Monday, 18 June 2007

A Rare Day

I had a rare Sunday. Rare, because, thinking back I see that there have been far few of such Sundays (or even other days!) in the last one year. I stirred lazily, and spent most of the day curled up on my bed reading a book. I experience the rare pleasure of finishing a book after reading it for almost 3 hours continuously. The relief and the ecstasy and the closure is mirrored by nothing else in life.

It was a day uncluttered by anything else, when random thoughts did not enter my head; when I was completely at peace, not asking any questions, not seeking any answers.

The evening wind blew, bringing the smell of rain. The sunset over the lake nearby; the twilight sky transforming from azure to the darker midnight blue. The trees blossom in rain, getting their much needed nourishment. It is the time of the year that makes me happy. I want to twirl in the rain and dance to my favourite songs; hum those lilting melodies; recall everything of the past with a smile.

That rare day of contentment has passed but the peace and the smile both remain as does the charm - refreshing, rejuvenating.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Wangdoodle


My wangdoodle for the day from Dipti... Pssst it's Wenger's and Dipti's camera is haunted. It takes these mouth watering, wangdoodley pictures all on its own!!!

Autumn

All year a tree spends its time nourishing its leaves and fruit but come autumn, it must shed some of these leaves to preserve itself and ensure its own health and survival. Not all these leaves are dead but they are abondoned by the tree for they take up too much of its precious, and now scarce energy.


I like to think of people as trees (moving trees!), the branches and leaves being the bonds, friendships and relationships we form with other people. There comes an autumn in our lives too, more than one in fact, we we must break some of these bonds, part ways from those who were once friends.


It is not painless though. For they are not dead leaves but real living people that one has invested time and effort in. To consciously cut someone off takes as much out of me as does making a relationship, what ever its nature, work. But the breaking off is as necessary for the heart as for the head, for I must now stand up to what I believe in. Even in a place where judgments are never made, in a society free of rectitude, I must still make my judgment and not fall prey to hypocrisy of the world that I have inhabited this past year.


The Autumn now fades slowly as the last of the leaves of the year past fall making way for the beauty of clarity and sparseness. New leaves will bloom in the springs to come.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

A Veritable Specimen of the Human Species!

The silence of solitude broken by a ring,
protective shields fall away and yet cling on.
Instead of rejoicing in the free air,
there is the dank smell of fear and nerves.

There comes a time in each of our lives when we leave the home of our parents and venture out on our own; discover life, freedome, responsibility and joy of doing things for oneself.

But for every yin there is a yang. So while most people I know of my generation are self sufficient, cocky, arrogant 20 somethings (not at all a bad thing in my opinion!), here is a meek, towel wrapped overgrown baby venturing into the big bad world of business (I am making a very optimistic assumption that my new roomie makes it through the CAT).

After 10 days of complete solitude and having the room to myself, in walks this 21 year old girl with the gumption of a 0.2 year old kid. "First time out of home"!

It is abt 7 in the morning. I am still comfily tucked in bed, curled up with my little teddy, tossing n turning lazily. A corny tere liye ringtone shocks me out of the last traces of a pleasant dream. I frown and look for the source of the noise -

Daddy Dear Calling

Good Morning!
Brushed your teeth?
Had your biscuits?
Had a bathe?
Started studying?
Had Lunch?
Woke up after siesta?
Where are you?
Hows the evening going?
What's your roomie doing? Is she back? (thankfully this happens in one call and not two!)
Had dinner? Did your roomie eat?
Are you going to sleep? Good night then!

Morning Again!! (GROAN FROM THE NEXT BED!!!!)

The sister and Boyfriend also make all these calls. (Sigh! Can I kill Alexander Graham Bell? How nice the world was without cellphones!)

Little Things

A mundane trip to the chemist for a few necessities is a source of fear, nervousness and embarassment; a can ride alone to a new part of the city is unthinkable.

Where such people come from I wonder! Instead of enjoying the free air, there is the claustrophobia of nerves and fear!

