Tuesday, March 22, 2011


"..... because I have been sidetracked for over 20 years..... courts, cases, friends, pranks, a marriage, several affairs (laughs)....... I got sidetracked. And now that I am retired, nothing sidetracks me. I was in the bar the other night..... and I saw myself....having dinner alone......and..well, I didn't like myself..."

I find this dialogue in an Spanish Argentinian movie with English sub titles from Spanish. As I said in my earlier blog, I have this opportunity to view a number of movies of all leading countries on line, courtesy my daughter. I am in America visiting my daughters. Also as I said in my earlier blog, I have difficulties in following American accent and the on-line stream does not offer sub titles for English movies, so I pick from their Foreign Movies section. I had no opportunity to view French, Italian, Mexican and Argentinian movies before. There are some excellent movies from these countries.

That piece of dialogue I quoted was put in the mouth of a leading character, a retired detective in the movie, made my own memories to unwind. I don't know in what meaning the translator used that word 'sidetracked', I take it he did not have time to look at himself.

I am now self retired since four years from a small time business. But it was long before retirement, I started to look and wonder at myself in the void created when the last of my children, all three girls, proceeded to America seeking higher education in the year 2001. Her eldest sister had already started her own family giving birth to a girl child simultaneously doing her post graduation in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, after her marriage. And her immediate elder was already here in America seeking a research slot after her post graduation at Texas A&M University.

It was in that void I started searching for myself, my identity. I started wondering - is there an identity except that I am son of so and so, then husband of so and so followed by father of so and so running a so and so business. Yes, I was 'sidetracked' for over, not 20 but 30 years. But in that void created after all the children became adults capable of taking care of themselves, I could not find myself, let alone whether I liked myself or not. In these long ten years I have searched and still searching - who am I without a given identity? Is there an easy way to look at? I have all my traits - my quick temper, that crass anger, that sensitivity and sentimentality, that unpredictable behavior ... - everything intact. The only thing I could discover in these years is that I am nothing, yes, absolutely nothing without these attributes, the personality traits. I want to see myself in that nothingness; is that possible? I think it is, because of late I have started having glimpses of that nothingness; glimpses of getting lost in the void....and believe me, in that state I touch the borders of immensity, profundity - call it what you will - of life without biases, without prejudices, without given values, without virtues, pride....without all that mind has created, nursed and attached to life,....the wholeness of life without 'me'. Yes, the wholeness, the true beauty without created attachments.

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