Inspect, Introspect, Experiment, Engage
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A casual glance over reveals that commitment phobia is endemic in modern lives. It is related not only to relationships. We all practice it in various ways.

 

Most of the time, it is spoken in context of relationship. But that is just one aspect. As I looked deeper, I realized that its practice is deeply entrenched in my life. Before I became aware of this, I didn’t own anything – not even my mobile connection. Nor did I choose to put my name onto any venture. I called it ‘being a freebird’.

 

Offshoot of this fact was that I didn’t develop any leadership. What really bothered me was lack of achievements in my life. I thought this lack of achievement was because I was not accomplished enough. I was just a graduate with major health issues dogging me. These were just excuses, as I learnt. I started wondering if I was afraid to commit to achieving good health as it will knock this big excuse from my life. Without this excuse, I had no place to hide from lack of goals and achievements.

 

The day I realized this, it was like bottom dropped from my world. I felt so exposed. I didn’t have any further excuses unless I chose not to face the truth. Since then it has been an interesting journey. I am noticing that all of a sudden I am in situations where I am taking leadership role. All this while I thought I was not equipped for it but the reality was different. When the situations came up, I was doing pretty well. Large amounts of learning coupled with immense sense of achievement became the norm. Committing meaning putting oneself onto line to ensure that it became successful so not committing was easier but when committing, life was filled with zing.

 

And the best realization was that when I started committing, space for complaints reduced drastically. I was too busy trying to make things work to look and crib about non-working aspects. Everything became a game – to see how I could go past roadblocks. And once I was past them, it was celebration time.

The idea itself came up while commenting on the collaborative writing and illustrating event by Pratham Books. It went unnoticed till Pratham Books retweeted this ‘Anyone willing to join in creating a story for kids on twitter using illustration from @prathambooks website? How abt flickr.com/photos/pratham… ‘. Five or six twitter folks showed interest out of which four agreed to join the experiment. A methodology was quickly chalked out and we started off.

 

Since I had started the ball rolling, I wanted this to reach completion. Since this was one of those cases where participants had just met and had no relationship with each other, there was a high possibility that the exercise could be abandoned midway by the participants. I didn’t want that to happen. Putting myself up in public eye does not come naturally to me. I prefer to work from shadows. And then to face failure – it was something that I wanted to avoid. Luckily the participants stuck through till the end and in fact, we even gained one new writer.

 

For a long time I have wanted to become a storyteller for kids. The idea of having good story telling session in a book store/library on a regular basis really appeals to me. Not knowing if I had the skill to weave stories for tiny tots which would ignite their imagination and keep them enthralled, kept the idea on backburner. And then this opportunity came. I started off, digging into all that I remembered about my time with cousins and things that fascinated them. I surprised myself in a good way. I admired the imagination of other participants and I reveled/laughed/giggled at the way story was proceeding. If the fear of not completing the story was not there, I would have wanted this madness to go on longer.

 

Should we do this again? Any takers?