‘A story a day keeps sadness away’. I believe in this self-coined adage and try hard to work one into my day, but there are times when the business of life takes over and I am left with little time to write the story out.
Of course, just because I am not writing does not mean I am not creating the story in my head. When I see people, watch situations unravel themselves, I can’t help but wonder how things would have been if the character was different. I like to imagine different people reacting to the same situations and find it amazing how you can almost predict behavior especially of those you know well.
This activity of creating situations in my mind, of exploring aspects of a person’s nature that sometimes shows through in a very stressful situation, of connecting dots across a person’s lifetime are all things that I do almost unconsciously.
Let me share with you an instance. I met this young lady at a social event and found her to be rather loud and aggressive. While her confidence is impressive, the in-your-face behavior got a bit annoying after a while. It set me wondering what makes a young lady behave in this manner. Was she a tom-boy in her growing years? Was this aggression a way to protect the interest of her family given that her parents were mild-mannered and feared authority? Did she grow up seeing her parents denied their rights when they were too timid to ask or speak up for what they wanted?
I have always believed that the way each of us turns out is the result of what life has dished out to us and how we have chosen to experience it. Often you find children of timid parents growing up as timid, gentle adults. And there are some, like this young lady, who choose to stand up for what she wants, she is different from the rest of her family. She believes in fighting for her rights, she can be argumentative and she believes she is right in her approach to life – just as we all do.
To me, she is a character to be observed, studied and understood. Then I imagine her in a situation where she is wronged, how would she react? How would she deal with a tragedy? How would she behave in a situation where she realizes she is the cause of failure: would she own up the responsibility?
This exercise of thinking about people and the impressions they make can keep me busy for days. You see, I find people and their behavior patterns fascinating. They are my stories, my tales of wonder… and the next opportunity I get to pen down / type out my thoughts, I convert them into stories that can be shared.
And yes, sometimes the gaps are huge, but I guess that’s life. I know I would like to blog every day and reach out to you, my wonderful readers on a daily basis, but sometimes, it is not possible. And it can leave me sad. But not for long! A story in the mind, a post on the blog are things I keep coming back to as I define my path to self-discovery. And if you are like me, and you miss out on your goals, the thing to do is not give up. Keep at it, keep working in whichever form you can, and get back to your path as soon as you can.
Till the next time,
~ Bharti Athray
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