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A view into the mind of a rebel

It's been a while that I have posted any article on the website and what compelled me to write this post was Raj's article "Why One should resign".I really liked the points he mentioned.I have been thinking of writing this article for quite sometime but his post jettisoned me to write this article.I guess,Raj has listed all the good things which one can expect by forsaking a 9-5(rather a 9-6,in India).This article is a reflection of what all is there on my mind so as such it's not a structured article.Here we go.
Though, I am quite a fearless guy and knew that resigning is the right thing to do but never did I know that I would feel so peaceful and satisified after actually doing it.It feels really great to have come out from the shell of 'security'(read :fear)! Believe me,life couldn't get cooler than this.In CSC,though I wasn't working much,but I hated the mediocre people all around, and literally every damn thing about them-their views about life, their constant discussions about stuff which is too boring to worth find a mention here,their perspective about life-get settled,have kids,pass time, and above all their amazing levels of ignorance. It wouldn't be a hyperbole,if I say that our bihari folks in the college were better to talk to as they,at least, had good general knowledge and could talk on diverse topics ranging from politics to pawa.Every single day I went to the office,I felt that there's no difference between these people, animals and me. Imagine your reticent manager, who speaks in such as way that you wouldn’t be able to hear his voice even if you are sitting bang opposite him,the one who squeaks(not speaks) and can't even express himself properly, telling me that I should improve my communication skills.Whoa!He asked me that while talking to my seniors I should be more mellow and talk in an obliging tone and give 'em respect.I told him that “I come here to work.And anybody hasn’t done even remotely great here that I'd respect him/her.”I can’t stop thinking what makes people go about their routine and utterly boring lives-day after day,month after month ,year after year,and decades after decades.And I came to the conclusion that coz it’s the best and the ONLY option for them.These people are there not because of CHOICE, but because of the lack of it. What ,after all, is the expectation of a middle class Indian from life– security and stability. How unfortunate is that the words passion,dreams,taste,the thrill of learning new things, excitement,hunger for excellence,rebellion,a revolutionary zeal to improve oneself,a zest to life of purpose could never make it to their dictionaries or even if they did,they got erased with the course of time.The truth is,people stick to their dud jobs just coz of fear,because they know that they have somehow accepted that they can’t do anything better with their lives apart from living a sedentary life in the day,making love with their partners in the night and going to malls on the weekends .Blunt but true! I admire and have great respect for people who dare to dream.Imagine the dream of an entrepreneur, the curiosity of a researcher, the hunger for excellence in people in the fields of sports, music, arts, movies, the humanitarian outlook of a social worker or even the people about whom we are always cynical-the politicians. These are the people who take our society to the next levels, who shape our countries ,who give direction to the herd of which we are part of ,people whom we look up to and who become role-models for the younger generation. Rest of us –the great people of the Indian middle class are just the proverbial “ bricks in the wall” ,nothing more than people living our lives for the three words- package,stability and security -terms which we are as obsessed as with the word “sex” ! All of us in the middle class- doctors, engineers, lawyers, MBAs etc choose our careers because “it’s the right thing to do” and we tell ourselves “Thank God! Now we are stable and have a spending power.” I don’t have anything against earning money. In fact,I want loads of it. What I say is that if you want money, then make it a by-product of what you like to do .As the saying goes "99% people live to earn,1% earn to live" Earn that much money so that you don’t have spend it but splurge it! Be the next Mukesh Ambani who recently hit the headlines for gifting his wife a 250 crore aircraft! Going to office at 9 and coming at 7 ,living days which are just xerox copies of each other just because at the end of the month you'll get paid aren't what humans should be doing,we should leave that thing for robots!But we do it because we want to buy a new watch,a flashy new cellphone,a new apartment in addition to what you already have thinking that your children will be able to live comfortably.That's the kind of investments we make.These are the characteristics for which we,Indians and south-east Asians, are despised by people around the world,and the racial attacks in the Australia have been a fallout of this attitude.We don't believe in enjoying ,we believe in accumulating.I believe that if there's one investment which one should invest in that is investing in yourself and in your dreams -No other investment cant beat that because it's the most satisfying investment ever and also it pays in lumpsum,when your time comes, then you can have all the things which you wanted to have-in a jiffy. The comman man gets so used to accepting the accepted way of life that he stops dreaming what all life can be about.We all want to holiday in Ibiza? Don’t we ?We all want to look good .We all want power ,money and fame(FPM being my acronym for it)?Who doesn’t want a lifestyle like SRK’s ? Who doesn’t want to be a think-tank like NarayanMurthy or Bill Gates?Don’t we envy the lives of Vijay Mallaya or Gautam Singhania or Richard Branson? Who doesn’t want to make a difference to the society? EveryONE does!But the sad part is that we are just happy reading about all these people in the newspapers ,we envy them,we want to live like them but we know that we won’t be able to live like them because we don't have the guts they had and we have told this to us so many times that we give up thinking what our lives can be and just become happy by reading about the way people enjoy,the exciting lives they live,the great fetes they achieve and the new benchmarks they set. A quote by George Bernard Shaw couldn’t have been more apt here “When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of ,he always declares that it is his duty”.And that’s very true of us!We have excuses such as circumstances, responsibility etc.Let me give you the schedule of an average middle class working professional.
