Tuesday, June 3, 2014

everything at once !


Have you ever come across these statements that just seem to make perfect sense? A rhetorical question perhaps or just an offhand statement that jolts you out of your self-absorbed cocooned existence? Well, the choicest pick for me in this regard would be "one thing at a time" .

This is probably the first lesson that my kindergarten teacher taught me when she taught me to put multi-colored loops of decreasing radii around a stand , that I do it one at a time and break-down that mammoth task into a game that was almost fun to play!

This was also what my mother taught me when I tried to stuff it a handful of home-made banana chips at one go and nearly choked- pick one at a time, that way you can relish it and guess what , eat more too !

Throughout childhood, this became a mantra- focus on one thing at a time and the world seemed a perfect place and life a beautiful journey, until...well until we grew up right?

I wonder if it is possible to live life like the game of loops. No one taught us which loop to put in first when we have two or more of the same size. I guess we just chose the one whose color we liked better or maybe we did an "inky-pinky-ponky" on them and picked the one that ended with "ky". Either way it didn't matter as long as we followed the basic principle- biggest at the bottom and smallest at the top.
Sounds simple isn't it?

 But what if the loops kept changing sizes and you still had to order them with the biggest at the bottom? Familial ties, social interactions, professional network, hobbies, passions, can we really order these loops? Is it even possible to isolate our needs for each of these and objectively order them by size?

The need to fit in probably is the one biggest need that is commonly felt by all of us. This is very often a consequence of the need to please someone- a boss, a spouse, a parent, a friend and we find ourselves juggling multiple acts, whizzing past lanes without so much as caring for a glance at the rainbow that just cast itself on the rainwashed sky and walking brusquely past people without acknowledging their presence. In fact this compulsive need that we feel to please is what led us to play the game of loops in the first place. Would it really matter if you missed a few loops or arranged them in a different order? And yet we meticulously pick each loop and  run a bubble-sort on them in each iteration. We did it to please the teacher in kindergarten and we continue doing it in and gloat in the triumph of successfully ordering and reordering our lives so that the loops fit in !

I remember reading in my 8th grade about Entropy. The universe it said, tends to lean towards a state of entropy. I remember dismissing it as just another theory. Until I heard a poem at a farewell speech. Chaos the speaker said is everywhere- it is in the mixed emotion that we feel when we bid a dear one farewell, in the tearful smile of a bride, holding a newborn for the fist time... well at every milestone that we come across. Milestones- aren't these what we set? Why, relishing a hot cuppa in the morning, going for a jog in the park, talking to a friend who moved miles away, staying in touch with an old aunt, preparing a simple porridge, all of these could be milestones !

In fact at this very moment when I am penning done these chaotic thoughts, and reading through paragraphs that are seemingly in disarray, I am listening to music, skimming through account transactions, chatting and of course planning a list of activities i intend to undertake this week, reassuring a worried mom that i did indeed have dinner and ..  oops i almost forgot, milk on stove has nearly come to a boil.. gotta rush...

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