Absolute Darkness

12 Nov

That is what I am sitting in right now, physically and metaphorically.

Physically first.

The West Bengal government is extremely broke. Like so broke that they haven’t been releasing funds to my institute, paying salaries and more pertinently for now-paying for the coal that runs the electricity. The City of Joy has thus been plunging into darkness every now and then: which is a frequency that is quite astonishing for a Dilli-walla like me, given as I was to my Grandparents gloating about how Kolkata never has as many power cuts like Delhi when I was growing up. The city is now plunged. And I am sitting on my red plastic chair, feet upon another red plastic chair, inhaling the glorious smell of burning incense even as I watch tendrils of grey smoke snake up from the orange nubs of light. As is customary with all powercuts, the neighbourhood kids in the park mock-screamed like its the end of the world. The next door neighbours chatted, possibly by an open door, since I could hear them. And even as I type, my Grandparents pride in their city stays justified: the power is back.

Let me then move on to metaphorically.

I don’t even know how to begin: it feels as if the words and thoughts have clogged the drains of my system, but pulling the plunger might not work because I don’t know where exactly to place it. Makes sense? Perhaps not.

Essentially, I’m revisiting one of the periodic existential crises that I seem to go through: periodic precisely because I never seem to address the crisis, but move on as soon as it can be ignored. I’m going to take strength from the fact that I am perhaps not the only one to do so 🙂

I don’t have a goal; a long term ambition that will drive me ahead. Some of my desires contradict my other desires. Like there is a part of me that wants to be domestic. The other part wants to work towards a revolution. And the people from the two parts cannot meet because if they do, my face will go red and hot and I will probably melt through the floor and disappear. My goals are intangible and of a nature that does not translate into a specific career or required skill set. I’m a well equipped jack of all trades (is that spelt with capitals?). I’m a quitter. Even if I don’t actually quit the things I start, I begin to lose steam midway and end up going through the motions, dreaming about greener pastures that I again end up quitting. I’m searching for a mythical beyond because there is none; there is only the here and now.

What do I want to make of my life? I definitely want a gentle pace of work. I definitely want to make peoples lives better. I would love to do manual labour, but as that does not bring in money, I think I can forget about that. I would like a job with bursts of short term projects, so there is always something new to look forward to. I work best in short bursts of hardwork and focus. The rest of the time I like to float, a free hippie. Even as I type this, I think I see my problem and also the solution. My job right now is to spend some serious time working on ideas. Accumulating knowledge. Once I have that in place, I can translate that into anything. I do have that faith in myself: and this is also where the Jack-of-all-Tradesness comes in handy.

Work hard in the now and let the rest take care of itself. Which translates into: spend time getting to know my theories of development assignment!!!


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