Thursday, August 23, 2007

An excellent compilation of thoughts by S. K. Chakraborty

Thursday, August 23, 2007 Against the tide
A nice read this book. I haven't yet finished reading the whole text, but from whatever I have read, this seems to be an excellent compilation of thoughts by S. K. Chakraborty on the East-West distinction on world views. He presents the thoughts of 8 great thinkers on these aspects, 4 from the East (Gandhi, Tagore, Vivekanand and Aurobindo) and 4 from the west (Griffiths, Toynbee, Rolland and Frawley).
Laying aside the thoughts and the impressionistic words which conveyed them, the thing I liked more about this book was the insights it offered into the current situation of the world in light of these views, some of which are more than 100 years old. The other day I was asked to write an essay picturing myself at the age of 50 and that seemed an uphill task to me. And here were thoughts on the human condition after a century, by some of the most intellectually superior minds we have ever known. Given the author's professional background (Convener, Management Centre for Human values and Professor, IIM Calcutta) in the domains of management and ethics, this book affords both flavours in ample measure to the open minded reader.
I feel really lucky to have been introduced to some really good books over the last couple of weeks (this and 'The Life of Pi' by Yann Martel, 'Business @ the speed of thought' by Bill Gates, 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' by Robert Kiyosaki) which have rekindled the passion I once had for substantial reading before I got hitched on to Grisham. I would recommend each one of us to read this book once. The name is quite profound itself - it is a text that claims to help one realise that there is a way against the tide too; it isn't always imperative to drift like a straw with the tide. Before I sign off, here is a memorable quote from the book, originally by Tagore:
"... When things go wrong, the peoples brought up in the spirit of modern culture furiously seek for some change in organization and system, as if the human world were a mere intellectual game of chess where winning and losing depended upon the placing of pawns. They forget that for a man, winning a game may be the greatest of his losses."
Think about this. You are welcome to share your views here. Blogged by Tallur at 12:13 PM

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