Just the other day, I was marveling at the way our thoughts flow, converge and then, dissipate only to strike back with more irrelevant connotations. Such is the mind that rarely do you notice how you have transcended from one thought to another. Sometimes at the end of 10-minute thought processes, I would hardly be able to find out how I reached the last thought from the first thought and harder, sometimes, would it be to discover what that first thought must have been.
I have, hence, taken fondly to calling my mind a thought machine. Just for an example, here is one thought and I’m only reproducing it to the best of my memory and with a little of my imagination – I could be a missing a few links in the chain, though, here. The circumstance, to brief you, is me riding on a bike to a party in the town.
What are those young girls doing? Let me edge closer to them. Oh, wait… they are getting ahead. Let me follow them. Oh, they look good sitting on that Activa. How old is my Activa? Three years? Oh, that Activa must be around a year old, that’s it! Hey, you… you can’t jump a signal like that!! Ok, I’ll wait… Or, should I? I bought my Activa, paying the full amount in cash. Was I rich, then? No, I was just barely managing. Damn! Why is the signal taking so long? Oh, there’s that police guy manually operating the signal. It will take forever now. Wait a minute! It’s open. The girls are gone, fast disappeared. Shit!!! I’m on the wrong route. Hope Mr. N…. has bought the bouquet for the occasion. I’m going to be late. How much fun is a design firm’s anniversary party going to be? I’m going to have fun, no matter what. It’s the best restaurant in the town, no doubt. That lady must be really rich to have a party going there… When did she start out? Ten years ago! That’s it? How can success be measured in 10 years? How many years would the other major design firms the local ones been working for? More than that! Some, even 30 years… How many years did I last? Just about two-and-a-half years. Success? No, the only things I took out of it are my leadership skills (for whatever they are worth) and my Activa. What other design firms are there in the market? Ah, there are the couple-driven design firms. Husband and wife are both architects. In most cases, they studied together, worked together and started out on their own together. Then, one day, they realise that the things they believe in so much are so well aligned with each other and they get into the life-long alliance of marriage. How many such marriages have failed? Not any that I know of! And, how many of these business are successes? Well, the longest I know of has stood firm for more than 10 years now! I must make an effort to study this, more in detail. Probably, I could write a book about this: architect couples running their own design business. Wow! Is that the idea I’ve been waiting for? Oh well, over there is Mr. N… waiting for me. “Good evening, Mr. N…! I’m so sorry I’m late! It’s the traffic, you know!”*
Eventually, it is such a thought process from my very own thought machine that gave me the idea for writing “The Shelters We Made”. But, the point is, how many of us actually make use of our thoughts? There are a lot of books these days, which tell you how you must focus on that manner in which you got a particular intelligent thought to form a similarly intelligent thought; and others which tell you how you can avoid all those chains of thoughts and arrive straight at the final thought, the moment of revelation, or that brilliant flash of an idea. Well, my personal favourite, yet, is to follow the thoughts exactly the way it comes to me. For me, any attempt to tamper with it would be probably prove to be disastrous.
One thing I have found as a lesson is that the more you talk the less you think; and the more you think the less you talk. To enable the thought machine to work, you must have a silent engine (one that wouldn’t talk too much). Talking is also a sort of interruption to thoughts. Unless you have a very intellectually motivated person talking to you, there is a good chance that your thought may be diverted to a totally barren area where no thought is worth even a penny. Secondly, it may also be a good practice to write down your thoughts, if you have a pathetic memory. In any case, with the gazillion number of thoughts we come across, it is very very difficult to remember one thought among them, after three or four years from now. I sometimes read through my old diaries and journals, wondering whether it was really I who wrote those. And, thirdly & most importantly, let it flow. Any act of tampering with it would be akin to killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.
With that, I leave you to your thoughts and I go back to mine. Good Day, Good Night!!!
*(In the thought process above, I have written a few things that would make me look like a pervert or a jerk. Well, to dramatize the thought process of which I have no recollection, I may have imagined too much. My apologies for the perverted angle from which I imagined the situation…)