Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Is it "The Now" Yet?

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”
-Steve Jobs

All through our lives, we plan for the future. Young professionals plan their career… young people in love plan their lives together, young parents plan their kid’s education… the list is endless. But amid all this, have you ever given thought to what you’ll do if there was no tomorrow? What if the only time you had was now? The only people you had left were those with you now?

Creepy, but a proposition of immense importance… pessimistic, but immeasurably motivating…

Right from the moment all our natural faculties of hearing, listening, seeing, feeling, interpreting and comprehending start functioning properly, we’re imbued with the constant need to secure our future, which somehow makes us lose out on the present. Let me explain…

With the boom in digital cameras, we see one around every neck, in every hand, with the self-appointed photographer clicking away to glory. I know all of you have done it too. Do you really remember those events as well as you remember those where you weren’t clicking? Or do you have to refer to those faithful pictures to remind you of your brother’s foolish grin and the random aunty’s funny expression?

Did your focus on preserving memories not spoil the present for you? I, for one, think it does.
What do we do then? Preserve no memories?” you would say. And I would simply reply “Make each day so memorable that you don’t need memories to aid your memory. Live in the present. Do what you love. Do what makes you happy. Be happy.”

For each sun that sets, a day of your precious life has been ticked off. A day less to do more…

Why then should we waste our days thinking out a future we might never have? Why plan for possibilities that might never arise? Why cry over things and people who aren’t as important as you think?

Take up challenges and conquer them. It’ll fetch you a good night’s sleep.

Cross the line. You’ll outperform all else.

Be who you are. You’ll become what you want.

Embarrassment and Fear of Failure are perhaps the two least important emotions you need to harbor. Just follow your heart. It’ll take you to new heights.

Don't keep waiting for the perfect moment. It is NOW.

Live your life as if it is your last day…

P.S. I found Steve Jobs’ quote in this video. This post is my interpretation of the same J

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Meeting Mrs. Deepika Bhattacharya

You want it to go left, it’ll go right. You want it to slow down, it’ll go blazingly fast. You want it to be easy it’ll be tougher than fighting a bunch of gun-wielding goons blind-folded. Such is life. A life which isn’t always fair….

Yet fighting against all odds and taking the sudden surprise turns in our stride has always kept us going. We might not know exactly where we are headed, but we’re definitely progressing…each day, each moment.

Embodying this philosophy is Mrs. Deepika Bhattacharya, Vice President, Accenture whom I met at a college event. When she took the stage, she had her audience entranced. But I dare say that even she didn’t know destiny’s plans for her.

Though she’d dreamt medicine-dreams while in class 8, she ended up pursuing commerce, thus, becoming the first female in her family to venture into this line of study. She then planned to do Economics and landed up with Bachelors of Commerce and later wanted to become a Chartered Accountant and ended up doing Masters in Business Economics. Her life almost never obeyed the choices she made.

Undaunted by the lows that life sent her way, she persevered. Working with some of the top-notch firms like Dabur, NIIT, American Express, GE and now Accenture. She went from a ‘Can she fit in here?’ girl to the ‘I really admire her!’ lady. Her twenty-three year journey in the corporate sector is testimony to the fact that through sheer hard-work, grit and determination seemingly ordinary people can transform themselves into big achievers.

She left us with such valuable lessons as can only come with experience. One particular idea that had a deep impact on me was this: Work towards your strengths.

Is it not very logical? Do what you are good at, do it better than anyone else ever can. Yet we always work in the exact opposite direction, slaving with skills which aren’t really our cup of tea. True, it helps us diversify but wouldn’t we be much better off if we knew one trade like the back of our hands…instead of being jack of all trades and master of none?

While dealing with questions regarding problems working women face, she emphasized on the fact that you always have to stand by the decisions you take. I couldn’t agree more. If I myself do not support the decisions I take, how can I expect anyone else to do it? How can I achieve my full potential if I have a trunk full of regrets weighing me down?

Her closing thought was “Don’t be too hard on your own self.” I think that directly translates to my philosophy of loving one self. True, you are your best critic. But when this self-criticism starts to put you down, when it starts to have a negative impact on your personality, it is best to stop. Love your flaws. Were you perfect, life would’ve been considerably more difficult.

Her words gave me food for thought and I sure am munching away to eternity.

P.S. I later discovered we’re from the same school. Awesome! Right?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Growth over Rote

When you google the word “Education” you get two definitions:

#1 the process of giving or receiving systematic instruction, esp. at a school or university

#2 an enlightening experience

Which of these are you most likely to agree with?

In the Indian context, our entire education system is focused around grades and marks, nothing more, nothing less. You score well, you’re the raja beta (or beti); if you don’t, God help you!

Fretting over the general lack of innovation and adaptability in present day classroom teaching, I started looking around. And this is when I came across The Testament.

Initially, just a newsletter, this start-up has evolved, grown and diversified into a plethora of undertakings. In their own words, they aim to enhance the vision and creative thinking of students through ingenious mechanisms to change the education scenario in our country. Definitely commendable!

But a lot of student organizations come and go, never really making an impact. Is this the case here as well? Is the bubble about to burst? I hope not because the efforts being put in by this twenty-member organization cannot go unnoticed.

Take, for instance, their High Potential Development Cell or Hi-Po, as they call it. These sessions provide an essentially enriching and rewarding experience to all those involved. The format couldn’t have been simpler: One speaker talks about great marketing, business phenomenon and strategies, people profiles and the like. This is followed by a rather intense question-answer session.

Wouldn’t you like to attend such events where you learn actual tricks of the trade, where you can gain in-depth knowledge in areas that really matter?
I, for one, hope that they succeed in their endeavor… for my benefit lies in their success…

P.S. If you wish to know more about them, visit

P.P.S. I think this is my first ever serious post about this particular facet of our everyday life!