What Is Your Life’s Calling?

When the Grand-Mamma Bear is Sick

Mom was feeling sick on Friday morning last week. She has diabetes for over 10 years but has been managing it well.

“Mom, please check your blood sugar levels!”, I suggested the obvious.

The reading on the scale, as Mom held the machine, shocked the hell out of us: 534!

And that when she was still empty stomach! Mom felt worse simply by looking at that reading.

I panicked. Deepti, my wife, brings me sanity whenever I lose it (which is every time something unusual happens). I love her for that. She organized things quickly and we rushed to the BLK Hospital nearby.

Within minutes, must have been 6 AM, we were in the emergency room of the hospital. They were quick to do the required checks. Doctor advised that Mom should be admitted.

Get-One Get-One More!

4th Floor

Mom was in the hospital for 6 days now. It wasn’t clear when she would be discharged. While the big problems in life dance around to get our attention, life also presents some smaller, cuter ones as add-ons.

Tanav, my five year old son, hadn’t seen Grandmom for over 6 days. He wanted to see her.

Simple, but not really. They don’t let children in the hospital. But Tanav doesn’t care, “I want to meet Grandmom. Period.

He was a bit under the weather too. Mum felt that his sickness had something to do him not being able to see her. Smiles.

Mission of the Day

I asked Tanav, “Are you up for a mission?” 

“What’s that, Dad?”, he sounded interested.

“Mission Meeting Grandmom!”, I said

Really? Can I..?”

“Yeah, but it’s not going to be easy. You have tried getting in the hospital when Sohana, your sister, was unwell. They didn’t let you in, remember?

“Yes, I remember.” he said with a straight face.

I prepped him up which brought back the smiles.

What’s a mission which is easy. Kids understand that better than us adults. Tanav was super-excited.

Try, Try, Try Again…

Deepti tried to sneak Tanav in from the attendant elevator.

That didn’t work. “Children are not allowed to use the attendants lift.” Wisdom words (as if we didn’t know).

Deepti is a rules person and easy to be said NO to. Except, of course, when I am the one saying NO.  She will argue that I am no better than her in this regard.

One starts to see things differently when the motivations behind the mission are strong.

Tanav and I walked towards the patient elevator.

I noticed something about the way Tanav was walking. A very confident gait! I would have let him in, had I been the security guard. But that didn’t impress the officer on duty.

“He is going to see his new born sister.” I tried acting smart knowing the birthing suites were on the same, 4th floor.

Guard’s reply was, “Congratulations! But I need to see Doctor’s permission letter to let him in.”

The Permission NoteI changed stance, “Please, he really needs to see his new baby sister.”

But, that didn’t work either.

We tried to take the stairs but no luck.

Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.

We decided to go to the Front Desk Manager, Mr. Jitendar. I told him the truth and asked for permission only for 15 minutes.

There’s something about speaking the truth – it works!

Mr. Jitendar started writing a note and I heard him say, “I can only let him in for 5 minutes.” 

Well, we happily accepted what we had got. Hi-Fives followed Thank yous!

Tanav held that note proudly, like a valued possession. He showed it off, even to those who didn’t ask for it.

I let Mom and Tanav have some time together. Seeing them, I realized that the efforts we’d put in were so worth it.

You won’t always have the power to make life fair, but you always have the power to bring some smiles.

What is Your Life’s Calling, Today

Mom is fine now and back home. Thank you, God! And this episode has taught me a lesson. 

I used to wonder what my calling in life was. I have learnt now that it’s okay to just know what life is calling for me to do today. As long as I act on that, I am doing my duty. That, at least until I find my true calling. 

So, what is your life’s calling? .. Oops, I mean: What is your life’s calling, TODAY?

If you like this post, please comment/ share/ tweet. I would look forward to knowing your thoughts.

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No Cabs In My Company

One of my dear friends back from the days of St. Stephen’s college, Amit Kumar, used to be a dynamite. He was so energetic that it used to be irritating for me at times. But thinking back today, I can appreciate that same quality about him. He used to be an expert in hitch-hiking for rides to the college, bus stand and sometimes when he was too lucky, he would also get a ride all the way from home to college and back.

He was the same even in the classroom. He was so full of energy and couldn’t wait for the teacher to finish describing the problem to solve. He would write with his pen so hard that one could start having mercy on the paper being written upon.
He would speak so fast I missed most of what he said. When I wanted to understand, which was not too often, I would have to stop him and ask him to repeat over (and over sometimes).
Not only in hitch-hikes and studies, he was very good at many other things – sports, extra-curriculars such as debates, general knowledge, reading, clarity of thought et al.
What you may be wondering is that – “What has hitch-hiking got to do with the other things that Amit was good at ?”.
Well, Everything! That is the point I am trying to make in this post. He used to start his day with so much energy, and the same would rub off on everything else he did. His start of the day was to get ready and run towards the road to showing his thumb to the cars coming his way asking them to give him a ride (lift). He never gave up when many didn’t bother to stop or worse still, even abused or showed their middle finger to him. He kept going. It must have taken a higher sense of being from him to forgive such people and move on despite these seemingly big obstacles. The kind of joy he felt when some one stopped after repeatedly attempts would probably give him a sense of victory after a lot of struggle. Whatever it was that kept him going, the point is that he toiled, he struggled and he kept his energy levels high at the beginning of his day. Only you can do that, yourself. It is up to you.
Drawing a parallel, I see most of the people working in IT industry in Delhi coming to office in the company provided cabs. These cabs pick the employees up from their doorstep and drop them at the basement of the building where they work. One just has to take the minimum pain of lifting oneself up from their home into the cab and from the cab, into the elevator which is a spitting distance in most cases. I see most of the people travelling in these company cabs asleep, when they are getting to work. No doubt the distance is long usually generally ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours at times, but regardless, I would estimate that at least 90% of these people travelling by cabs are asleep on their way to work.

  • Can you expect these people to be productive at office?
  • Can you expect them to run around pushing for something to happen urgently?
  • Can you expect them to be all rounder’s at everything they do?
  • Can you expect them to be like the Amit I knew?

I think you know the answer, NO, and a BIG one at that!
Even if I discount this by some percentage assuming that some people may have other ways to keep themselves energized, still I have at least 80% of my workforce starting off lazy, continuing to be lazy and ending up being lazy to end their day. This despite what is said about mornings being the most productive time of the day if used well.

If you still don’t believe me, ask a random sample of the people who travel by Cabs to take a hitch-ride to home on their way back or when coming to office the next day. Chances are they would think that is too much. Then, ask them to come to work any which way but not their regular transport, just for a day. Having tried this myself, I can bet they would either give up but if some one does take up the challenge, he or she would be a very different – much more energized person!

If you still don’t agree, I wish you good luck and success, but if and when I start my own company, I am very clear – There won’t be any CABs for my employees, at all! If they can’t make it to work on their own, my company doesn’t need them. They may think that’s a perk too less, but honestly its not a perk less, it’s a small push to them to energize themselves right at the beginning of their day. This small push is intended to keep them energized and awake not only at work (which I most certainly want to benefit from) but even at their homes for a better personal life!