Life is a mystery meant to be decoded by all of us. Life is a maze with intricate twists and turns , meant to bewilder us and make us question every step of ours. Life plants within our minds a host of questions and doubts . So we are in constant search of the key to this mystery and the map of this maze. But the question is how successful we prove to be in our endeavours? Are we searching the key and the map at the right places?
As a child my questions were pretty simple to answer. “Why is the sky blue?”, “Where does God live?”, “Why is sugar so sweet?” etc. Or may be the questions weren’t so simple; but they were easy to answer because I accepted everything on the face of it. Logic and reasoning had not settled upon me yet. More importantly they were questions about the outside world and not essentially about myself.
But the level of difficulty in finding answers to my question kept on increasing with my transition from childhood to teenage. Now these questions were mostly about myself and I had developed these rigid filters which discarded most of the answers, that I was able to gather from friends, family and to a great deal T.V, as illogical and irrelevant to my circumstances. “Why should I listen to everyone when none listen to me?”, ” Why am I forced to behave in a particular way?”, “Should I or should I not?” etc.
As I stood at the threshold of adulthood when I was 16 and 17, primarily juggling with my high school examinations, career planning and maturity, these questions and self-doubt became much more intense and tormenting. “What if I fail?”, “Am I capable enough?, ” Is it a better decision to stay quiet than to speak my heart loud?”, ” Should I take the risk to take the path less travelled?”. The realisation of the fact that my decisions would affect those around me complicated things and the desire to get everything right pushed to me to greater levels of anxiety.
The key and the map were nowhere to be found.
Soon a realisation hit me. Perhaps I was searching for them at the wrong places. I was looking for them in the world outside me hoping that perhaps my parents or friends or teachers or books or just anyone would answer my questions aptly. But I never bothered to ask myself those questions and that I accept was so foolish of me because,
Who can know me better than myself? Why should I be dependent on others?
So with this it became a daily routine for me to talk to myself. It is a wonderful journey to form a bond with your innerself. To create a place within you where you can embrace yourself without any conditions.
Every morning I sit down in complete solitude. I speak out loud in my mind, things that bother me and then closely observe my thoughts. I appreciate myself for the good things I had done the previous day or accept my mistakes followed by a promise to improve them.
Believe me, the peace you find in this way is unaffected by the outside world because its roots have manifested themselves within you which is a sacred place.
Therefore trust yourself. Look inside you. There is Everything that you need, even the key and the map.
The society builds for its members certain kinds of frames in which everyone is expected to fit regardless of their features and their choices. The one who doesn’t, is criticized , tormented, made to be afraid and finally crushed.
Females are always told what to wear and what not. Sometimes I wonder, all that people see in a women is her ‘appropriateness’ ( like if they get sometime off from staring at their skin). It doesn’t matter if you are a girl next door or a celebrity like Priyanka Chopra. ( C’mon its her choice as to what to wear while meeting the PM and believe me she looked just perfect.)
We all are fighting and struggling with it, either in silence or through rebellion. Let me a share a small conservation I had with an uncle who leaves in my neighbourhood. This small talk gave me some sense of satisfaction and I could not help myself from sharing it with you all.
So the scene was that a few students were waiting for their bus in the morning. One of the girls was a wearing salwar suit ( for my foreign friends, its a an ethnic Indian dress) which is actually her school uniform. Her father, who can be perceived as a prototype of men overeaten by stereotypes in particular to “ideal way a women should behave”commented that girls don’t look good in skirts . So salwar suits should be the school uniform of every school. After all salwar suit is the traditional attire of India and we must preserve our culture. And this seemingly casual remark was followed by a long pathetic speech on how girls stand as torch bearers of the movement to protect our Indian ethics. Put it differently how some modern girls are contaminating our traditions with their inappropriate dressing styles.
As he ended there was a spark in his eyes like the one in the eyes of Manga characters. His ears must have been imaging a thunderous round of applause and cheers.
And there stood I feeling the warmth of my boiling blood.
His glance now caught my eyes. He was waiting an approval from my side. I decided to agree with him.
“Yes Uncle. You are absolutely right . Why not? But just one thing, if it’s such s noble task to preserve our culture, then why should we discrimante against boys? Let them also wear dhoti kurta to school. Because as far as I remember trousers and shirts are of English origin.”
And if the matter is something else, then please Uncle be kind enough to keep it with yourself. Thank you!”
His face made an awkward expression that reflected his distaste for my view point but I didn’t care.
Let me make one thing clear, through this post I don’t want to fight for a girl’s right to wear skirts or short dresses, but a girl’s freedom to wear whatever she likes and wants; freedom that she won’t be judged by her clothes. A girl wearing a skirt will not be seen as ‘characterless’ and the one wearing a saree will not be underestimated and disregarded as behen ji.
