Mutterings: Suffering by Deprivation

Posted: September 5, 2013 in Scribble
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When I was still observing religious rites at an impressionable age there were times when we had to fast on Fridays. Whenever we were told to do that my friends and I usually spend more time talking about the long and short about food more than we usually would at other times. It was the thought of not eating that made us hungry just thinking about it. And then in the later years when the religion upgraded itself we were told that abstinence, especially from meat and sex, was a good enough practice. And there we were again huddling together in throes of hunger thinking of meat, and sex which of course was not mentioned verbally, even more.

During my exam months in the secondary school we had to stay away from TV, society meetings and most outdoor activities to spend time concentrating on the books. My imagination must have been the most active then while staring blankly at all the academic books I laid out in front of me. After some long hours of getting spaced out in another realm I usually panic when I see the books still glaring back at me accusingly on the same page I started. Perhaps this was the time I decided I would be better off as a storyteller than to let academics mold my future.

When the nine to five took over, the one thing my colleagues and I dreaded most was the idea of staying back for a meeting or to work on some projects which had an impossible deadline. This aggravating announcement was usually disclosed only when the clock was about to strike five. And strangely, after the announcement, I would feel like partying, painting the city red or hanging out for the sake of hanging out. But on days when we had no need to stay back I would most likely go home and watch TV.

In my later years, one of my friends wanted to be a vegetarian but found it hard to even begin. Her love for meat was notorious so every year she broke her New Year resolution even before she could begin. When it came to my turn I could do away with all kinds of meat except chicken. Every time I go vegetarian, deliciously prepared chicken in more ways than one would always call out to me. Then one day, I decided I will be a vegetarian when I become a vegetarian at my own pace and the yearning stopped.

Like I said earlier in my previous article about suffering, this is just one of those things we do to make life difficult. And these are just some of the milder deprivations I am talking about. What about those who grow up being deprived of food on the table and clothes on their backs? What about those who are deprived of their freedom to live a life full of potentials? What about those who are deprived of love because the environment is not conducive?

My yearning for things I never had, which eventually found their way into my life (well some anyway), were things I never really wanted.  I was only sold to the idea of scarcity that made it looked tempting enough for me to crave for them. And with the power of suggestion I bought into I always thought satisfaction came from obtaining wealth, properties, family, marriage, a life of leisure, food, and most of all, the one true love.

Anything forced is a burn waiting to happen: that’s what I learned from accruing buckets of tears and boxes of heartbreaks. Like it or not, we are all deprived of something in our lives, depending on our point of origin. But if we take the time to know where we came it would help to know where we are going.


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