Most things are choices, but we assume they aren’t. Living in the city, our careers, how much time we get with our kids – these are all choices. But we assume that living in the city is a given. That our professions are fixed. And that time is always a constraint.
I have tried to question these assumption.
I used to live in the city, but in the spring of 2015 we moved to a simple life in a Kumaoni village. I used to do corporate work that I found soulless. I am now a full-time father. And a part-time writer, blogger, biker, hiker, runner, consultant, teacher.
I used to always be stressed and short of time. Now I wonder why people get excited about 3 day weekends and call them “long”.
I am rediscovering who I am, and who I can be in the majestic Himalayas. Peace and beauty help. My writing career started as an accident – but can I be a fulltime writer? (Answer: yes) I always loved motorcycling and owned bikes, but never had the time to do the rides I dreamt of. Is a solo ride across high Himalayan passes realistic? (It is). Can one earn enough as a consultant, living away from the city (I think so). And how much is enough? (Whoa, lets keep it simple.)
So here are some of the new labels I go by :
Blogger : Having taken the leap (or leaps), I have no regrets. I miss nothing about the city or my old life (except the microbreweries). I share my new experiences – and those of many others - through https://uncityblog.wordpress.com/ .
Consultant / Teacher : Of my 20+ years in corporate life, the bulk has been in the Education industry. I hold two MBAs – one from Panjab University, and another from the Kellogg School of Management. My last corporate role was the CEO of HCL Learning Ltd.
I also co-founded / ran two separate education start-ups. I have done my share of experimentation and learning in running education & training businesses. I am happy to share my knowledge and experiences.
Public Speaker: I speak intermittently at Corporations, Events and Business Schools. The topics largely revolve around the choices we take for granted in our lives, and what it takes to rethink those. I also touch upon my passions - running, education, motorcycling. Or experiences like staying positive in jail - like running 20k inside the tiny jail compound or about writing a book while in Jail. It could also be about crisis management, or about ethics in Indian corporations.
Author : My writing career had a painful start.
In December 2012, I found myself in a tricky situation when I was arrested and jailed in a case against my employer. In jail one has nothing to do and is surrounded by interesting subject matter. The closet writer in me bloomed and the outcome was “The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail” which was published by Penguin in 2014. A true story, The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail was well liked by many. When I now look back at the book I see it as a first attempt with much scope for improvement.