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I know many of you probably think that I am overdoing but this is too good to be true. As many of you are probably aware, in the movie “Cheeni Kum”, the ever charming Mr Bachchan and the gorgeous and talented Tabu fall in love with one another like that other movie Nishabdh that came a little while ago. Cheeni Kum is much better in my view.

I will not divulge the story but there are a couple of interesting dialogues from HRM(right man for the right job) perspective. Only yesterday, I replied to somebody’s post in detail on the book “First, break all the rules” which gives examples of how people miscast(like movie actors) in their roles in corporate life suffer along with their companies.

In the movie, Mr Bachchan who is a Chef tells a subordinate chef “ Agar pyaaz hing ki jagah le sakta hai or hing pyaz ki jagah tau tumhara yehaan kya kaam hai(If onion can take the place of asafetida and vice-versa, what is the need for you to be here? ” implying that every thing is unique in its role. He then goes on to describe how great an art cooking is and what a privilege it was to be a cook. In real life, only somebody who really loves his occupation can talk like that. Bachchan’s real life was also like that- he left the corporate world in 1969 to follow his passion, acting.

More interesting is what Tabu tells her father while seeking to marry the much older Mr Bachchan “Better to spend 10 years with somebody you love rather than spend 50 with someone you don’t”. Since according to Mr Dale Carnegie the right occupation(HRM) and the right spouse are the two most important decisions of one’s life, that was quite an insight for the other major decision(occupation) as well:-

India’s great mystic in recent times, Osho once gave the example of a very successful surgeon for most of his life(50 years) who actually wanted to be a musician

In that person’s own words “ I am sad because I never wanted to be a surgeon but wanted to be a musician. My parents forced me, and I was not strong enough to rebel, and they destroyed my whole life. Even if I was the worst musician in the country, I would have loved it. It was my own choice, my own individuality, my own signature. This has been slavery. And because I am getting retired, I feel sad. My whole life is wasted and it does not seem now that I can begin as a musician”

Osho reminded him that his parents had their best interests at heart and to forgive them and start even in old age.

He lived 15 years more and died a contended man although he never became a famous musician. Nobody ever heard that he was a celebrity as far as music is concerned. His music remained not very developed, because Indian music particularly needs tremendous effort, eight to ten hours practice everyday, a lifelong discipline; only then can you create those subtle nuances. It is not jazz that any idiot can do.

Osho “If he had gone into music from the very beginning, he might have become one of the most authentic, creative musicians of the wold. But even though he was old now, he had died happy”. I(Osho) was at his bedside when he died and he said to me “ There are no words of gratitude for you. You encouraged me. I had lost all hope. I am dying fulfilled. I am happy. At least for fifteen years I have been myself. At least for fifteen years there have been moments when I got lost completely into music. And those have been the greatest moments of my life”

I was skeptical when I read this for the first time several years ago but one begins to appreciate such things better in midlife when one comes across other examples. Even Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional intelligence that many corporate executives drawing seven figure salaries want to go into more fulfilling occupations- social work or opening a restaurant. Why does it take mid-life to realize this?

There is one American gentleman who is trying to do the same thing:-

The other interesting Indian example that I came across was former Billiards champion Geet Sethi’s partner, Mr Sunil Aggarwal who, despite being qualified from IIM(Ahmedabad) and IIT(Delhi) and being a managing director of a media company complained of feelings of inadequacy and failure. As Tabu says, why should you spend a major portion of your life doing something that you don’t like(cheeni kum?) and try to make up for it at the fag end of life.

From India, New Delhi
Hi Hiren
Really good observation and comparison.
I liked your approach very much to see and relate the movie in different perspective.

From India, Pune
Thanks, everybody. Well, the movie is sweet for its own sake and is a must watch. Certain dialogues tend to hit you and remind you of something which is also illustrated on my posts on the other two movies "TA RA RaM PUM and HRM" and "Kabhi Alvida na kehna and HRM"

The substance is more important. American consultant Lance Secretan says:-

“Finding joy in our work depends on the relationship between our soul and our work and on the degree to which our work engages and nourishes our soul. Whether or not you have found your calling determines the level of soulfulness in your work. We all experience soulful moments in our lives- when we are at the symphony, when we watch a sunset, when we gaze into the eyes of a baby, when we play with a puppy, when we are deeply appreciated or practicing our highest mastery or when we are connected to the divine. We all want to feel the same way at work throughout our lives. There is no reason why this should not be so.”

