Thursday, November 29, 2012

Walking Past

The last couple of weeks, it has been very encouraging to walk past a few situations which otherwise would have usually made me stop and do something about it. Well rather than talk vague and not hit upon the point I shalt reveal what they were.
Episode 1: There was a crowd gathered around a young Man lying down in Bangalore. I stopped and looked. The guy had convulsion disorder a.k.a fits and someone was trying to provide him the right first aid (not the one where one hands over a key or any other iron rod) yet another was calling for an ambulance. I moved on.
Episode 2: There was this old lady... dirty, schizophrenic a.k.a mad, and longing to have water from a pot kept right outside a restaurant in Chennai. The owner and the cashier of the restaurant saw this lingering figure and shooed her off; not only did they try to scare her, they even removed the pot from there. I stopped and looked. Suddenly there was this young Man who from the shop came out with a water packet (water is sold in packets here) and gave the lady. I moved on.
Episode 3: There was an old Man trying to figure out where he could find a public telephone. He seemed like he had just got off a train and had a suitcase in hand too. Must be one of those old-timers who believes that carrying a mobile is an ingredient to constant disturbance in a rather peaceful world. But then, even an elephant slips and probably he needed to call someone badly as he seemed desperate to find the booth and now could not find one and was misguided in directions, and now he seemed desperately lost. I stopped and looked. Suddenly like it did not mean anything, a Man in the crowd slipped his mobile to him like it was the natural thing to do and the old Man took it and used it like it was all that he expected. And by the by, this happened in Chennai. 
Now, I am encouraged and am complacent to know as a witness to the proof that happened around me that I have shared that the world is moving well and for the better and it is nice to see this. It does make me feel old as I watch the young make changes which I once did wondering why there was no one else doing it and now I understand that some guy walked passed by that day too-smiling to himself with hope-like I just did today. Today I am glad that there is someone and so many to stop, listen and do something to people who cry and not let those tears dry in vain. Nevertheless, it moves...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Instigated Movement

This is the first time I am titling the post before I wrote the content. I look around and find life in its interesting and challenging best. People are working their 'whatever' off, undercurrents of great magnitude sweep subtly underneath my 'whatever' with tension rising out of vulnerability and stress created by the survival instinct of others, I usually would care a rat's "whatever" about these issues but this time I noticed. I noticed that people can extend such sharpened, painful and pointed energy that you don't want to see and you see it so much that you are influenced by it so much that you reflect who they are and eventually see yourself becoming them. Not Good!
Everyone seems to be taking a break, wanting a break, needing a break and above all, running like hell far away... far, far away from WORK. "Never mix with your office crowd after office hours," is a good lesson i learnt from the past. Contrary to the reason why it is done, it does not actually strengthen you nor does it tighten the ties with your colleagues rather, it weakens you and makes you more vulnerable to everyone who watch you and know that you do not have anything better to do in life and with your life and just shows you are one lousy, work-dependent loner. Like I always say, "I have a wonderful home to step into where I have everything to keep me joyfully occupied and I cannot think of anything beyond that. I thank God for blessing me with such abundance. At work, it is challenging; if it is new, there are so many creepy challenges, if it is on the run, there are heaping challeneges and if it is old enough, then the challenges are still there as everything will be laid on your head expecting them to be resolved. I thank God for blessing me with those challenges and keeping me occupied without which otherwise, I might miss my family too bad." 
I just asked someone, "How far do you have to run away from work to be relaxed?" He seems to need to run away, from office. He runs far. He runs to people who he finds comforting. And away from office. We talked on it further and he asked me what I do for relaxing. I found, as I answered, that I find making a change relaxing. Small ones... though big ones are gladly accepted though not expected. People, things, situation... some change. Once I get to see that change happen, it is relaxing. It happens at home, it happens in the office, it may happen on the road, in the wilderness, in places where no one exist where I might plant a tree or in my neighbour's garden where I might help in fixing a tap... it happens in things I fix or help getting fixed and above all in relationships... to move that one inch forward toward goodness, peace and love. Manytimes and often times, the change happens within me.
For the moment, I know that I can help in making people feel good. Good about themselves and good about what they do. I can make a change by making them feel good so that they can do what they have been doing and stay good without pushing themselves too bad and pushing themselves too hard that they feel like running away. They need to know that noone else but they, can push what they are pushing as good as that. And someone needs to tell them that and thats what I do happily as it makes me happy to see them smile. And as far as getting attached to work/office is concerned, I need to detach and draw clear lines. New place, new people and I am a stranger in this land too and it is easy to drift and fall into the trap of a warm and welcoming working place... even after work. I need to walk out, meet people, make new friends and get a life and thats exactly the lesson I shall fetch from history to carry it forward to the future.
Bottomline: The key sign to a healthy life is 'movement' and it seems true to me to believe that it is the dead tree that need not move.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Moment Of Sanity

Today, someone gave me a bunch of his visiting cards and asked me to distribute it and spread his fame during an event. After a while, someone asked me to bring what I had written voluntarily in a random paper, re-written in a white sheet because supposedly that is how he wanted it. Someone guided me through GPS, and the other through his thoughts and yet another by matter of opinion... and everyone wondered why I could not ask for directions as I was cluelessly stuck in the middle of a traffic jam and all I wanted was help. I wondered and I couldn't help but wonder... When was the last time I was treated this bad? When was the last time I took all these bent down? When was the last time I would let anyone get away with an attempt to tune me? When was the last time I was this small? When was the last time I felt so wasted and worthless? When was the last time I felt so dead with humiliation that it did not matter that it was happening over and over again? When was the last time no one noticed?  

