Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why I can never be Sachin Tendulkar

Only Rajni knows the number of articles written on Sachin…On his 38th bday today, Sachin holds the orange cap for the IPL season-4. That means he is the highest run scorer so far, in a tourney, that is conventionally considered fitting only for the YOUNGSTERS, not for 38 year olds. But defying the odds EVERY TIME is what Sachin is all about, isn’t it?

To summarize his achievements in one line, he has just about everything and every record. More than the cumulative number of mortals can ever imagine.

But his most important achievement, for me, is also one of his very few controversial ones. His century against Zimbabwe in the 1999 WC, a day after his father’s death. Controversial, because critics point out to the fact that it came against Zimbabwe. But, most important, because he achieved this very big professional feat a day after his father’s death. How many of us can bounce back after small incidents or setbacks, leave alone the death of someone so close. What happens when we have a little fever or we meet a small accident. Let’s face it, we want the world to know. We call our colleagues, our boss and friends. A 99 fever inevitably becomes 101 when we speak to them. A small wound on the leg turns into a ligament tear, to say the least. A slight brush with a car turns into an accident. Lets face it. We make a mountain out of a mole, to get some sentiment value, and to get a day off work. That it turns into 2 days off is a no-brainer.

But did Sachin do that? Did he call a press conference to mourn the death of his father, and to take time off the WC? Leave that aside, he did not even skip the very next match, which happened on the very next day! He could have easily gotten away without scoring, no questions asked. Instead, he scored a century and won it for India- the highest you can do at work on a day! The opposition was not difficult, but the match was. For him, the situation was.

This is the dreaded month of April, when appraisals happen. Most of the very few who are reading this, already have their appraisals done, and are pretty dissatisfied with them. What are the few common things we say these days? “ Waise bhi company itna kam de rahi hai, to fir itna kaam kyun karnekaa?” ….or…. “Yaar I am gonna be leaving early now on. Only 8 hours and that’s it. What’s the point of slogging so much when the company does not respect my work, or when it does not reward me?” …ironically, even if you get a very GOOD appraisal, what do you say? “Aah,,,I am happy the company finally realized my worth and reawarded me well..I have worked so hard for so long, I can finally stabilize,,I can finally leave early, spend only 8 hours, and lead a more relaxed life now.”

Either way, we are giving up. Either way, we look for reasons to work less, do less and not raise our performance. There is no incentive, good or bad, to motivate us to raise our performance. We just remain content at being discontended.

And this is why I say I can never be Sachin Tendulkar. Because, that man does not know the meaning of GIVE UP. He does not know what it is to not perform. He has been doing great for a very long time, but he continues to excel. He has also done badly at times, but he has only bounced back strongly. It is not his profession that gives him these opportunities. It is his character that does.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It takes 2 to tango

I don’t quite understand the meaning of this phrase “It takes two to tango”. The closest thing I know about it is that there was a film “Three to tango” that starred Chandler in it. Some people call him Mathew, but I don’t really know why.

Anyway, while not quite obsessed about the meaning, I set out on a Monday morning to office. Mondays are bad I tell you, because they really are. The difference between this Monday and the last 51 Mondays though, was that this one came after the Holi, which was on the Sunday.

Needless to say, it was a literal painting exhibition in the train that day. People had colors all over themselves. Face, hands, neck et al. Some people were smeared with oil paint, and I guess they were not planning to have any presentations or client meetings soon.

Such Mondays are also different because I managed to get a seat to sit. The Holi hangover was clearly lurking, and fewer people ventured out that Monday. As the journey progressed, I heard a very interesting conversation between 2 MARRIED men sitting right across. MARRIED will be clarified soon. It was a nice conversation between 2 typical office going, working , married men in their mid thirties. The tie wearing, suit case bearing, lunch box carrying, married guys. They talk about all sorts of typical things- electricity bills corruption, investment schemes, bad bosses, children, the schooling woes, and ofcourse, their wives. They read the entire Mumbai Mirror and Mid-day, but remember only the middle pages that talk about sexpert and movies. They speak about Anna Hazaare, but don’t quite know what the great man is exactly fighting for. Lokpal to them is a parliamentary term and that’s about it. They are on FB, but are hardly ever active. They have all bought LIC policies but are hardly satisfied. They do not even know how much returns they will get. But they do believe theirs are the best investment policies.

As these 2 guys were speaking about all above things, one of them asked the other-“ aur batao, kal Holi kaisi thi? Kahin baahar vaahar gaye the?”

The other one promptly replied “ Nahin yaar. Bas ghar pe hi tha. Beta toh school gaya tha. Main aur Sunita (his wife apparently) ghar par hi the. Aise hi ek doosre ko rang lagay, thoda sweet khaaya aur TV dekha din bhar”

The first one asked “Yaar you didn’t go out anywhere? How did you enjoy at home? Arent people supposed to enjoy Holi outside with family and friends? Shouldn’t it be a LOUD affair?”

The second one then replied “ It is not like that yaar. I had fun with my wife at home. Family is not in town and friends were busy doing their own thing. My wife and I played some basic holi, did the Pooja and enjoyed. I guess that is all that is needed to enjoy Holi. You do not need PEOPLE. You need someone you truly enjoy being with on that day”

And then I realized the meaning of the phrase “2 to tango”. Sometimes, in fact many a times, we need just one more person to enjoy doing something in life. To enjoy an even, an occasion, a reward, or to even sail through a difficult period. Sometimes, it is important to have just that one person that matters, and not a crowd that has everyone but the one who is actually relevant. Sometimes, you do not need a fanfare, or pomp and galore, just a slight celebration, and realization. Sometimes, it takes just “2 to tango”.