No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.
                            - Bertrand Russell

A large chunk of leisure time is spent unproductively by majority of us in gossip. If two people meet, they talk less of themselves and more of the world.

If you involve more in gossip, you will be in utter  chaos. Indulging in such unproductive and futile talk not only seep your energies but also negativity corrodes your system. Instead, you could use those energies for self-reflection so that you can tread a path of

Socrates gives a Triple Filter Test to overcome this problem:

One day an acquaintance met Socrates and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

Hold a minute, Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything, I’d like you to pass a little test. It is called the Triple Filter Test.

Triple filter?

That is right, “Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you are going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. "

The first filter is TRUTH. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?

"No," the man said, “actually I just heard about it and ...."

All right, “said Socrates.” So you don't really know if it is true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of GOODNESS. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?

"No, on the contrary...”

"So, Socrates continued,” you want to tell me something bad about him, but you are not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of USEFULNESS.

Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me? "

"No, not really. "

"Well, concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?

If everybody prevails on the wisdom of Socrates, we could channelize such unproductive energies for more
creative pursuits.



Listening is  key to effective communication . If you see your sense organs, it is apparent that the Creator has given you two ears and one tongue for a reason: listen double to what  you speak.  

Research reveals that people spend 70 % of their work life in communication, and listening occupies a lion's share of 45%. Talking accounts second with 30 %, reading and writing rank third and fourth with 16 % and 9 % respectively.

A good listener is always superior in his actions than a glib talker who runs out of words as well as energies. Without paying much attention, they indulge in futile talk which may help enemy to ascertain his plans.  

Listening is obvious to increase your analytical  and judgemental faculties.  Listening skills benefit a lot in personal life, like having great number of friends and improved social networking and more importantly a high self-esteem.

The importance of listening need not be over-emphasized for a marketing professional  whose job is to connect more with his clients. If you are a good listener, it will give a lasting impression at personal level and contribute to both to your personal and organizational growth.   For
software professionals  this faculty is of paramount importance to know minutely the user experience for which they have to pay attention and this could be possible only through effective listening.

In nutshell, listening gives an unparalleled wisdom to know about the other person. So next time when anyone try to speak to you,  allow him/ her to do so, instead of interrupting in the middle. It is not only a good manner, but an intelligent way of tackling other person in consonance with his/her emotional needs.



I was pretty amazed one night when I read that former Chief Election Commissioner of India T.N. Seshan had an elephant's memory and he could quote verbatim long passages, be it from scriptures, prose or poetry.  This former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from South India was labelled as the  hardest nut to crack in the political circles of his times.

When I see my reading commitments with books piled up on my table, I wish that all information in those books should go into my brain instantly like Director S. Shankar's Tamil science fiction  movie Enthiran in which the hero Dr. Vaseegaran  creates a sophisticated android   that  astonishes the audience with jaw-dropping tricks like reading bulky books/magazines in a blip of second with it's X-Ray eyes.

I wonder whether that  is within human possibility or not.  I can't summarily dismiss that act as shown in that movie.  But there is enough evidence to prove the power of human brain through powerful personalities like Swami Vivekananda who is blessed with such photographic memory.

If we go into the mechanics of memory, it is said that our memory works basically on one cardinal principle : Interest is the mother of attention and attention is the mother of  memory.  If a thing ignites you enough and when you feel the need to memorize, you could do it effortlessly.

When it comes to Elephant's Memory,  I read that Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee is gifted with a phenomenal memory power.  Even in his ripe age, he used to  read a lot and write  journal/diary.     Why it is called elephant's memory because the elephant never forget.   It doesn’t have appreciable eyesight, but it never forgets a face.  The elephants in the group check one another out with their trunks.  Another interesting fact is that  elephants also recall routes to alternate food and water sources when their usual areas dry up. 

The elephant's memory is not an illusion and one could  cultivate it through self effort.


Reading is like an opium that addicts you! The itching increases with time, but it keeps you sane all through life !

I was born in a family where my father used to read newspapers and magazines with large chunks of time. I could vividly remember that even a waste paper that comes to his way with a snack is not neglected and he takes a curious look at it to find any interesting stuff to read. That habit stealthily entered into my system and stayed there.  May be that is the possible reason for my habit of high dose of reading or you could say, it encoded in my genes!

Latest research on genetics says that you can change your gene activity at any time. It further says that your genes are fluid, dynamic, and responsive to everything you think and do. Scientists say that Earth's 2.8-billion-year-old genetic legacy is present inside each of us right now. They also say that DNA is responsive to everything that happens in our lives. This opens a new a flood of opportunities for self-improvement, and reading is no doubt one such activity that has no substitute !

Joseph Addison rightly says that reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It means you need to read something on daily basis to sharpen the saw. Honestly speaking it keeps my youthful vigour in tact, even at 50+. This is not self-trumpeting but a naked truth.

In this age of Information Democracy, many of us believe that internet substituted all our knowledge and information needs. But that notion is absurdly wrong. Books continue to have their dominance to inspire and guide our lives.

The reason for the innate need to read is our wish to step into the shoes of other person - writer/ author and gain his/her insights or world view or fantasy world. The more you read, the better would be your world view. My 35 years of reading saga has brought some revolutionary changes in my persona and it never keeps my life dull !

At last count, I find that approx. 150 books are on my conveyor belt and this speaks that I am a self-appointed Reading Ambassador of books of my choice. In fact this term Reading Ambassador is coined by Publishers Association of United Kingdom who requested all book-lovers to become Reading Ambassadors in their communities. They believe that a good book spreads with a word of mouth and the Social Media is our extended mouth!

Generally publishers tend to approach newspapers and magazines to offer book reviews for their newly published books. Marketing the books through a network of bloggers is still an alien concept in publishing industry. I am optimistic that in the coming years, a trend to appoint bloggers as Reading Ambassadors would revolutionize the book-sale business and it would help to grow the booklovers.

If any such opportunity comes to my way, I love to be a Reading Ambassador.

Hope somebody is listening in the publishing fraternity !