New Delhi Diary – June 2021

A merciful May

Now that the hottest month of the summer (May) in the city is over, one is hopeful of a not-so-hot June. The month of May, despite its reputation of being a ‘killer month ‘with temperatures hovering over 44 degree Celsius on most days, was the coolest in 70 years this year. The maximum temperature recorded was 23.8 degree Celsius on 19 May. This was the coolest May since 1951.

Towards the end of the month, the city experienced a few days of cloudy weather with occasional spells of heavy rain. And the ‘credit’ for this goes to Cyclone Tauktae that devastated India’s western coast and caused damages of around INR 15,000 crore (INR 1,500 billion). About 200 people lost their lives, mainly in Gujarat and Diu.

Hunger for better, bigger posts

Marshall Goldsmith is an American author and coach who can be ignored only if you do not want to do anything after you have reached a good and comfortable position in life. What that means is that, for example, if you have made it somehow to the position of a CEO of a company, you may feel you have reached the pinnacle of success. The idea of becoming the Chairman or the owner of the company does not strike you. It is for such people that Goldsmith’s book, What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There, means a lot.

In other words, you have to ‘reinvent’ yourself if you want to continue growing and climbing higher. And that does not come easily unless one studies oneself critically, and prepares for the next challenge!

The best time to start is now!

Life offers us two ways of living: Work hard and passionately to achieve success or stay put and blame circumstances. Divya Rastogi chose the first option some five years ago. She could not pursue her ambitions in her younger years because of marriage followed by responsibilities for her two sons. As soon as her children were old enough to look after themselves, Divya became a student again. She took up a course in interior designing and studied hard at home with her sons!

She has not looked back. She now has an annual turnover of INR 25 crore (INR 250 million). Her passion for interior decoration and designing has paid rich dividends. She has been getting multiple contracts from multinational companies to ‘gear up’ their offices, with a balance of world-class design and comfort.

And, referring to the age, 42 years, when she started her business, she says no age is too late, and any time can be the best time!

A CM of substance!

The inimitable Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, has multiple talents and qualities. Let us start with her lifestyle as a Chief Minister. She does not take a single rupee as salary, or any allowances to which she is entitled. Whenever she travels, she stays in government guesthouses and makes it a point to pay the room rent and the cost of meals. As a former Member of Parliament, she is also entitled to over Rs 75,000 as pension but she does not take that either.

How does she manage to survive? She is a multitalented person. In her free time, she pursues music, lyric writing, painting and writing. She has already written 87 books and, as she says, she gets “good royalty”. Since she does not need that kind of money, she happily gives it away in donations. Her needs are, as she says, not much, a simple white Saree and a pair of Chappals!

Tailpiece:

Student: Sir, would you punish me for something I did not do?

Teacher: No! Never! Do you think I am so stupid?

Student: Thank you, sir. I have not done my homework!

By P. P. Wangchuk

P. P. Wangchuk is a New Delhi-based editor-at-large, columnist and professional speaker.

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