Saturday, April 14, 2012
I have an orange goldfish. Last night, I was shocked to see her lying at the bottom of the little two gallon tank in my bedroom. I had feared the worst. Without losing a second, I quickly changed water and she moved again. In the recent past, I have been hearing the news of death among my own family and those of my friends. I was relieved to see that she was not going to leave me yet. The day before, I was excited to see her do a new cool trick. She came out through a hole in the ornamental mountain near right corner of the fish tank. Everyday, the first thing I do after waking up is feed her. Sometimes I feel the act of pulling my body out of bed is only half of waking up. This morning, I woke up and lingered for a while, on the steps leading to the main floor. I thought about looking inside and looking outside. How do I see myself ? I sometimes smile at the mirror and admire my reflection. All the hard work at the gym did pay off. I am happy that I ran my first half marathon and was able to enjoy it. I like the feeling when early in the morning I hug the pillow and think about all the love in my life. I like it when my family and friends appreciate my cooking. I feel proud when I handle new and challenging situations at home or work. I seem to be happy in my own world. When people talk about things I have no knowledge or interest in, I find it hard to fit in. When someone challenges my train of thought and discretion, I get defensive. I find myself scared of sudden changes. I easily jump to conclusions when I have just half the data that I need to conclude. When I see my neighbor's kid lost in his own world and reacting in surprising ways, I understand that I may be guilty of committing some of the same mistakes. I miss a lot of things that are available in front of me as clues to reality. But alas, I am not calm enough to observe all that. How does a person looking from outside perceive me? I am middle aged. I have spent about half of my average life span on earth. I am quite ordinary looking. I make myself reasonably presentable by visiting the beauty parlor once or twice a month. I have average body proportions. I am not very thin. I have three meals everyday and allow myself to snack quite a bit even after dinner. Nothing about me is out of the ordinary. I have gone through a lot of normal stuff that people think are milestones in a human life. I was born in a family with parents and an elder sibling. I have attended school for 16 years. I have graduated from college with a bachelor and masters in computer science and engineering. I have worked for more than a decade and have earned money and still continue to do so. I am staying with my legally wedded husband for about 13 years and have two beautiful kids. Today, sitting on the stairs, I thought of bringing in some paradigms of the outside world, inside. What I observe of others can also be applied to our own selves. We are most probably, not radically different from the people around us. When we allow our innermost wishes the freedom to come true in the real world, it is altogether a different ball game. We may be able to see this in the lives of other people around us with a certain level of similarity. I was almost shocked to think about this intrinsic transformation of one track simplicity to interdependent complexity. I realized that being in my world I was exploring only half of what is around me. A calmer, more adventurous and open minded me can experience a lot more. Guess it's time to wake up!