Posted by: thetavernthoughts | January 12, 2012

The Boon of Mortality

 

It was the year 1600, and I was merely 25, I have been 25 since. Most of you read history, I have lived history. I have seen the wheel of time and fortune turn.  What is my name you ask? I go by many names. My friends in 17th century called me lestart, Isaac in 18th, Wolfgang in 19th, Jean in the 20th, Fredrick for you people in 21st.

I have witnessed it all, the pilgrims leaving for the new world, Her majesty founding the East India Company.  I have seen plague, famine, drought and war. I have seen humanity wreak havoc, in the name of nationality, religion, or plain commercial interest. An observation that helped me come to terms with my own blood thirst. In 1880, just before I went to sleep, I met a young man named Bram Stoker, who iconized us in his immortal work, Dracula. I made it my business to meet many Writers and artists, they were the only ones who could exhibit empathy in truest sense of the word. They would often see my world, through my eyes. They could sense my feeling of power, and they could see my pain. Pain of immortality. For immortality is a fate worse than death.

Yes, of our many ‘gifts’ immortality and youth are the most priced ones. Most of the current literature on us is inspired by it. Perhaps the world moving to its fated end 2012 was unconsciously hoping for it. We all knew it was coming, if not in 2012, then someday soon. Too many trees had been cut, too much toxic waste had been pumped into the eco system. If not that, there was the fear of nuclear war. They say we have enough nuclear bombs to destroy every living form on earth 21 times over. Perhaps, it was this kind of power, lust for more of it that made us more acceptable in the society. I remember, sleeping in 1881, and walking up due to noise in 1914. I haven’t slept since. The unimaginable blood bath that followed left me dumbfolded. What had humanity come to? They call you the cancer of the earth. You had to go. Now that everyone knows the date, it’s a pity to see how you have reacted.

There are those who have become zealous about religion, as if banging your head on shrines could change your fate. Worship, done out of fear, is no worship. Some have shed all traces of morality and are indulging in a sensory debauchery, unprecedented. Denial, however, reins supreme. Most of you try to go about your daily routines as if nothing is going to happen. They comfort you, help you escape the blatant reality facing you. They allow you for a moment to ignore the impending death. I find this hilarious.

Death, was assured with your first breathe. It was you fate, to be either worm food, or ash. Dust unto dost, ashes unto ashes. These words carry the most important teaching that a human being could ever learn. While the entire race is obsessed with immortality, take it from us who have lived it, there could be no worse fate.

I remember when I first was born in to the undead. The idea that I shall be 25 for ever fascinated me. I was 25 in 1600, and I was 25 in 1700. Yet, I had changed. The endless oceans of time seem to make every act dull. Love making had no passion, I would seduce endless women, for their blood. I could easily make love to them. It just did not inspire me anymore. The seasons lost their importance, time lost its essence. I had thought that I shall spend centauries perfecting my arts. The colours of the world, however, would not inspire me, the words had no depth, and the music had no melody. The senses were heightened by my transformation, and yet, their essence was killed by my immortality. I have seen death all around me, hell; I have to kill to live. I was fascinated by it. It is through the dead that living gets their definition. It is temporal nature of youth that makes it so passionate, it is the frailty of old age that makes it so wise and compassionate.

While most you reading this, live in the fear of the end. I for one have yearned for it. It has made the colours vivid again, my hearts beats to the rhythm of music, and it lyrics shake my soul. It is the thought of impeding death that forces me to write this. My sudden mortality has inspired me to write this, so that I can reach out, once again. This doomsday has made us all on earth, brethren. It is surprising, how all the guns have fallen silent. In Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya, Sudan. All conflicts now seem silly, I have witnessed a true miracle, now, entire humanity uniting as one society. A miracle, indeed, after centuries of unending conflicts.

To the ordinary individual reading this only work of mine, I would like to say, that I dedicate it to death. Death, that which defines the living. Death that makes us alive. Death, which is eternal peace. Do not fear it, it was assured to you, when you were born. Destruction is one of the many laws of nature. Your creation, sustenance, and destruction, are all a part of nature’s many laws. It is destruction that assures creation possible.

