Skip to main content

Zen Garden: Conversations with Path Makers by Subroto Bagchi

If you choose to walk on your path rather than follow that of others, you are a path maker. It means you are evolving rapidly into some one who can empower others. That’s exactly why Subroto Bagchi’s Zen Garden is a book you have to experience. 

Published by Penguin Books India, Zen Garden is an inspiring compilation of real life conversations and stories that explore how these game changers CHOSE to overcome their pain by creating something meaningful out of it.

You will look closely into the lives of path makers such as  Nandan Nilekani, Captain Gopinath, Dr Devi Shetty, Dr Sharan Patel, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw,  Kris Gopalakrishnan, Aamir Khan among others. 


Path Makers from Subroto Bagchi's Zen Garden 
Take the example of Dr. Devi Shetty, founder of Narayana Hrudayalaya, who was the eighth child among a brood of nine and came from difficult circumstances. He talks about how children from adversity and difficult circumstances prove to excel in any field of life as compared to those children who have everything on a platter.

In his own words from Zen Garden by Subroto Bagchi, “The rules of the game are written, will be rewritten, by children with a deprived background. They need an opportunity. You just have to give them the language of communication with the society outside and they will change the way.” Yes, this strikes a personal chord because I hear my father say this all the time.

Dr Devi Shetty, in Zen Garden, also cites Christiaan Barnard, a celebrated surgeon from  South Africa. He is credited with conducting the world’s first heart transplant.  He had rheumatoid arthritis in his young age and therefore, he had very crooked fingers. But he went forward in the field of surgery and created life-changing milestones in his life for the well being of others. Simply put, he didn't sit back and crib about his life or his crooked fingers. Instead, he SAVED lives.

Pranav Parikh’s chapter is one that I can relate to, especially when he is asked the question, “Can one be spiritual and yet swim with sharks?” and “You alluded to angels in your life. How does one create the ability to receive them?” 

For a highly successful business man, his answers were mindblowing – because he says exactly the spiritual truths that the Rishis and spiritual masters have been repeating. Yet he isn’t simply repeating it. He believes in it and has had spiritual experiences that paved the way for him to emerge as a path maker in business too.

Another inspiring chapter is the one pertaining to Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO and MD of Infosys. When asked to say something for posterity, he strikes the iron hot by saying, “The position will automatically come. Do something useful.”  Again, this is something that resonates deeply with me. I have heard my father say this and that has always inspired me.
  
Aamir Khan’s tip on ‘inner healing’ is very significant at a personal level but you’ve got to read Zen Garden to appreciate and reflect on it. It would not be fair for me to reveal that here.

The only segment in this book that disappointed me was one showcasing spiritual "leaders." The very expression 'spiritual leader' fills me with disappointment for one simple truth - there is nothing like that. It is incorrect. In the world of spirituality, I am a toddler still struggling to find my steps but the one thing I know for sure is that there are no leaders there. It's not a business hierarchy or a game. It is far more serious and one with 'spiritual' as well as karmic energies than one assumes.

There are only MASTERS. They are MASTERS of the Highest Order. But then a business perspective of a CEO need not match mine, right? 

Yet a part of me wishes that the author, whose touch of perfection is most apparent when he writes, had got that simple but very important detail intact. 

About Subroto Bagchi, author of Zen Garden:
Hats off to Subroto Bagchi, the best selling author of The Professional and many other books, for writing Zen Garden. He is co-founder and chairman of Mindtree Ltd, a global IT solutions company. I had read his book The Professional several years ago and it had deeply influenced my work ethics. I lent it to team members I worked with. It's a different story that I never got the book back again because it went into a state of 'circulation' among team members. Needless to say, they were deeply inspired by his thoughts.



SUMMING UP Zen Garden

When love is your signature and you are able to look beyond your pain in a constructive manner, the Universe finds ways to reward you manifold. Your actual awakening begins from there. The rest, as they say, becomes history. 

