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  • Thank you so much Burt for your recommendation of the book and also thanks so much for always asking such questions of us, propelling us to reflect on our lives and prodding us to put down our experiences.

    I have to say that I didn't "sell out", I pursued my youthful Idealism in totality, I left a comfortable job and life in London for a more adventurous and meaningful life. Or so I thought, I was full of passion to "make a difference" in the world, and to some degree still am but now its tempered with quite a bit of caution. In my journey so far, what I experienced is that the "dream" and Idealism is in itself an illusion, a belief like any other. I discovered that I was as much a product of the indoctrination of Leftist university education as those who chose to become Bankers. I discovered that the 22 year old me believed in Absolutes and there were none. India teaches me everyday that everything is so mixed up, a million realities bursting forth its seams. Judgement and the mind always in a constant spin. No wonder, yogis teach you to go beyond the mind! It's a "mine-field" otherwise! Some might begin to think I've turned cynical but that is not so. I look back at the 22 year old self and sometimes do wish I had that same innocent passion but I am grateful what the journey has taught me, because I would not have come to this point, had I chosen not to embark on it. But often the grass looks greener on the other side, such is the world of contrast. Would it be so bad to own a nice home with some cute kids in Surburbia, with a regular income. But I guess the Western world has seen some shaking up of that dream as an illusion as well. So really I just chose one illusional journey for another. Whatever makes you feel more "alive" at the time when it came to make the choice I guess!

    I just want to reassure those people, if and when they feel they need to do more. Or that they "sold out" just because they chose the house, kids and regular job; that there is no such thing as selling out actually. Yes, you might add that I am saying that now, having gone through it all. And true I am. It's my perspective and lesson learnt. Because wherever we are, we are in the place where we have chosen to be and we can make a difference being right there in our own small way. Perhaps that's just helping our neighbours or our kids. The biggest realisation personally for me was this whole "making a difference" Ideal. There is nothing to do and achieve in this regard. There is only the act of appreciation. I finally understood I am not here to change the world or anyone in particular. In fact people say change yourself first then the world will change. I actually think if I can "accept" myself exactly the way I am rather than try and change myself, that would be a bigger step for me. Long time, I've been chasing an imaginary "better self" only to discover an ever changing hologram. (and its "hollow" too!).

    I am not advocating through my ramblings here that we should sit idle. We absolutely can't even if we try because the world beckons us to action and it is the prime reason why we are here. We've come to experience and to live each moment with as much joy in our hearts as possible. Because no amount of our feeling guilt and regret is ever going to make the situation better. If we feel we need to act, we should, if we are in the position to make large scale well meaning choices we should, but if we are not, let's make the small everyday choices but with a lot of compassion and acceptance of ourselves. That's my learning on my journey so far.

    Photo: Of my niece, Anushka, showing off her shades! August 2012.

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