[Deep Sigh] Hello Everyone!! It’s my pleasure to be here and speak in front of you all. [Adjust the Microphone] Throughout my One Week Job India mission, A thought always running in my mind that; if I have to give one retirement speech after 28 jobs, how would it be, what will it be called.
[Pause] One Week Job India Retirement Speech!! Damn [punching right hand fist to the left hand palm] finally the day arrived. [Laugher]
[Looking at the people present in the auditorium] Any one here does not know the background story?? I started a journey from May 2013 to travel around India, doing one job in each state, which recently ended on Dec 2013.
[Sigh] It was an experience, once in a life time experience. 2013 was a year with number 28. An idea hit me on 28, and I lived with the idea for a whole year, now I am addicted to live it for the rest of my life as 28 for ever. I celebrated my birthday in the mid of the journey on 28th may, and obviously the theme of my One Week Job India mission 28 jobs 28 Weeks 28 States. With a strange coincidence An Aam Aadmi took oath as Delhi chief minister on 28 December 2013 winning total seats of 28.
[Cough]Enough on the numerology lets come to the main point
Now my resume 2013 looks like this!!
[Applause] We will go into the details later, before that let’s reflect upon which is more important, the reason behind it. The Why [Stretching the Y] Factor.
In February I had called one of my friend to inform that I am going to travel all the states of India, doing one job in each state. His first reaction was “I know you very well. It sounds odd and difficult but you can do that. But I have only one question WHY”. Two things I am blessed with!!, first All my friends having a blind faith in me that I will do what I say and second, I am always ready with an answer which I answered to myself before doing anything.
Let’s have a look at the video to understand why I did what I did
[Video Start] Ohh its opening in a new tab. I failed to embed it. Sorry I am no more a tech guy to fix the issue: P [Nervous Laughter]
Advises never works, so there the idea of 28 jobs 28 weeks 28 states came into action. Let’s go through few of the job I did. I tried all sorts of executive and non-executive jobs, just to cut down the ego earned through educational degree and corporate experience. Let’s quickly go through few craziest jobs among them.
This one was my first job as photographer at Indianroots.com, Ecommerce Division of NDTV.
[Wow] wow!! Walking down the streets of Haryana at 45 degrees in the month of May. It’s really Wow [laughter]
This one as a waste warrior at Bhagshu, Himachal where I was cleaning mountains. It is a risky job to clean the mountain edges. So I would like to request everyone here not to throw water bottle, chips wrappers, coffee cups, cold-drinks bottle; when you will visit a mountain next time.
[Aww So Cute] Yeah it was really awesome moment that happened while I was working as a sevak at Golden temple, Amritsar. Nothing gives you more happiness than seeing a kid quenching its thirst with water.
This job I really enjoyed during my Jammu & Kashmir week. Working as a rafting trainee led me to swim in freezing Chenab River and obviously a lot of rafting rides. During this week, my favourite time pass was to play cards at the rafting point and understand the psyche of tourists passing through that who is going to come for rafting, who are not.
[Uhhhh] Girls control, We know Ranveer is hot [Laughter]
This click was during the media interviews for Lootera movie release. My movie marketing Job at SpicePR, Mumbai. I have been always inclined towards Indian cinema; I thoroughly enjoyed my week over there. It is difficult to draw a line between the real and the reel actor. People create a perception seeing them on the bigger screen or through Print and Television media. PR industry creates the perception for a celebrity or a movie.
Let me tell you a live example. I always had a very bad impression towards Ranveer Singh, after seeing his first two films “Band baaja baraat” and “Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl”. I had created a perception of him as a guy, with whom I would never can have friendly talk in real life. But I was wrong. Once I met him, I felt he is totally different from the way I was thinking. He is very fun loving guy, making the whole surrounding lively and without any celebrity attitudes. He is very energetic and love talking to media and a pretty good PR skills. Though in Lootera he acted again as a conman, I watched the film this time with a different take altogether.
Learning from that week!! PR industry always having a illegitimate relationship with film industry. [Sarcastic] you are the reason behind many celebrity, movie success but you can’t accept the fact in public.
[Wow]This was during my tattoo maker job at Goa. Tattooing requires a lot of patience and a highly creative mind to do the job. It was a new experience all together. I loved my workplace, it was at titoslane, one of the most happening places of Goa.
[Awww] Yeah that kid was crying for one whole week, still I could not stop him ever more than ten minutes at a stretch. There I worked as a play school teacher in Hyderabad.
This one is during Bihar where I was working as a field supervisor for a contraceptive rural campaign. You can understand how it is difficult to convince the panshop, beauty corner to sell condoms. It was a government of India initiative, so that people won’t hesitate to buy from their nearest known shop. When you try to convince the shop owner and you get the answer like “My father used to sit in this shop, how can I” “We both brother share the same shop”. [Giggle]
Don’t giggle, that’s the real story of rural India, where family respect having bigger priority than business profit.
