An Indian railways ticket examiner has created beautiful art work capturing life around trains, platforms and stations.
Apart from being the largest employer in the country, Indian Railways has often been an inspiration to many a creative pursuit, ranging from travelogues to odes on the sights, sounds and romance associated with train travel. Celebrated authors from Rudyard Kipling and Intizar Husain to Ruskin Bond and Satyajit Ray have rhapsodised on the charms of the railways.
One would imagine that those who work in the railways would, however, be immune to these sights and sounds, but it's not the case with Bijaya Biswal, Train Ticket Examiner in Nagpur division of the Indian Railways. Biswal, known for his brush strokes that have in the past painted wondrous portraits of men and the world, has now turned his attention to the railways. In a series of water colour paintings, he has brought out the hidden charms and beauty of a railway junction and the lives that revolve around it.
Shared by the Salem Division of Southern Railways on their Facebook page, his art work quickly went viral, with people hailing him as a genius and some even suggesting that "he should be running his own art gallery and teaching art" rather than examining tickets for a living.
Biswal, though, says that his art is different from his work and the railways continue to motivate him to create more.
"I don't think I need to get away from my job to pursue art," he said. "My job allows me to travel and observe the platforms, trains, employment of people around it and so many other things which I try to capture in my art work."
Biswal has been working with the Railways for the past 25 years, but he he started painting much earlier and has only started getting recognition now. "I have been painting with charcoal, pens, water colours etc since the very young age of five or six," he said. "The paintings on Indian Railways aren't new either. I made them sometime ago but it's only now that they have started to get popular and people are discovering them, so there's praise but I have no plans of leaving work to pursue art. I am already pursuing it."
Here's a snapshot of his recent works where he captures the beauty of Indian Railways:
All images used with the prior permission of the artist.
Can success lead to a more fulfilled life? It’s complicated for Indians, according to a new survey
A surprising disconnect between success and fulfillment has much to tell us about the choices we make.
While “success” can be defined in many ways, it seems to be increasingly equated with financial prosperity in India. The pressure to succeed financially can influence many of our major life decisions, from the subjects we study in school to the jobs we desire as adults. But is financial success alone the key to a meaningful and fulfilled life? Maybe not.
A recent study by Abbott explored the impact of 13 different factors, including success (defined as “financial success”), on personal fulfillment. The survey asked nearly two million individuals across countries, including India, to comment on what contributes to living a fulfilled life. Respondents also self-reported their current levels of personal fulfillment to compare with the fulfillment standards they set for themselves.
In India, “success” was the second-most widely acknowledged driver of personal fulfillment, surpassing other factors like “giving”, “learning” and “health”. In fact, Indians on the whole considered success to be key to a fulfilled life far more than any other country, far ahead of economic powerhouses like the US and Germany. When Indian respondents were then asked which qualities they thought made other people feel fulfilled, 16% of the sample chose “money”, second only to “attitude”.
Clearly there is a growing importance placed on success and money, but where is this preoccupation getting us?
The good news is that, on the whole, Indians rated themselves as enjoying a life that was only somewhat less fulfilled relative to the global average (61 vs 68 on a scale of 100). The surprising finding, however, was that at an individual level, respondents who chose “success”as the top driver of fulfillment actually reported lower levels of fulfillment relative to the average.
So, what can we derive from these mixed and somewhat complicated signals? How can success be both a driver and deterrent of personal fulfillment simultaneously?
The most likely explanation is that our own high expectations for financial success are actually limiting our ability to feel fulfilled. While success and money have been shown to improve levels of happiness, their impact on leading a meaningful life, which is critical to feeling fulfilled, is much less. By prioritizing the pursuit of financial success, we might be eclipsing other important activities that are central to leading a more fulfilled life in the present.
One clue to support this is that while everyone’s path to fulfillment differs, globally and in India, people who chose attributes like “family”, “spirituality” or “giving” as the top drivers of fulfillment self-reported above-average levels of fulfillment. Attributes like spirituality were also associated with above-average fulfillment levels in India and the US, whereas music was important for Brazil and health for China.
Perhaps the most powerful takeaway, then, is that leading a fulfilled life is a choice available to all of us. Through greater self-awareness and reflection, we can develop a deeper understanding of the things that make us feel truly fulfilled. While financial goals will no doubt feature on the path to fulfillment for many of us, it’s important not to lose sight of other aspects of life like family, music, travel, spirituality and health that could also play a significant role. Taking all of these aspects into consideration can help each of us find our unique “fulfillment equation” that will bring us greater peace and contentment in life.
How can each of us ensure we are defining personal fulfillment in our own terms? Thankfully, there are numerous resources available that can help people around the world define and lead a more fulfilled life. Abbott, a global health care company, is committed to helping people live the best life possible. Their website and newsletter feature life hacks for work or personal time like those listed below. These are great tools for those ready to lead a more fulfilled and meaningful life, starting today.
This article was produced on behalf of Abbott by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.