This Means War

Graphic by Eric Estibeiro

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Chahta hai and so many great movies have one significant conclusion — follow your heart. Our heart and instincts are much more reliable than our brain and experience. Technically, that’s true because life doesn’t follow a plan. There is no “ultimate purpose” to fulfill. If we had a path, we could just always know what to follow and when. There would be no reason to go into this whole thing about choosing between our head and heart.

Personally, I have terrible instincts. Everytime I have listened to my heart, I have completely messed up. And I’m not talking about just relationships and career choices, it’s everything. The worst example of my life, ordering food, I once thought soya chaap would taste like chicken, clothes, movies and so on. Simple decisions that seem to come so instinctively to everyone about what could and could not be right give me a short glimpse of hell.

It’s not that I do better when I think about things, but at least I have better excuses when I mess up.

This miscommunication and a dire lack of coordination between these two very important parts of my life causes so much confusion and indecision for me. 

I have never been good at academics. In fact, I have such severe anxiety issues that I have had to drop out of two colleges but this year in my course I had a new subject that dealt with literary theories and for the first time in my life there was something I could actually completely connect to. I got so thorough, even when anyone had confusions even the professors would advise to consult me.

On the contrary growing up, I had a huge passion for cinema. Storytelling and cinematography have always deeply fascinated me. I thought storytelling was cool before Tamasha. I had decided to study film studies since class 6th and be this big-shot script writer that is all I have dreamed of with all my heart for as long as I can remember.

Now I am soon going to graduate and I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do. My head and my heart absolutely refuse to have a civil conversation. My head is sure pursuing theory and doctorate would be the best option, and it’s most definitely right. But my heart…says, “Well, you’re going to Mumbai.”

It’s like talking to my parents. Noone is actually listening to the other or making sense and you don’t even remember what the actual topic was supposed to be.

These problems seem small in the big scheme of things, a very nihilistic view,but this matters, because I matter, and you matter. With all our supposedly inconsequential little troubles, we all matter.

I have made a lot of questionable judgments in my life and made a lot of effort to work on appropriate decision making. From that experience I have learnt there are two paths people take for stuff in their lives.We either listen to our innermost instincts or rely on our analytic judgements, I’m constantly torn between the two.

There is your heart, who knows you. Your dreams, what you love and what you hate, what makes you ecstatic, what breaks you basically everything that makes you “you”. But your brain, it’s filled with experiences, ambitions, drive, capacity and your capabilities.

Who’s to say who’s right? Different situations seem to call for different approaches to deal with. Until then this war goes on and on. Does it end? Unlike real life wars, will this war ever bring peace?

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