Oasis Trail – 3

Let this be short. The metaphorical oasis and the possibility of escaping there is gaining ground. Thanks to all who are reading and relating to me. Amazing……..

Well why do we need the Oasis at all:

  • We are in a job out of necessity and the job is not to our liking?
  • Not able to meet the expectations of the boss?
  • The remuneration ( financial ) is not enough?
  • Many other people are being given greater importance?
  • Unhappiness at the personal/domestic front leading to lack of concentration at office?
  • Very stiff targets?
  • Setting for oneself a mission and not being able to accomplish it?
  • Poor and shoddy office environment?
  • Distractions in office?
  • Threats from outsiders?
  • Threats from insiders?
  • Very little personal and social time?
  • Long commuting distance to and fro?
  • Fear of failure?
  • Too organised and idealistic?
  • Improper processes, poor controls, indiscipline?
  • Physical and health challenges?
  • Not able to manage subordinates?
  • Run of the mill activity?
  • Perception of peers?
  • Routine, clerical activity with no challenge thrown in?
  • Very late hours?
  • Shift duty thereby disrupting biological rythm of the body?
  • Mismatch with expectations?
  • Lack of recognition?
  • Promotional issues?
  • Locational problems?
  • Unhealthy conditions?
  • Peer Pressure

Have I missed any? Please guide me….

Whats the choice for a job. Money or Nature Of Job…Which carries greater weightage?

Can the two be balanced?



Big Ben and Setting Sun

The Oasis Trail – 2



All of you there have you read my first two blogs. Thanks to those who have read it and welcome and invitation to those who have not yet read it.

Come on guys and gals I am relatively new and could do with a lot of advice and suggestions.

I continue from where I left.

I have a friend and engineer who got recruited from the campus and got placed with a good Corporate in India in the textile industry. Textile Industry had been his academics and he was happy to get the job.

He carried great illusions about the job as most engineering pass outs do only to realize that what you learn and eventually what you do are extremely different. Moreover his work was largely clerical, scrutinizing papers and bills and invoices and so on and the job also meant sitting for late hours in office.

He carried on with detest and loathing for the job and often wondered what to do. He was looking for his Oasis…While he would return home at night and traverse the road to home through the public transport in the city of Kolkata he would look out of the window of the moving bus and tram and observe the people on the roads and pavements of the city. He found life in them.

At Kolkata like many other cities of India several people live on and along the pavements and eat and cook there too. They are largely poor, labour class people and workers.

My friend recalls that on his way home he would even watch these people sitting along the road side on pavements and signing together and cooking food on their makeshift chullas- This is an Indian earthen oven fired by coal and/or  wood and used for cooking.

And looking at this he would often wonder than even these people who are poor, live hand to mouth, dwell in pavements, do arduous and bone breaking labour job during the day had the gumption and liveliness to gather together , sing together and  cook their food. He felt their happiness and was envious. It was joy and envy combined

He watched them everyday and he actually reached a stage of life where he would wait for office to end so that on his way back home he could watch and savour the life and delight of these people. They attracted him , they made him happy….he felt even these people had everyday moments when they would forget everything and just be happy.

The Question is was this his trigger in search of an Oasis—within or without?????

One day this friend of mine came to my office and proudly announced that he had resigned from his job and was happy and free. As to whether he had got another job he said NO. As to what his plans for the future were he was blank. I was stunned. He had a large family to carry, his father had retired and his sisters were still studying and I knew jobs in India were not abundant enough for your picking. Together we went to another friend and we counseled him but he was adamant. He was having no more of that drudgery… He had snapped…and made his decision.

Gradually he picked up his beans and started his own business of trading in textiles and to cut a long story short he is successful, happy and contented now…..and freely advises us to give up our jobs… Once determined the rest is easy he says…

He did find his Oasis but outside his job… There was a trigger to do so… But all of us have so many triggers but keep compromising and compromising…

I will talk about the various triggers next time.. Till then..





