The Single Face of Multifaceted

I am constantly reminded of what a colleague and friend once said, “There will rarely ever be two people who, having interacted with you in different contexts, will describe the same person.” Then, I thought it was odd that that would be the case, but history has stood testimony to that.

Recently, my team gave me a farewell with words that were so generous and gushing about me being an exceptional leader, mentor and friend. It only made me want to exclaim, “You should meet X who thought I was a difficult person to work with” or “Would you guys believe that teachers in that school thought I was a frightening terror?”. This constant repartee in my head denied me the opportunity to allow my emotions flow unbridled. I didn’t know how to apologise to the team for that, as explaining it would be a monologue longer than most people would be willing to commit on a Friday evening. But the farewell messages were of a heart-warming fabric I hadn’t witnessed in the many farewells I had been part of. It was so sincere and genuine that it forced me to assess my past. But the internal dialogue remained unquelled. For every compliment earnestly assigned to me, my memory recalled a few faces from my past that would vehemently oppose the same.

It truly is strange that over nearly 22 years of post-graduate education & working, I have heard so many descriptions of me read out to me that I am at times amused and at times puzzled. I have tried to identify a pattern (e.g. with years he has grown more patient or over time he has gotten more exacting or something like that or the more people he works with, the gentler he is or something that is a function of time, people, geography, skill, events or something) but have failed until today. A few things have remained consistent across the years and they can be summarised in 4 points (and I am not paraphrasing):

  1. Brilliant mind
  2. Wonderful articulation
  3. Excellent creativity
  4. Strong code of ethics

But even these can be questioned. I am sure my first team at ThoughtWorks thought I was stupid as I was grappling through an entirely new ecosystem of tools and technologies coupled with TDD, pair-programming. I have not been “consistent” across stints in the same domain — the first school where I first volunteered continue to reach out to me with loving greetings and messages but the last school where I invested my blood and soul had a mixed association with me. It doesn’t seem like it a function of time — I have not necessarily gotten better or worse (at any one thing) over time (except for the 4 points above which only seems to be improving in breadth and depth, thankfully). While someone might have complimented me on my standard of ethics, another would have reprimanded me for having a holier-than-thou attitude. It is not like I work best with people of a particular geography. It is not like older people prefer working with me compared to the younger ones or vice versa. No particular pattern with gender or sexual orientation or race.

Experimenting with oneself

So, who am I? I could be selective and say that I am only the good things that people have recognised over the past 22 years. I could be lazy and say that I am all of the above. The only demographic that has consistently summarised me as “He is comfy to be with” have been kids aged 0–10.

Here is a theory that seems plausible — I think I was experimenting with myself. I was trying to be different things under different circumstances to learn how my being responded to different settings and how people responded to each of those things. The reason I feel that this theory is admissible is simply because it mirrors my career choices — I have constantly experimented with domains, technologies, remuneration, visibility/recognition/anonymity etc. From a fairly stable and well-established domain, I had switched to ThoughtWorks, practically throwing away all the skills acquired and picking up new skills (and even taking a pay cut). After 15 years, I tossed aside the industry and went around as a volunteer in rural schools without a formal teaching degree (and no guarantee of earning a livelihood). Having always been in well established companies, I took a stint in a startup and that too when I had just had a baby!

And in experimenting with myself and how my work ethics responds to these personas, I was also experimenting with my work environment and the people in it. The very fact that I am realising this in retrospect should confirm that none of my experiments were premeditated. I have consistently been led in ways I am yet to comprehend (more about that in a separate post).

I think the experiments were vital in instilling a work ethic in me which is not a reaction or even something that needs to be negotiated. I would like to think of it as a kind of machine learning process (supervised learning) made human by reflection (not unlike what is happening in this post).

Well, at least that is one theory. Not entirely sure whether there is a better explanation. It seemed nice to have at least one likely explanation for something I haven’t observed in the careers of others around me. Friday evening’s generosity nudged me into this.

Something leads me to believe that the experiments are over.

15 thoughts on “The Single Face of Multifaceted

  1. My favourite Eroteme thinks, is back!!! Loads and loads of love to the sweetest soul who inspired me to write more!!! You’re undoubtedly one of the best writers who articulates his brilliant thoughts so fluidly, yet right on point!! I’ve been a fan of your experience, and your writing and your kind soul!! Keep writing moreee!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Dearest Eroteme, why was I so excited to re-blog when I hadn’t even finished reading until the last line.. No, your experiments are not over yet.. why would you say that.. You still have a lot to go!! Keep it going!! It makes me cry when you tell such things… Please don’t!! I want you to keep experimenting, keep enjoying life and keep writing more and more!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ You are a great, refined, honest and a beautiful beautiful soul!!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Love you so much Eroteme!! 😍❤️😘😘😘😘😘

  2. Wow, you sure are the sweetest, most generous soul! I had no clue I could return to this. Would have made me return earlier.

