Saturday, April 4, 2015

My #LookUp Story

Its been close to 2 years in Mumbai now and from cursing its crazy pace of life in my initial days here, I have, by and by, come to discover a "rhythm to the insanity", as one of my TISS  professors would say.

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Mumbai has an extremely fast pace of life. Extremely, crazily fast. The local trains that people jostle with life to get in (at times if you just stand at the right place, you will get pushed into or out of the train automatically), the overcrowded buses in which the rare event of getting a seat happens once in a week, the always-congested roads, are all but microcosms in themselves of the city. The very pace of walking, that looks akin to almost-running, adopted by most people here sort of captures the essence of the city. Survival of the fittest is thus the mantra to live by.

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Other than the fact that the city is really safe and offers a great deal of freedom to its women, I guess the reason why I haven't experienced a single incident on the likes of some guy staring at me lecherously or singing cheap songs while walking behind me or the like, is also because no one really has the time to loiter on the streets and have nothing better to do than ogle at girls and make uncalled for comments. By the same coin, there is little time to stop and smell the roses here (no pun intended). Climbing up the ladders of success seems like the single most important goal of the people. Of course then in the quest for maximizing productivity and being successful quickly, one runs the risk of losing out on presence, if one is not careful to not let it happen.

But if one is a person that does recognize the pitfalls of a too-busy lifestyle, one can attempt and create one's own island of quite and presence too, in this maddening city as anywhere else! I like to believe that I'm one such person.

But in the said race for survival, do I not get tired? Do I not experience despair sometimes and have a violent inclination to leave it all and run away? I would be lying if I said I don't. I do; I absolutely do. In such moments, where do I look up? Who do I look up to in order to stay afloat? What fills me with inimitable optimism and positivity and inspires me to go on?

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It is faith- the faith that my loved ones have on me and my capabilities. It is precisely their unquestioning faith in my dedication that drives me to be dedicated to what I do, tirelessly. The confidence my loved ones have over me, the way my younger siblings look up to me as a role model, the way my mother appears to live her life vicariously through me, all are things that fill me up with gratitude and boundless energy at times of wanting to leave it all and flee. As they say "as elusive as it may seem, optimism can be found all around" and I find my optimism in the love and confidence of my loved ones. They make me #LookUp :)

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