Sunday, October 24, 2010

Renewing Myself, Yet Again

I have given up on being a businessman, finally. It is not for me. It never was, indeed, but I did not know till I tried. It was one of those things - I am far too idealistic, that is unreal - for business. The only positive thing I had that counted was my never-say-die optimism, but that is more a liability in certain circumstances. The biggest problem was perhaps my essential idea that men are honest and want to do better things, a rather naive assumption that somehow stuck with me. So, I was far too careless, indiscreet almost, in all the businesses I got involved in. Besides, I was taken for what I was - naive - and ended up losing money and friends in the process.

Time now for taking the world for what it is like. I am now reducing my commitments into things that matter. I have become aware of my mortality, in a way. I realize I don't have endless time in hand. I am still optimistic, I still want to do things that I like, and I am still looking forward to life. But, I realized, despite hero-worshipping my grandfather, I am not going to be a businessman like him. I am much better off starting my life new, with a set of new goals.

Which I have, lately. I am in the middle of a full-fledged career shift into education. I have forced myself into an education company, directing strategy but also teaching, a part I quite enjoy. Besides, my reading list is all about education these days, as is my current chief preoccupation - completing my post-graduate studies in education at the UCL. It is quite hard, the struggle I have to do to keep all the balls in the air while coping with the remnants of my past life, but I am always an optimist and keep telling myself that this is more like the initial months when I first came to England - a restart, only better.

Besides education, my other current preoccupation is writing. I have realized that this is one activity I love - writing this blog is almost therapeutic to me - though it will need some training and commitment to make my writing more professional. So far, I always thought of it as a hobby, but lately I have started thinking about it seriously and know that this is one skill I would like to develop as I build a career in education. So, currently, I am trying to practice writing - copies for adverts, short fiction, news reports, websites - and develop this into a sort of parallel profession that I can pursue more seriously in a few months' time.

I have never had a career of any sort, only brief moments of success. In my life, I have done many things - some very well and some not so well - in a rather erratic sequence which resemble a child's play rather than a professional journey. At the hindsight, it may look planned, but it was chaos in reality, something that I forced upon myself and immensely enjoyed at times. This journey was marked only by some prominent twists and turns, which I call bonfire moments, moments when I decided to do something new, renounce everything that I stood for till then and forced myself to learn a new thing and start fresh. Despite my sense of mortality, and the urge to make my life more meaningful, I am at it again - I am sort of obsessed about newness and rediscovery of myself.

So be it, then. I am Hindu after all: in a way, all I do is a preparation for an afterlife. Just that I have chosen to live my life in a sequence of lives, not leaving it to God to decide what happens next, but playing a bit with myself and exploring the possibilities of a rebirth in a shorter span of time. The deadness of one existence really never weighed on me much, nor did the challenges of being a toddler yet again appear too daunting. I always found my way: That represented the soul of my enterprise.

3 comments:

Sherri said...

I loved reading this! I feel like you are a kindred spirit for I have been (always?) on that same twisting, turning, ever-changing journey.

I do get flak about it from my family, many of whom no longer even speak to me. Not to mention that this last time that I abandoned my 'career' (not really, but my well paid government job) to pursue art, I have even decided to lie about it to one family member in particular. He is old, and he hated every single day of the 40 years he dedicated to the company he retired from. As a result, he thinks everyone should do the same.

I cannot.

I am more of a free spirit and far, far less afraid of having a tight money situation than I am of having a tight TIME situation. What if I lived only one year after that retirement date? I will have wasted my whole life doing something I hate for a massively corrupt organization. That's not me.

The older I get the more I am coming to understand Ghandi's statement: Be the change you want to see in the world. I had never understood it before, I thought it meant 'be kind' or 'be generous.' And it does mean that, but it also means BE who you ARE - freely and honestly. If we all did that, that would equal world revolution for the better.

Congratulations to you on your decision. I am reminded of another great quote now:
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. What the world needs is more people who have come alive."

:D
Sherri

Supriyo Chaudhuri said...

Sherri

Thanks for dropping by.

In fact, what you write is beautiful and inspiring: Indeed, coming alive is every bit worth a goal.

For most of my life, at work, I have treated life as a time to be spent. The metaphor I used (a common one) is a journey, more like a rail journey because of its slowness and longness, which comes packaged with its boredom. It was primarily a time to be spent, in a cycle of mortgages and office politics, and the ultimate goal was to be happy - a nebulous thing which primarily meant that I go on without rocking any boats.

Only lately I have started realizing that life is an opportunity. You can see I am enjoying it.

Supriyo

Sherri said...

Yes - life in an opportunity!
(and I'm so sorry that I typed Gandhi incorrectly in my original comment... I guess life is also the opportunity to make mistakes.)
Peace & Joy,
Sherri

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