Weekdays- Goto office at 9.Stay there till 6-8 pm(depending on your workload).In office, do your work not coz you want to do it but because it is what will fetch you money at the end of the month and if you don’t work even if you don’t want to ,you don’t have an option coz you have a family at home.
This goes on for 5 days a week and can possibly go on for their entire lives and somewhere deep down we have told ourselves "There's no way out!"
Here's an example for all those who feel like they want to break-free but always bring in the circumstances in between themselves and their goals.Recently,I was reading the interview of Jagmohan Mundra(Refer Wiki for more).He’s an IITian ,did his MS and then MBA from the US.He was asked that why did he have to "accumulate" so many degrees and waste so many years,if he was passionate about directing movies. He said ,”It’s not that I wanted to direct movies since I was 10.It was only when I crossed my teenage,I started to develop a fascination for movie direction.Gradually,I realized that this is the way I want to express myself ,my ideas and thoughts to the world.I kept on working on this front,kept learning more and more about it's intricacies, alongwith that I kept going on about my degrees/job because for a middle class person in India ,security is the buzzword. I kept working on my dream and later when the right time came ,I knew that it’s time to take the plunge.” I was more than impressed with his answer.This is what vision ,passion and perserverance are all about.I recommend you all to read about Satyajit Ray's life too.What a man!
Recently, I read the biography of Larry Ellison,the founder of Oracle Corp. Never before had I read any (auto)biography so compelling as his.For doing what he did ,one needs balls,man! Imagine ,he took admission in University of Illionis(UC) dropped out in second year coz he was pretty BORED with studies. Next year,went to the Univ of Chicago, found the syllabus too boring,dropped out again.Phew! He plainly states “I wonder how people can do something which they don’t like doing. Disgusting. I can never do anything until and unless I really want to do it.”His life has had everything that would make you envious-from billions in bank balance to yatchs,jets , and being the star attraction of all the parties hubs around the world ,and that too when he confessed that he wasn’t a genius like Gates .After reading biographies of rebels such as Che Geuvara, Lance Armstrong(a fighter against all odds ), Herb Keller(an out-of-box thinker & founder of Southwest Airlines which initiated lowcost war in the airline industry in the US by its mind-blowing ideas) ,I realize that it’s high time for me to do something purposeful with my life! And I know that I’d be able to do something .What I also realise that I don’t get things easily but I fight for them and the Almighty always has been generous enough to give me what I want. People close to me know that in college how much did I struggle to learn the guitar in the initial months.It was so damn frustrating,I tell you.I could have never imagined that this is the thing which will give a purpose to my life. Like for most ,music could have remained a hobby for me, but as I started composing songs & when I started writing and composing really good songs, I realized that it’s something which just flows out of me and is something which I can do very well,which is a big break from being a mediocre player on the basketball court or a lot of other things. Most of you all know my attempts at body building in college. I really didn’t like the way I looked-a very candid admission. I tried hard ,nothing worked,after coming here,all I faced was disappointments after disappointments.Finally ,after years of failure and hopelessness,last year it happened. I was finally able to do it, and how I did it ?Don’t even ask me, it was gruelling,to say the least.I just plunged myself into it. But the most amazing part was that I got something unexpected.I was going to the gym to get muscular.Never in the wildest dreams had I imagined that my face would change so dramatically.When I look back at my pics, it’s hard to believe that it's me.No, I am not boasting about myself.For had I wanted to be politically correct,I would have removed those lines.I still have way to go in terms of improving physically but now I know what works for me and what doesn’t and whenever I would make my mind, I would be able to achieve my goals on this front.
I still need to work on a lot of fronts.I need vocals training, am working religiously to improve my guitar playing skills ,sometimes practicing as high as 6 hours/day .I'll soon start with the hardcore body building session again as I am just exercising these days to keep myself fit.Apart from that,have certain other plans for the near future.Will inform you about the same at an appropriate time. I just want that even if I screw up my life,I want to do it my way and have no regrets.At least ,when I’d be on my deathbed ,I’d be able to say “That I lived my life ,my own way and not as a ‘free slave’”.To live a life full of thrill,excitement,passion and newness is anyday better than to live a boring and robotic life.I must thank each one of you ,in general, for motivating me and Dion and Sam,in particular, for introducing me to something which has given a meaning to my life and to my mentors here in Noida who have given me a clarity about life,goals and who have infused an amazing level of fearlessness in me!
I have great expectations from the TWM members and I am sure that all of us are going to blow it oneday .
Your time will come - Iron Maiden in The wicker man

