Work has begun in the newly leased office space. It is bareshell and a lot of renovation,fabrication,interior wok needs to be done to make it operational. Quite a job. Appu is coordinating with the architects and contractors and that is a major burden off my head. The biggest challenge facing us is that of building a good team. A team which has this ‘stuff of leadership’ one keeps hearing about. The stuff dreams are made of. We have a dream. A fantasy.
I think it is time we re-defined ‘poverty’. Poverty is not about having ‘nothing’. It is about having ‘everything’ and yet wanting ‘more’ by any means. It is about dis-respecting women and children. It is about hiding our true selves and presenting a painted mask to the world just to look good. It is about not confronting the truth for fear of loss of wealth or chair, even if it is staring us in the face. It is about producing bad quality work and getting away by saying that we are not educated enough. It is about selling our souls to make money fast. So the rich are sometimes poorer than the poorest. And the poor are often times richer than the richest. Bahut complicated hai.
We are also a country driven by bottomlines. Ten years ago it was ‘roti,kapda,makan’. And even today it the basics. The politics of this country is driven by the bottomline. Add to it ‘daaru’. So if the would be netas ( really?) offer khana,kapda and/or daaru, the promise of a few square feet of land, they get the votes. To achhi sarkar kahan se banegi? We are the ones selling our own futures so cheap. Whom can we blame? And the money to provide all this comes from the corporates. And hence politics becomes business. Based on M&M. Money and Muscle power. Mike par speech dene se koi neta thodi ban jaata hai. We have no leaders today. We have no one to look up to. That is a poverty that cannot be redeemed. Our younger generation is busy trying out the western culture. Whether it is clothes, lifestyle, drinking, smoking, girlfriends or easy money, they want it all and now. No spark. All plastic. I guess we are responsible. This is what we have created. Plastic people. Plastic money.
Where is the topline? What kind of a nation do we wish to be? What are the qualities we wish to live by? What do we wish to be known for? Can we just become clean for a change? Manage the garbage and drainage? Ensure clean water supply to all before creating more malls? Ensure enough parking space and open space before allowing more cars on the already overcrowded roads? Do good work in place of just trying to look good? We do not donate organs, we do not donate time and we certainly do not donate goodwill. Are we really human? The lawyers and judges are worse than prostitutes. Yes. The courts are worse than the so called red light areas where thousands queue up to buy and sell souls everyday.
More than money, we need to generate and achieve self-respect today. As a nation. As individuals.
So that our children do not turn around and ask us:
‘What the hell have you done?’
Life has been very difficult in the past few days. It has been diffcult to breathe, let alone live, walk, talk. Write. It is as if we have been constantly under siege.
We have two professionals coming in from Afghanistan for advanced GIS training and we need to arrange for their boarding and lodging as well. This is freaking us out.I mean the bit about ‘boarding and lodging’. We are thinking along the lines of maintaining a small guesthouse on behalf of the company which could host people from outside the NCR region for a few days as and when required. Chandrakant is leaving for Mumbai this week for ground truthing and collection of GCP’s. We would like to wish him best of luck.
It is always diffciult to draw boundaries. To stand up for what we believe in regardless of what the others think. It is always easier to give in. To belong. To go with the crowd. I think this is why our life will always be difficult. On many fronts. For me and for Appu. The cops, the landlords, the un-deserving, the immature , the system will always try and crush our self-respect.
The bankers are also breathing down our backs. The instalment and the interest is being paid every month but now they need more transactions. Maybe we should sell a few grams of cocaine. That is the only way we can make money overnight and give them the transactions or the turnover or the money. Any which way. That is why so many scams happen and then we wonder what the hell is happening and why.
‘Normalcy’. Are you mad? What is normally normal?
Maybe the abnormal is normal. And the sane, more insane.
Still looking for ‘normal’. Keep looking buddy. It does not exist.
‘The normal normal’.
Appu has finished her exams. The rats in the office have been taken care of. Now it is the ants causing nuisance value in the pantry. And there is this long list of rations to be bought for the office. And another list of bills to be paid. But that is another story in another reference frame. Need to let go of the fear around ‘money’ issues. There was enough yesterday. There is enough today and there will be enough tommorrow. ‘Money’ and ‘self respect’. Tough combination. Its difficult for both of them to live together. One is very quick to leave when the other arrives. Or let us say, one always comes at the cost of the other. So trying to have them both is a formidable task. One we have been trying to achieve for a very long time now.
