& occasionally about other things, too...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Personally speaking

On occasions, I’m going to talk personally in this space…You have the choice of going to the next blog.

Immigrating to Canada has done two things to me:1. Reading, writing. 2. Rediscovering life

I have taken myself – willingly – out of the rat race, and have created some time for myself to do things that I always wanted to do, and never really had the time to do these things, or watched television ceaselessly when I did. Read, write.

On occasions, I admit, I have this angst that my life’s turned out to be irredeemable failure, especially when I hear about or see my acquaintances in Mumbai getting awards or getting promoted. 

I'm reading voraciously. I have started this blog. Both reading and writing are genuinely therapeutic. I’m sure all those who enjoy reading also enjoy writing. I certainly do. But not too many readers write, mainly because they don’t have the courage. To develop that courage is to free you from the fear of criticism. It’s such an enlivening experience.  

The other, and far more interesting thing that has happened, is the thrill of rediscovering life and living. I’ve quit smoking after nearly two-and-a-half decades. It won’t help me keep cancer at bay, but it sure makes me immensely proud of myself.

There’s more to life and living. Now, what do I mean by this? Quite simply, it’s the unburdening of the baggage that preoccupies our mind and changes (mutates) us to become something that we are not. For many years now, there is a section of people – my well wishers – have devoted an inordinate (not to say unconscionable) time keeping a track of my life (Sting: Every breath you take…I’ll be watching you). 

It bothered me that people I have considered my own – friends, colleagues, neighbours, relatives, family – should do this, and it angered me to an extent where I begun to change as a person. You wonder whether all this really is worth the trouble. The answer is always a comprehensive no. 

Other people’s opinion always matters, but not to the extent where it undermines your values. You cannot control how others behave. You can how you do. In a serious attempt to be the change I wanted to see others (Mahatma Gandhi: Be the change you want to see in the world), I have begun to reexamine myself and challenge the reality that I have constructed around myself. 

It’s a hard choice. Harder than anything I’ve ever attempted before. I don’t know whether I will succeed. But if I fail, it won’t be for the lack of trying.

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