Failure is the stepping stone to success.

You will be familiar with this proverb. It sounds very motivating the first time. As you hear it over and over again you probably feel meh. Familiarity breeds contempt. We need variety in failures as well. 

I was watching a show dedicated to a talented television comedian, Vadivel Balaji, who passed away recently well before his time. I have laughed at his spontaneous comedies hundreds of times. I still do. It was sad to see him go.

During the show, they played a pathos song in the background. I used to regularly hear this song a decade ago particularly whenever the mood was not so good. It’s a sad but beautiful song. I had forgotten how beautiful the lyric by Vairamuthu was. I started listening to the song again and it was in the loop for at least 10 times.  Here is the link for the lyrical video by Isai Ulagam. This song is from the 2005 movie Ullam Ketkume.

The situation is that all the characters in the song would have faced some sort of failure or the other. I won’t translate the entire song here but a few lines that, I think, are great. As with any translation, it won’t do justice to the beauty of original language, Tamil.

Didn’t we just ask for rain,

Who gave us the tears?

Didn’t we just ask for flowers,

Who threw us the pebbles?

Is there a wind instrument without holes?

Is there completeness without failures?

There is none who

Was born in pleasure, lived in pleasure & died in pleasure;

There is none who

Was born suffering, lived suffering & died suffering;

Pleasure one half and suffering one half

Both are elements of life;

After boiling in hot fire and bathing in cold water, 

Gold moulds into a fine jewel;

Some failure is also required,

That alone is the ladder for success.

Essentially, the last two lines are sending the same message the proverb at the top of this post. However, one is boring and the other is beautiful. One is preachy and other is a soothing balm. 

PC: Feature Image Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

5 thoughts on “What is Failure?

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