Between 2019 and 2020, there is just a difference of 1 year. Infact between 31st and 1st it is the same 24 hours cycle as between any 2 days of the year. Yet, the transition is significant since it is the end of the ‘teens’ so to say, as the year steps in to a ‘matured 20’, heralding the beginning of a new decade for humanity. Let’s take a leap of faith in ourselves and the people around us so that together we build a Better Tomorrow – away from conflict to consensus, from disorder to direction, from sorrow to song, from poverty to prosperity, from mistrust to trust – something that we will be proud of and our future generations will be grateful for.
As I look back on the decade that went by, I am grateful for all the Ups and Downs and thankful for the strength and support received. As I look ahead, I am hopeful of a more fulfilling life. As I look around, I do see a lot of helpful people – ordinary people with no great power or position, no special expectations, who simply want to touch others’ lives in their own way, in their seemingly day to day activities. Despite the overwhelming pessimism and cynicism from the nay-sayers. Yes, these are the people who keep humanity alive and remind us of gratitude & hope.
I draw inspiration from observing such ordinary people I meet in my life rather than some celebrities that I only read of. Jayanti is one such young lady I saw in the Diagnostic Lab on a busy Monday morning when I had registered myself for some routine health check-ups. She was smart, efficient, helpful, welcoming and well-dressed. She wore the best accessory – I mean a beautiful SMILE that stayed throughout the day. Single-handedly she managed about 100 patients welcoming them as if it were a family function, addressing every single person by name, guiding them which test to take after what, enquiring if they had drunk enough water, if they had had breakfast, reminding them to keep their bladder full, giving them a helping hand wherever required, directing the staff to escort senior citizens and sick people – all with a genuine smile and warmth that we rarely find today in a stressed job at the counter where people are impatient and anxious. The best part was she was a multi-linguist speaking in 5-6 different languages with utmost ease and comfort, each time remembering which patient is from which part of India. The confidence and assurance she exuded ensured that patients were all relaxed and smiling. Perhaps it showed in their reports too ! I bet even an Alexa or a Siri cannot perform as efficiently as Jayanti did – even if they could, can they radiate the human smile and the warm spirit ? As for me, I am carrying the happy images of a smiling, helpful Jayanti – grateful for people like her and hopeful of her clan to grow. Let us continue to foster this inherent characteristics of a human being even in a technology driven decade of the 20s !!
As we close in on 2019, I want to recall some takeaways that I got from 3 different events – one was a large startup conference, the other a small gathering to celebrate the success of a client’s investment closure and the third one a completely different set up – a decennial celebration (10th year) of an Art School run by a passionate Teacher, Veena.
✤ A speaker at the startup conference, who is himself a seasoned entrepreneur and author recalled his meeting with Warren Buffet and shared what the Investment Guru said – “I make investment in the ‘person I meet’ and tick 3 boxes – Competence, Passion & Values”. So it is the Person he values !
✤ A Big Investor in one of my clients who is himself a celebrated, successful new-age entrepreneur stated categorically at the investment closure gathering that all the elaborate due diligences apart, he decided to invest in the company only due to the Commitment & Integrity of the promoters. This has been the investment quotient of most of his successful acquisitions.
✤ At the Art School exhibition which displayed lovely paintings of both the Teacher and the Taught, the Chief Guest, who is himself a well-known sculptor and caricaturist urged children to focus on Excellence & persevere without aiming for Success as a Goal. He lamented that most children start dropping out from art classes when they enter 10th standard, thanks to the gruelling ‘Board exams-tuitions-JEE preparation coaching’ vicious cycle that parents subject them to unnecessarily. They are asked to stop painting, stop playing, stop learning music – all labelled as non-core activities – as soon as they reach 10th standard and instead start utilising the time only for studies. Little do they realise that art brings in focus, determination, discipline and happiness to the minds of the growing children if pursued along with academics. Parents he said, also create an artificial pressure situation by comparing children with others and pushing them to win prizes instead of encouraging them to excel in and enjoy their art work. I couldn’t agree more with his call for “Don’t compare with others. Compete with yourself. You should be a competitor to your own painting. Ask yourself, how can I do better next time ?” instead of comparing with others. He appreciated Veena for being such a patient art teacher over the years and producing such marvellous students (see banner which is a combo of Veena’s and her students’ paintings). Yet another advice the Chief Guest had for the young ones was – “Do your own learning. No one can teach you everything. You need to learn on your own by observing – how do they paint, what material they use, what techniques they use ? Without the curiosity and ability to observe keenly, no learning can happen”.
It is not coincidence that in all the 3 instances above, the focus was on Excellence, Passion & Commitment as the pathway to achieving success. Nothing new but time tested and proven over the years across different generations and genres of learning as the mantra to success. I hope to continue sharing such nuggets through this fortnightly newsletter in the next 10 years of publication.
November, 2009 – we were small back then. Just trying to open our eyes. Crawling. Struggling to find our feet amidst the plethora of corporate and legal information available at different levels. Need was internal. To educate and keep ourselves abreast on a regular basis since we had little work on hand. We were twiddling our thumbs then, waiting for assignments to come our way. Believing that Knowledge is Power and it is a unique undiminishing Resource that grows when shared, we started sharing it with other stakeholders in our ecosystem.
There was no grand vision. There was no focussed plan. There was no ambition to be the fastest growing or the largest newsletter in terms of reach. The only goal was not to Give Up, not to stop (though we have had some misses) but to Keep Moving Forward, fortnight after fortnight. Not to reach a destination but merely to enjoy the journey. To learn, unlearn & relearn. To put the best foot forward (should I say best words and choicest thoughts ?☺). To strive towards quality. To keep at it, come rain or come shine (as they say proverbially). Feedback or no feedback. Until the realisation dawned that You are what You Do Repeatedly. You can only get better and better. It can never go worse. Never deteriorate. And today we are proud to say we are all of 10 ! 2009 to 2019 – Lexspeak turned Samhita, a collation, a potpourri of regulatory news, due dates, celebrity quotes, inspiring thoughts, funny takes, creative banners (that have never, ever been repeated during the last 10 years across the 225 issues) and my own humble Musings on Life as I see it !
Some of you have been associated since the 1st issue in 2009 while many of you have joined along the way. Some of you have expressed your thoughts and feedback (Readers’ Speak section in sharadasc.com) while some of you have chosen to remain silent. Either ways, we are grateful for your company. Sometimes the feedback has been so touching that it surprises me – the power of thoughts and words and how it can influence and impact. A big thank you for helping us grow and evolve during this 10 year long incredible journey. Hoping to travel along for another decade at least !