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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Fire & Ice


Life's most difficult phases often coincide with its most irresistible temptations. When I was due to write my matriculation examination, I wanted to do anything but study. Though storming through the pages of one's syllabus, is the most required indulgence at that time, it would take tremendous amount of will power to break free from the throng of temptations, garbed in varying facades and manifestations, that often swirled about my study table, and focus on something that was the most obvious and expected. I later found out that my peers and friends underwent the same predicament. It was then that I'd realized that life's most trying times often come wrapped with the most distracting allurements. Allurements that dissuade us from overcoming those trials that life puts us on. One must therefore fight those enticements and seek to stick to the blessed path as the one advised by elders. Easier said than done. It was only when my mind found an adult peace, that all this made sense. Otherwise I fought and revolted against advise of sticking to that path away from the seemingly wrong one. I don't refute the charge that I was irresponsible and careless. My matriculation exam result spoke for itself. It was a chaotic ordeal that followed thereafter for a stint of three months till I secured a berth in a college of acceptable standards.


Did I learn anything ? Heck No !! I fared even worse in my 12th standard examination than I had done in ICSE. The remnants of faith that my folks had nurtured, after my matriculation debacle, concerning my academic abilities shattered completely. That's a different story. Though my mind was alert with alarm regarding past failures & mistakes, I effortlessly repeated those in my college board exams. During the preparatory days, there was this impending anxiety of revisiting those miserable by gone days post 10th exam, which kept me on my toes. But it was also accompanied by endless deputees of temptations that life inexplicably employed to dissuade, or let's say test, my adolescent mind. Why only temptations, there were ideas, desires, conflicts that were infinitely storming inside my head, which if I now look back upon, I almost blurt out laughing. Well, mostly. (Certain gales still blow peace out of my head). Add to that my zealous interest in lives of friends and peers. Their problem was mine. I was busy ripping off my finger nails during round table conferences, that seemed indispensable at that time. After those strenuous and exasperating days in college, I would spend my evening with a bunch of cigarettes, introspecting and at the end of the packet, deciding that I'd act more responsible, more focused from that moment onwards. And act I did, only to find within hours, my will according space to its original claimant, the interest in myriad avenues of life, except the college syllabus.

In the next phase, when the time came to choose wisely a stream of study that would earn me better prospect of securing a job, I was again visited by an alternate allure of pursuing something else as a career. Everyone wanted me at one place and I aspired to be at another. It was pandemonium. I didn't give in. Neither did they. So a middle path was chosen, something which I'd then told myself was the best choice, given the circumstances. What needs mention here is that how long hours were spent by me, indecisively pondering over the choice I was hard pressed to make. Flashes, bright & dim, from alternate futures filled my mind. I couldn't tolerate the grim ones yet found that those of the future I wanted were not without disheartening consequences. So the question always came down to the point where I had to choose between my wishes on one side over those of my loved ones on the other.


I've admired my friends who knew what to do in life from early days. As for me, I was one who was fidgeting with reconciling the hiatus between my aspirations and family expectations. I eventually settled for the latter. I have faced cynicism from various quarters, all meaning well, for not being courageous to pursue my dreams. I could never explain to them how agonizing it is to see your loved ones pleading with you to take the surer road to success.. Obviously success being a relative term, it was what they identified as success. I did confront a long term provocation, a deep calling, a perpetual pull towards a different direction in life, but I gave it up when I realized that it was pointless to see my loved ones bear the brunt of my struggle which was inevitable in the path I'd chosen. Things weren't quite bright in my father's career. My family hadn't seen prosperity and God knows I wanted to give them that, in my own way. But that wasn't meant to be. So when time was ripe to pursue my heart's cravings, I met head on, the gravitation of the other side. A side which offered a quicker and a more conventional means to 'settlement' in life, only ofcourse if I persevered in an entirely different manner than the way I'd have liked to. Eventually I did work at it and by the grace of the Lord Almighty our prayers were answered. I write this not for inviting sympathy or claiming martyrdom. Instead to depict the inner conflict that I underwent at that stage of my life. It was a stage where I confronted the temptation of following my dream and the collateral anguish of sacrificing the hopes of my parents and alternatively the conscience to cave in to parental aspiration and see my dreams die. Both, my dreams & my folks, were dear to me. But I had to comfort myself by telling that my dream would eventually find another abode, but my parents, they couldn't have found another hope. I'm not saying anything against those persons who have traveled on the path that they chose. They have my respect and reverence for the courage they must have shown in sticking to that decision. By the way its now an adage that travelling on the road not taken will make all the difference. So I don't think that's the point of discussion anymore. But it is likely that they too must have dealt with the temptation of giving up on all of that and taking the other path.

