Top statements by Edward Luce on India

In the west, you feel completely lost said Andrew while welcoming me to his spacious white washed home. In the west you have to belong to a society and follow a particular pattern. You are supposed to get a house, a career and a whole life oriented towards money. India is a unique country.
India is an unbelievably wealthy country because India alone understands the futility of materialism – Andre
If you want to get anywhere in India, you must meet all the wrong people.
English rule without the English
Caste as a political identity is alive even today even if in the process it has been severed from the ritualistic and economic roots.
The cure may be economic but the headache is social.
The best cure for poverty is growth
In my thirty years of active business in India, I did not meet a single bureaucrat who really understood my business, yet he had the power to ruin it.
We have some of the best engineers in the world working for us and they come much cheaper than engineers in Japan.
Small scale industries and cottage industries receive incentives for remaining small, there is no carrot approach for them to grow big or widen the horizons.
Much of the elite in India still attach a great importance to the village even though no one lives in one – Nandan Nilekani on the need for rapid urbanisation.
The pay cheque is mere pocket money; their real earnings come from bribery.
It is very hard to get people out of the habit of paying for what is theirs by right. 

“It’s Not about the bike- Lance Armstrong”- Then what is it about?

Its not about the bike! So what is it about? What is it doing in the best books I have read category? From what we know Lance Armstrong is a bicycle racer, the one man who won so many tour de france titles, the one man who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 25, the one man who fights it out to get back on the racing track again and win a few more titles. So what is it about? Is it about how he fights cancer? Nope, not from my take on the book.

So many times we are battled by the questions, the questions as to how to go about things?

–          Whether to continue something even when things are not working out?

–          How to maintain the positive frame of thought when things around us seem crumbling?

–          How to believe in something when the roots of the beliefs are shaking?

–          How to believe that we could win something or succeed at something when there are so many failures around?

–          Do we stop doing something cos what we are doing is not working out or try a different way of working out things?

–          Do we maintain the same gusto or the inspiration when we know that there is a huge uncertainty that things might not work and the entire effort may go unanswered?

And many more questions like that! I know how these questions feel, I have practically been bogged down by these questions from quite a while. Yes we have the questions right, we are not asking the lame questions as to Why me? Or how come luck deserts me always? Or whether I am capable or not? Those are certainly the most stupid questions. More sensible ones I would say are the ones enumerated above cos they atleast give us the answers. The questions which don’t give us an empowering answer don’t deserve to be the questions in the first place!

Now how do we answer the questions enumerated above? They certainly are not the multiple choice questions, let alone the objective ones. These are the harder questions to answer. The how’s are the superior questions than the why’s as I would like to look at them. So many times cos of our cultural tuning we are taught to avoid failures, blame the luck. We have all done that and seen that it takes us nowhere. Nobody actually tells us that failures are the most important things, when all hell breaks loose, there certainly is something to feel good about. I certainly wouldn’t say a silver lining cos that sounds a little too romantic. I would say there sure are solutions, there sure are clear messages around us. The question is are we being clever enough to look at them and above all are we being strong enough to face the questions in a critical mindset.The answers too aren’t too direct, they sure are elusive. Maybe that is entire beauty of an adventure in fighting it out and searching for the answers that liberate us.

So, coming to the question as to what the book is about, I would reckon it is an answer to the many questions I write above and the many I miss. It is a beautiful book about the simple plain truth and the journey of one man through many difficulties. And there is only one message out of it, TO FIGHT. Fight when things seem hard, fight when things seem impossible, fight when they seem possible, fight when it seems pessimistic, fight when it seems optimistic but most of all know that the only sense of achievement is in the fight and nothing more.

What would I categorize the book as? Motivational? Inspirational? Autobiography? A fairy romantic tale? I would say it is an answer to the many questions one might have. If it is a person beyond these questions, I would very much apologize for a write up pulling his time. For the rest of us who believe in the divinity of these questions, I would certainly say there are some sparks here which may lead us to the elusive answers.