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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Quoting...is such sweet sorrow Pt. 6

"The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change." - Richard Bach

Another one by Richard Bach. And this one is beautiful in its simplicity. It asks you some fundamental questions, such as that of identity, which was discussed in quite some depth on both Ro's and Avi's blogs (Avi's post titled "Roliing Stone", dated Tuesday, June 28, 2005). It's pretty interesting if you think about how the answers to these questions keep changing.

I mean, let's take the first question, for example. Where were you born? Does that ever change? I was born in Kerala...and as they say, "You can take the Malayalee out of Kerala. But you can't take the Kerala out of the Malayalee." An interesting idea nonetheless because it's a question of perspective. Thinking about it right now, I find that although the answer doesn't change...I mean, it's always Kerala for me...the way I perceive it does. At times I am Malayalee...he he he...mostly when I'm the only one in a group because that makes for an easy point of identification. But then again, at times I am alienated when in a group of Malayalees because I can neither read or write the language, and the way I speak it requires me to repeat each sentence upto 5 times on average. But where were you born Rohin? What was the world like at the moment you came into it? Who was there with you?

Where is [my] home? Some say home is where the heart is. Others have a particular place they like to call home. In fact, the search for this 'home' has led me to a couple of places in this world. I find that the tangible home has so far been elusive...and so I go where the heart takes me. Learning to adapt to a new home every now and then has helped me realize that there are things in the this world that you cannot take for granted, and the home is one of them. A home is different from a house. A house is a shell, but a home is the spirit that fills the shell. Many family houses in Kerala are being sold, to be later bought by someone and then torn down to make way for a more modern edifice. The family is long gone, and several generations later, there is no 'connection' to the house that previous generations grew up in...a severed umbilical cord if you will. Another reason this happens is because of the large families that people had back then...7 - 10 children in many cases, which after a couple of generations means more than 50 great grandkids. Also, as people move away from home and visit every year or once in five years, the ties are weakened. This is something that I've experienced, and continue to do so...(not with 50 great grandkids though...not yet anyway). But identifying a place as 'your home' means a lot more than the phrase implies. It means that's the place that you wish to stay, eat, sleep, breath, and defend if anyone came to try and take it away from you. A place in which you're willing to make a stand, if you will. Haven't found it yet, but the searching is fun, so to speak.

Where [am I] going? Nowhere and everywhere...all at the same time. There was a point in my life when I considered putting an end to the 'going' aspect of my life...albeit in a drastic way. But now, at this juncture of my life, I find myself back there; however, in a very different frame of mind. I'm ok with not going anywhere, not physically anyway. I've realized that you can never force your mind to not wander, regardless of what experiences you have in your life...at least that's been the case with me. So, sometimes I follow this wandering mind around...and at other times I have it on a leash. But, in terms of 'going', I'm right where I am and happy to be here. I've read the whole 'carpe diem' thing ad nauseum. In fact, I've spent a good part of my life trying to think of ways to be able to live like that. Then, it dawned on me. "Thinking" was the cardinal sin in this attempt to live life from one day to the next. And with this realization, I find that there are things happening, changes, etc. And so, it goes on. Where to? I don't care to know.

What [am I] doing? Nothing. That's the first thing that comes to mind. And I've wondered about why this sort of response. I mean, is there really nothing going on with my life at the moment? Or is it that I consider most of these things not significant enough to talk about? Before, well, I guess I used to tell people about all things relevant and irrelevant...oh the naivete of youth, when you want to be everything from a janitor to an astronaut. But again, I'm ok with doing nothing. I mean, there are people around me, family in particular, who get a little freaked by this idea...the fact that I'm ok with it. And it's possible to understand where they're coming from, I mean, having only one child and discovering that he's the 'black sheep' of the family is not really the kind of success rate that a parent would want. He he he. So, at this point in time, and in my life, I find that doing nothing is the way things are and the way I like them to be.

And so, if ever I were to come upon this again...some time further down this path of my life, well, I hope to look back on this and see how things have changed. A trip down memory lane, well worth the trip, if you can remember to look straight ahead and not at your toes.
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