Deadly deadlines

I belong to the generation called 'Midnight's Children'. We are the generation, which, in my view, has had the best stay on this planet. Our parents fought terrible wars and gave us the opportunity to spend our lives exploiting the wealth of the planet in relative peace, mostly indiscriminately, for our comfort. We then quietly passed on the mess to our children to clean up as we headed towards retirement.

In the corporate world, where I spent close to thirty years, life was pretty simple — job security, several job opportunities, a less stressful environment and enough learning for those who sought it. Liberalisation changed all that. We went through all the stages of trauma —denial, anger and eventually acceptance. So, many of us are back in the new world, repackaged.

And, yet, not entirely so. There were some good things in the world we left behind.

I wish to write about my anathema to deadlines in the corporate world and share my experiences on the harmful effects, which I have observed in the new performance-driven world in the Indian context because of deadlines.

The first thing that comes to mind is that deadlines smack too much of American culture and the Indian psyche is not in tune with this concept. Don't get me wrong — I am not saying we should not adapt what's desirable from a different culture just because we have a different psyche.

The American work ethic is worth emulating — we seem to have a terrible work ethic. All I am saying is that in the process of assimilation we should not throw out the baby with the bathwater.