What you don’t know how to do only is difficult

It’s a well known fact on this forum that I am a great fan of Hindi novelist Surendra Mohan Pathak. In one of the novels of his popular Sunil Series – ‘Ghar Ka Bhedi’, his ever optimistic brain-child Sunil asserts – ‘The difficult is that can be done immediately. The impossible is that takes a little longer.’ Whenever I am finding something as difficult (or impossible), I prefer to recall this assertion instead of Aamir Khan’s ‘All is Well’ from the blockbuster movie – 3 Idiots (2009).

What’s easy ? What’s difficult ? Just casually I was pondering over it today morning when suddenly a thought flashed in my mind. The difficult is what you don’t know how to do and quite naturally, the easy is what you know how to do. That’s why someone has said – ‘Knowledge is power’.

Around quarter of a century ago, I didn’t know as to how to make the knot of a tie. Whenever there was an occasion of wearing a tie on the dress, I arranged a tie from a nearby living friend (in Kolkata) Ajay Jain with the knot already prepared so that I had to do nothing but to put the tie around my neck and tighten the knot. I was scared of buying a tie because I didn’t know how to prepare the knot.

One day my elder cousin Kartik Rajwanshi who’s a military officer, happened to meet me and during the course of our discussion, this topic also emerged that I didn’t know how to prepare the knot of a tie. He taught me by demonstrating it before me. Still later on, I could learn it by buying a tie and trying to make the knot umpteen number of times while being alone in my room. The day I saw that I had prepared a good knot all by myself, there was no end to my joy because I had learnt something.

Decades later, the same thing I saw as taking place in my family during the past few days when my children had to wear tie as a part of their school uniform and they alongwith their mother, did not know how to make the knot. I demonstrated it before them several times (as my cousin had it demonstrated it to me decades back). Still, my wife and children are in the learning process of it though it’s hardly one minute job.

I changed my job in 2009 and shifted from the private sector (JP Group) to the public sector (BHEL). In my new job, i.e., in the public sector, I was kept out of the accounting process and assigned the job of examining and processing (or rejecting) the proposals. After a long time gap of around five years, I was shifted to the accounting work which takes place through the SAP system. Being completely blank in that and remained out of touch from the regular book-keeping exercise for so many years, life became quite difficult for me in the office. In my new assignment, I was given a number of subordinates too who actually worked with myself being in a supervisory position only. However it’s me only who was answerable to the Head of the Department for the activities and performance of my subordinates and had to face his grilling almost every 3-4 days. The new assignment, thus, was difficult for me to carry out. Why ? Simple, friends ! Because I didn’t know how the things were carried out in the system. I was left with no option but to gain knowledge about them. There’s no other way out for me in that situation.

The same thing is applicable for every task / skill. Everything is difficult until you know not how to do it. I was scared of water till I learnt how to swim. The moment I learnt it, my fear had gone. Now I don’t say swimming is difficult because I know how to swim. But I am scared to dive in water from high board because till now I don’t know as to how to dive correctly from a high point. Hence it’s difficult for me. The day I know how to do it, it will become easy. And the best way to gain this knowledge is only to do it.

In Hindi movie – Mazdoor (1983), Raj Babbar who is a mechanical engineer, is able to start a machine lying in breakdown by just a blow of a hammer at a particular point of that machine and then demands a sum of Rs. 1000/- (which was a big sum in that period) from Suresh Oberoi who is the director of the company for his service. When Suresh asks Raj as to why he’s demanding Rs. 1000/- for just a blow of a hammer, he replies that Rs. 1/- is for that blow and Rs. 999/- is for knowing as to where to hammer and with how much force. That settles the case. Knowledge is power. And that’s why it’s valuable. Whenever you find something as difficult, gain knowledge about it. Once you are knowledgeable about it, it will no longer appear as difficult.

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
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2 Responses to What you don’t know how to do only is difficult

  1. rationalraj2000 says:

    Good to see you writing articles like these. Yet you won’t let go off your favourite film examples 🙂

  2. Hearty thanks Rajeev Ji. Being fond of movies and fiction books, I effortlessly fall upon examples from them only in any articles of myself.

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