music Pune Society

Teenagers, Respect and Indian Classical Music

Three years ago, I and Dakshayani were quite frustrated this time of the year. Very enthusiastically, we had appointed 3 teachers under Baithak Foundation to teach at our three partner schools. This was a very concrete step to take Indian Classical Music to kids from underprivileged backgrounds. 

Through lot of ground work in the communities across Pune, sadly, we learnt that Honey Singh was the only ‘classical’ singer our next generations had heard of along with an ‘old lady’ called Lata Mangeshkar. 

What can be done to introduce our kids to our rich heritage? We always wondered. 

“Shall we appoint teachers to teach music in the schools?” Was the first idea that came to our mind. 

Since funding was not a constraint at that point, we started interview processes and also started creating a curriculum which could be taught in the schools. Our enthusiasm took a serious blow when we got to know the teaching skills of practicing young musicians. 

“We will train them” we were determined. 

After the recruitment, with initial training, we let the teachers go into the classrooms. The model was devised in such a way that all the grades would have two music classes every week in which we would talk about how music originated, types of instruments, some basic concepts like Swar, Taal, Lay, Raag etc. Initially both I and Dakshayani would attend the classes to give feedback to teachers and course-correct. We would often conduct informal meetings as well as well curated trainings for these teachers. 

Teachers often complained of discipline issues in the class rooms. One of the major complaint they had was lack of respect. 

“When I take classes at my home, the collector’s son comes and learns from me. He touches my feet every time he comes. These kids do not even know basic manners.” Said one of them, oldest by experience and age. 

We would also have meetings with the school staff and would request their intervention in the classes so that they went on smoothly. 

In spite of all this, just within three months, we saw resignation from the first teacher floating in our inbox.   

“I know your intentions are good; but these kids can never learn our music because they don’t know how to respect.” Said the same teacher whose relationship with kids had almost become hostile by then. 

We accepted the resignation and thought of finding a replacement. Before we could do that, came the second resignation. The program at third school was halted because of multiple issues, incompetency of the teacher being prime one. 

In short, our program had miserably failed. It was same feeling a start-up founder would have when his product backfires even though there is plenty of seed funding. 

It was very easy for us to conclude that these kids really do not deserve this kind of music and why force-feed them? This has been the common notion about Indian Classical Music anyways. Many musicians had told us this theory of how this music is meant for the rich- economically and socially. 

In spite of all this, both of us had a feeling that we were doing something wrongly. Instead of blaming it all on the kids, let us carefully examine the flaws in what we were doing.

The very first mistake that we realised was, we forced this music on kids. They had never heard it, never experienced it. So the first correction, we thought our program needed, was eliminating ‘compulsory’ aspect and making the program sign-up based.

The second grave mistake that we were doing was teaching in classroom an art form which was highly experiential. Can we make them experience the art form rather than teaching it in a classroom?

Baithak@Classes program was an outcome of these two learnings. We decided, for first two years, let us just do concerts in the schools for which kids can sign up if they wish to. No one is forced to attend. 

Out of the three schools we were working with, we rolled out @Classes program in two schools. We created nice poster for the first concert and put them in the respective schools. 

As the principal of one school says, “I thought, hardly ten students will sign up. Within one hour, I had fifty sign ups with me. I was surprised.” 

The concert was very well appreciated. We got similar but more engaged audience for all next concerts. 

“We liked Kathak. How can we learn it though?” Getting such questions from students became very common.  

Due to increasing demand from the students, @Classes program was further evolved to include workshops in it. 

After two years of concerts and workshops, Baithak, school and students – all felt thinned for deeper engagement. Everyone thought that we needed regular Art Clubs in school.

This is how The Taalim Project was born. We designed a fellowship program where fellowship was awarded to a musician who would teach a batch of 10-20 kids once a week. 

Acclaimed dancer and Guru, Arundhati Patwardhan joined us as our first fellow and took the bunch of 15 boys and girls under her wings. 

Arundhati Patwardhan in middle of a mesmerising performance at a school in Solapur. This concert was organised in association with Precision Foundation, Solapur.

After teaching these kids for couple of months, Arundhati Tai once proposed – “Can we arrange a small performance of these kids in our institute’s annual event?” 

That moment was truly priceless for all of us! 