In fact, YOU create history. YOU CAN become the path maker.

♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading my post. I dedicate this post with love and gratitude to all individuals who are pursuing their potential to become path makers, by making the bold choices that they do for delivering a better model of work and empowerment to others. REQUEST: Please SHARE this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people who are in various phases of finding their own paths. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥

Comments

Asha said…
looks like a must read book from your review. I love autobiographies of achievers, especially those achievers who have been successful after going through hard times. I find all the lives of the people whom you have mentioned in your post inspiring. infact, most of them have their dream destinations on the Hosur road in Bangalore. I often tell about them to my children and point their offices. Will catch hold of this book, more so because of its spiritual leanings. Thank you for the review, swapna.
Harish said…
It seems to be a great book.. Will try to get this book. Thanks for the review.
Vishnu said…
Great review and insights here, Swapna. Many of the most successful people overcame difficult life situations or circumstances and made the best out of them. This books tries to show us that many of these people had similar patterns in their lives. And that if they succeeded with adversity and strength to really soar, we all can as well.

Will look out for this book in the bookstores here and on my travels. I love the last quote about the universe rewarding you when looking at pain in a constructive manner.
Ajith said…
awesome writeup....very inspirational ...esp the ending ...lemme reiterate-
When love is your signature and you are able to look beyond your pain in a constructive manner, the Universe finds ways to reward you manifold. Your actual awakening begins from there. The rest, as they say, becomes history-.......
Ajith said…
awesome writeup....very inspirational ...esp the ending ...lemme reiterate-
When love is your signature and you are able to look beyond your pain in a constructive manner, the Universe finds ways to reward you manifold. Your actual awakening begins from there. The rest, as they say, becomes history-.......
@Asha: Happy to know you liked this book review. I too love to read autobiographies of achievers and spiritual masters because they are so inspiring and full of positive energy.

@Harish: Thanks for reading, glad to know you liked the review.

@Vishnu: Many thanks, Vishnu. That quote was by me - delighted to know you liked it:)

@Ajith: Great to hear from you, thanks for reading and commenting. Happy to know that you liked the review and my quote at the end.
Lensq said…
Have you read other books of him?

Most Popular Posts

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered the possibility that my thoughts and my personal journey would receive such online abuse or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience and not to insult others. My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to shout that as being insulting to your experience because our journeys are entirely different narratives. 

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.The intention of my article is to question - why are we even exchanging insults over an issue called caste? 

Should we not be aspiring to be above caste considerations instead of abusing each other …

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Why love matters - Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh has an amazing insight to share!

What is love? It means different things to different people. 

Have you thought about it? Do read: POWER OF LOVE

The best way to understand 'love' is to reflect on what it means to you from deep within - soak yourself in the thought of what the word means to you. For a teenager, love is 'crush', for a young person, her boyfriend is her love, for a mother, love is the baby growing every day. For a spiritual seeker, God is Love. 

The idea of 'love' just sparks our curiosity - writers cannot stop exploring the nuances of love. Some of the most beautiful thoughts in poetry are about love. Artists bring to life the loss of wounds and heartbreaks in their portrayal of love. Nearly every film that we see amplifies the emotion of love through complex narratives and songs.


READ: Love means to see one you happy




FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

But what exactly is love? Is it what we see on screen or read about in books?

Love has to be experienced first, right? But how do you know i…

Five ways to take charge of your anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward
Every day, the newspaper headlines are full of scary stories of people killing each other over trivial things - mostly these incidents happen when individuals lose their temper and turn violent. In traffic jams across Noida in the evenings, people don't hesitate to walk out and hit each other.  At workplaces, colleagues lose their temper and say things that they regret later. During holidays with loved ones, small things set us off and we say things that damage relationships forever. No one stops anyone. Everyone likes a big, bad fight. It's great to vent. After all, what's the big deal about getting angry? After all, if you cannot express what pisses you off, how can you call yourself human? 


