“You say you love rain, but you use an umbrella to walk under it. You say you love sun, but you seek shelter when it is shining. You say you love wind, but when it comes you close your windows. So that’s why I’m scared when you say you love me.”
George Michael passed away last week. It’s said he had been fighting depression for a long time. But so was Leonard Cohen and Robbie Williams and so many others before them.Have you ever wondered why most artists, writers, painters, philosopher’s even scientists suffer from mental illness ?
Is intelligence then a curse or a gift? A rare gift that challenges one to go find the true nature of reality, to dive deep down in the waters of human excellence and discover the treasure that lies in the darkness of the ocean floor.
And are the ones who receive this gift the chosen ones ? Are they the ones who carry the burden of moving the human thought, the human civilization forward but just like the wick of the lamp burn in the process of giving light to others.
But what if there is no truth to be known? What if the nature is hiding no great secrets from us ? What if Charvak and the existentialists are right. Eat, drink and be merry. Enjoy the party till it lasts.
The problem is not that intelligent people or let me say supremely intelligent people don’t want to be happy. The problem is that beyond a point they can’t enjoy the “normal”stuff. They can’t find any fun in the same activities as others around them. They have no option but to look else where. And for sometime they do find happiness reveling within themselves – thinking, writing, painting, singing until they reach a dead end. What to do now their mind asks them?And there are no answers.
हैरान हूँ इस बात पे, तुम कौन हो , क्या हो?
हाथ आओ तो बुत, हाथ ना आओ तो खुदा हो
अक़्ल में जो घिर गया, ला-इंतिहा क्यूँ कर हुआ?
जो समझ में आ गया फिर वो खुदा क्यूँ कर हुआ?
फलसफ़ी को बहस क अंदर खुदा मिलता नही,
डोर को सुलझा रहा है और सिरा मिलता नही
हो भी नहीं और हर जा हो,
तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
[बुत = idol; अक़्ल = mind/Thought; ला-इंतिहा = boundless; फलसफ़ी = philosopher; बहस=debate]
The mind has a limited capacity and it kind of exhausts itself. There is still so much to know but the barrier is just too high. The intellect pushes itself but it can’t cross the threshold. It doesn’t give up and pushes some more. This is the point where sadness seeps in – a deep sense of melancholy, of loss, of being chained to the limits of existence. Like a bad acid trip the mind starts playing tricks. It does not want to accept defeat, to come down from a high pedestal and accept that it is ordinary like everyone else. It has come too far and there is no way to go back…there is no way at all.
The guy who came to drop me at the Cape Town airport owned a fleet of cars and dabbled in some other small businesses. As we chatted I came to know he had left his well paying managerial job to be on his own. Upon asking about his decision to “quit” while still in his early 40’s he had this profound wisdom to share :
“There comes a time in an organization when there are only two kinds of people left – the ambitious and the insecure. Both are extremely dangerous. I know the organization has been there for past 50 years and it will still be there for the next 50 but the same is not true for me. My time on the planet with my kids, my family and my friends is limited. Yes, I don’t make that much money but I am my own boss. I took you guys out for sightseeing before the drop to the airport and nobody can ask me a question. What sort of value one can put to such freedom, such liberty ? If I consider small things like this I have more happiness, more fulfillment than I was ever having before.”
Usually I drink red wine on flights but this time it was double scotch on the rocks @#$$%&
One of my favorite couplet from Nida Fazli goes like this :
धूप में निकलो बारिश मे नहा कर देखो
ज़िन्दगी क्या है किताबों को हटा कर देखो
It roughly translates to :
Go out in the sun,get drenched in the rain
To know what life is,first keep the books aside
When I was doing my graduation I wrote an extempore essay on the topic ‘turbulence creates art’.As I picked up my pen to write ,these words from Jim Morrison got imprinted on the paper as if taking a life of their own :
You know the day destroys the night,night divides the day
try to run,try to hide..break on through the other side.
We chased our pleasures here dug our treasures there
But can you still recall the time we cried..break on through to the other side.
