Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Comfortable Plateau

The other night I fell asleep with all the windows and the door of my room, shut. Needless to say, I woke up with a start in the middle of the night, gasping for breath.

In that instant, the first thing that came to my mind was the scene from Kill Bill 2 where Uma Thurman's character has been buried alive by Budd (played by Michael Madsen). I do suffer from a mild case of claustrophobia and so this scene quite literally took my breath away.

This was immediately followed by another, more pressing idea. What if there was a limited supply of oxygen for each person in this world? Would you breathe freely, live each moment to the fullest and accept death or would you sacrifice the pleasure of every breath to prolong your life?

In a world consumed by the urgent need to grab every inch available, most of our choices are taken keeping the "long-term perspective" in mind. Many of us, including me, live a carefully calculated and measured existence. From the day we are born, our parents plan for us. We take over the mantle to a certain extent by planning for our future, once we have to decide our career path after high school. This uphill climb is undertaken to achieve that comfortable plateau of a well-settled family life. A good job or business, spouse, kids, retirement, etcetera. By all means, this is a scenario worthy of being pursued and once achieved, cherished.

It is possible that many of you might say that you would like to achieve that delicate balance between breathing freely and saving up oxygen for the future, much like how what we strive to do with our finances. Like everything else, this too is a matter of your choice. Whatever you do, just don't gag yourself.

Just like the background image you see while reading this, you'll reach that comfortable plateau at some point in your life. But once in a while, take the plunge off that cliff. It will be worth it. Breathe.

-- Harshvardhan.