Father has sent me a mail. Acknowledging that the ‘family’ ‘deserted’ me when I needed them the most. It is the truth. And now it is in the open. But what can I do with this acknowledgement? Does the acknowledgment of a crime take away its consequences? The damage has already been done. And what is done is done. Cannot reverse the time clock unless of course Einsteins’ theory of relativity could be applied here.
The online shop is in shape. The payment gateway is still in the testing stage and there is concern about it, but there is nothing much we can do about it. Time will take time. Just keeping our fingers crossed. Hariom and Ashok are struggling with the basics of the software application. ‘Struggle’. A very familiar state of being for us.
Nothing earth shattering as of now. Just the same routine. Just following the routine is taking all our energy, all our time. If we can keep up the routine, it will be a huge achievement.
Just being alive is an achievement. That is the bottomline.
‘Being happy’ would be too much to ask for. A topline so to say.
Too much to ask for.
Chandan, Om Prakash and Ashok stayed back in the office last night. Kuch to ho jayega. I do not think we will die. With a committed team one cannot fall. But I do hope that this committment, patience and perseverance can last. Till the mission is achieved. Even after the infatuation with the job is over.That is until we become completely self supporting. emotionally, spiritually and financially.
Are we a brand? Or an anti brand? People ask me: ‘dhandha vanda karna hai ki nahin? itni honesty se kya hoga?’ I do not know. maybe this is not the way to run a business. But I do not know of any other way. Or let us say that any other way would mean losing out on self respect which is what we wanted in the first place. Cannot trade ‘self respect for ‘money’. So if that means that we live and die on the battlefield, so be it.
Still ‘looking’ for work. ‘waiting’ for a miracle.
Open the shop. Suit up, boot up and show up. nothing more. nothing less.
Interviews, accounts, pantry, admin,plants. Like breathing.
An everyday job.
Maybe we have taken on too much. The Chennai project (which is the only paid project as of now), ‘the online shop’ and the ‘software development’. There is tiredness. All the five working days of the week extend late into the night and still we are not being able to get a grip on all the projects. Adam and Paul are too busy to integrate the shop with our website. Ankit and Bhagat are yet to become fluent in cartographing the maps using Illustrator, hence the rate of finalization of the maps is very slow. Ashok is also grappling with the surfaces so there is a long way to go before we are ready for running a spatial query, leave alone the launching of the software.
Running the house and the office is getting more and more difficult. House help is becoming increasingly expensive and arrogant. The maids for all their helplessness are quite aware that the functioning of the house or office depends on them and have no qualms in using this to their advantage as and when required. Ditto for the office. Thankfully, Ramesh has come in today to get the rations for the office. So at least that tension has been taken care of. The rains are causing havoc in the office. The water is entering from every window and door. It is going to be very expensive to get a false roof welded to all the doors and windows and we are hoping that the landlord will get it done (a high hope we must say).
My thoughts are running in all the directions at a crazy speed. Appu is going through some emotional turmoil. I am not able to reach her or connect with her. I am sure the stress of living on her own (since I am mostly in the office) and being alone all the time has taken its toll on her. Her admission has been done but the classes are yet to begin.
Honor, money, self-respect, knowledge are all mixed up for me. The team is motivated but we are dealing with years of conditioning here. It is difficult to get the best out of them. The work is done but not in the best possible manner and that is a sure sign of being a loser. To do a job just for the sake of doing it. Its being neither here, nor there. And then we turn around and blame anything and anyone for our ‘not being a success’ in the outside world. It is exhausting to get each one to give their best.
Our balance sheet is healthy this time. ‘Healthy’, you must be joking right? I mean we were barely surviving a few months ago. Actually, we were on the verge of extinction when the miracle happened. so our genre of species has been saved for now. And we have a better looking balance sheet (just like gettng good marks) and the world (and the bankers) will allow us to live in peace. Thank God!
I need to be with the trees for a while. This whole ‘chakkar’ of bills, money, balance sheets, manipulation is emotionally very exhausting. It devalues human spirit like nothing else. And yet, there is no running away from this. What would a ‘normal’ life mean? What is normally ‘normal’? Or is there any difference between the ‘abnormal’ and the ‘normal’ anymore?
‘Aaj ki ‘dhyadi’ (daily wages) ki baat socho bhaiya. The rest is all ‘intellectual garbage’.
That is all that matters.
‘Aaj ki Dhyadi’.