Being Agile @ Work

I manage a team that works on different flavors of IT projects, such as development, maintenance and enhancement of the existing applications, implementation of strategic technical and functional initiatives at an organization and group level, and working on BAU ad-hoc and priority issues.

The team is expected to handle and work on multiple things at a time in such scenarios. This is the 2nd such team I am managing in as many organizations in my last 5 years of career. And, the organizations I have worked for (Thomson Reuters and British telecom) are 2 biggies in their respective areas. So, the expectations from any such team across any such companies across the world cannot be any different from mine, is what I conclude.

The only difference would be that certain companies have got the grasp of how to handle such teams with ease, and some are struggling.

I had my struggles too, and have been able to find a way out by adopting agile practices in “managing the team”, though the execution of the projects that the team has been working on are following a waterfall model. Some of the struggles:

  1. Highly fluctuating WIP items of each team member
  2. Surfacing of issues when it is too late
  3. Non optimal turnaround time of items on hand
  4. Non optimal productivity of the team

I am going to take an example of completion of a technical design which is one of the artefacts that is delivered as part of waterfall project execution and how by giving an agile touch to it, I have been able to tackle the above problems.

Earlier, the design documentation would be estimated with an overall effort comprising of conceptualisation of design, completion of documentation, review and roll out. This meant that the design was available for review once the documentation is complete. Now, by using WBS, we have been able to break down this story of design into specific , reviewable tasks and accommodate review of each reviewable chunk as soon as it is done, thus ensuring quality is reviewed and ensured adhered to  even before the whole exercise is completed in entirety.

The participatory nature of this exercise (both in estimation and execution) ensures that accountability does not just lie with manager or the lead of the project, but gets percolated into the last member of the team, thus giving them enough visibility on what they are contributing into.

There is a progressive evolution at a team member level with respect to estimation and prioritization and improved sense of involvement/inclusion.

Daily stand up meetings have resulted in a visibility on the progress of tasks on hand and adaptive accommodation of the items in backlog. For instance, our organization has strict regulations on mandatory trainings that each employee of the company has to take on a regular basis. Such important but not “a priority” tasks now are gotten into the daily work stream when a band width is seen on a daily basis (which comes out at the stand up meeting), thus freeing up the management and employees from last minute rush into completion when the end data approaches.

Iteration review and planning gives scope to learn iteratively from each sprint/iteration and get learnings into practice in the subsequent iterations in terms of better planning, better breaking down, and optimized estimations.

As you might have noticed, what I have adopted is the agile mind set to execute the operations of a team that works on projects in a waterfall model, and I am able to reap the benefits by improving the engagement level and turnaround time for each team member.

Extrapolating it to an application level or product level delivery of a group or organization, I can draw parallels of benefits that can be achieved with respect to

  1. Iterative, incremental and evolutionary execution over big bang release
  2. Test driven development
  3. Short feedback look and adaptation cycle over phased implementation

Distribution of resources across the globe, team sizes can pose challenges to adopt Agile methodology at an organization level, but there are collaborative tools that I have used such a Asana and VersionOne which I have witnessed not only eases out the functioning, but also makes it very interactive and fun filled.

Also, the bottom-up approach of practitioners (of agile) spreading the awareness of the benefits up the organizational ladder, I feel would cement the adoption into the methodology than it coming top-down as an organization policy.

Scrum and Kan-ban are two populate that companies have started adapting to at a very fast rate. I have witnessed the transition from waterfall to scrum methodology at Thomson Reuters and have witnessed the improvement in speed of delivery, the team engagement and quality and currently am trying to replicate the same with British Telecom too.


Learning Compass: What I am learning about learning while learning


Lawrence of Arabia

Tlawrenceofarabiahere is a scene in the movie, “The Lawrence of Arabia”.  The caravan is crossing the desert and has spent days in the scorching sun.  The lead character, Lawrence, is caught staring blankly at the shadow of the caravan on the move by Sherif Ali, the head of the caravan. He warns Lawrence not to do that, and that he might get “lost” forever if he does that constantly.

Getting lost, in this context, is, not getting physically lost alone, but more than that.

Learning and its vastness, and learner the Lawrence

Learning, as we all have come to agree is a vast space and a continuous process. As vast as a desert, or an ocean, or a forest. I would associate it more with a forest though. A vast forest.  Abundant, rich, lush with so many intriguing aspects and with a power to attract us, the learners.  Is it possible for someone to get lost there?

Why not? It is possible is what I think.

Learning can become a habitual pass time (or time pass) just like gossiping, if not pursued with an intent. Next time you pick up a book or enroll into a course/program/workshop, just sit back and think how the previous similar experiences go? If it has been progressive, and tangibly useful to you, then the rest of the write up is not for you. You are in a different league (It might not harm to go through it though). But if it has not been, and all it did to you was give you momentary high, for a few days, and then fade away, then you should probably consider reading on.

There is a very fine line between making learning/reading a time pass and actually learning from what we learnt/read, and putting it to tangible use. The line so fine, that it does not let us acknowledge the existence of the line, which side of the line we are on, if we are wandering somewhere close to it, and if we are at the risk of crossing the line to the riskier side. Just like how Lawrence was on the verge of getting “lost”. If acknowledged (as to which side of the fine line you are on, and if you are on the wrong side), it is possible that one might find one self “addicted” to learning.  Wanting more of it, just to get more of it.

Scary?!  With learning becoming so available, so interesting, so time consuming, so costly, it does not harm to be cautious about it, even if it is not scary.

Learning compass: Your tool for effective learning

How do we stop ourselves from getting “lost” in this vastness of learning? Use the compass, the learning compass.  Keep a check on what you are doing, where you are, which way you are heading in this vast space of learning. It can be a book, a program, a workshop, a course that you are pursuing or planning to pursue. It can be anything from which you expect to learn something. But it is essential to make sure you are progressing and not getting “lost” in the process.

A little bit of context

So, what has caused this brain damage to me? What made me think about this learning addiction?

I am currently pursuing my Executive MBA program on Product leadership, with Institute of Product Leadership (IPL). As part of this program, one of the subjects that we were introduced to was “Creativity and Innovation” by Dr. Pavan Soni. We had a classroom session on this 2 months ago.  A very interesting and intriguing session. Lots of interesting things were learnt during that class.

Last week, I enrolled for another off-the-course session from the same faculty (we call it Master class, in the Institute). As I was going to be there in the Institute on that day, on some other work, I thought I will attend the session as well. I did not check on what the session was about though, and decided to go for it based on my experience with the faculty.

