Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Hii all,

Its been a long time since I blogged. There was a time when blogging was a regular activity for me; for which I could take out time and vent out my feelings on various issues. But from the day I made the transition from being a student to a manager, life has never been the same again.

As a student, you have less things to worry about. Its all about scoring good marks, making good friends with whom you can be yourself and dealing with the burden of expectations which your dear ones have. You do have a choice. You can either do well as a student or screw up your career, sit at home and become a zombie. But there comes the transition phase, you become a professional and things change drastically. There is a fundamental shift in your personality. There is a sudden sense of responsibility and you feel more mature than ever. Of course there are always exceptions, but I am talking about the majority of us. Or at least this is what has happened with me. The me who earlier never thought twice before spending money for his indulgence, now at least thinks twice before doing so. The me who never shied to speak his mind with his dear pals now is beginning to think of the repercussions if he does so. The me who earlier struggled to understand the subtle hints his pals used to give, now doesn't find it difficult.

In my case, the transition was smooth and the best part of it is that I realize this change happening. And it has been because of the two years I spent at IIMA, away from best friends and family. And in these two years, I have traveled like never before which I guess is also one of the driving factors behind the change/transition I was talking about earlier. Two months back, I became a manager in a big Indian conglomerate.

Its not only me that feels the change. One of my very good friend almost spoke my mind, when one fine day she sent me a rather emotional sms which I must say was very uncharacteristic of her. She was experiencing a void, something which each and everyone of us at some point of time do experience. Despite having a great set of friends and a set career in life, there is this feeling that you are missing something. And that 'something' is happiness. It was the same experience which me and my friend were going through. Now the question arises on how to tackle such kind of a conundrum. The answer I guess is very simple. Watch a beggar on the street or a struggling rickshawallah. But not many people follow this mantra and that also includes me, for we are so preoccupied with our life or rather I should say we are so egoistic that our problems are always the worst and can't be compared. Leaving aside the philosophical aspect of it (which I am so good at ;-) ), how many people would consider leaving a well paid MNC job to follow their heart's desires?? Not many; but fortunately there are some people whom I have had the good opportunity to meet with during my travails across the country.

At this point of time, I recall an incident which astounded me and made me realize the importance of being earnest and the value of staying humble. At my age, I was the champ in multiplication tables. I was having a great time with my cousin brothers and sisters at the public park at my native town. That was a Sunday evening, pleasant with birds chirping all the way and the setting Sun looking as majestic as it has been all these years. Suddenly, my uncle asked me to accompany him to a blind school where he often does some voluntary charity for the kids. The creaking door at the entrance of the school gave me the impression of the workhouses often described in Charles Dickens' novels. But to my pleasant surprise, it was well maintained. Even as I was looking at the children diligently studying through their Braille textbooks, my uncle called up Shiva.

Shiva was hardly about 4 years old. The warden said he was just three and a half. A frail looking boy who was hardly three feet tall, he straightaway identified my uncle and confidently pronounced, "Namaste sir". I was speechless. Not because he was a frail blind boy, but because I never expected such levels of maturity from a three and a half year old boy. I bent down, introduced myself and gave him a candy. He initially refused politely and that spoke volumes about the way he was being groomed in an excellent manner. But later he took it on my insistence. Then started the magic show. My uncle asked him to recite the multiplication table for the digit 19. He started off with, " 19*10, 19*9, 19*8.......and so on and ended it on 19*1=19. Incredible as it was, he was bang on target!! It was like he stupefied me. He made me look like a stupid arrogant fool. And when I challenged him to tell the table for the digit 17. He smoothly delivered the answers. I was so humbled that I was looking for something else to give him as a reward. When I couldn't find anything suitable in my pockets, I appreciated his flair for mathematics and then there was the thousand watt smile, much brighter than the "Happydent smile". That is when it struck me that nothing works more effectively than well deserved words of appreciation, something which I learnt in the first year of MBA.

Now what does the above mentioned incident tell you? In plain terms, it tells you that you are nothing. It takes a lifetime for us to become something and unless you reach that stage, keep your ego in check. Of course, this is something which is difficult to follow at all situations. But, an awareness of this fact will hold us in good stead. Though I am having a tough time trying to settle down professionally, but I have got a good gang of friends who I share a great rapport with. And there are my old and very very special pals who understand me so well that sometimes I genuinely feel the need to improve my non-verbal communication skills. Hoping that this period of transition brings with it lots of happiness to look forward to; both for me as well as for my dear ones and special pals who form an integrated part of my life.

Signing off,