Creating cancer hospitals, Harry Potter unites youth, an inspirational guide

New Delhi (IANS) Read the inspiring story of an oncologist who chose his country over staying abroad in search of financial security to create India’s largest chain of world-class cancer hospitals; then enjoy a roller coaster ride of four very different people whose lives are brought together by Harry Potter; and finally, learn how effective communication can be a game changer in your profession or business.

The IANS Bookshelf will keep you more than occupied this weekend. Plunge in!

1. Book: Excellence Has No Borders – How a Doctorpreneur Created a World-Class Cancer Hospital Chain; Authors: Dr. B.S. Ajaikumar with Hemanth Gorur; Publisher: Penguin-Portfolio; Pages: 233; Price: Rs 699.

His journey has been an adventure in two worlds: India where he was born, and the US, where he emigrated at the age of 22 but his “happiest moment has been returning to India for good and making a difference in healthcare” by building the HCG (HealthCare Global) chain of world-class oncology care centres, of which there are close to 30 across the country.

The organisation’s work in health care, particularly in rural India, led to other paths as well. In 1988, Ajaikumar started the International Human Development and Upliftment Academy (IHDUA) to focus on improving the economic condition of women. A house-to-house survey of 150,00 women found they were working an “unbelievable 18 hours a day, living a hand-to-mouth existence and eating only leftovers and that most of those in the reproductive age-group were anaemic”.

“It was clear that we needed to improve their economic condition before they could focus on health,” Ajaikumar says.

The answer lay in the self-help group (SHG) model and over the last decade this has helped thousands of women across the country to take loans at low interest to develop businesses and increase their per capita income manifold.

It’s truly a model for the development of Indian villages.

2. Book: Accidental Magic; Author Keshava Guha; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 240; Price: Rs 599.

When someone like Aravind Adiga praises you to the skies, you can be sure you have arrived. And so it is with Keshava Guha, who was born in New Delhi and raised in Bangalore (Bengaluru), studied history and politics at Harvard, and writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

“A terrific debut. Sparkling, very (very) funny, and deeply moving, this story of a group of young people from different countries and social backgrounds who are united by a mania for Harry Potter will charm anyone who loves Harry Potter, and even those – like me – who have never read a word of J.K. Rowling. Guha’s wit, precision of words, passion for ideas, and skill in handling such a diverse cast of characters remind me so powerfully of Aldous Huxley at his finest. I can’t wait to read more from this author,” is Adiga’s ringing endorsement.

Need anything more be said?

3. Book: The Gift Of The Gab – The Subtle Art of Communicating; Author: Hory Sankar Mukerjee; Publisher: Sage; Pages: 195; Price: Rs 450.

In the corporate race, all the people who are meeting their goals or even exceeding them are treated by their managers as ‘expected’ of them. The real question that crops up is: What else? What is it that differentiates me from others? What is my ‘X’ factor, asks Mukherjee, Principal-Education, Training and Assessment at Infosys, and then proceeds to provide the answers.

It is impossible for a manager, who perhaps has 10-30 people reporting to him, to keep track of what you have been doing, unless you explicitly talk about it. Your manager would also be armed with the inputs that he receives from the people you work with.

“Being busy with our work-life and managing daily challenges do not allow us to focus on this most important skill of communicating. It is primarily due to a lack of self-awareness, our past habits and the predominance of fear and anxiety to change, we need to initiate the changes, take baby steps in changing it. Communication is a learned habit. We need to practice and take corrective measures,” the author explains and then guides you through 10 chapters to flesh this out.

In short, you need to blow your own trumpet to get ahead in life.

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