Seeing the quality and popularity of my blog posts, people frequently ask me to write and publish books. In addition to love for my writing, I know that they mean well by suggesting that I do something about my ever dwindling financial resources. When I left the Navy after nearly 37 years, I didn’t have much and I didn’t even covet much. I also know that they feel that the posts ought to be read by wider audiences.
My biggest concern is that I do not want to get into a rut wherein the quality or even acceptability of something that I am passionate about is to be measured in terms of money earned or readership.
There must be something that we do that is not done with a purpose, intent, end or aim in mind. However, in our current national and community thinking all tasks and engagements must have a specific purpose or reason. We even call into question God’s accountability and use such phrases as: “All the money that I donated to the temple fund appears to have been wasted since our son still couldn’t get admission in medical college” or “Yes, God answered our prayers in getting mataji’s health back. But, out of rupees 10000 that I paid as chadhawa (offering to God), God appears to have given back only about 2000 rupees worth”.
A few years back I started trying my hand at the game of golf. Since I am fond of open spaces (Please also read: ‘Walk Or Gym? I Like It In The Open’), I liked walking on greens, through bunkers and woods chasing a small white ball. However, soon many of my friends started teasing me, “So, you have decided to become an Admiral? This is the sure shot way.”
It must be a world-wide phenomenon; but, it is much pronounced in India. Everything has to lead to something. You can’t have friends unless they can be of some use to you when the chips are down. Indeed, many people actually think of friendship as an investment. Similarly, political people, babus, doctors, lawyers etc have to be nurtured assiduously with the purpose of providing some return when needed.
Children’s education too is seen as an investment. There has to be some return else it is not worth making him or her an engineer or even well read or well educated.
After retirement from the Navy, I started this blog with the idea of giving vent to my creative energies. It was supposed to be a leisurely pursuit. However, then I made the mistake of joining Indiblogger (Please also read ‘Blogging – Race Or Stampede?‘). Soon I was hooked on to monthly ranking: mozRank, Alexa rank, frequency of posting, and external juice passing links and the like and then it became as banal as anything that we do in our life.
The other day, I was reading this light-hearted take on blog writing: ‘It is like various stages of prostitution; first you start doing it for fun, then for your intimate friends, thereafter for wider circle of friends and acquaintances but finally you start doing it for money. My writing is still at the first stage and I am – as they say in McDonald’s ad – I’m lovin’ it.
Yesterday, once again, I was taking a class with the young executives of my company on Leadership and Team Building. In yet another talk, I reminded them about Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In the pyramid, at the base, are the Physiological Needs, going up to Safety Needs, Love and Belonging Needs, Esteem Needs and finally Self Actualisation Needs. Privately I was thinking that we Indians are almost perpetually at the bottom of the pyramid, doing things only to satisfy some basic need or the other. There is always a purpose for doing anything.
Is there no time when we would do things because of passion, a fire that burns inside, a quest that needs to be quenched? Is there no time when we would be like the avid mountaineer who was asked why did he have to climb a
mountain and he replied, “Because it is there”?
There is no price that can be placed on a smile; and, if you can smile inwardly, without any apparent reason, it is priceless indeed. A mother does it so often with her child and doesn’t ever count the number of likes and comments her child gets or her ranking in the world because of him.
Your pet does it and you do it for your pet; you read a number of articles about how having a pet is good for you. But, those are after you have got him or her.
Love is not a reasoned emotion and yet, it is the greatest of human emotions.
© 2015, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.