मी रिकाम्या कागदाचा
आदर करायला तयार आहे
मी लेखणीतल्या शब्दांचा
भार उचलायला तयार आहे
कविता जगून मग लिहीन
ही प्रतिज्ञा करतो मी
सर्वात वरून येणारीच
ही आज्ञा पाळतो मी
शाईने उतरवलेल्या विचारांची
जबाबदारी साधी नसते
‘कचरा’ म्हणून लिहिलेली
कविता ही रद्दी नसते
शब्दात बसवायचा प्रयत्न करतो
आज परत बऱ्याच दिवसांनी
मी कवि बनायचा प्रयत्न करतो
– मयुरेश कुलकर्णी
आज कोण जाणे कुठे कविता हरवली होती
तीने कागदापासून दूर मान फिरवली होती
कुठल्याही चौकटीत बसेल कशी ती, ज्या
कवितेत मी बंडखोरी मिसळली होती
बाजारात वाढला खोट्याचा भाव जेव्हा
देवांनी सत्य खोटी म्हणून खपवली होती
समजून घेतलेच नाहीस अर्थ तू कधी
उगीच तुला एखादी ओळ आठवली होती
ज्या कवितेत मी पाहिलेच नाही स्वत:ला
ती मी देवाकडे परत पाठवली होती
विसरायचेच असल्यास सगळेच विसरूयात
कारण सुकलेल्या वृक्षाला माती विसरली होती
ते माझ्या पापांच्या करत होते याद्या
त्यांच्या पापांची त्यांनी पुस्तके लपवली होती
आता तोल सांभाळून उभे शब्द खंबीर जिथे
आधी अदृश्य शाई कागदावर घसरली होती
– मयुरेश कुलकर्णी
मी बाहेर पण नव्हतो, आत नव्हतो
त्यांच्यात बसून, त्यांच्यात नव्हतो
जगलो त्या तुटणाऱ्या ताऱ्याप्रमाणे
मिणमिणत्या दिव्याची वात नव्हतो
त्यांनी चांदणे विजवून टाकले तरी
एकटीच रडणारी मी रात नव्हतो
अफवात सत्य विरघळून गेले होते
चार-चौघांना पटेल अशी मी बात नव्हतो
ही लढाई कदाचित माझी नसावी
न मी विजय होतो, मी मात नव्हतो
काही गोष्टी असतात निश्चित मुत्युएवढ्या
तुला सोडून जाणारा मी हात नव्हतो
वेडेपणा जपून मी वय वाढवत होतो
मी चुकूनही हुशारांच्या वादात नव्हतो
दिलास जेव्हा तू हातात हात माझ्या
माझ्यात असलेला मी, माझ्यात नव्हतो
– मयुरेश कुलकर्णी
संपवता आलं नाही तरी सुरू करावं थोडंसं
वाटलं आज तुझ्यासाठी लिहावं थोडंसं
मरणारे त्यांच्या कार्यामुळे जगतात
जगणाऱ्यांनी पण जगावं थोडंसं
व्याकरणाच्या चूका काढतील सारेच
कविता कोण वाचतय, बघावं थोडंसं
ओठांना मी परवानगी दिली नाही कधीच,
की तुझ्या विरूध्द त्यांनी बोलावं थोडंसं
माझ्या कवितेला ताल नसला तरी
अश्रुंनी बेताल शब्दात, डोलावं थोडंसं
आंधळे बघतात स्वप्ने सप्तरंगी
डोळस हुशारांनाही दिसावं थोडंसं
ती हसायची लोकांची सवय सभ्य नाही
देवानेही रडणाऱ्याबरोबर रडावं थोडंसं
संपल्यावरही माझी जीवन-कविता
स्वार्थ इतकाच की, तू वाचावं थोडंसं
एक मात्र जगाचा कायदा असा आहे
मी रडताना इतरांनी हसावं थोडंसं
मुरले नाहीत हे शब्द भिकारी कुठेही
तरी पोचलं पाहिजे असं पोचावं थोडंसं
– मयुरेश कुलकर्णी
“There is this new website that you should visit”, or “I think you will like this movie”, or “Remember you told me you could not do XYZ with your bank, here is a bank that has that facility”…I think recommendations is a currency in itself. Not money, but attention. If I recommend something to you (a video, a book or anything) I am asking for your attention. I am asking you to invest your time in something that I think you will like.
There is a risk involved when I recommend something. If I ask you to watch a video, and you like it, then you will pay more attention next time I recommend something. If you don’t like the video and feel that it is a waste of your time, you will ignore me (or will take longer to see/hear what I have said) next time. It is very human to do that. There are a lot of things that we can invest our time in and time is limited, so we prioritize. I daresay attention spans are not uniformly decreasing. The key word is uniformly. We are getting better at filtering things that we don’t like, spending less time on them and giving them less attention. If I don’t like Italian food (let’s say) then I will not waste time in reading adverts about that. But the flipside is if I like something, I will spend more time on it. I will visit your website everyday, if you do something interesting everyday. Our attention has become very selective, lazy and expensive.
