Tag Archives: Writing

Want to help your country’s economy? TRAVEL!

Indian economy is in a downturn. Everyone is complaining..

The automobile sector is seeing its worst crisis in 2 decades. If automobiles don’t sell, it not only puts my job at a car manufacturing OEM at risk, but has a cascading effect to hundreds of related industries. The steel, the large chain of vendors and sub-suppliers, sales, marketing, advertising agents, dealers to local garages, accessories, insurances, the indirectly dependant canteen, cleaners, gardeners, drivers, IT, so much so that even fuel station workers will lose their jobs. Why am I telling you this? I am no economist, I am no business man, I am no social activist…. I am a Travel blogger and influencer. So why this rant???, one may ask! It is because I want all of you to travel! Explore! Contribute your tiny bit to help our country’s economy.. by TRAVELLING!

It was a causal conversation with a colleague when we discussed about a meeting of his with one of the top management members of a vendor company, a septuagenerian with over 40 years of experience in the automobile industry.. 4 decades..!! From the day of tariff commissioning to date where it is more about survival than competition in the industry, he’s probably seen the entire cycle of the “Auto revolution” in India.. His experience and insights were commendable! Most of his qualms with the strategies to boost the sector was to do with the Indian mindset in general. Here is a brief of his insights into what can be done and further elaboration with my own thoughts based on my experience of Thai culture during my maiden trip outside of India!

We Indians have been raised with a mindset to save money. Stash up either in cash or in gold. By doing so, we are pausing the currency from circulation. A country needs monetary circulation for the economy to sustain. There should be buying and selling, both. One way to do that is to travel.

Ofcourse, there is an endless list of intangible benefits of travelling. From strengthening existing relationships to creating newer contacts, from exposing newer cultures and landscapes to trying new food and meeting new people, travel teaches newer lessons everytime you step out. But the tangible benefit it reflects is that by helping the economy.

Let us start from planning your trip. You browse! So many people out there make up the content on the internet, develop softwares, manage them.. Agents for all your booking needs.. There is a whole lot of people working behind the scenes.

Okay, now you have a plan sorted and are stepping outside your house. You either drive your own car or use public transport. You are in the process, using your automobile.
1. This automobile would need to run. So, you go to a fuel station.
2. Either before, during or after the travel, this mode of transport would need a checkup- you visit a service station.
3. You get some funky accessories for your car/bike if you are using your own mode of transport, or the owner/driver does this incase of a public transport.

Now, you decide to take a pitstop on your journey. You have a cup of chai and some biscuits or let us say hot pakoras by the roadside. You just helped a small business flourish! Oh wait, not one business. He in turn buys the biscuits, milk and the ingredients for the pakoras from several other vendors!

Then, assume you have reached destination ‘X’. You dine at a local restaurant. You stay in a hotel or a homestay. You buy souvenirs. You pay entry fees to so many places of visits. Voila! You helped so businesses  survive during your trip. Do you see how many others depend on him for indirect employment?

Now, you tell me, you are not in a mood to travel to a different place. It’s okay! Take your family out for a dinner. Or even better, go shopping. Go to a spa. Go for a walk and eat Pani-puri. Sign up for a course, buy a book, watch a movie. Don’t stash up the money by staying indoors. Go out and do something! Your contribution to the economy is pretty much explained already.

The Thai people are probably the only ones in the world, who spend so much time with family or friends outside their houses. For most of the household don’t even have a functional kitchen. They mostly have food outside,  because not only does that allow them to explore newer restaurants, it also saves them the time spent on cooking and money on setting up and managing a kitchen. Their personal life is healthier than we Indians. Even a country as small as Bhutan, measures not the GDP(Gross Donestic Product) but the GNH (Gross National Happiness) index for the country’s progress.

When there is consumption, there is demand and supply! With that, the currency flows, in and out. Businesses start, grow, flourish and sustain. This empowers them with money. Money allows them to buy an automobile of their own. They start travelling. And one fine day, the poor vehicle grows old. What do you do? You buy a new one. The cycle continues… In the process helping the sustenance of hundreds of jobs and stabilizing the country’s economy at large.

