Friday, November 13, 2015

The jigsaw of life ..

I recently got promoted from Consultant to Senior Consultant. As soon as I got over with celebrations and started settling into the new role at work, my mind started thinking "What next? What should be my next career goal?". While contemplating, I started introspecting and looked at myself from an unemotional, external, critical mind. 
I got a bird's eye view of my life, in which it looked like a "jigsaw" made up of following pieces:
  1. Work - the economic support for survival
  2. Wife - the companion of life for joys and sorrows
  3. Parents - the foundation
  4. Bauji - the connection to the ethical, social and cultural roots
  5. Relatives - the responsibilities
  6. Self - the surreal desires
When I thought more deeply about it, I realized that this jigsaw started with being a single piece "portrait" of "Parents". Then, as I grew up, more pieces were added to this "portrait" that turned it into a "landscape". The chronological order in which these pieces were added is - Parents, Self, Work, Wife, Bauji, and Relatives. The jigsaw of my life looks beautiful, at least as of now :), because there exists a harmony between the new pieces which were added and the ones which already existed.
When taking a decision in any of the life's constituent aspects, or forthcoming aspects e.g. "Children" in mine :), we need to make sure that the decision maintains or rather strengthens the harmony between all aspects. For e.g., when it comes to "Work" and to the questions like 'What should be my next career goal?", we cannot simply decide from the professional perspective - higher salary, more revered job profile, fast paced career growth etc. Such opportunities often excite us, but we cannot ignore the fact that if the "piece" of "Work" were lifted even slightly above the rest of the "pieces", the whole picture of life will look distorted.
Having put forward a very picturesque theory of making apt decisions, I hope I am able to make a right decision for my next career goal :). Thanks for reading this, I hope to get acquainted with some interesting and beautiful "jigsaws" of lives of some of you, and will definitely let you know whether my next career goal beautified or distorted my "jigsaw" of life :)..

Monday, November 2, 2015

Go for "old", you'll find "gold"..


This pic is of my dearest and oldest friend, who recently turned 92, on 12th Oct. He retired as joint registrar from Haryana Cooperative Society in 1981, and has authored three books and a thesis on "Cooperative Banking". Besides these, he has many accomplishments on academic and professional fronts, which I would have remembered if my brain had the same retention capacity as his. My friendship with him is about two years old, and is attributed to my moving to Gurgaon in April 2013. Prior to that we were just acquaintances, knowing each other as grandfather and grandson.

As a grandson, I knew him as an old man who yearned for respect and emotional care from his family. His story is same as that of many other old people in the typical middle-class Indian households, I can claim that the story is common. And not just their immediate children, but all grown-ups in their bloodline should be equally accused for such plight of the elders.

In the current competitive world, and the resultant fast-paced life, we feel that our time is "gold" and we should spend it only on something that promises high returns. We spend a few carats of this time on our parents because they are the source of money for our education, or will attend to us when we are ill, or will attend to our infants when we will be busy chasing higher professional goals. We spend another few carats on our spouses or love mates because they will provide us company for parties, vacations and shopping, or will help fulfill our physical desires. We spend some on our children coz they might get distracted and may do harm to either themselves or to the family reputation. We cannot ignore our colleagues because they will help us climb the sky-high ladders at work. We even fear offending our maids coz if they abandon us, then we will have to spend a portion of our "gold" in maintaining the house. But we don't realize that with this materialistic gain oriented mindset, we have spent all our gold and have become worthless.

My father always wanted to do his due as a son to keep Bauji (as my grandfather is called) with him, with respect and care. He fought hard against the materialistic mindset, but lost. Until two years back, I could not help Bauji because of multiple factors - focus on career and girlfriend being the prime ones other than the lack of right maturity level. But after completing 4 years of job for my both employers (company and girlfriend), and after getting involved in major decisions related to family property and investments, I had the appropriate maturity level to make 2 switches - join a "big four" multi-national company in Gurgaon and become a "family man". Apart from renovating our 18 year old house, doing single-handed planning of my marriage, helping my in-laws in extreme times, and planning and organizing my sister's marriage, I also became Bauji's confidant and thus his best friend.

Believe me, it did not take a lot of effort to befriend him. All I needed was to drive 40 kms, every or alternate weekend, to meet him and then just listen to him for an hour or so. Whenever I met him, he used to say "bada accha lagta hai tu har weekend aa jata hai, mil jata hai, dil ko tasalli ho jati hai". I realized how my small effort of just driving 40 kms is giving so much happiness to Bauji. He did not ask for any favors that demanded labor or expenditures, he just wanted to know that things are normal in my and my family's life. Then he would share what has been going on in his mind for the last one week. His thoughts could be anything - short stories from his life where he stuck to his principles and not giving in to distractions, care for a few of the 55 odd descendants in his bloodline, thoughts on current mindset of the society, or thoughts on the current affairs being reported in the newspapers.

I am blessed to have realized that his thoughts are actually the "mine" which supplies to me the "ore" to generate my "gold". Though I can't imbibe all his principles, but having imbibed a few has helped me develop an intellect to take judicious decisions in my life. And then he has given me a few golden words, in the form of his sayings which, whenever I have tried to tell others, have helped me shine like a diamond in the dark.

I will end this with one such golden saying of his - "Present Thanks are Future Invitations". So thank you for reading this post and allowing me to share my thoughts with you. I hope you will spread the thought if you like it..