And once the session started, I realized that it was about the same concepts that we were taught in the class room. The session and the faculty are both top class and that kept me glued through the session.

It was after the session was over, that I started thinking about what I did in those couple of hours of session. I relearnt what I had learnt earlier. What else did I go through during those 2 hours of session?  What did I learn from this session that I had not learnt in the class room session that I had attended two months back? Had I learnt anything at all? If not much, why? Why did I enjoy it so much again, the second time? Am I missing something?

These thoughts are what inspired me to think how I can apply myself to any learning, and vice versa.

Some of those thoughts, when I stayed with, and worked on giving them a structure, gave me a few insights which I am going to share in the rest of the article.

Learning Compass:  More about it

  1. Know yourself, the learner: Though the higher education and courses we pursue are to advance our career or get a new career, there is more to us than just a career. The learnings from these (courses/programs/…), with their long lasting impacts, touch upon our whole self, not just the professional part of “us”. So, it is important to know ourselves completely and see if we fit into whatever the learning (we are planning to pursue) is all about. And, be true to yourself when you make the decision to pursue it, if you want to have that lasting impact. Tendulkar wanted to become a medium pacer, rather a fast bowler. He probably did not know himself when he built that aspiration. But he did not stop there. He went to on to know more about himself, more deeply, till he knew himself “well” enough. And what he learnt, and happened then on, is history.


  1. Know what is it that you are going to learn: This complements with the above point. And, has to be in continuation with the above point. What is it that this learning has to offer to me when I am pursuing it and after I am done with it? Talk to people who have done it or are doing it. Understand it. Weigh it. A “Leap of faith” is not bad. But, do not make that the only or the main “deciding factor”. The time and money invested should be based on a much stronger rationale.Within our course itself, we get a good amount of pre reading (well) before each class room session.  I had not looked at it from this perspective till now though. Well, it is not too late yet. I have now realized that we need to go through the pre reading to understand where the session fits in, and where do I fit into it, more than just getting an introduction to the topic of the session.
  1. Learn with a goal /objectivity: I have to admit, that I went into the current course without a specific goal. My goal was to explore my goal while I learn. While that is quite idealistic (or that’s what I thought), but, does it work? It might. It might not too. Our faculty tells us, or warns us, that we should not wait till “it” happens to us. We should make it happen. And if we have to make it happen, we have to know what is it that I want to make happen. I can “now” visualize that warning, and why it is so key, in the best of the HD technologies that are out there.

I think the goal becomes more and more important for a higher education, like the one I am pursuing.  We should have one to make the best use of what we are pursuing. And have a goal that aligns to your “self”. Be practical about it.

It can be as simple as doubling your current salary, which I think is a very important goal and not a bad goal either.

But, whatever the goal is, we need to be sure that it is our goal. And pursue the path (of learning) head on with that one goal.  What if I do not have one, or it is not as tangible as the one mentioned above? You will still probably learn things, and discover your goal along the way, and reach it. Or, you will probably learn things, and learn more, and more, and get drifted away in the forest of learning, wanting for more. This again, is not all that bad considering what you got to learn. But is it the best we should get for our investment?

  1. Apply what you learn:Have a mission statement for your team/life/self”, is what I learnt in a leadership program that I attended sometime back. Stephen Covey, Robin Sharma, Dale Carnegie, and above all, I myself (in #3), have told this to me more than once, whenever I went to them, in the recent and distant pasts. Have a goal. Have a mission statement. But have I applied it? Have I practiced it?

 It becomes very important to apply and practice what you learn in the course like the one that I am currently pursuing. And to do that, it would be beneficial if you have a goal. You can start aligning all that you learn to your goal and that way move towards your goal applying whatever you are learning. The ones that you can’t apply, you will be able to recognize those and discard it from your radar. So, it allows you focus, and stay focused.

What happens, if I don’t apply my learnings? It becomes just like what has happened to Newton’s 2nd law to most of us. Yes, we forget it. And in distant future, when we need it, probably not remember it. Chances are that it might never be forgotten also. But is it worth taking that chance, for the investment that has been made?

Teaching is a very good way of applying what we learn, if we do not have an immediate direct application channel.

After-class-sessions, Group discussions go a long way in cementing what was learnt in a class or a session in a very practical way.

  1. Stay put: The sources and the number of sources of learning available now, are more than ever before. The need of it is also more than ever. What is becoming scarce is the time we invest to stay put with a new learning. I think it is a very key aspect with higher education and non-conventional subjects. Stay with your learning. Immerse yourself into it. Soak in it. Let it get into you.  Because, that is when we can start aligning it our goals, can start applying it, can make a cognizant decision of parking it aside or discarding it. Many times, the realization comes in slowly. But, if you have moved on without spending the necessary time  with the learning, it is possible that we might miss on a very key realization or an insight.

This is in a way related to our commitment to what we are pursuing.  It might be a movie, a book, or a program like the one I am pursuing, from which you expect to learn something. If you are a tube light like me, stay put with it, stay connected, till you completely shine bright.

  1. Be ready to kill your darling: During the process of your learning, you might realize that your identified goal is not something that you will be able to materialize with what you are learning. Or, you are not learning anything at all, or even your goal was not an actual goal at all. Listen to that calling when it happens. It might push you to stay on (#5 above) for some more time, or force you to take “the” tough call. Weigh between the goal, and the path you are taking. It might be that the goal is not worth it after all, or the course you are pursuing is not the right path to get there. Plan to be in a position to take the tough call when it is needed. It might be a tough call, but it will it be worth taking it, keeping in mind the larger picture. But yes, be convinced that you have done enough of #5 before you take the call.

There was a Kannada movie that released in 2003, named “Hollywood”. It started out to as sci-fi thriller during the making. It went on to become a sci-fi comedy later, and was a decent hit. This was an intentional switch by the makers when they realized that or “learnt” that what they were pursuing (to create a thriller) was not practical. They did not abort their project, but modified it by taking a tough stance. I am sure there are many better known examples to substantiate the point I want to convey.

Conclusion:  My Learning Compass

This is my learning compass and these are my ingredients of my compass. It might not be applicable to all. You might already be equipped with your own compass, with its own directions and needles.  It would definitely not hurt to discover it before you pick up your next learning experience. I hope this write up helps you discover your learning compass, wherever it exists, and equips you to learn better, and effectively. This is not all either. I might find more of them in the coming days. But, the once that I have identified now are definitely worth considering from now on, for me at least.



Biomimcry:  Innovation Inspired By Nature – A book Review


I have this laptop (powered by Windows 7 OS) built in the United States of America, in the year 2011, with unchanged factory settings, except for the time zone. And this is the laptop; I am using to write (type) this review.

