When do we say “QUITS”

Honorable Exit !

When do we call it “Quits” is a million dollar question and unfortunately most people find it difficult to take this call. The famous Indian Opener of Indian Cricket said that “one should quit, when people ask – WHY and not when people ask – WHYNOT”. A simple statement but a very powerful one.
The debate in every household and at every party is when is Sachin going to “retire”.  An icon in Indian Sports all these years but seen failing in the last one year and seen as clinging to the team due to his past history than his current form. Its  just not Sachin, when you look around in all walks of life, you have Michael Schumacher, Roger Federer, Dr Manmohan Singh, LK Advani, Narayan Murthy Amitab Bachan, Sri Devi etc who are clinging to fame and stardom despite having crossed the hill.
Schumacher was the epitome of Formulae 1 in his 1stinnings and when he called it quits it was really a shock as he quit during his prime time. But sadly his return from retirement was a disaster and every sundry driver was overtaking him and it really a bad fall and taken the sheen on Schumacher.
It’s the same story with Roger Federer. He has won every title on the Tennis circuit and is the highest Grand Slam winner but sadly clinging on to the circuit and being beaten by lowly ranked player this year. The invincibility around him is gone and he has become a easy target for anyone to beat.
The less said about Dr Manmohan Singh, the better. He was held in the highest esteem and seen as  the architect of modern Indian economics and a man of impeccable integrity in his first innings as Finance Minister under Narasimha Rao, but sadly in his second innings as a Politician he has become the butt of ridicule. Not only does he seem to have failed as a Politician (surrounded by corrupt Politicians) but also as a Economist, with the Indian Economy having hit the lowest nadir in it its economic history in the last 3 decades.  He fails to understand that a watchman’s primary duty is to safeguard the safety of the property and the people that he has been assigned to and cannot absolve himself of his responsibility when allround theft is happening in front of his own eyes. The joke was when he was nursing his ambition to have another go as Prime Minister a third time around. He is 86 and wants to continue to run the Government at 92. Running a country is no joke (sure he must have realised by now) and requires able bodied people and sure Dr Manmohan Singh is not able bodied any more – physically or mentally.
The same with LK Advani in his later eighties wants to have a shot at the Prime Ministers post again and playing spoil sport in allowing Modi have a shy at it. What a poor climbdown from a statesman.
Well if we were to only blame politicians, Narayan Murthy has been a real disappointment. When he said that the CEO’s role must be a limited tenure and must have a definitive retirement age, every one in the industry welcomed his idea and he set a great example. But his sudden return to Corporate life 5 years after he retired has raised eyebrows in all quarters. Adding salt to his injury, a person who vociferously lobbied against promoting dynasty rule whether in politics or in business, got his son into Infosys as his Executive Assistant and earned the ire of many inside and outside of Infosys. What a climbdown from the high pedestal of morality.
And so it is the same case with Amitabh Bachan or Sri Devi. They still want to be in the limelight competing with younger heroines and heroes.
There are very few who got it right like Sunil Gavaskar, GR Vishwanath, Steffi Graff, Pete Sampras etc, who quit when they were still in their prime and left with their head still high.
Its often said that its lonely at the top and the glaze of stardom is their only company. May be its true. These stars find it very difficult to go out of limelight for fear of being nudged out of attention.  What they fail to see is that the reputation that they had assiduously built over the years and the invincibility that they had gathered around them is slowly disintegrating and they might set into sunset as a failed HERO.
It not just for these stars. Even in normal life we find it difficult to time our Exit. How long do Parents continue to call shots in a family and force decisions on their children and control the family. How long do Senior Executives in Corporate world cling on to their post even when business is declining and blocking the growth of talented youngsters. How long does a spiritual Guru / Godman hang on to his pedestal. Its time that seniors pave the way for youngsters and gracefully pass on the mantle rather than be forced or eased their way out. 

Well its easier said than done and looks like a strong temptation that many stars are finding it difficult to resist…………Even a lesser known mortal like me is struggling in this regard !!!!!!
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