Handcrafted Book Summary of I Am Malala

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                                          I Am Malala

   Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

Orion Publishing

320 pages; Average reading time 5 hours 12 min

This bookbhook book summary will take not more than 11 minutes

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This bookbhook summary has been handcrafted by Ruchi Nagpal, exclusively for India’s favourite book summaries app-bookbhok. Ruchi is a research scientist and believes books are the wings that help you reach the unknown.

The real life story of Malala, the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban, comes as a refreshing hope that God’s chosen ones are here to make a significant difference to the world in their own small ways.

 

Early days

I, Malala, born on 12th July 1997, was named after the great icon of Afghanistan, Malalai of Maiwand who inspired many Afghan men to defeat the British army during the second Anglo-Afghan war, in the 1880s. I belong to the proud Pashtun tribe spread between Pakistan and Afghanistan. I used to live in the beautiful Swat valley, known as Switzerland of the East. My family members are my two brothers, my beautiful pious mother and my hero, my father Ziauddin Yousafzai. The courage and determination of my father laid the stepping stones towards my destiny. My father often says that he could follow his dreams because of the gift of education. He has led an exemplary life. A poor Pashtun boy without any money struggling to go to a college, completing a master’s degree in English, running a school in Mingora  and becoming a well-known political figure in Swat. I remember virtually living in school from early on. Because of the helpful nature and generosity of my parents, our small home was always like a boarding home, occupied by distant relatives and needy people.  Money was not the only problem in our lives; my father had to consistently overcome the resistance and pressures of local religious Mufti or Maulana over the girls’ freedom, their going around without purdah or veil and their right to education

The strife begins

Ever since its inception, Pakistan has been struggling with its internal feuds.   Its founder,Jinnah, could not complete his vision due to health issues. Most of Pakistan’s independent years have been under military dictatorship. When General Musharraf took over Nawaz Sharif’s elected government, Pakistan’s tryst with military dictatorship started again.  In 2001, the 9/11 attack on WTO had an indirect impact on us since Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda was living in Kandahar at the time.  Osama took refuge in Swat by hiding in the network of tunnels built along the Afghanistan border. Everybody was aware of Musharraf’s deceit, taking American money to help their campaign against Al-Qaeda and yet helping the jihadi. In 2002, he brought the ’mullah government’ to power in our valley. The Muttahida Majlis e-Amal (MMA) alliance included parties who ran the madrasas where the Taliban were trained. The MMA government enforced stringent and unreasonable laws against women. In 2004, General Musharraf was forced by the American government to send the army into the seven agencies of FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) that lie along the border of Afghanistan. One of which was Bajaur, next to Swat valley.  My father predicted that the military intrusion in our valley was not far away. The earthquake in 2005 further deteriorated the existing economic condition of Pakistan. The visible volunteer help to common people came from Islamic organisations which were fronts for military groups, mainly Jamat-ul-Dawa (JuD), the welfare wing of LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba). Even the gods were not in favour of Pakistan.

In grip of fear

2007 marked the entry of Taliban into our valley. Their leader, Maulana Fazlullah started a radio station, introducing himself as an Islamic reformer and a Quran interpreter. His aim was to raise local problems and target the government to win support and sympathy for the poor in Swat. In the name of God, he pushed people to give their gold and money and help him build his headquarters. All the beauty parlours, barber shops and DVD & CD shops were closed. Health workers were stopped from giving vaccinations. Taliban workers destroyed historic monuments, cable connections and targeted the police. Our school also received threats to close down.  My father started protests through a newspaper. Around this time even Islamabad was also hit by terrorism. In 2007 when Benazir Bhutto stepped into Pakistan, people had high hopes. Our hopes were soon shattered with her assassination in December 2007 by a suicide bomber. Around this time, tension increased in north-western Pakistan as different militant groups emerged. The momentum against the Pakistan government grew with the formation of Teheik-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) or the Pakistan Taliban.  We were afraid to go to school, but the school was actually my stress buster. We abandoned our school uniforms and went to school in casuals, covering our books in shawls so that nobody noticed.

My right to education

I had always followed my father’s advice to learn only the literal meaning of Quran written in Arabic from the Quran Practitioner and to draw my own explanations and interpretations. The operation Rah-e-Haq was the first battle of Swat where the army could not clear the Taliban. Throughout 2008, the situation continued to worsen with bomb blasts and killings. The Swat council of elders was formed in which my father was the spokesperson. Through seminars and media, he challenged Fazlullah of his misdoings. A peace march was held with children of my age who were interviewed by the media. My parents were always supportive and encouraged me to speak my mind. The local journalists were willing to interview us and make us speak against the Taliban destruction, which they could not do themselves. I once went to Peshawar with my father to appear on a BBC Urdu Talk show and put across my point that the Taliban had no right to decide against our right to education.

In October 2008, prominent schools in our area schools like the Sangota Convent School for Girls and Excelsior College for boys were blown up.  Around 400 schools were destroyed by the end of the 2008. Each day was marred with brutal attacks on innocent people. The Green Square had become a brutal display of dead bodies murdered by Taliban in the name of non-compliance of Islamic rules imposed by them. One such killing which still gives me jitters was of dancer Shabana of Banr Bazaar. Though people loved her dance, nobody came forward to help. My father also received death threats. To save us from Taliban attacks, he started living in his friend’s house.  My mother started sleeping with a knife under her pillow. We children were always planning on how to save ourselves in case of a Taliban attack.  Meanwhile, Fazlullah’s deputy had ordered closing down of all girls’ school by 15th January 2009.

Class dismissed

On 3rd January 2009, under the pen name Gul Makai, I started writing a diary about my life under the Taliban regime. I started this on the insistence of my father’s friend Abdul Hai Kakar, a BBC radio correspondent based in Peshawar. He would talk to me on my mother’s mobile for half an hour every day in Urdu to know about my daily activities, my dreams or aspirations about future, and my point of view of the current situation. This was to appear on the BBC Urdu website once a week. I spoke about our fears of not being able to do simple things like wearing colourful clothes or going to school picnics. As the diary of Gul Makai received attention worldwide, I further realized the power of education. My last day of school, 14th January 2009 was captured  as a documentary titled ’Class dismissed in Swat Valley’  for The New York Times’ website. This was a mirror to the world about the reality in Pakistan Swat valley which had become a Taliban hub and how it was affecting a simple school going child’s life.

 I continued writing blogs for the website, which gave me hope that justice will be delivered. We found great support a Stanford University student, Shiza Shahid. A trip to Islamabad with video journalist Adam Ellick was a happy break for me, from our current hell-like situation. On 16 February 2009, a peace deal was struck between Taliban and the Pakistan government. Little did we know that Taliban had become the state-approved terrorists! Although my father resisted leaving the valley till end; we became IDPs (Internally displaced persons) on 5th May 2009.

  

Coming back to home

Coming back to our valley after living as IDPs for almost three months was both joyful and painful. Our beloved beautiful Swat valley was now deserted and in urgent need of rehabilitation and reconstruction. Fortunately, our house was not damaged. I was happy to see my school bag with my precious books intact. Our school had been the army’s base in the battlefield. There were anti-Taliban slogans all over the school compound. Only two members of Taliban were in police custody. And their leader, Fazlullah was still a free man.

Our school ‘Khushal School’ reopened. Soon, our Stanford friend Shiza Shahid took us on a memorable school trip to Islamabad. It was a very informative and eye opening trip for all the girls, since we were very new to the modern culture of Islamabad. We were introduced to professionally qualified women who were balancing work and home with equal finesse. This was my first visit to McDonalds also. We also met Major General Abbas, the chief spokesman for the army and its head of public relations. He gave us his visiting card and offered his help whenever needed. It was generous of him to help us in paying our school expenses, which was a great relief for my father. Things were getting back to normal in Swat and people were returning home. Back in school, I was appointed the Speaker of the District Child Assembly Swat, a UNICEF initiative. I, along with my friends, started learning about journalism from a British organisation called ‘Institute for War and Peace Reporting’. My birthday month, July 2010, brought grief for our valley again, when relentless floods devastated everything.  Tourist places, schools, buildings and hospitals, all were affected. The Swat River, our lifeline, had become our enemy.

 Leading a cause

In October 2011, I was nominated for the International Peace Prize for Child Rights, which I didn’t win. Shortly, I was awarded with a cheque for half a million rupees by the Chief Minister of Punjab for my campaign for girls’ rights.  In December 2011, the Prime Minister of Pakistan awarded me the National Peace Prize. This annual award was named Malala Prize for kids under eighteen years of age. My parents were not very happy with the naming of a prize in my honour, since they were a bit superstitious. My family was now campaigning heavily for education as no one else was raising this issue with the government. I was nursing the idea of an education foundation having received a lot of money from the awards and recognitions. I also decided that I will grow up to be a politician. In January 2012, the Sindh government announced the renaming of a girls ‘secondary school in my honour in Karachi.

Danger looms ahead

It was in Karachi that a Pakistani journalist, Shehla Anjum, informed me that the Taliban had raised a death threat against me, along with Shad Begum, an activist from Dir in Swat.  The police inquired about the death threats and offered to give me protection.  A different kind of Talibanisation had now started against people who were raising their voices for peace, education rights and rehabilitations. The intelligence services started visiting our home and keeping a check on our activities.  The Taliban started showing its presence again by kidnapping foreign aid workers and blowing up some schools. The murder of Vice Chancellor of Swat University, Doctor Mohammad Farooq was a big blow to our valley. As I turned fifteen, Taliban killed one of the members of peace committee in which my father was actively involved. My mother was getting worried about threats to me and my father. We had started taking precautions in our day to day activities but we were still protesting and campaigning for human rights.

Praying for the well-being of our home, our swat valley, all Muslims, and all humankind had become my routine before sleeping. Like everyone else, I prayed more during my exams. I wanted to beat my classmate Malka-e-Noor this time.  After the Physics paper, we had an exam on Pakistan Studies which was a bit difficult. After the exam that day, my brother Atal refused to come with us in the bus and remained in the school with his friends. I was chatting with my best friend Moniba and occasionally looking outside the bus window seeing the busy Haji Baba road. I didn’t realize when two young gun men forced their entry into our van and asked ‘Who is Malala’?’ Before I could respond, they fired three bullets one after the other that altered my life forever.

Facing death

Immediately after this gun shoot-out, our bus driver wasted no time in taking our van to Swat Central Hospital. The news about Khushal school bus shooting spread fast in Mingora town. My father rushed to the hospital hoping that I was not on the bus. Shazia, one of the girls, was hit twice in the left collarbone and palm. Kainat, the second girl, had been hit by a bullet on her right arm. The bullet had passed through my forehead to my left shoulder blade. I was taken to Peshawar’s CMH, the Combined Military Hospital in a helicopter along with my father. My mother arrived late in the evening by road.  In the operation theatre, Colonel Junaid, the neurosurgeon along with Dr. Mumtaz, removed an eight by ten centimetres bone from the upper left part of my skull to allow my swelling brain space to expand. They removed blood clots from my brain and the bullet from the shoulder blade.

