Saturday evening.. At work.. Oh wondering why? Yeah, we have a 6 day working week! Damn! However, for me its a day with more coffee breaks, longer breakfast and lunch time and leave home on time or sometimes before that. This particular evening was weird.. I had company for coffee, unlike most of the occassions and strangely, it was the 50 year old in-house architect in our team. I have never spoken to him anything other than - meetings and about meetings.
On the personal front all I know is an IIT-K alumni and unmarried (never bothered to know the reasons). In fact, since he was around I just invited him for a cup of coffee without even thinking if I can hold up a conversation with him for anything more than few minutes! But to my surprise he was more forthright than I'd thought he would be. We spoke about the new place he has shifted to, close to work; his long serving cook whom he trusts like crazy; about his daily drinking routine of 1 bottle of beer and 3 large pegs of Blender's Pride (This was quite evident from the huge panch he has ;)).
The conversation was flowing and in the meanwhile I was half way through my hot piping cup of cappucino while he had just started sipping his cup of soup. But what was coming, kept me puzzling for quite sometime about the intricacies of life and its meaning. On one of my questions related to work-life balance, he mentioned that he is getting into a depression because he doesn't have much work, no family (wife or children) to fall back on and the fact that he is schizophrenic doesn't help his cause. Hold on, what? Here's a bit of a part of the conversation:
Architect: I hope you are aware that I am schizophrenic!!
Me: Ah. Not really.. [bewildered]
Architect: I am, for the last 25 years.. [Holy cow!]
Me: Oh! Thats bad. Hope you are getting better now.
Architect: I am much better now, but this depression part is not helping my cause..
Me: I know it can be killing..If I may ask, any particular reason why you never thought about the family? [To myself: You ass, how can you just ask such a question? ]
Architect: Well, since I was a schizophrenic, it wouldn't have been easy to hold up to a relationship and the package that comes along with it.Plus I did not want to be cruel on someone else's life.
Architect: At this juncture, I am pretty much a dead man. There is no meaning to my life. I am tired of searching for a meaning for my life. I can do much better at work but my health doesn't allow me to.. Anyway, lets see, I will evaluate my options in another years' time (Well,I don't know what that meant!)
Believe it or not - Every bit of what he spoke was in just one expression. There were absolutely no sign of emotions - sadness or happiness - attached to anything he spoke!
FYI: He is one genius guy when it comes to work. His turnaround time with solutions to a particular problem is breathtaking without taking away the fact that they are pretty much the best ones. He works as a consultant on a contract basis with an agreement that he will come to work only by 12 because of his health reasons!!
Still wondering why I have written this post?!? Well, there is something about this conversation which really moved me a lot and I have been trying to pen it down for a while. Not everyone seem to get everything - Thats so true! One brilliant brain cannot be utilized for maximum, one amazing character who wants to have a family but cannot, cannot find a meaning to his life not because he is not capable of, but because he is down with a serious illness. Life for him is :Alcohol and sleep! As I feel good to be blessed with good health (touch wood!), I just hope we all do find a meaning to our lives and use our abilities to the hilt! Amen!
PS: Coincidentally I tend to live up with the name of my blog in almost every post of mine: "Cognitive Dissonance" and this one is no different.