Monday, 11 June 2007

Good and Evil


I don't normally copy paste stuff on my blog but this is something that set me thinking. It is a conversation that Gregory David Roberts writes about in his book Shantaram between the author and a mafia don Khader Khan. The don is explaining his idea of Good and Evil to Roberts. See what you make of it -

"'The Universe has a nature, for and of itself, something like human nature, if you like, and its nature is to combine, and to build and to become more complex. It always does this. if the circumstances are right, bits of matter will always come together to make more complex arrangements. And this fact about the way that our universe works, this moving towards order, and towards combinations of these ordered things, has a name, In the western science it is called the tendency toward complexity, and it is the way the universe works.

... this universe that we know began in almost absolute simplicity, and it has been getting more complex for about 15 billion years... It is moving toward... something. It is moving toward some kind of ultimate complexity. We might not get there... But we are all moving towards it... everything in the universe is moving towards it. And that final complexity , that thing we are all moving to, is what I choose to call God. If you don't like that word, God, call it the Ultimate Complexity. Whatever you call it, the whole universe is moving towards it.

... Anything that enhances, promotes, or accelerates this movement toward the Ultimate Complexity is good. Anything that inhibits, impedes, or prevents this movement towards the Ultimate Complexity is evil. The wonderful thing about this definition of good and evil is that it is both objective and universally acceptable.

... In order to know about any act or intention or consequence, we must first ask two questions. One, what would happen if everyone did this thing? Two, would this help or hinder the movement towards complexity?

... In the case of killing,' Khader continued, after he'd sipped the tea through a cube of white sugar. 'What would happen if everyone killed people? Would that help or hinder? Tell me.'

'Obviously, if everyone killed people, we would wipe each other out. So... that wouldn't help.'

'Yes. We human beings are the most complex arrangements of matter that we know of, but we are not the last achievement of the universe. We too, will develop and change with the rest of the universe. But if we kill indiscriminately, we will not get there. W e will wipe out our species, and all the development that led to us across millions of years - billions of years - will be lost. The same can be said for stealing.

... This is why killing and stealing are wrong - not because some book tells us they are wrong, or law tells they are wrong, or a spiritual guide tells us they are wrong, but because if everyone did them we would not move towards the ultimate complexity that is God, with the rest of the universe.'"

There is an immediacy about talking. Ideas and reactions flow back and forth, stimulating the mind, forcingit to think on its feet and respond within a few seconds. Unpredictable, spontaneous, animated and full of vigour and energy. I have had no problems, for the 21 years of my young life, with gabbing away. In fact, people who know me intimately often wish I would just shut up and give my overactive mouth and larynx some rest.

However, love as I do to talk, I always find greater peace and satisfaction in writing. The satisfaction comes from the fact that writing requires you to be precise and exact. There are so many times that have typed entire paragraphs and then pressed delete because on giving it a second reading I find that it doesn't quite say what I wish to. The chance to revise and to redo gives me a greater articulateness that I love. The mental effort, the play of words and the possibility of reading it again and again and yet again; the notion of permanence give an immense satisfaction - to know that your idea will exist forever, for people to read.

There is peace in writing for it allows me the luxury of saying what I want to without being interrupted or contradicted. It gives me the feeling that I am the only person in the world. Paper (and now the computer screen) is the most non-judgmental of all things, accepting everything that I chose to put on it.

I started this blog on a chance conversation. Slowly but surely it has become a place where I can say the things that I am not able to articulate verbally or simply things that slip out of mind. It has also become a medium for interacting with my closest friends on a different plane altogether. I have learnt not only about myself but about them as well. While our conversations have always been stimulating and energetic, this medium has brought with it more thought and consideration.

To be honest, it is not something I expected. I did not expect any of us to discover anything startling about the other, only gentle reaffirmations of what we already knew. That however, has not been the case. We've discovered more similarities and differences that I had hoped to in this short span of just 2 months. And as the physical distances between us grow, and we find our own paths in life, I'd like to believe that this will keep the mental wavelengths in tune.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Straightjackets

Human beings are the most complex creatures on this planet. So difficult to predict in their reactions, each so staggeringly different from the other. They come in all shapes and sizes - short and tall, fair and dark, thin and fat, calm, moody, temperamental. It takes years to get to know someone and they can still surprise you with a fair bit of ease. We spend lifetimes together without ever knowing everything about a person.

