The Extraordinary Ordinary

7 Nov

In-keeping with trying to be good, disciplined and all that, apart from the fact that I really did feel like randomly writing about random things, another bit of life happened just when I thought the clouds of sporadic, crappy writing were clearing up. The internal adapter of my laptop refused to connect to the wifi inasmuch as a big red sign splayed quite boldly across the 5 bars that ought to actually have been white, the 5 bars that really are the fix for the addict in me. I needed them to be alive but the stubborn red cross took over and whilst I tried everything, including becoming aware of this frothy but urgent need to want to hit my (office) laptop against the wall, I was reminded of a time earlier when something exactly like this had happened. Remembering that time gave me some hope because the tech-slow me actually managed to fix the situation and really, when there’s even the slightest trace of the possibility of a fix, rainbows blossom. Apart from the fact that I am quite so addicted and that when I need the internet, I need it no holds barred, I managed to fix the problem. Small victories come a long way. I could feel like the Hercules of network troubleshooting and fixing but I think I needed to be online more.

Moving on to more exciting things, I, as expected, jumped on the Humans of New York initiative/project/program much later than it had already trended online and all that. And given its brilliance in every single way, I’m not surprised that it still is trending like it ought to. I did come across it in bits and pieces in the form of shares that friends posted on their walls, once I rejoined Facebook (yet again), but never really paid as much attention as I should have.

There is something so innately beautiful about it. I love how such simple things really mean the most. It’s overwhelming how the normalcy of peoples’ everyday lives seem so awe-inspiring and extraordinary. I guess that really is the beauty in our everyday ordinary and what we choose to do with it. It is intriguing how everybody has a story, a page they’re writing or are stuck at; how each and every one of us, consciously and unconsciously, are writing our own story, which even though so ordinary in our own mind, becomes larger than life to so many others.

Imagine the number of stories out there? I’ve never felt so much emotion from a Facebook page before. It’s such a hit, I presume, because this world is so starved of meaning, relevance, purpose that for once, something as brilliant as this initiative makes us feel, erm, normal, or the people our reality has made us become. It’s not about fairy tales or harbouring false expectations or dreams we’d hope so hard to come true. It’s about life, living and just being yourself, so much so that you become inspirational to so many. It’s crazy how this looks in my head because who knew a presumably homeless man’s proudest moment of feeding pigeons and rats with whatever extra food he’s left with, would make you reassess your concept of giving, taking and sharing? Or the way the old couple who met in 1944 have traveled and worked in over 60 countries and consciously decided to not have kids makes you wish you wouldn’t care so much about “society”? Or the marine officer who became a cop but really always wanted to act and became an actor at long last makes you think about striving, believing and not giving up? Really. Ordinary, every day stories of very ordinary people who are living the life we’ve all been given the choice to live who make me feel so much. It’s magic. You should check this page out when you can, if you haven’t.

This reminds me of the times my brother returns from his travels or even his random regular days, brimming with stories of meeting strangers and exchanging tidbits that will only enrich his life. There are CEOs, assistants, paanwalas, street vendors, beggars, media folk and so many more we hear about. It makes me wonder why staying in bubbles is as appealing because when I listen to him, I feel like he really is living the life we should try and live from time to time. I use the definitive word ‘should’ not because I have the secret to the ‘shoulds’ of a good, enriching life but because when I listen to these stories that happen so ordinarily in his life, I know his book of life’s already gotten that much more extraordinary.

It’s one of those days that makes me feel hopeful and optimistic. It’s a big deal. I always feel that we’re so preoccupied with unhappiness and things that make us unhappy that it becomes hard to just be happy for happy’s sake. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but this is what I find around me, every time, everyday, everywhere. I have no idea why we seek it so much and have sought it so much that the ordinary has become extraordinary.

Well, at least it’s heartening to know that there’s meaning in the ordinariness of things and life; that there are so many thousands, if not millions out there (me included) who get their shot of happy from things other than food, photographs and the existence of Benedict Cumberbatch.

PS, just to be clear, Mr. Cumberbatch will always give me that shot (and many more) of happy (and much more) forever (and more). And for him, I am grateful. Thank you, you universe, for plopping the perfect British man during this lifetime of mine. Best!



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