How I Wish To Live In A Different Time And Place.

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Yesterday while watching a movie that was based on a real archeological site’s discovery in England in the year 1938, I was stuck by the simplicity yet the focused devotion of the people of that era towards their passions and professions.

The lead character who was an amateur and impoverished excavator, and yet was also very well read and self educated in his profession, worked day and night to dig and discover a historic relic for a very unhandsome sum. I felt that he tirelessly toiled under scorching sun and soaking storms not only because of his passion for his chosen craft but also because he was fortunate to be born in a time of least pretentiousnesses and distractions.

Yes. Before the technology took over the entire humanity and gobbled up all its time and energy, people had nothing much to do but devote their fewer and precious resources to pursue what their hearts strived for.

Researchers did researches, painters painted, composers composed, writers wrote, workers worked, traders traded, explorers explored and homemakers made homes. And they all did what they did with a single minded devoutness that must have been so fulfilling that I assume they probably never complained of being bored or ungratified.

The man in the movie was digging earth for two pounds a week and didn’t seem to be much concerned about his meager compensation or his impoverished lifestyle because most men and women in that time lived a very basic, unpretentious life. All his concerns and cares were for his job and its outcome.

How I wish I could find myself living in a period and place like that. An era when work was truly worship. When contentment came from the fruits of your labor which were definitely not the excesses and indulgences bought with the money earned.

The goods produced, the services rendered, the creations and compositions, the discoveries and development were the prizes earned and celebrated at the end of a day’s hard work. The compensations were hardly enough to sustain and survive life and yet, gratitude was in abundance.

What a way of life it was. Wake up in the early morning, have a stomachful of homemade healthy staples, go to work and immerse yourself into what you loved to do without having to hear an annoying beep or ringtone of your smartphone and come back straight home to a hot and simple dinner with your family. Read, write or simply stare at the stars in the sky at night and fall asleep without a worry.

No wonder the world saw so many inventions and discoveries in the past two centuries. People had begun to understand and unveil the wonders of nature and had no diversions and distractions eating up their daily hours and attention.

Work and passions were the precedence and that’s probably why even in times when technology wasn’t available to offer infinite assistance and instant solutions and people had to do everything from search information to record finding of endless trials without any aid from technology they were probably inventing at the time, they created marvels.

And look at us today. We have every information at the tip of our finger (quite literally) and yet we procrastinate and waste our expensive lives doing nothing significant only because we are too busy indulging in the inessentials and yearning for more.

Work is no more worship. It is just a means to get richer and procure a petty, pretentious position in the world. The aim is no more to create something new and unique and feel creatively contented but is to consume all the superficial specimens being produced in bulk for the unthinking users and feel materially accomplished.

Simple living and high thinking is passé. The new motto is flashy living and useless thinking. The very few thinking minds that are there are mocked at and are labeled as boring and old fashioned but even today they are the ones mostly making headlines with their originations.

In the fast paced, technology driven world creating copies is easy and abound, and it might be well paying but is it really gratifying? The answer is evident from the fact that despite all advancements human spirit is at an all time low. The superficially visible and well celebrated success doesn’t offer any true joy or solace to the yet to be completely evolved mind that still needs the deep purposeful connection to its day’s work and the people around.

Alas, both are missing because the champions of the ongoing race are too busy running after the material success and boosting economies. They fear that if they paused and slowed down they may actually realize that their real needs are still basic and real happiness can be found by simply giving your best to your passion or profession, they will lag behind in the contest.

But do they realize what they have truly achieved by fairing well in the competition? Unhealthy lifestyles, unhappy relationships, ungrateful minds, an unkind world and now maybe an unforgiving nature.

I suggest we visualize a life in a different time and place when and where we lived simply but well, enjoyed true relationships and derived happiness and a sense of achievement from the work done well. A time and place where less is more.

Writing this piece, how I am craving to leave the madness of my city life and run to the small hamlet I am soon going to call home and live the slow, old school way of life where there is no rush to complete jobs to attend parties, spend hours deciding what to wear and how to look, planning and attending useless events and then feel unappreciated and burned out. Where I will enjoy the basics of life appreciating the bounties of nature and will spend hours everyday pursuing my love for writing.

