The paperman was taking away our old newspapers when I noticed the plate of his electronic scale slightly tilted. I asked him what happened. I remembered a year ago he was beaming with pride that he had saved enough money to buy it. He cleared his throat and said that a few weeks ago, he went to a house to collect old papers. When he had gone back to his push cart to collect some bags, his customer, a grown adult, tried to check his weight on the scale and broke it.
The electronic scale is small for the use of weighing papers and any intelligent adult should have been able to judge that it may not take heavy weights. Not only that, that man did not ask for permission whether he could check his weight.
The paperman had to spend Rs.600 to fix his scale.
I have always been there,
Since I can remember,
Which is a long time,
Than anybody can remember.
Here I am,
Minding my own business,
Growing, shedding, flowering,
Not disturbing anybody’s business.
Some used to collect my flowers,
Some used to take refuge under my shade,
These days, they mostly urinate on me
These days, none take refuge under my shade
I really don’t mind that
Since I’m minding my own business,
Still growing, shedding and flowering
Not disturbing anybody’s business.
I don’t know what I did in this new year,
Here I always was,
Then a car rammed into me and the boy inside died,
Some chopped me out where I always was.
But I’m to blame because there I was,
Since I was minding my own business,
Growing, shredding and flowering,
Not disturbing anybody’s business.
-The Roadside Tree-
All of us pursue something in life, be it materials (a house, a car, bike, laptop), people, ideals, goals and so on. Some may view that as a rat race but ultimately if you find reason to pursue it/ them, and the journey and destination gives you happiness, then those opinions don’t matter.
What sets each of us apart is the intensity of our passions. Books, blogs, documentaries, films, photos capture and recollect such extraordinary passion. Each and everyone should have that zeal to pursue what we wish (I am of course assuming they are in the right direction, without any harm to people, society, self or environment).
I love to hear people’s different Pursuits, how they juggle them with other daily activities and what sacrifices they make. It need not be extraordinary so long as there is an intensity that radiates like an aura.
One of the things I truly understand is that is discipline gets imbibed. I’m not talking about strict rules and regulations that mandatorily have to be followed but aspects that become good or efficient habits to support the lifestyle and journey. Practice, practice, practice. Read, learn, digest. It is the intensity which routs out the boredom from routine and makes life special.
Many thanks to those I have learnt from and I salute you all, though I have not mentioned your names. I learn every day and use it in my life to follow my goals.
“One day, we shall meet again when we are in our mid 30s. I shall come driving in my latest dark green Jaguar and you will come in a silver…..”
“BMW Z series!” Raam completed it for Soumesh.
That was in 1999, when the two friends were excitedly chatting into the late evening about their plans for their future. There was no detail of how to produce the copious amounts of wealth though. They had received their BBA degrees that afternoon, successfully completed with distinction after three years. Both young men were heirs to family businesses, small yet flourishing. It rested on their delicate shoulders to carry the burden and come out with flying colours. There was a mutual unspoken feeling among them that this would be the last time they would see each other and if and when they did see each other, it would have to be in the grand manner of their respective modern chariots.
The air conditioning of the car was ineffective. There patches of sweat on his shirt just above the stomach that remained despite the fact that he wore a baniyan. The sun’s rays seem to converge on him through the windshield, burning him like the ant that was the victim of the curious, sadistic child’s microscope. A bead of sweat dripped down his nose from his forehead.
‘Bloody Global Warming’ he said to himself.
He finally reached his fully air conditioned office.
He banged the door of the car shut. A little of bit frustration but not large enough that it showed. The talk with his friend in 1999 just flashed in his mind when he shut the door. A wry smile appeared on his face as he walked into the building. His car certainly wasn’t the Jaguar he thought he would have by now. At least he owned one of the horses (working mule rather) from the stable of the company that bought Jaguar. Now who would have ever thought of that?
Whether one likes it or not, what you did or did not do when you were younger, will have effects as you grow older.
I’m facing that now. A glut of junk food and sodas in the teens, ignoring breathing problems, being overweight and other aches. They progress until they hit the ‘DEAD END’ sign. And that’s when you begin to reflect, ‘Should have done this, should have not done that…’
Some ‘I told you so’ and so and so forth….
And it takes longer to get back on track then the time you spent to get derailed.
Always the case – your repairs and maintenance costs are much more than the cost of ignorance.
Irony is you may end up being one of those parents or adults who will advise alot on how to maintain oneself, those that you avoided when you were younger. Of course, I will try to be a gentleman. Just as this excerpt below in Haruki Murakami’s book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running:
There’s a wise saying that goes like this: A real gentleman never discusses women he’s broken up with or how much tax he’s paid. Actually, this is a total lie. I just made it up. Sorry! But if there really were such a saying, I think that one more condition for being a gentleman would be keeping quiet about what you do to stay healthy. A gentleman shouldn’t go on and on about what he does to stay fit. At least that’s how I see it.
For all those people who don’t mind sharing their books, who feel the gift of knowledge is truly the most liberating, would it not be great if there was a site where people could lend each other books?
Of course, shipping costs are to the account of the borrower but that’s cheaper than buying the book? If shipping cost is a major obstacle, then lending would have to be more localised but that’s even better in getting a community closer!
Or perhaps a nominal fee to the lender like the library charges would make the lender feel more encouraged to join and share?
Borrowing members of the site could be rated based on experiences of the lender when and if he got the books back. This way, the borrower would be cautious to maintain the condition of the books he got it in.
As each new year comes, I mark the first day by seeing the sun rise. It has been a habit of mine since boarding school. I did miss out on this when I was in London in 2005 but the substitute was the fireworks at midnight. I missed this new year’s sunrise as well.
On the first or second day of the new year, I have a new diary or writing pad in which I list out my new year’s resolutions. One of the resolutions which I miserably fail in is maintaining a daily account in my diary. I attend to this resolution for the first month unflinchingly but after that it just dwindles. The inspiration was my father’s father who kept small diaries for a number of years. He recorded the sundries even if there were no big events taking place in his life. I remember reading his ’79 diary, a week after he passed away when the family was keeping/distributing his personal things. (To my dismay, his tobacco box went to his brother-in-law who reserved it much before.) He received news of my birth by telegram on 23rd September, 2 days later. He did not jot down his feelings but for me, his mention of my birth was something I cherished.
Another resolution was to reduce my weight and give definition to my body. To some extent, I could get definition but I could never lose my weight.
The easy way to explain the failure of achieving such resolutions is to say that making resolutions are superficial and a fad.
The real reasons are that I never analysed the causes for my resolutions and how to cultivate them as habits. Creating new good and healthy habits get increasing difficult as one grows older. Last year I was quite successful compared to the previous years thanks to my family’s support and my persistence. I also did not set lofty goals and instead decided to take them step by step. I took my wife’s constructive criticism to remain positive and not jump the gun at the cost of my health and work.
I am immensely satisfied last year on the books that I have read. I enjoyed the books I read – mostly non-fiction books. (A good indication that I’m getting old and boring!) I have become attached to minimalism and running, both based on simplicity.
So this year, simplicity prevails and I shall build on the good things I have got going. I am sure that I will find something new and positive that I want to incorporate in my life! I will end up mentioning on the blog also. After all, each day the sun rises and what do we know what that day, month or year holds for us?