“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”– Anonymous
This fascination with the east has been going on for quite some time now. Well obviously, I grew up in this neighbourhood. And if you are here, you are spot on. Now is the perfect time to be living, thriving, and breathing in this part of the world.
So why Shanghai? Because Shanghai is positively electric. It is a testament to China’s aspirations and a centerpiece of its status as an emerging global economy. A place rich in tradition and dreams for the future. It is a fascinating mix of traditional buildings, colonial architecture, and futuristic skyscrapers most of which have no precedent. Shopping, dining, sightseeing, museum, or bar-hopping; Shanghai has all that and more. Not so surprised why so many people want to come here. I read somewhere that people in Shanghai are smart. To this a local cleverly replied: “Not really. But only smart people come to Shanghai”. So I guess that’s why I’m here. 🙂
I have a thousand and one photos from this recent Shanghai trip which I plan to share and write about in a next post. Sorry about that. So what I wrote up there was sort of a false introduction. I have this problem. Everytime I want to write about something, some flow of random thoughts come to mind and I end up writing about something else. It does bother me at times but I couldn’t discount it either. Just wanted to share it here and get it off my system. So bear with me for a while. This could get a little sappy.
Honestly, I wanted to go as far and as high as I could. They call Shanghai “The Paris of the East”. I really wanted to go as far as Paris but at the moment, this is as close as I could get to being there. 🙂 So here I am on Day 5 of this trip (my last night here) standing on top of the Shanghai World Financial Center as high as I could get at 474 meters with the office 2,363 miles behind me. I am looking through misty glass windows towards a horizon that seems to stretch on forever; oblivious of the maddening crowd of smartphone-wielding tourists around me trying to get photos and the usual selfies. I am looking at the city below but with part of my mind somehow still back there with the work that I love very much and a heart disappointed by a few personal plans that didn’t turn out the way I expected.
You know what? We all get tired, drained, stressed, disappointed, and confused (distracted) sometimes. It’s the design fault of human nature. Constantly running does not always get you somewhere. Activity does not necessarily mean achievement. One philosopher said that the unexamined life is not worth living. So we stop and drop everything. We take a few steps back and try to see where we are in the grand scheme of things. A few weeks back, I heard a senior mentor say that standing too close to the tree makes you lose sight of the forest. He was right. Recently, I was doing exactly just that. So I was snapped out of this selfish daze.
So that is why I am here.
So while waiting for the daylight to fade and the city lights below to turn on, I noticed my reflection on the glass before me. I suddenly remember a conversation I read somewhere a few years back. I could almost hear the reflection speaking to me with the words from that dialogue: “Hey brother. I miss you already. Snap out of the daze and get back on track. Life is short and architecture is too long. There’s still a lot of things to do. And one more thing: take care of yourself because if you drop dead, I will kill you.” 🙂
See you in my next post. Cheers!!
I will be adding more photos from this Shanghai trip here in this link.