What is to be Done!?
Pity me not; I am no longer a case of an adolescent suffering from every-night-insomnia. Infinite possibilities stand before me and yet here I stand, knee-deep in a river of pointless careerism.
Disclaimer: Prior reading this, I advise you to abandon all hope within you! And if you had abandoned it long ago, please disregard this notice and keep on reading outpours of my incoherent mind…
I needed to declare that for two reasons.
1) This piece of writing is equivalent to a comedian with no material, a monsoon with no rain, an e-mail with no subject matter, a book with no title and a film with no plot whatsoever. It is as random as it can get. 2) As I mentioned in my previous article that I firmly believe, I am a non-practicing writer, so I haven’t produced a goddamn predicate in past two weeks.
Well anyway, it is a tranquil midnight of fourth day of April. I can’t remember if there is anything special about this particular day or any day in this month. Each effort to shut my eyes and fool my mind that I am sleepy, has nobly failed.
Pity me not; I am no longer a case of an adolescent suffering from every-night-insomnia. Infinite possibilities stand before me and yet here I stand, knee-deep in a river of pointless careerism. While gazing at my moon-shadow, I feel dreadfully barren. My mind is crowded with cold memories from winter that has passed. By mid-summer, doubtlessly, I will be occupied with newer and warmer worries.
I am dismayed with my life right now, but I am not entirely unhappy about that. I tenaciously require a reason to mold myself into happiness, even if it does last for a number of hours; and on the other hand, I can be idiotically sad for weeks. Bear in mind, there’s no way for you to know what it’s like until it happens to you. What I really love and look forward in my gloom that, it is always penetrable by things that succeed to cheer me up. Well enough of that for now and I will get back on that later; take a deep breath, it is time to take a dive into bottomless nostalgia.
Around this time of last year, I had been living in a city- A city that is principally lenient to realistic (or pragmatic) people but it is morbidly ruthless to daydreamers. A city that sucks you in like a vacuum but it simply just doesn’t spit you out- Unless, of course, some unfathomable accident occurs and consequently you are left with only choice to return to your roots.
A city that is so hell-bent on destroying everything that it was ever known for- Bombay. I was, as I thought, on a path that would eventually put me close to my dreams. I had no thrust of assurance to push me into the world I imagined. So I swung in the air like a pendulum to and from-who I am and who I should be. All the people I knew and cared for were somewhere else living without me.
Then again, I had just begun to realize that everything I wanted was just around the corner; and then one fine morning of August, it all went away soon as I turned my back. The upside of chasing your dreams is, when you do fail, you get assured of path(s) you don’t want to take and then try again on the failed quest. In truth, I’m pleased to have my disappointment, which is better than having nothing at all.
Thus ends my nostalgia dive, now I live in my Mecca– Udaipur- A city that acts like a harbor in a tempest for me. So much has happened to me here and so much is about to! It is the longest I have lived here and I have endured every aspect, of me being here, as best as I could. I can glorify this place in endless words but I’m rather going to point out the things going wrong with this city. It is turning into a place that is very unbecoming and unauthentic. It shatters my heart to witness that every new day it is getting hurt by the slap of infrastructural development. Last thing I want this city to turn into is an asphalt jungle of civilization.
Call me a tree-hugger but when will people understand that concrete and steel are not the symbols for overall growth? Only a few years ago, on weekends, people desperately gathered to meet by the lakes simply to relieve their strains; but now all that is stuffed under the annoying static of accelerated motor vehicles.
I think that didn’t quite cover the point that I want to make, I’ll try it again. So you have a free weekend, with no plans and zero prospects. Getting all dressed up to go out and watch a movie is not a plan; it’s a hobby. Meeting your friend(s) at a rendezvous is not a plan, it’s what you do when there is just too much breaking news on television or your internet is kaput. Going out and gulp down food as if it will be your last meal is not a plan.
The thrill of doing something you have never done before is a plan. All in all, weekend is just a thoughtless pretext in your head that you have no work and worries left. Weekend, at least in my recreational opinion, is an opportunity to lay out new prospects and analyze your blunders of earlier days. You have this extra incentive each week and what do you do with it? You are only as fresh as your last well-spent weekend. Include more dimensions to your daily prospects and you will find that each prospect will lead you into a different world. So think of how diverse you can make this one life and try not to fall back into the same patterns that you created with your footsteps.
On a different note altogether- people, where do you get the audacity of talking out loud in bookstores, trying to recall which self-motivational book your cousin recommended? Guess what! Few of us actually go there to read a book.
At such asinine situations, I feel like I’m holding back on my feelings when I am not being abusive. Is it too hard to walk your way peacefully so no one else has to put up with your crap? Prefer your necessities and don’t buy what you want and never buy what you like.
There is another thing that I find highly unsettling, people who try to learn your creed and caste in very first meeting. This happens frequently to me when I taking a trip. Have you noticed that there is always someone sitting next you who feels a revolting comfort if he or she manages to learn, quickly in a middle of an ongoing conversation, your caste? If you haven’t noticed it yet, it’s probably because you are the one who asks such inane questions. There you are, sitting beside an acquaintance and talking about weather or politics, and bam! They just ruin the moment and fill it with their idiosyncrasy and absurd behavior. I don’t mind the curiosity as much as I mind their intention. Once knowing this, some people even like to create a definition of you in their head so they can feel good about themselves. If you and I ever interact, by all means please be intrusive; but about my nature, not what caste I belong to.