I have lived through centauries, and, I am here to offer the only wisdom that I have gained. Death alone ensures inspiration and action. The only way to conquer it is to embrace it. Understand its inevitability, for if this simple fact of life is accepted, every moment of life is filled with unimaginable liveliness. No words of philosophy have ever been truer than Karpe Diem, seize the day.

Vampire Fredrick

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Posted by: thetavernthoughts | January 12, 2012

Social Media & Revolutions

Social Media and Mass Moments

 

Dedicated to Tahrir Square

In 1439 a simple blacksmith and printer named Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg invented the movable printing press, and thus heralded the age of information technology. Knowledge was no more the privilege of the rich, but the pride of the middle. This simple invention in Germany changed the world for ever. The printing Press marks the end of the dark ages and beginning of reformation and renaissance. In 2003 a Harvard Student named Mark Zukerberg created Facebook, and, the website seems to have the similar impact all over the world.

Social Media comes in various forms, the magazines and newspapers and the internet as a whole.  The word media is defined as “means of communication”, thus media is a platform for interaction between individuals. The latest innovations in media are the massive social networking websites like Facebook and twitter. These websites, originally created to share figments of our life’s varied experiences, soon became a tool for revolutions. Mark Zukerberg, in his list of interests on his account on Facebook has listed “revolutions” among many other things.

Facebook has 800 million users, is available in over 70 languages. No other form media can boast of such large coverage. While Facebook maybe a social media giant, there millions of other means available on internet, like blogs and innumerable other ways to connect to people.  This inherent power of the internet was unleashed in Tunisia. The North African state was ruled by a Dictator Ben Ali for over three decades. His corrupt and autocratic regime reached its Nadir when a 26 year old fruit vendor, tired of rampant police harassment, set himself ablaze. His distress struck a chord with every Tunisian, for they all had felt the baton of the oppressive regime at some time or the other. One third of people in Tunisia use the internet, most of them have Facebook accounts. The word spread through the net, about this daring act of defiance. Soon every heart in Tunisia was ablaze. Doused in that fire internet soon became the tool revolution. Massive protests were organised using the Facebook. YouTube published videos of martyrs facing the enemy bullets. The anger that poured onto streets was channelized using the internet. Television too spread the word to remotest corner of the country, that, enough was enough. Within weeks Ben Ali was in exile, and Tunisia was free.

The story of Tunisia happens to be the story of most Arab Nations; hence, it was no surprise when an entire generation of Arab youth was suddenly awakened. First and the most influential of them was Egypt. The political activists in Egypt who were keenly watching the developments in Tunisia soon got in touch with the protesters. Many things were learnt about organising protests. The bulk emails, pages and messages on Facebook and the Short messaging Service provided by the cell phones. Amongst other things, the protesters shared ways and means to survive tear gas attacks, and other basic experiences. Soon the Egyptians gathered in numbers never seen before, at the Tahrir Square in Cairo. When despite tear gas attacks and other harsh policing techniques, the protester did not back down, Egypt and the rest of the world knew that a revolution was happening. Soon the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was searching for asylum. Despite his innumerable efforts to curb the media, especially internet forums and websites like the Facebook, the protesters would always manage to send their message across to the rest of the world and their own fellow protestors in other cities. The fact that dictators and corrupt regimes across the world attack the internet before attacking the protestors shows how intrinsic this tool has become for communication and thereby to any noteworthy mass movement.

Closer to home Anna Hazare and the India Against Corruption organisation started a massive movement for implementation of Jan Lokpal bill through the parliament. The efforts led to large demonstration at Jantar Mantar grounds in New Delhi. We all have recieved the barrage of SMSs and emails as more and more facts about corruption and its impact on Indian society were published. While people in India have always been aware of the corruption in high political offices, it was for the first time that they got a concrete platform to stand up to the otherwise omniscient politicians. The moment refused to affiliate to any particular political party, it was purely citizen’s movement. Such a large scale protest by common middle class citizens was unprecedented in the history of our Nation, since its freedom in 1947. Corruption is the oldest issue in India yet, it brewed fresh trouble for elected legislators. What created this sudden surge of anger, amongst the otherwise docile people, against corruption?

