This shall too pass…till then let’s try Meraki!

I know those frowning faces with irksome stretched online classes or work from home, as they say it’s the new normal or ordinaire. What’s normal or what’s not, I am not here to infer that. Neither am I here to draw conclusions about who played the bad-boy and ignited our 2020 with full of remorseful endeavours. Neither shall I salt the wound of families who have been affected by the pandemic. We all know about it. And we all are waiting to surface our sorrows and joys above it; float above the virus massacre of 2020.

Then what must our dialogue entail…time to ponder!

Have you guys ever thought about why all of a sudden, it’s us? Us in the brink of an utmost apathy by our creators–the nature, the water, the air, the sky and above all the earth? Maybe yes some of us have, through fathomless research, readings; and maybe not! But my implication is not soul-searching but rather to pull our lives back exactly to the years gone by and re-think to relive it differently. Now how’s that possible? As we all are judicious beings, we believe in tangibility mostly. Money is time’s new definition and more the time, let’s pour some more money…isn’t it? Don’t worry, we all have our minds clocked and locked on our wellbeing… we create and think to create more often. In the midst of only creation of means to wellbeing, we lose most of it by the time we realize it.

Hence, let’s come back to my fundamental ask—Can we re-think or re-live our lives backwards? Scientifically we can’t as time is a factor that is linear…even if somebody builds or secretively has a time machine- we can’t redo our lives—as physicists might argue about paradoxes! On possessing a very unscientific, illogical mind, I’ll offer you my consolation of not being able to solve that paradox. But my dear smarties, we can certainly re-live our lives- in moments of our passions that we enjoy the most while executing- Meraki.

Meraki will guide you and your work (be it studies/profession/job/hobbies) in a time where everyone is busy tabulating the viral count across the globe. Somebody asked me if Meraki is a replicated version of Tiktok or yet another type of a PS4, I smiled back to them stating, ‘It’s my bad!’ So, if you guys are unsure of Meraki, I have already smirked at you all too. Since, I believe that I have induced in the right vocab in your dictionary now.

Now let’s see how this Meraki can help you evolve from this situation that is going to persist for some more months.

  • Whenever you wake up- put Meraki into thankfulness for still being alive! Hurrah!
  • While preparing morning tea/breakfast/helping your house-mate-involve meraki
  • While relaxing, add observational task as your meraki
  • While petting your bird or dog, look at them and pet them enough to utter meraki
  • While cleaning your house-meraki can do a better job than most trained house helps
  • While taking up your online courses, meraki might help you achieve an A plus
  • While reading a book, it can turn you into an online book reviewer
  • Just wondering if while reading this article, your meraki can make you like it 😉

There are too many mundane yet necessary tasks/activities that we do undesirably with great complaints. However, using the miracles of meraki, we can change our lives, we can relive ourselves in small yet ordinary tasks… what used to be a complaining, boring and uncool and unproductive hours of our lives yesterday could be our elated freedom in times of today.

Meraki is the spice we need to blend in our activities of today so as to relive those mundane moments. As the crisis has proven to us that life and its associated echoes are not old-fashioned—what’s uncool is the regular whines, the complaints and ultimately no life at all!

My focus is more on your well-being, your pustimarga and Meraki is the way forward.

Reach out to thank me! 😉

Note: Meraki is a Greek terminology that believes in putting your heart & soul into whatever task/work you do. I hope that helps!

Nidra Naik
Novelist & Poet
PGDM Batch 2004-06, IILM Lodhi Road


A Letter by Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee

Towards a world where the human mind is without violence and the environment is without pollution…

Dear friends,

With all of you I am also in deep pain for millions and millions of persons across the world who have been faced with unbelievable and immeasurable suffering. I join you in expressing our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all who are risking their lives to help and serve the needy and the society. We are together in prayer.

I want to share the following thoughts with you:

The pandemic of coronavirus has shattered the human soul.

The cosmic law of justice has pronounced an unprecedented and unexpected fury on the human race in this planet.

But this cosmic fury has awakened the damaged and the anguished human soul to another reality of spiritual realization of human concern.

For years now, my mind and soul have been disturbed and challenged by a certain question.

Today, I want to share this challenging thought with you.

I have been feeling for some years now that human beings are certainly not the most important life in the creation. It is a human being’s concept that the human life is the superior most. Even at the highest intellectual and spiritual level, human beings can think and act within the limitations of the human mind. What do we know about other lives? Whether insect life, animal life, plant life or environment, we know nothing about how plants speak to each other or how animals and insects communicate with each other. What is their philosophy? We know nothing. At least we know that we know nothing about other lives.

It is very humbling that if the humankind is wiped out on this planet, the environment will not miss us at all. In fact, the environment and every other life will be happy without us. This pandemic has really proved that the nature can live beautifully without the existence of human beings.

