I sat in my cabin, watching the rain outside. I love my cabin. Partly because this is the first time I am not sharing my work space with other people. And largely because I have carved it into a space that mirrors my mind. I have put up photographs that I love, cards that have been gifted to me, magazine clippings that I have been attracted to, posters with quotes that have inspired me the most. On my desk, I have stationary of all kinds. I have always loved stationary. Perhaps because I am a writer? And then I have a coffee mug and some books. I love the feel of that place.
As I watched the rain outside, two men knocked on the door. They were from Elsevier Publishers. I had met one of them before, and he had taken my opinion on the South Asian edition of Guyton’s textbook of Physiology. I had given him my opinion in brief. This time, they had a more detailed discussion. I was very pleased because I have never been in favour of substituting Guyton, and I haven’t been very happy with the restructuring of the book either. I found myself getting passionate as I spoke my mind, explaining why the original version of the textbook was immensely appealing. I stressed on the fact that the editing had cut the flow in many segments, and there was a general drift towards a more factual tone, as opposed to the original version, which bears a strong emotional appeal. The passion element was missing in many places. We discussed on how the faculty had played an important role in encouraging students to switch from Guyton to ‘apparently simple’ books, and how it was actually our moral responsibility to promote textbooks like Guyton, which taught fundamentals and concepts. I didn’t wish to be a part of this deterioration. The passage of time does not alter the fundamentals. So I am in favour of retaining and protecting Guyton, because it has no substitute. I would be happy to review the South Asian edition and work on maintaining the essence, flow and beauty of the original version. The discussion was so heartening because we were all on the same page here.
In those few minutes of exchange of thoughts and perspectives, we had all evolved a trifle. All of us felt the excitement of contributing meaningfully to the world. As they bid goodbye, I couldn’t help thinking that passion is perhaps the most powerful tool to change the world. When you are deeply passionate about something, it instills power into the words you speak and the things you do. It attracts people to your perspective. They want to listen to you. They start to believe in you. And they start to believe it will work, no matter how impossible it may actually sound. Passion is infectious. It can set up a revolution.