Book Reviews

Be a catalyst

As a kid, I was always interested in astronomy but science, in particular physics never interested me. Other branches of science i.e. chemistry and biology, weren’t appealing either. I remember studying (or should I reading) catalyst in chemistry. Something to do with making the chemical reaction quicker.

Many years later, I came across an article where Lord Krishna was referred as Catalyst in Mahabharata war. Guess that’s when I noticed the meaning of this word ‘ catalyst’ beyond chemistry and chemical reactions. It was Lord Krishna, whose presence in the war but not direct fighting the war, resulted in the desired effect.

And many many years later, someone recommended me the book ‘Catalyst’ by Chandramouli Venkatesan. I purchased the book, but it wasn’t in my reading list then. Just a few weeks ago, I read and it had a profound impact on thinking, my outlook towards my professional goals, and my role and responsibilities.

A few days ago, I had posted a blog on the quotes and excerpts from Paulo Coelho’s international bestseller ‘The Alchemist’ and one did pertain to reading the omens.

And somehow it has registered in my mind, the book ‘Catalyst’ is an omen in the times when I am trying to explore and experiment as well as balance my life on many fronts.

Catalyst, in my opinion, makes you introspect. Throughout the book, at every stage, I reflected on my own experience. And somewhere I felt really good that I had ‘catalysed’ my own growth and learning, and in some cases, I had a realisation of things which I could have done better or may be differently.

My experience with Catalyst was amazing. Further, I also felt a need, more a responsibility, to share my realisations and learning with my colleagues, and my team. They all have played a crucial role in my professional journey. I want each of them, to introspect and understand their own potential, their interests and work on themselves to achieve their goals.

May be in subsequent blog, I will what I discussed and shared with my team.

Catalyst is a must read, even for non-readers. Be mindful that this book will not give direct answers to your questions, but an approach and guidance on how to seek the answers. What all one should try, to accelerate ones growth, both personal and professional.

While its the book ‘Catalyst’ is the focus here, its also closely linked to the essence of The Alchemist. As each one of us tries to unleash the potential within us, the positive repercussions can be felt on everything and everyone around us.

To quote a from the Alchemist

We strive to become better than we are,  everything around us becomes better, too.





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