Thursday, March 16, 2006

Past !!

Priya and Chetan (names changed) were my good friends in Clemson.

Priya and Chetan joined the school in same semester, and were in same department. But were single at that time. Slowly,but surely, they became good friends. They started spending a lot of time with each other, started sharing their thoughts and emotions with each other. Their friendship grew day-by-day, and in next 6 months, they were very close friends. One fine day, Chetan asked Priya if they could be more than friends; and Priya was more than happy to accept the proposal. We all were very happy to see them together; as they were perfect for each other, and made a very good pair. It all went well for a while. Priya and Chetan were now totally, deeply in love with each other. Priya and Chetan was a perfect couple one could get to see.

One thing was bothering Chetan somewhere within: he did not know much about Priya's past, and he never asked her about it before. One day, he made up his mind, and asked her about it. Priya did not want to hide her past from Chetan. She told him that she had a boyfriend in her college days; they were together for three years, and they broke up couple of years back. She told him everything she could about her past relationship. Priya thought it would be unfair on her part to hide her past relationship from her new partner.

Chetan was totally shattered to hear all that from Priya. He could not digest the fact that his girlfriend had shared intimate moments with some other guy. He could not accept and digest Priya's past. Even though he trusted and loved Priya very much; he could not get over that. He lost his composure, forgot all the nice time he had with Priya, and one day broke the relationship. Chetan wanted to break all the romantic links with Priya, and his reason was that he could not imagine his girlfriend having a past with someone else.

....

Past sucks. Past hurts. Past haunts.

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Past is something that you can not dissociate with your personality. You have to live with your past all the time; you always have to carry it on your back.

Well, past is not as easy to think about as it seems. There is a good past, and a bad past. Somehow people tend to neglect one over the other. We see so many people who live IN past, and so many others who live ON past. There are so many politicians, cricketers, film stars living IN and ON past. Noone remembers them for their 'bad' past; they will always be remembered for their legacy and great things they did. Its all part of life.

However, generally speaking, in most cases we tend to quickly forget the 'good' past of an individual. But 'bad' past sticks to the personality forever.

The other day, I was talking with my engineering friend Dipak (name changed). Dipak had recently arrived in the States for on-site job assignment thru his company in India. Dipak was out of touch with our other classmates, and had no info. about what others are up to. We started talking about our other friends in US, and there was a mention about another friend of ours, Prachi (name changed). Prachi is pursuing her PhD in a very interesting subject at a very reputed university, and is doing very well.

When I told Dipak about Prachi; he was in utter disbelief and shock. He told me that he didnt believe Prachi could be a good PhD student. He also told me that he didn't think Prachi had a required acumen for completing a degree in US, let alone doing some path-breaking research. I asked Dipak why he thought so, and he answered that Prachi's past proves that she's is poor student and a very shallow human being in general.

Yes, Prachi was not a good student in her engineering days. She was in bad company; she was also into drugs and other addictions at a point. She never scored good grades. She never applied herself. And in general, she was 'wasted' in her engineering days. Her past was not encouraging at all, rather it was shameful struggle.

But things changed after Prachi came to US. She developed the liking for her subject, she got into a good decent company, and she was indeed doing very well with her studies, and her personal life as well. I, in fact respect Prachi a lot, for what she has achieved in past couple of years. I hardly knew Prachi in Bombay, but she's my very good friend now. In spite of knowing about her character and past, her present has made me respect her a lot. I always think of Prachi as I know her with her present, than past.

Yet, in Dipak's view, she is wasted, and hopeless !!

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Why do people judge others on the basis of their past?.

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Yes, I do agree that knowing someone's past helps you to know that person better. But at the same time,doesn't it encourage you to be judgemental about that person?. Its probably unfair, and not justified.

It biases the entire judgement about (and the following interaction / communication with) that person. There is a great chance that knowing past may provoke you to maintain a certain distance from that person; which actually prevents you to know that person in a better manner.

I personally judge and understand a person on the basis of his present (and future, if he holds one); and I really prefer others judging me in a similar manner. I am not a person who dwells in past too much. Past is past. I learn a lot from the past, enjoy the better moments, and move on. I don't have too many problems with my past (and I am proud of whatever I have done); yet I guess I would prefer to be defined by my present, and future; than my past.

