Saturday, March 19, 2011


2 discoveries in the last 2 months have totally shaped my life recently. The first is, which is the Indian equivalent of Amazon, just with better prices and free delivery for their books. It's pretty awesome. Courtney is used to the door bell ringing about 3 times a week with something new for me. The second was a book I picked up called The Personal MBA, which has started me on a quest to really become a businessman and given me the confidence to do so. And with it's recommended reading guide, it has also added to the many rupees that Flipkart is getting from me.

As I've been churning through more and more books, I have a new section in our library - reserved for those books which have changed my life in some way, or at least books that I want to read again. I'm not one of those people who likes to have books for the sake of having them, but when it comes to these, I don't know if I could go without them.

The Screwtape Letters & The Practice of the Presence of God - These books really started my discipleship with Jesus; I read them both in early high school. In the first, I started to really understand my own sinfulness for the first time (a journey which has lasted a while). The second challenged me that there was a God to be known outside of Sunday morning.

The Christ of the Indian Road - In preparing to come to India, this was the first time I was really able to understand how much culture we wrap around Christ when we are trying to share him with someone else. Again, this was the beginning of a journey which Living Water, Indian Bowl by Swami Dayanand Bharati continued.

Leadership and Self-Deception and The Anatomy of Peace - Gosh. These two books put a whole new meaning of self-awareness into my life. It's become a daily thought to know if I am in the box or out of it.

The Papa Prayer - This book came at a pivotal time in my life when I was really struggling knowing how I was supposed to relate with and talk with God. I didn't "fix" everything, but it was a good companion to have at the right time.

When Helping Hurts - In my constant search for my role with poverty in this world, this book has helped me think more rationally and systematically about what we can be doing that will really help. Recently, Building Social Business by Muhammad Yunus has been giving me the power to dream about ways to help in a positive way.

As far as business books go, I've been inspired by the thinking in First, Break All the Rules, and 6 Thinking Hats which have both opened up a new way to look at the people and decisions.

The more I read, the more I realize the power that a truly inspirational book has. These books have really shaped my whole life and I am different today because of them. It's nice to be able to look back and see the journey I've been on, and the markers along the way, and wonder what will be the next one. Whatever it is, I hope it will come in a nice brown box from Flipkart.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Texting Over Talking

I remember being so annoyed with texting in high school and college. I swore up and down that I didn't need texting and would never get it. Why text when you can talk? And then I moved to India.

Texting is everywhere here! In the 6 years that I had a cell phone in the US, I probably texted 3 times total. In Chennai, I text an average of 6 times everyday. It's just not worth it to call here. Most people don't have voicemail (it costs extra to have it) and if any of you have been out and about in Chennai, you know that it isn't very practical to answer your phone every time it rings. We've had many yelling phone conversations in the back of an auto, trying to be heard over the noise.

It took me some time to adjust to messaging people, but now I really love it. It's so practical! The two most difficult adjustments have been increasing the amount of smiley faces I use :) :) :) and exclamation marks!!! But, next to learning Tamil, these are a breeze.