28 January 2011

Yusuf Pathan - A Humble Encounter

Today, at Vakola Masjid in Santacruz (East), Mumbai, Yusuf Pathan walked in for the Friday Namaz. He was dressed simply, in a white shirt and a blue pair of denim. He looked peaceful in his newly grown beard, Mashallah! There was no air around him. He walked in the mosque like a common man looking for a place to sit. He sat 2 rows behind me. 

As soon as the prayers got over, he decided to leave. No sooner did he reached the gate and wore his shoes, than a few men surrounded him for an autograph! "Yusuf bhai, one autograph please." "Yusuf bhai, please step out and click a photograph with us." The requests poured in with a Dolby surround sound effect!

And Yusuf replied, "Please let me go!" Now when I looked at him uttering those words, they were only out of humility. He was visibly embarrassed as if the paparazzi caught him with his pants down! His 'please let me go' actually meant, "I have come here to pray just like you guys. Why are you acting so strange. Did you forget we are in God's house?" 

He hurried away to the Toyota Innova waiting a few metres ahead and jumped inside. Little kids started knocking the window and grown up men waved their hands. All Yusuf did was, bow down to tie his shoe laces and embarrassingly lifted his hands up without looking at the crowd.

This was indeed a humbling experience. Why? I have seen minutely famous personalities acting like superstars when they are around common people. Forget them, when we ordinary common folks achieve something, we act like royalty. And here was Yusuf Pathan, arguably the greatest Indian hard hitting batsman, showcasing the class associated with real gentlemen.

All I did was, see him walk, read his face and look at his eyes. And the one word to explain his personality was - HUMILITY. 

I wish we common folks could learn a lesson from a sporting superstar of this nation. 

21 January 2011

A Beautiful Antithesis.

A few days ago, on GTalk , I was chatting with Faiz, my friend from Rizvi Academy of Management. In general we were grumbling about our jobs. (That’s our favourite past time…all the friends….hehehehe)

Now, Faiz is a very funny guy and is know as an ever jovial fellow. Rarely serious type kind of guy.

Our conversation was wavering from jobs to work life and ambition and hobbies, etc. etc. At the end of our conversation Faiz mentioned something and I want to leave you all with the intense thought he shared.

The words haven’t left my mind and probably will stay with me for a long time because it is philosophical, yet realistic. A beautiful anti-thesis!

Guzar aur guzaarish mein kitna fark hai!

(There’s such a difference between what we have/go through and what we desire!)

17 January 2011

How To Create Luck.

How Can You Get ‘Lucky’?

Luck can be ‘created’! Don’t think that everyone can win the jackpot lottery. That is just pure luck-by-chance or ‘dumb luck’. The luck which can be ‘created’ is something different. It is when you are at the right place at the right time and with the right person when luck can be created. It is circumstantial. When you are at the right place at the right time and with the right person, you may get an opportunity upon which if you may act, will lead you to a path which may make you happy or you may gain something fruitful, and in retrospect, you’ll say, “I got lucky”!

Want to know how. Let me give you some examples from my life.
  • In 2003 (right time)I took admission in Smt. MMK College (right place) to pursue BMS. During that time I was a shy teenager and on the first day was looking around for people I could befriend. Mihir (right person) was the first person who looked at me in the eye and smiled. I smiled back (Action/Interest) and we got talking. This is how I gained a best friend for Life. He teaches me a lot by sharing his experiences and has broadened my world view and contributed immensely to my personality. I have a better learned man as my best friend. I GOT LUCKY!
  • After graduation, one of my friends, Sonil, got a freelancing writing job. He (right person) called me and asked if I’d be interested. I replied in the positive. (Action) This is how I got my first job ever as a freelance journalist and more importantly stumbled upon my hidden talent of writing. I GOT LUCKY!
  • In 2008, I missed the MBA MH-Common Entrance Test (right time). A friend (right person) told me about Rizvi Institute of Management Studies (right place). I applied (Action) for the autonomous PGDBM course and got through on merit. I GOT LUCKY!
  • In 2008, my cousin Mustafa graduated and wanted to pursue MBA in Mumbai. I told him (right person) about Rizvi Institute of Management Studies. (right place) He applied and got through on merit. In this course of time I befriended (Action) him by breaking all the awkward ice between us and my cousin became my best friend. My brother is my best friend. I GOT LUCKY!
  • An acquaintance of a Professor (right person) told him about an opening for a business writer in a company. He remembered that I used write. In April 2010, during placement season, (right time) he told me about the job. I went for the interview (Action) and got selected. That’s how I landed up my first job. I GOT LUCKY!
The above events of my life may seem insignificant to the reader, but the magnitude of these events do not matter to explain the concept that I’m insinuating. The important thing is to note that had I not been in the right place at the right time and with the right person, my luck would have been different! YOU & me, yes, WE could have never been acquainted! Let me elucidate the above list.

