“He is past his prime…” I heard them saying about him.
And they were not talking about some cricketer. They were talking about a man whose journey I have followed closely over the years, right through his pretty high ‘ups’ and equally low ‘downs’. He came…he saw…he conquered. And then one day, he threw caution to the wind, to only be hit by a strong storm…falling steeply from dizzy heights…to find himself in a state they called “way past his prime”.
You know what…
One day they will say this about me… about you. And the worst part is that probably they will be right. On that day, don’t sulk or fume. Close your eyes, and then later go for a walk, and introspect. If you think what they say has merit then ‘take a break’ or ‘revive’ or ‘reinvent’ or ‘reposition’ or ‘find where you can be of value even with your averageness’.
And if nothing works then walk away into the woods with grace…
…to find new meanings and purposes.
Goodness is not a medal to be worn, it is a choice to be made.
And like any other choice, it comes with a set of consequences – you are sometimes left vulnerable, sometimes stranded, sometimes outraged, sometimes taken advantage of, sometimes underestimated, sometimes finishing last, sometimes manipulated, sometimes taken granted for, sometimes shortchanged, and sometimes simply ignored.
That’s why the only way you can remain ‘good’ is by developing a strong deep-rooted self-esteem – an ability to shrug it off with a smile, to forget the sting, to forgive the rascals, to take the rejection in your stride, to again take a leap of faith, to ignore the talk behind the back, to retain the innocence to trust, and to not let humiliation define your self-worth.
Well! It is not an easy road that anyone can tread. It is only meant for the ‘league extraordinaire’. 🙂
While waiting for a delayed flight at the airport, I saw a face that I could not attach ‘a name’ to and yet looked so familiar. “Well!” “Hi…” “Is it…?”… Yup that was him.
Meeting a friend from an earlier phase of life is akin to reliving the phase as well. So no surprise we started talking about everything sun had under it – about that era when life surely wasn’t easy and still ‘deprived of’ and ‘denied from’ had not entered our vocabulary.
We talked about the ceaseless pedaling of cycle in the scorching heat, thinking & rethinking before eating anything that was priced above 10 Rs., looking at auto-rickshaw’s meter continuously during the travel, dreaming about buying a Maruti 800 someday, and all sorts of other things like the squeaky fans, worn-out mats etc…
Then at one point of time, I said to him “So much has changed yaar! Those were altogether different times”. He nodded, smiled and said “Ya! And you know what? One more difference is there”…
… “भूख बढ़िया लगती थी और नींद अच्छी आती थी यार”!
And both of us smiled at each other poignantly, and took a sip of the 100 Rs. Tea… 🙂
When you are picking a fight everywhere, it is indicating that the fight is… inside you.
There are times when you feel that everyone is against you. Everyone is selfish. Everyone is using you. Everyone lets you down. No one understands you. No one values you. No one has paid back for your goodness. They all are same.
But what you don’t realize is that ‘you’ are the only common factor in all your relationships. So some introspection is due – Do you have an idealistic definition of what relationships should be like? Are you expecting those things from people which they can’t give? Are you unnecessarily giving ‘too much’ and that’s why what you get always seems ‘too less’?
Well! In either case, it is not about them, it’s about you.
If everyone is making you unhappy then they don’t need to make you. Probably…you already are.
Sometimes, some people’s behavior towards you is simply toxic.
And they behave in that manner not because you did something to deserve such treatment or because they are going through a bad phase or because they are transferring to you the trauma that someone else has caused them or because they themselves are suffering. They behave that way because… that’s the way they are.
Call it inherited genes, early upbringing or for that matter plain ‘negative experiences’, yet let’s face it – ‘they are like this’. Now you can have three ways to deal with it – ‘get away from them as early as possible’ or ‘maintain a firm ‘stay around but don’t cross boundary’ stand or ‘increase will power to such an extent that it ceases to bother you’.
Well! Such people do change eventually. All you’ve to see is whether you have enough reasons to wait and bear till then.
More often than not, you will have four types of people in your life.
