Saturday, March 31, 2007

I...Me...My Accomplishments

An attempt to feel good about MYSELF!

I always found it very difficult to talk about my accomplishments and talents. I am sure many of you also feel the same. I attribute it to our Indian culture "SAMSKARA" which teaches us not to boast about ourselves. In typical local lingo "SELF DABBA" is not appreciated.

I assume, that most of us want others to talk about our accomplishments. It is music to our ears. but when a person talks about himself/herself , it is noise, isn't it? And we do not appreciate "that behaviour".

Of course, some people overdo it; that makes it very irritable and painful for the listener. We usually refer to them as MAHA SUTTI (Big Hammer). Anyway I leave this topic for some other day.

Since childhood most of us were taught by our parents not to comment or voice opinions when elders were talking or words like "I did this or that" connoted self centered character. But as I grew up and faced the real life challenges in this big, bad and competitive world, I experienced some conflicting emotions with regard to "Speaking about MYSELF", and words like" Is it O.K to do so?", lingered in my mind.

Encountering day to day experiences, some challenging and some drab, I gradually realized the importance of "speaking about one's self", its powerful impact, especially in the world of work.

Being a psychologist and also having been an educational adviser on foreign education, I have the opportunity to interact with people from different countries, namely the Americans, Australians, Canadians and last but not the least, our own Indians here and NRI s settled abroad. The important lessons I learned during my interactions were, that "if you won't talk about yourself, then nobody will". You have to learn to market yourself, to be heard and for your existence to be acknowledged in your field of work. But to do so, you also need to be well acquainted with your subject or area of expertise. And above all, good networking with professionals, right contacts and being in the right place at the right time, matters a lot in one's so called " Success". It also depends on "What Success means to you?". "Is it Money, Fame, Recognition, Job Satisfaction or anything else?

Each one of us have some hidden talent or the other in us which needs to be tapped, and brought to the fore front.

At different stages in my life, I developed fascination for varied and at times weird things (Hobbies). It ranged from collecting coins, stamps, match boxes, marbles, shells, pebbles, mineral deposits; posters of film stars, cricketers, Tennis players; writing to film stars for their autographed snaps; participating in slogan contests (won 50 packets of CHICKLETS, a set of MONTEX pens, a LIRIL T-Shirt ) making greeting cards; collecting and reading books (had a collection of over 200 MILLS & BOONS ) writing some not-so-successful poems and short stories; painting and drawing cartoons. Phew! a long list indeed.
It was a delightful phase wherein I had good fun. And later, a herculean task disposing all the collected stuff and a heartbreak losing my coins collection and silver souvenirs of different countries, during a major theft in my house (March 2005). This episode, to some extent has made me detached to materialistic things.

I am sharing my experience to convey that our innate talents can be used productively with a little added effort and patience. When I started my career as an educational Counsellor in the year 1993, the concept was very new. It was really tough to keep going and not to change my line of profession. I thank my family for their encouragement. And when I decided to be on my own, I received support from my husband and Mr. A.K. Dasgupta (well known and highly respected librarian in India) and Mr. K.J.Rao ( Statistician and computer specialist); both retired professionals, eager to do their bit for our society's youngsters. We started the advising centre called Educational and Career Information Resource Centre (EdCIRC) in the year 2001. We published a book "Where to go from here?"- A comprehensive guide on educational and career opportunities in India; the first edition was sold out in no time. I am keen to publish the second edition, but lack of funds is a big hurdle, as of now. I received requests from the well known newspaper publications (Deccan Chronicle and The Times of India, Hyderabad Edition) to contribute articles on Careers, Educational counselling, and US education. Therefore my unsuccessful attempts as a kid, to publish short stories in "TINKLE" did not go waste.

I continue to dabble in colours to make bright and lively posters of cartoon characters for my daughter , nieces and my little friends. It is a great stress reliever. My creative talents have been put to very good use for my daughter's school projects , fancy dress competitions, decorations for birthdays and festivals.

Hey, do share your talents with me. Be a sport and talk about "Yourselves"!


Mysorean said...

Blogs are the best tools to speak about oneself. If not explicitly, your opinions and ideas are open to the world for examination. That way without having to speak about yourself, you are saying something to the world that's more valuable than what most people do. That way I love blogging. You get a chance to be what you are and tell the World what you want!

Loved Aditi's photos in this post! :)

Manjula said...

I blogging too.

Kaustubh said...

Yep..self dabba is important. We have these appraisals where we are supposed to do that exact same thing. And I find it a tad uncomfortable at times; I need some more time to get attuned to it. And then, there is always the danger of overdoing it.

However, I find that the best impression is probably delivered when someone else reels off my talents/virtues. That way, my talents get advertised, plus I get to be "humble"! Slightly crooked, I know; but I guess its ok, what say? Of course this won't work in all cases, like my appraisal; there I've got to be the one beating my own drum :(

I was always amazed at your cartooning ability, just so you know. You would probably have made a successful cartoonist. I've read lots of your books, though never your short stories (should I be happy or sad for that? Maybe I should ask Uncle Pai :P). Also, since some of your Mills n Boons are with us now, do you think I should be reading it?

Manjula said...

Hey Kaustubh, Thanks. This time if I come up with a short story,it'll be on my blog for sure :) And M&B s, I wonder if u will enjoy them ? They seem more appealing to a girl in her teens.

Kaustubh said...

Ok. Or you can post some of your old short stories. But maybe you don't want to lose the audience you have gathered at such an early stage :P. Regarding M&B, ok, that's why I asked you.

By the way, isn't there some way by which we can get notified when a comment is posted? Something like what happens on a group: every reply to a mail can get sent to everyone on the group. Of course, here we need to make sure that we don't end up spamming people's inboxes. But I am just wondering if something like that is possible, so we can respond to comments quicker and have a better conversation.

Saurabh said...

Self dabba is tricky business indeed. Think it is more like sitting on a see saw.. When properly coordinated it can be good for everyone.

You also remind us of our latent talent.. here is one piece of poetry that I recently came up with.. for all of us.. for peace.. :

Neither faster nor slow
At my own pace I go
Neither higher nor low
To my own space I go

Found it somewhere below,
My reflection in a flow
Nothing to hide nor show
In my own spirit I glow

Eagerly awaiting those stories..

bellur said...

fantastic to read your achievements. loved those clippings and pics. you sure are a very talented person. keep it up.
best wishes
ps: you are blogrolled

AM I A HINDU? said...

Manjula, through your profession and you are ineed helping a lot of young Indians to achieve their dreams. Please keep up the good job you are doing

M Taher said...

Hello, I came here looking for any pictures of Mr. AK Dasgupta. I wish to post his obit. I am a librarian and knew him from his ASCI days.
More on hearing from you.
Best wishes.