What are the supports that hold a man apart from his legs? Is it the feeling of being unique? Is it the companionship of his fellow-mates? Or is it the thirst for something that gives more satisfaction in not being quenched? I have found a few clues in the course of me dealings with life.
I knew that I liked a few things very much. I didn’t know that these things had to enable me to earn a livelihood. And I wanted to lead a comfortable one. Hence out of the things I liked and in which I considered myself to be competitive, I chose the one that promised me some money as well as some security and some sense of honour. But what about other things? Did they get relegated to some corner of time which became habitual once in a while? Did they become figments of memory which would be revisited when I felt low? It is surprising that during the early years, things got done because I liked them, enjoyed them and indulged with a selfless sense. But when I chose the one that brought me money, I struggled to maintain those other things just because they didn’t buy me anything. Of course now I have put things in balance. But it was not easy. For example, I love sports. But at the beginning of my career as an engineer, I tasted the freedom through money for the first time. I worked hard for 25 years and it was time to relish the feeling of being careless with money. Oh, what a feeling! Out went sports, fitness, reading and scholarship. For two full years I spent money with a vengeance. I ate drank and made merry. I put on weight, and the burden of useless mass didn’t make me blink a bit.
There are books that are prescribed by people. There are those that prescribe themselves, only one has to find them, they are not standard, but luckily they are mentioned somewhere and equally luckily with some finding, I find them. I might struggle to get them though, but if I persist, I do get them. And it’s a pleasure to read them. How true what Bacon said about chewing, swallowing and digesting? In my life of reading and studying ( either in college or outside), I have never heeded others’ advice. And same applied to most of the things if not all. Hence may be by someone else’s standard, I am slow. But I think not. I am advanced. I read, I think, I do calculations which might be crazy, but invariably I find what I am looking for and sometimes, in some serendipitious moments, I find something completely surprising which I didn’t know existed and which will enrich my faith in myself. Most of the popular books are like most of the people, boring and conventional, safe and who like well beaten tracks. This is just not in my fabric. God made me this way, and when he makes something, even I cant question it. But he allows enough room to make suitable corrections to get along in this world.
The other day I watched an interview by Jeffrey Archer. Towards the end someone in the audience asked him as to how he got the fodder for his plots and how could he create an authentic and detailed story. He replied that he really couldn’t explain that, the same way that Picasso couldn’t explain his painting or Tendulkar couldn’t explain his strokes. He also added that it was the God given talent that made his work read by people all over the world.
I think that there is a lot to be said for talent. But mere talent is not enough. If there is talent somewhere, the same place has to be inhabited by love. For without love, there is mere details. And the labour that follows love is hardly sweatworthy.