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Book Review Talent Sutra

Book Review Talent Sutra, Devdutt Pattanaik

Have you ever seen MasterChef Australia? I have seen this show, thanks to my partner who is a food enthusiast (read bonkers). From watching this show, one thing that stayed with me is how judges encourage and celebrate the intersection of flavors in any dish. Say an ice cream, needs to have a dark chocolate or a cheesecake needs a non sugary digestive biscuit base to cut through the all encompassing flavor of sweetness. And this contrast of flavors undeniably produces an excellent dish! Why am I telling you all this though?

Think of the same principles for a book, and surely, The Talent Sutra replicates a similar approach and brings contrasting flavors together. Two important subjects it focuses on are:

Book Review Talent Sutra

a) ways of working of modern organizations, in respect of looking learning, talent, teamwork etc. and

b) markedly epic stories from Indian mythology.

This intersection has produced an interesting body of work which brings a unique and fresh perspective on learning, talent and collaboration within organizations and at the same time, creates an awareness about the Indian mythology – it’s symbols and some key characters.

Author: Devdutt Pattanaik

Why should you read The Talent Sutra?

Some key reasons why should pick this book:

  1. It’s short, to the point, and written in an easy language and yet, this book manages to convey some complex messages with substantial clarity and impact. For example, how does fear and care, two contrasting elements, impact the workplace and employee?
  2. Another reason is that It helps you build an appreciation and awareness about Indian mythology and some fundamental elements like roles for Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and meaning behind symbols of deities, like lotus, swan and veena in any image of goddess Saraswati.
  3. The examples of professional world are relevant and closely tied to the stories. The connection is apparent which makes the content lucid and allows for swift reading. Like analyzing Lord Ram’s leadership style using stories from Ramayana as an illustration.
  4. It challenges you, subtly, to think about about people, learning and thyself from a different lens, and presents varied perspectives. Like how lack of inclusion in an organization can lead to people craving for attention by resorting to potential unwarranted actions. To illustrate this message, the book presents a unique perspective on Duryodhan and Kubija.

Content Summary

This book contains 116 pages which are a combination of text and imagery. The content is neatly structured into 4 sections. Each section explore a specific topic:

1) Isolation: focuses on our need to be seen, cared for and appreciated

2) Reflection: makes us conscious of how others see us and how we respond to that

3)Expansion: underlines the principles of growth of humans which requires appreciation of others as a foundation

4) Inclusion: highlights the development of others as a key duty of each individual. Herein, content from Vedic scriptures, like four phases of life has been used to showcase examples.


This book is a quick read presented in an interesting story telling style. Interestingly, it picks on the stories from Indian mythology and views those from a lens of modern day organizations which creates a healthy tension and appropriate curiosity for reflection. I recommend this as a good pick for anyone looking for a simple, informative and stimulating reading experience. Happy Reading, Cheers!

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2 thoughts on “Book Review Talent Sutra, Devdutt Pattanaik

  1. Superb Analogy Karan 🙂
    Have read the book & this is apt more than the book 🙂
    Loved the anecdote of MasterChef Australia

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