Majority of us are ordinary. Our “half shades, the hardly audible notes, the muted expressions” are interesting subjects of exploration for some. Occasionally, we become over-enthusiastic, over-confident, and over-optimistic. This is the cause of momentary lapse of reason in us. This disturbs our steady state. Occasionally, we like to disturb our steady states. We become euphoric. Often, unsteady state situations provide us vital information. The washing out of euphoria takes time. We enjoy the thrill of euphoria. We enjoy being ordinary.

More often than not we don’t know why one excels. We wonder how so many ordinaries become extraordinary almost overnight. We too wonder why the talented never got an opportunity to show their talents. Did they not seize the opportunity when it came? Talent can’t be acquired overnight, but opportunity can come. Generally we live a structured life. Wherever there is structure, there is security, and also bondage. Time, if not used for ‘useful’ purposes is considered a waste. Often the time ‘wasted’ for not so useful purposes or pursuits gives a different kind of sense of fulfilment. A silkworm only spins and has cash value. A butterfly has neither weight nor usefulness but it spreads colours. I wonder, if the choice is solely ours – how we want to live our lives.

What makes some of us extraordinary? It can’t be only the senses, resolve and effort that make a mind more beautiful. There is something else. What is that? Is it the mind that makes all the difference? Some say, “Greatness requires enormous time.” Some also say, “achievement is not just hard work: the differences between performance at time 1 and successive performances at times 2, 3, and 4 are vast, not simply the result of additional sweat.” They say that talent and expertise are necessary, but not sufficient to make someone original and creative. Steven Pinker writes, “None of us know what made us what we are, and when we have to say something, we make up a good story.”

There comes a time in our lives when we like to embark on a journey of self-discovery, we want to dissect our convictions and beliefs. It is a journey through which one does not really search and find the self, but actually creates it. This apparent discovery and creation are fascinating in many ways, because just when one thinks he has learned and known the ways of life and living, life changes. The kaleidoscopic imprints of our changing lives and shades of experience stored in the time-track wait for and allure the Columbus within us to get discovered and known. We look for a place where we think we will be happy. When we find that there is no such place, we try to build it, in our imagination, to live there.

We are like the truckers, always on the move. We meet strangers on the way. Often our meetings are brief. In those brief moments we share some of our personal moments. We know that we may not meet them again. These momentary meetings fill many of our voids. Some become our friends. We often try to overtake others, often try to obstruct the right of way of others. Often we can’t hear the blaring horns. Often blaring horns don’t disturb us. We often can’t see the writings on the walls. We often drive faster than we should. We often give deaf ears even when someone reminds us of Babuji dheere chalna. Raah mein bade gaddhe hain. Jeena isika naam hai. Few suggestions: Follow road rules at your own risks; use horn to express joy, resentment, frustration, romance or just to mobilize a dozing cow in the middle of the road. Always remember that the James Bonds of the roads have a license to kill. Despite all this cacophony, the strange thing is that we meet with fewer accidents. We are the best. We can drive even without the brakes!

We begin our day quietly. We get used to the noises of the day. We learn to make our evenings pleasant as our mornings. We don’t want to know what an ideal and natural way to go is. “As a day well spent bestows pleasant sleep, so a life well spent bestows pleasant death.” Let me close with this very pleasant Leonardo da Vinci thought.