Nanette Hucknall goes a step further:-

Our souls must feel that they have done the best work possible whether as mail clerks or senators. Even if the person has found his vocation late in life, if he works at it even for two- three years before his death, those two three years will have fulfilled his inner need and he will die feeling a sense of achievement in terms of his life’s work.”

Both of them have spoken of fulfillment and in Hucknall's book, she has explained in detail how the person's friends and family have to suffer if he has to go "back to school". Books like "First, break all the rules or Working identity speak about this very well. (My post on exploring Career transition in India gives other examples)

India has a population of a billion people and to the best of my knowledge, the Americans have better HRM than ours in this respect. How bad is the Indian situation or is it that Indians automatically fit into their roles or do we just resign ourselves to our destinies?

We shall round off with Osho," Somebody who could have been a poet is just a moneylender. Somebody who could have been a painter is a doctor. Somebody who could have been a good doctor is a businessman. Everybody is displaced. Everybody is doing something that he never wanted to do. Hence unhappiness. Happiness happens when you fit with your life. When you fit so harmoniously that whatsoever you are doing is your joy. Then suddenly you come to know that meditation follows you. If you love the work you are doing, if you love the way you are living, then you are meditative. It is deemed that happiness comes when one is meditative. It is just the other way around. One is meditative when one is happy. "- Must point out there that this is specially so for people with an artistic bent of mind.

My son's teacher told me once how she had to sacrifice her career for the sake of her children. If all what is written above is true, it is like sacrificing yourself and it is a tribute to the ladies if they live an unfulfilled file for being homemakers in the larger intererest of their families.

From India, New Delhi
Well, well we have an actress name sake "Shilpa Shetty" and what you have said is what Mr Bachchan said in one of his biggest hits "Kabhi Kabhie".= "Zindagi me sabko sab kuch to nahin mil jaata" {Everybody does not get everything is life).
That does not imply that you don't try. This brings to mind an interesting interview that the Infosys ceo, Nandan Nilekani told Hindustan Times " I feel privileged that there are batchmates of mine who are much smarter and work much harder but I happen to have a higher networth than them because of being at the right place at the right time"
People with the same degree can also have vastly different levels of success whether it be external wealth or inner wealth(satisfaction). Does that mean you don't get a basic degree?
If you are aware of all the above at a young age, your chances improve.

From India, New Delhi
hey Hiren,
That was indeed very interesting and thought provoking!! but there is one thing that i would like to add to it........i still have not seen the movie and am planning to watch it very soon now.....from the trailors that i came across and the title"Cheeni Kum" what i inferred the movie to be about was sarcasm!! the connection that you have put forward does seem very appropriate but on a literature point of view what it could also infer is that how two sarcastic people fall in love by means of their sarcastic conversation and this sarcasm in relation to "less of sweetness in the relation" ie "Cheeni Kum"

From India, Khopoli

This discussion brings to my mind, a verse from a song by Van Halen; which goes like this :

"There's a time and place for everything, and everyone.

We can push with all our might, but nothing's gonna come,

No - Nothing's gonna change".

Experimentation is a key factor, like Sanjna mentioned. That means an open, questioning, curious mind, which would delight in observing, exult in understanding, and celebrating life.

The song "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston and "I believe I can Fly" by R. Kelly are also highly motivational for me.

"One Moment..." talks about being on the edge of success and you can just taste it. You become "more than you thought you could be, and all of your dreams are a heartbeat away, and the answers are all upto you". This is precisely what is meant by following your own dream, and not living another person's dream.

"I believe..." is a song which also takes you into the world of self-belief and reasons for "dreaming about it - night & day". So "if I can see it (my dream), then I can be it. If I just believe it, there's nothing to it".

Too many times we discuss our dreams with people who give you reasons not to dream, rather than with those who will support us in making the dream a reality. So we give up on these dreams by which we could fly away to our moment in time. Personally, I had a huge argument with my parents about not getting into software because I knew I wasn't good in it. They couldn't understand why I wouldn't study and improve in it. I didn't know what I was good at, at that time, but today I know I am happier than I would have been in software.

Thanks for this topic!



From India, Mumbai
Good thoughts & Comparision ..i think life is full of small stories and each incident can give you lesson ...
Its on you how you look at it..
I do strongly believe that to be a sucessful in any profession ... you need to have that passion and love for that profession.... and you do wonders...
Like if you anyone has seen Asha Bhosale in SA RE GA MA.... its all abouts her love and passion for singing ..they worship singing.... you can see and here when they correct participants...

