The Band theoryby amogh on 18/06/2009
It was a cold august night in 2006 at the army base in Leh, and after biking for more than 4 days I was spending that time resting in my room. I was sharing my room with an army officer and every evening we would discuss quite a few things and he’d tell me quite a few tales. And this is one of the most important things he told me that night:
“I was serving in Kargil as my first posting, and that was when the kargil war broke. The times were hard and everything was a struggle, there were times when we had so much ammunition to carry that we had no space to carry water and we used to use the gunpowder box to heat some ice in it and wait till the ammunition particles settle down and then drink. I lost many friends in the war, I’ve seen death just next to me several times and when you see death so close, you lose fear of death. Losing fear of death also means losing emotions and after the war I wouldn’t emote for the next 6 years. Then came a time in life where I had to get married. And the girl was a friend for a long time and I wasn’t too sure if I’d do justice. But then since she understood me too well, we decided to get married and she over time helped me get back all those emotions. We are expecting a baby in a week and now I’m all excited about it, I’ve learnt the joy of life, family and now everything else is secondary. There’s a very beautiful theory called the “Band theory”, which I apply to my life all the time and live by. It goes something like this – Everyone is born in a certain band, a certain band in economic conditions, social conditions, emotional, career etc. We as individuals should take every aspect of our life to the next band and then you can say your life is successful. Let me explain what a band is, let’s say your father earns just enough to feed the house, that’s your economic band and to take it to the next level means to be able to do more than just feed. And this applies to everything, be it social, emotional, cultural or personality bands. Some people get too involved in one band and take it quite far and neglect the rest, like someone who’s very career focused will probably excel and increase a few bands in career while actually dropping a few bands in other aspects, may be cultural, social etc.”
What he told me then, about 3 years back is suddenly making a lot of sense. In the last 4 years of my life I’ve focused quite a bit on my career and my development as a successful individual. All through overlooking some finer aspects of life, and self-development is one of them. When I say self-development I mean development as a personality, giving importance to growing as a human, understanding the importance of being a better human being. The last few weeks of my life has been a path to many self-discoveries, as I went low on my career for a bit and focussed on other aspects of life and it has helped me to a great extent as I realize what is that I’ve missed so far. And each time I look at people who are really happy, I realize it’s this balance between all the bands of life that’s making them happy, not just career or not just personality. Well I am on this path, are you?