Thursday, November 25, 2010

'When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I am feeling sad, I simply........................ and then I don't bad!'

Discovery made in the last few weeks: It is one thing to speak philosophically about ‘letting go’ and such lofty ideas, but implementation is a huge pain – and in more places than that infamous one...

Well, the last two weeks I was pretty overwhelmed by thoughts of worthlessness and depression – as is wont to happen, I guess, when you try to give up anything that is really important to you. And more importantly, whatever you are struggling to give up seems to be in a hurry to give you up - show you how inconsequential you really were/are.

You suddenly seem to become non-existent and start questioning your very worth.

There is no single, correct way out to cut short these chains of depressing thoughts, but one of the things I tried was to follow the words of that wonderful lady, Maria Von Trapp, who sang – ‘...when the dog barks, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad...I simply remember my favourite things, and then I don’t feel so bad...’

Actually, I did not think of my favourite things exactly, but ‘favourite words’... certain things said by friends or acquaintances that made me feel good. And then I made a strange discovery – some utterances, which we take to be complimentary, actually end up shaping us – determining who we are, or rather, who we choose to be in life.

I want to share a couple of them here. Will start by sharing one ‘compliment’ from my school days (though I call it that, I doubt whether it was really meant to be one) which I think had a particularly deep effect.

We were sitting in the school auditorium, waiting (for what seemed like 25 years) for some school function to begin. To cut a long story short, I invented some weird game, meant specifically to suit the occasion – and 3-4 of us were in splits playing it, while waiting those endless hours. And after those mirthful few minutes, a friend sitting next to me, Simrat, exclaimed, “Yaar! Tere saath kabhi koi bore nahi ho sakta – ya toh tu bahut hansati hai ya bahut rulati hai...”.

At that time, somehow I think I liked that idea – and it stuck. I almost consciously decided to ‘be’ that person Simrat had jokingly accused me of being. I decided to live life with 100% intensity, feel everything deeply - joys, sadness, anger - and let everyone feel that intensity full blast.

And in the recent past, while going through all the internal churning, I started wondering how much of my present predicament is because of that decision of mine.

Overall, I think it has worked well – and I really have had a ‘100%’ life. The intensity and enthusiasm have helped create some very strong bonds – though I have to admit, with a great, great deal of sadness, that a few people that I have cared very deeply about have moved away too – unable to deal with my occasional outburst of some intense negative emotion.

But what the heck, overall, I have had a VERY good life... and if I still complain or moon, I have to be the mother of all gluttons... (the last bit is NOT to be taken literally by people who have seen my kids compete to eat kaju katris... but let me not digress)

Still, occasionally everyone needs reassurance. When at the peak of my self doubt, I pull out this mail from a very young friend of mine, who wrote these overwhelming lines to me sometime back..

“My father recently asked me where I want to see myself 20 years from now. A question that often occurred to me, something I had not found an answer to for a long time. After much thinking....I have now come to an answer.

I think if i can live a life like yours, i will be satisfied."

I also remembered another friend, who after coming to stay with us (for the first time) a few years ago, said, “After seeing you guys, I believe in life after 40”, or something to that effect..

Well – sach mein, WHAT more can one ask for???

So I am going to stop cribbing, and quickly start my journey of rediscovering myself... and though I will not be rash enough to try six impossible things before, during or after breakfast on any given day – I do promise to surprise myself, and those close to me, on and off with - well, stuff they will be surprised with...

Starting today....

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