Jan Glidewell has made a very nice quote on past:

“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.”

Thats the mistake many of us commit, don't we?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

As Shakespeare had said " ...the evil that men do lives after them.. the good is oft entered with their bones..." so true....

and yes its horrible to judge a person based on his/her past... i loved Jumanji as a kid... listened to songs like "amma dekh" all day ... please dont judge me by all that... :)

Sagar said...

Good Job again!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what pleasure you derive by exhibiting other people's personal lives. Also it's sad that some stupid losers are appreciative about it.

Linda Zhang said...

wow the anonymous person above you seems to be quite upset. maybe you exposed him/her?

anyway, chetan really needs to grow up and get over prita's past. like oh my god oh my god, Prita has actually had a boyfriend, wow!!!!!!!!!!!! chetan really is being selfish. and come on, at least he should know that other men want her... he should feel good about himself! (haha kidding.)

seriously though, i'll have to question chetan's 'love' for prita. what sort of interest does he have, if he's willing to break up with her just because she has been with someone else??

i can say right now that if he keeps it up, he'll just be very disappointed with most women he will meet, and end up being a very lonely man.

yeah. i am a firm believer that the past remains in the past, and people have plenty opportunities to change for the better. why do people have to be so judgemental these days, geez?!

well, i guess one exception is if you have an STD... then um, the past is pretty necessary to know :)

ok i need to get out of here before another anonymous person kicks my a$$ !!!! :)

Sagar said...

the anonymous, with lack of face or name, needs to grow up and name his opinions rather than firing a gun, with lack of gun powder. lol

Vivek said...

Make no mistake, my anonymous friend !!

The purpose of including that "story" in the blog was not to discuss anyone's personal life. I am not sure what you look for in the blogs; but my intention was to give one simple example of how past sticks with you forever, no matter how much you try to improve yourself.

Sometimes, some things are best explained when cited with an example. We see so many things happening around us. They teach a lot, and I guess things happening around us are the best teachers when it comes to real life-learning. I don't think there is anything wrong in including these examples in our thought process, related discussion and hence the expression. May be we can learn more out of it.

I guess the reader should rather be focused on the main thought of the blog than trying to relate these examples with someone's real life.

And let me tell you one more thing: most of these stories are not real life stories at all. Many a times I make them up to cite a perfect example for a particular case. Many a times I hear a few things, and find them intriguing.. so I just add some fictitious characters to make a point. As in this blog, I am not discussing a real life story at all; forget about someone's personal life.

Having said that, if you can relate this story with someone's personal life; it means that there are so many of these cases happening around us. It actually supports my view.


-
Vivek.

Shantanu Shaligram said...

विवेक,
सुंदर लिहीतोस! मी वाचत राहीन!
शंतनु शाळिग्राम

Sagar said...

vivek bhai, continue writing. I support ur cause

Anonymous said...

To justify your statement (at least in this case) a fictional story doesnt make sense.

Anonymous said...

Using a fictional story to prove your views dont make sense.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm!!! anonymous really has a serious problem eh?? well!!! i do agree that publishing peoples personal life on a blog is a horrible thought.... but hey!! come on.... dont you ever gossip?? dont you ever discuss your friends lives?? dont you ever want to give some advice to help the person (if he/she needs it?)and if you are unable don't you talk to people about it?... and then doing all this dont you question values and customs that we are brought up with??

this brings us to two questions...

a) what is a blog?? if it is an online diary then well i can just about write anything.. if it is a place where i share my feelings then again i can well write whatever i feel... what are the blogging rules??? thou shalt not write about others?

and b) anonymous says that real stories are not to be published and fictional ones make no sense... please have some clarity of thought?? what did you expect?? no stories??

and seriously.. using fictional stories to prove your views make no sense???? what do you think people like mark twain, o henry, tagore and shakespeare aimed at?? making no sense??? i should say they did pretty well at making any sense... :)

did u have a bad day when you wrote this comment or did u just want a zillion people to respond to what you wrote??