I don’t watch the movies that friend ‘X’ recommends (even if I may like movies) because our tastes are very different. But I may go out of my way to see a play (even if I may not like plays) just because friend ‘Y’ said it was good. By default, we seem to maintain a mental score on who is recommending us good stuff to invest our time in and who is “wasting” our time. This internal score is prone to outliers too. If the friend, who generally recommends things that I don’t like, introduces me to something I really like, he has surprised me. His score in my mind increases because of this one recommendation. The same thing happens if someone with my taste in music (or anything) makes me listen to a song I don’t like.
It is not just about the mental score. We also consider about who is recommending stuff to us. I may listen to Bob Dylan just because Steve Jobs listens to him and I am a big fan of Steve Jobs. I will read Khalil Gibran, because another author I like said that he got his inspiration from Gibran. Hero-worship plays a huge part in our selections.
The same thing happens from an artist’s point of view. If I am an author and want you to read my book, I need to make it interesting. If I am a singer and sing one song badly, you will remember that when someone recommends my next album to you. You are probably reading this note because you like my previous writing or because a friend you trust has direct you to this.
Another interesting thing is that we know all this when we recommend something to someone. We consider all the scenarios mentioned above, without even thinking about them. So the next time you think that, you liking something or not is purely your decision…think again!
Thank you and Sorry
I, and many other people, complain that these two words are losing their meaning because they are overused. I myself use them quite a lot and try to express gratitude or an apoplogy every time I say/type them. But it is difficult to convey the message even if you mean it, because other people use it when they don’t mean it.
So here is a simple suggestion. Instead of just saying ‘thanks’ or ‘sorry’ try to make a sentence out of it. Say something like “Thank you for caring” or “Thank you for being there when I really needed you” or “I tried my best, but I am sorry that I could not help you” or “I am sorry that you feel that way, but here is what I think…” I think this is important in telling the other person that you mean it. Making a sentence summarizes what you are thankful or sorry for and hence tells the listener that you have thought about him. A dead-ended ‘sorry’ is meaningless, but saying why you are sorry tell someone that you have understood his/her views. The downside is that if you have not understood their perspective, then you will get caught easily. I think that makes it more genuine.
I hope many people don’t start using this tip, because overuse may ruin it too. But if you are really thankful or really sorry, say it like you mean it.
Thank you for your time.
Price and/or Value
I am sure you have heard this argument (or discussion) many times, so I will keep it short. People who make buying decisions simply based on price tags, know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
If you want to buy a pen you can pick one up for Rs.10 or spend Rs.15000 (on a Mont Blanc). The same is true for cars, computers, handbags, sunglasses, cat food, clothes and every other thing. Some people buy expensive coffee or wine, not necessarily because it tastes better but, because when they share it with their friends, they feel better about themselves. The value of showing off your riches to your guests comes at the price of getting an independent house in a crowded city like Mumbai or Tokyo. The ‘feel good’ factor of using a paper bag instead of a plastic one, comes at a lower cost. In short, most people buy stuff based on the value. The ‘why’ sometimes means more than the ‘how much’.
There is another problem with the price. If you buy something because it is free with something (or something is free with it), do you really value it? The same thing is with a discount. Asking for discounts can be an endless negotiation, which usually ends in you buying something just because the price was low or saying “I really liked it, but he only gave me a 10% discount when I could have had 15%.” In both cases the object that you want to buy has lost value even before you buy it. You bought it as a trophy of the negotiation war that you won or gave it up as a loss. I doubt anyone would sell anything at a loss, so chances are the prices were inflated so you could bargain and feel like a winner. Moreover you ask for a discount, because you think someone else got one. If the seller is adamant that the price is fixed and if you want to bargain there is a shop down the road that sells it for a cheaper price, you tend to buy that thing for that price in that shop. You only ask for a discount and expect one, because you know someone else before you got one. Again, the value of the object is totally lost when these negotiations begin.
A kid never negotiates the price of a comic book or an action figure. It may be because he is a kid and does not know bargaining, but it is mostly because he really wants the book or toy. He saves up, works harder for more pocket money and eventually gets what he wants, at the set price. Then the toy becomes a trophy of a very different feeling, a feeling of working hard for what you want and getting it eventually. The kid not only becomes emotionally attached to it, but also keeps it forever for the lessons it has taught him. This kind of value can not be generated by haggling over the price or getting something duplicate or cheap.
The vicious circle – This is one example how one person being irrational can change the whole system. If everyone paid the price for everything without bargaining, the sellers would charge fair prices for everything. But because one (or a significant few) people went and asked for discounts and did not buy because the prices were not reduced, the sellers decided to play a trick. They inflated the prices, expecting people to bargain. Those who bargained bought the stuff at the “fair” price, those who did not bargain just increased the profits (a win-win for the seller not the buyer). I wonder what will happen if sellers start being more stubborn about charging fair prices and buyers only go to those sellers who do so?