Tag Archives: experience

Escaping reality and being empathic

 

It is about 2-3 weeks my mid semester exams are over, now everything is going on calmly, with no extraneous pressures. But the week of mid semester exams was quite an enervating week, we had exam every other day, but it had moments which shone some light on some really important facts.

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Every person in this world wants a better reality than the one that they possess!

It was the day before my penultimate exam. I had just awoken from a nap, and just began studying the notes. But somehow nothing was getting inside my head. I was scared, so I called my friend and asked him if it would be OK if I come over his room and we could study together. He agreed, and I was happy by it. In about 15 minutes, I was at his room in his hostel. We started studying the notes together and it began quite fruitfully. Our conversation as we revised took a different turn. They turned from me asking my friend doubts to us talking and comparing room sizes and roommates. I was surprised to know that we faced similar problems. As hours went by, I got acquitted with his room, surroundings and hostel in general. My mind unconsciously compared my room to his, it started finding shortcomings and problems with my room. I grew familiar with his surrounding, and after spending about 7 hours in his room, my mind started accepting his room as my own. Suddenly, my mind fronded at the fact that I HAD to return to my room again. My mind started finding comfort in someone else’s surrounding, somehow it found comfort in the idea of escaping the reality I faced. I was happy to tell him that I could exchange his room for mine, if it was fine for him. Moreover, I knew that he too liked my room, and would be more than happy to exchange. But now my mind shrieked, “BEING EMPATHETIC IS FINE, BUT ESCAPING REALITY ISN’T”.

After about 1 week after my exam got over, I went home. This time I went home after about 2.5 months. I was excited at the same time really happy to taste home food after a long time. After coming back, I cycled, played my piano, and watched a couple of movies. The night before my flight back to Delhi, I couldn’t sleep, I was restless. I couldn’t believe my senses that I had to go back, and the whole week had gone in a blink. My mind comforted in the idea of staying at home, it found happiness in escaping reality than facing it.

Coming back to the university was difficult, I was feeling homesick and tired. As the week started, I again began the routine of cycling to classes, and back. My university cycle was not as awesome as my home cycle. There was a periodic sound coming from around the pedals of the cycle. The air pressure in my tyres was low. Out of the blue, I thought my home cycle. It never had any problems, it rode smoothly. But this cycle well it was officious. I had an epiphany, I faced a similar situation during exams. I was NOT accepting reality, I was trying to escape it. I was balancing pros and cons, and making comparisons.

Somehow the world that I know of lacks empathy. The people of this world are increasingly narcissistic, and are completely imperturbable to another person’s lifestyle. But there is an irony here. We are ready to trade and exchange for a better life, we are ready to escape a harsh reality for a reality which is much more comfortable and better. We are ready to wear somebody else’s shoes if they are grander, shinier and comfortable than our own. The concept of empathy and escaping reality are facets of the same coin. We are not emphatic, but we are ready to accept a better reality than our own. This particular aspect makes our life difficult, we are not comfortable in our own skin. Due to this, we don’t experience and feel things the way we should. Only when we accept the things that we face, only then can we really enjoy the life that we have.

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Path and Wisdom

Cycling is one of my many hobbies, which I pursue passionately. In a week, my cycling workout is around 70 kilometers. It has being 5 years since I took cycling as a serious activity than just a means of exercise. At home, I have several that complete my workout, while back at my university, I have another set of routes, which satisfies my hunger for a ride. One thing that I admit in all this is that it is quite a repetitive activity, and it can bore you, but there is another aspect to it.

