Bosco had studied under me some twenty-three years ago. He called me, all out of the blue, last morning. He wanted to meet me and we fixed it for today morning at 10.
Bosco wanted to meet me just to say “Thank you for everything”. He did that, this morning, by presenting to me one of his favorite books – ‘The Icarus Deception’.
Frankly, I hadn’t heard about this book or its author, Seth Godin. “To the person who sowed the seeds of self-improvement in me…” Bosco had written inside this book.
We spoke for close to an hour. Bosco told me, of many things, how this book had influenced him… I was left excited… and, I can’t wait!
So, I haven’t read the book yet, though, a line has already caught my attention: “Your work is an art… and, you are an artist.”
Well, it is no revelation at all. You and I know it… The world knows about it for ages. So, why do we need a Seth Godin and his book to reveal this old truth to us?
Surprisingly, we need him and his book. Because, we forget the simple truth he is trying to reveal: “Look buddy, your work is an art… and, you are an artist.”
Without even reading the book, I can imagine what, therefore, the author wants to tell me, his reader: “If you put all your heart and do your work – your art – well, you will be a great artist. Amen!”
Incidentally, last afternoon, a young boy was asking me this: “Sir, how is IAS?”
I looked at the boy and said, “Why, beta?”
“Because, sir, I am planning to do it,” the boy replied, “an uncle of mine is an IAS officer.”
“Yes, beta, your uncle is an IAS officer;” I continued to talk to him, “but, tell me, why do you want to become one?”
“Because I like the kind for respect he gets in the society; also the life-style he leads.” The boy was clear about the motivation behind his IAS-dream.
“Beta, sit with your uncle for some time and share your dream with him,” I told the boy, “Ask him how and why did he choose it… How did he go about it… Was it worth it… Would he recommend it to you… And, if he does, two or three key mantras to succeed.”
Now, the young-man has agreed to sit with his IAS-uncle and get the answer to the question he has asked me: “Sir, how is IAS?”
I really do not know how it is. But, this much I do know: It is a tough exam, and you need to prepare very hard to pass it. After that, you get a good government posting… maybe as a Secretary to one of our powerful ministers – I am just guessing… where, you have to ‘work’ just as you would have worked anywhere else - a Bank, a Post office or a Departmental store. Yes, pass a tough exam… and live a tough life!
There is a choice here: pass an easy exam; and lead an easy life!
I think, the boy is thinking this way:
by passing a tough exam,
he can lead ‘an easy life’!
I am only guessing… I have asked him to sit with his IAS-uncle and find out…
Is the work of preparing for IAS exam an ‘art’?
Is the work of preparing for your college exam an art?
Is the work of handling customers in a bank an art?
Is the work of handling powerful ministers an art?
Is writing a book an art?
Is reading a book an art?
Are cooking, serving and eating art?
Is prayer one?
The young boy has left me find it for myself…
And, my dear student, Bosco… has left his warm gift!
Pic.: Manoj Nair