Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Halfway abandoned

Tell me of those with dreams fulfilled
Of hopes and goals achieved
Of winners on life's racing track
Never impeded by speed

Of those who managed year after year
To wake to those shrill alarms
And worked from dawn to dusk
Sans facebook and the coffee machine

Of those do-it-alls
Who juggled work and applications on time
And rested assure that the call would come
With the passport to a life sublime

Of those who balanced life and love
And managed straight A's in both
Or those who took the early plunge
And made homemaking their fame

Tell me of those who didn't leave the fight
Halfway abandoned

The Mass Mindset

What are you doing now?
Seemingly innocuous question
Only two permitted lives
The Medicine/Engineering way

Strike a tangent
Judgment blankets you
Condescension smothers you
Sympathy kills you

Did you survive?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fallen idol

It's a not a person but this thing called compromise that I've begun to hate recently. Till a few months ago, I venerated this quality, pitching it as the solution to world's problems and mine. So whether it was the question of the Israel and Palestine conflict, or how long I could keep the light on in the room i shared with my cousin , there seemed to be a way out... THROUGH COMPROMISE.
So how did my idol get depedestalized (if that word does exist)? I don't know. But what I do warn you against, is the disguise that compromise comes veiled in: practicality. And guess what? I fall for that one because I think of myself as a practical, pragmatic creature.

So here's how it works:
Well meaning X says how long will you be able to continue with journalism and come home late at night?
I respond with a shrug and a quiet "I don't know".
So X goes on : You know once you are married and you have kids, it just isn't practical? Who will after all take care of the kids while you're away at work till midnight? You really need to look for something that will give you time with the family.
I'm practical enough to know that no husband (even if it is one that returns home at 6), no matter how adaptable and easy-going, is going to be willing to spend the entire evening tending to the needs of bawling toddlers or toughie teenagers and that apart from India (where there are still a few maids available), there are hardly any places where you're gonna be able to keep a full time maid or nanny or whatever.
I shrug again and say to X, "I know what you mean".

The conversation ends there but the thought doesn't.So what will bring me back home early enough to maintain a healthy balance between work and a family (that I'm very sure that I want to have). I'm racking my brain for all the options and again the practical bit of me emerges with the solution: academics. That's the only way im going get back home in time to be with the family, get some time to myself, get summer holidays at the same time as the family and still be economically independent. And after all, I have considered academics in the past...the only difference being that then that was something that I had reserved to do after I was bored of a media job ( in about 10 to 15 years) and wanted to settle down and I mean really settle down (my equivalent for that stage of a man's life in the Vedas when he was meant to be with the family before he procedeed for Sanyaas). And if I were to continue in India, the Sixth Pay Commission has made it more alluring to take to teaching.
"So what is the issue?", asks my pragmatic self. The problem is that at 22, I have to be practical enough to compromise on my dreams for a family that I may or may not have in time. Where I can go and what I should do today is already being defined by that shadowy illusory vision of what my tomorrow could be like? I'd like to know how many guys out there think of when they will be back home or who will tend to the kids, when they decide on what they want to do in life?

But guess what? Even if I don't compromise today ( thanks to my ultra-supportive family), I know I will eventually because I am what you call a 'Practical' person.