Insights from India

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi


It’s been unduly long since I wrote, I’ve been on a hectic vacation schedule, and it has been difficult to spare 1hr in front of my computer and realy write something to my taste. My mind has beeen shifting back and forth on different topics. I’ve been mostly on the move as well, so there is a load of information that I have recieved on these amazing 7 days on the exotic laps of luxury. It’s exciting enjoying the vacation that others only dream about, take my word for it, tourism is higher education. This year seems an adventure already, courtesy of Holidays and Cash, we’ll be doing Sun City this month as well, Spain around the corner, Thailand and Las Vegas. Don’t die in the rut of running a marathon race with your life, rather enlist in a relay race, and enjoy your life.

There are quite a number of topics struggling for priority attention in my mind. I will simply write about them all, and then do the diligence of expanding the write-up as passion becomes available. I will jump from topics that don’t seem connected, but the thread that will join them all together are valuable wisdom nuggets that we can take away and add to our lives. Welcome through the lenses of my eyes, lightly tinted by my development bias into the world of India. With 36 million gods and religions, a population above 1 billion, host community of one of the wonders of the world – The Taj Mahal and rich historical content, I welcome you to Incredible India!

Five Star Service

Experiencing a few days in the Galaxy Hotel in New Delhi, redefined service for me. Experiencing the treatment of the staff of this hotel, made it apparent that 5 stay was not only about the building and the structure of the rooms. It wasn’t only about having a massager in one’s room, or having a real Jacuzzi and enjoying bubble baths. 5 star was very much the building as well as the service. The average scenery in India is worse than what you’ll see on Nigerian streets, they are many, and many are poor. Once you step into the hotel however you are in a different world. The staff don’t watch you passby, they literally stand up to greet you at your instance. Extremely respectful and helpful, it’s difficult to know who calls the shots among them. At the dining, you are chocked with support, they want you to be pleased like their job depended on it. It’s like every minute counts or like someone is always watching them. Getting to Agra and lodging in the JP Hotel was another 5 star treatment, 5hrs away from New Delhi and it confirmed to me that 5 star was matched with 5 star treatment, irrespective of location. Are you offering your clients 5 star service?
36 Million gods

I felt it was riddiculous when I was told that there are as much as 36 million gods in India. Doesn’t that mean that every group of 30 people have one god each? It’s amazing how the indians have converted almost any form into a god. I have never seen cows as well fed and chubby as the ones in India. They don’t eat cows because for supplying milk for children they are seen as gods. In India, you can’t kill a cow :). I also heard that if you do too many miracles as a pastor in India, you can be made one of their gods :). Thinking deeply about having so many gods however brought me to take a look back to my country. In this age of “my pastor said”, this age of “my man of God”, are we also not having close to 36 million god forms? In India they worship all forms, but many of our people have reneged their powers of thought and their personal walks with God, with the idolatory of keeping their eyes on men rather than on God. Idolatory in the 21st century is not necessarily bowing before a golden calf. Idolatory is the process of idolizing anything – a Sportsman, an entertainer, a pastor, a car, money – anything. Whatever wins you place your pedestal and wins your time and attention is becoming a god to you. Idolatory is stealing God’s glory. Whatever you refer to for what God ought to be refered to, is an idol. What are your idols?

Transgenerational Achievement

I don’t know if it’s coincidence that the bible talks about wise men from the east (Asia). It seems that Asians are wise indeed. One thing that stands in your face if you care to pay attention, is how families have been able to hand over their businesses down generations. I met quite a number of people whose businesses were what was handed down to them across 2 or more generations. We met an artist whose works is simply beyond this world, a concept called needing painting. The artist uses needles and threads of different colours to create a picture that looks like a painting and is at times three dimensional (Trust me, you need to see it to fully grasp this). What I find extrememly interesting is that 4 generations after, the great grand children have added education to thiers and are taking over the baton from their fathers. Even in a shop full of gift items, you hear the 50+ year old shop owner proudly telling you that his grandfather sold in the same shop in 1950. It’s not only big companies that should have succession plans, even small shops can. Once we get it right in a small model, it won’t be difficult to make happen on the bigger base. A wise man leaves an inheritance for his Childrens children. What are you building that will outlive you? Your job will not! Don’t push this thought till tomorrow, start building something today, and build them on the right values. The only house that will stand the test of time, is the one built upon the solid rock.

Love or Immortality?

There is a theme I’m seeing these days, it seems to me, that the themes that make up the greatest tourist attractions in the world have to do with either love or immortality. One would think that the pyramids of Egypt were economic monuments, they are not. They are tombs that someone who wanted some form of immortality built. If you haven’t seen the pyramids, this might not bite so hard on your mind, but trust me, these monster structures are so big, it’s difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that it’s merely a tomb! The pyramids are getting mileage off of immortality. The Burj Dubai is a demonstration of love, it was designed to be the tallest building in the world, shaped like a felt pen. It was a gift between the Abu Dhabi Emirate and the Dubai Emirate. It’s mileage is off of Love. Taj Mahal however combined these two in an interesting way. The Taj Mahal is simply a tomb that man (Emperor Shah Jahan) built for the wife he loved the most. History has it that this was the only wife that gave him children, and the wife died during the childbirth of the 14th child. The Taj mahal was built to be the final resting place of his beloved wife. The Taj Mahal is a monsterous marble structure with 4 gates that are also major construction works. The symmetery in the architecture is thrilling. According to a popular myth 20,000 people worked relentlessly for 16 years to build the Taj Mahal and their hands were all dismembered so that the can never build another one like it. 2-4 million people visit the Taj Mahal annually. Men made themselves relevant beyond their times by building physical monuments. Today is our turn to build, and we can build physically, economically even spiritually. When the curtains draw on time, and the gap between now and eternity is bridged, what will you have lived for? In what ways will your sacrifices of love be felt, and what themes are going to surround your immortality.

The Egyptians put their hands together in front of them like a prayer clap, bow down their heads and say Namaste. It means, I’m bowing to the divine power on your inside. Everyone of us has a seed of greatness in us. This seed has within it the harvest of many possibilities. You are guaranteed to be great, to be big to be mighty upon the earth. Except this seed however takes the risk of losing itself and follows it’s intuition to do that for which it was made, it will abide alone. In closing to you today, I say Namaste!

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