I recently saw this movie ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’. It was good, light-hearted, humourous, entertaining.. just the kind of movie you would want to watch after a long day at office when you are tired and frustrated of doing absolutely nothing.

If you are all set to listen to my review of this movie, you will have to be disappointed. The movie is a chick-flick and these kinds stay with you only as long as the movie runs. But there is this particular scene in this movie that came back to me long after the movie was over.

It was a scene where the dude (Hugh Dancy) who is smart, intelligent and a top class workaholic… in short a prized asset for any firm.. is waiting to hear from the girl (Isla Fischer) her opinion about him.

Excerpt:

Dude: “What would The Girl in the Green Scarf’s take be on Luke Brandon?”

Girl: “As an investment, you pretty much suck.”.

Dude: “What?”

Girl: “You’re a workaholic. You put in all these hours, but you don’t reap the rewards. It goes into someone else’s pocket. But you’re a great editor.”

I can’t help but reflect on what the girl said. I have met many workaholics and.. I love them all not only because I am one. Actually, I love the passion with which they can go on and on till they are sure they have given their 200% or more into something they believe in.

But now when I think back, I haven’t met many who work for themselves. The reasons we get are mostly – “It requires a lot of capital”, “It requires experience”, “It requires lot of time”. To all these I think of only Dhirubhai Ambani and then beneath these lame excuses, I read “It requires lot of guts”. To work for oneself, it is like having all or nothing and we are scared of having nothing.

We, Indians are great workers, doers, top class workaholics if there is a deadline to be met. But sadly, such people are mostly great followers i.e. they wouldn’t mind, rather they would prefer to work for others.

You might want to bring up the long list of Indians who head top Indian companies. But is the list is really that long?

To get the actual list, we must be fair and put a few filters:
1. NRIs – Someone not born and brought up in India would not have faced the same obstacles and the environment. So it would be unjustful to put them on the same page.
2. Services sector – In sectors like IT, BPO, KPO, our business is limited to handling the outsourced jobs of our foreign clients. So I wouldn’t call that working for oneself.
3. Entrepreneurs-from-blood-ties – When you are left with a big empire, your first option would be to train yourself to run the empire well

After these filters, you see, we are left with very few options that make it to the coveted list for the likes of Dhirubhai Ambani.

Whom should we blame for such a thing? I would say it is a huge flaw in the whole system… that starts from a child’s primary school and goes on till he gets a job and well placed promotions.

In primary school, a science project is a one day or a one week affair but the exams and the preparation for it is a year long race. When we ask a class full of students to tell thier ambition, I think we will get a list of atleast 25 different professions ranging from actors to watchmen to astronaut to scientist. But sadly we just give a sardonic smile and do not try to talk to the child and understand why he would be interested in such a profession and how he can make it big in that. That is where we kill his imagination.

Now when we grow up, there is ought to be a fight for so many of us have been trained to aim for only a chosen one or two professions. When the colleges have to cater to the demands of such huge masses, they have no option but to compromise on the quality of education. So, we do not get a skilled engineer but a hardworking professional with a degree who can fit into any profession that pays enough.

By this time some of us start to realise may be engineering was not the right decision, but by then there are these fat-packaged-jobs selling in the market and anyone who is a hardworking professional with a engineering degree is allowed to apply. After all we are humans, and when money and security are served to us on a golden platter, we can only gobble them up before someone else eats it.

We have so got into that mode of engineering, MBA and fat-packaged-jobs in MNCs that other options like enterpreneurship, research etc do not appear in our trained radar. These jobs demand highly motivated, intellectually sound and passionate individuals who have all been lured into the highest paying jobs.

I wonder where this would lead us all as a country in the next 20-30 years. Sadly, it gives me the picture of a country that has managed to sustain well but has mutilated its dna that could have made it the world’s superpower.

My friends, who know me, would be surprised I am talking about entrepreneurship, because that is one thing I was sure was not for me. But lately, after giving a lot of thought … it really doesn’t seem such a bad option.
It is just that you need to get the perfect idea whose time has come! 😉

Eloquence!

December 14, 2009

YES, this is my creation and ….YES, those are my eyes and ….NO, I am not narcissistic.

However, the fact remains that it took me 2 hours to click all those 30 odd snaps and sort the few expressions I wanted to put together. And all this I chose to do with an exam scheduled the next day… for which I had studied not one word…. By now I am sure you must have declared me a crazy woman.

But then the truth is – I am and always have been fascinated by ‘Eyes’. Here, I am not talking about the beautiful doe shaped eyes that poets write about. What captures my attention is the Eloquence that only Eyes can have when it comes to expressing feelings. Anger, sorrow, joy, contentment, love, dislike … almost every emotion we can think of can be expressed by each of us through our eyes.

Eyes, I believe, are the most spontaneous expression of us. They can shed tears of sorrow or joy, widen with astonishment, shut themselves on a horror scene we dont want to watch…. and all of these are quite involuntary!

And believe it or not people around us respond to not what we say but what our eyes say. Why else would we get those negative or positive vibes from persons whom we have not even spoken to. How else can we understand when our friend says “I am fine” while she is not. How else can we share a joke with our best buddy in a boring client meeting without the client knowing the joke is on him.

Have you ever thought why we cannot smile without it reaching our eyes…. But we definitely can express pleasure without the tilting our lips. Such is the mystery behind them!

I now wonder if silence is golden only because we have our eyes to do the talking.