Meanwhile, the Taliban issued a statement that I was attacked because of my role in preaching secularism and not because of my campaign for education. I was punished because I was pro-west and speaking against them. That night, two British doctors were brought in to examine my condition. This was requested by General Kayani, the army chief. Dr. Javid Kayani and Dr. Fiona were not satisfied with the post-surgery arrangements in the hospital and were concerned about my safe recovery due to risk of infection which may lead to brain damage or other medical complications. Under the guidance of Dr. Fiona, I was again airlifted to an army hospital in Rawalpindi which had the best intensive care in Pakistan. The hospital, Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology, was completely closed down for security reasons.

Defeating death

My parents were not in a state to make decisions; all the decisions were made by the army. After the global outrage   against the shooting, the army was doing everything possible to save me or at least provide sufficient medical support. Due to the   strained relations between the U.S. and Pakistan, General Kayani was insistent about not accepting any American support for my medical care. Due to security and political reasons, no consensus could be reached on how I would be taken abroad for better medical care. The ruling family of UAE came to our rescue by offering their private jet which had an on-board hospital as well. My father was   asked to join me and was instructed not to disclose anything about my whereabouts to anyone, including my family.  My father decided to stay behind with my family in Pakistan and to leave me in the trusted hands of Dr. Javid and Dr. Fiona. He felt he could not take chances with the family’s security. So, I was  air lifted, with the doctors, at 5 am on 15th October under armed escort.  My parents waited for the legal formalities of passport and visa to be completed so that they could join me in my fight against death. They hoped and prayed endlessly.

Rebuilding my life

‘Thank God I’m not dead’ was the first thought that came into my mind when I woke up in the unknown surroundings of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  Terrifying thoughts about my parents’ whereabouts flooded my mind. My head was throbbing; my left ear was bleeding and the left side of my face was not responding. The soft and healing prayers of Rehaanna, the Muslim chaplain appointed in the hospital, calmed my unstable mind and put me to sleep. A few days later, I got to speak with my parents for the first time. I could not talk because of the tube in my throat.  I was just happy and reassured to hear their soothing voices. With the help of a notepad, I started communicating with the nurses and doctors. I still have the white mirror in which I first saw my disfigured face.

Dr. Fiona told me about my miraculous escape from the Taliban attack. Once I was able to talk a little, I spoke with my parents on Dr. Javid’s phone. I was anxious about their arrival. The government was planning to hold a joint press conference from the hospital to inform the world about my well-being. The hospital staff did everything possible to keep me entertained. The nurses and Dr. Fiona played games with me. The hospital staff also bought a DVD player to play Disney movies to keep me occupied.

 I am Malala

The hospital press office provided daily updates about my condition to the world. The messages, presents, gifts and support from politicians, influential celebrities and common people from all over the world was unbelievable. By attacking innocent kids, the Taliban had spread my campaign for education, worldwide. Gordon Brown, the UN special envoy for education coined the slogan ‘I am Malala’ to demand no child be denied schooling by 2015.

I was shifted to a regular room when my parents finally arrived in Birmingham after sixteen days. We were all crying constantly seeing our whole family being reunited. It was very difficult for them to see me in this distraught state. They thought I had lost my divine smile When the UN designated 10th November as ’Malala Day’, I was preparing for the big surgery to repair my facial nerve. The surgery was successful.  The left side of my body started responding by the end of the third month. My rehabilitation started in the gym with the physiotherapist.

Pakistan President Asif Zardari visited us and also informed the high commissioner to appoint my father as an education attaché and to arrange his diplomatic passport. In early January 2013, I was discharged from the hospital to reunite with my family in an apartment that the Pakistan commission allotted to us in Birmingham. I came back for another surgery in February when Dr Anwen White, carried out ‘Titanium Cranioplasty’ of my skull. Yet another surgeon, Richard Irving put a cochlear implant inside my head to improve my left side hearing.

The good and bad exist side by side. It took one wrong-doing to destroy my life but many good-doings to heal. It is strange how many people stood by me and helped me to regain my earlier self. Sometimes, I feel that I am living another innings of my life. I think I am the chosen one where my role is to help each and every one around me. And this is a story about a girl shot by the Taliban and not me, Malala.

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Book Summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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                             The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

   Stephen R Covey

Simon & Schuster

432 pages; Average reading time 6 hours 07 min

This bookbhook book summary will take not more than 9 minutes

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This bookbhook book summary is handcrafted by Gayathri Manikandan. Gayathri describes herself as an ex-software engineer, book lover, craft enthusiast and a proud citizen of ‘Imagi’nation.

This handcrafted book summary will help you learn

  • What is Character Ethic?
  • What is a paradigm shift?
  • What are the seven habits to bring about a personal change?
  • Why do you need to keep ‘sharpening the saw’?

Character Ethic vs Personality Ethic

When Stephen Covey started researching on writing about success, it took him 200 years back. Stephen realised two things:

  1. Almost all the writing about success in the first 150 years was about integrity,humility,courage and other such elements of the Character Ethic
  2. However, in the last 50 years, a certain level of superficiality has crept into success literature where public relations technique and positive mental attitude started defining success as a Personality Ethic.

It is not that Personality Ethic elements like communication skills and positive thinking are not important for being successful, but just that these are not primary traits. The real foundation needs to be built with Character Ethic.

Building principle-centred habits

It is possible for us to be very busy in life. It is easy to get caught in the busy-ness of life, work efficiently and achieve success. It is also possible to achieve success that are empty- empty victories that are achieved at the expense of other things. To be truly effective, we need to cultivate habits that are principle centred. Habits have a powerful impact on our lives.

Albert Einstein observed, ‘The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them’. We need a new level, a deeper level of thinking. We need a paradigm-shift. Character Ethic & Personality Ethic are paradigms-how we see, perceive, understand and interpret the world. Moving from character to personality ethic or the reverse is an example of paradigm shift. Whether positive or negative, paradigm shifts helps see the world differently and create change.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny’- we are what our habits make us.

Paradigm shifts help us see situations in a very different perspective. This new level of thinking is what The Seven Habits of Effective People is all about. The first three habits – Be Proactive, Begin with the end in the mind and Put first things first are habits of private victory. They help you know yourself in a deeper and more meaningful way. They help increase your self-confidence. The next three habits – Think win-win, Seek first to understand then to be understood and Synergize are habits of public victory. They help you improve and deepen solid relationships. The seventh habit – Sharpen your saw renews the other six habits and helps you charge your batteries.

 1.  Be Proactive

Can you identify the mood you are in now? Can you describe your current mental state and what you are feeling? This ability to think about one’s own thoughts distinguishes human from animals. Between a stimulus (that triggers you to act) and response (your act), human have the ability to think and freedom to choose.

Few people are reactive and few proactive. Reactive people feel good if the weather is good, they feel well if people treat them well. Proactive people are affected by weather and how others treat them as well, but they choose to respond differently.

‘That’s just the way I am’, ‘He makes me mad’, ‘I can’t do it, I don’t have the time’, ‘I have to do it’ are typically the language used by reactive people. Proactive people, on the other hand, use ‘I choose’, ‘I prefer’, I will’. Once a student asked if I can excuse him from my class as he had to go on a tennis trip. However after introspection, it turned out that he chose to go to the tennis trip. If he didn’t go, the tennis team might drop him which he didn’t wish to happen. However if he missed my classes, he will miss the learning. He chose to go for the trip and it was his choice not someone else’s responsibility for deciding to have the tennis trip on the same day.

To become aware of how proactive you are, make a list of all your concerns – health, children, and problems at work, and so on. Now, within this circle of concern, push those that you have control over towards the centre. This is the circle of influence. Determine in which circle you are spending most of your time and energy. In the outer circle of concern or the inner circle of influence? Proactive people focus on the circle of Influence, they work on things that they can control.

The problems we face can be categorized broadly as those under direct control, those under indirect control i.e. those that involve other people’s behaviour and those that we have no control over. Being proactive helps us to tackle direct control problems by changing our behaviour and the indirect control problems by changing our methods of influence. Proactive approach also teaches us to accept the problems that we have no control over as they are.

2.  Begin with the end in mind

All things are created twice. A blueprint and a house, a plan and a trip, a script and a speech, a design and a dress. The first creation is in your mind, the second is physical. One has to take responsibility for the first creations. You need to rescript your life, not live the script handed to you by your family, associates, conditioning or circumstances. Re-scripting requires personal leadership. Leadership is deciding if your ladder is on the right wall. Climbing comes next.

You first begin with the end in the mind. If you begin with the end in the mind, you know clearly where you are going. You do not end up being so busy climbing up the ladder, only to find the ladder is on the wrong wall when you are up there. You can ‘Begin with the end in mind’ at different stages and levels of your life. But the fundamental application is to visualise this habit as ‘Begin with the end of your life’- Suppose you are at your own funeral, what would you want to hear from your family, friends, colleagues and others? This is what is supremely important in your life and visualizing this helps you contribute to it each day.

The most effective way to begin with the end in your mind is to have a personal mission statement. A solid mission statement is created by pivoting your lives on the right principles. Suppose tonight you have booked tickets for a concert with your wife and your boss says he needs your help with an important meeting. You could call off the concert or politely refuse your boss’ request depending on whether you are family-centred, work-centred, money-centred or self-centred. But being ‘XYZ-centred’ is a perception problem. What sounds right to you might not be perceived so by your boss or wife.

On the other hand, being a principle-centred person will help you to stand away from the emotion and help you evaluate the options. You feel comfortable about your decision as you know it is the most effective because you have based it on principles with predictable long-term results.

3.  Put first things first

While leadership decides what the ‘first things’ are, management, essentially, is the discipline of actually executing the first things first actions. The first generation of time management philosophy was all about making lists and to-dos. The second generation is about scheduling tasks. The third generation of time management adds the idea of prioritizing. The emerging fourth generation recognizes that the challenge is not time management but managing ourselves.

The popular time management matrix divides tasks into four quadrants – Important & Urgent (I), Important & Not Urgent (II), Not Important & Urgent (III), Not Important & Not Urgent (IV). Quadrant II is the heart of effective personal management. The key is to say ‘Yes’ to Quadrant II tasks. This means you would have to say ‘No’ to other activities, which may include ‘apparently urgent’ things.

 As you spend more time doing Quadrant II activities, you will notice that Quadrant I shrinks. The fourth generation time management tools let you recognize that the first person to consider to be effective rather than efficient is you yourself. It encourages you to spend time in Quadrant II activities rising above the limitations of daily planning and organizing.

The key to effective management is delegation.You can pick up the room better than a child but the key is to empower the child to do it. You have to get involved in the training and development and it takes time but it is worth it in the long run.

