Saturday, April 11, 2009

All the Worlds a Stage

Disclaimer: Yes I keep coming back to this, but my blog will remain incomplete without a post on this most revered topic. For those of you who have read and liked the stuff I used to write some 5-6 years back, you will know that this is a more mature Merlin, in the way I write, in the way I think and the way I live. For those of you who have groaned and moaned at this foolish blabber trigger of mine, bear with me and my love for Shakespeare... for I owe it to the old Merlin to include at least one post in my blog, and you can call it a tribute to the old times! Parts of this are from my website section of "My Diary"
“All the worlds a stage and all the men and women mere players, they have their exits and entrances and every man in his time plays many parts”
All of us have had our parts, and mine have been especially amusing (don’t we all think the same for our individual parts?)

My life is defined into clear phases, so distinct and so different from one another that when I look back it always surprises me. These phases have such clear boundaries that I can almost tell you the date when one phase ended and the other started. For me it has been defined more so because I have lived in 7 different cities in my lifetime, and the phases of life can be more or less divided into the 7 phases for the 7 cities. I used to think that my life is unique in having these phases till I stopped to think about the lives of the people I have been really close to. My best friend, who is the person I am closest to has also had pretty distinct phases in her life, I can almost take a marker and mark those phases. My cousin J, whom I have referred to in my phase before has had distinct phases as well, as different from each other as mine. Iya, whom I know from her blogs, and little bit more from engineering college days has had her distinct phases too! I have known Ms NRI (the girl from Singapore I have talked about in my previous blog) closely for a long time, and I know that her life has most certainly been segmented. Hence I am not unique, and I tag all the people reading this post (specifically my best friend SS, Iya, Swollen Tomato, Shura and NRI)to take a moment off and define their phases, and hopefully blog about them as well!
So here are my phases, maybe more in number than most people, but I have changed (and sometimes taken a U turn) too many times in life :).
Phase 1: The Dumb "Good Boy": Location: A small but not-so-insignificant town in East India characterised by high class living, and an ethnic mix of people. Starts with the dumb scared guy sitting quietly in the corner of the class in one of the most prestigious schools in the city, (a typically elitist school)… wondering about what the secret of becoming what they called “smart” is... The guy from an all-boys school, who has never talked to a girl who wasn’t his sister or cousin, who thinks that girls come from another planet, and it is natural to stammer and stutter when speaking to one of the species. Towards the end of the phase things change a bit. There is a little bit more confidence, and a high school girlfriend thrown in. There are foolish Romeo-like motivations, but some tiny sparks of ambition which are threatening to start a big forest fire. A person low on confidence, high on motivation.
Phase 2: The Student Leader: Location: An Engineering College, outskirts of a city in Central India. Starts with a few incidents that enrages the good boy and make him take up some diverse activities that teach him to lead from the front. A small entity called the Literary Club thrusts the good boy into dirty student politics, all inclusive of plots, scams, violence and dirty games. The good boy is no more a good boy. This is perhaps my most transitional period, when my life changed completely. I discovered myself as a person, found out about my strengths and weaknesses, got to see the darker side of life.. violence, booze, crime, road rage and some more unspeakable things. The four years of engineering has taught me to appreciate a lot of things today that most people take for granted. It also gave me my most treasured friends, and redefined friendship in my mind as something you should be ready to give your life for.

Phase 3: The Nondescript Worker: Location: New Delhi, Northern India. From the fame of being a college celebrity to the dull life of a first job which was not a dream job. I spent most of my time working my ass off. It was almost as if I was trying to fool myself by burying myself in work which I neither enjoyed nor aspired for. I had taken up the job for all the wrong reasons, and even those reasons had failed to justify myself. When I was really young and people talked about being successful, I always used to wonder how one defined success. So one day I sat down and defined it, I must have been 10 or 11 then. I decided that to be successful, I needed to have an apartment to myself (rented or owned, who cares), enough money to be able to eat chaat whenever I wanted to, a bike and a girlfriend. I had all of it in this phase, and yet I was not happy. Something was wrong, I needed to set it right. But before I could do something about it, things took a drastic turn...

Phase 4: The Freelancer: Location: Kolkata, Eastern India. The drastic turn in my personal life threw me back into the fire to start from scratch. Which in a way was good. So I left my job abruptly, even though I was given the 'best performer' award and was due for a promotion. I changed my city, which was a very good move. And I started preparing for the MBA entrance exams. I was trying to run away from myself, hence I did some things during this phase which I am not particularly proud of. This was the phase where I was depressed and I was doing things which were against my character and was blaming it on my depression. But thankfully my guardian angels were watching over me, I got a good percentile in the entrance exam and got admitted to a one of the top 10 Business Schools of the country.

Phase 5: The B-School Lover Boy (B stands for Beach): Location: A small scenic beach town on the Konkan (west) coast of India. I had gotten into a good business school, and my confidence was at its peak. I was confident that I would sail through academics, so much so that I engaged my time in more fruitful pursuits like finding a life partner for myself, and spending my time discovering picturesque waterfalls, beaches, biking and travelling around. My 2 years in business school can perhaps be defined as a love affair, with nature, with bikes, with beaches and some more interesting entities. To add icing to the cake, I also won some random national level business debates and research/paper presentation competitions, getting me some limelight in the national business students circuit. I came out with flying colors, landing a dream job in my dream company, with a compensation which far exceeded my expectations. And the degree and the job were not the only take-away from the business school

Phase 6: The Management Intern: Location: Bangalore, IT Hub of the country in Southern India. A new job, a new city, a new place to live.. new friends and a new life. To think of it I can say the previous sentence for every phase, damn! A very short and confused phase. But a very lucky one. They say that sometimes you need to be at the right place at the right time for some things to work out. Well opportunity knocked, and I opened the door immediately. This phase was sort of a turn around, some tough decisions, which took me on the right path. This is the phase when i wrote "A Brick in the Wall", I think the piece defines the phase pretty well!

Phase 7: The Mature Man: Location: Stockholm, Sweden. There is a time when one knows that he has found his calling. This was such a time for me. Everything just fell in place.. it seemed like this is how it was meant to be. Like this was a destination of the journey so far, and the starting point for another more exciting and more enticing journey ahead. I left a lot of things behind, and I missed some of them a lot (and I cant stop talking about it >> HERE ) but this was the road to discovering completely new things. I had everything I had wanted, the girl of my dreams, the perfect addictive job, a lovely country. Touchwood!

These have been the phases of my life... tell me yours..

Tagged to: My Best Friend, Iya, Swollen Tomato, BG Friend, Young Architect and NRI

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