Arnaz Bhote and Madhura Yellapurkar recently joined CAP. While Madhura has taken over the reins of the accounting and office admin, Arnaz supports the programme functions. Read on to get to know them as they interview each other.
M: After having worked in corporates for 15 years – how different is the experience in the social sector?
A: Working in the social sector is far from the glitzy corridors of the Fortune 500 companies I have worked for. Employees in non profit organizations sometimes “have to take it on faith “that the work they are doing day to day is contributing to a larger, more important goal.
The opportunity to learn new skills and gain experience in areas I haven’t worked in before are many due to fewer resources. Whether it is a natural disaster half the world away or a donor down the street wants the organization to think bigger about its programs, many non profits have employed new thinking, technological advances and a more entrepreneurial approach to become agile, adept and be prepared.
The best advantage is that it simply feels right to me to work for something, where I believe I can make a difference!!
M: What according to you is an important aspect of parenting?
A: Learning to “let go” and there is no “right time” to do that. Our children need to experience life and the only way they can do that is by walking the path and discovering things for themselves and valuing the lessons they learnt along the way. As parents we can be their “light houses” nothing more.
M: In your travels which country/city you enjoyed the most and why?
A: I was in awe of Isfahan, which is one of the most beautiful cities in Iran. It features numerous tree-lined boulevards and flower gardens, miles of beautiful parks along the Zayandeh River; 1300 year-old covered bazaars, bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. It is also called nesf-e jahān meaning half of the world.
M: If you had not taken up a desk job and become a teacher instead – how do you think you would have fared?
A: Teaching needs you to be patient and calm and keep repeating yourself until you are understood. Unfortunately patience is not my virtue. So had I been a teacher I would have been called to the Principal’s office frequently....!
M: Which type of movies do you like?
A: I am a movie buff and watch all genres of cinema. I love watching Thrillers and Prison Break movies as the edge of the seat drama gets my adrenalin pumping!!
M: What is on your wish list from Santa?
A: A Little smile, a little cheer a bit of love from someone dear.... It doesn’t matter what we eat, what presents we get as long as the holidays are spent with our loved ones – My wish is to spend my holidays with my husband and kids because the love of a family is life’s greatest blessing!!
M: You have relocated to Bombay –how have you adapted to the change?
A: Any change is difficult and especially after you have lived in a place for 20 years. Relocating from Pune, my work, friends, relatives, and the favourite haunts and the memories and trying to rebuild all that in Bombay was a daunting task. I think while I physically made the move I was fighting it internally for a long time. But Bombay is a city that just envelops you in its fold and gives you opportunities and possibilities that one has not had before. I love the city and the buzz that comes with it.
A: What inspires you to work within the social sector? What qualities does one need to work in this sector?
M: Motivating and spending time with people and seeing happy faces at the end of it all inspires me to continue my work in this field. Despite the lure of a higher salary and a better working atmosphere in the corporate world, I find my job here very fulfilling. According to those who know me, my cool temperament coupled with my passion and dedicating my 100% to everything that I do, makes me an ideal candidate to work in the social space.
A: Who has inspired you in your life and why?
M: My daughter Mrinal inspires me in my life. From her childhood she had the dream of pursuing a career in dance. As she grew up this dream turned into a reality and she choose the profession of Bhartnatyam as her livelihood. She completed her Masters in Performing Arts and joined tutelage under Guru Vaibhav Arekar who is a well known Bhartnatyam dancer, for performances. I admire my daughter’s determination for making her passion into her work. This profession may not pay her so well but the creative satisfaction she derives out of it is unmatched and unparalleled.
A: What do you do in your free time?
M: I volunteer at Ameya Palak Sanghatana (Gharkul) which is an organization for mentally challenged individuals. The organization takes care of these people from the age of 18 years till end of their lives, as some of them are abandoned or parents are incapable of providing special care to them. I spend time teaching them, telling stories and helping with the cooking of meals in the kitchen from time to time.
A: How does classical dance compare to other styles of dancing?
M: Classical dance is the basis of all other dance forms. If one is adept with classical dancing then learning other dance forms becomes easy.
A: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
M: I went to watch this comedy movie in Marathi called ‘Vazandar’. The story was about 2 friends and their issues with their weight and the comic situations they got themselves into. I found the movie very hilarious and could not stop laughing through it.
M: I would like Santa to gift me a Spa Holiday Package for 10 days. This will ensure that I have a relaxed and refreshed festive season and come back to work all guns blazing!!
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