Snakes and Ladders

I am always told that we should not become participants of a rat race. In the same breath I am warned that I should work harder to become someone. The quest is not to do something, it is all about becoming someone.

What I think? I would say it is no sin to go wrong or just living idly for some time. If you did not work hard that is because in subconscious you did not feel the pull for that particular endeavour. That might have resulted in an option forgone. A chance missed, thousands more to come. No big deal!

In the prestigious IITs, one or more students commit suicide every year. Young boys with bright futures ahead. They lived with a constant guilt of time they have wasted and opportunities they lost. They often had less achievements than their peers. They were exhorted to achieve their true potential which was theoretically and rightfully, infinite. So they felt like underachievers. People around them added emphasis on the ‘under’ and ignored the ‘achievers’. As a result someone envied by millions others committed suicide.

What we fail to realize is that life is not a race on tightrope. It is a game of snakes and ladders. If you have a ladder nearby, work to catch it. If you miss, it’s all right, just keep moving. If you get bitten, No problem! go search for a ladder nearby. Just keep rolling the dice!

For every ladder you have climbed, a snake is awaiting just round the corner. For every snake who bit you, life will compensate with a ladder albeit at a distance.

In a perverse paraphrasing of a movie dialogue: bus, train, ladki aur opportunity; ek jaye to doosri aati hai.


A wonderful quote says, “Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted!” Because the world is not rational, we don’t need to be either.


PS1: Snakes and Ladders was invented in India many centuries ago to teach virtues and vices at different stages of life. Of course the ultimate aim was to attain moksha.

PS2: Mathematically, if the dice is rolled a large number of times, the cumulative probability of finishing the game comes close to 1. (It’s around 175 in a chart on wikipedia. Link here)


16 thoughts on “Snakes and Ladders

  1. Bhayya, love this one. Never think from this perspective while plating it. The ups N downs of life is beautifully depicted 🙂

    But, I want a total destruction, not just suicide, criticise or cry.

  2. i sincerely hope your friends and other young people are reading this post priyank. this is a lesson we have to teach our youngsters- we are not perfect but that doesnot makes us unworthy of living!

    • Thank you Maám! I’m glad you liked it. I was moved by the recent incident of brutal rape in Delhi following which I wrote a small article here. In reply, a respected and kind lady commented that death might be the sole escape from physical and mental agony the girl will face all her life. I hope, rather pray, she gets another ladder.
      As you very well said, nothing makes life unworthy of living.

      • i am really not very in support of death of the victims of brutality, i will hope and pray with you that she gets a ladder and complete recovery atleast physically.

        a person who deserves love and sympathy of every natural human being should live to convince us that majority of us are human beings.

        • “to convince us that majority of us are human beings ” – I see how deeply such incidents shake our faith in humanity. I am sure you must have seen many more cases, but young people have now started demanding public castration and public hanging of the culprits. Many more people along with the victim loose their innocence and calm by such grievous crime.

  3. Hi Priyank….
    “For every ladder you have climbed, a snake is awaiting just round the corner. For every snake who bit you, life will compensate with a ladder albeit at a distance.” It is so true and also true that it is understood to very few people. I have seen my friends who were dull/inactive in all but have gone abroad ( Dubai and China). I guess they have got ladder very quickly.

    • I’m glad that you liked the post. (This is the first time someone has reblogged a post of mine)
      There are countless stories of people who have moved up or down in no time. They walked the road less travelled. Also these days opportunities galore, so its easier to find ways to move ahead quick.

  4. Pingback: Snakes and Ladders « Manoj Hipparagi

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