Two guys. Both working in the same office, somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Rajasthan. One was married, had kids & was looking for ways to get away from his responsibilities (temporarily). Other was unmarried, pissed off with monotony of routine office work & was looking for ways to get married (permanently).
What was the best thing which they could do apart from shooting their boss??
At 11am, they decide to do something silly. They take a print of Rajasthan’s map. Ask a ‘blindfolded’ office boy to randomly put his finger on the map. The boy points to a place know for its oilfields – Barmer. Stunned… both of give each other a horrified look.
“Barmer!! What are we going to do there???”
“We are not doing anything here either…”
At 1:30 pm, they take a half day from office. The married guy calls up his wife to tell that he is leaving on a field visit for 2 days. The unmarried guy has nobody to call to…
So, both of them, drive their little blue monster for 350+ Kms to reach Barmer.
On checking in a hotel and enquiring about places to visit in Barmer, the response which they got was not a good one. To their utter horror, the receptionist told that Barmer was no tourist destination and there was nothing to see here. With poor communication, it was tough to google out places nearby. At this point, a close friend of the unmarried guy telephones him that they are very close to Indo-Pak border. With nothing better to do, they decided to drive 150kms towards the border. With almost no mobile signals, they just had:
- A list of villages enroute to the border
- Road map of Rajasthan
- Useless smart phone(s)
- The Blue Monster
The next morning, receptionist was all laughing when they told him that they were headed for border.
“Nobody goes there. There is nothing there. This is not like Wagah border with all the ceremonies happening. Last year, a young guy (on bike) like you both was found dead enroute to the place. Its 150 kms of pure desert with temperatures in between 50-60 degrees.”
But guys won’t listen. And already pissed off with their bosses, why the hell would they listen to anyone else either??
So they drove. Keeping faith in the blue monster to take them to their destination, they kept driving and driving, ticking off one village after the other on their list…
Coincidentally, they had a room thermometer with them. And what it showed was astonishing.
The temperatures reached way beyond 55 degrees Celsius!! In this extreme heat, the only ‘constant’ touch which they had with civilization was a railway track, which led to Pakistan.
“What?? A track to Pakistan? Are you kidding us? Only buses ply between India & Pakistan!!”, said the married guy.
“& bullets, missiles…” added the unmarried one.
“No Sahib. Munabao is India’s last station on India-Pakistan border. But tracks continue well into Pakistan. Upto Karachi. There is train named Thar Express which goes there. ”, said a small tea stall owner in one of the villages named Gagariya.
Now that was one hell of a discovery for both the guys. With the trip going almost nowhere, they were now heading for a place in India, which almost no-one knew off & which was of such importance to those who knew about it.
Last Railway Station of India. Oh My God!!
They drove and drove. Eventually they made it to the Indo-Pak border. Unluckily, Border Security Forces did not ‘officially’ allow photography. But, as usual, there were alternatives…
And finally, the picture that said it all… the picture that made them feel that they had achieved something. Something which most Indians would never be able to.
I was reading someone else’s “Back to blogging” post when I realized that I haven’t written on Lumuhuku for last 3 months!!! Even last two posts were more like loud thinking rants than real posts.
Frankly speaking, I am unable to come up with something to write on. My readers have run away. I have data (graph below) to prove it…
Though I think a lot, I don’t feel like writing about my thoughts anymore (atleast for time being). And a quote by Albert Camus sums it up quite nicely –
We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.
By the way, I am active on a blog which might not be of much interest to everyone reading this post. It’s a blog on stock market investing in India – Stable Investor.
It would be nice to see a few of my old readers there.
As far as Lumuhuku is concerned, I don’t know when I will be able to write something substantial here. But just to put it on record, this blog is still alive, but (most probably) in exile.
I hate it when I get an idea (read enlightenment); have butterflies in my stomach; need internet access to build up on the idea; am not able to access internet for hours; forget the crucial details of the idea; end up dumping the idea as I can’t remember why exactly did I term it as an enlightenment!
If people were companies and companies were people,
Then it would be very tough for an owner to give up stake in his company.
But in the long run (& to an extent) …..it is necessary.
I got an automated mail this morning from Robin Sharma, which talked about ‘the best advise (I) had ever got’. One of them was that you have to run your own race.
