February 5, 2014

Of Priorities and Other Animals

I should be writing.


That’s what I am supposed to do but instead I just wiped the dog dry after he returned from his fourth walk of the day covered in mud, which was wet due to unexpected drizzle. Why was the dog covered in mud when it was more than clear that the mud was went after an unexpected drizzle? Well, the dog walker, a 15-year old who moonlights as a mutt walker whenever he feels like, apparently thought it was cooler to walk behind the dog rather than walking it. So, once the dog returned he went again to be washed clean with the help of a garden hose.

It was a tough choice between wiping a mud soaked dog or a dripping wet one and no prizes for guessing which option was undertaken. The dog walker had the widest grin on his face when he returned and although he didn’t say anything his impish smirk more than implied that he was a notch higher than yours truly in the chain of hierarchy. I had just showered and had armed myself with a cup of coffee to bang a few words out of my system but there I was on all fours trying to dry a wet dog. He, of course, thought this to be a game and in his pre-doggy-adolescence exuberance made sure to balance our individual wetness quotient. A few minutes later he was ready to adorn his blanket while I was lost contemplating between a change of clothes, reheating or making fresh coffee.

The moment I sat down with a fresh cup the sun had decided to discard the clouds and well, suddenly it was like the last 20 minutes never happened. In that moment I realized how your dog, and in some cases, and absolutely no offense intended, your progeny teach you things about prioritizing. The one thing that became abundantly clear was that make the most of every moment in your life. For some of us it could be savoring that drink a little longer, or looking at the sunset till it ended but for people like me it means create opportunity whenever and wherever you can. For a filmmaker & writer there are times when I have to leave my work for my work, if you know what I mean. In between writing my book I shot a documentary over 12 weeks and a television commercial and every time I got closer in finishing one the other needed some attention. Needless to say that I enjoy both and I try to make sure that the passion carries over when I switch.

In this and age we need everything fast and once we have it we replace it with something else faster. I stopped reading newspaper about two years ago and never missed it. Let’s face it most of it was non-sense that didn’t concern me. Ever since I could recall devouring newspapers was a family tradition of sorts- my grandfather would read 6 of them daily and even write to the editors on a regular basis, my parents read four. I got my daily dose from the Internet even though I have been off social media for over a month now, I still found 90% of the content old when ever I could glance through a newspaper. But there are things that take their own time and that’s what we need to learn from. Like for instance a documentary about a school being built in rural Uttar Pradesh over six months will take 6 months to film just like if a dog needs you to cuddle him at that moment he will get you there no matter what. Raymond Chandler wrote his first six books inside his car that was parked in his driveway because his young children didn’t appreciate silence in the manner he did. By comparison what do I have to deal with…? Even the dog likes me writing, as he prefers to use my foot as a headrest while snuggling under my table.

Yes, I should be writing…

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