Sunday, July 27, 2008

Go Kiss The World

I happened to be in Landmark - the bookstore at Gurgaon, this Friday. To my surprise I met Subroto Bagchi, present there to launch his book by the name "Go Kiss The World - Life Lessons for Young Professional". It was truly a well spent hour. He read out the excerpts from his book wherein he took us through his journey of life. It was journey in time, struggle his family had to go through, rural Orissa, his experiences with Aziz Premji and finally where he is - Gardener, author and father. Its great experience to hear the author reading his own book.

He started with the story of a lady who was working in Taj, where he was put up in Delhi, who happened to be from his state. Here she was from a small town, working in Taj at Delhi and tomorrow could be working in Taj's newest acquired property in NY. He said, its the professionals who are defining history and there was never such a time.

We also got an opportunity to interact with him and ask questions. On time management, he said, forget most of those management fundas. Find the "cause" and time will find you. Majority of the time we are not sure about the cause, not convinced and we will never find time for it. Finding the cause the key. He shared many examples. I couldn't agree more. If you want to including reading in your routine, you need to be convinced and you will find time to read. Thats is true with hobbies as well. If you approach it frivolously, you will never find time.

He also shared some other beautiful facts of life. I liked his insights on displacement. He shared that displacement generally leads to growth. That is true with a student changing schools with changes in fathers posting, professionals moving from places to places, communities moving from country to country etc. It causes unrest, dislocation but ultimately makes you comfortable and leads to growth and finally wealth generation. Sharing an excerpt from his book.

Quote
"But it is important to know that quite often displacement is the key to progress, and we need to develop comfort with it. My early life experiences helped me build a high degree of comfort with displacement. Water in a pool is stagnant; only when it flows is it energized. The entire universe is in constant motion; even a moment of motionlessness is inconceivable in the cosmic state of things. Many professional shudder at the thought of physical displacement, yet crave rapid mobility and growth in the career.

When you are continuously displaced, you make friends easily. You have low expectations from the unfamiliar; hence you are more pleasantly surprised than frustrated when faced with life’s many ups and downs.

You explore everything, develop curiosity- new lands, customs, food, and ways of doing things begin to draw you in.
You learn to survive on the strengths of who you are, just for this day, today.
You build ingenuity in order to survive.
You trust strangers and, hence, strangers trust you.
You build intuitive capability to sniff trouble – which can tell you when to leave a bar!
You become an interesting person, because you have lots of stories to tell.
Finally, you learn to move on."

Unquote

This book is inspiring and is about young professionals and professional life. Most of the young professionals like us have grown along with the India growth story. I can connect with his comments on mid-life crisis so to say where some tough decisions need to be made. ( I think tough decisions need to be made everyday but still ! ). It helped me reinforce some of my decisions and I stand more convinced. I haven't read others but I will catch up with them fast.

My liking for Subroto comes from his column 'Times of Mind' he used to write for Times of India. Each article is worth reading and soul stirring. The one which I remember is the 'The Fallen Tomato Cart'. I have attached the link of his 'Times of Mind' series of articles for the enthusiasts. He shouldn't have stopped writing this column.

http://www.mindtree.com/subrotobagchi/times-of-mind

Subroto is man of very high integrity, a virtue tough to find these days commonly. And that what connects me with him the most. However I do have questions on issues you face in your professional life and may be he could mentor me on this.

Other thing what connects me with him is GE. I work for GE Capital and he worked for GE Medical as a professional and as a member of board for some time. So we are both GE,ites :-)

So finally the session ended. I took his autograph on the book. I again selfishly asked him to address it in my name to which replied - Do have a spouse ? I said, yes, her name is Anu and she will be delighted. So he writes " Dear Ajit and Anu" and says "What would we be, without our spouses". How true ! I wish I get to spend one-on-one time with him some day.