Everything at once!

Lirik Lagu Lenka - Everything at Once

As I sit through long bus-rides in Bangalore’s crazy-making traffic, my mind often conjures up visions where I’m far more accomplished than I am in real life..I’m usually a famous pianist, playing an incredibly difficult piece with very becoming nonchalance, in a dreamy evening dress.
Sometimes, to break the monotony of being a imaginary pianist, I try being an imaginary author sitting at a book-launch, kurta and jeans, very successful and very humble. Then again, sometimes in my head, I’ve saved a lot of people from starvation, in a crisp cotton sari ( The attire is usually as vivid in my imagination as the deed). I’ve also occasionally had more modest callings, such as a teacher of English or a Japanese translator, and some very improbable ones such as being a baking/yoga instructor.
Like Lenka says in her anthem..” All I want to be is everything at once!”

Years ago, a career counselor set me a task – to make a list of potential professions I might want to pursue. I took a big white chart and filled every inch of it. I was taken aback myself, and I fancy the counselor would’ve been flabbergasted and sent me away ( which I pre-empted by not going back at all). A decade down the line, my list is definitely way smaller, but there are still too many entries. I’ve never been one of those who knew from an early age ( or a later age ) what they wanted to do. My ambition is of the nature of an out-of-control garden hose, with force, but without direction.

When I was younger, it did not occur to me that a tepid-to-warm interest in too many areas could lead to inaction. I fancied growing up to be a charming polymath. But a tendency to occupy anything but the present moment spoiled my plans. I found myself singing and thinking of work, working while framing a poem in my head, writing and wondering if I should be exercising. Buddha and other famous Zen people would shake their heads in sorrowful but accepting resignation.

There are times when I think that I should pick one amongst the array of options, and Focus. Focus, my nemesis. And I’ve hardly begun to act upon the thought when my mind starts to present tantalizing images of everything else I’m not focusing on. Maybe my psyche could’ve managed in an earlier, simpler age. Perhaps it would have reveled in the modest number of life and career choices available. For I am nothing else, if not a poster girl
for being spoilt for choice.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Pranjal on August 27, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Whoa!. Nice writeup. In fact really nice.The saving people from starvation was a theme I also had . My solution to the world’s food problem was to become a Linux Kernel engineer. Provide a free OS and empower everyone. Somewhere down the line I wanted to save the world . (From what – aliens mostly ….after watching Independence Day. ) In fact I used to work in programming mission critical systems – systems which fascilitate 911 emergency calls , control spacecrafts , monitor weather etc etc – so saving the world did not seem too far fetched. Reading too much of espionage thrillers made me wish to be a sniper and an explosives diffuser rolled into one. At one point I used to be a battle tank driver in the morning , graduating to a helicopter pilot in the afternoon and being dropped behind enemy lines as part of an elite paratroop regiment in the evenings. The night would end in a nuclear submarine. Frederick Forsyth is what I read a lot in Bangalore traffic – when I used to travel from Rajajinagar to Bagmane Tech Park – and FF points out what all can be done with life…


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