What's Your Trait LION OR DOG
What's Your Trait LION OR DOG11 mins 190 11 mins 190
The man finishes his days’ work at the office and goes home to relax. This is a natural modern evolutionary ritual in human civilization. I call it modern evolution because this liberty was not enjoyed by the primitive cavemen who always were on their feet till the food was earned. Once he got his share, he could not endure the relaxed mode for long, like other animals. Species other than man feel the necessity for their next hunt only after hunger strikes the cerebral chord. Though I am no evolutionary scientist, on the basis of present-day practices I can draw ancient perspectives. I imagine on my own that man may have never remained silent. He thought of gaining more food for his family, friends, relatives and then for trade. So he always kept hunting and never relaxed. I always believe that man yearns to remain with his roots and always tries ways for achieving that. So as his ancestors never relaxed, a modern man can thus never remain so. In his pursuit he has now converted his horses into computer desks, his faithful dog is now his electronic mouse, his arrows and spears have modified into computers, meat and wheat are converted to burgers and pizzas, his artifacts of trade is now in paper and plastic. The man used to roam on his legs and now has evolved into virtual roaming. He now has the facility of making his life more convenient by sitting in the chair. Human species never stopped from keep doing something larger and better, as he was the only naturally selected stakeholder in the process of evolution. The remaining animals were luckily relieved from the process of rapid evolution and thus also lost the benefits and risks of getting evolved. I could not Imagine sending SMS to my pet requesting to come back home for food.
The irony in my life had been that everyone else in my office ends their days work around 6:00 pm and return home with a feeling of “the end of the day” and have their own methods of easing the remaining hours with their family. I come home to continue the job of managing my ancestral Udupi hotel at home. It was a privilege baptized by birth which unknowingly got converted into a job as I grew. Ours was a typical South Indian joint family managed by two brothers who migrated from South Canara to Parbhani a small district of Maharashtra. My father was elder among the two in age and his younger brother was the leader in his deeds. I was the only hope and the burning lamp of the family, who was reluctant to glow in the traditional way. As traditional as it can get my father never wanted me to get into this hotel business and my uncle never wanted me to get out of it. The major problem in Udupi hotels always had been a lack of manpower. My father encouraged me to keep studying as he thought it was the only way to keep me out of this ‘mess.’ So I studied and studied until I could study no more in the town. My uncle never objected to my studies, on the contrary, he was proud of my degrees, as no one in our entire family or any hotel owner in the town has a lad who was a Ph.D. and sat on a hotel counter managing the hassles. With a flair for teaching, I joined as a part-time teacher in a private senior college. Without bothering the peanut salary at college, I could now manage lectures and the hotel counter with ease and much to the awe of students and customers.
My Uncle had four daughters and my father had only me and no daughters, so emotionally I was the solitary capable son for both. Usually in such situations, every individual feels that he is the only one who is unfortunate. This was felt by me in my younger days, my uncle would have felt the same, and my father was showered with sympathy as the most unlucky fellow by his relatives. But seldom is it realized that, with negligible consequences, a joint family has its own privileges which can be enjoyed as pleasures. The unlucky factor does not exist if everyone considers himself as a part of a team rather than a single unit. This is the core mechanism to win wars in the military. Irrespective of what others thought we three never felt unlucky because a hotel is like a mini paradise. Hotel campus is one such niche where we never have to bother about the basic ‘bread and butter’ things like milk, vegetables, grocery, etc. The women in the house never know in their whole lives from these things come and what their costs are. It’s only when a neighboring lady whine about the price hike in the market they probe about the costs as their prestige is at stake. We always eat and remain merry as owners of a hotel.
My father was eldest and three of my cousin sisters were minor when my uncle died. Least I had imagined in the future years when my father will leave me alone in this evolutionary process, I will have evolved into the role of father for not only my own two offspring but also for these three little cute girls. So my job at Udupi hotel was not only an obligation but mandatory, for not only earning the daily bread for the entire family but also for remaining in the modern evolutionary process. With my son the only other man in this female-dominated house, I had to play my role to felicitate the process of human evolution and modernization. I was the by default chosen captain of my huge ship. These included maintaining the needs of education, books, dresses and also the side effects of evolution like dish TV, mobiles, phone, cars, bikes, tourism, only to mention the tip of the iceberg. I used to return from college to join additional duty as a hotelier which would continue till 11:00 pm. Though my identity always remained unique I wonder that this transformation from “Sir” to “Seth” daily and again back to “Sir” in the morning may have been central to my never-ending fondness to characters of Superman and Spiderman who always led a dual life.
