Mangalore: Prof Ananth Prabhu's 'Little Black Book' to brighten students' lives

Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, May 8: Mangalore is known as the educational hub because of the strident progress the city has achieved in the education field. But when it comes to making the right career choice or adopting an appropriate study method there is lack of guidance for the students and their parents. As a result many students adopt a faulty system of learning and get frustrated. Many end up making a wrong choice of career and mess up their lives.

'Little Black Book for Students', a 153 page booklet compiled by Prof Ananth Prabhu, would come in handy for students and their parents in making the right career path so that students choose a career for which they have aptitude for. 

The title ‘little black book’ suits perfectly because just like a black board which is a must for students in schools this little black book is a must read not only for the students but also for the parents because choosing the right type of career is one of the most important decisions in the life of a student. Unfortunately this is where many students and their parents end up committing the cardinal sin of going against their talent. Overriding one’s own instincts will result in bad decisions and students suffer a great deal if they make bad decisions because of the influence of two P’s in their lives – parents and peers. 

Talking about his book Anant Prabhu, points out that students are often asked by their teachers what they want to be when they grow up. Except for a few students who are certain about what they want to do most students are unsure at that age and end up saying something just to save the situation. The process of what career students want to take up is a long journey because a wrong choice will only lead to dissatisfaction and frustration down the line says Ananth Prabhu. “I realized this lacunae and my book is the result of painstaking efforts to come out with the right kind of inputs that might help parents and students in making the right kind of decisions”. 

He says that the book is based on the information collected from latest journals and well researched articles from publications all over the world apart from his own personal experience. Prof Ananth Prabhu, who is just 28, is a faculty in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Master in Business Administration at Sahyadri Educational Institutions. But his insight about the subject belies his age and it is not an exaggeration to say that this book will be the best companion for students to clear some of the doubts that plague them at the most decisive phase of their career. His brilliant academic record coupled with his 7 years experience of dealing with students facing this dilemma, adds value to the book. 

It contains 26 chapters dealing with wide ranging topics such as how to study, where and when to study, how to increase memory power, tips to success, coping with results, role of parents in the lives of students, overcoming addictions, improving concentration and many more, thus giving precious guidelines and inputs to students. The book also has bonus tips for students in the form of 5 motivational stories. Finally, the goal of this exercise, Ananth says “is to help the students to live positively by realizing their potential to the fullest”. At the same time the author is insinuating that the choice of a career should best be left to the students themselves rather than parents. There is an increasing tendency for parents transferring their unfulfilled dreams on their children, thus depriving the children to have their own say in their career. Therefore, the author says this book is a must read both for the students and their parents. 

The young author is not just content with writing the book. His concern for the wellbeing of the students and for the environment is evident from the fact that he has decided to use the entire profit of the book to help poor students. He has volunteered to give the profits generated from the book to Daijiworld to help the poor and the needy. Moreover, for every 100 books sold he has come up with the novel idea of planting a tree in and around Mangalore for the benefit of posterity. If an institution buys 2000 books Ananth has volunteered to deliver motivational lectures to students. He is also ready to provide career counseling for those who want to approach him. 

The book which is priced at Rs 100 for paper back and Rs 200 for hard bind will be released on Thursday May 8 evening. 


Interview with the author of 'The Little Black Book for Students' Prof Ananth Prabhu 

Q. What does the title “The Little Black Book” signifies? 

A. A black book is usually a mystical book containing many secret recipes that can really work wonders if it is followed thoroughly. I believe this book will usher in changes in the thinking process of both students and parents for their betterment. 

Q. At this young age what made you to come out with this book?

A. My personal experience and my experience of dealing with students who are in this volatile teen-adolescent age have shown that most students are directionless and take wrong decisions because of parental or peer pressure. There is also a tendency by pushy parents to go to any length to make their children succeed to fulfill their failed dreams or ambitions. This has resulted in many students ending up doing what they don’t like and because of this our students don’t excel. There aren’t many innovations or major breakthroughs in any major fields. My book will encourage positive thinking among students and parents, thus bringing about a paradigm shift in their attitude. 

Q. Does the book reflect your personal experience?

A. It is a combination of my personal experience and my association with students. Students and parents have approached me with common problems they face and I have made conscientious efforts collect information from the best of journals and well researched articles by authors in various media especially the internet. I have spent a lot of time to compile this information and I am hopeful it would help students to explore their talent and lead a fructuous life. I have suggested that this book will help students in the age group of 13-21 for their all round development. 

Q. What are the consequences if students who succumb to parental pressures fail to live up to the expectations?

A. The crux of my book is this aspect - where the students are unable to fulfill the expectations of parents. This is quite disquieting because it leads to suicidal tendencies and depression among students. Such students also lack self confidence and motivation which are the prerequisites for making a success of life. 

Q. Though the title of the book says it is for students you are contending it is a must read for parents also... 

A. Many parents have approached me saying their child is not good in studies, they cannot memorize and they lack concentration or that they go blank in examination hall. It is an accepted fact that parents play a decisive role in deciding the career path of their children and a wrong move at this stage will have a devastating effect on their child. I strongly believe that parents should realize the aptitude of their child and provide a proper ambience and guidelines for them to help identify their field of interest. The ultimate choice of choosing the career should be left to the child. I have provided necessary inputs in this regard both for parents and students. 

Q. Your book has a chapter ‘how to study’. Does it mean to say most students have a faulty method of learning? 

A. There is no right or wrong style of learning. But there are types of learning that varies from student to student. There are basically three categories of students, namely auditory learners who grasp by listening, Visual Learners who learn by seeing and Kinesthetics learners who learn by doing. Our schools and colleges mostly cater to only visual learners leaving the other two categories of students to fend for themselves. Some students are blend of all the three. 
Depending on their preferred style of study students have to adopt a study method that suits them best. 

Q. It is generally believed that the intelligence of brain power is something which we inherit. But you try to disprove it in the book. 

A. There is lot of research going on and scientists have made crucial discoveries in understanding the concept of neuroplasticity. It is wrong to say that we have to live with the brain we are born with. Our brains can be shaped, grown or sculpted depending on how we use it. It means that it is in within our capacity to make use of the brain the way we want it. 

Q. Can you elaborate on the bonus tip “The magic of 66 days”?

A. It is based on the concept of neuroplasticity I mentioned above. It takes 66 days for our brain to get automated by breaking the existing neural connections and put new neural pathways. So, if someone wants to wake up at 5 am on a regular basis the person has to practice the routine for 66 days continuously without break may be with the help of an alarm. On the 67th day, the person will wake up automatically without the help of an alarm clock. This explains the magic of 66 days. 

Q. What is this micro addiction which you talk about in the book? 

A. Micro addictions are nothing but those annoying little habits which become addictions over a period of time. It may be checking your mobile for sms or checking your Facebook or even feeling your mobile ringing when it is not. If left unchecked this may become an addiction that might hamper the way people want to live a normal life. 

Q. How do you plan to market the book?

A. The book will not be made available in all book stores. But it will be available at Dinoos in Milagres, at Cosmos Tutorials, at my alma mater St Aloysius College and a few other places. People also can buy it directly from e-bay. A young MBA student of mine Sanmith Shetty is the angel investor in this venture. I hope my book will be able to reach the core group of students for whom it is meant for. 

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