Luckily I have always been quite old school but watching the way Basil Brown and many of his likes lived simply yet so well creatively accomplished and gratified, I feel I need to forgo the few ounces of vanity, and social and materials cravings I still have and only then I will be able to give my hundred percent to the pursuits that make my heart happy and my life well lived.

My reader, I get maximum joy when I spend hours thoughtfully penning down my deep-felt thoughts like this. Writing, offering solutions to my clients and spending time with my children are my favorite things to do. My only indulgence is the occasional travels I so love to undertake and those I can allow myself as an incentive for a good year’s work.

I know you too have a very similar, simple and inexpensive yet fulfilling to do list. If yes, then ask yourself do we really have to remain a victim of excessive consumerism? I know my answer and I am all set to pause, rethink and reprioritize my life.

And then I won’t have to sigh and say, “How I wish to be in a different time and place.”

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Women, Your Evolution Has Happened, Revolution Is Awaited.

Almost every day I come across at least one woman who is emotionally agonized and is leading a miserable life. There is nothing unusual about it because life is meant to be full of agony but still I feel it is not right for these women to be distressing over the issues that are causing them pain.

Now what’s wrong with having the issues they have? Issues or problems are a normal part of human life. But still I find myself thinking that those concerns could be easily avoided or they are not the real concerns of a progressive world we live in.

What are these problems I have so much problem with? The concerns these women have are the concerns they have because they are women.

The infamous “Venusians” are miserable since the beginning of this world because they are born as women. They have always been the suppressed ones and have been told, “you can’t do this, you can’t be this, you can’t go there, not alone, you have to do this, you have to be like this, this is expected of you and so on.” Just because they are women.

There are so many prejudices and stereotypes attached to both the genders and women are on the loser end of these beliefs. Let me be more specific.

“Women don’t need to work if their husband is providing them well, they have to cook and look after children, they can’t go out alone, they can’t drive on the highway, they have to listen to their husbands and the elders, they have to ask before doing anything important and even unimportant.” The list is endless and varies little with the social and economic status of the family.

This is how the world has always been. Telling women what they can and what they can’t. Women lived with being told for a very long time because they were not equipped or prepared to break the stereotypes and thus change the world. But now the women of this generation are miserable beyond imagination because now they are well equipped and prepared and absolutely capable of doing everything but still they are told they can’t.

This generation’s women are well educated, well groomed, are mostly earning or have the potential to earn, they are capable of being independent, are well informed to make decisions and have ample opportunity to do and are doing all that men did and proclaimed supremacy for ages.

This generation of women is much more capable and independent than all their predecessor generations and yet they aren’t as happy and peaceful as they ought to be and that I feel is a shame. The well educated, well read, modern, intelligent, well earning, independent, professionally successful women are not living a very happy, content and peaceful existence and that makes me cringe and wonder at the same time.

Cringe because I am a woman and wonder because I don’t believe the reason. The reason is that they simply don’t know how to claim their glory and their rightful place in the world.

The place now that has come to be theirs after thousands of years and ages. So many generations before us might have wanted it so badly but couldn’t have it because the world was not probably designed by a woman and hence was created to be difficult for the women to operate and run.

The physical toiling was tough so it became a man’s arena but things aren’t the same now. Everything happens with a push of button so thanks to the men and women who designed the new world it is now easy for anyone. And imagine maybe the men too wanted that and that’s why didn’t mind designing it that way.

Then why aren’t the women taking advantage and treating themselves as equals? Why don’t they recognize and acknowledge the fact that they are born in the time of their species’ liberation and they have to play a role in it.

Yes. Women of this time and age, rather than playing the second fiddle, have to be the harbingers of the change and usher their unparalleled race into the new world that just treats them as just another human who has needs, motivations, emotions, abilities, capabilities, shortcomings which do vary but not from man to woman but a human to another human.

It’s the time of the world that would be noted in the history of the world when the gender stereotypes broke and distinction between men and women finally got erased and they began to be treated as equal human beings.

