Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kanpur in a Nutshell...

Chahe kar lo duniya tour

Aai gajab hai Kanpur

The two-liner above may not be the best in poetic history but Kanpurites associate themselves with it like a fish with water. Hometown of the wacky and sophisticated alike, Kanpur has always been the land of…. Pickpockets?? (Sorry, ‘dreams’ was already taken!)

That’s what I’m talking about. Be it Birhana Road, P. Road or even Chunniganj for that matter, you’ll always find the people smiling. Yes, we face power cuts but do we let it diminish the brightness of our face? No, we don’t. Yes, we have more of potholes in every road than gravel, but do we let the fact affect the dimples of our smiles? The answer is a big capital-lettered NO.

We, the people, have faced almost every crisis imaginable and have emerged shinier than ever! We have faced weeklong power shortages, water-shortages have become a way of life, the mercury has broken every record maintained in the MET but we do a thing that many fail to do. We accommodate.

We adjust our way of life according to every scenario. Power shortage? Play carom. Water-shortage? Chhod yar ek din nai nahaenge to mar jaenge kya?(Will we die if don’t bath for a day?) etc etc

So this one’s dedicated to all the wonderful Kanpurites (who’ll probably read this and then roll it up in a cone to hold their bhelpuri) Jai Ho Kanpur!

Love of The Game

‘Why do you play?’ ask this question to any sportsman and you’ll get the same, standard reply: Because they love playing. Period. Not one sportsperson would tell you they play for the money and the glamour. Similarly, the casanova doesn’t follow women around because he loves them, he does it because he loves the chase, the hunt of another beautiful woman to add to his list of conquests.

I quote Mae West, ‘The score never interested me, only the game’. So, what is it that people just can’t get enough of? Is it the adrenaline rush? The feeling of accomplishment as obstacles give way in front of their efforts? Surely not the sheer feeling of elation as they achieve what they expected? Who knows? I wouldn’t as yours truly has never played a sport in his life, let alone win it.

But in my defense, I’d say winning is good but does become boring if there’s no competition. If I bowled a ball to Sachin Tendulkar and he hits a six (the if isn’t required, I know), he probably wouldn’t feel the same satisfaction as he would have felt if he hit a six on Shoaib Akhtar’s ball.

It’s only natural. A hunter’s main purpose is to follow the hunt and devise ways and methods to trick it and finally kill it. Where would all that planning and plotting come to use if his prey stood in front of him and submitted to his will? Where would he get chances to improvise if his kill had a suicide wish in mind?

We say competition has increased in our lives. But if we just change the way we look at things. If we just saw our life as the ultimate game, I’m sure there’s nothing that’ll be able stop us from succeeding.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Boredom is the key to success.

No, your eyes are fine. The word above is actually ‘boredom’ not ‘hard work’.

I know the eyebrows of many readers would have risen to the point where they became part of their hairlines but after reading this, they would agree too that boredom really does help people.

What is boredom? ‘A state of mind when we are dissatisfied with our surroundings and wish for something more interesting and meaningful’ could be a good definition. Now, if a person is dissatisfied with his surroundings, the next logical step for him would be to involve himself in something more meaningful. Voila, you have growth!

Critics may say growth needn’t lead directly to success. I agree. Growth is just a part of it. The other part of success is called mental peace. When a person is at a point in his life where he’s peaceful with his surroundings, his family etc, I’d consider him successful. Your next question will predictably be ‘How does a man get mental peace in boredom?’ You are correct. He doesn’t. Therefore, he works towards obtaining it.

So you see, my friends, ‘hard work’ is just the tool used to get to success while ‘boredom’ is the cause of it. Next, you’ll be thinking what kind of a lunatic has written this but just think for a second, the lunatic in question wrote it to be read and it is being read.

Isn’t he successful? The answer is yes.

And this particular lunatic actually wrote this because he was bored.

I rest my case.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Simpler Than Thou

Writer's block - often experienced by writers, even the most experienced of them because it's not the experience that counts here rather it's the experience of not being able to experience that elusive experience of churning out an article that will provide the readers a good experience.

Confused? I am too. The whole point of the above paragraph was to explain the meaning of the phrase - 'Writer's Block', which could have been done in about 10 words, but since the majority of us believe that the talent of the author can be measured by how complicated he can make it sound, so a big 'Hurray!' for me.

Hundreds of people have come and gone trying to tell us that 'simplicity' is the need of the day but we, the higher mortals, turn a deaf ear to their fantastic ravings and go about our normal routines trying to make life more complex than it really is.

For example, a 17-year old, giving an exam comes across a question which he can answer in 3 steps, but thinking that the answer couldn't obviously be so simple, attempts the longer way of doing it and ends up doing it wrong. End of story.

How many times has it happened that we are looking for an answer but refuse to accept the one staring us in the face?

From people like Gandhi, Lennon to the superstars of today like Naseerudin Shah, Nana Patekar, all have found their peace and contentment in the simple so why not us? Why should we run races we don't have to run? Why should we look for reasons to add another problem to our already tension-ridden lives?

Think about it.