An evening with Mr.Kale

“…Things go wrong because we desperately plan to produce mediocre results” said Mr.Kale in an interview with the New American Magazine. “When there is a tremendous surge of expectation from oneself and when we take enough time to feel the elements at work, the right process will have to inevitably evolve. Work becomes effortless and the results produced, incomparable. It applies to every field of achievement. Mediocrity is impossible for a human being. It is made possible by a tremendous effort to conform oneself to the mediocre processes.”

Mr.Kale stood looking through the glass panels of his cabin into the city. He was holding an oversized cup, half-emptied and brown in colour, the exact colour of the coffee it was holding. He loved holding the heat, and taking sips. He always loved brown for some reason since he was a child. May be because he loved earth and it is brown. Earth offered elements to work upon, and he loved work. He made such associations often. He loved rearranging elements and creating things, abstract and concrete. The interviewer had been jotting down phrases uttered by Mr.Kale over his evening coffee. They were in the top storey of Kale Enterprises.

Do you have any advice to handle pressure, Mr.Kale? “…When a point moves in a line, it feels pressure from points behind and before it. And most men as they are today intend to prolong the line, and stand in the formation. Reason is simple. Point that breaks apart could go astray, and I intend to be that point. And there wouldd be no points touching me.”

“That is bold. But, is security not important?”

“…Go and ask any man who is in his death bed. Would security be his concern right now? And what makes you think I’ll live forever?”

Mr.Kale believed everything he said. He was not a role model for his colleagues. Because they honestly believed that his performance in fields he chose was beyond the reach of any other human being. Mr.Kale called himself an art expresser. “I don’t direct the course of things. I allow them to find their course through me. I’m an expresser. And I’m quite efficient at it. You are bound to end up producing mediocrity when you try and emulate me because each engine is unique.”

Mr.Kale often ventured into fields, seemingly without connection, yet he made his own mark everywhere. The abstract elements at play, only his mind knew. He rarely spoke about his next venture. And for that once he spoke about the way, how he does the things he do. “…things work the way they do because you believe them to work that way. They change their course the moment you start feeling different about them. You can see only as far as you can feel the things you are trying to see. You can’t change the things you can’t see.” The interviewer smiled and nodded. But he didn’t try to comprehend. Few men who later read those lines in the magazine did, and some of them quit their jobs to start their own ventures.

“Mr.Kale, despite your background you ended up a millionaire. The country is proud of you. How do you feel about it?”

“If I may speak in my language, I didn’t end up. I’m still alive. And yes, there are people who feel happy for my accomplishments, especially the men I chose to work with in my past ventures, just the way I’m happy for them. And as for the folks comprising the rest of the country, it is for them to decide whether they deserve to feel any pride for my accomplishments.”

“Are you sure that I should put these lines on record Mr.Kale?”

“Of course. Men who matter in this country would be happy to read them, I suppose.”

That evening, looking through that window, he almost felt something close to pity for the men rushing through the traffic, running in the course they’ve accepted as their primary. Their fields were different, yet the driving motives he felt in them were strikingly similar. “would they ever stop ruining themselves with the stereotype…” he didn’t think beyond that.

A new abstraction emerged, that will lead to his next venture. He could, but wouldn’t plan to invest more than those few words of incomplete, unwritten sentence for his fellow-men.

The interviewer asked on an ending note, “Your colleagues say they love you, but called you the most self-centred individual alive. Any comments on that?”

Mr.Kale simply shrugged and said, “Well, as I’ve said, my time here has a limit.”

-Avinash Kumar


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