Thursday, July 22, 2010

Learning time management from a Bollywood dancer

The other day, a friend of mine (in India) was complaining about paucity of time. I said to her, “You don’t know what time crunch really means until you have lived in the west. At least you come home to readymade food, clean house, and children clad in night clothes.”

I cannot emphasize enough that I don’t mean that people in Asia have more time or an easy schedule. Not at all. From what I am told, by friends who have moved back to Asia from the US and UK, the concept of “work-life” balance is a myth in the east. But what works in their favor is that they have a support structure (maidservant, cook, chauffer, and an elaborate entourage overall) in place while majority of people in the west don’t. Sure, you get your cleaning services or kitchen help a few times a month, but your everyday chores need to be managed by you.

But, I am beginning to see a lot of merit in owning your own time. There is a lot less wastage of desires and opportunities. For example, maids in India often decide to work on their own time, which leaves the lady of the house hanging. What does that mean – everyone in their universe is dealt cups of mood swings and anxiety.

Of course, I would be lying if I said that, occasionally, I wouldn’t love for someone to serve us steaming hot food when we returned from work or scrub the place with Lemon Pledge every morning. But those pangs are few and far in between.

As tough as life here can be, being in-charge of your day makes you more enterprising. Allows you to experience new things. Encourages you to explore beyond our 9-5. Breaks the shackles of monotony. Be it working women, homemakers, or stay at homes, women in the west are go-getters. What is the other option?

My husband’s cousin, Ruchika Dias, is such a great example of someone with exemplary time management skills. She works at CSC, in Austin, Texas, as "Principal Architect Leader" where she manages a group of 15 IT consultants who implement software imaging and workflow system for insurance clients. No easy profession I tell ya. But here is the deal – Ruchika’s day or desires don’t end at 5p.m.

Ruchika has started a dance company, “Bollywood Shake.” The name is self-explanatory – classes include fusion of different Indian dance styles. She teaches people across various age groups. Ruchika offers classes at several locations. She has approximately 120 students - 60% Indian and 40% Non-Indian, and they have performed at several events.

When I asked Ruchika what inspired her to invest in another full time commitment (Remember, she has a full time job, a house, a marriage, and life in general to juggle already), she said, “No real inspiration other than the fact that I love dancing and have always enjoyed teaching. So starting a dance company was a perfect combination of both. Plus I wanted to do something fun and exciting outside of my regular job!”

I have known Ruchika for over a decade now. She’s always been an excellent dancer. Her friends and us family members have always known it, but now the US is beginning to recognize and appreciate her talents too. Her classes are doing really well. Did I mention that CBS News, amongst other media channels, interviewed her?

Where am I going with this post? What I am trying to say is that all human beings have 24 hours in a day. How you choose to spend those 1,440 minutes is in your hands.

More until next time,


Copyright © 07. 22. 2010

“You will never "find" time for anything. If you want time, you must make it” ~ Charles Bruxton


Nidhi said...

Amen to that. SO much to learn from the Bollywood Shaker :-) And you are no less an epitome of time management yourself!

Deepika said...

Loved the article! Of course being VERY proud of my sister Ruchika was part of it :)

But especially loved the last line - all human beings have 24 hours in a day. How you choose to spend those 1,440 minutes is in your hands.

So many things in our lives are in *our* hands. Far too many of us blame the circumstances instead of taking the driving seat in our own lives and decisions. Love you Bhabhi!

My two cents said...

We Are Austin did a write-up:

Prabha said...

Exactly my thought...