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10 May 2007

Kyon ki har ghar kuch kehta hain

This may be a trivial matter but why is it that we have only one PINK city in India-Jaipur. I mean, isn't painting a building the simplest thing to do? So why don't at least a couple of other towns and cities follow this example. Surely there is no need for any complex best practice Knowledge Management or Knowledge Sharing database for this. Which also is another of my pet theories- that it is not knowledge or lack of it, but failure to act upon it that results in the difference between the winners and losers.

When I visited the Caribbean, I found the tradional architecture there to be most charming . The unique buildings are made breathtaking with the use of the most amazing colours thus transforming a simple structure into a work of art.

I am also a passionate votary of art, music, dance being an integral part of culture and daily life. Think of our Indian tradition in all three respects. Music- for every occasion the Indian communities have songs, even as a farmer and his family are tilling the field, they'd sing. Colour & Design- From the simple rangoli at the doorstep to lepan work of Kutch to numerous other methods, art and craft was woven into traditional lifestyle. Today it is framed for the drawing room. Why is it not integrated with everyday usage and everyday items? The story with dance is not so different either. I have nothing against the rumba and salsa classes. Why not, when in New York they are learning the Bhangra and the garba.

But, just as in information management, at some point, content has to evolve into context, to be of any real and lasting value. In KM in organisations, it is said all knowledge has a "shelf-life".

To come back to my train of thoughts, as I look out at the buildings in the complex or even as I travel in Mumbai, I despair over the Mumbai skyline. Even freshly painted buildings are a bland beige. With an apologetic trim of dismal green or maroon ( maroon is the country cousin of burgundy). Grey and industrial blue. Some white. Do I dare suggest the Caribbean experience (which incidentally has striking similarities to Indian hues)to my building manager ? Can we be bold to paint our building in a bright colour at the expense of standing apart and therefore being the "odd one" out. While asking directions people would say- Woh neela-peela wala building.

So it really was a delight to read this report by Gauri Bhure on an award winning ALM in Lt Dilip Gupte Marg, Mahim, Mumbai. Colour co-ordinated compound walls, inspirational quotes, children who participate in garbage segregation ?

To quote, "If we think of our locality as an extension to our homes, the effort it takes to make it better will seem insignificant in comparison to the gains." Are we all listening?

Wow, Way to go! Congratulations and may you inspire others too.

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