Atanu Dey On India's Development

Life is a Random Draw

Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, epitomizes what I believe about life. It is a random draw. Recently I came across a commencement speech he gave at Stanford University. There is a connection between Steve — you would not believe this one — and Hare Krishna!

I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

Go figure.

  • http://ambarthejovian.blogspot.com Ambar

    Surprising that he didn’t mention the free dope available everyday.

  • http://ssrdatta.blogspot.com Saheli

    Free dope at a Hare Krishna Temple? In those days? I don’t think so.

    He’s very good about mentioning his gratitude to them for feeding him at pretty much every opportunity that it comes up. I think he’s still a vegetarian, possibly even a vegan.

  • http://www.knowprose.com Taran

    Pretty interesting stuff. I go with Saheli on the dope – the 80s are a big question mark for that.

    But if all he can talk about is eating at a place disparagingly, what does that really say? I don’t know the tone of delivery, but it seems he was trying to show how hard up he was – not that he was influenced by any culture.

    Of course, I’m not a big Jobs fan. Wozniak built Apple and Jobs sold it, as far as I’m concerned… but when things got tough, Jobs was trying to sell more than Apple could build and scaring programmers. The balance was lost. Is it back? Dunno. We’ll see what happens with Apple and Intel.

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  • http://onlyvoid.blogspot.com Shivani

    Thanks for posting the link.

  • Manoj

    Thanks for the link Atanu.

  • http://ravikumar.blogdrive.com Ravi

    Thanks Atanu, for the post and this info. I did read this news item elsewhere on the web. What I did concentrate were his thoughts on life now that he had beaten a rare form of cancer!

  • Ananth

    This speech only makes me believe nothing is Random, Think about it….
    His biological mom had this strong view that her child should go to college. And this decision made even before he was born played had an important role later…

  • http://mphaxise.blogspot.com mphaxise

    @saheli and taran: haven’t u guys heard of the swinging seventies full of junkies… for sure steve jobs was a dope and it is just his choice to live the way he has lived his life. it was not how hard life is but to living a life and choosing a path in which you believe, however hard it may be.

    steve jobs was fantasied by the indian culture and the mysticism, which lead his to tour india during his adolecent years with a friend after which he went back to his parents garage to start Apple.

  • http://ssrdatta.blogspot.com Saheli

    But if all he can talk about is eating at a place disparagingly, what does that really say? I don’t know the tone of delivery, but it seems he was trying to show how hard up he was – not that he was influenced by any culture.

    I don’t think he was/is trying to show that he was particularly influenced by any culture, just that he was grateful for the free meals and appreciated the vegetarianism. It’s a fairly simple story and not that suprising to me at all. You have people who are inspired by Vaishnav philosophy and their devotion to Lord Krishna to give away free food, hoping it would attract others but also just deriving satisfaction from feeding people prasad. And you have someone who took advantage of that provision while seemingly adrift in his life, in such a way that he was able to later leverage that freedom to drift (freedom he had because he could count on that weekly good meal) into an enormously productive and admired endeavor. He’s giving this speech and getting so much honor because of that endeavor, and I think it’s rather nice and gentlemanly of him to express his gratitude to an institution that helped make it possible. I know of other people with similar, if less dramatic stories.

    @saheli and taran: haven’t u guys heard of the swinging seventies full of junkies…

    Yes, I have heard of them, and since I live in its capital, I’m pretty acquainted with its details. Jobs almost certainly experimented with drugs. I think this is well documented. I’m just saying he almost certainly didn’t get them from that Hare Krishna temple, especially not in the 70s. It’s a common and generally false assumption.

  • deepak

    Comments from Saheli and Taran only demostrate that we as really do not want to learn much from others.
    What is so doubtful about Hare krishna’s Free Sunday feast?
    Guys have you been to any Hare Krishna Temple!
    Go and visit one and then you will know!
    And being able to comment on somebody as great as Steve Jobs have some facts researched.

  • http://www.harmoniser.net Per Claesson

    I used to live in a Hare Krishna temple for 20 years. They are pretty straight. There were some slight drug problems here and there, but mainly individuals. One leader “branched off” somewhere back in the ’80s and started some LSD version of Hare Krishna, but he was expelled for doing that.

    You will most certainly not find drugs in the HK temples.

    /Per

  • Galia Yaksic

    I just came from India. Hare krishna people offered FREE and dandy veg. food to more than 10,000 people near Pune for three days in a row. I certainly didn’t see any drugs there.

  • Arpit Gupta

    You are absolutely right guys……there’s absolutely no drugs in HK temples..in fact,the movement was started in NY by Srila Prabhupada…he first converted a bunch of hippies(who were creating mess for the police!!) and made them into wonderful weg. devotees. He said ” Just chant
    HARE KRISHNA and be happy”