Everyday Life

Español: (Foto recortada) El jugador de fútbol...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each passing moment when I am up, about and jumping around is the instance of a huge achievement. I hardly appreciate all those subtly active mini processes which go on all the time to make things work for me. It is a taken for granted aspect of our everyday life and is the best noticed when I am in the midst of a temporary disability. When the tiny muscles twitch and inflammation occurs, when a head ache makes everything go in a swirl and when a conversation with that dear friend assumes an unpleasant flavor. The departure of a loved one tells us of his or her presence in our lives. It is only in the event of such ‘breakdowns’ that the meticulous planning and execution of everyday acts becomes crystal clear.

Achieving these small feats with each passing minute is the result of an unbelievable style of many little systems working in absolute tandem with each other. A wave from the brain travels to the limbs, makes it move, a certain chemical composition in the white and the grey cells of the brain keeps me joyful and a series of socially learnt arts of conversing keeps a friendship going great.

These micro systems in daily life are very tightly coupled with each other. A little malfunction here or there causes the system to collapse. The muscles refuse to take orders from the brain, equilibrium in the chemical composition of the cerebrum goes for a toss and the hitherto really nice friend becomes a source of insecurity and anxiety. This tightly coupled arrangement is definitely amusing. These arrangements provide the frames in which we act. If life is a journey, it has its lessons too. These lessons are often imparted loud and clear. Waking up to a swollen ankle or an aching knee is all that is required to understand how Xavi runs in the soccer field!

Why do not I then realize that this passing moment is a spectacular achievement? It is because I am used to this system. I do not really need to understand its nitty gritties it each time it delivers its aim. We plant a phone in our room and never bother to understand all the machinery that is inside the suave looking plastic cover. We know that we can pick up the receiver when the bell rings and we can hear people talking from the other side of the line. Who thinks of the millions of electrons that make this conversation possible?

A friend in the street waves at us and asks “how are you”? We don’t really wave back and say that “Oh! I have a huge backlog of all my research work that is lying unattended and that I am not very happy and sure about the new search engine privacy policies”. I on most occasion smile back, wave and say “I am fine. thank you”. The other one listening to us generally does not care to find out the veracity of our claim. He considers the matter to be over for the time being. To explore this taken for granted aspects of our everyday lives is the task for a sociology of knowledge which aims at understanding how reality is social constructed. Needless to say that we do not wake up every morning thinking that the sky will be falling on our head! We just rely on a recipe knowledge that is readily available in the form of our past experiences.

Accomplishment of the routine is therefore an event with a significance of the first-rate. All that is needed is a malfunction and we come to realize how efficiently do things actually work for us. Life no doubt is a puzzle and truly speaking ‘it’s complicated’ !

30 thoughts on “Everyday Life”

  1. you are absolutely right, my back-ache reminded me how much my spine does for me and how much important it is for me. 🙂

    its better if we realize our blessings, human life is mostly a walking, talking miracle on daily basis.

    fantastic post amit. loved reading it and will love mulling over it for a while.

    glad that you finally wrote some thing again.

      1. ha ha. 🙂 it sure did. the pain was horrible and you know how tough it is for women if they are not able to bend even the slightest bit and have to run the show at home alone almost the entire day. my brother returns at night, after toiling all day so asking him to do something.. well tastes bad in my mouth.

        1. Arre nahin…it is perfectly fine i think to ask people for errands once in a while. Pain is an opportunity to see who actually ‘is around’ for us!

        2. well he helped but i felt bad for making him do the things. 🙂
          he is a very co-operative person, more than anyone else i have ever come across.
          but as i stay at home and he earns the bread i prefer to do the household chores myself.