Dakshayani was standing in the stage wing of Tilak Smarak Mandir, where Kalavardhini’s annual event was going to happen. Kalavardhini Team was kind enough to give a slot for Arundhati Tai’s students to perform a Vandana. 

The fifteen boys and girls were excited as well as confused; probably it was the very first time they were inside an auditorium; that too with a few hundred connoisseurs waiting to watch their performance. They were all dressed in a particular manner, to which they were not used to. 

The students were nervous, under extreme pressure, in a different air altogether. To everyone’s surprise, without anyone telling them, each of the kids touched Arundhati Tai’s feet before they began their performance!

Students of iTeach Ahilyadev Holkar English Medium School with Arundhati Patwardhan.


The same bunch of kids, which could have been easily labelled as ‘manner-less’ reached a stage where they felt like respecting their teacher. Can respected ever be demanded? Or it has to be earned like Arundhati Tai did through her unmatched commitment towards her kids? 

The kind of ecosystem and patronage in which our music flourished ensured that this respect was always paid; either genuinely our out of force and fear. Now, the situation is very different. The respect must be earned. The process of touching the hearts of young ones and gaining their ‘true’ respect is very beautiful and worth all the efforts involved.   

To know more about Baithak Foundation’s work, visit :


What prevents us from creating a safe and harmonious society?

Social media is full of cries; cries of people like you and me saying that India is no more a safe place to live. The same feeling of fear, insecurity and vulnerability exists among people everywhere, irrespective of the country in which they live. The feeling might exist at different extents; in some countries it would be very explicit whereas in some it would be like a mild flame of distrust and insecurity.

In spite of many governments of different ideologies ruling the country, each following their own steps towards ensuring safety, we are far away from creating a society which is safe and harmonious. Many friends and relatives I met, were horrified by the incident which took place a few days ago, where two young men attacked a girl in the night. We started talking about it and wondering about our own safety after this incident; clearly because it took place in our locality. We suddenly started feeling vulnerable because, the person who was attacked, resembled us. She was from a socio-economic background to which we also belong. Unfortunately, we hardly notice how security and safety of people who belong to a different socio-economic class is at stake, many times by our own actions.

The whole problem of safety and harmony is not solved even after thousands of years of civilisation just because of the fact that we look at ourselves and society from a fragmented point of view.

Let me give some examples.

The area where I live, is one of the fastest growing and probably one of the ‘elite’ localities in Pune. If I open any of the windows of my house, I see tremendous amount of construction going on. The construction labor, their wives and their kids, stay in tin sheds. These shades are highly un-livable. They get unbearably hot in the summers. These workers and their wives bathe in open as they have no toilets and washrooms. They spend their entire day in concrete. All this is going to land them in serious diseases and whatever little money they earn, they will end up spending it on their own health and will certainly have shorter lifespans, full of pain and disease. Is this not breaching someone’s safety? Is safety compromised only when someone attacks you? Don’t we define safety from our own point of view and very easily neglect how safety of so many people is at stake?

There is one more example.

Once a week, I visit one of my clients whose office is very close to my house. So I prefer to walk. When I walked for the first time, I realised how difficult walking on Pune streets has become. When I do not allow pedestrians to cross the road, rather when I see a pedestrian about to cross and overspeed so that he or she does not get to cross before me, am I not abusing someone?

If we open our eyes and look at people around us and the way we behave, we realise that unknowingly, we are spreading so much of violence which gets multiplied and comes back to us.

Imagine you have to spend your entire day in a cab without being able to find a toilet to pee in, what kind of violence and frustration it will build in you.

We have conveniently learnt to live our life in fragmented compartments. We will be very polite, well mannered with people who fall in that compartment. People who are outside that compartment, for us, they become commodities. This builds up disconnect between these compartments which transforms into violence.

The purpose behind writing this post is not justifying the violent acts or simply saying that the humans who do these acts are not responsible for those. What I am saying is, WE ALL are responsible, equally.

Many of us would say that it is responsibility of government to ensure safety and harmony and I am responsible for and should be accountable for my personal life only. This is where the fragmentation begins. I remember, when I was a kid, my family was connected with the family of servants who worked at our house. Their problems were looked at as our problems as well. Many times, when they had emergency, the family supported them. This kind of connect is lacking in the society. I hardly even look at the watchmen who guard our society. Many times, the staffing agencies shift watchmen on daily basis. There is so much of disconnect and indifference that it is foolish to expect harmony.

