Sunday, 12 December 2010

Climb every mountain

If you are from the generation that grew up with The Sound of Music, you may recall this song - Climb every mountain. In that classic musical, it wasn't the most melodious of pieces, but it made up with some depth of meaning. Each one of us climb our personal mountains and this post is a rambling muse into how all achievements, big or small, are remarkable, amazing and, in many ways, the purpose of life.

Any one of us who has watched a baby take her first step can easily marvel at that achievement. For the baby, that step is like climbing Mt Everest. The act, by itself, is simple and one that the baby won't give a second thought to in the years to come. But at that moment, its a priceless achievement.

Big achievers reach stardom. They get much fame, but alas not always, some happiness. But, each and every one of us, achieve many victories during the course of the years. Small it may seem to the outside world, but giant it is in our own hearts. Every personal milestone, we cross is a moment to savour, to dwell on the wonder of life and take heart. Far too often, we fail to celebrate ourselves and recognise the immensity of what we had done.

Corporate organisations are notorious in putting down achievement on the mistaken premise that you must always set the bar higher and be in a perpetual state of disappointment. Every deadline met, every target achieved, every move made, is a moment for quiet satisfaction. Its amazing how the overwhelming feeling of every corporate citizen is one of anger, disappointment, grouse, and all things negative and rarely one of accomplishment, which should often rightfully be the case. Witness any water cooler gossip and you'll know what I mean.

Its not only the biggest winner that counts, Every winner, no matter however small the win , ought to justifiably take pride. We need to inject more of the sense of achievement, fulfillment, and victories into our lives. To counterbalance the despair, the heartache and the defeats that often tend to crowd out everything else.

Take sport. Ask anybody who the heroes of the Beijing Olympics were and 9 times out of 10 the answer would be Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt. Rightfully so. But to me Natalie du Toit and Natalia Partyka were equal heroines. They won nothing. But Natalie made it to the Olympics swimming competition despite having lost a leg in an accident and Natalia played table tennis for her country despite being born without a right hand. They made it to the Olympics on sheer merit; no allowance was given for their disabilities. What an amazing personal accomplishment.

I'll leave you with a sporting scene to savour at the end of this chaotic, jumbled up, post. It wasn't the Olympics or World Championships or anything like that. Its was a middling event of questionable global relevance. The best of the business stayed away from it. But four girls from humble origins performed way out of their skin and achieved an amazing result. Way beyond expectations. That's achievement to me. Turn up the volume, sit back and watch this; and I guarantee you goosebumps.


zeno said...

Gem of a post and the video.Especially with the info on the HEROINES!
Amazed at your sports following.
The words, "Turn up the volume" were so true and definite must do as the commentary was very good.

kiwibloke said...

Nice one, close to my heart (mountains and all) You must check out Mark Inglis (Kiwi of course) who lost both his legs below the knee climbing Mt Cook/Aoraki when he was 23. Aoraki is not necessarily one of the tallest at just 3700m but probably the most difficult to climb. He went on to summit Everst. Closer home I have one of my colleagues from my current company, based in the UK, an avid climber having done Mt Everest twice. He looks a very corporate type and would be a surprise to note that he is a big time mountainer! Prizes for guessing?

Ramesh said...

@zeno - Yes the commentary added to lifting the mood and making the heart go thump thump.

Don't know if you watched Saina win the Hong Kong Open today. Watch the repeat telecast in Neo Sport if you can. She was in scintillating form today and beat the best in the world.

@kiwi - Inglis is an amazing hero indeed. And I know our own unassuming hero is a star too. Knew he had done it once - but twice ?? Wow !

Vishal said...

What a video Sir! having seen this for umpteen number of times, I can still listen the roar of pride and nationalism many more times.

Each one of those glorious moments must mean a lot and calls for a celebration. Each individual is tied to a unique string of lifeline and all his/ her experiences are his/ hers only. So why not celebrate little moments of having done something beautiful and path-breaking from individual point of view. Lovely thoughts and lovely links!

