The Fear Factor!!!

Last week, mundanity returned as I started my journey (I love to call this 2km walk early morning as journey) after a long hiatus. My scheduled routine was interrupted by my travel visits to Goa, Kolkata, and Chennai thrice. The wanderlust bug always coincided with my morning walks.

The weather is getting chilly as we approach the mid-winter, but that doesn’t hinder me from getting out of my house at around 3 50 early mornings.
Usually, I take the main roads, but the shortest route to my stop involves a narrow lane.

I have heard stories in various parts of Bangalore about dog menace. Since I love this shift timing compared to the ‘general shift,’ I don’t mind waking up early.

There are reasons which motivate me to get up early. The first thing would be, ‘I am a loser if I do not get up, Let what people thing about me being zany, but to me, I would be one loser, and ultimately, if I don’t live up to my expectations, does it matter pleasing others in the long run?

I like taking weird routes at times; early mornings allow me to walk in dead silence. Since my house is on the main road, silence is premium, which we hardly get. So it’s a good thing to walk through the mist, albeit a cool breeze can sometimes be too tough to handle. Nevertheless, we are humans, and we have evolved and adapted to various conditions, so with more exposure, we shall be alright.

I prefer talking during the next few minutes about how I want my life to go. It makes sense to me to hear what I say since no one around me is making noise. If I am bugging myself, I count the steps I take, and I ensure over the week, I would have reached a constant number while counting.

This is to ensure how concentrated I am for a particular task when gamut topics and issues are competing to finish ahead in the brain marathon.

I am awake when the whole world is sleeping, % wise; I am correct with this statement. I am walking when others are tired or just about enjoying their sleep. I am getting a chance to utilize this morning to make suitable changes in my life and be better at things that I believed were good previously. I am getting a chance to use these early hours to my advantage and finish something, which makes me feel I have gained time for others.

Ok, enough of me being explicit on why I like early mornings.

At times, the fear element is there; at times, I have chosen different roads to reach since the road ahead was occasionally patrolled by street dogs.

I fiddled around four different ways before settling on to the least risk path. Mind you; I was scared one day when a group of dogs was barking as though they haven’t opened their mouth in a long time.

It reached a point wherein the least risk path was also getting affected. Now I loved this road and route. So one day, I decided, ‘Its karma,’ if I am supposed to be bitten by a dog, I cannot avoid it. Slowly I started walking past them, goosebumps all over my body as I went past them.

Woof, what a relief. The other side of fear is freedom.

Last week, a ferocious dog, just one, was barking and staring at me simultaneously. It was scary. Two seconds, I decided to walk straight without bothering what it might do.

It started barking more, but I was marching ahead without looking at it.

The barking intensity increased, but I could notice it was moving backward and barking.

Now, I was looking at the dog and approaching it; it was moving backward and barking. It stopped finally and ran away, stopped, and as I went past it, it didn’t do anything.

Am I lucky??? You can club me into that category.

But I would like to look at it this way.

The rest of my walk was more on thinking as to why the dog behaved this way.

‘Fear was – Being bitten by the dog.’

Last year, fear was, climbing Mount Abu, but I overcame it by facing that fear of losing than avoiding it.

I faced fear and started walking towards it. Now all I can think of is,

I was exposed to the unknown. I always felt that I feared when I encountered a new situation, and the fear element resulted from many uncertainties involved about what if this new thing goes wrong.

The same applied to the dog; when a dog barks, the typical reaction would be to back off and go backward or runaway, fearing dog bites. Now, this is what a dog expects.

I did the opposite, and to my surprise, I saw the dog moving backward and eventually ceased its ferocity as I kept marching. It was exposed to a zone of uncertainty, and hence fear element would creep, so it was confused as to what needs to be done, and by the time it decides, I was through.

So, in a way, this did give me to understand what ‘Walking towards fear rather than away’ actually meant.

It’s a nice story. The one in which I emerged victoriously. Things could have been different if a dog had behaved poorly or encountered a mad dog.

But, as a student of life, I always feel one needs to look at it in all respects, so this time I was convinced ‘You can walk towards your fears and emerge triumphantly.’ Next time, it may or it may not. But I am happy that I did something different than last time, and it worked.

I got reminded of a quote from Anne Frank:
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.”

This was just an experience I wanted to share about how I experimented with my life when the same situation was encountered. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.

Ok, my journey to work is about 90 minutes, which is enough for me to catch up on sleep to and fro, which makes me sleep simultaneously, or in general, most people choose to rest.

So what can happen to me tomorrow????

Let’s put it this way….. I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I saw yesterday and I love today and have never been in such deep love.

It will take some time to pull off those lines in full conviction, but the effort has to be made, and what better day than today and the best time would be now……….

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