Soon, the wheel of life would reach one more milestone; and in the process leave behind that last sojourn that you are never going to experience again. Fortunately, that’s just life.
The calender may leave behind one of its family every year; but do we let go almost anything of the previous year? What is it about us humans that we just keep on accumulating everything that comes our way? Why do we want to just about recreate the same joys every year? Or carry the scars of yesteryears with us for life? Why are we scared of not having things that we had ourselves created; and hence, by extension, can be recreated by us?
Maybe those are the emotions that make us humans. Or maybe not. For, don’t we have so many people around us who lead the life of Gypsies and seem to be having the best of all worlds? We hate them for their not falling into the format prescribed by the society. But we also envy them for getting away with it, right?
The truth of the matter is that every new moment is a new life – as per both evolved spiritualism and evolved science of physics. Even if we take it as a mere metaphor, it should provide us with enough drive to feel fresh about the present. As Rajesh Khanna says in that immortal film Anand, “Jab tak zinda hun tab tak mara nahin. Aur jab mar gaya to saala mein hi nahin; Toh phir dar kaahe ka”. Yes, that’s what we need to do – let go the tendency of stretching forward the unaccomplished into the present and pulling to us the uncertainties of the future. While holding on to neither the past nor the future is going to help the cause of the present much, it would make every moment of our life a lot heavier than what they ought to be.
The subject is an universe in itself. But there’s no harm in our making a small, light-on-soul beginning, right?
S.1 = Stereotype
Thoughts, actions and emotions borne by the two can very easily become symbols of our conditioning.Conditioning that society provides us and conditioning that is born out of our reluctance to innovate.
Calling everyone from South a ‘Madrasi’ is an example of stereotyping. So is that of a south Indian calling anyone above the Vindhyas a Punjabi.
The trouble is not as much about it being a case of inaccurate (it is generally not malicious) description as it is about falling prey to an existing stream of social consciousness.
We never question existing norms, methods, practices and thoughts. “Aa toh aavuj hoye” is what we make ourselves and our successors believe for almost everything in life.
However, owing to constraints of space and format, we would keep the serious discussion over the psychology of stereotyping and means of breaking out of it. For the moment, we will stick to the festive mood of the season and talk of breaking out of stereotypical ways of celebrating the new year’s eve.
One of the most common and quite understandable complaint is that there are only a handful of places where one can go to let her hair down for a few hours. But why should those handful of places witness a handful of methods of celebration? Life is a new story every single moment and so can be celebration of it be. The only pre-requisite for it is the desire to let go.
We say, break the stereotype and try the following this new year’s eve:
Go away from the city:
Go to Mt. Abu, Diu or just to neighbourhoods like Thol lake near Shilaj or Nal Sarovar and have a campfire party. To have a new kind of fun, do away with all woollens and jackets – till the clock strikes the new year. Add a bit of treasure hunt, tracking and the “bare all thoughts” session about the campfire.
Have theme Parties:
Ever thought of recreating the rock and roll music of 60s, cinema look of the 70s, historical figures’s get together, chocolate throwing, donations wanted party and a host of such themes from out of a million choices? Try it; it doesn’t cost much, allows you to do the regular things anyway and make for photographs for a lifetime.
Get Inclusive tonight, Party tomorrow
Festivals are particularly painful for lonely souls – of any and every reason and strata of the society. Make them and yourself feel good by being with them. You can party the next day.
S.2 : Stagnancy
Have you ever studied your life graph of the last five years? Hope you are not stuck so badly in a frame that you can neither move ahead nor back a little for a fresh start
Stagnancy, fortunately, doesn’t always signify the suspension of action. Unfortunately, as those who are experiencing it would tell you, it may not mean much better either. Equally frightening is the ease with which one can slip into stagnancy. And by the time some of realise the rut that we’ve got into, we find that we have been conditioned to not only accept the ritualistic motion of life but also to actually nurture it!
So, what is this stagnancy all about?