The point therefore is that we deal with temptations all the time. Degrees vary, places & time vary. Conflicts rage. Fire and ice will forever keep rubbing themselves upon us & make life the remarkable journey that it is.





46 comments:

  1. Very thoughtful post-full of introspection & reminiscences....was it a writer you wanted to become?

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    1. Thanks for reading Indu. It wasn't exactly a writer, what I wanted to become, but something which strongly thrives on creative writing.

      Leave it.

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  2. I like the way you accepted the fact that your folks were shattered by your +2 results :) .. This article of your kinda portray the exact emotions and fickle-minded phase we all have been through our formative years :) Now when I look back...It sure feels nice and funny :)

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    1. Thanks Soham for reading my post. I'm glad that you could relate instances from your life with what I've portrayed about mine. Much delighted.

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  3. Hi Anupam

    Very nice and thought provoking post. Quite true, sometimes there is fire, ice, smoke, chill all together leaving us entirely confused. But one always has to make a decision and every decision has its own justification

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    1. Thanks Jayashree for your continued support & encouragement.

      I agree that with each choice comes a decision and there has got to be a cause for which we choose what we choose.

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  4. ...thoughtful..introspective..very nicely presented:)

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    1. Thanks Amit ji for your time and valuable words of appreciation

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  5. Ahh! Anupam! Very well-written. Do you not see the seeds of at least one short story in this post?

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    1. Thanks Suresh ji for reading "Fire & Ice". Its interesting that you saw the seeds, 'cuz the seeds, have since long grown to a story called "Death of a Dream". I've just not shared it via Indiblogger. When I do, I hope you & others connect to it.

      Much delighted by your words.

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  6. A very fine post... straight from the heart...!

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    1. Thanks Rujuta for your appreciation and understanding the true source of the post.

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  7. Two sentences caught my interest.
    1//But I had to comfort myself by telling that my dream would eventually find another abode, but my parents, they couldn't have found another hope.//
    2.//Fire and ice will forever keep rubbing themselves upon us & make life the remarkable journey that it is.//

    Life is remarkable, and I appreciate your compassion and understanding of near and dear ones. Who knows, you may still pursue what you really want?

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    1. Ahh...They are my favs too. I loved putting 'em down in words.

      Thanks for reminding me to still keep my hopes up.

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  8. I'm at a loss of words but would certainly call it a "brilliant" post. This dilemma is faced by most and the most sensitive ones find themselves dangling in such fix forever. yes it is all about making a choice and deciding your priorities, but in a way I also feel that even the family sometimes should stop from posing their expectations to their children and thinking of them as the route and means to fulfill the unrealized dreams. Because we all have one life to live of our own and also it is a never ending vicious circle. But then somewhere even I feel unsure about being so mean because parents know and advice the best for their kids and i think i'd be able to comment more soundly once i'm a parent myself.

    Anyways, loved your post. It took me back on my nostalgic journey of little sacrifices that I've made till now and yes it did touch my heart. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank You Himani for encouraging me by your generous appreciation. I'm glad that you could connect to the deeper sense portrayed by the post. I'm glad.

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  9. A very deep and brilliant post...Too much in ur mind eh?

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    1. Thanks mate. Ya ! you got that right !!!

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  10. Brilliant post. Loved the essence.. :)

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  11. Thankyou for giving that wonderful opportunity to discover your blog.
    Yes indeed- only a handful have a clear cut goal in their minds at school, I for one had too many:)
    Hindsight is definitely a good teacher!

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    1. Thanks for reading the post 'Specs Buffy'

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  12. Problem with talented people is that they are excellent in a particular field which has some risk factors. Many talents missed recognition because they were not blessed by X factor. Here comes the near and dear ones who insist to take up a safe middle path. But in that safe path they are the worst misfit and pass through a state of agony.

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    1. Very aptly said Mr. Biswas. Thanks for reading.

