Think obsessed and we think of a psychotic stalking lover or a youngster playing video games to the exclusion of food and sleep. Even medical terms like OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) add to the bad rap.
But the fact is that most of the greatest accomplishments and successes have been by individuals who were obsessed to the point of being considered insane. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Ratan Tata, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Sachin Tendulkar...
They are the epitome of success, and obsession. And on the other hand there are those with wonderful dreams but who do nothing about it.
They are not the doers. They are the majority who do not believe in the motto: Carpe Diem (seize the day, Latin approximation). So is it time we change the definitions?
Kanchivaram's protagonist is vilified and loses everything at the end, and rightly so, since his obsession leads him onto a path where his moral compass is left without a bearing.
But is his obsession that is wrong or the path? Had he not done anything illegal or immoral, at least not to our knowledge, and had still suffered the same fate, would we have felt that he deserved to have succeeded?
Or do we feel he deserved his silk saree despite all that he did, simply because he was obsessed with it? Or is it that for every one person who succeeds because of her single mindedness, hundreds others reach the end of their lives: broken, reviled, disillusioned?