Sunday, August 20, 2006

Surviving the Wild...

Errr... ahem! (Cautiously tip-toes.. looking around... hoping for some readers lurking in the corners. Not finding any.. there is a sense of strange relief and and also disappointment!) Now before you jump into the conclusion that am a refined version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, lemme assure that my polarity of emotions is just normal and am surprised you guys are not yet used to it. Ok.. so where was I?! Ahh! Now I remember!
Had been watchin' Animal Planet. They had a show about 2 cheetahs bred in captivity (their mother having been killed by a lion), which were let out in the wild to survive. It was a very moving documentary that vividly showed the bonding between the two sibling cheetahs and the human being in charge of taking care of them. The documentary captured the moments of their life very impressively - especially the ones where one of the 2 cheetahs helps its brother to overcome the fear of water, the way they learn to hunt for their food, their first kill, and so on. It was the ending that came as a surprise still - one of the two gets killed in the night by a lion. Needless to mention the other cheetah is in immense pain and terror over the loss of its sibling, and the caretaker was already in tears. What really got me thinking was what he said towards the end of the documentary. To summarize his quote, he confesses that maybe it would have been better for the life of these two animals to have just bred them in captivity for their entire life. They would have been safe and sound. But it would have stolen from them the very nature of their being, the wildness and freedom which makes cheetahs mesmerizing creatures. When I turned off the TV, the mind that was struggling hard to get myself to write something, suddenly felt at ease.
My mind is being torn apart. I have decided to come back to India, and now a lot of people are continuously calling me and convincing me (even to the point of fighting with me over it) against it. Their argument being that I don't know what would happen out there! The uncertainity of finding a job; and even if I did - whether or not it would pay me well; and even if it did - whether or not I would enjoy the work environment, so on and so forth. The recent turn of events have rather clogged my mind and drained all the ability to think clearly. How does one clear the mind under such circumstances? I am contemplating withdrawal from the civilization! Hehehehe.. now that I know is far fetched. For one, my nature itself doesn't permit me to do it. The moment of solitude that I gather here and there, are spent in silence... as they seem so precious that I do not feel like spoiling it with such dreary thoughts. Frankly speaking it is the uncertainity that is the root cause behind all this. Why is man's life so uncertain afterall? Is it so that he has a purpose to live? What would the cheetah have done if it had known that it would die if it were let out in the wild? Would it choose to live albeit in captivity and forego its nature? Or would it still choose to taste its freedom, however short lived it may have been?
What shall I choose, that would keep me dignified in my own eyes? It is my homeland that I am returning to. The wild was the homeland of the cheetah too. It also proved to be its death ground. What is in store for me? I wonder...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Musafir hoon yaaron....

Statutory warning:- Prepare for a long and monotonous soliloquy!! Don't tell me I didn't warn you!
I do owe an apology and probably an explanation for my outbreaks and absence all these days. I have debated in my mind a lot whether or not to share the details of all that had happened these days with me. To say that I have been on a roller coaster ride ever since the year has started would literally sum up the mood swings that you have all been witness to! Moments of elation and moments of despair that are so much a part of everyone's life, have been my regular visitors. Much as I have tried to keep my composure maintained during these days, I have oft broken down beyond any comprehension. Guess it doesn't hurt being human at times!
My blog has often given you all a glimpse of some portions of my life, albeit with veiled details. In our relationship as an insignificant and yet officious writer and a significant and seemingly interested reader, we have avoided a lot of specifics and going by the same trend, I will still appraise you of what has passed.
The year started with a lot of promise only to be devastated. Then came the challenge of graduating, which was not an easy path, what with an unco-operative advisor hell bent on making the situation worse each passing day. Couple that with dwindling confidence and patience and you will pretty much get an idea of how it was. And then came the promise of eventual liberation by my advisor, only to be broken at the last moment - in a bid to avenge for past issues! What that set was a whole new series of war where I had to fight for what I deserved. It did culminate in a victory, but as the days proved, the battle was not yet over. On the day of me ending the 2.5 year long journey, the residue of the past again grew momentously in size and appeared again in front of me - just when I was an inch away from my goal. At that moment the years of efforts, tears and toil that I had shed seemed worthless and ineffective infront of the towering hurdle. I was failing - in my strength, in my conviction, and belief in everything good and worthwhile. I did not want to give up till the last and then again set about mustering the strength to shake the pillars of the university - banging every door till I was heard right at the top level. This new found strength was the result of the well wishes and blessings of so many friends, admirers and companions that I find it exceedingly hard not to choke with tears recalling them all..... hitherto strangers, or acquaintances, stood up to the occassion, friends rallied behind me, and loved ones held me up in my final battle to get my coveted degree. I have now achieved it.
At the hind sight I see ruins... of myself. But out of those very ashes like a phoenix, I was reborn each time, my faith in good, and justice being upheld intact. The God, that I have trusted who held out his hand, inspite of my thousand shortcomings... yes... I have grown. There is a quote in the office of my assistant director - Growing old is a must, growing up is optional. I might even add - growing up is painful. I don't know what a pupa undergoes in metamorphosizing into a butterfly. May be it despairs too. The thing that is really scary is the change. I do know that it is exciting! But there is the fear of the unknown. In my case, I feared returning a loser. I feared empty hands that would not testify for my years of patience, and work. I feared the disappointment of my parents. Fear is not a feeling to be harbored in the mind.
I live a small life. But I know it is significant to a lot of people around me. There are moments when I have wondered.. what it is that I do? I know that I have lived a rather momentous life thus far; so many events, and happenings that has changed me a lot. But what is it that is guiding all this? What was the whole purpose of something so heavy like a mountain being placed on my back in the first place, and later on being lifted off like a feather?!! Some may say that my faith was being tested.. haven't I been tested enough? I am not complaining.. but am just wondering. Now at a very critical juncture, I stand at crossroads. While the heart wishes to return to India, the intellect advises to stay here and get some experience. It is yet another moment of change. I have made a choice - I am moving to New Jersey to join a new job. A new place, a new set of people, a new set of relationships.. maybe a new set of problems!!! Amidst all this, there is the dream - of home. A place though not devoid of problems of its own, is still mine to keep. I hope I can return soon to the familiar faces and open arms of loved ones.
The choices we make define us. Does this choice define me too? How would I be defined if I were to give up all of this, and return back home to make a fresh start? There is a part of me that is tired of this long fight... there is a part of me brazing up for a new expedition. I have often called myself an explorer.. someone who craves a lot of excitement and action and thrill.. and yet here I am, sober and hesitant. But it is time.. I have to move...
Ek raah ruk gayi.. toh aur jud gayi
main muda toh saath saath raah mud gayi
hava ke paron par mera aashiyaana.....