I jumped with excitement when I was checking my emails a couple of days ago. It was an email with an invitation to travel, all expense paid. It was an invite to spend a month in Eaglenest National Park, Arunachal Pradesh, working on some research activity related to a newly found bird species.
I was jumpy alright, but got into thinking mode in the next minute. It is an invite irrestible, but I wondered how I would manage time out for a month to be there. Such are the times when I get on thinking-too-much mode and feel that I should quit my full-time 9-6 job. Would I make a list of things that I would want to do but never get done because I am constrained to be at work, it would run like a long list whose tail would be somewhere miles away. There is a always a temptation to quit, but the worldly matters and a need to sustain hold me back and tie me up with a thick rope.
It is then that I start dreaming. I start dreaming about the day I would find a way to live with a means other than my full time job. And the time that I would find then would be used for things like the bird research project in Arunachal. And then there is an idea of spending a useful year or two living in the corners of Uttaranchal Himalayas and Corbett, and spend another year or two in the regions of Himachal and Ladakh. Ofcourse there are other places in mind where I would want to be for a long long time, like wandering our own forests in the Sahyadris. I can't go on because each time I visit a place of immesurable beauty, I would like to be there!
And then there is the idea of spending time being useful to the soceity, learning some fine arts and music that can be my companion forever, read all the great books that I have always wanted to read, make best photographs.. I can go on.
All said, these are dreams and I know that I will realize at least some of them in the years to come. A few years ago, I would have been depressed thinking about these and sink with a feeling that I have been upto nothing I would like to. But now, I am happy no matter what I am doing and no matter what I am upto. I have come to understand that being happy is about living the life we have while we strive to achieve what we want. Everything would have been dry without dreams, but living with dreams alone does nothing good either. And happiness comes when there is a balance in dreams and realities.
PS: When I started writing this, all I wanted to write is about the bird project in Arunchal. I had no idea it would shape up this way!