Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Joy of Creation

A couple of months ago, well into our Operations Management course, the faculty concerned kindly co-ordinated an 'industrial visit'. The students were taken to the industrial products' plant located a few kilometres from the institute. As we wandered around the impressive heavy machinery that hummed and, at times, thundered on in its usual manner, a thought struck me.

"Imagine," I told myself, "what pride the owner must feel when he visits this site. He has some very talented engineers and managers working on some of the very best technology available on this planet. That apart, imagine the twinkle in his eye when he reminisces about the time when the site was just a piece of bare land, and the owner just stood there explaining his vision and dream to a couple of civil engineers and contractors who turn his dream into reality."

I remember being engulfed by similar feelings of awe and admiration a couple of years ago when I visited Jamshedpur for the first (and only) time. I had been called by XLRI for the admissions interview to their MBA program. On alighting at the Jam railway station, there was this very typical Hindi filmy gust of wind which greeted me by ruffling my hair. I immediately thought of the great Jamshedji Tata and the loving care with which he had given his instructions for the building of the city: "Be sure to lay wide streets planted with shady trees, every other of a quick-growing variety. Be sure that there is plenty of place for lawns and gardens. Reserve large areas for football, hockey and parks. Earmark areas for Hindu temples, Mohammedan mosques and Christian churches..." (Quoted from a letter in 1902 to son Dorab Tata)

If this is the aura that fills up a mere 21 year old fan of the mighty Jamshedji Tata, imagine what must have gone through the mind of a certain Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata when he first reached Jamshedpur! Whoa!! You carried on your shoulders the responsibility of living up to the reputation that comes with being a member of the House of Tatas.

[Goes without saying, like a true-blue Dhirubhai fan that I am, I've often wondered at the pride and excitement that he must've felt everytime he saw the scale at which both, the Patalganga and the Jamnagar refinery, had been built. Of course, one cannot overlook the fact that it was Mukesh who was the 'in-charge' when it came to the Jamnagar refinery.]

Flash back to a sunny afternoon in Calcutta, 15-16 years ago. My parents were enjoying their post-lunch siesta, and were not worried in the least bit about their son. In my father's words, "Right through your childhood, everytime we heard a utensil clanging, or some channel on the telly, or the rattle of either a table-tennis ball on the dining table or a cricket ball against the wall, we knew you were perfectly ok. It was when the house was absolutely quiet that we knew you were upto some mischief, and that we had better have a look." It was a similar uneasy silence which prompted Dad later that afternoon to wake up and have a look. There I was, sitting amidst a pile of newspapers, exercise books and calendars, and a set of sketch-pens and scissors.

And what, in Heaven's name, was I doing?

Making a 'home-made' personal calendar. I had cut out some very beautiful picture from a newspaper / magazine (I don't remember whether it was the picture of some Hindu God/Goddess or some filmstar) and had referred to a calendar to replicate, in different colours, the effort on a blank sheet. This sheet was then pasted at the bottom of the picture, and voila...my first venture was deemed successful.

There was nothing very special about that calendar. As a matter of fact, I do not even have that calendar today. It was just the outcome of a boring Sunday afternoon which led a kid to do something; to create something new, to make something which he could call his own. However, what was special about the calendar is that I fondly remember it as one of the first 'projects' that I took up and was extremely proud at having completed it. 'Projects' imposed by educational institutions have never left me as excited as I was when I was finished with that calendar.

Exactly a year ago, the same kid (disguised as a first year MBA student) started a blog. What followed was 102 posts in the span of one year. Some of the posts celebrated my success, some were written at a time when I was extremely angry, disgusted or frustrated with myself. Some posts made me take a hard look at what I was doing, the direction in which I was heading, and some were just about taking a break from life and having a hearty laugh.

It's been a great year. My 'empire' currently consists of a self-employed crazy CEO in myself and a 1 year old blog.


arpz said...

smiles ...

Raam Pyari said...

budday time idhar bhi!!!!!!!!!!!!

waah! waah!
celebrations all around!

shweta said...

ahem...well alot of pain is involved in the birth of nething then comes the joy of posessing it..then everything related to it...!!!Keep blogging ..!!!nd yup happy b'day 2 ur blog..!!cheers!!

Shekhar said...

arpz: Smiles back..

raam pyari: Thank you hai jee.. :)) Yeah..lots of blogs I know are celebrating yours, special ones being yours and Sunshine's.

shweta:My contention is that it is the pain of giving birth which makes us value our creations more. It certainly is a wonderful feeling. Cheers to you too. :)

Himanshu Jain said...

congrats on the anniversary of your blog.

and sometimes it inspires others to take note and start blogging.

btw.. blogspot is blocked here so I have moved my blog to Windows Live Spaces.


It is buggy (it is Microsoft yaar), but still I am trying to cope up with it.

Mugs said...

recently I had a similar experience... on a trip over the whole of coastal karnataka. all the planning, all the effort, all the pains for the trip seemed to work out when i was on the trip. 6 months later, i still remember the trip fondly, and proudly, every second of it ...
These days most sentences begin with, " when i went to mangalore..." :)

ani said...

Happy birthday to you... Happy birthday to you...
Happy birthday dear traveller... Happy bithday to you!

May your blo..og post new
May your blo..og post new
Happy birthday to you!

Happy long posts to you
Happy long posts to you
Happy Birthday to you!


Shekhar said...

himanshu: Thanks. :)) Will definitely check your blog in its new avatar (in fact, as I type this, the page is getting loaded on another tab). And yes, you'd better be more regular. :D

mugs: Hey dude...great to see you blogging after a long time. And yeah, ain't it a pleasure to enjoy the fruits of labour ?

aneesha: >--------:D-------<

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