    What I meant by experiments was the experiments with work ecosystems and purple interactions. Given where I am with my career, it might just be better to use it to help others grow better rather than unconsciously feed my curiosity (if that was what was happening).

    Experiments with my mind will continue… 😀
    Grand hugs to you, dear S.

    1. Yayyy!! Hugs from Erotemee!!! 😀 😀 😀 Biggest bear hug to you tooooo!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

      Hey, not more than you Eroteme ever, for suree!!! 🙂 You top that list!! Keep writing knoww!! After that education post, you hadn't posted anything now!! sad! You might be busy, I understand!! Take care ❤

      And oh, I had to google search all these terms now!! Purple interactions? Sounds interesting!! Do you work with genes or something, if what google suggests is remotely in connect with what you do?

      And yeah, all the best on your career Eroteme!! I'm happy for you!! 🙂 Rock it and slay it!! And yeah, like you said, it's nice to experiment on various things, and now that you have solidified, I second on that on your opinion!! ❤

      And yes!! Cheers to your mind experiments!! hahaha ❤

      Aww.. First time I'm seeing someone use the word "Grand" and hugs to me!! Wow!! Sooo sweet of you Eroteme!! I miss you!! ❤

      Loaded with bullets full of love,
      Sathyashree ❤

  3. Erotemeee, grandest grandest hugs to you!!! 😍😝 Atleast now, Come out and see the sunshine🌝 knooww!!✨✨✨ Why are you staying hidden inside your Mediums and Twitters?? 🌛🌛🌛

  4. And where are the others Eroteme?? All of Meera, Paramati, etc. etc. Isn’t that sad you didn’t write for so long and no one is here like in 2005!! I was that 5th grade kid back in 2005 when you guys were discussing some super serious stuff!!🤣🤣🤣🤣 Feels soo good that this super kindest, refined and beautiful voice spoke back!! Love you loads❤️🎈✨

    Ah, and I had to laugh so hard when Parvati had accused you of you blabbering in assiduously wrapped up words.. when it’s just both different worlds and viewpoints. None of your sides are wrong!! ❤️❤️❤️ Maybe back at those times, you guys might have had clashes as to which of that is really right and all that!! It’s a beautiful debate!! Post vs Comments!! I miss the fact that, it’s not happening now😟

      1. I understand the depth of your emotions Eroteme.. “You and the blog, like the bank and the river”😭😭😭😭😭

        Oh you want to consider yourself a flowing river? You don’t want to think of yourself an ocean? Well, it’s your right to your language, but I’ll consider your tthoughts that hit the bank like the beautiful waves from the ocean that you are!!😘😘

        And I’ll consider myself like one of the cuckoos that hosted themselves in the comfortable trees of time cooing at the beauty of this wonderful interjection of this sanctified bank with the beauty of your waves!! ❤️❤️❤️😘😘😘😘

        So sooo sweet of you!!!

        When is your birthday Eroteme??🎂🎂🎂

  5. Do you have any contact with them? To rope them all in? And keep writing!! 😍 It looked like such a beautiful family!! ❤️ I mean, we all do have that one family at our home, these conversations are wings to our beings right?

    Or maybe you guys had grown up to think you guys were just drops in the ocean? Like Rumi says, you all maybe have been drops in the ocean, but there were oceans in each drops❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Not in touch with them. Yes, I felt like family with them, sitting under the evening moon tossing words at its reflection and discussing what shape the moon was.

      1. Oh wow!!😍😍😍

        I’m not going to add anything more!! It’s the most beautiful when the sculpture is left unpainted beaming it’s own vintage sepian beauty!! ❤️😘 Soo good!! Like being drunk with the epitome of your reserved feelings about your beautiful times connecting with the reflection of the moon!! ❤️

        Moon is your spirit right? And it’s reflection are your thoughts? And you were tossing with the help of the power of the language at your aid to describe your spirit’s shape?

        Hope I understood rightly🤗

        Take care Eroteme!!❤️ I sincerely hope I keep cooing as long as possible!! ❤️ Bless this cuckoo it’s strength already to hold it’s vision without getting drunk by the inevitable amrutham secreted out of this beach !! ❤️

  6. Also is it the case, like all these friends that cherished a great bond with you back then, who were girls don’t write back to you now?? What do you think about this Eroteme?? Is this pattern going to stay with all the Indian girls in future then?? To stay off from being in touch and all that stupid epic shit?? I hate the tragic fact that true bonds had to dissipate in reality. Can bonds sustain in that voluntary push to really keep it going without bias/expectation anyway to have them to be in touch ?? Without being afraid of what the other person thinks?? Maybe after a certain point in their age, girls get their ego hurt and painfully invoke the thought about what if they are seen as small and even crazy by the other subject?? And hence they don’t sportively come back??

    Wait, your name is not really Eroteme right??

  7. And it’s all okay to take one’s own time and to really be back right??

    I’m pained to see there’s nobody out here to coo along with me!!😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

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