I wish that Grannymar had made a typo and the topic was risque rather than risk. Imagine if I had got it over the phone from her instead of reading it on the list! I would have gone to town with the topic.

Since that option is not available, I shall try and expound on the official topic of Risk.

Whenever we take any action with an outcome in mind, there are four possible outcomes. We get exactly what we hope for, we get more/better than what we hope for; we get less/worse than we hope for and finally something totally different from, even opposite of what we hope for. So, despite being capable of taking the action, there is always an element of uncertainty in the outcome and this is what we call risk. Most actions that we take however, are taken spontaneously without thinking too much about it and when that results in an unexpected outcome, is when we start wondering about risks.

My submission therefore is that risk is ever present in every action that we take and that it is nothing extraordinary to warrant a dissertation. Just getting out of the bed in the morning is a risky business. One can get caught in the folds of the sheets and trip and fall. Does one therefore not get out of the bed? Or does one never cross a road?

The big ticket risks are the ones that should cause us to pause and reflect before acting. Like marriage for instance! I can’t think of a bigger gamble than that in one’s life. Who better to write about it than Ghalib?

क़ैदे-हयात, बंदे-ग़म अस्ल में दोनों एक हैं,
मौत से पहले आदमी ग़म से निजात पाये क्यों?


The prison of life and the bondage of grief are one and the same
Before the onset of death, how can man expect to be free of grief?

All the four outcomes that I had listed above are possible and before one takes the gamble, if he accepts that it will be one of the possible outcomes, he will learn to adjust to the reality, post the action. Here again, I have known that the decision to get married is taken impulsively, because it seems to be the correct one at that time without anticipating that it may not turn out to be the Mills and Boons type of marriage and can lead to avoidable misery.

Another major risky decision that people take is in career change with a similar approach and avoidable misery is often the outcome. I had suggested to Nandu that he become a gym greeter like Wallmart greeters to encourage visitors to use the staircase instead of the escalator and this is what he had to say in response – “I would but I am told Walmart don’t pay much and I don’t like Chinese goods ! And career wise it will be like going up a down escalator – going nowhere fast!”

We are all the time taking risks consciously or unconsciously and it is as much part of life as breathing is. But I do see people vacillating and not being decisive weighing the risks and suffering and it usually amuses me. It is not however very amusing to me when it comes to my own vacillation. I am right now at a crossroads about where to live for the rest of my life. An old plan to sell the present larger than required home and move into a more manageable smaller one is occupying my thoughts but leaving the known, comfort zone is causing unease to say the least. Quite whether this is an inability to take the risk or whether it is just a clinging to the past is a moot point. Not being someone who spends time on weighing risks before taking action and more often than not, depending on my instincts, honed by such a long innings in the crease of life, to not let me down. this particular conundrum is a new experience. I have to come to grips with it soon and I no doubt will.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where eleven of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

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29 Responses to Risk.

  1. Maria says:

    Look, let’s be honest. Marriage is a risk, yada yada yada. How would most of us get the thing we want most otherwise.
    Maria recently posted..Indian Fiction – Monsoon Wedding Fever by Shoma Narayanan

    • Rummuser says:

      Look around Maria. They get it without marriage quite a lot. What happens behind closed doors in our patch of green is the most ill kept secret of Indian society.

    • Rummuser says:

      No, it is not the point and that is why I think that you should take up Grannymar’s challenge to me rather than I attempting that.

  2. Ursula says:

    Ramana, I agree: I too would have preferred you writing on risque rather than the ever present risk.

    I myself am not risk averse. But I only take “calculated” risks. By which I do not mean that I expect the outcome to be perfect. Not at all. Sometimes in life you need to gamble. On your own odds. Should you limp home broken – well, that’s the risk you took.

    Marriage? I don’t know. I think there is a fallacy in thinking that marriage is ‘a risk’ and that only ‘if the risk pays off’ (ie you stay together till death will you part) it was worth it. Not so. I have been married twice. Both marriages ran their natural course. And I regret neither, as indeed my two ex husbands don’t. You follow your heart at what is right at the time. No guarantees given. Neither should you look over your shoulder.

    As to you considering moving house. I feel for you. As, no doubt, the Buddhist would say: Your memories are your memories. You’ll take them with you wherever you go. And since your father’s death signifies a new chapter, maybe even a new beginning in your (and your son’s) life, a change of ‘habitat’ you may find invigorating, exciting, exhilarating.

