Skip to main content

Personalising Success


Three men were marooned on an uninhabited island.  As they sat desperate and disheartened, unable to find a way out of the dreadful place, the spirit of the island appeared to them.  Having had no association with human beings hitherto, the spirit was untouched by malice or evil.  “Make a wish and I can grant it,” offered the spirit genially.  “Get me back to my people,” wished the first man and his wish was granted instantly.  The second man too wished the same and he too joined his people back home.  “What about you?” the spirit asked the third man.  “I’m feeling so lonely here without those two friends.  I wish they were back here.”

A good friend of mine made a couple of comments on one of my recent blog posts.  In one of the comments she suggested that I should learn to personalise success when I had argued that living in a world run by crooks and sharks good people would find success too elusive a thing.  A few minutes back she sent me a whatsapp message which implied that my problem was my credulousness.  I trust people who don’t deserve my trust, she wrote. 

Her message reminded me of the joke about the three marooned men. 

My friend is right, of course.  I never learnt how to live in a society.  I won’t ever.  That’s one of my many shortcomings.  Ego, my benefactors have labelled it.  And I have always thought of my benefactors as that third man on the island. 

The friend who made the comments and the message has always been much kinder than my self-anointed benefactors.  She is not as unimaginative as the third man on the island. 

Suppose I was the third man on the island.  Would I have asked for blissful solitude on the island?  Is that the only way I know of personalising success? 

The genial spirit smiles at me and asks, “Why do you want to ruin my blissful solitude?” 



Comments

  1. The genial spirit seems to be the Reluctant Messiah of Illusions by Richard Bach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now you remind me of the Reluctant Messiah. But hasn't there been too many people who would choose solitude if it was possible? Most of the Romantic poets would.

      I think Jesus would have had he not been crucified.

      Delete
  2. Tomichan, You are fine just the way you are, the right intellect, the right sense of humor, a great of not pulling punches, Which is why you are respected and loved in the blogsphere..tell the genial genie to take a holiday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The virtual world of blogging has always been quite ok with me, Sharmila. I have been less fortunate in the actual world which has led me to believe in destiny :)

      Nothing really matters much. It's a short life anyway.

      Delete
  3. Too good a post it is, sir. I con connect well with your idea of personalised success. The third man prefering solitude over societal rank on that index is what exactly I think each of us should follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Pranju. Each one has to follow her own heart. You being a poet and bit of a rebel find yourself on my side. But there are many who like to ascend the societal ladders.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Aberration of Kali Yuga

Are we Indians now living in an aberrant period of history? A period that is far worse than the puranic Kali Yuga? A period in which gods decide to run away in fear of men? That’s a very provocative question, isn’t it, especially in a time when people are being arrested for raising much more innocuous questions than that? But I raise my hands in surrender because I’m not raising this question; the Malayalam movie that Maggie and I watched is. Before I go to the provocations of the movie, I am compelled to clarify a spelling problem with the title of the movie. The title is Bhramayugam [ ഭ്രമയുഗം] in Malayalam. But the movie’s records and ads write it as Bramayugam [ ബ്രമയുഗം ] which would mean the yuga of Brama. Since Brama doesn’t mean anything in Malayalam, people like me will be tempted to understand it as the yuga of Brahma . In fact, that is how I understood it until Maggie corrected me before we set off to watch the movie by drawing my attention to the Malayalam spelling

Karma in Gita

I bought a copy of annotated Bhagavad Gita a few months back with the intention of understanding the scripture better since I’m living in a country that has become a Hindu theocracy in all but the Constitution. After reading the first part [chapters 1 to 6] which is about Karma, I gave up. Shelving a book [literally and metaphorically] is not entirely strange to me. If a book fails to appeal to me after a reasonable number of pages, I abandon it. The Gita failed to make sense to me just like any other scripture. That’s not surprising since I’m not a religious kind of a person. I go by reason. I accept poetry which is not quite rational. Art is meaningful for me though I can’t detect any logic in it. Even mysticism is acceptable. But the kind of stuff that Krishna was telling Arjuna didn’t make any sense at all. To me. Just a sample. When Arjuna says he doesn’t want to fight the war because he can’t kill his own kith and kin, Krishna’s answer is: Fight. If you are killed, you win he

Kabir the Guru - 1

Kabirvad Kabirvad is a banyan tree in Gujarat. It is named after Kabir, the mystic poet and saint of the 15 th century. There is a legend behind the tree. Two brothers are in search of a guru. They have an intuitive feeling that the guru will appear when they are ready for it. They plant a dry banyan root at a central spot in their courtyard. Whenever a sadhu passes by, they wash his feet at this particular spot. Their conviction is that the root will sprout into a sapling when their guru appears. Years pass and there’s no sign of any sapling. No less than four decades later, the sapling rises. The man who had come the previous day was a beggarly figure whom the brothers didn’t treat particularly well though they gave him some water to drink out of courtesy. But the sapling rose, after 40 years! So the brothers went in search of that beggarly figure. Kabir, the great 15 th century mystic poet, had been their guest. The legend says that the brothers became Kabir’s disciples. The b

Raising Stars

Bringing up children is both an art and a science. The parents must have certain skills as well as qualities and value systems if the children are to grow up into good human beings. How do the Bollywood stars bring up their children? That is an interesting subject which probably no one studied seriously until Rashmi Uchil did. The result of her study is the book titled Raising Stars: The challenges and joys of being a Bollywood parent . The book brings us the examples of no less than 26 Bollywood personalities on how they brought up their children in spite of their hectic schedules and other demands of the profession. In each chapter, the author highlights one particular virtue or skill or quality from each of these stars to teach us about the importance of that aspect in bringing up children. Managing anger, for example, is the topic of the first chapter where Mahima Chowdhary is our example. We move on to gender equality, confidence, discipline, etc, and end with spirituality whi

Kabir the Guru – 2

Read Part 1 of thi s here . K abir lived in the 15 th century. But his poems and songs are still valued. Being illiterate, he didn’t write them. They were passed on orally until they were collected by certain enthusiasts into books. Vipul Rikhi’s book, Drunk on Love: The Life, Vision and Songs of Kabir , not only brings the songs and poems together in one volume but also seeks to impart the very spirit of Kabir to the reader. Kabir is not just a name, the book informs us somewhere in the beginning. Kabir is a tradition. He is a legend, a philosophy, poetry and music. I would add that Kabir was a mystic. Most of his songs have something to do with spirituality. They strive to convey the deep meaning of reality. They also question the ordinary person’s practice of religion. They criticise the religious leaders such as pandits and mullahs. Though a Muslim, Kabir was immensely taken up by Ram, the Hindu god, for reasons known only to him perhaps. Most of the songs are about the gr