May 26, 2004

Rut

It can be technically called a rut, but not quite. For there have been no catastrophic disasters, or is it just that disasters, being the omnipresent creatures they are, have lost their killer quality of being unpredictable? Life, on a personal level, has long passed the stage where every blow is an unwritten novel of a million chapters, an endless stream of thought analysing and re-analysing what happened and what did not happen. Professionally, I am very much in the doldrums. I need to make a million decisions and I am keeping off each and every one of them.

In the period of silence that ensued after my last post, I was subject to one of the very amusing off-site corporate brainstorming sessions that seems be an integral part of every bloated and underproductive company these days. If anything, the entire freakshow convinced me that there is almost no future for me in such a set up and that I need to get clear picture of where I am headed for. Which would have been a very easy thing to do if you are one those people who were given to planning most of their life well in advance. Well, the news is, I am not one of those. My bad.

To avoid the main mistake I had seen at the meet, I will have to convince myself that the medium is not a product. A road cannot be useful or profitable by itself, nor will a business survive by itself just because of the road's existence. Having a respectable skill set alone does not guarantee that you will go anywhere in your career. The magic lies how it is applied. Either you need to package them into a deliverable and purposeful product to make your mark in a lesser role or have the guts to risk it all and head out on your own. This is precisely my dilemma.

Career has always been a tricky concept for me. Initially, it was a means to pay my own way through life, enabling to me to live life on my own terms than depend on my folks on whom I have always managed to disagree. Later, it turned into something that was an enabler, allowing me to spend the kind of time I wanted to spend with my friends and people close to me. Now, I stand at a point where I either need to derive more satisfaction out of it (which according to my first boss is a recipe for disaster) and do something worthwhile or risk being an 'also-ran' and one among the legions of underachievers out there.

So now, where to? For a change I am not totally clueless on that count. I have a rough idea of the things that I would like to do. The tricky aspect is to not be stupid and throw away all the hard work I have put in the past four years. It is painstakingly slow and frustrating at times and lethargy slows me down on other occasions. Will it work or not? I do not know. But I have to try. Moreover, it is a much-required change in personal direction to offset the impact of the multitude of friends and acquaintances settling down and giving up their wild ways. Loneliness of the lone believer?

May 02, 2004

Knots

It has always been a matter of considerable amazement for me to try to understand the level of trust, commitment and mutual accommodation that is involved in two people deciding to live the rest of their lives together. The amount of self-assurance that I have seen, in people who take the plunge, is so high that I have often considered myself as anything but relationship material. The past months have seen a sea change in that and it is not necessarily in the way I see myself. It is more in the way I see the very self-assured and married people around me suddenly lose their way and stumble in a manner that makes salvaging anything at all extremely improbable.

At the best, what I feel is how can someone get things so wrong? At the worst, it is as simple as, if people who are so self-assured get it so badly wrong, can there be any hope at all for people like me. Yes, you can always make a case for the mismatch you could always see, but between two people, your studied and instinctive opinion is of no importance. I have always held it that what makes a relationship tick is almost never understood by a third person. Still, I do not understand how can anyone be so blind to the practical feasibility of what is essentially a joint endeavor. Love, that is good and right, cannot be so overpowering that it virtually ties you down or erases most of what defines you as a person. And what good is that love of anyway, if it only suffocates and grants you a slow death?

A friend told me recently that our generation lives our lives too fast. That we totally expend ourselves in such a short time that by the time we would really want to settle down there is nothing left. Somehow, I find that is the only way to go ahead. In this age and time, it is very hard to sustain or keep any emotion captive if it does not want to settle down naturally. You would be fooling yourself if you think you can keep any kind of emotion or feelings, that another person feels towards you, by issuing threats or by restricting anyone. If you cannot have it by its own total free will and volition, it will never be yours. The world is otherwise too open a place and the people way too smart enough to let you live on in your fool's paradise.

Sometimes, I do wonder if it is very sensible to live so much on the edge of the precipice. After all, if things that you put your all into do not work out, there is always a chance that you would not find your feet after you fall. From experience, though, I have learnt that if you badly want to live and that too on your own terms, you will eventually find your feet. You just have to want it bad enough, as much as you want that thing into which you have put your heart and soul. The first time I took a major fall on those grounds, I did not honestly think I would make it out, but I did. I gave credit for that to chance, luck or anything that you might want to call it. Now I know better, there is no luck in it, you do not live unless you want to do precisely that.

Most of my life is grounded on pure instinct than practicality. I stick up for people and things that often matter nothing for most people. As long as it matters to me, it makes little difference how the rest see it. That being the case, measures of success and happiness are often very vague and reality in itself is a very indifferent concept. You do not have much of a clue whether you are doing things right, or if you are just imagining that you are doing it right. Things have been even tougher on that count because of the fact that I have been changing a lot of things that were not right about myself. Now they seem to be working out well and probably for the first time in my life I am at peace with myself. I am comfortable with myself. I am happy. That is in no small part due to your effort and faith my dear friend, thank you for everything.