The most relevant example of today seems to be the performance of the Indian cricket time. Players are making the same mistakes all over again; reacting in the same manner to challenges of varied nature and most importantly, feeling a sense of ‘been there done that’ every time they step on to a ground. Little wonder then, a more determined, flexible and keen South African team is treating our team like a bunch of mediocre school kids.
Closer home, don’t we often feel reluctant to go back to the same job again? Don’t we feel reluctant to go back to the same old, boring and theoretical classrooms? Don’t we feel reluctant to do the same nonsense chatting on Orkut?
Chances are that most of us feel that at frequent intervals. Or maybe, quite like the ‘Monday Blues’, the feeling visits our soul every single week. Hope not.
Now look at the other side of story: Have you ever heard a film-maker or music composer or a bird-watcher or an astronomer et al talk of ‘Monday Blues’? Maybe not; because they don’t have mandatory Sundays! Think.
The fact of the matter is that the human brain is not only the birth place of stagnancy but also the single biggest support system of the illness. We often find ourselves confined within one single frame of an entire time-line called life because our brain has got comfortable with that frame. Or maybe it feels that we have become comfortable with that frame; and hence the futility of it suggesting something to us!
So, if you feel that your life hasn’t moved anywhere for a few years now, get talking with your brain. Ask questions till you get answers from it.
Try and ask the following questions:
- When did I last do something at work that I don’t do every day?
- Am I doing something that can’t be done by fresh recruit in equivalent time?
- How many hours of work am I paid for?
- How many hours of my life is being taken by my work after my office hours?
- If I can do with a little less money and a little less of the present work, would I like to do something else too simultaneously?
- If yes, why am I not doing it?
- If not, when would the present mess clear out?
Go ahead and do a bit of solo brain-storming. Once you get moving within that inspiring plane called the human brain, physical movement becomes a matter of mere details. The first step, of course, is to identify stagnancy. Rest would merely be akin letting go.
I.3 = ignorance
We do a lot of things as a matter of conditioning. Would it not be a good idea to take a little time out from the mundane and inform ourselves of the origins and reasons for being a part of them?
So what’s all the song and dance about? Why does everyone hit the party zone once every year?
New Year’s Eve, December 31, is the final day of the Gregorian year and it now involves the global practice of partying until the moment of the transition of the year at midnight. Elementary knowledge that even your puppy knows, right?
Only till we dig deep into us looking for our understanding of the Gregorian year itself.
Wait for a few moments; try to recollect all the information that you have on the subject.
The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world. A modification of the Julian calendar (introduced in 46 BC by Julius Caesar), it was first proposed by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius, and was decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, for whom it was named, on 24 February 1582 via the papal bull (a special kind of patent or charter issued by a pope) Inter gravissimas. Its years are numbered based on the traditional birth year of Jesus, which is labeled the “anno Domini” (AD) era and sometimes “common era” (CE).
Other modern day new years of various cultures are as under:
- The Chinese New Year, occurs every year on the new moon of the first lunar month (between 21 January and 21 February).
- The Thai New Year is celebrated from 13 April to 15 April by throwing water.
- The Iranian New Year, called Norouz, is the first day spring season. This falls on the 20 or 21 March.
- The Bengali New Year Pohela Baisakh is celebrated on 14 April or 15 April.
- The Punjabi New Year Vaisakhi is celebrated on 13 April and celebrates the harvest.
- The Gujarati New Year is usually celebrated the day after the festival of Diwali.
- The Marwari New Year is celebrated on the day of the festival of Diwali.
- The Telugu New Year generally falls in the months of March or April.
- The Tamil New Year and Vishu are celebrated on the same day respectively in the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They generally fall on 13 April or 14 April.
The list, obviously, is only a drop in the ocean of the infinite new years that this world celebrates! Ever wondered why others don’t have a new year’s eve party?
