What the hell!? Where am I? What is this place?

Looks like a stairwell to me. What did you think it was?

Gee, thanks! I can see that. But, a stairwell going where? And why do I feel like I would meet some people here? People I want to be with, who would want to be with me.

Take a look around. Do you think you are in a place where you can meet anyone (forget being together)?

I… I guess not. Everyone’s hurrying upstairs. What’s the big rush? And how many levels do we have to go up anyways? My legs feel like jelly.

You can stop whenever you want to. Wherever you stop, its the highest level for you.


Of course, the level where you stop will never be the one where you will find someone to be with; for each level can fit one person only.

What is that supposed to mean?

Just that you have your level of achievement and your friends, their own. It would be foolish to bring all of them to your level just for their company. Unfair to all of them, and to you, too.

Are you telling me that I have just rushed into a different version of a rat race? That I will still be a rat, no matter what? That I’m losing?

Hardly. In a rat race, the objective is an equal opportunity for all the rats. The winner get the cheese, the rest, nothing. Whether you finish the race or not, you are still on the same level, and yes, you are still a rat. And if you decide to drop out and step aside, its OK – you just stumble onto the ground. On the other hand… look up…

Its blue…

It is the second stage.

The… second stage?

Yes! The first stage was where you proved you were ready to live your life. You live your life on the second stage.

This is not a race. This is not a struggle. This is a not quest. What this is, is a climb up to that stage in the blue, where you will find the one you want to be. All climb these stairs. Few reach the stage. Fewer still can match the person they meet there. Even fewer are those who take the challenge and become the person they have always wanted to be.

What if I don’t want to go up there?

Are you afraid? Of failure, perhaps? Of loneliness? It sure is lonely at the top.

What? Shut the hell up! I just want to know my options!

There is only one way to go down…

I get it! Turn around and walk away downstairs.

You can’t.

I… can’t?

Try it.

… Mother of God! What have you done? Why can’t I go nowhere but uphill, damn it!?

You are not paying attention. Watch closely… watch your step… fatigue is making you careless…

… Shit!! There are no banisters on these stairs!

People who fail, who tire, wander away towards the edge of these stairs. Sometimes not even the the physical barrier of a banister will stop them… from quitting.

… Quitting!? You bastard!

I’m not responsible for the failures of the weak. My job is to get the strong up to their level… their second stage.

By giving them a one way ticket to test their beliefs!?

I only bring them to the test. To take it or not is their choice. To succeed, they only need their own strength.

All this and just to be lonely at the top, eh?

Lonely? Maybe so. Since you reach there by yourself. But if you are true to your self and to your dreams, you may find some people coming to you. Someone whose belief in you mirrors your own.

Yeah, yeah… enough of the talk. Lets get going already! I think its a long climb.

5 thoughts on “stairwell

  1. Vidyadhar

    I agree with you to some extent. Life sure has become like that. But yeah, one thing for sure…the stairwell is a question of choice, for instance you are not in a stairwell, because you actually have opted to stay out of it, or that was what I was thinking. But now i understand that you yourself are imposing the stairwell on your life. No need dude, just dont think of it. There are many places you would like to be…except stairwell…It may just be someone’s choice, someone who cant prepare his own way to a desired position and has to use the already built one..The Stairwell.

  2. Rohit Post author

    note: sections of this response have been updated

    @Varun, hold on to that sympathy. I don’t need it yet!

    @Bhise, it is good to see you agree to agree with me, but I don’t know what we are agreeing over here.

    For one, I have still not entered the treadmill that most people call a career. I am still laid back about what I will be doing six months down the line. And forget about what I will be doing five years later.

    Secondly, I think you have mis-interpreted the post as “Rohit getting career focussed” or something similar with connotations of a long period of hard labor in the near future.

    Oh well, my bad. This post was a bit romantic (as in imbued with or dominated by idealism). The stairwell imagery came from a rather vivid dream. I molded it with some thoughts inspired by one of the anime I keep watching; and some personal feelings as well, hence the tag. The entire dialog was meant to convey the idea of a person deciding to become what he truly wants to be, not what his family, peers, test scores and life tell him to be.

    The reason I’m smug is (remember saying Papa, mujhe engineer banana hai?) is right now, I’m really living my dream. I’m on track to become what I want to be; unlike some people I know who are still trying to identify what they want to be.

  3. Amey A Kulkarni

    Interesting unwinding of your inner self,
    though the two Bs already know and understand what you are talking about.
    This is probably the very few personal posts that you write on your blog.

  4. Haridas Dave

    Very interesting and gripping post. There is a certain undiscovered art of story telling. I was impressed. I think we have to take our time understanding the intricacies of life. And career is just a part of it. Your stairwell of career can very well be the stairwell of life, the stairwell of relationships. It has multiple connotations. Its really is up to the thought process and mindset of the reader to derive the meaning out of it.
    Nice one !

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