Monday, June 10, 2013

Mid Life Crisis or Mid course correction !!!

Averee’s post on “Man” is very intriguing since most of what she says, applies irrespective of gender – or so I think.  But for now let us stick to the Martians, and discuss the conflicts of our friends from Venus later.
I was more enthralled by the former part of her post –
when men decide what they want / should do. In fact, as I get acquainted with most, I steadily feel that more men are geared to choosing what they should do / ought to do than choose to do what they want to. Is it the dogmatic society driving actions?

one must stand for what one wants….
The confusion is very REAL – do I do what is “expected” or should I do what I want? Question asked time and again. Krishna told Arjun – Do what is right, and not what you want, and both were considered to be men enough….. surely the best in their times……….or as the Hindu Mythology  / religion bestowed the title “Purushottam” – The Best Man, on someone who essentially (at least in the Hindu context) defined that doing what is expected or correct defines manhood more than what one wants… at times even taking the wrath of his beloveds.
Now I know that Averee’s post was not to say that manhood essentially would mean doing only what one wants because then morality or lack of it will cause more chaos than order. Imagine everyone literally doing what they want. Thus if we were to concur that in the end “doing what is right” is more important or required, then the questions arises that who knows what “right” is?
Does the world know better than you OR are you better equipped to know what is right? Making it more interesting is the fact that “right” or wrong itself is based on a frame of reference which is essentially sociological – and to quote Averee essentially dogmatic .
But keeping gender and religion aside, should we really do what we want?
Philosophically I guess everyone does – it is just that we are “afraid” or “ashamed” at times to admit it. In any case that brilliant post from Averee and a few other concurrent incidents, thoughts and conversations led me to think on what actually does one want? And for the purposes of this discussion the question is more metaphysical and not about “Should I take that extra scoop?”
Mel Gibson tried to tell us what women want and Averee alluded to the not so fair sex…
My conundrum is on this repetitive phase of realization (sometimes self realization and sometimes forced) where we assess, reassess and repeat the oft asked question
“What do I want?”
Not only does every person differ on the response, but also I believe that an individual responds differently in different phases of life. As a school going kid, I had “kidish dreams” to be a bus conductor, a Spiderman, a spy, a time traveler, one of the Hardy Boys. It shows my lack of creativity and desire to be someone I could not ( I mean “cool” – I could have always become a Spiderman had it not been for lack of radioactive spiders in our school labs).
As years passed and I developed a delusion of I know better, my wishes (now called goals) became more about careers, colleges, jobs, bikes,  girls, (in the reverse order of importance and correct order of likelihood) . Then came the phase of “ambitions” about promotions, stability, roles, money etc.
Now as I approach what people refer to as “Mid life” based on average human expectancy, I am allowed – rather expected –  to have a “crisis”  returning to the same question “What do I want?” with answers more about deep rooted wishes, bucket lists, purpose of life etc.(side note -  This is no attempt to show how I am progressing on the Maslow’s need hierarchy !!)
Now onto my midlife “crisis”. A few days back, I mentioned to a certain someone “who-must not-be-named” how I was seriously thinking about writing – either publishing something over a period of time, or a play or even a movie. And lo behold, I got a smirk, and an animated discussion about how this is my midlife crisis.  But as I mentioned somewhere on this blog
But write I should
And write I shall
 For I got to hear
 What I think !!! “
What got me thinking was how if something does not fit in the norms, it is considered to be a crisis. I am surely not the first and definitely not the last who will be scorned for his or her midlife crisis.  The question that begs to be answered is that that is it a Midlife Crisis or actually a Midcourse correction – something needed to ensure that all is not lost in running aimlessly !!!
And signing off with few of my favorite lines (which someone will say are mid life “crisis” of Sant Kabir”
Bada bhaya to kya bhaya
Jaise Ped Khajoor?
Panthi ko chaya nahi
Phal laage ati door……

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