Get your hands dirty: Day one of ‘a post a day’

Today I was on the phone with my friend, brother, and mentor Srinivasa Ramanujam. He called me sensing that I was not seeing the light at the end of tunnel, and he sensed that I was thinking the light is that of an approaching train. It was soothing to talk to someone you trust and someone who understands you well. This blog post is a result of the talk. Well I have to start somehow, so today’s topic will be about the talk that started it.

He mainly asked me to stop thinking too much, start acting, and “get my hands dirty”. He also narrated a story of two woodcutters. Both went to the forest at 9 am and returned at 5 pm. One was highly successful and rich; the other was poor and miserable. The poor woodcutters wife accompanied the two to the forest one day to find out why her husband was poor and the other guy rich. She noticed that the rich guy took a break every 1 hr, whereas her husband continuously worked. On approaching the rich guy and enquiring why despite taking breaks he was successful, he replied, “In the break I sharpen my axe so that it is never blunt. This increases my productivity.” The moral of the story is to keep the mind sharp so that long unproductive hours go away to be replaced by enjoyable productive work. For this, Ramanujam suggested many ways, and hopefully, out of respect for him, I will follow. One of the suggestions was to write a blog post daily about any one thing. Forget about grammar and prose in the beginning. Just start writing, and persist, things will follow.

Today is a beginning. Everyday is a beginning. I will see the light at the end of tunnel and I won’t be scared that it is the train.


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