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The Race

Earlier today morning, I was taking my not-so-regular morning walk at the Kamla Nehru Ridge (popularly known as BAUNTA or BONTA) near Delhi University. It was around 6:30 am and the regular stream of morning walkers was present.  It was early morning, the sun had still not risen but the sky was light up in anticipation of his arrival.

The sight was quite interesting with group of monkeys sitting in the middle of the road as if holding their morning review meetings. The male member of the tribe kept a watchful eye on his group while some youngsters were trying antics likes jumping from one tree to another or running on the fence. A few stray dogs lazed around, who had, by now, reconciled to the idea of co-existing with monkeys rather than chasing them up the trees. After all the effort was not worth as the monkeys would anyhow get away. I see this as a perfect instance of evolution.

One could see group of morning walkers walking up and down the ridge road discussing a variety of matters ranging from some recent mega wedding to the economic status of the country and debating on trivial issues. 

On the other end were folks like me who prefer to walk alone and utilize this time of the day to review the things of the previous day and do some thinking about various other things on my mind ranging from zarood to the upcoming college admissions for my son.

It was during one such stretch that I realized that I was unconsciously following a person who was walking much briskly. I keep trying to catch up and after a real effort; I could catch up with him after about 400 meters or so and felt an achievement. An achievement which has no meaning whatsoever but gave me the mental peace that I could walk briskly even now.

What happened next really stumped me.

The gentleman with whom I had caught up and was trying to keep pace increased his speed to out-pace me as if we were running a race and there was to be some winner. My instinct was to increase my speed as well and try to reach the end of the 800 meter stretch before him.

As if this was the Olympic 800 meters race!

We kept these tactics on, until we reach the end of this stretch. Sometimes, I was in the front and sometimes he was in the front. The competition was really intense. Finally I reached the end slightly ahead of my so called competitor.  I turned around with a certain gleam of joy in my eyes as if I had won the so called 400 meter marathon and then slowed down my pace on the return journey.

How naïve of me!

On the return walk I started thinking about human nature and the natural sense of competition. This competition, whether pertaining to driving on roads, buying the latest phone or gadget or anything that we usually do to declare our victory.  On serious contemplation it looks so frivolous. It doesn’t carry any tangible meaning of any measure. It is this false sense of achievement that we sometimes carry and forget our basics.

Why do we need to run when we can achieve our goals by walking in a very focussed and consistent manner?  Haven’t we all experience the times when we had done things without any pressure or fear and surpassed our and everyone else’s expectations. Why the race now and at what cost?

While it is easy to preach than practice, my attempt has been to keep doing whatever is expected of me without even bothering to be carried away by such external disturbances as it happened earlier today.

When I started my e-commerce portal ( friends and colleagues kept asking me one question “How it going..? “and made references to the Billion Dollar Valuation of Flipkart and the acquisitions and mergers with Myntra. 

  What has kept me stead fast and focussed in what I am pursuing right now is my unflinching belief that all journeys begin with a first small step. Some journeys are short while some are a bit longer. My desire of doing something for the society (artisans or NGOs) is the key driving force. I have met amazing people in my journey till now.

Zahir Bhai, a Zarodozi embroidery artisan who creates magic to Sanni who have used his education and skills to generate opportunities for the under privileged, the relationship that has now developed over time is the single most valuable asset.

In my journey, I met some amazing professionals who are making the changes in their own right. Dr. Shanti Auluck (Muskaan, NGO), Ms. Shabnam Hashmi (Anhad / Dhaani), Mr. Vikram Dutt (Manovikas), Mr. Alok Bhuwan (Manovikas). These persons have become my role models on what any social entrepreneurship should be like. The sheer dedication of these humble souls has taught me to stay steady fast and persevere in my attempt to set up zarood.

Today’s morning instance and the thoughts after that have helped me to restore my focus and efforts to make Zarood successful.

 Sid Garg

  • December 07, 2015
  • Siddhant Garg
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