Golf is a great game and it teaches us a lot of truth about life. We Chairmen
and CEOs think we are great people. We think we are a gift to mankind. Our egos are so big that if
you put a pin into one of our egos, there would be an explosion. Only when we get onto the 100 acre
golf course, do we realize how stupid we are. Armed with imported and expensive clubs of all sizes
and shapes, we cannot hit that small ball which sits there waiting to be hit. The poor ball does not
move yet all we egoists cannot hit it to the destination desired. Tragedy is that we have nobody to
blame but ourselves. We cannot blame our clients, nor the lawyers, not the Government. And that's
the true story of our life - we have NOBODY, but OURSELVES to blame for WHATEVER HAPPENS.
I remember one of Aziz Premji's speeches about the Rabbit (an excellent hopper) who enrolled for
Swimming because his parents forced him to learn swimming and told him to forget hopping. The rabbit
did so and soon he not only nearly drowned but he forgot to hop completely. I have taken this moral
with me throughout my life, i.e. to capitalize on our strengths and cherish, nourish and build on
them. Our strengths will overcome or correct our weaknesses. When life throws you lemons, you make
lemonade. Patel further says, “My advise to the budding entrepreneurs is that the journey is full of
challenges and if you want to succeed then take it head on”.
Even during the uphill task of building his Empire, Asgar still found the time & determination to go
back to college where he graduated in law in his 40s.
The Time Factor - Time is the most precious commodity given to us, so we have
to make each moment count. Time wasted of oneself, and especially of others, is a grave sin. Even in
my 80s, I make it a point to be on time for every appointment and event and instil this in my
children & grand-children even today.
(A plane was crashing. One flyer said to the captain - I want to pray first. The Captain replied
“you pray, we are short of one parachute anyway”.)
Family - The best thing to hold onto in life is each other, as
nothing else lasts forever. Without family, we are nothing. Even after our parents
renounced us when Yasmin & I pledged our love for each other, we had immense love &
respect for them and in many ways, we owe to them what we are today. I believe time
should always be spent with family, business being no excuse. Till date, we make it a
point to sit together at meals and discuss the day's proceedings and even go on short
trips on weekends & holidays. We share a special bond and wonderful memories with our
grand-children, whom we have taken on several holidays to North America, Australia,
Hongkong to name a few. Of course, once they grow into teenagers & young adults, they
want to live their own independent lives, but we continue to build new memories. On our
50th Wedding Anniversary in 2011, I had the good fortune of going on a Star Cruise with
my entire family for about 10 days. Again, this December, the whole family spent
Christmas in Aamby, where I have built my new home. They say you truly miss home when
you've been away from it and what makes it so, is nothing but the loved ones in it!
- I thank God for my innumerable friends, several of whom have been
with me since youth. Even though I am away from my family on several occasions, I do not fret- I
know my friends will reach out to me at the drop of a hat. Also, thanks to golf, I have several
golfing buddies, without whom my life would not be complete.
- There are no short cuts to good health and 'the early bird catches
the worm” is not a myth. I rise early, walk up the stairs to my office daily, instead of taking the
elevator and diet right. Walking the greens for 4 hours continuously also helps. In the recent
years, I have been visiting the SPAs frequently for cleansing, detoxification and general overall
health. When I compare my energy levels from my much younger days to today, I believe they have
dropped only marginally. To deal with life's challenges, you need lots of energy. And unless you
take care of yourself, you cannot take care of others.
Golf Joke :
Asgar asked his golf buddy why he brought with him 2 pants to the game. The reply was because he was
sure of a Hole-in-One.