Living My Life

I thought I was going to be late, by ten minutes at least. As I got off the Tube, I considered running up the escalator. Looked at the watch. 8:10. Twenty more minutes. Not bad, wonder why I was getting the being late feeling. Ah, just stand at the right. Let the escalator take me up. Green Park Tube Station. Even when you are being yourself, quietly being carried up on the escalator, the advertisements don’t leave you. They are 45 degree-angled by your position.

That’s when I saw the sign. It said:

You can
change your life
if
you want to

Or at least, something to that effect. (Update: I saw the sign again. Photo below) Was it a new musical? Clothes, perhaps?

My instant response to the advert was: No, Thank you.

Life is being. You can’t change being. You see, be-ing is binary. like, “To be or not to be.” The only way you can change being (and therefore life) is death, or “not to be”. Life, if you ask me, (and I know you are not) is binary. There aren’t multiple choices that you can click and make yours. If at all, I want to change the people in my life or the events of the recent past. I may not cherish all the events that have occurred in my life, but please, I don’t want to change my life.

It is not exactly like changing a jacket or an iPod with a friend: Hey, I think you have a better life, can I have yours?

Change your Life!

When I speak about life, be prepared for a long post. This post, for one, is not the that will garner comments like “wow”, “wonderful”, “great post” with my many ‘thank yous’ to each one of them. This is the one that goes into the Better Said page and is deemed: yet another diligent step-child.

Take an ordinary human being from here or take one from there, or if it works for you, take one from where you are. Take one who has attained a divine status. (Whether in your mind or someone else’s) My life, it seems, will only be redeemed by spiritual salvation; that they offer. But, only if, I succumb to “their way of living.”

Keyword: Succumb.

Sir, I have a question: If I like the way I live, nay, if I love they way I live, am I less spiritual, less likely to attain salvation that we all apparently seek? I have refused to don any of the offered templates; though not yet an outcast, I am close to being one. My way of life almost nearly and truly threatens the templates that you seek to bind me (and others) into.

Most of all what these templates seek, is to obliterate my identity. It is, a management problem. As many identities as there are individuals in this world. And a small minority, like me, deny the template-application. When I choose to deny your template, I am a rogue identity. A misfit; anti-social; delinquent.

Life, but, is binary! If you change the “state”, it is death!

What you want to change, if at all, is events, people, emotions, situations, circumstances, status, bank-balance and a career. That is not life. Those are the components of how you live a life. What is forgotten is being alive — and that is a chance to change anything that you can possibly conceive of!

I have refrained from making political comments on this blog, and because I felt compelled, I started another blog, where I expressed my thoughts on social and political issues. The poster at Green Park Tube Station, however, is what I feel should be the banner for the recent Marathi Resurgence that is making the headlines in recent times.

You can
change your life
if
you want to

A huge rant starts here. You may feel a bit lost of you don’t have context. Your options: (a) Wikipedia, (b) Comment Conversations (c) None.

Some of you may be aware, I have blog, where I write about History; primarily Maratha History. Late in life (after school) I learned that the Marathas ruled the country for about a hundred years. My History textbook did not mention it, and most “concise” histories of India fail to mention it too. Most of them conveniently said: Mughals -> British. A hundred years were easily forgotten. Convenience, I understand, is a necessary tool of abstraction. Fear not, for I shall not give you a detailed account of what our history books missed. But because I am proud of it, I will talk of the pride that swelled my chest when I was exposed to this relegated chapter of history. Pride because I belong to the land where this history occurred; pride because I realised I am some-what a descendant of a proud people.

In my life and times this pride has been trampled upon. That, a political leader is easily able to make a genetically-proud people believe that they have the right to start the 100m race ten-seconds before the others. That they, apparently are supposed to have an advantage. When the greatest of all kings of this land started his campaign, he started with zero advantage. Instead of reminding the feats of the idols who have become their emblems, they mock their courage under the stoic photos of those that they worship. Imagine, if, once upon a time, when this land was ruled by “foreigners”, the architects of this land had asked for this advantage. “Dear Mr. Aurangzeb, this is my land, kindly go back to Delhi or somewhere up north”. Don’t ask me, but I would have laughed.

As much as my heart bleeds for my people, it cries tears of shame. Today, people who should have been proud, are suffering a severe victim complex. Unfortunately, the victim complex shrouds their pride.

