JournalismPakistan.com March 21, 2015
The toughest part to play in the orchestra of life is second fiddle. For most of us the 50 odd years we work never go beyond the back row or the support role or the sub-ordinate staff level, our lives, spent moving to other people’s tunes, responding to their moods, their calls, their signals, their priorities.
Then, one day, it is all over and we are dispatched to the farm and all we have to show for it is a crummy badge of loyal service or something equally tacky, a refined way of telling us that we settled for seconds.
I wonder what point it is in time or career that we give up the reach for the stars and accept that the battle to be the conductors in life is ended. We will never hack it, all we will ever be is faceless people in row seven, seat six, next to the man with cymbals, you, that fellow, yeah you, the one with the second fiddle. Think of it.
When we are born and everyone loves us and tickles our tummies and granddad says we are going to be famous there is actually a tenuous but very real belief that we will write the script of our own lives, do it our way, march to our own drumbeat and the heck with everyone else.
Then, it all goes wrong. We find we are compelled to do the other man’s bidding, dance to some other tune, well, maybe for now, but next year, I shall write my own score, go out there and show them I am number one, hello, can anyone hear me, I am the tops. That year never comes.
Gradually, like the October mist the plan melts into stark reality. We won’t ever make it, the cigar goes to someone else, we’ll have to settle for the ex-hale.
I feel sad when I face these facts. Sadder, when the victims of surrender meet with you and you read it in their faces and their crumbled posture, the fight has gone out of them. Their lives have become so responsive. A phone call is a command, a day in the office is a string of orders and demands, the right to decide made by others for them.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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