--> Clever title here <--

What is our purpose in life? What gives it meaning? I suppose a purpose would give life a meaning...

It's a strangely contemplative mood I find myself in at the witching hour on this Tuesday morning. For the longest time I felt absolutely no compulsion to seek that purpose. Being a lazy ass I thought I'd kick myself a bit of a kick in the pants by leaving this city for a couple of years hoping that a different job and a different place would 'cure' me. It didn't... For the longest time I felt I would end up being a failure because of this lack of purpose. As time went on, the fear of that failure started to expand to a point where at times I'd be... say eating lunch... and then thoughts about what I was going to do with my life would just overwhelm me and the otherwise delicious khicdi would suddenly taste like mud.
I'm now at a point in my life where I'm back in an office kind of setup and I enjoy what I do. If things pan out they way they're supposed to (eventually) I hope to make those big bucks I'd always dreamt of making and do it in a way that would keep me totally satisfied.

The contemplation comes from now being on the other side of the fence so to speak. I have a couple of friends both of whom are in situations which makes my heart go out to them because I was there not too long ago. Friend A is in his mid-20s and is a very savvy young kid who is stir-crazy about poker. He knows the game, he's on top of the jargon and the theoretical concepts not to mention the hundred and hundreds of hours that he's spent grinding away in the casinos of Macau, UK and our very own Goa. Not surprisingly A wants to become a professional poker player. Now turning pro in places like the States or Europe or really most anywhere and playing poker full-time is an occupation that thousands of people engage in. Now in our country, where something like DJ-ing till not too long ago was not looked upon as a viable career choice, the thought of being a 'professional gambler' is bound to bring on the hey Bhagwans and hai Allahs! 
I just got off the phone with A and if there ever was a perfect description for the word morose, he was it! The plan was to gently break it to the folks that the weeks spent away from home were actually at the poker tables in Goa and of course the plan of turning pro eventually. Apparently the folks found out sooner than A would have liked and so now he has to quit something he loves dearly. "Senti blackmail stuff" in his words. And he's clearly not happy about what he now believes is his only path - a stable career, wife, 2.3 kids and the mediocrity of a 9-to-5 life.

Then there's X who in her own words has been quite the flitting butterfly. Having tried her hand at a bunch of things including holding down a job which seems glamorous (due to all the globe-trotting she does although snorts of derision accompany that at times), she doesn't know what to do in life because so many things appeal to her. And amongst this myriad, she's not sure if there's any one particular thing which appeals to her just a wee bit more than the others. Herein lies another dharamsankat! Calling me a couple of nights back, I can hear the desperation in her tone and then she voices it by saying, "What the hell am I doing?? I don't even know if this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life". I hate these situations... It's a singularly annoying feeling when you can do absolutely nothing for someone going through a situation like this especially when it's someone you care about. I've never been able to do anything other than saying comforting Ooohs and Aaahs to the person/s concerned not entirely sure whether what I was doing was helping or making them feel even more pissed off! At least as far as X is concerned, it's probably the latter. In her defence, being the pragmatic soul she is, she quickly takes on the blame for loading a problem on my head for which there is no real answer.

I guess everyone has to travel that path. Some, like me, take years to actually find the damn path. Times like these I am ridiculously grateful for having at least found what I believe to be my path for the next 10-20 years. Make no mistake I'm still a lazy ass and my main motive is still to make a success of this venture, make a boatload of money, travel the world, buy a house by the beach and then l-a-z-e my ass in a hammock drinking cool brews as I watch the sun go down. I don't know if this will all come true but I am at peace with the direction my life has taken and is taking. As I sign off, the best and perhaps only thing I can do is to dash off a silent prayer for people like A and X that they get there soon enough...