Wednesday, June 19, 2013

On choosing a partner...

I was talking to a friend a few days back. She is someone whose philosophy toward life I hold in high regard, someone whose clarity of thought is impressive, who walks with such a degree of self assurance that you tend to think, confidence ought to be her natural ally!

I was reminiscing about our college days when something that she had told me then came back vividly, the trigger being the fact that she has chosen her life partner now. Back then, she had told me that two people should never imagine a future together if they are not "complete" individually. To elaborate, if I seek something to feel "complete", I should not look for a partner who will possess that "something" and by consequence, make me feel "complete".

She is an admirer of thought provoking literature and it is little wonder that she was able to put forward such a profound thought in so simple terms. As I discussed that philosophy with her, I could not help but think of the couples and relationships I have come across till date.

Some people look for their opposites in their partners thinking that opposites attract and the union would sustain by virtue of the novelty each partner would see in the other. Some others enter into relationship because of some attribute in their partner that they find very appealing. Because people change over time, this attribute that drew them in the first place might lose its appeal and a weariness begins to set in. In this case, the relationship starts off with a one sided attraction that turns into an obsession and evolves to a state where one becomes very much dependent on the other.

Some people keep it simple and have physical attractiveness as a criteria conveniently ignoring the fact that while the body can age fast, it is the mind that can remain sharp over a longer period! Some others simplify by looking for things that they themselves have in lesser measure, money, status, gregariousness etc. This is not different from looking for opposites. A few others prefer looking for similarities in taste and interests.

The common thread that runs across all these people is that they "look" for something in their partner. They might either lack what they look for or they might think that by looking for something definite and specific, they can make their own situation better. This is like a person trying to switch a job in search of a better pay and a better profile to augment his skills and lifestyle! The funniest part is when people think they are in "love" when they are doing this!

Aren't we better off not seeking anything in a partner, in other words, feeling a deep sense of contentment in ourselves before looking for a partner? If only, as my friend said, we feel "complete" and we realize that true happiness can only ensue by individual striving and inner peace, we would choose wisely: We would choose someone who is able to tolerate us, who accepts us as we are without wanting to change us, who is confident enough not to indulge in petty possessiveness, who is generous enough to accommodate our tastes and interests and give us the space we need to be ourselves...!

Will forever remain indebted to this wonderful friend who is a source of inspiration in many aspects...! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sometimes, A stroll is all one needs to feel lighter...

Man is a funny animal. Whatever he does, he has the ability to come up with a justification. I have seen this happen with myself so many times that I have come to terms with it. Excuse, justification, defensive behavior, lack of will, call it whatever you will, as we get older, we begin to accumulate this and over time, it weighs us down.

Life is like a journey and the lighter we travel, the better we can move around and take in different sights. A traveler who makes the mistake of packing too much along his journey will eventually grow tired of traveling. He would want to stay put at a place so that he can arrange all around him, the accoutrements that he has gotten used to. Our excuses for our mistakes are in a sense like the unnecessary baggage a traveler carries. The more we pile them up, the more crippled we become.

I was pondering this when I realized that I had been rushing like a mad man even though I was only returning from work. The long steps I was taking were tiring my legs and the peak hour noise was taking a toll on my nerves. When I slowed down, it felt as if I had suddenly entered the world of slow-motion cinema! I consciously slowed my pace and to my amusement, it was difficult to slow down...

The effect of my slowing down was quite dramatic. Suddenly, I could feel the cool breeze. I reached home, changed, went to the terrace to get the clothes I had put out to dry after washing. The crescent moon in the far distance appeared out of place after all the commotion, jostling, noise and the unceasing throng of people on the streets. In no mood to return to the apartment soon, I took in the breeze and continued to gaze at the moon.

Visions of all the treks and cycling I have enjoyed in the nature came in spurts and within a few moments, I felt lighter. A wave of happiness surged through my veins and I resolved not to forget this experience. An incoherent stream of thoughts, one inexplicably leading to the next had sparked this.

In life, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what adversities we get subjected to and subject ourselves to, no matter who lends us a hand and who does not, no matter what quirks of fate await us, it is important to live lighter. To experience what I mean, get out of the cities, get out of the confining walls of your living spaces, get out of your routine, however meaningful your work is, get out of all that is chaining you to noise. Escape to the vast expanse of nature, escape to the mountains, forests and seashores. Subject your senses to the purest of pleasures that only nature can offer. The soul will automatically disentangle itself from all the baggage that is holding it down and soar...!