Reviews

Views about a particular subject, place, thing or service, basis hand on experience and analysis.

Book Review || Sur/Petition by Edward de Bono

I had mentioned in one of my Instagram posts, “Life is about constantly working on yourself.” Further to this, the excellent book by author Edward de Bono, explains the necessity of going over and beyond competition to sustain and win in the global marketplace. Edward de Bono, the author of this book encapsulates the need to move beyond old competitive strategies. In a world, where everyone’s constantly thinking of going ahead of their competition, it is time to focus more on creating/ manufacturing value that goes a long way i.e. competing with yourself.

The book is for individuals, who are competitive, creative and always strive to go over and beyond, especially when it comes to strategic thinking. We anxiously watch and focus on what others are doing, and often forget to translate our own thoughts and to work towards value creation. Competition is just a bottom line to any business and is a traditional way of looking at things. What’s more important in today’s time of global connectivity and marketplace is to unleash the vast potential of ‘integrated values’ that revolves around any business. A deep study, research, knowledge and understanding of any business is important to be in the competition. However, reinventing ways to go beyond competition by exploiting and leveraging strategies and values, around the product or service you aim at, makes all the difference.

What I loved about the book is, it’s published in 1993 and each word stands true to this day. Bono talks about preparing for the time when there’s a slump in the economy. He also mentions how it is important to stand out if one deploys serious creativity, concept design and R&D and elaborates on the application of each one of these. Although the book speaks more from the business mindset, it is yet well relatable to any profession you are in. I could relate to it from being a marketing & branding professional to also as an entrepreneur.

It will inspire you to go beyond not just average but beat the best of the bests through quality, creativity and giving serious value for anything. The book does not say that the competition is wrong; it just tells you how to think beyond the competition. In other words, to be extraordinary, it’s important to beat the ordinary by providing unexpected products and services. You can’t just replicate business to be in the global marketplace because if you do so, you’ll never be able to create a monopoly. Monopoly is the art of ‘Sur/Petition’. It is the art of breaking the rules by unleashing the value propositions to stay ahead of the game. Being the best or producing the best is not enough in today’s competitive world. Sur/Petition is the need of the hour because value backed with strong strategy, concept and R&D can never go wrong.

Bono explains every aspect of the behavior in a world of competition to the aspects that fall under sur/petition and how the two are different. With thorough experience and life examples, he has done an incredible job in writing this book for generations to come. There’s lot to learn and follow. The initial few chapters would make you feel; you know things already because we have been in the competition state always. Do not stop there. The second half of the book brings you the interesting ways to stay ahead of competition through sur/petition. Go on, read this book and leave in comments how you felt about the book. Please like and share if you found this review useful and follow me on my social media.

Pages: 240

Publisher: Penguin

Buy: https://amzn.to/2MmlPbQ

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Pinewood Cottages Kasauli: A Jungle Retreat


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Pinewood Cottages-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

Pristine, serene and majestic! These are the adjectives that completely define this place.

Pinewood Cottages Kasauli is a place to be. Located in the outskirts, these cottages are situated with village on one side and jungle on the other. The deep valley, the curvacious narrow lanes, the abundant greenery makes for the picturesque beauty.

Weekend Getaway

Pinewood Cottages-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

We planned to visit this place over a weekend. Provided, the stay was short, we had an amazing time. With me was my spouse, his friends and my pet. Yes, this place is pet-friendly and to my relief there were no other visitors than us, and my dear Labrador, named Dollar, had the best time of his life. We were not untouched with all the magnificent beauty of this place. The silence was overwhelming. Our senses could now unwind to a completely non-polluted hill station.

Pinewood Cottages-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

The Journey Began

We left at 5 in the morning from Delhi on a Saturday and reached the destination around 2 PM. We booked a tempo traveler that cost us around 14 grands, but gave us ample space to even lie down and keep our bags. It was a smooth journey throughout. With a halt at Sukhdev Dhaba, Moorthal in Haryana where we had rich and most famous parathas served with excessive white butter. They were even more delicious when followed by tea. Without any other major stop, we finally reached Pinewood Cottages in Kasauli. The last 4 km stretch was a bumpy ride, as there was no pakka road.

Pinewood Cottages-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

Beauty of the Cottages

On the right hand, I saw some varnished cottages. These cottages were looking all the more beautiful because of the sun rays, which made them look golden in color. There was abundant greenery and huge pine trees, the spiky needle like leaves shined splendidly. On these trees were found cones scattered here and there. These brown cones added to the beauty and I badly wanted one of them to take back with me as a memory. Unfortunately, these pine cones were too high from our reach and I could only bring back the ones I found lying underneath.

