Friday, February 18, 2011

Forever in Blue Jeans

This week has been amazing. My small town saw two big concerts with the Foreigner and Bryan Adams playing here. I made the little concession of stepping out of work early both evenings to make it to the show. The effects are just amazing. There is a song on my lips and a zing in my step unlike any other recent week in my life. I heard the notes of the good old days when my world was filled with music, when my television was on MTV 24/ 7, when our friendships were formed by listening to the same bands, when our life was rock and roll. Not a care in the world, just free falling, just comfortably numb....And memories of that feeling flitting through my mind, I looked back at my life. I looked back at the journey so far.....

Those early days filled with music were the uncomplicated carefree days. Those were the days before a career beckoned. But soon enough, my career started and well, so did the conditioning. I remember my first performance appraisal. My one over manager told me that I had a problem. The problem was that I was a nice guy.  Why should that be a problem? The problem is that nice guys finish last and if I had to be on my super achiever boss's team, I could NOT be nice. I was making a career and I could not disregard that advice. Career aspirations whispered into my don't have to be nice, go for it and make something out of it. And so the conditioning progressed .....the conditioning to become a shark in a suit. The decisive, hard nosed executive who is so focussed on the results that the niceties start dropping away. I stop calling friends, I am always busy, I hardly listen to my favorite bands, I start thinking the world revolves around me and my success....

And then, the balance tilts unbearably and life whispers back ..... There is more than just your career and your success. Life cries out for balance. Life cries out in loneliness. It makes you question the relevance of all that you have been doing in these past years. You search for meaning and you discover what you have heard often enough but disregarded too many times. You realize that life is a journey where you stop enough times to enjoy the sights, smell the flowers and listen to the music. It is not what you have turned it into, it is not the mad rush to some ever changing destination. That is when you think about the parts of the journey that you missed. The parts of the journey you forgot to enjoy because you were so busy turning into that shark in a suit. You think about the songs you didn't hear because there was the next meeting to attend, the next goal to achieve....

And I wonder what have I become? And I wonder why? And then I tread back carefully. I start the journey back to fun and friends. I start hearing the notes more clearly, I start enjoying the music loudly, I begin enjoying the moment. The pressure is off. I can hear Neil Diamond clearly now. He is singing "Forever in Blue Jeans". I nod in appreciation. I know that is all I want. I know that is what matters.

Money talks
But it don't sing and dance and it don't walk
And long as I can have you here with me
I'd much rather be
Forever in blue jeans.


  1. very well said Rakesh, we all have seen it. Thankfully , some are fortunate to realise it now before its too late !
    Enjoy the song of life :-)

  2. Wonderful stuff Rakesh. Try to go back to being the same person, the person you want to be, every day. Speak to a friend about BS, Listen to loud music, bang your head as you play the air guitar. Life is not letting us be like all the time, not as yet...but once a day, bunta hai!

  3. open your heart and khul ke bhol.