4.  Think Win-Win

I once worked with a company whose president was very concerned about the lack of cooperation among his people. He had implemented a ‘Race to Bermuda’ strategy for encouraging people to achieve results. There was a picture of the racetrack, with his managers’ face superimposed on the racehorses. At the end of the race was the reward, a beautiful poster of Bermuda, enticing the participants for a trip to Bermuda. The president wanted his people to work together but was setting them up for a competition, where most will lose and some will win.

The most effective interpersonal leadership is to think win-win. Win-win is not a technique but a philosophy of human interaction. It’s not your way, it’s not my way; it’s a better way, a higher way. In reality, there may be situations where one has to choose win/lose or lose/win. But in most interdependent situations, win-win is the only viable long term solution. There is an even higher expression of win-win. It is called ‘No Deal’. If family members can’t agree on a video that everyone will enjoy, they can simply decide to do something else – No Deal. When you have No Deal as an option in your mind, you feel liberated, you don’t have to manipulate people to accept your agenda. Win-win can only thrive when the systems support it. Competition has its place in marketplace or even against another individual when there is no interdependence. But cooperation in the workplace is equally important and it can only be achieved by thinking win-win.

5.  Seek first to understand, then to be understood

How would you like if you were to go to a physician for some trouble in your eyes and she offered you her glasses that she has been using for more than 10 years? The glasses might have helped her, but for you it would help to diagnose before she prescribes. Imagine your kid is troubled by something. You encourage and coax them into sharing the problem with you. And let’s say your kid just starts off by saying, ‘Well, I don’t like school anymore’. Chances are you will rush in to fix her with your advice, quoting all the sacrifices you have made to educate her. You have just made sure that you will be the last person your kid will discuss it with you in future.  A better approach for effective interpersonal communication is definitely about seeking first to understand, then to be understood.

Most people do not listen with an intent to understand. They listen with an intent to reply. We are usually listening at one of the four levels: ignoring, pretending, selective listening, and attentive listening. There is a fifth level, the highest form of listening – empathetic listening. In empathetic listening you listen not only with your ears but also with your eyes and heart. Empathetic listening is powerful because it gives you accurate data to work with. As you start listening deeply, you appreciate the differences in perception. Our perceptions can be vastly different and yet we are trying to work together. Once we understand the differences, we open the door to creative solutions and to third alternatives. We don’t see the differences as stumbling blocks anymore but as stepping stones to synergy.

6.  Synergize

Synergy, by definition, means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Imagine this to be a vacation time and the husband has been planning all the year to go on a fishing vacation. His wife, however, wants to visit her ailing mother. In this situation, the husband may give in to the wife, grudgingly. Or the wife may give in to the husband, but wouldn’t forgive herself or her husband if her mother’s health deteriorates and she becomes seriously ill. Or they can split up and spend their respective vacations feeling guilty and unhappy. But there is a middle way, middle doesn’t mean compromise. It means somewhere higher like the apex of a triangle. When the husband and wife deeply understand their desires and communicate, they pool these desires. They are not on the opposite sides of the problem. They are together on one side of the problem looking at the problem.

May be the couple could arrange some time within this month for the wife to visit her mother. Or they could find a fishing site closer to her mother’s place. They could even plan some activities with aunts, cousins and uncles. They synergize. They communicate back and forth until they arrive at a solution they both feel good about. It’s better than a compromise. Instead of a transaction, they have a transformation. They get what they both really want and in the process build their relationship.

7.  Sharpen the saw

Suppose you come across someone working hard for hours together to saw down a tree. You notice that the saw needs sharpening and will bring the tree down much faster if taken care of. Will it be wise for the person sawing the tree to say he is too busy to sharpen his saw? Sharpening the saw is preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you. You need to renew four dimensions of your nature- Physical, Mental, Social/Emotional and Spiritual. Taking the time to sharpen the saw is a Quadrant II activity. It must be acted upon.

The Physical dimension involves taking care of your body – eating right, resting sufficiently and exercising regularly. This Quadrant II activity will apparently bring phenomenal long term effects. Neglecting health will later push you into Quadrant I with health issues and crisis. The Spiritual dimension involves renewing yourself and your purpose through meditation or prayers or connecting to nature, whichever is best suited to you.

The Mental dimension involves continually honing and expanding your mind. It could be in a disciplined classroom environment or any other unconventional method that a proactive person can easily figure out. Reading is one of the most effective way to inform and expand your mind. Writing is another powerful tool to sharpen the saw. It affects our ability to think clearly and deeply. Sharpening your Physical, Spiritual and Mental dimensions is ‘Daily Private Victory’. Spending one hour a day will greatly affect the quality and effectiveness of your life.

The Social/Emotional dimension involves interpersonal leadership, empathetic communication and creative cooperation. It does not take time in the same sense as other dimensions but can be practised in everyday life when interacting with people.

Editor’s note

While The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a simple to read book, it is extremely difficult to summarise. The book has visual frameworks and interesting exercises, almost becoming a workbook. While we have made our best effort to summarise this book, and include relevant videos, we would really urge you to pick up your own copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and read the entire book.

 

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Handcrafted Book Summary of The Lean Startup

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                                         The Lean Startup

   Eric Ries

Crown Publishing

336 pages; Average reading time 4 hours 45 min

This bookbhook book summary will take not more than 9 minutes

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The reality is that most start-ups fail. Most of these failures are externalised to ‘not being in the right place at the right time’, ‘product not being perfect for launch’ and many more reasons. With my own start-up experience and of those around me, I believe that startup success can be engineered into a process, and therefore startup success can be learnt as well as taught.  I began writing on the blog Startup Lessons Learned-which has now refined into the theory of Lean Startup. The Lean Startup is not a ‘how-to’ book of tactics-it is an approach that helps entrepreneurs move away from ‘Can this product be built?’ to ‘Should this product be built?’ After all, the biggest risk that a startup carries is consuming precious resources to build a product that nobody wants! The Lean Startup is now a global movement. This book is divided into three parts:

  1. Build the vision for the startup with validated learning
  2. Steer the startup towards success using the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop
  3. Accelerate the Build-Measure-Learn loop while scaling up simultaneously

 

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Handcrafted Book Summary of The Sleep Revolution

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                                   The Sleep Revolution

   Arianna Huffington

W H Allen

288 pages; Average reading time 5 hours 40 min

This bookbhook book summary will take not more than 11 minutes

 

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Handcrafted Book Summary of Ten Judgements That Changed India

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                  Ten Judgements That Changed India

   Zia Mody

Penguin India

256 pages; Average reading time 3 hours 37 min

This bookbhook book summary will take not more than 13 minutes

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This bookbhook summary has been handcrafted by Surbhi Kasid and the editors at bookbhook.com.

This handcrafted book summary will help you learn

  • The judicial history behind the recent Supreme Court judgement on triple talaq
  • How the Court interprets the fundamental rights of the citizens of India?
  • How Vishaka guidelines led to safer working conditions for women?

We the people of India

The people of India gave themselves The Constitution of India on 26th January 1950 with these words ‘We, the people of India’. The Constitution is the bedrock of the world’s largest democracy and this holy grail of democracy is interpreted from time to time. The interpretation of the Constitution goes through various levels till it reaches the ultimate interpreter- the Supreme Court of India.

As the name suggests, the book 10 Judgements That Changed India is a concise account of the way the Indian judiciary evolved over the course of time. It is important for us to understand how the various liberties and the safe recourse that we enjoy came to exist. The Constitution forms the back bone of Indian democracy and the apex judiciary is the cornerstone of the unflinching faith that the Indian citizen has in getting his or her voice heard. Since independence, the Constitution has been interpreted on numerous occasions by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. The 10 judgements discussed in this book are regarded as the turning points in the Indian legal system, and are somewhere or the other, linked with the Constitution.

In this book summary of 10 Judgements That Changed India, we will cover three out the ten landmark cases. For a detailed perspective of these four judgements and to read the other six judgements, please buy the book.

 Mohammad Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum

‘The law’ & then personal laws

India is a democracy and hence the right of equality is extended to every citizen. However, where matters such as marriages, divorces, and property settlements are concerned, there are different laws for different religions. These laws are also referred to as personal laws. Even before this case, the Supreme Court had passed several judgements regarding providing maintenance to a divorced Muslim woman by her husband but this case flared up the communal atmosphere in the country.

A divorce

In 1978, Mohammed Ahmed Khan divorced his wife of over forty years, Shah Bano, by pronouncing ‘triple talaq’- a Muslim religious custom that gave Mohammed Khan the right to do so, as long as the husband paid the pre-agreed amount mahr. The mahr amount was Rs 3000, something that would not help Shah Bano live the rest of her life without any financial support.

Shah Bano filed a petition under Section 125 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure), claiming maintenance from her husband as the mahr amount was grossly inadequate to help her lead the rest of her life.. The Judicial Magistrate at Indore, Madhya Pradesh, ordered her husband to pay a meagre sum of Rs 25 every month. Shah Bano then moved to the Madhya Pradesh High Court, which revised the maintenance amount to Rs 179.20 every month. In response to this, Mohammed Ahmad Khan challenged the Madhya Pradesh High Court decision at the apex court- the Supreme Court of India.

The problem

Mohammed Khan’s claim was that as per Section 127 of CrPC, since he had already paid the amount of mahr, he was not entitled to pay any further maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC. While Section 125 required a divorced woman (as long as she did not remarry) to be paid a monthly allowance of up to Rs 500, Section 127 of CrPC states that if the woman was paid any money under personal religious laws, then she could not claim any allowance under Section 125.

Section 127 aims to ensure that dual monetary allowance probability under both Section 125 (all citizens) and Section 127 (religious or personal laws) is reduced to zero. Mohammed Arif Khan claimed that since he had paid Shah Bano the mahr of Rs 3000, Shah Bano could not claim further support allowance under Section 125 of CrPC.

Is iddat enough for the dependent’s future?

The two judge bench hearing the Mohammed Khan’s petition decided to form a five judge Constitution Bench as the judges believed that the previous judgements in similar cases were not robust. Out of these five judges on the Constitution bench, four were Hindu and the fifth judge refused to be categorised under any religious label.

The question faced by the Supreme Court was a difficult and emotional one. Does providing financial support during iddat (the period set by Muslim personal law till which time a husband has to provide for his divorced wife), however meagre it may be, absolve him of his duty to provide for his divorced financially dependent wife’s future? In April 1985, the Supreme Court delivered its judgement on the Mohammed Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano case.

The verdict

The verdict of the Constitution Bench said that Section 125 of CrPC aimed to prevent dependents from financial penury and the struggle of living without financial support, irrespective of religious identity of the dependents. The judgement then distinguished between personal laws and Section 125 of the CrPC.

