Learning Dispatch — April 11th, 2016 — Learning from Kung Fu Panda

Why the dispatch? — I want to understand how I can make my learning more social. I love having interesting conversations with friends and colleagues about new things I learned. So these dispatches are part of an effort to get those conversations started. I am also very curious to know more about what you have been learning this past week in return for sharing some of the learning highlights of my week.

It was an animated films weekend for me. I saw The Jungle Book and Kung Fu Panda 3 at a cinema hall close to my home this week. There is so much you can learn from the characters in an animated film.

Learning how to Learn from Kung Fu Panda 3 and Po

Po

In this Kung Fu Panda movie, the protagonist Po (Panda) has to fight against an evil Kai (Bull). Kai takes the chi (anything that makes you you or yin and yang balance in the context of the movie) of ancient masters of Kung Fu from the spirit realm and now he comes to the mortal world to take the chi of the remaining Kung Fu Masters of the mortal world (The five animals and Poo who is also the Dragon Warrior. see Kung Fu Panda 1 and Kung Fu Panda 2). To fight Kai, Poo has to travel to an ancient healing village where a group of Pandas live. Poo’s Kung Fu Mentor and Former Teacher Uguae, found his chi in this village. It was given to him by the Pandas. Po now wants to find his own chi in this village. During this time, Kai has entered the mortal world and is now out to steal the chi of the remaining master. But Po doesn’t even know what his Chi is. In the village the pandas are trained in things they are already good at. One Panda likes dancing so the panda is always dancing. One Panda likes hugging other pandas so this panda keeps Hugging other Pandas. One Panda likes rolling down a hill, so this panda is keeps rolling down a hill. Observing all of this, Po soon realizes that,

‘Your real strength comes from being the best you….So find out who you are…what do you love…what makes you You… Ah I got I don’t have to make you me. I have to make you You. That is Chi.’

Other Favorite lines from Kung Fu Panda 3 (told by multiple characters)

- I have so much to learn

- Can you teach me the art of mastering your chi (teacher asks student)

- Don’t try too hard poo

- When will you realize that the more you take the less you have

- I am trying to turn you into you

- Having you in his life is not less for me but more for him

Note — This is a Personal Interpretation of a few scenes in the Film. This is not a Spoiler. Just an interpretation of a few scenes of the film. Watch the Kung Fu Panda 3 trailer here.

Play — God of Carnage

I also got to see a play at the St. Andrews Auditorium titled God of Carnage and it is based on a screenplay written by Yasmin Reza. It had Shernaz Patel and three other actors in it. The central conflict of the play was a conversation between two couples whose young sons had a fight in which one son hurt the other really seriously. The parents of the victim come to the house of the boy that hit their son and the play progresses from there with each character opening up different shades of their personality through a verbal argument about their children’s fight, often ending up behaving like children themselves. More about the play

Godrej Culture Lab Talk

GS Dastur held a film screening of her film — ‘Getting Better’ about the daily life of doctors and patients at a public municipal hospital in Mumbai called KEM Hospital. It was organized by the brilliant team at the Godrej Culture Lab (see videos of their other talks). What stood out for me in this movie was the reflections of some senior doctors in the film about why health must be a national priority, and the roles and responsibilities of doctors in society. The film maker GS Dastur when asked what the impact of the 4 year process of the film on her was described how she now developed a new found respect for Doctors that Care and not only the Medicines administered. Some notes and lines I took down at the screening are included here:-

- Don’t ever forget that you are treating human beings not machines

- Society expects that an individual goes to a doctor and trusts their whole body and mind to the doctor. This trust must never be broken.

- Like any bureaucratic position how much you do depends on your temperament and you also need a lot of patience and administrative training to make better decisions with full regard for context

- Good administrator is someone that sees into the future — 10 or 15 years from now and is not only involved in daily firefighting

Here is the Getting Better — IMDB Page and Watch over a 100 Godrej Culture Lab Videos here

Reading — Eight Little Piggies by Stephen Jay Gould about the work of various generations of paleo-anthropologists and their quests to present us with a natural history of the world. Gould is a master essayist and this book has a lot of personal reflections from him on the field and its evolution over time.

Listening to John Coltrane, Pandit Niladri Kumar and Jayanthi Kumaresan

Read an interesting article by Mahesh Murthy (an investor based in India) on how the opportunities for the tech start up space in India may have been overestimated.

Abhishek