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Special Columns
Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M Chief Consulting Editor's Desk
Rajita Chaudhuri
Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M Editor-in-Chief
Dr. Arindam Chaudhuri
INDIA'S TRULY GLOBAL BUSINESS
& MARKETING MAGAZINE


Dr. Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M
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I am always proud of everything we do, for we do things with a lot of passion! And when it’s about a book that had been a long cherished dream, I am all the prouder! Yes, my next book CULT is now available in stores. I have co-authored it with my most cherished friend of 22 years, A. Sandeep, the Group Editor of Planman Media. The book was launched in London on the 12th of December by management icon, Guy Kawasaki, a man who has also held the enviable post of “The Chief Evangelist” at the $353.07 billion-worth Apple Inc. (m-cap as of December 14, 2011; making it the world’s second largest company by m-cap) in the past. And when he says that if Steve Jobs would have been alive, he would have been proud of this book, I have reasons to be very very proud. Here I present excerpts from one of the 36 chapters of the book! The chapter’s name is: “The Winning Losers” (Section I, Chapter 10).



Hello Losers!

If you describe yourself as the bankrupt also-ran, the sure-to-lose stooge, the dud that always flops, then welcome our dearest iconic failures, join the club of losers who will rule this century.

Loser! If that word stings you to the core of your heart, yet is the exact word that describes you completely, in every aspect, then this chapter is for you. Hello losers! You’ve reached this far – congratulations! Now allow us to usher you into this chapter hoping that you never forget the feeling of being a loser, and that you always hate every moment of it. Before you start cursing our ten generations and beyond, let us quickly take you through the story of a few losers who, for us, embody the spirit of despondent losers.

This boy from Syracuse (New York), was labelled a dyslexic when he was just seven. His friends would harass him, and his school teachers would humiliate him. This is how he describes his early days, “I’d try to concentrate on what I was reading, then I’d get to the end of the page and have very little memory of anything I’d read. I would go blank, feel anxious, nervous, bored, frustrated, dumb. I would get angry. My legs would actually hurt when I was studying. My head ached.” He went to three different high-schools and each time, he would try to hide his disability. Soon it would be discovered, and he would be sent off to remedial reading. He raised his hands very often in class, only to ensure that his teachers noticed him and gave him extra points so that he could just about make the passing grades. Even when he had to complete his homework, he would first dictate it to his elder sister, make her write it down, and then copy it word to word.

 
His parents got separated when he was just 12, and he along with his sister Lee Anne, moved with his mother to New Jersey, where she had to work in three jobs simultaneously to earn enough to feed the family. Everything in his life, besides playing baseball, soccer and football, seemed hopeless. He finally managed to clear high school but failed his undergrads as he was a “functional illiterate”. He loved to learn, wanted to learn but the dyslexia was debilitating (Many times, he would even forget that when the fuel gauge in the car falls to ‘E’, it needed refuelling). He decided to move to LA to become an actor. Even then, the loser in him found it hard to pass auditions, because he simply could not read the script. He started requesting others during the auditions to read the script and the directors to talk about the characters and the film. He wanted to give it all up many times, but whenever he did, all he remembered were his mother’s words – “You’ve got so much potential. Don’t give up.” In 1983, he landed his first starring role in the film Risky Business. He got noticed. Three years later, Top Gun was released, which grossed $343 million and made him a millionaire (he earned $2 million from the film)! Thomas Cruise Mapother IV is his name; Tom Cruise is how we know him – the winner of three Golden Globe Awards (and nominations for three Academy Awards). Tom Cruise, then a dyslexic with poor memory, and today, a certified-flying pilot, a millionaire- producer and one of Hollywood’s most powerful stars! And all that because the loser never gave up!

The second loser in our list was born to unwed, teenage parents at a farm in Mississippi. Her mother was an 18-year-old housemaid (named Vernita Lee), while her father was a 20-year-old freshman in the US army (named Vernon). Soon after she was born, her parents decided to part ways, and she was left in the care of her grandmother, with whom she stayed till she was 6. Her childhood days could simply be described in three statements – she was a female, she was black, and she was very poor. As a child, she used to “playact” before an “audience” of farm animals. She was a bright kid though. On her first day at school, she left her kindergarten class after writing a note to her teacher, where she expressed her intent to study in the first grade. She was promoted to the third grade the very next year.

At the age of 6, she was sent to a very poor and dangerous neighborhood in Milwaukee, where she lived with her mother and two half-brothers. There, she was repeatedly raped by her cousin, her uncle and her mother’s friend. And her mother, because she worked odd jobs during odd hours, and because of their massively disadvantaged background, could frustratingly do nothing. The girl’s sufferings did not end there. She disintegrated into a habit of repeatedly skipping school, stealing money, and running away from home. Fed up, her mother then decided to put her into a detention home. As luck would have it, there were no openings in the home – and so she was sent to live with her father in Nashville. She became pregnant when she was 14, and gave birth to a dead baby.
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