Tuesday, December the 4th, 2007

Stepping out after a long, hot shower all wrinkley and pink, I hope I can finally pen some of the thoughts that have frequented my mind over this past week. The main thing I’ve been wrestling with is this: Is changing my life really just my own fight?

Let me explain.

Talk to anyone, and more often than not, they’ll be quick to suggest that you ought to take control of your own life, take responsibility for your actions and fight your own battles. They’ll probably use different words, but this will be the general sentiment they express. They’ll say that you shouldn’t sit there blaming the world for your misfortunes, and shouldn’t expect a magical fairy to come floating down from the clouds—or wherever it is fairies call home—and solve your problems for you.

OK, I admit waiting for a magical fairy is a pretty bogus way of dealing with your life’s situations, but is your life really just your own fight to fight? Quite certainly, other people must’ve played some part in your life’s path. Haven’t they?

Take, for example, the case of these parents who raised their already socially-awkward child in three very different parts of the world. Is it any surprise that the kid has difficulty grasping where he fits in? Why is it that others can be a part of the problem but when it comes to fixing it, you ought to single-handedly arrive at a solution?

One obvious answer to that question is more of the same drivel: “It’s your life; it’s your problem, not theirs.” And this is something that leaves me unconvinced.

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “Deus ex machina” from actuality.log. Visit to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

7 Responses to “Deus ex machina”

  1. Mukul says:

    The more important question is – What are you going to do with your life after what has already been done by your folks.

    At the very least, you should be thankful for being raised with comforts of modern life and a convent education. You could have born in Central India like me with no money or connections to get admitted into a decent English medium school. And then be forced to be taught in Hindi at the local university despite your hard-earned English schooling!

    For years, while I was still in middle school, I used to deliver milk from door to door every morning before getting ready to walk 2 kilometers of swamp to the nearest stop for school bus. You, on the other hand, live in the US of A, have a PhD and mull over the specs more than the price when it comes to choosing between a Thinkpad and a McBook Pro. :-)

    Your miseries, self-wrought while they are, are only on the emotional plane. For generations, at least for Indians, social skills have been something to acquire on your own, largely due to our entrenched way of life. You can keep looking back forever and lament over your journey. Or, you can choose to work your way forward at whatever pace you can muster.

    As in poker, so in life, we don’t get to choose the cards we play with, but it’s upon us to play them to win.

    Your cards are not so bad. Learn to play.

    p.s. I am sorry for my indiscretion with words here, but having followed your otherwise incisive and compelling musings over these years, this one post was out of nowhere. Perhaps, it’s because you suddenly found yourself pink and not brown when you came out of the shower.

  2. pundit says:

    I’m sure you realise you’re making your statements without having all the facts, but I see and agree with what you’re trying to say.

    More importantly, I’m glad someone noticed that the entry was neither compelling nor incisive. I’m ashamed to admit I was getting antsy over going a week without writing, and I absolutely had to put something down—tossing quality standards to the wind. Unfortunately (for you), this might become a recurring phenomenon. My medicated state doesn’t seem to allow for much careful pondering, resulting instead in a perpetual flurry of thoughts. These, while not downing, quite frequently don’t have a clear point.

  3. Mukul says:

    You are on medication? What happened?

  4. Mukul says:

    I didn’t read this one so I thought no chemicals were involved.

  5. V.R says:

    Plan B! Wasn’t there any other way?

    Weren’t you supposed to move to U.K sometime now?

  6. pundit says:

    V.R: I don’t believe there was another way.

    And yes, I am working on the whole Europe thing. It involves a whole lot of administrative paperwork, which I am slowly plowing my way through.

8,709,031 people conned into wasting their bandwidth.