Experience is a great teacher. As we go along, we gather lots of insights. Some of them are life-changing. And, some of them are infinitesimal… but, by no means are these tiny lessons inconsequential. They carry the potential to transcend our very thoughts at a much deeper level.
With this realization leading me, I set out to record insights that dawn on me both in my profession – Learning Design – and in my life in general … more as a diary than anything else, so I can refer them for myself in future.
My pleasure, of course, would double up if you too find these reflections worthy of your consideration.
Over two decades! And, excitedly counting!
Different terrains… Photography. Radio Jockeying. Production Design. Advertising. Writing. And, now Learning Design. All of these seemingly polaric (but deeply interconnected) experiences have brought about a sublime realization… that all roads lead to a more meaningful destination.
What added zing to the whole journey were those inscrutable plateaus that made me wonder if things were fine. They were. They are.
Recalling Paulo Coelho, when we want to do something meaningful in life, the entire Universe conspires in helping us achieve it. Feels wonderful, this Belief! Or, should I say Faith?
Senior Learning Designer. Learnnovators. Present. Since February 2011.
Performance Consulting! What a great way to ‘concisely explain’ the profile of a Learning Designer!
The role is awesomely exciting because it’s akin to reconnaissance… involving an in-depth understanding of the ‘ground reality’ and getting all conclusive evidences. It doesn’t stop there. Instead, it proceeds further to dig deeper and diagnose the real causes blocking the ‘flow’… with a sole intention to bring about the needed / desired behavioral change in people.
The objective of the entire Learning Design exercise is to see the TG more empowered than they originally were before it all started.
CONTRIBUTION, by that reason, is quite a powerful emotion and I get a tremendous thrill out of it.
Radio Jockey. Western Music Shows. All India Radio. Present. Since October 2011.
It’s rather an incredible experience – watching inanimate objects come alive.
The classic example is the MIC in the studios from where I host my western music shows. The minute I slip into the hot seat and face it, it starts pounding with ‘life’, pulsating with frequencies that are ready to transmit my utterances on air. The broadcasting experience is a live wire that can electrocute if one is unprepared.
And, beyond it, is another live entity… the audience that’s tuned in to ‘connect’. Gathering myself up to successfully communicate with ‘invisible beings’ whose sensibilities I didn’t have any clue about, didn’t come that easily. Many a time, that inexplicable fear overtook me, paralyzing me on my tracks.
But, the sheer experience of being at it for 15 years has brought about a cozy feel that helps me breeze in and out of my shows. With ease.
Account Director. WOC Advertising Enterprize. Chennai. From November 2006 till December 2010.
It all started with the role of Producer for a new private radio channel (courtesy of my association with All India Radio, Chennai). Then, it jumped to Divisional Manager within a couple of months. Six months later… it shifted gears to the role of Account Director for the advertising wing.
As much as the advertising agency went through a tumultuous transition in a short span of time, it gifted me with as many bumpy roller coaster rides I’ve never experienced in life. The rather unusual outing was thrilling nevertheless, for it threw a barrage of learnings at me in quick succession. And, it helped me learn about life as much as it helped me earn insights into advertising and production.
Head, Projects. Envission Communication Private Ltd. Chennai. From September 2005 till November 2006.
This short tenure was a constructive plateau.
It gave me a lot to think about in the good company of Prabodh. A good hearted soul, he shared his insights about life with me. Work-wise, nothing much happened. But, it opened me up to my ignorances and inconsistencies.
And, it became my first step into the real world, far from the fantastic photographic realm that I thrived in so far.
Production Designer. Satyajit Studios. Chennai. From January 2003 till September 2005.
The dead-end I ended up at, after that wild, ecstatic run with my photographic adventures for eight years had a window nevertheless. The blissfully carefree attitude that didn’t really care much about the ‘other’ side of life, transformed into attitude 2.0 – a renewed version that was better equipped to serving a larger cause and a bigger team.
Production designing automobile photography shoots wasn’t just about what I did as a single talent. It was about proactively interacting with innumerable souls to bring about a synergy of energies that coalesced into a great support system for the photographer – and my friend – Satyajit when he set up his camera to capture those beautiful shapes… cars!!
It was a great break alright, but still had that surrealistic feel to it. And, by the very same reason, more was to come. And, I was open to going beyond myself.
Photographer. Chennai. January 1995 till December 2002.
This was a colossal fantasy ride of my life… no strings attached… nothing to work towards, except the HIGH that shot up to the cerebrum whenever I captured those divinely moments on my lenses. The money was just a soft upshot of this addictive engagement whose sole agenda was to excite and elevate… which means, nothing else mattered.
And, the catalyst was Rauf, my philosopher friend and godfather who led me down the heavenly alley that was a stark contrast to those previous five dark years that left me utterly rudderless and adrift in search of that life ‘beacon’.
But then, that’s how Nature conspires. It gets desperate to help me when I get desperate for its help. This was the advent of my spiritual journey.
Here are some of my shots…