Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Curious Case of Susan Boyle


If you were forty seven and out of work,
If you were jeered at, when you looked for work,
If you wanted to see someone else,whenever you looked into the mirror,
If the only thing that grew with your age was your despair,
If then, would you loose faith in yourself because life wasn't fair?
No, not if you found the one thing that you were good at,
No, not if you with undying faith and untiring effort nurtured that,
No, not if you were on the prowl for that right platform,
No not if you were waiting for that exact right time,
No not if you grabbed your chances and seized the day,
No not if you are Susan Boyle, who lived the moment and showed the way,
For amidst all the sham, drudgery and sadness there is heroism somewhere, everyday:)

The video that made me write this is can be viewed on you tube:

Susan Boyle,Britain's Got Talent

This video has been downloaded 7+ million times and seems to have touched a chord with everyone. I can think of a thousand reasons why:

The obvious is the "Cindrella moment" where a struggling, talented, straightforward and simple soul, without any pretenses, finds riches and success as her talent fits well into the shoes of the winner!!
As success and the 'powers that be', gush over her, the ones who derided her and sneered at her ambitions to be an Elaine Paige, get what they deserve, as they disappear into the darkness, suitably sheepish and hopefully looking chastised. (which they will be, once the video is seen in their neighbourhood, if one where to go by the comments in web sites)
As with the movie "Pursuit of Happiness", the triumph of hope, tenacity and talent is underlined here.The fact that this lady finally got recognition after three decades or more,is astonishing!! It will provide morale and motivation to thousands who are on the wrong side of Lady Luck and facing difficult times.

To those in business and leadership positions, this is a lesson in talent spotting. It clearly is all about having an open mind and willingness to listen and observe. I think we place an unduly high degree of reliance on third party opinions and "back references" without bothering to ascertain the motives of those who pass judgement.
As with the advertising awards shows in India and possibly the film awards that are dime a dozen, these seem to be largely an exercise in politicking, back stabbing, "gang rivalry" and mind games, more than any genuine need to recognize talent and support it.

For those of us who analyse TV programs and rating points, it is now abundantly clear, that the route to high ratings, is NOT in converting talent shows into episodes of voyeuristic sado masochism, with innocent youngsters being emotionally battered and brainwashed into meekly submitting to the idiosyncrasies of some underemployed music directors, publicity hungry starlets and "stars". They could do well to understand why internationally,these talent hunt shows do well. Contestants who win in these shows do well go onto win greater laurels and do well in their careers.The "American Idols" and the "Britain's Got Talent" are cases in point.
They do not join the ranks of the unemployed or sing in beer bars or commit suicide as seems to be the wont, in case of the Indian versions. Slumdog Millionaire's creepy game show host is probably not fully a creature of Vikas Swarup's imagination! He was probably referring to system as a whole. (I did not say "arse holes" I said "as a whole":))

An Englishman once remarked to me that along with cricket, rigging is also an Indian passion!! He mentioned this when an Indian lady won the Miss Universe or World pageant with the answer that the one living woman she admired the most, was the late Mother Teresa!! This was the millennium year and many remembered the
cricket match fixing stories and late South African cricket captain Hanse Cronjie's relationship with an Indian bookie.

The case rests, identify the genuinely talented and give them a platform... glory is yours, not to mention a healthy balance sheet for all concerned!!

Vinod Natesan

Susan Boyle is apparently the youngest of 9 children and lived alone with her cat "pebbles" in Scotland. She has never been married and god bless her, looked after her ailing widowed mother till her last days.She is not known to have fallen prey to any of the vices that most people resort to when things don't go their way! Success could not have come to a better and more deserving person!.

Lyrics of the song Susan Boyle sang:

Les Miserables (pronounced:le mserales) -

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life woth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used
And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame.

And still
I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms
We cannot weather...

I had a dream my life would be
So different form this hell I'm living
so different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.


Gouthami said...

Dear Vinod,
Thank you for putting this up on facebook. Watching this video I had tears flowing freely. I can well imagine what it must have been there live.
Susan Boyle will do more to help women be confident about themselves, whatever their shape may be, than all the self confidence mantras we hear.

Thanks again.

Sumit Roy said...

Great post, Vinod.

What was with the dig at Advertising Awards? Too much GOAing on lately?

Here's power to your talent spotting elbow.