On life…and learning

Posts Tagged ‘Life and Failures

शहीदों के विचार…

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bhagat_singh_1929_140x190आज शहीद सरदार भगत सिंह का 110वां जन्मदिवस है – एक तरीक़े से, आज शहीद उत्सव है।

मैं आपसे शहीद भगत सिंह का उनके अंतिम समय का एक कथन
बाँटना चाहता हूँ; ना जाने क्यों आज मुझे यह बहुत याद आ रहा है –

“ऊषा काल के दीपक की लौ की भांति बुझा चाहता हूँ। इससे क्या हानि है जो ये मुट्ठी भर राख विनष्ट की जाती है। मेरे विचार विद्युत की भांति आलोकित होते रहेंगे…”

कितना गंभीर और निश्छल, परन्तु सत्य वचन है; और इतिहास इस बात का साक्षी है कि उनके विचार आज भी हमें आलोकित करते है…

आईये, आज सोचें कि क्या हमारे आचरण में, विचारों में इतना तेज है कि वो हमारे जाने के बाद भी याद किये जायेंगे और लोग उनका अनुसरण करेंगे?

Written by RRGwrites

September 27, 2016 at 11:01 AM

Hero of the Day…

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Juan-Martin-del-PotroThis one’s purely from the heart…

Wimbledon’s longest ever men’s semifinal of all times just ended, and how! Million’s favourite Novak Djokovic ended the winner, yet I am sure those who watched the match would have given their hearts away to Juan Martin del Potro, the Argentine, whose grit made this match the best match of this Wimbledon season. What a sportsman he is! Even Djokovic ended up clapping several times for this giant of an athlete, who, despite all pain and injuries, fought till the very last game and gave his best. What a game of tennis this was, an epic battle indeed! Played in line with the highest traditions of the game…

del Potro is my hero of the day. Reminds me of something I read years ago; fits him so well today…

…and to get there is an incredible journey.

The athlete delays marriage, 

he hocks his car,

he lives in dormitories,

soaked in sweat,

his legs ache as if amputated

but there is still 30 kilometers to run;

every single day the demons of pain & fatigue come visiting,

telling him to forget it.

And sometimes,

even God forgets to look his way.”

 del Potro, though God did forget to look your way, you are the man of the day. Thanks for your true sportsmanship…

Guys, you need a lesson in grit and 100% determination – do catch the re-play of this match… you will understand why this blog was straight from my heart…


Photo-credit – getty images

And, Murray Stays On…

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MurrayWell, it wasn’t a great sight when I started watching today’s Wimbledon men’s quarterfinal – Andy Murray was playing unseeded Spaniard Verdasco. Keeping with this season’s tradition of lesser known players killing the Wimbledon dream of giants like Federer and Rafa, Murray had lost 2 sets back to back, and when I switched on the television set, I saw in the stand Murray’s girlfriend had tears rolling down her cheeks. I, an ardent Murray fan this summer, almost whispered to myself, “Well, what’s really wrong with this day?”

There are days when you feel really low – down; barely holding enough not to go out, just as yet. With two sets down, this much loved Brit tennis player was certainly not in high spirits. But he wasn’t out as yet, I told myself…

And then he came back from behind into the game. And came back with a bang, winning the next 3 straight sets, finally winning the match. It was quite an emotional match and he held his nerve.

Something inside me too won today with his victory. The day, finally, seemed to come to a good end. I am sure different kind of tears are rolling down the cheeks of Murray’s girl post match.

As they say, everything comes if a man will only wait. With Murray coming back to the road of victory via mountains in this match, I am optimistic that very soon, England’s wait of over 70 years of an Englishman winning the coveted Wimbledon trophy will come to a happy end.

Hopes are alive, they are. I am looking forward to a good day, a good game of life…

Written by RRGwrites

July 4, 2013 at 12:19 AM

It Is Risky. Really?

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RiskRISK. The buzzword of the modern times. The talk around this word is so ubiquitous, it is almost mind-boggling. Yet, I somehow always thought the concept of risk is rather overhyped and exaggerated, as far as the way it gets spoken and feared about in our daily lives.

Recently, I came across this brilliant essay written by Mindtree’s Subroto Bagchi – the famous Gardener. Bagchi speaks about risk and the hype around it in an extremely candid manner. It makes an interesting, worthwhile read –


The Fallen Tomato Cart

I pass through this very intersection every morning with so much ease. Today, the pace is skewed. There is a sense of disarray as motorists try to push past each other through the traffic light. The light here always tests their agility because if you miss the green, you have to wait for another three minutes before it lets you go past again. Those three minutes become eternity for an otherwise time-insensitive nation on the move. Today, there is a sense of chaos here. People are honking, skirting each other and rushing past. I look out of my window to seek the reason. It is not difficult to find because it is lying strewn all over the place.

A tomato seller’s cart has overturned. There are tomatoes everywhere and the rushing motorists are making pulp of it. The man is trying to get his cart back on its four rickety wheels and a few passersby are picking up what they can in an attempt to save him total loss. Though symbolic in the larger scheme of things, it is not a substantive gesture. His business for the day is over.

The way this man’s economics works is very simple. There is a money lender who lends him money for just one day, at an interest rate of Rs 10 per day per Rs 100 lent. With the money, he wakes up at 4 am to go to the wholesale market for vegetables. He returns, pushing his cart a good five miles, and by 7 am when the locality wakes up, he is ready to sell his day’s merchandise. By the end of the morning, some of it remains unsold. This his wife sells by the afternoon and takes home the remainder, which becomes part of his meal. With the day’s proceeds, he returns the interest to the money lender and goes back to the routine the next day. If he does not sell for a day, his chain breaks.

