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If I can just give to the world more than I take from it, I will be a very happy man. For there is no greater joy in life than to give. Motto : Live, Laugh and Love. You can follow me on Twitter too . My handle is @Raja_Sw.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


This will be brief.

Usually my posts are long and rambling – this will be an exception. And may become the norm for future posts too, I think.

Hardly anybody has the patience, time or interest to read nowadays. If you want to say something, put it on video.

Maybe I start doing that someday – when I figure out how to do it. Cannot be complicated.

Anyway , for now, this will have to do.

This has already got to a few sentences and I have yet to get to my point.

That is another thing I need to work on. To get to my point - like the German football team.

No, cancel that. Make it – “like the German football team used to do”.

Anyway, now really getting to the point, here it is.

I woke up this morning with an epiphany.

Ok, that may be a big word and probably entirely inappropriate for what I am trying to say. And I will admit I just wanted to use it sometime in my life. But anyway, better an epiphany than an epidural. Ok, that’s something completely different – edit!.

I guess I HAVE completely lost it. It is only about six in the morning (and those of you who frown at the “only” bit - and I am sure there are some, especially in south India who have got up at 4.00 a.m, taken their morning bath (probably in cold water though they have warm water available), done their morning poojas to various deities, had their lunch and are on their way to their jobs – well, we are not all the same, OK ? Some of us consider 6.00 a.m. part of the previous day. And some of us, even 10.00 a.m. Hey, that's somebody else, ok? Really!

And I just realize I have not yet come to my point.

Wonder how anybody ever managed to have any form of meaningful communication with me. Wonder how I ever passed any exams, how colleagues managed to tolerate me at work.

Or maybe they didn’t. Let’s not go there, that is another can (well, more than just a can) of worms (well, more than just worms).

Staying on subject.(What was it now? I need to think).

Yes, my epiphany.

It is this :

If you are in search of something elusive, it is a challenge.

It is like that video game where every time you think you’ve got the guy, he just ducks you and laughs at you. If you never felt like a loser till then (or wanted a confirmation of your status, as in my case – ok, let’s not go there either!) , this is the game you should play.

But if you are in search of what it is you are in search of? Boy, boy, boy – THAT is something!

It is a totally different ball-game. It is not like one video game. It is like all those video games which are conspiring together, all supposed to make you feel stupid, getting their best “wise-guy? let’s show him” brains together with just one goal – to ensure your wits are anywhere but within accessible reach of you. (What is “accessible reach” anyway? If it is in your reach, it is accessible, right? Boy, I am getting really good at spewing rubbish. Need to apply for a corporate job).

Anyway, so that is where I am now. With my life.

Searching for what it is I am searching for.

Money, fame, friends, social causes, new interests? The only two things I am clear about is that it needs to be fun - and it needs to be on my terms. (Well, I guess these are related in a sense. If something is on your terms, you will tend to have more fun doing it).

I am not sure the answer will come.

It may, it may not. Those video games are merciless – almost like the Aussie cricket team used to be a decade ago. And in life, unlike in a video-game (or some at least), there is no time-out.

But whether I find it or not, the journey is an experience in itself.

Have you ever been lost? What am I saying – we have all been lost at some time or the other in our lives. Maybe a little bit – forgot the way, took the wrong exit, walked down the wrong lane.

But have you ever been really "lost, lost" in your life?

Like “torn within yourself” lost?

Like “mind cannot think straight anymore” lost?

Like “questioning everything I do (or do not do)” lost?

That’s an experience.

And, depending on how you look at it, it can be a lot of fun.

Journeys usually are – the feeling is often more exhilarating than the one you get at the destination. Actually, I am not totally sure I want to arrive. I guess I do want to – eventually – but for now, I will gladly take the ride.

I tell you it is not such a bad thing – to be lost.

It helps you to go back to basics – something we very easily forget when we get into the comfortable rut that life can sometimes become.

It makes you discover new things. If you did not get lost, you would not know of that other path that existed under your nose but you never took.

I am making mistakes every day. Taking one route, finding it leads me nowhere, retracting my steps. End-result: zero? No, I don’t think so. And even if it is, it is part of the journey. Belongs to it.

So that’s it for now. Still searching for what it is I am searching for. When I get to it (or them - there are, I suspect, many things out there, maybe entirely unrelated), I will share further.

Those of you who are clear in your minds, have goals in life, are pursuing your goals according to a plan, measuring your progress – great! Good luck to you, guys. Hats off to you. I sometimes (only sometimes) wish I were a bit like you.

But I know I am not. I am much closer to the other extreme (actually I AM at the other extreme but it is psychologically much more comforting to say that I am “close” to it). No goals, no plans – ergo, no measurement of progress (what progress?).

