Last night right after switching off the lights, I saw a glowworm. In the generation where we feel mostly connected with things like i-pods, Tri-bands, IEEE 802.11(Wireless LAN or Wifi) a glowworm may not have much significance. After all a generation later these creatures could only be found in textbook chapters on extinct species.
There was however a time during the monsoon season the post shower evenings were filled with these fascinating creatures that did much more than lighting when the streetlights failed or in places where there were none. They acted as the key to our imagination unlocking a world of fantasy whose explanation may never befit the course description designed to make us work like robots wearing uniform, and where creativity is templatized.
After finishing my master’s degree in information systems, I returned to India from the US. At the time I had only one thing on my mind. Get into a decent PhD program and leave the country where the traffic movements in green lights were not significantly different from the ones in red. I started to apply for Doctoral programs. I started to get offers. Ironically, I kept rejecting them. Over a period, I started to grow used to the city, its people, and miraculously I started to take the pencil and began to sketch after many years. I started to get back my innocence. At the same time, the environment surrounding my job became politicized. Changing the jobs did not really help because all were almost equally bad. I knew that if I am to stay in this city and nourish the long lost sketch and me who can paint I have to not only survive the political environment in corporate life but also have to get proactively involved in the same. Thus, I became compelled to take the next PhD offer. I took the offer because of my passion to investigate the impact of KM systems on ambidexterity and my rage against corporate slavery.
And so I started the long ordeal of traveling millions of miles away from home. Home, the word has so many meanings. It’s a place where one returns form work to find shelter and warmth. I say it’s an abode that maximizes the psychological comfort zones even against the minimal physical luxuries. In fact it’s a place where glowworms come and say “ hello”.
While the glow worm sat in my room it constantly reminded me of the journey in the world of colors on canvas and papers from acrylic, oil and pastels. A journey propelled by engines fueled by innocence. And the suddenly the glowworm flew away. I tried to look outside the room but the streetlights were glowing and its innocent glow was eclipsed. Why did the glowworm come? To bid farewell to my dying innocence that has some breath left but will not survive the thoughtfully crafted thoughtless research that links KM systems and ambidexterity.
I am leaving all that’s close to me in pursuit of a dream. What kind of a dream is that?