Comments

Unknown said…
I do not agree entirely to your views particularly the initial part. Every person has his happiness in different things. Some may find pure joy on seeing the first steps of his baby. Some may experience bliss at the opening of their art work in an international forum. It all varies from person to person.

I may not like doing XYZ but someone else would love doing XYZ. If I do not like doing something I'll naturally walk out at the earliest opportunity.

There's a beautiful quote from the book 'My name is red' by Orhan Pamuk. It goes like this:

"To avoid disappointment in art, one mustn't treat is as a career. Despite whatever great artistic sense and talent a man might possess, he ought to seek money and power elsewhere to avoid forsaking his art when he fails to receive proper compensation for his gifts and efforts."

cheers..
Sakshi said…
What I see as a gist of what Mannu is trying to say is: that job satisfaction is the last criteria for people who do jobs. And I have come across so many people who are just doing jobs coz they have no choice.
Since we are at it- I must confess- I have no idea what to do with my life when I finish college. I am more confused than ever.
And I think its commendable to stand up and follow your dreams... to be able to know what you want in life and actually be happy...!!

PS: The best part of CSC was that Mannu was ever ready to meet me at the shortest of notice... so Mannu darling... Lunch on Wednesday? :)
I sincerely hope that you read & understood what I was trying to convey 'coz going by your comment it seems highly likely that either you have grossly missed the point I tried to make or you misinterpreted the whole article .

@Sakshi

Yes,your interpretation is ,thankfully,right! After getting fabulous feedback from Arushi and one of my friends,Raths comment really surprised me and I had to read the article again to see whether I have said anything gross or illogical! :-D
Unknown said…
@mannu

may be coz of the impending sleep my points didnt come out clearly!!

what i want to say here is that some points in the initial parts of your post, are not what i agree with..

no doubt, taking the plunge is admirable and requires too much of dedication from the point there on..everyone must try to go higher after each milestone that is achieved..

but at some parts of your post the theme is of ridiculing the simple things people do..not everyone can jump and go about doing what they like..not everyone can become a SRK or Ambani..though i agree people must give a try and as your Iron Maiden lyrics say "the time will come".. :)

may be you werent meant for the place where you worked..you are destined for something else..but those people with you, may be they belong to that place..

regarding the quote, well Jagmohan Mudra is the example..

cheers..