    Sometimes I think people confuse ‘risk’ with ‘uncertainty’. And who likes ‘uncertainty’? But, just like you and your tumbled bed sheets, that’s what we have to live with: Uncertainty. The best advice I can give to anyone when having to make a decision: Follow your gut instinct. Don’t rush anything, neither be afraid. You, Ramana, will know when the right location comes along.

    All the best,
    Ursula recently posted..Not for the first time

    • Rummuser says:

      I will tell you what Ursula, I have just passed the buck to Maria to write on Risque. If she chickens out, I shall indeed oblige.

      I am floored by your comments Ursula. Thank you.

    • Rummuser says:

      Ah, the bard. We need a few like him now giving us such wisdom in modern language, sprinkled with many now accepted four letter words thrown in.

  3. The nice thing about being a cheerful pessimist is not expecting anything to be perfect. I don’t think of marriage as a risk, just an adventure.

    It will be interesting to see when the time becomes ripe for you to move. What possibilities are you considering?
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Yay, Us!

    • Rummuser says:

      Three. One, move into a two bed room flat with Ranjan, two, move into two single bed room flats in the same building and three move into an assisted living facility for senior citizens, while Ranjan moves into his own flat at a convenient location. When the time comes, one of these will fall into place.

  4. Grannymar says:

    I certainly do not agree with Ghalib’s interpretation of marriage. I found it emancipating. It is my belief that what you get out of marriage, depends on what you put in. You need to begin each day as if it were the first, but live it as if it were to be the last.

    Ramana you often follow the LBC topic with a Part 2….. Why not follow this post with the one you wanted: risqué.
    Grannymar recently posted..Thursday Special ~ Dead Penguins

  5. If we can remember lets add risque to the list of topics. I found myself saying, “yes, yes” over and over as I read. I am not much of a risk taker and I always have a back-up plan if things go wrong. You know Plan A – Plan B.
    Maria from Silverfox recently posted..Risk

  6. tammy says:

    i needed and was helped by all this discourse on risk taking.
    i especially liked ursula’s take on it all. even marriage.
    i have also been thinking of moving house rummy!
    i’m not a list maker like that of pros and cons. i’m a gut instinct person.
    at least i always have been. now all of a sudden it seems to be failing me. i’m like a pingpong ball.
    i know the full force of what charlie brown always says AAAGGGHHH!!!

    • Rummuser says:

      I prefer Homer Simpson Tammy:
      “Dear Lord.. The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here’s the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won’t ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal.”

      And Douglas Adams:
      “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

  7. wisewebwoman says:

    The answers always come, Ramana, and they will in your case too. I think far more weight is put into the word “risk” than it deserves, especially in modern times. “Chance” might be a better word. We take chances all the time, if we are living our life to the fullest and not lurking under the covers.
    wisewebwoman recently posted..Moving the Toothbrush

    • Rummuser says:

      I think that I should quote that modern sage Douglas Adams: again:
      I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

  8. Delirious says:

    I think you are right, everything has a risk. Some risks are greater than others.
    Delirious recently posted..Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium: Risk

  9. Maxi says:

    “I am right now at a crossroads about where to live…” I understand this dilemma well. When my husband passed away last year I faced the same situation.

    He and I discussed this and I thought for sure that I would sell the house and move to a smaller place. Instead, my best friend moved in and we share the house. She has her quarters and I have mine.

    This was a risk we took and it has worked well. We are not joined at the hip; she lives her life as I do. At times we come together and visit or go to breakfast and shop.

    Hope everything works out for you as well. Good luck to you, Rummy.
    Blessings ~ Maxi
    Maxi recently posted..Home Sweet Home

    • Rummuser says:

      I am, sure that it will all work out well eventually as everything in my life so far has. It is the anticipation that is the intriguing part!

  10. Jody says:

    Given that, as you yourself say, the uncertainty about the idea of a move is unusual for you, don’t you think you know the answer?
    Jody recently posted..Kirkus Review of ADELE, THE RABBI’S MOTHER

  11. Looney says:

    I am not sure that a life without risk would provide enough entertainment to be worth living. Thus, I wonder about the future world as governments legislate to ban risk.
    Looney recently posted..More Fog and Jonah

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