My friend and myself were talking last week on the India Pak match in the T20 world cup. Yeah, the same match, for which, if we go by one of the commercials, thousands of Pakistanis had got an extra TV set home,  to smash it after seeing their team’s woeful performance. Well, not sure if the TV company is still doing any business, but if they are, many Indians are looking to smash some TVs !

The post however, is not about the match, as that debate can go into an endless loop and the kind of expletives people might want to use for our players, the platform will just not permit !!

The post is about how my friend mentioned that he has stopped watching the matches since then and only sees the highlights. Talking about the highlights, we reflected on the fact, how it gives a grossly wrong picture of the actual game. In fact, wether it be a day of Test cricket, or a full ODI or T20 match, the duration of the highlights is invariably the same. And most of the time, what they show are the wickets and the big hits. But of course, they do not expect the viewer to be interested in watching how the batsman negotiated two overs of gruesome fast bowling or faced five overs of spin bowling without a run being scored, etc.

We just want to see the ‘action’, the happening part. We do not want to see the rigour and discipline which went behind scoring a century, we just want to see the shot on which he reached the landmark and how he takes out his helmet and then with the helmet in one hand and bat in the other, arms wide open, he looks up at the sky and thanks God. 

We are just interested the beaming fast, in-swinging yorker that the bowler took the wicket on and not the four overs and 3 balls he bowled before that one, where the player tried to play and missed many times and when the tension had been building up till that ultimate peach of a delivery that he had no response to.

Similarly in soccer, they show the goals scored and a few near misses, if any. They do not show the 20-30 times that the teams would have made an approach to the goal, but the able work of the defenders would have prevented a goal being scored.

Why only sports, even at work, when we miss a meeting due to various reasons, we are keen to get the ‘highlights’ or ‘minutes’ to know what was the crucial part that we missed out on. We are only interested in knowing that that decision was made to do the abc project, not the fact that it was decided after deliberating on 3 other projects and even for abc, there were 5 of the 10 members who were not convinced initially, but grudgingly agreed after hearing the arguments in favour for almost 20 minutes.

There is another interesting word we use to summarise a month or a quarter, known is ‘lowlights’ . This is to address the bias towards the positives  and give equal, if not more, importance to the not-so-happy updates as well. This is like just accounting for the other extreme of things, but here again, it misses out on paying attention to the ‘journey’, or what transpired in the discussion/event.

A very popular trend among women is to ‘highlight’ their hair. Here again, the emphasis of course, is for the part of the hair that has been highlighted,  to get the attention and be noticed. Same principle, but different use case. 

When it comes to books, more and more people want to hear the book summary, the review, the key points to note about the book. They want to avoid the ‘pain’ of reading 200-300 odd pages, which, even with the best of speed-reading techniques, will at least need 3-5 hours of time. 

But the point I am trying to drive here, is that the devil (and even the angel!! ) is in the details. The real deal is the journey and not the destination. What one can experience in going through the whole ‘process’, the ups, the downs and most importantly, the ‘boring’ parts, those hours of inactivity where literally nothing ‘happens’, but actually a lot does, those are the parts where the ‘learning’ happens, where a boy grows into a man, where a rookie turns expert, etc.

So don’t shy away from going through the grind, don’t try to cut corners or look for ‘short cuts’; in the larger context of life, you will have time for EVERYTHING. Go live life to the ‘fullest’ !

 

 

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Hetal Sonpal

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