Who Let The Wolves Out? – Part 3

Spaceless in time…

The door finally opened. It was unusually dark as we walked in.  A silky brush of something soft started falling over us.  As our eyes acclimatized, we realized that we were walking through a shower of rose petals.  We glided over the rose carpet towards the source of dim glow.  It was a trio of candles planted at the center of an exquisite table.  We occupied our chairs, breathed in the aroma and surveyed the surroundings.  It was at this table that Maharaja Umaid Singh entertained his stately guests.  Our butler docked his iPhone on to the music system.  It was the forgotten music of yesteryear.  As the four-course meal was marched in, I noticed the wine being poured had been transported from our room.  The butler hovered around, narrating anecdotes of his king.  Except this time, the tales were not about the palace construction, but all the roads, schools, parks… About how the king had gradually drained his treasury to give back to the society.

The wine was exclusive.  The food was exquisite.  The ambience was perfect.  The music was heavenly.  The stories were intriguing.  The attire was comfortable. The sandals were easy to slip off, and we played footsie after many years!  The years of monotony were broken.   Time hadn’t stood still after all.  It had traveled back to our early courtship years, meeting half-way the kings and queens portrayed on the walls.  Everything in the room was alive in that flickering glimmer.  I raised my glass to Ritu, posed for the camera, proposed a toast, and stared down at my half-full wine glass.  I had learnt my lesson.


And no, the lesson is not about how we view life – half-empty or half-full.  The above fairy-tale ending, heart-warming as it may be, has no magical takeaway.  I had done zilch to change my attitude, the credit went to the circumstances for transforming me.  A good story, like a river, loses its identity after reaching its destination. Instead, all the lessons reside in the river’s journey before it meets the ocean.

The truth is I alone was responsible for complicating my life.  If Air India misplaced our bags, all we had to do was stop at a store on our way to the hotel and buy some clothes.  If the trumpet welcome was unusually noisy, it also presented an excellent opportunity to snap out of the negative thought trails.  If the tour was unusually hot, is there any better way to enjoy a chilled sparkling glass of wine?  If I was skeptical about the king, why didn’t I seek clarifications from the tour guide then and there?  If the wine bottle had turned out to be uncommonly expensive, what worthier timing for this goof-up than our twentieth anniversary?  If the music in the room was mundane, wasn’t it a clue from heaven to indulge in more interesting things on our special day?

The point is each stand-alone setback, presented me with an opportunity to fix or workaround it in an incremental manner. Instead I allowed the mess to pile up.  Then the question arises, why didn’t I intervene in a timely fashion?  That’s because there is a natural inertia in human beings to intervene with the river of time, even when the ‘current’ is sweeping us away.  The time enslaves us as our present keeps going past into the future!  The query of ‘who let the wolves out’ is inconsequential; the real quandary is – how to rein in the uncaged beasts who keep hopping haphazardly between the present, past and future?  We are caught in a whirlpool of time, there is a need of an exit.

The universe, as we know it, is four-dimensional. The three-dimensional space that we are able to see, and the one-dimensional time that we are able to feel.  Let’s flip it.   How do we do it?  It’s simple, some of you in fact just did it a few moments back.   Visualize a river flowing from left to right.  Now imagine some past event that you believe holds future implication.  The upstream bend indicates past event, while the downstream fork represents future option.  The river bank closest to you reflects the present.  Now the vantage point from where you are viewing is one-dimensional, its virtual existence is merely a dot.  There you go – you got your flipped four-dimensional world:  the three-dimensional time that you are able to see, and the one-dimensional space that you are able to feel.

Now let’s break out of the drill.  What exactly did we accomplish?  Prior to the exercise, we were gasping for air in the river of time, we could only ‘feel’ time, and not actually ‘see’ it.  But for a few fleeting moments, we were no longer a victim rather an observer of the past, present and future in one continuity. (Just like how we experience space as a singular entity and not compartmentalized into x, y & z axis).  Yes, this four-dimensional flip requires art, and the subsequent analytics requires science.  But it is not as complex as it sounds.  It is one of those things that is easier done than explained.    The simplest place to start is by acknowledging the existence of these revised dimensions and then practicing this realization with case studies of occasional events.  My Umaid Bhawan story itself is an illustration of one such case study.

