What a strange narrowness of mind now is that, to think the things we have not known are better than the things we have known.Last Sunday my aunt came to meet us at home. After me, she congratulated my father. He asked the reason and she said about my admission for MS. My father replied saying it was not a big thing to get an admission but rather the visa is more important. Three days back I spoke to my father about this because I wanted to tell him that admission too was important if not as important as the visa. I told him that there are those still waiting for admits and gave him an example of a friend who has scored 1470 in GRE and still has to wait. My father asked me what the probable reason for his waiting could be. I said "it's Allah's will". He asked nothing else.
- Samuel Johnson
I was going back to my school-days I still remember. I can still picture that day when I wrote a short note to my class-teacher on a piece of paper about a boy sitting next to me who used to trouble me a lot. I can still recollect my teacher tearing that slip after reading it and changing my seating in the classroom. The guy was a bully those days but later he went on to become a good friend before I finished my 10th standard. I wasn't confident enough that day to speak to my teacher but the thing was so important that I somehow had to tell him. And I had said it. It was the need. A desperate attempt of a human being to find happiness.
I remember one more occasion where I was made to sit beside a guy I hated talking to. I never wanted to get close to him either. This strong aversion of mine towards him had started when I had come to know that he used to eat pork. It would be like hell sitting next to him in the class those days. I could never bear even getting close him. Then I had myself requested my teacher and my seating was promptly changed. I had not told my teacher about why I wanted the change. I had just requested and it was made. I used to be a good student scoring good marks. It was a favor I had asked for and it was granted. That was an attempt I had made yielding to my preferences and dislikes. Later in my schooldays I got close to many who ate pork. I never had the problem again. I don't know how and why I changed.
Change has never brought any difference to me directly. It became natural for me and not having change always troubles me now. Life has always been smooth with right things coming at the right times with the lessons teaching me what I must learn with time. I hardly had to take any crude means to learn what I was, how I came into being and how life progresses. I never had to rely on those bad guys in the school to tell me half-baked things. I was the one to read them from the right places and ask the right people. I never relied on fun as a means to learn what is serious.
I am inexplicably weak at times with my heart and emotions. I cannot tell how hard it is to have so many things in mind and to live along with what all I keep in my heart. But it's all about only one thing. And for the rest, it hardly matters. I go down stairs in my house at 3:30 am and close the door. I hear some new noise in the kitchen at 2 am and I go there and check. I hear some movement in the balcony at 2:30 am and I check it ready to see that thief there and scare him away. It never effects me mentally. I don't even get moved when I see dead bodies lying on the street after being crushed by moving vehicles. It barely hits me to hear how brutally a man was murdered when I read it in the newspaper. But when it comes to matters of loneliness and companionship I don't understand how people bear it.
I remember some years back when I couldn't sleep for a few days after hearing a dog howling in the night. Since then, I have heard many such howls and I have myself gone out to scare the dogs aways. I am not afraid of meeting a thief there. I am not scared if some ghost would pop in from some corner. I am not afraid of the darkness as I used to when I was a kid. These days I only think of my fear I had as a kid and I call it human behavior. I used to be so afraid of even sheep. And then one day I started slaughtering them.
I wonder how strong people are when things are about heart and people. I simply cannot understand how they can be so sullen so easily. I don't get the point behind being bold enough to stand loneliness without complaining. But when I look back at my life, I have been there several times. I have spent tens of days at home with nothing to do and nobody around for hours. I have seen the day my aunt died and saw my closed ones crying and yet I didn't shed a tear because it looked naive to me. My aunt's death was just to take her to a step closer to heaven. She was a very good person. My grandfather's death didn't make me cry. I only miss him only to realize that he is always there with me in my heart. But then, there is this thing that I can't stand, and my heart weeps.
I have taken too many lessons. I have seen my mother not having money to buy me a snack worth a Rupee. And now I see her letting me have money ready to be spent in hundreds and thousands. Change was always welcome. There was guidance always. Never in my life was my brother or I scolded for skipping prayers. We were told that it was mandatory for us and we kept skipping them. Then a time came when we realized what we have been doing and what we are. We changed ourselves. Our parents gave the guidance. Never forced us.
