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Arbit - the spiritual side

Arbit Choudhury

For the uninitiated, Arbit Choudhury is a web-comic run by 4 friends (including me) focusing on Management jargon related humour and features 'Arpit Choudhury' - a B-school student in India who is famous for his wisecracks among his friends. We release regular comics - you can subscribe to them on Facebook, Twitter or email.

Way back in 2004 when we started Arbit, we had initially chosen a different name for it - it was part parody of a then famous Management Guru, part a play on words (something which Arbit is famous for!).  We for some reason did not like the name and asked our friends to suggest other names - of the several names which were proposed, "Arbit" was one. While I and Shubham were convinced of the name 'Arbit', Hemant wasn't quite so. So we ended up going back to our friends, conducted a poll on the NITIE LAN, and "Arbit" won!

But it was not until recently that the spiritual relevance of this name we gave to our creation, strike me.  I was brooding a couple of days back on events happening in office and our lives in general, when I came to a realization that events in life, when they happen, almost always seem pretty 'Arbitrary'. Of course there are times when one gets amused at a lucky or peculiar coincidence of events looking fateful, but these are more exceptions to the rule.

In general, life is very Arbitrary - but at the same time, these arbitrary events give rise to spectacular results also. Steve Jobs' now famous Staford Commencement address illustrates how he dropped in (uninvited) to a calligraphy class, after dropping out of the college itself - which led to his insight of adding equal spaced typeface (TrueType) fonts to the Mac (which was later copied to Windows) [read the story, see the video, read why fonts were an important 'invention'].
In fact Steve himself is one of the most classic examples of what wonders some arbitrary events can result into. Steve is unquestionably one of the greatest thinkers and influencers for the 21st century (like Newton was for 19th and Einstein for 20th) - but Steve's birth and upbringing was full of coincidences. Steve was born to the then unmarried college students - an American with Swiss origin and an Syrian father - the couple eventually did marry and have another child, but at that time, his mother put him up for adoption. The coincidences continued where his adopted parents decided to move to Sillicon Valley, California where the future of mankind was being written, and eventually had Jobs make it to the A list of inventors.
The existence of mankind itself has involved several arbitrary events which led to the birth of the first living microbe which eventually led to evolution of various life forms - from dinosaurs to chimpanzees. And possibly some other random event led to the end of 135 million year dominance of dinosaurs, which created way for domination of the world by an intelligent species of humans.

Even selection of the name 'Arbit' can be considered a random choice because it resulted from a random poll result - neither was the poll conducted on a sample of people chosen scientifically, nor did we get 100% responses. But the name anyhow seems to have served itself well, so much so that, for the past 8 years we have continued publishing regular comic strips (24 comics an year).

And Arbit, is an auspicious name because it summarizes quite aptly the very nature of our lives, the nature of the universe and possibly our very existence!


  1. I have been thinking about some of these things off and on as well. What happens in our lives is a combination of an infinite number of variables in the universe. This also leads us to the profound teaching of the Geeta - your deeds are in your hands, not their results. The results depend on the deeds of many other individuals and systems. Hence once should not attach themselves to the results.

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