Asked who are you, I would most certainly answer just like any other female of our species, “I am so and so’s daughter.” or to keep it generic, “so and so’s so and so”. A common answer to not an uncommon question. Are we answering correct? Read again – it was ‘Who are you?” and not “Whose are you?”. Pause…I’d blink twice at the intention behind the question before I come up with, “I am a software engineer, I am this, I am that”. Vocation defines ‘what are you’, not who. Yet another pause…Alright, “I did my schooling at…blah blah…college at blah blah”. Stop! That gives the “where of you”. Once again “Who are you?”. Deeper pause this time. “Who am I?” I can’t obviously be a Jackie Chan movie. I must really be someone or at least should intend to become someone. What is that? For the fourth time, “Who are you?”
I was pissed off at suffering an identity crisis, way after my adolescence for it was my inner self that kept nagging me and made me wish the wish I wouldn’t do everyday – Wish to be born as any teeny-weeny creation of God than living the kind that I do, the kind called mankind. Free-willed and merry, I would have had my life at my own disposal, unbound by pre-defined rules, set to be followed from the time of my birth, to the day I become fertilizer to the soil. Naturally, I assume the role and play it to perfection. Lived – Died – Buried – Decayed – Amen. Is that all? I mean, is that really all about the fascinating four lettered word called LIFE? Back again, “Who are you?”
At an official meeting with my superior, I was posed with this question. I stammered a little and he completed the rest. Done with the agenda and back to my seat at office to resume my work but this single question kept reverberating inside my grey matter, over and over again, “Who are you?”. Echo effect was most evident to me at that moment, making me deaf to the hiss and buzz of the numerous keyboards being punched by the tired professionals, striving to meet their deadlines. What a strange pre-occupation for a mind in the middle of the day when there were things of higher priority awaiting my attention!
A sip of coffee beside the glass enclosure, up above the world so high from the pantry in the eighth floor, is all I need to ease my thoughts and finalize decisions, usually termed as “Cool it buddy!” I was peeping below at the tiny human figures on the ground, hurrying about in cars and bikes with different chores. A world of haste making life a waste! (Wow! That rhymes, doesn’t it?). Frustration could be dangerous for it poisons you with deadly self-pity. Waking up with routine, cooking and cleaning, going thru monotony all through the week and spending weekends in tired slumbers, forgoing matters that interest, for the want of time and energy. For what? – A few pennies which would invariably be denied on various pretexts, leaving a little to fill our bounty. Shame! I was inwardly fuming at the injustice of it all, trying to keep a calm face to save my professional ethics.
Its two months already since we screamed “Happy New Year” and I am surprised that I had let two months go by uneventfully, just as I had let the months of the previous year go by having done nothing worthwhile. No wonder “Who am I?” makes me ponder so much. The drop in the frequency of my blogging, the reduced number of calls to friends, for that matter, the reduced communication with the real tangible world, the neglect of book reading are all obvious proofs. I wouldn’t relate it to disinterest for I am all interested in turning the world upside down and energized with enthusiasm as well. It’s just that I have been caught up in a swirl of boredom and ironically, I don’t have the time to feel bored even.
I could feel ‘the me’ that I had been gradually evading away making me a mechanical moron and I have no one but me to blame. Preaching balance to my mates, I am losing balance myself. Good gracious! One or two hours per day is the maximum that I could hope for myself in solitude to do the thing I like or speak to the one I love. Amidst the hay of activities that consumes my day, this meeting held a check point.
“Who are you?” made me want to answer in hundreds of fanciful ways on various contexts both philosophical and practical. But finding myself dumb-folded as I couldn’t justify my answers myself makes me feel utterly remorseful. ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ seems to smile at me in his Godly halo, with an invitation to join his league. No, not yet, I do not seek to redefine myself at the moment. All I need is to remember to live a life and grow to become a somebody such that my fellow folk would answer it for me when asked “Who am I?”