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"Don't Sprint The Marathon" Book by V. Raghunathan

Life is not a race but if one treats it like one, then a false start doesn't mean that the race is lost, says V. Raghunathan, the best-selling author of "Games Indians Play - Why We Are the Way We Are", who has now come out with a motivation manual for teachers and parents.

"If life is a race, then it is a marathon. You may get a sense of satisfaction having run the marathon well. For, it may so happen that you have worked out your strategy but you find that your legs are not running any more. Today's school education is an example. You expect your child to top every test," said Raghunathan, who released his new motivation book "Don't Sprint The Marathon" here Saturday evening.

The book is targeted at teachers and parents as a manual to guide the GenNext away from the pressure-cooker of expectations and learning by-rote education system.

"Don't Sprint The Marathon," Hyderabad-based Raghunathan warned. "The sprinter is muscular and beefy for short bursts of speed while the other is skinny and light, built for hours of running at steady pace."

The writer, who has 400 papers to his credit, had used game theory to probe the foibles of Indian life in his "Games Indians Play".

In his new work, he cites examples of famous-and-not-so-famous achievers -- like Kallam Anji Reddy, N.R. Narayana Murthy, P.D.K. Rao, Ashwini Nachappa, Ila Bhat, G.M. Rao Bhatt and Delhi-based destitute-turned-social worker Subhas Bose, who provides shelter to runaway children -- to illustrate a simple truth that "life is not always about the first job and the first salary".

"It is about bringing out the spark in every child," the writer said.

Subash Bose, who spent the first 23 years of his life on the streets of Kolkata, has rehabilitated 800 street children in the capital.

"He has either re-connected them to their parents, sent them to safe foster homes or have taken them in at homes for runaway children managed by his non-profit charity organisation Anubhav set up in 1990," Raghunathan said.

"Subash, who lived on railway platforms in Howrah and Sealdah, could not find a livelihood to fend for his ailing mother and three siblings. Not making much of a living there, he fled to Delhi where he lived as a destitute at the New Delhi railway station surviving on odd jobs, police batons and drug abuse till two Good Samaritans took him under their wing and taught him to read at home. They also offered him a job," he said.

A keen learner, Subash was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's "My Experiments With Truth" and Rabindranath Tagore's "Nauka Dubi", Raghunathan said.

"One day, Subash asked himself - what is it that I understand best? - and realised that his greatest strength was his ability to understand the agony of street children like him. He wanted to do something for them. The decision changed his life," said the former Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad professor.

The book published by HarperCollins-India tackles several dilemmas like "Is Life A Race", "Sprint Versus Marathon", "Child, The Parent of Man" and "Can Ordinary Workers Jog". It also prescribes ways to develop the right attitude to life and children in 14 short and lucid chapters.(IANS)

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