One of those things about unconventional people that I wish more people would know, is that they are not so because they had the courage to give up everything or take the harder path, but simply because they couldn’t help it. If their self-actualisation needs are not satisfied, life itself becomes a challenge not worth undertaking.

Today afternoon, as I was thinking without any productivity, about what my research topic would be and indulging in questions like “Should I do something simple and get done with the obligation or use it as a push to learn something that might help me in my work?”, and switching my answers every 5 minutes- a teacher came up to me and gave a pass of a seminar being held in a neighboring engineering college. Naturally, my first mental reaction was that it’d be a waste of my time since these were topics and issues on which I had accessed ample resources and heard countless stories, so there would be nothing new. It’d be designed for college students who would naively consider a talk with simplistic truths, a coming of age moment.

Yet, I told myself taking a leaf from the Thums Up ad- Aaj Kuch Toofani Karte Hai, and in that state of mind made my way to the auditorium where it was being held. In retrospect, it turned out to be a great experience. I did not learn anything new, (if you leave out the knowledge of mere facts) or gain insights. Still, I was touched by how these people were so very proud and happy about inspiring people to be like them by illustrating how beautiful their existence is. There was one male Bharat Natyam dancer, who was evidently feeling a incredibly beautiful release in narrating some of the challenges of taking what he had taken up. When he practiced as a dancer in his teenage years and the sound would reach his mother, he would say that he was practicing Karate. When he ultimately got caught, he faced a lot of opposition from his parents for obvious reasons. “Please don’t let your son be a Bharat Natyam dancer. He will be like a eunuch.”/”How can you do Bharat Natyam? Your eyes are hardly visible.” Such reminiscences if heard from the mouth of the person who has gone through it, brings alive a fleeting glimpse into a world so unique and so beautiful. He also quoted some of the comments that he got in his journey so far, “It is not about the size of the eye in Bharat Natyam, it is about its intention.”

I could do a similar profile on the four other people in the conference, but my time in this cyber cafe has exceeded way beyond my expectations. I’d end though with a small news bulletin, about how today I played a doubles game in pool with two complete strangers. It was a Best of 5 tournament, which we won in 3 straight victories. Not satisfied, the opposition asked us if we were up for a Race to 5 tournament. Being kind, courteous and sporting we agreed. Only to see ourselves lose 4 games in a row. Panicky and nervous, we managed to win game number 8 with a stroke of luck. The fate of the 100 Rs. note in our pockets was finally decided over one single black ball. They fouled. It was hard maintaining a straight face. The reason I am sharing this, is because it was too good a feeling to lose memory of. And, I tend to forget such accomplishments.