Commuting Thoughts

The last few times I wrote anything here there seemed to be a common theme of contentment that was creeping into my writing, slowly but surely. Those demons of ennui had stayed away for a very long time. The anguish about how mundane life appeared, about how similar each new day was to the last one was also disappearing, slowly but surely.

Rightly or wrongly, and perhaps prematurely, I had come to the conclusion that I was more or less contented with life. But I am not to be trusted with that sort of faux contentment, I feel quite pleased with myself even when I have managed to sweep all the dirt under the rug and things look picture perfect on the outside. So it would serve me well to remember not to get too complacent. Several clichés support this feeling viz., if something appears to good to be true it probably is.

But I digress, when I decided to write something this morning I had something else on my mind. I had just arrived at work after a two-hour commute filled with the satin smooth, dulcet tones of Pandit Jasraj singing – Om Namah Bhagwatey Vasudeva. I am still in awe of the experience. I never thought I could enjoy listening to a bhajan so much. I was completely immersed in the experience. Till a few months ago the Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil had me feeling satisfied and today I was questioning whether I would ever go back to listening to the Rolling Stones! What has happened? What changed? Some folks (you know who you are) would like to call it a “turning point” and perhaps it is. Maybe I am seeing the world in a different context these days, a different perspective has certainly wafted in, like a fresh breeze through a window I had never noticed before. When and how and for what purpose I don’t know. Maybe it is the manifestation of a deep-seated desire to enrich my life. Maybe it is a realization that the time is now and I’ll never be as young, as healthy and as relatively carefree as I am today.

It isn’t something new, this nameless feeling. It was there when I wrote that god awful poem – One Needs to Settle in… or when I wrote Land more recently. The intangible feeling I am talking about is laced through everything I have ever tried to write. It reflects a search of sorts, a reaching out for something, and whatever this something is, it seems more within reach now than it ever did before. There is now an ease with which I can interact with people, the raw need to be liked and to please is no longer there. There was a sense of awkwardness in all my interactions before, a sense that I didn’t really fit in anywhere, not in the world I left behind, nor in the one I currently inhabit. But now it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. It took a long time to shed this desire to blend in, to fit and now I realize I was looking for fool’s gold. I already had everything I’ll ever need. I probably already have the “strong rope” that I thought I would need to acquire a few articles ago.

Of course, the search will only be complete when I finally understand what it was all about. But for now, each day brings the realization that I was probably living under a rock all these years when I felt discontented, unappreciated, unfulfilled, anxious, inadequate, helpless, untalented. I wouldn’t say the “-uns” have gone away completely or that the adjectives above have all been replaced by their exact antonyms, or what if anything changed but I don’t waste my time with them anymore. Each of these words conveyed the subtle message that ones happiness depended on someone else, or something else. As if the world owes one their happiness. Now I know the world owes me nothing. I have to find my own shady alcove and I can already see it, it isn’t too far away. It’s blissful, serene, has a hammock, stretched between two shady trees, that beckons…

Next Steps: Cooking…must learn, master and perfect the art of cooking so that little A doesn’t have to ask, “Mommy how come I’ve never eaten something you cooked?”


  1. Ah, a nice teaser for future installments! The articulate and direct way you capture or enact, explore or express the forms and phases of introspection, is both interesting and satisfying to observe.

  2. One's happiness is another's suffering. As such, happiness only comes when enough suffering has occured. I am not certain of how much suffering is "enough", a corrupt world corrupts everything in it. It seems we cannot suffer enough, though. I fell in love with your writtens… (ugh… ignore me.)

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