This was the photo I took, from back balcony of my house. My building is situated on the bank of a river, although the river does not have much water. The dam constructed on upstream of river, has made it dry. During rainy season, when the dam is full, some water is released to ease pressure on the dam, which flows in the river. Then many birds, start arriving in the vicinity of this water. This painted stork was nearly half km away from my balcony when I took the shot with my telephoto lens. I took the picture and cropped the unnecessary portion around the bird. And  I was  pleasantly surprised to see the reflection of the bird in the poodle. The reflection was captured unknowingly and I felt happy about it. A chance seeing of the bird and its photograph made me happy.

I remembered an article in the Sunday Times of India by Ravi Venkatesan about chance and luck. He states that chance plays an important role in our life even though we may not accept it. He says that the place where you take birth, your parents, determine lot of things in your life- from your schooling, your friends, your education to your job. Pretty true. This fact starkly hit me when I looked at the photograph.

Few days earlier I have seen a video in which Rajiv Bajaj the Chairman of one of the biggest two wheeler makers in India ,wherein  he says that life is a game of chance. The transcript of this is available here. ( He narrates a story of how his great grandfather who belonged to a very poor family was adopted by a wealthy man passing by in their ancestral village.  He says that “Truly, the circumstances are much bigger than us. The whole talk of “I have done it’. This is mine is wrong.  Where you are placed in life is just luck. Of course, within that how you conduct yourself is important but minor detail. If I had to reason why I am where I am , I could talk of lineage ,heritage, father, great grandfather, Harvard degree, meritocracy and all of that but it would be rubbish. I am here because my great grandfather was playing marbles in the courtyard one hot afternoon and somebody wealthy happened to pass by. That is how the family came into wealth. It was a reality check and it grounded me.”

Definitely chance plays a major role in our life. But how do we utilize that is completely dependent on us. With the given things, how we maximize our potential and grow ourselves in all dimensions of life is left to us. When I say chance or luck plays a major role, am I suggesting to become fatalistic? No.  It is just a reality check about what and who we are. What do   you think?

I am sure many readers will disagree about the post. They may feel that it is an attitude of fatalism. What I would like to emphasize that being aware of the role chance plays in life , makes one humble and grounded. It does not mean that we should be exhilarated or disappointed by the chance thrown at us. We should have a reality check and move forward.

With the above photo I could have congratulated myself about the photography skills I have acquired in a short time. But instead, it reminded me of the chance because of which I was able to capture the reflection of the bird in the poodle.

What do you think what role chance plays  in life? What you do, to capitalize on that? Or rather, how do you prepare yourself, so as to receive this kind of opportunities or chances. Do let me know.

 “As the Arabs say the nature of the rain is same, but it makes thorns grow in the marshes and flowers in the gardens.” Father Anthony DeMello in Awareness.