Sunday, 3 March 2013

It has been a while since I posted...... have been meaning to write more often but the sorry fact is that one's time gets taken up with living, or at least part of the daily grind which constitutes as living.

I was stuck in a terrible traffic jam today as happens in a busy city on most days. There was incessant honking all around and one could sense the impatience inside of the closed doors.When the traffic eased a little,everyone and his car next door made a mad rush to reach the next signal. It wasn't only a one off experience, I have noticed this phenomenon very often and of course I have always been in the driver's seat at those times. The most amusing thing is that after rushing and overtaking, breaking lanes one happens to see at the next signal, most of the same people who were there with you at the last one, so one assumes that all this terrific rush to get there before the next person is really unnecessary when ultimately one ends up together at the next traffic light.......but we never learn do we? We do not want to go at a steady pace, we want to make our impact here and now and in as little time as possible ...we are impatient to reach our destination and care not if we break rules or try to overtake whoever comes in our way. Do our driving skills reflect our personalities or the way we conduct our lives? Our goals are important to us and we try and achieve them at all costs. There are many and they may form a vast majority, who have no set goals, who live life as it comes , play along with each say as best they can and I am afraid but certainly not ashamed to say that I belong to that vast majority. We all have certain ambitions, mine first and foremost was to be an IAS officer, and needless to say that I tried and was not successful because I did not try hard enough. This lack in my person has prevented me from reaching the traffic signal later than the others ... it was pointed out to me about two decades ago and much earlier by my teachers...."she has such a good mind but if she only put in some effort" was a refrain I have heard almost all my life For me it is always matter over mind, the mind may be there but it really does not matter.

I digress as usual from the main point as is my wont. TRAFFIC ... yes that is what I started with... and no I am not going to write about traffic rules and how we break them with impunity or how we create a noise because we want to get ahead. We are well aware of rules and aware too of how so many of us do not follow them at all..... do not really care a fig for discipline, strangely all those who drive on the roads have had a disciplined upbringing, whether in school or at home, but the wild side takes over at the wheel of the car, possibly something to do with having a control over the machine or control over something.

That is not my point either, and if there are people reading the tripe I put down, they will know by now that it deals with life and living or some aspect of it. The thought which always comes to my mind when I see the hurtling traffic and the (almost) race to get ahead of he next car or bus or any other vehicle is that eventually as I said before.... almost all of them cluster at the next signal together, so whats the darn hurry? I find the two wheelers more adept at weaving in and out of traffic, they have the benefit of a more streamlined vehicle , that is for sure but it may just be a desire to be better than or faster than their more complacent counterpart with four wheels. So now lets get to the real issue , after this pop psychology session..... and the point of all this, ladies and gentlemen,is what IS the point? Why are we always in a rush to achieve, to reach there first and in all that we do since we are toddlers we are taught precisely that. Failure and success is like a weighing scale (the older version) where success is always rated higher and the alternate is never an option. I DO acknowledge the fact that failures are fatal for the development of personalities, if fatal is too strong a word, at least they cause a lot of damage to it. The systems which have evolved through time immemorial have all been towards progress and if any kind of progress has to happen it needs the successful completion of any idea or endeavor.The flip side of success is failure, so why do we not accept is just as we accept success with happiness... ah! Happiness!!!! Of late a lot of wise people have been saying, and there are more wise sayings about happiness being the goal  of life, but I digress again... because my thinking on that is different. So.. we see that we are happy, ecstatic, over the moon with what we achieve but when we do not, we feel let down and at best unhappy with ourselves. Our achievements make us what we are or so we are led to believe, for even at a very young age we are taught to compete whether it for a race or for that extra percentage point at an exam. We are told to have a goal and work towards it  and sometimes in the process we lose ourselves , we see the woods but stop not to look at the trees, a blade of grass becomes inconsequential when we see a beautiful garden, a bird's chirp is not heard in our world filled with noise, except for the crow who is as noisy as the rest of us.... and well, he doesn't chirp at all !!

I really don't know if what I write and think can be construed as coming from someone who never really achieved much in life ...... in today's terms .....a loser... because I am sure that people who have gained much in a much shorter time must think differently, and if this thought process comes only because I am where I am today but this I must say that I am satisfied with life,although many think that being satisfied is not good for anyone. I would rather think that satisfaction is the best place to be, complacence on the other hand is not .... the former leads to happiness at every small hurdle crossed, while the latter would make one rest at one's laurels.

Digressed again !! The traffic moves on ... as do our lives, sometimes forward, sometimes through ways unknown, always towards a destination, sometimes fast and smooth and at other times on uneven and slippery roads, there are times we have to turn back and take another path and there is always the time when someone overtakes us. Eventually we reach the signal where each of us have to stop, and whether we are overtaken or have been faster than the other we will have to stop there.... the traffic will continue to move ......


3 comments:

MANU PRAKASH TYAGI said...

nice writeup . pleas swith off word verification

Renate said...

Appreciations (as my son always says), Nandi, for a meandering musing morning Mumbai-and-life-in general-ride!

Nandita Kao said...

Manu and Renate... thank you for your appreciations !!