Due to cultural conditioning, we are hardwired to look outside for validation. Our definitions of success and failure are what society wants it to be. And it is pretty hard not to compare yourself with others. External comparison is convenient. It is easier to have benchmarks which are not within our control than those which may be within us. And reason for this is that introspection is tough. It is tough to take a call about what exactly is your personal definition of success; which race are you running; whom are you running against?
And worst part is that it is possible that you are good at something that society considers to be good. But it may not necessarily be good for you. It may not be in synch with your values, beliefs and general purpose of existence. What then happens is that you blindly follow this path of hollow success and end up realizing that though you did climb the ladder successfully, it was the wrong wall (!)
Another danger of social definition of success is that if you measure your success relative to how everyone else is doing you will probably end up far below your potential.
So you need to remember that…
Your life is your own. You have to choose your own race. You have to choose your opponents. Even if it means that you are your only opponent. Atleast you would be running the race on your own terms. It is better to fail at one’s own race than win at someone else’s.
Some questions to help you ponder over this thought –
- With whom are you competing against?
- Where has this race taken you?
- Are you happy with where you have reached?
- Was the answer to above question dependent on what others think of you?
- Are you running the best race for you?
- Or are you running someone else’s race better than they are?
And your life should not end with saying – I have finished first at their race.
It should rather end with – I have finished my race. (Position is redundant).
This is a guest post by my dear friend Nitesh. After 20+ years of our friendship and 5 years of this blog, I have finally convinced him to do a post on Objectivism. A topic close to both of us. Read on…
Objectivism is a philosophy grounded in rationality. Fundamentally, it says that man is better off if he is grounded in what is real, what exists, as opposed to his sense of what ought to be. To break it down even further, it says that:
- There are things in this world that are constant.
- There are characteristics of human nature that are constant.
- The best way to live is with respect for these constants, whether or not they seem fair and just. It is only then can man, and in turn, society, reach his highest potential.
Now, let’s look at what the philosophy specifically says. There are four tenents of objectivism:
Wishing won’t make it so
Facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, hopes, wishes, or fears.
You can’t eat your cake and have it too
Reason is man’s only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action.
Man is an end in himself
Man must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral-purpose of his life.
Give me liberty or give me death
The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another as traders by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. There should be a complete separation of state and economics. The government only exists as a policeman that protects man’s rights.
Still following? I know objectivism can be a brainful. So let’s look at some examples of objectivism in real life.
Your girlfriend/boyfriend breaks up with you. Even if you wish it weren’t so, the fact would still remain. Your wishes, hopes won’t change the fact that he/she has broken up with you.
If you jump from an 85 storey building onto hard concrete, what’ll happen? The laws of physics dictate that you’ll be dead. But, if you believe in Spiderman, another answer could be that he’ll protect you. The laws of physics are proven, the existence of Spiderman isn’t. So objectivism recommends not jumping. Act on logic, not your faith in superheroes.
You are a fresh mechanical engineering graduate. You have the choice of joining Ferrarri as their next hotshot engineer. You also have the choice of working on UNICEF’s child vaccination awareness program. You really want the Ferrarri job, but your parents want you to join UNICEF. Which one should you choose? If you’re an objectivist, you’ll just do what you want.
Let’s say you are indeed hired by Ferrarri. Should the government dictate what your salary should be, or should you and Ferrarri be free to negotiate it? Per objectivism, it should be latter. Governments should allow free, voluntary trade between individuals and institutions.
Does it make a little bit more sense?
Now, of course, the big question is – how good is objectivism as a philosophy. More importantly, is it my philosophy of choice? Well, that’s for another day, maybe. For now, I would like the readers to form their own opinions on objectivism. To help them with this process, I pose the following questions:
- What does objectivism mean for religion?
- Is the progress that we have made as a society (assuming we have) a function of altruism or self-interest of individuals?
- What happened to countries that are/were not capitalistic?
- Can man really think rationally?
- What is self-interest?
Answers to these questions are necessary to debate the pros and cons of objectivism and conclude if it should be the philosophy of choice for our society. So, start thinking!
Caution: If you are not an Eco(nomics)-maniac, this post is not for you.
Source : Fosslien (Awesome stuff Elizabeth!)