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  • Kanika Bhatia

Re-evaluation of Dreams.


When I was growing up, I was privy to conversations that ranged from delirious to imaginative. Probably how you choose your tribe in this claustrophobic cockpit of a scenario. I was too keen to see the world, too restless to know just my peers, and too inquisitive to not probe. The idea instilled was bigger, better and brave. You dream bigger, to be better than the rest, and that’s how you’re braver than them all. These expansive, vast plans involved dissatisfaction with your current scenario. Always. There was less gratitude, more aggression. Velocity, ambitiousness weren’t dirty words, they were encouraged. The idea of slowing down was only meant for those seeking a totemic path, the rest of us ought to fight, harder and furiously.

It didn’t stop, it hasn’t stopped. I am still fighting, still insensitive to others definition of my success, and still hustling. Just as we know where babies come from, the fact that our society thrives on making big and bigger plans isn’t a revelation either. We cheer rigorous competition, enjoy the idea of being busy, and are in awe of those who are unavailable courtesy their success. Sometimes, the respect increases manifold for misbehaved humans who seem “to have arrived” in life. We brush those aside as tantrums of the genius. Ambition excuses everything, even the illusion of busy sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, blanket statements isn’t the point of this. I have been on one side of the spectrum already to know better than to ridicule. But ambition is no longer the dirty word, it’s the coveted adjective. However, the tragedy remains, that just when ambition was becoming cool, I decided I have had enough.

2020 is a year of many firsts for all of us. Besides the obvious, it’s a year I have probably sat myself down enough times to ask what I want. Mind mapping, to do lists, and sincere attempts at meditation apart, I have framed Ikigai charts to really address personal and professional ambitions. And here’s what I realised. My ambitions have squeezed. Yes, like raisins from a juicy grape of overwhelming targets. I no longer wish to conquer the world of fashion, in fact I detest the idea of creating more wasteful consumption for your wardrobe. I have a few taped lessons for those seeking to discard their clothes after two dates with the dry cleaners. I no longer wish to own a fashion line that works out of 200 odd stores across the world and yet gives me the pleasure of an ice cream tub. To give you context, sugar is a depressant kids. My definitions of success, happiness and peace are punctured by the whole cliched sense of either hitting your big 3-0, or simply because this year has rendered anything but living much more important.

But I refuse to extend all the credit to this monstrosity of a year. My sense of unbelonging started before we were forced to sit in a room and do more than just exist. I was restless much before. Currently my ambition lies in writing well. For myself, for the readers (prospects and loyal) who enjoy the content I create. I wish to evoke the inner Tolstoy, Murakami, Lahiri and if need be, even Shobhaa De to ensure this skill raises important conversations. My only ambition is to know the world we live in, and improve it the only way I know I can. Words are powerful, they make and break kingdoms and governments. But yet again, the limiting ambition charms me to know, I just wish to shake some of you from a slumber. I don’t dream to change governments and kingdoms no longer.

Often as kids, when story plots were laid out for us, there was clarity of characters, plots and morals. As an adult now, I no longer aim to alter the moral future of the society. To crux it out, my plot has simplified. If our mass culture narratives are to be trusted, I am giving up. Maybe. But I no longer wish to be pushed on a roller coaster I am not willing for. My sense of worthiness is no longer attached to an idea of old ambitions, some generated out of conditioning and some out of self desire. All I aim, is to do what I do well. There is sustainable value in being happy and the idea of it is fairly changing. Perhaps, 30 is given less credit than it deserves.


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