Lastly, it is not even close to the end of the world and no one skips a bowel movement if you can’t update your social network picture with your new haircut or your latest family vacation. I believe there are too many pictures being captured and shot; everywhere I go now there is someone with a camera, and he or she is going to record everything in the vicinity.
Doesn’t anyone just stop, look and admire the things anymore? Is it not a strange notion that your life has become so nullified that you prefer to document your experience and save it on your phone or computer so you can watch it later over and over again?
If you don’t believe this, you must try this once and see the out comings. It would be the new dimension you needed anyway. If you are yet to grasp the moral of this monologue, let me be enormously blunt- May you fall down the stairs and into paralysis whilst writing a word that cannot be auto-corrected by your device that has more control over you than you over it! Or to put it less painfully, may you get a pimple on a part of your body that cannot be popped!
Inspiration is a sly temptress and I don’t wish to inspire you. If you ever say that I did, I’ll just deny it and act natural. However, I do believe in doing what you love. Don’t stop after the first failed attempts, there is no success like failure. I was born in a generation when parents raised their child with a motto of- to whom less is given, much is expected; but now I see kids to whom much is given and nothing is expected.
I feel not jealous but downright pitiful, for they do not get to experience the beauty of life in its minimalist form. My realm is pliable so I tend to drift into a definitive utopia. Therefore, I lean towards the other side with ease. Every once in a while, allow yourself a day or two to entertain your fantasies and then don’t just get away from reality and live in dreams… Live in YOUR dreams. Find something or someone that gives you the divine intervention. The closest I ever came to having a heavenly experience was perhaps the first time I read an essay by Thoreau, when I listened to Led Zeppelin, and recently when I started writing this paragraph.
Alright now coming back into my world, thus far, it is one of those weeks where walking down the street if a person asks you which day it is, and you’d probably end up doing calculations with a puzzled look on your face. The pause you take to figure out the day is directly proportional to the number of things that occupy your mind. And as the pause gets longer and worse, you just give up and shrug your shoulders thinking that it’s just not worth finding out. Let’s face it, who hasn’t prayed to live a life where time has no bounds. According to me, if your time has meaning and purpose; it’ll bend at your will.
I have been a disobedient child, a despicable brother and a crude friend; but never a fickle lover. We all try to improve is a truth; but we don’t always make it, is another truth. I won’t go over the list of people whom I have unwillingly lost or resolutely abandoned, so I’m going to count what I have got and what penetrates my gloom.
I have my head (with unvarying hairline) on broad shoulders. I have got an interest to learn or improve any language and to learn how to swim. I have my own prosperity and no financial debts. I have heart full of resentment towards capitalism and affection for nature. I have parents who give me a look that says- “god knows what you might have achieved in this life, were you not so quite damaged”. I have an unread library of books. I have a very feminine vehicle that serves its sole purpose. I have got a person, whom I unrequitedly love, only a few steps away from me all day. I have the comforting luxury of my fundamental habits and ideals. I have generous companions whom I can call my better half. I have two well-thought names of my unborn children even though I despise the idea of marriage. And lastly, I have got a never-ending-quandary of death and security versus life and freedom…
Now, I feel like I should have a say in the ongoing public state of affairs. You must think that I moan too much about what’s wrong with the world and never propose a solution. But there is something I never moan about- Politics.
Everyone blames and complains about policies of government and work of politicians. And if this is what you have been doing since eternity, then why do you elect them? Politicians were once like one of us, and if this is the best you have to offer for your nation then you are clearly not doing it right.
Corrupted, incompetent and selfish citizens produce corrupted, incompetent and selfish leaders. So maybe, just maybe, problem is not with our politicians, maybe the problem is at the bottom, like you!
If the citizens are honest, aware and responsible in the first place then everything else will sort out on its own. Do we have such people who are ready to step in and lead the way? No, they are too busy enjoying the weekend, watching the so-called-reality prime night television and sweating out their body-fat in a gym…
For my love of civil disobedience, I simply do not vote. I do not serve the government or its law. Pay attention here– I believe if you vote, you have no right to criticize. Now, you must think the other way around that- if you don’t vote, don’t complain.
Let me break it down for you a little, when you vote and elect a person who, in future, doesn’t keep his promises and screws you over. Then who is accountable for electing that person? It’s not me, it’s you! So you have no right to blame the system because you are the system. Now I, who do not participate in this little competition, have all the right to blame you and the politicians, yet I don’t. Politicians do not solve your problem, never have and never will; you have to find the answer within yourself!
And this time I might have a valid solution for you- Just the other day at work, I stumbled upon a Japanese word- ‘IKIGAI’ which translates as “a reason for being alive and waking up in the morning” or “one’s sense of purpose”. Determine what is your ikigai and who you are; not whose child you are, not whose parent you are, not whose neighbor you are, not whose partner you are. Forget your religion, profession and obligation; then harness your energy and devote yourself to your ‘ikigai’.
For example, every night when my head hits the pillow; my emotions betray me in the last moments before I sleep, so I have to persuade myself that I am not sad and what is, indeed, to be done and how can it be done!? Later, I find myself believing that I’ll just do it by doing it. Writing is my ikigai, because I’m not dreaming of becoming anything else presently than being a writer. I even have considered myself as a pauper and still doing nothing else but write. I feel my time is not being well spent on activities other than reading or writing. Find what your soul appeals to!
PS- You are not a true reader until and unless every unread blank piece of paper/page haunts you!