When I typed this word “Biomimicry” on the word document, on this laptop, I see that this word is not recognized by the software. The word “Selfie” is recognized though :). I tried a couple of other editors too, and the result is the same.

So, I realize that “Biomimicry” as a word is a relatively new word in “our world”. Luckily  the component words “bio” and “mimicry” used here,  is self-explanatory.

So, before I get to the business of reviewing the book, I think it would be prudent of me to give an introduction to this word.

According to the website:

Biomimicry is an innovation method that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.

Something simpler (?!) I found which interested me is as below:

Biomimicry is understanding the biology around, and looking at how we can mimic what the life of all scales, has been doing (at a microscopic and atomic level) from when it began on earth, to live and thrive, and at the same time not harm its home, and try to emulate it, or mimic it , to build sustainable products, processes, policies that can extend the habitability of this planet

Awfully awesome!! No prizes for guessing whose lines are those.  🙂

The book also has this phrase that is very crisp and to the point: “the biomimicry revolution introduces an era based not on what we can extract from nature, but on what we can learn from her.”

It is up to you to take the definition that suite you. 😉

To get a good summary on the subject, please find this great video featuring Janine Benyus, the author of this book. It gives a good summary of what to expect in the book.

I am someone who operates at a macro level in my life. Be it my work, life, hobbies or expertise, I look at it from a macro level and dread to get into the minute details. By the words on the title of the book, I expected to find things/information at the same macro level inside the book too.  I thought I will find details of Biological splendors and marvels that have inspired many of man’s major/huge achievements (flying, sailing etc.), and what we (the man) can look up to, to the nature or life around, to make our and the rest of the life’s life, a better one in the future by growing forests, avoid cutting trees, going organic, so on….

“I was pleasantly shocked” would be a very mild way of expressing the feelings I had, when I started reading the book and went through to finish it.

We, human beings, as we know depend on other life matters (living and dead), and earthly matters (minerals, metals, compounds, so on) to feed ourselves, make our things, generate energy, heal ourselves and make a living, and our dependency has not been mutual in almost all these cases. The book takes up these aspects, and then, details in each of these aspects on how the most primitive organisms (micro/ macro organisms, plants, animals) have been dealing with it, in a much more cordial way, for millions of years now, and have done, and are doing a far more superior job in comparison to the mediocre job we have been doing over the past few hundred years, creating mediocre products and processes at the cost of bringing this life to the brink of extinction.

And this (explaining each of the above mentioned aspects), the book, does in a very detailed manner bringing out the chemistry and physics in the biology of this earth.

The book succeeds to appeal to the reader, at both, scientific/theoretical level, and at an emotional level, on how important, and how inevitable it is for us, to look back to the nature and learn from it, from this point on, in each of these above mentioned aspects, to give a chance for ourselves to survive on this planet, that we call our home.

The book is detailed ,in the most “detailest” way,  at the level of the “minutest” components , such has  cellular structure and its chemical composition, of the “minutest” organisms and particles , their chemical and physical compositions, properties that help them do what they do the best, that is live, thrive and contribute to the earth.  This level of detail might be an overdose of information for people who are just enthusiastic or passionate about this subject, but not very serious. At the same time, it introduces a normal reader to what is being discussed, at a level, where such a reader can appreciate it, and learn something really important, not just for oneself, but for the generations to come.

The book, in a conventional way has an Introduction chapter, titled “Echoing Nature”, and an epilogue titled “Where will we go from here?”, which are unmissable and a mandatory read, in terms of how they set you up to the subject, and leave you back a with a “thought to dwell on” at an emotional level. And that’s by the only conventional part in the book.

The lines like the below, in the first chapter, set up the tone for the book, on where we are (in this world) and where this book wants to take us to.

“If the age of the earth were a calendar year and today were a breath before midnight on New Year’s Eve, we (humans) showed up a scant 15 minutes ago, and all of recorded history has blinked by in the last 60 seconds”

“There are too many of us, and our habits are unsustainable”

“We realize that all our inventions have already appeared in nature in a more elegant form ant at a lot less cost to the planet”

While, the line like the below one, in the last chapter, sets up where we should go from here:

“In the end what makes us different from other creatures (as far as we know), is our ability to collectively act on our understanding. We can decide as a culture to listen to life, to echo what we hear, to not be a cancer

Look at the humility of the author when she emphasizes “as far as we know”. If we get to that point of humility with respect to our understanding of the nature, we for sure would be at an evolutionary breakthrough of developing the required new sense of dealing with our planet in a way we should.

The remaining of the book is structured into following sections:

  • How will we feed ourselves
  • How will we harness energy
  • How will we make things
  • How will we heal ourselves
  • How will we store what we learn
  • How will we conduct business

Each section, as mentioned earlier, is very descriptive with respect to its corresponding topic. So, it would be great to go through each of the sections at a speed and concentration level, based on one’s level of interest in the subject the chapter deals with.

For instance, the chapter “How will we make things”, talks about things such as :

  • How the inner shell of a sea creature called abalone is twice as tough as our high-tech ceramics.
  • Or how spider silk, ounce for ounce, is five times stronger than steel.

It talks about the cellular structure, the composition of each cell, the enzymes, proteins and the electrical charges associated at molecules in each of those cells that make these things as strong as they are. This might be of interest to a material designer or researcher, but not for someone who is interested in farming, agriculture, or botany.

The chapter, a person with those interests (in farming, agriculture, or botany) would be interested in, would be, “How will we feed ourselves”, which covers the details of advent of monoculture (a methodology of growing annual crops on the same field every year), and its ill effects on soil, botanical evolution, introductions of newer and more immune parasites,  and change in food habits of living beings, and how we can look at how nature, by its natural way of polyculture (where different crops grow in harmony together), has for thousands of years strived to bring the soil, its mineral composition, to the position it currently is (or was before the introduction of the green revolution).

The chapter that interested me the most was : “How do we conduct business?”. It goes beyond sceince and emphasizes on the change that we have to adopt in the way we deal with things. It talks about “Design for Environment” and “closed loop industries” for industries, re-imbibing the culture of “Shop Local” in the soceity.  It gives statistical insights such as

  • 90000 tons of nuclear waste added to environment every year in USA alone, and that will be poisonous for another 100,000 years
  • The growth of 600 billion USD happened from the beginning of the history to the year 1900. Now, it grows by that number every year

The section about “leasing- the new way of life”, was the most appealing to me. This talks about changing our consumerism behaviour by not abandoning it, but in a way that creates a positive impact on the nature.