Some of the world’s best places to party during new year’s eve are Rio De Janeiro (all passion, heaven for newly married), New York (fun and revelry, with citizens from almost all the nations), Sydney harbour (the best fireworks and the 2nd big city, after Aukland (NZ) to welcome the new year), Big Ben, London and our very own Goa.
In France, the Year’s Eve, called la Saint-Sylvestre, is celebrated with a feast called le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre. This feast customarily includes special dishes and drinks like champagne and foie gras.
I.4 = inhibition
Fear of doing the correct thing can have far worse consequences than being undeterred by the foolhardiness of taking an inappropriate decision in life. You can’t make amends for what you have not done, right?
How many times have you rued not taking an opportunity?
It could have been not telling a girl of your immense love for her. Or your not taking a financially challenged but professionally challenging career option. And who could forget the many opportunities of saying ‘thank you’ or ‘sorry’ to someone?
Why do we that? There cannot be one single reason for the 6 billion souls that inhabit this lovely planet. But some of the most commonplace reasons for our inhibition lack of confidence, ego, negativity and conditioning (”girls should not do this”). Not getting into the depth of a psychologist here, League magazine encourages you to get over some of your inhibitions by taking life head-on and doing the following:
- Take part in one of infinite reality show auditions. Stand in queue with hundreds of hopefuls, perform in front of severely critical judges and come out feeling good about having taken part in it. How many of your friends have managed to do even that much anyway!
- Switch off from work after office hours, risking non-completion of many files and spend time with family, friends and your passions. And do that everyday. If you have been a good employee, you won’t get fired for being yourself after office hours. If you have not been, you may get the stick anytime anyway. Nothing to lose here, mate!
- (For women) Going to your car / kinetic service station person and ask him to take a 15-day workshop about the emergency repairing and working of your machine. Working with grease and sweaty men might not be your idea of fun, but it would free you of dependence for ever. Sounds good?
- (For men) Promise yourself and your family of being an equal hand in preparing one meal of the day for one – just this one – full month! You can continue if you wish. Girls of all ages would love you for that.
Doing any one of the aforementioned would be taking on at least one of your inhibitions, at least indirectly. Just see how one inhibition less can cause freedom from all inhibitions. Let go.
X.5 = Xenophobia
What we make of things around us are, quite often, based on what we carry in our eyes. Let go that red eye syndrome.
The more the world is becoming a single, seamless global village, the more conservative it is getting about alien people, cultures and ideas. The word for it is ‘xenophobia’ and the result of it is conflicts across the globe between the so-called ‘outsiders’ and the ‘natives’.
The conflict, as discussed many times over by all and sundry, is largely because of the fear of the unknown. Fear of being overrun by the ‘other’ – both in terms of expression of our beings and also in terms of physical existence itself.
‘What if’ become the first two words of all the future uncertainties, half of which would certainly never happen!
The anxiety can be well understood by everyone – what with survival itself becoming a never-ending pursuit. But, fortunately, the answer is equally simple too.
In today’s world, no one is out to conquer any physical sphere. It is a concept of yestercenturies. The single biggest pursuit of human race – with exception of a minor, motivated and mischievous individuals – is to provide oneself with a comfortable life. How different is that from our own pursuit? No one can steal away your worth, values and culture from you. They can at best share it with you.
x.6 = xyz
There is no end to the list of things that we can let go to achieve a perfect symphony with nature and our own inner self.
Thankfully, it would take more than a day of pondering over the various facets of our life to arrive at the real picture of our existence. Either it would tell you the chains – career targets, socio-cultural compulsions or plain and simple, self expectations – that hold your inner peace from coming into its own and give you the answers to charting a freer course of life or it would simply lay bare the place of everything in the larger picture of life. In either case, you would find that as we grow, we keep on adding a host of influences – both inner and worldly – to our life; without realising that each of them come with a cumbersome baggage of their own. And as travel operators would tell you, to have maximum fun of a voyage, travel light.
Travel light, says life’s tour operator too.