Shakuntala Devi was a child prodigy. Very early in life, as her parents discovered, she was good with numbers. And there have been so many instances of child prodigies who finished their higher studies in early teens, astonishing the academicians with their knowledge and absorption levels that were much ahead of the age of these prodigies.
We also read and heard wonderful stories of a grandma or a grandpa appearing for her or his class 10 exam, sometimes appearing alongside their grandchild. And there are stories galore of someone starting a business, a passion or a mere hobby at ripe old age well after end of his or her first innings.
The readers may be wondering why suddenly I have started discussing child prodigies and old age achievers? The reason is a beautiful thought that I came across on the personal time clock inbuilt into each of the human beings. The question posed was similar – why someone immediately on passing out of the college is picked up for placement by an MNC at an annual package of Rs25 lakh plus, while another superannuates well before reaching anywhere near the number offered to the young prodigy? And this analogy can be extended to any of the examples that we come across each day in our day to day lives! To quote my own example, I learnt cycling when I was 13 or 14, while my elder brother picked up my dad’s big cycle when he was 6 years old! I flew for the first time well into my mid 30s, while my grandson is a frequent flyer at the age of 1! My first overseas visit materialised well into my 40s, while the frequent flier grandson of mine is already a globe trotter. Ironically, my father never made his passport, meaning all his 80 plus years he never had the opportunity to cross Indian borders! And he sometimes jokingly used to mention that what his son earned every month was more than the terminal benefits he received on his retirement to sustain rest of his life!
The question then arises is why comparison! Why we sneer at someone becoming a CEO at the age of 35 and having all the riches of life? Why we don’t sympathise with a young executive burning himself or herself out at 40 and suffering a stroke while still in 40s? It’s all very mysterious and deep and can be simplified for easy understanding based on the concept of inbuilt time clock, as aforesaid. Each one of us work as per our own respective time clocks and it’s futile to attribute any emotion to someone’s early success or late failure or vice versa. There’s nothing “too late in life” and everything comes at the appointed time as set in one’s time clock.
There are several sayings and theories that directly or indirectly bear the essence of personal time clock. We all must have heard “ better late then never”, “ you cannot fight your destiny”, “ one gets nothing more or nothing less than destiny has in store for him” or our very own “samay bada balwan” all mean the same thing. Let’s go on doing our actions and efforts – everything will come at its appropriate time. And it does not conflict with the need to do “karma” or effort, which is everyone’s duty and without which even the time clock stops. Karma is the battery on which time clock runs.
God has made each individual unique and has fitted him or her with a unique time clock. It’s such a powerful concept, isn’t it? It immediately places one’s mind at rest.