As I have already mentioned, the book is not full of heavy science that is hard to digest. It uses lot of humor, wisdom and phrases that keeps one interested without a doubt. But, the level to which one can absorb the information in the each chapter would depend on one’s interest in the subject covered in that chapter.

This one for the kind of humor in the book (extracted from the chapter “How do we store what we learn”):

When the author goes to meet, Michael Conrad, the then head of Bio Computing group, in Wayne University, Detroit, and expected to see what computer evolution he is working on, inspired by biology, she spots a yellowing Mac Plus from the early 80s(an antique piece 20 years back). Conard spots her ogling his Mac Plus and he goes over it. The author expects him to throw an arm around it and tell her how important the machine was to the computer revolution. Instead he says, “This is the deadest thing in the universe”. J

I am sure you will not be surprised when you are through with the chapter, if you find yourself agreeing to what Michael Conrad had to say.

Each chapter, except for the first and the last, can be read in any order as each one cover’s its own area with very little or almost no dependency on the other chapters.

The first edition of the book was published in 1997, and the latest one in August 2009.

So, you might find references to the technologies, processes, which were then, work in progress, but are now a reality such, as 3D printing, digitalization etc.

At the same time, you will see the mention of researches that have been happening in this field since 1960s, and that we have not yet been able to crack the code on most of the aspects in a way, using which, we mimic the biology in the scale we should, if we are to save whatever is left for the future generations.

Overall, this book is a must read for everyone. Even if one wants to read the highlights of each chapter. Because, it is definitely going to bring in a change in our thinking process with respect to how we are dealing with the nature, when it should have happened the other way round.


ಏನಿದು? ಸ್ಪೆಲ್ಲಿಂಗ್ ಮಿಸ್ಟೇಕ? “ಅದ್ಭುತ” ಬದಲು “ಅರ್ಭುತ” ಆಗಿದಿಯ?
ಇಲ್ಲ. ನೀವು ಓದುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ಸರಿಯಾಗೇ ಇದೆ. ನಾನು ಬರೆದಿರುವುದೂ ಸರಿಯಾಗೇ ಇದೆ.

ಕೆಲವರಿಗೆ ಇದು ಏನೆಂದು ತಿಳಿದಿರಬಹುದು. ಇನ್ನೂ ಕೆಲವರು ಈಗ ಹೋಗಿ ಏನಿದು ಎಂದು ಹುಡುಕಿ ತಿಳಿದುಕೊಂಡಿರಬಹುದು.
ಎರಡೂ categoryಗೆ ಸೇರದವರಿಗೆ, ಮೊದಲಿಗೆ ಇದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಒಂದು ವಾಕ್ಯದ introduction: ಅರ್ಭುತ “ನಮ್ಮ” ಗೋವಿನ ಹಾಡಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಬರುವ ಹುಲಿಯ ಹೆಸರು. ಬಹಳ ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ನನಗೆ ತಿಳಿದಂತೆ ಮೌಂಟ್ ಆಬುವಿನ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಹೆಸರು ಇದಂತೆ.
ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಆ ಪದ ಉಲ್ಲೇಖಿಸಿರುವ ಕಾರಣ ಆ “ಹುಲಿ”.

ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಕಥೆ ಹೇಳುವುದು ನನ್ನ ನೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಕಾಯಕಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು. ಆ ಕಥೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ, ನನ್ನ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ, ಈ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆ , ನೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಕಥೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು. ಹಾಗಾಗಿ ವಾರಕ್ಕೆ ಮೂರು ಸಲವಾದರೂ ಈ ಕಥೆ ಹೇಳುವ ಕೆಲಸ ಇದ್ದೇ ಇರುತ್ತೆ.
ಕಥೆ ಹೇಳಿದಾಗಲೆಲ್ಲ ನನಗೆ ಅನ್ನಿಸುವುದು, ಜಗತ್ತಿಗೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಕನ್ನಡ ಕೊಟ್ಟಿರುವ ಅತ್ಯಮೂಲ್ಯ ಕೊಡುಗೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಇದು ಕೂಡ ಒಂದು ಎಂದು. ಪದ್ಯ ರೂಪದ ಕಥೆ, ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಬಳಸಿರುವ ಆಪ್ತವೆನಿಸುವಂಥಾ ಪದಗಳು, ಅದರ ಭಾವ, ಕಥೆಯ ಪಾತ್ರಗಳು, ಕಥೆಯ ನೀತಿ, ಎಲ್ಲವೂ “ಅದ್ಭುತ”.

ಕಥೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ಹಾಡಿನ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ಪದ್ಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಹೇಳುವ ಅವಶ್ಯಕತೆ ಏನೂ ಇಲ್ಲ.

ಆದರೆ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ನಾನು ಹೇಳಬಯಸುವುದು ಆರ್ಭುತನ ಕಥೆ. ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿ, ಅದರ ಕರು, ಕಾಳಿಂಗನೆಂಬ ಗೊಲ್ಲ, ಗಂಗೆ, ಗೌರಿ, ತುಂಗಭದ್ರೆ, ಸತ್ಯ ಇವುಗಳ ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಆ ಹುಲಿ ಮಾತ್ರ ಯಾಕೋ “ಕ್ರೂರ” ಹುಲಿಯಾಗೇ ಉಳಿದುಕೊಂಡಿದೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ “ಅರ್ಭುತ” ಎಂಬ star ಪಟ್ಟ ಸಿಗಲೇ ಇಲ್ಲ , ಸಿಕ್ಕೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿ ಅಂದಾಕ್ಷಣ ಹಸು, ಕಥೆ,  ಸತ್ಯ ನೆನಪಾಗುತ್ತೇ ಹೊರತು, ಅರ್ಭುತ ಎಂದಾಕ್ಷಣ, ಈ ಸತ್ಯದ ಕಥೆಯಾಗಲೀ, ಹುಲಿಯಾಗಲಿ ನೆನಪಾಗುವುದೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಈ ಕಥೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅರ್ಭುತನ ಪಾತ್ರ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯಷ್ಟೇ ಮಹತ್ತರವಾದದ್ದು ಅಂಬುದು ನನ್ನ ಅನಿಸಿಕೆ.

