Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fanship Days: Exploring the Road Less Travelled

Sometimes, road less travelled always gives you the greatest feeling of contentment. I was happily coding and writing research papers, then this call to take road less travelled came. It had small trees that shined in green and glittered with sweetest of sweet fruits. But where the path led to? I didn’t know… And I took that road. The road less travelled…
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” - Andre Gide
I was loaned from my organization that paid my salary to work for a genius called Ferose, master mind behind high profile, India Inclusion Summit, author of recent national bestseller, Gifted, and more importantly, one of main architect who transformed SAP Labs India into a great place to work. They called it fellowship. I call it “Fanship”. I remember running behind Ferose for a picture with him on my very first day at SAP, way back in 2011. He was dressed up in Dabaang Police uniform and he had arrested many hearts that day. I am not planning for a bail anyways!
Author in right corner! In 2011!!

I learnt quite a few interesting things from this experience. I started reading official mails, got involved in organizational updates, researched ecosystems & stakeholders, thought of employee engagement initiatives, googled on how to brand & market, figured out why these executives take home fat cheque every month, started valuing time, attended meetings, worried about sales & quarter results, learnt to communicate better and in particular, started understanding what it really means to follow design thinking to solve problems!

But these are not the small trees I mentioned in my first para…

I first met Ashwin & Bharat, thanks to my failed attempt to shoot a video trailer for Gifted. I learnt what hope is and how humanity has thrived…
Ashwin, Bharat, Ankit, Sundeep, Vilas with Ferose

Then it was Sundeep Rao, his non-stop arrays of jokes & self-thoos on life & beyond, showed me how one can visualize and construct a heaven for oneself…

Vindhya, run by Ashok & Pavitra, what a day it was watching Gifted trailer on a white cloth that was hung couple of minutes before the event began. Lovely homely atmosphere at a corporate… Right intentions can change the world. You’ll agree with me if you have been to Vindhya before.

I got a chance to interact with Kiran Bedi for almost 2 hours. She happens to be guide & mentor to my boss. I was quiet for most of the time I spent with her… I concentrated on grasping things. It has given me enough fodder to think… to think…
Vindhya Gifted Book Launch

Highlight is definitely my Trivandrum visit, NISH & conversing with Paul Kronenberg will remain close to my heart. Register for IIS 2014 to meet them!

My respect & admiration to this lady who runs EnAble India, Shanti Ragavan, has only grown everytime I have met her. If you wonder how & where to derive positive energy from, meet her.

Dr. Shruti Mohapatra, was invited to our office and I got a chance to spend a day hosting her. Her activism & work, has made her torch-bearer in the space of Inclusion. She has had tremendous influence on me and keeping calm alongside fighting for one’s right- is her greatest trait. Even today, her kind smile haunts me and inspires me to keep fighting- any problems for that matter. She is surely an epitome of the saying-“Truth always prevails, no matter what”

This Diwali, more than any sweets, greetings & gifts, what I cherished the most was simple heartfelt message sent by Haseena, acid attack survivor, who I happened to connect through my dear friend, Malvika Iyer.
Dr. Shruti Mohapatra
Many small trees indeed…

Community driven India Inclusion Summit 2014, is shaping up in style now! I am one of many volunteers there... Biggest tree in the road less travelled… Where my path might just close…

There looms big question mark on my career. As I actively look up for jobs to take up after my fellowship, which is within next 2 months, many argue that I won't be able to code like a pro developer again… And many of them opinion that I experimented very early in my career… But for me/now, not knowing much is an advantage, hunger stays, and I am content with those new footmarks of mine in the road less travelled, I am indebted to the learning that I have received, I cycle back home. Where am I going from here? I sub-consciously remember Dr. Shruti Mohapatra’s kind smile. And I smile…
"An unexamined life is not worth living."- Socrates