Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Being simple

Very recently while chatting with a friend, I happened to say, “Probably I am living my life in reverse”. That was a strange thing to say perhaps. But there was so much of truth in it. When I was young I desired for adventures, mysteries and mischief in life. But today there is a desire to lead a simple and calm life devoid of any kind of complexities. I have realized that life is good on its own and it does not require any stimuli or excitement to make it lively. These days a pleasant breeze when I return home or a whiff in the air of the approaching rains or a sudden early leave from office makes me happy. When I was young my senses were too numb by the otherwise “fun” in my life probably.

Back in 1998 when I was having my first tequila shot of my life, a Chinese friend of mine had suddenly said that back in Sweden (where he used to work) boys and girls stopped having “fun” once they cross the age of 18/19 years. That’s because by that time they had kind of finished having all kinds of “fun”. I didn’t know why exactly he had made that comment. Probably because he had felt that an Indian girl (me) was having too much ‘fun’ by the then Indian standards. I mean a 17 year old Bong girl from a ‘decent’ family sitting in some remote resort and having tequila with some 10 years older guys could have been considered kind of ‘bravado’ then.

And it was just the tip of the iceberg. In the next 10 years, I had seen myriad facets of enjoyment, fun, pain, complexities, desires and depression. Sometimes I had failed to segregate the incidents and the emotions. It seemed like one solid whole. I had borne the burden for a long long time and then one day I just got tired and thought of putting it down. And from that day I feel so much lighter. I feel smile and laughter is just so easy. Being spontaneous is such a fantastic feeling. Having a simple life is often such a difficult task and I had spent a decade of my life just to realize that. And now that I have realized it, I make an effort to keep my life simple everyday. Now I have few friends, few places to go, and few people to meet. I have planned routined days and try to go to sleep early at night. At times it becomes monotonous. But looking back I feel this life which I have today is so much better than the maddeningly fast paced and complicated life that I once used to have.

The other day somebody told me about life getting complicated once we grow old. I feel all human beings have this urge to “return to the innocence”. Being simple is not that simple though. It requires a kind of maturity and an understanding of life. Understanding that there can be happiness in just having a walk on a cool evening, or having roadside biryani when budget-to-enjoy is limited or just listening to music on the mobile phone. Life perhaps tries to give us a lot of happiness in simple ways but our complicated (or rather uninitiated) mind often fails to register them. We miss out a lot when we fail to respect and cherish SIMPLICITY. I also feel that everything successful and great is all essentially very simple.

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