Sunday, December 15, 2013

190: The rise and rise of the loser

190: The rise and rise of the loser

Almost two years to this date, 29th of November 2010 to be precise, I described one Pankaj Dubey in Monday Musings 103 - an unusual story of an extremely gifted "middle class boy in the small town of a developing country" (his words) who failed so gloriously academically but still found his feet chasing his dreams. This is a sequel to that story. (strongly recommend that you read that before you move ahead - 

Pankaj was abused by academics in his early years and more particularly by maths. In his own words he is a 'merchant of imagination and not a prisoner of knowledge'. His life took him from the hinterlands of Jharkhand to BBC, film festivals and some serious work in empathy building in slum children. I had ended by saying that he has now shifted his base to Mumbai to dabble in film writing and that one must keep watching this name because "this part of the story is still untold". I was not wrong.  

In the last 2 years Pankaj has done script supervision for the movie 'Ghanchakkar', an under-production feature called 'Chauranga', but most importantly next month will see the launch of his maiden book called 'What a Loser' with Penguin India, also simultaneously in Hindi called "Loser kahin ka". Pankaj has written in both the languages-something that yet again indicates how prolific his talent is. 

The last blog on this subject was an ode to what sheer talent, imagination and creativity could do. It was also to shatter the myth of academic success and how underprepared is the current school education to predict the future success of its produce. This blog is to talk about the rise and rise of the tribe of losers. 

Success is so over-rated and I have a feeling it would also be very boring. Statistically more people fail more number of times than those who succeed. Even the best fail a lot more than they care to admit. Success is like nicotine - each time you need a stronger dose to give you the same high. After a while your nerves are jaded and your soul is tired, chasing the mirage of success. You cannot rest because by now you are scared of losing out. The popular culture is desperately looking for the hero of the day - only to be forgotten tomorrow because someone else has claimed the airwaves. Yet the chase continues because the popular culture celebrates the hero. The rest are condemned to live the life of anonymity - the loser. 

The loser never claimed his space. But not anymore. The loser is the underdog who must now come from behind despite his feeble chances of winning. If only the top of the pyramid must get all, then such a pyramid must be damned. This is not a socialistic utopia which justifies mediocrity, but an appeal for diversity. There can more than one pyramid - and the loser of one can be the winner of the next. 

'What a loser' by Pankaj Dubey must be bought, read and re-read - in that order, as a celebration of ordinariness. It must be held dear by all those who did not top their class ever but are special nevertheless. It is not an apology but a celebration. I have a feeling being a loser will become fashionable with this book.  There cannot be shame in being ordinary or not being the first. 

Well done Pankaj! I am so looking forward to both the books. 


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