Beauty of Connecting with Discoveries of Unknown Paths

My school days bring back nostalgia of some instances that I may have done unknowingly, however, I gradually realised the importance of those experiences and that someday I will be using those to drive inspiration from in my professional life.

A Beginning

This is a real story from my 12th grade. It was a lovely sunny day just before the onset of winters and our school bus took the usual route to reach in time for the morning prayers. I do not recall exactly why, but that one day there was only 2 classes that happened and after that our class was informed that no more classes were happening that day, so we were free to go back home (and study) if we wanted or wait till late afternoon for the buses to drop us back. My friend Nitin and I shared common interests of our love for heavy metal bands and music. Moreover, we both had no girlfriends. He was in Commerce and I was a Science student. We both had a quick chat and decided to do something different from the usual. We picked up our bags (Nitin had some architectural paraphernalia jutting out of his bag making him look more intellectual so I was more confident of doing our long walk). School was around 10km away and we decided to walk down, and not just that, we took the ‘jungle’ road, supposedly a longer route and a open land filled with trees, bushes, some wild animals and a place where sunlight was not hitting the ground at many places. We had never taken that route.

Lost track

We started walking and got so engrossed in our talk about Metallica, Iron maiden, Damn Yankees and Sepultura that not only we lost track of time, but we lost the path that we needed to take to reach home in time. By the time it hit us, it was a dark spot in the jungle with trees covering from both sides and 3 different one-feet wide crossroads. Okay, we were scared, like how. So many weird thoughts passed our minds during those few minutes- like what if we get kidnapped. What if some hyena sees us, what if we reach some other place, and so on such what ifs.

It finally struck

Here may be the first time we both were made to ‘think’ about a real problem in front of us. Three paths- which one to take. By real problem I mean the other problems that I thought were real – what if I am not able to complete the assignment, what if I reach school late, what if I am not able to answer questions in class, what if I am not able to catch the first day first show of an upcoming movie, what will I say when my parents asks me yet again “what are you planning to do with your career?” and so on.

Being Vulnerable and Scared

So, at this juncture, both Nitin and I were thinking the same thing – if we are alive, we will do all that we wish to do. It was an emotional and vulnerable moment for us. So here is what we did, we both pushed our brains and for next say 15 mins or so we put all our energies into from where we started to enter the jungle path and how or feet moved in what direction. Believe me, we got close to our thinking on the right ‘path’ (like literally) and nullified one of the 3 routes. The next moment we see a man in a banyan and lungi coming from the front, from one of the paths (kaccha sadak). We had goosebumps. Not because we had some help but because we thought what if he was a ghost? Can you imagine? Yes, it is funny whenever I think of this today, the reality is that at that point I was scared. So, anyway, coming to the end of this story, I considered Nitin (because of his heavier built) the right person to ask the ghost man if he knew how to reach our destination. Voila! he told us that the beginning path on which we were standing, is the right path to keep walking and at the end of that path there will be another crossroad of 2 paths, he told us to take the left one.

The Adventure ends

Nitin’s house was on the way, so I recall saying bye to him, we hugged and had some laugh over this over the year. We never mentioned this incident in our group for reasons even unknown to both Nitin and me. It has been since then that Nitin and I have lost touch.

What did I keep learning from this?

  • It’s absolutely okay to feel vulnerable, it makes you understand the deeper understanding of your fears and accordingly you can work towards making those fears convert into your strength
  • It is okay to get lost at times, physically or mentally. That moment after that brings a new path, a new perspective
  • It’s good to understand what resources you have at a moment of crisis and what best you can do at that point
  • It is good to remember the childhood and adolescence because every incident has learnings in it , so keep in touch with your inner child and curiousness
  • Recognise your fears and then try and overcome it just once…just once and see the magic.

At the end of this story, which I do hope you enjoyed reading, do you think I got lost again? Yes, I did, but only that all those next ones my vulnerability became my strength and I enjoy my discoveries of new paths and nature and this has helped throughout in my decision making in my professional life as well , specifically where I am caught off-guard.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Ankoor Dasguupta
Ankoor Dasguupta is a Marketing practitioner, and advocate of social impact, driven by kaizen.

Ankoor believes in the power of Energy and Energize while bringing to the table a pedigree of 23 years with a rare combination experience across the spectrum of media - print, digital, mobile, event productions & successful pilot projects. Worked across functions - ad operations, business operations, content, strategy, sales, events, media planning & buying. Ankoor has been part of six Sigma Green Belt project and also worked in cross functional roles with - conglomerates and start-ups. Ankoor has been part of the core pilot team of launching International IPs such as ad:tech, iMedia Summits and TechCrunch events in India. Ankoor has directed and enabled the winning of multiple pitches while actively involved in overall and tactical strategy. Trained from Dale Carnegie in Mentoring, Ankoor is a knowledge manager, avid writer with more than 50 published articles: speaker and jury in multiple forums including reputed B-Schools. Most recently Ankoor has been onboarded on the Advisory Board -Marketing Department at ISBR Business School. Ankoor is POSH Certified and has been selected to be part of core Committee for POSH at 2 organizations during his work tenure till now. Ankoor is also a Tabla player and wishes to sky-dive more often.

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