Does anger solve your problems? You know the answer!

If anger solved all the problems in the world, this world would have been a perfect place centur…

Book Review: Nan Umrigar's Sounds of Silence, A Bridge Across Two Worlds

The year 1978 was a glorious one for Karl Umrigar – a young man who won many prestigious horse races, including the Indian 2000 Guineas and the Indian Oakes. Finally, Karl Umrigar fulfilled his dream – every jockey’s dream– to win the Indian Derby. His name remains in the Indian Derby scroll of honour. 
But just at exactly the moment Karl won, he fell from the horse.  A fall that finally saw the country mourn for him when the headlines of the Indian Express read, “The King is Dead.” Karl Umrigar, the young champion and loved by many, was laid to rest on May 3, 1979.
Karl Umrigar’s Death: Bridge between Two Worlds You can imagine what Karl’s death did to his family, particularly his mother – Nan Umrigar. She says, “Nothing could have prepared us for the darkness that descended upon us – nothing!
While her family tried to pull on with daily routine, Nan Umrigar found herself in such a state of agony and trauma that she couldn’t resume a normal life. She couldn’t let go of her son.
She heard…

A Dad's advice to the daughter he loves: Be yourself, remember you are special and treasure your strengths

Just a week ago, Dad gave me a very emotional pep talk at the Bangalore airport. The good thing is that whenever I feel emotionally vulnerable or stressed out, I replay Dad's conversation. It lifts me up and instantly brings a huge smile to my face. That's my Dad - yeah! 




As a teenager, Bangalore used to be one of my favorite cities though the garden city was not as ''global'' and ''vibrant'' as it is today. It was a pretty cool place to go shopping for stylish accessories, not that I could splurge and go crazy with shopping but I could do so on a limited budget. So, I used to look forward to our summer trips to Bangalore, from where we would head out to Whitefield. 

The busy, broad streets, the scent of street food and the vibrant atmosphere had always perked me up every time I reached Bangalore. Be it heading to Puttaparthi or Whitefield, my parents and I have traveled to Bangalore so many times that it became a kind of ''routine'…

What is true knowledge? Dada Vaswani's teaching on knowledge offers a valuable lesson!

These days, everyone is an 'expert' on a given topic and this is most evident on social media.  From make up to nutrition to every topic under the sun including coffee, wine and herbs, there are experts on every social media platform. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it can prove helpful in your quest for knowledge but sometimes these are misleading as well. Not all that shines is gold, remember? So how do you figure out the mark of a person with knowledge as compared to those who proclaims it the rest of the world?
Here is a wise quote from Ruzbeh N Bharucha's book, 'Conversations with Dada Vaswani' offers us a powerful insight about knowledge and what it means.
[MUST-READ: Sage Tiruvalluvar's Golden Advice on Friendship]

                               FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST
Sadhu Vaswani, who is much loved and revered as a spiritual master, shares the crux of what knowledge stands for. True - there is no wisdom greater than this.

Hey Jude movie review: Nivin Pauly and Trisha shine their magic in this feel-good, heartwarming entertainer

Acclaimed director Shyamaprasad's latest movie starring Nivin Pauly (as Jude) and Trisha (as Crystal) is a heartwarming love storyof two completely different individuals who find a rare bonding of friendship with each other, helping the other to deal with the distinct quirks in personality. The story also touches upon a very important aspect of human life - no human being is perfect and it's okay to be different and quirky but you also need to find a support system and practical ways to overcome it.


                                                    [Image: Hey Jude Facebook Page]

Jude is different but he still makes you laugh
From scene 1, you can sense that Jude is different from other men of his age - his reactions are slow, unpredictable and borders on immaturity unless it has something to do with the topics that interest him - for example, marine life or oceanic pollution. There is nothing laughable or frivolous about Jude but this is exactly where Nivin Pauly's portray…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…