Of Passions and Professions

Placeholder Image

 

So, my friend who happens to be a computer engineer by education, a musician by passion took a plunge into the field of liberal arts because he wanted to ‘explore his interests’ further, before a boring 9-5 coding job took him down. In fact, he resigned from a comfortable, well paying job with a coveted banking company only because he thought it wasn’t ‘gratifying enough’. This is a very dear friend of mine, and kudos to him to have taken a step that required of him to step out of the bounds of what, according to the societal standards, was a comfort zone.

 

There is a constant battle, with most of the people around me, except for that quintessential lot who had it all figured since forever. It’s still hard for me to understand if they really have everything figured or did they have to kill a part of themselves and ‘pretend’ like they have it all figured. Unfortunately, I can’t relate to them because I am not one among them. How our generation is in a lifelong dilemma to follow their passions and still lead a life of luxury. So the ‘generation’ I’m talking about excludes this lot; people who live a life of luxury, and still follow their passions.

 

Because everyone has a different definition for luxury, there is actually no absolute way to describe this, just perspectives. Somebody who has faced a lot of family problems as a kid, like abusive parent, illiteracy or unrelenting financial stresses, and overcomes such horrors with perseverance and self-belief might define a comfortable job and a happy family life as luxury. There are people who, unfortunately aren’t privileged enough to understand how beautifully variegated ‘passions’ in life can be; who never get a chance to join a dance class, or learn swimming after school. People who have seen their parents work hard to make ends meet and who, since very young age are exposed to the harsh realities of life. They devote their lives to breaking the vicious cycle of muddling through and strive hard to change their lives. These people make ‘building a life of luxury’ their passions.

Today we live in the era of ever-growing startup culture. We hear stories of college dropouts who build companies valued at multi-million dollars, of investment bankers who leave their jobs to run restaurants, or of common people who are just not satisfied with their professions and want to do something more fulfilling. They are either aware of what their passions are, or at least what they aren’t. These people hustle with grit towards following their passions, or towards finding their passions, until it makes their lives filled with luxuries. Take the example of Manish Malhotra, the famous Designer who has redefined the Indian Fashion Industry, has no formal training in Fashion. From a very young age, he was fond of styling and sketching, which made him begin his career as a costume stylist. He accumulated experience, never looked back, and today not only his life, but also his brand is luxurious. Such people face a lot of criticism for taking the road less traveled by, and that makes all the difference.

What if luxuries don’t really matter? What if passion is all that drives you? We have travelers, people who leave their highly paying jobs and invest their life savings in traveling all across the world, hiking through difficult terrains, facing life threatening challenges at every step. What if owning a jet plane isn’t as exciting as jumping off one when it is mid-air?

As I complete writing my article with a sense of fulfillment and a powerful realization that what if…what if happiness becomes a luxury in this chaotic life? What if it has become a luxury? What if then, the only way to lead a luxurious life is to chase and hold on to what you really feel passionate about? So… what do you really feel passionate about?

Sinking

 

Treading down a sylvan path one day,

Innocent face, happiness made my face gleam.

Unawares!

I heard a scream,

Of a girl, would you help me please?

 

Of course I would, guide me to your restraint!

And so she did, I reached that place

A quagmire! I exclaimed!

I couldn’t un-do what was done,

A woman of commitment was I made.

 

I found a rope and hurled towards her.

It’s not so easy, to set me free.

Not so easy,

There’s a deal (suffocation made her wheezy).

The trade goes this way,

For every gram of happiness you lose,

By an inch, I elevate.

 

About my decisions, I divulged my rues

But of no use!

A woman of word was I made.

She was bad at math,

Or so it seemed;

Even when I’d given her all of my happiness,

Out of the mire, she barely crept.

 

But I had come to a point

When I couldn’t pursue my journey further

(No happiness, no journey)

And so I rolled a joint,

I plunged into the swamp with her

We smoked and we drowned together.

Happiness, is it really just intrinsically driven?

happinessEarlier, when we undermined the complexity of the word ‘happiness’, we thought that ‘getting our expectations lowered’ was the guaranteed, infallible way to being happy. As we have delved deeper into the folds of the blanket of human emotions, we have come up with new ‘variables’ which determine the equation of happiness. It is now well-accepted that ‘the level of others’ happiness’ plays an important role in determining the equation for YOUR happiness. One moment, you are happy. You open your Instagram account and boom! Just as you see somebody else happier or sadder than you, your happiness levels fluctuate.

Scientists tried to solve this herculean riddle by conducting an experiment that involved a little gambling. Two groups of people were involved. With one of the groups, they used version 1 of the game; that is, each person could either earn $5 (the figure is hypothetical) or earn nothing. Version 2, associated with a second group of people was played on the terms that an individual could either lose $5 or lose nothing. Outcome of this experiment? Well, the people who lost nothing were happier than the people who gained nothing, though monetarily, all of them were on the same level.  This reflects the importance of context (in happiness); if a person got more than what he/ she expected, he/she was happier as compared to when the results fell short of his/her expectations. But that is pretty obvious, isn’t it?

Now, a slight modification. The people were asked to give away money (amount of their choice) to a stranger. Here is when two new factors come into the equation; envy and guilt. The amount of money given away was determined by the interplay of these two factors. If a person gave more money, he/ she was driven by more of guilt and less of envy. And vice versa. For those who feel social service and acts of donation are purely selfless, I reckon it is not so. We donate out of guilt and cache out of disregard.

