I am a kid. My parents remind me daily to study hard so that when I grow up, I earn a lot of money. I go to school. My teachers tell me that if I talk in the class, I will not be able to do anything in life. I will never make it "Big". I am growing up. Not "Big" though. I do everything I want to do, slyly though. As my parents will not approve of me playing cricket when I ought to be in the tuition class. They will not approve of me reading Enid Blyton when I should be reading the basic concepts of Physics. I will not make it to the IIT's if I do what I want to do, according to them. So I do everything I want to do, but I don't tell them. I know for sure that even if I do everything they want me to do, I will still not make it to the IITs.
I grow up. A looser in the eyes of my parents as I did not make it to any of the top ranked Engineering colleges. A looser in the eyes of all my relatives and teachers. I have learnt to live with it. I have learnt to turn a deaf ear to all of them. They keep complaining and comparing though. Why do they do it? Who is listening to them? Who is getting affected by it? No One. Not me atleast. I am happy. I am happy to do what I want to do. Stare out of the window and think about nothing. Cry and laugh whenever I want to. I have no intellectual image to maintain. No baggage to carry.
I am an engineer. Like everyone does now days, I end up working for a Software giant. And suddenly, I am a hero. Suddenly people start recalling incidences which never happened, but nevertheless they prove that I was always a very good student, a very good child, a very promising fellow, since my childhood. Revelations for me. I remember everything that was said about me in the past, they do not. Their perception has changed, I remain the same. The software giant has a huge appetite. It makes me work endless hours. I do. And I get handsomely paid for it. But, I have no time to look out of the window. I have no time to cry and laugh. I have no time to do what I want to do. I am doing everything the software giant wants me to do, my parents want me to do, my relatives want me to do. But I am not doing what I want to do.
I leave the job and take up an assignment with a smaller firm, which allows me to do as much work as I want to do and pays accordingly. This means, I have taken a huge paycut. And this also means that perceptions have changed again. Once again, I am a looser. And once again, I have turned a deaf ear to all the advices I get from my well wishers. I am happy. What else do my well wishers want for me? I do not want anything else. I just want happiness. I just want the time to gaze at the stars, to read books, to watch movies, to walk in the rain, to paint, to listen to music. What more do my well wishers possibly want for me? Money? But what will that money buy me? Time? If it cannot buy me time, if it cannot buy me happiness, I do not want it. What’s wrong with everyone? Why can't they understand these simple theories of my life? Why do they want me to lead my life the way they want me to lead it? Alas, there's no answer to these questions and I am afraid, some things never change, and my well wishers are amongst those things.
This is the story of all of us born after the early 1970's. In a race to make it Big, we forget the happiness that smaller things in life could provide. We keep running after things till we no longer know what we are running for. We forget to enjoy life and then a day will come when we would leave this world without knowing what life was.