As I sat through some powerful words of great wisdom (and a really boring one,) shattering the bass speakers, it seems like words make no sense to me anymore. Words are huge and burdening and the actions so few. Last evening I sat listening to people unhappy about the lack of depth of the swimming pool in their appartment and today I listened to a young man who has just moved in to work at the same place whose wife had miscarried twice earlier this year mention that he has found a house to settle but with no toilet... but he was happy; happy that atleast his wife and he could be together.

What can I do? Here I am sobbing within, unable to cry. I almost choked on my way back... during that long drive. I stopped at the cafe. The young person at the counter served me what I asked without sulking. He brought me what I needed packed nicely in brown covers (noone even cared to remember the 2 of us held in an assignment who didn't have anything to eat since morning as they were busy having their plates filled...) noone cared as they got busy once gain hurrying back to listen to lectures on salvation, goodness and the glory of God. This person now at the counter seemed to care. The only one who seemed to care I witnessed the entire day. I tipped him. Tipped him more than I should and everything I could (one of my moments of sheer madness.) And he stood there without a blink and looked at me questioningly wondering if I had made a mistake. I patted him and said, "Thank you." He must have thought I was insane; little did he realize that that was the only sane moment I had had the entire day.  


Thursday, November 15, 2012

7 Vows in Indian Marriages

When it comes to Indian marriages, words like big, fat, extravagant, pomp and show come to our mind at once. However, irrespective of the style and size of the wedding, one thing that remains common in all Hindu marriages is the 'seven vows' signified by the sacred 'saat pheras' around fire or 'agni', which is one of the most imperative rituals of Indian weddings. With each 'phera' the couple makes a vow, a commitment with strong mythological roots, which is to be lived forever and more, its only then that a couple is accepted as husband and wife for the next many lives to come.

These seven vows are supposed to serve as an anchor to keep the couple going through all the ups and downs of life together, as husband and wife tied to each other in a sacred relationship.

First vow

The couple appeals to the almighty to shower blessings in the form of pure and nourishing food with a respectful and noble life. The groom pledges to provide welfare and happiness to his wife and children, whereas the bride swears to shoulder all responsibilities for the welfare of the groom's entire family.

Second vow

The groom requests the bride to be his strength so that he can provide security and protect the family with courage. The bride agrees to abide by, while demanding eternal love and undivided attention.

Third vow

The couple pleads for wisdom, wealth, and prosperity in order to live a content and satisfied life. They pledge to remain spiritually committed and the bride assures the groom that by the virtue of true love and devotion she will remain a chaste wife.

Fourth vow

The groom thanks his would-be wife for bringing auspiciousness, happiness, and sacredness in his life. In return, the bride takes an oath to serve and please her husband in every way possible. Together, they also pledge to take care and respect their elders in the family.

Fifth vow

The importance of the fifth vow is to pray for the welfare of all the living things in this Universe and begetting a noble breed. The couple also prays to almighty to bless each other's friends and family with happiness and well-being.
Sixth vow
In the sixth vow, God is invoked to bless the couple for bountiful seasons and long lived togetherness. The groom wishes that his wife would glut his life with joy and peace; while the bride provides assurance that she would participate with her husband in all his noble and divine acts.

Seventh vow

This is the last vow adding completion to the ceremony. Here the couple pleads for the long lasting relationship, enriched with understanding and loyalty. They take an oath to nourish their relationship with love and honesty and be together with each other forever not only in this life, but also in the lives to come.

Even though different religions and cultures have their own unique set of vows and different ways to perform them, the basic meaning of all remains the same 'commitment', a vow of being spiritually united as one. It is a way to assure your partner that he/she is worthy of your love and you are willing to submit, 'till death do you part'.
P.s: I did not write anything in this piece. It was a slot I read in yahoo and something I wanted to write about; So, "why reinvent the wheel?!" I wondered.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Who Said So

Cicero's (106 - 43 BC) philosophy: 

1. The poor: work and work, 
2. The rich:  exploit the poor, 
3. The soldier: protects both, 
4. The taxpayer: pays for all three, 
5. The wanderer: rests for all four, 
6. The drunk: drinks for all five, 
7. The banker: robs all six, 
8. The lawyer: misleads all seven, 
9. The doctor: kills all eight, 
10. The undertaker: buries all nine, 
11. The Politician: lives happily on the account of all ten. 

"Can we quantify 'God'?" seems to be the thought I am troubled with as I wonder deep within... "Should I be quantifying God?" However, everyone wants to build definitions; rigorously working towards containing everything into a small box of their understanding as I stand in vain knowing that the unlimited need not be/cannot be brought into our spectrum of limitations and limited undersatnding... yet the crowd moves. They push and push like a woman in labour and somehow I am pushed too and commit the sin of indulging to do the same as well; knowing well that what I attempt cannot be done having done it more than once in the past too and having the lesson well. Yet, I move along...

