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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

No luck?

Watching the 10-11 p.m. show on NDTV called Entrepreneurs Extraordinary on December 28, I heard both Ratan Tata and N.R. Narayana Murthy concur that luck plays a critical role in deciding who will succeed in this world, and how much (see this post of mine). While Murthy quoted Louis Pasteur that 'God helps the prepared mind', he also said that he has known a lot of very talented and hard-working men who haven't been able to go far, and their failure can be ascribed to nothing but bad luck.

No wonder trying to change one's luck artificially (through astrology, costly prayers and yagnas, fairness creams and what have you) has always been big, especially in this country. Alas, while I believe in kismet or Providence, I cannot believe that it can be manipulated: 'God is not mocked'! I guess the best we can do, knowing this, is to cultivate the high art of stoicism, in happiness and sorrow alike. And pray...

8 comments:

Rajdeep said...

I understand.

Shilpi said...

Praying - yes, I can see that. Although God knows which prayers are heard, which ones aren't, and why...

But what's the difference between being stoic and being autistic?

And how can some things not matter?

Was wondering whether to just say 'Amen', and leave it at that...

Welcome back, by the way.
Take care.
Love and luck,
Shilpi

Archishman said...

Sir,
I came across this poem sometime ago in a book named "You Can Win!" by Shiv Khera.

He toiled by day,
He toiled by night,
He gave up play,
And all delight.
Dry books he read,
New things to learn.
And forged ahead,
Success to earn.
He plodded on with faith and pluck
And when he won
Men called it Luck.

I loved the poem. Although it is quite contrary to the words of Mr Tata and Mr Murthy, but still it has a lot to offer. Luck can lead us only so far. And Sir, I have seen people who have completely given up to Luck herself without even giving a sincere effort! ("Dhur jaa hobe dekha jabe...Luck bhalo thakle pabo noile futurdoom!") God help them!!

Regards,
Archishman.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

I have been a hard worker all my life, Archishman, with no daddy to support me since I was 17. Maybe you will have to wait a few decades to realise why I agree so much with Tata and Murthy. For some things, there is absolutely no substitute for experience!... but just think, Bibhutibhushan Banerjee didn't win a Nobel solely because he was a Bengali rather than a white skin. What do you call that? Lack of trying or talent?

Archishman Sarkar said...

Yes Sir. I cannot argue with this. Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhaya was indeed a great example.

Regards,
Archishman

Suvro Chatterjee said...

But of course, I have no sympathy for today's molly-coddled overgrown infants who waste all their time 'having fun' at their parents' expense and then blaming their poor examination scores on luck...

JD said...

I agree that the element of luck provides the hard working person that extra reward, but however, I also wonder whether all hard working people need to get that star result!

There is also much self-satisfaction to be enjoyed from doing a good job. That is the biggest reward, and I do feel, one doesn't need luck for that. One can sleep well, knowing that he/she left no stone upturned, though the objective may not been achieved.

I have always enjoyed a greater satisfaction and happiness in solving a problem instead of bringing good marks! Though, I admit, those instance were rare enough, as I am no genius.

Maybe, it would be right if we would care about what people do rather than what they achieve!

This is an entirely personal opinion though.

Regards.
Joydeep Mukherjee
2002 Batch

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thanks for commenting on an old post, Joydeep; that's the sort of comment writer I like best, the one who explores the blog until he finds something he really wants to comment upon (thus bringing the post to the notice of less attentive readers).

Your opinion is certainly not just a personal idiosyncrasy; it resonates with the advice of the greatest sages down the ages - pay attention more to the work than to the results, and learn to be happy with little things (remembering it's not really a little thing that though I might have not made a million dollars, I have lived a much healthier life than many millionaires!). And unless we re-learn to value people more by what they do (or even try to do) than what they achieve, it inevitably leads to a world where the moneyed crook comes to be valued more than the sage and the savant and the great artist or teacher, and that way lies the dissolution of civilization...