While newspapers and news channels are instrumental in spreading awareness and therefore important aspect of any mass movement, they have limitations of time and space. News channels are accessible only through televisions, while the newspapers are read only once a day. Internet, however, is available on a person’s finger tips. Facebook has special applications designed to give real time feeds that help propagate such movements. Thus their impact is greater on the office going middle class, specially the youth which uses the cell extensively for large number of activities. Thus, mobiles, internet and Facebook have now become the potent tools for revolution across the world. Across the world autocratic regimes are trying hard to control this form social media. In Iran Facebook was banned after it was used to organise protests against rigged elections. In Pakistan also, government has repeatedly tried to ban Facebook and censor the internet. Easy access to objectionable and inflammatory content is cited as a reason for this censorship. However, the truth is, Facebook and the internet itself have now become the ultimate tools for social awareness. They have, thus, become a bane for corrupt politicians everywhere, including India. In India, a senior politician tried to control or ban Facebook, by citing few comments made by religious bigots. Such pathetic attempts by politicians across the world merely show the impact that social networking has had on modern society.

Indeed the most defining image of these sudden revolutions and mass movement across the globe are not just protesters demanding their rights, but also, a simple graffiti at Tahrir square saying “Facebook”. The modern smart phone yielding youth using myriad of applications on his phone, refuses to let go of Facebook, a platform that connects him to 800 million others across the globe. This youngster with his smart phone is common to protests that happened across the globe, from democracies in the west, to the communists to the east, or the dictators in gulf and here at home in India. As I read about the Tahrir Square in newspapers and internet, I could help but relate the unfolding events to those of the French revolution in my History text book. As I watched Anna Hazare fast in Delhi, I could not help but be reminded of the Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation movement.  For society to change and evolve, it is important for mass congregation of people to happen. It was this thought that started the ‘Sarvajanik Ganapati’ celebrations in Maharashtra, way back in beginning of the 20th century. It is the same sentiment that I feel now, when I think of social media and the millions it is connecting me to.

Posted by: thetavernthoughts | March 22, 2011

Mercy

Mercy

She could hear the chirping of the birds out of the window. She looked outside with a hint of fear on her face and adjusted her uniform unconsciously. The dials of the ECG continued to tick on. The blood pressure was almost normal. An old man lay on bed breathing through the Oxygen mask in grasps. He eyes were fixed on the sign on the wall and he held a paper in his hand. The nurse looked at him and followed his gaze. Lights out at ten’o clock the sign said. She looked out of the window at twilight once again. She fidgeted with her arms continuously now. She turned again towards the patient and looked at what was in his hand. On the small sheet of paper he had written his will and initialled it below. She could read line on the paper that said 600000 are given as a gift to Sister D’souza for serving him so well. She closes her eye in pain. The old man looks at her, and the name plate near her shoulder blade informing anyone who cared that her name was rosy D’souza. She looks at her watch and walks to the bed side takes out the usual assortment of medicines. The old man stares at her she avoid his gaze, and keeps herself busy arranging the medicines at the bedside. He keeps staring as she prepares an injection and injects the contents in the saline bottle that keeps dripping. She then notices that the saline is almost empty and she pulls out another bottle and keeps it ready on the bedside. Beside the bottle is her mobile phone whose dial is shining. It says, ‘hubby’, She walks towards the window away from the patient. She looks at him sideways, he still staring at her. She closes her eyes and nods. She keeps the mobile back at its original place. She begins to walk towards a small chair beside the bed. Private Nurse the chair announces. She sits on it, she is close enough now and the old man moves his arm with lot of effort and places it on the nurse’s hand. She gives him a fake smile and closes her eyes.

She opens her eyes, the birds have stopped chirping, you could hear the cricket at a distance though. She closes the window as its cold. She observes the glass door of the room, lights in the corridor have been dimmed. It is lights off time. She kneels down, pulls the cross from her neck and begins to clutch it and pray. She then silently gets up switches of the light. The Old man is fast asleep. She pulls out the ECG sensor on his wrist and puts it on her own. The BP on the dial jumps from low to high, but nothing alarming hence the machine is silent. She then pulls out the life supports one by one. The Old man’s eyes are still closed his body begins to convulse though. After some time the body stops convulsing. The Nurse now extremely calm begins to rejoin the all the supports again. As she moves to attach the ECG, the nurse notices a small note in hands of the old man. She pulls it out and reads it. Mercy Drops from heaven………………it was a quote from Shakespeare’s merchant of Venice. Below it is a small thank you. She wipes the tears in her eyes and gently kisses the old man on the forehead as the ECG dial begins to show a straight line and begins to scream.

