Immersive Theater

unnamedA month ago i had the chance to attend a short immersive  theater workshop as part of an NHRD monthly meeting. It was really engrossing and Aruna Ganesh had the audience in a spell.

Visual Respiration the organization founded by Aruna organizes regular workshops on Immersive Theater. There is one such being conducted on May 21st . This is an introduction to immersive theater.

If you are trying to create a greater impact on your audience , either at work or any other aspect of your life – don’t miss this workshop.

Image Courtesy: Visual Respiration




Handling Criticism

Steven Covey speaks about reaction and response. But in the midst of the action it takes a really evolved person to differentiate the two.

The eagerness to defend surpasses the reason to be rational.

Tammy Lenski gives some insights on how to handle criticism. But tell you what – this is like homeopathy. The action you choose to take must be already ingrained before the criticism happens.

Coz if that is not so , if you are not mentally prepared to face a blow to your ego – the lizard brain will take control and do the defending for you. And your criticizer might not know what hit him. As it happened in my case.

Nevertheless what Tammy Linski offers are good ways to manage these abrasive situations-


Acknowledge is different from accept. Feedback received. Noted. To act upon it or not is a decision that you can take in your time.

Cool Off. 

Give yourself time to respond. It could be 10 minutes or it could be 1 day. Time enough to disconnect from the emotions of the moment.


Who says the process of self improvement is sweet and smooth. Criticism is bitter, yes, but is the message worth considering.

If so, then however damaging the criticism might be, the treatment needs to be borne.







United we Drag

img_15941You know it by now. Flight is overbooked. Some passengers have to be de-planed to make way for important people. 69 year old doctor is randomly selected to make way for these more important people. He refuses to get enticed by the travel voucher offerings. The airport police is called and they drag him through the aisle of the aeroplane. His face bloodied – the only thing he keeps repeating is I want to go home.

The video goes viral.

And United Airlines – behaved as if it was business as usual. For United it was just another day in office. The CEO of United Oscar Munoz tweeted an apology for having to re-accommodate customers this was some 2 hours after the viral video. On the same evening he sent a mail to his employees expressing solidarity and for having followed established “procedures” for removing a passengers.   If you haven’t already seen the video – you can watch it now.

I am wondering which rule book they use at United to Train their Employees. Or maybe they are just taking a leaf from the President Trumps Book. The evicted passenger was a Vietnamese.

Yesterday the CEO Oscar Munoz came out with a more detailed and what felt like a more genuine apology. Took him three days.

Interesting to note that this very CEO was named the “Communicator of the year” in March.

For Oscar Munoz it was a PR disaster. But what about the customer service? I think we have come a long long way from the slogan – Customer is King.

The curious case of the utter uselessness of interviews

On April 8th Jason Dana an Assistant professor of Yale came up with a provocative write up on NY Times titled – “ The utter Uselessness of Interviews”. His argument kicked up a fair bit of dust.

If you read the post right till the very end you realize that his title was misleading. It should have been ” The utter uselessness of Un-structured interviews”. In the post he argues for Structured Interviews as against unstructured interviews. But you realize this only at the very end , only in the second last para.

I read the post assuming that the argument was about the uselessness of interviews. But in a climactic twist the last scene revealed that the villain was actually the hero. Everything was right with interviewing(villain turned hero) – solution was to conduct a certain kind of interview( structured).

Then why this Title?


Cannot be – not on NY Times.

Possibly Mr Dana wanted to have some fun at our expense. Send us on a small wild goose hunt and maybe get some readership.

Life can get to be boring, at times.


The grateful candidate

“I need money. Can you lend me 1000 Rs?” a man asked Mulla Nasruddin.

“I won’t give you. Be grateful for that!”

Angrily the friend replied , “that you don’t want to lend the money I can rather understand. But asking me to be grateful for that is downright disgraceful.”

“My dear friend, ” answered the Mulla , ” You asked me for money, I could have said,  Come Tomorrow”. Tomorrow I could have said ” I am sorry , iam not ready to give you yet, come the day after”. If you came the day after i could have said “come at the end of the week.” This way i could have held you off till the end of time, or atleast until someone else gave you the money.

But, you would not have found anyone else to give the money because all your hopes would have been with me, and you would have been counting on me to get the money. So in all honesty i am telling you I am not going to give you the money so that you can look for it elsewhere and make your fortune there. I have saved you so much time and effort, So be grateful to me.

The recruiter and candidate relationship is similar to that story.


The candidate comes looking for a job and the recruiter in his attempt to be polite raises the candidates hopes. Finally all the hedging tactics don’t help as the recruiter does’nt have a suitable job and he starts ignoring the candidate calls and mails. This results in mental agony for the candidate and utter waste of time. After a few weeks or months the candidate finally realizes that nothing is going to happen and decides to heap insults on the recruiter.

Who is to blame? the recruiter, off course.

Instead of hedging, if the recruiter had told in all honesty that he cannot provide the job and asked the candidate to focus his efforts elsewhere, the candidate would have been saved the agony.

But, would the candidate have been grateful?

No way!

An experience of Immersive Theater

conurt6ukaauivrBeing the last Thursday of the month I headed to Chancery pavilion for the monthly NHRD meeting. But, things seemed somewhat different yesterday. There seemed to be an unusual buzz. Long ques at the registration. Flustered patrons. Flustered volunteers. Bodies jostling for their space. And i soon found out why.

An experience in immersive theater to be delivered by Aruna a theater persona and founder of Visual Respiration.

This sounded different. And, what a difference it turned out to be.

The audience were treated to a truly immersive experience, in which Aruna  enthralled the audience with her impressive performance on gender conditioning. Using Rhyme, Repetition & Reflection she wove a magic spell around the audience. Our inner eyes were opened, even if momentarily, to the ever present gender conditioning that we live out non stop – in our work and personal lives.

You can get more details about her workshops and her work by visiting her site visual respiration .

Personally, I am not a feminist , neither am i a proponent of inclusivity – at best i am a fence sitter – with no leanings. But the buzz gets stronger perhaps it is time to take a call. You might call it the inevitable. Besides, as the father of a 17 year old daughter my patriarchal views are coming increasingly under the scanner and the earlier i condition myself to this reality the better.



La La Land of Football

I never knew what happened. I am not an avid football fan like my friend who stays up nights watching league matches and arrives late to office the next day. It was he who wised me up on the once in a decade kind of moment that happened on the night of the 8th March. Barcelona needed a wipe off 4-0 deficit to enter the quarters. They did that by beating PSG 6-1 to scrape through in the 95th minute (stoppage time).

A twitter handle going by the name of Turkish Football captured the moment best with this update

Turkish Football @Turkish_Futbol1

“And the winner is: PSG.

Oh wait… it’s Barcelona. You won guys. This is not a joke.” 

Thanks to my friend I spent some time pouring over the newsfeeds to get a hang of what happened. Now I am educated enough to talk about this match for a few years, and many others will too , i am sure. Probably that is one reason why sport is such a unifier, especially football, it gives everyone a common topic to talk about.

They say seeing is believing. If you have not done so already check out these match highlights to get a hang of what my friend was talking about.