I wonder from where comes this desire to try one more time and feel like a fool later on? For uttering words that cannot be taken back; yet I vomit! To regret like a complete idiot for not holding on to silence and bearing with others who are taking the same course that I had taken once. Why does regret come in first and why is patience delayed? 

Someone said that not quantifying God and resting with "Thathuvam' asi" was a sign of laziness. I got irritated. "Why?" I asked myself. If I was at peace then from where arrived this sudden discomfort to rob me of my sanity? I was digging in deeper not wanting to be disturbed one more time, the next time. Complacency disturbed, disrupted, destroyed... I was wondering how well closed I had become in the attempt to open up; jumping from one box right into another. Am I thinking different or is my thinking different? Why are people who think different so alone... (so lonely)?! So am I deliberating mediocre thoughts to belong? Is that where I really want to belong? 

Am I in a place where everything has to be something as I see nothing in it? Are we trying to be smarter or are we trying to show that we are smarter? Why do I talk like a crack pot and realize it too? Having learnt that action speaks louder than words and knowing that silence is golden, why can't I simply shut up and why am I trying to articulate better to survive? So, is the need to survive blocking my vision of existence? 

Does thoughtlessness expose emptiness or does it expose the epitome of nirvana? Why am I disturbed if I knew what peace was once? Why did I slip? Why do I fall? Am I losing myself in the middle of nowhere yet again and searching my soul yet again... knowing well that unless you lose yourself you can't find yourself... Am I lost yet again?! Duh!... As I watch the world pass by from my glass window, I wonder why does it shatter me within (that I try not to let anyone else see) when someone shatters the window pane? Do I fear getting out into the crowd 'I think' I have analysed for long or disturbed that someone shattered the thin line that separated the "me" from "them"? Why am I not me? If I really believed in nothing, then why do I believe in me? Why do I want to be me? Do I really have to be me...? and for that matter anyone I want to be or not to be?

"Lord, thee I dare not contain with my critical thinking-unquantified, unshaped and unconditionally loved thus-in your unlimited vastness I submit me, shape me as you desire (I need not even ask thee)... it is thine I want to be and with faith as blind as can be I move, let each step be a step towards thee."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Is Love

Someone I know, knowing the number of pitfalls I have scrambled out of as far as matters of love is concerned, asked me, "What is love?!" And all I could do was not define it yet tried to give a verb to it and said... "Love is not about conquering anyone; its about surrendering. Its not about receiving; its rather about giving. Its not about humiliating; its about humbling. Always show that you respect your partner and let it be seen... you will be respected too."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Violence Personified

The culture of violence portrayed and magnified in the media, though impressive, is a ridicule. Violence is not a panacea. The ruthlessness of violence is seldom anything more than a vicious cycle that lands us into the spheres of hatred, revenge, guilt and ultimately fear. Violence is in many forms; some aimed at the outside and some aimed within. Of all those acts of violence, instigated violence through ahimsa seems to be double-edged as it plunders us both from outside and within as well. Alas! where can a line be drawn?!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shots From Kanyakumari

Just another view from Kalakaad shot from my camera. The sound of music must be shot here. Some treasures are best hidden.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Country Roads Take Me Home

This is a Kanyakumari that many wouldn't have seen, captured through my cam's lenses. For many, the idea of Cape Comorin, is the tip of peninsular India and the trinity of seas that they come to see and get to see and are happy and content-so let them be. This perspective on the other hand, is one amongst the many hidden treasures that only the natives know of. Hidden to ensure that the impact of tourism-plastic dumping, spitting, urinating, shitting and behaving like it is a no-man's land-is avoided. Let this be a place a few can call their home nevertheless it becomes everyone's brothel. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My 200th Post

So this blog has reached 200 posts! 200 days or more of writing-some thoughtful, some from thoughtless thoughts and everything in the course of a life that was moving parallel to what I write. There have been many times when what I wrote influenced the way I live and vice versa. From just a handful of readers for a very long time during the initial days, I was determined to welcome people into my blog-space and did manage to, if not by leaps and bounds atleast a bit... today it does feel good that my blog has been visited over 17, 000 jolly good times. 

There are things I have wished for yet have never routed for as well... like any other blogger, I too wish that there would be more people who would leave a comment, even if not a decent one atleast a deliberate one, just to show that they were here and did read and do reflect. I have also wished that there would be more members who would join the blog, just to feel that courage of added strength. People around do pour more energy into what one writes and I thank those who provide me with that synergy and wish that there was more on its way.  

There have been trials and tribulations that I too have like anyone else, and it is often this blog that comes to my rescue during trying times. This is more like a space where I can share, learn, change. Writing, I do believe is like the magicians cap, only when you put something in can you pull something out later; as a strong believer of that, visiting fellow bloggers who are quite eloquent, expressive and intelligently brilliant often has humbled me while going through the quality of their writing and the extent of their detailing, poly-dynamic views and abundance of readers and supporters which does push me to recheck my boundaries and write better. Language, communication, knowledge and the mode of expression if well chosen, can reach the sensitive part of the soul and knock to be heard, to let know of issues that are often hid in the rubbles of destruction of the voiceless, hopeless and less-looked-upon fellow human beings. The "utopia" is often considered a farce; something that only dreamers can dream of; the impossible. So should we rest all faith and settle with the mediocre?! The "ideal" is often a fantasy; a fantasy that follows us like a shadow in the reality we live in-the tall and short of it. The epicenter of the balance between reality and fantasy rests a lot on others around us who push, pull or stop us. Being able to write freely sans restraint and censorship is a blessing in today's world. Though some dogs do bark at what they are scared to face.

