The Book

Making a Difference

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I was a dumb child in school: I was the dumbest. I never won a prize in school. I scored a brilliant 42 percent for my matriculation. Everybody said I was good for nothing.

I looked up into the skies and said ‘the sky is not the limit’. I began to dream. I made those dreams possible. It worked. I am not brilliant. I have no special capabilities. But I get whatever I dream. I dream a lot. whatever I have to done, others can do better. But they should want to do it.

This book is about dreamers. About people who have the courage of conviction to dream a lot. About people who have the will to work for those dreams.

This book is an attempt to make India dream. Dream crazily. Make those dreams come true. I know it is possible. It is not a mere dream. People have done it.

Some may see this book as India bashing. It is not. Despite everything ,I believe that we can be on top of the world in five years if we put our act together, if we have a leadership that can lead the nation to dream and act. If we do not act now there will be very little of the nation left.

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I am grateful David Davidar and Krishan Chopra of Penguin books who persuaded me to write this book. But for them I would have never ventured to write it.

I am grateful to Revathy Venkatraman, Shangon Dasgupta, Myna Aiyanna, Rana Bose, Ajanta Chakravarty, Minakshi Pulgaonkar and Utpala Mukherjee for helping me out.

I am grateful to my office staff Gobind Ram and B.M Gupta who sat late into the night after office hours. They never cribbed . my man Friday was of course Satish Kumar Sharma. He did almost everything to make this book possible. But for him, there would be no book.

I am grateful to my friends who went through the script and suggested modifications, which I never did. Inever got the time to make any corrections, this book is almost a first draft. I completed it in thirty days flat. Couldn’t wait.

Grateful acknowledgement is also made to the editors of the Hindustan Times and the Times of India for permission to use extracts from material published in these newspapers.

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Anita Prathap / Time Magaine / CNN

When you hear that a bureaucrat has written a book, you look for insight, controversy and sensational titbits. You do not expect a delightful read.

No offence meant, but most bureaucrats—even those who display remarkable verbal command of the language—write difficult, pompous, preachy prose. That is why KJ.Alphons's book is a bagful of pleasant surprises. This is an easy, reader-friendly book. And riveting too.

But then, that is only to be expected. Alphons is not exactly the typical Indian bureaucrat. In every job he has held, he has made a difference. In this candid narrative, you will discover for yourself how he does it. To many cynics, Alphons's approach may seem simplistic, easy, no big deal. But he wields the ultimate weapon in his defence: he has always produced results. His approach has worked each and every time. It only goes to prove that we, as human beings, often have a tendency to needlessly complicate issues. What often ties up a problem in a hopeless tangle of knots is not the various elements of the problem, but the cobwebs in one's own mind.

A sharp clear mind, courage of conviction and steely determination is what is required to solve problems, to change the status quo, to make a difference. Alphons and the other crusaders profiled in this book have these qualities in good measure

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