Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chetan Bhagat @ Symbiosis Pune - Awesome Speech.

Thanks to Ramanan uncle for sharing this speech.
Earlier, in this blog, I've written an honest review about Mr Bhagat's latest book. That still holds true.
But this speech really makes a lot of sense. Fabulous!!

Thanks Chetan. You're a fabulous speaker!
__________________________________________________

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates - there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party â€" several months in advance â€" just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.
I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost. So how to save the spark?
Imagine the spark to be a lamp's flame. The first aspect is nurturing - to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms.
To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn't any external measure - a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.
Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn't the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr. Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won't be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday? They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive. Just getting better from current level s feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.
Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature's design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don't just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.
Ther e is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.
You must have read some quotes - Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school, where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.
One last thing about nurturing the spark - don't take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said - don't be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worke d up? It's ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.
I've told you three things - reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don't go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades â€" how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it's life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember - if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that's where you want to be.
Disappointment' s cousin is frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don't know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me fi ve years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved â€" movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result â€" at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan â€" I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life - friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Unfairness - this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it â€" not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you. In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty damm lucky by Indian standards. Let's be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don't. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don't get literary praise. It's ok. I don't look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It's ok. Don't let unfairness kill your spark.
Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. . And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.
There you go. I've told you the four thunderstorms - disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.
I welcome you again to the most wonderful years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, your eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying - I come from the land of a billion sparks.
Thank You.

78 comments:

ambika said...

Lovely!!

pawan said...

Wonderful!!!
gr8 spech

AntarDhvani said...

nice one...

Avi said...

well said !!!!!!

pawan.e said...

marvelous speech.a ten pointer :P

Sujeet Singh said...

Sensible && Touching speech

Saimanohar said...

Great speech indeed

mradhip said...

A speech with a spark..!!

Anonymous said...

Nice speech, try saying this to someone who has a family of 5 to support. Try saying this to somene who hass been looking for a job for many years. Say this to someone who has failing health. Say this to someone who has lost his love, or try saying this to a young Chetan.

It is always great to hear nice words from someone who has made it.

I am a very optimistic person, but, I am a realist too.

Ady said...

@Anonymous - Even they might draw strength from this. Why is realism always so much pessimism?

Abhi said...

Thank you so much for sharing it. Really brilliant only if we can learn from it.

And @ Anony: Doode?

Gaurav_M said...

Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.
There you go. I've told you the four thunderstorms - disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.


okayyy!

SUHANI said...

hats off to u sir! I guess today evryone need ds light of nowledge to understand wat lyf is and hw it shud b lived... n ur speeh is truely lyk a sun... cn lyt d whole nation if dey follow ur words! Thnks!

Anonymous said...

It was awesome! Wonderful!

pranks said...

it was really awesome and create spark inside me

subir said...

Really he has eyes to see,brain to understand & a nice heart to express.....

gagan said...

awesome speech..........the one that can come only from a guy with such vivid experiences and who is full of sparks himself.



chetan bhagat ....... u rock!!!

rahul said...

gr8 understanding....
nice speech ...
he rocksssss!!!!!!

rahul said...

I come from the land of a billion sparks.
gr8 speech

prabhjeet said...

spark!!! would be a understatement, chetan keep the FIRE with in u alive.....

bhavin said...

accepted whole heartedly. . thank u!!

khalidonmove said...

Excellent motivational speech....

Anonymous said...

The advice seems to be DONT BE SERIOUS BE SINCERE. How about not being serious about being sincere???

manish said...

awesome speech...........
impliment in life

manish said...

manish chauhan:
awesome speech ......

Anonymous said...

Guys wake up and do not fall into these traps. This guy lost his sleep when he did not get credit and money for 3 idiots.

roopa said...

Wow!!!!!!!! Loved it...Especially this quote "Love yourself first, and then others.":-)

Renju said...

Great Speech

Vishakha said...

amazing n motivating speech...

rahul said...

wonderfull!! an eye opener for everyone! thanks.

Nikhil said...

good one........
keep it up...........

Chetan verma said...

I have gone through a chapter in my course book there is a line "India ko ek engine ki talaash hoti hai wo hamesha ek aisa banda thundta hai jo usko provogue kare" written by "Bhartendu Harishchandra"

yaaru kabhi apne aap kuch observe karke sikh liya karo.

Kuch to apni jindagi me sikha hoga us par dyaan kar liya karo kisi aur ke experience par jina chod do.....Apne ko pehachaano ...................

Chetan Verma
Fashion designer

Mohul Ghosh said...

awesome speech sir jee.. thanks a lot for sharing.. can i have your email id? my id is xtraordnary@gmail.com ..

Faran said...

simply splendid and very impressive . One should read this article every 2 week
s to avoid the 4 storms. Faran Farooqui. Pakistan

killi said...

wonderfull saying... your words, frustration done something changes in my life..
THANKS..
THANKS U ONCE AGAIN..

killi said...

Fantastic saying....
frustration with love..

Smruti said...

Lovely write up.... Will surely Try to Love myself and then others... Lets see if things get better!!!!

Super Download Plus said...

