Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Of star studded skies

Whats wrong in being mediocre if you are satisfied with your life...

asks Sirius Black in response to my post Software roulette

Well, nothing, I guess. You can go through life like a 20 W bulb, dim and feeble. Or you can find purpose, glow from inside and be like a 100 w bulb, lighting up the world you live in.

I came across this beautiful (very short) story by Novoneel Chakraborty. A conversation between an MBA and a 'struggling actor'. The MBA advises the struggler to first get a job and this is what the actor replies:

"Have you ever seen a star studded sky?”

“Why, yes.”

“You may like the star just above your head or the one in the right or to the left perhaps but you got no right to question why the star to the left is in the left.

I believe the point of our living is to find the coordinates where we know we belong and respect it irrespective of whatever difficulties or humiliation we encounter.”

Beautifully said. Where to start looking for these co-ordinates.. well, we'll keep discussing that on this blog!


  1. Well said..We need to find where we belong :)
    But I will ask a similar question again.. why is it that being mediocre ie (I meant) working under some company makes you a 20W bulb,dim and feeble?

    All i meant was , there are always multiple ways of reaching nirvana ,purpose or whatever you want to call it , being a mediocre can be one of those :)

  2. What have our so called 100W bulbs achieved? What did Hitler, Mao, Alexander , the bulbs of yesteryears achieved . What are the CEOs ,CFOs and prime ministers. the current 100W bulbs are achieving .. You see the state world we are in .Maximum harm to this world is brought by these workaholics. World would have been far better place if these bulbs had kept their light themselves. And to use the word “career” for people like MBAs, Engineers etc. is misleading ..NO they are not having careers ..all they have is job…the “ bread & butter thing “. This fancy word career makes them think that they need to derive meaning from what they do. The whole reason for frustration in working class is this ,suddenly out of the blue, they have been asked to look for meaning in what they do . In 80’s we all were typists & clerks, now we are IT engineers, Financial analyst etc. and that’s about it .The world changed & its demand for flavor of services changed and we are just satisfying it, in exchange to our bread & butter and now EMIs . Work was never a play …it was a drag and everybody knew it & said it so, enter 90s and the bluff of career entered. When everything was right perspective people would work, come out of office & play .The boundary was clear, precise uncomplicated. No body questioned why you are happy despite just being a clerk , a steno, a teacher? Comparative happiness is the disease & looking from outside you can not give judgment if the person is glowing with inner light or not .If you have delight , we don’t care about your light.
    Happiness was respected, expected and shared but was never questioned.

  3. I believe we each have the potential to turn mediocrity into excellence (the quintessential star in this case)... however, having said that, someone's 100W light can be another person's 20W bulb simply because individual potential differs... and there are multiple factors which determine, besides hard work, where you reach in life - this could be one's priorities, luck or sometimes just the way life goes on... there is no right or wrong in this... it is just the way things are and the way you lead your existence.

  4. @all,very interesting and thought provoking debate is going on here. For me,It is not question of living life of greatness for short time span than average life for years. We have to do just what we need to do for our inner satisfaction and fulfilling social responsibility. The race for star studded skies creates bunch of people who think nanosecond of fame is more important than whole life. Comparison between each other again and again pours the seed of jealousy in us,we are just unique at our own place. Satisfaction with the life and work is worth than any other thing.May be you become star or just live very non ambitious life,it does not matter.It is better to to live in present and forget about how people will remember you.

    Just whant to say in end,to each his own life.

  5. Veryy truely said.There are lot of things u can do, than just getting satisfied by wtever u get.

    I think people should b greedy abt wtever they do, they shudnt be just money.Otherwise once u get old, u wil memories of wanting to do many thing u didnt do, n regreting for it.

  6. Mediocrity lies in the eye of the beholder.

    What matters is whether a person is happy. Live for yourself, not for the society.

  7. Who is 100W and who 20W depends on one's perspective. If tomorrow the 'struggling actor' becomes the new SRK, should he look at the MBA and think of him as the star down low on the left?

    I ask you, Rashmi, is the MBA always really the 100W bulb?

    I was just talking with a friend, and I ended up telling him this: Be happy, not satisfied. Coz both the struggling actor and the MBA have the infinite sky around them, both above them and below them, what is more important is where you want to move... and are you moving there!

  8. Like other commentators have said here, eventually you need to do whatever makes you happy. You are the one who defines what is mediocre or not.

    What may be mediocre for the MBA might be the essence of life for the actor.

  9. Comments on blog - reflect what reader wants to say - it is really difficult to say what is 20W and what is 100W .

    Many of your posts reflects and talk about "Finding Inner voice" and so .

    I wonder- but there are not even pointers any-where on your blog or else-where which really helps one to find his own inner voice. - I wonder why so ?

    There are hardly any books/articles or so called mentors/coach - who really help one to find these co-ordinates , I would love to see something in that direction and I am 100% sure that readers of this blog or others too will find it very helpful.

    Thanks for opening pandora's box again.

  10. Excellence will always be managed until it turns mediocre. Being excellent in one field automagically invites enough attention to push you into mediocrity.

    For people interested in following "excellence", please see Hans Roling's talks on TED.

  11. Beautiful..

    Your post was a spark i guess.. which provoked several of your readers to post out such wonderful thoughts..m nt going to re-iterate whats already been posted by all of the above comments bt really thx for this spark!

  12. hey all great thoughts, i guess it all depends on the upbringing which makes u perceive a 100W and a 20W differently. I am from a modest background where the attitude has always been "jo mile ussi se santusti karlo" and that "jo mile" thing has always been the 100W bulb for us. we never aspired for big but were satisfied with whatever we got or to put it correctly we worked for that only. As for the MBA discussions for me MBA degree is not about making it big or earning money.................least it can do is make your thoughts rich like RASHMI here

  13. if anybody is confused regarding the 100W nd 20W i would recommend them to watch "good will hunting" and think over the characters of Robin Williams and Stellan Skarsgård.

  14. adaab from hyd,
    20w, 100w... we need them all, we need people who are satisfied with what little (if that is what is perceived by him or society), we need people like anil ambani... who never stops, we need poeple who like being employed always, we need em ployers, enterpreneuers too... we need all type of people, to make a MARKET, to make a balanced society.

    jyaaada dimaag nahi lagaane ka... in garden we need different types and colors of flowers.!!!


  15. When u are listening a romantic song in the evening in ur room .... alone...what type of bulb u wish to switch on....a 100 W or a 20 W colored soothing one. Life is ur own choice on one can dictates any parameter for u.

  16. i just loved your example Dhruv :)
    hopefully every1 keeps on shining in whatever mode "they" choose for themselves , because they want it and not because the whole world wants it for them...


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