Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On breaking the loop of Plans...

At times I wake up with a real dead feeling inside me. I don't know exactly why do I feel so stressed and drained out early in the morning. It may be a sign of sickness or excessive work pressure. Perhaps it may be the result of nothing working according to my plan. Plans...plans are some very dangerous tools provided to children early in life. A plan gives one the fake assurance of well-being and there is always that deadly undercurrent of probability associated with it as "things may go wrong" and then, we need to save our souls by reverting to a different plan. So basically, all our lives we are drawing one plan after another. Some work, some fail, and that is how life goes on silently. Finally, before we meet our end, we measure our success by determining the success rate of our plans. We do it unconsciously, never deliberately. Doing that calculation deliberately would make us feel terrible, but once we allow our subconscious to guide the unconscious mind things run pretty smoothly...A life of no regrets, as there'll always be a plan to salvage our lost hope. (At times praying for a miracle may be a part of a large plan too. After all being the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, we are forever up to something edgy.)



Now, my point is, in my life of twenty-seven years I have devised many such plans for myself too. Since childhood, I had been encouraged to push harder in academics and secure 'good marks' in all subjects. No 'good mark' however was that good enough and I was eternally hungry for more. My family believed that I was cut out for something great, something spectacular. In the hindsight, every family has the same story to share. Everybody is unique and everybody is running off to coaching classes to get that something 'extra' that'll give them that cutting edge...that'll empower them to be triumphant against all odds. That is the common plan.  But somehow gradually, I realized that perhaps I was only an average and not a brilliant student or a prodigy. I failed to meet the high standards of expectations at times. I turned sad, depressed and soon felt dejected, thrown into the dark abyss of hopelessness. The monumental decision of choosing between Science and Arts arrived before me after ICSE exams. While it was unanimously believed by my teachers that a good student should always prefer Science, I believed in the latter. I made a choice. A difficult one indeed. My life, my future, my career stood right before my eyes. While Science could offer me temporary respect in society, Arts could offer me the peace of mind, my true calling. Without a moment's hesitation I deviated from my original plan, of entering the medical field, and embraced reality. Arts became my reality. The choice paved the way for my liberty.

 I still remember the first day in my classroom where the apparently 'dull-minded', weak students had huddled together. 'Dull-minded' because we had voluntarily chosen Arts over Science. The students in the Science stream scoffed at us, mocked our subjects and claimed that it was all too easy. We ignored their jibes believing that they were too foolish to understand anything. Those jibes were followed by more hurtful remarks by their parents who said, " So, why didn't you take up Science? Is it because you couldn't cope with Maths? How badly did you score in ICSE? ..." And the questions ran on endlessly. "Arts has no future" became the oft-repeated statement in all conversations. I still chose to ignore that. But the problem arose when our class teacher looked at me and said on the very first day, "Oh! Neelima. I'm surprised to see you here. You've taken up Arts? Why? Are you sure you don't want Science? I had always considered you intelligent." This really shook my confidence. It got me thinking over my choice again and again. But all that mattered was the voice that spoke to me from within reaffirming all that I believe in. Today eleven years later I have never ever regretted my decision. I ended up being the topper of Arts Section from my school in class 12 in ISC examination. I took up English Honours and completed my Masters from the most prestigious university in Calcutta. And now I'm in a profession that I enjoy the most. I'm a teacher.

But how would have life turned out for me if I had chosen the otherwise? If I had followed the PLAN? I don't know. I never will know. And frankly, I don't desire to know. Today whenever I wake up all stressed early in the morning, battling to discover the reason why I'm miles away from home, living in a foreign place, in a job that most consider 'boring', I tell myself that I am the reason behind this choice. And I am proud of it. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I enjoy teaching young children, being a part of their 'whacky' world, teaching and learning new things at the very same time. I have shaped my Destiny with my very own hands. I am the master of my own Fortune. No tarot card or parrots sitting by the dusty lanes have outlined my choice. All that matters is I have had the courage to make my choice and believe in it. I have dared to pursue it endlessly. All that matters is now I have the courage to live my life on my own terms, to fuel my dreams, to live my passion. After all, we have just one life, So why waste it on unnecessary plans and rue over it when its execution fails?

One usually lives under the assumption that plans determine true happiness in life. Negative.

I believe that being able to make mistakes and learning from the same is blissful.
I believe that being able to choose our paths in life on our own is blissful.
All that matters is what makes us happy.
If we're happy, how long will the world outside remain unhappy?

And if everyone's happy then nothing really matters actually...



This post is written as a part of 'All that Matters' contest at BlogAdda.com in association with INK Talks 2013.



11 comments:

  1. That was short summary of your Academic life ... but frankly speaking .. you defied all odd ... shut the outer voice to listen and understand what you need .. which is appreciable and inspiring indeed .. after reading your post .. i could instantly connect your story with my sister ... she also defied all odd and did Arts and then BEd and MEd to become a teacher .. the choice she took was mind over matters !!

    P.S. Its was a nice read !!

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    1. Kudos to your sister for having chased her dream. Very few dare to do so today...

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  2. There's deep empathy I feel here. :)
    Same story. ICSE. A PUC in Science, because a doctor is what I thought I'd be.
    Then Arts. And the joy of discovering life. :)
    To teacher, way way late, by conventional standards, but then what the heck! Plans are for those who're stuck in the box!
    Kudos to you, for the road less travelled, that you took!

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    1. Kudos to you too for doing the same, for believing in your dreams and turning into a possible reality :D

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  3. nice reading your lovely thoughts...that's how life is and perhaps meant to be!

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    1. Thank you so much for liking the post...do keep reading :)

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  4. There is no chosen PATH.Sometimes we have more "HURDLES" when we try to reach our "DREAM".These are nothing but "TESTS" in disguise to Check how much you are STRONG/FIT if you are ready for what you have chosen.Wishing all the Success. :)

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    1. Well-said! Thank you for your good wishes

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  5. Well written. I took life according to my plans but now it just took the other part. On the way to chasing my dreams :)

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  6. Really Nice!!

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  7. I'm glad that you didn't follow 'the plan'......Of course, one of the reasons for my thought is "Dreams are bigger than anything else"....but also, for a rather selfish reason . If you had not taken up arts and then teaching, I probably wouldn't have even known you....... :)

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