Rohan Jolly

Charting the Possibilities of Existence

One of the most exciting things in life is discovering better ways of doing things. I am driven by efficiency and innovation. Human life is too precious to waste. Our duty is towards ourselves. To become self-actualized people. To spend time with our family and friends. To make our mark in the greater scheme of things. We are not insignificant. We can be the change we wish to see in the world.

This is my journey so far

A Dream Midst The Desert

 
“Dubai will never settle for anything less than first place”
— Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Dubai is the best city in the world of its size. It is a testament to what can be done with the right leadership and vision, rising astronomically in record time to become a world leader from a regional backwater. It has pushed the limits of human engineering and ingenuity, defying what was deemed impossible.

Everyone has their own connection with Dubai's landmarks. From tourists gaping at the Burj Khalifa piercing out of the earth as their plane descends into Dubai, to old timers reminiscing about how the city was once upon a time. This is not a city of man-made structures but a city of man's will made visible.

From the worlds tallest building to the worlds largest mall, this is the center of now. While the old heart of the city still retains its heritage, the new Downtown is perhaps the finest city center the world has seen so far. The distance between them is just a few miles; the bridge uniting them spans centuries.

 

The Lucky Country: The Australian Years

 
“Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life, save only this -

That if you work hard and intelligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole, purpose of education”
— John Alexander Smith

Australians are fair, straightforward and open. They believe in giving everyone a fair go. Honest and hardworking to a fault, this is a country where everyone works and takes pride in their work. It is not without reason Utes are preferred to sedans in the land down under.

Not one to be encumbered by the past, Australia has gone from strength to strength. It has successfully adapted to international changes as well as regional changes. In a constantly changing world, Australia has brought in the new without losing its own unique cultural heritage.

I am proud to have spent my formative years studying Economics and Finance at two of the finest educational institutions in this great country. Whatever challenges the future brings to this vast continent, I am confident the easy-going and self-effacing Australians will face it head on.

 

An Island Paradise

 
“The child in each of us knows paradise.
Paradise is home. Home as it was or home as it should have been.

Paradise is one’s own place, one’s own people, one’s own world, knowing and known, perhaps even loving and loved.

Yet every child Is cast from paradise - into growth and new community, into vast, ongoing change.”
— Octavia E. Butler

I grew up on the island of Malé, the capital of the island nation of the Maldives. When I first landed on the island using a dhoni, the island was host to 30,000 residents. When I last left, there were over 200,000 people living on the 0.8 square miles of land pictured above. Those 0.8 square miles house half the inhabitants of the 1,200 island strong nation.

The Maldives is more than beautiful resorts, breathtaking beaches, and colorful coral reefs. It is a nation like any other, with people filled with hopes and dreams. Some desire for the good old days to return, others wish for change to sweep through faster.

I never came across a Maldivian who did not enjoy playing host, even if they had just met the person. It is not without reason they are known for their hospitality. The exquisite cuisine served here is obtainable nowhere else. It remains the one constant among the islanders as the nation braces itself for each new wave of change.

 

A New Birth of Freedom

 
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially”
— Jawaharlal Nehru

Nearly five decades after India redeemed its pledge with destiny, India finally had a new birth of freedom. For too long had the soul of the nation been girded too tight. Sound principles of economics and liberalism began to give the citizens of this ancient nation another chance to regain the pride and glory that was all but lost.

I was born in the central provinces at the cusp of this great transformation. I remember little of how the nation was before opening up to the world except from anecdotes told by those who lived through it. I do remember how much the nation changed each time I visited. Villages became towns, towns turned into cities, and cities turned into megacities. Delhi was once again a world capital.

It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting. I look forward to the day when the Indian dream is no longer to move to America to live the American dream but instead to be the architects of the Indian dream in our own motherland. With the current winds of change, that day is not too far away.

 

John Doe to John Donne

 
“No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main”
— John Donne

I love connecting with people. Human interactions fascinate me. The seemingly limitless possibilities that stem from it are endlessly intriguing. Much to my dismay, I have, however, never fully grasped the realities of social interactions. The notion of getting to know someone is more attractive than the actual process.

I tire in long social situations. I unfortunately tend to say exactly what I am thinking. People are seen as either friends or foes, with little room for pleasant acquaintances. Social niceties are often overlooked. Conversations about popular movies, TV shows and celebrities are often met with disdain.

My sincere apologies to those of you who have suffered through this. But then what are we without our individuality, our quirks, and our idiosyncrasies? Life without some passion that forces you to disregard the norms and conventions of everyday life is not a life worth living.