 

Its never too late to give a fresh start! 

Lets learn lesson from his speech / his life and implant new hopes, new dreams and new faith in life, towards life! 

Prayas – lets love environment, lets love ourselves!

In Learning Horizones, TED on November 26, 2012 at 7:25 am

Prayas - Team Environment  “To strive in united team endeavor for conservation of nature     and protection of environment through education and direct action.” -is Mission statement of PRAYAS- INDIA .

Perhaps having a BIG mission statement or using decorative words for significance are easy to frame, but the example “Prayas India” is projecting is outstanding and unique in a way!

PRAYAS: Team Environment” as the name suggests is a collective endeavor, an effort to make some change in our lives through education and direct action towards conservation of environment and nature.

So what is new? One more NGO ??

Certainly not!

Prayas is a team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, who are already working actively in their own professions but the passion for nature and humanity ties them with Prayas!

“Prayas” works focusing on interesting Objectives such as..

  • Environment Education and Nature Conservation through direct and indirect actions. Primary target area of our direct interaction is the educational institutions of urban and rural areas of Surat and South Gujarat but we aim to touch as many as we can in India and the world.
  • To work towards building a sensitive human society that values the human existence on earth in tune with nature, starting from small community actions and working at grass root.
  • Creating a strong voice in support of environmental issues amongst urban and rural community.
  • To extend our resources and abilities to the government and non-government organizations with similar objectives towards environment and nature

Now apart from good words, the Good acts needs focus too!

  • PRAYAS Team Environment has honored over 40,000 (Forty Thousand) Rescue calls for animals, birds, snakes, wildlife from 2005 to 2012.
  • They have Trained over 300 people for technical rescue of animals, birds, and over 100 people for snake and reptile rescue.
  •  They Have developed unique instruments and equipments needed for rescue work and now they are being used all over India by hundreds of such NGOs, Government Departments, other establishments.
  •  They have Saved over 400 trees in Surat, by working with SMC and BRTS by helping in road planning and also transplanted many fully grown trees [ almost about 384] during March 2009 to May 2012.

Now – why all of a sudden we are discussing about Prayas ?

Answer- Its the dream of Mr. Darshan Desai , the next TEDx speaker.

In 2005 Mr. Darshan Desai started NGO- PRAYAS[a team environment Charitable Trust] , Leading a Team of inspired young people for environment education and conservation, also contributing in some social causes and emergency relief.

“Lead; follow or get out of the way.” – the fantastic quote is what Mr. darshan Desai Lives and inspires others too live it too!

Mr. Darshan Desai did Chemical Engineering with Specialization in energy conservation and Recycling – Environment Engineering and P.G. Diploma in Computer Science and Applications (South Gujarat University)

He currently works with Engineering business promoting Energy Saving – Environment Friendly technologies and also his  Part time occupation includes– Outbound Management Training.

Being a Versatile Soul , he Joined Nature Club Surat as volunteer in 1985 at an age of 8 years. Established Animal and wildlife rescue network for the first time in Surat in 1998.

He Served SPIC MACAY (Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and culture amongst Youth) Surat Chapter as Coordinator and also contributed in the State coordination Committee.

“Tree Watch” as well as “Bird rescue” – are the Huge contribution PRAYAS team has made for nature and humanity!

Lets make PRAYAS – to save nature and humanity with Prayas-India! 


“Unity Foundation”- Learn saying Yes to sports, NO to drugs!

In Learning Horizones, TED, Uncategorized on October 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

Pooja Taparia finished her talk in time, but we were in trans…

perhaps , thought processing…

An idea, thought, awareness and lot more Pooja Taparia had planted in plenty!!

Again the anchor tried drifting our thoughts somewhere… where?


” Now moving ahead, let me tell u a story-

Story of A Boy ,born in Dharavi slum, with high family values , excellent sports skills and outstanding intellect .  Parents dream to mold their son as doctor collapses because of unfair financial reality! A real intelligent mind opts job to support family in place of studies,  gradually meets super rich friends,  gets trapped in drugs!

Here you go, Its not a typical Bollywood Film story , But yes, the one who is Hero of our story – proves out to be a REAL hero in real life!
MR. Rahul POL- founder of unity foundation. As the name suggests, Unity foundation works on the concept of being Unite and helping each other to quite drugs!
Started On his own experience Raul pol has set an extraordinary example how sports can help and rescue one from drugs addiction!
Starting the journey from teaching karate to  6 drug addict kids at sion port, Mr. Rahul pol has planted new hopes and dreams to  countless youngsters.

Lets get the real glimpse of the Larger then life story from real life here- Mr. Rahul Pol.”

The Voice from podium stopped and the second speaker arrived….


Rahul Pol looked like millions of us yet did something extraordinary!




Lets Experience the power of being UNITE…  – Live and exclusive from Unity foundation itself! 


