The Line 2
The Line 26 mins 20.3K 6 mins 20.3K
Line 1– I was at peace few years ago
Line 3– I will be at peace after few years
Read the first line carefully. We certainly can relate it with our lives as we all look back at our childhood or early adulthood days. Can’t we!! And somewhere we can accept it as well.
Now read the third line cautiously. Well we can read it, with a doubt in our mind as we are unable to relate it with our lives yet. What about Acceptance!! Nah, how can we accept it without any proof?
Proof, it is a word that our mind seeks before accepting anyone and anything on this planet. Especially in a country where the citizens are expected to link their identity proof with everything and everyone in order to survive. This continuous saga has made our lives miserable beyond our control. The word ‘proof’ means an evidence establishing a fact of a statement. We have changed this definition as, the evidence to establish our happiness that we seek from the outside world. Think about it!! What is it that we expect from our partner? What is it that we feel when we ‘want’ a particular thing more than our need? What is the one thing that causes that tingling effect in our belly when we receive an expected compliment? Ironically, it’s an answer that we often seek outside us only to know after a spending half of our lives that it lies deep inside us.
In my conversation with a 5 year old I realised that happiness lies within digital games. My next conversation with a teenager taught me that happiness is all about your looks and relationships. A young man in his 20’s claimed happiness in finding a perfect job while the woman in her 30’s proclaimed that happiness was her partner who would trade anything for her. A businessman in his 40’s measured his happiness with his bank account. An elderly couple in their 50’s sought their happiness in their children’s peace. I couldn’t find the answer I was searching for, across all these generations.
Finally, I took a road trip to meet a young friend of mine who is in her 80’s. Inside the heart of a hill station surrounded with Oranges and Coffee plantations, there is a place where you can feel the thickness of fog in hands and in return you can feel the icy touch of nature on your face during the December mornings. The smell of burning timber and smoke takes us to a world unknown to cigars and pipes. Unlike the modern Cappuccino’s and Latte’s, here you will find the aroma of piping hot Black Coffee in every kitchen. I was going to meet a person who toiled her entire life for her loved ones. I stood before her house and called her out loud.
“Welcome to Coorg”, there comes the most beautiful wobbly voice I have heard. I gazed at the young lady before me. At her age she should have one foot in the grave. Her body trembles everyday with arthritic joints and eyesight failing faster than my school grades. It’s her articulate speech that gets you, an echo of youth in someone so old. Sometimes I want to pull away the mask of age to see the person inside, the girl she was all those years ago. Then I remember I don’t have to, if I listen to her words and pay attention to her smile, to her eyes, she’s still in there as much as she ever was. Sitting on a rocking chair, draped in woolen shawl, sipping hot coffee and as the setting sun rays from the west caressed her grey hairs gently, she asked “So what made a you climb the hills this time?”. I sat before her sipping the coffee and asked “What is it, that you miss in life?”. She smiled back flaunting artificial dentures. Her soft voice gave me the title The Line 2.
Right from the beginning we are taught by our society, surroundings and circumstances to seek proof in our lives. Now this plays an important role when we seek our life partners, first secret proof our mind unknowingly hunts for is the loyalty. Checking their social circle like a sniper gun, waiting to find ‘something from the past’ and then to fire our brains with unguarded thoughts like an automated machine gun. Now post marriage, our mind somewhat accepts the person. Modern society terms it as “Adjustment”, “Compromise” or even “Happens in every relation”. Yet somewhere the bells keep ringing behind our back silently. Every ‘busy’ tone on a phone skips a heartbeat and makes us subconsciously alert. Each day, both husband and wife keep on proving themselves to each other knowingly or unknowingly. Worst is, when things turn sour, first thing the law asks for is again THE PROOF of their marriage to proceed ahead with their separation.
The other day I saw a young man proudly flashing his T shirt quote to the world that said “Expectations Hurts”. I read it over and over again. First thought that struck my mind was, you are designed to expect things from your own inner self, how can you hurt yourself with it!!! Now think about it, if we were to expect the best from us, won’t we give our 200% at it. Instead we hope others to function our way and after we reach the threshold of expectations, such T shirts fascinate us as if we discovered something new. We have become so mechanical that we always need an outside catalyst to cheer us up or make us happy. Often we forget that the key to happiness lies within ourselves.
Now if you observe the lines mentioned in the start carefully, those are just two sentences penned down in the past and the future tense respectively. As we all are prisoners of our past and anxious about the future, we could relate that easily with our day to day life. As a matter of fact, we all forget to live in the present. We are habituated to use the past and future tenses to describe ourselves, but we rarely remember that we also have this most powerful tense called THE PRESENT.
Like a clown juggling the balls in the circus, we juggle our daily lives with the terms Expectancy and Acceptance. We usually expect a lot from the outside and never accept ourselves from the inside. We force ourselves to correct others errors but ignore to look at own flaws even once. When we realise this difference, is when we start to live in the present. A life where the only expectations we have is from ourselves and we learn to live a peaceful life as we could accept ourselves the way we are. Now this works like magic with continued practice, it solves almost all of our problems without even doing much about it. The right people attract us and stick with us during our ups and downs. We no longer fear the change and fear rejections. Our focus remains on our present being as we start seeing life through a different frame of mind that develops a rigid belief deep down our system that describes the Line 2 as ‘I am at peace’
As my 80 year old friend says “If you fail to see yourself with your own eyes in your youth, you will be ashamed even to look into your own eyes when you grow old”.