Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Big Change






If your life ever becomes a mess and goes out of your control, one of the few options you are left with is to leave the environment. Leaving the familiar territory and taking a leap into the apparent darkness that lies ahead calls for something more than frustration.  It requires boldness.  Boldness to face new challenges when you are
already beaten down by old ones!

The year was 2001 and the place was Shillong.  I was 41 years old and working as a lecturer in a reputed college in the town.  There was a curious mixture of factors that
had thrown my personal life into utter chaos. Immaturity, inability to deal with the society, inadequate understanding of myself, some futile illusory quests... The list was pretty long, long enough to bog me down utterly.

When you are down and out, Newton’s law on momentum and acceleration attaches itself to you with unflinching fidelity and your downward cruise becomes irreversible.  The society is more than happy to add its bit by giving you an additional shove as you move down the slippery slope.  Every society loves its beaten denizens.  The beaten are a symbol of what the successful are happily not.  The joy of the successful multiplies in direct proportion to each one’s debilities or complexes on seeing the dereliction of the fallen people.

The slope of the derelict is usually rendered a one-way traffic by the gravitational pull of both the fall of the beaten and the fascination with which the fall is watched by the
society. 

I was fortunate enough to be visited by an epiphany.  “Miracles happen every day” was inscribed in very big letters on the wall outside the Loreto school.  As I rode by it one day a question arose in me: what miracle can I make happen to me?  The answer didn’t take long to come.  I wrote my resignation letter and met the Principal of the college.

Was it a bold decision?  Or was it made out of sheer frustration?  Was it both?
Perhaps, it was all these and more.  A month later my wife and I, both unemployed, found ourselves in Delhi.  I must admit that my brother-in-law had extended a warm invitation to us already along with an assurance: “Delhi can offer jobs to anyone who has the skills and the inclination to use them.”

One of the many lessons that Delhi has taught me is that it is cosmopolitan enough to welcome anyone, the darkness that hides in certain alleys and byways notwithstanding.  Delhi continued to teach me numerous valuable lessons of life none of which I would have learned in the previous place in all probability.  Delhi made a man of me by revealing the divine and the diabolic dimensions of humanity.  I watched the essence of humanity on the roads and kerbs of Delhi.  Live human bodies that huddled en masse under the flyovers or over the bridge across the Yamuna in the freezing winter nights were some of my teachers.  So were the elegantly dressed upwardly mobile bodies in the malls and multiplexes.  Delhi continues to teach me in more ways than I can enumerate.

Delhi was my miracle.  The big change.  The city that transformed me and still continues to tickle every neuron in my veins and cause occasional synaptic eruptions in my brain.  In my heart too.


PS. Inspired by the #StartANewLife theme of Housing [https://housing.com/].





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