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You gotta mix it up..

October 25, 2013

When my parents refer to me, they call me a “born-with-a-question-mark” girl. My colleagues at office call me “query” sometimes. (Thank god it has not become a permanent thing.) So, yeah, I like to know the whys and the whats in everything. Now I have been on the receiving end of the cliche teacher’s line “Good question” a million times and with the yes-I-know-the-answer-miss smile, the teacher would then proceed to his explanation. At school, this was considered good and I was abiding by the constitutional duty of scientific temper. But my why-parade continued when I grew older. So if my mom says there is Rangoli in Diwali, I need to know why. When she says I cannot do something, I need to know why. When I have to feed crows on a death anniversary, I need to know why. And suddenly I become rebellious, blasphemous and irrational. Unusual, I thought, and I needed to know why that happened as well (Of course, duh !). Which led me to another such unusual occurrence and observation – There are people in my office, who walk with impeccable suits and ties and have “I am the Indian Harvey Specter” written all over their forehead (Of course, they look uglier than Louis Litt, but, well, lets hope and for now, pretend). These Harveys are thorough with their work – you ask them a question about their subject and they will know it. They will take meticulous efforts to ask the client all the whys and whats and also anticipate the bosses whys and whats. So they are full of answers to all the whys and whats about the subject. Pretty amazing if you ask me..!! So I once asked one of these whys and whats gurus (who is married) what the seven rounds around the fire, in an Indian wedding meant. She did her database research of all the why & what answers and “No results found”. I was shocked she did not know what she vowed for at her wedding. It is like having sex and then asking the guy – “Well honey, I was wondering how are babies born?” Had the why and what guru lost her powers ? But then I realized – no she did not loose them, she never had them. These gurus were specialized gurus who dealt with office whys and whats only. They were illiterate in non-office lives.

And bam I had the answer to my why. Most people don’t mix different areas of their lives Or as a management – lady – like – British person would put it – most people excessively fragment their lives. We do something, close the chapter and then go to the next thing and close it. It is like one character living in multiple novels and we never find or develop our true whole selves. So my whys about math or English were alright in school but not at home about Shiva or Ram. It was imperative to ask “why” for the Harveys in office but not that big a priority outside office. We simply cannot mix ourselves together. Indians, for that matter, can mix things enough to have babies and become the second largest populated country in the world (..and still counting. By the time I finish typing this line, there are 3 babies born..!!). But that is about it. We just cannot apply what we learn in one place to what we do in the other place. It is like we divide our lives in pieces and then we never mix them. 

And then I could see the ghosts of divided, fragmented, segregated Indian souls everywhere.

We segregate what we love and what our profession is. So our profession may be banker and what we love is psychology. But it rarely occurs to us “You gotta mix it up” and ta-da – psychiatrist. But again, we think profession is for money and what we love is for fun. “You gotta mix it up” and ta-da – Your profession is what you love doing.

Education, in India, is also an isolated matter. Education is degree gaining. But applying education in growth of thinking process, doing away with unfair customs like dowry or gender inequality is never thought of. And somewhere out of the depths of a plethora of T.V shows I recalled Charlotte York reading a book “Applying successful business strategies in finding a suitable husband”. Now that is some mixing. 

And as I mused, the more appealing mixing looked. I mean a manager could use dispute resolving strategies to resolve a fight at home. Obviously one has to modify – telling your spouse “So Mr Fighty, tell me your proposal to resolve this” works only in Big Bang Theory. But the essence is the same.

And so I experimented. I have my degree college exams going on. Now, I already go to work and all, so these theory subjects with no practical back – up starts getting boring. So I mixed up. I used the character of Christian Grey to remember the answer..!! (Pretty amazing right ?) And it worked.

And then I thought that essentially, we need to stop cutting our lives into unwanted fragments. What if we become as meticulous with kisses and “I love you”s to our loved ones as we are about our client follow-ups? What if we blend all the things we learn from everywhere, all the values that have ever influenced us, all the traits that make us, all the experiences from the bad decisions made ? What we will get is our own selves – just better. And we will carry these whole beings with us at all times and not parts of us at different places and segments. We will become like huge databases of information collected by ourselves, for ourselves and of ourselves.

“So, just try mixing things up your way and meet the new complete you”

From → Humour, Management

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