Did you ever wonder why this site is titled Red Gram Living? A humble Indian legume and an American poet inspired me to choose this rather unusual name. And just like my life this site is built on solid Indian foundations with a brave American heart.
What follows is the Red Gram Living Manifesto – Authenticity is Audacity; Vocation must mirror Avocation.
Be sure to download the printable Manifesto at the end of this page.
What is Red Gram?
Red Gram, also known as “Daal” or “Pigeon Pea”, is one amazing legume! It is a staple of Vegetarian diet in the Tropics. It has been grown in India for over 3500 years and is consumed in a variety of preparations by the rich and poor alike. I have enjoyed this lentil for over three decades now and did not even realize what a fascinating plant it is!
You see the Red Gram is a perennial plant. It is grown year around for sustenance and to enrich the soil. Any normal crop will deplete the soil of essential nutrients, even without the use of aggressive agricultural methods. This requires that the soil rest for a period before balance can be restored. But a soil that has been sown with red gram is always nutritionally balanced. Not only does the Red Gram produce protein rich food, but it also enhances the field to benefit crops that are sown subsequently.
Now that is a plant geared to be the best that it can be! It gives all something to aspire to does it not?
Society imposes an artificial dichotomy; often it forces us to divorce our career from our talents. Many of us either during academic years or after entering the workforce find ourselves in roles that have little to do with our talents. Perhaps we were enticed by the prospect of wealth or believed that we were meant to climb the rungs of the corporate ladder, whatever the reason might be, we spend a lifetime repairing our flaws while our strengths lie neglected.
However, science has proven time and again that our greatest chances of success lie in claiming our innate talents and strengths. To progress in our chosen career, we must start incorporating our strengths into our work. If such a career is not within our immediate grasp, then we may have no alternative but to invent our own Perennial Act.
One of my favorite poets, Robert Frost, who is better known for his views on taking the scenic route, declares it by renouncing the separation of work and play:
But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done?
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.
Authenticity is Audacity
Authentic: being true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character; genuine, real, original.
If I were to issue this challenge to someone “Are you living an authentic life?” many would be outraged! But how many of us are audacious enough to be authentic? How many of us acknowledge that we don’t live a life true to our character?
Is life really worth living if we don’t approach it with our true intent and purpose? Why shouldn’t every step take us further down the path of becoming a better person? Why shouldn’t our careers and talents be closely intertwined, so that we are unable to distinguish where one ends and the other begins? Is it too much to ask for work to provide us with not just financial and intellectual fulfillment but also satisfy our heart and our soul? Why are we curbing our creativity? Above all, why should we rely on others to define our careers?
These questions have haunted me for the last several years; they have been the catalyst for creating this site; my research and writing. They have me viewing the Red Gram in awe, renouncing the dichotomy in my life and embracing my dreams.
A Perennial Act – The Red Gram Life
The bountiful perennial Red Gram never rests. It doesn’t care what the weather forecast is or what the soil conditions may be. Drought or torrential rains may be on the horizon, but it perseveres courageously. Nature at her very best has designed it to grow hearty food and restore harmony to the soil. It effortlessly (albeit unknowingly) unites its vocation and avocation. In that process, it leaves a richer environment for other plants to thrive.
I believe that it is possible for you and me to blend our natural talents and passions into our careers. This path is the confluence of audacity and authenticity. This is where we become willing to question our beliefs, start showing our true selves to the world one client or one written article at a time.
Will you join me in my quest for the Red Gram life? Will you help Plant Seeds for an Audaciously Authentic Life?
Click on the image below to download the printable RGL Manifesto.