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Friday, 30 December 2011

What brings you back to work every day?

There was a survey that asked the question: “What brings you back to work every day?” Not getting into what I had answered for the survey, there certainly have been various reasons at various stages that have kept me going, ranging from the challenges of work, the exposure it gives, the opportunities to learn and do new things every day, and the people at the top who are the guiding force. All these continue to be true, but for the last year and a half though, the primary reason has been only one thing – that of working closely with some of the best people I have ever met. This has been an extremely rewarding experience, so much so that I feel I ought to do it some justice by blogging and sharing some of the creative content which got generated through this alliance.

The dedication, focus and integrity of a Chandana, the perseverance and inquisitiveness of an Ajay, the agility and the big picture perspective of a Sumit, the pursuit of perfection and attention to detail of an Aniruddha and the patience and responsiveness of a Thomas have all stood out during these months of intense activity.

Having spent some time with them, I now realize that these could very well be some of the best times I ever would have professionally. When you possess something so extremely valuable that it is very rare to find, it is important to realize what you have got and ensure that you cherish it to the fullest, as long as it lasts. And the very act of working in a team that includes the people and qualities I just stated is an exceptional feeling you would not want to let go of.

Last week was a special one in the sense that all of us could spend a lot of time together, with Sumit and Aniruddha having made a trip to Bangalore from Pune, and Thomas choosing to spend more time than usual with the rest of us despite having moved on from our group a few months ago. In addition to a lot of work that got done, there was enormous fun, with the coffee breaks and lunches becoming livelier, as we relived many moments of the past and made fun of ourselves and our work.

On a related note, having attended a couple of recent Astavadhanas of Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh, a few of my office bus travels have  become a playground for my own abilities at coming up with literary verses, given the constraints that are enforced in the Astavadhana. Of particular interest was the “dattapadi” genre, where the pruchhaka scholar provides the Avadhani with 4 words and a topic on which a verse has to be written. He can also constrain the Avadhani with the meter to be used and the likes, among other things. The Avadhani now has to use these 4 words, which in most cases are completely unrelated to the topic on which the verse has to be constructed, and yet come up with the verse, by using one word each in each line of the verse.

A thought of writing a Shloka in the praise of Lord Rama came to mind, using the names of four of my colleagues, Chandana, Aniruddha, Ajay and Sumit. And this was what I could churn out after 3 days of “ideation”, during the refreshing early morning bus journeys: 

चन्दनानुलेपितं मंगलं मनोहरं
सूर्यवंशसारथिं विराजयन्महारथिं |
सुमित्रातनयसेवितं वानरादिवन्दितं
जानकीशं हरिं महानिरुद्धं भजे ||

chandanAnulEpitaM mangalaM manOharaM
sUryavaMshasArathiM virAjayanmahArathiM |
sumitrAtanayasEvitaM vAnarAdivanditaM
jAnakIshaM hariM mahAniruddhaM bhaje ||

Meaning (roughly):

I worship you, the one who is decorated with sandalwood, who is auspicious, who is captivating, the one who leads Surya Vamsha forward, and the one whose impeccable prowess is glittering across the globe, the one who is served selflessly by the son of Sumitra (Lakshman), the one is worshipped by the Vanaras (apes), and the one who is the husband of Janaki (Sita), the one who is (an incarnation of) Hari (Vishnu), and the one who is absolutely unconquered.