While the rest of the world is busy pouring over its books and notes, I thought I’ll have a little chat with The Other Me (TOM), as in the one inside the ‘Me’ that you see. So if you’re still reading this, you’re essentially eavesdropping on a private conversation. But… I barely mind. I mean I do, just a bit, but that’s OK.
So, after I’m done with the usual small talk, I get to THE question… How have you been these past few months? Honestly? I didn’t even have the time to think. And it took me five whole minutes to actually come up with that answer. And you know I’m not the dimmest wit in class.
TOM: You were saying something. Where did you go?
Resumes the talk after almost 7 months, as if no time has elapsed…
Me: Hi! Long time, no see! How have you been?
TOM: Well, you asking me sweetheart? You should ask yourself. I have been waiting.
Me: Technically, that is exactly what I am doing. No?
TOM: Yes, sort of. But tell me, what have you been up to?
Me: Working. Busy becoming another brick in the wall. Isn’t that what everyone else around me is busy doing right now?
TOM: I do not profess to be an expert on this, but yes, maybe. But how does it matter to you? You have never been one to just fit in. If anything, you have always tried to follow your own heart. That is how you got here in the first place. Why mellow down now?
Me: They tell me it’s time I grow up, time I shoulder my responsibilities. For how long can I be a rebel? I’m telling you, the latest machine in demand is one that can take orders and execute them with 100% accuracy. Any variations are considered defects, much against what people usually claim.
TOM: Umm… Did you just compare us with a machine?
Me: *thinking*…*still thinking*...I have no answer.
TOM: I know it’s a mad race out there. Desperation often wins, if only in the short term. I know people use all sorts of underhand methods. I know all of that, and you know all of that. But how does it matter? Has it ever affected you? Should it even affect you? Is your whole life not proof enough of how hard work and determination can get you where you want to be? Why be worried about the future now? You know you will manage, and manage well.
Me: *listening quietly*
TOM: I’m trying hard not to be preachy. But you are at a beautiful juncture in your life. You are at that threshold where you can do almost anything you can dream of. Why limit your imagination? Why settle for something less when you can do so much more? You always wanted to be a writer. Why not go for it now? You have the time and the energy.
TOM: Oh c’mon! Are we not resourceful enough to manage? Stop being nervous.
Me: It’s easy being you, with your pearls of wisdom. You don’t have the mandate to be practical. It’s me who has to step out and deal with the people here. You sleep through the day and only come out to play havoc in the nights.
TOM: *grins sheepishly* That is the only time you have for me, when you aren’t busy being busy.
Me: I can’t blame you. Either way, I need to get back to work. I’ll talk to you later.
And that is how most of our conversations with the self, end: abrupt, incomplete and unresolved. And this is possibly why we are always in that restless state. Never truly at peace. Always pre-occupied. Never focussing on the moment at hand. Amidst all the work, people and events, we lose touch with ourselves. We learn new skills, we start earning but we lose our creative self. Slowly, but surely, we become one of those zombies we never wanted to be. Is this really the life we want? That is probably for another conversation with TOM…