 

Posted by: thetavernthoughts | March 22, 2011

The Warrior of Allah

The Warrior of Allah

Afsoon watched as she drew past the Landi Kotal station in a truck. It was the same as the British had left it in 1947 when they finally gave freedom to Pakistan. Afsoon remembered her teacher telling her that the station was the furthest point of the frontier railways, in erst while British rule. It was a sign of their domination over the pathan tribes, who had refused to yield to their power. The brave pathans had ensured that their regions were never directly ruled by the British, and hence the crown had declared them as autonomous. The same autonomy was retained while dealing with every government in Islamabad. As Afsoon recounted all the facts about her district, the Khyber Agency, she realised that she had missed school for the last three months. She wondered if her teacher had missed her as much, after all Afsoon was the only student who paid complete attention to what the teacher said. She looked at the crutches by her side and wondered if that was the reason why her teacher had always been kind to her.

She had lived in the same shanty house, towards the end of the town, for as long as she could remember. The old green dilapidated walls had housed ten members of her family. She loved them all, her old toothless grand ma who kept repeating the same stories to her, her mother who was always busy, her little sisters whose pony she would tie, and her brothers who always made fun of her being a girl. How much she would hate being a girl, she would envy their freedom. The knowledge of the outside world she rarely got to see. She liked the local maullavi who had convinced her father to send to school. Her father, the man she would know only form a distance. She always adored him, although she was too scared to say anything to him. He was always seemed distant, always spoke when he had to ask her to do something. He shown no reaction when her mother had timidly informed him that she had come first in her exam. He did however indulge her bothers, he often sit with them and tell them stories of the old Pathan warriors immortalized in history by their valor. He taught them the code of the pathans, hospitality, honour, and vengeance. She missed being boy even more then. She tried to make for it by following his every command, but never was there a word of appreciation from him.

In the evening, her brothers would listen to her uncles speak about evil America and how it had no culture and how it was responsible for all the moral corruption across the world. She had heard her teacher speak about Americans attacking Afghanistan to defeat Taliban and catch some Arab Warrior. She was never really interested in politics she had always liked poetry and painting. One day she heard her uncles talking about helping a certain group people who had run away from Afghanistan. She wanted to talk to these people, she wanted to know what weapons the Americans used, and if they were really that evil. She heard her father support the new arrivals. It was then that for first time she noticed changes in her normally fixed life. Her father came home in the evening one day, after spending the entire afternoon with his new friends.

He had always been aloof, yet for the first he seemed to look at her intensely. She felt scared and her crutches started to wobble. “You are not going to that school anymore” he declared and she mutely obeyed. Her father had always been religious but now, he started praying five times a day. He started yelling at her mother more than ever, Afsoon herself was trashed many times. Even the boys began to fear his presence. So when, suddenly one day, just before dinner, when he came home and started speaking sweetly to Afsoon it scared her even more.

“Afsoon, my daughter, you always wanted to learn, let me send you to a better school.”

“School.” Afsoon almost could not believe her ears, maybe her father had changed.

“Yes, a real school, where they will teach how to live a life of religion, not like your old school giving you sinful knowledge. You will come will you not?”

“Yes.” Said Afsoon knowing that “No” is not an option and also the concept of a special school sounded interesting, although she could not understand how the old one was sinful.

“Should I pack my bags?” She asked.

“No move right now they will give the clothes there.” her father now spoke in his normal harsh tone.

“Can I not say good-bye to mother.”

“No! You can’t.”

He hurried her out of the house, Afsoon tried to move as fast as she could with her crutches. Her father lost his patience and picked her up, and the crutches and walked towards the door. Her mother heard all the commotion that started happening as her brothers saw her being taken out in this manner. Afsoon was boarded in a small truck which had other children like her. They were all sleeping peacefully and a large Pathan with a black turban was guarding them. Her mother saw her there from the window and came out of the house screeching. Just then the truck driver started the truck and tried to give Afsoon’s father some money. Afsoon could see her mother had almost reached the truck. Her father refused the money

“She Is of no use to me with those crutches, hurry before her mother reaches.” Her father said tapping the driver on his elbow.

