I am thinking and I am thinking. And then I realise, that is just what I am doing! I am
SIMPLY just THINKING!
And then I think, what is it that stops us from doing the right thing?
What stops us from DOING and encourages us just to think?
The other day I was working on my system, early in the morning. (Early as in, really early.. as early as 10 am.) My mom enters the room. Sits on my bed and says, “So when is your life going to be in place?”.
I stop what I am doing and look at her.
She repeats, “You asked for time to do your own thing. We have given you the time. Now what? It’s not that we don’t believe in you, it’s just that we are wondering why aren’t you able to get a good job. And settle down?”
And I think, how self-contradictory can a statement be? Yes, I get the answer in my mother’s last sentence. Yes, I guess that is the degree.
I say “Mom, I only just finished my portfolio last week. I have just started applying to jobs. It will take some time before I get what I want. Besides, I made a conscious decision and took this break. It’s my choice mom.”
My mom says, “Please Apsara. Don’t go that way again. I don’t want to hear all that. I am just asking when will you get everything you want?”
And I think, does anybody have the answer to that question? Aren’t “wants” something we can’t account for? When does man get everything he wants? I am thinking philosophy, when my mother’s expression tells me she is expecting a logically coherent answer, with a probable reference to the calendar; perhaps even the clock.
I explain “mom” and turn away in exasperation, with a frown that I try my best to hide.
“do you know what you are going to cook day after tomorrow?” I ask.
She says, “ what rubbish Apsara. Of course not. That depends on what vegetables I buy. This is irrelevant.”
“Mom”, I say in a calm tone, “ you don’t know what vegetables will be available in the market day after, and what you will cook following that; how can you expect me to tell you, when my life will fall in place?”
“keep arguing Apsara. You are just wasting your life”. She turns and walks away.
Great. First a struggle, a struggle that I am enjoying to the core, no doubt; but it is still a struggle! So first a struggle to define life and the path to head, and then to face constant criticism from parents who think you are the black sheep. Hmm… for them , they lost their beautiful MBA pursuing girl to a one who does nothing but writes weird poems, articles and quotes for weird images she has either drawn, photographed or downloaded. Yes, from their point of view, I am lost. From mine, I am just started, the right way.
But at that moment, I am not all that optimistic. So, I pick the phone and call my best friend (and worst enemy), and start randomly whining about how pathetic it is to survive, and how I want to stop all this and pick up the next opportunity and do anything. What is this journey of self discovery? Why the hell is it important at all?
I could simply do an MBA (having got a great score even without working too hard), get a classic high paying job, and settle down content. I’d be on my feet again. Free. A path where I work as hard (as otherwise), but manage material things faster.
He cuts me in, and says “Apsara, wait. Can we meet now? In 15 mins?” , “Now!” I exclaim. “Okay”, I agree. “Where?” , I ask. A moment’s pause. “At the zoo. I’ll see you at the entrance” he says and cuts the phone. ZOO! I wonder. Fine. I am there. I buy myself a cup of road-side-chai, and sip it, as I wait. I am half way through, when he arrives.
“So, how are we?” he asks, enthusiastically. “Am ok . Ab bol. Kyon zoo pe bulaya.?” I reply with the question.
“Apsara. Relax. We can talk in a while. Relax now.” We are walking and I try to concentrate on thinking about what my great philosopher friend has to say, but my mind is drawn to the ice cream parlour in-house. The best chocolate chips I have ever had.
“And what are you thinking?” he asks. “un.. hmm” I clear my throat, “nothing.”
And all of a sudden I wonder what I am doing there. Why am I walking in a zoo. Why am I thinking about chocolate ice creams. Why am I talking to a friend about my problem ; ultimately, as I always say, the battle is yours alone! Then why look around? Why not just act? Why not just concentrate on something, direct your energies anywhere, and eventually get results. I had read an article once, about a girl who was a BPO employee by night and an RJ by the day. So, if you really want to do something, you could always multi-task, right? I want a career in creative communications. So what! I could continue working technical, as well as pursue creative. But then, that’s what I always thought. And that’s what, never happened.
