The other day, I put up a status message on gtalk asking where the rules of life were compiled. And most of you came up with the answer-in my mind. I’d love to believe so. Every time I look for an answer, all I need to do is ask myself what I felt. What’s right and what’s wrong. And my mind would help me out.
It doesn’t work that ways. At least not for me. Well, there are instances when it does. When the consequences aren’t gonna be too heavy. When I can afford to listen to my mind. And be sure of what lies in store for me and handle it with ease.
But there are other times, when I’m absolutely lost. No decision I take seems to be right. And if I end up doing what my mind says then am I in for a disaster, or what!
But lemme ask you, who really decides what’s right and wrong? The society? Our family? I guess so. Let’s assume that’s the case. Now who decides for them? Is there a sole decision maker somewhere there who carries a book with all the dos and don’ts and the rights and wrongs? Coz we seem to be following them quite sincerely.
Look at the rules that have been set up for us. By whom? Who cares? Rules are rules. If I have to get married to the man of my choice, I need to look up at the book of rules. Or do I just ask my mind if I’m right. Perhaps I would. But I certainly cannot end things there. The final call remains with the book. Why? Because that’s what I’ve been taught to believe.
The rule book, I’ve never seen but always heard of, decides what’s right and what’s wrong. And I unconsciously turn to it, for help. I would perhaps not go ahead and do what my mind tells me to, because I haven’t been taught to do so.
I do what the rules say. They say rules are flexible. Anybody can change it. Perhaps yes. But not all of them. Some of them are rigid. So if I’m to get married, then there you have the countless conditions attached to it. It ought to be to
1. A guy.
2. Who came into the world at least a month before me
3. Into a decent family.
4. From the same caste
5. And religion
6. Similar family
7. School of thought – and all that “necessarily” in that order.
And if the book says so, then so be it. And if it were to be looked into for help, then you’ll find absolutely no clauses attached to the first three for sure. And if you need to alter them, then it’s almost like writing a new book. And you would have rewritten rules. As if you rewrote history or something. Something, that the generations to come are most likely to do. Hopefully.
I have a set of conditions too. Ones I’ve set for myself. And not what the world has asked me to. Coz that’s for me to follow, not the world. And whose life is it anyways? It’s not just marriage that I speak of. It’s the countless dreams and desires each of us carry within our hearts. Or perhaps merely what we do or cannot do in our daily lives.
It’s for us to think about. And decide on what’s best for us. I may be tagged a rebel, which I’m not. Coz all said and done, I’ll still do what the book says. All coz of the strings attached.
Eventually, it’s not about rebelling against norms. It’s about seeing nothing rebellious about it.
I’m 26. And I’m an independent woman. Or at least, I’d like to think so. Most women today would like to consider themselves independent at this age. Why women alone? Let’s talk about youth. Aren’t the youth today already free birds, say, at the age of 20? How many of you, below twenty, reading this would like to be told by Mummy what’s to be worn to college today? Some? A few? None?
Well, let me admit I’ve never felt the need to be independent until late. In fact, on the contrary, I always thought I was an independent kid. I was made to believe so. Coz my parents have been working right from when I was perhaps in Kindergarten. And it was no big deal then, or now. I was proud of the fact that my mommy’s working! Unlike other mommies. My sister and I were taught to unlock the door, once back from school, leave our shoes in its place, open the fridge, heat up whatever is there and wait like good girls for one of them to get back.
And while my sister would be busy reading something, I’d climb on to the gate skimpily clothed, LOL. (Hey now we’re talking bout a 5-year old here, mind you) and have my eyes fixed where the road takes a turn. Waiting for my mom to get back. Her eyes fill every time she recollects this.
And that went on. They are still working and we're proud about it. But after a while, when my life reached a juncture and I had to make decisions alone, lead a life of my own, I found myself in a dilemma. Unlike many, who’d wait for an opportunity to break-free and lead their own lives, I found it quite difficult. Now, that’s something I never anticipated.
I’ve reached a stage, where, I can do nothing that would in some way offend my parents. Consciously or unconsciously. I feel the threads are still very strong. Ironically, I do have the freedom to go out with friends, come home reasonably late, stay over at a friend’s and all that. But all this, knowing the limits that have been set for me.
Or take another instance. I decide to dedicate an entire holiday reading a book. I can bet on a fortune that I’d fail to do so. The very thought that I’m not alone and I need to spend time with the others in my house would stop me from doing so. Ok, you think I don’t make sense. All I’m trying to say is that there’s a thread that connects me with a whole lot of people. One that pulls me back every time I begin to wander alone. One that tells me, there are lives connected to you. There are people who’re part of you.
And it’s not just in family. I seem to be leading somebody else’s life all the time. At times I feel it’s better that ways. Coz if given a chance to live my own life, I’d make nothing of it. Today, if you find me reading a book, that’s not me. If you see me watching a movie that won at the Oscars for best editing, that’s not me. If you see me plan my day systematically, hell that’s not me! But I do all of these. However, it’s not what I’d do in “my” life!
Know what I’d do? Sleep. Eat. Chat. Roam around. Watch TV. Talk on phone. And definitely, dream! And that’s when I wonder. When my life’s in real so unproductive, isn’t it better I lead the one someone else asks me to? Of course not forced upon me. I draw inspirations. It feels good when I know I'm doing something constructive. When people whom I look up to make me part of their discussions. Like I’m one among them. Like I’m important. LOL.
And I do so, because I know that otherwise my life aint something you would like to follow. I do nothing that can inspire. That makes you look up to me. But I look up to so many. And I try to do what they do. Like I’m answerable to them.
Aint that good? Or do I just live my life the way I want to. Doing what I feel like? Who knows I may just end up doing something that surprises me myself. And I’d proudly say it’s what I wanted to do and what I love to do. And then I can stop being somebody else?