Caught on Quota

Mark Ryan is a fellow blogger I follow at
He is a sensitive writer whose writing mostly leans towards the painful, brooding, melancholic yet insightful kind. There’s a lot of sadness in his poetry and it does get to me at times. Just today I came across the following quote by Kierkegaard, “What is a poet? A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music… and men crowd about the poet and say to him: “Sing for us soon again”; that is as much to say: May new sufferings torment your soul.” I would definitely not wish that for Mark but yes, I wish much power to his pen so that he reaches out to many more and makes a difference in their lives through his writing. Do check him out.
Thinking about unhappiness and suffering reminded me of the ‘philosophy of quota’, that I got to know about a long time ago. This thought was given to my father by his ENT specialist, Dr. Venkatachalam. It was when I was in class X that my father happened to experience partial paralysis of his vocal cords. Dad met Dr. Venkatachalam for his treatment. The two fellows developed a bond since both were into teaching. Dad taught Economics in Delhi University while Dr. Venkatachalam taught his subject at GTB Medical College, Delhi. It was during one of his visits that this ‘Quota philosophy’ was given to my father by the good doctor.
He said, “Well Dr.! God has allotted all of us a quota for everything and we suffer if we exceed our quota. So, people get diabetes if they eat more than their quota of sugar, blood pressure if the quota of salt is exceeded, cirrhosis for exhausting the rations of alcohol and so on so forth. So, basically your quota of speaking needs to be taken care of and that’s the reason this has happened. Don’t worry, you will be well soon.” He had a point there and I do believe in it but I also feel that it is not limited to indulgences alone. It applies to everything in life, be it love in relationships, painful experiences or happy memories.
I do have this feeling, time and again that I exhausted my quota of Abhay’s love by overconsuming it and hence we will not age together now. Maybe he would have stayed around if we had not over indulged in one another’s love. But then Kierkegaard also said that, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
So, learning from the good doctor and my own experiences I pray that everyone uses up their quota of pain, sadness and misery quickly and may the cups of love, happiness and hope keep brimming till the end.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Aparna Nagda says:

    You still have Shubham….and may you have an unlimited quote of his love. The glass is still half full!!! Keep sipping slowly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A. Shruti says:

      You said it. I’m truly happy to sip and relish what’s in my cup. Thanks for the wishes. But lemonade is not same as orange juice, even if both are citrusy, sweet and tangy. 🙂


  2. Mark Ryan says:

    “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.“
    I love that. thank you for thinking of me, and the absence of suffering! We can all learn something from the pain, it is part of the test we must win before we move forward. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A. Shruti says:

      I totally agree with pain being a learning experience, overcoming which makes one move forward. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mark Ryan says:

        The forward march of time!

        Liked by 1 person

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