Taj Mahal & Formula One
These socialists-communists scare me with their philosophy. The most dangerous aspect of their thinking is to measure a man only in terms of the money he has. A rich man is rich only because he has a lot of money. No prize for guessing the reason for being poor. I tell you, its far easy to be poor than being rich. I want to be rich, but I just can’t crack it. In my effort to be one I am learning a lot of things including increasing my ability to communicate, contribute and convince. The fun part is that I am learning. So the day I do become rich , I will be richer in so many other ways too.Then there are those who are born rich. I have seen many who have worked hard to get richer and also those who are squandering it all away doing silly things. In my years and years of woolgathering on this issue I have understood one thing for sure. Making money and then keeping oneself rich requires a lot of spiritual maturity than keeping oneself poor. The latter might be cool for many, but not for me.
I respect the rich much more than the poor and I think one can be rich in so many other ways. Any doubts? think of Mirza Ghalib and Van Gogh.
So in a country where so many are homeless, hungry and jobless, the Formula One is such a waste of money.Or is it not? Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer certainly thinks so. I admire him for most of his arguments and the eloquence with which he presents them, but the likes of him are actually quite dangerous for this country. For this is the kind of attitude which we do not need.
Most will fall for this rubbish . What about the Taj Mahal? Isn’t it a waste of money as well?. That land could have been used to grow wheat and maize, rather than build a mausoleum with beautiful gardens. Who cares about Shahjehan and Mumtaz? Their son Aurangzeb did not, but fortunately for humankind, thought differently than Mr. Aiyer.
The Taj Mahal is not just a beautiful building ( Incidentally I find it pretty ugly ), It is a symbol of obsession. An obsession to transgress mediocrity.
A Formula One car and everything attached to it is the same. An obsession to achieve what cannot be achieved just with all the money in the world. It requires skill , knowledge and a lot of will to attain the standards of a Formula One race. Imagine teams spending millions of dollars and thousands of hours in a wind tunnel to gain an advantage of one thousandth of a second. Fuels blended by hand to achieve consistency and not to mention hours and hours of practice just to change tyres. I can go on about driver training, skill, safety etc, but there is nothing in it for a mediocre person with mediocre thinking . So to me a Formula One car is similar to the Taj Mahal. But do we need such an obsession?
Of course we do. Our country’s biggest disease is the ‘Chalta hai’ attitude. It is the reason why we simply accept Jugaads and get on with the nitty gritty of existence. We try to take short cuts everywhere to save money and time. Quality is hardly a factor in our decision making. Look around you. How many things which are made in India can be considered of international standards? Unless someone from outside comes and regulates our quality of exports, we would never be able to match their standards.
In our sixty or more years of existence, we haven’t designed and manufactured a world class engine for any vehicle. The only thing which comes close is the Bajaj Pulsar series of engines. Everything else has been designed abroad or with their technical help.
This is the least of our problems. Our biggest shortcoming lies in the attitude of our leaders. Especially the so called Champions of the Poor. For them poverty is a millstone which they want to put on everyone else’s neck so they can be dragged to depths of mediocrity. If it is out of the reach of poor, it should not be done. Does this country not belong to the rich, the upper middle class and the middle class? I wonder if it is in the interest of these leaders to keep India poor. For if everyone were well off, these guys would be without a job!
We need someone who can make something more beautiful than the Taj Mahal and we need more of international events like the Formula One. We need leaders who encourage excellence and believe that India belongs to all. The alternative is a poor life….