"When you assume negative intent, you're angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed." Indra Nooyi


Modern Bhishma

On 11 Nov, 2017 | No comments

When Rishi Ved Vyas wrote Mahabharata, he was clear that he is going to write a book (or MahaKavya as they call it) which will cover ever personality, every possibility, every permutation and every physical being. In other words, what is there in Bharata is in Mahabharata, if it isn’t in Mahabharata it’s not in Bharata. One of the grandest character he penned was Devavrata (the future Bhishma). This character was epitome of self-control, rightness, knowledge, bravery, you name and he had it all in abundance. He was blessed with wish-long life. He lived all his life serving Hastinapur Throne in the best way possible however last few days of his journey of life were full of pain and repentance. He spent his last 10 days of life at bed of arrows. At times, we all wonder whether he deserve all this pain and agony??How can a pious soul like him should suffer all this??

With very limited knowledge of mine around Mahabharata, top 3 probable reasons which I am able to make out for all his sufferings are:

  1. Taking a vow on the spur of the moment without foreseeing future impact (when he took vow of celibacy)
  2. Not raising his voice at right time (Attempt to disrobe Draupadi was made in his presence)
  3. Not retiring


As I mentioned in the beginning of this article what is there in Bharata is in Mahabharata, if it isn’t in Mahabharata it’s not in Bharata once again history is repeating itself. This time story is retold via N.R. Narayana Murthy and his latest public spat with Board Members of Infosys.

He decided to retire on 20th Aug’06, the day he was turning 60, as per the company policy. He decided to follow company policy (vow) without taking into consideration whether he is mentally ready to step down and handover his grown-up baby (Infosys) to people who were not there when this baby was conceived. It is a difficult decision to take because deciding to retire means going into oblivion. For successful people, taking this decision is like first death. As Ravi Shastri rightly mentioned during one of our conversation around retirement of Sachin Tendulkar. He said that successful sportsmen die twice. First death comes when they decide to retire and second death which everyone dies. Same can be said about Mr. Narayana Murthy, though he decided to retire however he was not able to detach himself from day to day activities of Infosys. He wanted to have a say in every decision taken inside Infosys and when ignored, retaliated with public attack on Sikka, his successful successor. He was not able to digest a fact that somebody else may take Infosys to greater heights without Narayan Murthy being at helm of affairs. He never raised his voice when new management decided to bring changes in hierarchical structure and revise salary structures as per the international market standards.

The recent study conducted by Economics Times in partnership with a private research firm found that only 4% of family businesses survive by the time they reach in the hands of 3rd generation. 70% of businesses start dying a slow death as soon as second generation takes over. The reasons may be many however one thing is clear Investors are interested in returns. They hardly bothered whether business is run by Lala ji ka beta or an IIM, IIT wizard.

As Shakespeare said
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;

Every entrepreneur or for that matter every successful person need to accept that there will come a time when you have to say Good Bye to thing(s) which you loved the most in their life. If they choose to ignore it, last phase of their otherwise glorified journey would be difficult and painful, trust me, watching fall of a gracious soul is not a pleasant site for anybody.

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