By stepping outside your four walls, you only grow, you learn, you evolve. I make it a point to spend atleast 30% of my earnings on my travel needs. I feel rejuvenated, more confident and mentally sound every time I get NEW air away from home.

What is your take on this view point?

 

Traveling the Toyota Way- 4 things I learnt

Toyota is a brand that the world recognizes for high quality standards. The Toyota Way of doing things is something that the rest of the world still fails to match. These 7+ years of my incredible journey with Toyota may have helped me grow personally and professionally, but here are four key things that I always associate my travel sojourns with.

4. Nemawashi: is the process of discussing problems and consensus building on potential solutions. This will allow to collect ideas of those involved in the event and get agreement on a way forward. I don’t mean that you need to get consensus from many people on your travel plan, but what I mean to say is- Discuss, Talk more to real people! Instead of depending on internet for information(Which are many a times paid articles for promotions), Talk to different people. While you are planning- talk to people who have been there before and take their experience based opinions; while you are on the road- talk to the localites and take their suggestions. You will eventually end up doing, eating, exploring something new and that’s unknown to most people. This way, you can create your own experience based stories.

3. Yokoten: This is something I have been hearing day-in and day-out. Toyota believes in documentation and standardisation of best practices so that these can be used as references by others. Yokoten means to copy/implement good practices from one process to all other similar processes. Also, I guess talking to other travelers let’s you pick and decide what’s good and bad for you during your travel. So I guess, that’s what I have been doing through documentation of my travel stories in my blogs.

2. KeshiGomi: It literally translates to ‘Eraser’ in Japanese. But what they use this for is quite relatable for a traveler. Japanese are strong followers of the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) in all things that they do. As an important part of their planning, they always make a ‘KeshiGomi sheet’ which is a simple ‘things-to-do list’. Keshi here refers to striking off the activity after it is completed for better visualization of activity status. So, how is this related to a traveler, you may ask??? So that’s where I call it a ‘Bucket List’. Its always good to have a bucket list of places you want to see and things you want to do. Whether it is accomplished or not comes second, but it is a great motivation to chase those things!

1. GenchiGembutsu: Literally translates to ‘Go & see’. One of the most important rules that the Japanese follow is to go to the place and understand the case by self rather than depending on facts narrated by others. The facts may be moderated or altered when it is passed from one person to another and is usually based on somebody else’s perception. So stop imagining about how a place could look and get your bums out of that couch, go travel and experience it all firsthand!

Do you have any such weird places from where you derive inspirations? Let me know through the comments below.

My First job at the Hospital

<14-Sept-11>

I’m on the mezanine floor…. 

A cap whose colour is forgotten behind the thick layer of oil & grease, a pair of knitted white gloves which now look like dark leather ones with the dirt, black heavy leather shoes with metal cover for the toes, newly introduced punk looking helmets which make me look like a cyclist, arm covers, wrist guards, goggles- the deep sea diving types…. These are my safety gears at work… and I’m all set for some action..!!!

I’m told that there’s some problem with the shoulder joints(the front door hinges) and he needs a physio- so I ripped both the hands(the front doors) apart..  His eyes (headlamps) were flickering.. And I checked for some electric signals that the brain sent across.. The MIL was glowing.. So I removed the eyes out of the skull. Even then, the MIL was on. Now it was time to pull out the nose and dig deep into the nostrils (the hood and everything under). Then, the spine (the steering column) came out. Now it was time to shave the head off (the IP panel covers) and I directly pulled out all the nerves (wiring harness) I could catch in a grab. The signals continued… I removed the medulla (immobilizer ECU), cerebrum (theft warning ECU), cerebellum (injector drivers) and the current still continued to flow.. I have removed out every possible source of these signals and now I know the source is “the Master Control- The engine ECU”. It’s in my hand now. Yes the blinking has stopped.

