The new year is here – how surreal. Did the year whiz by for you, too? I’ve never really written a year end note, I’ve always wanted to, ever since I began this blog/online archive in 2007…gosh, has it really been that long?
Anyway. I’ve been sitting on this note for days now, wondering how to pen my musings in a coherent fashion, all the while trying to make sense of a very, very challenging year. 2015 pushed me far out of my comfort zone, and I here I was thinking 2014 was rough. While 2014 made me mull over the fragility of life an awful lot, it made me think about death too – on a consistent basis, primarily due to a family member’s illness which filled up many days and nights with gut-wrenching fear; 2015 made me come to terms with some hard truths about my ‘self.’
When you travel alone and live alone – especially when you come from a close-knit family, your quirks and rough edges are brought to the surface – there’s no one else to blame and focus on when it’s just you and you alone. You are your own audience, your own friend, and when you begin to understand your behavioural patterns, the dark stuff can feel a bit unsettling. But the constant self-analysis always ends up eroding the toxic bits that you have hung on to for years. Always remember, you’re not a saint, if you were, well maybe you’d be sitting under a banyan tree in deep meditation, but your human-ness consists of both the good and the bad, the darkness and the light. While the test is to always strive to chisel away at the ugliness, self-awareness keeps the toxicity at bay, or rather, under a tight leash.
Can I stray a bit? Saw such a great movie the other day, Tamasha. While I don’t want to give much away, actually to hell with it, I will – it’s about a guy who forgets who he really is, all in his heartbreaking desire to please society: the boss, the family, his little world of illusions. He’s a typical, cookie-cutter desi guy, a sweet chap with immense potential who just remains stuck in a rut because being his true ‘self’ is frightening: it’d mean disrupting relationships and going against the grain. And then he meets a girl and it goes all downhill…scratch that…it all goes uphill from there. The girl is his catalyst for change, she shakes him out of his languid, zombie-like functioning. Brilliant movie really. Made me realize there’s nothing more horrifying than remaining conditioned and being in a state of frozen fear where you ask yourself: but what would people say? To that I’ve now come to the conclusion: people be damned – better to be a lone wolf, an outsider, an outlier – remaining stuck in a rut as a people-pleaser isn’t going to make the world a sunshiny place. Be selfish. For when you’re selfish, when you love yourself, only then can you truly give of yourself freely and love deeply. Isn’t that what every religion, every life philosophy states? Love. Ishq. It starts with you first, the internal.
Sitting here, reflecting on the years passed and you know, the cradle of my heart is empty of regret. I’m not sure how it happened, but it did. The cup solely carries, now, great gratitude and thanks, thanks to the powers that be for leading me here.
No matter where we are, anywhere in the world, the country of belonging and contentment lies within us. It has nothing to do with the external. Just nothing. We awaken to this life alone, we walk alone – with companions, yes, but essentially, on our own – and we depart alone. But hey, guess what? It’s empowering. You can have anything you want in this life, anything at all, you can harvest your life the way you like, choose, decide. It is solely up to you. Doesn’t that feel wonderful?
Onward, forward, walk on, glide. Life’s fragrance is thick, sweet.