ಹಸಿದ ಹೆಬ್ಬುಲಿ, ಕೈಗೆ ಬಂದ ತುತ್ತನ್ನು, ಆ ಹಸು ತನ್ನ ಮಗುವಿನ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಹೇಳಿದೊಡನೆ, ಬಿಟ್ಟುಬಿಡುವುದು, ಸರಿ ಹೋಗಿ ಬಾ ಎಂದು ಕಳಿಸಿಕೊಡುವುದು, ಆರ್ಭುತನ ಹಿರಿಮೆ. ಪ್ರಾಯಶ:, ಹಸು ತನ್ನ ಮಗುವಿಗೆ ಹಾಲುಣಿಸಿ ಹುಲಿಯ ಬಳಿಗೆ ವಾಪಸ್ಸು ಬರುವುದು, ಈ ಹಿರಿಮೆಗೆ ಬೆಲೆ ಕೊಟ್ಟೇ ಅನ್ನಿಸುತ್ತೆ. (ಅಕಸ್ಮಾತ್ ಹಾಗೇ ಆಗಿದ್ದರೆ, ಈ ಕಥೆ ಸತ್ಯದ್ದಷ್ಟೇ ಅಲ್ಲ, ಕರುಣೆಯ ಹಿರಿಮೆಯ ಕಥೆಯೂ ಹೌದು.)

ಹಸು ವಾಪಸ್ಸು ಬಂದೊಡನೆ, ಅದರ ಸತ್ಯನಡೆಗೆ ಬೆಲೆ ಕೊಟ್ಟು, ತನ್ನ “ವ್ಯಾಘ್ರತನ”ವನ್ನು ಮರೆತು ಮುಂದೆ ಆ ಅರ್ಭುತ ನಡೆಯುವ ನಡೆ, ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ನಡತೆಯಷ್ಟೇ ಉನ್ನತವಾದದ್ದಲ್ಲವೇ? ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಪಾತ್ರ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ತನ್ನ “ಗೋ”ಸ್ವಭಾವವನ್ನು ಮೀರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಅರ್ಭುತನ ಪಾತ್ರ, ತನ್ನ ಸ್ವಾಭಾವಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಮೀರಿ ನಿಂತು “ಮೆರೆಯುತ್ತದೆ”. “ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತ”ನೆಂದು ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿ ಸತ್ಯವನ್ನು ನಡೆದರೆ, ಆ ಸತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ತಲೆ ಬಾಗಿ, ಮಣಿದು, ಆ ಸತ್ಯದ ಶಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಈ ಅರ್ಭುತ ಇನ್ನೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸುತ್ತಾನೆ ಅಲ್ಲವೇ?