Stronger law enforcement, prompt punishment, better vigilance will certainly help reduce these issues to some extent. If we truly wish to create a society which is truly peaceful, safe and harmonious, we need to seriously challenge our fragmented views. We need to come out of these compartments, we need to look at human beings as human beings and engage in a relationship which is built on love and trust.


Why do writers write? Something to keep in mind while reading stuff online

Suddenly, writing and publishing have become so easy. Writing something and getting it published was so difficult a few decades ago; and look around now – there are writers, bloggers scattered all around us, all striving for getting eyeballs and attention.

As I observe, if you use any social network, you are bound to stumble upon the writings and posts by many of your friends who regularly write something or the other. Most of the times, these people take up some issue and start writing about it. While everyone has freedom to write and express, whatever we read affects is significantly and hence, while reading on social media and web, one has to keep certain things in mind; just to avoid getting carried away with content which might be highly biased and without any basis.

I have created three broad categories of writers on the web and I am sure, next time you stumble upon any of them, you will be able to gauge the hidden agenda and simply walk away.

Writing to exploit the fear of the reader 

It is highly important to understand why the so-called writer has written a particular post. As I see it, most of the times, people write something to exploit the fear of the readers and they use that fear to make them violent. Look at the posts around – the religion based, caste based fights, arguments based on political agendas- they all try to exploit the fear of the readers and make them act as desired in the vulnerable moments. I can see many of my friends madly arguing about happenings about which they know nothing. Such pieces of writing have a single purpose- make people afraid so that they lose their common sense, become violent and propagate the trash further. Try not to be one of them.

The conditional flattery 

The second type of writing that I see commonly on social media stands very close to organized crime – I call it conditional flattery. In this type of content, one person writes a post to praise someone else who in return writes something to return favor. Authors, political figures, artists, spiritual figures and even brands are doing this so commonly. Do not blindly trust a person praising the other person; you do not know the under currents. Do your own scrutiny and then trust.

Writing out of emptiness and frustration

The third type of content comes out of frustration and emptiness. Many of us see our friends writing on some random topics and getting comments and likes. As a result, we also get tempted to write something, even if we do not have anything to share. In some situations, the inner emptiness, the inner urge to be something forces the writer to write, even if he or she has nothing to write. In this case, writers mostly write false and hypocritical  content- they write about a cause they do not believe in, they post some advise which they have never lived or tested. If you believe in such content and act, it is like one blind following the other. Folks also post content which glorifies themselves and their lives and if you have a comparing mind, you are bound to get depressed soon by reading such content.

I personally avoid random reading on any social networks and web. I know what are the causes and issues I truly care about and if I want to keep myself updated, I take out certain amount of time every week or day to update myself. Random reading on web, that too without understanding the hidden agendas of the writers can prove to be disastrous.


When You Become a ‘Senior’

Being a senior puts a lot of responsibilities and opportunities on your shoulders. Most of the times, we en-cash the opportunities and forget the responsibilities. I experienced similar behavior from some seniors, few weeks ago and thought of sharing something on being a matured senior. One day or the other, all of us will pass the phase of being a junior at the work place and will eventually be a senior. Things shared in this post might be useful then.

Last month, I was invited for a get-together of present and past members of a club, of which once I was a member. I actually was in the middle; quite senior to the organizing batch and yet, quite junior to other seniors who were invited for the event.

The juniors from the present batch were all geared up, trying to make the event a success. They had well-planned the way event should go. But, things actually took a different root. The seniors took charge of the event. They shared their old memories, addressed the juniors, sung couple of poems which they had composed and the event was over.

I was actually disappointed. Being at the middle of the seniority, I could have changed the course of the event but I was rather too amused by what was happening and decided to sit quietly and watch what happens.

Being a senior, I would have loved to listen from the juniors first, instead of telling them our greatness. I had a natural curiosity to understand their thoughts, their idea,

I would have spent 70% of the time to know juniors, their thoughts, ideas and ways in which we could help them to achieve what they wanted. When you get the mic in your hand, it’s very difficult to hand it to someone else and listen to her. But that’s what separates leaders from followers. True leaders always listen to others.

