Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Looking back, looking ahead

As I sit here today, in the wrong side of my 20s, I think about where I thought I would be and where I actually am.

I did not ever think about exactly how life would be at 26, but there were some places I thought I would have been to, some milestones passed, some boxes checked. I had always assumed I would be married by this time, and I am not. I had thought I would somehow be serving my country in some way, now I don’t even pay taxes to her. I had thought I would live in Bombay only, now I almost don’t care about ever going back for good. I had thought I would be an active ex-student of my school, now I pass by sometimes without 5 minutes to enter the gates and look for familiar faces. I had thought I would have life figured out completely; I am now more thirsty than I have ever been. I thought that if I made a decent living, lived in Bombay, somehow had a job that contributes to making India better & was married to a good guy, my life would be perfect. But today I want so much more. Yes I want more than a ‘decent living’, but more importantly I want to live in many of the great cities of the world; yes I want to contribute to my country but much more fundamentally than by being a civil servant; I want to find happiness with someone special but even more, I want to find happiness within myself.

If a chemical reaction completely & irreversibly transforms the object, I wonder how many of those one goes through. And I realize how grey life my life would have been without them. Just like the innocence of a toddler’s eyes, the colour of the twilight sky, the feel of a summer breeze cannot be replicated by the most sophisticated of man’s interventions, I wonder if a life totally under my own control & direction could be ever as fulfilling as that which unfolds by itself. I feel no disturbance by the ever shifting sands of my own aspirations, how can one who belongs in a desert?

I have come a long way but have only just begun. I have many dreams for the future, but a stronger love for the here & now. I am far away but yet completely at home.

Standing on the threshold of tomorrow, I have never been more in the today.

6 comments:

Artemis Fowl III said...

bhavna, have you ever wondered why the greatest of men reached all realisations of life just before the time they turned 30? you may consider jesus christ, gautama buddha, mahavira... or even something called the mid-twenties problem... and following that you have the mid-life or mid career crisis... doesnt it all seem to fall into place...

as you have succintly and lucidly presented your thoughts here, you are on the verge of restarting life in a way, isnt it? it was only 10000 years ago when man was a hunter, that the life expectancy was only 25 years... our body is built to live only that long... look at your teeth, the vast majority does not have tooth problems till 30, neither cardiac issues, nor the paunch... and the mind is perfectly in tune with this 30 year age... if you have a child in that time, he will see you till the prime of your life as an inspiration and not as a middle aged laggard...

this is my opinion... and open to criticism... you can argue that this changed when agriculture became the primary occupation in 8000 BC and we had a population explosion... following which we had the religious texts like vedas trying to handle that exploded population by dividing life into four ashramas of brahmacharya, grahastha, vridhha, sanyasa... further in the later vedic ages when population crossed millions that the castes were required to plan societal resource usages and bring sustainable growing societies...

the point i am trying to make is life starts again, somewhere around this age... the good part is, now you are more capable of doing what you want to do than you were 10 or 15 years ago...

Bhavna said...

Thanks Som. I was thinking pretty individually but this is an interesting perspective. Did you or do you feel similarly?

Artemis Fowl III said...

Yes Bhavna, you are right that I have also faced the same questions... and these were not questions i could turn away from. These had to be answered, and the perspective you read is what developed in the process of seeking an answer to those questions...

After much thought I reached the conclusion that to keep working is the only thing I can do... Work for my pleasure or for social good... Its is better than not working... The only two methods of working:
1. Work without passion, live a tranquil life, die without regrets
2. Work with passion for a purpose, be happy and sad, die with/without regrets...
It is only by following method 2 that you reach the discipline required for method 1. Of all regrets, the last regret to have is that i didnt work/try.

I do not know what I learnt is the correct answer but its worth the effort.

Mayz said...

oh i like this blog...it talks d mind...direct dil se types...

well i guess everyone arnd this age starts thinkin on those lines...mayb thats y they call it d quarter life crisis...infact d other day i was readin an article abt it...kinda posin d same questions as u have done in this post

AlmostPerfect said...

Beautiful piece. Amzing how you spelled it out.

Wonderer said...

Hey Bhavna...came across your blog from Somu's blog. Really liked it...and also i liked Somu's intellectual commentary as well :)
I can see why I liked him almost 10 years back :)

I liked the way you feel nostalgic about Bombay...attachments and curiosity...they are such nice dualities of mind :)

Hey by the way...i noticed you don't have any pictures on your blog...pictures look lively and they are worth a thousand words...hope to see one next time :)