Victory Vitamin – May 2021

Victory Vitamin – May 2021

Victory Vitamin May 2021

May marks the end of hot weather across tropical countries, and growing up, it meant another significant milestone. June would be the month when schools would reopen after the long summer break, prompting us to pack our bags with books, our lunch boxes with yummy treats and our brains with lessons. This year, the reopening is likely to look different again — but even a virtual reopening will thrust our children back into the world of knowledge and learning.

Although most of us have graduated years (or decades!) back, there’s no reason why we cannot embrace the back-to-school spirit and continue this process of learning too. This month’s Victory Vitamin is thus packed with lessons, reflections, hope and positivity. Will you be present?

Best wishes,

What’s new?

1. Freddie hits a century!

I am proud to announce that ‘Father of Your Team’ has received over a 100 reviews on Amazon with a 4.9 rating! Leaving a review is one of the best ways to help an author, so I would like to thank all those of you who rated the book and helped me make it to the Amazon US #1 New Releases list! For those of you who haven’t read it yet and are curious about what those 100+ reviewers liked, worry not. You can download your Kindle version here and start reading right away!

Freddie hits a century!

2. UK Virtual Book Fair 

The Annual UK Book fair is a festival that many international authors, readers and publishing stalwarts love to visit — and it has always been my dream to be a part of it. My dream came true this year as I got the opportunity to present ‘Father Of Your Team’ at the virtual edition of the event! I started my presentation with a ‘Hottie Story’ that I am happy to say, plucked at the heartstrings of viewers worldwide. Tune in to it here


What’s coming up?

1. Coming up shortly, a short story

Coming up shortly, a short story

I have a friend who lives in his ancestral home with his widowed mother and his family.  A few months ago, he built a new house 20 miles away from his home. He showed me photos of the housewarming ceremony — and while admiring them, I noticed something strange. His mother was not there in any of the photos. I asked him about it. ‘My wife was not so comfortable with inviting my mother. So I avoided it,’ he admitted frankly.

Every Mother’s Day, this friend does something interesting on social media — be it posting an old photograph with his mother, going to a posh location or wishing everyone. This year was no different. This incident made a deep impact on me and it inspired me to write a story. Not a poignant one, but a story packed with humour, it shows that Facebook posts cannot always be taken at face value. I found a popular cartoonist to make it memorable for you, and I am happy to tell you that it’s coming out soon, in July. Look out for my updates — ironically, on my Facebook page

2. Reviewing child authors

Reviewing child authors

While I have always devoured self-help and spiritual books, I have recently started reading books by child authors too. My new resolution is to read one every month and review it on Facebook. Why this resolution?

I recently had a chance to help one child author, as she came up with her fiction book ‘Thrilling Three’ — and I received a surprise from her soon after. I consider it a privilege and a joyous responsibility.

‘Thrilling Three’

So if you have a child author at home and want me to review their book, feel free to write to me at

What did I do differently?

1. Revisiting Vaanoli Anna

In the days when radios ruled the roost, Vaanoli Anna was popular among the global Tamil population. His stories for children really captivated people’s imagination. When he published his stories as a book and wanted it reviewed in an international forum for Tamil book readers, I was fortunate to be chosen as the reviewer. Three days after the review came out, I was thrilled to know that his book won the 1st prize for Children Literature in 2020.

Revisiting Vaanoli Anna

2. A dose of ‘positiwitty’
If you have been craving a little bit of positivity in the news, you’re not alone. That seems to be the common sentiment right now. I wanted to do something to change the way people look at news — so I turned to humour. Over the last 2 months, I have been picking up ‘trendy’ news pieces and giving it my own spin with wordplay. I will keep posting more, so you can start your day with laughter, the best medicine. For now, you can see my previous posts here

3. Sunday matinee
I love expanding my circle of positive influencers — and a month ago, I was introduced to a great new one! She is an amazing story teller who conducts certification workshops. But aside from her paid programs, she also hosts storytelling sessions on Sunday afternoons, where she narrates interesting historical events. I started attending the sessions and quickly became engrossed with her animated style of narration. If you too, want to join me for this Sunday matinee, do be a part of this Tale Tribe

Events that touched me

1. Steely resolve and a breath of hope

Testing times bring out true heroes who stand the test of time — and this teacher, Devendra is nothing short of one. Upon hearing that his friend Ranjan Agarwal was admitted in a hospital in Noida and needed oxygen support, Devendra didn’t hesitate. Hailing from the steel city of Bokaro, Devendra tapped into his steely resolve and started visiting oxygen plants and suppliers. He managed to find a cylinder, drove 1400 kms, crossed three states in 24 hours and reached his friend Ranjan — bringing him some oxygen, and bringing the rest of us, a fresh breath of hope. Just like Devendra’s journey, let his story travel thousands of miles too. Read this story of friendship here and share it with as many people as you can.

