Going Beyond the Task

Going Beyond the Task

‘Hi, VR! I am feeling a bit confused these days. I thought you might help me find some clarity through the Ramayana’, quipped Maanav.

‘Well, Maanav, you are clear that Ramayana can bring you clarity. That is a great start!’ replied VR.

‘Ha! Nice one, VR! Well, it’s been a month since I started my internship. Things are going OK as I have done whatever I have been asked to do. My manager does not seem fully satisfied though. He hasn't told me anything yet but I wonder what makes him feel that way’, added Maanav trying to give word to his concern.

‘Well, maybe your manager is looking for someone who can go beyond his allotted task. Something Hanumanji did in his search for Mother Sita‘

‘Well, I do know the story. Can you explain how it is connected to my problem?’ asked Maanav.

‘Sure. When Hanuman left with others, the brief given to them was to find out the exact location of Mother Sita and report back to Sugreeva and Sri Ram. Hanuman, after overcoming many challenges, finally managed to locate Mother Sita at Ashoka Vatika. He also saw how Ravana and other rakshasi guards were trying to force her to become Ravana’s wife. He saw how much pain she was going through. Technically, Hanuman had achieved his task. He could go back and report the location of Mother Sita to Sri Ram and Sugreeva. But Hanuman thought of the larger objective. What if Ravana or the other rakshasis actually harmed her while he went and came back to Lanka with Sri Ram? Or what if Sita herself lost hope and ended her life?’

‘All this would mean a total failure of the final objective of reuniting Sita and Sri Ram. So, Hanuman decided to go beyond his set task, and first met and reassured Sita. Then he destroyed the garden and killed many rakshasas to send a warning to Ravana. He allowed himself to be captured to meet Ravana and deliver the warning directly to him so that he won’t harm Sita Devi. It also helped him to understand how things functioned in Ravana’s court and understand the righteous nature of Vibheeshan. Thus, keeping the bigger picture in mind, Hanuman went and performed much beyond his allotted task‘

‘Hmm… this is really insightful, VR. I had never looked at this story from this angle. I think I realise now where I have been falling short. I only focused on my task and showed no interest in understanding what the overall objective was, or  how I can do my job better to help with that. I can see why my manager would feel a bit disappointed. Thanks so much once again, VR. I now know how to be a better contributor at work!’

‘Happy to be of use, Maanav. Until we meet again, thank you for using Ramayana Reboot!’

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Chinmaya Udghosh