Saturday, June 13, 2009

To Succeed or Not To Succeed : Meeting Bollywood Stars @ IIFA

Success is not permanent! What would be one's life after success is all over? If one knows in foresight about how life will look like after success disappears then will one have second thoughts on to succeed or not to succeed??

My thoughts above got triggered from an unexpected event: Meeting Bollywood Stars.

Being an avid Bollywood movie buff and a probability student, I used to calculate probability of meeting film stars at airports. Why? Well, I travel fair bit but never got a chance of meeting any movie star at any airport or a foreign city. I came to the conclusion that unless I act on prior information and plan my visit accordingly, probability of finding them unexpectedly is very low and a rare event (black swan event)

Little did I know that black swan will appear very next week and it would leave me with a strange thought!

I was traveling on June 11 from Kuala Lumpur to Shenzhen. I was suppose to board ferry from Hong Kong airport to Shenzhen. When I reached at the Shenzhen Ferry Ticket Counter, I saw a notice at adjoining Macau Ferry Counter: HK Airport welcomes IIFA Guests. Next moment, I suddenly realized that a contingent of film stars are about to come and take ferry to Macau. That was the chance surely not to be missed!!

In next few minutes I saw who's who of Indian Film Industry. So black swan can happen and all probably calculations can go wrong!!

Some movie stars I recognized immediately, some I took time to recognize as real appearance is different from on screen appearance. Some I didn’t recognize at all. Among the last category was - one old guy who caught my attention, wearing very unusual dress and standing alone from the group...I tried to recognize who he was? Couldn't figure it out? I thought him to be some back stage guy and forgot about it. In next few minutes as whole contingent assembled, they went away.

Later after having a quick sip at Cappuccino and recharging myself again, I moved to Ferry Gates for security check. (It is very intense and close door security check in small groups at HK airport for Ferry Travelers). To my surprise, I saw same contingent of film stars coming for security check too (so what, you are film stars you need to pass security check too!!). I was last guy in the queue at that time. And film contingent was to follow me in the same queue. Interesting, I was loving it, dint mind it at all...another black swan, further close film star encounter

I was wishing some pretty face or handsome hunk star would follow next to me in the queue… but soon I realized that I am not going to be that lucky...same old guy who caught my attention earlier came forward first and stood next to me...Damn Bad luck...his hands were trembling, he looked lost & disgusted ...

Seeing me he smiled and said hello...At this moment, I looked closely at him and his eyes. I couldn't believe who he was ... Yesteryear Superstar Rajesh Khanna ... Still I felt the need to confirm, politely I asked: Are you Rajesh Khanna? He smiled and said moment he was totally lost again in his own if he was saying “30 years back whole India knew me and now you are asking me who I am?”

One of his associates was accompanying him and guiding him like a Child/ lost person ...Couldn’t believe yesteryear's superstar will be in such a situation today... I felt at that moment that it is difficult to come to terms for loss of success after having tasted success…

This made me think what Taleb mentioned in his book - People get more hurt by loss than feel happy by gain ...Gain of 10 at base of 70 to take one to 80 will prove to be less joyful than the pain of coming to 70 from the base of 80...What say?

If a person knows that he has a chance of super success in future but it will gradually boil down to failure later, will he choose to go up and come down? or will he say: no thank you to relative success - I am doing good...I don't need momentarily super success…I do not want to spend rest of my life figuring out - Who Moved My Super Success … and I do not want to live with pain of becoming nobody from known buddy at airports...