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Monday, March 30, 2009

Are you a boro guru or a buro goru?

Goru (produces shit and eats grass, attends Moha Guru-Goru seminars, MGG)--> 'buro goru--> guru (produces milky knowledge and meaty words, chairing MGG seminars, panelists)--> boro guru (produces shit and eats grass--> reincarnation as a goru.

So which phase of evolution are you in? Are you simply still a ‘goru’ or a ‘buro goru’ or you have successfully become a ‘guru’ or better still…you have grown to be a ‘boro guru’? Think about it…are you eating enough grass, producing lot of intellectual cow-dung or are you truly producing quality milk (fat free) in form of new and contextual wisdom, idea, knowledge? Wondering what all these ‘goru-guru’ dilly dally is all about?

Well, I am a strong supporter of the petition that the Bangla word ‘goru’ be included in the English language dictionary, pretty much as the Bangla word ‘guru’ (Yes I claim it to be a Bangla word and lets brand it) is widely used these days to describe someone full of knowledge and expertise in any particular field. A ‘goru’ is someone like me who is amused very easily and frequently by the ‘knowledge’ of prominent gurus of branding, entrepreneurship, management etc. A ‘goru’ initially does not have the required know-how, contacts, platform, money to become a ‘guru’ himself eventually. So he tries to get free tickets to Moha Guru-Goru (MGG) seminars on business, management, brands etc. to achieve enlightenment.

A ‘buro goru’ is a bigger version of a ‘goru’. Someone who keeps on circling in the same cycle over years, without much success to neither implement the knowledge received from ‘gurus’ and ‘boro gurus’ in seminars, workshops nor being able to become a ‘guru’ himself by hook or by crook. ‘buro gorus’ also find themselves in the audience seat of the same seminars, events held year after year in the same city in different locations and keep on repeating the same act of dressing up well and exchanging business cards and smile, hand-shakes during the programs, without much success.

The definition of a ‘guru’ is already given and we are seeing many of them heating up the conference hotel rooms in Dhaka recently, pretty much on a regular basis. A ‘boro guru’ is the ‘baap’ of all gurus, usually with ‘many years of experience and awards’ in the designated fields. Although ‘gurus’ are generally seen to generate bits and pieces of knowledge during those events, ‘boro gurus’ usually become stale and end up producing lot of old wine in new bottle. In other words, they produce same shit and keep on living on grasses until they realize that they have again become a ‘goru’, thus completing the cycle of ‘gurulogy’.

A popular proverb in Bangla says ‘deshi jogi bhik payna’. (Wonder if any exact English exists or not…but lets put it as….country beggar gets no alms). But another proverb is ready to enter into the Bangla linguistics which would go as ‘Bangladeshe bideshi bhikhario jogi-guru shomo’ (in Bangladesh, even a foreign beggar is guru-like’). We are seeing more and more ‘shada babas’ and ‘bideshi bystanders’ coming into Bangladesh and giving us knowledge on hot topics such as branding, business and management. No wonder during the global credit crunch, emerging economies like Bangladesh are the best place to sell some words and earn some living isn’t it? No wonder when the West started embracing Yoga, the elites in our part of the world were convinced that it must be a good thing. When Madonna started donning henna (mehendi), we also became aware and crazy about using it even in previously unusual occasions. Somehow we can’t still believe that our local boys, girls, uncles, aunties are good enough to be given the same platform, glamour, publicity when it comes to preaching about branding, business, management, entrepreneurship etc. We need a white magic stick or even an Indian one, to show us the way, which had been lying in front of us for a long time anyways, only gathering negligence, mistrust and dust from our part.

Some good thing about attending these hotel-bound conferences are the feel-good-factor, look-good-factor, talk-good-factor. You sit in a sound-proof room, with big shots, small and big fishes in the industry and listen to things which you think you are hearing for the first time. However a careful recalling might lead you to the fact that you must have studied the same concepts in your business school, if you were serious enough a student that is. Also, if you leverage the web 2.0 you could be very well abreast with the latest thoughts and directions in the fields of your interest. But oi arki, we love exclusivity, we would make sure we understand something new from a seminar we attend after paying a hefty price for the ticket. After all, what would others say if I admit that it was more glamour, good hotel food and mingling with the wanna-bees and wanna-babes in the local and global corporate sector, rather than any true value addition to knowledge?

A good thing however about foreign ‘gurus’ is that they have acquired the required body language and classy acts to transmit their thoughts or even hide their shallow knowledge in some occasions. However, they are more or less ‘feet on the ground’. Many of our ‘desi gurus’ unfortunately sometimes suffer from ‘bhaab’ syndromes (an attitude problem) and walk a feet above ground due to the helium-heavy-heads and airy talks. The genuine ones keep off from the gaudy display of knowledge and prefer alternative means to become a true ‘guru’. But they remain in low lights due to no branding, not many good friends in right places, money etc.

As a simple ‘goru’ myself, I would love to see these desi, humble, down to earth and resourceful ‘guru’s teach and preach us about how to do branding and business in Bangladesh. Its our problem we don’t brand our local voices more and give more weight to what ‘others’ say. How many of our so called local think-tanks on branding have actually been invited to deliver speeches on the same topics outside of Bangladesh?

End of a goru-post. Hamba.
Disclaimer: The Cow (goru) is a lovely animal, the author has composed long essays on this gentle animal while in high school and achieved high grades. This post does not intend to harm personally any innocent 'goru' or a 'guru'. Whatever you are, be happy, eat grass, produce milk, shit and happy hambaa-ing in the seminars.

1 comment:

Mahboob Hossain said...

Goru is a very intelligent animal. If there is any animal that deserves respect, than it surely is goru. As a goru has ability to ignore everything around, so does our GURU's (Goru's). No matter how much we write, a true goru will ignore all and keep on producing its valuable gobor because there is no one to challenge. When the goru's stand and deliver speech, how many critical questions are thrown at them? We still dwell in an era where leaders say what to do instead of how to do. Let's start asking "How" to all the Guru's (goru's).