It was at the cremation ghat, Varanasi. Banaras is a place of contradiction. You almost cry seeing a deadbody, and the next moment you see around and observe people; You find no one is crying. 20 meters from the cremation ghat you can see people having sweets. You don’t find a saloon for your haircut and the next moment you will see 100 of barbers squatting in one line for tonsure.
Don’t ask me the after affect of being a cremation assistant. I had so many bad dreams of dead people, some dreams I do remember which is illogical. It was scary nightmare for the next few days, even the dead flesh smell I could feel for so many days even after leaving Banaras.
This was during my mud artisan week at Kumartoli Kolkata. It was a creative week. During this week too I faced yet another contradiction. Sunagachi, the biggest red light area of India is no more than 100 meters away from kumartoli. Please do dare to walk through the golden lane of sunagachi, it’s a different world.
This was my story telling instructor week at Tawang monastery, Arunachal Pradesh. During the story telling session, I observe many story contains the same theme of chasing your passion. And in many lama’s stories contain the girlfriend of Rahul. Naam toh suna hi hoga. [Laughter]
Worked as a bullet mechanic in Aizwal, Mizoram. Bullet sound is the sweetest sound on the road, Enfield riders love their bike more than their girlfriend. And only a bullet mechanic has the privilege to touch it. [Laughter] Every traveller fascinates to travel around world on an Enfield bullet, so do I. But not this time [Giggle]
Ooops I forgot to share my travel experience.
[Breathless In One Go] Delhi, Kurukshetra, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Delhi, Mcleaodganj, Amritsar, Reasi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Chennai, Alleppey, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Sonepur, Raipur, Jamshedpur, Hajipur, Varanasi, [Applause] Kolkata, Dibrugarh, Kolkata, Sonepur, New Jalpaigudi, Darjeeling, Gangtok, Siliguri, Tezpur, Tawang, Tezpur, Dimapur, Imphal, Agartala, Dharmanagar, SIlchar, Aizwal, Shilong, Gwahati, Siliguri, Patna, Jabalpur, Sonepur. [Sigh]
Travelled a total distance of 24929 Kilometer through all possible transports like Train, Bus, Share Taxi, Flight, Tram, Meter Gauge Train, Auto, Bike, Cab, Rickshaw, Boats, Raft and obviously on foot.
One strange thing I would like to confess, I have not made a single travel plan before the journey started. I didn’t want to compromise on this urge to travel without any plans. The only thing I knew was my next destination, and the travel mode I decided on the spot, all the train tickets through tatkal, and all the bus and share taxi on the spot.
I stayed in hotel room from the range of Rs 120 to 500 maximum per night. My favourite room was in Darjeeling which cost me 250 rupees with a beautiful sunrise view from the balcony.
That’s the shoe Which never betrayed me through my journey, Apart from this project it has touched from Leh Ladakh to Kanyakumari. You can say it’s a trusted and verified shoe [Laughter]
Some quick Learning Throughout the journey!! Never have bisleri bottle in front of rural people, Be with them, eat with them, drink with them. You always find intellectual people than you in every unexpected place. A good story teller makes your journey smooth.
Before even get acclimatized, you switch to another place, makes you irritated sometimes. That too for long 28 weeks, Be careful; You may lose some precious friends because of your abnormal behaviour.
Always be extra cautious when you travel from cold climate to hot climate, than travelling from hot climate to cold climate. You never have control over your health, be prepared for unexpected. Sometimes you desperately wanted to be with your family or someone special; but can’t do anything than missing.
India is a strange country. There are state where chief minister changes 12 times in 10 years; there is state where out of 32 seats all are from ruling party. There is parallel government running in some state, where they asked for 25% of your government salary apart from the usual govt tax. You never know which part of country you start feeling like home. There is a strange observation I found, flora and fauna of Manipur having lot of similarity with my own state Odisha. Bollowood song is the integral part of every Indian, whether you hear all 50s songs while passing through beautiful Himalaya; Or 80s 90s song while going in a local transport in central India.
There is no point of feeling proud reaching a remote place with wildcraft tents, Nikon Camera and bullet bikes, there are civilization that still exist there 1000 years back too. One last thing wherever I went, Yami gautam was with me. [Sarcastic] Fair and Lovely model is the highest reach Face in India, hats off to their advertising.
[Adjust Microphone]For the Travel experiences this is not enough you have to wait for the book Let’s get back to the main topic again.
Fortunately throughout the journey I have come across a lot of people living with passion.
