Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Formless or a Shapeless Life

Sometimes life stares at you as if questioning you where you are from or where you are headed, and as you fend for answers you may see a pattern and feel lucky that you were at the right place at the right time when things happened. I'm not a great planner or go-getter by any stretch of imagination. I just see a few dreams and some of them do come true.

The reason for the introspection now was an email forward from a friend about a girl (half my age) having cerebral palsy (a condition similar to mine) on top of that she is diagnosed with depression, wishing to know if there was any hope for people like her. In the brief mail she'd lucidly described her life (making me green with envy of her writing talent), the thing that struck me was that I'd see myself at that age (though I wasn't formally declared depressed), I'd just started studying for degree as a private student, wished I'd a few friends who'd spend time with me, elders were more understanding etc. etc. I just wrote to her that our life stories were very similar. Then I started composing an elaborate response to that email in my head for the next couple of days. But, as I went through the events of my life during that period my confidence started sapping as I felt I'm not fit to advise or counsel anyone as I haven't led a perfect life or overcome my disability as such (I feel that you can't overcome a permanent disability, you just learn to live with it).

If I look back now, the period from my late teens to mid-twenties was time of my transformation, during this period that it was accepted by people around me that I won't be able to walk, run or be physically independent beyond this point, so every painful treatment to make me ok was stopped except for token physiotherapy sessions at school and home.

I'd joined Degree Course just to buy time, a regular job or writing weren't even in the distant horizon, in short I'd no idea what I'd do with my life. I had just started reading pulp and self help/motivational books. Palmistry, numerology and such things were of special interest (as someone I was very fond of was keen to know what the future holds). Cheiro and Linda Goodman were the buzzwords then. This interest won me lots of friends. But, I stopped indulging in it when I realised people were taking me very seriously and coming back saying that my predictions proved right or wrong, and seeking further guidance.

Writing is sort of a cultivated hobby for me (I've mentioned this earlier also) as I thought this was the easiest thing to do physically (foolishness or naivety whatever you call it) and saw people like Vikram Seth and Arundhati Roy making loads of money.

Still, if I have to explain how things work out for me, I'd remain dumb not knowing the answer, it maybe a miracle at the best or I am good at hiding thousands of tiny failures that I face on a daily basis and presenting life in a long shot just showing the bigger picture.

PS: this has again become a meandering post with no clear idea what was expected of it. I also feel like you wondering why I couldn't simply reply to the mail instead of wasting time writing this post. Maybe my writerly instinct was at work trying to grab a few more eyeballs.


Alexis said...

Nice and thoughtful post Paresh. You have summarized everything quite nicely :-)

Everyone would remain dumb, if they have to explain how things worked out for them. And life is filled with thousands of tiny and hundreds of not so tiny failure.

My policy is to enjoy whatever is given and available and make the best use of what you have without expecting much. Things have worked out reasonably good so far.

Take care and write more buddy. It is your meandering posts that I like most:-)

Anonymous said...


Beautifully expressed... Quite agree with Alexis on all counts.... Success every time??? Predicatbility??? .... I dont know if there is anything of that sort... we even learnt to move as a baby only after several failed attempts.

Sorry for quoting for an oft repeated phrase... failure is the stepping stone to success and .. YOU have achieved some of it already...for example...your style of writing - I see tremendous progress from the 1st set of writings ... in terms of language, ability to express etc... Keep going ... never know when fame will hit you!! and as I alwys say...I will be the 1st in line with my autograph book!! :)

All the best always buddy!!