|Mansoor with Aamir at the Mumbai Launch of ‘The Third Curve’|
Last evening we attended the launch event of a very interesting book titled ‘The Third Curve’ by Mansoor Khan. Mansoor is someone who has always followed his bliss. Son of the legendary Bollywood filmmaker Nasir Hussain and a drop-out from IIT-Bombay, MIT and Cornell (he never completed any of the courses he took up at these institutions), Mansoor is famous for all the films he made (he directed the first four and produced the last) becoming superhits – Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (which made his cousin Aamir Khan a national sensation and Juhi Chawla a star), Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Josh and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (which launched the career of his now famous nephew Imran Khan). In 2003, Mansoor gave up Mumbai and Bollywood (returning briefly in 2008 only to produce Imran Khan’s launch film) and moved to Coonoor to take up organic farming and set up a homestay (http://www.acres-wild.com/) – something he was always passionate about.
I learned two very important lessons from Mansoor. And I am happy to share them here with you:
- No matter what happens, stay calm: As we arrived at the Landmark book store, everything seemed set for Mansoor’s book to be launched. But, as we were soon to discover, that was not really the case. The audience had not yet arrived. And when they did, we were told the screen, on which Mansoor intended projecting a presentation, had not arrived. Soon, the folks at Landmark brought a vinyl banner which was turned around and hung on the backdrop to provide a make-shift white background on which Mansoor could project his presentation. Then a power cable had to be drawn to start up his laptop and projector. When everything seemed set, someone suggested the lights be turned off around the front of the house, over the ‘screen’. And someone, by accident, turned off the line that powered the laptop and projector. Phew! All of this led to the official start being delayed by a good 40m. But Mansoor was unruffled. He was clear what he wanted. And he went about getting it done his way. This was a book launch mind you. There was an invited audience, several of them potential readers of his book, and ticking off even a few of them could have left a lousy taste at the launch. But Mansoor’s down-to-earth demeanor (absolutely no airs despite being so unconventionally, professionally and financially, successful) and his cool-as-a-cucumber attitude won him many admirers in the audience! And once he started sharing the concept behind his book, he was on a song. Hearing him speak was like watching Sachin Tendulkar bat! It flowed from the heart!!!
- Be the change that you wish to see: Mansoor’s book, ‘The Third Curve’ is really about how mindlessly chasing a desire to exponentially grow money, over the last 150-odd years, has led to a phenomenal erosion of energy reserves in the world (he says 250 million years of sunlight reserves have been squandered since the advent of the Industrial Era, in just 150+ years!). He warns that the world, and all of civilization, is on the brink. He calls for urgent, immediate action. He wants us all to wake up and embrace the Green Life. Energetics, he says, and not just economics, can save the world! While his book, and his Talk, are refreshing and make you think, what’s inspiring is that Mansoor is not just prescribing a solution. At his farm, Acres Wild, he lives the solution. Acres Wild is an eco-friendly farm, that encourages a holistic and self-sustaining lifestyle – they grow their own vegetables organically and do not use chemicals, strive to increase bio-diversity and keep tillage to the minimum. If there’s one reason people may be encouraged to heed his clarion call, it will be because Mansoor leads by example!
All of us are quick to complain. Few people take action – Mansoor being one of them! His story is remarkable because he is following his bliss and he is being the change he wishes to see around him. Perhaps, that also explains how he can be so calm and unruffled – when things don’t exactly go to a plan! An inspiration for those who pause to reflect and are willing to learn?