Friday, 12 October 2007

It's my life

The last two weeks have turned out to be a philosophical pit stop. I learned of three deaths among people who were separated from me by just a degree. One death was due to a degenerative disease, she and people around her knew that the cancer was going to get her sooner or later and the only unexpected bit was that it turned out to be sooner. At sixty five plus, she was not very old, but (with no disrespect intended) she had outlived her productive age. Compared to this the other two demises were a shock. In one incident, a man due to turn 40 years in a day’s time succumbed to a massive cardiac arrest and in the other a girl in her mid twenties was killed in a car crash. I had known them both briefly for a few weeks. I am not emotionally affected by these incidents but they have worked like a wake up call.

I am ever so amazed at the way normal people are in India. Except for the small exception of Goans the rest of the country seem to be extremely serious about life but in the bargain I believe that normal people here don’t live but exist. There is a difference between living and existing. Living is when you are excited about each day and enjoy the journey. It’s when you walk the path less traveled and marvel at everything that you discover along the way. It’s when you do things differently and create your own epic. True you will have your bad days; you might get dumped, might have a bad illness, have an accident but at the end of it all a person who lives will see it as a unique experience.

Most of us live a predictable life by the user’s manual handed over to us by previous generations. What were the thoughts that ran through your mind the day the Tsunami hit our coast? All those thousands of normal people following the user’s manual had dreams that got washed away literally like sand castles on a beach. There were aspirations of parents, some saving up all their earnings and raising children to make them successful professionals, others preparing to get their children married and still others waiting to become grand parents. There also were aspirations of young adults married, trying to build a future, trying to build their nests. Is this what life is all about?

I don’t follow the norms of normal people. Normal people are so busy going about following the user’s manual or the life script as its called in psychology that they don’t even stop to think if it’s worth it or not. None of us know when we are going to die but the majority go about life almost certain that we will be around for quite sometime; time enough to execute the grand plans that we have embarked upon, building our own personal empire not realizing that none of it makes sense if we were to know that we would cease to exist in the next twenty four hours. Understand that not everyone gets to live the life script till its last scene. Through conditioning you probably believe that the script is the ideal way to life but it really does not matter.

Don’t take yourself so seriously, it is an obsessive condition in you that is refusing to let you see beyond the script’s frame work. Start enjoying yourself. You don't have to be a martyr, break out of unhappy situations and don't wait for it to change on its own else it might be too late. It is not a sin to be selfish because if you were to kick the bucket tomorrow at least you won’t have anything to regret. I'm not suggesting that you be a hermit or a hippie. I too have ambitions but like I had told a friend, I am not obsessed with achievements to the point that I stop enjoying the present. I live like this is the last day I am alive.

I want to end this with the words to the chorus of my anthem. Its from a song called It's my life by Bon Jovi:

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said
I did it my way
I just wanna live while I'm alive
It's my life



J said...

so trueee :) impressive

Smitha said...

for somebody who is not blessed with the talent of expression through words.. you mirror my thoughts.

Jean said...

We all go through life saying we live/want to live everyday like it is our last. But if someone really did that, they won't get past the month.

We save and sweat for a reason. I doubt if it's an Indian thing. It just so happens that Indians do it more than most others.

Adithya said...

@ Jean - And what might that reason be?

Jean said...

Why do you go to the gym? Why do you read all those fancy schmancy books which you'll be fine even without? Why do you dance and sing and take an interest in people?

You do it because it'll help you "tomorrow", because it'll enrich your "tomorrow". You do all the jazz you do in life so that you'll have a better "tomorrow"

Adithya said...

@ Jean - :) I said I live like its the last day I am alive. I am not committing suicide so I'm aware of the possibility that I will wake up to see tomorrow. Am I planning for tomorrow? Well yes but only after having fulfilled my urges for today.

I suggest you read the blog again for it talks about the futility of planning in the face of the uncertainty of your existence. Its not about going berserk. I see you repeatedly expressing your fear of over indulgence. A fear of not lasting past a small period of time because your definition of 'living like the last day' is to overdose.

Jean said...

I know what you said and I know why you said it. It's not a strange thought, everyone thinks about it at some point. We all want to live for today, make the most of today and all that jazz.

But my point is, today would make no sense if there was no tomorrow. I'm saying that none of us really do live for the moment, we live in anticipation of moments which will make all the pain and trouble seem worthwhile.

Dissillusioned Caffine Addict said...


Life is something that one should not ponder about instead just relish and soak yourself in the fact that it is all yours

Whenever i think of life and the choices you have to make...i just light my roll of nicotine as i tease my tongue with a more refined form of ethyl alcohol...and then remember the lines of a good old buddy:

Wat if you had a choice between God's offer of Heaven and Lucifer's offer "one hell of time on earth"?

Whatever the fuckever.....just let me live my life and once that i s done you fight it out for my bloody soul

Anonymous said...

Lovely...wonderful expression...i think on the same lines...i like the way you have ended too....It's my life!!! Yes, indeed it is, just that most people forget to live their own while they're busy living their life for others.

Macadamia The Nut said...

Your post reminded me of childhood in India (shudder!!). Most parents there seem to think that going the engineering/medicine route is the only thing that will ensure future happiness. Being a 'closet artist 'back then wasn't easy for me :)) Where was the time to have fun?? It was tuition this study that! Arrgh! Why can't we (to use an oft molested phrases) stop to smell the roses once in a while?

Today I tell my (cough) concerned friends that I'm not running the same race they are. I'm jogging the other way. They don't have to pant their frustrations into my O2.