Friday, January 3, 2014

The sweeper and the CEO

" Good morning Saheb"

" Same to you, but it's just another day no?"

" No usually I start my work at 6am, but any special day or festival and you city people go crazy, partying till 3am - 4am, leaving behind such a mess to clean for me"

"Arre Saheb, every day is special for me. I was with my family last night having garam daal and roti in this bitter winter. God is kind enough. I thank him we are alive and well. Why just 2 days ago my neighbor, a rickshaw walla died due to this cold. Mad man was so drunk, he passed away on a footpath and shivered to death. Allah...bless his soul"

" A little Sir. Everything should be enjoyed in moderation no? I'm not an addict or drunkard but sometimes I like to let loose"

" Saheb, what is happiness if not a state of mind. Life never goes as expected. But you have to mind your mind...say All Izz Well...like in that Aamir Khan movie..."

" Arre Sir why are you embarrassing me. Am I wise?...can't say...but yes, I have seen much. Life teaches you. I'm a Muslim refugee from Bangladesh. Yes I converted. I'm now Ram Singh. It is better like this, for me and my family. I'm happy. I work. I live too. I provide for my family. I'm grateful I can send my children to school. What more do I want? Children are the greatest joys. They give you will to go on"

" Ah I came to this city looking for greener pastures but I sweep all day making the cemented city pastures clean and green. Irony? Oh but don't get me wrong. I crib only sometimes. People keep their homes clean but not their streets! 
But I'm filled with gratitude for the little joys too. In my 12 years as a sweeper I've never missed a sunrise and all of them are so wondrous...so magical...filled with hope. Sometimes my only companions have been birds and stray dogs, they are so much more compassionate than us humans. Arre but there are good people too, surprising you when you least expect it. I have been offered tea and food often from complete strangers"

" Oh...1 hour already! Didn't realize the time... Sorry for being a trouble. My wife doesn't call me a chatterbox for no reason"

" Saheb why are you thanking an old man. I'm grateful that you were so patient with me. These days youngsters like you have no time. Running. Running all the time. Tension all the time. Sometimes I want to grab them and tell them to pause and look...Reflect... Realize... Life is beautiful!"

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January 1, 2014

People of mIT,

At 43, after six years of leading this prestigious IT multinational, after two heart strokes - one as recent as last week, after having the great opportunity to interact and learn from some of the world's most educated and learned thinkers, today morning I had the most important and stimulating conversation of my life - with a sweeper. And I have decided to resign as mIT's CEO.

My reasons are very personal and I am sorry if this has shocked you. But it just felt right to start New year's with a start to a very personal journey...of reflection...of rediscovery...of realization...of redemption.

I have not thought about how tomorrow will work out for me. Everyday for the past six years I have followed a strict regime, my life revolving around my work, so much so that I lost to time in becoming a parent. Tomorrow I just might go and adopt a girl. Or I will brush off the dust from my long lost friend, my DSLR and vanish into the Himalayas, into the wilderness. This uncertainty of tomorrow, this freedom of today is what I'm enjoying the most since I decided on my resignation.

I want to wish everyone of you a very Happy and Joyous New Year. Although I am leaving physically, I'll always stay with each and everyone of you emotionally, and till the time my successor is decided upon I will continue to provide my leadership insights to the management as and when required.

I want to leave you with some important pointers for soul searching that I believe all of you will find valuable in time, if not today...

- Work is important. But it is not your life.

- Value your relationships but value yourself more.

- Health is Wealth, is not just a saying, but one of life's greatest truths.

- Enjoy the joys around you. You need not travel to Swiss to find that exhilaration, a walk in the park with new pair of eyes can do the trick!

- Happiness is a state of mind, and I quote that kind sweeper here for this simple yet profound statement.

- Never give up on your dreams. That young and enthusiastic teen who wanted to become a dancer, a painter or a writer, is still in you. Find time and do justice to that young man's passions.

- Care for nature. It has sustained despite all attacks by humans.

- You are responsible for your life so makeitbeaYOUtiful.

I wish you a wholesome, rich and enlightened life ahead.

Love,

Mihir


46 comments:

  1. Love how you bring your point across from 2 viewpoints. Yes, we should take more time to stop and smell the roses. Very nice.

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  2. A beautiful lesson indeed. We're so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy where we are.

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    1. Absolutely Shilpa...people forget to enjoy the present, we let the tiny moments pass by in the rush of our daily lives...

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  3. Lovely post, and you used an interesting technique as well, presenting it from two viewpoints without the two overlapping each other at all.

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    1. Thank you Jairam...Glad you liked this experiment in technique :D

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  4. It's really insightful...a lovely write up :)

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  5. How a message can be communicated in simple, different ways. Brilliant.

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    1. Thanks Michelle :) glad you liked it!

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  6. i loved when the sweeper talked about never missing a sunrise. *sigh*

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  7. very inspirational story. sometimes the wisest words can come from the simplest people. i liked how the work is presented in two perspectives. very interesting.
    and this is so true : "People keep their homes clean but not their streets!" :)

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    1. So true Lee....I have come across some pearls of wisdom from least expected people... Glad you enjoyed this write up and could connect to it!

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  8. This is very real - you have captured the voices to perfection. For a minute I thought I was reading a real resignation letter and wondered at a poet being the CEO of MIT. Hee hee. THAT is good writing! Bravo.

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    1. Sherry thanks a ton...this is the best compliment ever...so glad you could connect yo this piece! :)

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  9. That was a very rejuvenating post Aditi.. :) Loved it.. one should really take time to reflect and realize.

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  10. A wonderful post to start the new year. I hope it's your best one ever. LOVE your new header too. :<)

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    1. Awww Geraldine you noticed the header...thank u so much! :)

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  11. That's very insightful! You've brought out these lessons from the point of view of a different set of people and that's what makes this post so special. Very nice!

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  12. There are times in our lives when we know what we need and how to accomplish that. I wish you a year of joy and enlightenment as you begin your new journey.

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  13. v innovative way of getting the new year msg thru..... Loved it gal

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  14. This was so creative! I also thought I was reading a real resignation letter! A great reminder as we start this new year to enjoy life!

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    1. Wow Robyn thanks :) I'm elated that the characters seemed real

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  15. You employed a brilliant way to show different points of view in one story very well. ♥

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  16. Very inspiring and good choice of words.
    Happy New Year to you!

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  17. That was a truly beautiful piece Aditi! We truly need to pause, look and reflect. It is high time. A very happy new year to you and your loved ones. :-)

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  18. That's a beautiful message well needed for all of us. Beautifully written :)

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  19. What a unique way to present a powerful message, Aditi.

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    1. :) thank u...so glad this experiment worked!

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  20. Wow..
    Have no words to express my agreement with the message.
    Don't we all miss the core in our pursuit of "BIG"?

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    1. Oh absolutely... Always running for the big things and miss to appreciate the small joys!

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  21. Can I say perfect? Because it is just that. The sweeper and the ceo are both real people for me. And the lessons drawn applicable to each one of us. We forget that life doesn't demand much from us, it is only us running behind things we think we need... BeaYOUtiful :-)

    Richa

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  22. Lady, you do not cease to amaze me. Every single time. Another brilliant post touching on things that we normally overlook. Loved it :)

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    1. Oh Sid you flatter me... :) thanks!!

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  23. That's fab, Aditi. Two different perspectives and it makes sense totally. Wisdom matters and I'm glad the CEO listened to his inner voice narrated through someone else.
    Cheerz
    http://vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/targets-to-make-2014-memorable-jolly-happy

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