See, we confuse certain issues. And we allow some people to do it for us. Imagine our laziness — we won’t even confuse ourselves. We allow others to do it for us.

We come back to Life.

Our lives will always change. We can’t change it. For, each breath is an extension of the current moment. It is a change in itself. To walk to a saffron clad guru or a white-kurta clad politician who apes an erstwhile political relative, is to seek one of the limited templates that they can offer us. If we live that template, our life will never be our own. It becomes a slave to that template

Then, there is nothing to change. Be content with the template that you have chosen.

Choice?

Be your own. Be the last bastion. Be proud; never let your pride be splattered by alms of void aggression.

Be the one that may break, but will never bend.

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9 thoughts on “Living My Life

  1. Hmm, whilst I would encourage your individualism and see you’ve thought about these things…

    Life is more than a binary bit. For example if we live at one height, say up a mountain, and then moved to the sea – ie sea level then our lives, if all else were equal would change as we’d have more oxygen to get our brains and thus our minds working more economically and thus perhaps – better (that loaded word….)

    On the other point – why not walk to a guru or even a politician, you can walk away with more information/advice that you could consider that perhaps you didn’t have before (including the ‘I thought it was a waste of time but now I know…)

    Just a thought, or two…

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  2. It took me two sittings to complete the reading but I guess it was worth it. Change is something that can be brought about only when people start implementing change rather than thinking or talking about it. The change may necessarily not be good or bad but it is at least different from what it was.
    Getting an advantage or head start is a window of opportunity only for some time, because in the real race, others will overtake if the opportunistic person was not up to it.

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  3. ==FTT/FTB:
    Welcome to Gaizabonts!

    I was alluding more to the state of life being binary. The change from a height, for example, is a change in altitude, which affects quality of life. All our choices (or chance) affect the quality of our life – rather than life itself. Seems I may be playing on words here, yet.

    Nothing wrong in walking up and listening to a Guru – as long as you will continue to have a mind of your own and can differentiate between a takeaway and a giveaway 🙂

    Thank you for your visit! 🙂

    ==TSC:
    Welcome back, long time no coffee!

    I am glad you took the time to read this; I mean it. My longer posts seem to be a run on 😉

    Sometimes change is not necessary, I guess we get bored with status quo and therefore look for change rather than anything else. And it isn’t even about changes that someone else does. Even before changing, knowing the change and its purpose (in the quality of life, rather than life itself) is more important than implementing it. No?

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  4. Very true. What you mean is to do what if analysis of the change before deciding on the change. We really do this many times, but then not all are good at visualizing the complete picture with the missing pieces (interpret these as the parameters that will help in quatifying the effect of change).

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  5. i come here after i while, and as always, am treated to some rich thoughts!

    though your take on life being binary makes ‘logical’ sense, there is something in that statement that sort of ‘irks’. i can’t really place my finger on it, but something seems, well, sort of makes me uncomfortable. for one, i find it hard to believe death being the opposite of life. something – and this beats any logic, and i am not strictly a logical sort of a person – tells me there must be life after death. i don’t know how to get this across…

    also, about templates – well, i am with you. i have inherently been unable to accept templates as is. yet, i can’t deny the fact having tried various templates, tasted those different flavours, and in the process, having developed my own template, however fluid it may be.

    your apetite for blogs seems never ending – way to go, brother 🙂

    oh, and about history – i am with u, much of our history is quite misrepresented, i think. at one level, the challenge is to find the ‘right’ information. at another level – and this is mroe because of my being in education – is for history to be taught as a ‘record’ of what happened, rather than just what happened. that way, we introduce an elements of subjectivity, thereby allowing freedom of making our own conclusions.

    good to be here, as always. thank you!

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  6. ==Dharma:
    Your comment deserves a post, not a response. Keep a watch!

    But very quickly, i am talking of a single life; a lifetime. I know you can extend this in the same definition 😉 yet.

    Good to have you here, as always. I mean it!

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  7. I agree with the ‘Being’ bit. No matter what we choose to do it is more of the awareness of whatever good or bad, right or wrong has happened. If everything went the positive way then there would be no meaning in living anyways. A classic example for me is how people who go for an Alchoholics Anonymous session introduce themselves – “I am XYZ and I am an alcoholic.” And this introduction will continue years after you would have quit the bottle.

    Being aware is Life to me and obviously all that has happened in the past is for me I wouldn’t want to change anything from there. And like you wrote – Our lives will always change and that is not about what people call Destiny.

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