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January 29, 2018

26 ways to success - C for Creativity - "Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun" article published in The Hans India on 16th February 2016

C for Creativity – ‘Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun’

Creativity can be defined as “The use of imagination or original ideas to create something different or being inventive”. It is not doing different things, it is doing things differently. There were, there are and there will be painters. But only one M.F.Hussian. He was creativity personified. All his action including not wearing footwear, exhibition of swethambara collection of paintings (M.F.Hussian had draped white sarees artistically) in a gallery, his clever display of admiration for a bollywood diva, his down to earth persona, his passion for horses or the stunt of drawing 100 paintings for 100 crore rupees in public, all smacked of the creative genius of Maqbool Fida Hussian.

In the modern world, the competition is severe and cut throat. One needs to be creative all the time. Even in marketing themselves to the company. Famous companies get thousands of curriculum vitae in a single day. Except a select few, many are destined to end up in the dustbin. One has to consciously be creative to make the first cut – being noticed and set aside for further process.

Knowing that many people are applying for a coveted job, an applicant for a post in a famous advertising agency sent a potato as his curriculum vitae saying "I want to be a potato in your organization". 

He was called to the interview and was asked to explain his outrageous statement. The candidate replied "Sure sir, the potato is the most versatile vegetable, it can be used in any dish, it can be used to enrich other dishes and it gives lots of energy. So like a potato you will find me very versatile and I would fit into any department and make that department more productive” Needless to say he got the job.

A bright freshly minted IIM topper who incidentally was a topper at IIT too had prepared very thoroughly for his final interview at his holy grail – HLL (now Hindustan Unilever Limited). He has all his certificates ready, his suit was immaculate and his shoes were shining. He was raring to go.

As he entered the room our candidate trips and falls flat on his face. As he fell he thought “Oh my god here goes my chance of getting into HLL”. Slowly our IIM graduate got up, dusted himself and said “thank god I fell in a good company!” The horrified interviewers were greatly relieved at his ready wit. It goes without saying that our IIM graduate got his dream assignment at HLL.

In the Madras Presidency as it was then called, only the Governor of the province could drive a carriage drawn by 5 (five) horses. A rich local businessman committed an ultimate faux pas – he was caught driving a carriage drawn by 5 horses. He was hauled to the court. 

The rich man was not upset at all. He appointed a smart lawyer and told him “I can pay the hefty fine but that would mean admitting that I have committed a crime. I will pay you five times the penalty amount as fee but you have to prove that I was not guilty”. The smart lawyer assured the businessman that he would do his best.

Finally the day of the reckoning arrived. The smart lawyer told the judge “your honor! I agree driving the carriage drawn by five horses by anyone other than the governor is a crime. Let us examine the photograph of the carriage. This photograph was taken on the day of the crime” The lawyer dramatically points to the photograph and says “your honor this is a horse, this too is a horse; this one too is a horse, but your honor this is a MARE (a female horse). This means your honor this carriage was drawn by four horses and a mare. In which case my client did not commit any crime. I request you to dismiss the case”. The judge had no choice but to do so.  

The gas commercial is a master piece in creating suspense. The scene depicts a typical Indian middle class household. Two young kids are playing with a Diwali gun. Their father is busy on a phone and so is his mother. The old patriarch, the boys’ grandfather is an invalid, wheel chair bound and hapless (he can’t speak). The old man watches on helplessly as his wife tries to light a gas stove. Unknown to the entire family, except to the old man the gas stove is leaking gas. The old lady is about to strike a match. The Diwali gun recoils to shoot!

The viewers’ subconsciously hold their breath. One can cut the suspense with a knife. As we wait with baited breath the screen flashes ‘Get used to the tension - India Vs Pakistan cricket series only on Neo Sports’. That is brilliant creative. The entire Indian sub-continent comes to a stop when India plays Pakistan and there is tension all around and the creative conveys that tension dramatically. Key words for the search: India Vs Pakistan, Gas Commercial.  

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