The oasis trail -1

This is me again and this is in continuity to my previous blog…of course what else.
I got quite few comments from across the world. That’s amazing and quite a lot of suggestions and ideas too … highly appreciated. I am just filtering in my head ( I have one ) the ideas and the suggestions but first thank you all.
I wrote about me at the About Me section but I understand nobody is able to see it…mystery…don’t know why? Some settings issues? Who can help?
Well this is Prantik and that’s the name , covered 50 summers or winters if you like , located in India…no need of the GPS and google maps, pursuing my vocation in the Insurance Industry and new absolutely new to blogging…well one blog old.
We left at the Oasis and the dance of dragons and we pick up the threads from there.
Long Long ago —well not so long ago ie in 1995, 1996 I would travel to office in a chartered bus. Let me tell you all about what a Chartered bus is about in the city of Kolkata in India. Here various office goers more or less in the same route get together and hire a bus for commuting to and from the office and run it on their own usually without any profit.
Therefore the bus is hired more or less on a wet lease along with the driver and helper at a monthly rental and then a pool of office goers is created . These office goers are given membership passes on an annual or monthly basis and they can then avail this bus to commute to and fro from office and the bus plies on a specified route. These chartered buses are fun as the bunch of people from diverse organisations get together, get to know each other, become friendly and so on. This group usually also has its own outings, picnics and so on…..
However this is not about the concept of the Chartered bus but about the work place, the pains , travails and joys and the oasis.
On my way back from office I would usually sit on one of the front seats just behind the front door. At the door would stand a youngish looking lad maybe in his late twenties and he was the helper of the bus. The job of such helpers is to announce the route of the bus, help people get in and usher them in, announce the next stop, give directions to the driver as to slow down or stop if a passenger so desired. A very tedious and difficult job for all practical purposes and specially during the hot and humid days of summer when the relative humidity would be as close to 99% and the temperatures touching or even crossing 40 deg C..
Owing to my seating position at the bus I would keep chatting a bit with this boy. He came from a poor family , was a graduate and was on the look out for a better job. However I observed that he had a very lively attitude, a 24X7 smile , cheerful demeanour and every one in the bus liked him. Many a times when the bus would ply atfull speed he would just hold the handle, stand at the door and sing some song or other in not to bad a voice. Over a period of time he knew everyone of us by name and also knew the stop at which we would get down and he would call us quite in advance by name before the stop came. He would ask us about our family and well being and if you happened to be absent on a particular day he would remember to check on you if everything was okay. He was the live wire of the bus. Many of our fellow office goers who would leave the bus due to change of jobs and thereby a change of route would miss him and once a while take a detour to catch this bus of ours just to meet him.
We couldn’t do much for this boy except giving him small gifts and sweets on occasions, invite him to our bus member picnic and so on and he would always be the live wire with the added caution of not crossing his limits at any point of time.
The fact that I can recall him and talk and write about him even after twenty years is a case in point. I am not in touch with him and do not have his whereabouts but the thought of taking the bus, watching his liveliness ,hear him sing still brings a smile to my lips. He affected my life in a positive way.. Why? How? …………………………………………..
I had asked him once what he enjoyed about such a tough job and he said “ Sir the fact that I know you by name, announce your stop while similarly I know all in the bus and know their stops and the fact that all of you feel so relaxed with the thought that I am there to announce your stop well in advance and the faith you have in me is a great blessing which I a am sure will keep bringing happiness in my life”. He further went on to say “ In my bad days even if five of you pray to God for me I am sure one of your prayers will get answered and that is such a great feeling”. So I asked him what gets you going the job or we the members of the bus. He said “ Sir but for the bus how would I know its members”……………………………….. This second line has been a lingering thought in my mind.
What was it about this boy’s job that kept him happy. The job itself or the other things and the other people that came to him because of the job…..The cause of the because as one of my friends says..
His job was to announce stops, usher in and help bus members and if you were to write his JD what would you write?? The fact that he interacted with all of us in a positive way without fear or favour and we responded back was not part of his JD….so did he exceed his brief? Is it okay to transgress your brief and if yes how and when?
Therefore does the oasis lie not in the job but in the other things that it brings with it? Are we all able to identify these other things?
I will await feed backs again…I want to hear from somebody who has found his / her oasis. I am waiting for their story….Till then..GOD SPEED.


Happy At Work? Not Really?



Doing a job is necessary.You need to earn your bread and perhaps your butter too. For some its just an arduous trek out of sheer necessity, for many its a monotonous humdrum routine. There are a very few who really enjoy it and even fewer who go to sleep with the ecstatic feeling of going back to the office yet again , come tomorrow.

So whats the deterrent……The Boss, the nature of work which is not to the liking of the employee, the fear of faliure, the environment, the inability to speak out , the office politics, lack of democracy and transparency and what not. In the world stage of today there are more job seekers than jobs available so there is a chase for something in which one could lose out or settle for something lower and maybe meaner than what one was aiming for…Therefore you start with a compromise and more often than not live with the compromise for your entire career.

The aim dies a natural death and often visions of what would have been had you been so and so and so and so haunt…Once you have been forced to settle with the plain vanilla your want for the other exotic flaovours dies and the routine of the plain vanilla takes up your time.

So what does one do. Well good question the answer to which has been elusive. Some have broken free to chase their dreams while most have reconciled to the quick sand of forbidden dreams.

But then like the wary desert traveller with the camel as his companion one has to look for an oasis and with some perseverance, patience, strong resolution and never give up Mantra one can find it. The Oasis brings in the much needed relief and a vision which could still look bizzare and improbable but not impossible. Impossible is nothing they say…….Where is this oasis at the work place? How do you find this Oasis? How can you pursue the effort to finding this Oasis? What do you expect this Oasis to be? Once you find it what next?

Hold on. We will talk abou this later while all those who happen to read this can make this interactive for me by telling what their perception of this Oasis is. Better still it would be nice to locate someone who has found this Oasis. What did it mean to him? What did it lead to?

Look this is not about breaking free and the dance of the dragons. It is about bringing back the dream bit by bit into the desert where you thought you had lost your way.

C YA Soon.