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.

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

This post on Kerala's caste system has not been written with an intention to ridicule or glorify any caste as such. I do not ever judge or like to be judged on the basis of my caste. I do not support any form of caste discrimination because I know exactly how it feels to be treated differently because of one's caste. It isn't a great feeling.  

First Question is always "What is your Caste?" In Kerala, one of the first things you are bound to be asked by even new people you've just met is, "What is your caste?"  This is not a tirade against any caste but my experience, personally. And just for information, I have never used my caste name 'Menon' to this day. That is something I have learned from my father - who has never used 'Menon' in his name because he believes his destiny is shaped by values, vision and actions, not  by his caste.
As some one who is a Menon by birth, I can also tell you frankly that it often feels like a curse to be…

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

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra
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. 
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he became very enthusiastic about chanting the mantras. Following this, my mother taught him the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and he took to …

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! [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Earth Angels have amazing super powers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions &  becoming invisible at will
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 this world. But y…

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…

World Book Day: An Introvert's Perspective on Books as a Refuge

Books and bookshops have always been a part of my life. 
As a child stranded between cultures far too often, it suited me to find refuge in the world of books. I didn't know then that I was an introvert, but it was clear that my escape into the world of books was one of both necessity and protection. 
Books protected me. Back then, children of my age who considered themselves to be ''cool" would never sit next to me if I was reading a book - which is exactly the protection I wanted for myself. I wanted to be left alone.
As a habit since childhood, I carry books with me everywhere. It particularly helps when I travel - I can forget about my tensions and also get rid of strangers who try to open a conversation with me when all I want to do is escape into a book.

Books have been my best companion ever since the early years when I learned to distrust people's intentions - what they said had little to do with what they eventually did - and this continues to baffle me. But …

Take Off Movie Review: Parvathy brilliant; Kunchacko Boban is master of subtlety and Fahaad Faasil excels

Inspired by real events pertaining to the terrifying ordeal of Malayali nurses who were captured by the ISIS and brought safely back to India by a rescue operation of the Indian government, this movie Take Off is Mahesh Narayanan's directorial debut - the movie is intelligently crafted and showcases the spirit of sacrifice and dedication of Malayali nurses despite the tough conditions of life they are forced to live with.

Right from the beginning, the narrative throws you into the difficult life and struggles of a Muslim working mother called Sameera, whose life catapults between her work and her longing for her son Ibru ( the little boy is adorable with his big, melting eyes and the sweetest, most lovable smile) and in between, you see her pop sleeping tablets to sleep - such is the stress in her life. You also get to see snippets of her strong personality flare up when conservatism and bias become too much for her to ''adjust'' with.

For instance, when Sameera (sta…

Mahashivaratri: I'm loving it!

When I was a child, Mahashivaratri bhajans used to be conducted at home. It meant 24X7 work for my parents, especially my mother. But this is the one festival that we loved to get ready for. 
You had to prepare in advance for hosting so many people overnight. They had to be comfortable yet alert because no one who stays can be allowed to fall asleep unless they are unwell or on medication. So, if there were aunties who wanted to take a ten-minute nap, I would time it and call them exactly in ten minutes!
The joy of watching grown-ups make a fool of themselves over getting few more minutes of sleep cannot be underestimated especially when you are ten or twelve years old!
Perhaps it is those beautiful growing up years that make it difficult for me to stay away from an all-night vigil during Mahashivaratri. I can't stay away from it no matter where I am, even if the following day is a working day. This year too, I attended the Mahashivaratri bhajans at the Sai Center, Lodhi Road, and I …