Friday, April 27, 2012

Monday Musings 145 - The smile of the Divine

Monday Musings 145 - The smile of the Divine

He was a new age professional. She was the wife he had chosen, as a solemn promise to be there for her in joy and in sorrow. Life would have been nice, had it not been for the games the divine plays, which He seem to revel in and we fail to understand.

The first child was a still born, the second one they lost after 21 months to a complication arising out of infant diabetes gone horribly wrong, while he struggled in a nearby ward with jaundice. So when she expected the third time, it was with trepidation and hope, anxiety and joy, knowing fully well that this was their last time. The Divine played His hand again. She was diagnosed with a rare complication of the heart, not fatal but curable by surgery.

So was surgery possible on her in the given condition? The gynecologist referred to the cardiologist, who said it was dangerous to operate in her condition, because during the surgery they would slow the heart rate, which will mean reduction in the blood level to the fetus, with potential damage possibilities. Off they went to a thoracic cardio surgeon for another opinion, who said, while the condition was certainly tricky, but it was quite possible to do the surgery. As it happens, he explained, that human body is Gods supreme invention and some of the way it behaved was the surest proof that God existed. Under the usual norms, when the body faces blood shortage, as in injury, it rations its blood supply to the various organs, in a manner that the brain and heart gets priority. Even when there is left smallest quantity of blood in the body, it will supply to only these organs - except that there is catch. You see, the body is programmed to behave in the above manner most of the times, except that when there is fetus in the body, it somehow starts rationing the blood in a manner that apart from the brain and the heart, even the fetus gets its share,  till the last supply of blood remains. How does this happen, well- only God can tell? So the thoracic surgeon gave case studies after case studies how it was possible for this surgery to happen, without damaging the fetus. The cardiologist recommended abortion. The choice was difficult. Would he risk her life for the sake of the child, knowing fully well, that this was the last chance? Or would he take a leap of faith amidst divided medical opinion?

What would have he gone through? What would have she gone through? Were they believers, before that and was their faith shaken - did they question their God? How would they decide - on science, on instinct, or on precariously fractured medical opinion, or an equally unreliable faith in the inherent goodness of life emerging out of an inexplicable positivity, which cannot be based on reason, but in the opaqueness of hope that no wrong could happen to me?

I am told they took the leap of faith. The Divine smiled. Their daughter is eight now and he tells her every night, horribly boring and repetitive stories.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

144 Monday Musings- Contra thinking

144 Monday Musings-  Contra thinking

They say markets exist because two people look at an event or numbers or facts and have exactly different views. If everyone would agree on everything, there would only be buyers or only sellers, in which case there would be no markets. Two TV commercials on air right now are yet another instance.

After the recently disastrous oversees tours, first in England and then in Australia, the world cup winning Indian cricket team has its scrip at its lowest in the recent times, leading some to question the very notion of invincibility of the team not long ago. Pepsi has come out with a brilliant theme, 'Change the game' where an obvious cricket aficionado in Ranbeer Kapoor is trying to get a soccer loving young kid to switch to cricket - and in the process gets a rebuttal about the hollowness of cricket and the utility of other games, in this case being soccer. Change the game the campaign exhorts the ad, obvious appeal to our seriously jaded, jolted, disappointed and disillusioned Indian cricket fan. On the other hand the aircel telecom ad has MS Dhoni comforting a young child that in the eye of defeat and fall from grace, there is a need to pick up the threads of efforts and begin the climb on the road ahead again. This is what some would call contra thinking. Two marketers have looked at the same event and taken contrarian view.

Managers are asked to take a view on things for a living, and often two of them take contra view. Some take a traditional view, the common one, the popular one, the obvious one - others take a slightly bold view, the uncommon one, the unpopular one and the not so obvious ones. Only time tells which way the cookie crumbles, till that time the fate of managerial success hangs from a thin fibre. The oscillating fortunes makes for dangerous living, but who said managerial life is for the meek. I doubt if there is a clear verdict, if one better than the other conclusively and universally. Managers must have, on one hand, a vast body of traditional wisdom, of what has worked in most circumstances, what one would classify as universally applicable principles, undeniable truths, maxims that would work more often than not - and yet hone their instinct to know when to be audacious in their attempts, courageous in their leap, adapting, adopting and experimenting with the new and modern, something which may be experimental but instinctive. Taking a contra view can be a risk, but sometimes not taking a contra view is bigger risk. 

Is there an escape from taking a view - I guess not. Each time we take a view of things, it will be nice to remember that on exactly the same issue, there is contra view that someone would have taken or would take. So what’s the way out - well that I think can be yet another musings.