Of Boardroom Shenanigans, Serial Killers, Controlling the Mind

Explore a dream that went sour in four years at one of India’s greatest business empires; then, delve into true stories of some of India’s most heinous serial killers; and finally, learn how to get the money out of your mind and live a fuller life.

There’s much to ponder over at the IANS Bookshelf This Weekend.

1. Tata vs Mistry – The Inside Story

Author: Deepali Gupta;

Publisher: Juggernaut,

Pages: 248;

Price: Rs 599

Cyrus Mistry sat in his room at Bombay House mulling over tough decisions that had to be made, preferably at the board meeting that day – three years, 10 months and 7 days on the job – itself. A fraud had been discovered in the Air Asia joint venture; a five-year restructuring plan was also on the agenda. But resolution is never easy, especially if it involves shutting down businesses or selling assets.

Unexpected visitors came in – Ratan Tata and Nitin Nohria, a board member of Tata Sons. The latter was quick to the point: “Cyrus, as you know, the relationship between you and Ratan Tata has not been working.” The choice? Quit or get fired. Mistry refused and was voted out of office. Thus does financial journalist Deepali Gupta set the tone for the dramatic events that were to follow.

Based on extensive interviews and emails of the key players, minutes of meetings and court records, Gupta reconstructs Mistry’s rise and fall, taking the reader behind the facade of Tata Sons and its intertwined history with the construction tycoons of the Mistry family.

The dust might have settled but the issue is still in court as Mistry has appealed an NCLAT order upholding his sacking.

2. The Deadly Dozen – India’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

Author: Anirban Bhattacharya;

Publisher: Penguin;

Pages: 281;

Price: Rs 299

“The world is not a nice place, after all… look after your children, guard your family and take care of yourself. Because you never know when and where and who is watching you,” Bhattacharyaa, co-creator and producer of “Savdhaan India”, one of the most popular crime shows on Indian TV and former content head of Channel [V], writes in the introduction.

And with good measure, given the book’s chilling cast – a schoolteacher who killed multiple paramours with cyanide; a mother who trained her daughters to kill children; a thug from the 1880s who slaughtered more than 900 people; a manservant who killed girls and devoured their body parts, among others.

Was there an underlying thread running through the crimes?

“If I say insanity – it would be justifying their crimes and making them appear innocent. All of them knew exactly what they were doing. Greed, lust, ambition is seen in most of the killers. After the first murder they started enjoying it. Killing became a habit. Some of them had misguided motives like Darbara. Some did it for fun like the Joshi Abhyankar massacre. And a few like Raman Raghav and Amardeep Sada (the world’s youngest serial killer at age 8) is inexplicable. The simplest way of explaining it is they had ‘chemical locha’ in their heads! As Anurag Kashyap rightfully said while launching the book – it is inexplicable and the truth is often stranger than fiction,” Bhattacharyaa told IANS in an email.

3. Book: The Monkey Theory

Author: Sfurti Sahare;

Publisher: Westland;

Pages: 111;

Price: Rs 299

Have you chosen something only to switch to something else almost immediately? Decided to do something and ended up doing something completely different minutes later, wonders Sahare, a computer engineer by training who also has a Masters in Organisational Psychology.

“The answers to these questions can be found in the words of the Buddha (who) held that the human mind was filled with monkeys flinging themselves from three branches, jumping around, chattering non-stop. The mind is full of thoughts like dozens of monkeys, all clamoring for attention. Some monkeys induce fear, some of them are stress causing and some are really naughty. Some of them are well-behaved too,” Sahare writes.

To achieve focus, determination and discipline, an individual needs to control the many monkeys who dominate attack and hijack logical thinking, the author maintains.

Try it out for yourself and see how it works!

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