Measure twice cut once …

The first money I earned was by stitching a dress for a friend of mine in Jamnagar, during my first year college. The only work in the SUPW class that I enjoyed was learning how to sew. When we lost heavily as we shut down our business, I once again went and learnt how to sew all over again. Infact Hareesh might have forgotten, but he paid for the sewing machine that we had bought in Chennai and I repaid him the instalments… We sold off the sewing machine before moving to Delhi and then I never felt the need for a machine as mom found me an awesome lady tailor in Gurgaon. She stitched all my blouses and life was good. When we moved to Bangalore, I couldn’t find a good tailor for some strange reason and then the interest to sew came back. I went and bought a sewing machine and started with saree falls and repairing some of the blouses etc.

A month or so back, I started experimenting with sarees and making up a new sari from two old sarees… Infact I managed to make two new sarees so far and will soon make more. It was during the making of the first saree that I cockily stitched one side of one saree and the wrong side of the other saree and then closed the seams too :). When I had to put in the falls, I realised the mistake I had made. I just cut the small strip off and then had to redo the saree all over to get it right.

They teach all tailors to measure twice and cut once … Because once you have cut, there can only be repairs, and the final product could get rejected !! I forgot the teaching. But I try not to forget it at work or in life. Always think of the consequences before taking a big step, words once uttered, action once taken, are very hard to retract or retrace. Measure the distance to the airport and take the taxi well in advance, or else the flight will be missed. Pack all the things you need, again well in advance, and don’t forget the important papers like your passport … You get the drift ? Stop at that one drink, one drink too many leads to many many more. There is a “Thirukural” which reads as “theeyenal sutta pun ullarum aaradhe naavinal sutta vadu” – தீயினால் சுட்ட புண் உள்ளாறும் ஆறாதே நாவினால் சுட்ட வடு (திருக்குறள்). What it means is the scar left because of words never heal, while the wound due to a fire can heal. So watch what you say.

Basically forethought wins .. Think ahead, plan for what’s coming your way, have a backup plan and a contingency plan, then get to action. Our PM signifies this – his victory was planned to the last detail. He has tremendous forethought. And all his detractors were left wondering what hit them ! Think of your work place – forethought wins again. Succession planning, working on the important things and not just the urgent things (Stephen Covey’s urgent-important grid), all different forms of saying the same thing – forethought wins.

So remember to measure twice and cut once. Forethought wins.

P.s “Thirukural” is a collection of 1330 couplets written by Thiruvalluvar sometime between 1 BC and 8 AD… 2000 years back ! They provide answers to most issues faced by man. Read about Thiruvalluvar here.

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