“Unity foundation” works with drugs addicts in Dharavi community on helping them reduce their addiction as well as motivating them to lead better and fruitful life.

We have initiated work in the main areas of  dharavi specially Sion station, Lobar camp Mahim, shastri nagar, Rajeev Gandhi nagar and mukund nagar.

Befor focusing on being “Unity Foundation” – what we are?

let me try to answer- “why we are ?” and “where we are?”

“Dharavi “ ~ what is the first scene that comes in your mind if you listen to this word or when you read this word?

The famous movie “Slum dog millionaire “ movies few frames?

Aaj Tak, India TV or BBC news’s – news steals flashing the increasing crime, poverty and drugs addiction?


the Facebook links and videos showing the poor conditions of largest slum of Asia,  you randomly “liked” to show your awareness and contribution to society and youth welfare?


That’s not Dharavi  actually!

Its home of more then 5 millions  dreams, hopes and struggles to live- in just 10 kilometers radius!

Imagine a day in dharavi….. nap , not through SKYPE or GOOGLE Hangout- online videos…

A day spent in Dharavi,  living the life 5 millions live everyday..

Life of rag-pickers, small scale daily based paid workers- not recognized as a workforce , yet they clean 8000 tons of waste generated daily by the city which even municipality cant handle! These thousands of children women and youth earn a living by selling the dry waste to scrap dealers, and most of the rag-pickers make barely 75-100 rupees a day.

Less or no education, nil employment opportunities, no special earning skills
or motivation factor slowly drag this poor lives to crime, gambling and drugs!  — And we call it DHARAVI EFFECT!

Nap, Its not so! Dharavi has its own beauty, if you have eyes to sense it!

If you visit Dharavi  at afternoon you will be delighted to see kids and teenagers engrossed playing cricket or practicing Karate ! The amazing fact is, without any facility this children and youngsters have set their own high standards in sports by practicing and many of them are big names in Indian sports as we know!

Just imagine, what a miracle it would have been if this youth will get professional coaching or proper facilities to sharpen their skills!

“Sports” !!!

Why we are focusing on sports?  

As sports can provide a form of entertainment and peace of mind. Sports can even cultivate team spirit and leadership qualities! Also excellent sports skills can open new career opportunities to the youth!

The youth trapped in drugs is not total innocent but they are not even morons to be punished for unforgettable sins!

Small, unorganized, informal meetings with the drug addicts made us realize that they got trapped in drugs because they were not occupied actively in any skilled work and were easily influenced by their friends or drug suppliers!

We at Unity foundation, feel that we will be able to gather these youth through sports especially Karate and Cricket as most of the youth aspire to be healthy but are unable to do so as they do not have a strong support system.

We , through this medium of sports and personal counseling will be offering support to these youth to help them build their lives.

Our main objective through sports is to get these youth together and get them to actively participate in our activities leaving them less or no time to consume drugs.

Once we get them to part of the programmed, then we will guide them to live a healthy life and offering them vocational training so that they can build their skills.

Once they have learnt some skills we would offer them placement opportunity depending on their interest and skills.


Unity Foundation implanted a thought, a dream an IDEA- worth spreading…

Its never too late when you want to live, smile and achieve…. Rahul Pol sets an excellent example of same!


What Idea you captured from this post?

TED – whats that?


Idea – worth spreading , once spreaded can change million lives!

“TED” – What’s that?

In Learning Horizones on October 5, 2012 at 8:15 am

“What is TED….? ”  

“Google for it…. ”


” Can you please let me know little about TED? I searched on Google but couldn’t get more! ”

” go and explore on- .”


Recently I had been fortunate enough to attend a TED event and eager to share my experiences of attending the same.

in above both the scenes , the one who is lazy  and curious at the same time is of course me!

And with this two dialogues and pinching short and sweet answers the journey to- ” TED, whats that?” starts!

Few Google searches, redirecting to one and the same web portal, finally made me sink in and concentrate on the official TED website-

Unlike usual professors and engineers, Technical details never excite me, neither long descriptions! I had expected long write ups explaining TED concepts or events… but….

Surprisingly- that was not what i ended up on TED website, …. relieved with the first glance, it showed random tagged videos!!! …. Wait, it was first glance , so i was not even aware that these  random videos shown on home page are actually  called TED TALKs!!

Here I go..

One or two initial videos made me realize, oops – its almost out of my processing bandwidth! The assent of almost all speakers made me fumble and playing it again even couldn’t help! for those who said I am very Good with communication skills- I am horrible, I felt!

Now i couldn’t ask the question again- ” whats TED?” , as i knew the answer already, given Twice perhaps most precise answer possible!

Noticed- “search” widget and the googling skills helped finally! Tried my luck, searching with the tag- “india” and it brought a big smile reading Harsha Bhogle,  Nandan Nilekani , Anil Gupta , Prnava Mistry , Kiran Bedi and other similar famous names on a page!

