Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Genius!

What makes you a genius ? that’s the first question that came to my mind after reading the article published in Telegraph (U.K Edition), The 100 living geniuses. Thanks munmun for sharing this piece of information in her blog, otherwise I would have missed it. And what if I never come across the list then it would be the end of my thinking process about genius people :) It’s interesting to know about people who have crossed the extra mile in their respective field but still going on … and on … as if there is no end of being a genius. And genius being absolutely free from gender, color, race. If at all then they are far away considerations without having any basis.

If you go through the list of people and if you have a little knowledge about what they have done in their lifetime then probably you could figure out some of the qualities that are invariably attached with the word genius. As per Telegraph, they have considered the following criteria to decide the best of the best that includes paradigm shifting, popular acclaim, intellectual power, achievement and cultural importance. The list of people are from various background and fields starting form scientists, writer, musician, historian, poet, publisher, spiritual leader, sports person, film maker, psychologist and the list is real big. Which indicates that it can never be limited to anything … and it goes the same with the people listed in it. That being a pointer to the fact that genius is not directed by certain boundaries or limit. And as rightly said - "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

The very next moment, out of my mind; It kicked me how a nation with a population of around 1.3 billion failed to produce a single among them? or its another reminder to me that, although genius is not limit by any boundaries but many times it is over shadowed in the race of the basic survival process. In the and it dies lacking the sweat & blood that it requires.

And finally I have left myself with few questions that caught me more than the usual time, just after going through the profile of Kirti N. Chaudhuri (the only Indian in that list); how well we (Indians) know ourselves? And how well the work done by us here is appreciated by the world outside ? Those questions are just moving round and around me and not ready to leave me now. But somehow I am convinced that there is a long long way to go and we still believe only in gifted things?

" Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered - either by themselves or by others." -Mark Twain


Akshay said...

I have these questions...and then I have questions about India's performance at Olympics.....

Alok said...

akshay - yeah! that question is there with us for quite a long time ... mainly because sports is discouraged here for no good reasons then survival. I am really surprised to see, what makes people to join the mad rush of cricket and spend money like hell (as if no other game left for them, or it is the only hype created so far here), and it has a little or no chance to make it to Olympics.

Moreover, the sports persons, their family, the audience/spectators, the boards and nevertheless the government; who decides what is ultimately will make the difference.

Himanshu Sheth said...

Hey Alok,
Good one...My 2 cents on this :)

There are lots of great intelligent people in the crowd ranging from writers,engineers,scientists(my friend Suresh was working in ISRO) and I would even say our chaiwalas,sabziwalas are innovators :) But there is a big cultural shift when you move to other countries like Japan,China,US and other western countries.The focus is more on research and I am sure that someone wants to pursue a career in research in India, he would look at other opportunities outside India.

Imagine,being of the age of 25-28(oops marriage age) and doing something which the Girl's parents/relatives don't understand...So,no marriage at all (: And sometimes, this close BONDING in Indians becomes a problem.

Plus other thing is "The culture where a person leaves a job/college to innovate" is not yet come to India and IMHO,it would never be there as well.Since as a child,there is lot of innovation and as we grow old,we are taught to be on par with our friends(in terms of salary), which defeats the innovative mind.

But,Innovation is BORN in each Indian's mind but AGE & OUR CULTURE eats up that innovation from the minds :)

But things are looking somewhat bright a bit and let us be hopeful for more changes :)

PS: Many of my things were related to the IT & Research sector since, it would be wrong on my part to comment on other fields.

-Himanshu Sheth

Jaydip Mehta said...

Good post Alok .. I fully agree with Himanshu's comment .. Nice analysis ..

Alok said...

@himanshu – I can see the part of a researcher in you; I am glad we all are going to research mode then finding mode :)

And what you are saying here is making sense to me. But I am not taking your words when you say – “OUR CULTURE eats up that innovation from the minds”. I am sure you have meant something else there, so just to clarify the confusion – Indian Culture is known as ancient and diverse culture; and if you go back to the history you will find things that say genius were there every corner and part of this country. Now, what I really feel; we are lacking is we no more value our culture and the system just because we are so much influenced by foreigners. Why can’t we see India as India? Is that an indication that we are changed completely and do only things that other people ask us to do; because we believe that’s where we can fulfill our hunger of money and we continue to survive where every other person is dying for food?

The question still remains the same – how well our work is appreciated by the world outside? and can’t a fellow live the life just by doing what makes he/she good in that ? Why we are killing all those artistic talents, sprit of being a great sport person or for that matter anything; either by ourselves or by others.

Oooops ! it gonna continue unless we break the barriers simply by stop figuring out the best from rest and doing the best we can do.

Are we so much worried about marriage? … after all marriages are made in heaven; you see :)

Alok said...

@jaydip - thanks for dropping by here and the comment.

Himanshu Sheth said...

@Alok: When i was pointing to culture,it did not literally mean culture, it meant the Social Bonding that we in India share with others.Though this is what makes India but sometimes,this bond can be a hindrance.

India can be seen as India but we see that than there would be no change since, it is this competition that gives rise to things.At the end of the day, we need to have a benchmark and we can not benchmark something with it's own self neither we can benchmark it with something that is of lesser quality than itself.

Are we so much worried about marriage? … after all marriages are made in heaven; you see :)
>> It is hard to accept it but this would never change.Agreed Marriages are DECIDED in heaven but they have to BE DONE on Earth !!!

Check the Cartoon and this would make things simple :)

-Himanshu Sheth

Alok said...

@himanshu – Yeah ! I got it, “it did not literally mean culture”, but some people really flush themselves by using it, so that was my 2 cents to them.

Do you really think a benchmark would help in bringing out the talent inside somebody? Of course! you can benchmark with something with its own; as long as you see or able to make a difference that with yesterday and the today, truly that is the change. I see there the progress of your own life that you can easily measure and don’t require anybody to compete with it. If asking somebody to benchmark his Identity??? … then may be he can compete with others but not with himself, that’s a difficult thing. And that’s exactly what is happening right now here; we only do things that other ask us to do relatively better (may be) to someone else (we never know the influence of that person in our life but we still compete) and we can’t think beyond it...

I never disagree one the part that marriages are done on earth :D, As of now I really dono think it happen anywhere other than earth ;) …. Haahaha! the cartoon is really good, say it all.

Himanshu Sheth said...

Do you really think a benchmark would help in bringing out the talent inside somebody?
>>Benchmarking in terms of individuality is not possible and should not be done.....But yes, when we talk of states/countries; Benchmarking might be quite helpful but yes,we should know our own limitations before we benchmark...

Imagine, an individual like me telling I want to be Steve Jobs without even taking the first step....Such benchmarking is bad and we just dream(don't do).....But when we say "We want Bihar to be like Japan,it is thinkable and doable"

-Himanshu Sheth

Alok said...

@himanshu - Yes ! you say it all, individual benchmarking is not required. But if you know what you were and what you are now then probably it is possible to eye on what you will be and then you set the limits by your own. I am concerned more about the individuality and not talking about being somebody else … Which when combined with like minded people as a group, as a territory or say a country will provide a clear picture who are they or what they capable of doing, it wouldn’t be merely a role trap. Does it make sense?