Pinewood Cottages-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

There were around six cottages including the tree house. Each one of us picked the cottage and dumped the luggage. The rooms were neat, made of wooden logs, including the furniture. There were lights and a fan, but no electricity. The washrooms were clean and spacious, but the water was freezing cold. Since, there was no electricity, no point of expecting a hot water bath.

Pinewood Cottages-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

The Stay

It was sunny at the time we reached this place, but with the setting sun the temperature fell down considerably and we had to put on our woolens. We sat on the front lawn where there were chairs for us and demanded for a bonfire arrangement. The two caretakers Inder and Ganesh arranged it for us and we were highly pleased with Inder; he was spontaneous. However, later to our surprise we were told that there was no milk for tea and no food. Each time we would ask for something, they would go to the market in main Kasauli and get it for us. And, it took them almost one to one and a half hours each time they went uphill to the market. There was always a probability that we would have had to stay without food. We were lucky enough to have stayed only without tea. Of course, we drank tea; without the milk.

Pinewood Cottages-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

As it went dark and cold, we were at our best. The bonfire kept us alive under the open sky. Oh! That reminds me of millions of stars I saw after ages. The last I saw them was on one of the camps I stayed in Rishikesh, some two years back. It was marvelous. Imagine the soft cushion like grass under your feet, cold breeze caressing your cheeks, fire to warm the place and snacks and beverages to accompany you in your chit chat session with friends. Right in front of us was a valley and little farther, a mountain with trees symmetrically arranged that looked pitch black in the night.

Pinewood Cottages-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

Finally, we had dinner, which the poor chaps had arranged from the market. The food wasn’t excellent, but good to satiate your stomach pangs and taste buds.

The only drawback was that we could not charge our mobile phones, which were completely dead by then.

The Caretaker

Inder was an extremely benevolent  and humble being, who had been on his toes throughout. He made the best arrangements to his capacity and told us stories about leopards that visited the cottages late in the night. He added to the thrill as the place was pitch dark, the only light we had was of the bonfire which was sure to die. He also promised to take us to the waterfall early morning. With this, we left for our cottages to wake up early morning.

We all managed to sleep soundly.

We woke up in the middle of the night to look out for leopards without stepping out of the cottages as instructed by Inder, till we saw the morning light.

The Dawn

The sun rise was splendid. The beauty of the sun cannot be ignored at the time of dawn. The sun rose beautifully behind the mountains and spread its redness, near and far to its circumference just like a deep red dye spreads across a white fabric–deeper towards the center and lighter towards the periphery. The pine trees in the front, still looked black, but distinct.

Pinewood Cottages-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

We planned to go to the waterfall, but it was nothing but a stream of water and we came back a little disappointed. On our way back we met the villagers and local people.  They were quite welcoming and had a warm smile on their faces.

We then decided to go down the valley, which were the farms of the villagers, their bread and butter. We must have touched almost the end of the valley and found a variety of plantation. Some of them were the citrus fruits, red hot chillies, ripe tomatoes, radish, bamboo shoots, cucumber and lots more.  After the trekking to the valley plantation, we decided to rest a while and eat breakfast.

 

Travel-Blog-Anupriya Mishra

Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

We also went to the market in main Kasauli to curb our tea cravings.  Tea was exceptionally sweet for people like me who do not have a sweet tooth.

There is nothing much to see in Kasauli. Despite the drawbacks like lack of basic amenities and poor service, we enjoyed our stay because we were on our own. It was an overall thrilling experience to stay in the wooden cottages amidst forest.

Far from the maddening crowd

Pinewood cottages are worth a shot if you are in a large group of friends and family. The best you can do is to keep a backup for everything, be it torch, lighter, extra water bottles and food or snacks to munch. You’ll enjoy this place completely if you wish to while away with the traffic, honks and fast life. The beauty of vicinity, the silence of the mountains,  cottages amidst deep dense forests would make up for all the shortcomings. Try it out!

Tariffs:

One Night Room Tariff Only

Deluxe Cottage : Rs.3600

Super Deluxe Cottage :  Rs.4200

Duplex Cottage : Rs.5400

Tree House Cottage : Rs.6000

Child 5-10 years : Nil

Child (10+) / Adult : 500

without extra bedding

except in Deluxe and Tree-House

 

Website: http://www.pinewoodcottageskasauli.com/

Disclaimer: Do not go by the services and facilities mentioned on their website as they have none. It is believed that the place is now owned by a new person since couple of months, who does not take an interest in the property apart from the monetary aspect.