A very different evening

When I got the invite and registered for the event, I was under the impression that a person is going to talk about his success.  And when the session ended, I realized that nothing could be so farther from my assumption.


I am referring to the talk by Shri V Pattabhiram, a Chartered Accountant-Trainer-Speaker-Entrepreneur, one who is well-known as the founder of Prime Academy.  This talk of his was organized this evening (13th March 2013) by TiE Chennai of which I am a member.

(You could read my posts about the earlier TiE events here, herehere and here)

Pattabhi (as he is called) created a garland of strands of unusual examples and he made it very interactive and interesting.

He began his speech by asking the audience to do a simple mental math followed by a short stint in geography, zoology and botany. It was astonishing that most of the people assembled had the same sequence of place, animal and fruit regardless of where they started.  Somehow the lesson did not stick with me as much as the process did!!

His unusual auction parameters for a Rs.500 note left everybody in splits especially when he narrated the incident where people had bid Rs.18,000 for a 500 rupee note!!  The moral of course was “understand the rules of the game before playing”.

He then threw a moral dilemma at the audience where the choice before a speeding train was killing 8 children enjoying themselves on a regular track vs 1 child playing in an unused track. There were some additional details thrown in by some members but finally the minority prevailed.  The lesson was ‘There is no need to go with the majority when they are wrong”

He then showed two envelopes where one contains double the amount as  the other and asked what would we choose given the criteria.  Yours truly quipped “The grass on the other side is always lavender (referring to the colour of the envelope)” Pattabhi likened the situation to the entrepreneur wishing he were an employee and vice versa!!

We were also treated to creative mathematics in the form of a video where a prospective job applicant proves that 7 x 13 is 28 in different ways and lands up with the offer!!  I guess the message was ‘Be Different” but I saw it the classic output of an accountant who asks “what do you want 2 + 2 to be” rather than a fixed answer!!

There was yet another video clipping this time from the movie “3 Idiots” (I had missed this portion when i watched the movie at the theatre) where Aamir Khan refers to his book in a convoluted manner to get back to his teacher who had exhorted him to be more elaborate for a previous question.  I missed out the lesson on this too!!

Pattabhi ended the evening with a personal share of a small boy of about 10 who displayed exemplary honesty while buying a set of books from a shop, correcting the billing person thrice for under-invoicing and for giving more change than due.  I am yet to figure out the learning from that episode!!

I am sure there were people in the audience who have a better recall of the lessons and can probably fill in, via comments to make this complete.

To summarize, it was a very different evening where the speaker was unassuming, had the audience participate and shared life lessons through unusual examples.  Thank you Pattabhi!!


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