Life hai…kuch bhi ho sakta hai! – It’s Life…anything can happen!
Like almost everyone else, Vaani and I too are still coming to terms with Sridevi’s sudden, tragic, death. We have been reading up every possible – credible – piece of information that has had a fresh perspective to share on what exactly happened to her.
And then, a couple of days ago, we came across this Blogpost by Bollywood trade analyst Komal Nahta, who is believed to be a close friend of Boney Kapoor and Sridevi. If we go by Nahta’s account of what happened in the final couple of hours of Sridevi’s Life, it appears that even as Boney Kapoor was surfing TV channels in the living room of their suite at the Jumeirah Emirates Tower Hotel, waiting for Sridevi to get ready and join him; so they could go out for dinner, Sridevi was drowning in a bathtub – in the suite’s master bedroom, barely a few feet away from him! And he could do nothing, nothing at all, to save her.
I read and re-read Nahta’s Blogpost. Only to conclude that everything about Sridevi’s death is so unreal, so bizarre. What are the chances someone can drown in a bathtub, in one of the most premium (and therefore considered safe) hotels in the world? What are the chances that a loving, doting, caring husband, can be completely oblivious of his wife drowning, even as the tragedy happened, especially when he was within shouting distance of his wife? What are the chances that you say you will “freshen up and come” and actually die in that time – in under 15 minutes – by drowning in a bathtub?
But such is Life. It is so totally, totally, inscrutable. I am reminded of Indeevar’s deeply contemplative lyrics from that iconic song in Safar (1970) rendered in Kishoreda’s immortal voice (music: Kalyanji Anandji)…“zindagi ka safar…koi samjha nahin, koi jaana nahin…” . Life is indeed totally, totally, inscrutable. And this morning, I read this equally bizarre story of this man, literally, waking up from the dead! It made me conclude, yet again, that anything, absolutely anything, can happen in Life!
The more I go through Life, the more I experience it, the one indisputable truth that strikes me repeatedly is this – no matter who you are, you have to go through what you have to go through. You just cannot negotiate with Life over your Life’s design. As I see it, in Life, it is always what it is. You have to bear your cross. And you have to live through the design that Life has planned for you. In fact, as it appears to me, Life’s Masterplan has no flaws!
Consider the late Sridevi’s Life again – her design took her from obscure Meenampatti in Tamil Nadu and made her a pan-Indian screen diva; then the same design forced her into near oblivion, after she married Boney Kapoor and they had Janhavi and Khushi, for 15 years from 1997~2012; the design then brought her to centerstage again with English Vinglish (2012) and Mom (2017) and, posthumously, the same design ensured she was feted, in memoriam, on the Oscar stage this past Sunday! And yet, despite all her greatness, her fame, her glory, this legendary star drowned, helpless, in a five-star hotel’s bathtub? Well, clearly, that’s how her Life’s design willed her story to end!
I have realized that our material success – particularly our ability to earn an income using our talent and skills – makes us believe that we control our Life. The truth is that we never were, we are not and we will never be in control. Life is always in control. It keeps on happening per its inscrutable, unique, design for each of us. It often takes a crisis, an event that defies all logic and cocks a snoot at our problem-solving abilities, or death, to shake us awake from our stupor and remind us that it is not us, but Life which is in control. When we realize this, we too learn to be accepting of the Life we have and learn to go with the flow.
There are no two ways with Life. It is only what it is. You are always playing only with the cards that Life has dealt you. And then, when your time here is up, when your name is called, you stop your game mid-way, even if it is in the middle of a bath, and leave! So, approaching Life with humility and a sense of amazement are perhaps the best way to live it well. Humility, because Life is the Higher Energy (which is why I always spell Life with a capital ‘L’) that powers everything in the Universe; and amazement, because you never know what hand you are going to be dealt next! After all, Life hai…kuch bhi ho sakta hai!
In this Podcast I share a personal anecdote on what led me to be an entrepreneur, which later led to my bankruptcy. I discuss how Life seems inscrutable at one level but is actually unfolding a path for you which always takes you to where you must arrive. Everything happens in Life only to make you stronger, wiser and happier!
