Last Sunday I chanced upon a beautiful quote by an unknown author. My previous boss Monojoy had posted it on Facebook. It read, “I want to live simply. I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books I’ll never be tested on. I want to paint because I want to, not because I’ve got something to prove. I want to listen to my body, fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to rush off to. I want not to be governed by money or clocks or any of the artificial restraints that humanity imposes on itself. I just want to be, boundless and infinite.”
Such simple words yet so beautifully written to express many of our inmost desires. Ever wondered how our lives would shape up if we could simply lead our lives for the sheer joy of it? What if, as a child nobody forced us to start speaking? What if the decision was ours whether we wanted to be dumb or chatter away the rest of our lives?
When was the last time we simply admired a beautiful moment like the fall of a droplet from a leaf or the flutter of a butterfly before landing on a flower whose petals are a riot of colours. We either don’t have the time to look into the intricacies of these minute things or we are too busy to look for gadgets to capture these ethereal moments in order to draw positive endorsement from our social circle. Words of approval, appreciations, praises or compliments – these have assumed abysmally monstrous proportions in most of our lives.
As we are seemingly becoming modern, our hunger to seek social sanction is reaching ridiculous limits. Our society is structured in a way we all are bound to behave in a certain pattern. We have to raise money for a living – compete in the race of life to excel right from the time we are born till death silences our daily prattle.
And who cares if we manage to beat the others and move ahead. Someone rightly said, in a rat race, even if someone wins it, the person is still a rat at the end of the day.
And this phenomenon to fight and move ahead, racing past the others, is more physiological than psychological. Charles Darwin had emphasised the validity of the statement ‘Survival of the fittest’ long back in his book Origin of Species. The human race is intrinsically built in a fashion that we have to race ahead leaving past others so as to excel in life.
But running is tiring, ain’t it? It’s boring at times as well. It’s exhausting and towards the fag end we realise it’s meaningless. But by then, it’s too late.
How beautiful it would have been if we had the luxury to live only for ourselves, breathe for the sheer joy of it and run just to feel the wind blow past our lungs. Many of us cringe at first but then become slaves to a heartless clock that refuses to show mercy even on a rain-kissed cool monsoon morning. It is only human to hate its shrill cry straight at 7 over the music of chirpy birds and tantalizing smell of allamanda that fill up the room along with the soft soothing sunlight on a spring morning. How amazing life would have been if alarm clocks would have been a tad indulgent, the sun would have been a little more gracious to wait for us to rise and time would just stand still only for us. Alas! Life is different – no free lunches, no excuses, no second chances.
So what if we choose not to give in to this slavery! How about deciding not to run at all? Or maybe trying to run against the crowd! It will be lonely no doubt but will the journey be worth it? Quoting Albert Camus, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” Can we dare to be so free that we start deciding when to run, where to run, how to run or if to run at all?
To begin with let’s pledge to stop abiding by the stereotypes. We will lose weight if we want to and not because our decision will make someone else happy. We will shave our legs only if we are confident that even with unshaven legs we will look equally cool. Who said it’s disgusting to have pimples and spots on our faces? If we are smart and capable our fairness creams should not be our medium to grab the right job or get the right guy. Why do guys always have to be tall, muscular and handsome? What’s wrong if someone is potbellied, short and ugly but the sincerest of souls! It’s great to be dark and awesome to be fat. The sky will not fall apart if our children fail to pass or barely pass an exam. Let’s decide that fat pay cheques will not be our key to happiness any more. Let’s stop believing that life is complete only with a lucrative job, a happy marriage and beautiful children.
Let’s search for options where we can also seek solace in this crazy weird world. How ‘bout singing aloud or dancing to our heart’s content and welcome the rains? Who cares if we fail to strike the right chord or miserable to make the finest moves? Let us celebrate life and make the most of all its nuances.
Life’s calling… Do we dare and respond?