Everyone will tell you that we live in boundaries. Not only does is denote the rules we need to abide by, but all the norms, ways of living, manners, work cultures and many things that stay a certain way for years together.
Look at Virus from three idiots. His life was so governed by boundaries that he dictated what his coming generations should opt for as professions, he knew how much time was needed for mundane activities in exact minutes and had defined ways of saving time where he wanted to. In the same movie, Raju was in the schakles of another pattern, governed by religious rituals and driven by them for the better part of the film.
Both the characters are shown to follow fixed patterns of living. One day doesn’t differ from another. If we stretch the metaphor and look at people around us, we can easily see that lives lived in a certain place in a particular country and era don’t differ from one another either. We educate ourselves, train ourselves for some job, make money, have families and are good to go.
These are our boundaries that make a box around us. We think in the box, live in the box and are governed by the box. From that perspective, we’re robots that are taught how to think, how to do, what to get and how to live. There are but a handful who manage to think out of the box- to break the monotony for the betterment of self and the society alike.
Now what does “out of the box” thinking mean? Simply put, it means using existing resources to create something useful that helps the self and the society develop. When the telephone was invented for the first time, the materials that make it were not made on some other planet by some odd creatures. Mr. Alexander Graham-Bell took what existed in the box, thought differently about it and invented this wonder. Today, everyone owns a telephone and its evolved brother: the cell phone or the homo sapien sapien version of it: the smart phone. I only want to tell you here, that some thought, once labelled as ‘out of some box’, propelles a new way of life. When this way of life is adopted by many, it only creates another box greater in dimensions and higher on the graph, containing us in new rules.
In this new box, the once ‘out of the box’ idea works and serves a function for the society for a while. But thoughts have an expiry date too! Think of laws that worked for sometime and received immense support, but are ammended or repealed over time. As a society constantly facing the winds of change, the same box can’t be a good fit anymore. Like we treat expired food as poison, we should treat an expired thought harmful too. Safe to say, the need to break a box comes from the society as much as it comes from within a person. Hence, breaking a box isn’t a one time event, it has to be done every time the new box is created. Of paramount importance while doing this is to enjoy the process of breaking the box, of accepting the discomfort of staying in no man’s land, that is in a boundary less space while the new box is made and to find happiness in the new box as well. This is the very secret to a box breaker’s personality development- the very reason why the dimensions of every new box keeps increasing.
This year’s theme for the sixth Kalyan VEDH and the 98th VEDH of all, is the very topic of the blog- “Out of the Box”. Through the interraction with faculty members who have chosen fields that are out of the box and have created an interesting body of work that has contributed to the society, we wish to highlight not only the meaning and depth of the theme, but also the process behind it.
Team Kalyan VEDH coordially invites you to the event, going to be held on the 5th of January, 2020!
-Devendra Tamhane Coordinator, Kalyan VEDH.