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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Redifining Success

With Social Networking and the internet, I have got back in touch with a lot of old friends. Friends whom I know from school days, my undergraduate days, my B-school days as well as old colleagues from my previous organisations.

It is a very nice feeling to know that my friends are doing so well in their respective careers. Some are heading their companies, some are heading the marketing department of hige corporations, others heading business divisions so on and so forth.

It feels really nice to note that my friends are successful.

While speaking to them, one thing is evidently missing. The satisfaction of doing something that is meaningful. I get a feeling that they have got so entangled in the rat race that they really are missing out on doing something meaningful. A couple of them have even admitted as much to me in heart-to-heart conversations have admitted as much.

I lost a lot of years as well as seniority due to my health. Also it is quite a blessing in disguise that I am not married. I have seen the priorities of so many of my friends change post marriage.

It's really tough for me to manage work, rest, dialysis and other activities like trekking and working on building a cadre. That has been my dream ever since I was young. Experimenting on how to build a cadre. A Cadre of leaders.

A system that would generate leaders. I dont know whether I will be successful. Success once used to mean doing well in a job. Getting great designations in the shortest period of time.

Today along with my job, my dialysis, my trekking and other problems, I am also following a dream. Something that means a lot to me.

Success is in doing something that is truly meaningful.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Accept the Situation

The hairline was a blow to my trekking plans. But I had to take it in my stride. Yes it hurt. Every step was painful. Everytime I stood on my own feet it hurt.

But I chose to do just that. Just as I had all the time.

For Kidney patients, analgesics (pain killers) are poison. So the only analgesic I was allowed to use was paracetamol which is a very mild one. It was not something that would give a lot of relief, but nevertheless, I had a choice.

I exercised that choice. I chose not to take any painkillers. I decided to take the bull by its horns. This had a logic applied to it.

I have observed that when we dont consume pain killers, the wound heals faster. Or it could be that our body developed a tendency to bear the pain, however intense it may be.

I accepted the pain as being a part of me. Something that was connected to my being. Just like dialysis or my failed kidneys.

When we accept something as it is, somehow from somewhere we get the strength to face it. Tough things become matter of fact. I could walk and live a normal life. The pain in my ankle was sidelined to just some niggle out there somewhere that was now not able to affect me adversely.

So much so that I started believing that the injury had healed. Around 4 days before we were to go to Harishchandragad, I did an X ray. The fracture had healed !! But there was still some swelling in the soft tissue.

I suddenly realised then that there was still some discomfort in my foot, which I needed to rest. I dropped out of Harishchandragad trek. Just to ensure that I could do more treks in future.

But yes, it was a learning that I will never forget.

Any pain, hurt or adverse incident does not affect us if we accept the situation as it is.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Joy of Doing

Post Karnala, I continued my routine life. We had plans for a trek to Harishchandragad for the long weekend coinciding with holi. I was so excited. This was my dream trek. When I started trekking again this was one trek that I really wanted to do.

I was so excited that the date was nearing.

After Karnala my foot started hurting. In fact when I started for the trek from home, the area around the ankle was painful. But I went for the trek. I was excited that there were so many first timers trekking with us.

The pain if any recedes in a day or two. However this time it started aggravating. The pain was so intense that I found it difficult to walk.

Finally around 10 days later I visited the doctor. He suggested I take an X ray and meet an orthopedic doctor. Which I did. I wanted to get this out of the way before Harishchandragad trek.

The ortho had some bad news for me. He could see a hairline fracture in my ankle area and advised me to wear supports for the ankle and no trekking for 3-4 weeks.

We were planning Bhupatgad on Valentine day. And I had great valentine day plans for the trek.

It was not to be. I had to be at home. Maybe I might even have to drop out of Harishchandragad trek.

Well I accepted the situation. I did all the planning for Bhupatgad knowing very well that I would not be able to go. I also planned everything for Harishchandragad expecting that my foot injury would heal by then.

