As a student, I was an ardent fan of Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway, who wrote a regular column on modern corporate culture. A successful writer, she suddenly interrupted her regular profession to start teaching and establishing Now Teach, a forum to take onboard other successful professionals to take a break and start teaching.
On July 13, 2018, she admitted that though her change of the regular profession had many hiccups, the foremost being her slashed income by 80 per cent, she said it was wonderful to start all over again and that there seemed a lot of people out there who felt the same way.
One revered musician in his 90’s said in an interview, “Life goes like a lightening, I just feel like I blinked my eyes, and 90 years have passed already.” I had a similar feeling the other day when I sat with my college friend for lunch. It seemed like yesterday that we were together jogging or scoring baskets in the basketball court or going up and down the hills of Nainital. Alas, that was 20 years ago. I realised that we had been running with life so hard that we seem to have missed what we went through in between.
Modern life has become such that we are running on an inescapable treadmill of time. Only its ambience changes to give us the different flavours of life, like graduation, jobs, marriage, children and promotions.
The realisation that life’s too short for worries and stress is coming faster to the new generation. Every now and then we hear them say, “Why worry so much? What’s in life?” Amazingly that was what we used to hear from our grandparents in our childhood. Come holidays and there are flocks of people now trying to go out on a vacation, even to destinations abroad.
The determination to lead a quality life has got diminished by being confined to the mundane routine life. We are being time and again misled into believing that happiness means money, jobs, promotion and respect. Many banker friends, who are well revered in their profession, want to leave the job the very next day as they feel suffocated.
Recently I met a senior banker, who pointed to packed personal stuffs, ready to move out at any instance. A cousin sister of mine, who recently left a good bank job, said about her new life, “To be frank, I’m enjoying this phase, I loved my work, but I was not happy with the everyday routine”.
Indeed, we seem to be moving towards premature maturity, perhaps for good.
A version of this article appears in print on October 31, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.