Thursday, August 31, 2006




Whenever I’m in a blue mood, I browse through my bookshelves and pick up a book. Reading is the greatest of all joys, and the moment I start reading a book I enter a different world, and this change of environment has a positive psychological effect, and lo and behold, my spirits are uplifted. Those who do not have the habit of reading remain imprisoned in their moods and immediate surroundings.

I’ve just picked up a delightful little book called “The Ladies Oracle” by Cornelius Agrippa from my bookcase. Let me tell you about it.

Whenever I buy a book, I write down the date and place of purchase on its first page. I have duly recorded that I bought The Ladies Oracle on 14 February 1989 on the pavement bookstalls opposite the CTO at Fort in Bombay as it was then known.

Let’s get down to using this delightful oracle. First choose a question from the ninety five listed in the book from pages (v) to (viii) numbered 5 to 100 (I wonder where the first five questions are?).

I select question number 35: – Shall I always enjoy good health?

Now I turn to page (i), close my eyes and put my finger on the table of signs. (I have placed my finger on the sign representing a single square).

Now I consult the table starting from page ten, follow the line marked by the number of the question (35th line) till I arrive at the column which has the chosen sign over it, and this figure gives me the number of the page (74) where by looking at the sign traced by my finger I find my answer: – You will always have joy, health and prosperity!

Fantastic! I’m feeling good already.

Now the next question, number 15: – How many lovers shall I have?

I go through the procedure and the Oracle gives me the answer: – A great many, but those that have so many generally choose the worst.

Hey, I’ve to be careful!

The next question, number 91: – What opinion has the world of me?

The Oracle answers: – You are thought to have had more than one adventure.

Oh, dear! Have I?

Shall I be happy in love? The oracle says: – You will find more pain than pleasure.

Pretty bleak – better I steer clear of falling in love!

Will my reputation be always good?
It will always be as you make it!

Must take care to build up a good reputation!

Shall I go many long voyages?
You will do well not to voyage farther than round your own room!

Great! That puts an end to all my travel plans! All I’m going to do is go round and round in my room! What a gloomy answer! And I thought browsing books was supposed to lift my spirits!

Okay, just one last question, and the answer better be something good, or else no more ‘bibliotherapy’ for me!

I select question number 74: – What is the person that I am thinking about doing at this moment? and the Oracle answers: – She regrets not being with you!

Wow! Bibliotheraphy really works. I feel thrilled, jubilant, ecstatic, on cloud nine, in seventh heaven and right on top of the world as I rush off to surprise my beloved sweetheart. And just imagine, I thought she never even thought about me!

Long live The Ladies Oracle!

Oh, yes. The Ladies Oracle is a delightful little book you can consult from time to time on matters of love and life, believe me you’ll enjoy it. (It may be called The Ladies’ Oracle but I’m sure even men will enjoy reading and consulting it with satisfying results).

Dear Reader, why don’t you try it out? It’s entertaining reading, guaranteed to lift your spirits. And do let me know what questions you asked the Oracle and what answers you got!


Monday, August 21, 2006

Life Process Outsourcing ( LPO ) - a short story by Vikram Karve

( a fiction short story )

On the morning of New Year’s Eve, while I am loafing on Main Street, in Pune, I meet an old friend of mine.

“Hi!” I say.

“Hi,” he says, “where to?”

“Aimless loitering,” I say, “And you?”

“I’m going to work.”

“Work? This early? I thought your shift starts in the evening, or late at night. You work at a call center don’t you?”

“Not now. I quit. I’m on my own now.”

“On your own? What do you do?”


“LPO? What’s that?”

“Life Process Outsourcing.”

“Life Process Outsourcing? Never heard of it!”

“You’ve heard of Business Process Outsourcing haven’t you?”

“BPO? Outsourcing non-core business activities and functions?”

“Precisely. LPO is similar to BPO. There it’s Business Processes that are outsourced, here it’s Life Processes.”

“Life Processes? Outsourced?”

“Why don’t you come along with me? I’ll show you.”

Soon we are in his office. It looks like a mini call center.

A young attractive girl welcomes us. “Meet Rita, my Manager,” my friend says, and introduces us.

Rita looks distraught, and says to my friend, “I’m not feeling well. Must be viral fever.”

“No problem. My friend here will stand in.”

