The Tribune - Spectrum

, May 12, 2002

A wise friend for the fretful ones
Review by Randeep Wadehra

Stress Management compiled by Ajanta Chakravarty. Rupa & Co. New Delhi. Rs 95. Pages: 64.

STRESSED out? Not surprising, considering the sort of lifestyle we are forced to adopt. Old values espousing self-restraint and contentment have given way to an acquisitive mindset, triggering off a frenzied pace of living. It takes its toll in the form of perpetual personal dissatisfaction and social strife as well as various physical and psychological ailments. Anxiety is all-pervasive, especially among managers owing to the nature of their profession. It, thus, becomes imperative to keep the body and mind fit in order to survive the rat race.

Some people take to meditation while others cultivate hobbies and still others prefer social or group activities to keep existential angst at bay. This slim volume contains quotes that might help manage stress. Most of these are witty, "The man who smiles in the face of stress is either brave or has remembered to buy insurance". Others are reflective, "As we grow older, many of us forget to play". There is this didactic one too, "Jealousy is to the soul what sickness is to the body".

The book is light on your pocket and guaranteed to wipe the blues off.



The Sun-Lyre

by Harish K. Thakur The Home of Letters, Bhubaneswar. Rs. 75. Pages: 63.

One advantage that blank verse has over the metred one is that it facilitates experimentation with imagery. Since the age of didactic poetry is over and most of the conventional subjects have been exhausted, today’s poet seeks new forms of expression. But it is not always possible to come up with original symbols. This is when one should try to steer clear of cliches and employ a modified idiom in order to create reader interest. Thakur has succeeded here. The first stanza of his poem # 41, It’s always hard / to unfog the moistened horizons / of the forlorn eyes" is quite good. However, I’m more impressed with the verse 40, The singed fingers of the desert / knock at the door / I hide my greens / behind the wall of mendacity.

Thakur shuns bombastic verbiage. The sparse language creates images that linger on for quite some time after one has finished reading the slim anthology.


Women Entrepreneurs

by Deepak Walokar. Himalaya Publishing House, Delhi. Rs 375. Pages: 216.

Businesswomen are no more a novelty in our society. They have made their presence felt in the world of trade and commerce like never before.

Walokar is right when he says that women entrepreneurs still face a plethora of perennial problems peculiar to their gender. Due to the lack of economic independence, they cannot take as many business risks as their male counterparts can. A majority of our women are still deprived of quality education – they do not have access to technological training to the same degree as men have. Prejudices of male colleagues as well as the business community in general place women entrepreneurs in a disadvantageous position.

Walokar has gone into the details of the various constraints faced by businesswomen. He has analysed the causes for such constraints and has offered remedial measures. You will find topics like ‘Entrepreneurial activity taken up by women: A profile" quite thought- provoking. However, one may not agree with the suggestion that women feel less motivated to achieve than men do. Bachendri Pal and Kiran Bedi are two of the several examples of highly motivated women in different walks of life. The psychological reasons given for women’s lesser ‘need for achievement’ here are to be understood with reference to the centuries of repression that women have suffered.


Treasury Operations and Risk Management

by Trivedi & Hasan. Genesis Publishers, Mumbai. Rs 290. Pages: 253.

With the economies of different countries getting integrated into one global phenomenon, international trade has become vital. Therefore, foreign exchange is an indispensable input for a country’s development.

This calls for professionals trained in managing foreign exchange and treasury transactions. Since economic and political events in one country affect the rest of the world, our managers should be able to anticipate the impact of such events on their respective organisations. For example, the recent rise in oil prices is a direct offshoot of the Palestinian problem, especially Iraq’s act of curtailing crude oil production.

This will not only affect the sale of automobiles the world over but also push up the prices of several consumer goods in different countries, triggering off another bout of recession. Consequently, the managers should be adept at risk management.

One can learn about all this and much more in this book.