Thursday, July 21, 2016

Poles Apart

I am not someone you would describe as an intellectual. I mean, I have read a few books, but they don’t seem to have made me any wiser. I have never seen snow. Neither have I ever lived near the sea. I have never been to a party or a get-together or a meet-up. Neither have I had people come over. I guess you have to have a home for that. I have never had a crush on anyone (I went straight for the home run) or had a strange girl (or a boy) tell me they liked the way I looked. I have not seen the Taj Mahal. I don’t think I have been to Agra either. Or Barcelona. Or Amsterdam. Or Luxembourg. Or Rome. Or Venice or Oslo. Or Stockholm or Singapore. Or London or New York. Or, most unforgivably, Prague. I have witnessed a lot of graduation ceremonies in the last few years, without graduating myself. I have seen a handful of plays, but have never been to a musical, or an opera, or a ballet. I have never had to pay taxes because I have never made enough money. I have been seen, but not noticed. I have been heard, but not paid attention to. I have been loved, but been unable to love back in equal measure. I have been told that I am bright, but never that I am responsible. I have been commended on my intelligence, but never on my goodness. I have never been appreciated for my worth ethic because I seem to have none. I have never felt proud, not in the last decade at least. I have eked through, but not really lived. I have been okay, but not really happy.

But I have had conversations with myself, both neurotic and ordinary. I have been intimate with my weaknesses and doubted my strengths. I have languished in the confines of my loneliness and enjoyed the company of my solitude. I have tried drowning my sorrows and puffing away my worries, only to realise that the compulsion to face reality is more powerful than the desire to escape from it. I have obsessed endlessly over the cleanliness of my hands and the importance of right angles. I have asked myself weird questions because I could not go to sleep. I have known the bitter taste of that special kind of insecurity that is inspired by fears. I have dreamt of a better world without doing anything about it. I have immersed myself in the shallow sea of self-doubt and apprehensions, and come out of it alive. I have battled with myself (and others), only to come face-to-face with the insignificance of our pretty squabbles. I have shaken myself out of fatalistic stupors after resigning myself to failure and dejection. I have swum across the strait of self-deprecation and self-pity, even if only to be washed back across by the next high tide. I have been there and back, and back again.

And I have managed to keep walking. Even if just. Does that count?

So yes, you could say I have lived a life. Now, do I get the job? They told me to be honest.


  1. An eloquent documentation of the state of mind. Liked it!

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