A Royal Enfield, a warm night and another culture
A couple of years ago I opened an office in Hyderabad India. It fell to me to complete some of the legal formalities, very straight forward and business friendly including setting up an Indian bank account since your asking ! As an advanced motorcyclist having past the IAM test, I took the opportunity to hire a Royal Enfield and commute each day for the two weeks I was in India through what seems like the permanent rush hour. The picture was taken by me as I navigated the back doubles and it got me thinking.
At first glance it would seem that there is total chaos on the road system, but the more I observed, went with the flow and generally let my preconceptions fall away it became clear it was almost the complete opposite.
5 Lessons from riding a motorcycle in Hyderabad
1. Noise is not aggression
How often do we assume that because a person is loud or generally more animated than everyone else they are aggressive ? In fact it just might be their way. Through the film you will hear the sounding of horns. It simply means I am here lets co-exist together almost the complete opposite of how we use our horns in the UK and many meetings I have been in.
The passionate and enthusiastic will often be louder than their colleagues, there can be a tendency to orchestrate meetings at a certain level which plays into the hands of the oh so professional passive aggressive type – something to look out for
2. Sometimes you can’t go anywhere in life – that’s no bad thing
We are bombarded with film, literature and seminars and talks about goals, multi tasking and adding ever more ‘stuff’ to an over full schedule. My one goal was to enjoy the ride, soak in the atmosphere and remind myself how lucky I was to be there. I have tried to keep that thought back here in the UK.
3. Different isn’t better or worse it just is.
Within two days I felt at home. Yep it was different and admittedly slightly daunting at first but once you decide to leave your preconceptions at home a calmness seems to envelope you.
4. Be Unique – It breaks down barriers
I like riding motorcycles among probably even my connections on LinkedIn I am within a small minority. Yet in India walking into my admittedly nice hotel lobby with a motorcycle helmet it sparked conversation every time with the hotel staff, residents and just about everyone. We all have unique skills and hobbies. They are part of you and passion is contagious so look to enjoy them whenever and wherever.
5. Life, Career the lot is really about the journey
How often are we told that but choose or probably feel we haven’t the time to really take our surroundings in. Please take the time because in the end what else is there….
With thanks to my colleagues Shashi and Keerthi and all my friends in India