Monday, September 07, 2009

10 years ago...

someone once said to me, to really live life and understand it you need bursts of intense activity followed by time for pure leisure. i was in college then. we had bursts of intense activity (a week or 2 around exam time and ofcourse purushottam) followed by pure and unadulterated leisure (pretty much the entire semester), looks like i was on track. a few years later i had landed a decent job and was saying to myself, hey things are not too off even now. 2 days of extreme activity (the weekends :P) followed by 5 days of somewhat restricted leisure (the workdays). it might be the other way round for some of you who take their work seriously :P (if you are reading this blog in office, u ain't that type).

its been a while since then. even now we work and we have fun, but its not the same. the difference i guess is passion. those days i was around guys who were passionate (some bordering on crazy actually :P) about everything in general. not only about the usual stuff - babes, booze, money and cricket, but about abstract things like life, mind, truth and reason. now, i dont see many people around me (including me, ofcourse) who spend majority of their time on something they really really like to do. and not on weekends, thats an hobby. everyones got that. i am talkin getting involved in something you love and doing it like your life depends on it. (if you dont know what you love, then getting involved in finding it, like your life depends on it :D)

i've had this explained by wise men of the world by "there is college, and then there is life". ya ofcourse, you don't act like you are in college for your whole life. but you dont have to be half-dead for the rest of it either. some say its physical, you simply have more energy when you are young, so its best to slither into some routine as you grow old. i dont think the human body deprecates so much when you go from 25 to 30. about the human mind? i am not so sure.

i mean forget about doing non-routine/weird stuff. what happened to just good 'ol talking about it? how can i explain so many smart guys and girls around me talking about nothing but the weather and the stock market, every day, every week? i remember the _same_ people talking about writing plays and trying to understand the meaning of life and shit. i guess somewhere along the line it got branded as "that stupid stuff we used to do when we were in college". we were almost bullied into believing that something, like pondering about the nature of the universe or philosophizing for more than 5 mins in public will instantly make to an irresponsible adolescent who has no clue about how the world works.

and it kinda makes sense. the only way to look smart even when you dont know the answer, is to pretend that the question does not exist. if enough people do that, everyone looks smarter and more mature :) and so the heavy questions vanish and the simple ones, well we talk about them every day, dont we?

whatever the case maybe i see things getting that much more routine and dull everyday, and no one seems to mind it. i guess this is what happens when people around you/close to you change, and you dont change with them.

about 10 years ago, i had scribbled (probably under the influence of alcohol) some pages in illegible handwriting of what was supposed to be a one-act play. i expected to find some stupid shit written in those pages (as those are supposed to be the fun but stupid days of your life), surprising didn't find a single word i wished to change in it (talk about learning as you grow, eh? :P).

here is an extract from it. you can get the whole thing here. (dont even think about following it, i am sitting on that link with a club in my hand :P) and thanks ashlya for converting the manuscript into something readable.

<...snip...>
D: तुला काय वाटतं? काय चांगलं आणि काय वाईट हे आपल्याला १००% खात्रीपूर्वक कधी कळतं? म्हणजे साधारण कुठल्या वयात?
प्रे: (मोठ्यांदा हसतो) खरं सांगू का? डोक्यावरचे सगळे केस पिकून गुल झाल्याशिवाय ते काही कळत नाही. म्हणजे ईन मोष्ट केशेश. हा...काही जणांना ते आधी समजायला लागतं, पण तसे लोक कमीच. आणि काही लोकांना तर ते कधीच उमगत नाही.
D: perfect! तुमच्याकडून हेच उत्तर अपेक्षित होतं. पण माझी theory ह्याच्या बरोबर उलटी आहे. प्रत्येक माणसाला चांगलं आणि वाईट ह्याची समज असते. पण...फक्त वयाच्या पाचव्या वर्षापर्यंत
प्रे: तुम्ही पाचव्या वर्षापर्यंत म्हणाला का?
D: (हसतो) हो. let me explain. तुम्ही कधी चड्डीत शू केलिये का?
<...snip...>

yup. it was the alcohol.

11 comments:

Vedang said...

"tumhi kadhi chaddit shu keli aahe ka?"

That was what prompted me to click on the link.. :) Will read it over the weekend (since I'm at work right now ;) ) and get back with comments! :D

Deepak Iyer said...

This is exactly why you should be posting more often.

Back on topic, isn't living life again just a state of the mind and not a function of the activities, although we very often, and incorrectly in my humble opinion, equate it to the activities we do.

Weather and stocks seem boring to me personally (and to the ones who usually talk about, I guess) but take someone like Warren Buffet, and the analysis changes.

Some wise guy had said, life is about the moments you live. It is probably just the moments you *think* you have lived.

Ergo, all you need to do is brainwash yourself into thinking that you are alive and kicking, or do the bare minimum things that makes you think so. You don't necessarily have to climb the Everest, Sinhagad on alternate weekends might do the trick for some ;)

siddhya said...

@ vedang: "Why did you look? Why do you always have to look!" - Merry in LOTR :P

@deepak: absolutely. it don't have to be a visible activity. but generally, if you are, as u say 'alive & kicking' mentally, it shows.

Deepak Iyer said...

True.

It would be an interesting exercise to see what are the activities or fields that people indulge in which makes them feel they are *living* life. I am just doing some loud thinking now.

Travelling/hiking is one that I know of and identify with. Music is an intellectually stimulating activity but I don't think it contributes to that feeling. Theater is one.

Maybe physical activity is a common undercurrent, just my feeling.

Any other such fields/activities ?

siddhya said...

i think the common undercurrent maybe innovation/creativity. doing something you have not done before or doing it in a way that you have not previously attempted or even thinking about something with a brand new perspective.

am i right in assuming that no human being of normal intelligence can ever be truly happy working on say, an assembly line (basically some place y'day == today == tom), for most of his life? he might do it for money, even get used to it as time goes by. but would he be 'living' in the fullest sense of the word?

If no, then why do we give so much importance to the routine? almost every economic, social, even religious system mandates some sorta daily ritual. and the guys who don't choose to follow it and considered crazy/outcasts :)

Ashwin (ASHBERT) Chaugule said...

Nicely written !
I've been thinking the same for long now, but somehow felt that I'm not putting it into words properly for it to make perfect sense .. something was amiss always ..

You might be interested in reading this book (That made it quite clear to me) : http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Flow-Psychology-Engagement-Masterminds/dp/0465024114/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252696438&sr=8-9

Deepak Iyer said...

I think we are just institutionalized into thinking in terms of routines.

I agree that given what you get out of a routine, we shouldn't be giving it too much importance, just enough so that we get money to do real things ;)
If your activities do not cost much or nothing, there is no real need for you to even work or earn money.

Re the first point you said in the comment, I agree newness is a part of living life to the fullest. But that does not necessarily imply innovation or creativity. Traveling is a good example of the exception.

siddhya said...

maybe we are just playing with words here (i donno if such a phrase exists in english, it certainly does in marathi :P), but i think travel implies innovation and creativity. why do you travel?

Deepak Iyer said...

Given the textbook definitions of the 2 words and my humble interpretation, I really don't see how it implies [:)]

I travel to meet people, see new places, get experiences, etc. Which is why I do agree with your point about newness.

Or maybe it is about taking your mind to a new place. We can agree that innovation and creativity in any form enables the mind to be in a new place, because by definition, creativity is some form of newness.

Maitreyee said...

Sometimes we make some good friends..and yet they are not the kind who would want to talk about life or something like it...(the assumption is we make various friends for various reasons.). Some other good friends are in various respects distanced from us. So a lot of times there is this burning desire to do something and talk about "real" issues, do something totally passionately..but there is no company. Doing something passionately is doubly rewarding if you are doing it with like-minded people, and like-or-more-enthusiastic people. So even though we might find that a lot of people around us are (with due respect) "shallow"..there is some flame of passion burning in them. We just fail to recognize people. Besides as we grow, we grow a little cheeky..we want some particular activity. Dusra koni kahi karat asel..tar apla maaz asto..aplyala veglach kahi tari hava asta..mag te milat nahi..so apan kayamach shodhat raahto. Ani mag milat nahi mhanun radat basto :D..We dont try to convert what is available into a verry enjjoyable experience.

siddhya said...

@ashbert: dude i read tht book. its very interesting.

@ mait: totally agreed with the first half but the 2nd, i think is optimistic. if there is a "flame of passion" burning inside most of us, why do we keep it a secret? why are we afraid of letting others know. how else are we gonna find like-minded people to share those passions?
passion is not in the genes (i hope). the more you think, break routine and add newness to your life the more creative/passionate you become.
but i guess we are too damn scared to do any of these.