I wrote my first Blog on February 13, 2016. As my blogs illustrate, I am not a writer but a dilettante serving up my life experiences to those who are passing by, looking for momentary amusement. I cannot say whether they find it. However, personally for me writing each week has been cathartic and – egged on by readers’ comments both, public and private – a most enriching experience. For this, I remain grateful.
Honest dialogues start with being true to one’s self and expressing one’s feelings sincerely, particularly in these times when being politically correct is valued more than being candid. I was therefore pleasantly surprised at witnessing my self-imposed precept stated in the movie, Arrival. In the concluding frames of this film the protagonist asks her companion, “If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?” To which, he responds, “Maybe I’d say what I feel more often.”
My blogs are an attempt at maintaining such a discourse. Dialogues with children epitomize authentic conversations and help to keep us honest. In light of recent events down south, our almost six years old granddaughter was recently asked by her parents over dinner if her teacher or friends talked about Donald Trump at school. I cannot recall her response but her sister J, who is not quite three piped up that she knew “Trump is the “first presenter” of America!” and then very earnestly added, “But we don’t talk about him. We only talk about dinosaurs at the casa. They were alive, but now the paleontologist has put them in a museum so they can’t scare us.” I must, in all honesty confess that I had to look up “paleontologist.”
Vignettes like these weave into my life retrospective and are the mainstay of my blogs. Last week also marked the completion of twenty years with my current employer. Ruminating, I am reminded of lessons that apply equally to one’s personal and professional life:
- Know and clearly articulate (especially to yourself) what you wish to accomplish. I had to think clearly about why I wanted to start writing and what it would help me achieve.
- Friends (thank you S, E, M and my wife) who helped me overcome self-doubts. There is nothing demeaning about seeking advice or feedback, which could be positive or critical.
- Plan the journey before setting out. A friend and a published author, was blunt, “If you intend to write each week but cannot think of at least 52 blogs, do not even start.”
- “Focus” is great, but one has to be “committed” to stay the course. We have a short attention span and are easily sidetracked by distractions. Be mindful of the gravel on the mountain track and the sheer drop on one side, while targeting the peak.
- Take the “plunge.” Focus and intent are great but action is needed to move forward. As someone has said, “A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.”
“Journey of life, what is this quest; None understands, no one has known it,” an all-time favourite song penned by Indeevar and soulfully sung by Kishore Kumar, from the 1970 movie Safar.