The truck sped away, Afsoon tried to bend out of the truck to catch her mother. The pathan pulled her back, and she tried to bite him. He effortlessly pushed her on the floor. Next thing Afsoon remembers was walking up in a strange cave. All the kids were awake then, they were all scared and trying to understand what was happening. Few seem to know, they told the others they should be proud to be Warriors of religion, for they had been chosen to be Mujahids, Jihad was their destiny now.

Next two months Afsoon was to eat and pray. Other children, who were fit, were given many exercises. In the evening Mulla Nassir ulla gave large sermons, which she would listen with interest. She learnt many things from the mulla, she heard the injustice happening to muslims everywhere in world, Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq, how innocent girls like herself were killed by Americans for no reason. She was told Jihad was the most important thing according to Islam, although her own village maullavi had said that surrendering to will of Allah Was Islam, the two interpretations confused her.

She did not like the Mulla Nasir ulla, he was loud and repeated the same things again and again . People were scared of him, and hence at the end of the sermon when he would ask which of the kids was ready sacrifice their lives for cause of Islam, everyone had to raise their hands. Few did it enthusiastically most did it out of fear. The sermons made her wonder how, these kids and herself were going to fight the so called enemies of Islam. The Mulla Nasir ulla cursed even certain sections of muslims. He claimed the Shias too were Kafirs and almost all other sects were untrue than his own, which he claimed was the only true Islam. The more time she spent there the more she was confused about the nature of her religion. As long as she could remember, religion was always brought peace to her mind. She hated the new maullavi and she hated the so called school in the cave.

She started praying for guidance, her mother said that god always sent his frishatas to help kids like her when they prayed with faith. She would often ask god as to whome to believe this maullavi of what her own heart told her about religion.

Then one day the maullavi called her in evening, just before everyone’s drill ended and told her that she was luckiest one, for she was going to be the first of the group to be martyred. Afsoon, simply smiled back. Behind her their old companion from the truck stood with some kind of solution in his hand. Afsoon’s calm behaviour confused them.

“You will die tomorrow as a service to our religion.” Maulavi explained, he thought that perhaps he had not been clear enough. “I would like to say evening prayers early” She said. The maulavi allowed her to go. She then started praying fervently for a solution. She could not understand the reason as to why she was going die like this. She kept praying for a long time until finally her heart received an answer and she was at peace.

Her companion from truck Javed ulla had been observing her carefully. He was surprised at how calm she was, even adults had to be drugged at times, this girl however seemed to be at peace. He was curious about her and now started being extremely vigilant. He wanted to know what was in her mind.

Afsoon however, attended the dinner session with equanimity, it was hosted in her honour and the food was better than usual. At night she pretended to sleep, her heart often wavered from the path her heart had chosen for her. She wanted to run, and yet she chose to stay. She prayed for strength, and in her prayer she had few moments of peace.

Next day Javed Ulla strapped explosives on her waist and hid them below her burqa. He guided her to the truck. they  left from caves. Afsoon could see now that she had not been far from home. They had taken to caves of landi Kotal. She wished she could see her mother and teacher one last time as she crossed the Landi Kotal Station.

The journey from Landi Kotal to Peshawar was of three hours, along the way she could glimpses of the beautiful bald mountains that made up the Khyber agency. As she travelled through the Khyber Pass she could hear her teacher explain its significance to the students, the pass that was a gateway to India. The journey seemed really long and Afsoon almost wished she had been drugged. They reached their destination finally. The truck stopped at distance from the Qissa Khawani Bazaar, one of the most famous bazaars of Peshawar. The story tellers market, as the British called it, had an enigmatic charm of its own. It was not lost on the young girl as she saw endless shops lined up in the gully. Javed told her to go amidst the crowd and stand. As she was about get down, he asked her “How can you be so calm.”

“Can you read,” she asked in turn.

“I asked for guidance and Allah sent an answer to me. Let me write it down for you. read after the mission is over.”

