|Courtesy : Wisie.com|
Compassion and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember. I was all of four when I tried to save half a dozen fish from drowning. As I was engaged in the earnest endeavour, dragging them out of the school water tank with a stick, I fell in the pool of freezing water. I was trying my best to drown when an insensitive lout of a school peon pulled me out. Instead of being nominated for bravery awards and made to sit atop an elephant on Republic Day, I was taken to the Principal’s office.
Let me announce at the onset that this is a pointless post. In fact I don’t even know what I am going to write about. Aren’t there times when you venture out for a walk and have no idea where you are heading? You just know you want to be outside, so you inhale the scent of the Hasnuhana trees, admire the striking couple that passes you by, pat the Labrador as it looks at you with those lugubrious eyes. You don’t have to keep a tab on the kilometres you walk, no calories to burn, no destination to reach. Aimlessness can be liberating - it frees you from expectations and you have no disappointments to fear. I wish life could be like that.
Today I will let my thoughts meander. I have no news to share, no point to make, I may not make you laugh, but I still invite you to join me on this journey. It’s no fun being on your own.
Nostalgia is a seductive mistress. How often have we huddled together with friends and family and dipped into the vat of collective memories for some succour. We laugh ourselves silly, sometimes blame each other for unspoken torment and invariably end up confessing our so called misdemeanours. Like the time when my Dadu banned me from reading the Godfather and I still went ahead and read it. At thirteen when I tried shaping my eyebrows, I ended up snipping away half of it. For weeks I faced the world looking like Spock from Star Trek. Every time Ma said No to me, I went ahead and did it. They were my small victories and I cherished each one of them.
I was always restless, I still am. My daughter tells me she gets tired just looking at me. I can’t sit still, I can rarely relax and always need something to keep me occupied. I work myself to exhaustion and crib about it. Is it because I am scared to face the eternal ‘what next’? Is it because I have no clue what it’s going to be? Of course I know what I will be eating for lunch and dinner for the next seven days – that’s how organized I am. But I do wish that I could let go. Surrender myself and let time take me wherever it wants to. Not be consumed with a sense of guilt about wasting it.
They say as you grow older, you lose your sense of wonder. The world becomes a habit. How tragic that most people have to get ill before they understand what a gift it is to be alive! Yet we prefer to immerse ourselves in the mundane. We battle with deadlines, get stressed, complain about lack of time. What a waste of life.
I feel compassion has become a thing of the past. It is getting replaced by cynicism instead. And if empathy does exist, it is reserved only for our own plight. Poor me, what a hard life I have.
We mourn the past and wait for happiness tucked away in the distant horizon. I feel sorry that that the current generation has become acquainted with political realism and cynicism, so early in life. It has robbed them off their innocence.
Have you noticed on public platforms how fashionable it has become to express outrage – at the system, the boss, our colleagues, our friends who have no time for us. Nothing seems perfect anymore. How easily we judge, how easily we make fun of others. A part of me was feeling sorry for Schettino(captain of the ill fated Costa Concordia) dubbed as Captain Coward by the International press. After all he acted purely on instinct, to save himself from the sinking ship. Agreed it was him who engineered the catastrophe. But do you know how you will react when your life is under threat?
When some crazed person shows throws a shoe at Rahul Gandhi, our first instinct is to crack jokes at his expense. When Barkha Dutt threatens to take legal action against a troll, we make a nasty #BarkhaBarks in her honour.
What if it’s you the next time?
Hate is expressed so casually that it scares me. Temper is not meant to be lost but held for dear life. In this age of online scorn and public break-ups, it has become so easy to delete relationships. One stray, uncomfortable incident and we are ready to block the unfortunate soul for the rest of our lives. It has become so much easier to despise than love.
But then I am over-generalising and resorting to intellectual laziness. What may be true for many may not be true for you. It’s passion that makes us achieve the unachievable. It’s love that makes life so beautiful. And it’s enthusiasm that is the most potent aphrodisiac.
Let’s not embrace cynicism so easily. Let’s not think of love as dispensable. And never underestimate the power of positive thinking- it is just another term for faith. Your unconscious mind has the power to turn wishes to reality. Believe me once you make up your mind nothing is unachievable.
And this reminds me I have to save the fish I saw drowning in the aquarium nearby. I could certainly do with some help. So who’s joining me?