I am not restricted to my clothes…i am beyond material!
share your thoughts with me and with one another
stereotypes will freeze if we will not break the ice !
Well, my board results have come and yes I am very happy with my percentage. But it has been accompanied by a lot of confusion.
Wait I’ll explain you.
First of all, I want to make a career for myself in journalism and mass communication but I want to take it up at post graduation level. For my graduation, I want to take up some course that would help me build a knowledge base. So after a lot of thinking, I decided to go for Political Science Honours.
But yet another dilemma awaited me….the GREAT COLLEGE CONFUSION.For sure I want to get into Delhi University. I am confused between LSR and Hindu.
LSR is at a higher rank than Hindu. But the problem with it is that, first it is very far off from my place and second it is a very isolated college. Hindu, on the other hand is in North campus of Delhi University which like a dream place and has a fabulous and lively atmosphere.
So right now, the state of my mind is a little unsettled. I want to go for the best. Let see where I land!
P.S.-Please give me your suggestions, what do you think and what you would have done if you were at my place.
Finally I am back. My exams went well and yes I survived them. Frankly speaking , on the last day of my ‘ class 12th board exams’, it was actually hard to digest the fact that they are really over. I mean all the frenzy around this ‘ life determining’ exam had come to an end and the funny part is that I felt some kind of a void in life.
Nonetheless , I am back to normal debarring a few times when the thought of results gives me jitters and then I bounce back to reality with a positive thought that since I have worked so hard, the fruit is going to be sweet.
Let me tell you something that has been brewing in my mind since the last day of my exams. After my psychology paper which was the last one, I came home and called my teacher. We were discussing the answers of some difficult questions and I had all of them right but to my dismay I got one of the questions wrong in Section A which was the easiest section. I was completely disheartened . I was telling myself that “you got that wrong otherwise you had a chance of securing full marks.” I withdrew myself and sat with hung and pale face wondering about the 2 marks I had lost. I felt my heart paining.
But suddenly some kind of a voice inside me said, ” Hey wait! You can’t demean all the questions that you got right for just one question.” This took me to another line of thought and a number of questions and answers started erupting in me.
” Have I defined happiness so narrowly for myself?”
” Yes you have and it’s not right.”
” Today I lost two marks and I am so sad. Later in life I may lose many things. Will then sadness completely engulf me?”
” If things go the way they are right now, yes it will.”
” So then this means that I will never be happy in life because my frame of happiness is too small and rigid?”
” Yes again. Happiness is subjective. It is a reward we give to ourselves. If we can be happy only if we choose se it for ourselves. Happiness can be made so strong that it can overshadow all kinds of pains and remain with us in all circumstances.”
I was no more sad. I decided to be happy for things I have done right in exams. I realised this fact that an answer sheet cannot be perfect, an exam cannot be perfect and similarly life too cannot be just perfect. But the spirit we carry decides how imperfections can prove to be bliss. Happiness is not the result of the perfect, it is the ingredient to a perfect life.
Many of us are driven by motives, desires and dreams but every time things don’t work out our way. But this doesn’t means that we will sit with a hung and pale face. We must rejoice for even the littlest blessing and achievement.
I am trying to rediscover happiness. Help me out. Tell me how do you define happiness or any experience that had left you with an insight about happiness.
Some days are too bad and my existence on this planet seems to be merely a burden on others and that on myself and I do wish to relieve myself in anyway, even if death is the only one. When relationships appear to be complicated, tangled in a way that is hard to resolve and I find myself stuck like a helpless bee, worn off by flaping its wings in attempts to liberate itself. Pain terrifies me as it seems to be an unending phenomenon and the fact that its source is my dear one magnifies its effect on me. When people around me have turned into aliens or perhaps I have turned into an alien for them that they aren’t able to understand me, interprete my emotions and weigh my pain. And I cry silently.
But faith is that keeps me alive in those dark nights . A belief that God is with me, watching me, listening to me. It makes me feel that I am not abandoned and forgotten like an old sapling in the garden of world. When I’m alone, I can feel His arms wrapped around me in affection and He whispers softly into me ears, Don’t worry child, you are not alone. Everything would be fine soon. And in silence, I can hear him speak to me in a voice that seems familiar amd serene, All that is happening is for a reason. It will make you a grow as a person . The storm is fierce I know but you can sail through it to find the coast that was meant for you. You have a strength, discover it.Yes, I can .
And I end up deciding not to die. For He believes me and I believe him. For there are many who love me and I don’t want to be a ‘dear’ source of pain for them. I do not sink because faith, hope and love lifts me up.