Time when employees got selected as per their capability and qualifications and not because of the gender. The time when women drove lorries and men cooked fancy meals in the restaurants as well as at home. The time when both men and women earned the living and spent quality time bringing up their children together. The time when women chose not to cook if they didn’t fancy that and men dropped kids to school because they loved doing that. The time when both girls and boys took care of their parents and ran family businesses if they had it and wanted to. The time when women married for love and companionship and not to be provided for, hence chose the most loving and compatible one instead of the most financially well off one.

Isn’t this all already happening and hence proves that the time is already there? There are women CEOs, astronauts, innovators, heads of nations, lorry drivers and deep sea divers. There is a Malala who fights for her rights, gets shot in head, survives, wins a laureate and becomes celebrated. Today a Priyanka Chopra marries a younger Nick Jonas not for money and support but maybe because her alpha, super-ambitious self needs a soft and sweet beta companion.

So the time has already arrived and the world is already an equal place now. Then what’s the problem? The problem is that most of the women have not acknowledged this fact. Their mental programming of thousands years hasn’t much changed and they have passively remained seated in the backseat.

As a result, they do not assert their now equal rights and wishes and still have remained being the lesser ones in the house, on the job and in the society as a whole.

Women of today are supposed to be their brand new selves, to be the representatives of the new liberal age because in the history of mankind they are the most well educated, well brought up, equally treated, pampered and prepared to create their own identity and place in the world.

But those same women do not think like that and are rendering themselves wasted when they think of working outside home as an option, by wanting a husband who earns more than them and can promise financial security, by tolerating abuse and not walking out because who will look after them and the kids, by not taking care of their own parents because they are not their responsibility.

The ultramodern women have chosen to be more miserable because they are living a conflicted life of a lioness outside in the world and an expected to turn into a meek cow back at home. They are enduring this misery because they still think of themselves as just a woman who is supposed to be the lesser one, the younger one, the less successful one and the less wiser one.

Wake up women. You topped the ranks in school and college, you got that job because you were the best candidate, you are smart enough to run a house and an office with equal ease, you are intelligent enough to make the choices you make and you are still the best mother and wife. You are not less.

Why have you submitted yourself to a place and position in this world which warranties unhappiness and misery? Why have you made the volunteer submission as the humble inferior one?

Yes. It is the women who have submitted themselves to be agonized in the world that is ready to accept them as the opposite. It is we women who are keen to please everyone, who are not being assertive and keeping their wishes and feelings inside for the fear of being judged. It is we women who judge another women who break the stereotypes and choose to live differently.

When a woman decides to leave her husband because he slapped her ‘once’, it is the women who questioned her reaction in the cult movie “Thappad”. This movie is the proof that the new age has been around since quite some time but is just not hailed by the lot.

Women, you are not from a lesser planet nor are men from a superior one. We are all made from the same draft. For some generations’ convenience we were allotted different roles and the act just went on.

Now after generations of change the stage is set. Life’s act has to go on but little role reversal is required. Men have been left with no choice but to create the place for their truly better counterparts and we women have to accept our rightful place and take charge and responsibility of at least our own lives.

Yes. Women have to take responsibility. For their lives, their dreams, their happiness, their freedom and all of this for their dependents’ too. Freedom never comes without responsibility and maybe this is the reason despite having all the reasons and resources to live a more dignified life the women of this new world are still being told that they can’t.

Or is it that they are the ones who say to themselves that we can’t. “I can’t stay alone. I can’t do this all by myself. I can’t say what I want. I can’t say no to them. I can’t be the disobedient one.”

Women are not ready to stand for themselves because they are the adjusters, accommodating ones, the ones who sacrifice and keep the families afloat.

So the well educated, dreamer, intelligent, independent woman is still not living an equal life where her preferences and interests are primary, her needs and aspirations are central, her freedom and choices are respected.

This wasn’t too much to ask especially in the homes where they are equal contributors but even there they remain the secondary mistress not the head master of the house.

Remember, men have little to do with this plight of women. They are just continuing to enjoy the power the women have complacently not decided to share with them. Because they are either too scared of being labeled as headstrong dominants or are too scared to be nastily shown their place.

As a result, women are just maintaining the illusion. Illusion of a happy person living in a happy family whereas they are seething and dying from within because the enlightened and empowered minds can’t survive in the powerless, dark place that is allotted to them.

