Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Gambit of Sorts

[This post isnt supposed to make sense...]

The Art of War is the modern day yuppie guide. Springing from a different part I knew my version more closely fitted the Drona Parva than the alternatives. A good dose of it came through installments of it initially trickled through Amar Chitra Katha and Chandamama which paved the way for a thorough reading later.The first rule I learnt was that you never show contempt for the opposition (because your conviction and passion of what you do right should be the driving fuel than rage against something).

Some wonder whats the use of learning such texts. One day when the time is right it would come to a great use (Ayn Rand says Value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep and "virtue" is the action by which one gains and keeps it). If you analog Corporate America to kurukshetra then you can only imagine how far these can take you. I just wanted to jot down a few notes:

In particular look how Drona masterminds the creation of a labrynthine plot like Dedalus. For he laid a Chakravyuha with himself at its Vanguard which then opened into another one called Sakatavyuha (A Wedge shaped array formation) guarded by the very brave brother of Duryodhana. If Arjuna could pass through all that (had a time constraint of finishing the mission before sunset) then he would then enter Soochyavyuha( Head of the Needle formation): This is an interesting strategy as the roster of stalwarts like Karna,Kripa, Bhurishrava, Ashwadhama, and Salya were to be passed by before you can even touch Jayadratha (who was placed at the pin point of the needle and the key person to be protected for one day)

That almost sounds like a modern day movie story. Lets look at the other side's strategy. You choose your best weapon (paasupatastra) and save it for the critical part of the mission. Then you enter the triple-formation at its weakest point (i.e the wedge formation) and mercilessly execute your operation. Once thats accomplished you are "one down! two to go " mood. Then enters your worst nemesis (in this case Drona; worst because you can never win or lose against such people) . Interestingly Arjuna still keeps fighting whereas Krishna tells him to make "forward progress" by initiating a payer and seek his blessings and rush past Drona when is about to bless (because you need to close you eyes). Now Drona cannot come chasing after you because he has to guard the entrance of the formation lest other fellows of Pandava army show up and break his outer cover (Well know strategy used by Alexander against Xerxes). Later all sorts of fundoo stuff happens. Then Satyaki enters to help and Bhima follows him and its much like any other nerve wracking,adrenalin pumping and nail biting sport

At last when they finally enter the third formation, Arjuna wants to go after Karna (they love to get at each other) but then he is promptly reminded the mission for that day was something else and tussle with Karna, while enjoyable, was not on the agenda. The key point is finally when they enter the head of the needle the sun was about to set and a rude buzzer somewhere in the world was about to beep sayin "Your time is up!" and then Krishna does something to give the illusion of sun being set (cloud cover) so that the opposition let their guard down and Arjuna takes down Jayadratha with his best weapon.You can argue a lot over this controversial point but there're a bunch of yuppie lessons to be learnt from this here.

For me, I had my share of such battles this week and our team came out winning. In sports lingo, our QB called for a hail mary and we did an absolutely amazing touchdown in the last second. Life is lived at these kinds of edges and I am raring to go after the next few ones. Forward Ho!

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