The Aura Effect

Ajay’s dad always had a knack for great things, at the age of 19 he had already started his own business. This little shop that he started at the corner of the Jhapa Bazaar, was now the center of the busy street. Ajay had inherited most of his father’s brain and A’s were easy pickings for him. Everybody thought he would take up and manage the business behind his father. Little did he know that living onto the expectations of everybody else wasn’t so easy.

“mike testing, mike testing 1.2…3” said the anchor from the beautiful stage that was prepared for the inter college speech competition. Ali was undoubtedly the best from his college and so he seemed to be the perfect choice to represent us on the edifice stage.

“I’ve practiced this a lot many times, there is nothing that can possibly go wrong!” said Ali in excitement.

The first speaker to hit the stage was from an underestimated school so we did not expect much from him. Much to our amazement, his words came out perfectly knit into a precise idea, idea so pristine that everybody including the judges were awestruck. He left the podium burning and as Ali climbed the stage, he could feel the heat getting onto him.

He opened his mouth to speak but wait no word left his vocals *he went blank.

both the cases were about two brilliant people who lost a lot of themselves at the last moment. why you ask ?

If we recall both of these people had to follow a path that had already been taken by somebody that they thought was far better then them and thus they couldn’t live up with the heat. i.e Avinash’s dad left a void that also raised the bar for its fulfillment, similarly the unknown guy from the unknown school broke free from the shackles of hopelessness and left behind a stage that now needed something far more superior to crackle up the older vibe; the AURA.

we find ourselves in problems like these all the time. for instance, we’re waiting to express our opinion somewhere and suddenly someone comes up with something even better and steals the show, and we’re left wondering if our opinion was ever good enough.

This is what I call the AURA EFFECT ! A person with a powerful impression leaves behind his AURA  and it doesn’t go away until somebody better comes forward and replaces the bar to higher levels.

a couple of points i feel help reduce this a little bit :-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             i) Believing that you are as competitive as anybody and everybody else.                                ii) concentrating less on what other people are saying or doing and instead focusing on your own goals.

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Memories in gold

14th October, 2014 the day we were waiting for since a very long time finally arrived, not because this day was to bear fruits of all the hard work we had done. But because of something way more valuable.

10:00 a.m. in the morning, I reach home after spending the night yet again at the garage. Drenched with the light of the tiny particles that fly away from a cutting machine, they never seized to leave my gaze and kept reminding me of what I had gone through. I took a quick bath, packed up a couple of important stuff, ate a bit. By 10:40 a.m. I was back at my refugee camp (this comparison came to my mind after I saw people gazing at us day and night with eldritch looks). My super talented team was sitting on the inner side of the gate in a circular formation with faces that looked more hangdog than a person who’s seen the earths end. It was clear that something had gone awfully wrong in my absence but what?

“The engine just won’t start Aziz, we may not be going to Coimbatore at all” said Sumeet.

Those words hit me sharply, and an eerie lull of shock surrounded me. It was very difficult to accept that all that time we had invested into it was all in vain. It was unacceptable because it wasn’t true. I began checking the connections, then fittings, then battery. I couldn’t take all of it at once, as I’d worked 10-12 hours a day for a month and in the process got a hand fractured yet never bothered to stop.

“C’mon guys, don’t lose confidence, we can still make this work. If we don’t try we will never realize what fate had in mind for us on the other side. We got to give it a shot. Even if this kart doesn’t start here, we will have a day in Coimbatore, we can work there. Rather than skipping the whole idea completely” I shouted and having made my point began working again.

“I cannot go back home from here, my family is going to shower me with thousands of taunts” said Shubham, nodded Sankalp in agreement.

Somehow that urge, of either standing aloft the expectations or merely doing it because there was no other way, ignited a spark. People started joining me, seemed my little speech hit them somewhere in the head. With 40 minutes left in our hand before the train left for Bhopal, we realized the vehicle could not be repaired, so we started disassembling it carefully piece by piece. The time flew and half of us had to board the train. Rest of us decided to stay back and complete the packing and then come via roadways.

Train reached the Bhopal station at 17:50 p.m. 4 out of the initial 10, who had boarded the train secured an area with all the luggage we had. (And boy! We had a lot of luggage, around 42 bags some containing safety equipment, repairing tools, spare parts, etc.) The rest of the team touched the stations at 21:20 p.m. The packing was done with perfection and so it was easy to transport the disassembled parts.

The journey from Bhopal to Coimbatore was easy, then the repairing work. At the end of the day we were back on track. But then something had to go wrong again, during our final checks we burned down a couple of wires (because the current was higher than the wire could take) and we dropped back to the bottom of our excitement again. Praveen wasn’t ready to lose hope, his dedication kept us alive. Anyways we submitted the incomplete vehicle onto the TRACK the other morning, the adrenaline still being pumped by me. (Kari motor speedway; the second fastest track in India and one of the oldest tracks of Asia) we did the necessary repairs there. Cleared the first day smoothly. And most part of the second day too. But then brake test was something our vehicle could not qualify (the problem was later found out to be the reverse mounting of the brake calliper) anyways the brake did not lock properly, we did get a second chance on the third day to clear the brake test but our problem was a major one.

If I asses the whole event as a reader, I probably would summarize it as failure. But it wasn’t, I learned way more than I could have. Our competitors had spent around 3 lakh rupees (funding from the college mostly) we managed to do all that and more in 40 thousand rupees including transportation, without any support from our college what-so-ever. And to top it all we managed to sneak up a rank of 40 out of the 102 teams that came there. That’s really funny because we could not do most of the tests as we were disqualified on the second day.

When I look back at those days, I realize that if I’d not taken that train to Coimbatore and instead would’ve sat at Abhishek’s garage gazing at the clouds above with the rest of the team. The precious time would’ve passed by just like the clouds. And the cradle of memories that I hold now, the lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve met would be just abyss. Disaster management would’ve been only a theoretical subject. But most of all I would never know, what waited for me on the tougher side of the situation.

“Some choices are worth making, even if they go wrong. At-least you tried”

“You can never really appreciated standing up, until you’ve fallen”

To be continued…

Life mantra

A couple of days ago I was invited to a friend’s birthday party. Since he lived very far, I had never actually been to his place before. Thanking him on his humble request I asked him the way, and he sent me the location of his house via google maps immediately. When the day finally arrived, I took a bus from a nearby stop and exited where I was supposed to, then I was to scrounge my trail on foot. Google maps clearly wasn’t very helpful when it came to extremely narrow streets. I had a lot of hurdles in my path, met many dead ends sometimes I had to go round unnecessary corners to get back on track; nevertheless I reached his place.

It was an amazing party as expected with good food, great music, fun people and the usual leg pulling. As soon as I got a chance to catch my breath I went out into the balcony. The view from the 17th floor was jaw-dropping. In faded shades of yellow I could see my place, tiny, and the path I had to take to reach here.

I began to wonder if all the pain I thought I went through, were any of it even true? Everything looked so little, my problems, the little hurdles, I had in my path looked powerless now.

That is exactly how life works. The difficulties we face in our daily lives tire us down, shatter our hopes. But the path is never a problem for someone who has a goal in his mind. An Aim that overshadows every single of these obstacles, like if they don’t even exist. All you have to do is imagine yourself having reached your goal and looking down upon these problems, they won’t trouble you then. Another important aspect is “ELEVATE” your thought process. See beyond the present, be brave enough to try out new things. And you would have finally found the secret of a satisfied life.