“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future…” - Steve Jobs
On July 31, 1991, destiny took me to the shores of Dubai with a job offer, but not a penny in my pocket. I borrowed Dhs. 100 from my sister and on reporting to work, got a salary advance. The years 1991 to 2019 witnessed the dots going all over the place. A kaleidoscopic career challenged me to get my dots right. Managing to align the dots, at 55 I restarted my career and converted my passion into a profession. Having published a unique illustrative business book, I ventured into training and consulting. Today my book titled ‘Delighting Customers Is…’ is available in major bookshops in the UAE, India and on Amazon.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder. While the pangs to come home always existed, the calling got stronger. Finally, we took that call and after living away for half our life time, decided to return in early 2020 – a move from one comfort zone to another.
Yet, uprooting and moving is always a tug of war of emotions. The daily news sends messages of apprehension, while updates from family and friends leave us envious. After weighing the thoughts from the head against emotions from the heart, we realised there is more to gain than to lose.
Some emotional connects I share may seem absurd to many, but “
The beauty of the land is best admired from the far seas than standing at its shores” – GK A potpourri of cultures
+ Living in a potpourri of cultures is certainly a great experience, but coming home means getting to meet your people, your family and friends. Thanks to technology, the virtual world has helped, but has not managed to replace the real connect.
+ In the last three decades people have moved on with times but somethings are in the DNA of the country. Like, dropping in to meet relatives and friends without an appointment.
+ Getting to know your neighbours and maybe leave your house keys with them.
+ Taking the liberty to knock on your neighbour’s door and nonchalantly ask for a cup of sugar or milk.
+ The luxury of getting domestic help and not taking turns with the dishes or cleaning the home.
+ The joy of attending social functions and wearing those Indian clothes you bought twenty years ago.
+ Listen to the pitter patter of a light rain or the lashing of torrential downpour.
+ The joy of celebrating the different festivals of colour, light and sound that only a country as India can offer.
+ Breaking a queue legally … as I will soon qualify to be a senior citizen.
+ The country is so diverse that there is still so much to see in India. The range of places to visit from beaches to hills, religious sites to modern attractions, snow slopes to flat deserts. In fact, as I write this, I received a WhatsApp video of a place called Unakoti in Tripura. If you have heard of this place, super, if not it’s worth a visit.
+ The luxury, the joy, the pleasure of stumbling on vegetarian restaurants serving cuisines from almost every part of the country. Trying fusion foods or concoctions like spirit-laced ice creams and pani puris.
+ Travelling within a city has become a breeze, thanks to technology, apps and Uber. You are not at the mercy of a taxi driver who demands a ransom to take you from one place to another. It has become stress free, pollution free and affordable.
+ Having the pleasure of putting on a ceiling fan or leaving the windows open, instead of moving from an air-conditioned home to an air-conditioned office, restaurant or mall.
A few side effects
It is said in life everything has side effects and forewarned is forearmed. Also, awareness leads to acceptance.
- With the number of cars, bikes, bicycles, autos, and at times animals, the challenge of walking on the roads seem humanly impossible. Either you have these vehicles all around, or if riding in a vehicle you have potholes all around.
- Again, communicating between vehicles by honking is a fine art you get to experience in a few countries, including India.
- In India we have one standard time but different standards of time. Keeping time or appointments is something we have to adapt to while moving home. (Though I have kept buffers, I hope to get my home renovations done in buffered time.)
While the country has so much to offer, we as individuals have a role in contributing to it because all those who should be doing it, including news channels, are busy infighting. Every individual can educate another to make India a better place. Each individual can learn from another to make India a better place. Each one Teach one. And I call it
MYPSR – MY Personal Social Responsibility. Gangadhar Krishna is an author, trainer and game changer who is out to make a passion a profession.