Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Story of My Experiments with Truth

One of the nice young engineers I mentor in Bangalore - Kamran - gave me a copy of Gandhi's Autobiography "The Story of My Experiments with Truth" when I was in India last May.  I read it this summer while flying on business, and finished it last month in the plane enroute back from a training class in New York.  While I enjoyed the book, and learned a great deal about Gandhi's life that I never knew about previously, sometimes he has a writing style that reminds me of movie credits... where he lust lists names and names and names of many "famous" people, as if he is trying to acknowledge or 'thank' them, who were well known in India at the time of the autobiography's writing, but who today, I have no clue as to who they are.  When I'd encounter such a paragraph (and sometimes the lists would go on for a whole paragraph) I'd just skip it - not my style to skip details.

But as a whole, it was a good book, and helped me to understand bot Gandhi's life and the country of India much more.  It was also helped me to understand Kamran's thinking somewhat more.  You see, this was just after (less than a week) Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbotabad Pakistan by US Seal Team 6, and at dinner one night, I mentioned how I'd read several books on Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and had a 'somewhat informed' understanding of the geopolitics and cultural difficulties of the regions.  Kamran did NOT want my understanding of his country's neighbors, and his religion (he is practicing Sunni) to be soiled by negativity, and wanted to expose me to more positive aspects.  Who better to instill an advocating perspective, than the father of India's modern democracy, Mohandas K. Gandhi?  I am glad I get to mentor such insightful and talented young people at work.

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