The Leader

Drishti, Saugandh, Ruchi, Sparsha, Maanas, Chaitanya and Anand are all upbeat. They have just walked out of the conference hall after an important meeting. Off to their favourite table in the canteen, they start discussing.

“Friends!, this is a wonderful opportunity for us. We should give in our best to make this project a success” declared Anand.

“Yes! we should”, echoed others.

As others settled down, Chaitanya, Maanas and Ruchi walked towards the counter to get the food.

“If this project becomes a success we need not travel two hours each way. We have the opportunity to be transferred to the new office closer to our colony”, Drishti shared her view.

“We can also spend more time with our families. They have been very supportive of our friendship”, added Saugandh

“It has been a wonderful journey for us and a rarity in this fast paced world” shared Sparsha.

“We passed out of the same school, college and now working in the same organisation” added Maanas placing the plates on the table.

“And now, we are all part of the same team to execute this project closer to our homes in the same colony. It is really sweet. A treat for all of us” exclaimed Ruchi licking the Gulab Jamun in her inimitable style.

“There you go!” Chaitanya immediately captured the wonderful image in his smart phone and posted it on facebook.

“Here I am!”, Ankur grabbed the Gulab Jamun from Ruchi’s hand and gulped.

“Hey! that’s too fast” Maanas was pleasantly surprised, “From where did you come?”

“From my facebook post” answered Chaitanya “Ankur, you are a true friend. Do you know we are all part of the same team to execute a new project.”

“Whaw! that’s wonderful news” Ankur congratulated his friends.

“It’s good that GM asked us to decide who would lead the team. I volunteer for the responsibility” proposed Drishti.

“Hey! I have never got an opportunity to lead any team in the company. I think, I should get the opportunity so that the management gets convinced of my delivery capability.” proposed Saugandh.

“Be practical Saugandh! we should not take chances. We need an experienced hand to be sure that we succeed in achieving our aim. I propose Chaitanya for the job as he has led several projects earlier, successfully” suggested Ruchi.

“I vouch for Chaitanya’s ability. But, I feel Maanas is better equipped as he has better idea and more experience in handling a similar project earlier at Mumbai”, suggested Sparsha.

“Hey Sparsha! Do remember that I had already lead a larger team in a similar project. Me taking the lead will put us in a better position to be sure of achieving our aim” proposed Anand.

“I too second Anand’s view.” suggested Chaitanya.

Suddenly an atmosphere of unease and discomfort surrounded. Sensing the sudden change in atmosphere Ankur intervened, “Here is your Gulab Jamun, Ruchi”. Ankur pulled out the Gulab Jamun from Chaitanya’s facebook post.

“That’s so sweet, Ankur. You always lighten the atmosphere and entertain us with your magical powers” Ruchi expressed happiness.

“But I can never make out, if you are talking about the food or the situation in hand.” joked Ankur.

Everybody burst into laughter.

“I remember a story from Chandogya Upanishad, which Rishi shared with me”, Ankur starts guiding his friends.

“Whaw! another story from our best friend Ankur. I love your stories. What is the story about?” Maanas inquired.

“This is a story about the five senses and prana.

Once there was a dispute among the five senses. Each wanted to establish its superiority. They could not arrive on a decision or a truce.

Suddenly eyes struck with an idea, withdrew for a while to prove its superiority. Once the eyes started functioning normally, ears withdrew itself. Taking cue, the other senses also withdrew for a while. Even though there was discomfort for the body and mind in general, the senses could carry out their function close to normal in the absence of one of the others. No decision could be arrived at.

All the while prana observed this silently. When the five senses completed their turn, prana withdrew for a fraction of second. All the senses got panicked and were thrown out of gear. They started arguing with prana on its return. Prana withdrew again, now for a longer duration. The senses almost lost their control. When the prana returned again, the senses came back to their sense. They realised the importance of prana and admitted to its supremacy.

“You senses have no role to play or power to act in my absence. I divide my power and distribute to each of you so that you can function”  explained Prana.”

“Can you name who is the prana among you?” questioned Ankur

Seeing his friends draw a blank face, Ankur re-framed the question “Can you mention, absence of whom will stall the project itself or make it a failure?”

There was no answer, as all knew that absence of any one of them will not stall the project. Other members can take it forward, if necessary with a replacement.

“Any activity or project or team will be a failure in the absence of the purpose / goal. It is the goal / purpose which lends life to a team. The purpose is the reason or cause for forming a team in the first place”, responded Chaitanya calmly in reflection.

“Our decision should not be individual oriented, rather goal oriented,” added Maanas.

“Individually each of us may be more or less benefited. But overall benefit of the team – meaning its goal is important for all of us to be happy” emphasised Anand.

“I agree with all of you” added in chorus Ruchi, Saugandh and Sparsha.

“In the light of all this may I propose Anand’s name to be our leader for the project, as his skill-set is best compatible for the success of the project.” proposed Drishti.

“I agree” affirmed all in chorus.

“Honoured to serve you all”, Anand accepted the responsibility in all humility with a dramatic gesture.

“Anand 🙂 is always the LEADER…” (Pun intended) Ankur bid adieu, back into the facebook.

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