Friday, July 21, 2006

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Bear with me…I’m still in this phase of mind. Gained an objective perspective on emotional disappointment of late. This is my way of making head or tail of that. I’ve thrived on a lot of planning, I must confess. Guess we all do. Show me a person who claims to ‘go with the flow’ and I’ll show you a liar.

So we plan and we plan. Some people make one, while others like me have many contingency plans…if this doesn’t work out, then this might…if not then I have this as my backup…etc. etc. etc. And some plans fructify; others come to nought. Either which way, we lose…precious time. What was the point of planning for contingencies when this is successful? If this was going to be unsuccessful, why did I waste time planning for it?

The only objective look that I’ve found in this entire predicament is uncertainty. As we’re unsure of all outcomes, we plan for as many of them as we possibly can, given our capabilities. These are the games people play and they are the games nations play. If time is what we make of it, then is this how it was meant to be? And while I’m on it let me add another observation, since this deals with emotional disappointment. Why do we ‘pay’ attention and ‘spend’ time? (Particularly in the English language because we do very different things with both time and attention in Hindi or any other Indian vernacular languages…)

Saturday, July 08, 2006


In his book “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” Tom Robbins wrote something to the effect that (I’m paraphrasing here) - success closes as many doors as failure does. At first it struck me as completely profound and truthful as did some line in a song by Travis – the circle only has one side. Upon further rumination, I figured both are wrong. The circle has two sides as all other objects, opinions, arguments, viewpoints and counter arguments. And while failure closes that ‘one’ option, success closes the window on all other opportunities. A person gets stuck with success, while failure helps him strive again. Ask Edison, who famously said, “I didn’t fail, I figured out 1999 ways of how not to make a light bulb!”

In 2004, a friend told me, “It would be wonderful if you study hard but fail in this exam”. At that point of time I thought it was a needlessly vicious thing to say. I did fail at that exam; I was crushed. It was the last time I cried. I still remember. 3rd of August 2004. (Well, it took me until February, the next year, to recover resolve, build determination and study again, and this time successfully. Now I find my options quite limited.) The lesson however that I learnt was not to be affected by either success or failure.

About the circle and it’s two sides: inside and outside…it smacks of the Hindu concepts of Karma and Maya. A business tycoon and a typical yogi are the same. One is running towards money, the other away from money. Money thus is the focus. To reduce the sense of dimensions even if one used a point in space, imaginary for both geometry and meditation, it doesn’t amount to much… (Rather it does because a point has some existence.) I guess that is why Sankhya, Nirvana and Kaivalya culminate in absolute nothingness.