P.S. - not sure you have known of a reality show called "India got talent" on Indian television. I liked this person very much. Just amazing.

Ramesh said...

@Vishal - Thanks for that unbelievable video - hadn't seen it before and my jaws dropped open. Mouth still open well after the video is over. Wow !!!

Preeti Shenoy said...

Superb post Ramesh. Very well expressed.

KC said...

Wonderful video Ramesh and much appreciated and true post. In pursuit of achieving more, one often neglects the due appreciation and celebration of small victories. I think the entire world should read your post. In some other relevance a great mystic said, "if you can't bring me the success bring me your failures". Atleast try. It'll be appreciated. I wish we all become like the mystic.

Anonymous said...

economic timesoda sports editora neenga polam thala :) kalakal video...chak de india movie climax mathiri irunthichi :)

RS said...

A mountain well climbed, indeed. A feat in 0.05 seconds :o. Thank you for sharing the video.

//Its not only the biggest winner that counts, Every winner, no matter however small the win , ought to justifiably take pride. We need to inject more of the sense of achievement, fulfillment, and victories into our lives. To counterbalance the despair, the heartache and the defeats that often tend to crowd out everything else.//

Loved these lines. If only.....

Ramesh said...

@Preeti - Thanks very much. Coming from an expert, this is high praise.

@KC - That's a great quote. Yes, we get far too influenced by failures and much less by success.

@gils - Al;as, there's no sports editor post in Economic times !!!

@RS - Thanks RS. Drop the if only .... !!!!!

Ravi Rajagopalan said...

I had tears streaming down my face.

J said...

Great post and amazing video. You're so right we dwell on our own failures and equally fail to appreciate others enough. Wow these women were so inspiring and yet probably got only a tiny fraction of the recognition they deserve.

Ajay said...

Hi Ramesh. Been long since I visited your blog. Had been sort of battling with my own - as you put it "anger, disappointment and grouse of a corporate citizen".
Excellent post.
On a similar note is this movie which I strongly recommend - "Saint Ralph" about a teenaged boy who trains to win the Boston marathon because he desperately needs a miracle in his personal life.

Deepa said...

I'd seen this one when they had won the Gold and that video is recorded from someone's TV, and I was in the same shape as Ravi above.

I love it when you pick up videos from my favourites-list! (still haven't grown up, u see) :P

Ramesh said...

@Dada - Yes; its that sort of a video

@J - They've at least become a little famous, especially after they repeated the feat at the Asian Games. But still money in Athletics is not there.

@Deepa - Delighted to see that this was in your favourites list. bw, a post from you is somewhat overdue ! Nudge Nudge !!

Exkalibur666 said...

A superb run that from the Indian team and a fine moment in Indian sport.
Also a poignant post..
Thanks for sharing..

zeno said...

I did read that Saina won the championship and you were the one who came to my mind esp when i read she won some chinese person :)

Ramesh said...

@Exkalibur - Thanks. Hope you are doing fine

@zeno - No just any Chinese - the best in the business. That was a superb win for Saina. She was in such roaring form that day that she would have beaten anybody.

Ramesh said...

@Ajay - Welcome back. Corporate world can be a bitch at times, but it usually evens out in the long run with moments to savour as well. Thanks for the movie reco - hadn't heard of it, but will now search it out.

RamMmm said...

Gooseflesh indeed, sir. Salut!

Inspiration leaps and you feel the emotion when you see the differently abled athletes achieve while not being dissuaded by their lack of ability.

Missed Saina's steamroll on account of my home move. Let me catch it up.

Sandhya Sriram said...

i am someone who sheds a tear every time i watch the climax scene of chak de india and the likes. and climb every mountain is my all time favourite song. i sing it to myself on one of those low days when things arent really going my way.

these kind of posts are like milestones Ramesh. like the race. they will live - live thru time and person - kudos ramesh - loved this one

Ramesh said...

@Sandhya - Wow - I'm amazed by your versatility in music tastes. This song is really really old !!

Yes, the lump in the throat moments come in many movies; most of us are like that even though we won;t admit it readily.

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