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That Good, Old-Fashioned Existential Angst

That Good, Old-Fashioned Existential Angst

Don’t mind. Lambasting or lampooning oneself is my innate specialty! And this essay, I dare to say, is one intimate, adventitious cock and bull confessional. Don’t take it too seriously, ever!

In the halcyon days of my youth, I was constantly under the spell of my personal considerations (at best nutty!), mind waves (wildly short-circuited!), and first impression polaroids (pitifully bleary!). I thought these were tried and true stuff and that using these apparently helpful constructs I could make my life – worthwhile and triumphantly interesting. But life, putting it jauntily, pulled a fast one on me.

Year on the year as life unspooled itself out, I understood to my belated surprise that I must have been way off the mark right from the very beginning. Added to that conundrum, the absence of empirical evidence and a shortage of role models in the past have only compounded my existential angst which was left plowing through the seemingly unplumbed depths of unworkable doodles and noodles. Today, regardless of what I feel about my own life, I still chase it and will continue to do so until the day I die. That’s the spirit, you say? I guess so. We are on the same page.

Perceptually speaking, my city-bred life has NOT turned out to be what I had thought it would; rather, it is all the more incredulously individualistic, singularly undramatic and straight line, and typically far less romantic now; is this happening for the first time post marital ecstasy? You tell me, I have not an iota of an idea. Time, compulsorily, takes its toll; it demands its pound of flesh, and I’ve realized in the course of late years that being continually romantic at heart don’t leave adequate breathing space for enjoying serious creative pursuits, for example, reading, writing or romanticizing the past. So I eagerly volunteered to be intermittently sober romantic, not 24/7/365 days romantic. I could totally be wrong on that thought process for all I know, however, that is the thing I presently am putting my stock in. An intermittent romantic? Whatever.

Let me know, could these thought processes essentially be a summation of strange reflections of what’s happening to me presently and may be on account of this affliction my life is going south? But by what unseen element, I need to know? Have I jumped forward in time and have prematurely become an old man on a mission as useless as to obfuscate my original romantic genealogy that people have always known me by and therefore this existential angsty suffering that comes as a bittersweet consequence of that? That may be a legitimate surmising, yes. Regardless, I can’t articulate for sure if I am trying to masquerade as someone who is barely out of his playpen to try and engage attractive chicks in a pre-coitus revelry. Nah! I don’t think so. I am not up to that wicked diversion, never truly have. I now call myself an intermittent romantic, remember? No full-time ECAs (‘extracurricular activities’) for me, please. I am satirizing this whole thing up to see how laughable or how serious it can get.

Indeed, some time ago I was giving everyone a run for their money in the ‘Heights and Looks’ department and I am glad to flaunt that I still manage to give a good rabbit-race to them! I am hardly anyone given to tooting one’s own horn, but I entreat you to picture this: Women used to flatter me all the time that I am so classically tall and handsome, a slick showstopper, that they think I have been sculpted by Michelangelo himself, girls screamed at me, sometimes people fall into walls looking at me, they clicked my photos, and literally complimented me from my aquiline nose to my nice toenails! I did enjoy their attention but it used to really become absolutely crazy to deal with all the fanatical attention I got. By golly, I loved acknowledging their compliments by forming words like “thank you, say it once more!” in my strawberry-like mouth and just go my way with a spring in my step, happy to have ARRIVED! Like many other things in life, beauty is scarce but my kind of pulchritudinous beauty doesn’t command a price. Take heart, my dear, I haven’t joked in years!

In today’s ‘like’-inciting world of Facekindle, Oblitteratti or Junkedin, you can easily get caught up in the undertow of the ever-present revile of instant trolls and all such horrifying, self-destructive stuff intertwining the fantastical and the mundane, the bizarre and the dangerously mental, and so forth as if nothing is out of ordinary to worry about. Obviously then that it gets to be cruelly boring for old-school folks like me whose primary allegiance to love, serenity and happiness is somehow well-regarded by the same atrocious world which has, in the murky backdrop of race riots, fascism, and paranoiac feeling of doom and foreboding, turned out to be mad and furious and shows no sign of subsiding any time soon. That’s what life has become: totally toxic. Unfortunately, the days of invigorating happiness are altogether gone now – long live those days; the irony in all this overall retardation is that there’s no point in being adorably handsome anymore when you’ve got only bus fare to go back, not a BMW in a world that is simmering with protests and more violent protests of various hues. Basically, I am done fixing temperamental cats and everything with my sweet-smelling boy scent pheromones. I may not be a George Clooney to say as much but I too am good looking enough to not let anyone fool me and get away unscathed. I am still not done on the subject, yet I have to stop bulldozing along these lines. Now now, before you bash me up, read this: Elvis has left the building!

