Monthly Archives: May 2020

Et tu Brute, Bezos

It is quite a common sight these days, to see delivery boys wearing coloured T-shirts mirroring their company brand colours waiting at door-fronts , apartment gates and chilling out under tree shades. We have the Amazon boys with the smile logo, the Zomato boys playing red killers on the road, the omnipresent Swiggy boys and the new kids on the block, the Dunzo boys.

But much before all these boys , during the millennia year 2000, there was the GCDA apartment boys. With a boring summer vacation in front of them fueled by a burning desire to do something different at least this time around, they set about a new mission. After the first meeting under the mango tree, it was decided to start a new business venture.

Identified gap – Apartment aunties running out of groceries in the kitchen find it difficult to go to the market immediately.

Investment required – Manpower ( GCDA boys ) & their cycles.

Revenue generation model – Tips for executed errands

With great zeal and motivation the GCDA boys started their home delivery venture. Marking their base under the mango tree, marketing to apartment aunties, backed by the association uncles and with the dreams of a future with infinite possibilities.

Days went by, awareness and business increased , their service was welcomed by the apartment and the coffers started filling in with 5 rupee coins and 10 rupee notes. Almost towards the end of the summer vacation, they pooled in all the money they had collected, went to the local market and bought couple of big soft drink bottles, snacks, biscuits and had a big fat party.

The boys were happy they could earn for themselves, had a rather interesting summer vacation but were too naive to reflect on the learnings or possibilities of such an idea. In another part of the world , a man named Bezos had slowly started building an empire with the very same idea which struck under the mango tree for the GCDA boys. The boys grew up pursuing  many  such ideas – all short lived, meanwhile Bezos went on to become the richest man in the world.

 

The games we played

Long before the corporate games and mind games. Much before game of thrones and hunger games. Even before video games and board games. Back in the days we used to play actual childhood games.

Be it the football fever especially during the FIFA world cups, or cricket fever until the ball hungry neighbour uncle completed his collection. On the days we were visited by our female counterparts, the games changed to hide and seek, cycle police and ko-ko. We moved from game to game pretty much like how we move from app to app these days.

The ultimate playground

As I stood in my apartment ground reminiscing over the games we used to play, I saw the kids arranging stones one on top of the other and looking at their phones parallely. On probing, they told that they are trying to figure out the game 7 stones or lagori as it is known. I stepped in and happily explained to them about the game reliving old memories, and even giving instructions to a bonus game we used to play outdoors called king , queen & minister.

Like how yesteryear fairy tales and proverbs are passed on to younger generations. Like age old wisdom and knowledge preserved in books, without getting lost. The neighbourhood boy in me felt secretly proud to have passed on the games that really mattered for being enjoyed for just a little longer before being forgotten.

Quarantine roulette

Going back in time to the week before Janata curfew. When corona was just some kind of freak disease spreading in far away China, with only some students who came back to Kerala from China diagnosed with it and eventually cured. When you literally touched everything, shook hands with everyone and used those fancy sanitisers only to hang around your bag. When it was business as usual for India, you and your life.

Little did we know that in those few days of pre-Janata curfew, corona was playing quarantine roulette with us. The thoughts that crossed our minds, the smallest of decisions and actions we made, have played a big part in landing us where we are and who we are with in this quarantine.

The roulette had various slots. Some have been rendered single – fending for themselves and hunting for food. Some have been lucky to be with their lovers/partners – spending more time with each other and actually getting to know each other. Some could get back home and spend long lost time with their parents in their childhood neighborhoods. Whereas some unfortunate people even got stranded on the way in airports, railway stations or even the roads.

Sure , corona did not give a choice whom we got quarantined with. But isn’t it up-to each one of us, to make the best of wherever we are, whoever we are with. Maybe years down the line, we will see God’s plan more clearly and we shouldn’t regret not making the best of our quarantine luck and if possible, create some meaningful and everlasting memories with the people and things you were chosen to be quarantined with in this hopefully once in a lifetime quarantine roulette.

 

When the world and the mind stood still

As I write this blog, India and the world is more than 2 months into something called as a lockdown. Quarantine , lockdown , isolation , social distancing are the most used words these past few months apart from the tracking of deaths and count of new infections across the globe.What has happened till now is unprecedented in human history and I sincerely hope the world comes out of it stronger than before.

Along with the world , something else which has come to a standstill is the mind. A human mind is so complex , yet we fail to notice it, just like the human body. A sea of emotions – sorrow, anxiety, worry , excitement, fear, selfishness, happiness – the list goes on. These emotions were mostly contained and compartmentalised when we were living our normal lives and was pushed and shaped according to our convenience.

This lock down has brought such stillness of mind , that how much ever you try to escape it, you just can’t. It has showed that true happiness definitely has to come from within. That the mind needs to accommodate, balance and embrace all feelings and make peace within. In a way it is good that it is happening now than maybe after 20 or 30 years during another lockdown.

This lockdown has definitely taken me back to the basic questions of Who am I ? What is my purpose ? What makes me happy ? Who makes me happy ? And how do I make others happy ? Even though the answers are still far away in the horizon. I am glad the questions have come back again stronger and hope this time, as the world limps back to the new normal, my mind is ready for finding new answers for these life defining age old questions.