In fierce opposition, we find meaning.
Bombarded with doubts and questions, mind works overtime under duress to figure who he is. Or if my feminist friends feel challenged, then yes who she is. In the last three sentences itself a conflict of sorts is created. The objectification of gender when it comes to referring things in life. A conflict which led to creation of the famous pronoun ‘hen’, that helped people refer to neutrality in a better way.
Well, returning to what we began with: In fierce opposition, we find meaning.
Pic courtesy Vikas Agarwal Photography
Last few months have been testimonial to this very thing. At every juncture, I was questioned and cross examined on beliefs and ideas I held almost sacrosanct to my sense of being. Of course it wasn’t an easy way of living but I can say with some confidence that I have come out of it stronger and more balanced.
I was sitting at home, down with fever and cold,when I decided to re-watch Devdutt Pattnaik’s Ted Talk. And somewhere in first six minutes of it, I had a eureka moment.
For those of you who have still not watched it, I first recommend you to do so as the first thing. But given that you will (obviously) want to read this post first :-), lets highlight the point he makes in his speech here.
Myth and culture are subjective truths specific to people. And it is these truths that define who we are. And myths and culture are nothing but ideas that we have been socially ingrained with.
(You may additionally want to watch the whole video to see how he connects it with Indian way of business, etc. )
Bombarded with questions and put in the line of fire of objections, I decided to understand who I am. Where do I come from. Not in an absolute sense of physical connotations but basically what is the basis of my thinking.
What is my myth?
I can say with some firmness now that twenty eight (and counting) years of my life have been lived believing that I am practically the smallest cog in the wheel of life. That no matter what I do or say there is still an ocean worth of thoughts and ideas still left for me to discover. This simple sense of being overwhelms me.
So I sat down to introspect a little more on this. When or how did I create this element of thinking in my head? And like always I stumbled onto a memory. Or rather a repetitive pattern of memories.
In line with how all kids usually are, I too had my bag full of questions and queries and never once did I have to face an irritated parent to them. My mother would always encourage such maze of curiosities and answer at every point to her best of abilities. So much so that there would be instances where she had to give me inputs much above my age but trusting I would grasp them to my best of capabilities. But then like all grand schemes, there would be a time where either she didn’t know beyond or I couldn’t understand more and to that point she would say:
“You would discover when you grow up.”
And as all of us have experienced this emotion, I would take serious offence to the thought presented here and instantly answer back saying, ” But I am a grown up.”
To which always came her reply:
“If life is a tree you have not even come out of the seed with respect to it.”
This always calmed me down. Reminding me that her plan was not to subjugate me in any way but only to remind that there is so much left to do and learn. That the wheel of curiosity in general should not be frustrating but inspiring and one that still keeps us going.
Or in other words:
‘Adventure is out there’.
And when we say adventure, we do not intend its literal sense of thrill and excitement but that life is still to happen to you.
In search of this life is my every moment, my every day. The myth that keeps me going all the time is this. That my moments to come will bring forth another idea, another discovery and yes it will always overwhelm me.
Today I ask you, if you were to tell me that single idea that drives you and your thoughts, what would it be? I am waiting to hear that idea, I am wanting you to overwhelm me.