REVIEW

A Journey That Continues

March 05, 2009
Kishore

He was a nice looking gentleman wearing an oversize coat and thick mufflers around his neck, who acceded to taking a picture of me and V standing on the edge of Dolphin’s Nose. “So where are you from?” he asked me handing over the camera to V. “I... Er... I’m from...”, I fumbled. V did better. She smiled, as she secured the camera into its case.

It was an incredible moment in our lives. A moment when we realized, we didn’t have an answer to the most rudimentary question of existence – “Where are you from?” Well, let me see. We have moved three cities in two countries in four months, have our belongings lying in five cities across the two countries and have no idea where we would be four weeks from this minute.

Things weren’t supposed to be this way. It was supposed to be happy days ahead. Family, elders and all that, you know? A fairy tale of the prince and princess living happily ever after. It sure was a fairy tale of sorts, until the day we called bitter-gourd bitter. Ever wondered calling bitter-gourd bitter could bring you trouble for the rest of your life?

Many months after that ignominious moment of getting reprimanded for stating the obvious, troubles continued. “Elementary my dear Watson.”, a well wisher suggested, “Everyone has troubles. Just deal with it.” Deal with it, huh? At what price? A few hundred dollars of happiness would do? Heard they started selling that thing in Wal-mart these days. So I could’ve helped myself, you know, with a few capsules whenever there was trouble.

We are dealing with it alright. But not like the Goody two shoes that we used to be. Although no one knows it that way. Life is simple. People are not. They are high on illusion or hung over on reality. So much so that any attempts at talking them out of their ridiculous assumptions or psychic outbursts only falls into deaf years. We became weary of our condemned routine and decided to find our own way.

We are on the move, although no one knows the real reasons of what we are doing or where we are moving. "Family" thinks we are happy. The indicators are there – we travel, we do the vacations, we shop, we laugh, what else one needs to know if someone is actually happy? For them, we are the good kids who do a lot of traveling on business. To ourselves, we are lost rowing in a sea without a compass and the shore is nowhere in sight.

May be we could still have waited for more time, until the day when the deaf ears would open up. May be, if we could’ve drugged ourselves with a few capsules of Solvomycin from Wal-mart, everything would’ve been solved and life would’ve been back to being a fairy tale. Life is a honey moon. Except that the honey doesn’t taste good at some times, and the moon is hidden by clouds at other times.

“Deal with it, kid”, an elder told me. “It’s the same with everyone”, a veteran confided. “You can’t run away from troubles. You’ll have to come back to it someday”, told a peer. I agree with everyone. Except that they are not me, and they haven’t seen what I’ve seen. But how do you tell the world you don’t bother about it anymore? I guess you just don’t. And that’s what we’ve done. Kept quiet, and moved. “Cheeky, but you did the right thing”, a friend smiled when he heard our story, “Life finds a way”.

We’ve set out to do what we think is our pursuit of happiness. We are moving places, driving in near-zero visibility. We don’t know where our next turn is, or how long until we stop again. We don’t know if we’ll run out of gas, or reach our hitherto unknown destination soon enough. We don’t know if we are alone, or there are other cars beside us. But we do know that we’ll keep driving.

Kishore is a techie based in Bangalore. When he's not writing software, he spends his time writing himself out trying to understand the perfection of reality. Read his musings over life, nature, music and the art of living at Dayswork.
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#1
smallsquirrel
March 5, 2009
02:49 PM

I am sorry but I did not understand a word of this. Honestly. You lost me around the bitter gourd part. Something is missing. You've not teased out the connections well enough. I will also posit that this needed a lot more editing before it got published.

#2
Aaman
URL
March 5, 2009
02:53 PM

I get this, but only because I know Kishore - dude, this is indeed quite abstract:)

#3
smallsquirrel
March 5, 2009
03:07 PM

but it's not just that it is abstract, Aaman... there are some things that simply do not make sense. the whole "reprimanded for stating the obvious thing" is not teased out enough. the bitter gourd thing...

I get the overall theme, and I like it. I just want the part that gets me on the runway for the flight to make more sense... that way I can enjoy the rest of the journey!

#4
kerty
March 5, 2009
03:25 PM

Great parable of modern life. At the end of journey of life, it still leaves one with doubts what was it all about. It is like a rolling stone that keeps rolling but gathers no moss. As Henry David Thoreau said, "Most people lead the lives of quiet desperation, and go to their graves with the song still in their heart." That was than. Now most suffer their sunset years in isolation, in depression, dependent on government for sustenance, and die lonely and bankrupt, after lifelong running around in pursuit of wealth and pleasure. We keep driving to get away from uncomfortable truths. We fill out lives with pursuits to stifle the doubts.

#5
Aditi N
March 5, 2009
04:05 PM

Here's what I do like about it: it works with your imagination. I just love the ambiguity because it lets me imagine what the author is talking about :)

I imagined a young couple who is having issues with their parents/ joint family....and are therefore on the move so as to avoid confrontation but are unhappy because of the cold war and bitterness they left behind.

And then I wonder if it has something to do with the couple itself....something that's not right.

I do wish that I was that friend of yours Kishore who got to smile upon hearing your story. You deprived us of that story. Not nice! :)

But hope you find a solution soon. Life does find a way, and so does time.



#6
Morris
March 5, 2009
05:31 PM

Like other I did not understand what you are talking about. It sounds like you are not happy. If that is so then, my suggestion is follow these three simple steps.

1 Enjoy what you are doing.

2 Stop doing what you are doing, if you do not enjoy it. Find something else to do that you enjoy.

3 Finally, if you have no choice but to do what you are doing, then learn to enjoy it. Keep in mind that enjoyment can be learnt. You may not like it to begin with, but you can learn to like it. And if you continue with right frame of mind you fall in love with it. Once you determined that you have no choice then do not fight.

These steps could be applied to the relationships as well. It is not that complicated. Keep it simple. There is nothing special. No secret. Don't look for it. It does not exist. Stop intellectualizing. Just have fun. There is a lot of joy in the life.

#7
Deepti Lamba
URL
March 5, 2009
09:16 PM

Kishore, in many ways we have lived your life. The complexity of leading a 'carefree life' comes with a certain price;) And that too balances out in the end.

#8
temporal
URL
March 7, 2009
10:40 AM

kishore:

in mechanical parlance it is fine tuning

most folks are survivalists...the adjust and readjust...some more than others

in the end life is about that glass...and the same options are available to all of us - half full or half empty

:)

#9
Kishore
URL
March 7, 2009
12:24 PM

SS,
Abstraction was deliberate. Alternatively, it would've sounded like a pathetic rant - you'd rather have preferred to read it this way.. :-)

Aditi,
Your first guess is almost close. :) and glad you did like the abstract bits..

kerty, Morris, t,
Thanks for the advice. :)

Aaman, Dee,
Just learning the hard way, I suppose. :)

#10
Kishore
URL
March 7, 2009
12:27 PM

Incidentally, this happens to be my 100th post on DC. :)

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