Its early afternoon .A sudden shaft of sunlight pierces the grey clouds and peeps into this room. It picks up the space, the craft books arranged on the top shelf, precious pictures on the walls, a steaming cup of tea placed at my elbow by the ever-thoughtful Hema, the knitting and the laptop sharing the bed with Biskit and me …..and the grey clouds take over the day again. In those few moments, that perfect feeling of contentment and satisfaction washed over me.
Dusk is falling in Delhi. I leave home and clatter down the stairs with the car-keys and a duffel bag. The car is parked on the road and I have planned to drive all the way to Mumbai tonight. The street lights have started their all-night vigil and I start the car and put on the headlights. Oh oh—the headlights shed their light on just a few meters of the road!! How on Earth am I going to drive those hundreds of kms to Mumbai if the headlights don’t show me the road till Mumbai?! This is not working. I switch off the car, and return home in a huff.
Sounds familiar?! “NO!!!!” you say. “Headlights only show you a few meters of the road, and you begin to drive through that lighted bit. As you keep moving on those meters of the illuminated road, the headlights light up some more meters, and that is the way you drive to Mumbai!”. That is how you would explain the function of the headlights to this writer and her ridiculous expectations from this automobile component.
Hey wait!! Aren’t we all guilty of having these ridiculous expectations from the opportunities which make up the story of our lives?
How many times have we ‘switched off the car’ and returned home to our present life because we couldn’t see the destination which an opportunity could show up?
Its so easy to forget that an opportunity will illuminate the path just ahead of us, and as we keep travelling on that path, the way ahead will become visible.
It will be possible to follow the light of a new opportunity all over the world, all over months and years, and over impossible situations and improbable miracles, if only we can remember those headlights.
Focus on what the headlight shows you, and you will avoid the potholes, stay far from the ravines and slopes beside the road and keep going past other traffic. Start peering into the darkness ahead, and the crashes and bumps take over.
The Journey of Life is undertaken with the headlights of opportunity. Stay focused on the efforts and issues currently related to the opportunity and the journey continues. Think of the end point and you might as well switch off the car and recede into your safe/mundane life.
Through medical college- the defence services-matrimony and maternity-arab villages and cities- public health forays—using excel sheets—the compassionate church—the hills and this hamlet. It has been an amazing and enchanting journey and the headlights of opportunity continue to take me down the road of discovery and delight.
It has just been 4 months of writing this blog, of sharing thoughts, of documenting insights which have emerged during the journeys which have been undertaken…doggy days, knitting adventures, hill stories and so much more! I am trying to focus on the present, on the craft of writing and sharing, on improving and growing.
There are times when I find myself peering into the darkness ahead (should I write a novel? Is it time to try out 10 page short stories or a novella? Can I leave knitting and turn to full time writing?) … just then, the crashes and bumps take over. The posts become infrequent, mundane and monotonous. The knitting falters and fumbles. Confusion and self-doubt are jumping in and hitch a ride with me.
Its time to remember the headlights and the road ahead and write on!!
I write on and Biskit dreams on….