The fear of life

Changes happen everyday, everywhere and with loads of people. It therefore isn’t really a huge deal to talk about change.
But it is.

I am not talking about changes in the minor regularities of life. Well done if you found a new brand of milk to drink everyday, or got a car you were dreaming to get since you were a kid.
I am talking about changes in humans around you. Changes in the places you see everyday. Changes in the way you connect in life. Changes at your desk where you work.

Time was not money then. Nobody measured productivity by correlating it with measurable output. A productive day was a couple of lines of worldly wisdom, each of my most accomplished friends had to share. A time when I could just get up, walk ten steps, take a turn, enter a person’s room who was in no mood to host me. Pick him up. Walk another ten step, enter another room where a person was already hosting someone unwanted, and spend the entire day just whiling away.

Hustle was not working on three systems. It was not managing your project, your boss and yourself. Hustle was filling water at 4:00 AM in the morning, so that when you, along with the comrades woke up at noon, for lunch, at 40 deg C and no electricity, everyone would have enough fluids to walk to the mess and have food.

Disruption was not a breakthrough code to make image recognition and speech inputs easier. It was working together, in coordination, in the most efficient manner to get notes photocopied, learning only that was required in the 3 hours of the hackathon that (at least me and my most wonderfully intelligent friends) never won. The prize that we craved – being eligible to be able to participate in the next semester’s competition.

Lean was mastered in the first few months of getting together. And was religiously practiced in those days. Bags capable of handling only 10 chip packets could now hold 20 along with some biscuits and face washes. Buckets for bathing were not all bought at once, so that on each trip there was enough space to carry products for everyone. Only one set of books were bought per semester to save paper and environment. New notebooks however were always in place to make notes, but pens were never around. So they were cut down from shopping lists later (instead of pens being bought).

Hierarchy was always changing. One good test and you had the responsibility of teaching the subject to the whole team, in a manner that even a new joinee (a person who actually heard about the subject hours before the exam) could comprehend and successfully reproduce. This responsibility was taken very seriously or else you had to do it all alone and we all know how important team work is. With a great leader.

It was a perfectly profitable enterprise, no working CEO, all equal share-holders and perfectly divided assets among everyone. Equal opportunity with high regard to sustainable growth was successfully managed. (given that no-one, absolutely no one could improve even one point on the CG scale from year one, until those A grades from project type courses arrived in the last year).

We produced more than we could consume. We easily broke through the yearly targets (simply because there were none). No leave was unpaid. No approvals pending. No dues were cleared,(simply because no books were kept). We all carry them with us, will carry them forever.

It was an efficient system, built to last forever.

No one was fired.

Everyone had to resign.

Only change happened. And that is my fear of life.

Thanking all my friends from the class of 2018/19 who worked with me during the most successful operation in the history, ever recorded.


SST View All →

A graduate from BITS Pilani, class of 2019, I am currently working as a Product Manager at Flipkart. I like to write about things that get stuck in my head. By writing I make sure everyone knows what absurd thoughts I have :P Thanks for visiting.

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