2. Sleeping kitties and the sleepless kid
The other day, a white cat turned up at our house, and settled right in, as cats do. We had never had a pet cat so my daughters were very excited to see her. As they cuddled her happily, they named her Clarisa. Soon, a jumbo-sized packet of Whiskas cat food was ordered along with a metaphorical red carpet, which they rolled out for her every day. Clarisa came and went, unmindful of any lockdown restrictions.

A few months later, Clarisa delivered 3 kittens — one with brown stripes, one with grey stripes and a cute white one with two black lines on the forehead. My daughters named them Ginger, Silver and Pepper. My daughters were over the moon — they spent several hours every day, watching them sleep or wipe their eyes, and discussing their personality traits in depth.

One Sunday, the mother cat disappeared. My daughters were agonised. They cycled around the house in a 5 kilometers radius until noon, but there was no Clarisa to be found. They tried feeding the kittens with a feeding bottle, a syringe, and even cotton dipped in milk — but the kittens wouldn’t open their mouths, no matter how many YouTube tips and tricks were tried.

My elder daughter was inconsolable, which was doubly worrying because she had exams the next day. She cried all through that evening, worrying about the kittens. Her eyes were swollen. She went out on her cycle again at night and managed to buy a stuffed toy that resembled Clarisa. And would you believe it — as soon as it was placed inside the kitty bed, the kittens believed it to be their mom! They crawled towards it and nudged the toy in an attempt to drink milk!

The story has a happy ending. At 5 am the next day, Clarisa returned after her weekend getaway. My children jumped out of bed in joy. They fed Clarisa and locked her in the room for her to spend time with her loved ones. This incident taught me that love and compassion shouldn’t just be limited to our fellow humans — love for every creature is to be cherished.

Sleeping kitties and the sleepless kid

My reading list

Articles I loved

1 Where Does The Women Workforce Stand One Year After COVID-19 Struck?

The pandemic has certainly caused many to lose their jobs — but has this been gender neutral? Think of the women in the informal workforce — the domestic help, the household cooks, the innumerable women working in the parlours and shops. This article is indeed eye-opening. And it also shows the way the pandemic touches the working women in your life.

2.  The Dangers of Unapologetic Leadership

‘Lead unapologetically!’
That’s a statement that sounds highly motivational, right? But what about when you come across leaders who take this too literally — and refuse to ever admit they are wrong? Read on to see their impact in the workplace, and see how to identify these ‘Knowers’ vs the ‘Learners’ in your team.

Book recommendations

1. The Shift by Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer

There are travel restrictions in most cities — but there’s nothing stopping us from travelling inward and exploring our own ambitions and sense of purpose. Dr. Dyer’s book is indeed a dire need in these current times — especially if you have been in an introspective mood lately and have been looking for ways to do something more meaningful. Though the book is full of engaging ideas, what I loved most was the way the author highlighted the 6 lies that the ego wants us to believe:

  1. Who I am is what I have
  2. Who I am is what I do
  3. Who I am is what others think of me
  4. I am separate from everyone else
  5. I am separate from what is missing in my life
  6. I am separate from God

2.  29 Leadership Secrets from Jack Welch by Robert Slater

29 Leadership Secrets from Jack Welch by Robert Slater

‘Listen to the people who actually do the work.’ A powerful sentiment — and also the title of Chapter 19 of this book. The chapter talks about an outing where the staff is taken for a 3-day workout session with their leaders, somewhere far away from the office. On this outing, the bosses listen to the staff proposals and end up clearing 80% of them! The key learning that emerges is this — enabling people to speak freely is one of the top mantras for success.

This book is filled with 29 such gems, divided into 4 important compartments — Visionary Leadership, Igniting a Revolution, Removing the Boss Element and Next Generation Leadership. I highly recommend it for those who are on the lookout for a business bible.

2.  The Postcard Tales by Raja Singho 

Released amidst much fanfare at the 44th Chennai International Book Fair, The Postcard Tales is a collection of short stories that envelops your soul. Translated from the original Bengali, these award-winning stories will transport you effortlessly to different worlds. It will let you travel across time to different periods, introduce you to new people all in different shades of grey, and help you discover the nobility in the simplest things. There is a lot of suspense in each tale, and they all take several unpredictable turns, leaving you reeling in disbelief. My favourites from the collection? The stories entitled ‘Womb’ and ‘Twenty One’ — both of which pack a powerful punch.

To-Do List

1. Take care to take care
“Take care!” One term that we have heard used time and again over the last few months. Go through your WhatsApp messages and you’ll see it make several appearances — used when someone says that they are unwell, when someone says they are financially struggling. You may have used it several times yourself.

Of course, the people at the receiving end know that they are supposed to take care. But don’t you think right now, they need someone to ‘give care’? So the next time, before typing these words reflexively, take a pause. Talk to that friend and ask them how you can be of help. That’s how they will really know that you care.

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