  2. Nice Post! Our heart alone beats at 72 beats per min on an average from birth all the way till we bid adieu to this world ! Simply amazing and complicatedly amazing! 🙂

  3. You are so right Amit here. Only when you took extended Holi break, we realized what we are missing!
    I think you covered lot of aspects in a short essay
    Humans are by far the most complex creation of Nature, who in turn created other complexities. Brain is probably one organ that distinguishes humans apart from other organisms. Ability to use one (brain) effectively stands one (human) apart from other. It is absolutely true that we take things granted for most part but there are some amongst us who go that extra mile to challenge the status-quo. Apples have been falling from trees ever since Adam plucked one; it took Newton to change the perspective. If Columbus didn’t ventured into Atlantic and sailed the other way I would have been working in some other part of the world. Lot of people do research on social behavior, Amit took it to the blog otherwise instead of typing this comment I’d be checking IPL scores!!
    Coming back to the meat of your story … Yes we tend to realize the importance of thing or a person only in absence of one. And the reasons behind that could vary too. You could be handicapped in one’s absence, you could be vulnerable, or may realize how under-appreciated the missed thing/person was; a selfish thought may worry about failing to fully utilize the person/thing.

    And a final thought … Last year my Wife went to India with kids for few weeks, and only then I realized what I was missing all these day. Peace of Mind!!

    1. Dear Yatin,

      The same logic applies to your absence from wordpress too! you were sorely missed 🙂

      thanks for taking time out to share your views. Appreciate it lots!

      And I have no intention of agreeing with the last statement in your comment! maar padegi mujhe bhi may be for supporting you :P:P

  4. I have fallen into habit of reading your posts and enjoying your thoughts – in the agreement or otherwise. Once done with the pleasure of vicarious enjoyment, and it takes quite a time, I am either too satiated with nothing to explicitly express or have so much to express that burden of the daunting task puts me off.
    Well, that is the dilemma of the bystanders – who are neither fully conformist or fully iconoclasts.
    Since most of us are conditioned to be conformists – people who like things to happen, preferably with least possible, periodic, intervention – also ‘feel’ happy in that state of mind [or would be ‘unhappy’ if the state of mind is under change mode]. So much so, that they even do not have any idea of the ‘other world’. They do not have any regrets for being what they are, thanks to the quality of the conditioning. Probably, Nature also encourages conformism, facilitating survival thereby.
    On the other end of the spectrum, a miniscule minority, who escaped the rigors of conditioning or genetically required far more conditioning efforts, feel that life of a conformist is that of ‘an insect in a gutter’ . Yes, an inherently creative, non-conformist may certainly have that sort of strong feelings for a conformist. He is very happy in state of continual flux. He, by nature, considers swimming against the tide is his life’s mission. These are the engines that drive the other changes around themselves. As a result, they also land up into frequent conflicts with the conformists.
    Oh well, I do not write this because I like this post any more or less than other ones which I declared I would rather savor through thinking over them! I write this because reading the present post is like surge of electrical shock that makes the heart o take up beating or brings in senses to a ‘mad’ person.
    Dear Amit, may your bests keep on getting better….

    1. Dear Ashok Ji,

      Made my day reading this detailed comment. Your appreciation and encouraging words are definitely valuable. I appreciate it so much and hope that this becomes a never ceasing flow from your side.

      There is a striking sense in which you have captured the essence of this post as well as that of its predecessor titled ‘A Pretentious Post’. Thanks for bringing them together so succinctly for me as well as for the reader.

      Everyday life is a struggle where we both conform and challenge in varying proportions and may be that is the reason we say that it is a new day each day!

      Warm Regards,

  5. This sounds a lot like the train of thoughts I have. I’ve always been awed by the way our body and brain works…and I’ve written a post about how we almost always give the usual “I’m fine” reply to a question of “How are you?”, even when we are not fine! Life sure is complicated but I guess we don’t have too much time to dwell on the intricacies! 🙂

  6. Hi Amit

    I enjoyed this one, especially wrt the way you are talking about processes of everyday things. I was wondering if on your research path you had come across work by Ron Scollon who manages to talk so well about the intracies and nuances of everyday communication. If you Google him on scholar you’ll find plenty of this work, particularly recommend his work on ‘dscourses in place’ and ‘nexus analysis and the emerging Internet’.

    Best wishes

  7. It’s TAZ from Bloggers. I’m out exploring blogs to look for interesting writers to invite to be columnists on TheTAZZone. Unfortunately you don’t have a contact form or I would have used that instead. If you’re interested please contact me.


  8. It does take a fall to realise all the good we have. And yes, our bodies are quite some stunning machinery if I can use such an expression. I enjoyed reading your post, so full of interesting thoughts.

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