Random Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

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Created Date : 08 Oct 2013

How wonderful it is to wake up to the sound of a koel, to open the door to a green vista and breath of pure fresh air. As I am sitting in the back yard of my father-in-law’s small house about 200 meters from the banks of the Koyna river in the small trading town of Karad, the predominant color is green; fresh green washed by the rains – it is somehow different from the dusty green of May. There are bushes and trees all around, Mango, coconut, guava, tamarind, custard apple, mulberry and hibiscus with red buds and flowers about to bloom – my daughter walked me around introducing each one them – and the only sounds are from various varieties of birds – chirpings in multiple hues. One who doesn’t wake early in the morning loses out on some of the magic in this world. Yesterday afternoon I took the kids out to Koynanagar. There is a Koyna bazaar every Sunday and as much as the kids I wanted to visit it for nostalgic reasons – during our school vacations we used to wait for the bazaar in our village every Saturday afternoon. The drive on the Karad – Chiplun road on a grey Sunday afternoon with a mild breeze that still retained the moisture of the rains from the distant mountains is hugely romantic. A winding single carriageway lined with trees on both sides and green farmlands dotted with tiny villages spread right up to the foothills of mountains whose peaks are fuzzy with clouds floating around as thick grey smoke. If you weren’t in love, you would want to fall immediately. An hour into the drive we enter Patan – the small town amongst the villages. These towns form the trading hubs and the main road is the ‘High Street’ lined with small shops selling everything from local produce to farm and construction materials, a few grocers and small bakeries, offices of the government – the panchayat samitis and agriculture and farm departments, the Police Station and Head Post Office (generally the most imposing building,) pat sansthas – the local cooperative banks, small street side hotels with colorful boards with a lodge or two in between and a clutter of fruit and vada-pav vendors near the ST Stand where the traffic is always the heaviest. As we cross Patan we enter the mountain stretch with the river Koyna flowing on one side along the road and thick forests replacing the flat farmlands. Along the road are mango, jackfruit, jamun and banyan trees. We stop at a few places and fell down the mangoes using stones and shoots from heavily laden trees. There is so much of the fruit around that you simply don’t know where to stop and how much to pick. By the time we reach Koynanagar it is drizzling – a thin, steady stream of rain, the kind under which you can walk and get wet without getting drenched. The bazaar is a brilliant place to identify the class differentiation in the local community; you have the villagers in their predominantly white dhotis and shirts with white Nehru caps and the women dressed in dark sarees and a pair or two of heavy traditional jewelry, the educated class – a teacher, doctor, government staff or local officers from the Koyna dam who have come down on motor cycles, husband and wife, husband in shirt and trouser, the wife in light colored saree with just a touch of powder who decides what to pick from where while the husband pays and carries the bags, giving an opinion once in a while. The kids are wet and hungry by now so we go to the local ST stand to find a hotel; wooden benches under a shed, the counter having large plates filled with an assortment of bhajiyas and vada pav and the kitchen alongside with a cylinder and stove with a large frying pan and a tea utensil always on the boil. The fries are all cold due to the weather but he promises to give us fresh ones right from the frying pan so we order some vada-pavs and tea. Local village women flock with freshly picked jamuns and karavanda’s and we end up buying more than we need. On the return journey the kids doze off tried from all the excitement and activity. Driving leisurely along the road with hardly any traffic I wonder at the life of the villagers, sitting in front of shops or standing outside their houses – their aspirations, their dreams, their needs, their wants, the sources of their joys and sorrows, their idea of work – life balance, the sources of their stress and how they handle it. A few hours’ drive from where we stay is an eco system and a world which is so different from ours and men and women who may be so different from us. It is an interesting perspective. As I complete this write-up my father-in-law walks by the window carrying a small baby snake perched on the end of a long stick, picked from the foliage around. It is indeed interesting. My thoughts as drove down alone on Saturday night were predominantly on the second line development topic that we have been discussing over mails lately. Further to what I wrote earlier there are two other important things. One is that the second line has to look up to you as mentor or a leader – this may go against traditional coaching principles but if they have to buy your vision, your idea of greatness they should believe that you are doing something of value which they can partake of. Devavrat has been doing great in terms of delegating and making his coordinators pick up responsibility, but he has somehow not been able to instill that belief in them. In the one session I had they were openly skeptical about the value he brought. Second is to provide positive reinforcement at every single success and qualifying area of improvement with specifics on what could have done better, how and how it would help them eventually.

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