The Court said that while personal law declared that mahr should be paid, but the personal law did not take into account how the divorced dependent wife would lead her life beyond the iddat period, and hence the need for the divorced to get financial support under Section 125, irrespective of religious identity. The Court also said that in case of any conflict between Section 125 of CrPC and Muslim personal law, CrPC would take precedence over personal law.

The court asserted that mahr was not a payment similar to divorce settlement. Just because mahr was paid at the time of death or divorce, it did not classify as a divorce payment. Thus, the Constitution Bench granted the maintenance amount as decided by the Madhya Pradesh High Court and additional legal costs to Shah Bano Begum.

Soon after the judgement, the cauldron of communal affiliation and dissatisfaction started getting stirred. The judgement, delivered to improve the lives of dependent women after their divorce, became an issue of interfering with religious customs and practices. While there were vociferous protests from Muslim community, there were many liberal Muslims and Hindus who supported the judgement.That the Constitution Bench interpreting Muslim personal law did not have a single Muslim member also became a bone of contention. There was a scathing attack on Shah Bano and she dissociated herself from the case.

Facing the political heat

More than the judgment, it was the way that the judgement was delivered became the point of uproar. Did the Constitution Bench need to interpret the Muslim personal law? Could it not have taken the decision just on the principles of The Constitution and the CrPC? Around the same time that this judgement was passed, the ruling Congress party, led by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi suffered electoral defeat in state legislative assembly elections. Fearing that supporting the judgement in the Mohammed Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum would lead to loss of the Muslim vote bank, the Rajiv Gandhi government enacted the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights in Divorce) Act, 1986- also called the MWA.

The MWA, in a sense, reversed the judgement. According to the MWA, mahr and maintenance for a Muslim divorced woman was to be paid only during the period of iddat, and not beyond. The MWA did not explain what financial support the dependent divorced woman would get after the iddat period was over. It also closed all doors for Muslim women to seek financial support under Section 125 of CrPC after divorce.

Polarisation of the social fabric

This enactment of the MWA, as a response to the Supreme Court Constitution Bench judgement in the Shah Bano case, changed the history of India. This was the beginning of the rise of religious fundamentalism in post-independence India.

The MWA was challenged in 1994 and a petition was filed to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) that would overrule all religious and personal laws. This petition was rejected by the court saying implementing UCC was a matter of the legislature, not the judiciary. The debate over MWA’s provision of providing financial support to a Muslim divorced only during the period of iddat was interpreted by courts as the amount being given only during iddat, but the amount being sufficient enough for the dependent to be able to lead the rest of her life or in some cases, reach out to her relatives or the Muslim Wakf board for financial support.

In 2001, the  Danial Latifi v. Union of India case challenged the constitutional validity of the MWA as the MWA  did not stand up to Articles 14 & 15 of The Constitution ( which guarantee right to equality) and Article 21 (which guarantees right to life) . The Supreme Court did not accept this argument but highlighted that the under the MWA, the husband would not only provide financial support during iddat, but also ensure that this payment is sufficient for the dependent divorced woman to lead the rest of her life.

In yet another decision later, the Supreme Court ruled that a divorced Muslim woman can file a petition under Section 125 of the CrPC. These two rulings, after the MWA came into force, ensures that the divorced Muslim woman is free to either seek financial support under Section 125 of the CrPC or claim a reasonable lump sum alimony (an amount that is fair to help her lead the rest of her life) under MWA act.

Bookbhook.com editor’s note: On 22 August 2017, the Supreme Court of India declared the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional by a 3:2 majority. The bench comprised of five judges who belong to different religions, including Islam.

Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation (1985)

Please move, we want to help you

In July 1981, just when the monsoon clouds started hovering over the skyline of Bombay (now Mumbai), the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra A.R. Antulay announced that all slum dwellers and squatters in the city would be evicted out of Mumbai if they cannot prove their identity (with photo identity cards).

 Bombay then, even more so Mumbai now, is a city creaking at the limits owing to massive population influx with most migrants being part of the informal economy as daily wage earners living in slums or the footpaths. The Chief Minister believed that his decision would help the squatters and slum dwellers avoid the troubles associated with Mumbai’s rainy season. The irony was that the slum dwellers were being evicted from their place of stay (and work, as most of them stay close to their working area) to help them avoid the inconvenience of rains. The Municipal Commissioner of Bombay went about executing the order of the Chief Minister under Sections 312-314 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act (BMC Act) and started evicting the squatters and encroachers.

It’s about right to life

In response to this forceful eviction by the BMC, two groups of slum dwellers filed writ petitions in Supreme Court against these forceful evictions. These slum dwellers argued that it was against their right to life and liberty. As most of the slum or pavement dwellers moved from other villages of the country for finding work and basic sustenance, it was essential that they lived close to their work area. This was about right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of The Constitution, and not just about the need to live in the streets or slums.

More so, the slum dwellers, did not live in slums and on the streets out of choice but due to their limited economic means in a city like Mumbai. Hence, the BMC should provide them alternative accommodation. The BMC countered that these encroachments led to a rise in crime, were a hazard to public safety, and increased pollution and hence, should be demolished and the residents evicted. For the Supreme Court, this was not just about the eviction of encroachers but about guaranteeing the fundamental right to life. But can one have the right to life if he or she does not have the right to a livelihood?

A fundamental right

Human civilization in most parts of the world recognises first generation civil and political rights as core rights enforceable by a court of law. On the other hand, second generation rights like socio-economic rights (e.g. right to health) are more as guidance for the state, known as directive principles in India.

Olga Tellis V. Bombay Municipal Corporation (1985) is a landmark case that brought socio-economic rights within the ambit of fundamental rights. In this case, the Court had to decide between the right to life of the slum dwellers and the overall right to health and safety of the community. In its judgement on this case, the Supreme Court not just gave a judgement but also made observations that influence the debate on fundamental rights.  The Supreme Court made some stark observations regarding the life the people on streets lived and pronounced that the right to life includes the right to livelihood. How will a person live if he cannot sustain himself via earning a living?

Right to shelter

The Court, however, did not say that the procedure of BMC for evicting the encroachments was unjust, but that this eviction exercise had to be carried out based on constitutional principles. The Court thus ruled in favour of BMC only after the assurance that basic accommodation and rehabilitation schemes shall be provided so that the weak and the ignored sections of the society have equal opportunities. The Court also ruled that at least one month’s notice should be given to slum dwellers before evictions. The ruling, in this case, became one of the first instances where the Supreme Court of India while looking at a civic body procedure of eviction of encroachers, invoked it as a discussion on fundamental rights and broader policy issues of governance. The Olga Tellis case became the cornerstone for interpreting right to shelter as a constitutional obligation of the government, under Articles 19 & 21 of The Constitution.

Dilution of the spirit

In subsequent cases through the 1990s decade, the Supreme Court also laid down the need to ensure the minimum quality standard of the alternative accommodation for the impacted people, linking it to a certain level of quality of life. Olga Tellis case linked right to shelter to the right to livelihood, given that the under privileged need to stay close to their place of work.  However, by the mid-1990s, the Supreme Court shifted its stance on the displacement of the disadvantaged people, especially in the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) Sardar Sarovar Dam stand-off.

The NBA filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging that the dam would lead to forced displacement of weaker sections of the society like the tribals, as well as lead to environmental degradation of the area. After extending a stay on the construction of the dam, the Supreme Court allowed raising the height of the dam in 2000, thereby ignoring its earlier precedent set in the Olga Tellis case.

 In recent times, the Supreme Court has further tilted away from the Olga Tellis precedence by comparing alternative accommodation for pavement dwellers with ‘rewarding pickpockets’ (Almitra Patel V. Union of India)

Providing adequate shelter to its citizens is now seen as a right across the globe. While Olga Tellis precedence is being weakened by the judgments of the Supreme Court itself, the fact that the Court took this as a case of not just civil eviction procedure, but as the bigger cause of right to livelihood, and thereby right to shelter, being a part of a citizen’s right to life, it is a strong example of the Court stepping in to protect the human rights of the underprivileged.

bookbhook.com editor note: On August 25, 2017, the Supreme Court passed landmark judgement that has far reaching impact on the fundamental rights of Indian citizens. The Court declared in its judgement that privacy is a fundamental right unless it concerns matters of national security and distribution of scarce resources

Vishaka v. the State of Rajasthan (1997)

Prosperity & women at the workplace

As the Indian economy unlocked itself in the early 1990s, it also opened up avenues for women to go out and seek employment. However, sadly, as the number of women in the workforce started to grow, the cases of sexual harassment against them also started to rise. Cases have been reported from private and public enterprises alike, be it police, defence, BPOs, or MNCs.

Bhanwari Devi versus society

Bhanwari Devi was a grassroots worker, locally known as saathin, in the state of Rajasthan. As part of an effort to remove the deplorable practice of child marriage, the Rajasthan government ran a focused campaign against child marriage in which the saathins like Bhanwari Devi played a major role at the village level.

In 1992, Bhanwari Devi made an effort to prevent the child marriage of a one-year-old girl but failed. However, in this effort to resist a deep rooted social malaise, the entire village turned against Bhanwari Devi. The village socially boycotted her family, and then in September 1992, Bhanwari Devi was sexually assaulted and raped by a group of five villagers. The local police were not much help, and the trial court in Rajasthan acquitted the five men. 

A group of five NGOs under the name of Vishaka then filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with the Supreme Court of India, asking it to define how sexual harassment of women at work could be prevented via judicial process. While there are international treaties on safeguarding women, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) that India signed in in 1980, there was no judicial process in India regarding sexual harassment at work. So, the Supreme Court relied on CEDAW in interpreting Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 of The Constitution as well as a decision by the High Court of Australia and its own earlier decisions to formulate a guidance on sexual harassment of women at work place.

Because under Article 141 of The Constitution all decisions of the Supreme Court are treated as law, the guidelines issued in the Vishaka case became a judicial mandate to be implemented at all workplaces till suitable laws were made.

The Vishaka guidelines consist of eight guidelines with the first one being ‘The employer and/or other responsible people in a workplace are duty bound to prevent or deter sexual harassment and set up processes to resolve, settle or prosecute in such cases.

Vishaka guidelines as the law

Today, these guidelines form the very basis of the human resource policy in every company as Article 141 says that decisions by the Supreme Court are the ‘law’. After Vishaka guidelines were formulated and implemented, many cases sprung up across different High Courts and sometimes even the Supreme Court.

In the Apparel Export Promotion Council v A.K. Chopra case in 1999, the Supreme Court used the Vishaka guidelines to deliver the judgement. In this case, the chairman of the Council was accused of sexually harassing his secretary. Basis her complaint, the chairman’s services were terminated. The Chairman then filed a petition in Delhi High Court, which then observed that since he had never made any physical contact with his secretary, he cannot be charged with sexual molestation. The Apparel Export Promotion Council then made an appeal to the Supreme Court, which reversed the High Court decision and duly recognised that under the Vishaka guidelines, any physical contact is not mandatory for sexual harassment. Anything that compromised the dignity of a woman at her workplace is an act of sexual harassment.