Starting from Founder Goonj.org Anshu Gupta who Lives with the passion of serving the society. My first employer Rahul Narvekar, CEO NDTV Ethnic retail pvt ltd; who is always passionate about establishing the ecommerce. Jodie Underhill German lady worried about the Himalaya cleanliness and founded a NGO called wastewarriors.org. Leaving a lucrative marketing job and started an adventure club in jammu, Vikash Sharma. Prabhat Choudhury, considered as the God of film marketing, from more than a decade working upon the celebrity PR and movie marketing. Tattoo Artist Sachin Aarote and his perfection in tattooing is really amazing; he has tattooed on many bollywood artists. Abdul Mujeeb Khan founded Bhumi.in with having a vision of developing grassroots leadership. Rcho who founded Aizwal thunders the first bullet club of India. Yeah how can I forget Tejas Doshi who founded Light and beyond, It was all together different experience to be in his office, whose passion is to living with the light of perfections. And many more!!
One common thing that you find among all the people living with their passion. They are the happiest person in the world. There are certain traits you will find in all those people – all are Proactive [Pause] keen in decision making [Pause] Not affected by the distraction [Pause] Risk taking ability [Pause] Know their USP [Pause] Very much sure about the goals [Pause] Be open up to discuss the idea [Pause] Never miss the Opportunity.
How people had never missed the opportunity of setting up new business in strange place. Let me give few examples – One foreigner comes to Rishikesh in mid 70s and sees the opportunity of white water rafting, Thus Rafting culture started in India.
Even Boat house culture started similar way 30 years back in Kerala. A German guy who observed that boat with canopy used for grains transport from one place to another through back water channel. It’s having facility of one driver and another cook stays in the boat for months. If they can stay then why not tourists stays in boat house. That’s how boat house started there.
Let’s not stretch the talk for long, and if I am allowed to say something here is the message.
Ask often yourself “Whats Your Dream”. Listen to your heart always. If you are passionate about something just go for it, don’t listen to people. Sometimes don’t listen to your calculative brain, listen your candid heart while taking decisions. You will always find people around you to intimidate you many things like – It is very difficult [Pause] this is not perfect time [Pause] you don’t have time [Pause] what will happen if you fail [Pause] You are new – will you be able to do that [Pause] No one have tried that before [Pause] It is very risky [Pause] This idea might not work [Pause]
And many more “what if”. Don’t listen to them!! Are you able to answerable to yourself, that’s enough!! Visionary people see the world in a different way than their peers.
Never live a temporary life. Like you hear!! I will work in a company for 3 years then I will start something of my own. Let me go to abroad for five years, save some money will start my own once I return back to India. [Pause] Let me tell one thing to them, you would have started already if you really wanted to. People living with passion never wait for perfect time; Situation finds its own way. Few of my employers started their business in the college hostel itself. That can be the best example against all these calculative brains. One more example I would like to give, one of my software engineer friend; we both started our job career seven years back by joining TCS together. From the first day itself his dream was to go to onsite and coming back with some good money. During my one week job India journey I met him, He is still stuck with the same dream. Same temporary life!!
Be clear about what you want, Give happiness the priority in your life. There are many people who live their life with “Think Medium” attitude; go to same office for 33 years, sit in the same chair for his work tenure. Many of them live a happy life, playing with their kids in free time, giving time to their wife, helping their wife in kitchen, playing ludo with their grand children and that’s how they retired from their job. A happy life over all. That’s all important. If they did have aspiration of doing something else throughout his life, he might not be happy with regret in life, which leads towards unhappiness. [Takes out cell phone]
Many of my metro friends story!! Monday to Friday office, then spending time in the weekends in a Pub or a movie or CCD or Subway or KFC. Work for three months, save some high disposable income, go for a trip. Everything is good as long as you are happy and if you have chosen that as your permanent life. If your conscience always says that it’s temporary, you will be doing something different soon. Then you will never be happy inside from such life, Think something permanent solution as soon as possible. If you have passion to do something then you don’t have to do anything, passion will drive you towards your goals. Just dare to step ahead.
As we say from the beginning – Advises never works. Don’t follow my lessons, learn your Own.
That’s all I wanted to say. I would like to thank to everyone who supported my journey, Followed my journey, spread the cause of “Discover Your Passion”. I would like to thank all my hosts in all the different cities who took care about my food and stay. I would like to thank all the entrepreneurship fraternity nextbigwhat, Yourstory, Rodinhoods, Lifebeyondnumbers and many more to support the cause. A big thanks to my my crowdfunding supporters – without you the project would never be possible.
A poem for all my supporters!!
A dream i nurtured to follow my dream
To help others discover their passion, and follow their dream
Even in times of difficulties and obstacles new
I held on because of the strength, from your support that i drew
I would like to thank all my friends!! Thank You(Singular) and Thank You (Plural).
One last thing I would like to share my facebook status from 31st December 2012.
Hope I had justified a year 2013. Thank You. Namaskar
[Responding to a standing ovation] Make me earn it. [Laughter]
And Yes!! Wish you all Happy New Year 2014!!