There is no shortcut to love & affection

6 03 2013

Speech given at Entreplexus 5.0 (Bi annual Alumni Meet) welcoming the new Trustees as Board of Governors of EDI Alumni Association.

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, March 2, 2013.

© mihir gajrawala

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

My teachers – Respected Dr. Awasthi and Dr. Shukla, my colleagues Gaurav, Mitul and Rutul, the newly elected BOG members, fellow alumni members and my dear current batch students; Good Evening and Welcome to Entreplexus 5.0.

Today is the day of ‘change’. Today is the day we celebrate ‘change’. Every beautiful flower that blooms to its peak gets its time out in the sun and it gets its time to spread its fragrance in the world around. What also is a fact is that every flower after having spent its time out in the sun, has to decay, has to fall on the ground and become part of the soil, to eventually let a new flower bloom and to let the new flower give its fragrance to the world.

Friends; Change is the law of nature; Change is a fundamental of Universe, Change is divine. We as Trustees of the esteemed EDI Alumni association are glad to have been able to bring this moment of change to you. It is a moment of pride for us to have brought the association to this stage whereby we can ‘handover’; handover the reigns of this dynamic and potent alumni body to a new team of volunteers. We give you a fresh pair of 14 hands and 7 strong willed hearts as care takers of EDI Alumni Association. On behalf of the alma mater I welcome you all on Board.

To have reached here, to be able to do all that we could, let me tell you it was not easy. It was daunting and extremely challenging for us to bring the association at this stage. And I specifically wish to talk about those challenges, particularly to the newly elected team and the young students who would soon be alumni, and warn you that it is not going to be an easy role to play. All the challenges that we have faced and I am sure which you shall face too, can be summed up as follows:

  1. The first challenge that we had to confront was – Accepting our own limitations.

You will pass through a phase where you would feel “maine to itna kiya, usne to kuch nai kiya”, “ye mera kaam nahi, ye mujhse nahi hoga” etc.  So many ideas you will come up with, and realize that it’s not becoming possible to achieve them.  And this would be extremely disheartening. You will have to learn to understand yours and your team’s limitation, and prepare yourself to accept those limitations. Unless you will accept them, you would not be able to function as a team and give value to a public forum like ours.

2. The second challenge to hit you will be – Disillusionment.

Imagine you have done a lot of hardwork, taken a lot of pain, invested your heart and soul in creating some value for the alumni community, and when the day of event turns up, you do not see any participation. When you have to get on stage and talk to empty chairs, it will disillusion you to the core. And it has happened to us quite a few times. I remember as I went back to home, retire on my bed, a tear would roll down my cheek and I would question myself, “What and for whom am I actually working? ; Am I doing the right thing? , Should I continue?” Yes we as a team have experienced such disillusionment, to the maximum magnitude possible; but than we learnt to confront it; overcome it; and the same would be expected of you.

3.  The third and the deadly challenge to face is – Not becoming Bitter.

A voluntary task or for that matter any task that we undertake is bound to have constraints. Environmental and external constraints manifest more and affect greatly in voluntary and part time endeavors.  It is very normal to accuse the constraints and say “isme to kuch nahi ho sakta”, “ye to aisa hi rehne wala hai”, “chhodo hame kya”. Out there in the world there are two set of forces or energies that are trying to enter your system – The bitter forces and the better forces; and it is absolutely upto us to make the choice. At the end of every challenge do you wish to become ‘bitter’ or do you choose to become ‘better’; that choice will decide the course of your life.

Its not that these challenges would show up only once; not at all; we have faced them frequently and adequately during this course of 6 years. We had our moments when we would have thought to ‘give up’. But some how during this journey we learned to overcome this feeling of ‘giving up’. Today I stand before you, and with immense pride I say that inspite of every challenge, we managed to survive, sustain and deliver.

And it was possible for us to overcome these challenges because we are filled with genuine love and affection for this institute, for this education and for the teachers who delivered this education to us. Every brick that you see around, every wall of this complex, we are in love with every bit of this institute; we love the individuals who have graduated from this illustrious institute. That is the reason that every challenge had to lose against our armour of love and affection.

It would be unwise to say that we came along with truck loads of love and affection inside us. It wasn’t as if whenever required we pulled out a bucket full of love and affection from our stock and pour it on our challenges. No, that wasn’t the case.

In our journey we have met such amazing individuals, rare gems, who reinstated this value in us, time and again.

During our initial days in EDIAA office, while we were working on the first Entreplexus, we came across this extraordinary volunteer called YK (Yaduvendra Singh). He along with his amazing team mates from batch 10, likes of Ryan, Minal, Minakshi, Zalak, Trupti showed us the meaning of working with love and affection for the alma mater. As we progressed we met more gems from batch 11. I must mention this amazing lady namely Shuchi Roy, first. Along with her we met Nibha, Sonali, Nikhil, Bhushan, Ashish, Vikrant and likes. This team has resulted in the most impactful Entreplexus till date. There came a time that our interaction with students went down, particulary with batch 12, and we were skeptical about the result of fourth entreplexus. At his juncture we came across Deepak, a rare species in volunteerism who just reconnected us with the batches here and we managed a wonderful event under his leadership. Look I might be missing out on names, but I am sure the people whom I am talking about, know that I am talking about them. Finaly it has brought us to this batch, you guys – the batch 14. And if I were to put it in one line I would say – Entreplexus 5.0 has been made possible by one guys conviction and that is GG (Gaurav Gupta) – the latest find in my collection of priceless gems. Some 8 months back when we first met GG and his team of Raunak, Sonu, Hardik and likes for the first time they made us realize our age. Yeah guys, their spark and enthusiasm proved to us that you guys are not ten years behind but ten years ahead of us. And I must compliment them for it.

This brings us to this one person – who like a tower – has stood by with the association forever. He was there even before we came into office and will remain even after we leave. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Ganapathi. Tears swell up in my eyes, when I think of acknowledging his love and affection for the alumni; an extraordinary human and the greatest support of EDIAA. Today during the morning meeting with the new team, he states to the new team that  “24 x 7 x 365 I am available and you can count on me always”; there’s no one else who would do this for EDIAA.

And friends let me make it clear, that none of these individuals were on board, neither were they remunerated nor were they honoured or named. It is a sheer exhibition of volunteerism fuelled by love and affection for the alma mater. These individuals, Gems as I would prefer to call them, showed us that the only way to fight a challenge –

  • to prevent oneself from getting disheartened,
  • to save oneself from being disillusioned and
  • to control oneself from becoming bitter

is by building genuine love and affection for the purpose in question.

I thank all of these extraordinary individuals for being our guides and showing us the way.

And I strongly believe, without any doubt in my mind that the only way to build great institutions is by cultivating a culture of giving out of love and affection.

I must also tell you that it is easy to learn the tricks of the trade and skills required to get various things done, but remember that there is no short cut to love and affection. It has to be cultivated.

I wish and I pray that you guys, the new team, experience this emotion during your time and tenure.

Thank You.

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One response

8 03 2013
vatsal

Pure thoughts.. from pure heart..

Very apt, clean address, covering passion, people, purpose, perceptions – and all leading to pleasure.. I am sure – the words will pave a way for audience & team who wants to have zeal for ‘better’ tomorrows..

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