Category Archives: Books

An Actor’s Actor: From Harihar Jariwala to Sanjeev Kumar…

Release Date : October 25, 2021
Genres: Cinema and Broadcast, Biographies
Duration: 3h 2m
Rating: 3.5/5
WritersHanif Zaveri and Sumant Batra
PublishersEdbury Press

“Every day, the two of us would come up with a new excuse for turning up late. One day we would tell L.V. Prasad, ‘Today, there was a bus accident at Mahim Church.’ The next day, it would be, ‘Two taxis had collided outside Mahim Church.’ An exasperated L.V. Prasad finally told us, ‘If you can’t change the situation, at least change the location. Otherwise, whatever’s happening every day is always outside Mahim Church.’”

Shatrughan Sinha

What is it about

Sanjeev Kumar was an actor par excellence. This statement could have been easily ‘is’ par excellence if fate and his lifestyle tried their best.

Born as Harihar Jethalal Jariwala, and know as Hari or Hari bhai amongst his friends, he chose Sanjeev Kumar as his screen name. This is how millions of moviephiles know him.

The book ’An actor’s actor’ is a brief biography of the great actor, tracing his roots, his relationship with his mother, his bond with his immediate family and close friends and provides a snapshot of his sojourn.

Thumbs up

Decent exposition of his initial journey
Gives an overview

Thumbs down

Could have been more detailed

Final verdict
The authors do make a point at the beginning of the book that they were not attempt to pen down a detailed account of his acting prowess or his method of acting. However, they do provide a few pointers like this paragraph on how he would rehearse before giving his first take, which in most cases is accepted. The book also provides his reasoning behind choice of his roles especially the old characters. The book also throws some light on his wayward habits, late night lifestyle and the effect on his shooting schedules the next day. And how his charm, smile and his huge talent, helped him tide over any issues on the set, as a result of him showing up late.

Sanjeev Kumar’s life was cut short at 47 and he was a man who kept to himself, so a biography can only say so much. Understandably, the book makes you want for more. But it more than makes it up with tidbits about the films he acted in.

A must read for all movie fans and Sanjeev Kumar fans.

Tailpiece
There is major Telugu connection in his initial success, with ‘Khilona’ produced by the movie stalwart L.V. Prasad.

Management Concepts/ Lessons/ References

“Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.”

Constantin Stanislavski

“The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results.”
― James Dean

Arriving Today

‘Arriving today’ by Christopher Mims gives a detailed account of what happens when we place an order for an item and the connected processes that this event sets in motion. He uses the example of a small hypothetical item—an USB charger—and takes us the on the journey of it right from Vietnam ports to the last mile delivery centres and the final destination, the end user’s home. More importantly, he touches upon several aspects related to the humans involved in the whole process, and how their lives are intertwined with metrics and machines, for better or worse. The book showcases several companies, related to logistics (Fedex, UPS, Amazon, DHL, USPS, MSC etc), e-commerce and retail (Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Staples, Officemax etc)and AI & Robotics (Kiva Systems now Amazon Robotics, Starship Technologies, Plus One, TuSimple etc). He gives us a glimpse into the future with all these companies holding a part of the puzzle, with their moves in AI & Robotics, with Amazon leading the pack.

If one contrasts this with non-physical enterprises like Netflix, Facebook and Youtube, the implementation of AI& Robotics takes a new meaning. While automation is in full swing across the physical behemoths, the humans are not replaced as of yet and most of the processes still have human intervention, unlike most of the delivery processes in online companies. But it has to be seen in the ages to come, if this intervention will be limited to managing, and coordinating machines, as opposed to handling a process in its entirety. Eventually, will humans be a part of redundancy management while robots do everything? This is a question that the author leaves in the reader’s mind.

Overall, the book provides a detailed account of various topics, with a lot of cross references to technology, management, economics and politics, and at times might appear a bit tedious. But the patience is rewarded, as one would gain a comprehensive outlook of the global shipping which is the back bone of the delivery of any physical item.

Excerpt from the book

In the hypothetical journey of our USB charger, it’s March 23. While the person who needs it to keep their kid’s device going ordered it only yesterday, this is the end point of a much older, much longer journey. It’s been almost exactly two months since this charger left a factory in Vietnam. It has traveled more than 14,000 miles, across twelve time zones, by truck, barge, crane, container ship, crane, and truck again, all before it trundled down a few hundred yards of conveyor, flitted about on the back of a robot, and was ferried again on, all told, miles more conveyor and at least two more trucks, before being hand-carried to someone’s front door.

Along the way, the charger was touched by dozens of people, all of whom had their humanity, their hopes and fears, their dreams and histories, trained and channeled into achieving a maximum of efficiency, a machine-like efficiency, in order to keep pace with the automation they work alongside.

Related Links

Starship app and George mason university video link.

Amazon warehouse video link

UPS Industrial Engineering Standard Practice Manual

Lucy Show chocolate factory

On AFE

Adapted from ‘Arriving Today’: WSJ Article

Shameless Exploitation in pursuit of the common good

In these pages Newman and Hotchner recount the picaresque saga of their own  nonmanagement adventure

From the Blurb, “Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of Common Good”

As mentioned in the blurb, this book is about how two unconventional friends built a all natural food empire, with a difference, by giving away all profits to charity every year and start all over again. It gives a hilarious account of how they got the idea, built on it and finally expanded it like mad, all of it, contrary to experts’ advice. The book also presents various feedbacks that sampled their products and enjoyed their generosity.

It’s a must read for any fan of Paul Newman and Philanthropy.

In the queer mess of human destiny the determining factor is Luck. For every important place in life there are many men of fairly equal capacities. Among them Luck divides who shall accomplish the great work, and who shall fall back in obscurity and silence.

William E.Woodward.

Related links
LN’s old post