When you are a senior, you have to be empathetic towards the juniors, respect their planning and let them allow to follow it. If anything goes wrong, you can always correct them. When you do not allow your juniors to work on their own, you are taking away an opportunity from them; opportunity to try, test and improve.



Are Our Religious Rituals Just Placebos?

The way science is evolving, is quite interesting to have a look at. Many things, which we were told were useless, are again being proven to be correct. I am afraid to say, religious rituals are probably one of them. Before we actually dig into this stuff, we should first take out a minute to understand what placebo means and what it is all about.

Placebo reminds us of something which does not work, rather gives false hope. For instance, if the doctor is welcoming and not depressing, the chances and speed of recovery are much higher. We might doubt them, but placebos do work. It is also observed that if you give sugar pills to the patient, saying they are medicines, the chances of recovery are higher.

Just for an example, it is observed that making people wait for some time in que, before they actually enter the Disney Land improves the overall satisfaction that user gets out of visiting the Disney Land. So, I learn that Disney Land manipulates the wait times for optimum user satisfaction.

Another example is, wine tastes better in a costlier glass compared to an ordinary glass, and even expert wine tasters experienced this. The difference in taste could not be felt, when the tasters were blind folded.

When a set of people suffering from back pain were treated by acupuncture, all of them reported a drop in pain; whereas only half of them were treated with correct acupuncture.

Placebo means something does work, not because it is capable of doing so, but because we believe it will do the work. For past many days, I am reading a lot about placebo and work of many researchers around placebo.

As scientists discovered more and more ‘real’ medicines, placebo was looked upon as a sham. But, the scientific research shows that placebo does work. Most interestingly, it works even if you believe that it is a placebo.

We may deny it, but placebo is altering our everyday experiences. I would suggest the readers to go through this detailed article, which Seth Godin published on Medium. This will save me from repeating what he has already said and I can move on to the further part (you can also skip reading it, not reading won’t affect your experience of reading this article.).

The whole gist of the above mentioned article is,

  1. Placebos do work, they work more effectively as you move up in Maslow’s pyramid. That means, placebos show more effect when they are about something like self-realization or finding happiness in life than when they are about your basic needs like hunger, sleep, etc.
  2. Physical placebos are much stronger. This means, if you carry out some physical activity, the impact of the placebo will be more. Or as Seth has stated, fake acupuncture will be more effective than sugar pill as some physical activities, i.e. rituals are involved in it.

This pushed me to look at religious rituals in altogether different way.

Imagine, we are living in 10th century, without medicines, amidst of all the uncertainties of nature. And what we have at our rescue, is a placebo, a big placebo, that is, religion. Rituals make placebos even stronger; hence all the rituals i.e. karmakanda.

If after all the scientific experimentation, we agree that placebos work, then we will also have to agree that chanting some Mantra or Stotra can help you to cure fast from certain diseases or remain immune to them.

If you sing a Stotra as it is, the placebo might work; but if you put in some rituals (you wear amber clothes, take bath in the river early morning, eat Prasada etc.) the placebo effect doubles.

Seems our ancestors had much better understanding of how our psyche functions. Placebos not only alter emotions and feelings, but can also introduce actual physical changes, the latest research says.

It is good to practice some placebos on personal level, if they help you to lead a better life. But, one has to remember that a placebo is just a placebo.

I am not in favor of promoting Karmakanda because the benefits caused are little compared to the evil it creates. At the same time, the problem with us humans is, over the period, the placebo will become more important than the human beings for whom it is we will start killing each other to preserve the placebo. This happened with religions. Religions, as they say, are for human beings; over the ages, human beings are being killed over religion.

I certainly believe that on personal level, these placebos might help; only one has to remember that placebo is just a placebo; nothing more than that.






