Have you ever wondered, what your life could have been had you taken a few different decisions in the past? Maybe it is different in a parallel universe for all we know. But this line of thinking opens up some compelling scenarios. Let me go down the path and gauge the impact of few decisions in my life differently.
1. Had I lost my first race to the million other little fellows, I would never have been born. Poof! What a relief that would have been. Never having witnessed this wicked world.
2. This dates back to when I was 3 years old. My parents visited my Uncle’s place in Surat. I got lost for few hours. Some family located me stranded and helped return me. What could have been was I not returned? I would have grown up in Surat, became a Gujju. Maybe adopted by someone. Maybe not! Maybe a beggar, Maybe a rich guy. Lot’s of Maybe’s. But life would have been totally different. I can imagine in a parallel universe, me selling ice-creams in Surat. An ice –cream vendor.
3. A point in time when my father decided to move to a better suburb, with more exposure and atmosphere conducive to studies. What could have been have we never moved? I might have opened a sweet shop for all I know. Never moved out of my hometown. I am not sure if it would have been for better or worse.
4. The decision of which college to go to. I chose IIT Guwahati as I was getting Comp Science stream there. What could have been, had I chose n some other college? My college is so dear to me; I don’t even want to go into alternatives.
5. There were a few infatuations/first dates, which remained just that. What could have been had any of them gone further. I am sure that would have been worse; coz there was always a reason to let it be. A sensitive topic, won’t elaborate much.
I know these are not so fortunate scenarios as missing a train, which met with an accident, But are good enough to put the point across. However there is one thing I firmly believe in, whatever happened in the Past has led to the Present. If I wish to change something Yesterday, my Today will change too. Now would I really want that?
Someone asked me recently about how I would treat my loved one to a romantic evening. Here’s how it pans out. I’ll start with Don’ts and move towards Do’s.
A five star, candle light, and by the pool dinner is a big No-No for me. A romantic evening with my loved one can’t be at a public place. I won’t be comfortable enough to make the evening romantic. Sitting by the rocks at Band-stand or soaking in the wind at Marine drive are okay, but not exactly there for me.
My Do’s starts from a private setting, my home. I would start by cooking the food of her liking, by myself. Might not be the perfect definition of taste, but with a lots of love. A candle light setting on a low table with couple of bean bags on the floor.
The room should be lit by few candles along the wall. When the bell rings, the living room, dimly lit leaves a lot for her to guess, and not much revealed. Red roses carefully chosen, laid across the room. She will take some time to recognize their presence and that’s the essence of it.
Nice romantic melodies chosen for the occasion should be playing at a low tone on the laptop in some corner. Loud enough to hear the humming and low enough not to become a distraction. This sets the mood going.
Starters, Drinks, Food should have been prepared in advance and be kept handy. I don’t want to get up again and again to destroy the mood. It should be kept within arms distance. I’ll be the server and my hands the one to feed her.
The talks, I will leave to chance, for them to be free flowing. We’ll sit there relaxed on bean bags, with food around in a dimly candle-lit room, with roses scattered on the floor; And let the evening unwind.
One upon a time there lived a princess in a place which looked just like heaven. She used to be always sad. World and even God has been mean to her. She used to roam around the lanes of that place of all luxury; still nothing was enough to make her cheer.
One day, a Prince came into her life. He was handsome and charming. But she kept pushing him away, wary of what may happen. The more she pushed him away, the more he was pulled towards her. He kept on persisting, till heavens broke loose. Finally the Princess relented but still there was a hitch.
Her coldness drove him mad. One fine day Prince decided to go to a land far-far away. Far enough from the warmth of her breath; far enough from the comfort of her touch; far enough from the pain of her disinterest. No sooner the Prince left, than the Princess felt weak. She realized that though she has been sad before, it was the first time she really cried. That night, she dreamt of the Prince. She slept peacefully for the first time in years.
She wanted to meet the Prince badly. She ran all the way to the land far-far away. She ran through the rivers, up the hills, braved the rough weathers and treacherous jungles. She finally met him once again. She cried and cried and cried, till oceans felt shy. He held her into his arms. She felt alive again. He too gave a silent tear.
And they lived happily ever after!
Image Courtesy: http://www.thomasvan.com/
A little girl prayed to Santa, “Santa I don’t ask for much, please just make my loved ones happy”. Saying this, she slept.
After listening to her request, Santa went across the world looking for happiness. He went to Malls and shopping complexes; Mountain tops to depths of oceans; from heaven to hell. He couldn’t find happiness anywhere. Exhausted Santa sat down panting.
He scratched his head. Nothing! He then went to his best pal, Jesus. Buddy, a silly little girl has troubled me. Now where am I supposed to find happiness? Jesus smiled. Took out a gift, all wrapped up, out of his pocket. Inside it lies happiness, said he. Relieved Santa took it and delivered it to everyone she wished.
I just opened my gift. There was a mirror. I saw my face in it. Happiness is inside me. Happiness is inside everyone one of us! And we spend our whole life searching for it.
Image Courtesy: http://www.wikipaintings.org/
प्रेमी में कहा प्रेमिका से, कि वफ़ा न दिया, वफ़ा को मेरे ऐ जालिम,
फिर भी दिल यह मेरा, तेरे लिए धड़कता क्यों है?