My job doesn’t end there. Infact, it starts only now..  So there I am.. Investigating which Nephron (circuit on the PCB) lead to this current outburst.. I broke open a few capacitors, relays, resistors were already ripped apart.. and finally found the culprit… unbelievable but true- a tiny ant had pee-d on one of the soldered circuits which lead to rust which in turn lead to malfunction of the brain. Hmm…

But my work continues… I will now send the part to the supplier(literally..!!) and follow up with him to identify the root cause and take countermeasure on priority..!!!

OKAY…!!! So I’m Dr. Neurologist here… I work with the brain(ECU) and nerves(all electrical and body parts)

But there is a cardiologist too.. My colleague-friend: He treats all heart related ailments (Engines).

And there’s an orthopaedician too- he treats the limbs (the chassis, suspension systems etc.)

We are the soldiers guarding the Siachen border- We have complete freedom to rip a person apart- part by part and win accolades for it.. Destruction gives us all a complete sense of accomplishment.

We are rarely idle- but when we think we are, we put back everything and go for a long drive.

And then, we are back for yet another postmortem..!!

Fortuner-3_0
One of my patients- during the regular check up on the test track

Ofcourse, I have MUCH better pictures of my patients going through even worse treatments.. But, I had to rely on this internet photo for confidential policies 🙂 Picture courtesy: Google images

My 1st article at the Creative writing class

<Dated: 09-Jul-2011>

After I was done with my engineering, I had few months to spend before I had to report to my job.

So, I was keen on joining some creative writing/ journalism classes and try my hands at working for media (part time). And what better place than my almamater (Mount Carmel College)..!!! just being around this place gives a boost to my energy..

So, I joined the extra credit course in CREATIVE WRITING at MCC…  Here is one of my first articles after which our teacher : Ms.Rachna Chabria was supposed to decide each student’s skill level. We were asked to write about ‘A place where there is a lot of movement in characters” . Some wrote about a wedding they last attended, some chose to narrate a market scene, some a village fair so on and so forth… So here is my 1st article at the creative writing class …..

It is a scene of me sitting in Raja’s seat all alone, early in the morning at around 5.30.a.m.

The sun was not out yet. I found a nice place on a small patch of well maintained lawn. I could feel the moisture of the cold dew drops on my feet and my palms as I tried to support my body to sit on the lawn to get a nice view of the sunrise. It was a much needed- a very peaceful morning.

I could see layers of clouds of different shades overlapping each other which seemed to be neverending, covering up the far away mountains. The sun was slowly rising up and the first few rays passed from in-between the leaves of the tree that stood beside me and illuminated the drops on the grass underneath, which glittered like small diamonds embedded on stalks made of jade.

My senses were pleased as the fragrance of the blooming flowers had filled in the air. I felt the cold breeze flow past my cheeks which reminded me of floating in heaven: like a typical Bollywood scene. As the wind blew, the mist that had covered the mountains, started to clear out slowly. I could hear the chirping of the birds which were leaving their homes for the day’s task.

My sight deviated to some kind of a small pressure that I felt on my bare feet. It was a bright yellow coloured flower with some purple streaks and red polka dots. I put my hand across to pluck this flower and to my surprise, it flew away to sit on a real flower next to me.

I was suddenly disturbed by loud pounding sounds made by the shoes of the joggers who entered this nature’s fully packed activity zone. I was afraid my thoughts would be disturbed by the increasing number of visitors and so, I decided to head back home.

I was appreciated for the one above and it felt nice to have a hit in your first attempt 😉

Unfortunately, two days later I got a call from my current employer asking me to join his firm after a week. It was a very depressing moment for me and I had to leave my course half way- na… quarter way.. with a heavy heart 😥

Some photos clicked in the evening at the same place are added below. I bet- the morning scene is one that your eyes will always behold..!!

13)
Raja’s seat @ sunset time

Raja's seat (5)