Where does he go from here? He goes back to the money lender, raises capital at an even more penal interest and gets back on his feet. This is not the only time that destiny has upset his tomato cart. This happens to him at least six times every year. Once he returned with a loaded cart of ripe tomatoes and it rained heavily for the next three days. No one came to the market and his stock rotted in front of his own eyes. Another time, instead of the weather, it was a political rally that snowballed into a confrontation between two rival groups and the locality closed down. And he is not alone in this game of extraneous factors that seize not only his business but also his life. He sees this happen to the “gol-gappa” seller, the peanut seller and the “vada pao” seller all the time. When their product does not sell, it just turns soggy. Sometimes they eat some of it. But how much of that stuff can you eat by yourself? So, they just give away some and there is always that one time when they have to simply throw it away.

Away from the street-vendor selling perishable commodity with little or no life support system, the corporate world is an altogether different place. Here we have some of the most educated people in the country. We don the best garbs. We do not have to push carts; our carts push us. We have our salary, perquisites, bonuses, stock options, gratuities, pensions and our medical insurance and the group accident benefit schemes. Yet, all the while, we worry about our risks and think about our professional insecurity. We wonder, what would happen if the company shifted offices to another city? What would happen if the department closed down? What would happen if you were to take maternity leave and the temporary substitute delivered better work than you did? What would happen if the product line you are dealing with simply failed? In any of those eventualities, the worst that could happen would still be a lot less than having to see your cartful of tomatoes getting pulped under the screeching wheels of absolute strangers who have nothing personal against you.

All too often we exaggerate our risks. We keep justifying our professional concerns till they trap us in their vicious downward spiral. Devoid of education, sophisticated reasoning and any financial safety net, the man with the cart is often able to deal with life much better than many of us. Is it time to look out of the window, into the eyes of that man to ask him, where does he get it from? In his simple stoicism, is probably, our lost resilience.


Thought-provoking, isn’t it? What do you think?


Photo-credit: thelegacymovement.com

Written by RRGwrites

May 29, 2013 at 11:09 PM

Super Manoos. Waiting For The Next Ball…

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Sachin Tendulkat in OutlookAs an ardent Sachin Tendulkar devotee (fans are for mortals, aren’t they?), these are not good days for me. Jury has been out for long on his impending retirement. Yet, I have kept my faith. Howver, as Sachin got bowled out yet another time today at Nagpur, I am really into a reflective mode.

Amongst hundreds of books that I have, there’s one specially treasured magazine – the only one amongst the books. It is a copy of ‘Outlook’, a leading Indian magazine. A distinct edition, it was published as a ‘special commemoration in honour of the first man to score 50 centuries in the Test cricket.’ Issued in Dec 16, 2010, it is an exactly two years old copy and I have cherished & safeguarded it since then.

Several luminaries – cricket legends, sports journalists, writers & editors – wrote with adulation and flair about Sachin in this collector’s edition. Rahul Dravid, Mike Coward, Wasim Akram, Harsha Bhogle, Vinod Mehta, Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Glenn McGrath…the list is so long that I can write few more lines only with their names!

However, at this moment what I recall particularly is a short piece written by Krishna Prasad, an Editor of ‘Outlook’. In his brief article, titled ‘Super Manoos, he calls Sachin ‘the little boy who turned life upside down.’

There is some reason this article has stayed in my memory all these years. The writing style is quite intriguing; the author asks a lot of questions, and builds upon his praise for the master in quite an interesting manner. One of the question he asked, rather started the article with, was – ‘Is Sachin Tendulkar human?’

I am quoting from the last paragraph he wrote, which according to me, is quite relevant to the times today we are in…

“If Sachin Tendulkar really is like the rest of us, if he really is one of us, if he really is human, why doesn’t he show us sometimes, so that we can be reassured?”

Ironical, isn’t it? As we now experience that he is very much human, we also hear Nasir Hussain, an English cricket great, questioning the ‘attitude’ of some of India’s ‘God-like’ cricketers…

My heart goes out to this Super ManoosI am not sure how does it feel to be in his shoes right now. Don’t want to use words to even guess that. After all, everyone else is doing that these days, albeit rather crudely, I would say.

I believe in underdogs, always have. Today, Sachin is one; still burdened with the never-alighting weight of expectations riding upon his shoulders…

In this hour of my own despair as Sachin’s aficionado, I find solace and hope in the words of a very old advertisement I had read. It was by Bajaj Auto, and if I recall right, was a campaign for the motorcycle brand ‘Bajaj Caliber.’ I read it long, long ago, loved it and noted it in my diary. It has, since then, helped me sail through some of my own tough moments;

What are we going to do when we fail?

When we find the wrong kind of tears,

running down our cheeks.

When we look at our Gods

and see mortals instead.

When the sports page

reads like an obituary.

When we know all others are

celebrating our grief.

What are we going to do when we fail?

We’re going to look up from our toes.

And into the sun. Without flinching.

We’re going to walk out there alone.


Grit our teeth.

Take guard.

And wait for the next ball.


The Sachin we know, I am sure, is waiting for the next ball…


To read the complete ‘Outlook’ article, click here – ‘Super Manoos’

Written by RRGwrites

December 14, 2012 at 7:39 PM

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