Article (July-2018)


Celebrating a Journey Called LIFE

Dr. Rajeshwari Narendran

Designation : -   Hon. Director, Academy of HRD

Organization : -  Ahmedabad and Professor and Head, Business Administration, MLSU


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Kuch to "Aag" hai mere andar jo bujhte nahi hai hounsale 
Varna Kami to na rakkhi thi Hawaon ne kabhi...
I share my life story with great sense of gratitude and respect to my parents and my family, I wish to state that struggles have refined and defined me greatly and I owe a big thanks to all the people and events in my life helping me carve a destiny for self.
The Early Lessons of Life
  • When the welcome to the world is not a welcome by your own creator, the survival is nothing less than a miracle. Born as a fourth daughter, life started with an angel touch of my elder sister who whispered the magical words every day that you are born with a purpose, you are a fighter, you are here to make a difference. Her inspiring efforts were to make me strong, focused, and optimistic and above all to live a life with purpose.
  • The hardship in childhood was filled with starvation, deprivation and often social rejection by some wealthy relatives, all these have given the best teachings in life to respect the dignity of labour, courage to upkeep the values in tough times, strength to balance and collect positive energies to face any situation in life with a smile on face.
The Midas Moment with NCC
  • I salute the NCC which has given the confidence to lead with all activities like parade, trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, river rafting, boat pulling, ship modelling, music, dance, group activities to embrace learning from all diverse cultures, states, languages and truly living unity and discipline for channelizing the youthful energies. The exposure as cadet captain were magical moments of insights and my first step towards understanding human behaviours and leading with confidence.
  • Good academics, NCC, Cricket, Badminton and practicing Sitar and Vocal music with house hold chores those times were eyebrow raising as many neighbours and relatives would exclaim why this girl has to do all this while she has to just settle as someone's wife one day! However my sister supported throughout all this.
The tough gets tougher
  • Marriage at a tender age, continuing education and early children coupled with rearing extended family was never easy however the helping hand and encouragement from my husband has paved way for taking all the challenges in stride.
  • Almost nineteen to twenty hours of working for home, profession as a teacher and pursuing PhD all together has made me a fast learner on life skills, multi tasking and working smart. I started using managerial skills and participatory skills applied to home and teaching and got huge appreciations helping me move into a profession with passion in Training and Development as early as the age 21 with Indian Railways and State Governments as my first client. I faced lot of challenges as Training (Now L&D) was a man's world and acceptance of a woman trainer in early nineties in the corporate sector was very hard, however my innovative ideas to conduct training caught attention of many corporate leaders, training institutions and professional bodies. I evolved with an eye to learn new skills, its application with refinement and became first ever woman National President of Indian Society for Training and Development and the youngest to be so.
  • People sometimes refer me as Lioness as I did take courage to call a spade a spade and took toughest decisions a professional could have ever taken winning over dilemmas, chaos, personal differences.
Mentoring from Godfathers
  • I consider myself very fortunate as I got inspiring gurus in Dr. Udai Pareek, Dr. T V Rao, Prof. A.K. Singh, Dr. D.M. Pestonjee, Dr. Anil Khandelwal and Dr. Pradip Khandwalla who directly or indirectly have chiselled out my learnings in HR/OD and OB and paved way to be a part of this legendary organisation 'Academy of HRD' devoted for research and knowledge creation in HRD, to lead as its ninth Director.
  • My exposure to IIM Ahmedabad and Harvard Business School has helped me to give back to society and serve education with a purpose. My mission as a trainer and educator is to make scholastic system where children are not afraid to ask doubts and questions and learning is a delightful activity nurtured with no fear of failure.
  • The teachers' contribution in making participatory learning agility is the role where L&D has to carve the niche and mentor the teachers of today to instil knowledge, curiosity, experimentation and creating love for learning. I call L&D professionals as catalyst who have the power to bring transformation in our learning processes and help in nation building.
  • I am also fortunate that as a teacher I could ignite a movement called "Make a difference" (MAD) which is devoted to bringing smiles and joys of life to those who need it most. I started this in 1991 as a small thought provoking movement amongst school and college children to spread joy of giving time and support to save girl child, to spread awareness in health, hygiene at rural and tribal villages, to voice against dowry deaths, to connect needy to Government schemes, to take up the challenges of dignity and economic freedom of women by supporting self help groups which now is spread across India and has more than five lakh volunteers.
Arise, Awake and Act
  • Ask yourself with honesty that have you made a difference to someone's life? If yes, then spread more light. If No, then start doing as this is the right moment to act.
  • Failures and challenges are not road blocks rather they are pillars of strength to move on. Remember only YOU can stop you to attain your dreams and nothing else.
  • HR skills are life skills, understand the pulse of people around you and be sensible towards it.
  • There is no shortcut to success, hence, balance and work smart.
  • Never remove the "L" tag from your mind as learning is forward looking.
  • Be thankful.
  • Sing, dance and celebrate every moment and create a joy in everything you do. Celebrate the Journey Called 'LIFE' and live alive.