Women, don’t be scared. Let them call you names. Let them label you selfish, mean, proud, arrogant, self centered, egoist, whatever else. They do not understand why you are hurting but if you are hurting, please stop hurting within.

The pain of loss of some ungrateful relationships is nothing in comparison to the pain of humiliation that you go through everyday, the pain of not knowing who you truly are – the successful woman outside the house or the unwise nincompoop they make you think you are in the inside.

Ask yourself, who you are. Because you know who you are. Take pride in that and do whatever it takes to live with dignity and respect. Offer yourself as an equal partner and make the terms clear. The old prejudices are passé and don’t shy from asserting the obvious if the other side seems oblivious.

Honestly, not much fight and rebellion is required for our cause. The world is ready to hand over the baton to us, it is just us who haven’t asked for it. Consider yourself worthy and take it over.

Tell them that you don’t want to rule because you know how it feels to be the ruled over one. Tell them you just have to be equal because you need to do justice to the evolution that slowly and silently has happened and has happened for a collective good. The evolution is done, the revolution is awaited. And it is for your doing.

Live and let live. That’s our motto.

PS. This strong write up is for the women who are empowered and enlightened but yet aren’t being given the respect, choices and place that they are worthy of. If you are someone who could connect with my thoughts, then this entire piece of advice is for you. And those who think it is too much to do to live with dignity, stay where you are and let it become a new norm and then you may get to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s struggle. Just keep yourself alive till then.

What Is Your Story?

Do you ever wonder, “Why are people the way they are?”

Why some people you know are mostly oozing confidence whereas some of those around you are skeptical self-doubters? Why there are some extreme optimists and few exactly opposites – the pathetic pessimists? What makes some perpetually happy people happy and the eternally sad people so?

If you never deliberated that before, are you wondering now?

And I am sure sometimes you also reflect, “Why am I the way I am?”

Let me help you know the answers to your pondering.

There were a lot of things responsible in the beginning of your life that shaped your persona. Your inherent personality, your circumstances, environment, life’s results, your disappointments, victories and a lot more. But after a while there is something else that started influencing your state of mind the most.

And that one thing is your story.

Now you are thinking which is that story I am talking about. Am I talking about the story of your life?

Let’s see.

What is this story of life?

Every life on this planet is a story worth telling. Some are romantic, some tragic, few stories are inspiring, few loathsome and some are action packed adventures. Some are a good mix of all genres and may be material for a blockbuster hit if turned into a biopic celluloid.

Likewise, since the day you were born, you have been living an original story which is your story with you as the protagonist. Till now, the story has had many plots and subplots, twists and thrills, characters coming, staying or leaving, happy scenes and heartbreaking moments and the story keeps unfolding and will keep growing until the day of its climax.

Think of it, you may have already lived a story worth being a bestseller or a blockbuster. But I am not talking about that long story written by the Almighty and spanned over long years.

I am here talking about the short story you have scripted in your mind by picking up selected snippets from the long one as per your prejudices and predisposition.

Human brain has the tendency to concoct a short summary of the big tale and take it as the sum-total of the whole life’s story and then accept it as the complete life experience and thereafter live, feel, decide, act, not act, as the reaction to or outcome of that experience.

From a life full of good days, bad days, happy moments, sad moments, successes, failures, great relationships, bitter relationships, sweet memories, bitter experiences, love found, love lost, life altering lessons and miracles, people select a few moments and believe that short, edited trailer to be the whole movie.

This short summary is mostly not a mixed one as the life story is. It is predominantly one genre; it is either story of suffering and misery, success and achievement, love and happiness or betrayals and heartbreaks. So it is either a happy story or a sad story.

Think of it, you too have a short story that describes your whole spent life in mere 15-20 sentences. A whole long life on a page or two and there is a predominant emotion that you feel every time you narrate a part of it to yourself or someone else and that is how you mostly are.

If your story is mostly happy and successful, then you are a happy, confident person. If it is full of disappointments and unfulfilled wishes, then you are not a very happy and hopeful person.

They say, “You become the story that you tell yourself.” Think about it, your story makes your state of mind. You are joyful, self-assured, gloomy, depressed, hopeful or hopeless, whatever you are you are because you associate the whole meaning of your life to a few selected life’s events in your memory.

