“Risk” is one of those words that plants varying images in various people’s minds. Some envision treacherous terrains like the ones so dramatically projected in war movies. Others see an alter and a naïve couple, wrapped in white and who clearly has no idea what they’re getting into. I used to be one of the former, firstly because I have been commercially subdued into thinking only the most dangerous of feats are worthy of being deemed risks and secondly because I have not been married and therefore have no need of being bitter…yet.
I’m not an optimist. In fact I usually belong on the other end of the balance. But for some reason, I’ve come to believe there is no such thing as a risk not worth taking. A risk implies possibilities. It implies change for the better or worse and it implies that there’s something to lose (Case in point, I did not say “something to win” like an optimist would have). And so I took a walk down memory lane and thought long and hard about what major risks I’ve taken that’s brought me here today. Interestingly, two tiny events that served as catalysts came to mind. It was completely out of the blue, that day I picked up a book entitled “Dear Rosie.” I was only drawn to the name (because it's mine) and its pretty pink cover with a mysterious doll as its model. Flipping through the pages, I realized it was entirely written in the form of letters and internet conversations. Intrigued by this particular style of presentation, I purchased the book without a second thought. I liked the book. And so, reading that the same author had written a New York Times Bestseller before this, I went ahead and read that too. Two years later, my parents and all my friends have read it and it turned up on the big screen. She is now one of my favorite authors. I don’t even know if I’m even allowed to classify it as a risk. I guess my opportunity cost would have been my time and brain space, but it’s not like I could sue the author and ask her for a couple hours of my life back. But what if I never picked up that book? What if I had read a different book instead? I didn’t know if it’d be any good, but it turned out to be a family favorite. And then there was my ex-boyfriend. He was just some random guy in my band class. That was the only class I had with him. He had a crush on me and I didn’t know. I was so clueless that I agreed to go to dinner with him as friends. I’ve only known him for two weeks and then he asked the question. I have only been single for two months, he’s younger than me, WHAT WOULD PEOPLE THINK?? I had every reason to reject him. But I said yes. He turned out to be one of the best relationships I had while it lasted. I put my reputation, my time, my heart on the line and I guess I was lucky it turned out favorably. But what if I had rejected him? Till today, I scratch my head at the thought of how these eggs ended up in my path. How I decided to pick them up, unaware of what creature it would breed.
And true to my innate inclination towards pessimism, I’m not saying risks can’t lead to exposure to harm. My father liked to go car racing in a puny, majorly dense city and it cost him his life. But if he didn’t start car racing, he would never have enjoyed the adrenalin rush from his favorite hobby while it lasted. Was it a mistake for him to take up racing because it caused his untimely death? It is said that “only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” It is in our nature to relentlessly test boundaries because it is crucial to human improvement. For someone who’s a self-professed coward at the face of all things unknown, risk-taking is a frightening concept. So no, I didn’t brave a battle with some legendary phoenix in return for some bollocks glory, but in hindsight, I owe my greatest memories to these warm and fuzzy chicks I adopted off the road.