Saturday, January 19, 2013

Palace of Illusions review

This is a guest post I wrote for for my friends, Sameen and Fayesal.

This post is close to me for this is one my most favourite books of all times, and I will never, ever tire of reading it.

Here is the link to it. Please check it out:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I’m all grown up now. I think.

What is it that you always did as a kid? When mamma had gone to the market, when your friends hadn't come down to play, or on lazy afternoons? Were you dancing? Were you singing? Drawing, perhaps? Do you do it anymore? Do you have the time? Or the energy? Or the enthusiasm?

Too many questions there. Let's start with a basic one. Or two: Are you happy? Can you say definitively that what youre doing for a living is, in fact, what you were meant to do? Is there nothing you would rather be doing?

 If your answer is a 'no', you know it's time for redressal. If your tired, over-used but under-utilised mind shouted 'NO' at that previous paragraph, it's time to take a day off from work and think about yourself. Your needs, what keeps you happy.

I read a poem long back, when I was in school. I don't remember much of it, save for this line that said:

"My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation"

At the time, I thought it was disturbing that those two words were framed like opposites to each other, where your vocation is your job, that which gives you money; avocation is your hobby, your passion, that which you do when you're not at work. (Implying that these two are always different, opposite, and can never be the same thing)

Finishing college and entering the corporate world made me realise how many people slog day and night in cubicles, so htat they could afford a house they dont have time to live in, buy clothes they dont have time to shop for, afford vacations they dont have time to see where Im going with this, yes?

I was soon of the opinion that hobbies are for relaxed weekends, not all, but the ones when you DONT suddenly have to show up at work because, well, deadlines ARE, after all, deadlines. That hobbies are to take a backseat in the car called career. That THAT is what it means to grow up. To do what youre supposed to do, not what you want to.

Here is when I met him (I'd really known him for years, but this never really struck me, so technically...)

A man who, all through childhood, loved sport, would be playing most of the time, did not take too much heed to studies. He went on to do a Master's degree in Chemistry and further in Management, consequently worked with water filters for a living.

He's a nature freak, loves the outdoors and enjoys adventure sports. He could very well have taken a trek or two every month and left it at that. What did he do, then?

He joined hands with a college mate who had joined the Indian Army after graduation, to start their own venture. A venture that may not have ensured them good money, but it ensured a great time planning, executing and making a difference to people's lives.

Today, Z Bac takes school children and corporate officials away from their fancy dinners abd video conferences to nature, to nights full of darkness and insect sounds, to eating less and being more active, by using rappeling, river rafting, fire walks, etc. to make people realize what teamwork, determination and perseverance really means. Unique, brilliant concept; something I would have NEVER ever thought of.

The co-founder of Z Bac, an inspiring teacher and a towering leader, Mr. Prasad Deole taught me that my childish dreams of pursuing my hobbies as a career isn't, after all, childish at all. He taught me it IS possible in real life. He taught me how much more fulfilling life can be if you do what you love, and thereby love what you do.

And you know that feeling of getting back home from work, but where you cant wait to get back, and see if you can work today better than you did yesterday? Where everything you did counted? Where even if people didn't appreciate you or give you credit, you would still never consider leaving your job because you just love it SO much? No? I think we all have some thinking to do.

P.S.: This blogpost was revamped and posted as a tribute to Prasad Bhaiya on his birthday, 11th Jan.