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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Difficulty has attraction. But, quality...?

Ever went crazy for a girl (or a boy, in case you are a girl) just because she was playing hard? Or went from shop to shop looking for a pair of shoes since they belonged to some hi-fi, obscure firang brand? Or listened to a brand-savvy girl preaching about the qualities of her t-shirt just because it was cho-dippicult to get it in India?

You must have. And probably you might yourself have dozens of other stories about people getting mad after something just because it was not easily available to everybody, or better to say available to them. Or you might also have instances from your own life when you tried hard to get something just because it was too hard to get.

In hindsight, you would perhaps find that the things you were so crazy after didn’t have anything amazing in them. Maybe they didn’t have any quality at all. The girl you were running after was actually a brainless, lipstick-maniac bimbo who had greater fascination for losers. (Girls, please don’t get offended. Boys with similar qualities are not less in number.) The shoes you felt so good about did make you feel bad after being in touch with your heels. The t-shirt you were proud of getting after searching in 37 shops divorced its colour in the first meet with Surf Excel.

So, why were you mad after them? Despite being a quality-conscious person who thinks a lot about pros and cons of things before making a choice. Despite being a person who presses a do-rupiya-ka-nimbu five times to see if it’s worth the money. Despite being a person who swears by the dictum, ‘One penny saved is one penny earned, and ditto about time’.

And then you went on wasting tens of priceless nights’ sleep and dozens of soles of shoes to go after something without thinking whether it really deserved that much of effort. Sounds crazy?

But it has some logic. I was reading something about Edmund Hillary who stepped on Everest for the first time. Then I read about one million hardships and risks he had to go through to get there. But was it worth it? What would have he found in a lifeless, minus-36-degree-temperature place where he had nothing to lose except his life?

The answer lies somewhere else. Inside him. It’s the satisfaction of achieving something tough. It’s the happiness of doing something which needed the maximum of his guts, abilities and the best of his optimism. That’s what made him spend years and years of life to reach to a place which is as attractive as the mid of Sahara.

But sometimes that feeling of achievement is not the right compensation for what we get afterwards. Especially if you end up getting a spouse who makes you realize hell is here, a pair of shoes which pinch your feet, or a t-shirt which subtracts some value from your looks.

It’s in our nature. We value those things more which are arduous to get than the things which are worthy to get. Little wonder, we end up having substandard things and people in our life despite our best efforts. And then we don’t understand what went wrong. Maybe next time when we really feel the emotional urgency to try for something, we should just sit down, take a deep breath and think: Well, that thing is difficult, but has it some quality also?

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