Another modification; the one that brings out the fact that delight and misery love having friends. If both the persons (in a couple) won in a game, the happiness levels of each one of them were at their respective maximum. If a person won while the partner lost, the person experienced a dip in his/ her happiness levels (probably owing to guilt). The persons also didn’t get much sad when their partners also lost, probably schadenfreude.

Thus, in a nutshell, expectations is one variable in determining a person’s happiness. The other, equally (if not more) important variable is ‘other people’s happiness’.

Catching Hope

I saw her walk barefoot then disappear ‘round a turn

Followed her with the feeling like I almost got her.

But that was just a glimpse;

Of the spark which would create an eternal fire

I touched her, and in her reflection I could see an inch of my soul go blur.

A flash;

In that moment I knew this is not going to be easy

Another flash;

And I knew I could spend my life going after her.

But;

If I ran too fast, I could fall and break a bone.

If I ran too slowly, I could lose sight of her.

I could even experience days when I may feel no better than trash

This game could make my life slip thru fingers of time

like sand;

Yet, giving up shall always remain out of scope.

Let me introduce you to my friend Hope.

 

runing-in-dark1

When life gives you tunnels

Sometimes you have to go thru tunnels.. Long ones..

As you enter one, initially you cant see the light at the other end..

So as your feet move forward, time and again you want to turn around and follow the light coming from the end you entered from…

It might take some time and a good number of footsteps for you to see the light coming from the other end as well..

When you would be midway, you might not be able to see either of the two ends..

That’s the scariest point… That’s when just you have to keep moving..

Tunnels are dark and gloomy so call it a miracle if you find someone as you walk thru it.. Mostly you’ll have to walk alone…

But the concept of a tunnel is this.. There’s GOT to be light coming from the other end… That will be visible only after a while..And when you feel you’re closer to the other end.. You might not as well want to see the source of light behind you..

Even if you turn around and try to look for it, you wont find it cuz you would have left it far far behind..

The view on the other side of the tunnel would be enchanting..and you would be among the first ones to grab that feeling.. Cuz not many people go thru the tunnel..

The Mile

I’d walk the mile for you
On foot, maybe a knee bruised,
Until the morning sun warms us with its hue
I’d come flying to you sitting on a cloud of hope
But I swear; I’d walk the mile, just for you.

From everything I am to everything I’ll ever be,
I’ve been just ‘coz of you
Through patches dark and days of glee
And whenever nothing would ‘seem to work’
In a place aloof, we’d cherish each other’s company

When you feel you’re insufficient,
I’d be your abundance;
Of the approaching storm, if I’m prescient,
I wouldn’t protect you.
I’d say a prayer, giving you all my strength.

Today I sing this poem to myself,
That I’d walk the mile for you.

WHY ARE MY SHOES WET?

This heart wrenching photograph made me write a poem to pay tribute to this little ‪#‎Syrian‬ refugee kid, Aylan Kurdi who died in a way no living being deserves. I am not a professional writer, but this has come straight from the heart.

For reference, Aegeis is the name of the sea in which the two kids, Aylan and Ghaleb drowned.

11923557_398601410350236_7555244301482101025_n

Daddy, I remember when you and Mommy got me these shoes,
I’d loved them so much! You can’t ever know.
Can you recall how when I put them on,
I toddled and fell learning to walk, all day long?

Why are they wet Daddy?

Uncle Aegean is malevolent; I shan’t ever trust him again,
A broken promise of a safe land in a better world,
Wounding innocence, a smile he feigned
Among the devilish waves, a little boy was hurled.

He started pulling me away from you,
Pinning me down with all his might
I coughed my lungs out of my ribs
But daddy, I swear I did fight.

I swear I did fight
Like Ghaleb had always taught me
I swung my small arms and kicked my weak legs
But that just made me more distraught.

I gently slipped into the depths
With my breathing getting still
I missed you too much, daddy
Too much to have wept.

I’d never wanted as bad, to fall asleep
And I thought to myself, why didn’t I swim?
Maybe cause the sea was too bleak?
Or the water too cold?
Or wait! Maybe cuz I didn’t grow up enough to learn how to,
For I was just three years old.

Daddy, Uncle cradled me well once I’d slept;
Just like Mommy used to do at home
Off to the shore I was swept
And off on the shore my tiny body was thrown.

I suddenly felt like I was home
Failed after trying hard to open my eyes
A whisper of Sand in my ear
telling me about my demise,
“I’ve called for the angels to get you, my dear.”

I hugged her tight as she reminded me of Mommy
Told her I didn’t want to go
“Don’t worry, it’ll be all good, my child
God sees everything, you know?”

Soon the angels arrived, putting on me white little wings
I treaded on my path to the heavenly abode above
My little heart content at this one fact
That God sees everything.

Daddy, I have reached here safe and sound
My head also hurts no more
But I feel tricked, daddy! Hopelessness surrounds
It’s all an illusion from up here and this sight,
I abhor.

No traces of Red, it’s all Blue, Green or Brown
God sure can’t see everything from up here
He can only see Uncle Aegean Daddy,
Not the little Aylan who drowned..

Rest in peace Aylan,
Rest in peace while the World mourns.