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  13. I like the way you have put forth your point :)

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  14. Can connect with the post. Wisely put. Some thing that should be kept in mind. :)
    Well written Anupam. :)

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    1. Thanks Mani. I'm glad you could connect with it.

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  15. hey very well written...liked it :)

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  16. Revelations...Sure "hindsight"is a good teacher..happy to have discovered such a wonderful blog!
    Only a handful get their priorities right that too in school- i for one had too many goals in front of me:(

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  17. Absolutely touching post and more so as I could relate myself to it. Fantastic use of words.

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    1. I'm so delighted that you could relate with the thoughts I've shared. Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

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  18. It reminded me partly of a post I wrote on drifters direction(that we are never drifting but going where we are meant to go). partly i find this reminding of the situation of someone! gud Job

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    1. Thanks Jerly for reading my post. That's a very interesting phrase "we are never drifting but going where we are meant to go". Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Wow! You definitely connected to our hearts in this one! Well written!
    But what was your dream? Is it still too late to pursue it even from this point? I guess many times we opt to go out of our dreams to meet the needs of the hour!

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    1. Thanks Danny for your generous appreciation. It gives a writer tremendous pleasure, which I'm sure you know, when his readers connect to his ideas and thoughts. Therefore I'm truly delighted by your response.

      I don't think its late to pursue my dreams. But I'm deliberately not pursuing them, for justifiable reasons. I think you can guess the reasons. I must also say that God has been kind to put me where I am now. So I'm not complaining. Just the nagging urge that I keep subduing, perpetually.

      Thanks again mate for reading.

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  20. I think I was destined to read this post today as I am going through the same struggle of my dreams vs. my loved ones. I still have not found where I should go. My dreams are ones which I have planned since years and I can't even see my family sad. I don't know what to do. This post helped me..a lot infact. May be I did not get the solution but I at least now know what I am going through is not abnormal. Nicely written and explained. Thank you so much.

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    1. Hi Akankshya,

      Well, as I've mentioned & as you can make out from the comments of other readers, we all go through such phases in our lives. Its perfectly normal. I did not write about any solution to this difficulty because I guess the solution varies with situation and people. You know what's best for you. No one can be the judge of that. For me letting my dreams go was excruciatingly agonizing, yet when I sat to compare, I shuddered at the pain the other choice was likely to inflict on a lot of people who looked up to me, including my parents. So I chose to walk opposite to my aspiration. But that's me. It isn't necessary that you ought to handle it in the same way. For example you may choose to abandon you goals for the sake of your parents & family, but if you cannot come to terms with it then, you'll be depressed and sad and that'll in turn sadden a lot of people. So I guess, you will have to ascertain what's less painful, letting go of your dreams or closing your eyes to your parents' wishes.

      It isn't an easy choice. It isn't supposed to be. How else do you you think life makes us strong as we grow.

      Regards & Wishes,

      Anupam

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  21. Ah! It made me nostalgic, and reminded of the terrible mess I was in after 10th and again after 12th. After reading this post I can appreciate my family's support all the more now. I shattered their aspirations, cried my heart out day in and day out, fought with everybody who wasn't on my side and eventually got my way but I can proudly say today that these 2 years have not, for a single moment, given me any opportunity to regret my choice. Instead grabbing every single opportunity, I have been extremely ambitious to make my parents proud. Life is long and whether I made the right choice or not, that will be known in the years to come but the kind of struggle I had to undergo to walk on the path of my choice will, I'm sure, never let me be negligent, never let the fire in my belly extinguish.
    In a way, such tempations r necessary for when we look back at the rough seas we had to negotiate, we have something to be proud of in having successfully navigated. I would choose the same struggles if given a chance to live my life all over again.

    Your story is very different from mine but I can appreciate the path you chose. However, I would rather you pursue your dream, at some later stage of life, when your compelling reasons are done away with. You know, it is never too late to embark on a journey if the path is more or at least as enticing as the destination.

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  22. Am sure this is something that most of us can relate with - battling out what you do against what you must do. Also, I am a little curious about what you wanted to do in reality - was it being a writer for a magazine? If so, I believe you have already achieved it :)
    Great post.

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    1. Thanks for reading. No it wasn't exactly a writer (for magazine or otherwise) that I wanted to become. Writing just happened.

      Thanks again for your appreciation.

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