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The Anthem of the Almost-mediocre March 28, 2006

Posted by fungus in Uncategorized.

I have been having so much fun over the past few months that I’ve been in Bombay that I’m sure there must be a law against it somewhere. These extremely hectic weekends are mainly why I haven’t been able to update the blog. I would apologise but I’ve simply had too much fun to regret. You can read all about some of our adventures here and here. About the rest, you’ll simply have to take my word for it. Here’s a tip, though. Riding in the front seat of the upper tier of a double-decker through South Bombay in the evenings is, without a doubt, the most fascinating way of seeing the city. Take a camera with you. My slick DSC-T9 is always by my side. And some of the photographs we’ve managed are simply breathtaking. Have a look at some of them below:

We all muse in different ways. We have different ways of achieving our breakthroughs: those moments when you simply have to shout “Eureka”. When I start thinking I start dreaming. It isn’t till I have to put something into words that I actually force my brain to think constructively. Consequently, its often when I’m talking to friends that I come to significant realisations. Such a moment was sitting at the Gateway of India watching the boats dock, fill up with people and leave; watching the tide rise higher with every crashing wave and watching Orion tilt further into Sea. We were humming some stupid and some not-so-stupid songs when we got down to talking. Here’s the realisation I’ve reached. I call it “The Anthem of the Almost-Mediocre”.

I’m smart (this is, obviously, despite the title, not going to be a post drenched in modesty). I’m one of the smartest people I know. I say this confidently despite the fact that I know some very smart people. Actually, I think we all think the same way. We are smart. Very smart. Yet, we don’t think we’ll ever be great. The world will not remember us five hundred years from now. The only people we are likely to be heroes to are our families and friends. No books will be written about us. No poems and no songs. In all probability we are the 99 out of every 100 people who end up as a statistic. Our parents wanted us to be world-leaders. We will probably disappoint them.

We know we have responsibilities. We respect our responsibilities. But we will never let our responsibilities become the millstones around our necks that we see so many people bogged down with. We will never become slaves to the system. Not even when we control the system. And mark our words, we will.

Life is short. We know that. Too short to waste on hating people. Too short to waste on chasing money or fame or power or the adulation of the masses. Too short to look back every now and then and regret the choices we have made. Too short to worry about Heaven and Hell. Too short for political correctness. Too short to feel inferior or inadequate. Too short to waste sleeping. Too short to waste sitting in the sidelines. Too short to worry about tomorrow or the day after.

Life is a journey. To where? We don’t care. What we do know is that we are not going to spend it flying Business Class. Life is a huge grassland and we will run through it amok with the grass between our toes and the mud kicking up from our heels. Life is the sea and we will thrash our way through it, taking in huge mouthfuls of all it has to offer us. Life is the Crystal Maze and we will knock at every door to see what treasures are hidden behind it. Life is an orange and we plan on extracting every last drop of juice.

There are only three rules in our lives: First and most importantly – Be Good. Its a lot harder than it sounds. You can only do no evil if you mean no evil. So mean no evil. You must love the man on the street, the shover on the bus, the rude lady behind the counter, the guy whose trumpeting won’t let you sleep at night and (Gasp!) even your boss. Respect each and every one of them. Each of them is to his/her family what you are to yours. This rule defines your responsibility to what they call God. Treat every creature in God’s creation as part of that Supreme Being. Don’t do this because otherwise you will go to Hell. Do it because it is the right way of being.

Second – Take care of the people who love you and depend on you. Again, a lot harder than it seems. Its not about the money. If they love you they probably don’t care for the money. You must provide for them. But, more importantly, you must give yourself unto them. They all deserve your time, your effort, your respect, your admiration and your willingness to let go when they need to be free. That is, probably, the hardest. This rule defines your responsibility towards your kith and kin. This is the one that tells you that you must make a success of yourself if only to be able to provide for and take care of your loved ones.

Third – Enjoy yourself. This rule defines your responsibility to yourself. Read. Travel. Listen to music. Watch movies. Learn. Just for the heck of it. Make new friends. Dance. Paint. Write. Have opinions. Love. That above all else.

These rules are in the order for a specific reason. We will never have fun at the cost of taking care of our loved ones or by inconveniencing our fellow man.

The results of these rules are twofold: One, we are almost always happy. Simply because we realise that nothing is worth doing if it doesn’t make us happy. Two, we are not people of waste. We are either working our posteriors off or having fun like nobody’s business. We do not deal in moderation and we do not waste time languishing. We do not look for rest. We are fun. And when you are with us you have fun. Period.

So this, ladies and gentlemen, is the anthem we live by. We apologise if we have spoiled any plans. We are sorry if you are, in any way, inconvenienced. But the time has come for us to take our rightful place at the head of the pack. I declare today Independence Day.