One trick ponies are happy ponies

I want to perform stand-up.

I want to build a start-up.

I want to quit tech and farm.

I want to document my farming through a podcast.

I want to become a content creator.

I want to be content.

My mind is a monkey. The monkey is my mind.

Sometimes I think our parents had it good. They didn't grow up with the illusion that they could become anything they wanted. They didn't have 999 different professions to choose from.

They could only choose between bad and worse, and most of them chose bad and tried to lead a good life, and many of them managed it. They hated their jobs, but slogged on for decades, and bought houses, LIC policies, and even donated to their local temple and got their names on the wall for Rs.12,000.

They didn't care that they had to travel 20km each way to reach their workplace. And that they'd get promoted less than once a decade in their bureaucratic organizations.

Having many options. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? I don't know. I'd choose to have an abundance of choices every single time, but is it really good for me? I wonder.

During my childhood, my father would buy DVDs, pirated ones, from shady shops in a shady part of town, which he would bring back home in a shady black plastic cover.

We had one television. A family of four. And we had no problem watching the same movie together - whether it was action, drama, comedy, or a biopic. Whether it was English, Hindi, Tamil, or Telegu, we enjoyed it, without complaint. There was excitement. Movies were our only "group activity" as a family outside of eating. It brought us together.

And regardless of what the movie was, we loved it. Maybe my father, who picked the movies, had good taste. Maybe my mother, who only watches Trukish soap operas now, hadn't found her taste yet. But today, we rarely watch TV together. My father, who introduced me to Hollywood and French cinema, now watches Tamil soap operas of the worst kind. It makes no sense, none whatsoever.

My brother likes commercial action films, ones that involve drugs and gangsters, and also films with exotic cars. And I am the family weirdo, I watch dark cinema with deep narratives and slow pacing, and almost no one at home is happy when its my turn to pick a movie.

An abundance of options can a terrible thing, I am starting to believe. We have so much of it today, yet so many of us are so miserable.

For example, look at dating apps. Men are sad that they don't get enough matches. Women are sad that they have too many matches and often get overwhelmed.

What am I getting at here? I really don't know. I wish I knew what I wanted out of this life. My mind keeps bouncing around. It is a monkey. Or is it my ADHD? Do I even have ADHD? Everyone thinks they have it. Maybe they really do. Maybe they really don't. Maybe they haven't found something they love, so their mind keeps jumping, constantly, to protest, to communicate, they are not being spent as they should, a race horse plowing the field. Who knows. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am right. But I want things. To do so many things. I wish it was just one thing. But it is not.

I want to perform stand-up.

I want to build a start-up.

I want to quit tech and farm.

I want to document my farming through a podcast.

I want to become a content creator.

I want to become content without having created content.

I want to get away from it all.

I want to breathe.

I want peace.

I want stability.

I want adventure.

I want promiscuity.

I want ferocity.

I want variety.

I want familiarity.

I want singularity.

I want your titty.

I want to feel less shitty.

I want your pity.

I want your praise.

I want your adoration.

I want to be self-sufficient.

I want to be indifferent.

I want to create videos.

I want you to use my coupon code.

I want a million likes.

I want dopamine spikes.

I want those big podcast mics.

I want you to like, share and subscribe.

I want us to vibe.

I want you to come back home with me.

I want you to think I am smart.

I want you to laugh at my jokes.

I want to be a genius.

I want to be ultra-competent.

But I know what's good for me: to be incompetent. At everything. Except for one thing. So that I can put all my energy into it. And shine. And go deep. And spend those 10,000 hours. And become great. And be satisfied (for a while). And then try to become greater.

And fail. And go mad.

And try again. And fail. And go mad.

And then get a divorce. And then some STDs.

And then rehab. And then another divorce.

And a Rolls Royce.

And then bankruptcy.

And then misery.

I want to then ruin everything I've created. Lose everything I've earned.

And then look at my simple friend from school on Instagram. And adore how happy he is. Working in tech. Watching his cricket. Running a travel blog with his wife that only gets pity likes. Eating his pav bhaji. Proud that he has children. Stressed that he has children. Saving for their education. An MS in the US so that they achieve great success. So that he can tell all his friends, during his morning walk, that his son, works in Microsoft, and married this white woman, who looks a little like Lara Croft, that he visits them once a year in California, and that their car drives itself, and Disney World kicks Wonderla in the balls, and that their air is so clean, and that they drink from of the tap, and that schooling is free, and that they have a beautiful home with a beautiful lawn in the suburbs. It's close to Costco, and you can't shop there unless you're a member, and you can't buy one bottle of milk or two, only twelve, but it's worth it, because it's so cheap, because their discounts are so fucking deep.

Why he doesn't move there, his friends ask. To the beautiful home in the suburbs, in Harris County, that has a Costco next to it? I don't want to, he says, even though he wants to. My son asked me to, he says, even though he did no such thing. But I refused, he said, even though he'd say "yes" in his sleep. For his wife has now passed, and the nights are lonely, and there's no one to drink all the coffee that the machine makes every morning.

It is a weird machine, when he uses it to make half a pot, he can never get the proportions right, and the coffee tastes terrible, and when he uses it to make a full pot, it tastes amazing, but so much coffee goes to waste, and he is reminded of his wife, and it is so painful, and he can no longer enjoy the coffee.

He hates it when afternoon turns into evening and evening turns into night. It grows cold. And she is all he can think of. The smell of her still lingers in her wardrobe, even after a year. He locks his room and opens the wardrobe doors carefully, just an inch, to get a whiff, of her fragrance, talcum powder, and flowers and freshness. How it remains after so long he does not know. But he slams the door quickly, leaving it tight, to preserve it.

Sometimes he brings her back to life. Talks to her, fights with her, complaints that she is taking too much of the blanket, and that when they go to Dmart next time, he will buy he is own, and that this sharing business does not work.

He cracks the joke that she loves, the one about Google Maps, calling to "Goobey maps" when it gets the location wrong. And he pretends that she laughs, and smiles in triumph, for he still has it, and he still has her, and they are happy. And that life is good.