Truth be told, I have always been afraid of watching the news and hearing of misery, which is why, for most of my life, I just haven’t. Being a student of Media and Communications, this has put me in a position of disadvantage many a time, and for the longest time I thought the best way to deal with life was to never watch or hear or follow anything that would end up hurting my tiny, but beautiful perception of the world. The perception that things always work out, the truth always prevails, the right things always attract magic towards themselves, until last year when I was forced to rethink my opinions on multiple subjects and into seeing beyond the frame I wanted to see things from.
I can assure you that unless a certain kind of drastic change is forced into your life, or unless an event comes about in order for your faith in the way things are to be shaken, rarely does one’s way of thinking change. The only other alternative to that is a human being who comes into your life and exerts their views with such an impact that you are then forced to rethink your entire belief system and start to question your existence, quite literally and fundamentally. And especially, if you fall irrevocably in love with them.
When I met him, I was left quite speechless. Not because I did not have anything to say, but because every experience, incident and anecdote he told me about was in such contrast to mine that it just took me ages and ages to sit and absorb a world view that not only challenged but also shattered all my high flying beliefs and naive thoughts about how the world functions and how things in it go about. And yet, having no obvious similarities in our experiences, we had this uncanny resemblance in the way our perception and functioning took place. Every act is more than just a linear and simplistic process and has an infinite effect on the way things end up eventually.
He may not be close to me anymore, he may not see me in the same way that I see him, and we may have somewhere along the way lost the essence of the ‘us’ that we could have been, but what didn’t get lost was this weird essence of his thoughts and words that continued to linger on in my mind and in my journey across the world. He has over and over again left me with questions in my heart, with an overwhelming desire to search for the answers, and I have been trying to collect them. I have been trying to curate the fragments that I find, the fragments that help me comprehend the whole scheme of things, or at least be in awe of them.
Meanwhile as I continue to go on on my journey, I only try and honour that person’s grace and magnanimity and divinity by trying to inculcate the same within my own life. I’m not saying that I have always been a devoted follower of his teachings either, many a times I have defied gravely what I learnt and what I would have liked to act upon as well. Other times I have acted impulsively and misbehaved terribly too, but I have tried. He taught me that there is not so much we can ever control amongst the horrible things that are happening in the world, but within our own capacity, each action of ours has consequences greater than we can imagine. And so, more than anything else, I have tried to be what I saw he was. Kind.
So the other day I was going out for what I was expecting to be a relatively exciting day in my life, all dressed up and feeling great about myself and life and just everything in the world really, when I saw this girl come up and sit near me at the bus stop. Only, she was weeping and looked like she was in a terrible spot. For a while I tried to ignore the incident, because after all I didn’t want to intrude upon anybody’s privacy, especially not in England where personal space is so highly regarded, but soon I gave up that attempt and decided to talk to her.
It’s not like I ended up giving her a zen piece of advice and sorted all her life’s problems out. It’s not like I even found out what those problems were really, but what I did was talk to her. What I did was a ritual that has an automatic cathartic effect, if done the right way. What I did was change her state of mind, even if it was for just a few seconds. This little gesture may not have had an overall effect on her life, but it did on mine. It had an effect on the way I looked at myself that evening. It had an effect on how happy the person who did these things on a daily basis, who taught me the importance of them, would have been if he saw me in that moment.
It felt good, because it was a random act of kindness, and in its own way brought me closer to the way I would like to be. It took me closer to him. It took me to a higher level of consciousness, the level I think he resides at.