Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The rainbow and the pot of gold

So I was watching an old episode from Scrubs - season 1, when something caught my attention. By the time I blinked, the object of my attention had disappeared. But my suspicions had been aroused and so I made a straight dive for IMDB.com.

Holy cow. I was right.

The nervous microscope-holding lab technician Franklyn who probably had a total screen time of maybe five and a half seconds on Scrubs was none other than the very popular Hiro Nakamura on the TV series 'Heroes'!

I don't really follow 'Heroes'. Maybe cos I just don't like any of the 'heroes' in it. Except of course, Masi Oka who plays Hiro Nakamura. He's the best. If he was the only 'hero' in the show, I'd glue myself to the TV. But I only come across the show during channel-surfing. If I see him on the screen, I pause just enough to watch his scene and then continue surfing.

From being the token Asian guy on Scrubs to the golden globe nomination for Heroes, Masi Oka has come a long way. And I started to think about what his thoughts would have been when he'd auditioned for the role of the lab technician in 2001. Would he have thought that he would get noticed, get a bigger role, be talked about, get interviewed, and have gazillions of adoring fans (including celebrities like Tyra Banks)? Would he have looked at the lab tech role as one the things you have to do to get into showbiz (a la Joey playing Al Pacino's butt double in Friends) or was it just a source of money in hard times? Did he ever think he would 'strike gold' like this? Was it a planned move - a dream he achieved - or was it a 'Take it as it comes' strategy? Was it persistence or was it sheer good luck?

Then I started to think of other people whose lives had also turned around like this, bringing in success and prosperity. Think Saif in his 'Aashiq Awara' days. Think Shilpa Shetty in her leopard tights prancing around SRK in Baazigar. Think Rani singing the 'Yeh meri sasural hai' song in 'Raja ki aayegi baarat'. It took time, but they've all struck gold, they're all in a better place now. So at first glance, the lesson seems to be - no matter what your dream is - that great job, that great fortune, that great love - if you never give up, you will eventually strike gold.

In an ideal world, yes.

But in the real world - how many of us strike gold - fulfill all our dreams - before we die? How many of us already have had our lives turned around? How many of us will have our lives turned around in the future? Is it really a cosmic rule that each of us will make it big after the initial struggle? How long does the initial struggle take? What is the 'big thing' that's going to happen to us? How big is the big thing? Do we have to do something or will it happen on its own? How golden is the gold we're going to strike? Is it going to be shinier than my neighbour's gold? Who will strike it first? Will it be my gold or will I have to share it? When I see it, will I recognise it as the gold, or will there be smaller misleading pots of gold on the way? I These are all questions that pop up in our minds, but we brush them aside because they make us uncomfortable.

My sister showed me some of the parenting websites she visits. She has subscribed to a weekly newsletter personalised based on when the subscriber's baby was born. So your seventh issue is all about your baby's seventh week, and what the baby should be doing by then. My niece seems to be doing everything the newsletter says she should be, in the correct order. Looks like they have figured out the steps and their correct timing of what babies should be doing at each stage of their lives. But is there something similar for us grown-ups? After the nappy happy days of sitting up, crawling, walking and talking, what’s next? Is there a newsletter somewhere that says "You are now forty. By now you should be doing blah blah..." and if we're not doing that blah-blah perhaps we're on the wrong path?

Life is tough. We're taking risks all the time, hoping that one/some of them would pay off. But what if the risks don't pay off? We can always make idealistic statements like "Oh but you have to take the risk. Otherwise you're not doing enough." but the truth will hit us hard on the face - some risks are wrong decisions. Yes, you pick yourself up, scrape the dirt and move on, but what's next? And when? What if you walk and walk till you reach the end of the rainbow, and there is no gold and no time to walk any further? Would your life be a story worth telling?

Many of my friends have jumped into the MBA bandwagon. Maybe that's their ticket to turning their lives around. Maybe a few years later, I'd be holding Forbes magazine and proudly telling people "This XYZ used to sit on the floor of my living room and have my home-cooked pav bhaji. Now he's the CEO of Google and the bugger refuses to recognise me." It's true - some people seem to have it all figured out. They don't go "Uhhh.. ummm..." when asked at an interview "Where do you see yourself in twenty years?" They have specific, well-defined dreams for a perfect life. Dreams carefully calculated. Correct to two decimal places. The dream income, number and gender of kids, number (and gender) of spouses, number of houses, number of cars. Others have a vague idea – happy marriage, sufficient money, goodkid(s). Will it happen for all of them? If not, what about the rest? Will it never happen or will it take longer?

Let’s move idealism aside for a moment. In a life full of struggles, how many of us will really make that million bucks, win Wimbledon, climb the Everest, go to the Moon, get the perfect love, be a best-selling author? Aren't the sky and the earth too small to accommodate everyone's rainbows and pots of gold?

