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Life and Times


Some day, when the wheels of destiny starts creaking around me, and the groans are heard to surviving few, I might ask myself If I have lived a good life.
Until such time, I live with no regrets. If life were a trade, and me a trading partner, let it be recorded that my partner has not discounted me. In this world I inherited, I stand in profit. 

Here is a short history of my times.

The Beginnings
Patna, in Bihar state of India is a great place to be born. I achieved this greatness when my mom gave birth to me at the Patna Medical College Hospital in the December of 1974. I spared Christ (upon special request), by a day, and promptly came out on Dec'26th.
Very early into my adulthood, sometime before I was 6, I got all the right diseases. The list is countless, some I remember are Jaundice, Typhoid, and Chicken Pox. Probably the vaccines infected me, one never knows. Now that I had defeated all these enemies, I went to all the right schools in Patna. 

Education !?
I studied in Notre Dame, Nav Deepti, Loyola and St.Michaels before the inhabitants of Patna discovered that I was 19 and armed and dangerous. They, with the help of my parents who wanted their breed to survive, promptly packed me to Kerala, the land where they have Coconut Oil instead of morning tea!

In Kerala I found myself seated at the wrong end of an extremely long table. On the other end was a Padre with the poise of an an US President. Reverend Dr.Joseph Madathiparambil who asked me a very interesting question, why do you want to pursue English for graduation and not Science? My answer was the most bogus he would have ever heard from an applicant! "Father, I want to explore the soul of this language!." The right answer would have been something like... Father, if I were to ever graduate, I would graduate with English and fail probably in every other discipline! Be it recorded that I avoided all books and lessons from the curriculum like locusts and plague. All my nightmares are of Academics. I am sure that those 24 or so years of torture that I went through has helped cleanse all my sins! May those who sin be subjected to Academics. Amen!

Work Life
I am not a drifter. My needs are not minimal, but they do not govern my life and my attitude towards work and employer. I have worked with three employers. My first  Job was with Harrisons Malayalam as a plantation executive. I worked here for 6 years until early 2005 when I moved on to Bangalore for other opportunities.

With my first job I realized what risk means and investing on people mean. My employer, a 350 year old firm with Colonial hangovers, had appointed me as a custodian to couple of thousand acres of land, its products and its people. At that young age, (24), my decisions could change destinies. I bow to that great spirit of entrepreneurship and trust.

My Second Job was with First Source for six months after which, I joined my present one, TMI, in the year 2005 December. At TMI I had great insights into two passionate, well-meaning individuals working out 

tirelessly to create an organization greater than themselves. Every time they fail, I have seen them get up and press ahead again. I still wonder what magic makes emergent organizations greater than its promoters. With TMI I have seen the huge challenges that one face when as an organization, or an Individual, one is yet to come up with a stated engagement philosophy with life and its people.  I am a part of this quest. In the milieu of ever shifting points of view, I try to retain mine. 

Guiding Force
People often ask me whether I have a burning ambition that drives me or an aim that guides me. The answer is no. There is no one aim or ambition that when achieved, would give me my absolution. I love life, I love living life and I work towards keeping it simple and uncluttered. I love everything I have done, I like to live life through its simple everyday offerings. 

I agree, I am a little different. However, we all are. In my case, its visible. I guess I like it that way. 


Sometime in 2006

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Clarity

I have looked at myself
From the edges of reason
And discovered
That both my sanity and insanity
Springs forth like seasons
Out of my distances from you. Realizing thus
I have allowed the outer rims
Of my diffused sanity
To fritter away into crumbs
Of misplaced memories
From my time with you. I have often found myself being unreasonable
When I am away from you.
And generally insane
When otherwise.

Objects in the rear-view mirror are…

When it was time for her to go, it was also time for me to let go. Once an irritant is washed out, they say you can start seeing better immediately. All that stupid tears and all that rubbing of the soul, until your eyelids would cry out, no more, no more. 
And then, just like that, one fine day, I wake up, and she was gone.
As the train chugged out
The tracks cried out in senseless
creaks of half despair

The Dark of the Night

You would not have walked with me
Had the nights been not so scary
And your nightmares
All so real for you.

I would not have held your hands
Had the hands that I wished to hold
Not left me out in the cold.
Let us together, you and I

Celebrate our togetherness
Even as in our silences
We cherish our separateness.

Mar 7, 2015
First published in Indian Sahitya, Feb 2017 Issue on Contemporary Indian Poetry