“What? I don’t have a clue about all this LPO thing!” I protest.

“There’s nothing like learning on the job! Rita will show you.”

“It’s simple,” Rita says, in a hurry. “See the console. You just press the appropriate switch and route the call to the appropriate person or agency.” And with these words she disappears. It’s the shortest training I have ever had in my life.

And so I plunge into the world of Life Process Outsourcing; or LPO as they call it.

It’s all very simple. Working people don’t seem to have time these days, but they have lots of money; especially those double income couples, IT nerds, MBA hot shots, finance wizards; just about everybody in the modern rat race. ‘Non-core Life Activities’, for which they neither have the inclination or the time – outsource them; so you can maximize your work-time to rake in the money and make a fast climb up the ladder of success.

“My daughter’s puked in her school. They want someone to pick her up and take her home. I’m busy in a shoot and just can’t leave,” a creative ad agency type says.

“Why don’t you tell your husband?” I say.

“Are you crazy or something? I’m a single mother.”

“Sorry ma’am. I didn’t know. My sympathies and condolences.”

“Condolences? Who’s this? Is this LPO?”

“Yes ma’am,” I say, press the button marked ‘children’ and transfer the call, hoping I have made the right choice. Maybe I should have pressed ‘doctor’.

Nothing happens for the next few moments. I breathe a sigh of relief.

A yuppie wants his grandmother to be taken to a movie. I press the ‘movies’ button. ‘Movies’ transfers the call back, “Hey, this is for movie tickets; try ‘escort services’. He wants the old hag escorted to the movies.”

‘Escort Services’ are in high demand. These guys and girls, slogging in their offices minting money, want escort services for their kith and kin for various non-core family processes like shopping, movies, eating out, sight seeing, marriages, funerals, all types of functions; even going to art galleries, book fairs, exhibitions, zoos, museums or even a walk in the nearby garden.

A father wants someone to read bedtime stories to his small son while he works late. A busy couple wants proxy stand-in ‘parents’ at the school PTA meeting. An investment banker rings up from Singapore; he wants his mother to be taken to pray in a temple at a certain time on a specific day.
Someone wants his kids to be taken for a swim, brunch, a play and browsing books and music.

An IT project manager wants someone to motivate and pep-talk her husband, who’s been recently sacked, and is cribbing away at home demoralized. He desperately needs someone to talk to, unburden himself, but the wife is busy – she neither has the time nor the inclination to take a few days off to boost the morale of her depressed husband when there are deadlines to be met at work and so much is at stake.

The things they want outsourced range from the mundane to the bizarre; life processes that one earlier enjoyed and took pride in doing or did as one’s sacred duty are considered ‘non-core life activities’ now-a-days by these highfalutin people.

At the end of the day I feel illuminated on this novel concept of Life Process Outsourcing, and I am about to leave, when suddenly a call comes in.

“LPO?” a man asks softly.

“Yes, this is LPO. May I help you?” I say.

“I’m speaking from Frankfurt Airport. I really don’t know if I can ask this?” he says nervously.

“Please go ahead and feel free to ask anything you desire, Sir. We do everything.”


“Yes, Sir. Anything and everything!” I say.

“I don’t know how to say this. This is the first time I’m asking. You see, I am working 24/7 on an important project for the last few months. I’m globetrotting abroad and can’t make it there. Can you please arrange for someone suitable to take my wife out to the New Year’s Eve Dance?”

I am taken aback but quickly recover, “Yes, Sir.”

“Please send someone really good, an excellent dancer, and make sure she enjoys and has a good time. She loves dancing and I just haven’t had the time.”

“Of course, Sir.”

“And I told you – I’ve been away abroad for quite some time now and I’ve got to stay out here till I complete the project.”

“I know. Work takes top priority.”

“My wife. She’s been lonely. She desperately needs some love. Do you have someone with a loving and caring nature who can give her some love? I just don’t have the time. You understand what I’m saying, don’t you?”

I let the words sink in. This is one call I am not going to transfer. “Please give me the details, Sir,” I say softly into the mike.

As I walk towards my destination with a spring in my step, I feel truly enlightened.

Till this moment, I never knew that ‘love’ was a non-core life process worthy of outsourcing.

Long Live Life Process Outsourcing!

