Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wind of Change

I am timing this post to see how much time I have to spend on writing average posts, so this one will be smaller

So quickly, let me put 3 points which will be the theme for this post:
  1. Trip to Tiruchirapalli, Pondicherry
  2. Aam Admi Party launch
  3. The power of not understanding things
And we begin.

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1. The trip

So we went to Tiruchirapalli (T) and Pondicherry (P) in a group of 7.  At T, we visited two temples, both of them really old.

The first one of them was at Srirangam. It had lots of temples within the main compound, and as soon as we entered, we could see three of them together. Even before I could search for a place to wash my hands, a couple of pundits (the priests) started calling us out to their small temples. For few moments after our entry, God had become a fish, we the fish buyers, and the pundits the fish sellers. The place had many beggars, who were occupying one or the other pillar in the complex.  touching your feet and trousers, begging for money. And the indifferent people and pundits, some cursing the beggars, others doing charity by giving coins to each one of them. So much for the peace you are supposed to find in a temple.

There was one temple in the whole compound, among the myriad devoted to various forms of the deities, where I could feel some levels of peace, and yet the experience was short lived, for as soon as I came out of the temple, it was the usual site once again - priests calling you out loudly to visit their temples, beggars pestering you and the clueless crowd pushing you around.

So pissed off was I, that at one point, I was thinking how the smaller temples could be thought of as being small business units, each making its own profit and losses, the master temple as the main consolidator group. It didn't take much to imagine from there, how the loss making temple would eat the resources earned by other temples, the main temple board having its own cost centers and profit centers.

Ok, enough of the blasphemy.

The second one was at Thiruvanaikaval. It was maintained much better, and here the compounds were much cleaner. 

The grandiose levels of architecture made me marvel about the amount of human effort that would have been spent in constructing it. The scale at which it was constructed left me wondering how the maintenance of it would have been handled for centuries, since it was built in around 10th century, and has more or less retained its current structure.

Needless to say, the experience was much more profound at this one, where we were lucky enough to have reached just before the temple was going to be closed.

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2. Aam Admi Party launch

So yesterday, the Aam Admi party was formally launched here in B, and I, along with a couple of my friends tagged along for the 3hour long event at New Horizon School.

It was inspiring to see thousands of well educated and literate people of the city turn up for this event. A couple of times, I found things to be a bit cheeky, but overall, it was definitely good. 

One thing that I will surely remember is the passion with which Arvind Kejriwal spoke.
I don't know whether he will win or not, but I know for sure that he will bring about immense amount of change to the system, if he is successful in entering it.

The only goof up happened, when while answering the queries, he said he was happy with the way the state unit was functioning, and said, that the team gets really tired working day in and day out in Delhi, and the energy he found here was refreshingly new and had charged him up like anything, and that he should come here every month to recharge their batteries. He was quick to correct himself in the next breath and say recharge the mental batteries.

It is just one example of how his earlier statement in isolation could have been used for propaganda to say that he meant recharge monetarily from the unit here (substantial funds were raised during the event).

Nevertheless, I still believe it is a long road ahead before AAP can make a visibly large difference to Indian society. 

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3) The power of not understanding things

I was recently watching a Steve Jobs video, an interview that he gave in the initial days of the mac in the 1980's. (I am a Steve Jobs fan, but then, who isn't?)

And during the whole video, I couldn't wonder how a man so smart trying to explain things logically could be so unreasonable in his demands. And then it dawned upon me, he wasn't unreasonable because he couldn't understand reasoning behind the decisions, rather he was unreasonable by character. It was his way of forcing people around him to give their absolute best, and nothing less.

If we were to think of it, the sub optimal happens because someone somewhere makes some compromise, which is not in the best overall interest. But once you remove those compromises, once you start thinking only in terms of the best inputs, you reach the best output.

And the same is true for any kind of profession or trade.

The system is rotted because people *understand* why things are happening the way they are happening, and once you can *understand* those things, you can be made to compromise.
And all it takes to put everything in order is an unreasonable man, who won't allow compromise of any kind.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - G.B. Shaw

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PS: It took around 2 hours to write this full post. Also, the name of the post is inspired by point #2.