Don’t live for work

Having started my career with an elite organisation a decade back, like most the only exposure to reality was a 06 month convict internship before getting the coveted job. Among various valuable lessons learnt, there is one which warrants a mention to our topic today. “Time, a yardstick for working hard”. The first and a cobble stone to the series of why working less is working more

Being new to the industry, you often always learn the rights and wrongs watching your older peers at work. Our office then was an environment or a war zone through the day with the lieutenant commanding over us for a new battle each day. The first breath of fresh air blew in daily around 07 pm. Sleeves rolled up, ash trays brought out and while in office, our cigarettes lit up. Now most of you today wouldn’t believe a hotel sales office being like that. But that apart, the point is, our official working day always ended with a lovely retreat of war torn and tired soldiers who rolled up sleeves, shunted jackets, but instead of leaving for homes, continued working. Sounds animated but this is a chronic problem even to date in most companies

 Is time really the yardstick to working hard. Absolutely not. Most bosses still have an archaic approach to this. Almost each of you may have raised your brow watching your team mate leave at 6. Do not form a wrong perception about that person. Leaving on time is a habit each of us requires to inculcate today. And your team mate is a great inspiration for you. New organisations like @ Hyatt employ training efforts on topics of time and task management regularly. There is a simple logic to this. Balance your work and life. Someone quipped a few weeks back at a lecture which was deeply impacting. He said the company boss wont have time to stand by your bed in your end moments. You will most certainly only find your family there. This summed it up for me

 One cannot ignore the requirements at job which puts an emphasis on “balance”. Like most have famously said, rather work for your living, then live for work. At the end of it all, a few extra bucks in the bank are not worth you speeding up your age, tiring your health and immune system, and after earning a lot of success and money, look back and regret the time you could have spent with your lost and loved ones, taken those family vacations, or celebrated those sweet moments. More Time spent at work is most certainly not working smart. If you are successful enough, at best you will only end up making your temporary boss happy. 

 Go on and hit the gym, enjoy the sundowners walk, take your weekend drives, and if you are a pet owner, play with them. They are looking forward to your time in the limited years they live. Do everything which you know you would regret not doing. Coz there is no guarantee when the knell sounds a knock on your door with a message, “Buddy, time’s up”

The Indian Me

 As an Indian and like most I would believe there are many things I would think and grieve for every day. Everything from pollution to pitiable state of roads and infrastructure, lack of proper medical facilities, bureaucracy at every level of existence and many more issues that a common man faces each day of survival

???????????????????????????????Yet with all these issues, the last two weeks drew me more close to this country in a peculiar manner. I enjoyed the company of two ladies from two corners of this globe visiting India for the first time on a business visit. Most guests visiting our country for the first time have inhibitions and pre conceived notions of what India would look like. I do not blame them for believing India is all about poverty, impoverished kids, congested roads, poor public transport system among others.

My first meeting with them left me with no different feeling. They seemed hesitant to try many things here, unsure of people they would meet, recollecting their experiences with whatever they saw already. Somehow it all sounded too similar to other expats I have known who are careful of what they eat, the water they use for brushing their teeth, who find sparkling water more hygienic, many who found Indian food spicy owing to the chilies used while cooking. There are many such pre conceived notions of what India is all about, things they should do and things they should avoid. Unfortunately that’s what most media portray India as and perceptions get built on experiences from people who may have never made it to our shores before

Amazingly the Indian gut allows using tap water to feed and cook food for millions daily. I adored the beauty a salwar could bring out from people who were so comfortable in short dresses all life. Calling any food spicy was more to describe the variety of spices used in a complex preparation.

Changing their perception was important and my friends were receptive to many such occasions. After all our food was still healthier than an array raw meat and fish served around the globe in various forms. They were visiting a country which was one of the fastest growing economies today and hosted by Ahmedabad, which has been put on the global map by Modi government for the pace of its development and rich culture. India was still one of those countries where citizens did not need firearms to be safe while walking on streets or have children being gunned down while in schools. It wasn’t surprising to see that development of a country for many is limited to better roads, public places, cleaner air, better infrastructure etc. Yet most made way to Indian shores in search of knowledge, spirituality, peace and a better life. India has probably surpassed many cultures by being developed through its culture, history and spirituality. Development for Indians is possibly evident through developed minds employed in most coveted jobs, mastery in chess, multi skilled in various tasks or a spiritual awakening pursued by many    ???????????????????????????????

What transpired over the next two weeks possibly changed the way they looked towards India. The hotel completely outdid their expectations. The staff was excellent with their service, warmth and friendliness. Indian food in most meals left them wanting to try more each day. A leisure day from our busy schedule helped visit city streets full of warm and smiling people. Unlike many global cities I know, people and children on the street were excited to see them and not wanting to steal or fleece them. DSC04870The temple elephant strolling in the middle of the road of a busy market place never seemed unusual just like those various cows which were our citizens using the streets. In a way this coexistence and sharing of space with those animals does not lower our level in society. A visit to Sabarmati ashram followed and held our guests and myself in total admiration of what a single man could achieve in a non violent way. A single day packed ample experiences and memories for our guests here???????????????????????????????

Having spent time with them made me realize why it was so important not to have a pre-conceived notion or a perception towards any community. These can close your mind and heart to all the good things waiting to be experienced.
Bunch of children in the ashramThe curries they devoured, the kids they met, and the peace they felt in the Ashram only makes the Indian Me believe, India has much more to offer then a dirty street or a poor beggar. There still is our rich culture, a history of episodes and struggle, mystic things and spiritual experiences, and a confident generation of people who are investing their time in learning, excelling and preparing for a developed India of tomorrow