A journey of thousand miles starts from a single step. This adage appropriately flags off the journey of a pen from the scratching by a tender hand, innocently gauche grip of a toddler to the smooth strokes perfected over the years by the now wizened hands of a veteran handling the pen.An instrument as important but as insignificant as a pen which most of us take for granted, along with various other things, comprising the matrix of our lives that when the need arises to ‘pen’ down our thoughts, take notes, maintain records and to do a thousand other things, it serves the purpose and yet remaining anonymous in the entire discourse.
It ages obediently in its strokes and curves along with the aging thoughts of its master. When it sets out on its journey, clutched awkwardly in the hands of a toddler, it is as beguiling to the child as a new gadget in hands of a gizmo maniac or a cosmic explosion to an astrophysicist. When the hand masters and wields it with confidant authority, the pen acts as beads in hands of a priest guiding pious devotees.
Life is like that. Starting from the non inhibitive, unself-conscious first steps littered with gauche actions, the mind adapts itself to the ambience created by the circles we move in. And we settle down comfortably in our stables pushing our intellect, our aspirations with the goal of achieving the unwavering adroitness of a pen in the wizened hands of a veteran. In some way or the other all of us strive to do the same, isn’t it? The acts of reflecting and pausing do come as the motels in the way. Sometimes the process of retribution within us also comes by halting the journey of a thousand miles when the pen becomes a given object and pausing to realize its worth, enlightens and re-introduces us to ourselves.
Retrospection might not be adequate but the ideas born out of it make us realize how true we are to ourselves. Escapism, as some may put it, is a common recourse taken up by many. The perfect escape for one, from oneself, can be expected. The rise in drug abuse, rise in crime rate and the increasing space crunch in prisons can be confidently attributed to escapism. Coming to terms with reality and the cost paid by junkies cannot be measured in economic terms. It can only be touched to gauge its intensity by the little acts of escapism we switch to in our comparatively less extreme lives – movies, music, novels where we lose ourselves in thoughts of others, avoiding our own. And merely acknowledging the atrocities inflicted on humans by other human beings every single day in every single domain, irrespective of the geographical or cultural boundaries, will throw light on the subtle scavenging that the human soul undergoes.
But in the face of all the self created man-made demons, hope lives on. A spark of light, a touch of love, a strong will and a whirlpool of optimism always remains hidden, waiting to be summoned. Civilizations have emerged from ashes of the remains, bright, hopeful, and cautious and optimistically pushing towards an apogee, succumbing to self-created loopholes and finally crumbling into ashes. The wheel turns a full circle. We might call humans pushing towards that apogee all over the world with growth, sustainable development, improving standards of living, both materially and spiritually. Health crazed, fitness conscious humans harboring eclectic mix of high flying dreams right from the field of social service to politics to technology to corporate world to living a satisfied life with a lot of happiness thrown in.
It is a bumpy journey with potholes and the struggle coming with it. It is about the survival of the fittest. It is about being who you are and stretching to the limit of your tensile strength to transform, adapt and hence cope. It is about thinking big and then working even bigger. It is about surrendering yourself to you instead of surrendering to the ambience. It is about holding your stable while galloping ahead. It is about moving in your circle and ‘un-defining’ the perimeter. It is about being the pen which walks a thousand miles with the garb of anonymity thrown off it, until you become the seemingly oxymoronic self – a child and a veteran at the same time, who clutches the pen with gauche adroitness; in short, your own self.