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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Familiarity

I often crib about the fact that my life is boring and predictable. It lacks the Zing. Especially now, there seem to be very few 'new' moments. The 'firsts' have slowed down to a trickle. True, I belong to that always demanding, I-want-everything-that-everybody-else-has species that you can notice everywhere these days. It's good in a way. I mean, it doesn't make sense if I am already satisfied with all that I have. Ranting about the demands and expectations that we have of ourselves is not the purpose of this post though. It's just that I think that behind all this hue and cry for change, there's a part of me which seeks familiarity in whatever I do and wherever I am.

In the office, they changed my system today so I had to set it up from scratch. And while doing it I felt that most of my efforts were focussed on getting the exact look and feel of my earlier desktop. I needed the same wallpaper. I wanted my old bookmarks to be arranged in a particular way. I had to have all my shortcuts to be exactly in the right place as they were earlier. I did all this before I started to install the stuff on which I had to work. Somehow, it was imperative that I feel at ease with my system. Feel familiar. And that got me thinking. What I realized was that it's not just restricted to the way I want my desktop to look. It extends; well, to my entire being. From waking up in the morning and listening to a few songs to the sweetness of my coffee, from the way I expect my bike to zoom past a car to the sound of a particular chord on my guitar, from the mails that I find in my inbox daily upon my arrival in office to the people I talk to over the messenger, from the 10 o' clock Comedy Show to the late night lets-see-if-anybody-is-online habit, subconsciously, I crave for acquaintance with my surroundings. I am (aren't we all ?), to use the cliche, a creature of habit. Is that the reason I don't like train journeys, particularly the ones made alone? Because they are transitory in nature. Is that the reason I prefer having daaru parties at my home and playing the host? Because I feel I am in control.

Knowing what to expect, knowing what's coming next, provides me with a sense of security. I like to be in control in most things I do. Or to put in in a better way, I like to know the way a certain activity is likely to occur or a certain thing is likely to behave. Like singing a song, riding my bike, doing my job (although it happens rarely in that case!), talking to people. And I think being in sync with your surroundings, lends that control to an extent. Although at times I wish to abandon everything and just let go. Let go of the banality of my life and take a plunge into the unknown. So there are these two conflicting me's. One which craves for familiarity in everything and the other which seeks newer, unexplored horizons. And while the former makes its presence felt subconsciously, everyday, the latter comes in bursts and is more intense in nature than the former.

There's a pattern to our daily existence which we all come to feel contented about. We all want to know what's coming our way and that's why we want things to be just as they have been earlier. Sure we like surprises and the occasional change is welcome. But the comfort of the known is something we need very much in our life. It could be in small things like the little hard spot in your bed or the particular way your flatmate pulls your leg, and we might not always realize its presence. But when its not there, like the picture of a small wooden bridge sent by a friend that has been my wallpaper for a few days now, you can definitely feel its absence.

6 comments:

cathatfished said...

hmm i know what you mean.. like i try out every single wierd thing to eat i ever come across - but have the same damn thing for breakfast every day, and in the same damn order :D
im not the sort you wd call risk averse.. but lately things have been so uncertain on the macro level that i end up compensating by being paranoid and fussy at the micro level.. :)

Captain Subtext said...

Were the post above and the first comment after that made by my alter-egos?
(The first one is too good to be written by me though, and the comment uses sms words that I probably (hopefully) would not use even in some alternate form - so maybe not!)

sunny said...

"mujhe parivartan pasand nahi...i dont like changes"-BigB, Mohobatein:D

In total agreement, i prefer stability. Though the fact is that we can be in control of ourselves but not the surroundings.

Nice post, made me think( a rare event these days)!!!

Shreyas said...

i am myself searching for my future, but as i knw u are too i want to suggest something...why dont u try to categorise ur career as either known or a surprise. in my view u need to knw something completely to settle down with it for a long time....makes sense?

anonymous coward said...

although some of the fights in life you mentioned were tech-related (like the formating-reinstalling crap) tech also helps to compensate for change. i still get my daily HT just like in delhi, although now its the E-Edition , but still, the content and layout is same as that of the one published in Delhi.

to continue the tradition of ending my comments wtih a few words of wisdom, nothing is permanent but change :)

Atish said...

@cathatfished macro / micro hmm.. not bad ;)
@captain subtext 'alternate form' ??
@sunny dont we already have enuf of Big B in our lives :D
@shreyas yaar sab pata hota to kya baat thi :)
@anon coward dude u getting wiser by the day (or shall i say by the post) ;P