Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ambition Vs. Pleasure of Small things

The city that never sleeps can challenge your basic belief system of life. The mad rush that starts with the ringing of the door by maid ends only at the night when you watch an episode of Friends or listen to some soft music. Sometimes this continues even in the dreams despite all the palliatives.

The last paragraph pretty much sums up my first few days at Mumbai. Coming from a middle class background and from a small city, I always derived pleasure from small things. Sometimes from a cup of Ginger tea, from the dim light of lantern when there is a power cut, from the deep silence at 11 pm in the night, from the noise of a Baraat, from the chants of Shlokas at the temple nearby, from the little drops of rain on the window pane. But city that never sleeps does not appreciate the concept of "Small". Here "Unlimited" is the best way to live.

Some people say that the city inspires you to achieve the maximum. And everyone in the city is after that "Maximum". Is this the basic nature of Human beings? Are we inherently ambitious? Or it is the effect of times that we live in?

In my opinion there is a Dichotomy in this aspect of life as well. Either a man can choose to be ambitious or he can decide to live peacefully. And the good thing is that he can be happy both ways. But if he is ambitious he should be aware of the fact that he is ambitious.

Because If one is ambitious, he will have big Goals for himself. And given average luck that most of us have, he has to work hard in life to achieve those goals. If he does not work hard enough to fulfill his desires, there will always be a dissonance in his life. He will be happy at the end of the day only when he knows that he is giving his 100% to achieve what he wants to achieve. ( That is similar to Concept of "Karma Yoga")

On the other hand one who has decided to live and enjoy the peaceful life, will nevertheless enjoy his life. But there will be sometimes a dissonance when the thought will come to his mind that he has not done enough. But that day if he is aware that this is the choice he made for himself, he can be very happy.

Therefore the most important thing in life is to hold yourself responsible for your choices and act according to your choices.

Well, this seems a Matrix (Morpheus) like statement !!! But this is a very comforting thought as fast as I am concerned. I guess, I have slowly slowly started loving this city that never sleeps. And may be some day I will be saying, "Mumbai, Meri Jaan" !!!


Hope said...

Perhaps, we're trained to be ambitious but our heart and soul still enjoys the simple pleasures of life, like a hot cup of tea with hubby on a lazy Sunday. So, the idea is to maintain a balance and not run blindly behind goals, yet never be satisfied with wat u have and keep challenging yourself to explore more.

Nice post..and came after a long time. As usual, thought provoking! :)
Btw, which company u joined in Mumbai?

mohit said...

Are we really trained to be ambitious? Is it not inherent in our nature? Had man not been ambitious, we as a society would not have made so much of a progress probably.

Thanks for your comments. Good to know that you still go through the posts. I am working with ICICI Bank in Corporate Banking Dept. at Mumbai. How are things with you?

Hope said...

Ohh, okay! Have a friend at PnG, Mumbai..so thought maybe u in the same company! :)All the best! And keep writin!

Hope said...

As for being ambitious inherently, I don't think so. In earlier times, people were passionate about things and that's how they invented/discovered new and unique things. Do you think Einstein or Charles Darwin were ambitious?! A person does wonders when he's allowed to wander without a purpose. Give him an aim and he may miss a beauty on the roadside totally! As they say, one should enjoy the journey rather than only the success party, to be happy forever.

Live Aimlessly, that's the latest mantra.

Paritosh Ranjan said...

What a retrospection. I completely agree.

I think the life begins with the default option of "Pleasure of small things", when he is a kid. But, later he sees pleasure in glory and money and other things associated with it. He runs after it, leaving behind the eternal happiness. But the hollowness caused by the loss of "small things" always haunts him. Unfortunately, he is never able to go back, leaving behind all that he acquired on the cost of those "pleasures". So, he compromises with life, saying, this is the life I chose, there is a tradeoff and all......

Great blog. Pleasure to read.

AuSteRelyFreAkY said...

First of all, well said and this is a topic which is quite near to my heart as well (May be because of high similarities!). But whenever I think in depth, I do not see happiness as a Digital pulse! I think the ambition and the pleasures of small things are different and can (and do) co-exist. We run behind 'Maximum' because the ‘small pleasures’ was not the only part of our lives. I am sure you are not touching upon the other side (might be a dark one) here which was simultaneous with the simplicity (it might be a strong set-back or a plain emptiness) and with time the race between the two was inevitable. I find it similar to the Harry Potter concept of ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ memories. And since we make a conscious call to prioritize one over the other, the run behind ‘Maximum’ is an obvious part of the story. But does the human being inside change? I doubt, we still find pleasures in small things (may be a smile from a stranger, a sudden call from an old friend, accompanying a blind man to cross a road, or writing a blog at the end of a hectic day!) and in addition we cherish the sense of pride in being ‘Ambitious’. (P.S. - use of word ‘we’ above might be a faulty generalization!)

mohit said...

Thanks everyone for your comments & compliments. Have not been able to write for a few days now..will try to be more regular..

Continue reading..your feedback and a feeling that your friends read what you write is very motivating.