Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Therein Falls the Shadow

A friend called up this afternoon to tell me that she has decided to set up a business of her own. She plans to have a boutique, which will showcase and merchandize clothes that will be designed and put together by her. Before you ask me if she’s a fashion designer, let me tell you, she’s not. But she has a dream and she has been nurturing it for some time now. Here’s wishing her the best.

On hindsight, I have not been able to cover up some guffaws that escaped involuntarily when I was talking to her. She took it that I am being sarcastic, but I was not. It was plain cynicism, if I am being honest to myself on this: cynicism at the way dreams have dashed around me since childhood, left, right and center. There were many peers in our neighborhood and in my family who were tipped to be great ‘success stories’. My parents told me to take inspiration from them and put in more effort.

I was always so laid-back and was always a firm believer in the idea that I can always outdo myself, but not be someone else. I didn’t like competition. I quietly smiled at them and did my thing. Wonder where I got that wisdom from, maybe some wise ancestor! But as it were, these prospective ‘success stories’ vanished into oblivion by the time I reached college. And suddenly I had my entire extended family telling my parents what an intelligent fellow I am! I was so sadistically pleased.

I am happy with what I have done so far, except for that one nagging desire to be involved with a newspaper. Maybe I would realize that in the recent future. Ambition, if kept under achievable means, provides impetus. If not checked, it plucks out one emotion after another and leaves you dry. The important part is not to let the chasm between your means and destination be too wide, you might trip over and plunge into the abyss. 

It is very difficult for people who are gifted by ability and shunned by luck to find peace within. Talent and bad luck makes an ugly combination and is sure to go haywire. You’d hardly find an average person being haunted by failure or jubilated with success. But if you are someone special in terms of skill and expertise, it is doubly important that you keep things reined in. Try not to let the shadow be too long or too dark. There is no light at the end of that tunnel.

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