That’s the conundrum that we started with. We did not really know where exactly we were going, although metaphorically it came to be known as Tirupathi; just because the leader of our pack had a new car and went to this temple-town the previous day we met talking about where we needed to go. The vision looked great, appealing, mesmerizing and intoxicating. Its like taking the whole ship traversing south (pun intended) and to known destination with all the known resources needed to take it there and having those resources in abundance; and trying to steer it North; just because a group of people (or one) had (seemingly stupid at that time) illusory visions that South isn’t good enough. It was tough, tough, tough and if you can imagine, tougher than tough. The big problem with such a vision is when you are doing something that is out of sync with rest of the eco-system and mental make-up of this eco-system, the journey also involves changing this eco-system, atleast at touch points that impact you; so, now through the journey you have an heavier baggage to carry; In our own context, not only we needed to keep moving in a direction that we thought was correct, we needed to continuously slow-down, retreat and bring (and sometimes carry) more into going directionally north. We were in a grueling cross-country marathon, but were under-prepared and under-equipped; and as fit as an obese couch-potato. Yes, the vision looked great, appealing, mesmerizing and intoxicating and all that; but it was also bloody all-consuming and pervading – both physically and emotionally and both professionally and personally.
Some three years later, now we seem to have arrived – with the conviction in the vision as our compass; The past month, pieces have been falling quietly; I know we have arrived at the suburbs, I can see contours of buildings, semblance of order; I’ve further tangibility on what our goal is; I can clearly see the color of the goal (its not red, gold and green, simple black and white with shades of grey J…) I understand and internalize the enormity of the size, and I can see the fuzzy shape morphing into something definite. I believe those are distinct colors and definite contours are that of our vision, our dreams. I look back at the path we have come, it no longer seems strewn with thorny bushes and stones and an unseen path that we thought we were going on. I can now clearly see the path that we took; it wasn’t straight and the easiest and the shortest route all the time; the different vectors have resolved up into a significant force in one single direction – true North; seemingly opposite vectors have taught us where not to go the next time; I saw places where we have stumbled and fallen badly; but the force was with us – we have picked ourselves up, bruised but now experienced; I see the past path strewn with experiences and as an organization new capabilities; We seem to have gathered enough people on the way, who are now willing us to reach that goal; some of them are providing us with the water-stations for this cross-country marathon; some of them have cheering us on and are giving us the experience that we sorely lack; I see someone else that I did not know earlier from some other organization joining our race – he is the coach that I could not have afforded otherwise; now he is coaching us for free. This now has become a reverse marathon – fewer people at the start; more at the finish!!
We are tantalizing close – maybe this is it; we don’t know what is in store for us… Is this the final destination or merely a resting place for us to go on? Is this the Tirupathi that we started for? Are we there? Perhaps, we will know in a couple of units-of-time… I’m reasonably confident that we are there, I see all signs of it – we just need to keep going; We will definitely know when we have arrived; and arrive we will.
I pause – as I introspect, I wonder if it is still Tirupathi that I, as an individual, wanted to go? Is there an ennui that’s around the corner that will set in? Will I actually enjoy reaching the destination or will it be a let-down? Is my pot-of-gold, the destination or the thrill of traversing the path unknown and discovering the space around me and space within me? Time will tell, I suppose.