Javed Nodded

Afsoon nodded meekly and started walking towards her target. She was too scared to look back lest she lose her courage and try running, thereby failing her plan. She searched for her spot and finally she found it, she walked towards the spot. She did not know that Javed had been instructed to press the remote after exactly two minutes. She was merely following her instinct. There were so many people in burqa same as her, and there were so many crowds, she knew Javed would never have known where she had gone.

Javed looked at his watch and pressed the remote. The bomb exploded, on a deserted ground just before the market. After a moment of stunned silence people started running in panic. In the panic that happened, Javed realised he had missed the target. She had exploded far away from the crowds and had caused no damage. Stunned he opened the answer she had written for him.

“If not me you would send someone else, so I had to go to ensure that there were no more cripples.”

Posted by: thetavernthoughts | February 11, 2011

Brotherhood

Brotherhood

 

(This story is written in the present tense, as it was also meant to be a script for a 4 mins silent movie.)

The door of the flat opened, and Rahul Sharma entered the living Room. He kept standing near the door, feeling the wall in the darkness. He finds the light switch and switches it on. The room lights up, and Rahul remains standing observing all the mess in the room, slowly his eyes adjust to the bright light. Couple of large medical books are on the coffee table. Besides them is a coffee mug, it has black dried coffee marks on it. News paper is lying on the floor, some pages of it are lying in the corner of the room. They are fluttering due to the wind is blowing in through the open window. Television is still on, its on mute Rahul observes. He walks to the tv and switches it Off. He then Opens the drawer besides the TV. He takes out neatly wrapped packet from his waist, hidden underneath his shirt. He begins to Unfold it. It’s a 9mm Pistol with a small silencer. He keeps it neatly in the drawer. He then turns around looks at Varun who had fallen asleep on the couch. He then walks towards open window.

As walks towards the window he looks at the large family portrait that is hanging on the wall beside the window, He and Varun along with their Parents. Besides the family Potrait are two smaller Photos of his mom and Dad. They both have fresh garlands hanging on them. He then looks at Varun, lying gently asleep. He notices a green legal document sort off hidden from his immediate view, below the pillow. He pulls it out. An arm chair is right beside the open window. Rahul goes and sits on it. He lights a cigarette looks at the legal document for a while. It is his parent’s will entrusting all their property to Varun. He takes a long drag and throws the will  towards the coffee table. He doesn’t care when it does not reach the table and instead falls on the ground. He continues to smoke looking outside the window, the strewn news papers continue to flutter. He takes long drags. Before long his cigarette gets over so he throws it out of the window. He then walks towards a drawer on a wall unit opposite the couch the couch below the wall with portraits. He opens  the centre drawer and takes out family photos. He picks them all up and sits with them on the arm chair. He slowly goes through them.

A single tear falls from the corner of his eye, as he glances in between at varun. He sighs deeply walks to wards the television and takes out the gun he had kept inside. He puts on the safety latch and then slowly moves on to dismantle it. He puts the pieces of the gun inside the drawer and walks back to the arm chair and continues to browse through the Photos. He then pulls out a small plastic pouch with white powder in it. He looks at it longingly before throwing it out of the window in disgust. He then leans back on the chair and closes his eyes and falls asleep.

Rahul is suddenly woken up by a noise. He opens his eyes and notices Varun walk towards him with a cup of coffee. They smile at each other. Rahul takes the cup from him and raises it as if to say cheers. He then sips on the coffee, his face contorts due to the bitter black coffee. He sips it slowly, he looks extremely peaceful. He then gets up to keep the cup on the coffee table, but he suddenly losses balance.

He falls back into the arm chair, the cup falls from his hand. His body starts convulsing, froth is visible on his mouth and it slowly drips on his shirt. Rahul looks at Varun who is sitting there calming lighting a cigarette.


Posted by: thetavernthoughts | February 11, 2011

The Old definition of success

The Old definition of success       Asking the most the fundamental question

The contemporary youth often describe themselves as Goal oriented and success driven. If anyone asked them what they meant by success, after giving a puzzled look, they would give you answer that would lay bare their hollow claims. They talk constantly about which college they want to join and how that college ensures a job with hefty salary, Are the youth goal oriented or security oriented? What do they mean when they use the word success?

