Like every year, I get into introspection mode and it’s that time of the year now when 2019 is almost on its way to bid farewell. The lessons that I learnt this year are ‘self love’ and ‘self inspiration’; I have felt the déjà vu and immense gratitude to the people I’ve met, all through the year. The people who taught me self worth and whose words have had a great impact, these are also the people I cherish. I know I shall meet many more. I have the advantage of maintaining a blog, so why not use it to share my gratitude with the universe! I guess the indebtedness is also due to the fact that the spouse’s special birthday is round the corner and he is onboard. People ask me why I focus so much on positivity as it is quite aloof from reality. Agreed but I believe in the power of optimism, the more you focus on something the more of it comes to you. So why not let positivity, happiness, hope and abundance be in our lives instead of just the harsh realities. I believe ‘people’ make the difference and we must count them as ‘Our’ blessings. This blog is all about thanking people for what they’ve been and how they have contributed to making this year truly incredible. It is rightly said, ‘Make your today so awesome that yesterday gets jealous’ but never forget that yesterday was the ‘today’ once upon a time.
“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” -Gertrude Stein.
There is a need to express it and my memories of 2019 will include: My first boss 22 years ago Ms. Saldanha gave me a memo that didn’t actually get into my file but it was a lesson she wanted me to learn. I have learnt preparedness from it; to the extent that I never enter a class without going through the content once, even if I am doing the same topic a 100th time. I am grateful to her and the ‘make belief memo.’
My first HOD when I embarked on the teaching career, Mr. Varkey for making me take-up all assignments. He made me learn things beyond my imagination, mentoring me at every stage. Be it exams, PR, dealing with media or writing beyond my teaching assignments. People told me against that but I never said ‘No’ and I gained in the long term. You are young with no commitments only once, make the most of it; has been the lesson.
Mrs. Jyoti Acharya for taking me as her assistant for research work and PR that she was so good at. She’ll remain one of the sweetest and most graceful ladies I have met. She lives in our memories for her thoughtfulness.
Mrs. Avril Sule for making me a decent teacher, emcee and the many things that I learnt from her. I was called her progeny, which I take as an honour. She calls me every time she has to say something nice and that’s the power of a good mentor; which she has been not just to me but to many others.
Mr. RK Saxena, my boss at IHM Mumbai who told us to understand our worth. He has been one of the most revolutionary and forward thinking leaders I have worked with. Didn’t believe in seniority but capability, if you deserve it you get it; is the lesson I learnt from him. When I was changing job I showed him my appointment letter, he wished me luck but asked to negotiate on the package saying I was worth much more. Though I didn’t negotiate anything but his words have been big motivator even today.
Chef Iyer, for teaching us true professionalism right in the first year of college; he lead by example and I have spoken about him on many forums.
Mr. Kacker for his kind words right from college days and for keeping my wedding card as a souvenir. He has been a fine educationist and instilled discipline among all his students, years after years. He continues to be an inspiration.
Mrs. Mercy Mathew for her encouraging words which remain between us. She has an impeccable sense of humour, brought so much in her classes.
Professors and colleagues at IHM; I still feel a part of the team and try to honour any invite coming from them. Visiting IHM is like recharging my batteries!
Ms. Paul, our chairperson for being an inspiration; have learnt many lessons from her both on the personal and professional fronts. She understands people and values them, she remembers almost everything said and done!
My boss and the team at Apeejay Institute of Hospitality; for their support and encouragement. They’ve been wonderful colleagues.
Mr. Dewan our MD for making us use online medium for writing, can’t imagine me using this platform without him making it a part of our KRA. Indian Women in Hospitality is a result of that and I am indebted to him.
Ms. Guin our VP HR for support all through, she will have a word of encouragement no matter what the situation or circumstance. We need People Leaders like her.
My friends Srividya and Archana for being perfect hosts during my travel to the US. Vimal and Max for coming over to meet me and for all their love and appreciation.
Prof. Cathy Enz and Ali Kasikci for valuable lessons learnt at Cornell and Francine and Haruka for being such wonderful people.
Chef Coelho for getting me onboard to do a program that wasn’t even in my sphere of work, he said that he knew I could do it and he couldn’t think of anyone else. His words have motivated me beyond imagination. The event was a success and one of its kinds; I connected with many incredible professionals.
Capt. Bose of the Indian Navy for making me learn the protocol and honour extended to people making them feel the privilege nothing less than that of the royalty.
Capt. Malhotra of the Indian Navy; for his words of wisdom with indisputable humour in them. When I met him and exchanged visiting cards, he said that he hadn’t met a ‘Founder’ till that day. It made me chuckle yet feel special but more than that has been the number of times I have smiled thinking of it.
The ladies at IWH; for their encouragement, encouragement and some more encouragement! They inspire and motivate beyond words.
Mr. Kumar of Hospitality Biz for getting some good write ups from me, it has been a great experience in terms of learning, research and getting to know different aspects of the hospitality and tourism industry.
Komal Hora and Hazel Jain, the young journalists for their appreciation of IWH and having our story.
The Oceanite of MUI, Bhandarkar Publications and Shakti, the logistics journal of the Indian Navy for bestowing the honour to associate with them.
Women’s Web for partnering with IWH as their ecosystem partner for Women in Corporate awards.
My IHM Mumbai batch mates for having some kind words of encouragement, they are serving as inspirations. Reunion proved to be an exceptional event this year.
Class of 99, IHM Mumbai for sending me a special invite for their reunion, calling me one of their favourite seniors. I couldn’t make it but shall remain grateful to them for thinking of me.
My students for bringing exuberance into my life!
My husband Capt. Todiwan and in laws for their unconditional support, no matter what! I too have to slow down a bit so that I am there for them too. This has become my mantra now.
All my friends for being a part of my life and my journey; they all make it worth it! May 2020 be a Rockstar year for all.
“Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise.” -Sam Walton
PS: Pictures are taken from Google with due credits.