Friday, February 18, 2011

Sach is Life!

Twitter - the micro-blogging sensation has been my source of some of the most interesting material/reads for a long time now. I don’t tweet at all but I am quite an avid reader, actively reading all the tweets of people I follow. Following people who are funny, witty and who tweets articles/links that are quite interesting/resourceful has become a hobby. Like most things, twitter can be very useful if one knows how to use it.

But the topic I wanted to dwell into was not on Twitter but on icons/role-models on Twitter. In particular I wanted to talk about my experience in following the great Sachin Tendulkar on Twitter. Being in a generation where I have vividly followed, idolized, and prayed for Sachin, I had built a larger than life image of him. Like for most others, to me he is the ‘God’ - because of whom I religiously followed cricket. Apart from his cricketing skills, his down to earth conduct and the manner in which he has handled himself despite the tremendous successes made him a true role-model, a perfect ambassador to a sport and a ‘God’ worthy to follow.

After watching him play for more than 2 decades and reading thousands of articles on him I had imagined and depicted him in the most positive way. Placed him on a pedestal high enough where no one could touch him, no one could shake him or change my perception about him. What I had not envisioned was that one day the ‘God’ himself would be on Twitter talking directly (even though its pseudo!) to each of us. When I first heard about it I was one of the first few thousands who had followed him in the initial few hours. How could I have missed such an opportunity? The initial few days were as if he was talking to me directly. I was ecstatic. It’s not everyday that you get a peek into your idol’s life.

But the joy didn’t last long. Its not that he said/did anything wrong but its just that I had imagined him to be a very different, compared to the person I was seeing on twitter. Maybe I was expecting his tweets to be as good as his cricketing skills or maybe I was expecting him to discuss issues on twitter that otherwise he wouldn’t delve into or maybe tweet anything that’s as interesting or as exciting as his antics on the cricket field. I am not sure of the reasoning but I really felt let down. And after a few weeks I un-followed him.

Again, its not that he did anything wrong, infact he was actually being his normal down-to-earth self, but it just somehow didn’t fit my image of him. It’s interesting how we imagine and hypothesize on the lives of people whom we have hardly met or known. And when we start actually get to know them a little better we react in different ways. This incident is just one such example.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mistakes and experiments!

It was very funny. My friend had gifted me an iPod Shuffle about 4 years back and after all these years of consistently using it I just found a new feature on it! Obviously by mistake! If you are an iPod user you would know that there is no need to read up on any documentation as it’s all intuitive (as is the case with most Apple products) and so you tend to use the product straightaway after some initial exploration. But today, by mistake I found out something that I had not known was possible on a shuffle. Because after all these years, does one really go out of routine to try anything different? But there it was a new thing observed and learned.

It made me smile. How aptly this experience could be applied to ‘life’. Imagine a life with no mistakes, how pathetic and routine could that be? Most things we learn, experience, and become wiser are because of the mistakes that we make and not because of the successes. Maybe that’s why in corporate world ‘mistakes’ are always termed as ‘learnings’…

But sometimes we reach a stage where one stops making mistakes, one starts to follow a routine that one is comfortable with. This might fetch rich dividends, but in the long term he/she is the loser. So continuing to experiment is the key, as that would mean breaking the shackles. I have had my share of mistakes in the past, which I like to believe were because of my experiments, and I have not regretted them one bit. Hope the future is as dynamic and would lead me to unexplored territories and unchartered waters!