Really wonderful and inspirational speech.
Especially, my favorite part is, "Don't be serious, be sincere".
Hat's off to you Mr. Bhagat, you are really a wonderful writer

@bh! said...

thanks chetan ... u r a youth icon..u definately r!!.. nd the speech is a 'must read'

amrutha said...

i really love to have people like u to awake so many people

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a true selfish and egocentric person. Reminds me of the time you said that India should give away Kashmir since it is too expensive for us to defend and I am not surprised to see that your view on family corroborates that thought. "Love yourself and then others." That was perhaps the most evil thing to say. I'm sure that people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa would be thrilled to hear such thing. Maybe you can count your family as others but a lot of Indians think otherwise.
Furthermore, please don't compare your fickle minded nature to that of people who have stuck to their field through thick and thin. You are not writing for bollywood to take a step further, you just think there is more money in that.
And no I'm not a fan of your novels, they don't even compare to the comic books I read in my second standard.

Shiloa said...

Thats really an ignition for starters and a motivation for the rest of us !

sushil said...

as good as he ,,,,,,,,,,,,motivated one

shruti said...

To be very true, I found my spark dying today. After reading this speech, I am geared up again to put all my efforts into what all I do today. I will succeed !! Thanks Chetan, you are an Inspiration :)

Suman said...

"Don't be serious, be sincere" is the WAY TO GO man. Chetan Bhagat you might not get literary praise but you definitely do know how to reach a person's heart through your writing.

@Anonymous..
You just didn't seem to understand his statement about being sincere and not serious. It simply means that is okay to laugh and joke while ur AT something "serious", as far as u do the work sincerely.

He's inspiring the nation and, yes you are entitled to your own opinion but thats enough right... just give it up. Point is, he is where he is and you are... umm.. what again? "Anonymous" right? :)

Apoorva said...

anamika
"LUV URSELF FIRST AND DEN OTHERS"
is the best line i have ever read....m 16 right now and good at drawing and painting. after reading this speech of yours i have taken a pledge that i will always keep the artist alive who lives inside me.I will never make that artist die.
Thanks sir.......and you are really awesome

Santosh Kumar said...

gr8 piece of writting..I really love to readt it.

Prabhleen Kaur said...

a heart touching speecch

kranti ardhi said...

hi sir....
its ooossumm speech iiii haver had in our school and collage ...

grate thought sir.....

ruella said...

Awesome!

Hemant said...

great chetan bhagat what a wonderful
writer and speaker.

Hemant said...

Hey you are really a great writer and speaker.chetan bhagat really love u

Arif said...

one awesome line
" There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup."

Gr8

Tanaya said...

Lovely.. I wish everybody should try to concern about their SPARK and nurture it :)

RKGOEL said...

Thank u sir, for giving the light for my spark. I will guard it at all now.

kesavan said...

Great speech!. It's 100% fact.

Shashi said...

Superb.... :) Very close to life...

Mayuresh Pokharankar said...

Hi,
It would be my great pleasure if you can review my book THE COMICAL SAGA.
Regards,
Mayuresh Pokharankar
mayuresh.pokharankar@yahoo.com

RAVI KUMAR said...

superb speech by chetan sir

i really motivated from ur speech

i will keep my spark till end of 2500 weakends.

Kaustubh said...

the best speech I have ever heard...

Unknown said...

Chetan is a very fantastic speaker and writer. Great Speech. More is welcome. -Bimal

Rozat said...

I don't know what this comment matter to you but at this hard time in my life when four storms are trying to defend me,few of your words bring the spark back to me.....thanks :)

Rohit said...

An awesome Inspiring Speech.

Sanjana Rastogi said...

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome.

aLKa said...

Chetan Bhagat u r a gr8 speakr nd writer u know d way to connect to hearts ur speech inspired me a lot.......keep gong....

aLKa said...

Chetan Bhagat u did a gr8 job ur speech inspired me a lot....awesum.....

Mahesh Reddy said...

this speech tell how to keep spark alive in life be alive in life like the spark ...........

Madhumita Krishnaswamy said...

Thanks a lot chetan .. This speech has really motivated me..
I love ur revolution 2020...

Rabia Khan said...

i know how much these comments matter for u so its really need to say something real like ur speech...

nice meeting u sir by ur speech... Thanks!!!

alone forever said...

have a nice day,
thanks for sharing your exp. and to guide the indian youth who r expecting too much from their life and have no time for social and personal life. it will work as ray of sun when anyone will be disappointed
thanks

Capt. Ajit Vadakayil said...

Hi,
Times magazine blue eyed boy , and multinational corporate mouthpiece Chetan bhagat has been afforded an unprecedented marketing blitzkrieg, never seen before in india, for his book “ what young Indians want”.
He is John Galt’s ( of Ayn Rand fame ) and Walmart’s man rolled into one.
Punch into google search PERCEPTION AND RELATIVITY- VADAKAYIL, to check out a direct question to GURU chetan.
Capt ajit vadakayil
..

shubham waghmare said...

absolutely inspired.......

Suvidhya Rane said...

Really you inspired me. I was frustrated from so many days. It was really nice. Thank you SIR.

Hari Dass Jaughal said...

nice points chetan sir........ u always inspire everyone towards a bright way.....I hope u are coming with ur next book so soon..... because we all are waiting for one more wonder

Manjula Reddy said...

awesome sir

Phil Zandrex Esperidion said...

I've heard a similar speech bofore...
indeed.. HEALTH is MORE IMPORTANT than WEALTH... :)

Phil Zandrex Esperidion said...

For those who have no faults.... you cast the first stone..

mirzan abdul latif said...

WOW