Had I not skipped my 2002 HSC exams, I might have taken admission in the same college but I wouldn’t have met Mihir! But, I passed in 2003, got admitted to Smt. MMK College on the last day of admission and that’s how luck transpired!

Had I not acted on Sonil’s offer, I wouldn’t have been writing THIS and YOU wouldn’t have been reading this!

Had I not missed my Entrance exam and been in Rizvi, I wouldn’t have had the wonderful experiences of making friends, a family member as a best friend and my first job would have been different!

So how can you create luck? What is the difference between a lucky and not-so-lucky person? I’m quite convinced that there is a lot of difference.
  1. The simple differentiator is taking ‘interest in the other person’! 
I took interest in the other person and that’s how it led me to various ‘achievements’. There must be a deep intellectual curiosity that one must have, or need to cultivate.

We must have the humility to be interested in more people and the above illustrated luck will come our way. 

14 January 2011

You Need 2 Things To Succeed In Life, Ignorance and Confidence.

I never really understood the meaning of the quote ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ until recently.

Before we could utter identifiable words, we became part of the education system. Most of us attended kindergarten school by the time we were 3 years old. Most managed to graduate, i.e. 2 years of kindergarten and 15 years of formal school and college or university. Some of us were courageous enough to attend a post graduation or Masters, so add another 2 years. Some rare bright minds manage to pursue a Ph.D. which is another 3 years. So this is where most people fit:
  • Graduate: 17 years of education
  • Post Graduate: 19 years of education
  • Ph.D.: 22 years of education
Assuming that most of us are graduates, it’s a really sorry situation to be in! Our minds have been ravaged and distorted in these 17 or more years. We have been told so much about everything, that we have stopped thinking for ourselves.

Unfortunately, whatever we are today is not because of us, it’s because of what we are told. And making that a base, we acted. We never knew or questioned about the things we were told. Did we? Did YOU?

Our mind is filled such elaborate, convoluted, highly structured and sophisticated GARBAGE that we have become victims of our ‘education’.

Why do I say so?

Tell me, how many of us ‘highly educated’ people of society really realize our true human potential? I can’t even give a percentage, but it’s a handful out of millions of us.

Who made it really big and make really big? Or to put it eloquently, who really come close to or achieve their real human potential? IGNORANT people!

Yes, Ignorance is bliss!

When you are ignorant, you don’t know the rules of the world. When you don’t know the rules of the world, you make your own rules and follow it. When you make your own rules and follow it, you are the master of your ‘own world’. And that’s how you achieve for what you were born.

Ignorant people are fearless. Why? Because they don’t know the rules. And when you don’t know the rules, you are not afraid to break them. Simple!

Let me exemplify. You stand in a long queue at the railway ticket counter because that’s the rule and that’s the ‘right’ thing to do. An ignoramus walks to the counter, shoves his hand with some currency and walks away and hops that train. And what do you do? You stand there and stare and do what? Most would gulp their anger. Some would sigh audibly. And one of you might shout! And by the time you buy your ticket, you missed you train, but the ignoramus was already ‘ahead of you’.

That’s true in life too.

Many of you would argue that education is the means to a content life because the learned men said so. These learned men who have passed away lie dead in their graves and are quoted in universities! Had they been practical, they’d been entrepreneurs and their names would have been alive on the things they made which helped humanity!

You need two things to succeed in life, ignorance and confidence.
– Mark Twain

Read the above quote once again. What are you watching? Read again!

Now, in context with Twain’s quote, think of every entrepreneur you know. Billionaires, millionaires or even the happy small time entrepreneur we all know in our societies. The two qualities mentioned by Twain are the heart of fearlessness. And I quoted the example of entrepreneurs because they are the most fearless people that the world today knows and respects.

Did that quote give you goose bumps? It would, if you are dissatisfied with what you’re doing after being ‘educated’.

I believe the ‘education system’ does more damage by instilling more fear than confidence.

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore knew the essence of education. 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

The education we wanted was ‘where the mind is without fear’. And look what we got? We have lost reason and we are lead forward only by our fears, not into the heaven of freedom, but shackled in restraint, enslaved by the false rules, only to be searching for true guidance.

Due to the ‘distorted education’, you just know a lot.  When you know a lot, you think a lot. When you think a lot, you develop fear. When you develop fear, you fail to act. When you fail to act, you are stagnated. When you’re stagnated, you don’t grow. When you don’t grow, you DIE!

The damage is done. We all have to unlearn the false ‘facts’ and ‘rules’. That’s what I mean by ignorance. Probably that's what Twain's soul whispered in my ear! That’s how Ignorance will save you.

11 January 2011

Why Adam(Man) Is Simpler Than Eve(Woman)?

Man has been the simpler than woman since God decided to mould some clay and breathe life into it to call the man as Adam and the woman as Eve.

God gifted the beautiful Garden of Eden and asked them to stay there and enjoy in their naked tranquility. There was once simple thing to do - God told them not to eat the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge. Peace.

Now this is what must have happened with Adam and Eve. (The following scene is fictionalized)  

Adam: This is just so cool. All I have to do is just roam around, eat and pray and enjoy life. Nothing to do. I love God. He made it so simple for us. And as far as the Tree of Knowledge is concerned, I'll never go near it. Wait! Where's Eve.........shit.....

And just around the Tree of Knowledge was Eve 'talking' to herself: (Moving her hands through her head and checking her image in the nearby pond) Gosh!!! It's so boring here. All I have to do is talk to myself. I hate thinking. Thinking is so like....Adam. He hardly talks! I'm Eve. I like talking. I wish there was someone whom I could talk to. I wonder what the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge tastes like. Yaaa! I wish there was someone who could tell me what to do. The Garden of Eden is awesome, but I'm sure the Forbidden Fruit is the most awesome, that's why God kept reserved it for Him/Her-self (Just in case some feminist pops up and says God is a Woman :p) Oh, how I wish I could talk to someone...it's so boring...

The Serpent near the Tree of Knowledge was listening to Eve's rants. FYI, the serpent has the ability to speak and reason and is identified with the wisdom of this world. (Some people joke that the reasoning ability was not required as he was speaking to Eve; all he had to do was 'talk'...hehehe) 

Serpent to Eve: Yo wassup baby? Damn....you're hot! How you doing? (And then the Serpent checked Eve out from top to bottom. I think he had tasted the Forbidden Fruit)

Eve to Serpent: Wow...I have company..yoohoo! What are you? Who are you? What's your name? Where do you stay? Wanna have lunch with me? Do you know what the Forbidden Fruit tastes like?

Serpent to Eve: Slow down girl...I'm just a serpent, not a woman! Well, all I know is that the Forbidden Fruit is actually not forbidden. It's the best fruit of the Garden and ......................

......... as soon as Serpent was about to give the reason...Eve plucked a fruit and had a bite, and at that moment Adam came. As soon as she gulped the morsel she looked at Adam and ....

Eve to Adam: Well hello, handsome! I never knew you were soooooo HOT...this fruit has made me 'look' at you in a different light. Winking to the Serpent, if you know what I mean? ;)

Adam (sighing): Why did you eat it Eve? Why? There were 6.384 billion types of fruits in the Garden. I just tasted a few hundred and you had to screw this up...why? It was so SIMPLE...God told not to eat the Forbidden Fruit, but you did exactly the opposite. Now God will throw us out. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Now what? Ah shit! Because you tasted the Forbidden Fruit, both of us are gonna be thrown out, might as well take a bite..

And Adam takes a bite....and then he realises why Eve was finding him HOT! And then God shouted and they covered their modesty with some leaves.... and the rest is history! (Well, God was pissed off and he cursed the Serpent and demoted Adam and Eve to Earth and we cribbed unhappily ever after)

All the first man and woman had to do was chill...that too in the Garden of Paradise! But, the woman could not understand one SIMPLE instruction and screwed it up for both men and women, and we all are here on Earth, still the same. Men making life simple and women tangling and complicating stuff. 

I'm not a misogynist. It's just that....it's a fact that women have to accept that they love to complicate things and men are simpler. And don't blame me, it's a problematic 'quality' passed on to the female DNA by Eve. 

10 January 2011

Thank God !!!

This New Year started at a very good note for me.

On the 8th January, It was my MBA convocation and all of us at the institute were bestowed with our diplomas. I stood third in my batch in my specialization and surprisingly, was awarded the Best Student of the institute award, which I shared with another worthy batch mate. The final lap of my academic journey ended on a high note.

I never won any accolades in my life, despite being a good student and a decent person. This was a welcome gesture by God. Thanks BIG GUY! *wink*

The people who know me or think they know me have this assumption that I am a very bright fellow. The assumption is true. Hehehehe… Jokes apart, yes I’m a seemingly bright, happy-go-lucky guy but whatever little I have achieved is without any apparent hard work. These achievements are in terms of my personality, and social credentials in the form of academics and bare minimum social skills. It’s quite less but, hey, at least there is something on the platter. I have existed in the society without any difficulty and hardships.

I really need to thank God and his representatives below ;) , in the form of parents, to take care of this kid who fails to acknowledge God’s support.

Upon introspection, I have come to the conclusion that I haven’t taken enough risks and never listened to my gut. Fear has been my bad company and is slowly taking control of my ship. That’s why I have not achieved what I’m truly capable of. But I think everything happens for a reason.  

The aim for this year is to conquer my fears and find my passion.

Here I am, praying to Him to help me and all of us to find our paths. Amen. And most importantly keep thanking God for being there and watching over us, in spite of our ungratefulness.

03 January 2011

Things To Do Before The World Ends In 2012

We are very close to 2012. According to the beliefs of the Mayans or the people of the Maya civilization, there would be a cataclysmic event on December 21, 2012, which is said to be the end date of a 5,125 year long cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar. It suggests that the world would end on 21st December 2012! Hollywood produced a film on the subject with a very obvious name - 2012. 

Wow, so it means we have less than two years to live. Even if anyone is lame enough to believe this, what should they do? Here's a list of suggestions.
  • Take maximum possible loans and splurge the money on traveling,cars, luxurious pursuits, etc. (When the world ends, the banks too would perish, so no need to worry about EMIs)
  • Quit your jobs and do what you always wanted to do
  • If you already are a multi-millionaire or a multi-billionaire, become a philanthropist now. Start with ME :p
  • Go and spit on the faces of people who bugged you. (I suggest do this during the last week before the apocalypse, they will be ok about the whole thing!)
  • Start a fight, get into a fight and finish the fight
  • Steal a car, wear a seatbelt and go on rampage banging every obstacle on the road, excluding humans and strays. AWESOME fun ;)
  • Do some illegal stuff
  • The boy/girl next door or on the bus or in the train or in your office or anywhere whom you secretly like, go and tell him/her that you are head over heels over him/her
  • Get Laid
  • Get Laid as much as possible ;)
  • People of the 'Boring Kind', go for a spiritual pilgrimage
  • Yeah, wear completely wacky clothes. So wacky that Lady Gaga would think, now why didn't I think of that!
  • Get a Macbook Air, iPad and iPhone and start a cult where Steve Jobs is made a god and the religion is called Apple :)
  • Whether you're fat or a supermodel, binge without a reason. Let the gyms shut shop
  • Thank every single person who believed in you
  • The people who said that you are a failure and cannot make in life, go out and find them, and do either of the two - Forgive them or Tell them you feel sorry for them
  • Guys - Pee from the terrace of a really tall building
  • Girls in the building - close your windows if you see unexpected drizzle :p
  • Gatecrash, in a crowd of thousands, when the Parliament is session. And do what you always wanted to do as citizens. (I think I know what we would do!)
  • Gatecrash every possible hi-profile party on the planet
  • DANCE anywhere and everywhere 
  • Find some one and fall in love. Sweeeeet!
  • Throw your TV sets out of the balcony
  • Disconnect from the internet, especially facebook and connect with real people
  • Vegans and vegetarians, please eat meat. We don't wanna waste so much sumptuous meat on apocalypse day :p
  • Remember GOD
  • If you're an atheist, ask for forgiveness from GOD and join some religion you moron because all religions have a ticket to heaven ;)
  • Spend Dec 21, 2012 with your parents and your loved ones.
I'm sure you would have few more dozens, ADD them in the comments section.