First would be the people who will be ‘happy in your happy times’ and ‘neutral in your sad times’. They are fair-weather companions – they will celebrate with you, but won’t go out of the way to be around when the chips are down.
Second would be the people who will be ‘neutral in your happy times’ and ‘sad in your sad times’. They are bad-weather companions – they will be there when chips are down, but won’t be around to raise a toast or give high-fives.
Third would be the people who will be ‘sad in your happy times’ and ‘happy in your sad times’. They are our usual pseudo-companions – they will avoid letting you know that they are of this type, but you will realize it sooner or later.
Then there would be a fourth type – the people who will be ‘happy in your happy times’ and ‘sad in your sad times’. These are the people who you can call genuinely ‘your own’. This type is rare, special, and now close to extinction.
If you have someone belonging to this last type, don’t just thank that person or God. Rather, reciprocate by being the last-type to them as well. As that’s when you will realize why this type is close to extinction – not because it is tough to get one of this type, but because…
…it is tough to be one of this type. 🙂
There are times when all you keep asking yourself is… “Where did I go wrong?”
You did not leave any stone unturned…you did not leave any aspect unattended. You preempted…you tried to offset…you tried to prevent! You adjusted…you changed…you sacrificed! You talked….you listened…you kept quiet! You were always there – right there. And yet…
…you are standing there stranded – with a pale face, heaving chest, shivering hands, dry lips, and moist eyes. You know that’s not what you had signed up for…that’s not why you were bearing all that with a smile…that’s not what you imagined it would come down to.
But all that remains is ‘questions’ – questions whose answers don’t matter anymore.
At times all you want is to go away from all the melodrama around.
There is a difference between sensitivity and melodrama…
Sensitivity is about ‘paying attention to and taking care of’ even the smallest of things. Apparatus, methods, mannerisms, hints, words, tone, gestures, and even their interconnections – all matter. In short, a place for everything and everything at its place! In spite of this, in sensitivity, ‘you let small things remain small, and do not blow them out of proportions’.
On the contrary, in melodrama, ‘you do not let small things remain small; you blow them out of proportions to make them big’. Every ‘out of place’ thing is overhyped, every word is analyzed threadbare, every gesture is taken as a hint, every aberration is seen as a mistake, and what you miss suddenly becomes the most sacrosanct. And alas, often it is confused as sensitivity.
Well! What separates ugly melodrama from beautiful sensitivity is just one thing… ‘Over’.
Not all relationships ‘that work’ work for both partners…
There are times when, to make a relationship work, one of them has either redefined his priorities, or has learnt to stay quiet, or has reduced her expectations from the relationship, or has changed himself completely. And this has yielded results, because at least on surface, everything has stabilized.
But it is a façade. Beneath the surface, things will only get complicated with time. The person who has adjusted will continue to feel a sense of dissatisfaction, paranoia, betrayal, and even vengeance. And it all will affect the long-term health of the relationship.
At one point in future, this gradual corrosion will begin to show. It will get manifested in that person’s physical health, mental fitness and emotional condition. It will start with little changes in behavior and will end up engulfing not only ‘both the individuals’ but also the relationship.
And from there, there is no coming back…
Relationships are meant to create synergy. Alas, some end up only sapping energy.
In life, most people never admit their flaws.
Some of them were never told about their flaws so they think they never had them. It was probably because people around them were either too doting, too considerate or too busy to mention them. Or for that matter, possibly people around them also had the same flaws.
Some of them deliberately avoid looking at their flaws because that makes them feel low and nervous. So they adopt a defense-mechanism of denial. This saves them from any emotional dejection, and also from any mental discomfort of working towards correcting the flaws.
Some of them name their flaws as their ‘style’. As a result, they develop an arrogant confidence about themselves. Consequently, people around them start getting intimidated and begin to accommodate. This lets these people believe that in life there is nothing like ‘flaws’.
And in all these cases, the common outcome is that people are never able to unleash their full potential or establish meaningful connections. What a pity…
Yes! While seeing wounds in mirror, you can’t apply Band-Aid on the mirror and then…hope to heal.