A lifetime at work — absence of which drains me more than its presence

A lifetime at work — absence of which drains me more than its presence

Tejinder Singh Bedi

My work has been a key pillar of my identity. I am at the threshold of the seventh decade of my life and yet so much in love with my work that I just can’t imagine any life without it. So fulfilling and so much of a fun most of the time that on the contrary its absence even for a short spell during the hours I am awake starts draining me, when as a habit since childhood can hardly ever fall for a nap during the days except between 10 PM to 4 AM through the nights.

An Insight Into My Lifelong Work-Life — Engineering, Corporate Leadership, Writing, Music, Academics & Social Service

Perhaps because of the passion with which I have always loved to choose the kind of work I love and love to do. That precisely has also been the reason that it has always allowed me if not to fully focus yet to be able to stay in touch with my other pursuits like writing and music, I have been fond of, of and on at the first possible opportunities.

Besides right from my childhood I have been an out and out extrovert and a social person. Always fond of meeting new people, making new friends and trying new challenges without a pause or a look back. In addition, coming from a humble family background of born social servants as descendants of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh religion (which I follow), selfless social service has been in our blood stream and DNAs. And as such integration with the entire community has always been driving my choices for the kinds of work I presume I have been made for. Earning money beyond a dignified sustenance has neither been a greed nor a great attraction ever.

Although I finished my University degree in Engineering in first class with Honors, for my passion to pursue a people management driven career, I could succeed to shift full time to the Human Resource Management Stream just within two years after my degree, a rare entry and for my unshakeable love for the challenges this discipline offered at work continued to succeed in steering this function in some of the best known corporate houses in the country until some back to back serious health issues forced me to take a pause from my long association of over 40 years with this stream.

This chosen field of work not only permitted me to keep pursuing my freelance writing with almost every leading brand in the Print Media in the country, it also allowed me to stay in touch with my childhood passion of singing as a guest singer for a number of awareness promotion or charity and homage shows as tributes to our war and other peacekeeping heroes from the defense and various civil/para military forces of the country.

For my love to serve the community, I was further lucky to be assigned a lead role in a number of corporate social responsibility initiatives/projects in most organizations in my top leadership positions. These pursuits also helped me in getting connected to most global achievers in a number of fields. Most satiating.

By 2020, COVID had startled the world. Having recovered from my health issues arising between 2017 to 2019, I had thought of returning to active service on ground again but the tag of a senior citizen post 2013 and the accompanying unavoidable restrictions on public movement of citizens of my age in the period gone since the outbreak of the pandemic nearly forced me to continue to stay in-doors only, once again.

My Passion for work helped me quickly adapt to the fast changing modes of virtual conversations, consultations, webinars including even virtual music, now leading a wonderful group of a large number of like minded senior citizens under my WhatsApp Musical Group named, ‘Tarunnam’ and hardly any one in my network feels that they do not have enough work to do even in this phase of their advancing years with the love for other literary forms of interest like writing, poetry too helping each of us afloat in the best of spirits!

Nothing comes for free in this world. We all have to work for our livelihood, name, fame and recognition. A man without work is neither of any use to himself nor to the society he belongs to. From the kings to the beggars, philanthropists to thieves — all have to keep working all the time. Both God; who creates and sustains life and Yama — who is commissioned to unplug lives, no one can afford to be idle even for a fraction of a moment. There is no joy, no kick, no excitement, no satisfaction without work! There still are many who shirk or avoid work so long they can thrive on the efforts of others or of the State but then that is more of a personal choice of such people!

When I look at my children working from their homes following COVID protocols, I find the passion for work in them too has only further multiplied with the flexibilities such pandemics and fast advancing technologies will keep mandating and feel it’s time the corporate houses, corporate leaders too respond as swiftly to the increasing strains being put on the new generation by this sudden change in work cultures to keep evolving at the pace we all wish our lives to be! After all, all evolution is a gift of all work only!

And finally as I am still looking forward to more work and more jobs, my dream job would be owning my own recording studio for recording all my songs and videos one day, rather than having to depend on any outsiders for a full length biopic on my life and times! And keep raising my own bar inspired by my lifetime teachers — Ghazal King Jagjit Singh in Music, Sardar Khushwant Singh in Journalism & Literature and Dr. V Krishnamurthy in Leadership quotients!

(*Author Tejinder Singh Bedi is a former technocrat, a people management, CSR Adviser, free-lance writer and a passionate singer)