dharmendra-sholayCorporate trainers & consultants are, without an exception, infatuated with the film Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (ERHF). Whether it is about Communication, Negotiation or even plain Managerial Skills, no training programme is ever complete without this film, or its clippings, being shown. While I have nothing against ERHF (in fact, I like it when they show the whole film as it means less of the lecture sessions), I believe they have missed out on an equally inspiring piece of film. I am alluding to the famous scene from Sholay, where Viru makes out a case against Mausi so forcefully that she is compelled to let him marry Basanti.

Here are the lessons that we can draw from this short movie sequence:

Pick your spot/moment well: He climbed the water tank, where he was visible to everyone & no interruptions too. There was only one voice to be heard – Viru’s.
Make a pressing case (an interesting one too): From top of the water tank, with a bottle of partly drunk country liquor & at a risk of falling down any time, he announces his intention at the beginning itself (and you found “soocide, soocide, soocide” hilarious?). He creates a tamasha that the village loves to watch.
Give the whole picture: When he talks about calamities (drought, epidemics, etc.) befalling the village, he is informing about potential (frightening) consequences. He presents them with options so that they make an informed decision.
Focus on the objective: He marks out his target & the fate that awaits her (you know, “chakki peesing & peesing & peesing”), so that the well-wishing villagers can ask her to fall in line.
Go all out for the kill: The proposal already rejected once, this is his last & only chance for a reversal. It’s all or nothing & he stakes his life for the desirable response.
But the beauty of this film scene is that it is not just about the communication/management lessons we can extract. It also has philosophical connotations. Life is full of highs & lows. As PG Wodehouse has often reminded us, “unto each life some rain must fall”. When one is down, one has to fight (or just stick it out) till the things turn around. If not, there will be no getting up. Take Devdas, as an example. He hit the bottle & then just could not get over it. He ended up a sad, dejected, frustrated lover. (If you have watched the 3rd hindi version starring SRK, you would have found him a totally sad, over-dejected, over-frustrated drunkard.)

But Sholay is different. Yes, Viru too needs the support of the bottle. But he does not give up. In the face of adversity he rises to the occasion. In the literal sense too, as he goes atop the highest point in the village. And gets what he wants.

Likewise for us too. We can either get demoralised upon seeing this big hill of a problem in front of us or go ahead & climb that peak. As Vikas is doing. He is attempting to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest one can go. Let’s all support him on this mission.

Picture courtesy: http://www.news18.com/newstopics/sholay.html

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