I read somewhere that whatever one does for twenty one continuous days turns a habit, good or bad. Habits have a knack for sneaking into a routine, to become daily features in one’s life. Most habits we form, come from a time our minds were open,naive or receptive to a stimulus we were caught by unaware.
This was a routine I picked from a ISKCON yatra(holy trip) my dad’s brother had taken me on. Narsimashtakam,a hymn about the glory of the lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu that ran close to abt 90-120 secs with a familiar recital style; an ushering routine to the day’s commencement.This was one of the few things which I picked from my brief stint, which stuck to me.
During school time, it was a good way to start the day. I used to recite it loudly within myself while peddling to school on my modestly endowed bicycle. It didn’t hurt that I used to perform well at exams;tough ones at that and have innocent luck with cute girls. What more could a high school goer have in mind for agenda. I was not old enough to find what relevance obeisance to God held in a school going routine or sieve coincidence out of northward academic grades and a corresponding prayer.
Then the worst thing happened after school.I mistook the rapid growth of facial hair to be profound wisdom. I questioned everything around me. Every bewildered face that fielded my convoluted questions made me feel like a crusader.A reformer of a generation to come I used to flatter. The phase after school is the time when the average grown up mind loses taste in bland serenity docility brings about, floundering its way into debatable truths that seemed absolute from an erstwhile phase characterized by lunchbreaks and board exam preparations. Suddenly the naive conscience nurtured by teachers and classmates, is woken up to the avalanche of excess-freedom, desire, passion,choice and ambition which build the character of a person, while feeding on his innocence.
This phase was marked by my days beginning with the recital of the same hymn, but with far lesser fervor.
I was questioning its sanctity and that made it sound so mechanical.I started equating fruitfulness of endeavors with and without the recital and tried quantifying the effect..
What was once a lullaby to wake up a day, was now hanging like a dried up lemon on the rear mirror for superstition sake.
I was declaring myself to be an atheist with the pride of a war hero.It was a cool thing to do back then.For one, it separated me from the rest of the herd giving the uniqueness I could wear like a badge of honor around my friends reveling in ceremonies and rituals. Secondly, it let me have a bare forehead which went well with modern clothes which other people from my caste couldn’t pull off.
Thing about activism founded on the school of thought of “being practical”; is that it makes you prone to cynicism.So much so that you’re overindulgent in disapproval and non conformity, that you can’t resist the temptation to deconstruct everything ranging from pleasant to miraculous to even bizarre.
How beautiful would a flower be to a person, who’s deconstructing it in the head as a erstwhile seed on fertile soil and a prospective victim to a bee’s philandering ways?
When you dedicate energy to question things which are inconsequential, it eats into the time left for self improvement. For your ego has been fed upon disapproval and questioning of everything extramural, that it’s made your judgement a tad too complacent for self assessment.
Just like in the case of some cynics who felt cool about declaring themselves to be agnostic at debates involving religious views, I got answers and truths hurled back in different dimensions from the universe in return, upto a point I waved the proverbial white flag.
I left my habit of misplaced reasoning on the altar of faith, and boy;did it work. The god song again started to resonate peace within, waking up the school going kid in me. Things started getting better, actually they were how they used to be. What changed was my perspective towards them. The god song started my day and made me thankful, for I started reciting it with gratitude unmindful of the consequences it bought upon or the sanctity upon which it was written.
With the resurgence of this habit I became a more receptive individual, in the process had a lot of life altering epiphanies that went on to change my outlook towards life.
There have been cases of men who leveraged their urge for sluts and alchohol to create timeless works of art. Also,there have been ones who’ve go on to absolutely live unmemorable lives constructed on pet habits and rationed indulgences.The utility we derive out of every habit makes them integral;lack of which; vestigial. We ought to live long enough to know what we go on to become with the pursuance of every given habit, memorable or a forgettable.