Posts Tagged ‘leash’

How the Heart Yearns!

For things that are beyond our reach.

The notions that the elders never preach.

For love, friendship and relations that instigate,

our very souls, against what the world propagates.

For chances & opportunities that are on the take

but for the leashes, we could make.

We do what is expected of us,

for family- society, the whole corpus.

We yen, we ache, we pine, we languish.

And our hearts yearn for something to accomplish,

something to Cherish!!

Ah, What Anguish!!!

I went to the general store the other day and decided, on an impulse, to get a different brand of tooth paste for myself. It was weird and at the same time exciting to add it to my cart, after all, for as long as I can remember, I have been using the same brand of toothpaste, the same red color, the same taste. This morning while finally opening the new tube of shiny yellow green paste with cooling crystals, I felt like an adventurer out on her maiden voyage into the unknown.. 

Hilarious as it may sound, most of us don’t venture out of our habits and comfort zones even for something as mundane as a new kind of toothpaste. It’s not brand fixation that keeps us tied up, atleast not in my case. It is just the comfort of the familiar. 

Sadly enough, consumer products are just an example of what we are doing with our lives. I cannot speak for everyone, neither can I generalise (I hate to generalise, as it is). But I have to write about what sparked this seemingly unremarkable or ordinary sounding thought process. 

I read quotes like – “Life isn’t supposed to be lived in one place.” – and being a thinking person I understand how right that is, both geographically and intellectually. One has to travel, one has to explore, gain new experiences, let go of the things and people gone by.. One has to grow.. And people don’t grow while being confined to their comfort zones. 

One has to try different things, be different people in order to find what one actually is. Experimenting, juggling choices, failing, learning in the process- Everything is important

While I know all this theoretically, I have never dared to try my luck outside the protective cocoon of my family. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t told what to do and how to do it. A set of instructions were always provided no matter what I decided to do. I understood quite early in my life that simply following the instructions provided, would save a lot of bad blood and complications. I did not know any other way to live. 

I had never learnt to live without my support structure. I had never been to a bank till I was forced to do that, at the age of 27 when I joined a job outside my hometown. I had never travelled alone, never taken a bus on my own, never even purchased my own clothing. Everything I needed was taken care of by my parents and the support structure that they had ready for me. I never thought I could have a say in my own life. I was meek, indecisive and confused all at the same time- a recipe for disaster

Eventually, I rebelled. Because it is crippling, too much love. It is suffocating. It feels like a leash. It leaves too less breathing space for us to grow. It breeds fear, distrust and some degree of lying and manipulating too. I developed a coping mechanism where I didn’t have to share everything I did, at home. I found new confidantes. I found solace in books. Sometimes my coping mechanism bordered on escapism. 

I once told my therapist (actually just a medical practitioner, I was talking to) that I am indecisive. I don’t know what to buy, what to wear, what to eat. I am left flabbergasted when provided with choices. That’s the reason I never order at a restaurant. I simply don’t know what to pick. I never learned to choose. He simply asked me, “Do you drive?” I said yes I do. “Do you ask the one sitting shotgun where to turn and which route to take to reach your destination?” I said, ‘mostly no’. “Then you are not indecisive” he said, ” you have to just convert that ‘mostly no’ to a resounding never”. 

Simple as that. So I started with the small things, case in point, my new toothpaste. I find a deep seated pleasure, now, in breaking stereotypes, the bigger things, none of that silly toothpaste stuff. I dream of taking it further. Life is too short to be left with regrets at the end. 

It is late but it is never too late to evolve, to give oneself a shot at happiness and fulfillment. It’s never too late to BE. 

Not for everyone, Small Town Living. 

Not for everyone, the Fetters of Conservatism.

Not for everyone, the Maxims of Society.

Not for everyone, the Inhibitions of Gender.  

If you happen to dwell in small town India, you would agree that lives here are lived more out of duty & honor of the family rather than for Self. Nothing wrong with keeping family first or adhering to the norms laid by them but it cannot be the end all and be all for an individual. We were born as an individual soul and it is our foremost duty to make sure that our soul is growing , that it is happy and healthy. Unfortunately, inevitably, we succumb to the wishes and diktats of the family or society and largely curb the small indulgences that our Self seeks. 

We may find comfort & fulfillment in travel, books, connecting with people, writing, music, love, friendship- all of which are designed as choices an individual can make. But as engulfed in the guidelines of age old conservatism as we are, we unavoidably think – what would people think if we make any of the above individual choices. Will we be acceptable to the society? What will our parents feel? Is going against the tide worth all that dissension? Are we the only people around, who are compromising on our dreams and happiness? If others can give up on small pleasures of the soul like these, why can’t we conform too? Are girls even supposed to think so freely? Do girls not owe it to their parents to abide by the code laid down for their own safety and virtue? 

We forget that this life here, that we have been endowed with, is precious. We cannot and should not go through it denying ourselves gratification in order to appease others. People have different sets of rules for themselves and for others. Whatever we might do, not everyone would be happy. So why not make the Self happy? No one is squeaky clean. A close friend recently explained to me the fact that,  the cleaner people look the more dirt they’ve swept under the rug. Why, then, should we pay any heed to their counsel and deny ourselves lifestyle choices that may lead to satisfaction and delight for Self?

Take that trip that you have been yearning for, read-write-create if that is your poison, sing-play-enjoy any music that ups your spirit, opt for a job that gives wings to your imagination- something that inspires you to get up every morning and go to work, meet people, make friends, fall in love. Never apologise for the choices you make. Let go of the constant conscience pangs and guilt trips. We are not here to please others. We are here to live our lives as best as we can. Yes, we are responsible to the people who love us or those we love- our parents, children, friends, spouses. But none of them is entitled to use that love as a leash to keep us chained & bolted. The biggest debt we owe is to ourselves. 

What is the worst that can happen if we follow our hearts? We may not succeed at a job or in a relationship but atleast we would have the satisfaction that we tried. We gave ourselves a chance to be what we envisioned. There will be lessons along the way but good or bad, they will be the ones we are ready for, because they would be in direct consequence of the path we took of our own volition. We would learn to gather our pieces and move forward instead of trying to place the blame on the very people whose love tethers us to an unremarkable routine life. 

It all starts with the Mind. If we can train our minds to let go of the guilt that our choices ineluctably bring, then, gradually, we will be successful in Unshackling the ties that bind us to the mundane. We can, then, prevail and give meaning to our tales. We are not born to breathe, adapt and die. We are all stories in the making. Let’s put our hearts into the making of our very own blockbuster.