This article is inspired by my 17 seconds of interaction with Amitabh Bachchan at the India Today #Conclave14 meet at New Delhi. As he walked out of the hotel,a sea of people surrounded him, just to say a word,or to touch him or hear him speak and for some of us, just to look and check if he’s for real !
He came.He saw.He went. There was an air of humility in the humidity, calmness in the middle of madness, and focus in the haze. It got me thinking.How does one get it? More importantly keep it?
Are you one of those who keeps hearing how you should have a plan B if something doesn’t work out? You hear failure is the best teacher. You get mentally prepared for adversity. You can even handle death. That’s how strong you are eh! Well ,sometimes life does turn out the way you have wished for, dreamed of, pined for, cringed for…and then what do you do ? You have to stick to Plan A ? But all your damn preparation was for Plan B! Now what ?
Getting the success you dreamed of, sometimes, could be much more difficult to handle than failure. Picture Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar just a couple of examples of extreme success in our society.So you might think what a privileged life they lead or that life is a bed of roses for them. The reality is quite starkly different.
They are always hounded by roving eye, pestered by a passerby, every Tushar,Dhiren or Hari think they can be them,compare lives and assume they would be at a much better place had they have the luck that these illustrious gents had.If only. Some feel they are public property and are a representation of the aspirational common man. But Dhobighaat freezes over if they did something remotely similar to a common man – say scratch their nose or pick their teeth.Its breaking news : Amitabh Bachchan itch. And by evening news 10 people will debate, infer,imply,slice and dice the episode in more ways than you can cut a watermelon.
It therefore fascinates me, how they handle themselves under such extreme pressure of success. There is no playbook to handle success.There is no silver bullet to have a guide. Years and years of continued success and glory can take a toll on the best of brains.Yet these icons remain calm,unfazed,unaffected almost with a sense of indifference. Whats all the fuss about they say? Dismiss fan following as a transient part of life.Shrug off people’s blunt compliments and comparisons with God and other epithets. Doing this one off is still ok, but doing this incessantly is amazing.
There are enough and more examples around the planet of people having lost their minds,bodies ,and lives. So I urge all those ambitious people out there who eat pray and live by desire and passion to cross over the line,who toil hard, sacrifice everything to achieve something, to prepare for success as much as you would be for failure. Handling success could actually determine what substance you are made of. What mettle shines and mettle whines.
Be ware what you wish for. It just might come true. So, are you ready?