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.


  1. ouch! that one bites. i know the thought, and everything behind it. another option - freelance journalism + academics.

    and as for your sanyaas at the age of 30, some men believe the above mentioned option would be like a dream come true. and here we are, thinking, boy oh boy, do u really mean that?

    but nice post. honest. :)

  2. hmmm...totally understand...have met enough of Xs, Ys and Zs ever since i joined journalism....all those well-meanin dudes who wear gender-tinctured glasses...blah...
    like nidhi has said, honest post, an honesty you wish you could do away with coz it bloody hurts....