Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Inspiration...arrives from unexpected avenues

I was thinking how uninspired I had become professionally lately. I strongly believe the reason I have gotten somewhere professionally is because there was a fire to achieve something different, unfortunately the fire did not seem to burn as much lately. This morning I was reminded of this passion towards work again from a young 21 year old kid who recently joined my company as a Office Assistant. The 30 minutes on the way to work with this kid reminded me why I had started working the way I did long back. After a very long time I was quiet and listening while he was talking. He told me a story of how his uneducated father had worked all his life in mud so his family could see better days and times. All this kid wanted to achieve in his life was to make his parents proud and have a meaning for his education.

It was this trait and the story behind him that got him this job. It also reminded me that I was among the lucky few to have gotten to where I am today and there was no turning back. Life has a way of giving us inspiration at the right times from the places you least expect. In many ways I am very fortunate and for that I am thankful.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Father, My Teacher

My relationship with my dad has always bordered on being volatile. There were several ups and downs earlier in my life but the more recent years had brought about some stability. I had started understanding my father a lot more and he me. The earlier years were as much a battle of different personalities as it was perspectives towards life. My dad was a very hard working person who came from a very poor family and became successful. I was from a not so poor family who struggled a lot to get somewhere in life. The similarities in our lives were the struggles we faced, the dissimilarity was the background. One other thing was common between us, neither had the strong support of their family in trying to achieve what they wanted in life.

By the time I got married to Kavitha the differences had reached their peak. I was struggling to keep pace with what life was throwing at me and the age and immaturity did not help either. Slowly I fought back and gained some balance and stability. Nethra was born and my move to India happened. It was around this time I believe I started understanding my father a bit more and realized there was a lot in common between us. I realized that if I survived in India I would be able to live anywhere in the world but it was not survival that I was after, it was success.

My father taught me to be invisible within the crowd which in turn brought respect. When its very hard to reach someone you learn to respect the little time you get with them. He taught me never to take a shortcut to make money. That made me get a business relationship where a lot hinges on trust and that trust has been the backbone of success for me.

What he never learnt was to be street smart. He tried but his morals and ethics did not allow him to overlook certain aspects. He was always at the receiving end of things professionally, I guess there were more stories of how someone cheated him than of his success. In his failure he taught me how to be successful. Finally death cheated him as well, the doctors certified him healthy but it turned out otherwise. I guess my father taught me the most in his death. The responsibility of keeping a family together brings the most arduous challenges and true satisfaction when you see your family happy. Its within these challenges and happiness I found maturity.

It has been six months since I lost my dad and it feels yesterday. My father was my greatest teacher and I am a reflection of what he taught me in life. I failed to accredit him when he was alive but I will never fail to remember him every day of my life. My Father, My teacher.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A great night with good old friends

One of my friends posted "we have a friend in India and I am in town, how about a reunion". A few days pass and there we are: News Cafe, Inorbit, 8:30 PM. I lug in first and wait watching the inane India/West Indies test match. As I get bored I look back and start thinking about how I feel: Will I still get along with them, What do they do, Will I be able to blend in and the worst one of all: Will I recognize them and the other way around.

As people start trooping in, all fears give way to fond memories like: Remember that teacher you hated, or that moron who was in charge, the classmate/senior you had a crush on, the names you were called in school etc. The discussion noise levels go up to a point the loud music in the back does not bother anyone. People free up, hugs everywhere, laughter unlimited, birthday celebrated and information about each other being shared all over. Somewhere along the way I forgot who I am today and became the student I was in school. All these friends were people I shared some of the best days of my life with and helped me become who I am today.

We look at the clock and its close to 3 AM when reminders of kids and family come along and bring us into the present. It was a wonderful night with friends I had not met in a long time and hope to meet quite often going forward. The memory that stood out on my drive back home was: I was truly happy in the company of everyone I met, I guess the friends you make in school and college are the ones who stay all your life.