I remember the days we used to have yellow bulbs. The low voltage of electricity never used to allow us have any other kind of lighting in home. I was perhaps around 8 years in age. That day I had woken up from sleep and I was crying. My father had taken me in his arms and was walking in the house with me still crying and was trying to calm me down. I remember the yellow lights. I remember being carried in my father's arms. I don't remember why I was crying. I don't remember when I stopped crying.
I don't cry much these days. These days precisely. I watch myself telling how weak I am, how bad things can be and how much more I need to learn. Then I say "typical human behavior" and I let it go. I always find this option and use it with ease. I see that there is absolutely no friction in my life, the future is brighter than ever, things are so easy and nice for me, and yet I search for problems with me and I make them to seem larger than the life I live. I make my own life difficult and then I realize I am doing it. And then again, like a serious man, I say "human behavior".
I see people around - many of my elders. I see them doing mistakes, creating problems for others, solving some, aggravating some, being pointless, having big ego and not being righteous. I see that these are the so called mature people. It doesn't confuse me to call them mature and see them be so illogical. I just say "human behavior". That seems to be an easy answer to so many of my questions of why people have irrational and at times unruly behavior. It is never a shock for me not to see them behaving unbelievable. It's fine and if it's creating problems for me, I let them go. I forgive. I forgive myself. I just make it a point to remember that so and so person has so and so weakness and so and so thing irritates him.
But what about my problem? It is insufficient to call it human behavior. I don't see it much around. It's getting typical only of me. Others understand it, listen to me, help me, I just don't help myself. It seems impossible most of the times. And then I realize the options. I can be numb. I can be indifferent. But I have tried it before and have been termed as a sullen son by my mother. She has called me emotionally hard many times. Perhaps I am not able to have emotions expressed in the right proportions in front of the right people.
A thing that makes me blush and go pink in front of my friends barely makes me even smile in front of my parents. Only my heart does the work. A thing that makes me spend hours doing nothing can so easily be ran over whenever I want to yet I prefer staying with it. It's all just how I select my option to be happy. The so called problem too makes me happy. It's not about immaturity, it's not about what is right or what can be wrong. It is mostly about what I have chosen and decided as good for me and think of that good as a means to keep me happy. It is nothing wrong but it is not completely right with those who don't understand. If somebody today calls what all I am writing here as crap I would call it human behavior. It's perfectly alright. We are a different people. I don't like curds!
I remember watching this movie "Cast Away". The actor in lead role is Tom Hanks and he is marooned on a lonely island. There he makes a face out of a coconut shell and makes that face his friend. He relies on the shell for companionship. He begins to love that shell for it is his only friend there on that lonely island. And one day he gets frustrated with its lifelessness and throws it away. The next moment sense comes to him and he runs to pick that shell back. He cries for being rude towards that shell. He apologizes. He weeps and places that shell back to a safer place - in his heart and also on a clean stone in the rocks.
I fell in love with the idea of owning an island after watching this movie. But this shell and Tom's love for it goes great with my emotions. Many times I create such shells in my mind. Just for the sake of happiness. I never throw them away. I give them a lot of importance with respect. I try to explain that importance to others. Some understand. Some refuse its very existence. I enjoy, I hurt myself and I live past the fears and grief attached to it. All along I remember that it is just a shell. And I tell myself "typical human behavior" not knowing how many people do that.
It's only in the luxury of the company of friends that I can be indescribably illogical and keep on blabbering staying only on one side of the story realizing only later that there has been another side too which I had been ignoring because my love for the friend I was talking to was too much for me to have any logic being discussed and though about. Later when I recollect what all I had spoken, I see so much not being coherent and consistent. Yet my friend remains my friend - I don't know if that can remain forever. I find it easier to give in to the intellect of that friend letting that friend decide what is right and teach me. That is luxury and a blessing.
Having no problems and creating some for ourselves is luxury. "My" human behavior is just to bring me out of my comfort zone and show me more things I can probably have with me - as a luxury. To satisfy my emotions is probably not my need. I am perhaps strong enough to keep them tamed. But why do I do it when I have the chance to let them grow and satisfy them? I might as well be weaker than others in this part of life. But that's how we grow - strengthening ourself with knowledge and wisdom. What if I remain satisfied with what is coming to me and never ask Allah for more and never try for anything? My life would be boring and there won't be any change. We have this human tendency. We need to move further up in our levels of endurance and achievements. Corrections are always welcome.