Coffee with the ‘Fab’ behind Fabindia

Like every other time, I was walking in Fabindia’s outlet in Connaught Place when I got stuck at what was written on the cover of a green colored book which said, “Making India Work”. This is 2 months ago. There was something about the statement that wasn’t allowing me to move ahead; the possibility sounded huge. I purchased the book that evening.

I have been this crazy Fabindia lover who would go to their outlet once in a while to smell the freshness that their stores withhold, the vibrant colors, the stories of a million artisans it communicates and for the celebration of what India is about. People who know me would call me a brand ambassador only! And so I wanted to meet the man himself – to experience who he is, to travel through his stories about India, to witness how he has created a blend of profitable business and a societal impact, and a lot more.

While reading “Making India work”, I could not stop myself any longer. It took me some time and a few extra actions to find his connect and I wrote to him. I told him what I love about them, why I want to meet them and why he should meet me. I poured my heart out in that mail. And just like we wake up after a sloshed night, I was sure that was all in excitement and I will never get a response. And the life continued the way it did.

A few days later, I get a reply from his assistant asking about who I am and why I want to meet him. Why would he meet me, I thought? Gathering my excitement, I distinguished and wrote back. And I told him everything I wanted to say. 14 days later, I was in class when I received an email that said, “Sir would love to meet you. Can you come to our office over lunch on 9th Sept.?” My happiness knew no bounds.

And here I was, right in front of their office at 12:30pm, exactly half an hour before the scheduled time. As I move in, I see a huge charkha on left, a very simple and elegant looking office, colorful pictures and quotations on hand made papers and some bright shining people. I was called inside his cabin after 10min. As I was moving in, an old lady with a broad smile greeted me and guided me to sir’s cabin. And what followed will remain with me forever.

As I moved in, a tall, young looking man welcomed me with a broadest possible smile. Yes, that was him! The table was laid in front of us with cutlery when he opens a very Indian tiffin packed from his home. The simplicity of food and the very thought of getting food from home for us set a lot of things in place. As we started talking, we talked about my family, my passion, Fabindia, Fabindia’s visions, Indian politics and it took him just a few seconds to make me be at home. Such tasty food, amazing coffee and wonderful chocolates I had! He would suddenly get up in excitement; put forward his radical thoughts on how we can actually make India work and sit down again. The charisma, the sparkle in his eyes and the purity in his smile said a lot of things. He was listening to me as if I am the only person he is interested in listening to and he said what he said with equal authority. This wasn’t a usual meeting. He has given project to work on till we meet next.

From being humble enough to respond to my mail and calling me over lunch, to getting lunch packed from home, from the wonderful conversations we had  to him knowing my past on fingertips from what I had shared in mail, from the excitement he carried to share to the simplicity with which he would put his radical thoughts, from the vibrancy of colors at the minutest of places to the smiling faces all around starting from the bhaiya at reception to every employee, I was mesmerized. No wonder Fabindia is what it is!

This one experience has broken multiple barriers for me today. So put off all the reasons and create what you want, take that extra action that produces results, say what your heart says, and do what you believe in; for life does exist in language and life is too short to live with “What if I did?!”!

Responsibility I am taking on:

Taking away the struggle of individual survival from people and giving them an opportunity to create their self expression in work. Inclusive growth is the possibility.”

The thought is, when there are so many people in the world and there are enough resources for each, why do people have to struggle for individual survival?

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The Beauty of it…

After spending an year in Delhi, I thought to reflect on how big my life is turning out to be, and so it was…

The Journey is indeed beautiful.  It’s not about years that have gone. It’s not even about years to come. Yes, it’s about the people who have made a difference in my life, it’s about the smiles that have made my days, it’s about the mountains that asks me to stand for what is right, it’s about the birds that asks me fly, it’s about the sky that tells me to paint whatever I want on the canvas of my life, it’s about the rainbows that inspires me to fill my life with all the possible colors. Yeah, it’s about those small- little and yet so powerful tools I would say that make my life ‘Big’.

