The biggest riddle ever to solve … “I”

We all believe quiet promisingly that we know everything about ourselves. Well we have been living with ourselves for so long isn’t it? Of-course I carry the same feeling about myself but I was vindicated about this feeling recently in my class (college -TISS, Mumbai). It was a lecture on Organisation Behavior and our professor asked us to draw a person in our note book. Once our pens went down, everyone started showing their caricatures to each other. Not to forget we identified certain Michelangelos as well :).

Our professor went around to see a caricatures made by my friend and made a comment, “I can see that you are going through lot of commotion in your life right now.” My friend said “yes”. So the idea of making us draw was not to put our sketching ability to test but was to know more about our personalities, to be more precise our mental status. I was no less, I also went ahead to catch my professors attention and show my figment of imagination to her. The professor made her comment after looking at my drawing and I also confirmed her analysis. These affirmations went like fire in the jungle. One after the other, everyone started reaching out to the professor to have a look at their drawings and tell them something about themselves. My eyes started rolling around in the class looking at the faces of each of my class mates. All could think about at that moment was, “What are we wanting the professor to tell us that we do not know about ourselves?”, “Why are we getting so desperate to know something about ourselves that we should already be knowing, shouldn't we?.”

“I”, the biggest riddle on earth,it should be “easy to solve right?” because we have been living in our skin since the day we are born but it tends to get “very difficult to define”. But why is it so? A part of me says it’s something to do with the past. Another says it is to do with the way we are leading our lives today.

So what about the past? Hmmmm, let me make you remember, let’s say you got your report card and being an average student it wasn’t as pleasing to the eyes as your parents expected it to be :). On the other side, a close friend of yours, or your neighbor's son (The famous Sharma Ji’s son/ daughter) stood out with flying colors. Let’s assume the moment where your report card finally lands up in the hands of your parents. So what do you anticipate the dialogue to be? Let me guess, “Sharma ji ke bachche ko dekho, woh bhi to tumhari class main hi hai na?” (look at Mr. Sharma’s child, isn’t he also studying in the same class as you?). Well well well it’s true, the collateral damage is not because you could not do well, the damage is more because your friend did well :)

And there will be many more such instances to quote, but all I’m bringing the focal point to is the “comparative childhood” we all have lived through at some point in time. The pressure of looking at and upto someone had been so much that we stopped looking at ourselves. Stopped living with our own selves and struggling to outpace the others around. Whether do “I” want to do something, whether “I” like something, where is my personality drifting to? all of this was never questioned, the aim was to out beat others and be at the epitome of comparison, where other children compare themselves with me.

The race continued and still continues to be and this is where I talk about the present. In the current information age where things are changing across the globe at the pace of light, we all keep running our fingers on the phone flipping through notifications to know what is happening across the globe. The purpose? “I” need to sound relevant to “others”. Can you revisit the last statement please and reflect for a moment. I want to read cause I need to sound relevant to others? In an interview I can eloquently talk about the world economics for 30 mins but the moment someone asks me “Tell me something about yourself?” I start with the lamest of possible answers. Well you may choose to disagree with me but I know a part of the statement will always be true. I am still living my comparative childhood, where I need to outpace people in a group discussion. I need to be “the intellectual” kind whom others try to emulate.

A little self reflection, a little time spending a little more knowing myself will go a very long way. When was the last time you spent time with yourself? Before you answer this question with a response like yesterday, or day before or last week, I hope you understood my question. I mean, just yourself for e.g When did you take a long walk not thinking about the next move Trump will make, to what would be Modi’s strategy will be to uplift the economy but thinking about the famous three people “I ,me & myself”:). Well its proven scientifically as well that indulgence in self talk each day can exponentially boost one’s confidence, self belief and overall mental peace. To me I’ve realised one thing, there is no point busy knowing the world when I have to struggle to know about myself. There is no point outpacing others in a group discussion when “I” have to ask others to know more about me.

There can be many more analogies to this but I wanted to keep it simple, when you are breathing for yourself, guess you are your best friend. When I am not cognizant about myself that is where I feel like ranting to others all the time. This eventually leaves me with no time listening to my loved ones.Don’t let life pass by knowing others, the more you know know about you, the deeper and more meaningful your relationships others will get.

Let’s stop living superficially and take that dive…....

Go out don’t be shy, try and solve this riddle called “I”,
it’s not just enough to know who you are, it’s also important to know “why”……

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