However, if you have ever conducted a market survey, you will realise how easily people are straight-jacketed. I presume, questionnaires were the beginning of stereotyping since the beginning of civilization.

Do you read this? Do you watch this? How old are you? where do you live? Oh so then in that case this is how you must be thinking!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

The Forbidden Fruit


When God created the garden of Eden, he put Adam there and told him all was his to tend and to eat except for the fruit from the tree right in the center of the Garden - fruit from the tree of knowledge. He then created Eve to give Adam company. When the serpent spoke to Eve, he enticed her into eating the fruit of the tree and giving it to Adam as well. And so were Adam and Even banished from the blessed garden forever.

Now, before anyone jumps to any conclusions, this is not a post on religion, god or knowledge. I simply find the story suitable to illustrate a very personal point of my own. I seem to seek the forbidden fruit too often too. I shove far from me that and those who come easily. That which withdraws from me, I wish it closer. I fight many a losing battle and am yet again reminded of Rhett's words to Scarlett, "you only want what you cannot have!" Well so do I. What I can have, that which is at arm's reach, I do not want. I run from it as far as I can. That which I cannot have, I wait for - sometimes in glorious euphoria and at other times in wrenching loneliness.

Someday maybe the parallel lines shall meet. Till then the forbidden remains forbidden (though I would much rather be banished from Eden than wait!).

A Taxi Conversation

Whenever anyone says the word EGO, the first notion is extremely negative – of a person who blows his/her own trumpet, is completely insensitive to others, highly unlikeable, pompous, bombastic and so on and so forth. But I wonder how any of us exist without an ego. For an ego, in technical terms is what makes each one of us conscious of ourselves. It is the ‘I’ and however much interdependent we may be, the need and will to co-operate comes out of an overriding concern for the well being of the ‘I’ and the ‘ME’.

I was in a taxi with two of my colleagues on my way to grab some lunch the other day when one of them, after a heated conversation on the phone, exclaimed, “I hate people with egos!” It is at such times that I feel we use the English language too loosely, that words loose their true meaning, that we say things we do not mean and mean things that we do not say. I pointed out to her that it is people with ego issues that are a problem, not people with egos as such.

And that precisely is my whole point here. What is unlikeable is the fact that people think that concern for oneself and one’s betterment must necessarily involve pulling another person down; that there is only room for one person in this world. Completely untrue. I believe it is possible to better yourself without hurting other people – whether in a materialistic or emotional sense. In fact it is necessary that it be so. If the sole purpose of one man’s progress is another man’s destruction then mankind would have become extinct long ago and I wouldn’t be writing this. However, interdependence works only when each of us recognises the importance of independence.

I know I sound extremely Rand-ian here, but I think she has a point. Men must interact as traders. We must respect each others ego. And such comments as the one made in the taxi serve only to irk me not only because of improper use of knowledge but also because most people just don’t realise what they are saying; that they tare being hypocrites when they make statements like that without qualifying them.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Ramblings of a Bored Mind!

I sit and talk meaningless inanities all day. The wait is endless... oh for that one moment that shall give purpose to an otherwise purposeless day in office.
I admire workaholic people for their devotion to their task. However, when it eats into my time - keeping me jobless for a large part of my working day and then insisting that I stay back - I want to holler! I wait and I wait and I wait some more for my boss to get free. He just doesn't seem to. My mind wanders in a very mundane direction. I grow increasingly grubby and with it cranky. How indispensible can a man be?
There is an old recitation - oft quoted in my school assembly - about the measure of an indispensible man. And I am sure if my boss were to put his hands into that bucket of water, the result would be pretty much the same. So why then can he not finish briefing me before taking up meeting for hourso n steel racks? I assure you briefing me is a smalled task - just about 15 min.
I have finished chatting with all the people I can and I write this post in utter frustration, in a last ditch attempt to evade the boredom that threatens to envelope me and transform my good mood of days into one of grumpy sourness. I look forward to chicken soup which I shall buy if my energy sustains me - 2 dry rotis and vegetables that a sick man wouldn't eat are not sustenance enough for me. I ramble on in utter joblessness and maybe I should stop before I stop making sense all together.
 

Browse

Others thumbed through

Book recommendations, book reviews, quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists