Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ides of March - 1

At a once-upon-a-time family gathering, youngsters huddled up to discuss our latest fads - the recent Aamir/ Shahrukh blockbuster that hit the screens (Indian superstars they are, but to death-do-us-apart fans, they are heart-throbs over whom there could be unto-death-of-the-vocal-chords debates!); or, the most recent 'hobbies' ... Which brings us to the point where the blogger can finally begin this blog post- phew!

There was a kid who had gained an interest in palm-reading. The blogger put forward her palm to be inspected and the kid-astrologer said - 'You act like a spring. Sometimes you are bugged down so much that you can crumble to dust, and the next day you can be jumping out of the pandora's box'. The blogger remained unimpressed since the kid was a cousin who knew her well enough to make such observations.

The blogger continues to remain unimpressed about the expression of the kid-astrologer till date. However, she has been intrigued by this peculiar springy character of hers. Like the millions of people across the globe, like you, my dear friend, she wanted to know herself better. But there was no light at the end of the tunnel as such. The truth is, there was no tunnel as such either.

There is this funny guy who gives a talk in an independently organised TEDx event in November 2011. He is Larry Smith. He is a professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo. More than being a regular professor, this man had advised the start-up Research In Motion (RIM) at its infancy. RIM will go on to survive on singular contracts for a long time. With the advent of the last decade of the twentieth century, RIM will rise to prominence and will finally introduce the Blackberry mobile email-solution in 1999. Well, that makes Larry Smith a true johuri 1(Bengali word, which has no English equivalent to my knowledge). He gauged the potency of  success inherent in RIM at its infancy and encouraged its development. So, he is not really only a funny guy.

Now, in this talk titled Why you will fail to have a great career he talks about , well, about the reasons of failing to have a great career. In his ubiquitous stage presence ( that you can feel even if this is only a recorded video), he says it, all. He presents the comfortable package of a good career that pays well, a sense of being settled and taken care of in the oeuvre of human relationships, and a few interests in this and that, as opposed to being kind-of obsessed and passionate about that one thing that grips the mind, the body and the soul. Well, geniuses do walk the thin line between normalcy and insanity. But what about the common man and the everyday life?? Does that not entail greatness??

The truth is that many of us settle for that one package of a life filled with all the identifiable assets of achievement - a car, a house, fashionable clothes, a family. Aspiring for greatness is truly the flight of Icarus. Icarus wanted to fly out of the labyrinth in which he and his father was caught. But once in the air, flying, he just wanted to fly higher and higher and higher... till his wings made of wax melted as he flew close towards the sun. We are afraid to fly for we might fall. We keep our passions bound by what we believe would ensure survival.

That is the life of a bird in a cage. Born to fly, it will never survive in the open. This brings the blogger to another passage of thoughts. What are we, humans born to do?? Dear readers and friends of a life that seeks the true merit beneath the surface lustre, what are we born to do?

For the time being, the blogger needs to go grocery shopping, so you keep thinking. The second part of this blogpost will be here in a day's time. Till then ...

Ah! before I leave, a little spoiler.  Guess who founded that RIM Ltd.??? Mike Lazardis, a drop out from the electrical engineering department of the University of Waterloo.

1 A johuri is an individual who can gauge the true merit of someone/something. The word is primarily used in the sense of a jeweller who can vouch for the authenticity of jewels and precious metals.

All information regarding RIM was taken from here. And, if you want to hear what Smith has to say, click on the title of his talk or here.