Exploring the complexities of lifeThrough eloquent prose, Subas KC challenges readers to contemplate the essential aspects of life.
‘Impressions and Expressions’ by Professor Subas KC offers a glimpse into his life through memoirs, personal stories, introspection and thoughts on contemporary issues. The book, divided into nine chapters, covers topics such as leadership, education, social issues, political development, gender and more.
Through his unique lens, KC shares insights gained from his four decades of academic experience. While reading, you’ll find enrichment and inspiration, making it a valuable read for knowledge seekers, leaders, management experts and students alike. KC’s perspective, though open to agreement or disagreement, is undeniably thought-provoking. This book isn’t just a classroom experience; it’s a collection of wisdom that can positively impact your life.
The central theme of this book revolves around knowledge and the process of acquiring it, virtuous and humble living, principles and integrity, social order and self-progression. KC’s narratives are reflective, enlightening, and thought-provoking, fitting seamlessly into our lives.
For example, his insights on education encouraged me to embark on a journey of self-discovery. According to KC, ‘true education’ involves discovering ourselves as both a process and a goal. It signifies a genuine desire for learning and self-discovery. Anything less, he asserts, is a deviation. This perspective, which I grasped after almost 50 years, resonated with me and affirmed my beliefs.
In terms of self-development, KC emphasises the importance of unblocking emotional or intellectual barriers that hinder progress. While this concept might seem commonplace, it was a revelation for me. According to him, ‘everyone’ should find their unique ways to break these barriers and engage in self-development.
Acknowledging and accepting these obstacles is neither easy nor pleasant. Education serves the purpose of preparing us not just for the future but also for the realities of life. Few grasp this as well as polymath KC, who jokingly refers to himself as a ‘knowledge banker’. He highlights a significant aspect missing in our formal education system: true maturity isn’t about being loud but appreciating the small things. In his chapter, ‘Lesser Leaders & Larger Leaders’, he imparts a profound lesson: a leader’s failure doesn’t equate to the failure of leadership. This vital lesson isn't typically found in our academic curricula.
KC doesn’t dictate; instead, he suggests, leaving room for readers to draw their own conclusions. For instance, in the chapter ‘Social Overarches’, he points out that societal pressures and dysfunctional social norms shouldn’t dictate our internal happiness. However, he refrains from defining these pressures or happiness, leaving readers to form their own judgments and conclusions.
I appreciate KC’s choice of words and metaphors in expressing his ideas. His book is filled with clear, detailed, and comprehensive narratives. For instance, he eloquently highlights the lack of vision in our leaders with phrases like: “Long-term perspective, vision, and dreams of substantial change benefiting a larger community rarely guide their leadership journey.” Another insightful expression he uses is, “At twilight, life is not the same as before,” capturing the idea that life evolves, creating new conditions that shape and reshape its meaning. Not everyone grasps and accepts this truth.
‘Impressions & Expressions’ is a thought-provoking book that challenges readers to ponder various aspects of life. In the chapter ‘Gender Equality–Not Possible?’, KC suggests that gender equality is a spectrum, and achieving perfect and lasting equality might be challenging, given its evolving nature. This notion led me to contemplate whether the idea of a perfect human being or a perfect society is also evolving, rather than a fixed goal to pursue.
KC’s perspective on contemporary issues prompts readers to reflect on our current position and the direction we're heading in as individuals, society and a nation. His statement, “It is too early for a new political party but too late for a social movement,” highlights the need for societal change beyond political realms. He discusses the failure of political leaders and the resulting lack of role models. According to him, social change starts from the top of the social hierarchy. Additionally, he criticises business leaders for their narrow attitudes, exploitation of weak political structures, and unethical business practices. Although KC, as a management guru, briefly touches upon corporate matters, I wished for more in-depth insights in this area.
On the other hand, this book is written from KC’s perspective, aimed at intellectuals and well-read individuals. However, not everyone can easily grasp KC’s scholarly reasoning, which delves into ethical issues, social contradictions, academic practices in the context of contemporary life, and complex concepts such as psychic death and social overarches.
In the chapter titled ‘Of Ironies’, readers catch a glimpse of life’s ironies through the author’s eyes. Although KC has a clear understanding of these ironies and their various types, he struggles to convey these images effectively to the readers. Providing a few examples of ironies would have made these concepts more accessible to ordinary readers.
With its 275 pages of rich English and thought-provoking lessons, ‘Impressions & Expressions’ is not a light read. It demands effort, cognitive skills, a strong command of language, semantic precision and sophistication. In cognitive science, the term ‘high-level knowledge’ refers to abstract concepts learned through experience and education. KC’s self-introspection reaches this level, making the book intellectually challenging.
I always grappled with questions about leadership, death, knowledge, humility, and humanism. It feels satisfying to explore these issues through KC’s wise perspective. In today's materialistic world, where principles often take a back seat to appearances, I believe everyone must read this book and grasp the essence of living sincerely. Confucius wisely said, “We all have two lives; the second one starts when you realise you only have one.” My own struggle began at fifty when I faced the harsh truth that I only had one life. Professor KC refers to this moment as a turning point and states, “You age when you find yourself on the sideline of the dominant social stream; when you see what others do not see and won’t see, while you see too deep and too much.” In ‘Impressions & Expressions’, I found some answers to my questions and gained a better understanding of my own turning point.
Impressions & Expressions
Author: Subas KC
Publisher: Shabdayatra Prakashan