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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

23 November, 2004


Dealing with heart-break is something the teenagers
try to come to grips with and usually fail. The adolescents
are slightly better at that, and practice makes one perfect.
But what about the emotionally brittle ten year olds and
slightly older ones?

Mimi my daughter is a versatile girl, one who is so busy
scoring up high marks in every endeavour that it came as
a shattering realization to her when she missed being chosen
for the national meet on archery.

First of all she had been imparted hardly a month's training,
we had been away on a long holiday and later on, she had
bunked the practice sessions with a cavalier attitude all
along, due to the unrelenting piano practice -she did well
there; quite well indeed.

When she found that she missed the boat by only 12 marks
out of a whopping 780 maximum possible, tears flowed...
nay poured. Strangely if one little girl simpers, a
whole group gets into the act like apes and there is
utter chaos then. It hurt her bad, since it had been
a neck and neck affair with Nikita her classmate who
was slightly more consistent all the time. Archery is
a complex art and science indeed.

I had spread the word around and was deeply touched by
a high voltage shair that my good friend Alok Shukla, a
management expert sent by sms in sympathy :

Girte hain shaho-savar hi maidan-e-jung mein;
Woh tufl kya girenge jo ghutnon-ke bal chalé ?

It means : Only kings and emperors fall in the battlefield,
Those slaves who creep on their knees, can never ever fall.....

It is amazingly heart-warming to see the effect of this sort of thinking
on even a child's mental make-up. One who has not learnt to cope up
with failures will never be able to digest success.

Cheers !
(c)Max Babi Nov.2004


Blogger Pragya said...


Good one! Brings back all the school rivalries, slights, rejections and heart-breaks and how we used to make such a big deal about it all back then. Not getting something used to definitely feel like the end of the world. Little did we know what we would be hit with much later in life.

Whenever I felt down and out (different reasons than Mimi) my Dad used to share his favorite shair with me which went (apologies for any mistakes):

Khudi ko kar buland itna, ki har takreer se pehle, khuda bande se ye pooche, bata teri razaa kya hai

I used to love this and the one your friend sent you is a great one too.

23 November, 2004 20:17  
Blogger raindanseuse said...

Hey Max, sorry to hear about Mimi's diappointment. I can understand what it must feel like.
"First of all she had been imparted hardly a month's training, we had been away on a long holiday and later on, she had bunked the practice sessions with a cavalier attitude all along..."
Since you've already spotted the problem, I believe you're already halfway towards correcting it. What's a win without a loss!
Here's my shair in English ;):
Life is a series of trials and tests
And yours aren't any tougher than those of the rest
But you've naught to fear if you can discern:
It's less about how you score and all about what you learn

24 November, 2004 00:51  
Blogger Max Babi said...

Hi Pragya and Sonia,

The shairs were good, and boosted my
own personal innner rigidity. Tks.
We also have skimmed out another reason
Mimi has been avoiding the local language
-that makes her lose those tiny flight-path
corrections the coach is oozing all the time.
She will have to plunge in headlong and use
the lingo, to be one of them.
No short-cut here, as it happened in my case.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em !

Touched by yr concern.

24 November, 2004 09:34  
Blogger Arundhati said...

Hey Max,

Wish I knew Mimi and could give her a tight hug saying "hang in there brave girl".

Want to know who wrote the 'sher' your friend smsed. It's beautiful. I read a lot and write a bit in hindusthani and I collect these little nuggets.

Am so glad to see as parents u are right there where Mimi needs u. Supportive, on her side rather than blaming her for her failure. It so often happens that if it's the other way round, the child remembers the failure of 'not making my parents happy' more woundedly than she does the actual failure.

wish Mimi well for me.

24 November, 2004 15:01  
Blogger zizzebotts said...

I am in a phase where this article is of real meaning to me.I believe we get to learn more from our defeats which make us humble than victory which sometimes is the greatest stumbling block especially when the momentum needs to be continued.Even though defeat is not what we set out for yet learning from it is better than getting bogged down by it.

Sometimes victory is sweetest when we refuse to have anything but it written on to our destiny.This is what the 'shair' shared by Pragya essentially means.

Pragya ,you are just off the mark by 0.403% (2 characters out of 496) :-).Replace the 'k' and 'r' in 'takreer'(speech) by 'q' and 'd' to make it 'taqdeer'(destiny).

Thanx MAX

24 November, 2004 18:37  

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