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August 8, 2009

A diary entry from May 2001.

Filed under: personal — neosurya @ 10:03

I was going through some of my old files and came upon this diary entry.

Life – and Quality

My exams were just over – Four years of hard work was finally going to make some sense – or maybe prove that it was a futile, but necessary effort in career building. A lot of my friends realized that there was something in life that had gone unnoticed in life all these years, though some never even knew what. Now was the time to rekindle that lost heat – felt many of my chums.

It was a day like any other – I had a normal, effortless work schedule, and nothing much to drive home happened during the day. Then there was a call from a friend – she was asking me for some help WRT some project work of some of our erstwhile classmates – who, sadly got left behind in this rat race. Well, in a very casual manner she told me of how her career veered off the normal course a person of our degree had to follow – She had started a Night School, was going to be a correspondent for a leading Mumbai daily. She was an engineer just like me – but had chosen a career that was something many would feel certainly not cut out for an engineer. Yes, It was very surprising – but considering her repute (no pun). The course she would plot for herself should have been more obvious. That was the first thing that prompted me to think over the kinds of careers/lives that were being opted for by the people of my generation. I am not saying that we should change our lines – It is not an easy task – and not everyone can do it. ANd many are very, very able at what they are doing right now and that is the best thing for them.

But, Looking around me I found a mad rush to do something that seemingly did something great with a capital G, and brought money with a capital?? $$?? Many were going thru a schedule that left little or no space for things that are more humane. Satisfaction no longer meant what we wanted to do. It was more like adjusting to Careers that paid bucks and believing that it was the thing we always needed. Yeah, there is nothing wrong with it – Except, if everyone has (wants) money, who is goanna be there to look up to him or her and laugh (or cry)?

Lots said – but then, I thought did I have any examples of people who did something different? Didn’t have to wait long for that one – A friend had just bought a guitar, which he strummed pretty well. I was encouraged to restart playing my violin for pleasure. I had developed a very good interest in the instrument during my 10th Std. I wanted to continue – but the race to have a career had me too busy and held up. Well, It was just that I had felt it not too important then. Even now, its’ just going to be a hobby – I am pretty confident of my incapacity to continue. I am too much unpredictable to do that – But on other counts one may never know.

Since I had restarted it, I was concerned with taking it with me to my stay at US for my study. I hoped that if I have time – I could practice. Wanting myself to be perfect – I had to take advice from someone who knew violins well about how to take good care of it. 6 years with my violin had taught me not much – well I wasn’t with it for too long anyway.

My friend and me went to one pehchaan of his. Uncle was not too well, was recovering from a hip fracture. After some initial sweet talk, we got down to the question – who plays the violin – he asked and then, as a passionate child who had been away from his toy for a few days – he touched the violin – Maybe practice makes a man more than perfect on his instrument – it makes him fall in love with it. The notes, which he played, were great. Simply overwhelming – That kind of stuff was sure to unwind anyone from the grimace of this tiring world. It was simply too good for someone who played with very little formal training.

Here was a man who was at the ripe time of his career – and he had a great life. The only thing he feels not present is the ability to share things with an audience – But that is human nature -you believe that life means more and more, whereas it just means something that is enough. He was not earning too much, but it was more than sufficient. His job was a very involved one – but certainly not over killing him. It left enough time for a few smiles and diversions. I then wondered – everyone, including me, who had to make careers out of ourselves – were embarking upon a journey that had work, work and more work. None of the youth were realizing quality in life as it stands now. Maybe, we have to reconsider what we were going to do. Don’t ever say you don’t like the way you are. Just say that there is something more required – but not money.

The night changed my outlook – Don’t know weather it will last too long. I have always been drawn very strongly to a few things only. But consistent performance was something else – I worked regularly in other departments, but I don’t know how music slowly went away. I guess I am like that only. Just like the youth of these days – I wasn’t able to take myself away from my career. It was not that I didn’t like music – Liked it a lot. Am just like the other guys – When I hear a beautiful guitar, violin or anything else -I feel very nice and compelled to learn it. But like the other youth, I always feel that it is something out of reach.

From now, I will at least remember that my effort can bear some fruit, and not end up as a dust covered violin case. There is life beyond work and career – In fact there is no career if you are just working. I know many people who slog it out in the boardrooms of firms that pay them well, but take the life out of them. They can only resort to passive entertainment and nothing else -wonder what will happen to their post-retirement. Such is the life these days – we have only so much time in our hands – feel people that they leave many things for a later time. Maybe they will try to do it after they are through with their life??

That is the dilemma we face these days. We know that there is something missing out in the scheme of things in our life – but where do we search for it? Do we even make a decent effort to do the search? Three youth – Me, and my 2 friends had decided now that our life and career will not be bound to a monotonous routine. Such a living is no life at all. After all, how many of our needs can we satisfy? There are bound to be some things left behind. And emotional satisfaction is not going to be one of them. Try not to ignore when something in you cries out in an impulse for something. Grab the time from somewhere and search – It may, if not change your life, considerably improve its’ quality.

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2 Comments »

  1. How true, as a kid I always used to say , I will NEVER be an engineer. Today, I am an engineer (fortunately not because of pressure, but because I fell in love with computers as I grew older). But, I totally agree with you. We keep forgetting that our career is just a part of our life and not life itself. I make sure I take time out for all the things in the world. People ask me where I find the time to do all of this. The answer – I find time because I love to do whatever it is. I do look forward to the day when one of my hobbies becomes my career. And I will never have to ‘work’ again 🙂

    P.S – Love ur blog.

    Comment by Achala — November 10, 2009 @ 20:53

    • Thanks for your comment !!!
      Your last statement “And I will never have to ‘work’ again” is something that is echoed by everyone; each individual in the world would love to do what they want to do. But very few individuals would agree to change their current lifestyles. For example, we love the greenery, the trees – but are we willing to stay there if there were no internet or electricity. This is a simple example, but the analogy extends to jobs – you would be able to work in the social sector, but it will not allow you to live in a 3 BHK house in a posh locality. Is that OK for you, and if it OK for you, is that OK for your family?

      Comment by neosurya — December 10, 2009 @ 14:37


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