October 28, 2003

Of maps

What I love most about the new job is the ride to and from office and the return trip is the best of the two. Threading your way through hazy Delhi roads at eight in the night has its own magical rhythm and the evening traffic rarely ever has the edge the morning one is notorious for. After a hard day's work there is nothing like the ride back home, stopping at the numerous red lights, only to get moving again with nothing but your own thoughts and the looks on the faces of strangers for company.

As time moves on at its merry rate, something that I have come to realise is that I have crossed the peak where I can afford to keep accumulating new things or live with extraordinary levels in anything. Somehow it is more now about being ordinary. It is not unique though, everyone makes these choices, some choose career, others choose family and children, while for others it might be adventure. I guess I have made mine too, no more fooling around, I need some consistency, be it even an ordinary one.

Mind you, the ordinary bit is not something that is new to me. I was not born into poverty, but to just ordinary middle class working folk who worked their way up from owning just a bicycle to things considerably grander than that. I have never been excellent at studies, never won any competitions or sports, nor have I ever done anything that anyone would remember five weeks after I am dead. For all practical purposes, I am just a nobody. And from that point of view I have done pretty okay I guess. Cannot really ask for more, can I?

See, it is something like being handicapped, just that mine is purely emotional. Other than the odd moment or two when I kid myself with rather extravagant fantasies of what would be "normal" life to other people I just do not feel the need to share my life with anyone and more importantly I cannot see where is the space that I can fit another person in. I am much more comfortable being on my own, living with my own little idiosyncrasies and never having to ask another's permission before I do something.

Yes, It does feel bad at times, when you see people walking hand in hand, there are times when you wish there was some reliable amount of warmth you could count on. But I just cannot deliver on the other part of the deal. I just won't be there for you when you need me the most. It is not something fool proof though, I still have not figured out what can be done about keeping company just for the sake of the physicality of things or even something as vain as killing time. It is not like I can totally do away with people too. Well, all I can hope is that I picked the right door.

I honestly have no idea where my life is headed, for that matter I have never known something like that in all of my life. For the most part it has been running away from something or hiding from something. It is just that I need to stop to try and make sense of it, like I said, I need to drop a few things. I do not have the old strength anymore and living all by yourself is not exactly a cakewalk. And really, it does not matter which way I classify it, when ignorance would be the best knowledge I have about my about my own life.