Sunday, May 7, 2017

WHY I COMPETE WITH MYSELF





















“There is no competition of sounds between a nightingale and a violin.” 


I think, Virat Kohli is one of the most aggressive and competitive cricketers today. He has it all: style and substance, grit, grace and allure. But, then, when I watch the plight of his IPL team in the on-going edition of IPL, I feel bad for him… The ship has sunk, and I don’t think, it can come up, again, this season!

But, then, that’s a cricket match… a small part of Life. It is not Life itself!

Kohli, like Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, is running a race in his own track. These legends shine in a league of their own…

There is competition out there… For, it is man-eat-man world out there… Cut-throat. Yes, cut-the-throat! As blunt and cruel as that…

But, then, there comes a time in every legend’s life, when he learns to view competition from a sublime and spiritual perspective… There is a race beyond this rat-race - competition… Edward de Bono called it ‘Sur/petition’, which means ‘beyond competition’!

Nobody has met ‘the best singer’ or ‘the best dancer’ or ‘the best speaker’ or ‘the best actor’ or ‘the best athlete’, yet. For, so many of them, out there, have not participated in the ‘race’, the ‘competition’… They just sing, just dance, just draw, just act, just play and just run… So, what difference does it make if they haven’t been awarded the ‘best’ trophy… the ‘Gold’… the ‘Oscar’ and the ‘Grammy’?

Aamir Khan doesn’t attend the award functions; for, he doesn’t believe in such glorification…Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan both attend; but, both of them keep saying, that they aren’t in competition with anyone… but with themselves… Therefore, the challenge every day for them is: to excel their own bench-marks!

My friend, Austin Cutinho, about whom I have blogged several times, has been breathing cricket for years! He was a player and, now, he is a coach and a mentor for so many young cricket talents… And, he is an outstanding cartoonist, the niche area being cricket. He has a cartoon Page on FB,  where we all get to see his magic every day… each one better than the previous one, each one making you wonder: ‘Where does this all come from!’

Today, Austin had posted on his FB Page this along with a B/W cartoon of Charlie Chaplin:


WHY I COMPETE WITH MYSELF!

Charlie Chaplin, once, took part in a ‘Charlie Chaplin Lookalike Contest’ and stood third!
I gave up competing with others in the mid-80s, when I was fighting for a place in the Mumbai Ranji side. I would get frustrated that despite picking wickets regularly, somebody who was even half as good would be picked.

Once I gave up competing with others and concentrated on working to the best of my abilities, I saw a marked difference in the way I progressed in life.

Recently, I participated in the ‘TOI Cartoonist Hunt’. I didn’t expect to be picked among the ‘best’ because political cartooning isn’t my domain. Even if selected, I wouldn’t do work for TOI. Still I gave it my best shot – the best I could!

If Charlie Chaplin could finish third in a ‘Charlie Chaplin Lookalike Contest’, what am I, an ordinary mortal? That’s why I compete with myself, and get upset when my work isn’t top-class – by my standards.

My instant reply was:


Hi Austin, you won't believe this: the day I saw that TOI ad, my first urge was to call u up. Then, something stopped me... Around that time, I posted my blog: 'THE AUSTIN COUTINHO STAND'…

Flowers, birds, stars and waves do not complete with each other... Only we do. Keep drawing, sir!!!! 


If we think there is no competition around us, we are fools. But, if we stop expressing ourselves fully, despite competition, we are bigger fools… It is Sur/petition that takes folks like you, Austin and me to the league of our own!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Austin Cutinho

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