Nupur Mahajan Column: Back to you

Updated: 27 December, 2015 16:23 IST | Nupur Mahajan |

To surge ahead — unafraid, resolute, buoyant — defines happiness. You might argue it defines life. And yet, to trace steps back — hesitatingly; trepidation itself, and then discover warmth, belonging or even yourself, is life just as well

Nupur MahajanTo surge ahead — unafraid, resolute, buoyant — defines happiness. You might argue it defines life. And yet, to trace steps back — hesitatingly; trepidation itself, and then discover warmth, belonging or even yourself, is life just as well. To march ahead by walking backwards is one of life’s most endearing bafflements. There is the new and there is the old and betwixt it all is that elusive balance. To delve into the unknown is an adrenaline rush, but to return to the known (with an altered view and a reformed you) is a thrill no less.

Going ahead, surging, is not always in one direction. North. Going ahead is also returning. Going back. Going South. Retracing steps. And no, chagrin need not define this journey. As you go back you could actually move forward, and in that experience — that very surge of accomplishment you believe is the preserve of forward march. Forward march is pure perspective — from where you see it, you are racing ahead and yet, you may well be going nowhere.

Climbing the top of a mountain, conquering the moon for that matter, may not quite add up to forward march… And sometimes taking a few steps back, even staying still — poised, spurs you onward and forward.

It might well be a return to equilibrium. A return to self. Could be a return to someone you loved, and then pushed away. The why is immaterial. You pushed him away. Took steps away from that cocoon of love. Called it quits. Conquered fear. That mortal fear of being alone or even, failing. Be it in a relationship of the head or the heart. Why do we call our defining daytime fixation job and our emotional fix relationships? Both are relationships. Both have the power to disbalance. Both need nourishment. And returning to either can usher in peace of mind; equilibrium.

Immaterial if you crawl or soar. Immaterial if you eat humble pie. Or even not eat. He accepts you, right? He may not have taken that step, but he did not allow your surge of emotion to colour his view of you. When you returned, he took you in as though nothing ever happened. Fulfillment, thy definition is to return to status quo. And now, ensconced as you are in the yesterday, you make today more meaningful. Those few steps back push you ahead. You learn the lesson of life...

Everything is not perfect. Perfection is not that customised blueprint you clutch dear, but finding sanity in unmapped chaos. Believing that life is not chasing all that the heart desires — shrug-free endings, overextended beginnings — but putting your heart in all that there is. Or there was.

In your need to ascend, climb mountains high and soar across valleys — ahead, ahead, ahead — how much do you leave behind? How much of you do you lose…. Moving ahead is not always the upshot of an ending. Something need not end for something new to begin. Moving ahead is taking the old to the new; and the other way round. Growing together. Bridging then with now, and snoozing in that hammock called life.

We are forever moving — life ticks eternal. Some constants. Some changes. Some surges, some ebbs. What gives joy untold now could have caused pain earlier, and what you take to bed every night or even what gets you to leap out of bed could well deny you sleep ahead. If we embrace this duality will we ever “end” anything… Or will we merely join the dots; never mind up-two-three-four or even, down-two -three-four...

We’ve all been fed this infant formula of advancing /growing /gaining. True that, but the perspective thus far was myopic. Ahead yes, but not always a trajectory of dead ends and fresh starts — a journey disjointed. Ahead yes, but not always outwardly — sprint as you do take along your beliefs and convictions. Your innocence? Ahead yes, but the direction is yours to determine...

Only what you return to is your call. Do you return to a job that makes you feel compromised? Your woman who was never around — to make you that cup of tea or even partake in family festivity? Bridging the old with the new is not wearing your compromise hat and towing your missteps. It is to find strength, find desire, find life and in that find yourself, and return to that reality. That simplistic joy.

Let us go back this year-end. And let it be a forward march for all.

Nupur Mahajan is a sum of many parts. Ideas are her business even as her creative streak sees her straddle television, advertising, publishing, radio and brands. Reach her at

First Published: 27 December, 2015 13:50 IST

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