Introduction — Quotidian — 001

(Transcript of video originally posted 01 Jan 2021)


My name is Rajendran! I am launching this playlist, titled “Quotidian”, on my YouTube Channel. I want to meet you daily, with a little tidbit of interesting information. Let me give you a brief introduction about what this is.

Let me first introduce myself to you, who I am, and what I do.

I am Rajendran Dandapani, and I have been employed at this company called Zoho Corporation, for the past 25 years, right from the day it was founded.

My current role involves managing engineers who build world class software applications. At the same time, ever since 2005, we have been running an interesting academic experiment called “Zoho Schools”. I teach programming, design, marketing, and soft-skills at this Zoho Schools of Learning. As I grew more mature, with age and experience, I have also been teaching the art of managing to many of my colleagues. And, at Zoho Schools, I lead a group of faculty members, in my current role as President. So, if I step back and take a look, a typical day for me involves Managing, Teaching, Teaching Managing, and Managing Teaching!

So, the stuff that I share with you every day, I am guessing they will fall within one of these four boxes!

Okay! So, what then is a Quotidian? And, why am I even doing it?

First up, the word “Quotidian”. The dictionary definition goes something like this:- “Daily, Commonplace, Mundane”.. Something that one sees nearly every day. The boring, the usual, the uninteresting! So, I am setting the expectations very clearly. It is important that you understand up front what you can expect from these! All I am trying to do here is share with you, the little nuggets, tidbits, tchotchkes, that I encounter day to day, that I find interesting… A “Quotidian” from me may just be that. Quotidian!

Taking a second look at the word, one sees that it is a portmanteau of “Quotes” and “Comedian”. We will be sharing and discussing a lot of famous words and quotes by historic luminaries.. And, people call me a comedian often. An inappropriate comedian sharing noteworthy quotes! That’s what you’ll get here.

If you see the number, I haven’t mentioned it as “1” or “01”. I chose “001” because I wanted to tell myself that this is a marathon. A long game. Set my destination far into the future. I have thus told myself that I should take this all the way to a thousand episodes! Such explicit goal-setting and public-sharing might even force me, remind me, encourage me, egg me on, if on some day I doze off, miss doing this, or feel out of sorts. And, that’s the reason for the James-Bondish numbering system!

There is a phrase in Japanese called “Kai Zen”. Roughly translates to “Changing for the Better”. Small changes. Atomic changes. Incremental improvements. Not a dark night suddenly turning into a bright day. But a gradual onset of a dawn, through fifty shades of grey. Any change, any meaningful transformation, will have to proceed only through gradual steps. Every day, to present something interesting to you, I need to encounter it in the first place, assimilate, make the connections, learn from it, and share them with you! So, it becomes a gentle positive pressure on me to bake the “Today I Learned” phenomenon right into my daily routine!

From the viewpoint of my wife, ever since the Corona Lockdown started, I had lost motivation to really groom myself, and the results were turning out shabby. Now though, as I have to appear on camera in front of you every day, present to you “presentably”, I have to foam up and slide down, if you know what I mean. And, that is a clear benefit if ever there was one!

Hugh Macleod, a famous author, cartoonist, philosopher, overall smart guy, says “If you are successful, it’ll usually never come from the direction you predicted. (The same is true if you fail!)”. Whatever goal or destination you chose when you got started, that is usually never the reason you succeed, that is usually never the place you eventually reach. Failure works the same way too. Both success and failure are usually from “out of left field”. I don’t have some overarching goal or purpose for starting this initiative. I want to learn something interesting everyday so I can share it with you. Let’s see how it goes from here on out! Thank you!



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