Brand About: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants, Andrea Syverson, Macmillan Publishers, Pp 218, Rs 295.00
Written by president of a consulting firm, this book is all about a series of practices that are life-giving to brands and the people who create them. To quote the author, “They are verbs. They are action-specific. They are reminders to do the things you know you want to do – the things that fill your brand’s soul. To play. To be. To listen. To conduct. To live. To herald. To craft. To reveal. To kindle. To integrate.”
Just like people, brands need space to breath and time to recharge. When they are not properly cared for, brands can become stale, old, tired and “even snarky”. Not good! Brand leaders understand that margin is a necessity, not a luxury that enables everyone in the company to step back, take a look with fresh eyes and re-examine, whether the brand is being true to its soul.
Here the author points out that there are organisations that operate in a play state and take an international approach to creating a fun working environment for both employees and customers. She cites the case of attending a biannual conference at Calvin College where people were listening to and learning from one another in a relaxed and congenial atmosphere. “It is indeed a celebration and a far cry from typical business conventions when I see people on their Blackberries all day, communicating with their home or offices while sitting through boring PowerPoint presentations calling it educational (and waiting until the free drinks kick in).”
She advises that at times in our workplaces, the only way things get done is if they are scheduled. So it is time to just get out and “you’ll be amazed at what a little playing outside” can do to rattle your perspective. So she encourages brands to “go play outside”.
She uses the word ‘moodling’ which means happy idling, doodling and puttering at the workplace as to help in pondering questions and coming to an answer. Apart from this, she emphasises on points like – be insatiably curious, listen actively, conduct tete-a-tete, dare yourself and your brand, herald your brand, craft your brand, practice banners winsomeness, etc.
By citing various examples, she shows that the important work of brand harmony is an all-hands-on-deck, everyday assignment, but every so often, brand leaders need to pull back, get away from the nitty-gritty, day-to-day and do some dreaming or relaxing or playing. She quotes an integrative thinker, Sarah Ban Breathnach who has said, “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”
(Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2/10, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi -110 001; www.macmillanpublishersindia.com)
A dictionary of spirituality
A Dictionary/Panorama of Spiritual Science – Adhyatma Vidya, Swami Dayanand Giriji Maharaj, GC Garg, Pp 306
This book is a tribute to Swami Dayanand Giriji Maharaj whose interest lay in adhyatma vidya or spiritual significance which deals with spiritual philosophy, spiritual psychology and practical guidance for a spiritual way of life.
For instance, when one does sadhana (meditation), during the study of self, a seeker faces concepts/terms like jiva, atma, paramatma, Brahma, Isvara, etc. which have a special significance. By way of explaining the meaning of these terms and some other words, Swami discusses the nature of worldly life as the life of bondage and suffering with its fetters being the two-fold passions – bhavatrsna and vibhavatrsna – which along with the fetters of nature govern the worldly life with these forces and which condition the cycle of birth and death.
Contrasting spiritual life with the worldly, Swamiji vividly describes the ultimate goal of human beings as the perennial bliss of the self-realised as of its nature of knowledge, the attainment of which is possible only after deliverance from ajnana or avidya, from bhavatrsna and vibhavatrsna, such as attachment, aversion, delusion, etc.-all that which are required for leading a spiritual life.
Beginning with the term nirvana, the book explains it as the end of worldly life just like the blowing out of a burning lamp. No human being wishes to lose his existence.
The book gives a detailed description of what is Brahman, parmatma, jeeva (man), god, soul, maya, prakriti, Dharma, trishna, muki, avidya, vidya, gynana, dhyana, karma etc.
The book warns that if the mind gets entangles in worldly pleasures, it will lose awareness of respiration and of inhaling and exhaling; but if the respiration is mindful, one will forget the worldly pleasures and respiration will be pleasant.
(GC Garg, 99 Preet Nagar, Ambala City – 134 003).
Odisha- An overview
SC Kakar, Pp 152(PB), Rs 120, Mark-Age Services Pvt Ltd, G-1, Ground Floor, 334 Nath Para, Kolkata 700 084
SC Kakar, Pp 48(PB), Rs 60, Mark-Age Services Pvt Ltd, G-1, Ground Floor, 334 Nath Para, Kolkata 700 084