The 500th: Distinguishing characteristics of Vahshat-e-Dil

A wise man once said that as we seek our quest, the joy is in the journey we make, and not in our destination….. which we may very well find not quite matching our high expectations, while what befell us while reaching it assumes more significance for us.

For me, I am of the same opinion and see the truth of this contention in various things, whether it was the epic journey I was on the eve of, almost this time last year contrasted with what came afterwards, or the enrolment of …well leave that aside for the moment, or – as is more germane to the issue at hand, reaching the figure of 500 on this venture today, the blessed date of Nov 19, 2010 (which marks the birthday of my mother).

It has been a fascinating journey so far ever since I set up the blog sometime in September 2008 and put my first-ever post on October 7. Since then, there has been intense activity – the various ideas that have come to my mind for inclusion here, framing them in a proper format, fighting to come to an acceptable length (less than 500 words was certainly not as fulfilling), the satisfaction in informing many people of something they never knew, introducing various worthy but mostly forgotten people and issues, saving the memory of a chance encounter or happening for posterity by putting it into words, or sometimes, even to blow off steam on some issue I felt strongly about or wanted to share but did not have any confidante in easy access.

And the means – sneaking off time from official work to post, racing against the clock to finish a particular post, using most of my free time whenever possible and feasible…. well, I think you get now get the gist of my struggles. But finally, it has been done and I reach another milestone. But it is not the time to rest of laurels, and the next milestone – of four digits – beckons. Deo volo, I shall soon reach it soon…. Even the 500 mark has been delayed. I had originally scheduled it within a year of the first post, then the beginning of the blessed month of November, then the most significant date in its second week…. but all these deadlines came and went without the goal being achieved. But now its done, and it is useless to mourn over these.

The issue now is what could be a fit post to mark this anniversary…. well, there isn’t much to think over. What could be a better issue then me? So to mark this significant milestone, I will put before you ….ummm, hmmmm, lets select the significant number 26 as the number of things that make me, Vahshat-e-Dil, unique from the multitude I find myself.

So here are the 26:

# A gift for languages, which sets me apart from the many sadly-unilingual people, or even those who claim to be bi-lingual, and cite their knowledge of the language they work in and their vernacular as their credentials, but this is not certainly not enough. Unless one knows English – and a proper command is most essential, a classical language like Urdu or Persian, and an European language or two, the tag of unilingualism cannot be wished away.

# Simultaneous translation capability, this is an offshoot of the above. Though I am currently most comfortable between English and Urdu, or even Hindustani, and vice versa, it is a most valuable capability to enjoy and again sets you above the vast multitude. I am trying to expand my repertoire and quite confident of success….

# Orientation skills, this is again something beyond the reach of most people, though it is most simple. But then, the powers of observation are not everyone’s strong point. Right from my schooldays, when a friend named me “Christopher Columbus” for my skills in reaching from unerringly reaching the correct spot, as well as knowing a multitude of ways to travel from point A to point B, I have carefully honed this skill. And it is not only to know and understand your own way, you must have the capability to make anyone understand. It is not for me to boast, but there have been days, when at least three strangers have approached me for directions. This is not only in my hometown or the sprawling metropolis where I currently live but various cities in and out of the country where I have found myself in the last ten years or so….

# Reading, or better prefixed by the words prodigious, unrestrained, passionate and so on…. but you get the idea. There is little I can say on the topic which you haven’t gleaned yourself in the preceeding 499 posts, but it will suffice to say that I am one of the last individuals who is moved to rapture at the thought of a good book waiting to be read (also enormously sad when it ends, until the consolation of another book present itself and the circle continues….

Well, I think that should suffice for this post, as I do not want to overwhelm you. The list will soon resume, but with a slightly different title.

To be continued….

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