Life Process Outsourcing (LPO)
(a fiction short story)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Book Review - The Peter Principle & The Peter Prescription - by Vikram Karve

Book Review – The Peter Prescription
(reviewed by VIKRAM KARVE)

Title: The Peter Prescription
Author: Dr. Laurence J. Peter
Published: 1972 (William Morrow)

For the past few days it’s been raining cats and dogs in Pune, confining one indoors; the electricity and cable TV go off frequently, and this gave me a golden opportunity to dust off some of my favourite books from my bookshelves and re-read them sitting in the verandah sipping piping hot tea. I realized that re-reading good books gives me even greater pleasure. So that’s what I’m going to do for the next few days – browse my bookshelves, re-read some of my favourite books, and tell you about them or rather “review” them for you.

During my college days I read three non fiction books which had a lasting impact on me. The first was Parkinson’s Law (written in 1958) based on the author’s study of the British Civil Service and Admiralty. The other two books were written by Dr. Laurence J. Peter – The Peter Principle (1969) and The Peter Prescription (1972). These three Management Classics are a must for the bookshelves of every manager.

Written with incisive wit, Parkinson’s Law is a seminal book on the workings of bureaucracy which is essential reading for any student of Management. It is an all time management classic, a masterpiece, which is must reading for every manager.

The Peter Principle, a delightful read, provides a superb insight and intriguing study of hierarchiology. The Peter Principle may be Dr. Peter’s seminal pioneering work, but I feel The Peter Prescription is his definitive book, a classic.

If you have not read ‘The Peter Principle’, do read my review of the book appended below this article, as I feel it is prerequisite reading before you embark upon ‘The Peter Prescription’.

Whereas both Parkinson’s Law and The Peter Principle formulate and substantiate their respective theories, The Peter Prescription is a philosophical self-help treatise on how to achieve happiness in all aspects of life. Written in his same hilarious inimitable style, Dr. Peter exhorts us to be creative, confident and competent by replacing mindless escalation with life-quality improvement. The message of the book is in congruence with eastern philosophies which focus on inward enhancement rather than outward escalation.

In his introduction Dr. Peter states: “Many authors offer answers before they understand the questions…….. I understand the operation of the Peter Principle, and the remedies offered are the product of years of research……… prescriptions will lead to great personal fulfillment and joy of real accomplishment.”

The book, interspersed liberally with quotations and case studies, comprises three parts. The first, titled Incompetence Treadmill why conventional solutions not only fail to alleviate the effects of the Peter Principle but may actually serve to escalate the problems. His analysis of ‘marital incompetence’ is hilarious. A bachelor is a man who looks before he leaps – and then does not leap he concludes. With the flattening of hierarchies, I wonder whether there still exist any Professional Processionary Puppets – the organization-men. It would be worthwhile to look into organizations for similarities to prototypes adorning bureaucracies of yesteryear in order to ascertain whether it is a progressive or rigid hierarchy bound organization heading for decay.

The meat of the book is in Part Two, titled ‘Protect your Competence’ which give a total of 25 “prescriptions” on how to remain creative and competent. There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and after that to enjoy it. The prescriptions, which are condensed wisdom of the ages, guide us on how to achieve this.

The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness he quotes. Competence is a system dependant factor as viewed by your bosses (like beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder) and is governed by the HR policies in your organization. Why is man so competitive? Do the HR policies in your organization encourage competition, rat race and reward escalationary behaviour, and if so, what can you do about it? Maybe you can find some answers by exploring the prescriptions.

Let’s have a look at Peter Prescription 3 – The Peter Panorama – which I have used to great effect, which comprises listing your satisfying activities, joyful experiences, pleasant reminiscences, and after introspection make a second list of those which are feasible to do regularly and then make sure you do them whenever feasible. Enjoyable events begin to crowd out the unpleasant and you feel happy.

Do read, experiment, and try to imbibe the prescriptions in your professional and personal life, and experience the results for yourself. Introspect, evolve a philosophy of life, fine tune the art of living, concentrate your efforts within your area of competence, and have an improved quality of life consisting of abiding competence and contentment. If you cannot be happy here and now, you can never be happy.

Part Three of the book is written from the management perspective giving 42 “prescriptions” to Managers to contain and mitigate the effects of The Peter Principle in their domains and manage for competence. It views The Peter Principle from a manager’s point of view, and assuming the manager himself is not a victim of the Peter Principle, offers valuable tips in the HR Management, particularly recruitment, promotion and selection. ( Obviously, outsourcing wasn’t prevalent then in the sixties and seventies, otherwise how about ‘outsourcing’ incompetence).