From India, Mumbai
Sanjna’s thoughts in the first post are very practical. “One day I got a call from my friend to join a recruitment firm. I experimented and was very happy and successful in it.”. There is no sure-fire way unless you try and attempt- “In work, we have the possibility of discovering ourselves”.

There is one case in Po Bronson who was doing summer jobs only for this purpose which is very wise actually because the education system is more knowledge centric then skill centric. One has to be “lucky” however to have such friends where you can see whether your profile matches. You also have to be lucky if you strike a match. The other extreme can try for a lifetime and end up writing books like “ I don’t know what I want but it is not this” . Morgan and Banks(HRD consultants in 28 countries before monster took over) used to say that Niche people are the worst sufferers.

What Sanjna has said about the subconscious mind is also valid but with so many Americans researching on it and not finding a clear cut solution, one wonders about the effectiveness. If “career meditations” were really successful, the implications are mind boggling. That is the whole purpose of the discussion. Why are so many Americans suffering and what is the situation in India?

Sharmishtha- The start is somewhat sarcastic(conversation, not the people) but the end is sweet. The serious sarcasm is all about Tabu not being allowed to marry Mr Bachchan but you will not enjoy the movie if I told you. About my analogy, I have been fascinated by “right occupation” and “Right spouse” being the most important decisions mentioned by Mr Dale Carnegie. Certain dialogues remind you of that.

What Ryan has said is quite profound. "There's a time and place for everything, and everyone. We can push with all our might, but nothing's gonna come, No - Nothing's gonna change". reminds of “Samay se pehle, bhagya se zyaada”. Will the moment come in this lifetime? That is not necessary. The great writer, Munshi Prem Chand, Shakespeare , the great painter, Vincent Van Goh enjoyed posthumous success after a lifetime of struggle. Will the personal profile, business profile and market profile combine in this lifetime? Sometimes the former two can take a very long time. Only when all the three combine, one can be assured of commercial success. This is why when you dream, you must have an eye for market profile. Dreams should not be stopped but one has to be grounded in reality as well. Actor Govinda has been more commercially successful than brilliant actor Naseerudin shah because the market profile suits him better. Nobody has control over the forces of demand and supply- dreams should neither be given up nor one should dream like “Alice in Wonderland”.

Ryan has made a very good point actually. I play Tennis everyday and I see so many talented players because nobody has the talent to go the whole hog because of our stupid education system. To follow that dream and reach anywhere, you have to play for at least 8-9 hours everyday apart from being able to afford it. It has to be a focused effort as a result of which studies suffer and no parent is willing to take the risk(even if they have a business sometimes). There is such a fear of degrees that no one takes a chance. Instead of there was a system of management coaching where you learn practical management from experienced people(instead of academicians) , that fellow has to do well if he has the functional talent. If he does not have the talent, degrees do not mean much. Mr Sunil Aggarwal who is IIM(Ahmedabad) and IIT(Delhi) also said “It is a lousy idea to do MBA if you are not suited for business”. From my experience too, it is like putting the cart before the horse. Dreams can fructify if only one is activity and skill centric and not knowledge centric.

Bhakhi_nir has echoed my words( and most artists like Asha Bhosle have the same attitude or Bharkti towards their profession.

Isn’t it fascinating that an accountant should want to be a carpenter, men want to be nurses(book First, break all the rules) and a child psychologist opted to be a taxi driver? That implies somewhat that everyone has a preordained role to play.

From India, New Delhi
Thanks Hiren for your thoughtful comments. You appear to be a well-read person, unlike most of us who lose our lives for a big fat salary, and consider reading to be just a passtime, that we seldom have.
I, somehow, don't agree with you, or Osho, or all those authors you named. I, myself, am a good example. I wanted to be an architect, my father suggested that I should become an engineer. I became an engineer, and a dedicated one. I raised enough name and money in real estate. Then I got into jeanswear making. I was a success there as well. I somehow couldn't manage all fronts single-handedly, and had to quit. I started a business-school from the grassroot level, and today it's one of a few best run business-schools of the country.
My opinion is that the excellence comes from passion, which in turn comes from involvement, commitment and selfless purpose.
I know that I will succeed in whatever I do, because I will deeply involve myself into it.

From India
Hi Hiren, Excellent perception. Good comparison. It forces me to watch the movie :D. Keep sharing excellent information with us. Regards Jagdish.
From India, Madras

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