“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more!” is a legendary quote by Erica Jong, the American author best known for Fear of Flying. It does really appear a pointless exercise to elaborate on what the line purports to convey. Because we are in such times that ideas as these are assumed necessarily, before embarking on anything. Without much ado, let us look at it from a different angle.
Endeavors fraught with risk are generally reckoned with awe and the result coveted by many. Fair enough, given that it is such a high feeling you get after having done something, which most others would chicken out of. So do we believe that all things that are potential deterrents of a given exercise are risks, characteristically? Risks are often debilitating in nature and sometimes act as known side-effects of a particular action. And going ahead with resolve, to get to the end despite such odds, calls for cheer. But there is this thing about hassles in life. And I’m confident not many would disagree that these are things we could do away with. When hassles take over every stage of an activity, they start morphing into hurdles so prominent that they are regarded with annoyance and eventually, with trepidation. And that’s when they get a tag of a risk. So, “risk is not all glory, but an unnecessary pain, nobody would lament its absence” is how it comes to be argued. Such a shame! We could really do without hassles. Mind you, the author is not for a moment suggesting that everyone can steer clear of all bother. Unfortunately, the magnitude of efforts is in such proportions that there is bound to be a spot or two here and there. What’s essential (if I may use the word) is it may make sense to show a cold shoulder to occasions which have trouble as a part of the package. Especially, if we already have things going fine and dandy. There’s this bloke the author happens to know, who was apparently in rapport d’amour with a sprightly young lady. Or so the latter believed. From what we saw of her, she is quite an emotional girl, who wears her heart on her sleeve and trusts people a tad too easily. Now, our lad is said to have lived in this idyllic world wherein he would find the lady crafted for him, someday. Not that he dismissed the proposition that lay before him outright, because hope springs eternal in the human breast! Now he would argue he was being a man enough, and almost risk-loving, in giving someone a chance. Fair enough! Just when we thought he was pulling along the yoke of life, along comes this girl who is smart and funny, and projects a firm head on shoulders. And quite chatty when it matters. She takes an instant liking to our man in question, and he doesn’t see anything obviously wrong in it either. A fine situation to be in, eh? And this, the author would agree, is a spot of bother he could have well avoided. Now that the first mentioned is not someone known to be impulsive enough to snap ties for good at the first available cue, he is all but peaceful within. It may appear that he could have traded the trouble for the risk! Well, these are matters of the heart, and it’s agreeably criminal to speak of them in such a fashion.
From the spectrum of humanity we interact with everyday, there are many who would narrate to us how they have things going well for them, and some who say are still yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Isn’t it generally the situation that folks who genuinely are thankful for their state of well-being are those who wouldn’t want to face situations that disturb the peace that prevails? If such a chap were to embark on a road trip across the breadth of the sub-continent, he wouldn’t shy away. There are inherent dangers in the very nature of the expedition, but the very thought of reaching the finish line after many grueling days, would be sure to send him into a tizzy. Or another of his ilk may vow to cram up and come out tops in Civil Services entrance, in spite of being employed in enviable capacity. That’s akin to challenging limits and works towards greater objectives. And there are many who believe who have so much to do and have to do so much more to reach the set objectives. It’s just that the end point moves with time, back and forth. Because the distance to the finish line from the point of progress appears to be proportionate to the quantum of hurdles that come in the way of reaching them. (This, the author argues is his line!) He would like to clarify that he doesn’t necessarily mean hurdles in concept, but other overheads – read hassles – which eventually would end up being major concerns. Disentangling oneself from red tape when a chap has it going easy with what he owns, raising Cain over a non-issue that has only grazed someone’s ego, and other phenomena on similar lines. It is apparently a vicious circle and it only widens the deeper one gets into it.
It is an amazing feeling to go about life like it was on a roll, and avoiding anxiety if we could help it. The person, who put pen to paper here, believes it was a big risk that he chose to write on something that he is no expert on, and did it straight from the gut. And argues that he wasn’t hassled one bit when he set about doing it.