I went on to give details of Jim’s turbulent life and his art which made him a cult figure in American history.I also gave example of Vincent Van Gogh who cut his ear and gave it to a prostitute or stood in one position for days together so the frame did’nt move while he painted.People in the town called him the ‘redheaded madman’ and sighned a petition to chase him away.
I was surprised to have managed a 2nd Prize as I was sure I went too off the topic.What was rather interesting was the fact that a Judge in the panel taught English to the guy who won he first prize.How could I,a student of Physics win a prize for creative writing after all.
Sometime small incidents like these leave a deep impression on your mind and you continuously keep looking for answers.In my case the question was if creativity lies within and creativity is what takes the human form forward why do we teach students in schools ,colleges and Universities.What really needs to be done is to give the right environment to nurture talent and it will take care of itself.The one who made the earth,moon and the stars could surely make roads and bridges if he wanted so these cannot have a special place or priority over everything else.Each field of study and knowledge is as important as the other.Don’t we buy $500 tickets for Opera from the money we made in investment banking ?Is it not true that CEO’s secretly crave to be film stars – a career that they sub conciously ditched in their youth by choosing to study 18 hours a day ?
Thankfully OSHO came to my rescue with his brilliant talk on Intelligence when he said “It’s very difficult to escape the university,to go there and come out intelligent.But it is not impossible” .I took the challenge and not only escaped the university but ran so far that it could never catch up with me again.I did management after graduation but I could never sit for 2 hours in the class where people took notes with commas and full stops as professors spoke in macabre tones.In one of the term papers I got just 2 marks out of 20 and the Prof explained in front of the whole class that I had come up with my own theories on International Marketing which had nothing in common to what was ever taught in the class.I took the whole class for a free snack on my great achievement.
While it sounded like youthful audacity to challenge the establishment,after practicing active business for close to 15 years now I have realized that I was right.Not that what I said was better than Kotler but there is no solution that’s final and to be a great marketeer and an innovative business person you have to be a little more creative than your competitors.While Kotler will not come to your rescue each time there is a situation ,your own creativity and innovation will.So does’nt it make sense to nurture these true friends in need.If you have spare time ,learn what not to do from other Gurus.
I am not against education but I somehow cannot figure out how someone who can see a trend in data points more intelligent than someone who can sketch a perfect portrait.How someone who can calculate faster or speak better English more ingenuous than someone who can sing a song with the right melody,lyrics and meter.It’s just that they are intelligent in a different way but we are not able to appreciate it.
It is rather dumb to think that way if you take a closer look.While the college,teachers and parents will build a kind of mass hysteria that the world will be lost if you do not get through the engineering the fact is that most of my friends who did get through the exam are not even at the same professional level as some of the others who got a 2nd class.People stop tracking each other after school or college else they would figure out for themselves what big dimwits they have been slogging it out through rain and shine.The society is composed not only of engineers and managers it has politicians,lawyers,doctors,writers,journalists,singers actors,businessmen and even carpenters,electricians,mechanics.And believe me if your sewer line gets choked you will suddenly realize what a great guy your plumber is,how clever he is in get things as they were almost effortlessly.Ingmar Kamprag of IKEA is a carpenter and Amar Gopal Bose of BOSE corp. is a sound Mechanic if you really think of it.Only difference is that they are the best ones at their job and they are godd business men too.
We are talking simple law of supply and demand here.If you can figure out what you are really good at ,keep working on it as if driven by a mad passion and do not worry about the outcome.If there is water there is thirst,if there is wine there is intoxication,if there libido there is sex.The creator has taken care of that.Why do you think people are ready to pay 200 million dollars for a few strokes of paint scattered over a piece of canvas.You have to just find your niche,demand will follow.
Somehow the education system through out the world has missed the point big time.The entire objective is to create mediocre clones who are OK at a lot of things but Good at nothing.Loads and Loads of mechanical robots falling over each other like Zombies,drifting aimlessly in a strainght line Que that leads to extinction and death.I am sure you pictured it by now.
We don’t need no education…….REALLY !
I may have a vested interest to explain my strange ways and under achievement so listen to Sir Ken Robinson talk on TED.com