Jump. Dive. Fly.
When I was watching ZNMD (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – the movie) for the nth time, I had a pit in my stomach – twice: first when they go scuba diving; second, when they go jumping off the chopper –paragliding. For the life of me, I could not take it. Such depth and such height! Both seemed unmanageable, to me at least. Hope it seemed the same to the actors!
But that’s what life is about, whether you like it or not. There are times, when you have to take charge. When you have to decide on the spot. Act on the spot. More often than not, these are life and death situations and you cannot afford to wait and say, “ Someone will come to my rescue.” I remember a nerve chilling incident about 17 years back. My son was about 3 years old and we were sitting in our balcony, watching the traffic outside. He was eating candy, the small round one. I was scared to let him have it, but nevertheless allowed him to have it, asking him to break it into two with his teeth immediately, so it would not get stuck in his throat. He nodded but before he could do anything it got stuck in his throat and he choked. I froze but since I was the only one in the house, I had to do something. Taking him to the doctor was not an option, as it would have meant wasting precious time.
So what did I do?
I banged him on his back just behind his cheast with force, twice; all along, with my heart in my mouth. And out popped the candy from his little mouth. Relief!
It terrifies me to think, ‘what if’? What if I hadn’t read about how to stop a little one from choking in my Dr. Spock (the book on how to raise little children single handed). What if I hadn’t taken charge and banged his back with a force? What if the effort had failed?
But thank God, nothing of the sort happened! Whew!
In a second incident at the beginning of my career, when I had joined an ad agency as a writer, my Director discovered that I was an MBA (he probably missed out on it, when he read my resume) and asked me to help the client servicing guys with presentations.
He was shocked and told me how, I should and I can put my MBA to good use, how I should be a writer and a strategist. At that time, I was very clear I wanted to focus on learning the ropes of writing. I was not going to let anyone else take my life and work- decisions for me, even if he was the boss.
I told him exactly that, saying, it was my life and he had hired me as a writer and I did not want to do anything else, even if I was capable. I also told him that he still had a choice to let me go if he had second thoughts of me as only a writer.
I stuck to my guns. He let me be. I worked as a writer in that agency and learnt a lot to get to where I am today.
In a third incident, I was offered a plum position in a company. As plum as it could get. There was no reason to say ‘no’. But I was still scared of saying ‘Yes’. Because these were new waters. Maybe I was scared of the depth, maybe I was scared of drowning. But I took a deep breath and told myself , “You wouldn’t know, till you dived in, will you?”
I dived in.
Today, I am navigating my way across its depths, sometimes murky, sometimes clear, many a time fascinating. I am sure it will lead me to new shores, like Columbus. On a voyage to new discoveries.
At every stage in life, you have to take charge of your self, of your life – of your issues, of your worries, of your fears and insecurities. Only then will you be transform, grow and grow happy and successful.
This taking charge of yourself does not happen overnight. It is a voyage, sometimes a long one. You have to keep swimming; keep walking.
Bon Voyage to all you SHEROES, in 2015.