The Child Within

Wow… in a recent conversation with a colleague – I was asked about my best childhood memory…. I had so many of them that I wanted to share… the question made me live a lot of my childhood days…. While I was re-living my childhood, I decided to pen my thoughts down… very aptly the title that came to my mind was “The Child Within” you

We are all in different age groups and working day in day out…. We are more experienced and mature and we have had our own highs and lows of life…. Sounds normal…. YES INDEED… we are so engrossed in work that our corporate life has become primary and rest everything is secondary….. Enough!!!!! LET US BE BRUTALLY HONEST… IT SOUNDS REALLY VERY BORING AND DULL….. We might have achieved some milestones…. But (did you realise) in this process, we have all lost ourselves somewhere…. Majority of us follow a similar life cycle… Boring, Routine, Mundane, Mechanical, Schedule and deadline driven… Every person I interact with depicts a commonality that resonates very well to a song from a movie which brought about a “PARADIGM” shift in Indian cinema…. No answers for guessing …. Yessss Indeed “3 Idiots” and the song is

“Give me some Sunshine, Give me some rain, Give me another chance I want to grow up once again”…

Do you all want to grow up againnnn?? What does growing up again mean for u, for me, for us…. Is it a different career, different education or something else or IS IT re-living a part of your life which we all (knowingly or unknowingly miss the most and deep inside there is a desire which often makes you think “I wish”….. the more people I talk to about this they all WANT THEIR SCHOOL LIFE BACK J J more than the thought of choosing an alternative career (if given a chance), our school life is more dear to us…. Our school life made us happy children, our books, our friends, our desks, our playground, our teachers, our games…. “OUR” does it not create extreme possessiveness in our minds…..

While in school we used to play book cricket, eat chalks (I am sure a lot of you have done this), enjoy a different subject after every 45 minutes with a “RECESS” in between, sometime get punished for not finishing homework (honest confession.. have you ever felt happy after you got punished because the lecture would have been sooo boring J J), meet friends, eating out at the canteen…. Crafts period (I could never make that Frog which would leap and had to be made of paper) have a chance to play your favourite game at least 2-3 times in a week (PT Period)… followed by evening games, tuitions, gossips, SOME homework (only if we wanted to or else we would go to school early and copy from a studious friend). We all used to get scolded for not doing our homework, 30 minutes of more playtime in the evening and our parents used to get angry….. Life was peaceful, however our mind was not at “PEACE”. Did you also feel the pressure (while at school) trying to find answers to some of these questions

  • Why do I have to wear the same uniform every day?
  • Why do I have to ask money from my parents to spend? When will I start to earn?
  • Why do I have to give so many tests?
  • Why are these subjects so boring? When will I work in a corporate and do new / challenging things every day?

All these questions made us restless… we used to envy people who were working with corporates. However we as kids were unaware of how exciting a corporate job was… Did people working in corporates also miss their school life? As is said “Grass is always Green on the other side” and maybe it was just our perception which made us all eagerly wait for a not at all “Alice in Wonderland Life” after school…. “We seldom don’t value things, till the time we are at the brink of losing it / or have lost it”….. Sounds rhetoric but this is reality…

How many of you remember playing “FLAMES”…. I remember going for a morning walk to collect flowers and leaves as part of my “SCRAP BOOK” homework J summer vacations were eagerly awaited but then we had our colleagues (I was one of them) to give extra homework…. Ever tried your hands in making a Solar cooker, a wind mill…. But the irony is that we have fallen prey to the rat race and live in a world of diesel generators L L Cycling was so much fun (even if it was a broken cycle) but today we are running pillar to post to own an expensive car (have we all become materialistic), Simplicity and Innocence seems to have been lost….

Is it not “The Child Within” who makes unclear, indecisive, random decisions all the time? As children we believed in active experimentation…… sometimes fearless and more practical decision making J generally our friends are our role models….

