Why am I here?

Quite unknowingly on her part, one of my friends happened to ask me the dreaded question few days ago - "Why have I come to USA?". There are some easy answers to the question, answers that I can pretend to be enough and behind which I can conveniently hide. "Easy ! Of course I have come to get my PhD. It would help me in realizing my potential... blah blah blah". But a man can deceive the world but not himself and I ask myself why? Why am I sitting thousands of mile away from home among these strangers? Do I care so much about getting a Phd that I should agree to forego so much so essential in my life? Do I care so much about the money that I should trade my most youthful years for it? What is it that brings me here?

Honestly speaking, I don't have an idea ! Just like I had no idea when I entered IIT ! Just like I had no idea when I stayed back in IIT for one more year ! Answers I always had for everyone but inside me, somewhere I knew, it all came down to a coin toss ! Too afraid to make a choice, to take a decision, what better way was there but to leave it to a coin?

But whenever I tossed the coin, I was fully aware what would lie on either side, what would it mean to make one choice or the other and a determination to make the best of it. That is how I think life is or should be. You don't choose your role. Remember the old bard? "Life is an stage and we are the actors"? We don't control the roles we get and we will never be judged by the roles that we play. What we will be judged by is how well we play them, what freshness we bring to them and how devotedly we get into them.

And so if you ask me today why have I come to US, I have no answers. But what I know is that now that I am here, what am I going to do. And believe me, it has little to do with getting a Phd or making money. The opportunity is too big and costs paid too high to waste it on such minor issues of life.

Here are some of my favorite lines. They come from the title song of a serial called Junnon.

ना जाने ये कैसी है दीवानगी, कि कान्धे पे लादे हुए ज़िन्दगी,
भटकता हूं मैं बेसबब बेनिशां , मेरे साथ है मेरी आवारगी।
कहां दिल जले को सुकूं चाहिये,
जुनूं के लिये बस जुनूं चाहिये,
जुनूं के लिये बस जुनूं चाहिये।

(I really set out to write something else, something more concrete about what I wish to do here. May be in a later post.)


Brajesh said…
Sometimes you don't take conscious decisions. Just go with the flow. Trust your instincts. Don't bother people asking anything.
Braveheart said…
You didn't get it Brajesh. The whole dilemma is not about others, it is not; it never was. It's about you and only you. The question is dreaded because you raise the question to yourself.

Abhaya, not knowing the answer could be forgiven, but leaving it at that will never be forgiven. You shall be judged, you shall be asked all those dreaded questions and you'll have to answer them. Chickening out is not an option here!

You'll have to take a stand, pick your side, shoulder a responsibility or else, accept a shameful surrender. It'll never leave you in peace. If you don't have the character, you won't survive the ordeal.

I don't quite like your tone. The place where you are was not your stage. You left one stage and moved to another. That's making a choice. A choice can be made for an evil reason, for a faulty reason or even for no reason, but you have to shoulder its responsibility. You surely didn't do justice to your goal if you wanted to write something concrete.

-- Akshaya
RagzZmatazZ said…
isnt not knowing the answer the same as doing it for no reason at all ?
Then you are making a moot point. Coz to quote u "A choice can be made for an evil reason, for a faulty reason or even for no reason,"

And sometimes we dont have all the answers. Our life is about searching for the answer. How often do we do things because its a gut feeling?

Sorry for intruding into your conv. I liked this post. I livein the USA myself and have deluded myself into thinking i was here for studying, that I am now here for the money and the conveniences.. and though I have an answer for those who ask, i know that the answer has no meaning. Some questions have no answer. As for our very exsistence it starts with the question "Why?". Sometimes The "How" makes all the difference.
Braveheart said…
Read it once again, at leisure, when you are not feeling weak, lonely and defenseless. Perhaps you've stayed too long in USA, but I do believe you still can try. If you still think it's a moot point, one of us needs to improve on either philosophy or English Language.

-- Akshaya
RagzZmatazZ said…
Akshaya: Its very presumptuous of you to say that I must be weak/lonely/defenseless. I dont precieve myself as either.
I am also noticing a trait in you to pan anything/anyone associated with America. So much contempt for a land you have never seen, let alone lived in?
Anonymous said…
Well, I guess everyone has to answer these questions one day. Unfortunately, sometimes there are no answers or sometimes we fail to understand the true meaning of the answers.

I read this speech by Steve Jobs - Stay hungry stay foolish - which says we hardly understand how the dots will connect in life later on. You hardly know what future has in store and how the present will connect with your future. I liked what He said eventually in speech - trust your instinct [it might not give you a reasonable/logical answer always but the answer always exist in your instinct].


PS: Good to see you still pondering over life, Dudem!
abhaga said…
@geet yes that was a lovely speech. Always worth going back to !! How be you prodigal roomie? ;-) I just bumped into poisy few days ago here.

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