There are times when I think that I am probably different from many people. There are also times when I think that as a human being, and a social animal, I am probably similar to all other human beings. I am not even sure if it is good to have such thoughts. It is probably the way I am brought up, values and principles I hold which direct me into how I live and how I see the world.
In some ways I have always thought that I did better than many others in fulfilling the social obligations, especially in keeping touch with my friends and families, and also making the social bond live, as well as happen. You see, I find myself organizing many events for family get-togethers, and I also do my best to make time to be there for my community in times of death and sickness, and also in joyful times of my friends, families and the people from my community’s achievements. And I thought I was above average in all this. But I think we often misread ourselves. I did read somewhere that research shows that we actually rate ourselves better than we actually are.
But again, these are gatherings where we idly talk, share the ups and downs, gossip a bit, and cherish each other’s presence – which usually always ends with sharing of a good meal together. I just mean to say that these gatherings are different from gatherings that take place in bars, drayangs, karaoke and the like.
And now looking back to all the times that I have lived so far, from being a child to a high school student, from high school student to a college goer, and then from there to being an independent woman, a mother, a wife and a daughter, I think I never actually lived in the luxury of whiling away time in literally visiting social places like the bars, the karaoke, the drayangs, or the party halls. Seriously, to some it would seem like I wasted half my life.
On the contrary, as if to punish myself, when I find myself enjoying in the rare moments of being in such settings, I find myself coming back to the reality, asking myself what it is worth. It happened to me last night.
I went to a karaoke with a group of friends. We were more than 20, I think. Being a large group, we seemed to have dominated the place – we got to sing more songs than others, and it sometimes sounded more like noise than music. But you see, we were having fun. I enjoyed it too – except that just like I said, I would find myself asking the same question of what it is worth.
When we live with the flow, we get carried away. And unless we hold ourselves back to ask what we are doing, what we call fun sweeps over us and I think oftentimes it is people who don’t think it is worthwhile to stand still for a moment to ask themselves where they are that they find they haven’t really reached where they wanted to be. But, just like some of my friends said this morning, to them, they might think the likes of me are wasting our time.
But again, isn’t it from there that the enticements begin, new relationships start and old relationships are snubbed? It does not mean that this does not happen in any other setting but the risk and the probably are higher here. The atmosphere, the highs added by the alcohol, the perception of the people who visit these places and the motive with which you visit them lead you to take the risk. I have no statistics but I think they don’t always lead you to a better life. As the highs get low and the risk explodes, I think the life only gets bitter. And again, when that happens, there is no soul searching. You visit the same places for solace. What a game this is. And this seems to be the life of so many.
Note** I don’t mean to sound wiser or superior but I can’t help ponder on the thoughts of those whose marriages have broken down, whose lives have been put at stake for no fault of their own, and how some still can’t figure out that it is their doing – and then go on immersing deeper in misery, mistaking the source of problem as the fun and the solace to their torn life.