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This is my current ride- R Bike from Schnell! 🙂

15 days ago, I was home. Back home, I used to complete my cycling workout in morning when the traffic is low and roads are empty. I had completed 3/4th of the path, and 1/4th remained. As you might have heard, cycling is an activity best carried out in a group. But even if you’re in a group you are by and large alone. It is an individual activity regardless of the fact you do it alone or in a group. That morning as I waited for the traffic light to turn green, I suddenly realized how alone I was, even though vehicles and bikes surrounded me. I was my own responsibility on the road, nobody was instructing me, following me. A chill ran down my spine, and I took more time to complete the remaining 1/4th path than I did to complete the 3/4th path. As I was down to only 2 kilometers from my home, my conscience suddenly made me realize that you can’t be too careful, you HAVE to be strong and you NEED TO concentrate on the road than on your mind. Reaching home, I had this moment of epiphany, that persistence and perseverance are 2 important aspects of cycling. You can’t get lost in your thoughts, and you can’t get discouraged by the miles you have to cover to reach your destination.Screenshot_20160228-154141-2

Cycling taught me persistence and perseverance

Another morning as I was cycling on a different route, I see other cyclists going from the opposite side of the road, some acknowledge me as a fellow cyclist, others are lost in their mind, OR ARE THEY? Are they lost in their world or are they like me too busy on the path? I suddenly realize cycling is not just pedaling up and down, but rather it is more enigmatic than that. It is about staying put on the path, you have chosen and completing it with determination and focus. Once you start doubting your path, the path will slow you down, it will make you less adventurous and more cautious, it will affect you on a psychological level. You will start considering the path a burden and become less curious and interested.

Back in the university, when I went on a short cycling trip with a group essentially I was all alone. Every guy of the group was alone, but on the path, we were all together. The path meant different things for us, but we were unified on the idea of conquering the path. The destination didn’t mean much, but the journey taught me many things.

All that matters is humanity

It was a fine day, the music player of my phone was playing all my favorite songs, as the player played a hit after a hit it came to a song by the band metallica- wherever i may roam. It reminded me of a particular incidence in a place away from home. 1 year ago during my summer vacation I had being to a place about 500 or 600 km from  home to a place where I had my internship. During that period I had a first hand experience with dealing with roommates. My first roommate was also a summer intern, but his stint ended a week earlier than mine. When my old roommate left, a new one came well he was not a summer intern, but it had come for a small course of 2 weeks here. This roommate was quite intriguing, he didn’t understand English he only spoke a language I was completely unfamiliar with, well he did understand English but only to a limited extent. The conversation we had were only in few broken English words and hand actions to tell necessary things. When you don’t understand the language the other person speaks, you become elusive and alert you try to judge that person and view him or her in a particular way. That’s what happened to me. When the time came for me to leave the place, it so happened that my roommate would also leave a day after I would leave. As it was my first ever stay away from home, my parents were coming to the place where I was, to pick me up and in that particular area there weren’t any good hotels to stay. I was trying tirelessly to make a place to stay for my parents in the same place where I was staying, as the room I which I was staying had 3 beds, and only 2 beds were occupied at that particular time.

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This is one lesson I learned by my stay away from home!

One day when I was talking  to my parents on my phone, and I was pretty disappointed that they had to stay someplace far away from my place, my roommate somehow got a hint of my conversation and concern of my parents on the phone. After my call ended in a bit of disappointment, he asked me what was the problem?, in my broken English and hand symbols I told him that my parent were coming and they had no place to stay. After seeing the empty bed lying in front of me and my empty and disappointed face, In the same manner of sign language and broken English, he told me that he would move to another room in the same place, so that my parents could stay in this same room. Hearing this, I told him that it was fine and that told him to not worry about it. I told him that doing this it would be inconvenient for him. But he insisted, he told me they are your parents and they needed a place to stay, they can stay here I will find another place to stay. Hearing this I felt a bit obliged and I told him not to do this. Somehow afterwards everything went well my parents got a place to stay the night, since the next morning we were leaving for home, my roommate stayed in the same room, I moved for the night to the place where my parents were staying. But this incidence taught me one thing, just because you don’t understand the language the other person is speaking in and even if you communicate in a somewhat weird manner we should not have a prejudice against that person. We have to understand that we are all humans and regardless of what the other person speaks in we all understand our human ways. Everybody knows that when we are with our parent all that we want is convenience for them. That room mate of mine was ready to move out of the room so that my parents could stay there, even if  that meant bringing inconvenience to him despite the fact that I knew him for only one week. I feel bad that I judged him too early but it taught me and told me the meaning of the saying.
It is important to be a human, than to be just a human being. 🙂