Ergo also this post and its content.

This was supposed to be brief. At least that is what I intended when I set out to write this. And yet again….

I really need to start working on that video. Granted that would only be a more modern way of spewing rubbish but hey, one has got to move with the times, right?

It took me a while but I now realize it is all about format, presentation, mode of delivery, all the bells-and-whistles (no vuvuzela, thank you!), all that “Avatar” stuff.

And content? Oh, wait – can we copy/paste it from somewhere? Surely there’s got to be a template SOMEWHERE? No? You mean, we've got to actually THINK? Boy, we’re so screwed. Hey, hang on– we can always throw in some more of that flashy audio-video stuff, can't we?

I am SO ready for “corporate”. ;-)

Nah! I think I’m better lost.


Jewellery By Shalini said...

Getting lost is one of the most important challenges in your journey on the road to finding "yourself".

If everything was laid out in easy to use templates life would be too boring for me.

Anonymous said...

Writing a comment on your post, I am afraid, can not be done in a mere few words. So do not blame me for putting a comment that is almost half the length of your post. :)

India is, different. Different from the Europe and the North America, in the sense that the options one has, the opportunities one gets in India, to follow a dream, a passion is limited. More so when I was growing up and even more than that during your growing up period. In fact, even now, I would think that most of us, here in India, may not even know what a passion is! India was predominantly a middle class society, a lower middle class at that, in terms of economic status. Recently I would like to believe that there has been a shift and we have more upper middle class people than we have ever had. We are taught the virtues of topping the school, the college, the university and the moment one does that, tops whichever league one tops, we find newspaper images with the V flashed by the sweets feeding parent and the child. I have no idea what is that V flashed for? Victory? Have we conquered life itself, the zest of living so to say? Perhaps it is not their fault. Not coming from affluent families, and having seen some of the hardships of life, it perhaps is only natural that they expect the wards to do best in life, get a secure job and a secure income. It's like a horse tagged to a carrier who only sees the road carved ahead in front of him because of the blinkers.

You are lucky you realise that there is more to life that the road most prefer to travel upon. So when you are lost, trying to figure out what to figure out, you are on the right path. There will be people who would not understand why are you doing what you are doing and let them be. For them the materialistic gain of the world is the blinker on their eyes. I come from a middle class background, working in India, realising in my late twenties there is more to life than the IT job that I was doing. I swam against the current, took off to figure out what I want to do in my life, in my early thirties, last year. Many adviced me against it. "You have a family, you have a high paying job", how can you be so irresponsible. Thank you for your concern. My family is my responsibility and I will make sure the children get the right education, the right food but I want to do what I want to do.

Raja, it is not an easy path to travel but the journey is worth it. Almost everyone I have met since then, says they wish they could do what I did. They just do not want to get out of the comfort zone, they are just not ready to take those blinkers off their eyes, they are just not ready to enjoy the wildness of the ride that life can be. So today when you write, in the spirit of football, your score, add one from me and put, coffee -1, beer -2.


Raja Swaminathan said...

Thanks a lot, Shalini. Like I said, I am lost and this journey of discovering what I want is something that I know you understand - am not sure many do.

Thanks a lot, Anoop. And wow! What a reply. This is Netherlands 20, England 0. (well, at least I want it to be ;-)).
Really, man, this is one hell of a reply - thanks for taking the time, putting your thoughts out there so coherently. Your passion clearly shows. You used to have a blog, right? You had poetry and all that? What happened?
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Perhaps some of us are just not meant to follow that beaten track. Nothing wrong with the track, or the people who follow it - to each his own, I always say. Whatever makes you happy.

I have a bigger problem with those who look down on others' lifestyles than those who stay within the confines of their world. After all, that is also a lifestyle and I respect it.

Anoop, you are so right about mindset differences between India and the West. Not in the traditional (Purab Aur Paschim) sense, but in openness of the mind, a willingness to explore new horizons. I have lots of views on this (many of them not entirely charitable towards India ;-) ) - maybe a matter for another blog article. :-)

Thanks once again for your comments. Always good to get some sort of feedback/dialogue. You guys are anyway the ones who respond most to my posting here on FB. :-) I really appreciate that also.

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Wow Raja.. Hope you find 'it' pretty soon. I owe an e-mail. Coming right up I promise (okay so you don't believe me anymore....)..

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I am now 'lost'. But I am not really happy about it.
Yes, it is all exciting to find those tracks and what not. Do things differently, find passion and listen to your own beat.

But, there comes a time where one is weary. When a lot of road has led nowhere and turned out exactly as you thought its going to be. Then what?

Like I said, I am lost. I wish I knew a destination to get to instead of forever being 'In Transit'..