Despite my poor memory of most of my childhood and adolescence, some aspects remain deeply etched. Some of them relate, in particular, to my grandfather. He would do most of the house work himself, and that included washing and drying the clothes. When I was around, I would lend a helping hand, though I soon realised that I had to be careful with it. He was very particular about how it was done. The clothes had to be hung out in particular ways, ensuring they weren’t creased, that they were well spread out, that pegs were attached to either end and what not. He would scream at me if I got it wrong! Back then, I had not understood why he was so finicky. Be it drying clothes or cooking or even something as simple as affixing stamps on mail – he had particular ways of doing it, and they were efficient, effective & neat, to say the least. Irrespective of the task, when he would finally finish the job, it showed. One would know just by looking that it was my grandpa who had hung out the clothes. Unbeknownst to me, I grew up with some of these ideas deeply ingrained. And this was starkly in contrast with what I saw in the years to come. Mediocrity seems to be the order of the day in today’s world.
In such a milieu, EZV makes a pleasant departure. Here, we are encouraged to do everything in the best possible manner. What we do, doesn’t matter as much as how we do it. Even in a simple letter, we aspire to leave a distinctive stamp, a flavour that is ‘EZVian’ as we call it. Are we there? Is our performance in the superlative all the time? Tough to say, and in many cases, perhaps we are a long way off. While we are pretty dan good at what we do, our benchmarks can be so high that there is always room for betterment. And it is precisely this thought – that we can do better, and that we must – that actually spurns us. We like to say, our only real competitors are ourselves – we outperform ourselves every time, get better at what we do, and keep at it.
On many such occasions, when Chitra pushes us to do better, I am reminded of the old man. I look back now, and realise that in his simple life, in the smallest of things he did, thatha looked for excellence. I am grateful to EZV for having brought back the pursuit of excellence strongly into my consciousness.