I wouldn’t say that I have learned to overcome failures, but yes, I have surely learned to fight them back. I wouldn’t say that I love everybody around, but yes, but I have learned to give love, without letting that ‘I don’t like’ thing come in between. I wouldn’t say I no longer fall and fail, but yes, I know how to stand and give it a try again. I wouldn’t even say that whatever I get in my life empowers me, but yes, I have learned what to choose and let go the other things, without affecting the beauty of it.

At the point of time, I may not seem to have achieved whatever I wanted, but I know it will be mine, sooner or later. I may not be the one I wanted to be, but I am sure, the new me I invent and reinvent everyday will make sure I become the one. I don’t say that life has given me everything, nor do I say that it hasn’t given me anything, but yes, whatever and whoever it has given me is so perfect that the canvas of my life would remain incomplete even if one were to be taken away.

Cheers to the world of possibilities that is created. Cheers to whoever and whatever has contributed in making my life the way it is. Cheers. 🙂

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There is just too much that time can not erase…

With entire life in front of me, scary for how quick it has changed, satisfying for whom I have grown up into, here I am, sitting in an empty room surrounded by all sorts of ‘reminders’. The photo albums, the pictures/videos in the laptop, the greeting cards, the letters. Some saved messages too.

When I say reminders, some reminding me of all the people I have grown up with, some I wanted to grow up with, some people that time has left behind, while others who I did. Reminders of the moments of joy that made me realize how beautiful the life was, while others of the not-so-easy times.

The old ones. Some family pictures, some portfolios too (:D). Some assuring me that I have grown up in the finest of hands while others reminding me how big a cry baby I was (No I’m not!), some with the sketch pen drawings trying to hide something (:P), while others with strange looking kid in sari and skirt(Yeah embarrassing enough, it was I :D). And there I was, holding my stomach, literally ROFL(ing), with teary eyes and  a happy heart holding all the memories, strong enough not letting even a single one of them slip.

And then that strange picture, strange not because it had some new faces but because I saw it for the first time(I have no idea how!) and then all I remember was a question-are round, some weird questions followed by an old man quoting my parents “You have a really naughty son!”.  There I was, grown enough to enter a school. And the only few pictures I have from the school chapter are of two young smart (:P) kids in school uniform, bag on shoulder and water bottle in hand, a few of the dressed up children on stage(oh God! They really make you dress up in weird costumes and make-up on face :D). No-no don’t get me wrong, I never really had an issue with that because what mattered to me was being on stage (:D), a few of the class picnics and some with the trophies won. Some old greeting cards and some friendship bands too. But the most treasured one is that of the investiture ceremony. It wasn’t just a badge on shoulder and a flag in hand. It wasn’t even about being the school leader. For me it was an opportunity to add dimensions to myself, an opportunity to create something that I didn’t know about myself and I am glad I never missed even a single one of them. (Yeah I don’t have to get that emotional at all. :D).

And then there was this huge stack of photographs, 20GB of pics in the laptop, about 12 videos, a few greeting cards, a letter, a scrapbook(the most beautiful one) and many saved messages, enough to assure me of the big life I have.  It is like hidden cameras everywhere (So I always carried my ‘ting’ vala smile to look good :D). Call me self-obsessed for I don’t care. I am treasuring memories of ‘the 3 most beautiful years of my life. The weirdest of poses that I can pose, running after the camera vala friend to get a ‘DP’, getting clicked with almost ‘everybody’, crying(not literally) for the bad pictures and boosting the good ones as if nobody can look better( :D), experimenting with the looks(for this is the only time) and what not!

There’s just too much that time can’t erase…

And now having lived all that, I realize I am all that I once wanted to be.
Clearly, to all those who have known me since school, I am not who I was(to an extent that a few of my classmates refuse to know me :D) but clearly, to me, I am all that I wanted to be. I have stronger relationships, much better communication skills, independence,  confidence, maturity and most important to me, patience to keep giving love even without getting at times. And having all this, I am sure I’ll be all that I now want to be. 🙂Image