What makes a human being great? Is it money? Is it great ideas? Or is it knowing the nuances of the world? The ideal human would have all those things. But they are not what is needed to be great. Greatness doesnt need a barometer. Greatness cannot be measured by all the achievements of a person. It comes from how you choose to live.
Even with all the things he did, fighting crippling illnesses for decades and fighting everyones assumptions for a few more of decades on top of that, he never gave up. He never gave us a reason to doubt his decisions. He did a lot to prove others wrong, but most importantly, he did a lot more to prove himself right.
As much as i relish being in the spotlight, the introvert within me still finds it extremely hard to build up that confidence. A million incoherent thoughts race through my head and the reality manages to fade to the backdrop. Life doesn’t pause. I wish it did. It only hastens. The time to perform comes faster by the minute. The moment of truth. The part where i cannot go wrong. Even after multiple flawless practices, the fears always manage to creep in.
Restlessly, i stroll around. Finding one place to sit, before deciding on abandoning it for another. Paranoid about my stuffy nose making me sound weird, some intense runs to the bathroom take place. My face wouldn’t show a glimpse of the turmoil inside as i look at it in there. Good. Better in than out. Couple of deep breaths, a sip of water to ease my rusty aching throat, and a few steps later, i find myself in front of them all. I had this little speech prepared in my head about the amazing singers of these songs. But it was drowned out as soon as my mouth opened. As i tried to figure out the first words, my hands went on autopilot, forcing me to keep up with their frantic pace.
(Here is the entire performance)
And there he stood, ignoring a million faces to seek hers, hoping she looks back, and knowing she wont.
Just a few right words, and the walls of silence crumbled
We start with a core. Primitive. Rough. Instinctive. Just the essence. Going only where the flow of time takes us.
As soon as we can, we add layers. Creating. Polishing. Honing. Gathering the surroundings. Refining it. Flow of time no longer guiding us. To stand firm, we choose. Picking our traits. Selecting our paths. Defining our boundaries. Moulding ourselves from within.
Standing against time, not possible forever. As the years catch up, the layers wane. Weathering slowly. No cracks. Edges still smooth, but the gathered contents diminishing. All those years, slipping through as we fight for a lost cause.
Whenever I look at the my grandparents, I see the two sides of age. It is a thing Shakespeare called the second childhood. Justifiably so. With all the experience and all the time they have, comes so much more. The fatigue. The helplessness. The denial. And very rarely, the acceptance.
They are many things. Apprehensive. Restrictive. Over-cautious. Stubborn. Irrational. Worst of all, they are unaware of their actions. I hardly blame them for any of it. Experience is a double-edged sword, after all. On one hand, it guides us through all the decisions of our lives and on the other, it blinds us to what doesn’t match our outlook. Where at times it makes us feel so powerful and in command, on so many other times, it leaves us vulnerable and helpless in situations well within our control. Without making us realise, It dictates our lives, and binds us to it’s will.
I know this is not my style of writing. Neither is it my current emotional state. An old poem. Doesn’t feel as profound as it used to anymore. But still feels good enough to share. Oh and yes, it is cheesy as hell
Why still doing
The duties no longer yours
Why still searching
for keys to broken doors
Why still repeat
What is not meant to be
Why still ignore
what everyone can see
Why still persist
When all was ripped apart
Why still? Why?
Asked my broken heart
There are times when a strange dichotomy starts dictating your life. The thin grey area stops existing altogether. Something is either wrong, or right. But you never quite get to label your decisions and brand them as the correct one. You cant salvage even a sliver of certainty.
That all engulfing cloud of doubt extends to all aspects of your life. You start wondering about the consequences of everything you do. At one point, it passes the barrier of self doubt too. Just one little decision spirals out into an uncontrollable mess much beyond the comprehension of not just you, but everyone around.