As stated in the introduction, the purpose of The Peter Prescription is to explore how you yourself can mitigate the effects of The Peter Principle by avoiding the final placement syndrome, and as a manager, how can you keep your employees at their appropriate competence levels to achieve mutual optimal benefit. It’s only when you read the book and apply the prescriptions in your real life that you will experience the results.

Book Review – The Peter Principle
(reviewed by Vikram Karve)

The Book: The Peter Principle
Authors: Dr. Laurence J. Peter & Raymond Hull
Published: 1969 William Morrow

I think there is a Chinese saying that it is a misfortune to read a good book too early in life. I think I read ‘The Peter Principle’ too early in life. And at that time I being of an impressionable age, the book influenced me so much that I “rose” to my level of incompetence pretty fast, either unintentionally or by subconscious design.

I read ‘The Peter Principle’ in the early seventies, maybe sometime in 1972, when I was studying for my degree in Engineering, and even bought a personal copy of the book in 1974 (which I possess till this day) which considering my financial status those days was quite remarkable.
The book, written by Laurence J. Peter in collaboration with Raymond Hull, a management classic and masterpiece in the study of hierarchiology, is so fascinating, riveting and hilarious that once you start reading, it’s unputdownable.

In the first chapter itself, giving illustrative examples, the author establishes the Peter Principle: In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence and its corollary: In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent.

Dr. Peter writes in racy fictional style and as you read you experience a sense of verisimilitude and in your mind’s eye can see the Peter Principle operating in your very organization. That’s the way to savor the book, and imbibe its spirit – read an illustrative “case study” in the book and relate it to a parallel example in your organization.

He discusses cases which appear to be exceptions like percussive sublimation, lateral arabesque etc and demonstrates that The apparent exceptions are not exceptions. The Peter Principle applies in all hierarchies.
Discussing the comparative merits and demerits of applying ‘Pull’ versus ‘Push’ for getting promotion, Dr. Peter concludes: Never stand when you can sit; never walk when you can ride, never Push when you can Pull.
He then tells us how to recognize that one has reached one’s state of incompetence (final placement syndrome) and should one have already risen to one’s state of incompetence suggests ways of attaining health and happiness in this state at zero promotion quotient.

Towards the end of his book he illustrates how to avoid reaching the state of incompetence by practicing various techniques of Creative Incompetence. (I probably practiced Creative Incompetence quite competently and hopefully I am still at my level of competence!)

In conclusion Dr. Peter tries to briefly explore remedies to avoiding life-incompetence which he has elaborated in his follow up book ‘The Peter Prescription’ which is a must-read once you are hooked onto The Peter Principle.

The Peter Principle is a compelling book, written almost forty years ago, and with the flattening of hierarchy and advent of flexible organizational structures and HR practices, it would indeed be worthwhile for young and budding managers to read this book and see to what extent the Peter Principle applies and is relevant in today’s world.


Maharshi Karve - Books on his life and his work




I have before me three books on Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve :

(i) His autobiography titled ‘Looking Back’ published in 1936.
(ii) Maharshi Karve by Ganesh L. Chandavarkar published in 1958 by Popular Prakashan Bombay (Mumbai)
(iii) Maharshi Karve – His 105 Years published on 18 April 1963 ( His 106th birth anniversary) by Hingne Stree Shiksan Samstha Poona (Pune)

Allow me to tell you a bit about these books, which describe the life and times of Maharshi Karve, and tell us about the monumental pioneering work of one of the foremost social and educational reformers of India.

It would be apt to start with his autobiography, and let Maharshi Karve describe his life and work from his own point of view, in his simple yet lucid and fascinating style. I am placing below a Book Review of his autobiography; Looking Back (which I had reviewed a few months ago) for your perusal:

Book Review of The Autobiography of Maharshi Karve : “Looking Back” by Dhondo Keshav Karve (1936)

(Reviewed by Vikram Waman Karve)

The Book: Looking Back
The Author: Dhondo Keshav Karve
First Published in 1936

Dear Reader, you must be wondering why I am reviewing an autobiography written in 1936. Well, I have had the good fortune to live six of the best years of my life on Maharshi Karve Road in Mumbai, and from my early days of childhood till today I have traversed the busy Karve Road in Pune probably an infinite number of times. I share the same surname as the author. Also, I happen to be the great grandson of Maharshi Karve. But, beyond that, compared to him, I am a nobody – not even a pygmy.

