I don’t remember a phase in my life where I had an opinion about TV Reality shows and cared so much about what happened on the show. If I turn on the TV, It would be either Star sports or Ten sports etc. I would even watch the highlights of a cricket match for the 1000th time than sit and watch a TV reality show. I didn’t feel the connection but a show named Cook with Comali completely changed the scenario. I started to wait for the weekends to let my guard down, with no judgements, no preconceived notions, no expectations to just let myself laugh out and enjoy those two hours. As the curtains are closed for a vera level Season 2, knowing myself, I would always look back on what I learnt from watching this show and the people involved in it. So, the following paragraphs are my learnings and hope this makes you think.
“ While the current thinking in Business schools holds that all someone with an idea needs to succeed are focus, clarity and a good business plan, I have found that bringing together a great team that’s united by strong motivation, determination and bravery is much more important”
— Richard Branson
The fundamentals of how a team should work in this show were commendable. They were a lot of good team players who were willing to do a lot of things for no reward. Example would be for the counter of Bala to work, someone has to be the causality. When we are in a team environment, we need to play according to the roles. Understanding the dynamics of how a team will/should work is an essential skill.
Rahul Dravid echoes that the team is like a pot. Some people put into the pot, others draw from it. Who puts in and who takes out depends on the people as well as the moment. Ultimately, a team that has more people putting in rather than taking out is a happy team, a team more likely to win.
“ Watching people struggle and having others watch you struggle can elicit all kinds of ego-driven emotions such as sympathy, pity , embarrassment, anger or defensiveness. You need to get over all that and stop seeing struggling as something negative. Most of life’s greatest opportunities come out of moments of struggle; it’s up to you to make the most of these tests of creativity and character” — Principles, Ray Dalio
If you look at a few people in the show Pugazh, Ashwin and Pavithra. The amount of struggle they have gone to get to this stage is huge. It’s very easy for us to feel for them. I think the most important thing for us to understand is that they kept going even when they were struggling to put food on the table. And looking at their careers blossom, it further affirms that they saw their struggle as an opportunity to succeed and if we can somehow bring that attitude into our principles, we are a step closer to achieving greatness in our respective domain. The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow. Another important attribute you need to have when you are at your lowest point is belief and self confidence in yourself. Don’t ever underestimate the power of belief. It can move mountains. Believe, really believe, you can succeed, and you will. As Dhanush says in Vada Chennai, “thokaromo jeikaramo sandai seiyanum” which loosely translates into Whether we win or lose, we fight. Never lose your fight.
The last point which I want to talk about is the relationships which blossomed like a flower between the contestants, comaligal and chefs in the show. I felt that by looking at them, it was a happy accident of like minded people joining together. I could feel their energy through the episodes. Any relationship which makes you feel comfortable, happy is the one where there is a feeling of no effort being put in. I believe that your support system(which is very important) should consist of people where you should not feel like you are putting in a lot of effort. Once you have that, half the battle is won.
According to an ancient Upanishad, the human mind is like two birds sitting on a branch. One of the birds is eating the fruit of the tree and other loving looks on. It can also be classified as a “Higher level you” and “Lower level you”. The other parallel is the human and the chimp. The connection which is established when two people’s “higher yous” are in conversation, that connection is a thing of beauty. It is a state in which you really see what the other person is seeing and the other person is able to see what you are seeing. The high you feel after the conversation is over is “out of the world”. I hope that all of you meet people who you can connect at a higher level and enhance yourselves in that process.
As a concluding note, season 2 of Cook with Comali will forever stay in my heart and memories. Thank you to the entire team for coming forward with this idea, making people laugh, inspiring a lot of people.
All the best to each one of you in your pursuit of achieving greatness.