Intelligence, like before, is not a rare, restricted and a personal entity of the powerful alone either. Intelligence on the other hand has become a necessity for survival... and along came our need to be cunning, manipulative and twisted as well. Everyone's need his very own. So in the light of all these, my blog has reached 200. I am glad and I am happy. This is a jolly good time that I may very well use to say "Thank You All" for making this happen and your support did make it worthwhile to be in this spectrum. Thanks once again. 

Snapshots From Kanyakumari

This is a picture (I) clicked somewhere in the middle of Kallakaad-a tiger reserve in Kanyakumari-Tirunelveli border. This photo was shot with an almost extinct-film roll-slr. Sometimes, slowing down is a luxury and at times worth it. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Last Rites

These days, I see elders dying alone. Day by day, day after day, children seeded by them, nurtured by them, tolerated by them and for whom there is always a prayer in auto-mode in their lips, leave them/ditch them/let them die in pretext of their wives who hardly know the difference between a regular donut and a gourmet one, who device those devious plans to keep their slave of a husband as far as possible for reasons they creepingly whisper which seems to justify their actions, in an attempt to save themselves from guilt. The self obsessed, selfish, characterless world of their middle-aged male counterparts, is so damn busy that it has "no time" to think about neither the old nor the just borns. It is during trying times do we get to understand who people are or rather whether people are even remotely humane. “What is the point?!” I wonder. This is a land where we have faith in the karma. What goes up, comes down and what goes around, comes around. I marvel at these glorious, remotely female species that not only trigger yet also provide maximum support to these ill-actions of their partner so proactively; these creatures who can flash that fake smile, before, during and after the stabbing at the dying. From where do these creatures emerge?! I wonder. Why do these cockroaches still crawl?! I wonder.

One of my grand uncles, a doctor, recently died under pitiable circumstances, ironically denied medical care and incidentally has children, children-in laws and grand children who are doctors too. What a predicament! Every single person expected to take care of this man, those who were busy before his death and expected to be understood and excused from their duties of taking care of this old, sick man, found time to come together for a family get together over his dead body and discuss in leisure how the property he left behind was to be split between themselves. Hurray! I truly applaud a genius in the crowd, one of the dead man’s nephew, another doctor, whose finger waved in free air, pointing at people who erred and who got his tongue wagging, condemning and criticizing those he claimed had erred.

Well, as sweet stories of all Judas Iscariots go, this genius from the crowd has a father too, a doctor too, and right now, he is in his death bed too. Where is this little boy who looks after the sheep? He is in London to serve the queen. He chose to ignore his folks, beckoned to his woman’s call, found that his son’s life was better off in the “cultured” white man’s land that he boasts of and shoo he flew. He will be back to bury the dead too and will definitely carry an excuse too.

It is usually said that only in a death house must people leave without saying bye-byes lest it sounds “We shall be back for more.” It is also said that when a child is born, the “human beings” in the house do not leave the house for 11 days. This is usually to keep people intact to take care of the crucial, initial days of a new born with more hands to help the recovering mother and child. It is also expected that children do not leave parents-especially those old, sickly and vulnerable ones-alone. I wondered where I was a few days ago when my just born was brought to a brick-mortar-sand structure called home where events of some unmentionable nature took place along with unsaid goodbyes. An unforgivable and forgettable episode and people. To cut the long story short, at times when families come together, some decide to separate.

At the end of the day, I remember telling one of my grandaunts who felt that she was too big to relate to the world that if she would remember that it takes “atleast” 4 people to carry her out when her D-day comes, lest she rots, she would try to be nice to atleast 4. In normal course of life, I would have preferred to spit at the sight of these filthy, stinky, walking human excreta yet recently the Good Book taught me not to curse people who hurt you… rather pray for they that do evil to turn good, that they realize how bad they have been and what bad they have done and have a chance to change for good. I pray. 

Rationalizing Disconcern

For the past few months, I have been trying to gear down and have a grip over life; nevertheless, eventually, life seems to have its grip over me. Seemingly said words of encouragement mean nothing at times of despair. Everyone bothered within their own circle have no ears to listen to others who wail at the outside; ‘self obsession’ seems to be the nomenclature. Though not to be blamed. Everyone’s need his own; seldom does another know nor does bother to the pains of another. Everyone’s burden his own to carry.

A friend of mine tries to find a job to feed his family yet won’t let go his need to impress others and deliberates himself into hopeless, compulsive spending in the name of rituals-just to show the world that he too shares a part in this endless drama. How long?! I wonder.

Another friend, a mother of two, who lost her husband recently, likes to be buried in troubles that came along with the death and finds herself oft in loathsome misery trying to fight living ghosts in courtrooms over properties that are said to be rightfully hers. Till when?! I wonder.

