Monday, 16 April 2012

[Blog] What would you do if…

I recall being asked this question a long time ago - "What are the three things that you would like to take if you were ever stranded on a deserted island?" 

By virtue of being hypothetical this question affords a wide range of responses- I don’t remember my own at that time but what I do remember is that I made a mental note to read Robinson Crusoe once again to be better prepared the next time around. This question I was told was doing the rounds at interviews back then.
Coming to think of it - there can only be three broad categories of responses.
  1. Be the hopeless romantic and quote Omar Khayyam –"A book of verses underneath the bough
    A flask of wine, a loaf of bread and thou

    Beside me singing in the wilderness

    And wilderness is paradise now.”

    (Obviously Khayyam has more than three choices but well…)
    OR
  2. Be very practical and say that take a box of matches, a pocket knife and a music player and other variants that ensure a comfortable stay and an early rescue.
    OR
  3. not take anything at all and rough it out much like Tom Hanks in Cast away.

This question might perhaps not caught me off guard had I been exposed then to explorations of the subject in Hollywood films such as The Edge or the television series Lost. The early episodes of Lost presented a thrilling and dare I say credible lesson on survival. (I am pretty sure that there are several other films on the subject that I can’t recall at the moment!)

But over the last few years and as recently as last week we have had a spate of unfortunate earthquakes all around us. And earthquakes and tsunami’s have this uncanny habit of arriving at very short notice- So instead of travelling to that hypothetical island all we have to do is to be mentally prepared for an event closer to home!

So I would rather rephrase the question as– “If there was an earthquake warning in your area what are the three things that you would take with you?  I wonder what the responses would be – would someone still be romantic or would everyone be plain practical?
What is your take?

5 comments:

  1. I'd rush out with:
    1. My handbag aka Pandora's box with keys, cards, snacks, prayer beads, Swiss knife, first-aid,....
    2. The bag with my boys' certificates, because I know it'd NEVER be in their list of three things!
    3. A loaf of bread to keep us alive until help arrives.
    So boringly practical! A couple of decades ago, I'd have been happy to flee with a copy of 'Pride and Prejudice'! How priorities change!

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    Replies
    1. This is certainly a well considered choice!

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  2. Here is my two-cent -
    1. Someone intelligent with whom I can have sometimes pleasurable and sometimes animated/argumentative conversation
    2. A couple of books that I have always wanted to read - (a) The Mahabharata translated in its entirety (all 1,00,000 shlokas)and (b)Isaac Asimov's guide to Shakespeare
    3. My reeboks - for the pleasure of walking and contemplating.

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    Replies
    1. Shekar amazing that you dare to be romantic even when danger lurks at your door!

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  3. MY CREDIT CARD, THE PASSPORTS OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY, BAGGAGES AND HEAD TO THE AIRPORT, FOR A TRIP TO ANOTHER COUNTRY WHERE VISA IS ON ARRIVAL AND WHICH IS NOT GONNA BE AFFECTED BY THE THREAT

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