Even from my modest house, I am suddenly able to see so many rare flowers with lovely fragrance. I can also hear in my house the various chirpings of lovely birds which I had not heard before. It delights my heart and soul to see beautiful and rare birds in the little courtyard of my house.

With the emergence of the purity of the fear free nature and environment, human beings are also perceiving the awakening of the human soul with the greatest compassion for one another and all life.

In order to bring some cheer around me and for others, I have been telling my friends on the phone – “At this stage in my life, I have finally found a companion of life. He is called Mr. Isolation.”

“Mr. Isolation” has inspired me for further introspection.

The entire creation is wrapped in a cosmic net. Destiny is playing with the warp and the weft of the cosmic net. While destiny is playing it’s game, we as human beings will have to remain with compassion and non-violence towards each other and to every life.

We are all together in a spiritual awakening with the consciousness of human conscience.

Man pollutes the four elements, earth, sea, fire and air. With the negativity and violence of our mind, we can also pollute the space. Let us not pollute the fifth element- the space.

His Holiness Pope Francis had once repeatedly said in a public audience, in five different languages – “The creator forgives us always but what is created never forgives.” Let us work together, and do our best, for a future where every life respects the other life. Let us work towards a world where the human mind is without violence and the environment is without pollution.

With you,

Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee

About the Author

Smt. Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, has held the position of Vice-Chairperson of the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Smriti for nearly nine years. She is also involved with the ‘Save the Ganga Movement’, an initiative to protect India’s environment and rivers for the last 18 years. For the past 28 years, she has worked for the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust (KGNMT), founded by Mahatma Gandhi in memory of his wife. The KGNMT is one of the oldest pre-independence, non-governmental institutions serving the women and children of rural India. She has been decorated with one of France’s top honour  L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres for her contribution in promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education and development.

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4th Annual Entrepreneurship & Family Business Conference on “Changing Paradigms: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Family Business”

IILM institute for Higher Education organized the Fourth Annual Entrepreneurship and Family Business Conference on 6th April 2018 at its Lodhi Road Campus. The conference was centered on the theme “Changing Paradigms: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Family Business“. This conference aimed to explore the importance of innovation and sustainability for an entrepreneur and associated opportunities and risks. The conference also uncovered the key challenges faced by Family Businesses in high potential economies such as India in the era of digitization and the need for digital transformation for sustenance. The Conference was structured around three key sessions.
The conference began with the welcome remarks by Dr. Daisy Mathur Jain, Dean IILM-UBS. In her welcome address Dr. Daisy gave an overview of the Entrepreneurship focus at IILM with special focus on opportunities that students get to gain experience and hone their skills. She also spoke about the various international affiliations IILM has with Universities across the globe. IILM is also affiliated with the Family Firm Institute (FFI), Boston. This year, IILM is also introducing an M.Sc. in Family Business as a post graduate specialization in partnership with SBS Swiss Business School, Switzerland.

The Inaugural session comprised a keynote session by Ms. Sonu Bhasin, Founder, Families and Business, highlighted that family businesses are the unsung heroes of the Indian economy by citing interesting figures to support her claim. She fervently held that Entrepreneurship is a state of mind and an ability to get things done, using the analogy of a line black ants and the flow of water. She also underlines that failure does not stop entrepreneurs, rather it eggs them on, because they believe in their purpose. She added that it is important to remember and keep the focus on the family values for a family business to succeed and remain successful. She ended on a positive note that today the time is right to start and entrepreneurship because digitization has reduced capital requirements, technology is an enabler that has opened a plethora of opportunities to this generation that earlier ones did not have access to. She urged the youngsters to go ahead and start something new.

The first plenary session was entitled “Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainability”wherein Ms. Guneesha Kohli, Business Head Malika International, Mr. Sameer Talwar, Founder Entrepreneur of Excellence, Mr. Raman Talwar, Founder Simulanis and Mr. Rijul Bajaj, Co-founder Samshek Foundation shared their insights. The speakers emphasized that innovation is nothing but challenging every assumption and reinventing what you do to make it faster, more efficient and better. Each of them, through personal examples, underscored the need to be open to failures, to learn from them, to stand up once again and to not give up on the dreams.
The second plenary session on the topic “Digital Transformation of Family Business Firms” was also the closing plenary. Mr. Virendra Teotia, Owner Umrao Hotels, Mr. Ridhay Khanna, Owner, HH Global and Mr. Aviral Aggarwal, Director Bikanerwala, shared their experience and paved the possible way forward.Each of them spoke about the role that technology and digitization plays in reducing costs in massive ways for marketing and for reach, for building customer relationship and branding. They also underlined the need to be flexible and adapt to technological change by transforming business and the way it is run.

Active participation from students and faculty made the conference a great success.It provided an opportunity for students and faculty to engage with and listen to new ideas and experiences from distinguished speakers and also to network with established entrepreneurs and investors.