Then there is this girl my cousin cheated succumbing to parental pressure, hoping to be their “laadla” forever and ever, after giving her high hopes of a nuptial knot. Hobson’s choice, you see, is one strange thing and the more idiotic you are, the easier the choice. And as most stories of these nuptial knots go, this too seems to be a Gordian knot that seems to have spun a hangman’s noose around this girl’s neck as the blunt impact of the episode seems only too visible with her every move ever since. On the other hand, the boy seems to be working longer hours to hide from this guilt (good for the company he works for) as his folks and his ever-loving sister (the actual spoil sport in this whole episode) once again try to engage themselves in a fake bridal hunt for one more victim. “Hey girls and parents of girls, who have advertised your kick-outs in matrimonial, watch out! The big bad wolves are here and your little red riding hoods may be taken for a ride too.” How many more like this?! I wonder. 

Then comes my own story… clueless and waiting for a confirmation that seems to be the end of the road to an interview process that started on the 25th of May’ 2012. Turn after turn of interviews and reference checks to see if this stranger is trust worthy and round after round of excruciating waiting till this point of time. Finally was called in to join on the 31st of last month (August’ 2012) only to be informed that the waiting needs to be extended. By this time foolish me, wound up all work at hand, shifted family and even started moving things from home to the promising wonderland to report to work when beckoned. We even had our second child in the meantime. Nothing was enjoyable as everything seems to be resting on this new found hope of a job. Now, 6 eyes stare blank at me with hope, probably trust, most probably faith as I squat like a useless, good-for-nothing, dying dog unable to face those stares and find myself staring as well into the open heavens with blind faith-my very own. The only possible mistake I have done is follow the lead and make myself available like a loyal woof. Every bit of delay and every day of waiting seems like a life time to me. It is almost like tying a noose around my neck to a newly planted tree, watering it and waiting for it to grow. Do those in the organization even know what I am going through? Most probably “No.” For them I am on the outside circle and they probably have issues their very own.

With problems my very own, how do I even find the energy, sensitivity and empathy required to feel the suffering of others in a circle outside my own? My burden by itself is too heavy for me to carry and my burden is my own to carry… now how can one expect me to carry their burdens too? Not at this moment atleast.

Sometimes I wonder too if people can be as insensitive and ruthless with the lives of others involved and everything and anything they do in the name of survival be accepted as justified?! May be so. After all every man knows best, the lessons he has learnt to do what he does, no matter how much it bothers the ones watching silently in astound surprise from the outside circle. C’est la vie and so are its people.      

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sex Unsexed

A sweet love song I hummed often as a teenager plays in the background from screaming, over-sized speakers amidst a crowd of humanity at its insane best... still, I manage to shift into my own space of bliss and the memories attached therewith. 

The world in the mean time, still goes on its normal spree... prince Harry manages to shock the world as his priceless buff-revealing photos emerges from Vegas (at times, what happens in Vegas does not seem to stay in Vegas.) God save the queen! Websites try to figure out through its online polls on who is smarter-Sherlyn Chopra, who proudly represented India in the Playboy magazine or is it Poonam Pandey, (who unlike the almost forgotten Mangal Pandey, the freedom fighter,) has used her freedom to expression in free India to the maximum by undressing for the cricket team; its "patriotism" you get to see afterall. It is found that the sensational Aarushi Talwar murder case, where the 14-year-old was found killed alongside the male-domestic help, were found to be actually involved in a sexual relationship which according to the investigators could have been the reason for their killing (talk about how difficult it is to find a good domestic help these days); though according to her father, in his own words, "sex is no big deal in elite society." Geetika, from the glamorous world often built in the air comparable to the air hostess that she was, must be giggling, twisting and turning from the world of the dead as post-mortem reports reveal that she was involved in "unnatural" sex with other high flyers. Natural or unnatural, what difference does it make? Its all about whether it was humbling or humiliating as far as matters of sex are concerned... isn't it?! 

Now with strippers, flashers and a bunch of horny humans submitting their acts for an equally horny crowd to watch, I watch from the side-walk, policemen with bamboo sticks attached to the "long-arm" of the law thrashing and chasing humble, street-side hawkers trying to make a living, though small, an honest living... as passport authorities get busy stamping the visa documents of Karenjit Kaur Vohra a.k.a Sunny Leone, an honourable Indian, who has an impeccable record of acting in and directing pornography movies; as a crowd gathers, (as usual,) holding placards to welcome her into the Indian mainstream. In the meantime, the song that I was listening to, drifts into its optimal finale as my dormant brain watches all these in its seasonal best... just that I had music to go with it this time. 


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

A lie need not necessarily expose the truth; instead, all it usually does is expose a liar, hardly believed thereafter. Truth then is altogether a different story... always said the way one wants others to hear the story; cooked up with half truth and whole lies... and at the end of the day, truth, is a pathless path afterall. Ces't la vie...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Read This Farmer

The humble Indian farmer has been in the NEWS for various reasons; ranging from his plight due to lack of rain affecting his crops, presence of flood due to excess and needless to say, suicides in outraging numbers due to his unrecoverable debts. The farmer has been subject to covering full pages with crisp photographs  along with his family in magazines and newspapers, which otherwise have nothing much to offer anyway and at times does achieve its pre-assumed target to gets us thinking deeply about their plight. Making us wonder where our conscience has gone. 

