Serenely, and with too high a spirit

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely, and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Literary wisdom, especially on nights with sleep hiding and me seeking, is my favourite bag of fully loaded goodness—which, in this case, was Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Choreographing life

Many a hoarder (of blunders and absurdities) like myself, I come across on a regular basis—saving often for a rainy day, holding out for the right time, and calculating endlessly what could have been done better.

It is easy to classify this characteristic as having stemmed from my (east) Indian upbringing, and the emphasis on ‘ensuring a prosperous future for the children;’ after all, my grandparents hoarded many a dream for my parents, as have my parents for us, and as—at one point—had I for any children in the future. But that is not true.

Irrespective of ethnic background and cultural values, far too many of us have subconsciously made choreographing life—so that not only does it resemble closely our respective social standards, but (as explained rather succinctly in ‘The Reality Behind Instagram Feeds’ by Drew Hoolhorst) also that it is, essentially, flawless—the purpose of our existence.

Professional success is determined not by dedication to craft or skill, but by quick advancement and income brackets; love gets a new commercial definition everyday; and family relations have become a whirlwind of meaningless protocol.

As for friendship, it is more (than ever before) media than it is social, more pretend than it is candid—‘The Innovation of Loneliness’ bringing brilliantly to life cultural analyst Sherry Turkle’s TED talk on being alone, together.

Disarming and rose-coloured

Seldom do we allow ourselves to reflect on the life that is not being lived—in a bottomless penchant for how it looks everywhere around us like it should be lived—instead of constantly repurposing the mistakes we shouldn’t have made, or anticipating the ones we may or may not make in the future.

Day in, and day out, we submit to everything but the present.

This preoccupation is in no way a novel idea, but the contemporary derivative of an age-old principle known as conformity. A social construct equal parts disarming and rose-coloured, this fashioning of ourselves after everyone else is not only inorganic, but (more dangerously) something we have become entirely oblivious to.

Can you really not see?

There is only so long that all this fabrication will hold us up, before we break down, and in bits and pieces, fall down to the ground, (like all those characters you never pay any attention to in films, who wake up suddenly to the life that is still left inside of them, and realize that they have done absolutely nothing worth anything) wondering at which exact moment our existence, our intellect, our work, our art, our relationships, our prayer all stopped being of any real value.

Jenna Fischer, in The Giant Mechanical Man
Besides how relatively amazing and amazingly relatable Jenna Fischer is in all the characters she chooses to play, The Giant Mechanical Man is significant also for locking down on one question in particular—‘why do I have to know?! Is the fate of the universe…

…dependent existentially on each one of us having it all figured out?

Everyone is not created the same; human beings vary infinitely in their capacity for survival, intellect, creativity, emotion, kinship, religion and all else that can be characterized—most importantly, in how the understanding of each of these is actually achieved.


The professional success of my (School of Graphic Communications Management) peers in the years following graduation would put many an academic department to shame. Unfortunately, however, there wasn’t much the scholarships, internships, and innumerable recommendations could do to avert the turbulence rearing its ugly head in my personal life, around the same time.

MacLaren McCann, Halloween 2013
Hence, I sit here in this beautiful early-twentieth-century house with a bathroom sink that clogs at will, but has also breathtaking windows, an incredibly attractive spruce out front, and roommates too precious for words, crunching up a feasible action plan for next month’s rent. I may have had a great run in the advertising world, but in comparison to the rest of them, the current status of my career could only be described as flaccid, at best.

Nevertheless, it wouldn’t take very much effort to still turn out as the standard (and in most of the cases that surround me, rather successful, and blissfully ignorant) product of self-respecting roots, raised in an educated, middle-class household with moderate values.

To not challenge, however, each aspect of my identity that I find ambiguous or capable of further growth would be a grave injustice not only to myself as an individual, but also to everything I represent, and most importantly, the gift (somewhat) of expression that I have been blessed with.

Friends, I have barely any left (again, thank you, cluelessness), but while the pictures and nights out are few and far in between, and the banter as politically incorrect as the kindness is unabashed, our faith in each other is steadfast and forever reassuring.

As for love, I have seen three of its faces: kind, cruel, and fleeting (in that order), and with the same conclusion each time—loss in love, if it is sincere, can never (ultimately, although it may initially) lead to hate. It may hurt for a while, or a very, very long time, but your heart, if it is truly exempt of deceit, will never harden.

The nature of any relationship is irrelevant when it comes to reciprocity; you cannot enforce your heart on the other—regardless of how overwhelming your need is to give, they, too, must be yielding, in order to receive. 

The bottom line is that going forward, I have no set goal in life—definitely ideas that I wish to explore, skills that I am good at, ideology and experience that I can speak to, but with respect to what it all means, or how everything will eventually come together in the long term, I have no clue whatsoever.

And sometimes, being this acutely aware of your own cluelessness can be terrifying, maddening, and numbing, all at the same time, but the world still will not end just because you feel that way.

Plan certainly, but worry not

Miss Geist, in Clueless
I used to be under the (false) impression that at least one path definitely led you to—if not contentment, then at least—happiness, but fact of the matter is that you could be just as lost and scared had you chosen any of the ones that lay ahead, when you were heading in the direction of where you are now.

Life is not math: one correct answer is no definite indication of the other one having been wrong, and our response to any circumstance is a result only of the sum of what we have learned, and how much we have allowed ourselves to grow, up until that specific point in time.


Give planning a fair chance, but refuse to accumulate worry. Do the things you love, believe in, stand for, perspire over, and all those who are meant to be will surround you. Have the best, most productive, most inspiring, most uplifting day, everyday—cramming into it as much life as is physically, emotionally, and spiritually possible.

And if some days that equals to the apple-scented abyss of your twin-size duvet (much to the chagrin of your king-size bed) for an entire day, weekend, or blue moon, then, please, at least try… to finish each day and be done with it—

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