Saturday, 5 November 2011

Life- a game?

KBC has been changing ordinary people's lives and the thrill of watching it all unfold on the small screen has caught everybody's imagination.

Sushil Kumar, a computer operator from Bihar played like a pro to win the final jackpot of 5 crore rupees and it was a dramatic moment to say the least, when Amitabh Bachchan screamed with his arms outstretched-"Adbhut! adbhut!" The young man and his even younger wife, just didn't seem to know what to do with themselves as they tried to digest the reality of the situation.

Similarly, a teacher who has a stammering problem, went on to win 50 lakhs and both these contestants spoke about the setbacks and disappointments they had faced in life and how blessed they felt to be on the hotseat facing Big B on KBC.

Music reality shows too, one might argue, make celebrities out of ordinary folk, but they tend to do a lot, for just a few, whereas KBC seems to provide an oppurtunity to many.

Yet, nothing succeeds like success. Media and ordinary people on social network websites or over a cup of coffee spend hours analysing what makes a winner. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was one person who after winning the World Cup, became the subject of detailed analysis about his attributes which made him so successful.

Everybody likes a winner and everybody would like to be a winner but not everybody is a winner. We as a family, have been playing Monopoly over the summer holidays and I have often thought that life is actually a game of Monopoly. You need to make the right investments early in life- they being education and self development in real life as opposed to property in the game of Monopoly, to be able to reap the rewards later. Ofcourse the dice can lead you to jail or unnecessary losses, but worrying about the losses still to come, can easily drag you into a hole of bankrupcy. No risk, No gain.

Plenty of people have likened the ups and downs one faces in life, to a game of  Snakes and Ladders. Similarly the skills required for a game show like KBC have often been the most basic life skills like playing with a cool head, taking calculated risks, having faith in oneself, making the right decisions etc etc.

So I do think life is a lot like a game and even though winning is important, one must be able to lose cheerfully. It is important not lose faith in one's abilities, understand that sometimes the dice of destiny decides our fate and be able to plunge into life's next game without being afraid. I think all the big winners dared to dream and were not afraid to lose. Without the courage to be able to take a risk, one is unlikely to land a big jackpot.

It is not without reason that people say "Live like there is no tomorrow". That is the way to live, really! I think we let too many "what if"s ruin our lives. And the most unlikely people become winners because they were at a juncture of their lives where they had nothing to lose. I know that when life's situations become such that one feels it can't become any worse, one seems to be able to think and act with much better clarity, direction and purpose.

This reminds me of the poem by Rabindra Nath Tagore- "Where the mind is without fear..."

That is exactly the state of mind which helps us perform to the best of our ability and to our highest potential- when we are devoid of fear- fear of losing, fear of not succeeding, fear of being ridiculed, fear of going wrong, fear of not doing what looks good (even though it doesnt feel good), fear of not being able to live up to other's expectations, fear of not being able to do the necessary preparation (I think I wasted more time before my exams wondering how I will complete the syllabus rather than getting on and doing it) and the list can go on...

But is not being afraid an inborn trait? Or can we develop it? The truth is probably midway. So friends let go of your fears and you might hit the jackpot in real life!