It's at times when questions like these pop up in my head that I see my own split personalities.

All three of them.

The optimist in me says everyone has a rainbow and a pot of gold. You just gotta keep going and eventually you will strike gold.

The pessimist in me says that some of us don't have rainbows to follow and pots of gold to discover, we are
just part of the gold that others find at the end of their rainbows, we are meant to be the adoring fans instead of having them.

And the negotiator between the two says take life as it comes, but do remember to take some risks. If they don't turn out right, stand up for them still. And at the end if you don't strike gold, you just gotta look back at the good things and the good people that happened to you and call that your pot of gold.


Rebellion said...

And I take the goldddddddd

satish said...

And I take the GOLDy.

Neihal said...

me happy
just tell me
silver ya bronze :P

Neihal said...

"You are now forty. By now you should be doing blah blah..."

tht sounds soo interesting :D

I guess we all have the three version then.....(Freud ki yaad aa gayi)

I like you last lines....pretty much sums up what I feel...we got to keep moving :)

Neihal said...

Sash I am the firsssst one to reply to the post...medal distribution ke time yaad rakhna ;-P

Rebellion said...

Oye Satish,
Har jagah aa jaate ho mera gold hadapne!!! hmmppph :P

GOLD post par gold mera hi hona tha. muahahahaha. Ok, do I qualify for the tital Sash? ;):p

Now for your post, passing thoughts eh? At this point of time all I can say is, exactly the way I feel. Soul sistah? :)

I also have voices in my head and I try my best to kick the pessimist & make the optimist win. Though at times, the other takes over but I make sure its not for long :)

"Only those people succeed,
Who think they can" :)
Acha tha na? Taali bajao phir :D:P

Rebellion said...

Ek kam tha, doosra bhi aa gaya!
No matter how much you guys try, gold will be mine. Bol do Sash sabko.. Gold mera hai :D
hehehehe :P
And Sash knows why I took time to comment on the actual post ;)

Rebellion said...

Btw, that 40 years wala statement was really nice. You know Sash, its really nice & surprising at the same time to see so many people around you who're so calculated about their ambitions. They really know what they need in life and where they'll be in next 10 years! Sheesh!! I feel like a loser now :(((

satish said...

GOld ka toh pata nahi, but I am damn sure tht I will have enuff 'Goldy's.

yehi hota hai scrubs-viscrubs dekhne se. go watch desperate housewives, and you will discover that the true pleasure lies not in slogging it out to 'hit' the gold, but stealing it from your neighbour.

Neihal said...

3 log milkar 10 comment likhe hai... gold nahi ab platinum mangwao ;)

LOL @ Satish

Thisisme said...

this was such a thought provoking post!
really liked it!
and might as well add..apart from all the strategy/planning/dreams etc etc..luck is also one big factor..i do blv to make it Very Big..Lady luck needs to favor u :)
n yes ..i identify with the negotiator's thots completely :)

Bivas said...

//some risks are wrong decisions.
They may be wrong decisions but without those how wud we know wot the right ones are? One can't exist without the other.
Am reminded of these lines...
"Girte hain Shehsawar Hi Maidan-e-jung Mein,
Woh tifl kya khak girega jo ghutno ke bal chale!"
very aptly finished the post though...
//take life as it comes, but do remember to take some risks. And at the end if you don't strike gold, you just gotta look back at the good things and the good people that happened to you and call that your pot of gold.
We lose so many small moments in life that wud accumulate to a pot of gold...those who value those moments, my dear friend, are the ones who hv truly lived their lives to the fullest.

Vivek said...

I think about it a lot too...

Wonder if it makes sense to say - why not go for smaller pots of gold rather than the one big pot. It might not add up in the end, but you get a lot more happy moments...

Vivek said...

Btw, great post! And how did you even remember the Franklyn guy?!

Sakshi said...

Sash - I watch scrubs but even I did not connect the two serials (which is not surprising coz i have never watched Heros) but still.. good connection!

I liked the post. Being an obssessive compulsive type, I like to know where I am going at but heck, even I don't plan my life to a T. That is just asking for heartbreak! Life throws you off the curve, you can not plan for all eventuality. In that I agree with Vivek above who said that may be it's better to want the smaller pot - I look at achieving the bigger gold by achieving a whole lot of smaller pot :P that way my pot will be bigger than others .. muhhhhhaaahhh

Iday said...

Aah - Shash speaks of life :)
Immediately after marriage :O

On a more, nice post :)
Life is funny okay. I dont think it goes by plans for anyone :) But as human beings, we plan like we know everything, only to see the world and we keep changing every year. What seems like a big success now wont appear as success in 5 or 10 yrs time.

Manchus said...