Conclusion: I quit my perfect job to pursue a dream.
Remarks : I went from being a talented daughter of the family, to being wasted citizen of the country.
The walk had brought us to the caged deer and I found myself staring at one particular hero, on top of a make-belief mount. Probably, the head of the herd. He had large horns, a firm gait, and visibly strong feet. He held his head upright, brisk, and confident. He was overlooking his fellow companions. Yes, they perhaps needed the comfort of his vigil.
“That is you”, my friend interrupted.
Huh? I gave him a quizzical look and went back to looking at the hero of the troop.
“You think he is happy?” the philosopher asked.
“ He is a deer even the lions would fear!”he continued.
“His acumen, his speed , his strength can even defeat the great carnivores. In the wild, when he is in charge, his team feels safe. He can protect, he can lead. He can do whatever he pleases. He has the capabilities.” My mentor paused. (Yes, by now he was on a slight pedestal.)
“But he is here. In the cage. Not living his full capabilities. Not living his dreams. Not doing all the things he could and wished to.”
“Suppose beyond this mesh is his forest, then what should he do?” He asked.
“He can’t do much. He can’t break free.” I reply.
“But he can try, can’t he?” my friend proposes.
The deer in question, which believes in his qualities, in his dreams, in his desires; could probably spend his whole life fighting the walls of his cage; he could keep trying till he breaks free, and enters the wild. He could win or fail. He could hope. He could look forward to a future.
Or, the deer in question could live a life of contentment. He could be comfortable with the position he held in his community. He could keep his mates happy, live a secure life.
In my reality, probably my MBA would have brought me to such a pedestal. A job , a position and respect in the eyes of even my grandmother. But I think, which path would I prefer to choose? Would I want the make-belief pedestal or would this pursuit of satisfaction-from-profession make me sacrifice my social status?
The free mind is our weapon. We can use it to liberate ourselves. We can use to do what we please. Strange, but only with a free mind can you feel happy! By free I mean, not idle; but free. Free will. No bondage. No restriction. It suddenly dawned on me, that this is so true for all of us! Even my first romance had once commented, “I love the free, aspiring Apsara. She can win anything”. “She” can, not because she is supernatural or fantastically talented. “She” can, only because she wishes to.
Free will. That is the strength. If you are in any profession by free will, do the restrictions, rules or principles bother you, thereafter? You can conquer the greatest of battles if you are doing what you wish to. In fact, then the challenges are fun 😉 and exciting. It becomes a sport , where you win because you are well-trained and playing out of love for the game, and not fear of survival.
Too much philosophy? Well, at least it explained why I was thinking of chocolate ice creams. Free will to cheer up .
It also explained why I think so much or why we all do. Free will again, in a restricted context. We are so often, so bound with undue or due concerns that we end up just “thinking” and not “acting”
Again, too much philosophy? 😉 well it only gets better.
“Look at this” he said suddenly, pointing at the gate for the toy train.
The toy train doesn’t run any more, but the tracks are still intact. The gate was shut. You could see the tracks ahead of the closed gate, and the tracks leading to the gate.
“Duniya aisi hi hai. Pehle bolti hai aage rasta hai , aur phir bandh darwaze dikhati hai.”
But the irony lies in the way the gate is shut.
Take a look at this again.
Duniya sahi mein aisi he hai ;).
Pehle raste dikhati hai, phir bandh darwaze. Par un bandh darwazon ke tale kamzor hi hote hai. Unhe khol kar koi bhi aage badh sakta hai, but kholne ki niyatt honi chahiye.
As you can see here, there is only a thin wire closing the gate. Anybody who wishes to cross only needs to put in that much effort to do so; and the then …………the road not taken, is taken.