Do you know the difference between Jalebi and a Jangry? Many of us think that both are same. But few of us can differentiate between a Jalebi and a Jangry. Recently when I visited my aunt’s place, my aunt offered me delicious sweets along with hot coffee. I thoroughly enjoyed it and started appreciating my aunt for the authentic Jangry she prepared. At that point of time, my uncle, Balu mama intervened and started explaining that the sweet was Jalebi and not Jangry. He also started explaining the differences between Jalebi and Jangry. I was curious to know the subtle differences between them , since I believed both are same.
“Sundar,…. Jalebi is actually made of maida flour, while Jangry is made of Urad Dhal….. Jangry has a perfect symmetrical shape, while Jalebi has a free format….. Jalebi is crispier while, Jangry is soggy….. Jalebi is yellow in color, whereas Jangry is orange in color.”
“Oh, My God! I never knew that so many differences between Jalebi and Jangry. I was awestruck with the descriptions given by Balu mama. I started believing that he should really be a culinary expert. My aunt jumped in and said that Balu mama never entered the kitchen, but he is very curious in knowing the recipe of each and every item she prepares.
When someone able to articulate the subtle differences of similar looking objects or entities, he/she is considered as having better clarity in that subject and also considered as a “Sub Matter Expert (SME)”.
In Chennai during December month, the classical music season would happen, wherein the connoisseur of carnatic music throng all over from the world. Apart from enjoying the music, many of the music lovers indulge in an unique activity. What’s that? It is nothing but identifying the ragas of the songs sung by the musician. Many a times the musician would not reveal what song he/she is going to sing or what raga he/she is planning to elaborate. During this raga identification exercise, there used to be some kind of ambiguity. For example when one of the audience identifies that the raga sung by the musician is ‘Kalyani’, another person may jump in and say that the raga is not ‘Kalyani’, but it is ‘Yaman Kalyani’. During the coffee break, he would explain the subtle differences between ‘Kalyani’ and ‘Yaman Kalyani’ with the help of swaras present in each raga. The person who gives this kind of explanation might not have formally learnt music. But people consider them as music genius. That is when clarity helps people to project themselves as experts.
Twenty years back, I was involved in an Operator training Simulator (OTS) project for a Thailand based oil and gas company. The turnkey project was bagged by Norwegian company. Then it was subcontracted to a Korean company. This company was supposed to erect the gas plant and commission it. The plant automation project was awarded to a Singapore based company. The Singapore based company involved another Japanese company in designing the OTS for the customer. Finally, we were working for the Japanese company from India.
When I attended the kickoff meeting, everyone looked the same. I considered all of them as people from far-east and expected them to behave the same manner. But during the course of the project, I had to involve each team independently. I could find the subtle differences between each nationality and their cultures. As days progress, I could find how they differ in the way they work and think. Spending more time with people helps me to understand them better and helps me to become an expert in dealing with people.
Five Tips to Improve Clarity Mindset
- Developing an eye for details is an important quality. This mindset would help us to get clarity on any subject. Take an object and look at the object for 2–3 minute. Just jot-down some high level abstract details about the object. Now again take the same object and look for more details. Again jot down a detailed analysis of the object.
- Listen to a movie song and figure out what kind of musical instruments are used in the song.
- Read a novel and identify one characteristic feature for all the characters.
- Take a cluster and try to analyze details. For example, try to understand the culture in far-east and then move to understand the subtle cultural difference between Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese etc
- Understand the subtle difference between the following phrases. Finally you should able to tell the differences to a kid without any difficulty.
- Poison and Venom
- Cyclone, Hurricane, Tornado, Typhoon and Storm
- Hearing and Listening
- Job and Work
- Boss and Leader
- Travelling and Commuting
- Scribbling and Doodling