நமக்கு நாமே!!

அண்மையில் அறிவிக்கப்பட்ட தமிழ்நாடு மாநில அரசு திரைப்பட விருதுகளில் பல விருதுகள் கலைஞரின் திரைப்படமான ‘உளியின் ஓசை’க்கு அளிக்கப்பட்டது. இதற்கு முன் அண்ணாவின் நுற்றாண்டு விழா முன்னிட்டு தி.மு.க.  சில விருதுகளை நிறுவித்து தனக்கும் தன்னை சார்தொருக்குமே  கொடுதுக்க்கொண்டது. கலைஞர் ‘அண்ணா விருது’ என்று ஒன்றை நிறுவி தனக்கே கொடுத்துக்கொண்டார்!! இதை விமர்சித்து சிலர் இது கலைஞரின் புதிய ‘நமக்கு நாமே’ திட்டம் என்றனர்.

ஆனால் இது ஒன்றும் இவர்க்கு புதியதல்ல என்பது போல் பேசுகிறார் கவிஞர் கண்ணதாசன், தனது வனவாசத்தில்.

வனவாசம் கவிஞரின் சுயசரிதையின் முதல் பகுதி, அவரது அரசியல் பயணம் பற்றியது. இதில் 47 ஆம்  அத்தியாயம் ‘கணையாழியும் கசப்பும்’. இதில் தி.மு.க. சென்னை மாநகராட்சி தேர்தலில் வெற்றி பெற்ற பின் கடற்கரையில் நடந்த வெற்றி விழா பற்றி கூறுகிறார்.

“…வருணனைகளோடு ஒரு விஷயத்தை (அண்ணா) சொல்ல ஆரம்பித்தார். “நான் என் மனைவிக்கு நகை வாங்கக்கூட கடைக்குச் சென்றதில்லை. எனக்கென்றுகூட நான் நகைக்கடை ஏறியதில்லை. இன்று மதியம் வேகாத வெயில்லில் ஊரெங்கும் அலைந்து கடையெங்கும் தேடி வாங்கி வந்தேன் ஒரு கணையாழி; அந்தக் கணையாழியை இந்த வெற்றியை ஈட்டித்தந்த என் தம்பி கருணாநிதிக்கு அணிவிக்கிறேன்.” கூட்டத்தில் பெருத்த கையொலி. ‘கருணாநிதி வாழ்க!’ என்ற முழக்கம். அவன் (கண்ணதாசன் தன்னை அவன் என்றே சுயசரிதையில் குறிப்பிடுகிறார்) கூனிக் குறுகினான். பயன் கருத்த உழைப்பு, அரசியலில் எப்படி அலட்சியமாக ஒதுக்கப்படும் என்பதை அப்போதுதான் அவன் கண்டான். ..
……அவன் நேரே அவரிடம் போனான். “என்ன அண்ணா! இப்படிச் சதி செய்துவிட்டீர்கள்?” என்று நேருக்கு நேரே கேட்டான்.
“அட நீயும் ஒரு மோதிரம் வாங்கிக்கொடு. அடுத்த கூடத்தில் போட்டுவிடுகிறேன்” என்றார்.
“அப்படித்தான் கருணாநிதியும் வாங்கிக் கொடுத்தாரா?” என்று அவன் கேட்டான்.
“அட சும்மா இரு. அடுத்த தேர்தல் வரட்டும் பார்த்துக் கொள்ளலாம்” என்றார்.”

(வனவாசம், பக்கம் 283 , 284. )

இதில் எவ்வளவு உண்மை என்று தெரியவில்லை. ஆனால் ஆங்கிலத்தில் ‘History  repeats  itself!’ என்று கூறுவர். அது தான் நினைவிக்கு வருகிறது!கவுண்டமணி டயலாக் ஒன்னும் நினைவிக்கு வருது!!”அரசியில இதெல்லாம் சாதாரணமப்பா!!”

The Serenity Prayer

Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie (Image via Wikipedia)

Perhaps one of the most influential books that I have read is ‘How to stop worrying and start living’ by Dale Carnegie. I remember that I bought a old second-hand copy (though it looked like a fifth or sixth hand only!) of the book from one of the platform shops for some 15 or 20 bucks. The copy was really old, papers turned almost brown and brittle. I also remember that I read it during my second semester of Engineering; as I topped the batch that particular term. I used to wonder whether it is a coincidence or it was the effect of Dale Carnegie 🙂

Whatever be the practical usefulness of the principles enunciated in the book, Dale Carnegie’s excellent writing skills, his ability to keep the reader engaged, the numerous anecdotes that dot the book and the book’s ‘feel-good’ character made it an interesting and fulfilling read.

