Whatever you believe in, let it take over your Life. Simply be led by your bliss. And then watch the road unfold and doors open for you!
|Satyen Das: Picture Courtesy – TOI/Internet|
This morning’s Times of India (TOI) had this inspiring story of a rickshaw puller from Kolkata, Satyen Das, 40, who has embarked, this past weekend, on a 2,500-km adventure to Leh, Ladakh. Das will go through Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, before reaching Leh – on his rickety, old cycle-rickshaw. He says it’s his desire to explore the country that drives him. Eight years ago, he kept his word to his wife and son, and took them to Puri in Odisha in his rickshaw. He says that trip opened his eyes, and his heart, and ever since he has been wanting to do a longer, and more arduous, trip. Das makes a living, earning just about Rs.200/- a day, ferrying passengers to and from the Gitanjali Metro station in Naktala, in Kolkata. But when he shared his dream with people around him, everyone got together and soon a sum of Rs.5,000/- was collected helping Das set off on this incredible journey. Members of a local Kolkata club have promised to keep collecting funds for him and have given him an ATM card which will help him draw those funds anywhere on his four-month-long journey. Debashish, the local club official who is raising money for him, told TOI’s Prithvijit Mitra, that Das’ an exceptionally brave adventurer: “He is quiet and unassuming but he has a streak of madness, a penchant for taking risks and exploring the unknown. He is a dreamer.”
I found Das’ story fascinating. A school drop-out and a daily wage earner goes on to follow his bliss and pursue his dream, while many of us struggle with earning-a-living and complain incessantly that we don’t have the Life that we want. I think the critical difference between us and Das is what Debashish has pointed out – we don’t follow the streak of madness within us, so we don’t take the plunge – the risk! To be sure, we are also dreamers, we also have the urge to explore the unknown. But we suppress our urge, and our practical sense of what we think is “secure living” – a fixed income per month, the education of our children and retirement funds being planned – keeps our feet nailed to the ground. So we are risk-averse. And wallow in self-pity that we have been unable to do what we want in Life.
None of us is growing any younger. As the Persian poet Omar Khayyam (1048 AD ~1131 AD) has said: “The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop; the Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.” So, postponing living, postponing what gives us joy, is hardly an intelligent thing to do. I think the biggest risk in Life is not taking a risk – in not walking the line of lunacy, in not doing what you really want to do. When you don’t follow your bliss, the risk is simply that you may never get to follow it!