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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Il Passione.....

Watching a good match between F.C. Barcelona and Celta Vigo on a relaxed, sunny Saturday afternoon is a lucky co-incidence when you live in the Adirondacks. Breaking the dead quiet of the afternoon is the commentary for the match. Now, I would like to say straight away, I am not against any person making his or her living commentating on sports. Do it, if it makes you happy. Feed me more bullshit about a players personal life and for I will gladly lap it up. Train that gun of useless statistics at me, for I will be blown away at how much research goes behind this commentating business. And then the inevitable questions -  is this commentating and statistics shit really important? When did reporting on the match as it was became not enough? Do these commentators really feel so connected with the game? Does it make a difference?


And it is that latter question that has been bugging me. How could a commentator, most probably a former player, feel so much for a game? To what end? He will never play again, so why get so involved? To what end is this passion directed?

This is where the meandering starts. How do I feel about what I do? How connected am I to what happens? I thought I always knew what passion was. This invisible drive that forces you to empathise with some cause. Get involved. Work with it. On it. Hitler must have been a passion cornucopia, going by what he accomplished, the cunt. Jenna Jameson must have had a lot of passion, pun intended, making some of the best porn in the business (I am quite the fan, ain't I?). A more obscure example, Adrian Newey, that wizard Formula 1 car designer (ex-McLaren, Red Bull) can only ever talk about what the car does and does not and how it was a deviation from what he wanted it to do. How much does passion drive a human? Is excellence the goal or just a passing mile stone? What does it accomplish?

I have to confess, when I took the trip from Minneapolis to Coachella Valley to see the Big 4 play, I felt the most passionate music fan in the whole universe. Along with 59,000 others, I am guessing. And I heard some great music. The pain of standing for 12 hours just cemented my passion, it seems. I love this shit! In my own little bubble, I was holding the Passionate Award.

And in my workplace, where I am surrounded by some of the smartest technical minds in the world of semiconductors, I am constantly in awe. These people, 30 years into their careers, still work 12 hours a day and solve such difficult problems. What keeps them going? Surely the nice salary helps, but after a point, you would throw your hands up in the air and surrender to the stress. Surely!

It is at this point that my "passion" starts wavering. Because, what I always assumed was, passion takes you above and beyond the call of pragmatism and logic to do what you love. I am not supposed to think about physical bodily functions under the influence of my passion. Until, I can say with any authority that I have done of any significance. And even then, what is significant? And even if my achievement is truly significant, to what end benefit is it directed? Something more than the useless statistics thrown out by the commentators.

Silver lining is, I know where to look for a true personification of passion - Ameya Kirtane. A PhD candidate in Pharmaceutics, a workaholic, toiling to find a piece of the jigsaw that will help cure cancer. He has not flagged, last time I checked. Constant push. True motivation. A truly righteous cause. Only passion helps drive this. Keep going dude. I will try to keep up.

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