By Biraj Dixit :
Just like that
‘Here’s wishing you great success in life!’ Almost every year, I receive such blessings from my near and dear ones. I wish, God says “Amen” once. For, without success one is quite a failure and that is not what one would like to be. Of course, you may say that there is a wide area between the two extremes of success and failure and life, with its quirky sense of humour, allows most people to waltz in between, but ‘in between’ is not the place one wishes to be, does one? Success by itself may not be much – may be only one little milestone or one wish fulfilled for now. But the aura it generates is so awesome! It allows people to adore you. And if success has not dropped itself on you and you have walked each step with care to hard-earn it, you will know how rare it is for people truly to adore. They may look at you, smile, laugh, share interests and admit to admiration, they still will be far away from adoration. If you do not believe, turn your back a little while leaving your ears behind.
It will be an eye opener. But once you have bitten the sweet cherry of success, a rather kind world, ready to shower its adoration, greets you. The ‘weird you’ suddenly morphs into a creative one, the very odd turns very original, the stubborn is now the determined, the fastidious is the new disciplined, the fussy becomes the concerned, laidback - the tranquil, the erratic becomes ‘moving with times.’ So, the very same you can succeed in persuading the world to change its tune and tone, once you become successful. So, succeed you must. Imagine, if Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi were to board the same train to Pretoria in South Africa four decades after he was thrown out of it. There he meets the same White gentleman who had objected to his presence in first class carriage, now as Mahatma Gandhi, the man who is threatening to throw the entire lot of imperialists Whites off his first class country. Then, all of his Apartheid gene would, undoubtedly, run to leave his soul. One glorious example often given to uplift the souls of ‘under-successfuls’ is that of Thomas Alva Edison, the maker of the ubiquitous light bulb and also the pronouncer of “I have learnt 10,000 ways of how not to make a light bulb.”
This, he said, of course, after successfully making the light bulb. Now, imagine if I were to lift my spirit from the same quote to put to ease my present predicament and announce that in a fortnight’s time “I have learnt a 1,000 ways how not to write an article for this column,” do you think I will be let off easily? Oh, No. I will be guillotined by my copy editor, crucified by our Magazine Editor and quartered by the Editor. You see the difference between Edison and me is the degree of success. No, let us not measure it in degrees because it is quite black and white. He was absolutely successful while I am absolutely not. The crux of the story is if you had been unsuccessful 10,000 times, do not speak a word of it until you cross the chasm and become successful. Your story will have a character and any preachable morality only after you have crossed the chasm. Saying anything before would be like preparing your own neck for the noose. A friend of mine often repeats this, (more to ease his own frustrations, than to enlighten us) “If you want to change anything, reach to the top and then change it.” This effectively means that down below you cannot do much. Wise men often present success in the shape of pyramid.
Those who reach the top only get to see the sky, feel the breeze and have the privacy in this chaotic world. Down below, it’s just too claustrophobic. One may feel like a slave buried alive with the body of a mummified pharaoh. Then again, how much down below one stands is also a question!?! One must never forget that success, like all things desired, is unfortunately, a relative term. And like all things ‘relative’, it is neither too far nor too near. Even those who have crossed the chasm, swear by the irritation of relativity. No one seems to be ‘that successful’. Who can forget that King of Kings Raja Dashrath died broken hearted, The Great Alexander bid farewell to the world empty-handed, Emperor Shah Jahan died in prison while Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler committed suicide.
Then there are those who have really crossed the chasm and have gone past all relativity and are way beyond any material success. They who should have been the real role models. Alas! They, too, have failed to propel humanity towards true successes. And here we are the lesser mortals struggling on the ladder for a decent climb! So, all my dear readers, here’s wishing you success in life. May you waltz across the chasm and get to see the real sun shine. You can wish the same for me. And let’s hope God says ‘Amen’ to all our prayers.