Living Mindfully

I read in the newspapers that an anguished, depressed  Malaysian teenager committed suicide because the majority of her Instagram followers polled ‘Death’ than ‘Life’. She dumbly followed what the unseen crowd had ‘chosen’ for her. She let them decide her next course of action. End.

The greatest power- the power to choose what one thinks, or acts- handed over like a free gift to mindless others?

I took a walk in the past to recollect what the world told me to do  and how noxious it all was…!

  1. ‘You look like death roasted twice in hell-fire. Why don’t you go and hide yourself?’

The easiest way to get to a girl,( or boy), is to poke fun at the way they look. It was a generous helping of  ‘Give her unto this day the daily bread of bitterness.’ The chorus was faithfully echoed by all those who sought control over me.

Decades later, I laugh when I remember the trauma.  Invariably, all who poked fun at me, were not my well-wishers. All who loved me, ever, have always made me a better version of myself-physical, spiritual or mental. The difference between then and now is that I have learnt to ignore the opinions of the naysayers and value the comments of my true friends.

And so, in my four and half decades of living, I enjoy wearing a good dress, putting on danglers, and putting flowers on my hair if I feel like it. Do I look old/foolish/blah-blah…I don’t give a damn anymore.

Baby, look into the eyes of those who care for me and love me! They sparkle like diamonds. I can live in that light for eternity.

2. ‘Your accent is horrible and you speak like a train chugging non stop. Shut up!’

I speak my mother tongue without any accent. The rest of the two languages may be notched up with an accent. So what?Having been shut up for too long, when my words took flight, literally and figuratively, they soared like frantic souls escaping dungeons.

And to my utter delight, I found that there were listeners. They bothered about what I spoke and how I spoke and not about the way I spoke! If it came from my heart, they applauded me. That gave me the confidence to venture out more.

My accent is still flavored by the mysterious sea winds of my home land. I continue to speak non stop and irritate the heck out of my loved ones. They shrug and listen. Sometimes, they grin. Or politely tell me to shut up. Sure.

The difference is that I know whom to ignore and whom to listen to. When to shut up and when to shout.

3. ‘You overestimate your own abilities. You over reach, don’t you?’

Ahhhh! Do I now? I remember withering on listening to such comments once upon a time.

What I do is my business, monsieur. You can take it with a martini. Success or failure, I shall not come running to you for your shoulder to cry on. Okay?

One has to stand up for oneself, and fight for what is due! The world is a tricky customer. It will change from mockery to adulation in a jiffy if you succeed. Better not to expect a helping hand or support from the outside. Inertia and indifference are chronic diseases infecting the systems -running the wheels of worldly life.

Help your own self and then watch as the world arrives to help you. Remember Shakespeare in love. Queen Elizabeth’s take on Romeo and Juliet?

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I started the article to make some sense of that mindless self destruction. Sixteen years of age! And she asked the world if she should kill herself or live!

At twenty six, thirty six, forty six, fifty six, sixty six, seventy six, eighty six, or ninety six, if you pose the same question, the thumbs-down voyeurs of the gladiatorial rings  (of the world wide Colosseum) will  still vote that you go to hell.

Time to watch the sky a bit. The nature and the birds. No one votes to kill you there.

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