ಗಯ್ಯಾಳಿಗಳ ರಂಗೋಲಿ

ಒಂದು ರಂಗೋಲಿ ಎಂದರೆ ಚುಕ್ಕೆ, ಗೆರೆ, ಬಣ್ಣಗಳ ಸಂಗಮ. ಬರಿಯ ಚುಕ್ಕೆಗಳನ್ನಿಡುವುದನು ನೋಡುತ್ತಿರುವವರಿಗೆ, ಕೊನೆಗೆ ರೂಪುಗೊಂಡ ರಂಗೋಲಿಯನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ವಿಸ್ಮಯವಾಗದೇ ಇರದು.
ಒಂದೊಂದು ಕತೆಗಳೂ, ಕಥೆಗಾರರೂ, ಹಾಗೆಯೇ…ಒಂದು ಜಾಗ, ಅದರ ಜನ, ಸಮುದಾಯ, ಪರಿಸರ, ಭಾಷೆ, ಅದರ ಹಾಗೂ ಅವರ ಇತಿಹಾಸ, ಪರಿಸರ, ಆರ್ಥಿಕ, ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ, ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿ, ಒಂದು ಮುಖ್ಯ ಘಟನೆ ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ ಚುಕ್ಕೆಗಳನ್ನಿಟ್ಟು, ಅವುಗಳನ್ನು, ಪಾತ್ರ, ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶ, ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆ, ವಾಕ್ಯ, ಅಧ್ಯಾಯಗಳ ಸೂಕ್ಷ್ಮ, ದಟ್ಟ ಗೆರೆಗಳಿಂದ ಕೂಡಿಸಿ, ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ, ಹಾಸ್ಯ, ಅಪಹಾಸ್ಯ, ವಿಡಂಬನೆ, ಸರಿ, ತಪ್ಪು, ಆದಿ, ಅಂತ್ಯ, ಭಾವನೆಗಳ ಬಣ್ಣ ತುಂಬಿ ಒಂದು ಸುಂದರವಾದ ರಂಗೋಲಿಯಂಥ ಕತೆಯನ್ನೋ, ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯನ್ನೋ ಕೊಡುತ್ತಾರೆ, ಅಥವಾ “ಕಟ್ಟುತ್ತಾರೆ”.
ಕಿರಗೂರಿನ ಗಯ್ಯಾಳಿಗಳು ಅಂಥ ಒಂದು ಕಥೆ, ಹಾಗೂ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅಂಥಹ ಕಥೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಟ್ಟುವ ಕತೆಗಾರ ಎಂದರೆ ತಪ್ಪಾಗಲಾರದು. ಅವರ ಕಥೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಬರುವ ಆ ಚುಕ್ಕೆಗಳು ಆ ಸಮಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬರೀ ಚುಕ್ಕೆ ಎನಿಸಿದರೂ, ಕಥೆಯ ಭಾಗವಾಗಿ ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ಅದು ಕಥೆಯ ಸಮಗ್ರತೆಯನ್ನು ಕಟ್ಟುವಲ್ಲಿ, ಎಷ್ಟು ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಎಂದು ತಿಳಿಯುತ್ತದೆ.
ಕಳೆದ ವಾರ ಈ ಕಥೆಯ ಆಧಾರಿತವಾಗಿ ಬಂದಿರುವ ಅದೇ ಹೆಸರಿನ ಫಿಲ್ಮನ್ನ್ ನೋಡಿದೆವು.
ಒಂದು ಸಿದ್ಧ ಕಥೆಯ ಲಾಭ, ಅನುಕೂಲತೆಗಳನ್ನು, ಹಾಗೂ ಅದನ್ನು ಸಿನೆಮಾಕ್ಕೆ ರೂಪಾಂತರಗೊಳಿಸುವಾಗ ಬರುವ ಸವಾಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಸುಮನಾ ಕಿತ್ತೂರ್ ರವರು ಹಾಗೂ ಶ್ರೀಧರ್ ರವರು ಸಮರ್ಥವಾಗಿ ಬಳಸಿಕೂಂದಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಸ್ವೀಕರಿಸಿ ಗೆದ್ದಿದ್ದಾರೆ.
ಪುಸ್ತಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರುವ , ಕೇವಲ ಓದಿ ಅನುಭವಿಸಬಹುದಾದ ಮೇಲೆ ವಿವರಿಸಿರುವ ಅನೇಕ ಚುಕ್ಕೆ-ಗೆರೆಗಳನ್ನ, ಕೆಲವೇ ನಿಮಿಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅಥವಾ ಒಮ್ಮೊಮ್ಮೆ ಕ್ಷಣಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನೋಡುಗನ ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ನಾಟುವಂತೆ, ಹಾಗೂ ಕಥೆಗೆ ನ್ಯಾಯ ಒದಗುವಂತೆ ಚಿತ್ರಿಸುವುದು ಸುಲಭದ ಮಾತಲ್ಲ. ಕಥೆಗೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಅದರ ಉದ್ಡೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಚ್ಯುತಿ ಬಾರದ ಹಾಗೆ ಕಥೆಯನ್ನ ತುಂಬಾ NEAT ಆಗಿ ಸಿನೆಮಾಗೆ ರೂಪಾಂತರಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಸುಮನಾರವರು ಹಾಗೂ ಶ್ರೀಧರ್ ರವರು. ರೂಪಾಂತಾರದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಿರಗೂರಿನ ಗಂಡಸರು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಮೈ ಕೈ ತುಂಬಿದ ಸ್ಫುರದ್ರೂಪಿಗಳಾಗಿರುವುದು ಮಾತ್ರ ಒಂದು ರಾಜಿ ಎನ್ನಬಹುದು.
ಬರೆದ ಕಥೆ ಓದುಗ ವರ್ಗವನ್ನು ಮಾತ್ರ ತಲುಪಬೇಕು. ಅದು ಒಂದು ಸೀಮಿತ ವರ್ಗ. ಸಿನೆಮಾ ತಲುಪಬೇಕಾದ ನೋಡುಗ ವರ್ಗ ತುಂಬಾ ತುಂಬಾ ವ್ಯಾಪಕ. ಕ್ಲಾಸು, ಮಾಸು, ಪಡ್ಡೆ ಹುಡುಗ ಹುಡುಗಿಯರು, YOUTH, ಅಭಿಮಾನಿ, ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ, ಸೆನ್ಸಾರ್, ಬಿಕೆಟಿ, ಹೈಕ, ವಿಮರ್ಶಕ.. ಹೀಗೆ ಒಂದಾ ಎರಡಾ? ಅದೂ ಇಂಥ ಸಿನೆಮಾಗೆ, ಓದುಗ ವರ್ಗಾನೂ ಸೇರಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತೆ. ಯಾರಿಗೂ ಅನ್ಯಾಯವಾಗದಂತೆ ನೋಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಚಿತ್ರ ತಂಡ ಪಟ್ಟಿರುವ ಶ್ರಮ ಮೆಚ್ಚುವಂತಾದ್ದು.
ಚಿತ್ರಕಥೆ, ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆ, ಪಾತ್ರ ಪೋಷಣೆ, ಛಾಯಾಗ್ರಹಣ, ವಸ್ತ್ರ ವಿನ್ಯಾಸ..ಎಲ್ಲವೂ ಟಾಪ್ ಕ್ಲಾಸ್.
ಆದರೆ ಹಿನ್ನಲೆ ಸಂಗೀತ…ಮಾತು, ದೃಶ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಮೀರಿದ ಭಾವನೆಗಳನ್ನು , ರಂಗೋಲಿಗೆ ಬಣ್ಣ ತುಂಬುವ ಹಾಗೆ, ಸಾಧು ತಮ್ಮ ಸಂಗೀತದ ಮೂಲಕ ಚಿತ್ರಕ್ಕೆ ಒಂದು ಬೇರೆಯದೇ ಆಯಾಮವನ್ನು ನೀಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅಷ್ಟಿಲ್ಲದೆಯೇ ಸೇಂಧಿ ಅಂಗಡಿ ಸುಟ್ಟ ಮೇಲಿನ ದಾನಮ್ಮನ ನೋಟಕ್ಕೆ ಶಿಳ್ಳೆ, ಒದ್ದೆ ಕಣ್ಣುಗಳು ಎರಡೂ ದಕ್ಕೀತೆ?
ಒಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ, ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಓದಬೇಕಾದ ಕಥೆಯನ್ನು, ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ನೋಡಲೇಬೇಕಾದಂಥ ಚಿತ್ರವನ್ನಾಗಿ ರೂಪಿಸಿರುವಂತ ಇಡೀ ಚಿತ್ರತಂಡಕ್ಕೆ ಅಭಿನಂದನೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಧನ್ಯವಾದ.



ಹೀಗೊಂದು ರೇಡಿಯೋ ಆಡ್:
ಅವಳು: ನನಗೆ ಇವತ್ತು ತುಂಬಾ ಖುಷಿ ಆಗ್ತಿದೆ!! ನಾವು commit ಆಗಿ 90 ದಿನ ಆಯ್ತು.
ಅವನು:ನನಗೂ ಅಷ್ಟೇ!! Lets celebrate. ಇವತ್ತು ಮಾಲ್, ಶಾಪಿಂಗ್, ಸಿನೆಮಾಗೆ ಹೋಗೋಣ.
ಅವಳು: ನಾನು ಯಾವ ಕಲರ್ ಬಟ್ಟೆ ಹಾಕ್ಕೊಳ್ಳಿ? yellow or pink?ಫೋಟೋ ಕಳ್ಸ್ತೀನಿ. ನೋಡಿ ಹೇಳು.
ಅವನು: yellow. ಡ್ರೆಸ್ ಮಾಡ್ಕೊಂಡ್ ಮೇಲೆ ಫೋಟೋ ಕಳ್ಸು.
ಅವಳು: ಮನೆಲಿ ಯಾರೂ ಇಲ್ಲ, ಫೋಟೋ ತೆಗೆಯೋಕ್ಕೆ.
ಅವನು: ಏನು? ನಿನ್ ಹತ್ರ front camera ಇರೋ ಫೋನ್ ಇಲ್ವಾ? ನಿನ್ ಹಳೇ ಫೋನನ್ನ olx ನಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾರಿಬಿಡು, ಹಾಗೂ ಹೊಸ ಫೋನ್ ತಗೋ.

ಇದಾದ ನಂತರ ಏನಾಯ್ತೋ ಅದು ಆಡ್ ಲೋಕಕ್ಕೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಗೊತ್ತು.
ಆದರೆ 90 ದಿನಗಳಾದ್ರೂ ತನ್ನ ಹುಡುಗಿಯ ಹತ್ರ ಯಾವ ಫೋನ್ ಇದೆ ಅಂತ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲದ ಹುಡುಗನ ಕಥೆ ನಿಜ ಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಗ್ಯಾರಂಟಿ ಗೋವಿಂದ.

