Hi, my name is Alok.
I was born in the year 1977, in a joint family living in the heart of Delhi in a locality called Tilak bridge. Contrary to the hustle bustle and commercialization of Delhi, this place was nothing short of nature’s paradise, and I guess I inherited my love for peaceful and scenic nature during my childhood days spent here. My schooling happened in and around the centre of Delhi. Like most kids, I was blissfully clueless about which direction of career to choose — I chose science because I was a meritous student till class 10th so it was the default option, and later I chose Electrical Engineering in my college because my father wanted me to take it. So far it was a very regular ‘Sharmaji ka beta’ type story you can say, but my passion and destiny had different plans on the cards.
In my early twenties, year 2002, I was heading the Training and Quality department of a multinational being the youngest achiever within the organisation proudly wearing 3 promotions in 3 years on my shoulders. Those were the days when photography was done with polaroid films, internet was a privilege, and sitting in an international flight was considered an achievement. But here I was, splurging in all three, under the illusion that I had arrived in life. Until me and my colleagues were nominated for something called a ‘soft-skills workshop’.
Back then, even such a workshop was a rarity, and we ran to that off-site happy and clueless, just hoping to spend some good times, but there came the first turning point of my life. Throughout a workshop I was constantly jolted on how I was ignorantly riding my own shortcomings. When it ended, I came out shocked in realization of my self-illusions, now broken for good.
A few similar workshops later, not only I was a little wiser, but also clearer that this profession would be my calling of life. I left a reasonably successful lifestyle soon after and grabbed a unique opportunity to create behavioural/mindset shift in rural entrepreneurs of India. I feel deeply in love with villages and villagers, amazed with the potential they carry, and proud of the hundreds of stories we had created in empowering them. I feel that has been another turning moment of my life, as it gave me some of the toughest and richest experiences a facilitator can ever imagine.
As I look back, I have taken a few long strides on this journey. Today, I am a holistic L&D practitioner, and I can humbly say I’ve tasted many diverse experiences while being tested on many platforms of learning. I’ve worked with school kids, college students and senior management professionals alike, creating engaging content while delivering impactful learning interventions.
I love all joys of life, but if I had to choose three, I would pick travelling, music, and minimalism.
Also, I love stories. In fact, I cherish them so much that I have a blog dedicated to them: http://thescentedcandles.blogspot.com. These are approx. 500 stories based on lessons of life that I curated for years – sometimes as bedtime read to the kids, and other times as a feed for my workshops. I have faith that any act of persuasion involves a story well-narrated, and any leader hoping for change must have this skill in his armour.
Until we meet.
Keep smiling 🙂
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