The Hope – with Bernie

Recently following the Presidential campaign in US has been both devastating and alluring. We in India are used to political campaigns which mostly run on emotions (mostly false), attachments and associations (mostly untrue) and a whole gamut of drama in the name of equality, freedom and secularism. Reading articles, watching campaign videos and Democratic debates was devastating for a particular reason. These campaign has shown me how US (no matter declared and believed to be developed) has so much gross inequality. I have also been disappointed to see how politicians in US are more articulate than their Indian counterparts but are involved in ‘cognitive corruption’. US citizens will definitely be in a better position than me to furnish the details and the right side of the picture of various politicians/candidates; however one thing has changed the way I see hope. Amidst the pessimistic and pseudo centrist ideologies this campaign definitely raises hope for a radical change.BernieSanders-WallStBernie Sanders, the longest serving independent in congressional history speaks about change in the manner iconically different from his competitors. His proposals for change seem impractical to some but  to some they are hope. He is though not running a campaign on delusional promises or hate speeches. He is running the campaign on the strength of his character, imagination and experience. While the popular media is already leaning on the side of Hillary and declaring a win for her, Sanders is still running the race because he practically has chances to win the nomination. It has been a long time, that I had not heard a honest political voice and here it is in 2016 fighting for the middle and the low class. Listening to his speeches gives you a hope that honesty and candid expressions are worth all the cost that they may have as they surely yield you great satisfaction is doing the right rather than doing it diplomatically.

To all  those who have not heard about him and have not hear him speak; please search for him or you may miss some honest words from a man of mettle.


Corporate Philosophy Society Uncategorized

Center of Decentralization

We speak about decentralization and empowering multiple stake holders to enhance impact of any kind of work that we plan to do. We may be working in an office or in a village on a project. We keep saying that we need people to own processes, outcomes and impact. We also often find it difficult to let go of the control as we are not sure if everyone else will work with same efficiency, same intentions, same approach as we have. We are also often unsure of the pace at which the project will move forward and are skeptical if decentralization will help us be time bound and professional. Our political system also speaks highly about decentralization but fails to accept it truly because of the same reasons. We all know what really keeps us away from decentralization but we have hardly tried to understand what makes decentralization the key to sustainability.

Almost no roads...
Tough terrain does not stop Rajwadi from dreaming.

Being at Rajwadi has helped me identify the center of decentralization. Rajwadi, a small village in Ratnagiri district of the Maharashtra state functions on decentralization. You find that there is no one person in-charge of any work in the village. Many people take lead and anchor various projects but the village has many faces. Every decision is taken mutually after discussion. Every project is implemented after consensus and debate. You will be able to find many leaders and many followers. You will be able to find many thinking souls with opinions which are debated and discarded but always valued.
Examples like Rajwadi are not miracles which happen in split seconds; there is always a long list of mindful actions behind such system. What makes Rajwadi projects perfectly decentralized? How has Rajwadi been able to sustain such high decentralization in spite of all the challenges that they face? They also (like any other society) have people who are disinterested, who have lost hopes, who are complacent, who are complaining etc. What is special about Rajwadi and the people here?
Rajwadi actually functions on trust. No person, representative or leader has work timings, working days but rather has certain roles and responsibilities. Every month the village has a monthly meeting to discuss monthly activities and grievances. Every project group meets once a week to discuss their issues and solutions. No decision is taken by an individual but the community or the group owns the responsibility. Rajwadi is not perfect, we must remember. Nothing is perfect. But it is definite that this imperfection drives us (humans) towards excellence. They have a lot of challenges and tremendous group dynamics but yet they have not lost hope in people; in ‘their’ people. They trust each other and wish the best to each other. They all help each other when they struggle.

Rajwadi Vegetable selling Project
Rajwadi Community Vegetable Farming Project  supplies fresh and organic vegetables to the nearby town of Ratnagiri.

Rajwadi culture is different from what we find in traditional companies, factories, offices. Rjwadi culture is actually closer to what professionals’ term as ‘start-up’ culture. It is open, based on trust, morally accountable; with no hierarchy and limited monitoring. These uneducated rural individuals are more progressive than scholars in our cities. We still have the real hope in our villages! We need to be a lot more humble to learn from these humans who work in farms and sleep under trees. These people have taught me the core of decentralization; which no civics text book or political science professor could help me learn.
Decentralization means trusting and being able to trust is difficult but not impossible.

Small dam built by Rajwadi villagers.
Small dam built by Rajwadi villagers.


