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“Find the commonalities and emphasize them” - Dr. Herbert Traxl

1. Dr. Herbert Traxl, the former Austrian ambassador and Shovana Narayan, the multifaceted Indian Padma Shri Awardee have been married for over 40 years and managed living, working and raising a family from two sides of the globe. When I hosted Herbert on my podcast and asked him about his east-and-west relationship, what I got was not only a phenomenal love story uniquely lived but also life lessons on diversity and inclusion. Do listen to this short episode. It warmed the cockles of my heart!

2. “The world is a global village” he said. Herbert not only philosophizes but practices. The world is one global village, he says and his way of life and that of his family´s clearly shows that. Tolerance, respect and acceptance of others with one requirement. It should be a two-way street. Wise words practised both in his diplomatic career as well as in the private sphere.


In the divided world we inhabit, his parting words “resolve conflict with mutual acceptance” bring a finality to the discussions on diversity and inclusion that have suddenly gained prominence in this decade despite having existed since times immemorial.

3. Two souls from different parts of the world meet and decide to unite in marriage. But how do they keep the marriage together if they are physically working in different continents? This is a dilemma that crops up ofter now than before, perhaps because the world has shrunk in our minds and become more porous in the digital age. Usually, it is the women who then take a step back in their careers to follow their hearts and go the family way, then return to the workforce or try and find alternatives.


This is a different story...and inspiring both in the way the journeys were handled and the way it turned out.


A while ago, I caught up with Dr. Herbert Traxl to find out how he and his wife Shovana Narayan managed straddling continents for more than 40 years. Distance had no chance. Respect, trust and confidence are the ingredients which kept the union of Herbert and Shovana alive. They found their own unique way of sharing emotions, thoughts and events across the ocean with audiotapes. Isn´t that cute?


But how did they manage to bring up their child? How did their careers pan out with this kind of a unique arrangement? I invite you to find out in our chat 


4. “My skin might be white, my skin might be brown, whatever is the colour of my skin, the blood beneath is the same” said Dr. Herbert Traxl in our chat which covered his unique east-and-west marriage as well the subject of diversity and inclusion.


I have not come across a better line to describe the attitude of one who has deeply embraced diversity in his personal and professional life and knows his place on this earth. “One foot in Austria and one in India”, he said in a summation on the question of identity and belonging.

“An intrepid traveller recounts her experiences” -  Philippa Kaye

1. Between The East and The West and how she followed destiny´s calls and how she continues to be enamoured by India. Do join us to hear her wax eloquent on her experience in India and her definitions of culture, diversity and inclusion.​

2. Unlike many other people who have a distinct image of India…some even of snake charmers and tigers roaming roads, even though the current everyday reality is far from these images, Philippa simply had not thought of India. Many Europeans to whom I spoke, had images based on media snippets, which as such snippets go, focus either on the incredible or the most decrepit. The ordinary is never exposed, thus leaving pieces of images which are parts of the kaleidoscope that India is.


Check out what Philippa Kaye´s opinion is.

3. Purpose and meaning can define your life and yet leave you to experience its adventures deeply.

Philippa Kaye who lived in the depth of jungles and dined with Maharajas slowly unravelled the meaning and purpose of her life in her destined journeys. Do listen to her enchanting voice as she recounts amazing moments.

“An intrepid traveller recounts her experiences” -  Giancarlo Lamio

1. I missed a train only once in my life and that was a few years ago when I caught up with Giancarlo Lamio, who has served as the Italian Trade Commissioner in many countries in the world including India. You have heard me drop the word “India” fairly often even though my guests may have trotted all over the globe. There is a certain delight and curiosity in listening to what non-Indians have to say about my land of birth aka motherland. So, I might discuss their lives, loves, leanings and learnings and yet come back to my pet question.

2. In this conversation with Giancarlo Lamio, the intercultural experts will not be disappointed. Here speaks a man who has found and used a certain way of working in different countries. Curious? Do dive into our chat when it is released on 20th May to know how to tackle challenges in diverse working environments and countries.

3. When we talk of growth either in the context of working or living, I found Giancarlo Lamio´s approach very apt. “There are more ways to do the same things than the ones you may know. If you fixate yourself on your way, you run the risk of missing out the opportunity to learn different ways”. My take from our chat: This approach works in a myriad of situations in life:

-Working in a team…listen and be open

-Leading a team…listen and be open

-Parenting a kid…listen and be open. You might be surprised at the number of alternate ways your child comes up with sassy solutions.

-Working in a completely different country…absolutely listen and be open!

Check out our chat in the podcast series "Between the East and West" for more: 

4. My podcast guests have been chosen with great care. What do they bring on the table? Insights, experiences and much more because “who says that rolling stones gather no moss”!


Amongst many other aspects that most of my guests have in common is their open attitude. Their individual lives make for enthralled listening. When I spoke with Giancarlo Lamio, he emphasised the need to have curiosity as an inbuilt characteristic if one has to work in Saudi Arabia, then in South America, then Italy, India and more. 

Even if one is not geographically moving, the need to stay curious, I feel is even more so in today´s fast changing times, in order to grow and experience life at its fullest. Do check out our chat if I have stoked your curiosity!

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