So I happened to send my bro a mail and he happened to reply back. I want to record this mail here for future reference. It is an indicator of the gulf between our thinking.
ME: Your life is in a rut. I wanted to put it a more subtle way but I’m not able to come up with anything else at the moment. A certain amount of introspection will tell you that I am right. Atleast I think I am.
BRO: Without even going into the reasons, It is probably true, i am definitely not the best i have been or i could ever be. Doesn’t take a lot to figure out that.
ME: It would be presumptuous on my part to assume that I know everything that has gone on in your life. I’ll never know what you have been through till now. The pressures and the struggles that you have faced are things only you will know. But I think I can understand the situation that you are in right now. I may be facing a similar situation. A lesser version perhaps.
BRO: I don’t want to go into details of what happened, but i have gone through what i have gone through. Its easy now to say those were tough days but i don’t want that to be the center piece of my life however unpleasant it might have been. I have moved on from it, however what bothers me is the impact it has had which is hard to erase. I have been judged by what i have been through and to over come all that and be able to do what i want to do and what i could be will take as much time as i have been a drift, which is probably a lot of years if i cant put a number on it.
ME: This is ground breaking stuff. Me writing this and you reading it. We have never done this before.. me sending you a mail and giving you advise about life. Any other day I would feel silly doing this. But not today. I could tell you this stuff in gtalk or on the phone.. but I wouldn’t have the same flow and you wouldn’t giving me the chance. Who wants to be lectured by his younger brother?
BRO: I don’t feel i am being lectured, i know the difference between a healthy lecture and arrogant advice, both of which i have seen a lot. I don’t think my family would give me arrogant advice.
ME: It is only recently that I have come to accept responsibility.. of myself and of things more that me. While doing this I look for inspiration. The biggest people who inspire me are in my family. You and mum. And you happen to be the anchor that happens to hold this family together. So its natural the the rest of us keep fretting about your health.. physical and mental. And right now, your mental health is not in the greatest shape. Which brings me to what prompted me to write this mail. For some time now I have observed a routine in your life. You get up, go to work, get through the hours somehow. You come home and you have nothing to do. So you open skype and check if dad is online. If he’s not you call home. You are looking to pass the time. But that is not what you get. Where will mum get new stuff for you to fill in the hour everyday?There is nothing to talk about. So you relapse into the routine of thinking about the past. How you got into this position. What you have and don’t have. All morose thoughts that inevitable bring a temper onto you. Then you lash out. At dad. It takes mum better part of an hour to calm you down and then you go to sleep. This happens everyday. I don’t know what effect this routine is having on your mental state, but I know that it is detrimental to mum’s mental health. She worries about the things you say and why you say them and the pressures you face.She knows what the problem is. She tells you the solution but you don’t listen to her. What does she know? She may be uneducated and may not know about the world but her strong point is her wisdom. She tells you to go out and do new stuff. Join a gym or get a hobby or something like that. I think she is absolutely right.
BRO: What ever you have said here is true so i wont say anything
ME: Life doesn’t go the way we want it to. There may be many things that we can’t change even if we wanted to. You can’t just go to another state or get into another job. But there are certain things that are in your hands that you can do. Things that can keep you occupied and make you look into the future and not into the past.Is there anything in your life currently that you look forward do doing the next day when you are going to sleep the previous day? If there is, good. If there isn’t, get it. Sometime back you told me that you wanted to do dating and stuff and have a cool life for a while. The truth is that in your current stagnant state, even if you wanted to do it, you couldn’t. It’s because even you don’t know anything interesting about you.
BRO: Life may not go the way we want it. Actually there is nothing i want to be a certain way, except lead a reasonably good life. I have come quite a long way on a track not as good as i wanted it to be. I am talking in a very general sense and nothing in particular. I wont say its been all bad but i know it could have been better. Truth is its hard for me to find something to keep me occupied which is surprising because i am not that boring person at all. I have my interests, but i don’t have the consistent drive to pursue it.
ME: You are my brother so I can boast about myself. As you know I am a man of many talents. All those books that I have read in my life have given me some skill when it comes to writing. There is a blog I write in very frequently. It’s personal to me and I don’t share it with anyone. Even as I write this piece, I know that it is a good work. It’s inspired and whatever I have to say flows out of me in a structured matter. Wondering where I am going with this? Even I don’t know. I guess what I’m trying to say is that even after an year, if I were to look back at this piece, I will know that it’s a good work and I’d be proud of it. I want you to find something in your life that you enjoy doing, and something you can look back to after sometime and be proud of.
BRO: This para is incoherent but i understand what you are trying to say.
ME: As I get to the end, I start to get the feeling that this venture of mine was ill advised. But I have committed to it and will see it through. Talking about this in the future might get a little awkward so after I send this mail I will pretend I never did it. Maybe we can talk about it in the future and have a laugh about it. I’ll definitely love it if you replied with your thoughts on the things I have to say.
A few months back I had a very alarming realization. I was slowly and irrevocably turning from a youngster into an uncle. I decided that I would fight this change and constantly keep improving myself and keep up with the times. Hence the marathons and stuff. I want you to think about the things that I have said. You can be assured of mine and mom’s support at any point in life. So cheer up. Remember that any change for the better in your life will improve three other lives. I don’t mean to add any extra pressure but that’s the way it is. And what the hell happened to your sense of humor?
BRO: Finally, a clearer answer from me is this: I see that my daily routine might be a part of the problem. I don’t know what can cause me to do away with it and be healthy and productive at the same time. You might ask if my bad days were behind me, then why i cant be better and happier now. Its an interesting question but i don’t have an answer. May be what i have done/or could do for my family, the amount of time and effort and stress i have borne was for a reason that some day i will find solace and bliss. While i am not sad, I don’t have have that kind of inspiration left because then i had a reason to do, and now i am left with none. I know me questioning father isn’t going to be any productive and i am quite sick of it. But for me to find my own inspiration and go about my objectives will take time and i don’t know how much time it will take.
I can stay away from conversations with mom. I have vowed not to drink and smoke when i am under stress, I think i can manage it. But the only way i see to keep mom away from stress is rather not speaking about it.
I think i have made more statements that will make you think more than what you have made me do. I know about your efforts and moms to see me happy. Regards to marriage, a friend of mine told me marriage changes your life, in a better way and that you get a sense of being settled. You will have stuff to share and look forward to and as i think, it will inspire you to things you want to do. While societal impression i is unclear, i agree with my friend cause his intentions are true about life. I know i will get my time, but to expect to getting married so everything will change sounds too good to be true in my case although i have positive opinions about life.
I don’t want to say more, as anything more said feels less. May be this conversation is a good exercise, but its me who has to figure out the solution. Although i know what to do, i will leave it to time and fate to decide when and how i go about it.
So post his reply, I feel a little silly about the things that I wrote here. But the mail did serve a purpose in that it brought out direct communication about the core issues. So not feeling very embarrassed. Just a little.