I often get caught in instalments of traffic jams. I pass through relatively free areas but there are pockets in between work and home that I’m stuck in for ages. I don’t often mind, I have my music to keep going. And when I’ve had enough of that, there are funny bumper stickers to read. Sometimes there are art installations that just magically appear around random street corners.
Last evening, while in one of these Bangalore traffic stops, I heard an auto-guy saying “What do we need money for?” in perfect English. Taking it as a sign that I was meant to listen, I turned off my music and peered into what turned out to be very eloquently spoken wisdom. I got a glimpse into my very own TED Talks on the street.
A very well spoken auto guy was giving life advice to his passenger –
“We go through all our lives hoarding and hoarding and hoarding. What for? You see that dog across the street? He has 6 children. To take care of them, he needs Rs. 3000 per child and this is just for the first litter. That’s a total of Rs. 18000 a month. He doesn’t earn that much and yet he is able to nurture them, take care of them, feed them and keep them safe. So why are we, as a species, such greedy creatures? Isn’t spending time with your family more important than cooking up ways to evade income tax? Isn’t doing something you feel passionately about more important than your market value? Happiness is more important than hoarding cash we don’t even use. Buying the latest phone is more important than creating memories with the people we love. When life throws problems at us, we sell out. We are afraid to take any leaps. Forget adventure, use your common sense they say. If common sense meant I should follow societies idea of what success means, then I wouldn’t be sitting here, driving an auto, travelling through Bangalore with a smile on my face. Sometimes I wonder how we screwed up our priorities so bad and how we continue to be blind and just go on living life following the same routines that we followed last year”
It amazes me how you can learn more in the 2 minutes you’re stuck in a jam than you could do in your 3 year degree course!
I was feeling a bit anxious coming back to this platform after taking a long (REALLY long) break. Not because I have nothing to say, but because there are so many of you I want to catch up with and it keeps building up. I read, a LOT. I’m following over 600 of you and can you imagine how many posts that adds up for the 3 weeks I was away?
Anyway, I decided to follow the one lesson I learnt in 2013 that made it such a good year for me – Baby Steps! It helped me be healthy again, helped me find an amazing job, helped me meet, fall in love and manage a nurturing long distance relationship, helped me stay sane when my baby sister got married, helped me travel in the UK for 2 months. 2013 also helped me get back into writing. Sure there were downs and many overwhelming situations but I got through it.
Talking about baby steps, we’ve had the first baby coming from my generation. My cousin is now the proud father of a little princess and that has got everyone emotional and nostalgic and full of hope. Which brings me to this crazy thing we call time. It’s so mind blowing how one little date on a calendar can have such a huge impact. We go through the year whining and being depressed and feeling down about all the things we should accomplish but never do. And then New Years comes along and everyone is full of hope and dreams and the motivation to make and stick to resolutions.
If this magical number January 1st is a feeling that we make up in our heads, then if we really put our minds to it, how many do overs can we give ourselves? How many things can we tick off our lists just because we tell ourselves – TODAY IS A NEW YEAR!
And so, that is my resolution – I will not let things overwhelm me, because babysteps will take me to the podium and when I feel stuck, I will create a new year for myself and just go for it.
I hope your 2014 has been good so far. Looking forward to the coming year, travelling by your side.