“It is better to be second class to appreciate the first class and admire the things you are not really good at,” said historian Ramachandra Guha, addressing management students and alumni of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, on Monday.
Delivering the 39th Foundation Day lecture at IIM-B on ‘Life Outside and Beyond Work’, Guha cited the example of Jnanpith awardee K Shivaram Karanth, whom he called the greatest Indian after Rabindranath Tagore.
“For a common man and a relatively unsophisticated person, the lesson from Shivaram Karanth’s life is that even if you can’t master many forms of art, suit yourself in at least a couple of them - learn to love music, cultivate an interest in art, architecture, photography and so on. What it will give you is a meaningful look at life. A life far greater and more enjoyable than that defined by professional success,” Guha said.
He propounded his views by referring to himself as a second class economist and cricketer. “Me being a second class, allowed myself to appreciate the first class or those who did a better job than me. For instance, I could never become a cricketer. But when I am watching cricket, I can truly enjoy Sachin Tendulkar’s batting or Shane Warne’s legbreak,” he said, adding it is very difficult for a ‘specialist’ to appreciate others around him.