Listen time: 5:36 minutes
In today’s Vlog, I share my personal experience and learning on why dwelling too much on questions relating to fate, destiny, karma and ‘naseeb’, and overanalyzing Life, can be debilitating. I strongly recommend that we live the one Life we have fully!
Viewing time: 3:25 minutes
In today’s Podcast, I appeal that we must not get confused by theories that lead to wasteful analysis of a past Life or of a future one. We must just live this one Life fully! Listen time: 5:00 minutes
Life’s darn simple. Don’t complicate it with theories, methods and mantras.
I chanced upon a Facebook Live video yesterday. A gentleman made three points before I turned off the video:
- How much money you make in Life is directly proportional to your leadership (potential)
- If your leadership (potential) is low, you make less money; if your leadership (potential) is high, you make more money
- Your leadership (potential) is directly proportional to your karma
I turned off the video at this time because that’s not the way I see Life. Interestingly, however, if I were to go by the theory put out by the gentleman in the video, Vaani and I lack leadership, and that is why perhaps we don’t have any money! (Read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal) Or perhaps it is that we lack leadership because of our karma. Interesting. Very interesting.
From what I have experienced, know and understand, Life is very, very simple. I feel people make Life unnecessarily complex by bringing in religion, karma, money and, now, as I see it, leadership! I wonder why?
The only definition of leadership that works for me is management thinker Noel Tichy’s. He says, “Leadership is the ability to see reality and mobilize the appropriate response.” Tichy defined leadership in a management context; to remind organizations and managers that anyone, irrespective of where they are in the hierarchy, can be a leader. I have always been captivated by the profundity of Tichy’s definition. It is so simple, so beautiful, and if you think about it, this definition is applicable to leadership in Life too. Consider these:
- The most important, evident, reality about Life is that it is a soon-to-expire, limited-period offer.
- And the most appropriate response is to live it fully, happily, doing what you love doing.
So, anyone who can internalize this definition of leadership, and live by it, is a great leader! Now, this is how Vaani and I have learnt to live our Life to the fullest – despite our circumstances. I believe we are facing Life stoically, looking it squarely in the eye! Yes, we don’t have money; but that does not make us lousy leaders. And, to be sure, there are so many, many, many people out there who face Life courageously, who live dangerously, without money. Clearly they are great leaders. I simply don’t understand how anyone’s fiscal circumstances can be used as a denominator to determine their ability to lead in Life.
The truth about our lives is that it is inscrutable. Period. Therefore, let us not try to make sense of it. Life happens through us. Not because of us. So, in some situations, if you can get what you want, if you can make money, celebrate that phase of your Life. But never imagine it happened only because of you. And when you don’t get what you want or get what you don’t want, when you can’t make money despite your best efforts (like what Vaani and I are faced with), celebrate that phase – with faith and patience – of your Life too. And don’t blame yourself for that phase. This is how Vaani and I are living our Life. We have learnt that no amount of religion, no rituals, no karma theory, no method, no mantra, can prevent you from going through what you are going through or what you have to face, and endure, in Life. You have to go through what’s in store for you in Life.
So, does prayer help, you may ask. And my answer is yes, prayer, helps not so much to resolve a problem situation immediately, but to help you cope with it. Faith in your creation – that if you have been created without your asking to be created, you will be looked after, cared for and provided for – and prayer are great coping devices. When I pray, I offer myself to Life as a student and ask for being handheld daily. I wrote this prayer some years back and use it to anchor myself in my mouna (silence period) sessions every day. It helps me renew, repair and revive myself daily. It helps me keep my faith.
That’s all there is to Life, I believe. Do what you can in any given context – that’s what true leadership is all about. Then, pray, let go, eat, sleep…repeat. All else, including money, always follows.
Today’s blogpost appears as a Podcast – Listen here – 4:46 minutes
In this Podcast I share my learnings on why I believe the Master Plan has no flaws and why it is futile to expect someone or something outside of you to solve your problems!