I don’t remember exactly but when I was in 6th std. we had a lesson in our English textbook about a mountaineer and his achievements. How he scaled the mighty Mount Everest and other mountain peaks. It was presented in the form of an interview. Everything was usual. But in the end, the interviewer asked a question – WHY are you climbing mountains? – that still troubles me. That ‘WHY’ part. The mountaineer responded that he is in love with mountaineering and consider it as his passion. It was the hunger for him.
Many a times, in our own life, we often ask ourselves about WHY are we doing this that things. Sometimes, the world asks you. And a lot many times, you don’t have the answer to that WHY. I call those WHYs – Killer WHY. Killer because they kill your passion, your pursuit. And you really need to keep a good distance from these Killer WHYs. Not many people know about these killers, but they experience them in their life. Those are the WHYs which always ask for an answer. These WHYs don’t know emotions, they only know logic. For them there should be a purpose. That purpose is decided by the trends of society. And what’s trending in society? Professions that are high paying, stable and less risky.
Many people tend to respond those killer WHYs in their childhood, and later end up doing something they don’t love. But there are also many who didn’t answer those WHYs and maybe that’s why they are ultra successful today. Today we all Indians (specially) know about Nawazuddin Siddiqui for his stellar performance in Bollywood movies. But maybe few years from today, he was just an ordinary struggler. He started his journey as a chief chemist, then moved to Delhi to pursue his passion of acting. Due to poor financial condition, he had to even work as a watchman. Enrolled himself in National School of Drama (NSD). Then struggled in Mumbai – the film capital of India. He describes those years as his worst years of life. Then movie after movie, he started growing and in 2012, came the big hits like Kahaani and Gangs of Wasseypur which made him a household name. That kala kutta (black dog), as he describes himself, became a star of Indian cinema.
But there was a time, when people of his village used to laugh at him thinking he would amount to nothing in film industry. People doubted him. Mocked him. He had a decent job as a chemist. He could have continued that career for a normal life. But since his passion and love lied in acting, he took the hard path without answering that Killer WHY and followed his instincts. Today he is a winner. May be, at times, he was frustrated with life. The world and their demands used to trouble him. But he never asked himself WHY he was doing all that and even if he asked, he never answered those WHYs. And just because of that we all know him.
Not only Mr. Siddiqui, there are many other people out there who never answered that WHY and just because of that, they are successful in their journey. The world knows about Chetan Bhagat. Don’t we? He is a common household name and especially among youths. But his journey was also somewhat strange. He started with IIT Delhi as a mechanical engineering grad, moved to IIM Ahmedabad and then joined Goldman Sachs as an investment banker. But the paradigm shift came to his life, when he left all those luxuries and started writing novels and newspaper columns. Today he is one of the most celebrated writers and TIME magazine lists him under 100 most influential people of 2010. But not everything was that smooth for him since the beginning. I mean he had a secure career. He was well off as an investment banker. But somewhere, deep inside, it felt to him that writing is his passion. And remember it’s much harder to break a building and build something else in that place, than to build that from scratch. He already had a lavish lifestyle. And leaving everything for something different is a difficult decision.
It is not that writing is not stable career, but he was already established with his profession. Despite of those difficulties and those killer WHYs, he didn’t answer them and now we know him as a winner. Not only Chetan Bhagat, many people choose not to answer that WHY and become ultra successful in their profession. Those killer WHYs only know what the world says. They never hear the inner voice of the soul. And if you try to answer those WHYs, you get trapped in it eventually, you need to give up. Because in answering those why, you use your logic more than your emotions. You want an instant progress. And later end up doing things you never had passion for.
Just take me as an example. I have just crossed 18. And since 2011, I have been writing this blog. WHY? I don’t know. I don’t earn anything from this blog. Even if I don’t write it, nothing much would happen to my life. But still I write. I share my words with people around. WHY? Because I love writing. It gives me a pleasure. And better to free your words than to imprison them in your mind. If you observe, there’s a difference between both the WHYs – one red and one green. Because first WHY was the killer WHY. It only asked for purpose, for benefit. And the second WHY just asked about my emotions, my passion. In the long run, you can’t say what benefits you and what not, so if you stop answering those WHYs, it’s better for you. Because answering them only lead to path of destruction.
Think about space exploration in its early stage. People use billions on them. WHY? It doesn’t give us a direct benefit. Though now we know that other planets can serve as our shelter. Still, there’s no direct purpose of that. Leave that. Tell me about cosmology. What anyone do by knowing about the origin of our universe? But still, we do. Right? WHY? Because we love to explore. That differentiates us from other primates. We are human. We are meant to explore. We are NOT meant to just eat, sleep and reproduce. More than anything else, we are true explorers. We seek answers to unanswered questions.
Wrapping up, I just want to say one thing that as a child, we never try to answer those WHYs. With time, we become slaves of the world and society, that we start answering them. And today, everyone of us wants a WHY. We can’t do anything without answering a WHY. If we are helping someone, we ask WHY we are doing that. If we are serving people, we ask WHY we are doing that. If we are creating something, we ask WHY we are doing that.
Not every WHY ends with a REASON,
Not every HOW describes a PROCESS,
Not every WHAT identifies SOMETHING,
Not every WHEN tells TIME…
Sometimes, you need to stop asking and simply continue on your path!
©Sandeep Deva Misra. 2011-16. All the images in the post are taken from internet. For more information on our copyright policy, go to COPYRIGHT
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