Power Games

Enough fun has been poked at the infamous interview given by Rahul Gandhi. I must confess at the outset that I could not get past the first five minutes. I honestly wanted to send Rahul Gandhi back to school to repeat courses on basic public speaking!

If he was being interviewed for any post in any company, I am sure he would be thrown into the Rejects, or at best, the Maybe pile. That he is in the contest for the top post in the nation is such a tragedy. It makes me marvel at the weight of the Gandhi surname. Of course, there’s a lot of money behind that surname in more ways than one. It makes one wonder what is the secret of power. How does one actually get to be so powerful?

When I was just starting out on my career, there was a situation where a choice needed to be made between something written by a senior lady and myself. Even a person not that great in English could easily see that what I had written was far superior to what she had written. I’m not saying this in an arrogant way, but as an undeniable fact. She was a senior only by virtue of years in the company and in a non-technical position as such. I highlight this only to underline that she wasn’t exactly a “powerful” person in the traditional sense of the word.

However, for whatever mysterious reason, she wielded some sort of power. Folks came to her for advice, they listened to her no matter what she said or how badly she abused them, and generally held her in a certain amount of awe. this completely baffled me for I could see nothing extraordinary, nor were there any past glories. It took me time to realize that I had to be much obliged if she deigned to pay any attention to me. I found her quite normal in my relationship with her, but it was the others who viewed her very differently. I just could not understand the reason behind this “power”.

You must have understood by now what the final choice was — of course it was her writing. I was a young greenhorn then, ignorant of the ways of the world, and it took quite some time for me to get over the fact that people are not fair always, and better work does not always guarantee anything. I never did get around to understanding our lady’s source of power though. 🙂

At least in Rahul Gandhi’s case, it is obvious where this power is coming from, and why people will fall at his feet. The illusion will be kept up because so much is at stake for him personally.

For others who rise to power, I wonder what the turning point is. When do they go from being just another person to someone who can make or mar another’s life? Though I’ve seen enough and more movies, read countless books on the same, and even seen people achieve this up close and personal, it still makes me think about the nature of power.

Power, like love, is so abstract and difficult to define. But the impact it has on our lives is tremendous and life-altering.

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