Thursday, May 12, 2011

Simplicity – The Ultimate Sophistication

These days I am going EUREKA about a simple fact which I had always read and heard but had never experienced firsthand. Right from childhood I had heard about ‘Simple living and high thinking’ but never knew how this holds true in an era when we all jump for greater complexity. Our choice of vehicles, gadgets, clothes and lifestyle in general are instances of how we choose the complex in our leap towards the bigger and the better. Being a witness and sometimes a reluctant participant in this race to aim for the stars, I overlooked a basic premise that eternally holds true – Keeping it simple and getting the basics right.

When there is talk of simplicity, I am reminded of the zipper incident in the movie 3 Idiots. The lead character Rancho gives the example of a trouser zipper as a simple machine. However, this hurts the ego of the professor who prides himself on the complexity of what he teaches. One thing we all crave for is home food. What makes home food special is that the dishes are simple and basic without excessive spices, masalas, oils , flavors and ketchups. I never remember asking for chutney or ketchup while eating a cutlet or potato wedges or pakodas made at home.

There is something very 'like'able about simple people and simple situations. In school, we all loved the mathematics teacher who made the toughest problems seem like a cakewalk by simplifying things. Simplicity makes stuff more digestable to all. Classic oldie songs are cherished by all and even liked by modern generations, even though they have none of the beats and hungama of modern music. These songs were simple and one could soak in the undiluted concoction of lyrics, vocals and tunes.

The power of simple could impress the genius Da Vinci and made him state that, 'simplicity is the ultimate sophistication'. One has to be simple to truly innovate because you need to be conceiving something that is so real, that the complexity seekers would never touch that area. It doesn't surprise me at all that great ideas were shot at first sight. Keeping simple is indeed simple and straight. It is simple to make things appear complex for others and feed one's ego. However, to be in step with the universal harmony and strike a chord with existence, only simplest beats simple.