Watch the vegetables we buy today... they simply don't rot-thanks to the farmer who uses preservatives and knows how to inject them intrinsically into their skin. Look at all the fruits available in the stores, in excess too-thanks to the farmer who uses fertilizers and pesticides in plenty to boost the yield. Look how the produce from the farms shine-thanks to the farmer again for rubbing the skin of these chemically created yield further with wax to lure the buyers. Land, consumers, humans, ethics, sustainability-does the farmer care? Are his actions justifiable as much as the justice he cries to have been denied to him in the tabloids and ever-moving media cameras? Does he wonder, bother and care about the people who are affected by him as he asks shamelessly for people to help him out?  Is he as humane as he wants others to be? Does he think about how his actions affects the society as he constantly blames the society for his plight?

The once upon a time backbone of our country, today stands extended like an appendix-useless and causing us pain-unbothered. As we are force-fed these "bio wonders" of modern age, does the farmer or the country that promotes these care? As we have reduced ourselves into becoming test grounds for these seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, does the farmer who makes the choice to make the final decision to implement these which kill the land really care? As we consume these products and become lab rats and source out a major chunk of our hard earned and borrowed revenue for the hospital industry via paying the bills in counters where we shouldn't be and as families as we drown in deep debts, does the farmer really care about the avoidable-damage he causes? And the  farmer manages to have the nerve to ask, "Why no one cares?!" Isn't this an interesting paradoxical irony?! "Hey farmer, are you wondering still why no one cares about you? Let me ask you, why don't you care about others too?" All I can say for now is, "Get well soon farmer." And till then you cry, cry, cry... you make me cry too. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Dangerous Breed

The white man saw us all as Indians, discriminated and hated us... every single one of us, altogether. Looted us. Laughed. Left. And must be smiling from that small patch of land where s/he belongs at us now.  A natural smile that appears when you expect the obvious.

That smile that often emerges as s/he realizes that as soon as s/he left, we little Indians took over the art of deflection to a very different level. And the story begins thus... the "white" Indian found the brown Indian different; called him names, developed theories from thin air and shelved him by establishing him with an identity even before he was born; blamed it on gods and goddesses he created, named and promoted and blamed it on them for having created us with this inbuilt differences. Succeeded. The "brown" Indian on the other hand found this whole drama interesting and passed the same favour to other "black" Indians. Social discrimination began thus...

School text books try to teach us that the Brits 'divided and ruled' us. Not true. On the contrary, that was the only time we were united as one nation, as Indians, as the discriminated lot to get rid of them... together we stood. 

Today, the Indian from the North finds the Indian from the South different. His problems, issues, concerns, culture and traditions are different and he need not understand any of these because he is different. And this favour was quickly returned vice versa. This happened in all four directions and as usual, like in any other country across the globe, the North East and South were the ignored lot later to be considered "problem" zones from where the "grave internal threats" will appear. 

Today we are greatly different. Duly discriminated-by colour; if not, by our geographical positioning of birth; if not, by the language we speak within that geographical boundary; if not, the accent with which we speak within that still smaller boundary; if not, then by the dialect with which it is spoken within yet another containing boundary. If that is not fair enough, there are countless other eccentric ways we have managed to invent (like religion and adding further sub-sects to these created religions, through education and managing to establish technocratic differences, forming cliques and cults along the way) to create differences, discriminate, break a large group into smaller units and feel comfortable, secure and compelled to adhere to their norms and mores and belong to closer ties knowing well that the pack that stays together survives. At the end of the day its all about survival and the result of progressive evolution. So here we are "dividing and ruling" and thanks to the Brits who atleast left us establishing educational institutions to understand all this hungamma as we drown into this self-created misery and together like a flock we shall follow our "leaders" to the pits they have dug for us at the end of the road. Jai Hind! 

p.s: I have always wondered how one group would consider the rest as "untouchables" when s/he is the one who is untouched by keeping others away/apart. Now do tell me, "Technically wouldn't s/he who keeps her/him/self away from being "touched" be the real "untouchable" out here?!"
Isn't it true that there can only be 2 kinds of people; the one who sees differences and the other who don't. Who are you?


Brown Is The New White

Amazed at the greatness of my country (limited to by birth)-India a.k.a Bharath a.k.a Bharath Mahaan, shock waves shoot up my spine almost like a sneeze that can stretch the nerves within to its maximum. Today is what is called the "Independence Day" of my country. Great! Independence from what?! I do not know; probably the ones who are celebrating do. 

Lets think about it...

