Bang in the middle of thinking about all the developments in the last few weeks, I was struck by this slightly scary, slightly awesome thought. That if I were to have an epitaph, it would practically read “ignored all sane advice till some of it turned out wrong”. It’s been a recurring theme on my many blogs, first out of rebellion, then out of knowing that fitting myself in a box of any kind will never really work for me.
I have also realised that for all my love for desh, my inability to really “fit in” gets far more pronounced here in India or among desi communities outside. I don’t know if it is because I give a longer rope to non-Indians and don’t really expect to fit in or it’s because we’re just a whole lot more boxed in our approach to life. But I have never really been part of a conventional, accepted way of life. And the times when I try, I fail miserably. So many instances, all now unnecessary/ unimportant failures for most part.
While I will not really get into the details of my personal life that make me a bit of a misfit (one look at me in my elements explains half of it), professionally this is the most pronounced it will ever get. I have nothing but gratitude for where nine years of walking my own weird path has landed me. But I cannot forget that I started out knowing fully well all I wanted was to have fun and earn some money while I was at it. Just knowing that my life did not depend on it. That’s what lets me do whatever-the-F-I-feel-like at work. And it works! The fact that I learned enough to have a career in a specific discipline was just an added advantage. The fact that it pays for many flights of fancy, makes my dad proud (I made sure I set the bar really low), and brings me incessant but insignificant wins – they are all just recent developments and not things I ever aimed for. But boy they make this life hard to quit. Or try something new. Or stick with sabbatical decisions because my sanity practically depends on it right now. For someone with non-existent lifestyle aspirations but extremely high motivation to just have fun, this should be an easy bet. But any sane person would tell me that all I need is to put my head down and stay at it because who thinks of opting out when the going is this good?
And that’s why it is time to tune out sane advice. On personal life and professional. If all this sane advice turns out wrong, nothing really changes. If it doesn’t (and there’s a very small chance that that might happen too), और भी ग़म हैं ज़माने में..
Watch this space.