During one such regular day when I had just returned from my college and was freshening up, I had a call on my mobile and was a bit surprised to see my Principal calling. I was a junior amongst senior colleagues a majority of whom were in a countdown mode for retirement, including the caller. Why would he have needed me after the office? I alone cannot haste evolution after all. So I rode my bike to his house and listened to him, profiting a share from his evening cup of tea. Though a man with the only couple of years left for retirement, our principal was a purist academician. He had a shrewd mind with a desire to retire as a grade one Principal. As a principal he kept himself updated with modern times and facilitated huge funds from the UGC to develop our private college. The present three stored cement buildings evolving from ten years back wooden partitions are living proofs of our evolutionary efforts. He always had diplomatic plans for development. Knowing from my interests in photography and Videography, he had called me to initiate an audio-visual cell in the college, which will help in creating audio-visual educational materials.
In our country when discussions amongst person progress and if the people discussing are not in their respective official roles then the discussions leave behind formalities and they become candid. Ironically my father died a few months back and the Principal had some issues with his teenage son. This information may be irrelevant in this situation, but I remember Sigmund Freud had mentioned in his book ‘Interpretation of Dreams’ that 95% of subconscious mind always keeps working. So maybe I was lending him a respectful ear like I would have given to my dad, and he was showing affection which he may have desired to implement on his son. As our discussions went on it ranged from work, campus, ethics, morality and, as most of us we Indians finally arrive at that is, philosophically. He became emotional at one time and told me that the biggest failure in his carrier was that he could achieve everything for his post but he could not motivate his people. In a tone of confession, he gave a reason for calling me home and requested to take up the project of creating e-content materials in the form of audio-video resources. As a part of my inherited character I accepted without any inquisitive skills and left. Later on I went on to use my crossword solving abilities and coined various anagrams for the purpose and came up with a name “Dnyan- Aver” which was readily accepted by the Principal. DNYAN was an abbreviation for the college name “Dnyanopasak” and AVER stood for Audio Visual Educational Research, which also means ‘an affirmation of truth’. In the latter years, I was responsible for creating a recorded lecture series with PowerPoint slide displays under this banner. If a student missed a basic Lecture he could play the CDs on his player or computer and listen to the lecture again and again. I enjoyed this creative job, which had no monetary incentives but gave me something greater and that was a pleasure. It is true that when you enjoy your work you don’t feel like working.
Even today my Principal's sincere admittance that “I could not motivate people” rings in my ears. I keep thinking about it and find the truth in his statement. You cannot motivate someone who refuses to listen. We do not listen to people because what they say is different from our thoughts. We keep imposing our opinion on the speaker. To get motivated the first thing is to listen and listening without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.
In this competition of the modernized world everyone is smart enough and wants to outnumber the other they subconsciously keep doing this by giving opinions. Most opinions are full of emotions and we collect as many as we would like without putting out any effort at all. It is only natural to have opinions, but knowledgeable opinions take effort and are harder to collect. We believe that our intuitions and spontaneous opinions are the final words. But we should not be so quick to give judgments. People are smart and loyal to their jobs. People are smart enough for this competition game but not smart enough to realize that there is clear cut border of street smartness and intellectual smartness. This identity crisis remains in most individuals of the campus. As a Zen master has said you cannot fill the glass which is already full, it needs to be emptied first. Sincerity counts over loyalty. The problem with loyalty is that it is attached to the sentiments and sentiments have no place in the professional jungle.
Once various department heads approached our Institutional President for renovating their labs and a plan with infrastructure development. The President just sent them back with a deaf ear. The heads were disillusioned. Years passed and this episode became a folktale, passing on from seniors to juniors. I kept hearing this story in libraries, canteens and every other gathering. The president was an ex-minister in the Indira Gandhi regime and now a member of parliament from the opposition party. He had led a sincere political life and barring controversies had a reputation of being a good human being. I wondered why he didn’t entertain his think tank when they approached him for the justified infrastructure developments. In the latter years our college was applying for quality accreditation, which is a mandatory government rule and it consists of various parameters comprising of one thousand marks. Out of these only thirty marks were allotted for infrastructure. The soul of the campus was considered more important than its body. Our college was rewarded a B plus grade. I was a member of the report formation committee and had realized why Mr. The president turned a deaf ear to infrastructure proposals. The people who went there were no doubt loyal but were not professional in their approach. The president not listening to them hurt their loyalty. It would never hurt a professional.
Loyalty is a character that is more needed at home, with your family and friends where it is most valued. Dogs are loved and needed in homes, ask someone who has a dog as his pet. Emotions and sentiments are personal assets which can be applied to gain strength. Emotions should not make a man weak. Rather than getting stuck in a sentimental issue man should learn to move on. This is how we can evolve into more modern beings. After all man is the stakeholder of evolution. In his work he should be professional in his approach and strong in his character. A successful man is the one who recognizes the needs of progress where he is working. After all more fearful is an army of sheep led by a lion than an army of lions led by a sheep. A lion and not a dog always sleep in the hearts of brave men. Our bosses need more lions at their offices than dogs. We too will desire the same one day when we will become a boss.