Why this website and these blogs

How it all began

Who am I ? don’t know but I know that I was born in a small village Banduari in eastern UP in a farming family known for being “just” given the times that we lived in those days and depended upon agriculture and animal husbandry and also for love of wrestling. I am told that our ancestors lived in that area for hundreds of years …But….

Like my father and his two younger brothers, I too left the village when I was about 21 years old. Prior to that as family stories go my great grand father sent my grand father to study beyond fifth standard to the city some 30 kilometres away. However, after 10-15 days my great grand father started missing his son and undertook a journey to go to the city and get back his son on his pony. Father and son met some halfway in between and came back to the village. That was end of story as far as my grand fathers formal higher education was concerned!

I was considered “good” in studies. My father was the first one in the family to pass matriculation examination and the first post graduate in our village. I also studied as I was expected to get a job and see the world and support the family.

I left the village but the village has never left me.

It was the same case with my father. He too lived away from our village most of his life but kept visiting the village regularly.

My father took the most unproductive ancestral land in the village and made it productive by hard work and investments over a decade and planted hundreds of trees trees and named this small plot of land as VrikshaMandir.

I attempt to continue the work started by my father by planting more trees undertaking agricultural activities and am attempting to develop this place so that it is used by the community especially school going students. .

Some old and recent pictures of Vrikshamandir
Banduari to Anand

My first job was with the National Dairy Development Board of India (NDDB)

NDDB has a website and the address is https://nddb.coop .

I was perhaps the 14th employee and I had the kitchen of a two storied two bedroom building ( Waghasia Building) that existed in 1968 next to AMUL dairy in Anand.

NDDB Office 1968

NDDB campus 1970 some pictures

A major change occurred in my professional life and outlook. In 1974 I was appointed as Executive Assistant to Dr. V Kurien the founder Chairman NDDB, Anand. Although my career graph grew and changed but connection with Dr. Kurien’s office in one way or the other continued till he left NDDB in 1998. NDDB Annual reports have a tradition of publishing name of officers on the rolls of the organisation in different functions. I would find my name appearing in two places a line function like Head of Oilseeds and Oil Wing or Head of Human Resource Development and a staff function like the Office of the Chairman NDDB. I did not last long in NDDB after Dr. Kurien left. That’s a long story and it is better kept for some other time .

Anand to Gurugram

Next seventeen years were once again start from the scratch. In the year 2000 my friend Anil Sachdev had just started Grow Talent Company Limited (GTCL) and I became second employee of GTCL. The company started the School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL https://www.soilindia.net) in 2008.
I have been associated with this organisation since 2000. I will be posting a separate blog on this novel experiment in leadership development higher education with the vision To Develop Leaders with Character, Competence ans Enthusiasm.

The story isn’t complete yet

I decided to launch this website and post blog for documenting life experiences, incidents, and insights observed and reflected upon from time to time by me as well as of those whom I came in to contact with; some of whom deeply impacted the course of my life journey. I am deeply indebted to them. There will be pages on this website and blogs dedicated to their life stories written by me or contributed by them.

Depending upon time of the year I can now be found at Gurugram, Toronto, Gorakhpur and at Vriksha Mandir in my village or any other place on the planet!

Dr MPG Kurup and RK Nagar are already contributing blogs on this website. Many other friends and former colleagues have said that they too will contribute. I hope they will do so soon. I am excited.

I would like to end this by a link to a mantra from Rig Veda. These Mantras are recited at the convocation of the Institute of Rural Management at Anand ( IRMA).



  1. monthlymusingsblog Avatar

    Great and welldone, Shailendra. Enjoyed reading the first post. Made me nostalgic.

  2. Neela Avatar

    I am really happy and inspired by your ever growing search to find yourself in many ways.
    To be able to reflect on one’s life and honestly writing about it is a difficult task which not all can attempt. Congratulations for embarking on the new journey.
    Please keep it up. You will open a treasure box of variety of things – some pleasant and some painful too but all the same they will enrich your life.
    Your writing is simple which I can relate to. That’s like walking together amidst an orchard.

  3. sk5146 Avatar

    Thank you Sir !

  4. MPG Kurup Avatar
    MPG Kurup

    Well begun is half done : Sarva Mangalam Bhavah Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada

    1. sk5146 Avatar

      Thank you Dr MPGK Sir! for your comments and blessings..These mean a lot to me.I would request you to please pen down your own experiences and stories while with NDDB and thereafter.

      We can with your consent publish here. After much thought I named this blog / website as Vrikshamandir.com

      It reflects my roots, my fathers legacy and my work life.

  5. Virindra Avatar

    Well done young man! Keep it up! Congratulations for taking the first step in narrating your life story. Cheers and best wishes

    1. sk5146 Avatar

      Thank you 🙏🏼 you also need write about NDDB, your association with Dr Kurien, VH Shah and many others
      Also our meeting and becoming a family !

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