Whatever number of years you have already lived couldn’t all be just good or completely bad, there would have been all kinds of days, but your mind has focused on memories of one kind and that’s how your whole experience is shaped and you have become whatever you are.

This is how everyone became what they are.

Narcissists have a story all bright and beautiful. Everything good happened to them or they turned whatever they touched into gold. Everyone loved them. Everyone followed them. They beat all obstacles to reach the top.

Victims have a story too sad to make them cry every time they talk about it. They were hurt, betrayed or abandoned. They suffered losses. They cared for everyone but were never reciprocated. Life was never fair to them and they never got what they wanted. Poor fellows.

Confident and cheerful ones had great parents, good friendships, humble beginnings and great results. They were blessed and had good plans, excellent habits and were persistent to follow through. Such stories start with “A small town girl/boy who………….”

Negative people had all the bad experiences. Nothing ever worked in their favor. Their hard work never paid off. The whole universe conspired against them.

Every kind of people have their own kind of story. Sometimes people have more than one story. Even contradictory ones. The good one to tell when they have to boast about themselves or maybe just inspire a subordinate.

The sad one to gain attention from a dear one or to simply sulk and feel victimized as it is the easiest to blame and feel free from the onus of doing the right things. Happy stories for happy days and sad stories for the sad days.

Stories are also person specific. A happy story with someone we love and value and that story will be minus any ill doings of that person. And an unhappy one with the one we hate and despise and there you may forget all goodnesses. So stories are biased too.

Some people distort the realities and make a story that suits them. Distortion for positivity and if not entirely misleading for the taker of the story is somewhat fine but distortions to feed the narcissist or psychopath inside you is very dangerous. Many mental disorders like obsession, narcissism, maniac, depression, etc. are the outcome of distorted stories.

And then there are those people who do not have any story of their own. They are the story others tell them about them and life. They are at the mercy of other’s intelligence, interpretations, opinions and judgements. They are the biggest sufferers because their state of mind changes as and when their storyteller changes.

I hope you are not one of those without their own story. If you are, then stop listening to others and recall your whole life and start writing one. And a positive one. Immediately.

If not, then now you know what kind of story I was talking about that has made you what you are. Now you know that you too have a story or even multiple stories, maybe even a distorted one and they have been serving different purposes.

Take out a little time and listen to the stories you have been narrating about yourself to self and others and see how much they have changed over time. If what you hear has been the same, old, stale, sorry story since many many years then something is not very right in your life. It means you haven’t really grown much in the last few years.

Your story needs to grow as you grow.

Don’t you think it’s time now that you edited or rewrote those stories. Your life has been much more than these little pieces you picked up because of your circumstantial state of mind that was at the time you picked up those pieces and joined together to form the narrative of your beautiful and maybe forgotten tale.

Another reason you made that story was because of the way you interpreted the happenings of your life. They say everything happens for good but maybe you never saw the good at that time. It’s time now when you have understood how your story has affected your emotional state and all else and you have matured enough that you can reinterpret it, in a different light.

It’s time you sit down, go down the memory lane, do a refresh, reflect, reinterpret and then rewrite your story. A good, happy, humble story with a happy ending which is your life till now. Rewrite it and you will witness a change in yourself, your relationships, your work, your health and wherever you wish to see a change.

Rewrite it because you are the protagonist of a blockbuster which may catch the fancy of a biopic maker. Rewrite it because you are not a pity victim of someone else’s saga. Rewrite it because you have this chance to revisit and recollect those happy memories and life’s lessons that have the power to alter your being.

I have seen it happening. I change my story every few years as with age and experience I could find more meaning to the events of my life. From a victim I thought I was I have witnessed myself transform into the most blessed person I know now. I am grateful to God for letting me see His hand in all that I call my life’s happenings and rewrite a story of faith, hope, resilience, strength, love and abundance and that’s all I feel now.

You too try doing it and in case you need help call for help from a professional ‘Life Story Editor’ like myself who can be your guide and show you all the beautiful visuals from your past you had omitted while writing the story you have been telling yourself till now.

Happy rewriting your story!!!