Saturday, April 19, 2014

Monday musings 200: Eating crow and sundry questions

Monday musings 200: Eating crow and sundry questions

In all likelihood Narendra Modi will be the next occupant of 7 Race course. I have never really liked him and have often wondered why. The reasons for liking and not liking him are abound in the popular press and hence I would not waste words here. He has been a part of my musings in the past too, particularly one numbered 163 in the fag end of 2012 when he won Gujarat for the third time. I had postulated that a polarizing person like him would never become the PM of a country like India. Now that his ascendance is almost certain, I clearly have to eat crow. I have made public in my own circle of friends a mockery of his model, the limitations of his personality and my dislike of him pretty evident and I have a feeling the next time I meet them, they would be the one having a laugh - albeit at my expense. 

This musing is less about Modi, but more about how we deal with our own errors of judgment, misplaced predictions and the emotional balance (or rather the lack of it) of dealing with such a failure. I ask a few loud questions to myself. 

Let me admit and begin by saying that it feels miserable. It hurts like a thousand pins pricking the ego. How could I get it so wrong? Where did I err? How come I missed seeing the writing on the wall? How come I missed the signs?

Did I hold on to my opinion and stance for a tad too long than I should have? Was I wrong all along or I missed reading the change in the winds along the way? Did I let me sensing become better of me? Did I see what I wanted to see rather than what it really was? Was I projecting my own preference to the facts and hence never really understood when the sands beneath my feet had changed? 

Should I have moderated my stance as evidence contrary to my stand started to pour in? What stopped me? Was I throwing good money after bad money even when it was clear that the tide had changed? Was it the sunk cost fallacy that bewitched me just as it had done to many others?  

Is the ego of not letting my stance go bigger than the ability to be flexible and moderate? Is this a behavioral barrier that grips other aspects of life and work too? Is the potential loss of face just too strong a fear that made me sink deeper and deeper in the abyss and overruled the human instinct to admit a mistake and make amends, even at the daunting cost of loss of face?

How does one differentiate a pole position and a conviction from the obstinacy of dogma? Where does intellectual flexibility end and the oscillation of a wavering mind begin?  

How will I deal with such a thing in the future? Is the realization ephemeral as they usually are or has it acquired the permanence of a lesson learnt? Will there be enough courage in the fuel tank next time or will I succumb again to the trap of permanent positions?  

Questions, Questions and more questions. Mr. Modi must take care the questions for the nation. I guess I still have to answer mine. 



  1. We all are shaped up with a lot of biases.. Inherited or acquired.. This includes everything including our religion. And obstinacy is some times projected as will power when we are young. And we grow up with it. And more often we don't realise this as you don’t conduct a public mandate around all your beliefs like this. Then how do we check ?
    For example... The usage eating crow is again a bias that a chicken loving population has created.. I really don't know what makes a crow inferior to a chicken or duck.. Until I eat it!

  2. Where does the line between conviction and obstinacy blur cause conviction is critical for one to move forward in life and obstinacy, the biggest hurdle?? And how do I know which one am I following.. One more question I guess to ponder!!