ಅದಿರ್ಲಿ, ಈಗ ಮಾರಿಬಿಡುವುದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಬರೋಣ.
ಮಾರುವುದು …ಪರ್ವಾಗಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದ್ರೆ ಮಾರಿ”ಬಿಡು” ಅಂತ ಸಲೀಸಾದ, ನಿರ್ಭಾವುಕವಾದ, tag line ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನಂಗೆ ತುಂಬಾ ದಿನಗಳಿಂದ ತಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ “ಗಜಿಬಿಜಿ”.
ಆದರೆ ಮಾರಿ”ಬಿಡು”ವುದು ಹೇಗೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಜೇಬಿಗಷ್ಟೇ ಅಲ್ಲದೆ ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೂ ಹಿಡಿಸುತ್ತದೆ ಅನ್ನೋದನ್ನ OLX ತನ್ನ ಆಡ್ಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾರೀ ಜಾಣ್ಮೆಯಿಂದ, ಹಾಗೂ ಸಫಲವಾಗಿಯೂ ತೋರಿಸಿದೆ ಅನ್ನೋದರಲ್ಲಿ ಎರಡು ಮಾತಿಲ್ಲ. ಭಾವನಾತ್ಮಕವಾಗಿ ಮಾರಿ”ಬಿಡು” ಎಂದಾಗ ಗಜಿಬಿಜಿ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಸಡಿಲವಾಯ್ತಾದರೂ, ಗಜಿಬಿಜಿ ಮಾಯವಾಗಲಿಲ್ಲ.
ಒಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾರಿ”ಬಿಡು” ವಿನ ಬಗೆಗಿನ ಗಜಿಬಿಜಿ ನಡುವೆಯೂ, ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿನ ಹಳೇ ವಸ್ತುಗಳನ್ನ ನೋಡಿದಾಗ, ಅದರ ಮೇಲೆ “OLX” ಹಣೆಪಟ್ಟಿ, ಹಾಗೂ ತುದಿಯಲ್ಲೆಲ್ಲೊ, ‘ಛೇ! ಇದನ್ನ ಹೇಗೆ ಮಾರಿ”ಬಿಡು”ವುದು!!’, ಅನ್ನೋ ಸೂಕ್ಷ್ಮ ಅಕ್ಷರಗಳ terms and conditions ಕಾಣ್ಸತ್ತೆ ಅಂತ ನಿಷ್ಠುರವಾಗಿ, ಹಾಗೂ ಹೆಮ್ಮೆಯಿಲ್ಲದೆ ಹೇಳಬಲ್ಲೆ.

ನಮ್ಮನೇಲಿ, ಇತ್ತೀಚಿನವರೆಗೂ, ಹಳೇ ವಸ್ತುಗಳನ್ನ ಮಾರುವುದಿರಲಿ, ಕೊಡುವುದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮಾತಾಡಿದರೂ, ನಮ್ಮಜ್ಜಿ, “ನನ್ನನ್ನೂ ಕೊಟ್ಟುಬಿಡಿ ಅತ್ತಲಾಗೆ, ನಾನೂ ಬೇಡವಲ್ಲಾ”, ಅಂತ ಹೇಳೊದನ್ನ ಕೇಳ್ಬೆಕಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆಜ್ಜಿಯ ನೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಧಾರಾವಾಹಿಗೆ ಈಗ olx ಕೂಡಾ ಪ್ರಾಯೋಜಕರು. 🙂

ಅಜ್ಜಿ ಮಾತಿರ್ಲಿ, ಮಾರಿ”ಬಿಡು” ಶುರುವಾದಾಗಿಂದ, ನನ್ನ ಮನಸ್ಸಿನ “ಗಜಿಬಿಜಿ” ಯ ಒಂದೆರಡು “ವಟ ವಟ” ಇಲ್ಲಿದೆ.
ಬೇಕಾದದ್ದು ಮನೆಗೆ ಎಷ್ಟು ಅಗತ್ಯವೋ, ಹಾಗೆಯೇ ಇಷ್ಟು ದಿನ ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಿ, “ಈಗ” ಬೇಡವಾದದ್ದೂ ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ಅಷ್ಟೇ ಹತ್ತಿರವಾಗಿದ್ದ ಸಮಾಜ ನಮ್ಮದು.ಬೇಡದ್ದನ್ನು ಬೇರೆಯವರಿಗೆ ಕೊಟ್ಟರೆ, ಅದರ ಹಿಂದಿನ ಒಂಥರಾ guilt, ಆ ವಸ್ತುವಿನ ಜೊತೆಗಿನ ಭಾವನಾತ್ಮಕ ನಂಟು, ಇತ್ಯಾದಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಬೆಲೆ ಇದ್ದ ಸಮಾಜ ನಮ್ಮದು.

ಕೊಂಡುಬಾಕ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯ ಜೊತೆ ಬಂದ excessನ ಪರಿಣಾಮ ನಮ್ಮ ಈಗಿನ “ಮಾರು”ಬಾಕ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ ಎಂದರೆ ತಪ್ಪಾದೀತೆ? ಭಾವನಾತ್ಮಕತೆಯಿಂದ  ವ್ಯಾವಹಾರಿಕತೆಯೆಡಗಿನ ಕಡೆಗಿನ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಇದೂ ಒಂದು ಎಂದು ಈ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯ ಭಾಗವಾಗಿರುವ ನಮ್ಮೆಲ್ಲರ ಒಪ್ಪಿಗೆ / ಒಮ್ಮತ  ಅಂದರೆ ತಪ್ಪಾದೀತೇ?

ಫಸ್ಟ್ ರಾಂಕ್ ರಾಜು

ಇದು ಈ ಸಿನಿಮಾದ ವಿಮರ್ಶೆ ಅಲ್ಲ. ನಾನು ಸಿನಿಮಾವನ್ನು ಇನ್ನೂ ನೋಡಿಲ್ಲ.
ಆದ್ರೆ, ಸಿನಿಮಾದ ಟೈಟಲ್ನಿಂದ , ನನಗನ್ನಿಸಿದ್ದು, ಹಾಗೂ ನೆನ್ನೆ ನಡೆದ ಘಟನೆಯೊಂದು ನನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಉಂಟು ಮಾಡಿದ ಭಾವನಾ ಲಹರಿ ಇಲ್ಲಿದೆ.