A simple search on the internet will give you the modern perspective on success. Success is defined as being wealth . Success is now synonymous with wealth. This definition, however, is a modern definition, that which came into being in the 1920’s. The etymology of the word success reveals that the original meaning of the word success was “to achieve that which one desires.”

So to be successful in the truest and the oldest sense of the word we would have to first look at what we truly desire. The question we need to ask ourselves is “what do I really want to do in life.” This most fundamental question is always ignored and rarely asked by the modern “success oriented” youngsters.

The youngsters today are can be more aptly described as result oriented than goal oriented. Being goal oriented means to set a goal and pursue it with all your hearts passion, being result oriented means to first looking at how an action will benefit you and then doing it. That is why the new definition of success has more to do with wealth than “what your heart desires.”

So if you asked the result oriented youngsters the most fundamental question, they are dumb folded. They are dumb folded because they never gave this question a thought, because all their lives they have searched for answers without, never within themselves. This new realm confuses and scares them, and they defend themselves by saying “one should be ‘practical’ in life” or something like that. Yet they are the ones who will enter the ‘self help’ genre in a book store. They want to know all about how others have made money so they can emulate them.

If confronted with the most Fundamental question “What do you really want to do in life?” the resulted oriented people become extremely confused and uncomfortable. Why would such a simple question cause so much discomfiture? Because when we ask ourselves this question we for the first time seek for affirmation for our actions from within ourselves and not without. The question thus reveals our dependence on other’s approval, in quest of which we forget to see if we approve of ourselves. This discovery is the reason for discomfiture.

Another reason why People avoid asking this question is because they are afraid of what the answer might be! It can cause lot of discomfort. Since the question is the most fundamental in nature, it has the ability to cause tremendous impact on a person’s life. Once you have received the answered from within yourself, it can never be forgotten. All the wealth in world would seem pointless if you were not doing that which you truly want. So the most comfortable solution is to avoid asking the question in the first place.

The knowledge of What you truly want may also force you to leave your comfort zone and force you to traverse into the unknown, and people always fear the unknown. How many times have heard the Phrase “Work hard for now once you get admission to xyz collage, you are sure to get a Job” So there is guarantee of getting something once you are in college. Following your Self’s desire however gives no guarantees. A job, a good job may not be true definition of success, but it guarantees you something.  Very few enjoy the leap into the unknown. It is easier to follow the multitudes and there is lot of comfort to be in a crowd, but do not hope to stand out then for only the courageous deserve that privilege.

If asking yourself the Question confuses you then you have not been asking it with complete intensity. We have been wired to listen to the senseless noise that the society keeps throwing at us, to start listening something so subtle as your inner most voice would require some practice. To get absolute clarity on what you want at any particular time in your life, ask the question with absolute intensity again and again. Be patient and know that you will get the correct answer from your Self.

To know and pursue that which you really want is to live a life of choice and not necessity. Lot of life’s decisions are taken out of the need for security, especially financially security. Choices made on basis of your own passion may require some risks, but need not necessarily lead to financial ruin as often portrayed by those around. Little bit of rational thought will point to you that a successful writer earns as much as a successful engineer if not more. Even those who do not touch the pinnacle of success do not exactly suffer in poverty. The opportunities in the modern world are abundant; one must know where to look. What stops people from following their passion are that they would have to tread a path that is not comfortable to them. NO one likes leaving the comfort zone. Most of the self help books are for the ordinary, security hunting youth who wants to know formulas used by others to get wealth and then emulate them.

Those courageous few who pursue that which they truly want, do not need guidance of any self help book. They just need to look at the mirror on the wall to inspire them. Those who know and follow what their heart truly desire always wake up in the morning feeling happy and alive instead of ‘burnout’ burdened and bored. The ordinary people often speak about working hard to ‘achieve success’ to the passionate the work never seems hard. There is an old saying in china which says “…wise are the ones to whom work and play are the same”. ‘Play’ is that the action that you take because you want to do it, there is no other obligation to you other than that. Hence when your work is what you truly want to do, you play all your life. So I would like to urge my readers, that before you join the rat race to be called ‘successful’ take moment first and ask yourself honestly, “What do I want to do in life.”

 

 

 

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