Sure, this continuum-of-time viewpoint may not have been an answer to all of Robin’s problems, but it could have presented him an opportunity to work-around his downers more objectively and emotionlessly.  There are countless individuals and corporates who do this flipping very efficiently without even realizing it.  In fact, if you managed to grasp the above blog in a single-read, then you already are a practitioner who often manages to collapse the learnings of the past and strategies for the future into the present actionable roster.

The “House” Winners: (from left): Akash Sundarani, Naresh Bhojwani, Khalid Imran (the best innovator), me, Nandini Singh & Urvi Ganatra.
Niyati Acharya & Rohan Shambharkar are missing in the photograph

That leaves only one unsolved mystery before we give this blog a river burial:  how expensive was the wine exactly?  Well, let’s just say some mysteries are too pricey and best left unresolved.



Bumps, Original, Style, Trial

8 Comments

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  1. Wow,

    That’s a good one, all I saw in the blogs were the question to find the negativity. with the options of Past, Present or the future. never looked at the simplicity of the situation.

    This blog is indeed the best I red so far. Thanks, looking forward to next twister.

  2. The palace is standing to umaid finally within this three part story.

    Robin’s one of the hobbies furthered the profession with his personal Midas touch. I feel he could have continued enjoying life with remaining.

  3. What a beautiful and a happy picture it is! 🙂

    We always have a choice and we can always choose to be happy and find the positive aspect of the situation which you have beautifully portrayed above.

    Happy Engineers Day to you sir.

    PS: Missed the photo-shoot

    • Wonderful thought.. its our choice that matters..whether to be happy or not..

      P.S: Will I miss the Dinner Coupons too..? 🙂 :)..

  4. Dwelling on the premise “Who let the wolves out: the Past, the Present or the Future?” and secretly hoping for a chance at the ‘Sindhi dinner coupons’, I was waiting for that perfect moment of inspiration to strike like a bolt of lightning that would impress the writer of the blog and capture the fancy of the other worthy crusaders on this fascinating quest. But that radical moment, much to my building restlessness, remained elusive. A lost opportunity at meeting a long revered idol ironically turned out to be the kindling spark I had been eagerly awaiting…

    Who let my wolves out: the unforgiving past, the nefarious present, the unfathomable future, or perhaps as previously suggested, an amalgamation of all, I can’t yet justify.

    On quiet introspection I realized that a reflection of the bygone created a restless present which propagated itself as an anticipation for the future that ultimately harnessed the tide of negativity unleashed by the combined prowess of the wolves and transformed it to a positive wave that tranquilized the internal unrest to a great extent and left in its wake a newborn which it christened, ‘hope’. Just as the combined forces of the past, present and future are responsible for letting the wolves out, it is these very combined forces that can tame them before they wreck havoc!

  5. Every work meeting left me thinking of our CEO to be tagged onto the lines of logic, opportunity – positivity and an out of the box thinking.
    All of a sudden the previous blog with a negative way of looking and blaming at things provoked a thought, of how a well-balanced personality could also get into the worldly emotional trap.
    Human after all!! Doctors as well can fall sick!! But yes, if you are a doctor, you get to that medicine box quicker and start on the treatment.
    There sure was to come along a different and positive perspective to look at things. And there this blog was! Not only this blog sailed all of us through a positive way of looking at every mishap but also gave a sneak peek of the efforts and passion with which the 20th wedding anniversary was planned.

    This was one of those blogs which goes wow!!

    My take from this blog – series
    When TIME never stops for us, why do we always wait for the RIGHT time. Time is never WRONG to do the RIGHT thing.

  6. In the beginning, let me be very honest in saying that I really enjoyed reading this piece, rather all your blogs. Not only because your blogs talk about an event or an incident, but also how avidly one can pen down those, the lessons learnt from them and the skills of sharing the learnings with others for their takeaways.
    Now the thoughts that crossed my mind after reading this blog……
    Well, it’s in human nature. We tend to get bogged down with events from the past and we drag it along to our present, no matter how consciously we try to keep up the quality of life high! Typically those are incidents, which have disturbed us or which did not go as planned. We all plan but are we really prepared for the worst? No, in many situations we are not. Hypothetically, we should stay calm; but we all forget this theory when we have a situation. So what do we do now?…….Let it be our professional life or personal, keep learnings from those unanticipated events, not Judge, and live for the present and yearn for the future.

  7. Dear Arun

    That is one of the most amazing reads in a long time.

    Best

    Dhruv

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Who Let The Wolves Out? – Part 3 | Arun Nathani Blog