Rejection can be the best free advice we get. Whether told off by an individual or an institution, we learn something from it. At times, we may have been undeserving of our aspirations because of a lack of determination. So, we set off – with renewed vigour – to try harder the next time around. We take it on the bridge of the nose. Wiping away the blood and snot, we assume a fighting stance. The next time we are about to get punched in the face, we may duck in the nick of time.
Or we realize that we may have been pursuing the wrong goal. That we have been chasing after something that had no place in our lives. It does not strike us immediately. When rejected off-guard, we panic because it feels like losing purpose. Slowly, it dawns on us that it could have only harmed us in the long run. Then, we reboot ourselves. We find a new starting line. A new race. Possible, a new outlook towards living.
However, in some cases, we face rejection for no fault of our own. We are kicked in the teeth, and hip-tossed to the ground because that is how things were meant to be. The principles of karma do not always govern reality. But this realization does not make it any easier to digest renunciations. We lose hope at troubling speeds, and wonder if there is a lesson to be learned.
Besides the aphorism that we do not always get what we want, is there anything else that our lives can teach us?
Ever since the summer of 2018 began, I have not spent much time with birds. After years of regular bird-watching, I have been holding myself back for the past few months. Even though, I can visit to the local sanctuary every weekend, I have temporarily opted out. There is nothing to stop me. Yet I have resigned myself to photographing water-birds from the balcony at home.
When I moved to this part of the city, I heard about how plenty of water birds could be spotted in the river, just outside the apartment. But they have been sparse in number since last November. Fortunately, a few days ago, a bunch of them landed here. This morning, I saw flocks of Grey Pelicans, Spot-Billed Ducks, Black-Winged Stilts, and Painted Storks. While I am confident that many more will arrive during winter, I feel happy today. I am glad they finally came around; that too right before the wretched monsoon season is about to begin.
I am not a rain person. I like sunshine because birds like them.
I do not travel around to see them, these days, because I am bidding my time. I am trying to gain the physical strength required to be active during the winter season. Because there are trees that need to be climbed to gain a better view of raptors. Those uphill treks, to spot rare sub-species of thrushes, are going to burn my thigh muscles. It is not going to be easy. I have been rushed to the emergency ward about 5 times over the past 10 years. And each time I had lost a bit of my strength.
But I cannot let these obstacles mess up my birdwatching adventures. I am not that monk who sold his Ferrari. I do not have the patience to go to the Himalayas. Neither the financial freedom to remain indefinitely unemployed nor the inclination to leave my place of residence. I am also socially allergic to carpooling and public transportation, so there is not a chance in hell that I am giving up my car.
I am an early-millennial punk with a Fiat. I have simple expectations but they come at a price. As I have made it abundantly clear in my site’s header – I like birds. So, I will do whatever is possible to hold on to them. Even if it means that I must stay away from them for a little while.
Maybe that way – I will be more like a bird.
For the love
of hot air
the first ray
of the sun
has found its
made of clouds