I am sure the sentiment is shared by many who had disproportionately higher share of chequeredness in their respective careers. And questions abound. What gets one closer to the seat of power? And the fruits it has to offer. How come many a consistent hoppings we do that could teach the champion kangaroo a trick or two, singularly fail us to take us further and higher?
To begin with the answer is darn simple. Its made complex by know-alls or know-nothings or know-halves or know-half-but-don’t-know-which-halfs. That means virtually all of us. Only a select few (one-in-a-million, according to some researches) know what it is and benefit from it. Despair not for now the secret will be revealed. Get ready to enjoy the alluring and elusive fruits of power, which till now, we only fantasized about. From the story of 5 brothers who lost everything in a bitter power struggle with their conniving cousins and had to spend 12 years in exile and 1 year in anonymity to learn the tricks of the trade to have a go at the throne. (You, oh lucky reader, need only the next 60 seconds to know what it takes).
For a good 11 years 11 months (to the 11th hour that is) the brothers kept shaking their heads in disbelief wondering what went wrong for such fate to befell them. Instead of enjoying the fruits of power they are on foot wandering in forests teeming with wild beasts, poisonous ivies, long days, dark nights and meandering thorny paths.
“What have we done wrong? We had everything going for us. We are the good ones. Lived by book almost and asked for what rightfully belonged to us. We are blessed by elders. Seen as a beacon of hope by our subjects. We were loved almost universally. Yet….”
Words failed them and they continued their journey part lamenting their fate and part taking in the beauty of nature, which otherwise the trappings of a life happily lived in palaces amongst seemingly well-wishers deprived them of. (Ah, the “in-between jobs” time)
While ruing thus and traveling further one day they came across a tree with one fruit on it. It looked like a fruit for gods, and indeed it was, which they didn’t know at that time. Draupadi, their illustrious wife, feeling hungry by the long walk, said “I want it”.
Her wish was their command and in a second the fruit made its way into her hand. She was on the verge of biting it.
Krishna, their mentor materialized there.
“Stop” he said. “This fruit belongs to Durvasa, the angry saint. He alone decides who he wants to give it to, and any ignoramus trying to savor it without his consent or know will get to know what living hell means”. “Put it back. Else you will have to face his wrath, for he is known to be short tempered.”
“How?” cried all in unison. “How on earth can we put the plucked thing back?”
“Don’t worry. It needs to be offered the accumulated karma of your good deeds. Powered by that, this fruit here will go back and attach itself to the tree. All will be well.”
So first comes Draupadi, and offers her good karma, a result of her Chastity.
The fruit raises few feet in the air, well short of the branch its plucked from. Shocked she looks at her husbands! “Oh, I thought the power of my karma alone will do the trick! Alas, such is not the case” The eldest brother Dharmaraja, epitome of Integrity, steps forward. Offers his bit and lo, the fruit still is far from being happily hanging in its original un-plucked state. One by one the remaining 4 brothers, each bringing to the table Strength, Valor, Humility and Trust do their bit, but the sum total of their contribution was still a few feet short. Steps forward Krishna, the wise and guile mentor and offers part of his good karma and the fruit attaches itself to the tree, nothing amiss, everything as before.
“Wow! This is a miracle. How in heavens did that happen?” 6 voices rose in unison above the din of the forest sound FX.
“Don’t worry; that there is Durvasa making his way to the tree now. We will talk after paying our respects to him”. Durvasa came. Durvasa saw. Durvasa conferred, the fruit unto the 5 brothers and their wife. “I know what happened. But you have collectively made the impossible possible, so you have earned it. Eat it. The effects of it will last on you forever and you will enjoy the benefits of the throne shortly. Everything will work out smoothly henceforth.” Thus speaking the good and soothing words, the short-tempered but benevolent sage vanishes.
Content, with the vision of a good life ahead and the sweet taste of the fruit, the 5 brothers and their wife turn to Krishna their mentor, for enlightenment.
“Power”, said Krishna seating himself comfortably under the blessed tree, “is mistaken to be an easy prey to only one thing or the other from the following.”
“Trust. Humility. Integrity. Strength. Chastity. Valor. (THIS CV)”
“You need a bit of guile to navigate through to the final course. In its absence everything else falls short of the ultimate goal. All the efforts come to naught. You are on the throes of Kaliyuga. The going will be tougher if you continue in the same naïve belief of THIS CV helping you. The dice will be loaded against every-time and you need to adopt new strategies. Add a dash of stealth; pepper it with practicality and the purpose will be served.”
“I hope the path ahead is clear for you and that you have got your priorities right. Use this time to work on your weaknesses, add to your network, marshal troops and you will see what lies ahead. I as your mentor can see it. Glory be to thee!”
Oh wise reader, the era of Mahabharata has long ended. Kaliyuga has indeed entered. THIS CV is now some 3000+ years past its expiry date. It was once a necessary condition but not sufficient to get you what you desired. Now it’s an invalid anachronism.
So shed that path and tread a new course. Find a mentor. Network. Show stealth and beguile the shrewdest of your peers (or competing cousins). Glory, truly be, to thee.