Freedom and Sensitivity: Two Values That Make Our Existence Meaningful

After many days, I am successful at taking out some time to write. We need a whole lot of things to live our lives. We need followers, critics, praise, freedom, trust and many more things to live our life. What will happen if someone starts taking them out from your life one by one?

I am reminded of a question which a friend asked me couple of days ago. She asked, what are the essential things for me to live my life? In other words, what things in my life, if taken away, my life will be meaningless. So, she was essentially asking about the things which make my life meaningful.

When this question came, we were all going together, in my car and I was driving probably in the most crowded area of the city. It took me some time to separate myself away from driving and come up with the answer.

As you have rightly guessed, my answer was freedom and sensitivity.

Freedom and sensitivity are the two things which I think make my existence meaningful.

Freedom and sensitivity

The first part of the answer is quite easy to understand- freedom. Ife begins at freedom and yes, life ends if it is gone. We do not realise this importance of freedom because either we have it most of the times or we are not courageous enough to demand our freedom. Freedom is simply beautiful. It is risky, at times, but the risk is worth taking. When we have freedom, and if we use it properly, there is immense possibility to blossom. Freedom brings a tremendous potential to transform ourselves and others. Freedom gives life possibilities.

What about sensitivity? Why sensitivity is required in our lives? I think, sensitivity gives meaning to the freedom we have. Freedom without sensitivity results in chaos. Freedom and sensitivity together bring order.

I feel that the biggest challenge which we have today is missing order in our society. Everyone is concerned about the missing order in the society. Activists, thinkers, leaders and so many others say that they are working hard to bring order in the society; still, the order has not yet come. Order won’t come so easily. Order comes into existence when there is freedom moderated by the sensitivity.

In our lives, we are concerned very well about freedom, but hardly bother about bringing in that sensitivity in ourselves. This gives rise to one more question- How one becomes sensitive? What leads to that sensitivity?

My experience tells, observing oneself leads to sensitivity. When we observe ourselves, we have a look at everything that is inside us- our emotions, insecurity, anger, frustration and many other things. When one looks at all this turmoil inside and starts separating oneself from it, he starts developing a sensitivity which is not put up. It comes from the understanding which this action of watching brings about.

On a personal level, I think my freedom and my sensitivity make my existence meaningful. What are the two things that make your living meaningful?


What Makes Our Dream of Equality unfeasible?

It seems, everyone wants equality. Many voices are being raised against inequalities of different kinds- financial, gender based, racial and what not. If one carefully observes social media, the number of voices who advocate or care for equality is going up. These voices are becoming louder and bolder. Many times, one can see a lot of intelligence put behind these campaigns who try to bring about equality. Shared in hundreds, if not in thousands, these campaigns make silent people expressive. Everything sounds so great.

But, there is a glitch. I find these efforts coming out of selfishness. I love J. Krishnamurti and he has told us something very significant. He says, if what you do comes out of love, then only that activity would not be fragmented, then only it will be all-encompassing.

The problem with these thousands of social watch dogs is, they get provoked very easily and they share things without understanding them. I find the deep thought lacking. I am not going to say, ‘stop sharing whatever you share.’ My only request would be, go deeper into it and keep your selfishness aside.

You will certainly ask me, what selfish motive do people who share something good on social media have? There are many to be honest. The most important is filling up the hollowness which they have. Many of us have this complex that they are living just ordinary lives and hence, they want to bring about a change. They mentally believe that inequality is disgusting and sharing something which tries to bring about an equality fills this hollowness; it gives them a feeling that they are here not only for earning money and living an ordinary life.

I do not think that just sharing about something is going to solve that problem. To solve a problem like inequality, we need sensitive human beings. Are we sensitive? This is the question which we should ask ourselves. I have a small incidence to share with you all.

Most of us are working with some company and we firmly believe that if we perform better than others, we should get paid also more than others. Most of the companies have adopted this type of payment system- those who perform better, will be paid higher. We expect our employers to pay us more than others if we perform better. Do we pay our employees more if they do a better job?

I have a cook who makes meals for us every day. The monthly sum which we pay to her might be equal to amount which four people dining out at a decent place would spend. In my lifetime, I have eaten food made by at least 8-10 cooks and I can certainly tell that this one is the best. That day, while siting silently, I realized, I am not paying her a penny more than other cooks. Is this not an inequality? When I have to take money, I apply a different set of rules and when I have to give money, I apply a different set of rules. Where is my performance based payment system?

