Monday, September 19, 2011

LIFE WITHOUT REGRETS? - contd. CHOICES

Coming to the question of choice, we spend our entire life making choices. We have to accept responsibility for whatever we have chosen. Any choice would entail the exercise of your individuality with its accompanying risk and commitment. It is also true that in our present times we suppress a major portion of our individuality in order to avoid conflicts. We choose to conform with our external world. Looking to the larger picture of a world without conflicts this would seem a necessity. When we talk in terms of not hurting others in the conduct of our lives, it is easily said than done. If we talk about being helpful to others it is a question from an ethical viewpoint. Where there is suppression of individuality in the first case, the second is a result of resolution of conflicts within oneself and the choices we have made is an exercise of our free will. May be then we shall be able to live a life without regrets. Because you are really sorry for actions that have hurt others , you feel sincerely committed to responsibilities that you have undertaken (which is still a choice).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A LIFE WITHOUT REGRETS?

A Life Without Regrets!




Today I read this interesting write up in the Times of India’s Sunday supplement ‘Times Life’, by Vinita Dawra Nangia. While it ends on a very positive note stating that “Choices distract but if we sincerely follow our heart and resolve not to hurt others along the way, we are unlikely to have any regrets”.



I feel the title would have been more meaningful if it had ended with a question mark rather than an exclamation. The key words in the above statement are- choices, sincerely and resolve. What is it we choose – something in conformity with the others way of thinking and living their lives, thus avoid conflicts and therefore no regrets. How do we sincerely follow our heart? And resolve is compromise.



The above statement, to me appears indirect contrast with what is stated elsewhere in the write up “one must never do anything that goes against one’s grain. Be faithful to the values you choose to believe in so that atleast you followed your principles and would do the same all over again”. You are never going to resolve anything and avoid hurting others if you sincerely follow the callings of your heart.



I appreciate the fact that the write up has been done in an objective manner, our relationships with the external world and how to cope with life, without conflicts and hence no regrets.



But let us accept the truth that our life is also subjective “the world as I see it”. Here I quote from Gabriel Marcel “ No two beings, and no two situations, are really commensurable with each other. To become aware of this fact is to undergo a crisis”. This awareness happens to every individual at some point of time in life. The choices he makes in life are a result of the experiences he has undergone.



After all when does regret occur? Only when comparisons take place and this can happen only in the objective world. So it would be very difficult for an individual not to compare himself with another, unless he has himself understood and resolved the conflicts within himself. And this I guess will take us to another realm of discussion. Let us accept the fact that the Individual will always carry with him the anxiety of conflict between the objective world and his own inner self.



The write up by Vinita affords a very simple solution. But is it really feasible? That is why I said the title should end with question mark—‘A Life Without Regrets?’.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NOSTALGIA (contd)

NOSTALGIA (contd)- At IIT KGP


A cold winter night, I stand on the balcony watching the sky. The moon has hid herself behind a misty veil but she appears more mysteriously enchanting in her half exposed beauty.

A knock on the door, I open. It is Murali hands in his pockets and a muffler covering his ears.

“ let us go and have some tea at chhedis” he says.

“whats the time”

“One thirty a.m”.


I lock the door and we wander off along the corridor. The light is burning only in Ranga’s room in the wing. We knock, but no response. I say “the guy is fast asleep, but he would like us to believe that he is studying hard”. I know that if we had kept on knocking he would wake up and open the door whistling some tune (out of tune of course).


We go down the stairs and reach the hostel gate. Two furlongs away we could see the light from Chhedis hut. There warmth awaited us . There is nothing like a hot cup of tea(Chai), at 1.30a.m on a cold winters night, that to inside a hut in the midst of wide open spaces. One could let ones fantasies fly as high as the moon.


“ I got to put in another hour to finish my sessionals . What about you, what were you doing” asks Murali.

“ what would you say if I told you I was looking at the moon”, I replied.

“ I would say you are loony.If you dreamt less and worked harder at your studies it would serve you better”.

“well spoken and like a topper”.


We sit inside sipping our tea under the light of the petromax lamp, immersed in the warmth of the hut. We talk of infatuations, imaginary loves and frustrations. We reach the moon and stay there, as we return to the hostel. Murali goes into his room promising to wake me up in time to attend classes. I know that he would stay awake to finish his sessionals and that he would wake up at 6.30a.m in the morning.

As for me I stay out in the corridor, in the darkness, for sometime, filling my lungs with the surrounding stillness. Back in the room I strum my guitar softly and sing. In the stillness of the night, each note, each chord seem to conjure up a thousand images before me. I feel at peace as I drift slowly in to that world of dreams.


I still remain a dreamer.