This was a great post! Something more serious than your previous posts.

Now that I have read this post, let me go in search of the pot of gold. Actually, I can give the pot to anyone, but just let me keep the gold.

Ramkumar said...

Whats next? Art of living session??

Garrett said...

nice post...
the three versions described by u are a part of everybody's life...

Koi Pahailee said...

It does not matter what one dies or achives in life...
its the present that matters...the present should be grasped and thats what LIFE is about.
The past and future is all the same and so is the eventuality...the death!

Snowfall said...

Very thought provoking!! Yeh some times I feel god just sent us here as a punishment:( Wondering abt the pot of gold, have stopped dreaming abt it now! I used to think life is the way we want to make it happen but i think life has its own ways to show that it has a upperhand and we are mere puppets.sign.

sandya said...

Deep! Long time since you wrote something this thought-provoking. But I like the negotiator's thoughts on the pot of gold.

soleil said...

Brilliant post! I love the ending :) I guess everyone thinks about it at some point in their lives. They concentrate on that particular stage (such as getting a degree, etc) and then move on to the next. It's only when that stage seems to get draggy that they wonder what should come next...

Vaijayanta Chattoraj said...

Life has something is store for everyone. Someone gets them sooner, someone gets them later while someone never gets them at all. Its all Luck Factor.

Someone fights hard to achieve it, someone takes it easy, someone sits back hoping it would come to them someday.

Life is bag of mixed grains. (khichdi).

Akshat Kaul said...

wonderful post.

the negotiator has it right. the risks are worth taking in pursuit of dreams. and the pursuit makes the risk-taking worthwhile in the end.

ursjina said...

Somebody actually wrote this on my autograph..It stayed with me after all these years..goes like this..

Some times LIFE says YES and gives what you want
Sometimes it says WAIT and gives you something better
Sometimes it says NO and gives you the best in its own time...

I dont know how far it is true..I am still waiting..hehe

Sayesha said...

Hahaha! :D

Le gayi, le gayi! ;)

Bronze, but gold for being the first to comment after reading the post! :)

Ok baba! Gaaliyan gaaliyan! Ooops, I meant taaliyan taaliyan! :P

Yeah, I try not to let them get me, but sometimes they do... sigh...

Uffff yeh ladka...

Haan haan saare metals chura lo bar se! Free ka hi toh hai na! :/

Thanks! I agree about the luck part too :)

Yes, but still a bit idealistic, don't you think? How would you know whether you're living your life to the fullest?

Yeah, when I said "you just gotta look back at the good things and the good people that happened to you" I meant something like that but you've described it beautifully as 'smaller pots of gold'. :)

//And how did you even remember the Franklyn guy?!

Muahahaha! What, you thought you were the only observant one? ;)

//achieving a whole lot of smaller pot :P that way my pot will be bigger than others ..

Hahahah! Itna pot-pot padhkar end mein I started imagining marijuana! :P

Thanks :)

Thanks :)

Why, you need one?

Thanks :)

#Koi Pahailee,
Yes, but if you think about it, there is no such thing as past, present and future, it's just one continuous thing called life, isn't it?

Thanks :)

Thanks :)

Thanks :)


Thanks :)

Aha! You're all optimist! :)

Bivas said...

arre simple...
u happy+ppl arnd u happy= life lived to the fullest if no regrets
...nuthin else matters :-)

Vivek said...

infobyte - this dude appeared in an episode of 2nd season of JOEY, as a nerdy friend of his nephew, who constantly asks Joey questions about sex.

Sakshi said...

@Sayesh Itna pot-pot padhkar end mein I started imagining marijuana!
I was talking about that wonly ;)

Sayesha said...

Hehehehe! That was textbook. Is it really that easy? :)

Oh really? I don't watch Joey. Watched one episode and hated it. :P

I should have figured, it's you after all! :P

Bivas said...

y not?

Shekhar said...

Brilliant post, Sayeshaji. Reading a post like this from you after quite some time. Must admit, the start of the post wasn't indicative at all.

Totall loved going through it.

Restless Rain said...

Very Well written Sayesha! I couldn't have said it better myself!

I get so confused sometimes with all these questions running through my head that I just totally give up thinking about them. At least I have peaace of mind. Heh.....

Because the answers only come when they come. I realize pushing myself to seek them out only makes me more stressed. Perhaps its the journey that counts the most.

Just my 10 cents worth. :)

Neihal said...

Did I get a GOLLLLLD ?
DID I???

:D :D

raven said...

Thanks Bud!

Sayesha said...

Because it works differently for different people, that's why :)

Hey, long time! Thanks! :)

#Restless Rain,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, dear. I guess we just gotta cherish the journey, and the smaller pots of gold we find on the way :)

Hahaha! Yes indeed! :P

Anytime! :)