I am Different.
There is this strange feeling. A feeling of aloofness – aloof from the chores of world. Detached from the mundane universe!
When I was young I thought of myself as a part of friends, family, people, this planet, this milky-way. I felt myself webbed in intricate cobweb of relations, emotions, responsibilities, expectations, loves, career, money, et al. Little did I know then that that was just a trap – an obstacle to keep me from growing, to keep me complacent, to keep me down to earth. I obliged to the rules-and-regulations of the then world I lived in. I felt sorrow when there was a sorrow around me. I felt happiness when my acquaintances were happy. I felt jealous when I lagged behind them. I felt pride when I won over them. Just like that. Simple and straight.
The fundamental of my living then was ‘comparison’. I never saw myself – who was I in essence of myself? – I never thought of such (absurd then) questions – I never contemplate what I wanted – but what others wanted – and what the day’s fad was – and what my parents wanted – and what the society wanted – never what I wanted – never what could make my happy – happy in absolute sense, not in comparison of others or of yesterday’s sorrow – happy the way Iqbal was when he was chosen for Team India – the way Santiago was when he found his treasure – the way Roark felt – the way Shakuntala felt – the way I could never feel – the way I never thought of – never.
I always compared myself asking what should I be – not what could I be.
And I was ruined.
Then this strange feeling came into me, and I found myself aloof from everyone. Somehow I convinced myself that it was I – and only I – that mattered most. If I existed, only then we could exist. There was no ‘we’ devoid of ‘I’. Then I read, Ayn Rand who chimed: “to say I love you, one must know how to say ‘I'”. I started my search of ‘I’ then and there.
And I rose from my own ashes.
I am not at my destination now, but at least I am towards it. How different it is now from then, I wonder. How difficult the whole path becomes when you proclaim to travel alone? How strange your kins and friends treat you, I wonder. But at least I am on my own. I am on my own path. In search of my own soul.
I remember the words ‘Troy’ began with: “Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity and so we ask ourselves. Will our names last for ages? Will our actions stand the test of time? Will strangers hear our names? Will they come to know how bravely we fought; how fiercely we loved?”
And I feel no regret to find myself alone – at least, I am on my own path.