Started playing the videos one by one… skipped one or two as they were not in my area of interest, replayed the ones i loved and … soon i started exploring and loving the concept of TED – visually, without reading a single technical- non technical word!

Exciting, Cheerful, Content, Eager, starving for more exploration – so many feelings together! Like a small kid slowly learning new things, i started my journey in the entire new world of- “Ideas Worth Spreading” – TED!

For those, who are reading this and are new to TED..

Don’t dare and ask-

“What is TED?”

I am not going to summaries it…

Either you can experience as i did from TED website,

or enjoy the journey with my words and narrations!

I will share my experience here in a series, in sequence and timeline and you have to infer the concept from it!

Lets start exploring – ” TED- Ideas Worth Spreading” !

“Arpan” – an eye opening and precious Idea, Worth spreading!

In Learning Horizones, TED, Uncategorized on September 16, 2012 at 7:19 am

What’s TED?

Not again..

I told you to answer in an alternative way!

lets meet some one to explore this answer and also to raise few more thought provoking questions!


” Our first esteemed speaker is – Ms. Pooja Taparia ! ”

The random anchor tried introducing the speaker’s contributions to youth and society … and as the announcement finished,  the stage almost sparkled with the magnetic and dazzling personality of Ms. Pooja Taparia!

PoojaTaparia is founder and CEO of Arpan, an NGO based in Mumbai with a mission to prevent the occurrence of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and heal those who have been affected by it!

A pretty young lady with beautiful dimple glittered smile appeared and it was really tough to decide whether to focus on her amazing krishmatic presence or to her contribution to society!

With a warm smile she started talking on a real tough topic- Child sexual Abuse!

{of course I will not state her speech here word by word, as i want you all the experience it LIVE, soon with TED video! }

In simple yet effective and though provoking words she started putting up a subject , needed to be discussed a lot yet we don’t!

Pooja explained that child sexual abuse it not only violation to a child’s body but the trust ! This violation can have a significant impact on how child as a victim and later on as an adult survivor sees and experiences the world! She also gently narrated interesting case studies and explained that the effect of childhood sexual abuse can be damaging but if appropriate support is provided   the effects are not permanent!

The facts Pooja stated were indeed shocking in our so called sanskari and closed society!

She listed few eye opening statistics like…

  • More than 53% children report facing one or more forms of sexual abuse
  •  50% of sexual offenders were known to the victim or were in positions of trust (family member, close relative, friend or neighbor).
  • Boys were equally at risk as girls.

– According to WHO( World Health Organization, India has the world’s largest number of sexually abused children, with a child below 16 years raped every 155th minute, a child below 10 every 13th hour and one in every 10 children is sexually abused at any point of time!


now a question must come in your mind, who is Pooja Taparia and what’s worthiness of these statistics and discussion alone when nothing concrete has been done ?

Folks, Let me formally introduce you to Ms. Pooja Taparia– A women of substance and clear vision!

Pooja Taparia is founder and CEO of “Arpan”, an NGO based in Mumbai with a mission to prevent the occurrence of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and heal those who have been affected by it.

Pooja is  graduate in Applied Art/ Graphics design and commerce, born in Business family, Being entrepreneur was the first step where Pooja invested her Ideas and energy in developing family business . She also successfully managed a number of high-profile freelance design print and web media projects.

Perhaps Money , Fame or business were neither goal nor dream for her creative soul and so Pooja has spent over 8000 hours working in the voluntary sector, investing her time, expertise and resources with an educational institute based in Gujarat, before starting Arpan.

now wondering ~Whats ARPAN ?

Arpan is currently working in Mumbai, with a child centric model of intervention in the area of child sexual abuse with a balanced emphasis on prevention and healing components.

While the focus is on children, Arpan also understands the need for reaching out to adult survivors of child sexual abuse in order to support them in an adequate manner and prevent any further re-victimization as well as enable them to heal from the impact of child sexual abuse.

Arpan has so far helped over 28,000 children and adults directly and 60,000 indirectly.

Arpan has won multiple awards for its exemplary work and high organizational standards including the National Child Health Award in 2009, the CFBP Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Fair Business Practices in 2012 and the India NGO Award 2011.

Pooja was also awarded the ‘Karmaveer Puraskaar’ award by INCONGO in year 2010 for her work on Child Abuse.

Pooja has recently been invited on the Board of UnLtd India [which is an incubator for social entrepreneurs] to play an advisory role on their strategies and programs.


A lot I want to write about Pooja Taparia and her soulful contribution to society- “Arpan” , But then it will be spoon feeding!

So, Go explore and dont forget to Share –

“World free of Child Sexual Abuse” – is Vision of ARPAN !

I  salute to Pooja Taparia and her courageous contribution to society “Arpan”!

I could find An IDEA worth Spreading in Pooja’s ARPAN to Society, What about you?


dont tell me you are still wondering, ~  What’s TED?

ahem … ahem….

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