प्रेमिका बोली, यह कोई अनबूझ पहेली नहीं, सुलझा न जिसको सकता तू,
क्यों देती मैं साथ तेरा, जब तू खुद से ही बदल गया,
तू लाता था हर दिन गुलाब मुझे, गुलदस्ता कब से खाली है,
दिखाता था मुझको ख्वाब नए, किस्मत भी कितनी साली है।
क्या सौगातों का मोह था यह, मुझसे तूने ना प्यार किया,
हीरे मोती, का मोल तुझे, आह मेरी तू सुन न सकी,
जेब से था मैं थोड़ा तंग, गुलदस्ता कैसे भर पाता,
फ़ाके कितने देखे मैंने, कितना तुझको बतलाता?
तंगी जो आयी तुझपे थी, उससे मुझे है क्या लेना,
मैं आज कल की लड़की हूँ, न हूँ कोई जूलिएट मैं,
गहने श्रृंगार सबका है दाम, कैसे मुझे दिलवाता,
तेरे जैसे कंगले पे, मेरा दिल कैसे टिक पाता?
तेरी याद मैं पीता हूँ, तेरे साथ की चाह मुझे,
तू पर कितनी जालिम है, हृदय है या पत्थर है?
मुक्ति ही मुझको दे दे, सांस को तूने छीन लिया,
सौदा ये था लिए तेरे, मैं हाय सौदागर बन न सका।।
तेज बारिश के साथ उस रात तूफ़ान भी जोरों पे था| एक तो बारिश से पूरा बदन भीग चूका था ऊपर से हवा के कारण कुद्कुड़ी बंधे जा रही थी| “मुझे भी आज ही छतरी घर भूल के आनी थी|”, वो बडबडा हुआ जा रहा था| अपने दिल को ही बहला रहा था वो| छतरी जार जार हो घर के किसी कोने में पड़ी थी| “अगली तनख्वाह से पहले एक रेनकोट खरीदूंगा|” मुंबई की बारिश से बचना आसान नहीं होता| उसने कुछ सोचा और जल्दी-जल्दी कदम बढ़ाने लगा| कल से सब ठीक हो जाएगा, कल से|
वो रात को फैक्ट्री से ओवर-टाइम करके लौट रहा था| चार बच्चों की परवरिश आसान नहीं होती| बीवी फिर पेट से थी| इस बार लड़का हो जाए, तो गंगा नहाऊँगा| पिछले ५ साल यही सोच रहा था वो| इस बार लड़का नहीं हुआ तो दूसरी शादी पक्की| माँ नें बुथिया की लड़की देख रखी थी| लंगड़ी है वो, पर वारिस तो दे ही देगी| न तो पहली बीवी दहेज़ लायी थी, न वारिस ही दे पायी है। उफ़ ये बारिश भी रुकने का नाम ही नहीं लेती।
सोचते सोचते कब सड़क पर से ध्यान हटा पता ही चला। बस एक रौशनी सी दिखी और उसके बाद अंधकार छा गया। जब आँखें खुली तो कुछ अजीब सा लगा। कौन सी जगह थी यह? सर भी भारी सा था। “होश आ गया, होश आ गया“, कुछ चहल कदमी सी होने लगी। पास में बैठी औरत रोने लगी। मैं २ साल से कोमा में था।
सबने उम्मीद छोड़ दी थी। नहीं छोड़ी थी तो बस इस पागल औरत और मेरी ४ नन्ही परियों ने। वही जिसको मैं छोड़ने कि सोच रहा था, २ साल पहले उस काली रात में। वही जिनके पैदा होने कि मुझे कभी ख़ुशी न हुई थी। २ साल से मेरी सेवा कर रही हैं। आज मैं जीवित हूँ सिर्फ इनकी वजह से।
यही मेरी धरोहर हैं, यही मेरी वारिस हैं।
I wrote this piece some 2 years back. Don’t remember the mood I was in.
Helplessness is described by Oxford dictionary as, a condition in which a person suffers from a sense of powerlessness, arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure to succeed. Let us concentrate on the two words powerlessness and failure. Was the failure because of the powerlessness or did powerlessness set in due to failure?
The thing that make us sad, if keeps on repeating, turn us immune. Living under constant uncertainty and doubt tends to make us powerless. It leads us to question everything in life. The confidence goes for a toss. Helplessness arises out of the persistent fear of failure in avenues which are out of our hands. When we can’t decide outcome of things that are not under our control, we are left with nothing but punching the walls.
I always believed and followed the funda of pre-empting such situations. I used to divert myself much before. Coz once I get sucked into it, I will feel powerless and nothing I do will make it better. I have always taken pride in my pre-judging a situation and ability to take preventive measures.
However you can bask in self-glory only so much. I used to chastise my friends for not pre-empting and for letting themselves sucked into. I never understood why they did what they did. I recently understood and how! They let themselves knowingly into a no-win situation backed up by their confidence and sheer hope. Confidence that no matter what, they will find a way and Hope that everything will turn out to be fine.
To an extent hope is good, but beyond a certain limit, it is nothing but foolishness and will destroy you eventually. Better to take things head on, find a solution or move away. Just because you committed yourself into something does not mean you have to stick by it, even if it’s killing you. Being practical is not everyone’s cup of tea but sometimes it’s exactly what is required.