Tag Archives: Introspection

32: Looking Back On January

1 Feb

January 2017 was…

…slower than January 2016

…more peaceful and easy

…more patient with me

…calming

…incredibly productive on many counts

…a smooth ride

…generous

…special.

When the year started, I didn’t have a sparkling, spanking new plan to trail-blaze my new year with. I’m incredibly lazy and unplanned like that. It’s ironic that I love planners, diaries and actually planning things out; everything, except all the necessary stuff that would otherwise help me be a more productive person. Trust me, I go gaga over well-documented excel sheets, notes, and to-do lists. But when it comes down to the dirty work, that’s one thing I procrastinate till the very end. Ugh. So yes, I as usual, didn’t have a plan or goals. The new year came along, and with it, I ambled along into it too. It was only after the year started that this posting a day idea dawned upon me. Be useful, set some goals, do something with your time, I told myself. Lol.

January took its time to leave; I guess it needed to settle things down after the whirlwind that was 2016. It has been a special month on many counts. What highlights itself is that it gave me the time to be kinder to myself, enjoy myself, and most importantly, to learn to understand myself. Back when I was studying, I came across this classic self-actualization theory of Carl Rogers, where he talks about finding a balance, or a congruence rather, between our ideal self and our actual self. By this he meant that all of us have an ideal self (what we imagine ourselves to be or what we want to be) and an actual self (what we really are) which, if not aligned, can naturally cause conflicts about the way we perceive ourselves in general. When one comes across these numerous theories, they’re interesting to dig deeper into and understand; well, some of them at least. However, they come into actual play when applied to real life, no? I digressed and spoke about Rogers because a lot of what he said, especially concerning this conflict and discrepancy, happened to me in January. It wasn’t easy when I looked into the mirror. It was harder still, when these differences confronted me. It’s true.

But I’ve been harping about being more aware and conscious endlessly only so that I can constantly remind myself to work towards it. I haven’t come to terms with this conflict entirely, and it isn’t going to happen overnight. What is happening though, is that the process of smoothing the rough edges out, has begun. I am not my ideal self and my ideal self is not me. There are quite a few differences, naturally, and I’m giving myself the time to figure them out. That’s what most of this month has been about, to be honest. Of course I still don’t know how to be diplomatic, or mask my feelings when they need to be masked. With success obviously comes failure, and this is mine. But one day at a time is the mantra.

But the month wasn’t all work and no play. There was a lot of letting go, doing what I wanted when I wanted and without feeling guilty, giving into cravings especially those of biryani, painting and drawing, being lazy and not folding the mountain of clothes that are just building a wall around me, sunning myself in the winter sun which has gone by the way, gardening, lots of drinking and chilling out at home, and of course, quite a fair share of cooking and baking. Oh, and couch-potato-ing too. I don’t want to buy that weighing scale.

Maybe that will be my goal for February 2017. I hope your first month was productive, engaging, and mad too. :)

12: Thursday Thinking

12 Jan

For starters, I’m unable to check any of the notifications that pop up on my dashboard – I’ve no idea why. Ever since I’ve disabled the likes option, I get to see a list of likes, but am unable to check who these lovely likers are. That said, I’m trying not to let this itchy “secrecy” frustrate me. :P

Secondly, I haven’t watched Obama’s swan song even though it obviously went viral even before I got out of bed yesterday (BBC pinged me to say his speech was commencing just when I was walking towards the exit door from my land of dreams). It goes without saying that I do, indeed, want to dive into that tearjerker, and will eventually get myself to do so, but maybe when I’m more ready for it. However, even before all that, this guy has given me some serious, and I mean very serious, expectation issues from men, and husband to be specific. There does lie this eternal hope to maybe one day get this same, if not similar gratitude from my man in front of all and sundry. Hahaha! Well, we’re all allowed to dream, aren’t we? But seriously, that couple has given me, and most of the world I’m sure, some solid relationship goals. SOLID.

But here’s the nuance that I have to look into and consider wholeheartedly before I can even begin to harbour such dreams and expectations – and that is this one very crucial line he mentioned in his thanksgiving to his wife and family – “you took on a role you didn’t ask for, and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour.” Here’s that crux, that commitment, that compromise if you will, that’s sort of really made all the difference, no? And it makes the latent feminist in me keep quiet, and be still.

It was sometime back when my aunt very matter-of-factly and breezily called me a feminist. I don’t like that term, and neither do I like to associate my self with extremities in thought or action. It took me a little by surprise, and I won’t deny feeling a little proud of myself. Something that was sent my way as less of a compliment and as more of a fact to give me insight, did make my heart swell, to be honest. But that’s the thing I have with this thinking or terminology – I find it incomparably rigid, suffocating, and very binding; no matter how that jibe did indeed make me feel.