  • we live in a country wondering why our business becomes everyone else's, while at the same time whenever there is a need for everyone to be involved in an emergency situation (lets say a rescue during an accident) we find none around to stop and help.
  • we salvage our values by bursting into sacrosanct oratorical discourses standardizing morality for others yet where do these that are being spoken about go when we are ranked among the top most in the fields of corruption, murder, land grabbing and every other avoidable issue?
  • we are known for our capacity to make anything and everything cheaper than almost anyone else to appeal and make things available to quantity crowd. Ironically, we are also renowned for having prostitutes at one of the lowest prices (regardless of quality). These faceless many enter this "profession" not by choice yet because they have no other. Yet...
  • we admire and prompt a porn star in becoming a superstar as we wait for the latest tweets from strippers announcing their latest nude pictures available online as we reinstate strict dress codes on our kith and kin-this is the culture of damned hypocrisy we live in today-at its best!
  • we watch in silent approval people being arrested, tortured and silenced for showing dissent nevertheless voice it against politicians and the way we disapprovingly run this country... yet we make tall claims of our's being the "largest" democracy in the world. There are places here where people ask for the military who rape women and kill youth in the name of encounters to be removed yet those people's voices fall on deaf ears. There are places here where people voice their reaction against nuclear power plants set up in their soil they do not want as loud as their vocal chords can shout yet those great one's who run this country along with the technocrats would not mind building those giant structures over the dead backs of those who protest. 
  • we have given the authority to stakeholders of our country's corruption Inc. the right to call our brothers and sisters fighting to protect our land, water and our people from miners, nuclear scientists, bio-technologists and every other worm-infested, self-interested, rapist-breeding on the bones of others, sucking into the marrow of those being labelled "grave internal threats"... who is?! I wonder.
  • we have allowed public money to run alcohol business in the state as schools, colleges and hospitals have been handed over to corporates and private parties to run them as profit-making business houses and we call ours a welfare state?!
  • we have moved ourselves into believing that roads can be constructed only by private agencies and for such "services" rendered are allowed to collect toll charges restricting our travel to only the rich who can afford such charges levied.
  • we still pay those taxes, both direct and indirect, sincerely for all these so called "welfare" services which are seldom offered or offered to a selective few.
  • we offer to elect people who give freebies sans knowing that everything "free" comes with a cost and someone is paying for it, often as is the case a regular tax payer.
  • we are worried about national debts as we gape at the staggering figures of scams our country bears.
  • we are a country with people who seldom speak and if they do try and their voice reaches the parliament, they are shut up for the rest of their miserable life. This land is the land of people whose virtuous silence one day will be the foundation on which our silenced souls shall be laid to rest. No more do we need the white man to swindle, plunder and steal... we are capable of doing it ourselves. Just our silence will do in thought and action-a silence with which we shall pay for all the inaction. 

Today is our Independence Day. The tri-colour will be hoisted at the Red Fort like every other year... how more symbolic can it get?! How more red can the Red Fort get than the blood of those freedom fighters who lost their lives to the white man before 1947 and to his own hence after. It has been a glorious 66 years since we victoriously got rid of the white man and claim to have got our independence and thus freedom (heavens bless the souls who gave up their life for it.) Freedom and Independence from what? from who? To be taken from the hands of the devil to be drowned in the wells of our very own?! 

What have I said that countless others haven't said a countless times even better? Now, what is it that I have said that is not known? 66 years old! and as old as a cunning-old-man who has learnt how to survive. As others dance, sing and shout on this glorious day the 'vande matarams', the 'jai hinds' and the 'Bharath Maatha ki jais', I shall too on this day forget everything and be reminded to be a Roman in Rome nevertheless an Indian in India and pretend to be unbothered by all that is happening around and shout, dance and scream in my fanatical best with utmost hypocrisy in passive anger...     

 Free at last, free at last... Thank God almightyWe are free at last   

(if not for real, atleast in my dreams... in silence, in desolate silent mourning fit for a dying nation nevertheless the zombies who inherit it.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Musical Chair

Power! Power! Power! Body and mind, beauty, brain and brawn, money, status, position, recognition-everything so fragile, everything created-just a few of its sources. "Politics"-has the glamour of having it all in one clean sweep and hence such high demand. Power! the things it can do or rather the things we think we can do with it seldom realizing what it can do to us.
Once given, power takes routes untaken and unexplored.
Undenied, unquestioned, unstopped-power gets everything-even those considered unfair.
The unsearched, the unknown, even that which was considered unwanted (so far) is found within the orbit of power.
Everyone wants to be within its orbit. If they can't, they want to be in close range to the orbit. The closer they crowd around this orbit, the more powerful the orbit becomes-sucking everyone towards it-thus becoming the center, the crux. The charismatic enigma of power thus manifested not from the middle yet from around.
This manifestation thus gets out of control and as all things out of control gets, one gives in to it. Power thus gets us.
What was once (when it all began) a need for control, now is a reduced rubble as power takes over and controls us. In this maddening, ruthless, paradoxical irony, no more does man hold power yet power holds the man. In pursuit of power, we lose the power to control ourselves. Thus, how powerless we become by the very want of power?!
Everything said, "Men may come and men may go (yet the truth remains knowing the gullible vulnerability of man that) power remains for ever... jiggity, jiggity jig."  

And There She Lay

The sensuous one searches the core
for that love still untold.
Search she does underneath bridges
and between the ridges.
Overflowing, melting, sans holds
steps she takes quite bold.
Exploring within, stretching beyond pleasure and pain
heart drenched in tear and rain.
Drop by drop as the drops melt 
warmth from her sure is felt.
Rising above all with hope and despair
the search for remorseless love seems fair.

Tussled hair and classy flair
nothing more she has to bare.
Cries and moans ring the air
tossed and turned with lustful tear.
Beauty and the beast all within
for once together writhing.
Finale sure does she reach
with all boundaries breached.
 Still breathing in silky moist
no language can tell this twist.
An experience her very own
in complete surrender she had thrown.

Everything is for her to keep
pain and pleasure for her to reap.
With nothing to lose and nothing to gain
lay she drenched in rain.
Uncontained, unchained and unnamed
there lay bliss untamed.
Shivering, shuddering, spontaneous
everything felt percutaneous.
Squirming as she tries to hold back everything held within
she gave herself for this win.