Life: Not For Pussies

This brings me to the fact why Life is not a fair stardom thing and why an awful amount of things like misfortune and twists of fate/destiny/kismet occur in a flash and nowadays why do I get to play the victim card to save my perfectly sandwiched buttocks from grinding in the roiling politics of Haves and Have-Nots. I wonder if this is what existential angst is all about, albeit it might be a natural response system to one’s imagined loss and suffering that never really abates or so we hope it will someday. I believe I ought not to jump into any uncharacteristic conclusions just now, so let me waffle on a little bit more while I am at it, carried away by a sandstorm of hasty feelings causing anxiety and vapid gravitas of this trivial, cathartic writing!!! The wind is still left in one’s sails to go a little farther. So come away with me.

Well, I come from one of the southern regions of the Deccan Plateau of the peninsular India where huge boulders, unique rock formations, and rugged hills, slopes, and slants dot the laid-back city landscape which, according to me, often manages to signify heartbrokenness and technically being stalled and stuck between the rock and a hard place kinda thing. I am still young maybe, but I’ve been around, you see, to know such a furtive thing. Being 45 plus of age surely doesn’t seem to be a juvenile age bracket anymore, hence, I claim to know such things.

So chew this. After college, my life’s trajectory pointed towards South. I wanted to quit eastwards but sadly that was not to be. Maybe, I was a little way off the mark right from the beginning and so in the mad rush of Life’s goings-on, I’d missed hitting the proverbial bull’s eye by the widest margin possible: of not doing something worthwhile in the direction of my medical dream getting realized. I, therefore, faltered at its altar, desperate to go further but was unable. Now for what reasons do I feel so much of existential predicament/dread/crisis in this long-forgotten matter? It should die down eventually, no? That’s a big question and hence this blog to answer it satisfactorily and find closure. If data is the new oil then I am after it. Little wonder then that I am into a knowledge-talent era of Information Technology (IT) and folks like me are summarily dismissed as “techies” or “geeks“, talented or more talented or not in the slightest degree!

Medicine Isn’t For Everybody

Through reading this article it may seem like I am trying hard to sell the idea that I have an “existential angst” that never leaves me, or maybe it is merely a time-pass muse, or maybe there’s actually a sense of purpose I want to talk about here. No dear, don’t try to hand me my kerchief yet. I may be emotional, but I am fine I assure you. Call it a herd mentality or confused mentality, I certainly did end up nursing one angsty feeling that I am still frustratingly unhappy with not achieving what I thought I would when I was much younger, and now this helluva feeling of repentance I am trying to get rid of, either by hook or by crook but unable to, doesn’t die a natural death.

If truth be told, I had wanted to become a medical professional, say a specialist doctor (don’t roll your eyes yet!), but I didn’t realize that the notion or idea, though very vague I admit, I had so affectionately cared for long years had evaporated not long after I had graduated from college with science subjects to boot. I loved Zoology and Botany, but I could not develop enough willpower within me to tackle the rough and tumble of horrendous entrance exams. As I realize fully well now, simply ideating on becoming a doctor was one thing and actually becoming one was entirely another. Better late than never. How difficult was that for this numbskull to get that? Only it wasn’t. If only I knew how to solve this testy little puzzle of becoming a medical professional at least slightly in advance, then, I think, I could have changed my world from upright bottom to bottom upright or something to that effect. Yeah, if only I knew how to get off my sorry ass and do it the way it is meant to be done, I would have been the president of the United States twice over or the crowned up Monarch of Great Britain ten times over. But no such luck, for I was trapped in the maze of the mundane but happy existence, and this happened in spite of being actively dreaming (actively thinking even) about to live the life of a medic. Try not to toss rotten tomatoes at me yet. If you have fresh ones, however, you may try! Just bear with me on this one.

Some people say “Medicine isn’t for everybody.” That may be true; unless if you can commit yourself to the stresses and strains of hard work, effort, determination, endless personal struggles and a zillion other things that weigh down on your every waking day of your life, until attaining medical nirvana. As far as my fantasy of medicine as a career option was concerned, I think my goose was already cooked for no partaking when I confused ‘hobby’ thing with ‘career’ thing due to lack of awareness and of the decent lure of go-get-it passion on my part, I suppose. I don’t know where was I when God was distributing some grey matter (brains) to cozy individuals like the one from whose pen you are reading this free-flowing parody going front and center. Most likely I was bathing or taking an extended siesta under that excellent three-bladed beige-coloured dependable Orient fan, moored in the everglades of blissful contentment and ease of blissful ignominy of my bedroom.

And so I was tangled inside the regularly-churning Wheel of Time, this solitary dumbfounded soul wandered about in the ever-expanding galactic space of the Universe with no apparent gift (of the Magi?) for making near-future prophecies. One just couldn’t figure a way out of his own abyss. I thought my doofus days were over, but it isn’t yet as I have painfully figured out now, though all too belatedly. Now I know why I still feel like a tourist in my own locality!

Postscript: More on this theme in my next blog. Do swing by whenever you can, and I’ll have it served for you, hot!