A Quieter Mind

This blog has been so neglect­ed that I am not even sure if any­one will read this post.

Six months have elapsed since I wrote about the chal­lenges for 2010. It is painful­ly obvi­ous that blog­ging is tak­ing a back seat to social net­work­ing. How­ev­er, that is not the com­plete sto­ry.

Time and again, I have men­tioned that for me, writ­ing is a vehi­cle to greater clar­i­ty of mind. Which is why I have used this blog as a vehi­cle to raise issues that made me unqui­et. In the past cou­ple of years, this unquiet­ness has fad­ed away and a seren­i­ty has tak­en its place.

I have spent the past sev­er­al months think­ing about whether this seren­i­ty is a cyn­i­cal, nihilis­tic futil­i­ty of an exis­ten­tial­ist fla­vor or a true accep­tance of the world around me. I am not entire­ly sure, and per­haps I may nev­er know.

What I do know is that instead of becom­ing unqui­et over how reli­gion is mis­used for nefar­i­ous pur­pos­es, or how the spir­it of sci­en­tif­ic inquiry is lost in today’s edu­ca­tion, or how politi­cians and gang­sters are tear­ing the very fab­ric of soci­ety, I have come to accept that no one can change any of this by blog­ging about it. There is a qui­et accep­tance of this with­in me now, and a real­iza­tion that there is only one thing I can do, and that is how I con­duct myself as a per­son and raise my daugh­ter as a father.

It is this dri­ve, this force with­in me to con­tin­ue to change and ful­ly immerse myself in rais­ing a child that makes me think that my quiet­ness is not nihilis­tic, but sim­ply real­is­tic.

I won­der if I will blog more if I for­get the title of my blog. There are times when I have felt like writ­ing – about pos­i­tive things, enjoy­able expe­ri­ences, ful­fill­ing adven­tures – but did not because there was noth­ing ‘unqui­et’ about them. Does this mean I will need to change the title of my blog that I have lov­ing­ly built over the years? Now, that thought cer­tain­ly makes me unqui­et.

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  • i have 🙂
    actu­al­ly, the change has to come from with­in — in our trans­ac­tions with the world around us. be it bring­ing up kids, or spend­ing time with young­sters.
    I got the great­est com­pli­ment last year, when one of my student’s said that i changed their way of look­ing at the world 🙂

  • Cala­mur,

    Change has to come from with­in” — very well said! Very true.

    That is a great com­pli­ment. What else can a teacher aim for? 🙂

  • why, i feel you are writ­ing less because you want to con­form to the blog title you have cho­sen. 🙂 con­for­mi­ty can be as demand­ing and counter-pro­duc­tive as many oth­er neg­a­tives..

    if you blog about ‘pos­i­tive things, enjoy­able expe­ri­ences, ful­fill­ing adven­tures’ i am sure you will be doing ser­vice to many read­ers who have ‘an unqui­et mind.’ what say? 🙂

    on a dif­fer­ent tan­gent, very touch­ing lines there about your daugh­ter.

  • Gau­ri,

    Con­for­mi­ty can be as demand­ing and counter-pro­duc­tive as many oth­er neg­a­tives…”

    Insight­ful com­ments like these are reju­ve­nat­ing the blog­ger in me — thanks! 🙂

    Am still pon­der­ing over blog­ging; am try­ing to iden­ti­fy the DNA that ties my blog posts and what I write about and keeps it alive.

    I real­ized after post­ing that this was coin­ci­den­tal­ly writ­ten on Fathers’ Day! 🙂

  • Rest assured, your posts are await­ed. 🙂

    That accep­tance that you speak of, is the same thing that I accept­ed, a while ago, with lot of dis­com­fort. Just today evening, my insis­tence on stop­ping the car before the stop line and the pedes­tri­an cross­ing caused much angst to the folks honk­ing hard, behind me, who were in a huge hur­ry. Per­haps it is a neg­li­gent behav­ioral trait, not nec­es­sar­i­ly con­tribut­ing to a change in the world. How­ev­er — like you say, the change has to be with­in and has to trans­late into action. Baby steps, these.

    As regards the blog title, I don’t think that should cause any hin­drance — it is the state of unqui­et-ness that caus­es thought; thought that is com­pelling and an invi­ta­tion for enlight­en­ing con­ver­sa­tion and dia­logue.

    Cheers!

  • Atul,

    state of unqui­et-ness that caus­es thought; thought that is com­pelling and an invi­ta­tion for enlight­en­ing con­ver­sa­tion and dia­logue”

    Again, very well said! — thank you!

  • I do see where you get that feel­ing of not want­i­ng to write any­more. At some point, we rec­on­cile with the fact that there won’t be any change no mat­ter how much we scream our­selves hoarse. But you will nev­er have an idea how many minds you’ve made a dif­fer­ence to. No doubt change is some­thing that just has to come from with­in. But it’s a tri­umph even if you just get peo­ple to reflect, or make them aware of a per­spec­tive that has nev­er crossed their mind before. And that’s enough to begin a stir; the first step to a not just poten­tial, but a very like­ly change.

    I’m not sure if you were raised an athe­ist — I’m will­ing to bet you weren’t. There had to be some inci­dent or some words — in writ­ing or oth­er­wise — that made you ques­tion the exis­tence of God for the very first time. The jour­ney after that was your own, but it prob­a­bly did take some­one or some­thing exter­nal to sow those seeds, right? Lit­tle does that source know it changed you so much.

    With what/how you write be assured you have sown such seeds into many a mind. Write when you get a chance, and when you have some­thing to say. But please don’t stop writ­ing; your thoughts are valu­able to more peo­ple than you think 🙂

    g

  • g,

    Your kind words hum­ble me. The only way I can thank you is to keep writ­ing, which I will.

  • I’m still read­ing. Your writ­ing is beau­ti­ful, and I would love to hear any­thing you write about… the peace­ful or tur­bu­lent. I’m so glad your life and daugh­ter gleams you sat­is­fac­tion. If at any point in my life I get to where you are, I will be glad of it. In this way I am envi­ous of you, (yet don’t wor­ry, not in a mali­cious way) 🙂

  • Fast Dots

    Mahen­dra — it was a pleas­ant sur­prise to see your post after so long. Rest assured that we still read it 🙂

    For some­one like you (and me) the seren­i­ty does not last very long. Enjoy it ;-). And yes, you can­not change any­thing by blog­ging about it; I have always viewed blogs (and the inter­act­ing com­ments) as a forum for exchang­ing ideas, so please dont ever give that up!

    I am a bit sur­prised at your def­i­n­i­tion of “unqui­et” though — esp. with your blogs tag line of “…rea­son and emo­tion” — please do blog about all your thoughts and expe­ri­ences; I for one will be glad to share them!

  • @mystic_life and @Fast Dots:

    Thank you. Apolo­gies for the delay in respond­ing.

    I feel hon­ored to have read­ers like you on this blog!