Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just an update on my tryst toward simplicity…

“We often come across discussions on leading simple life or the public hoardings preach, “Saada Jeevan Ucch Vichaar Hi Ho Hamare Jeevan Ka Aadhaar ….” Most of the generation Y folks won’t agree to the phrases and would call it an outdated idea. I too count myself in Generation Y and had the same opinion on simplicity some years back. I never considered myself simple because of my incorrect understanding about simplicity. I thought simplicity comes with fewer resources - when you can’t make it big, you do it simple..and you can’t make it big because you don’t have enough power.  What a hard-headed philosophy!
Simplicity is not about the lack of power or resources but the power of sustainability without starving for more power or resources. It would be a misconception, if I say it is easy to live simple – believe me Simplicity does come for a price!
Lately, we decided to buy a house because of the obvious pressure from our families. It took an hour for us to decide on the apartment and a minute to sign a cheque to the manager – but it gave us a generation learning on what an asset is and what it takes to have an “own” house!
My father sustained a family of five with mere ten thousand bucks and built a house in nine years.The house, he feels proud of and takes it as a certificate of achievement of his last 50 years.I bow to all the parents on the earth for setting up an example for the coming generations.
I would have lived my whole life in a rented accommodation without a slightest regret of not having an own house. But I would have missed on the experience of sustaining my next 15 years on half the income for a secured future – a step ahead to achieve a simple life. I feel wise to have invested the same way as my father did 20 years back.
Simplicity is the most hyped and craved adjective - the more we think it as outdated, farther we move from sustainability.
I feel inspired by simplicity and the experiences of it - just like I had this Saturday. I went to visit an acquaintance to my uncle in Delhi and a courier service for me in Hyderabad. I had to collect my education certificates which my uncle had handed over to him during an external audit at his bank. Now, this is a beautiful skill rarely found in today’s generation. The art of holding the arm when you extend a hand for a hello!  It has its own advantages – you gain an acquaintance, you add another non-native contact, you gain trust, you add to your learning of staying formal during such audits:p and also you save on the courier cost.
Anyways, I had a good experience yesterday - thanks to Mamaji :) I visited Mr. Nokkaraju, a retired Bank Manager; after various failed appointments this week. It was difficult to reach his place, despite the simple explanation of the route given by him (blame on us!). Mr. Nokkaraju was a man with simple and modest look. He was humble to an extent that made me feel guilty of calling him repeatedly for his address. Our plan to collect papers and not go upstairs to his flat was vain once we faced the old man. We clammed up by his relaxed look and obvious way to lead us upstairs. His wife, a beautiful lady in her fifties welcomed us inside as if she knew us from years. The house was big and we could feel the home by the earthen wares on the dining table. Mrs. Nokkaraju served us tea – flavored expertly with elaichi. Meanwhile, Mr. Nokkaraju started interviewing us on our job and income and our new home and future plans and……etc. At the end of the long interview we were well aware of his banking career, his daughter’s service and even his son-in-law’s income. He had a veteran career and a veteran life. I wondered if the proud ex-bank manager ever violated the rules of universe :). The only thing I could confidently conclude was that he was content with his unadventurous life with wife at home, no vehicle to risk his life, no complications of running to RTC offices and happily breathing-in all the services which the government could offer from the public buses to e-seva booths. He paid a heavy price of isolation though; to live the simple life but saved on his bus ticket by asking for an anticipated lift in our car. We listened to the old man’s experiences en route till his Nokia 1100 buzzed the nostalgic Nokia tone and he walked away thanking us for the lift.
The bank manager went inside an old government building and I was left pondering over a beautiful thought -
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
So true…so true…