My run by the lake over, I said goodbye to Natasha and headed straight to meet somebody from the past. On the way, I located a La Fitness thru Google maps and headed there to take a shower and change. Drying up with paper towel (since I was not carrying a towel with me) was taking a lot more time than I was hoping. Or perhaps I was just getting impatient to meet Rajeev Saxena.
We used to live next door to each other in Bombay and we worked in the same company for about a year or so. I saw him last in 1993 when I left for US. Finally, I had traced him down to Chicago and got a couple of hours opened up before I had to drive up to Milwaukee.
It was a pity I had to drive up to Milwaukee because we could have easily spent another few hours talking. And this was already after overstaying my scheduled meeting by over an hour and a half. It is not often I come across people who have similar perspective towards life as I do. I am not saying the perspective is great or right – in fact, I routinely get called quirky by all and sundry – but it is always exciting to meet people with similar outlook as yours. What is more is that he has put into practice the philosophies we share much more than I have been able to.
A big chunk of our evening was spent discussing how to ensure you control money and not let money control you, the slipperiness of financial goals (they keep moving), the importance of time and relationships, the realization that the bank balance we will have when we die is the amount we did not have to work, that nobody has ever died regretting they should have worked a little more, the importance of taking “timeouts” from work life, the common fallacy in thinking that one cannot “afford” to do so and all that.
Speaking of time, we talked about a topic that has interested me for the last year. It is around minimalizing my life. Especially things I own. Somewhere a year back I started realizing that things have started owning me (maintenance was taking up a lot of my time). I started by drastically cutting down the number of clothes and shoes I wear. I was delighted to hear that Rajeev has had years of experience in this. I picked up a few valuable tips around how to simplify a few more things.
Eventually, we entered a little metaphysics zone and talked about how to create mindfulness within one self. We talked about meditation and the seemingly impossible task of constraining the mind to be in the present. We exchanged a few tips from our own past practices.
Like I said, I really wish I had a few more hours to spend with Rajeev. I loved his perspective towards life. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I think the same way too! So, I am biased 🙂 But more importantly, he has put to practice lot more than I have and I need to learn from him.