The Answer?

The silences do get longer and longer, don’t they?

The week has definitely been interesting. Just when you think your job is a little blah, something interesting happens. A reporter’s job is never monotonous. Even if you aren’t writing about it, we like to speculate, come up with the most outrageous reasons… it is good entertainment.

3 years ago, my friends were hunting for the graduation dress. They were excited and making plans, inviting their families to come down, or wondering how to party despite the families coming down.

I was sitting on the beach and wondering what on earth was the fuss about, particularly for Indians? For the Ozies, yes it was a big deal. But for Indians… we were expected to study, get that degree and follow the set path. The MBAs and the engineering degrees were so cliched. They were expected to the residency, a cushy dollar-paying job, getting married, raise babies. So why was everybody so excited?

When I graduated from undergrad, my friend proudly said “we survived”

What were we surviving now? I learnt more from outside the uni than in it. I worked as a part time waitress at an Indian restaurant. It was neither sleazy, nor Hollywood-like. It was fun. I interacted with various kinds of people. I traveled. I went on an expedition, one of the few people in the world who can claim to have set foot in the utter wilderness of the Wollemi. I met people from various countries and various cultures. I partied. I learnt to salsa. I learnt to avoid the unwanted advances of some guys. I never learned how to get to the one you wanted. I learnt how to nurse a broken heart. I had my share of the firsts. I learned to travel alone. I learned to really rely on yourself. I learnt the pleasure of curling up in bed and watching a movie.

I learned how it was to live with $3 in my account and yet not worry. I learned that people were funny, stupid, irritating, frustrating, nice, obnoxious and many other things.

And in uni, yeah… I learned how bad it was to procrastinate. Or maybe i didn’t. I did it every semester anyway. I did learn how to put together a project in the last minute. And yeah I read a little more than I had, and some I probably wouldn’t have touched if it wasn’t on the course’s reading list. I fine tuned some other skills. And I had a piece of paper saying “I am now fit to go out into the world and practice on people whatever it was that I learnt there”

And somehow, that didn’t seem much like a cause of celebration.

3 years later, I am at the other end of the spectrum and somehow I felt I was a little wiser then. Or at least… a little braver. Perhaps sprang from ignorance. Still…

Now, I am a little more rigid, a little less flexible to change and want my world to be the way I envisioned it. The funny thing is though, I no longer remember how I saw it at 21. It was all rosy… I knew where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing. And I thought I could make it work.

Oh to be 21 again and not think about visas, family, a boyfriend etc.

So I start on a fresh page. And what is the first thing people tell me? “DONT”

They celebrated the piece of paper which was achieved without much difficulty. And now that I am actually planning to start out on a real test, what I get is “don’t”?

Do we have to follow on the path we set for ourselves 10 years ago? People change, dreams change. And anyway, what would a 16 year old who doesn’t know shit about the world know about what he/she would want to do with the rest of their lives? I mean at 16 being an architect and building things probably sounds cool. But 2 years into it and you realise you really can’t draw. Or even if you can, you’d rather visualize improbably graphical buildings. Or you don’t want to do that for a living. At 16, being a doctor sounds incredibly cool. But you don’t realise the amount of work that goes into it.

Okay… we do know. At 16, you do know what you want to do. Mostly. But what if you want to add something to it? If you want to do something else also?

Like an actress would say, they keep getting younger and sharper all the time.

But “don’t” perhaps isn’t the answer.

Because, I am beginning to think, there really isn’t an answer. Not to what you want to really do, not to what is a hobby and what is a profession, not to who will stay with you forever, or who and what the guy is, or what life is.

I could be wrong. And this could really come back and smack me on the head. But… we have to jump.

Song of the day: Madonna – Jump

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