It’s a clichéd statement, really. Y’all know you’re not free. Free to choose what you really want to do with your life. Free to decide for yourselves what’s good or what’s bad for you. Free to live without fear because the world’s filled with of bunches of people whose definition of fun is terrorizing harmless people with RPGs and Automatic Kalashinovs. Free to do a job which you are truly passionate about. You do this job because somehow you’ve been led to believe that a 6 figure salary will end all troubles.
You believe that if you:
1. Take up engineering after school and an MBA after engineering and
2. A boring, numbing, life-sucking, soul-draining job, somehow you’ll be safe and society will be pleased.
And then one day you will take a deep breath of relief, with a fat bank account to ride on. Kick back for times of revelry and drunken debaucheries.
Even if that day comes after you’ve crossed 50 years of age and about to start living on high BP pills, insulin, knee surgery, hip bolts, 38 inch trousers, prescriptions, retirement plans and other silly tensions. I’m not doing preaching here. I’m merely picturising what roughly 50% of urban Indians live like. Not that the rest fare any better, what with only 20 bucks to spend in a whole day. I may, but of course, be wrong.
I was meditating today when dear old God decided it was time to talk some sense into me, a confused young man. It was about time the boy had an epiphany of some sort. Otherwise he probably might give up hope all together.
So this is what he told me, quite matter of factly:
“Dear boy. I have come here to tell you not to do certain things. Please don’t rush to do an MBA just because everyone is doing it. It might not light that fire inside you. Think very carefully before you decide to study hours preparing for a civil service exam. I doubt your patience for something like that. And please for my sake, don’t do a 9 to 5 job. Its too darn boring and I didn’t create you to do boring shit with your life.”
To be honest, I was quite confused. I asked him:
“Hey Bhagwan. I get the part about the over hyped MBA and the difficult civil services exam. I’m quite sick of writing exams frankly. Have had enough of the Indian education jing-bang I think. At least for now. I guess you’re right about the job part too. I’d rather not be a cog in some evil corporate machinery and suck blood out of other fellows. Or spend time working my ass off in a cubicle for do-waqt-ki-roti. So what do I do with my life then?”
“I don’t know. I mean I do know. I know everything. But I won’t make it so easy for you now, will I? Do you think I told Steve Jobs in his ear that he was meant to make his millions selling fancy designer gadgets which would revolutionize the way people listen and download music, work on a computer, talk for hours on a phone or read books on their swanky iPads? He found that out for himself man. Or do you think I told Sonia Gandhi that she would make her crores looting billions of people? What you do with your life is your business. I’m just telling you what not to do with it. How you make your millions, that’s totally upto you. Do remember, you always have a choice.”
What the hell. I ask Him what I should do and he starts the good old lecture.
So I reply with a casual:
“All rightey Old Top. If you think I’m gonna start making computers in my dad’s garage you’re losing it. Here’s what I’m going to do – chill. Till I figure out what matters need urgent doing, I’m going to chill. Relax, have a ball, take it easy and what not. Till I get bored or something.”
The clever cheeky person He is, He then tells me:
“STFUp! You ain’t chillin. You’re squandering away all your time watching movies on the telly or random videos on Youtube. Stop playing so much Fifa and NBA. And If it’s not too much to ask for, spend a little less time on Facebook now. I know Hapur is boring with the good company missing but you got to do something with so much free time on your hands! Bob Marley was making cult music when he was chilling out. Bill Gates was writing savvy computer code when he needed a break. And Dhirubhai would hustle up the parliament on Sunday afternoons for favors. And you’re spending time stalking people on Facebook.”
Hmm. Not in the mood to argue more, I thought it was best I buy some more time.
“All right all right. Jeez! Some people just can’t live in peace now, can they? I’ll think of something to do. I’d rather not listen to such lectures early in the day.”
“Oh and one more thing – please stop sleeping so fucking much! If you’re gonna be sleeping 14 hours out of 24, you’re really missing out on a lot of action going on around the world. I’d rather you do some social service or something. Else I’m gonna guilt you into doing something else. And that you might not like so much.”
He had given me some food for thought. I had a big ugly question mark stamped on my forehead. I knew that sooner or later, all the nosy relatives around me would corner me and interrogate the shit out of me.
“MBA!! MBA!!! MBA!!”
“Job!! Job!! Job!!”
Then marriage and kids and game over.
I became nervous. Time was running out. Slipping away before my eyes. I wasn’t getting any younger. I came alone and naked and I was going to die alone and naked. I ain’t no Egyptian pharoah where they were gonna mummify me and send my riches to the next life. Who knows, I might be a helpless little ant in my next life. Not that I believe in reincarnations (though it does make life a little more interesting to imagine such things). What was I supposed to do? Look for my calling I suppose. Should I write for a living? Should I teach something useful and learn it better in the process? Difficult choices. Orthodox Hindu business families might not like the idea of their son writing to make ends meet.
Anyway, just one of my thoughts. If you’re gonna be thinking, you’d rather be thinking big, I read somewhere. Thinking is all I’ve been doing. Not taken many actions though. Translating thought into actions can be quite perplexing. Anyway, I’ll go play some games.
Till I think of something worthwhile to do.