Let us look at things from a different lens….. Put some colours, video games, old songs, candies etc. in front of Senior Leaders, even the C(X)O’s and the kid in them starts smiling, all problems tend to fade away and they just want to play and enjoy, corporate etiquette boundaries are thinned, the tie in the neck tends to loosen a bit (SRK style in KKHH), body language changes and everyone behaves like kids … and suddenly we have several stories from our childhood to share…. On a daily basis where does it all vanish away?? Colourful stationery still is a stress buster for many…. I once met a friend and he introduced me to the “WATERMELON THEORY”…. Very simple but effective and I think that it is a perfect intuitive depiction of the Corporate World and also our Mind…. Green from the outside (All is Well) and Red from Inside (run multiple initiatives, projects, no time for our hobbies / passions)…… Think of the trainings that you would have attended…. All trainers and training institutes use the simplicity and effectiveness of Games as they all know that “The Child Within” brings the best out of us – Creativity, Teaming, Honesty etc. … Does it not sound like the Value system of our own company? Yes indeed, the only difference being that what we used to do unknowingly have now become elements of the EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK….. It is we as children who have taught these corporates their value system and now feel intimidated by them L L

Packaging makes all the difference… if we were to say that let us be kids and do things the fun way… some people will say “ARE YOU SERIOUS” this is a Corporate and you are here for serious stuff…. The same thing if an Article or a Training institute would sell to us as the concept of “GAMIFICATION” it would become a Buzz Word and we would do everything to adapt it and not lag behind in the race… J As Mr. Viru Sehestra Budhi said…. Life is a Race and if we don’t  run fast we will be like a broken Anda… the essence is that even trainers want to us to be children, let loose (without booze), play, learn and implement….. I am sure now everyone would realise the Cliché “Fun @ Work”….  I have seen parents (with kids) working in a corporate behave more childish than even their kids back at home…. Nothing wrong with it…. They are just letting “The Child Within” be free and have some fun.

if you have already gone back several years to be the kid you were then you are all still with me…. Great Going…. Go down memory lane and one of the strongest feelings you would have is to just get up now and…… and……………… and …………………… THINK OF YOUR SCHOOL……. A good part of being a child means re-living memories of our school and to nurture “The Child Within” there can be no better place to start than “OUR SCHOOL”………..

We can surely make efforts to go and visit our school once (in fact we SHOULD GO)… a lot of our teachers would be there and we would be delighted to meet them again (by the way the feeling would be mutual)….. I went back to my school sometime back… IT WAS NOSTALGIC…. Though a lot changed, I still figured my classroom and my desk, view of the playground (I sometimes used to escape to the playground when I got punished), Western Music room, arts and crafts room… the list is endless… but the feeling is MAGICAL…. I got goose bumps and I am sure while reading this you would be feeling likewise…… current students have replaced our names as toppers in class, facilities have improved but I still feel the same….. My vocabulary is exhausted and verbatim is getting limited…. Don’t we feel as if we are sitting in our class room right now and our teacher will call out our name and ask us to “READ PARAGRAPH X from Page no Y J J…. Guys come on get up and say… HE MAN and the Masters of the UNIVERSE… I HAVE THE POWER…. And QUENCHER (“The Child within” you will become a mighty batte cat)… Do search this on You Tube right away… I already see a smile and the body language become energetic J J

So finally “The Child Within” is active….. J J

It cannot get better…… when we were kids we needed bed time stories to help us get into a peaceful sleep and dream biiiiiigggggggggg….. Today when we are ourselves biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggg in our age and experience we do story telling (including sharing experiences from our childhood) for others to learn from our experience and do well in life…. You must be wondering that “Is there are a common thread that I am trying to weave”…. Very Simple…. Let “The Child Within” create more experiences and stories 

Go Visit Your School, Do acts which make you Happy, Play your favourite games… Mimick your teachers …. Go for a Chap Chap in the rains….. Apply Fevicol on your hands and then try to remove it…. Keep Alive “The Child Within” you and the Child will keep you young, energetic and always ready to conquer the World JJ