on Learning to LIVE

More than a month ago, while checking the IIT alumni - LinkedIn page, I casually commented on the discussion started by Vikram Karve - "MUSINGS ON MARRIAGE". That time, I never thought that it would be one of the most popular discussions (especially because of my comment), and it would end up making my name displayed in one of the top 5 Influencers in the group (almost daily).

We know that LinkedIn is a means for professionally connecting people. Groups and discussions on LinkedIn should also be more relevant to professional development - and they are. But - I also noticed that at the end of the day - we are all humans. So - no matter what we do professionally - personal matters are always on the back of our minds.

Probably, that's the reason that a post by Deepak Chopra on LinkedIn "How to Handle Difficult People" includes relations with people at work, as well as at home. It conveys that handling people is a skill - 'no matter where you are" - and it also conveys - the closer the relationship is, more it would affect you. 

The discussion "MUSING.." receives a new comment yesterday by a senior IITian, who has completed his BTech degree from IIT Kanpur before even I was born. I thought - it is intense as no matter what age-group/generation we are in, what gender we are of, what area we work into - we do share similar kinds of problems in relationships. Depending on the kind of personality, people, situation etc, we do find our own solutions to certain problems, but problems are common - only solutions differ based on our equations.

I also realised that most of us go through similar phases in life
  • As a child we are born with no skill/knowledge - we learn. As we learn a little, we feel amazed of ourselves and feel we know everything. It is an achievement for a child to be able to do a few things independently - but parents/caretaker would know how much more a child has to learn. Parents of young kids can relate to this fact.
  • Also, as a child, we are are only focused on our needs. Everything and everyone around is a means to satisfy our needs. We do display our gratitude, love and affection, but it majorly revolves around our satisfaction of our needs. 
  • Further, as we grow to teenage, we start noticing the unknown. Still, we fear showing our vulnerability, and many times, feel confused about our own expressions.
  • 20s is the time, when we feel that we can conquer the world. I guess, this is very important. Recently, I have heard Dr. Mashelkar during the reading session of his book 'Reinventing India' - he quoted, "Innovation can only be done by those who don't know that it cannot be done". 
  • My views on his statement are - I am not sure if God is there or not. I don't know who created the life. But, I know that life and nature have a mechanism to evolve. If that mechanism was not there then we all (humans) would still be living in stone age, or even before that as a fish in water. We evolve as we are born naive - we learn - we don't know that things cannot be done - and we innovate. If we fail, we still have a system to live into, and success rewards us with evolution. 
  • We experience a mix of this confidence, and certain fears of unknowns until we reach mid-life. There is a famous term - mid-life crisis - why it is called crisis, even after doing and achieving so much? I understand that starting from the childhood to teenage to young-age, we are more of individuals. We do live in a system, but with our own fantasy, and individuality. Then comes a time, when the cycle of life starts. Life has to sustain - to reproduce. We have a biology, a gender. A union of a men and women only can create a life. 
  • If we just remain individuals, we may not create and nurture the new life - which is against the law of nature or life. So we have to ease our individuality to unite with another human-being, who is somewhat similar to us and somewhat different. Now, as self-centred beings, it is not easy to loosen up our individuality
  • Also, life always has more than we know, so comes the ignorance and issues caused by ignorance and its after-effects. Then we further mature when we figure out a way of living with opposite gender to satisfy the law of life - to create, and also to live our own life with a lots of other balancing factors as well.


Hence, life has four important pulls - live, evolve, create and nurture.


  • The struggle lies in figuring out a way to balance these pulls - that's what is the common and of interest between all of us - and that's what is LIFE.


BTW, my comment on article "MUSINGS ON MARRIAGE" was -   

I read the story. 



It defines the loneliness of the husband and the aftereffects.

But, just think from wife's perspective - where husband keeps getting transferred, she remains unstable. If she leaves kids in hostel and goes with the husband, and husband is busy how she would keep herself occupied? And if she chooses kids then this is how things turn out for them.

Someone got to sacrifice, either kids or wife or husband. To me, it should be for parents to accommodate kids in their lives, as they have brought them to this world.

Ideally, people should choose a compatible partner and plan life/kids accordingly - take suitable career/life paths. However in young age, that much maturity is not there. And in so much of hurry, when people just want to "do", then to "think"/"plan"/"analyse", this is how things turn out.

And when things go wrong, one feels bad, then they articulate it wrongly - like thinking of the grand mom as replacing "maid", but its not completely false. People do think in that manner, and not only kids but also elders have this complex that they don't want to replace maids in their kids house.

All kinds of people, and all kinds of thinking ... that's how our world is.

To me, even if its a 'not so strong' story, it still conveys either live a very planned life or accept your choices with dignity or move on. No point in being in hurry to grab everything. And no point in remaining frustrated about not being able to get everything.


Further, there was a suggestion on the post, on taking a small break by one of the parents for raising the child, and grandparents' contribution for the same. 



During my 'women entrepreneurship' course from IIM Bangalore, I remember being taught about career path for women across the globe. The concept of 'glassy-ceiling and sticky-floor' - further - the issue of 'few women on top'. Other than gender bias, it is family reasons that many women take a career break



Joining back the workforce after a break is not easy (on self/ego). So, many women go for higher education in their mid-career, or even change their career path. We all would be knowing women doing so. 



Nature gave the child-bearing responsibility to a woman and created her accordingly. And her life and lifestyle is not un-impacted by this fact. That is the reason that 'women empowerment' is still a political agenda - even in developed countries. 



I have not read 'Lean In', but I have heard the ted talk by Sheryl Sandberg, where she emphasis on career-path, even then there are hard moments which leave print on ones mind. 



I know a few men also partnering in this responsibility, still ambitions and pulls require maturity and acceptance, which again come by experiences. 



I was talking to a newly married women, working with one of the MNCs, on the same topic. She said, "If we leave kids with grandparents, they would also be raised the way we have been" - was she hinting on some missing points and refinements. I said, "No you'd not be totally absent, and a child gets a good combination of all".



Anyhow, at the end of it, it comes out to be a problem of prioritisation - and understanding 'where' an individual is not optional - as solution.