Maharshi Karve clearly knew his goal, persisted ceaselessly throughout his life with missionary zeal and transformed the destiny of the Indian Woman. The first university for women in India - The SNDT University and educational institutions for women covering the entire spectrum ranging from pre-primary schools to post-graduate, engineering, vocational and professional colleges bear eloquent testimony to his indomitable spirit, untiring perseverance and determined efforts.

In his preface, Frederick J Gould, renowned rationalist and lecturer on Ethics, writes that “the narrative is a parable of his career” – a most apt description of the autobiography. The author tells his life-story in a simple straightforward manner, with remarkable candour and humility; resulting in a narrative which is friendly, interesting and readable.

Autobiographies are sometimes voluminous tomes, but this a small book, 200 pages, and a very easy comfortable enjoyable read that makes it almost unputdownable. Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve writes a crisp, flowing narrative of his life, interspersed with his views and anecdotes, in simple, straightforward style which facilitates the reader to visualize through the author’s eyes the places, period, people and events pertaining to his life and times and the trials and tribulations he faced and struggled to conquer.

Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve was born on 18th of April 1858. In the first few chapters he writes about Murud, his native place in Konkan, Maharashtra, his ancestry and his early life– the description is so vivid that you can clearly “see” through the author’s eye.

His struggle to appear in the public service examination (walking 110 miles in torrential rain and difficult terrain to Satara), and his shattering disappointment at not being allowed to appear because “he looked too young”, make poignant reading.

“Many undreamt of things have happened in my life and given a different turn to my career” he writes, and then goes on to describe his high school and, later, college education at The Wilson College Bombay (Mumbai) narrating various incidents that convinced him of the role of destiny and serendipity in shaping his life and career as a teacher and then Professor of Mathematics.

He married at the age of fourteen but began his marital life at the age of twenty! This was the custom of those days. Let’s read the author’s own words on his domestic life: “… I was married at the age of fourteen and my wife was then eight. Her family lived very near to ours and we knew each other very well and had often played together. However after marriage we had to forget our old relation as playmates and to behave as strangers, often looking toward each other but never standing together to exchange words…. We had to communicate with each other through my sister…… My marital life began under the parental roof at Murud when I was twenty…” Their domestic bliss was short lived as his wife died after a few years leaving behind a son… “Thus ended the first part of my domestic life”… he concludes in crisp style.

An incident highlighting the plight of a widow left an indelible impression on him and germinated in him the idea of widow remarriage. He married Godubai, who was widowed when she was only eight years old, was a sister of his friend Mr. Joshi, and now twenty three was studying at Pandita Ramabai’s Sharada Sadan as its first widow student.

Let’s read in the author’s own words how he asked for her hand in marriage to her father – “I told him…..I had made up my mind to marry a widow. He sat silent for a minute and then hinted that there was no need to go in search of such a bride”.

He describes in detail the ostracism he faced from some orthodox quarters and systematically enunciates his life work - his organization of the Widow Marriage Association, Hindu Widows Home, Mahila Vidyalaya, Nishkama Karma Math, and other institutions, culminating in the birth of the first Indian Women’s University (SNDT University).

The trials and tribulations he faced in his life-work of emancipation of education of women (widows in particular) and how he overcame them by his persistent steadfast endeavours and indomitable spirit makes illuminating reading and underlines the fact that Dr. DK Karve was no arm-chair social reformer but a person devoted to achieve his dreams on the ground in reality.

These chapters form the meat of the book and make compelling reading. His dedication and meticulousness is evident in the appendices where he has given datewise details of his engagements and subscriptions down to the paisa for his educational institutions from various places he visited around the world to propagate their cause.

He then describes his world tour, at the ripe age of 71, to meet eminent educationists to propagate the cause of the Women’s University, his later domestic life and ends with a few of his views and ideas for posterity. At the end of the book, concluding his autobiography, he writes: “Here ends the story of my life. I hope this simple story will serve some useful purpose”.

