“A Toast To Plum: Celebrating P.G.Wodehouse”- An Update

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This writing project has gone for a toss! It was so dear to my heart and I had great hopes of it becoming a published book that Wodehouse fans the world over would enjoy. However, the plan seems to have become unstuck. I failed in my attempt to persuade the Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate to grant permission for its eventual publication. They didn’t seem to have been impressed by my preliminary inquiry. Perhaps I should have made out a formal book proposal. More

Observations on Back Cover Copy

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I picked up ” Survival Of  The Savvy” by Rick Brandon, Ph.D and Marty Seldman, PhD, from our Club library. The byline on the front cover proclaims ” High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success.” That’s great so far. The copy in my hand was published in May 2007 and is a Free Press Export Edition from Simon & Schuster.

On the back cover, the first quote is from Ramalinga Raju, Chairman Satyam Computer Services Ltd. he writes,” Global leaders today recognize the significance of being connected…candidly and openly discusses the political health of an organization, beginning with the important lessons of closed shop, and the demand for a high-integrity culture.”

Below that, Rama Raju, Managing Director of Satyam writes, “Our commitment at Satyam is to recognize the impact of corporate power and influence and to orchestrate a climate of politically savvy leaders”

I don’t blame the authors one bit because they weren’t astrologers to predict the future.  In January 2009, a scandal hit India which many observers believed was unprecedented in its audacity or scale. I speak of the Satyam Computers scandal which created a huge furor in the minds of corporate India, the investing public and the employees of that company.

How ironic it sounds to hear the Rajus say what they did! For greater perspective, here’s an insightful article by Prof. Sudhakar V. Balachandran of  the Columbia Business School in Forbes. Sure, things have changed at the erstwhile Satyam over the last couple of years.

But coming back to the importance of back cover copy, isn’t it essential for the publishers to change the quotes in that back cover copy? They may have done so already. If they have, good for them. If they haven’t, my sympathies lie with the authors. I am sure they would not, even in their wildest dreams have imagined that the Rajus, who wrote so glowingly about the book would have ended up where they did.

Congratulations, T.G.C.Prasad!

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I first met T.G.C. Prasad more than twenty years ago when I was responsible for Corporate Human Resource Development in Wipro Corporation. It was my responsibility to manage the recruitment of freshly minted MBAs from the different graduate schools of business in India. He joined us as a topper from Mumbai’s prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences. I was delighted to read his book ” Unusual People Do Things Differently.”  A disclaimer. No, he didn’t send me a copy for old times sake. I bought a copy like anyone else! More

P.G.Wodehouse

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I owe this post to Musab bin Noor, a member of the “Fans of P.G.Wodehouse”, a group on Facebook. He posted this link to an awesome documentary from the BBC on the Life and Works of P.G.Wodehouse.

The documentary with a commentary by Sir Terry Wogan brought back innumerable happy memories, being a Wodehouse fan for nearly fifty years. The old names, the old books, the old stories, they were all there and more! I think this is a well-balanced documentary which makes for interesting viewing. yes, it’s rather long, lasting almost an hour but like many pieces of Wodehouse, you don’t have to relish it at one go. You could dip into it once in a while when you have the time to do so.

Many have called Wodehouse an unparalleled master of his craft. I couldn’t but agree more. His use of words and language, even more than the plots, made his stories such a pleasure to read.