On 15th of October 2013, I completed my 2 years of working or life with Bookworm, more life than work. Let me start with the usual line that everyone uses “It has been a great learning experience, and an opportunity to grow personally and professionally.” Well it has been, I am not denying it.
Quoting Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That is exactly what I did and I am not regretting it for a second.
Usually I overheard or came across other people saying what all I did for Bookworm (in whatever small way I did, that is a different case altogether). But no one knows what Bookworm did for me except I. In Goa, usually everyone knows everyone else; when I came into Bookworm 2 years ago, I was a total stranger to Sujata and Elaine. But they didn’t hesitate a second to bring me in, I guess they saw something in me and I hope they are not regretting the decision .
It has been a great opportunity trying to do and to experiment with things that matters to a larger community. There is certain merit in doing what you could do better than the rest of the team that makes an asset to the organisation. On top of that, being open to learning new things exposes you to the opportunities you have never imagined.
When I came to BOOKWORM, I had no idea about children’s books. I still don’t have a clear idea it. But over the course of time, I have been exposed many things around stories, literature and books for children that clearly opened up certain brain centres in my head which was not used before. That is very good for someone like me. There has been a radical shift in my way of thinking that changed over the time of working with everyone in the team and children, meetings, discussions, study group sessions, exposure visits and much much more. The life at BOOKWORM has taken me to places, I would never be otherwise; has introduced me to people and organisations who are doing some really strong work on the ground. One thing I was able to do was to use technology to build stuff that puts us couple of steps ahead. This also includes websites/newsletters/online presence etc. and reporting/documentation/collaboration tools and systems that makes work easier, faster and convenient. Those were the good things.
Like the flip side of the coin, there are some bad things also. Over the years of working, everyone develops their own ways of working which some people call the “workflow”. Everyone has their own workflow, be it fast or slow, multi-tasking or focused execution, collaborating or working alone. The workflow usually helps people to get things done, but sometimes it can cause trouble also. For me, when something has to be done, I would prefer to do the perfect, scalable, big-picture way than any easy way out for that specific thing. This has gotten me into trouble a number of times. Sometimes, the perfect solutions takes time to implement; looking at the big picture, you will lose track of attention to detail and may imagine a huge deliverable that might not be feasible at that particular point of time. On top of that I am not an easy person to work with, I have my own mood swings and moments that hinder and support the work, Also from outside BOOKWORM seems a romantic place to be, but when you get involved, the intensity of the work will hit you. We have had experiences of people joining us and couldn’t handle the intensity and depth of the work. BOOKWORM is of course a happy place to be, where you can do meaningful work and feel good about it, but on the other side of the balance is the intensity and time commitment which it requires. Always finding the balance is the key.
Over the time, I have been involved in almost all the projects at Bookworm in some way or the other. It turns out like a street juggler who has many balls to handle. So the formula was to keep enough balls in the hands and in the air so that things go on smoothly without a clash.
It has been a wonderful journey so far and I have done quite a few good things that makes me happy and proud. But there also has been bad things and mistakes which were committed.
Well the point is, when you tally everything you have done and tried to do so far, it’s important to end up with things that makes you happy and proud in your balance sheet.
Last but not the least, I have a bunch of very nice people to work with at Bookworm. They make me happy, they make me cheerful, they make me think, they make me innovate, they make me deliver, they make angry, they make me work, most of the they make me, ME in many ways.
Couldn’t have asked for more…