I was a hypochondriac till I was in college. It was in my 9th grade, when I identified this behaviour of mine while reading the chapter on Human Diseases. From my little to no understanding of the complexities of the diseases, I had diagnosed myself with each ailment that I read about. Now when I remember this, I realise that was the first time Worry took over me. What is worry? Worry is when an event has though not taken place, you still build up a castle of all the wrong things that can happen owing to this event, and eventually get anxious. The anxiety cannot be quantified but generally leads to not a happy mood. But being a child has an advantage while being worried. Children quickly forget and get engaged with other activities. In my case it was the debates competition, playing pranks on others, playing and studying for all the other subjects.
Years later I moved to college. I think my most worries revolved there around my grades. But yet I would say I lived more of a carefree life during my undergraduate days. Probably this was because we lived in hostels, and the girls of my hostel wing and batchmates were extremely fun as well as more of a family. Even now when I write this, the events that took place in our hostel, in college meetings, and in our exploration of the farms in our college, flash in front of my eyes, like a kaleidoscope. The only major worry that hit me in college then was my future. I overcame this worry by working very hard in my penultimate year of undergraduate. Eventually, before the course could finish I had landed myself a job in Jindal Steels and a post-graduate course position at IIT Roorkee. I chose the latter.
In my PG years as well the worries were little. Infact I had one of the best times of my life in Roorkee. IIT Roorkee gave me opportunities I had never thought I will ever get. I met professors (Prof. Samadhiya and Prof. Viladkar) there to whom I am indebted to this day, for just being the people that they are. So the worthless worries I had there were shooed away by the beautiful friends I had and by the presence of such amazing faculties.
After a break of 1.5 years from college, I joined the Ph.D. program. I think my tumultuous journey with worries severely escalated here. It has its own reasons. Primarily because, unlike other courses, Ph.D. is more about you making your own way into a sea of possibilities. Here though you have supervisors, yet you have to guide your route through your own pair of oars. The onus lies on you and it is here that you spend the most time only with yourself. The journey seems endless, the good days are few and the days with irrelevant results and reading are more. It was here that I sowed the seeds of grey hair on my head as well! I write this not to discourage anyone from going for Ph.D. or higher studies. But only to give a third-person perspective of my own self. The worries I took there were genuine, yet they were worthless. Because worry or no worry, I would have worked in the same manner as I did then. Most likely my results and achievements would have been the same. But worries did not allow me to witness my present as an instant, but rather as an endless novel. And that may give whatever, but atleast it took many of my black hair to replace with grey.
Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.Corrie Ten Boom
I still worry a lot, but I talk to myself also a lot now. I regularly revisit my journey. And when I see it, I understand the short-term life of every phase. Good or bad. It all changes and all get overcome. The time it may take to turn the wheel may vary for all, but it is for sure that it will. So if you are anxious about something right now, remember my friend, that there is no alternative to working hard and working smart, but worry will only increase the weight of the glass of water you are holding. The longer you hold it, the heavier it will get. Keep it down after a while.
As the Bob Marley song goes, “Don’t worry, be happy”
Wonderfully articulated – love your writing style and prose.
Thanks Deb Da 🙂