Ironically, we are comfortable spending up huge lumps of money to dine out at fancy places and can’t tolerate cooks or maids asking for a hike of hundred or two hundred rupees. We become vocal about issues like inequality only when they are put in front of us on a platter on social networks. We only comment and there is no actual action. Inequality is going to stay here forever if we are so insensitive. While we talk about the problem of inequality, we hardly ask ourselves how sensitive we are. I think the issue of inequality will not be solved only by changing governments, systems or financial models. If we make human beings more sensitive, things might change faster.



What Will India Look Like in 2061?

I came across an interesting book which compiles the views and thoughts of around 20 leaders from different fields about what India will look like in 2061. The people who have shared their thoughts are no ordinary people, but stalwarts from sectors as varied as education, retail, IT, communication, pharma etc.

This book proved to be an excellent read, but I sincerely felt, that views from a meditator, from a person who considers human beings to be much more than customers are missing. I am not at all an expert meditator or the one who understands world in and out, but I can certainly share a few insights on the topics.

What will India look like in 2061? To be honest, the answer which goes closest to the reality is, I don’t know. Considering the way world has been evolving over the past few years, literally no one can tell how will India exactly be in 2061, except a few random guesses based on present situation and some past trends; that’s exactly what I will be doing. I will keep my scope restricted to persons and their behavior.

1. People will work largely for satisfaction and money and less for loads of money

Money is new, for most of the Indians. India is still in the phase where job is looked upon as security, an indispensable means of living. Today’s young population is probably the first generation earning huge amounts of money. Certainly, the working class is enticed by the possibilities of making more and more money. As of today, young employees in India are happy to leave back happiness for money, what a contrast! But, as money becomes more and more common, people get used to and ultimately bored of luxuries and lavish life, a search for true happiness will start.

It is highly probable that having earned enough amount of bucks, and sufficiently fed-up of hectic work schedules, people will look at jobs just as a means of earning enough money and not loads of money. At present, Indian students are least bothered about the satisfaction and compensation is the sole parameter while selecting the job. This trend will drastically change and students will be more and more choosey about the right kind of job.

2.  People will learn to be self-dependant

Today, household labour plays a major part in Indian society. It won’t be an exaggeration if I say that many of the Indians turn helpless if their domestic help is away for a day or two. The society today has a clear stratification; educated people work in offices to earn loads of money, of which a small part they spend on the domestic help. In the process, the society has lost its ability to do work on their own.

As more people get educated, the cost of hiring someone for domestic help will certainly shoot up. This will teach Indian society to become more self-dependant, learning to manage their tasks on their own.

3.  40% graduates will have their own start-ups

Today, most of the talent prefers joining multinational organizations and working with them. As we have seen, most of these students are first among their families who are earning significant amounts of money. Imagine 2061, when kids of this generation will be graduating, with their parents already having earned loads of money. All the basic securities like cars and real estate will be already secured. This young generation would not be interested in continuing the same pattern which their parents followed. Considering the resources available at that time, these parents will themselves encourage their kids to go away from the normal boring path and create a world on their own. One more observation that justifies this is, the rise of fragmented markets. In 2061, the markets would be fragmented, with each market with a less number of people. Hence, a single big company will find it quite difficult to serve such markets with different tastes. This justifies the rise of local level small enterprises, meeting the demands of their small cluster of targeted customers.

4.  We will do many great things, but not without a purpose

A trend which is growing fast today is that of social causes. First popular in western countries, now on can easily find this trend in youth in India. The causes are noble, but those who work for them, have some purpose may be as trivial as attaching a certificate to their portfolio.

If one carefully observes, unfortunately, people are doing most of the things out of some purpose. I can imagine this trend picking up maximum momentum. I suspect, if this happens, whether we would be able to retain our ability of doing things without a purpose.

In 2061, I can imagine many noble things happening; people meditating, mastering art forms, helping out those who are left behind and all that. Everything of this will happen out of a cause and not out of pure human nature. There is nothing wrong with having a purpose, but it is worth noting that when we do something with a purpose, eventually the purpose becomes more important than the cause!


What do you think will be the face of India in 2061? Do share your comments!