Thursday, April 06, 2006

That was an interesting session

Last week, I attended a training on "Time Management" as my I got an e-mail from my manager the previous day regarding the same. I generally don’t like attending trainings, as I feel sleepy and bored after retaining my concentration for the initial two hours. To attend a technical training is fine as I try out all that I have understood on my own and that keeps my interest ticking but a training of the sort I have mentioned above makes me feel "Haaaaaaah (a yawn, that too I do it so that no one is seeing me), I need a coffee break, I go to the rest room many a times". But all this conniptions were not visible that day, WHY?

First the trainer was a highly knowledgeable and learned person. His name was G.C.Das (GCD) and after retirement he owns a company in B’lore and he offers consultancy to many a firm on soft skills. GCD is around 64 years and he has worked around the world in the US, Germany and some of the biggest conglomerates in India such as SAIL,HAL and BHEL.What was intriguing to me was, this man who having studied in the best Engg school in India and having done his Masters in Science and MBA from US way back in 1970 came back to India and served his nation when the country needed him the most. Its not like today when we have technology at our doors the day we are born, think of India in 1970,it would be like seeing a black and white movie and comparing it with a Technicolor movie from Paramount Pictures of today.

He gave live examples of how "BHEL", a laggard in the brick and mortar industry in the 1980’s was able to revamp its image within a span of 10 years by adopting intelligent planning and strategy. Later during the tea break I had a small chat with him and came to know that he knew my father because of his association with SAIL for a short tenure. He asked me what he was doing now after his retirement in Sept’05. I replied about his new teaching assignment as he loves doing that and is becoming a part-time faculty in IIT Delhi, his alma mater.

The world is a small place and that’s why I always believe remain connected, you never know when you will cross roads with someone. GCD gave an assignment, which really made me think that day while returning back home, late evening. Since I couldn’t collate my thoughts at the spur of the moment, I thought, I would blog the same and share the link with him.

His "Time Management" funda was: Plan your activities and stick to it and with practice the time factor involved with the activities fall in sync. Straight forward and simple.

The question he posed to me was: "Assume that you have 2 years of your life left say from 1st May’06 and you are going do die for sure on 1st May’08. How would you plan to spend the time of 6 months each for these two years?"

I thought of dividing my life for the next 24 months into units of 6 months each and this is what I decided to do.

0-6 month.
First of all, I would leave my job in the field of information and technology and start my MBA program soon. I would work my level best to complete my 2-year program in an action packed six-month deadline. In the course of my program, I would love to interact with junta from all over the world and learn their culture and share ideas.

7-12 month.
Since the program I am looking for and working towards involves lot of investment, I need to work out my alternatives. There are many people in my family and my well-wishers who are ready to sponsor my program, I strictly don’t believe in that school of thought. Till date I have not depended on any one for my education and my career (though I seek their advise/guidance/tips) and wish to practice that forever, some say that’s being too idealistic, well I can’t change the way one thinks. No ego and alter ego,"I am what I am". I would work hard for 6 months to re-pay the extra loan amount, which I plan to take from a bank for the expenses apart from my scholarship. Till date, I have seen the 2 out of the "Seven Wonders of the World" and so wish the company/firm I work for puts me on assignments in each of those five countries where the rest five wonders are located. So all loans are paid and I have no financial burdens now by the end of 12 months.

13-18 month.
I will do the dream job of my life. I want to work for an United Nations entity, may it be UNICEF or UNESCO.

I want to visit "Somalia", a nation devastated by war, divided by never-ending clan struggle and worst of all perennially attacked by the vagaries of nature such as drought. The entire country’s water distribution system has been destroyed in the fighting and the UN has therefore dug many wells in an attempt to supply water to the population. As we all know, "Water is the source of life", I want to work in this direction, in particular by broadcasting messages on local radio to promote hygiene. The people live in very small settlements, which are either one-roomed or thatched mud-huts near wells. A house with a metal roof is a sign of prosperity. A typical dwelling consists of a collapsible shelter, which is a small hut built of wood and animal skins, with grass mats on the floor. Life is difficult, involving much work for scarce resources. I want to live among those people and do something for them.(My inputs to this are from what I saw in the Discovery Channel, which I view quite often.)

I also want to visit "Thailand" and "Philippines", which have recently stepped in to play the role of whorehouse to the world. I was alarmed when I read in a recent edition of National Geographic Society magazine that this practice is facilitated by developing agents having disregarded the development of women's opportunities for economic independence, leaving prostitution as the highest paying job available to many of the women of Southeast Asia. Looking at the problem of prostitution from the perspective of class yields a dichotomy between the wealth and opportunity available to the city-dwellers and the poverty that is the legacy of the rural sector, the source of the vast majority of prostitutes in Southeast Asia. The innocent women, brought/bought to the city with false promises, but once in the city, are then cajoled, coerced and condemned to take up prostitution as the highest paying job available. Then, once they have begun to make some money, in most cases, they send large portions of those earning home. An ILO study found that of "fifty prostitutes interviewed, all except four send money home". Most remit one-third to one-half their earnings, sums essential to their rural families survival. There are women, indentured to prostitute themselves to pay off loans their families accept from their daughter’s future employers. It seemed so pathetic and painful to me when I read that, but then just put yourself in the same shoes and see how it feels.I wish I can go the slums and tell the people that apart from losing one’s own self esteem, they are becoming victims of a deadly disease called "AIDS". They can’t come out of this whirlpool over-night but they can work towards a more honest and simple living. They can approach the government and raise their concerns to the authorities. The result may not be positive instantaneously but may present a better world to their future generations. (Anyone who has read the "11 Minutes" by Paulo Coelho can appreciate my line of thought.)

Last stop would be Amchi Mumbai’s,"Dharavi", which is often branded as the biggest slum habitat in the entire world. I have often seen the place in the news channel coverage and also in the various documentaries telecasted on the TV.I want to be a part of the people there, live in the chawl and be like one of them.Make the dabbawalahs my best friends and understand how they have impeccably practised the "Six Sigma" norms,the crude way which lot many MNC's are struggling to implement even after years of training and perfection.

19- 24 month.
Since I have limited amount of time left with me now, I would make sure that I draft my "Biography" soon. My inventory of experiences and life would be the main content and the foundation of my book. I would get it proof read by some of the people, I know and few that come to my mind are Rosy, one of my school mates who has already authored two books,Sujatha of the Blogpourri fame and Venky one of my batchmates who is to start his cinematography program in NY soon. Since I don’t know many people from the literary circle, so will bank on these people, can I ? I would read and re-read the entire store of my books: "Amar Chitra Katha", "Tintin", "Asterix", "Archies", "Gabriel García Márquez", "Paulo Coelho", "Ruskin Bond", "R K Narayan" and lot others. I would make sure that I blog daily and keep my parents with me. The time I spend with "Chotu", she would be 4 years by then, the right age and time to shout, dance and turn the house into a stable when her maa (my sister) is back from work. Show the world that it’s the naughtiest that rule the world. I would spend atleast an hour late night everyday to talk to all the people who matter to me a lot and whom I value, adore and respect in life.

Then on the penultimate day, I sleep after having a simple dinner and that’s it, a "simple" goodbye. I came to this world single, lived life single and then died single having seen my bit of world before I reached the maturely mature 30. "Amen".

"Saala in this country of 100 crores junta, ek auur tapak gaya"

Keep reading and remain connected.


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