So what if I could not join the trek. I could plan and organise it. That also gave me so much joy.

Joy is not just in doing something that you love doing. Joy can be derived even from organising your favourite things so that others can love it.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Creating History

I have been very active in the social arena since a long time. I was involved with a socio cultural institution for a long time and thereafter some more bodies which were voluntary and whose objectives were to bring the community together.

Somehow most of them didnt take off as they were planned to.

One socio cultural institution is now dominated by the older generation who are averse to new ideas. Any voluntary institution runs because of youhg feet. The youngsters need to be enthusiastic. But if the people who control the activities are not in tune with the pulse of the next generation its a non starter, however good the intentions may be. There is also no intention to allow the younger generation to work independently, allow new ideas to happen as there is insecurity.

There was a group where I was a part of that more or less disintegrated because of the issue of credit, or the lack of it. Any group activity needs the whole group to contribute to its success, but when there is a propoganda to credit success of the group to an individual, then the rest log off, simply. Its good to see a group getting formed afresh in that project and I wish them all the best.

There was another friends circle that started out with good objectives, they got pulled in different directions due to ego issues. For a time the group moved with the majority opinion, but at one point the 'leader' (founder) of the group put his foot down again due to insecurity that others might usurp his position. Again the same story. Insecurity crept in and the leader felt he needed to compete with the group.

Its clear that a leader cant be a competitor. But then what is leadership.

How do you define a leader.

A leader is someone who is supremely confident about himself/herself. He does not feel insecure that someone else is a threat to him. A leader is someone who does not compete with the rest. He doesnt need to .... he is not insecure.

A leader does not compete. He is not a competitor. He is a leader.

This is so much in sync with what Swami Vivekananda once said

"The history of the world is the story of a few men who had faith in themselves"

Hope I can create history some day.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Meherali Center at Tara

Tara is a small village around 4 km from Karnala. On the way to Tara there are a lot of small resorts. Few of our members were tempted to stop at one of these for lunch. However, I had already informed the people at Yusuf Meherali Center that we were coming and they would have cooked for us.

Another speciality of the institution is the kind of work that they do in the neighbouring areas to educate the masses. They also provide employment to the villagers in their premises. They run a soap factory, an oil mill, a bakery and a carpentry where they manufacture goods of top quality.

I had been there before with my college group (courtesy nature club of Wilson College) and also with the students camp that we organised for Kanara Saraswat Association.

It was always a great experience to visit this place. The spirit of being independent in a small way and yet churn out goods of the top quality is a challenge.

The best part is the people who are running the show are people who have migrated from the cities. It is such a difficult thing to do. Give up the luxuries of urban life to go to the village and make a difference.

Another very important reason was the fact that the gentleman who led my first trek (Bhargav Sir) who was an inmate here was unwell. He was also suffering from crf. and was living on dialysis. I had heard that he had grown very weak. This person was so active and so lively, that I felt like coming all the way to meet him. The fact that I met him after a trek would also in some way encourage him to get as active as her was earlier. I fervently hope and pray that he does.

we had a sumptious meal here for a very reasonable price. A full meal of homely food was really what the doctor ordered us after a trek.

Then after some rest and chit chatting we went and saw the various mills that they run.

On the way back we had some kokum sarbat at their restaurant (which was separate from the mess where we had our food)

The kokum Sarbat was so refreshing. It was difficult to imagine. We bought some items are the store like kokum, syrups as well as the dried variety, the hair oil and some other items and set out for Mumbai.

The experience was so exhillarating. Imagine people who came from the city to live in the villages, run cottage industries, educate the rural folk, generate employment and live like any other villager and most importantly make them financially independent.

I am sure its a huge learning experience. Learning that would hold us in good stead for the rest of our lives.

When Gandhiji talked about Gram Panchayat maybe this was what he was referring to. India is truly in the villages.

If we want to change India we need to begin from here.