A double edged sword

The Vishaka guidelines are a comprehensive and inclusive set of laws that make workplace safe for women. It is not that this law does not have its negatives. In the case of Usha C.S v, Madras Refineries, the Madras High court heard the complaint of an employee of Madras Refineries alleging sexual misconduct by her manager. She said that she was not allowed a paid study leave, promotion, and salary because she rejected the sexual advances made towards her by the manager.

The Court, after careful examination of all the facts, came to the conclusion that the allegations made by the employee were not true. Further, as per the Vishaka guidelines, a complaint investigation committee was set up, and the female employee had constantly delayed appearance in front of the complaints committee. Did the Supreme Court take on the mantle of the legislature by issuing the Vishaka guidelines, thereby making them the law under Article 141 of The Constitution? The Court issued guidelines when both legislature and the executive did not take up the mantle of creating laws to make workplaces safe for women.

Justice Markandey Katju said that the Court could not keep addressing all social issues for which there are no laws framed by the legislature. Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly, however, said that such judicial intervention is okay if there is a legislative void and if accomplished jurists share this belief of existing void.

bookbhook.com editor’s note: In 2013, The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal Act, 2013) was enacted as law by the Parliament of India. This Act plugged the legislature & executive void which was being done by the Vishaka guidelines from 1997 till the time the new law came into force in 2013.

This book summary covered just three of the ten judgements that changed India. To read these three in more detail and to read the other judgements, please buy the book

Click here to download India’s favourite book summary app-bookbhook, to read more than 100 nonfiction book summaries

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bookbhook Handcrafted Book Summary of Grassroots Innovation

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 Grassroots Innovation: Minds on the Margin Are Not Marginal Minds

                                          Anil K Gupta

Random House

416 pages; Average reading time 4 hours 04 min

This bookbhook summary will take not more than 12 minutes

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This bookbhook book summary has been handcrafted by Swetha Karthik, exclusively for India’s favourite book summary app-bookbhook. Swetha is a stay at home mother to an eleven year old girl. When she is not creating art on paper, Swetha seeks her ‘happy place’ between the pages of a book.

This handcrafted summary will help you learn

  • What is grassroots innovation?
  • How innovation happens without expensive R&D?
  • Why girls in India are more innovative than married women?
  • How innovation knowledge in India is being carefully curated via organisations like Honey Bee Network & National Innovation Foundation?

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bookbhook Handcrafted Book Summary of Eat Move Sleep

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 Eat Move Sleep : Why Small Choices Make a Big Difference

                                                Tom Rath

Perseus Books Group

256 pages; Average reading time 3 hours 24 min

This bookbhook summary will take not more than 11 minutes

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This bookbhook summary has been handcrafted by Nandini Shanbhag. Nandini quit her corporate job of 17 years to pursue her passion for reading and writing. Nandini believes reading opens the doors to unknown realms and widens our horizons.

This handcrafted summary will help you learn

  • What are the myths around the food that we eat
  • What are the small ‘nudges’ that will help us towards a better lifestyle ?
  • How eating, moving and sleeping right helps us stay healthy?

Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath is a New York Times best seller that is a must read for all of those who have taken life choices for granted. We blame our busy lifestyles and jobs for the unhealthy choices that we make and our genes for getting diseases like diabetes or cancer.

 

 

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Why book summaries?

In this tl;dr world, you are running short on time. There”s hardly any time to read for a few hours at a stretch. And yet we are in the knowledge economy, where knowing more is equal to more success at work. How can you, then, know more without reading more? book summaries are one way to grasp knowledge in nuggets. After all, you need to read it all quickly.So how long is too long to stop reading? Is tl;dr about the (l) (adjective) or about the ‘(dr) (verb). As per a recent report, the average attention span for humans seems to have dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000, to 8 seconds in 2016. At 8 seconds, our attention span is less than that of a goldfish. In simple words, we cannot focus on a task beyond 8 seconds without getting distracted. And this drop in attention span was across all age groups and gender. The number one reason attributed to this societal trend is penetration of multiple devices-smartphones,laptops,tabs.smart watches and the endless list.

Where can I find the best book summary app or book summaries website?

bookbhook.com curates non fiction books for you and then converts them into handcrafted short book summaries. But why book summaries? Because in this age of distracted attention, a book summary helps you grasp the book abstract and essence of the book in just a few minutes. bookbhook handcrafted book summary is available via one of the best book summary (book summaries) app and website-bookbhook.com. Like blinkist in Europe and getabstract in the U.S., bookbhook converts non fiction books into handcrafted short summaries. The bookbhook service is designed for the tl;dr world- with bookbhook you do not need to read more to know more.  Why should a Hindi medium educated young entrepreneur in Aligarh miss out on Peter Thiel’s Zero to One? bookbhook brings the Hindi summary of the startup bible. Do not like reading at all, not even a 10 min summary? Hopefully a book summary video will get you to know more without reading more?

How is a book summary different from a book review?

A book summary is not a book review. Book summaries actually much more than a book review, they are about the abstract of the book. While there are global book summary websites and book summaries websites like blinkist and getabstract, bookbhook is India’s first book summary and books based micro-learning service.With bookbhook.com, you no longer need to look for pdf of books like Blink, Outliers, The Secret, Thinking Fast & Slow, Dream With Your Eyes Open.

The best app for non fiction book summaries

You just need to fire up the best book summary app from India- bookbhook and read handcrafted book summaries of non fiction books like The Lean Startup, Zero to One. If you do not have the time to read or tired looking for pdf of books, your search ends with the best book summary app at bookbhook. bookbhook offers you book summaries of thoughtfully curated books as well as audio book summary. bookbhook.com is a website that has book summaries in English. bookbhook app for book summary has audio book summaries, summary in Hindi and English. For the best business book summary, history book summary, your search ends with bookbhook. bookbhook is available as android book summary app as well as iPhone book summary app. You can read some book summaries on desktop as well.  The audio book summary are available on the best app for book summary, for select books.

bookbhook Handcrafted Book Summary of Brick by Brick

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                                          Brick by Brick

                          David Robertson with Bill Breen

       Random House Business

320 pages; Average reading time 4 hours 32 min

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How LEGO came about?

In the aftermath of the Great Depression, Ole Kirk Christiansen founded LEGO by combining two initial letters of the Danish words ‘leg godt’ (play well), in the small town of Billund in Denmark. The company’s motto ‘Only the best is good enough’ emerged when Godtfred, Ole Kirk’s son, told his father that he had used two coats of varnish instead of the regular three, while making wooden toy ducks. This angered Ole Kirk so much that he ordered his son to go back to the train station and repaint the wooden ducks. The lesson inspired Godtfred to immortalize his father’s values by carving the motto onto a wooden plaque and since then it has been the signpost of the company.

In 1950, the father-son duo mutated the ‘Self-locking Building Bricks’ into an ‘Automatic Binding Brick’. LEGO had now moved from wood to plastic but this change failed to provide solidity to the LEGO bricks. They persevered and it was not until 1958, when Godtfred came up with the stud-and-tube coupling model, which had tight tolerances, enabling the studs to retain connectivity through friction. LEGO bricks as we know it, were born. Over the years, LEGO has maintained a relentless focus on its values and its ability to innovate via experimentation. In doing so, LEGO has seen success and failure, learning some important lessons in innovation management, on the way.

Is there something like ‘too much innovation’?

In 1997, in an attempt to keep up with the license-driven US merchandise market, Peter Eio, Chief of LEGO (USA), decided to collaborate with Lucas Film Ltd and came up with the concept of LEGO Star Wars toys. The sceptical Billund executives however, felt that the venture would violate the core values set by Ole Kirk: ‘to never let war seem like child’s play.’ Eio persevered, and armed with a customer survey that asked parents if they would welcome the LEGO-Star Wars tie-up, succeeded in rolling out the now extremely popular Star Wars LEGO merchandise. LEGO realised that the world was moving fast from free-play building blocks to franchise driven innovation.

 

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Why book summaries?

In this tl;dr world, you are running short on time. There’s hardly any time to read for a few hours at a stretch. And yet we are in the knowledge economy, where knowing more is equal to more success at work. How can you, then, know more without reading more? book summaries are one way to grasp knowledge in nuggets. After all, you need to read it all quickly. So how long is too long to stop reading? Is tl;dr about the (l) (adjective) or about the ‘(dr) (verb). As per a recent report, the average attention span for humans seems to have dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000, to 8 seconds in 2016. At 8 seconds, our attention span is less than that of a goldfish. In simple words, we cannot focus on a task beyond 8 seconds without getting distracted. And this drop in attention span was across all age groups and gender. The number one reason attributed to this societal trend is penetration of multiple devices-smartphones, laptops, tabs, smartwatches and the endless list.

In such a scenario, you need a nonfiction book summary that captures the essence of the book, without taking away the pleasure of reading.

Where can I find the best book summary app or book summaries website?

bookbhook.com curates nonfiction books for you and then converts them into handcrafted short book summaries. But why book summaries? Because in this age of distracted attention, a book summary helps you grasp the book abstract and essence of the book in just a few minutes. bookbhook handcrafted book summary is available via one of the best book summary (book summaries) app and book summaries website-bookbhook.com.

Like blinkist in Europe and getabstract in the U.S, bookbhook converts non-fiction books into handcrafted short summaries. The bookbhook service is designed for the tl;dr world- with bookbhook you do not need to read more to know more. Why should a Hindi medium educated young entrepreneur in Aligarh miss out on Peter Thiel’s Zero to One? bookbhook brings the Hindi book summary of Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Do not like reading at all, not even a 10 min summary? Hopefully a book summary video will get you to know more without reading more?

How is a book summary different from a book review?

A book summary is not a book review. Book summaries actually much more than a book review, they are about the abstract of the book. While there are global book summary websites and book summaries websites like blinkist and getabstract, bookbhook is India’s first book summary and books based micro-learning service. With bookbhook.com, you no longer need to look for pdf of books like Blink, Outliers, The Secret, Thinking Fast & Slow, Dream With Your Eyes Open. An example of book summary can be seen here http://bookbhook.com/bookbhook-handcrafted-book-summary-of-super-30/

Which is the best app for non-fiction book summaries in India?

You just need to fire up the best book summary app from India- bookbhook and read handcrafted book summaries of nonfiction books like The Lean Startup, Zero to One. If you do not have the time to read or tired looking for pdf of books, your search ends with the best book summary app at bookbhook. bookbhook offers you book summaries of thoughtfully curated books as well as audio book summary. Soe of these audio book summary are free for you to listen to.

bookbhook.com is a book summary website that has book summaries in English. bookbhook app for book summary has audio book summaries, summary in Hindi and English. For the best business book summery, history book summary, your search ends with bookbhook. bookbhook is available as android book summary app as well as iPhone book summary app. You can read some book summeries on desktop as well. The audio book summary are available on the best app for book summary, for select books.

Where can I read more nonfiction book summeries from India and the world?

You can read high quality nonfiction book summery on www.bookbhook.com or you can click here to download India’s favourite book summary app-bookbhook to read more than 100 non fiction book summaries

bookbhook Handcrafted Book Summary of On Balance

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book summary of On Balance by Leila Seth on-India’s-best-book-summary-app
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                    On Balance: An Autobiography

                                          Leila Seth

Penguin India

496 pages; Average reading time 7 hours 01 min

This bookbhook summary will take not more than 11 minutes

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This bookbhook summary is handcrafted by Gayathri Manikandan. Gayathri describes herself as an ex-software engineer, book lover, craft enthusiast and a proud citizen of ‘Imagi’nation.’

This handcrafted summary will help you know

  • More about India’s first female chief justice
  • How Leila Seth managed work and home
  • Challenges that working women face, even at higher levels

Some sentences have been quoted from the book. These are marked in green

My parents

Much to the delight of my parents, their longing for a daughter came true on the day of Diwali on 20 October 1930.  They already had two sons Raj Kumar (or Michi), Sushil Kumar (Sashi) and I was named Leila. It was the pre-independence times, and my father was in the Imperial Railway Service run by the government. My mother was from a westernised background, her father was a doctor and was remarried (after my grandmother’s death) to a young and educated woman.

My father, on the other hand, was from a more Indianized background brought up in a village in present day Uttar Pradesh (UP). His mother was a young widow with seven children and wasn’t educated. She pawned her only piece of jewellery to educate my father. He excelled in his studies and remained with Imperial Railway Service until he died in 1942.

East meets West

In the 1930s, the years of my childhood, the British Raj was ruling over India and western education by Christian missionaries was most sought after. Gandhi, Nehru and Bhagat Singh were well-known figures. However, my immediate family favoured English & English became the language I think and dream in. It was not until my college days, when Hindi was made compulsory in post-independent India that I took up Hindi in college (though I failed the exams).

As my father was employed in the Railways, we also had the opportunity to live in Punjab and Bengal apart from UP. The small railway towns and the railway colonies in bigger towns ranged from sprawling bungalows to tent houses.

Friends

My parents had an active social life and played tennis and threw dinner parties. After a car accident, when I was about four, my mother became apprehensive about cars and suffered acute headaches. Because of this, my father rented a house in Darjeeling where we all lived, visited by my father for six months in a year. I went to the Loreto Convent, which had children from different countries.

In Darjeeling, we became close with the Dutts family. Later when my father was seriously ill and died in Calcutta, and my mother had to be there to take care of him, I lived with the Dutts as I always did when father and mother went on trips. The Dutts were very kind in accommodating us in their home while my brothers were in boarding school in Darjeeling. They were careful about not letting us feel the weight of their generosity and had secretly paid for my brother’s education, which we were made to believe was a scholarship from the school.

Quest for a suitable boy

I was nineteen when I met Premo. He had come to visit a family friend on his return to India from England after doing a course in boot and shoe manufacture. A year later, I visited Delhi for an extended New Year holiday, and a meeting was arranged at Kanpur for Premo to see me. Though he liked me and found me unassuming and intelligent, I was hesitant. I was not bowled over at our first meeting.

With permission from my mom, Premo started writing to me, and the correspondence helped me know him better. He was orphaned at a young age and was raised by his uncle and aunt, who he thought were his parents until he was the age of eight. He left home in protest against getting him married to his widowed sister-in-law. He joined a Bata shop in Ambala as a shop-boy and was later recommended as an assistant in a Bata shop in Mussourie.

Like my father, Premo appeared to be honest, steady and sincere. However, we were nurtured differently. While Premo’s grandmother was of the opinion that anything to deal with leather and shoes were best left to low-caste people, my mother’s view was that it was no disgrace to be a shoemaker but only for a shoemaker to make bad shoes. We eventually got married on 13 March 1951, 13 months after we first met.

In the family way

After we had been married, we lived in Batanagar near Calcutta. Moreover, for a short while, I continued my job as a stenographer at the Assam Rail Link Project. I had chosen a second-hand car over a romantic honeymoon at Switzerland, but little did we realise that we had spent all our money in buying the car and we had no money to buy petrol! We had to borrow money from the car seller to fill petrol for our drive back to Bata Nagar. It was amidst this financial situation that I discovered, much to my shock, that I was pregnant. Ma told me that each child comes with his food and fate and that I should not worry unnecessarily. Thus came Vikram, into this world.

The accidental career

When Vikram was not yet two, Premo was given an opportunity to work in Bata Development Office in London. We were naturally very pleased but decided to leave Vikram behind until we settled down in the new place. I was mostly seasick throughout my journey and remained in bed. After a little less than two weeks of travelling, we arrived at England greeted by the grey overcast English sky that looked depressing. The cosy image in my head with pictures from Beautiful Garden and Homes were all shattered by our poky little hotel room that was gloomy, grey and bleak.

My house-hunting trips, after Premo left for work, ended in disappointments owing to rejections on racial grounds and homes with no baths or shower. We eventually settled down to a flat with the property owner living downstairs. After upsetting our property owner with ringing doorbell, loud laughter, Indian music and creaking steps, we decided to move out as were planning to bring Vikram.

When I arrived in London, I had decided to do a six-month Montessori diploma course hoping to start a nursery school when I returned to India. Later, I decided to apply for admission to the Bar because the attendance requirements were not too strict.

Clearing the Bar exams

Vikram arrived in London when he was three years old, was not too sure of us and took some time to bond. Soon, he felt at home, and we enrolled him in a school. A year and a half later, Vikram and Ma (who came unannounced on a cheap chartered flight ticket) returned to India due to tension over the Suez Canal. Therefore, when his little brother Shantum arrived, Vikram was not there. At that time, I had already passed Part I and the final Bar examinations were due in a few months.

 We soon hired a baby-minder and we left Shantum every morning at her place and brought him back in the evening. With all these preparations, I took my exams relaxed though not as well prepared, as I would have liked. The day the results were out, I could not believe myself that I had come first in the Bar examination. Moreover, with that Bar Final results, my dream of starting a nursery school ended.

Young woman, go and get married

Shortly after completing my law studies, we moved back to Batanagar near Kolkata, and I was busy setting up the home and Vikram had started school. Once that was sorted out, the next task in hand was to find me a senior who would take me in his chambers. Pupillage is an apprenticeship to a senior, enabling one to acquire a proper knowledge of the technique of the profession. Moreover, that meant following the senior around like a shadow.

After consulting a list of barristers who were willing to take pupil, I chose Mr. Sachin Chaudhari and thought I would call him for an appointment. However, his calls were filtered, and there was no way for me to reach him. After a month, I finally booked an appointment with him. When I met him and asked me to join his chambers, he said ‘Instead of joining the legal profession, young woman, go and get married’. I replied that I was already married, to which he asked me to have a baby. I said I had a baby, and he said I should have another one. I replied ‘Mr. Chaudhari, I already have two children’. Taken aback, he said, ‘Then come and join my chambers, you are a persistent young woman and will do well at the Bar’.

So, this woman who not only wore a sleeveless blouse but also drove a car joined the chambers and completed one year of pupillage, picking up Vikram on the way back home from my brother’s home where he went after School. Late evenings, my attention was with Shantum who had been looked after by his Ayah, with a lunchtime visit from Premo.

My law practice

Premo moved from Batanagar to Pune for work and so did I and started practising at the Pune High court. I was one of only two women in that court at that time, the other being Dharamshila Lal. She was unafraid, bold and forceful. In short, she was the sole female star. We lived in a beautiful old house that once belonged to the Maharaja of Chainpur (owing to my husband’s position in Bata Shoe factory). Moreover, I arrived at the court in a chauffeur-driven black Plymouth. People could not understand why I was roaming around in the dusty corridors and courtrooms spending time with uncouth clients. However, Dharamshila Lal put me in my place when I complained to her about the musty toilet with bats flying about.

In due course, I found my feet and appeared for many cases including a rape case and a case involving death sentence, that gave me moments of deep dejection. Another case was that of a train engine driver convicted of criminal negligence and sentenced to 2 years rigorous imprisonment. He was unaware of a tragedy that happened when the train passed through a low bridge smashing and severing passengers sitting on the rooftop of the train unknown to the driver. I won the appeal, and my ultimate recognition came when the driver, not having the means to show his appreciation in a material way, brought his entire family to meet me and insisted on touching my feet.

After having two wonderful boys, we longed for a girl and had Aradhana. Vikram and Shantum, by this time, were in boarding school. We had difficult times when there was a clash between my duties as a lawyer and a wife and even told Premo one day about quitting my work. He replied, ‘I know that your work is one of your hands and that the family is the other. How can I ask you to cut off one hand? No, no, you must work, and we will adjust.’

My turn: Delhi

Premo was transferred back to Calcutta from Pune. Though I was less enthusiastic about the move, it was a very important one for Premo. I, on the other hand, worked very hard but did not make too much headway. There were gender specific challenges. It was difficult for a solicitor to brief young female lawyers. My brother who was a senior executive at Andrew Yule & Co sought my opinion only informally as his company preferred briefing a male lawyer.

On the personal front, our stay in Calcutta strengthened our family bonds. My brothers were living in Calcutta, my mom came over for Sunday lunches, and we had a large circle of friends. We also found our gardener Sona, who stayed with us for thirty-five years. He lovingly tended garden after garden, as we moved homes. Our children learnt to love flowers, trees and enjoyed peaceful gardens.

In Calcutta, Premo too was reaching a sort of dead end with Bata. We decided to move out of Calcutta but the question was where we should go. It was essential for me to stabilise my practice in a single place and we zeroed in on Delhi, as both the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court were there. Therefore, I moved first to test waters. Premo had to settle for a transfer as Factory Manager to Faridabad, which was a bit of a comedown for him.

First woman judge in the capital

In early 1978, I was recommended as a judge for the Delhi High Court. Until then, there had only been one-woman judge, Anna Chandy who served as a Judge in the Kerala High Court during the late 1950s. Since then there were no women judges, and this issue had been under discussion and became more prominent during 1975, which was declared the Women’s International year.

The only two women who qualified for being a judge at that time were Urmila Kapur and me. Nevertheless, fate and destiny made me the first woman judge of Delhi High court on 25 July 1978.

There were interesting incidents when I was sitting as a Judge with Justice T.P.S Chawla who insisted a lawyer to address the court correctly. Justice Denning in England had issued directions that a woman judge has to be addressed as ‘My Lady’. The lawyer, however, had no idea what to do and when explained what was expected out of him, he simply chose to turn his face towards Justice Chawla and answer as if he had asked the question.

On another occasion, I was disturbed by shuffling of feet and the soft murmur of many voices. When enquired, I came to know that the dozens of people staring at me were a group of farmers whom Prime Minister Charan Singh had invited to Delhi to see the sights. They had visited the zoo and then came to see the woman judge at the Delhi High Court!

Women’s economic empowerment

Since the beginning, I had refrained myself from appearing only for cases about women. I had, by choice, taken up civil and constitutional work. However, as a judge, I wrote judgements for cases that had a woman’s angle (whether Silver utensils and Gold ornaments were considered ‘Jewelry’), a dowry-death case, and a custody case and so on.

In the dowry-death case, I was appalled at the alacrity with which the man remarried while he was still on bail and the parent’s mindset to give away their daughter to such a man. The law can only help. It is for parents of young girls to change their mindset about marriage being the be-all and end-all of their life. The education and economic empowerment of a girl are necessary.

Once, when I had asked a good friend who rose to very high judicial position, if he will give a dowry to his daughter, he answered that he would as it was nearly impossible in his community to get his daughter married without a dowry but at the same time he would not take dowry for his son. Though it was not what I wanted to hear, it was one small step forward.

Meanwhile, on the personal front, my daughter Aradhana was over 25 and was making commendable progress with her career in films. However, I could not help my apprehensions and fear about her landing up with someone unsuitable or worse, no one at all. My eldest son Vikram had his Tibetan journey compiled and published as a book and was working on his novel, The Golden Gate. My other son, Shantum, on the other hand, pursuing his search for an alternate lifestyle and a path of peace.

First female Chief Justice of India

11 years after being a Judge, in 1988, I was elated to know about my recommendation to be elevated to the Supreme Court of India. However, by a twist of fate, Ms.Fathima Beevi was recommended in place of me and she went on to become the first woman to be a judge at the Supreme Court of India. On the other hand, I was the senior most judge in line to become the Chief Justice. In 1991, Ranganath Misra, the then Chief Justice of India, decided that I should be made the Chief Justice of the High court of Himachal Pradesh in Shimla.

Unlike male judges whose families would follow them to their places of transfer, mine would not be able to give up their assignments. However, I was going to be the first woman Chief Justice of a state in India, and I did not want to pass up. I accepted the move and had the new experience of the entire household revolving around me. In my earlier homes, everything revolved around the needs of the man of the house, and for the first time I felt like I am a person in my right. It was in Shimla, Vikram completed his revision of A Suitable Boy.

As my sixty-second birthday approached, and so did my retirement, my memories came rushing back to me and I indulged myself in memories of the past.

Retirement is not the end

After my retirement, we moved to our own house in Noida with its tiny garden, which is my great joy. We had decided to move to Noida, as we did not have the sort of money to buy a house in Delhi.

About six months after retirement, I started getting depressed about not being able to have a routine anymore, and I could find no sense of purpose. Therefore, I joined a nine-month course of study to do a diploma in environmental law at the World Wide Fund for Nature. When I completed it, I was invited to be a member of the Board of Trustees and later became its Vice President.

In 1997, when I was busy with my arbitration work, I was appointed a full-time member of the 15th Law Commission. The Law Commission’s work was to look at particular areas of law suggested by the Government or Supreme Court or taken up by ourselves and prepare a report to be submitted to the government regarding the reforms that need to be done.We prepared several reports covering a wide range of subjects.

I did face difficulties and challenges in my legal career, but there were brave women, both in India and in other countries, who inspired me with their courage and determination. I feel humbled when I think of such luminaries.

I remember my mother who would feel upset when she was left out of activities of her children, and I was determined that I should have a life of own, so that there is no expectation of reciprocation of attention from my children. This did not mean I did not give my children affection or time; it was just that it was not to the exclusion of everything else.

The balancing act

This balancing act has not been easy. However, I have realised that if you are sincere with your work and love your family, you can share your problems and difficulties with them and it is surprising to see the solutions that emerge through consensus. In addition, I felt it was less stressful doing two different kinds of work. You could switch between your work and household, the change itself becoming a form of relaxation. The fame, the privileges, the recognition are fleeting, and I bring myself down to earth with a remark Premo made to me when we were first married: ‘It is better to spend time making something of yourself than socialising’

Click here to download India’s favourite book summary app-bookbhook to read more than 100 non fiction book summaries

 

Buy this book from:
  Read this book summary on India’s favourite book summary app-bookbhook? Now buy the bookRead this book summary on India’s favourite book summary app-bookbhook? Now buy the book
[/column]
[/row]

 

Why book summaries?

In this tl;dr world, you are running short on time. There’s hardly any time to read for a few hours at a stretch. And yet we are in the knowledge economy, where knowing more is equal to more success at work. How can you, then, know more without reading more? book summaries are one way to grasp knowledge in nuggets. After all, you need to read it all quickly. So how long is too long to stop reading? Is tl;dr about the (l) (adjective) or about the ‘(dr) (verb). As per a recent report, the average attention span for humans seems to have dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000, to 8 seconds in 2016. At 8 seconds, our attention span is less than that of a goldfish. In simple words, we cannot focus on a task beyond 8 seconds without getting distracted. And this drop in attention span was across all age groups and gender. The number one reason attributed to this societal trend is penetration of multiple devices-smartphones, laptops, tabs, smartwatches and the endless list.

In such a scenario, you need a nonfiction book summary that captures the essence of the book, without taking away the pleasure of reading.

Where can I find the best book summary app or book summaries website?

bookbhook.com curates nonfiction books for you and then converts them into handcrafted short book summaries. But why book summaries? Because in this age of distracted attention, a book summary helps you grasp the book abstract and essence of the book in just a few minutes. bookbhook handcrafted book summary is available via one of the best book summary (book summaries) app and book summaries website-bookbhook.com.

Like blinkist in Europe and getabstract in the U.S, bookbhook converts non-fiction books into handcrafted short summaries. The bookbhook service is designed for the tl;dr world- with bookbhook you do not need to read more to know more. Why should a Hindi medium educated young entrepreneur in Aligarh miss out on Peter Thiel’s Zero to One? bookbhook brings the Hindi book summary of Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Do not like reading at all, not even a 10 min summary? Hopefully a book summary video will get you to know more without reading more?

How is a book summary different from a book review?

A book summary is not a book review. Book summaries actually much more than a book review, they are about the abstract of the book. While there are global book summary websites and book summaries websites like blinkist and getabstract, bookbhook is India’s first book summary and books based micro-learning service. With bookbhook.com, you no longer need to look for pdf of books like Blink, Outliers, The Secret, Thinking Fast & Slow, Dream With Your Eyes Open. An example of book summary can be seen here http://bookbhook.com/bookbhook-handcrafted-book-summary-of-super-30/

Which is the best app for non-fiction book summaries in India?

You just need to fire up the best book summary app from India- bookbhook and read handcrafted book summaries of nonfiction books like The Lean Startup, Zero to One. If you do not have the time to read or tired looking for pdf of books, your search ends with the best book summary app at bookbhook. bookbhook offers you book summaries of thoughtfully curated books as well as audio book summary. Soe of these audio book summary are free for you to listen to.

bookbhook.com is a book summary website that has book summaries in English. bookbhook app for book summary has audio book summaries, summary in Hindi and English. For the best business book summery, history book summary, your search ends with bookbhook. bookbhook is available as android book summary app as well as iPhone book summary app. You can read some book summeries on desktop as well. The audio book summary are available on the best app for book summary, for select books.

Where can I read more nonfiction book summeries from India and the world?

You can read high quality nonfiction book summery on www.bookbhook.com or you can click here to download India’s favourite book summary app-bookbhook to read more than 100 non fiction book summaries

Handcrafted book summary of Blockchain Revolution

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Book summary of Blockchain Revolution by Tapscott
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                    Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money,Business & the World

                                       Don Tapscott & Alex Tapscott

Portfolio Penguin

368 pages; Average reading time 5 hours 12 min

This bookbhook summary will take not more than 9 minutes

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This bookbhook summary has been handcrafted by Shawna Guha. Shawna is a banker with one of India’s largest banks and believes reading helps in widening the horizon of hopes, and handcrafts book summaries for India’s favourite book summary app.

This handcrafted summary will help you learn

  • What are the seven principles of Blockchain technology?
  • What is Ethereum?
  • How will Blockchain affect business and governance in the future?
  • Can Blockchain help in inclusive growth and development?

When did Trust become protocol?

After the whirlpools of dot com, big data, social media, cloud computing and the like, it is now time for another massive technological wave that is imminent in the near future -the ‘Blockchain Technology’. This started as a brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous person who ‘outlined a new protocol for a peer-to-peer electronic cash system using a cryptocurrency called Bitcoin’. In other words, the concept of cryptocurrency or digital currency, which is the key factor related to Blockchain technology, will erase the presence of any ‘trusted third party’ during the process of distributed computations thereby enabling the data integrity. The same will percolate into every single level of businesses, governments, privacy advocates, journalists and much more.

The digital currency will work like a ledger that will be visible to everyone as it will be present in a distributed network and hence, the processes will likely to become much more streamlined with higher speed, accuracy, optimised costs, and security. The Internet of Information will in a way get transformed into the Internet of Value or Money via the Ledger of Everything. Banking and financial services have already embraced Blockchain technology in the form of distributed ledger technology.

Where presently the virtual trust resides through the intermediaries like banks, governments, PayPal, Visa, Uber, Apple, and Google, Bitcoin may revolutionise this whole concept as the trust will rest on the very objects of the network. The Internet will rise in a brand new avatar where every individual will have a personal identity or the ‘black box of identity’. It will help to create a trusted peer-to-peer sharing economy, protect economic rights, and reconfigure the financial system ensuring speed and inclusion.

7 Blockchain principles

The Blockchain technology not only focuses on safeguarding the privacy of people but also ensures rights like the right to property and recognition of a person. Satoshi Nakamoto formulated seven design principles that have become the primary Blockchain principles:

  1. Networked Integrity: Trust and integrity go hand in hand and therefore, are equally intertwined in the Blockchain economy concept. This is important to protect the privacy interests of the commoners along with inculcating a sense of undiluted trust amongst them. The Proof of Work or PoW mechanism of Bitcoin ensures strengthening the trust and integrity along with other relevant mechanisms like proof of activity, proof of capacity and proof of storage. The overall socio-economic and political activities will be benefitted by the same
  2. Distributed Power: Gaining inspiration from the HashCash by cryptographer Adam Back, Satoshi Nakamoto devised a distributed power principle sans a single point-of-control. In fact, the Bitcoin protocol can be downloaded by anyone for free, and a copy of the same can also be retained. The society at large can participate owing to the effective peer-to-peer network.
  3. Value as Incentive: The participants or holders of the Blockchain tokens will receive the financial incentives for participating or adding value to a particular activity in any and every kind of field. The Internet of Things is an example of this.
  4. Security: Safety and security are the two most threatened aspects regarding digital platforms nowadays. The Bitcoin Blockchain is supposed to eradicate the same by imparting the necessary cryptography throughout the network without which one cannot proceed at any cost.
  5. Privacy: Every single individual’s right to privacy is taken care of by Satoshi’s Bitcoin The identity of a person remains as a pseudonym
  6. Rights Preserved: The preservation of rights in all forms is another major aspect of Bitcoin Blockchain in every sphere such as physical assets, intellectual property, personal BlackBox of identity and the like. There is an appropriate rights management system in-built in this new technology that arms the users with the adequate knowledge about their rights.
  7. Inclusion: The Bitcoin Blockchain technology works on the distributed capitalism concept that makes the economy work for everyone in the society. In other words, effective inclusion is the primary paradigm of this technology, which drives overall prosperity.

  Blockchain in financial services

The domain of global financial services is severely lagging behind owing to the age-old technologies that still prevail here whereas the world outside is dynamically digitalizing by leaps and bounds. The onset of Blockchain technology and the impact that it is going to have on the financial services sector will revolutionise financial services. The major factors that will transform are attestation or establishment of adequate trust while taking up financial transactions, cost optimisation, speed, value innovation and above all, the implementation of open-source technology.

The financial services sector starting from the banks and financial institutions to stock exchanges will undergo a massive metamorphosis altogether. Eminent global banks such as Barclays has already started exploring Blockchain technology to modify their financial operations. In fact, 2015 witnessed a historic event when world’s nine topmost banks – Barclays, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, State Street, UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, BBVA and Commonwealth Bank of Australia joined hands towards establishing ‘common standards for Blockchain technology’ by bringing the concept of R3 Consortium.

Ethereum

The world saw a historic milestone being achieved with the onset of the Blockchain platform called Ethereum. Ethereum came about from the Brooklyn office of Consensus Systems (ConsenSys) which is ‘one of the first Ethereum software development companies’. Ethereum is the brainchild of the 19-year old Vitalik Butterin, a Canadian of Russian descent.

According to the website of ConsenSys, ‘Ethereum is a platform that runs decentralised applications, namely smart contracts, ‘exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. Ethereum is like a Bitcoin in that it either motivates a network of peers to validate transactions, secure the network, and achieve consensus about what exists and what has occurred. However, unlike Bitcoin, it contains some powerful tools to help developers and others create software services ranging from decentralised games to stock exchanges.’

ConsenSys has eliminated the concept of hierarchy based working by replacing the same with a ‘hub’ nature of the environment. This facilitates even more seamless and smoother open communication with the help of Blockchain technology. This can, therefore, be taken up by the several firms in the future for more even distribution of power, increased transparency, enhanced user privacy as well as anonymity.

 Apart from all these advantages, the transaction costs are also going to be optimized by collaborative transformations of the three types of costs in an economy as specified by Nobel laureate Ronald Coase –’The costs of search (finding all the right information, people, resources to create something), coordination (getting all these people to work together efficiently) and contracting (negotiating the costs for labor and materials for every activity in production, keeping trade secrets, and policing and enforcing these agreements)’.

Distributed applications (DApps)

Blockchain will be revolutionising the way the businesses run today. While the basic operations of the businesses remain the same, the overall interface will be transforming with Blockchain. These Blockchain based business applications will be named distributed applications or DApps, which are nothing but ‘a set of smart contracts that stores data on a home-listings Blockchain’. The transactions through this Blockchain based interface will simplify even more and become seamless. It will be a peer-to-peer based network that will ensure much more privacy of data, reduction of risks, enhanced reputation, provision for identity verification and other smart features like insurance, payment settlement, and property access using Smart Locks (devices based on Internet of Things). After the evolution of the software applications from the client apps, server apps, virtual private network (VPN) and cloud computing, it is time for the distributed applications based on Blockchain to take over.

With the help of these, uploading of any program in the Blockchain platform followed by self-execution of the same backed by a tough crypto-economical guarantee will become easier, and this will not be residing inside any particular entity or organisation. Rather, it will be a public platform that will keep on performing in a secured manner. This will be made possible with the help of collaborative action of the Open Networked Enterprises (ONE), Distributed Autonomous Enterprises (DAE), Smart Contracts, and Autonomous Agents of the Blockchain technology.

In other words, the companies and organisation at large will have to take part in this transformation phase driven by Blockchain economy to survive amidst the change by value creation (through entrepreneurship) and value participation (through distributed ownership of the firm).

Blockchain & the internet of things

With the advent of Blockchain technology, the software and technologies related to the Internet of Things will be revolutionised as intelligence can be inculcated within the infrastructure with the help of smart devices so that these can communicate easily with each other through the peer-to-peer network of Blockchain. This will make the system more robust, cost-effective, and economical. The basic backbone underlying the configuration will be a mesh network unlike the conventional ‘top-down models of organisation, regulation, and control’.

Since the concept of a centralised organisation or entity is rooted out in the Blockchain technology, therefore, the system tends to become more secure with enhanced privacy. The power and distribution system will become much more streamlined as the digitisation of the power nodes will lead to the creation of a peer-to-peer structure that will ensure efficient energy consumption and storage in a particular neighbourhood.

It is speculated by several technology companies that Blockchain will help in tapping the potential of the Internet of Things technology to the maximum possible extent where every single node or device of business will act as an independent, self-sufficient ‘micro-business’ unit. This sphere will separately be known as the industrial Blockchain. In other words, the Internet of Things that require the Ledger of Everything for operating efficiently and effectively will be driven by Blockchain. This will in turn help in taking care of the nine facets of Ledger of Everything, namely: Resilient, Robust, Real-time, Responsive, Radically Open, Renewable, Reductive, Revenue-generating, and Reliable.

 In short, the actual objects of the real world are ‘animated’ and placed in the Ledger of Everything, which then comes alive and starts communicating and responding by taking appropriate action as well. Networked intelligence as specified in The Digital Economy will be the main keyword of Internet of Things thereby redefining businesses altogether.

Can Blockchain be inclusive?

The ultimate success of any form of technology lies in its ability to percolate to every single stratum of the society. It is only with the growth and development of all the levels of the society that overall economic prosperity can be attained. Consequently, the Blockchain technology too has got the immense potential that can be utilised in unveiling the unbanked strata of the society that comprises of the poor and destitute who are leading lives depending upon agriculture, livestock, fishing and other allied sectors. It is understood that all these are simply assets that ought to be utilised for gaining money by exchanging value, which can be possible with the help of Blockchain Bitcoin.

This technology can work with even tiniest of pennies, and therefore, even the meagre assets of the individuals can prove beneficial by enabling them to go for the hassle-free opening of bank account, followed by utilising all the necessary benefits of deposits and credit backed by Blockchain. In fact, availability of ‘a mobile phone and some Internet access’ is enough to start participating in prosperity build-up using Blockchain technology.

Apart from these tools of abundance, persistent identity and democratised entrepreneurship are the pivotal points related to prosperity through Blockchain. The domains of microfinance, asset ownership, payments, and settlements are going to be revolutionised with Blockchain that will, in turn, lead to a concept of distributed ownership and investment. Added to these factors, it will become easier to the government organisations, NGOs and other philanthropic entities to distribute funds to the needy section of the society for their betterment and well-being.

Blockchain & good governance

In Estonia, digital identity is central to governance and administration. This is possible using an electronic ID card with a chip carrying information on identity authentication as well as a digital signature and a personal identification number (PIN).Estonia has also digitised information on a seamless platform across sectors such as education, health care, transportation systems, social services, and overall administration. The blockchain is the basic building block for this type of scenario that ensures that the technology spreads uniformly across all sectors of the society thereby achieving inclusive growth and prosperity.

Blockchain steps into metamorphosise the present nature of ‘the state’ concept into a much wider and more inclusive concept by inculcating integrity, public power, the value of the votes, preservation of privacy and technology inclusion. There are two major areas where Blockchain will play a major role- ‘integrated government and the public sector use of the Internet of Things’. The common people will be empowered in such a manner with Blockchain that they will be able to serve themselves as well as other fellow beings around them. The infrastructure will be more secure, and hence, a stream of open and trusted data, public value creation, and utilisation of the smart social contracts in case of political reputations will be possible.

What about Intellectual Property?

Blockchain technology can also be utilised to make the most of the intellectual property and therefore, enrich the concept of culture largely. In other words, the artists are supposed to be sole gainers under the purview of Blockchain while they get to express freely and at the same time, are financially benefitted as well. Blockchain will provide the platform for achieving this fair value by creating the appropriate intellectual property aimed at the well-being of the artists at large. The complications of the music industry and other allied cultural domains are likely to be simplified with the help of smart contracts of Blockchain technology.

A fresh genre of music ecosystem will be developed with the help of Blockchain not only powered by the smart contracts but also backed with the concerned artist’s reputation, integrity, and transparency that will, in turn, allow for the seamless deal making, privacy, and security, respect of rights and fair exchange of value. The Blockchain will be coming with value templates, inclusive royalties, transparent ledgers, micro-metering, micro-monetizing, rich database, usage data analytics, digital rights management, auction/dynamic pricing mechanism, and reputation system. Other features are basic copyright registration, digital content management system and the new artists and repertoire that work jointly to facilitate freedom of speech, privacy and freedom of press driven by Blockchain.

It’s not all good news

Blockchain technology being another nascent concept is likewise facing some major challenges at present that either may become roadblocks towards its successful implantation or can be averted to make the most of Blockchain benefits. This is first because it is still a complex concept that is hardly comprehensible by the all and sundry. At the same time, it comes with some other cons such as it can reduce the need for workforce thereby cutting down jobs, its energy consumption is not sustainable, insufficient incentives compared to the distributed mass collaboration work, privacy issues, malicious use of Blockchain by anti-social elements. Overall, it’s a mammoth task to make Blockchain operational. However, if the pioneers of Blockchain can stay firm regarding professional promises, then a new era of technology is possible.

The road ahead

It is not the job of a single entity like a government or another private sector to lead the Blockchain led evolution. Rather, the primary players in the market throughout the world have to come together and join hands to make Blockchain happen. These players include the Blockchain industry pioneers, venture capitalists, banks and financial services, developers, academic people, governments, regulators, law enforcement bodies, NGOs, users, and women leaders of Blockchain who have a crucial role to play in the successful functioning of Blockchain. The world will be interconnected with several networks like knowledge networks, policy networks, advocacy networks, operational & delivery networks, networked institutions, watchdog networks, platforms, governance networks, global standard networks and Diasporas under the purview of Blockchain. Together, the countries worldwide have to unite for enforcing Blockchain to the ultimate extent in the society.chnologies and drugs when they are needed, but also understands how our mind controls our physiology by making us better.

 

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