Sunday, November 25, 2007

Serendipity, the art of making an unsought finding

Now, it seems like I’ll get a bit more frequent here. Here, I’m with another post of mine; and this time it is inspired by (but not based on) the movie, which I saw yesterday, “Serendipity”. This movie was suggested to me by numerous of my friends but I didn’t get a chance to watch it, until recently. As a film, it is not very out-of-the-world sort of, however it has serendipitously, much resemblance to the bollywood film-making.

Anyways, the film has defined Serendipity as the fortunate accident and this is the most beautiful part of this term. It is an accident but a fortunate one; it’s like searching for something but ending up getting something else which makes even more sense to you. It’s nothing but prophesying that “Good Shit Happens”. As a famous scholar holds the view that a lot more decisions are made on serendipity than people think. According to him, things come across their radar screens and they jump at them. Regarding my belief in it, I would say that I don’t have many such moments to cherish but I still have faith in it and believe that someday, something will happen; which would make me stand in the likes of S.N.Bose, Louis Pasteur, Christopher Columbus and Alexander Fleming; the people who have experienced, felt and enjoyed the gifts of serendipity.

One aspect of serendipity to bear in mind is that you have to be looking for something in order to find something else. This peculiarity makes serendipity a very beautiful phenomenon. One more feature which adds to its beauty is the timing. You get things, when they were least expected. However, not everyone is blessed with it. I was going through one of the blog of my friend, titled “Good Shit Happens” and he pointed out following things which he experienced: Failing to secure a slot in the class he wanted only to find out later that the professor for that class flunked 3/4 of the students. Waiting patiently in a long queue when the cashier at the next freshly opened counter calls his attention to be her first client. He was the last person to get his waitlist cleared in IIT-Bombay.

Now, let me share true incidents of my life, which were very similar to all this but having different outcomes. So, have a taste as how the life may look like without serendipity: Today was for the fifth time when I bunked a class and had surprise quiz in the same lecture. Waiting in a long queue and by the time I reach the counter, there are lunches or breaks or offs at the counter. This one has happened for so many times that I even lost the count. Thirdly, at the end of admissions procedure, I was Waitlist No. 1 for IIM-Ahmedabad.

Well, I was the victim of Murhpy’s law or Zemblanity (though I've no regrets for any of those things which didn't happen because I believe that whatever happens, happens for a reason and whatever doesn't happen, was never meant to happen) but the matter of fact is, even serendipity doesn’t happen with everyone and of course, not every time. One more thing, there is a fine line between serendipity and stalking. So, beware of that too. Despite all this, I hereby want to appreciate my encounters (which are though very few in numbers) with serendipity. One of them occurred to me few hours back which acted as the second trigger (after the movie) for me to scribble here. It all started with me participating in an online event of a b-school fest. While filling up the form, I messed up something in the column of e-mail address and hence the automatic acknowledgment mail bounced back to the organizers. They, being responsible organizers, saw that and tried contacting me. One of them called me up and notified me about this. Hearing a female voice, like a typical guy, I didn’t right-away disconnect the call rather I started asking her about the event format and all obvious-but-relevant stuff. Suddenly, she asked me if by any chance, I’ve ever been to Mussoorie. Listening to my awe-struck yes, she said that she is the girl who defeated me in the Chess Finals at Woodstock in an Inter-School Tournament (after which we became good friends). That day, we went for the prom together and later, exchanged our phone numbers (that was a no-mobile phone era) however we could never talk because I miswrote her number and when she tried to call me up after two weeks, my numbers were changed. Now, here we meet again; this is what I call a pure serendipity – getting something when it was least expected. And, yeah at least I don’t find any logic behind this kind-of incident. If you can find any other good reason, then you possess full right to disagree to me.

So, I would just conclude saying that all the time, Serendipity is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time - namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.


Patchez said...

Ahaan..?? :)

very insightful.. so if id ask for a favour.. why don u write something about synchronicity??

Kalyan Shivamurthy .................................................... said...

Nice one....
Its serendipity when the outcome is fortunate.... what is it when the outcomes are unfortunate (as in my case!)