(inspired by a poetry I read today, I wrote thus...)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Bleeding Angel

With a truck load of things and more to add on her list, the pauper she idolizes. The life, the simplicity, the banquet she can make with the same utensil-the only one lying around, the peasant's daughter is worth all her admiration. From the city's gate, away from the glittering luminous strings waddling from concrete homes-the grave of the living dead... her eyes looms into the distant hollow that separates her from the faint light from the country side at the distance. Can't decide whether to hide or run, she stays. The little pot of boiling gruel tempts her far more than a buffet from the king. The soul burning faster than firewood, she boils over. She has every reason to be jealous of the peasant's daughter. Now, at the city gates, she sees the richness in poverty and poverty in richness and with tear-soaked cheeks like a tattered beggar by the roadside she stands. Far away from everything that seems meaningless, worthless and pointless, her eyes scan every mortal walking through the gates with dreams in their eyes. Measuring their dreams, she revisits her own and more ruthlessly naked she feels. Just a walk away, at the distance, her place-where her heart belongs-awaits her like a waiting mother for her prodigal child with open hands; yet she trembles to take that first step. The clanking of those old vessels hoisted atop a simple burning pyre of wood as it reaches a point of completion, like the drum roll to signal the end overbearingly hustles at the back of her head. She is no more in control of her thoughts and she sways like a serpent in pain now. She twitches and arches as the weight of her "possessions" behind the city gates overwhelms her as her soul moves like a drifting cloud-forward to where she belongs. An unknown stranger in her new-found land, a pain creeps in from somewhere as she moans in understanding that she is a stranger in her own land too. With nowhere to go, she melts... just another bleeding angel at the city gates.     

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yet It Moves

Is being still and still being calm the same as doing nothing? "No" they say. And I agree. Stillness and calmness gives clarity-clarity ensures certainty-certainty, being something everyone wants, at times, needs. 
Yet, time tests our patience. Patience gives us experience. Experience gives us hope. And 'hope' becomes the base for the rest. 
Though at times, like now, I bow low to pray to the one above to conclude. Sometimes one can't help from asking, "Dear one above, is there an end to this thing?!" 
Helplessly still and calm, patience tested to the core, with hopeless hope climbing the rungs of faith, moving strong, standing outside the inner circle, wanting to be included in, un-understood by the rest, under suspicious stares from comfortable stairs, laughed, whispered and mocked at, like a beggar I stand, thus a beggar made. Walked straight, never bent. Today, I crawl, squirming like a worm, spines removed-one after the other, like the victims I plead for, victim I am made-to experience the taste of irony... hypocrisy galore!
This is something I have brought upon myself... hence sans complaining I trudge forward praying for a miracle... just one more. Yet, it moves.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Mask Series VII

"Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God." Diana Robinson

“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” Patanjali

This is a mask clicked hanging in my Mask Wall that seems stuck in deep meditation. I often wonder if people who get into substance abuse to escape the "real" world-they find hard to deal with-are nevertheless same as these people who take up meditation to do the same... and they say meditation is addictive once you start... would I be surprized?! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Circle Of Life

Recently my F-I-L was upset over my B-I-L. Usually a man very reserved, he suddenly poured out his feelings with the repressed anger of an ageing man shadowed by the tenderness of an ignored father. I knew he was disappointed with the fact that his son hardly spends anytime to even recognize his presence around and this feeling of emptiness was making him feel more and more less wanted. This incident happened when he was watching me play with my 9-month-old. He said, "I used to take my son everywhere I could, spend as much time teaching him everything I could, get him as much as I could and I was a hero too once."  I looked at my kid, knew what future had in store for me too and I told him, "Today, the hero; tomorrow, the villain; then, the zero... I know its coming my way too." 

Often I have people asking me, "Will your son grow up to be like you?" and I wonder. With every reason to ponder, I realize that as I get pulled into the enigma of my child's presence-that innocence, that simplicity, that spontaneity-those 3 I am struggling to relearn, having lost it in the path of life that he is just stepping into, he is learning in the meantime from me-that necessity to be complex, the need to be manipulative and impossibly corrupted-those 3 I learnt encourse survive, that which I am fighting to unlearn. Now, who is growing up to be whom?! 

This is an interesting circle of life: 
Stage I: I am complex, manipulative and corrupted. He is innocent, simple and spontaneous. I want to be him and he needs to be me. We are full of mutual admiration.   
Stage II: We meet at crossroads. He calls it teenage and I call it mid-life-crisis. We have conflict of values. He is something I don't want to be and vice versa. We are each others villains who can't accept eachother's values, morale and everything that defines who we are and we bite eachother's very crux of existence. 
Stage III: I am fed up of fighting and call for truce. He is keeping himself busy with all the bruise. I am tired running the path of life and am moving slow. My thoughts are innocent, my living simple and deeds spontaneous-something I have been craving to be that my son was born with. In the meantime, what my son is busy chasing seems meaningless to me now and he is as much a zero to me as I am to him. We find eachother's existence worthless... yet, I love him.

Life ends for me thus as his begins... when he makes a home on his own and has a child of his own and sees the innocence, the simplicity and the spontaneity in that child of his and craves to be that. Yet again, once again... I will smile gently at this circle of life.  

By the by, in the pic is John Aariyar Fredjeev, my son.