Tuesday, July 24, 2012

1001

This is the 1001th post on this blog, done over almost six years. Not that I have written it all, some are videos and snippets, and a few are guest contributions. However, it is still a large number: I am amazed myself that I managed to find time to write all of that, amid everything else that happened in my life during the period (which, to sum up, amounts to five deaths, four marriages, two divorces, three births in my close family, alongside four job changes for me!). However, as I mentioned earlier, this is precisely the reason I write - for me, writing is somewhat therapeutic - a few minutes of space to indulge and dream, much needed amid all the chaos and confusion of everyday life. This writing was what some of the French philosophers will call my strategies of living, my window of sanity and escape from the framework of compliance, my moments of being myself rather than a cog on bigger wheels.

But these 1000 posts lie in the past now: The sheer volume of the posts, and I am acutely aware of its variety of subjects, tell me that the time has come for a rethink. I indeed intend to keep writing, but I would want to focus and do something meaningful. I am actually hoping - just because I am human and troubled with so much change - that my life will possibly become a little more predictable in the next few years and start moving towards the direction I want it to move to.

Indeed, there is some legitimacy in asking whether I know where I want to go, but this is one area where the voice in this blog is remarkably consistent. I wish to live a creative and meaningful life, which I wish to achieve through the creation of a liberal minded, forward thinking, education institution, which will teach people to strive beyond mediocrity and make them try to change the world. This may sound too big, and by implication, quixotic: However, here is the catch - I don't necessarily want to own it, I want to create it and remain involved. This is an important difference, and one that is embedded in all work I have ever done: I have always seen what I do or seem to possess as an act of trusteeship. This is indeed because whatever we may think, we are temporary beings and any great work should outlast ourselves. Hence, I would rather work towards a mission, something meaningful and world-changing. This would mean connecting up with others who think the same way and build this together. I am currently searching for such partnerships.

This excitable goal, and my impatience with the current status quo, makes me feel terrible now. I have worked inside one of the private institutions, partly to know the trade but also to test my ideas and create a platform. I have had some wins, but culture is a hard thing to change, and lately, I am coming up against brick walls far too often. Besides, oftentimes it felt like I am trying to drag ahead a ton of bricks, the dead weight of the legacy: This is part of the platform that the investors love, and the 'platform' I wish to build on, but this is every bit alien to what I wish to build, and this may, I fear, prove to be a mistake. I need a platform to start building on, but I am increasingly concerned that I may have chosen a wrong one.

I took advantage of the last few days to go back to some people I trust, some I know for years but some others who I only met recently and not know so well, and tried to talk through my plans and how I am planning to take this forward. Everyone, well meaning and friendly, advised me about the value of the platform and that I should stick to it; except one person, who possibly knows me best, who advised that I should cut the ties and try to pursue my dream in pure form. He was right, though he agreed with the common opinion that I may not yet be ready, financially and otherwise, to take the plunge. So, the aggregation of my crowdsourced advice is that I should keep developing the idea, keep connecting with fellow dreamers (and keep writing the blog) and keep developing my knowledge and skills; but, in the short run, I should stick to what I am doing, take the current efforts to transform the college to a logical conclusion and if that does not work out, as it may not, go back to school for a few years of preparation through research and skills development.

I also take home the point that I may have been trying to overreach myself: I should rather take stock, and though I must keep going, I may have to restart again. I have always preferred serendipity over goal setting, but this may be a time when I can do with a few short term goals. Baby steps, as the expression goes, it is the time for baby steps rather than giant leap. I am indeed reading Tipping Point and trying to bring about one. From this point on, then, this blog may reflect that phase, less of dreams and more of baby steps, the search for focus rather than ambition and progress reports rather than manifestos.

2 comments:

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

congratulations, man. no mean achievement, and one that has been consistently classy. i wish you luck in your new determination. i have made similar ones several times and failed miserably. maybe for some people, things are different.

Supriyo Chaudhuri said...

Thanks Subho for always being so encouraging, which keeps me going (to the dismay of some, I suppose). This blog is a lifeline as I constantly try to change my life, and do something meaningful: This is a conversation with friends and co-travellers like you, which is ever so important to sustain myself and keep going.

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