He wrote this in 1936. He lived on till the 9th of November 1962, achieving so much more on the way, was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters ( D.Litt.) by the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 1942 followed by Universities of Poona in 1951, SNDT in 1955, and Bombay(LL.D.) in 1957. Maharshi Karve received the Padma Vibhushan in 1955 and the nation’s highest honour the “Bharat Ratna” in 1958, a fitting tribute on his centenary at the age of 100.


I (the reviewer) was born in 1956, and have fleeting memories of Maharshi Karve, during our visits to Hingne Stree Sikshan Samstha in 1961-62, as a small boy of 5 or 6 can. My mother tells me that I featured in a Films Division documentary on him during his centenary celebrations in 1958 (I must have been barely two, maybe one and a half years old) and there is a photograph of him and his great grand children in which I feature. It is from some old timers and other people and mainly from books that I learn of his pioneering work in transforming the destiny of the Indian Woman and I thought I should share this.

I have written this book review with the hope that some of us, particularly the students and alumni of SNDT University, Cummins College of Engineering for Women, SOFT, Karve Institute of Social Sciences and other educational institutions who owe their very genesis and existence to Maharshi Karve, read about his stellar pioneering work and draw inspiration from his autobiography.

As I have mentioned earlier, two other good books pertaining to the life of Maharshi Karve which I have read are: Maharshi Karve by Ganesh L. Chandavarkar, Popular Prakashan (1958) and Maharshi Karve – His 105 years, Hingne Stree Shikshan Samstha (1963).

The biography ‘Maharshi Karve by Ganesh L. Chandavarkar’ was commissioned and published by the Dr. DK Karve Centenary Celebrations Committee on 18th April 1958 the birth-centenary of Dr. DK Karve (Thousands attended the main function on 18th April 1958 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai which was addressed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister).

The author, GL Chandavarkar, then Principal of Ram Mohan English school, has extensively researched the life of Dr. DK Karve, by personal interaction with the great man himself, reminiscences of his Professors, colleagues and students, and his two writings Looking back and Atma-Vritta.

The author acknowledges with humility: “This is the story of the life of a simple man who has risen to greatness without being aware of it in the least. It is being told by one who can make no claim to being a writer” and then lucidly narrates the story of Maharshi Karve’s life in four parts comprising twenty four chapters in simple narrative style.

Part I, comprising eight chapters, covers the early life of Dhondo Keshav Karve, from his birth to the defining moment in his life - his remarriage to Godubai who was widowed at the age of eight, within three months of her marriage, even before she knew what it was to be a wife. The first chapter vividly depicts the life and culture of Murud and Konkan in a brilliantly picturesque manner and is a fascinating read. The narrative then moves in a systematic manner encompassing the salient aspects of Maharshi Karve’s life till his birth centenary in 1958. The biographer comprehensively cover Maharshi Karve’s marital and work life, but does not throw much light on his relationships with his four illustrious sons, who were well-known in their own respective fields of work.

The author avoids pontification and writes in friendly storytelling style which makes the book very interesting and readable, making it suitable for the young and old alike. I feel an epilogue covering the remaining years of his life would make the biography more complete.

There is a reference index at the end and I found this book to be quite a definitive biography which could serve as a source for knowledge and inspiration to readers interested in the life and work of Maharshi Karve. The 233 page book was published by Popular Book Depot Mumbai in 1958 and I picked up a copy priced at rupees forty at the International Book Service at Deccan Gymkhana in Pune a few years ago.

Maharshi Karve – His 105 Years, published on his 106th birth anniversary, is a pictorial album depicting the life and activities of Maharshi Karve. In today’s parlance it may be called a ‘coffee table’ book, but it is a memorable reference book of lasting souvenir value which is a must for every library. The chronologically arranged sketches, photographs and captions tell Maharshi Karve’s life-story in a seamless manner. There are photographs of historical, heritage and sentimental value highlighting important milestones in his life and work. (If you want to see my picture, turn to page 98 and have a look at the small boy holding Maharshi Karve’s hands and looking at the camera. I may have been just one and a half years old then and barely able to stand!).

This book is indeed a ‘collector’s item’ and was priced at a princely sum of rupees ten at the time of publication.

If you wish to learn more about Maharshi Karve and draw inspiration from his life and work, do read these three books. And please do let me know if you come across any inspiring literature on Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve.