Author Archives: rajkumarbhatnagar

Art of Living : Find and eliminate Muda

An Indian hotel group ‑‑ supposedly the Taj Group — invited a Japanese consultant, Mr Masai Imai, to hold a workshop for its managers. The hotel managers were skeptical: our hotel is doing excellent business; this Japanese guy has no exposure to the Indian hotel business; what exactly are we going to learn from him?

In the conference room at 9 am sharp, Mr Masai was introduced to them. He turned out to be an unimpressive personality, who spoke as if he was first formulating each sentence in Japanese and then translating it into clumsy English.

“Good morning. Let us start work. I am told this is a workshop, but I see neither work nor shop. So let us go where work is happening. Let us start with the first room on the first floor.”

Mr Masai, followed by the participants, proceeded to that room, chosen at random. It happened to be the laundry room of the hotel. Mr Masai entered and stood at the window, “Beautiful view,” he said.

The staff knew that. They did not need a Japanese consultant to tell them this. “A room with such a beautiful view is being wasted as a laundry room. Shift the laundry to the basement and convert this into a guest room.”

Wow! How come nobody had thought about that? The General Manager said, “Yes, it can be done.” “Then let us do it.” Mr Masai said.

“Yes sir, I will make a note of it. And we will include it in the report on the workshop”

“Excuse me, but there is nothing to make a note of. We will do it, right now.” Mr Masai said.

“Right now?”

“Yes, you decide on a room in the basement and shift these things out of this room right now. It should take a few hours, right?”

“Then we will come back here tonight. By then all these things will have been shifted out and the room will be ready with the furniture, furnishings etc. Then from tomorrow you can start earning the extra eight thousand rupees that you charge for a room night.”

The next destination was the pantry. The group entered. Inside were two huge sinks full of plates, waiting to be washed. Mr Masai immediately removed his jacket and started washing the plates.

“Sir, please, what are you doing?” asked the General Manager

“I am washing the plates”

“But sir, the staff is here to do that.”

Mr Masai continued washing, “I think sink is for washing plates. There are stands to keep the plates. These plates should therefore be in the stands.”

After finishing, Mr Masai asked, “How many plates do you have?”

“We have plenty, so that there should never be any shortage,” said the General Manager

“We have a word in Japanese: ‘Muda’. Muda means delay, muda means unnecessary spending. We must learn to avoid both. If you have plenty of plates, there will be delay in cleaning them up. The first step in correcting this situation is to remove all the excess plates.”

“Certainly, we will say this in the report.”

No wasting time in writing a report. That is another example of muda. We must pack the extra plates in a box right now and send them to whichever other hotel might require them.

Now, for the rest of this workshop, we will find out where all this muda is hidden and remove it, one part at a time”

After this, at every spot and session, the staff eagerly awaited to find out muda and learn how to avoid it.

Let us do this exercise after reading this blog — find out delay, waste of time and unnecessary spending in our own lives and learn ways to avoid them. Muda is waste. Wasting time, effort or energy means a wasted opportunity to be more productive. Yoga, meditation and Sudarshan Kriya increase the awareness levels so that it become easier to identify and destroy the Muda in business and personal life.


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The story of Humanity Hospital

Sharing this truly wonderful story sent to me by an Art of Living volunteer on e-mail:

On 13th April 1971 Shri Sadhan Chandra Mistry, aged 35 years a vegetable vendor in the obscure village of Hanspukur, District South 24-Parganas, West Bengal, died of a very common and minor ailment, only because he could not get access to any medical attention whatsoever.

He left behind his illiterate wife Subhasini (23 years then) with two sons and two daughters four to eight years in age. Naturally, the family plunged into utter poverty and Subhasini was forced out of her home within one month of her husband’s death, to sell vegetables in that hamlet market. That day, while she sat under the scorching sun selling vegetables and worrying about her children, she took a vow that one day she will build a hospital in that very village so that no poor villager would die for want of medical attention.

Her fellow vendors and every person who heard of her vow laughed and made fun of her. How can she build a hospital, they jeered, when she cannot even mend her own thatched hut? She had to feed a family of five and marry two daughters. The village elders concluded her vow was all humbug and pure day dreaming out of having lost her mind.

However, day in and out, Subhasini continued selling vegetables silently and looked after her children never allowing the fire in her frail body to douse even for a moment. After persevering for twenty full years, ultimately she could start a clinic at her home for poor people. She managed to coax a doctor into coming to her village every week. And week after week, while tens of poor patients got medical attention from this lone clinic in the region, Subhasini became the most popular household name in her village. Now her fellow vendors and all others started respecting her. That was enough of a support for her.

In the meantime, her children grew up. The two daughters were married off. The eldest son chose to be a labourer in the farm. Her other son, the youngest of the lot, Ajoy Mistry was chosen by Subhasini to carry on her mission. He successfully completed his secondary education and passed the All India Medical Entrance Test. Aided by the German Scholarship, he joined Calcutta Medical College where he completed his medical course. He worked hard as he studied, ran around from friends to well wishers to any person/organization he had access and managed to raise Rs.50,000 for his mothers mission.

In 1993, Ajoy Mistry authored the trust deed of Humanity Trust with his mother Subhasini Mistry as the co-founder trustee. On 5th February 1995, the foundation stone for the Hospital was laid and on 9th March 1996, the Humanity Hospital was inaugurated and opened to public. The Hospital is a testimony of the will and spirit of a woman who defied social norms and a long series of obstacles to establish the first hospital in her backward village. Within one year, the trust could raise ten times the initial money to complete the first structure of the hospital. Soon, more donations followed and today, Subhasini Mistry can say with pride that she has fulfilled her pledge made to her husband two and half decades earlier.

Humanity Hospital is certified and registered as a Hospital under the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Act. of 1950, managed by Humanity Trust formed on 4th March 1993. In the year 2000, Subhasini Mistry and Ajoy Mistry were honoured and named as the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary International, in appreciation of their service to humanity and poor people in particular. Today, despite the financial crunch to meet recurring expenses, the Hospital provides best services to poor and underprivileged sections of the society.

Subhasini Mistry still sells vegetables in Kolkata market to sustain her family.


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The Cockroach Theory for Self-development

Art of Living Cockroach

At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady.
She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach.

Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but …it landed on another lady in the group.

Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.

The waiter rushed forward to their rescue.
In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.

The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt.
When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior?

If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?
He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.

I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.

It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.

More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.

Lessons learnt from the story: 
I understood, I should not react in life. 
I should always respond. 
The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.

Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of hand, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in anger, anxiety, stress or hurry.

Recd as a fwd e-mail by Art of Living Blogger Rajkumar Bhatnagar


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A woman writes to the IT Technical support Guy :
Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and I noticed a distinct slowdown in the overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as NEWS 5.0,MONEY 3.0 and CRICKET 4.1 .

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.
Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5..3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.
What can I do?


Very soon the following Reply came from the IT support team :

DEAR Madam,

First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package,
while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme. html and try to download
Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If that application works as designed, Husband1.0 should then automatically
run the applications Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5..

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause
Husband 1.0 to default to Silence 2.5 or Beer 6.1.

Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install
Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash
Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.
You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend: Cooking 3.0 and Hot Looks 7.7.

Good Luck Madam!


Submitted by Art of Living Blogger, Rajkumar Bhatnagar


Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Others


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