Some of my experiences (both first-hand and second-hand) in the last one week made me remember one of the numerous anecdotes and quotes that I read in ‘How to stop…..’. Dale Carnegie had quoted what is popularly known as ‘Serenity Prayer‘ to drive home the point that there is no point worrying about the things that we cannot change and we would be better off dealing with things wherein we can indeed make a difference. Stephen Covey gives a similar call when he asks us to differentiate between those things that fall within our  ‘Circle of concern’ and those which fall within our ‘Circle of influence’.  Coming back to ‘The Serenity Prayer’, here is it:

“God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Once again, I pray to God for that wisdom and courage.

P.S: I had once heard that Dale Carnegie committed suicide. But my ‘customary research’ for this post showed it is just a rumour. I am relieved! 🙂 For those who felt bad like me to hear that Dale Carnegie committed suicide, here is his obituary in the NY Times which makes no mention of a suicide and says he was ill for some time before death – http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/1124.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

A Prisoner of Birth

Jeffery Archer’s latest is a fiction book that I read after a long long time now. Basically got attracted due to the attention that it got in the press recently, courtesy Archer’s tour to India to promote his book. By the way I had a glimpse of him at Bangalore’s Landmark, but the crowd was too much and I neither had enough patience nor the adoration to wait and get a copy of the book signed. But I did buy a copy of his latest book “A Prisoner of Birth” and finished reading it in two days, partly because it was fast and partly because I have to finish it and move on to more important things..like..term papers!!

 

The book is not of the class of “The Fourth Estate” or “As the Crow flies”, by favorites of Archer. (I have not read “Kane and Abel” yet!!) The book is more like “Not a penny more, not a penny less” and his previous work “False Impressions”. As those of you who followed Archer’s tour and his interviews would have made out that this is a story of man whose life goes awry after being falsely convicted of murdering his best friend and how he takes his revenge on the culprits.

 

 Archer treads on areas that he is good at – London, courtrooms, prison J and legal issues – and so comes out successfully. The courtroom exchanges are very good. The protagonist, Danny Cartwright, of the novel is a car mechanic from London’s East End, one of those not so rich and posh area of London as I could make out from the book. The villains include the elite – a Queen’s counsel, an actor, an aristocrat and a successful partner at a leading law firm. Archer brings out the divide between the social strata through his depiction and dialogue and how the jury is convinced of the story of the four witnesses because of their background. And that is the basis of the title of the book, “A Prisoner of Birth”. One of the characters says in the book “Each of us suffer by being a prisoner of birth.” Cartwright is a gem of a character even though he is an uneducated car mechanic but no one believes his story because of his background whereas the false version of the four ‘elite’ witnesses is accepted.

 

Even many of us, me included, make the same mistake as the jury does, very often in life. We try to gauge our first impressions of a person from where he is from, who he is, the way he dresses, the way in which he talks, like the language etc.  and the social strata he belongs too. Sometimes we do it knowingly, but mostly we do it unconsciously because of the social conditioning. I am pretty sure that all of us would have had experiences where we had to change our initial opinion of some person (for better or worse) after interacting more with the person. These instances offer us an opportunity to learn and better ourselves.  

 

Though Archer is not preaching in his book (he knows too well not to do so), “A Prisoner of Birth” tries to indirectly point us this prejudice that many of us suffer from and that is the take-away for me from this book.

 

P.S: As for the book do read it if you like fiction, revenge and courtroom exchanges.

Success…

There is wonderful book named “Man’s search for meaning” written by Victor Frankl. Frankl is a world renowned psychiatrist. He was a Jew and endured some very difficult years in Nazi concentration camps including the infamous Auschwitz camp. During his days in the death camp, seeing human suffering of the highest order at close quarters, and himself experiencing it, he developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotheraphy. At the core of this theory is the belief that man’s primary motivational force is his search for meaning for his suffering and life at large. He quotes Nietzche , “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how”.

One of the most interesting piece of this book comes in the introduction. It is on ‘success’. Here is it:

“Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success; you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run – in the long run, I say! – success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.”

I cannot honestly say that I live true to these words. But I have observed one thing in my life – that whenever I had enjoyed doing what I do just for the sake of doing it without thinking of the results, I invariably do well. I am trying though to make such happenings more frequent in my life!

More pearls from this book in later blogs..