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The Black Swan And The Hamsa

By Anchal Jain

Photo by Ian Kuik on Unsplash

Over the last four weeks, I made a series of thirteen posts on my social handles with takes (sometimes even wishful!) on the lifestyle world beyond COVID-19. Since facts and data only tell half truths about the past behaviour, at moments like now, they do not help us navigate the future when there is likely to be a big departure from where we have been so far. This is what made this four week journey exciting for me. What is even more satisfying is putting all those thoughts into action with some of our advisory clients.

I would like to close this series by sharing something that a dear friend and guest faculty at CCBP, G. Ravindran wrote to me after the webinar. Nothing could have summarised my thinking better than the metaphor that he presented. We have spoken much about the “Black Swan”, the devastatingly unpredictable. However, let us look at “Hamsa”, the the mythical poetical bird of knowledge; the bird that separates the milk from water. The White Swan!

“Hamsa” is the vahana (vehicle) of Brahma, Saraswati, Gayatri and Vishwakarma. What’s the big deal with it being the ride of the Gods? Well:

Brahma is the creator and the creative Saraswati is the fountainhead of knowledge, wisdom and learning Gayatri is the keeper of Vedas (sacred knowledge) Vishwakarma is the personification of the creative power and the ultimate reality.

This should be telling us something. Whereas the Black Swan is about the unexpected, unpredicted and undirected ... the fragility of any system of thought...the ‘Hamsa’ is the vehicle of knowledge and creativity. The metaphor itself conceals the antidote. Look at the Covid inevitability in this light, deploy creative power to transcend it. The inevitable has happened. Instead of stressing or worrying, look ahead and invest your time in preparing for the Long Boom! The White Swan is the answer to the Black Swan. Act now!

Indeed what began as a hastily put together webinar for the “Creative and Cultural Business Programme” eco-system at IIM Ahmedabad on March 26th, two days after the lockdown, became an obsessive pursuit over the next four weeks and I suppose it is not ending with this summary post. I expect to continue the reflection and action for weeks, months, years to come.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are Val-More’s views only. Anchal is neither an economist nor an astrologer. However, besides having an ability to connect future dots, he is an eternal optimist always looking at the positives in human behavior in any difficult moment to come out stronger. Special mention of Manoj Kumar and Geetanjali Rastogi from the Val-More partner team for their contribution and challenges.

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