PS: We are not going to blow it rather we are gonna rock oneday ;)
@Raths
Now you make sense. What you said is quite true. I,however,nowhere mentioned that everyone should aspire to become a star.I asked people to pursue their passions and that's why I admire Shayon,Raj and Dion.They are not stars.Are they? But they are doing what they are passionate about .Shayon could've also taken up a regular job like us.Dion could have done got a well paying job after an MS degree.Raj could have continued with Tata Motors.And obviously,if everybody becomes a celebrity then where'll be the place for fans, if everyone becomes Ambani,then an Ambani surname would no longer leave holder any name.:-D
What i tried to say is that people should keep on experimenting with new things,ideas in their lives and be receptive to changes ,instead of blocking out the change! I guess, it'd be a little difficult for you to understand because the quality of people you interact there is much better as bengalis are known for their tastes in various fields ranging from music,literature to sports etc,but if you come to Northern India and interact with the junta,you'd be quite disappointed as I have been.
Anyway,I have all the respect for your views.And regarding my views,that's how a rebel's views are supposed to be.Inflammatory. Ain't it ? Hahaha.
Peace! :)
Ignore the numerous typos in the comment above :-D
Sakshi said…
Well- You din tell me about lunch on wednesday??
Shayon said…
Jesus Christ! I do not understand what the whole hue and cry about doing things that you wanna do? Isn't that the most normal thing in this whole wide world?

But then again, I simply loved Orhan Pamuk said -- "To avoid disappointment in art, one mustn't treat is as a career." You know why? Prolly 'coz I face the same syndrome myself. Why do you think I write so less, myself? Sakshi has recently revamped the look of her blog and she had to rely on a friend of hers, to help her with it. While I am ashamed I couldn't find out the time for her, I know, the major reason is the fact that I have been dabbling with writing and web designing throughout the week and month, in office. So, after I come back home, all I care to do is play warcraft online, watch videos on youtube or just laze around. Somehow, after taking up writing as a career, I end up getting a writer's bloc every time I try contributing in this blog, or Sakshi's, or even Watblog where I used to work before. Man, everybody on this blog knows how dedicated how I used to be in updating my own blog, even of the college's flaky internet connection. Today, it is just waiting to perish! Yes, it does break my heart, yet I feel so helpless.

Speaking of Mann's post, dude, I can very well understand the "trapped" feeling that a wrong job can give. I mean, what the heck, I have been into it for over 5 years, all the time I was in college. While I shall never deny the fact that I myself didn't do a thing to better my academic life, but then neither did the college manage to inspire me enough. No, I shall not get into any kind of blame game here.

I personally think you went a bit overboard when you were comparing things with the likes of SRK and Ambanis. No, I do not say that people should not aspire. But then again, if you ask a beggar on the road to try and become Warren Buffet, all you shall get are fits of laughter, right at your face. You should have gone a bit slower and probably then people would've understood things a bit better. Rathz, the idea here is aspiration.

While we all get gung-ho about making our lives much more meaningful, what kinda life you have in office, can not always be helped. But yes, the key is how you spend your time outside it. That way, I think I still am a sucker! :-p
Ahh!
I finally get some time to put up a comment!
Great post man! But I must agree with Rathz on a couple of points.
What is boring to us may be exciting to someone else! And yes, I'll grant you that most people do a job for the sense of security, but then again, we don't have families to take care of, mouth's to feed and such.
And please don't get me started off on politicians- even though the pay is low, they (most anyway) find extra-curricular activities to fund their lavish lives!

On a separate note, I've renewed the blog for sometime. ;D

D
Shayon said…
Hell yeah... for 5 fucking years!! :-D
shastha said…
I think the point to be a rebel all boils down to a basic question, whether the risk you are going to take and the contentment that you will have doing it, is more that the security fear in you or not.
Most people accept what they have been given with. Having a herd mentally at least gives you peace of mind of not having to think too much.
I like the work I am doing right now but I know for a fact that I would not be liking the same work 2years down the line. At that point I am confident that CSC may not be able to satiate my interests. The question in my mind is, what will i do then !! Only time will tell. Probably i too may become a rebel then.

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Music time

Hi all,

I recorded this bit when Sam came to Bangalore... quality of the video is poor. enjoy.