Average is the best...

I was wondering if pursuit of the best- every time and for every other thing - is really the best thing to do. All my life, I've done exactly that - and the life that I live today is a testimony of how good or bad it has been. Ensconsed in a degree from a premier university and a job at a reputed MNC, I can safely look back and think about how things couldve ended differently, still without the guts to have done things differently! But what when you sacrifice your childhood, your teenage to make a brighter adulthood, which again ur'e gonna be spending on making a better future? Its a struggle for the best, where best = struggle for the best. Nice infinite loop, but seems like we(atleast some of us) really enjoy getting sucked into it. Now I feel so regretful because everything has turned out horribly wrong, and there's nobody else to blame but myself.So i guess i'm just thinking about being an average for a while.

I, for most part of my life, have never known being average i guess, except in sports of all kinds. In junior school, I was the best debator & elocutor, best singer, best student, best writer, best friend to many... and the list goes on. Strangely, I never ran after being best at these. I guess I got lucky. Things changed when I shifted base to my parents' place in Delhi. I sudddenly found myself an average guy in a new school, in a new city which was completely alien to me. It was tough to find a place and respect among the new people. It was suffocating to live like this - with everyone around, including your parents, after your life. I guess this is where I started fighting for my place - started striving for the best.

New school and 'home' somehow started to have a bad influence on me - the best debator began to stutter, the best singer lost his voice and sense of music, the best student began to forget his lessons, the best writer just went into hibernation, and the best friend to many was left without a friend to boot. Yet two things survived in me - love and the ability to laugh at myself, and a lot of it.

What started as a mission to leave home turned into preparing for the hallowed IITs (i'd heard they had hostels!) - another race for the best. Fortunately or unfortunately, I got through. Four years of hell further beat up the best in me and tried their best to carve out the average. There were no friends - only competitors. Racing for the best was not a choice, but the only option. But this wasn't the one I was gonna win easily. The average me slowly but steadily took more control. I had long lost the bests in me I had had during junior school years. The other two things that had survived till then also started falling apart. Laughing at myself no longer remained an ability when everyone else was already laughing at me. My idealistic concepts of love and friendship were bludgeoned by somebody I thought was my best friend. Self esteem just ambled away too i guess. And now i dont know if i'm even capable of loving. Getting an average job and average CGPA in the end was just the icing on the average cake.

Coming this far, I really feel average is better than the best, except when the former comes after a desperate race for the latter. I'd have been a much better person had I always been average. So what exactly is the 'average' that I talk about here?

Average is the person who doesnt have the biggest of brains, and thats why uses his heart more often.

Average is the student who knows his literature, but isn't obsessed with it.

Average is the employee who works long hours, but doesnt forget to live his life.

Average is the one who can get away doing what he wants and not what should be, because people are not expecting much of him anyways.

Average is the friend who'll pray for your success and watch your back, but wont be around you all the time to take implicit credit.

Average is the lover who'll love without expecting love in return.

Average are the parents who'll do everything they can so that their children could have a life they never could.

Average is the person who gives his best shot and lives for the present, without worrying too much about the result.

Average is the Sid in you and me who hasn't woken up yet.

Maybe I wouldnt have had as well paying a job as I have now (and i'm not saying this one pays well). Maybe I wouldnt have had a degree from IIT. But maybe, I'd have been happier. Maybe, I'd speak clearly, and be able to sing well. Maybe I'd have been laughing along with a bunch of close friends tonight. Maybe I'd have known unconditional love. Maybe I'd have smiled more often. Maybe...

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