ನೆನ್ನೆ ನಡೆದ ಘಟನೆ:
ಕಲೀಗ್ ಒಬ್ಬ ತನ್ನ ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿ ದಿನದ, ಮತ್ತು ನಂತರದ ತನ್ನ ನಾನಾ ಪಾನಲೀಲೆಗಳ ಅತಿರಂಜಿತ ಚಿತ್ರಣವನ್ನು ನೀಡಿದ. ಎಲ್ಲೆಲ್ಲಿ, ಎಷ್ಟೆಷ್ಟು, ಏನೇನು, ಯಾರ್ಯಾರ ಜೊತೆ, ಯಾರ್ಯಾರ ಇರುವಿಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ, ಯಾರ್ಯಾರಿಗೆ ತಿಳಿಯದ ಹಾಗೆ…ಹಾಗೆ, ಹೀಗೆ. ಮೊದಮೊದಲಿಗೆ ಉಪ್ಪಿನಕಾಯಿ ರುಚಿಯಾಗೇ ಇತ್ತು. ನಂತರ ಅದೇ ಊಟವಾದಾಗ ವಾಕರಿಕೆ ಬರಿಸುವಷ್ಟಾಯ್ತು. ತನ್ನ ಗತಕಾಲದ ವೈಭವದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಅವನಿಗೆ ಹೆಮ್ಮೆ ಇತ್ತು. ಆ ವೈಭವೋಪೇತ ಭೂತದ ಹೊರತಾಗಿಯೂ ತನ್ನ ವರ್ತಮಾನದ ಸ್ಥಿತಿಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆಯೂ ಹೆಮ್ಮೆಯಿತ್ತು. ಒಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ನಾವು ಕೆಲವರನ್ನು ಒಂದಷ್ಟು ಹೊತ್ತು ಅವನು ರಂಜಿಸಿದ್ದಂತೂ ಸುಳ್ಳಲ್ಲ.

ಪಾನಪುರಾಣದ ಅಂತ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ, ನನಗೆ ಅನ್ನಿಸಿದ್ದು..”ಅರೆ, ಇಷ್ಟು ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ಯಾರೂ ಸೀದಾ ಸಾದಾ ಪರಿಚಯಸ್ತ , ತಾನು ಕಷ್ಟ ಪಟ್ಟು ಓದಿದ್ದು, ಕ್ಲಾಸಿಗೆ ಫಸ್ಟ್ ಬಂದದ್ದು, ಹೇಳಿದ ಮಾತನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿದ್ದು, ತನ್ನ ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಹತೆಯ ಮೇರೆಗೆ ತಕ್ಕ ಕೆಲಸ ಗಿಟ್ಟಿಸಿದ್ದು, ಇದುವರೆಗೂ ಹೇಳೆ ಇಲ್ಲವಲ್ಲ. ಹೇಳಿದರೂ ಆ ಕಥನ ಇಷ್ಟು ರುಚಿಸಿಯೇ ಇಲ್ಲವಲ್ಲ..” ಎಂದು.

ಅದೇ ಕೌತುಕವನ್ನು ಅಲ್ಲಿ ನೆರೆದಿದ್ದವರಿಗೆ ಹೇಳಿದಾಗ, ಅವರು ಕೊಟ್ಟ ಉದಾಹರಣೆಯ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿ, ಆ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯು ಅದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮಾತಾಡಿದಾಗ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಗೋಚರಿಸಿದ ಜಂಭ, ಆಷ್ಟೆಲ್ಲಾ ಸಾಧಿಸಿದ ಹೊರತಾಗಿಯೂ ಆ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿ ಬಗೆಹರಿಸಲಾಗದ ಸಾಧಾರಣ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆ, ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಅಷ್ಟು ಸಾಧಿಸಿದ್ದರೂ ತಮ್ಮ ಹಾಗೂ ಆ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯ ವೃತ್ತಿಯ ಸಮಾನತೆ …ಹೀಗೆ ಆ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯ ನ್ಯೂನತೆಗಳ ಪಕ್ಷಿನೋಟವಾಗಿತ್ತೇ ಹೊರತು, ಆ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆಯ ಮೆಚ್ಚುಗೆಯ ಮಾತುಗಳಾಗಲೇ ಇಲ್ಲ.
ಆಗಲೇ ಕಣ್ಣಿಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದದ್ದು, “ಫಸ್ಟ್ ರಾಂಕ್ ರಾಜು” ಚಿತ್ರದ ಪೋಸ್ಟರ್.

ನಾನೂ ಒಂದು ಹಂತದಲ್ಲಿ ಫಸ್ಟ್ ಬಂದಿದ್ದೆ ಅಂತ ಹೇಳ್ಕೊಳಕ್ಕೆ ಭಯ, ಹಿಂಜರಿಕೆ, inferiority complex (ನಿಜ) ಆಗೋ ಅಂತ ಸ್ಥಿತಿ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣಾವಾಗಿದಿಯಾ ಅನ್ನಿಸತ್ತೆ.

ಶಾಲೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟ (drop outs) ಸಾಧಕರ, ಸೋತು ಗೆದ್ದವರ, ಮಧ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ, ಸಾದಾ ಸಿದಾ “ಫಸ್ಟ್ ರಾಂಕ್ ರಾಜು” ಗಳ ಜೀವನ ನಿಜವಾಗ್ಲೂ ಪಾಲಿಸಲು ಅಯೋಗ್ಯವೇ ಅಂತ ಅನ್ನಿಸತ್ತೆ.

“ನಾನ್ ಕ್ಲಾಸೇ ಅಟೆಂಡ್ ಮಾಡ್ತಿರ್ಲಿಲ್ಲ”, “ನಾನ್ ಎಕ್ಸಾಮ್ ಹಿಂದಿನ ದಿನ ಮಾತ್ರ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ತೆಗೀತಿದ್ದಿದ್ದ್ದು”, “ಒಟ್ಟಿಗೆ 16 ಪೇಪರ್ ಕ್ಲಿಯರ್ ಮಾಡಿದೆ”, ಹೀರೋಗಳ ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಮೊದಲಿಗ ನಿಜವಾಗ್ಲೂ ಮೊದಲಿಗನಾ ಅನ್ಸತ್ತೆ.

ಮೊದಲಿಗನಾದವನು ಎಂದಿಗೂ, ಎಲ್ಲಿಯೂ, ಮಂಚೂಣಿಯಲ್ಲಿದ್ದರೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಪ್ರಶಂಸಾರ್ಹ ಎಂಬ ಧೋರಣೆ ಸರಿಯಾ ಅನ್ಸತ್ತೆ.