The Haja Sheriff Blog

Gratitude – 4 steps to say thank you

Posted by in Blogging, General Interest, Motivation, Personal Brand


My mother passed away in 2013. After 35 days in a leading hospital in Chennai. She had gone in for a complicated but not a life-threatening operation. In my opinion (unsubstantiated, and entirely emotional) one of the doctors was responsible for her condition post her operation. But that is not the point. She went into a coma on the 9th of December. She never came out of the coma.

But during those days, I observed how the doctors and nurses in the ICU took care of her. They were selfless, committed, and took care of her as if she were their own. But they made the last days for her, and for us, her family, a bit more manageable. Our doctor friend in Bangalore who kept advising us and giving us moral support.

But she still passed on. A couple of days after her last rites, we made a tough journey back to the hospital. My wife and I went and met every doctor who took care of her, the ICU staff, the nurses and even the receptionist we had got to know during her stay there. We thanked each and every one of them personally. If my mother were alive, she would have wanted it that way. That is the way she was. We felt it would be tough.

But it changed me that day. We saw doctors and nurses tearing up, and thanking us for coming back and acknowledging them. One of them told us that very few people come back to the hospital, let alone thank them. I don’t know what it felt like for them, but we felt lighter and happier.

There is a lot in life to be thankful for. If we ever took the time to think, we would realise miracles happen around us all the time. People who touch us in many ways. And there are those who work in our offices that we interact with, day in and day out. The peers who have helped us when we needed help. The Administrative staff that went out of the way to assist us with a meeting room for that very important meeting. There are always reasons to thank a person.

Being thankful for others. To show our gratitude to the people who supported us. Acknowledging their efforts in our lives.


When was the last time you took time off to thank someone for what they did for you?

Not just a thank you in a formal manner. But a heartfelt thanks, explaining how you felt about what they did. How it was helpful for you, and why you appreciate the time and energy they took to support you.

Here are four tips on saying thank you from your heart. And making a difference to the other person.

  1. Mean it – Whatever you do, mean what you say. Look at the people who helped you, into their eyes, shake their hands, smile and thank them. Wholeheartedly.
  2. Say it – Explain the background of what you were going through when the other person stepped up to help. Saying “the why” in detail and explaining how you felt, makes the entire experience that much more authentic.
  3. Do it – Say it in a way that matters. Personally. Or by email, if it is someone who is far away. Call them if you need to. Irrespective of the medium you pick, just do it.
  4. Often – Become the channel through which positive energy passes. Touch people’s lives in such a manner that they feel compelled to pass it forward to other people who have helped them as well.

Go ahead.

Make someone’s day.

Be part of a movement.


Delighting a customer…

Posted by in Books, Business, General Interest


Recently I had written an article on finding two gems… one of which was Grammarly. In fact, I wrote it and forgot about it post that. Imagine my surprise when I get a mail from the Grammarly team where they thanked me for referring their product in my note.

I believe this is an excellent example of great customer experience where I feel good about the product, and they add on top of that and delight me by acknowledging my comment.

The product is good (I am sure it will become better). The value it provides is significant. And to top it up with customer engagement like this makes the engagement that much more delightful.

Read more about their review here –


Learning from a Tragedy

Posted by in Attitude, General Interest, Motivation, Personal

I lost my mother on the 14 December 2013.   It was undoubtedly a very distressing time for me, my family  and of course my father, who was devoted to my mother. 

During the 20 days she was in the MIOT Hospital in Chennai , she suffered because of various reasons.   She lost the battle after fighting valiantly and left a void that will be difficult to fill.   And while I think the entire staff helped in a way that I can never repay them, it taught me something invaluable. 

Something that I think my mother would have wanted me to carry forward and share with others.


Acknowledge and Thank all those who helped – from the heart.

Despite the outcome, it is important to thank the people who helped in any way possible!  A Thank You to them, given freely and genuinely, from your heart, does wonders to heal a heart that is heavy & to those who did as much as they could to help your loved one.  Do this face to face- not on the phone, or by mail. They can follow – but the instant you do it directly, it touches them in a way nothing else would.   And they would help others and possibly make the day for some other patient. 


Do this for people who also may not have helped- and you change them in a way nothing else would. 


Thank you Dr. Mohandass – MD of MIOT Hospital for all that you did.  


Dengue… The Emerging Epidemic

Posted by in General Interest

When we were in Singapore, I heard the disease called Dengue.  Numerous ads on TV’s, newspaper ads, and even sincere volunteers trying to help me understand the dangers had no effect. I left Singapore in 2008 with limited knowledge of this disease.

This week my daughter was diagnosed with Dengue, and everything came together.  I realized belatedly that I knew precious little of this often heard disease- and assumed that I would never cross its path.   With my younger daughter getting admitted in the hospital, I realized why I did not know too much of the disease. 

All the ads and pamphlets were too complex for me to read, and remember.

Everyone close to me and friends of our family who came to visit or enquired about my daughter, was as ignorant about the disease as I was.  (No solace in the fact that they also did not know).  

Reading in the web brought me articles that were lengthy, and not very easy to read.

Trying to explain this to my daughter, I thought the best way to do this was through an Infographic. 

Well, the Infographics I found on the net were too detailed or specific to certain countries.

So, here is my first cut view of the Dengue Infographic. 

I am using this to explain this to my daughter/ friends- and I realize this could be useful to a lot more people. 

Take this seriously, friends.

This is a bad disease for anyone to get, last of all your children. 

Click on the link below for the complete Infographic.



This is a very serious problem, I have realized, and this too because it hit somewhere close to home. I hope more and more people will be learning more about this and taking preventive measures.  

Any other feedback would be a great.

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