Goodreads Book Giveaway

Indifferent by Branko Jovanovski


by Branko Jovanovski

Giveaway ends August 05, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

   They say life is something, which is happening while we are occupied with other things. In fact, those other things are what life comprises of, all those checkpoints small as well as big. Irrelevant of their magnitude in time, in happiness, in pain, in laughter, in sadness, in joy, in success, in failure, in sin, in pleasure, their significance is always the value of experience. And experience is what makes us, experience is what guides our instincts to take actions, and our actions are what we are remembered for. The notoriety of some of our defining actions in life are not always mistakes but they are the best choice of direction at a given point of our own emotional, physical and mental state of mind. Often, our own fragility and insecurity transforms them as remorse because we, as humans, are unable to fully give up the opportunity cost of the other choice. Such a concept shakes our faith even more, scrutinizing our every line of thought, which manages to get hold of us at will. Sometimes daydreaming unconsciously forces us to live more than one instance of a life up to the point when we are becoming less sure of which instance is reality, and which an idyllic portrait as a response to our fears, even if we cannot identify those fears by name but by the mess it often creates in our reasoning or perhaps more accurate, lack of reasoning.
   What are we? Who are we? What do we want to achieve? What do we want to become? Which choices are the best for us? Which actions will have lesser impact on our happiness? In what way will our everyday decisions impact our life in the long term? So many questions that many of us seek to find, and many of us die trying. There is no universal measure on how happy we are or how successful we should be, especially because it is difficult to have a measure of any sort when we often miss on the definition of items to measure against. We might think we do know what many important things mean, but that is not enough as their definition is relative to our momentary state. I have read a thought provoking maxim, which said: “There is always better than here. That is always better than this. As occupied with thoughts as we are, maybe someone is enjoying our happiness and we are not even aware of it”. But that did not provoke me enough to start debating with my words on it. No.
   Sometime in 2005, my parents and I were visiting my uncle in Belgrade as we found ourselves on our way to Vienna. We came late and I was tired. My parents were tired as well, but they stayed late talking with my relatives. It was a light conversation, the one that relatives usually do when they haven’t seen each other in a long time. I didn’t remember the exact details, but it was a very pleasant chit chat. Maybe that was why I had not noticed its contents. I was too tired to continue watching the stupid TV show, but I had already let myself be embedded in the comfortable sofa. As I finally managed to gather that little bit of strength to stand up and reaffirm my sleep in the other room, my father was talking to my uncle as my uncle said as if to himself, looking at the adjacent wall in a semi nostalgic way: “sometimes I think one could have done things differently and could have chosen a different life”, he seemed to think out loud.
   I said goodnight to all of them before heading off to the room where I was going to sleep. I was not sure what I was trying to elaborate in my head, but I couldn’t stop thinking of that sentence that seemed to have been playing with parts of my conscience. My uncle has a beautiful family, grandsons, which he lived for and he seemed happy every time I had met him before. And he never faked it. And he did not fake his happiness that night either. Overall, he had a happy life full of personal pride and relative financial success. I knew that for a fact. And that was the main reason why I could not figure out what he was trying to say with that sentence that now even started to bother me. Why would he want to have chosen a different life? What was wrong with the current one? Did he want to become a war pilot? Or he wanted to have become an actor? Not even those almost eight hours of sleepless night gave me any answers to my mystery. And not even today, after five years I have found the answer. But that night made me think about my own life, as I was on my way to my graduation ceremony in Vienna. What to choose when I had not the slightest idea of who I was and what I wanted? What to choose next when I wanted to have it all? The thought that I had to sacrifice one direction over another made me wish I was still studying.