There will come a time in your life, well, maybe many a time, when you will find yourself stranded at the brink of existential crisis. News travels quicker than light in this digital age, and sometimes social media can make you feel like you are the weakest of the weak, the dumbest of the dumb, the laziest of the lazy and the most clueless among your overflowing number of Facebook friends or Instagram followers.
You consider yourself someone who is aware of what she is doing in life, just because you have stopped seeking Facebook validation for each of your actions. Then one sudden evening, you realise that the real reason you avoid being active about your personal life on social media is that you are ashamed of yourself. So ashamed that it kills you to share about your achievements because they seem so infinitesimally microscopic compared to what your friends are achieving.
You will list me as a selfish hypocrite who cannot be “happy” for her friends.
Maybe I am. I say I hate hypocrisy, yet every time I gather a paltry bit of optimism for myself, I come across shiny updates of another winning a prestigious scholarship. Another flying off to the West to live their dream. Or another landing a coveted job. Or another buying a car. Or another publishing a book. And the list never ends. Then, usually, a train of thoughts run my mind.
I insisted on taking up Microbiology as the companion of my graduation. I was as clueless about my choice as I am right now, post two years of completing my graduation. Microbiology and I shared a cold relationship, to be honest. I tried my best to “go for higher research”, only to realise that it will only make me sadder. So, after facing a three-year-long episode of subtle discrimination, because I was “just not good enough” with something I claimed to be my Major – I parted ways with Microbiology, throwing the admission letter from Forest Research Institute into a black hole.
Then, I was determined to secure a job that would make my batchmates go green with envy. And what job can peddle this promise to you other than Civil Services? I worked hard, day and night, but failed to gather up the confidence to appear for the exam when the hour arrived. Meanwhile, I failed to clear some Bank Officer interviews by the hair. (Sorry I have very little achievement in my purse, so if you are bored, please continue living your happy life. Relax, this will not turn out to be a suicide note)
I am so tired of speaking of my failures, and so accustomed to them, that when I really feel happy for a few minutes after jotting down a few words, I am afraid to be happy. A voice deep within reminds me, hey, should you really be happy? Oh, and btw, after a year and a half of intense preparations, I gave up on civil services too, even before appearing for the exam.
Ask me why? I am clueless about myself. As clueless as I was the day I took up Microbiology, the first time being trusted to take a decision on my own, and I totally screwed it up.
Have you ever appeared for therapy? Well, apparently they do a mandatory IQ test there. As per my therapist, I have an exceptional IQ. (As per Stephen Hawking, those who boast about their IQ are losers. So as much as the loser I am, I am still refraining from sharing the figure). I have disappointed my parents enough. I could have gone for higher research and excelled there (or not). I could have gone for a lucrative government job and evoked others’ envy, but I did not. Instead, I chose to trust the Facebook motivational quotes from dubious sources and I “went with the flow”.
I am still flowing, my father expresses concern that I will again change my direction now that I have managed to settle on something I claim to enjoy. The question is, “will I?” I ask myself, even though I assure him the opposite. And then cry alone in the corner under the heap of unfulfilled dreams of being “someone”. Let’s see. Those who have read it up to now, stay tuned for my next twist in the tale. If anything, my whimsical life will at least provide you with two cents of virtual entertainment. Why pay for stand-up comedy shows when I present you “IRL” jokes for free?
Until then, I will just focus on this moment, to do just the thing that makes me happy, at this moment. Coz no matter how much I hate being filmy, “Kya Pata Kal Ho Na Ho?”