Taare Zameen Par

It was very humbling experience I had today. As part of the orientation program, today we spent the whole day with an NGO which works with mentally challenged children in Bangalore. The world today is complex and each of us get so entangled and deep rooted in our own personal and professional aspirations that we fail to see that in our same world there exist people who are not as gifted as we are. Even things like logical reasoning, ability to do basic day to day activities and looking at world like we see can be a challenge to many. We tend to feel that our life is somehow insulated from theirs and we have nothing to do with them. Just because they are not our friends or families or acquaintances, we can easily distance ourselves. The same feeling that goes through us when a small child comes knocking on your car door at a traffic signal or when we see homeless people lying on the pavement.

After having spent more than 6 hours playing with these children and trying to understand them, I felt that how even small commitments from people in the society like us can go a long way in making their lives so much better. And believe me it is not the money donation. I think the most valuable gift that one can give is time. It is strange that when we left the place today, each of us realized that we could definitely engage in someway with organizations like these and try to do our bit for the society. However I am equally sure that these feelings would not translate to any action. Most of us would start to live our lives again and start running after material happiness, earning lots of money and being "successful". On our way back one of my colleagues said that he was not sure whether those kids in the school were mentally challenged or we who try to act indifferently are the actually challenged ones. I agree.

Over the course of the day I was overwhelmed to see the innocent joy in the kids and the instant bond they strike up with you. They learnt from us, played with us, and even performed choreographed dance. And to top everything they so easily trusted us. Strange is life....Here is someone who can trust you in an interaction of hours yet wen it comes to us we fail to trust people we have known for years. Anyways I don't know if these strong feelings of mine are going to get drowned in the din of competition, glitter of material gains and inferno of ambitions. Only time will tell.

Relationship Skills - Professional or Personal

The other day we happened to undergo a leadership training at work regarding Relationship Skills. Well I know what you are thinking...I thought of the same thing...IS this something that you can teach?? Anyways but due credit to the facilitator and the content, there was indeed some takeaways. Most importantly some concrete ways of gauging and measuring your professional relationships. So going out with your client for golf and beer are not valid indictors of how deep your relationship runs..So this structured approach to thinking can help decide your course of action and take steps t improve if needed...Fair enough and hopefully I will be able to keep this at the back of my head when I move to US or Europe in the next 6 months.

But the moot point which got me thinking later was whether inherent relationship building skills have any correlation with professional relationships. So for example if someone is essentially good with relations, does that mean he will be a good client handler or vice versa? I don't know the answer but then I heard the story where in many management consulting firms, people verify how successful you are in your personal family life before thay make you partner...Hmm maybe then there is indeed some correlation. Well as of now, I will have to wait and see how life pans out for me and people I know both professionally and personally. I think it will help me develop my own hypothesis around this.

Bangalore Update 2

Well finally.....I got my laptop and am back online....phew...checking mails from iPod touch for the last 2 weeks was a real pain in the neck. Anyways from now on I intend to be regular in blogging. Man it feels nice!!!!

Last weekend was eventful. Had a sumptuous lunch at Oh Calcutta with my school friends and on Sunday a couple of my ISB mates led by MB called me over for a wonderful English breakfast with sausages, ham, scrambled eggs, toast, fresh cut fruits and cold coffee. Yummy to say the least. Anyways we also happened to watch a hindi movie called 99. Not great but it was good fun and a good thing to watch without taxing your brain at all.

Work now has settled into a routine. Getting used to waking up at 6:00 AM and sitting through a lot of information dump. Anyways life is not perfect and working never was meant for enjoyment. The only variation was last week Mysore off site. It was a nice trip for a couple of days. The Mysore campus is just awesome and it really blows you away by the sheer size and scale of it. And it is not that I have not seen the world and have not been to good campuses. Apart from the team building activities during the day, one of the best bonding sessions was when we hit a pub called The Road. The place was nice and the decor reminded me of Pulp Fiction since the similar open cars and bikes were part of the seating area. After a couple of drinks we hit the dance floor and had a lot of fun with some House music and on my request we played the Official ISB anthem "My dream is to fly so high..." Remembered the awesome parties we used to have at ISB. Miss them and miss the wonderful set of friends I had. Anyways can't wait for Solstice when I can be back on campus again.

Bangalore weather is really wonderful. I am really in love with it, especially after having faced the sultry heat of Kolkata summer. No wonder people hate moving once they have settled here. So it goes into my list of probable places to settle down when I decide to. Ok 2 more days and another weekend beckons. Once you have got over Wednesday, the mind fills up with renewed hope of another memorable weekend. Till then Ciao....