Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Work with what you have, not what you want

Like all mothers, my mum was a great cook too.
Or maybe, whatever a mother cooks always tastes great.

Most times, she would dish up amazing curries with whatever was there in the kitchen.
At a time when earnings were barely enough for survival, this meant being inventive.
It meant that her goal was clear.
That there would be good food on the table.
No matter what.

Her recipes were therefor dictated by what was available.
Not what she had to buy.
The peels, the stalks, the extra rice.
Appeared in new forms on our plates.

Life is like that.
Nothing is ideal.

Work is the same.
No mix is  perfect.
And to do things well in a perfect world is hardly challenging.

The skill and leadership lies in taking what we have and turning it around to make it worthwhile.
More than worthwhile.
To make it impactful.

Calls for resourcefulness.
And most importantly, belief and trust.

After all, mother always did this with a smile on her face.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why I love the #Newspaper

My newspaper today is Twitter.
I check  headlines.
Actually headlines come to me as tweets.
Get views.

I also click on publication apps which send automated feeds.
And then there are of course those views and news on Pheed, Facebook and more.

But my morning ritual starts off with opening the front door and picking up the rolled newspaper thrown mechanically by the newspaper boy as he moves from floor to floor.

Most of the time, I barely have time to even open it.
The front page is all I manage.
Before it goes to top the pile stored in the bottom shelf of a cupboard.

We reach out to that shelf many times during the day.
Newspapers are carefully folded out as kitchen shelf covers.
They are covers for my daughter's "rough books".
She also uses them for her home activities, crafts, cutting out shapes.
We carry them for our picnics and eat outs.Spread out on the grass, they serve as mats as well as improvised napkins and plates.
Birthday parties need them for newspaper dances.
Sometimes, in Mumbai, I would carry it as a seat cover in the local train.

My family lovingly wraps pickle and home made jam bottles in them and tuck them in our suitcases when we leave home.
The neighbourhood store does the same instead of using plastic.
The usual words- get me a few newspapers- ring out almost everyday.
In every home.

This goes beyond recycling.
It redefines value.
Value that has gone far beyond the intended usage.

Maybe that's why, long after we read the news on screen, the newspaper boy will still thump the front door.
Every morning.