When I look at Michelle Obama, whom I do consider such a role model on many a front, there isn’t an ounce on her person or thought which speaks against standing up for oneself, or doing the things they believe in. However, she seems to have in her, the grace, strength, courage, and resilience to accept her circumstances and pave her path with all that she has. And that’s a remarkable quality I only wish I could have. It doesn’t involve screaming from rooftops about name changes post marriage, childbirth or bearing, or even something as overwhelming as stepping aside (a little or a lot) to find a new way forward. Generations of women have done exactly this, and I find it debilitating and often rude to label their silence or their choices as weak and spineless.

Of course there’s a difference between most, if not all Indian men, and Barrack Obama. And there’s a huge difference in all that we see, and all that really happens. But then again, I really wonder if a global mic to say thank you, is what drives or validates the beautiful strength, that is Michelle Obama’s personality and character. These are path-altering considerations for me to reflect on and pave my own journey with. Perhaps this is what, I think, real role models do, and I’m so thankful to have examples like these all around me.

The Extraordinary Ordinary

7 Nov

In-keeping with trying to be good, disciplined and all that, apart from the fact that I really did feel like randomly writing about random things, another bit of life happened just when I thought the clouds of sporadic, crappy writing were clearing up. The internal adapter of my laptop refused to connect to the wifi inasmuch as a big red sign splayed quite boldly across the 5 bars that ought to actually have been white, the 5 bars that really are the fix for the addict in me. I needed them to be alive but the stubborn red cross took over and whilst I tried everything, including becoming aware of this frothy but urgent need to want to hit my (office) laptop against the wall, I was reminded of a time earlier when something exactly like this had happened. Remembering that time gave me some hope because the tech-slow me actually managed to fix the situation and really, when there’s even the slightest trace of the possibility of a fix, rainbows blossom. Apart from the fact that I am quite so addicted and that when I need the internet, I need it no holds barred, I managed to fix the problem. Small victories come a long way. I could feel like the Hercules of network troubleshooting and fixing but I think I needed to be online more.

Moving on to more exciting things, I, as expected, jumped on the Humans of New York initiative/project/program much later than it had already trended online and all that. And given its brilliance in every single way, I’m not surprised that it still is trending like it ought to. I did come across it in bits and pieces in the form of shares that friends posted on their walls, once I rejoined Facebook (yet again), but never really paid as much attention as I should have.

There is something so innately beautiful about it. I love how such simple things really mean the most. It’s overwhelming how the normalcy of peoples’ everyday lives seem so awe-inspiring and extraordinary. I guess that really is the beauty in our everyday ordinary and what we choose to do with it. It is intriguing how everybody has a story, a page they’re writing or are stuck at; how each and every one of us, consciously and unconsciously, are writing our own story, which even though so ordinary in our own mind, becomes larger than life to so many others.

Imagine the number of stories out there? I’ve never felt so much emotion from a Facebook page before. It’s such a hit, I presume, because this world is so starved of meaning, relevance, purpose that for once, something as brilliant as this initiative makes us feel, erm, normal, or the people our reality has made us become. It’s not about fairy tales or harbouring false expectations or dreams we’d hope so hard to come true. It’s about life, living and just being yourself, so much so that you become inspirational to so many. It’s crazy how this looks in my head because who knew a presumably homeless man’s proudest moment of feeding pigeons and rats with whatever extra food he’s left with, would make you reassess your concept of giving, taking and sharing? Or the way the old couple who met in 1944 have traveled and worked in over 60 countries and consciously decided to not have kids makes you wish you wouldn’t care so much about “society”? Or the marine officer who became a cop but really always wanted to act and became an actor at long last makes you think about striving, believing and not giving up? Really. Ordinary, every day stories of very ordinary people who are living the life we’ve all been given the choice to live who make me feel so much. It’s magic. You should check this page out when you can, if you haven’t.

This reminds me of the times my brother returns from his travels or even his random regular days, brimming with stories of meeting strangers and exchanging tidbits that will only enrich his life. There are CEOs, assistants, paanwalas, street vendors, beggars, media folk and so many more we hear about. It makes me wonder why staying in bubbles is as appealing because when I listen to him, I feel like he really is living the life we should try and live from time to time. I use the definitive word ‘should’ not because I have the secret to the ‘shoulds’ of a good, enriching life but because when I listen to these stories that happen so ordinarily in his life, I know his book of life’s already gotten that much more extraordinary.

It’s one of those days that makes me feel hopeful and optimistic. It’s a big deal. I always feel that we’re so preoccupied with unhappiness and things that make us unhappy that it becomes hard to just be happy for happy’s sake. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but this is what I find around me, every time, everyday, everywhere. I have no idea why we seek it so much and have sought it so much that the ordinary has become extraordinary.

Well, at least it’s heartening to know that there’s meaning in the ordinariness of things and life; that there are so many thousands, if not millions out there (me included) who get their shot of happy from things other than food, photographs and the existence of Benedict Cumberbatch.

PS, just to be clear, Mr. Cumberbatch will always give me that shot (and many more) of happy (and much more) forever (and more). And for him, I am grateful. Thank you, you universe, for plopping the perfect British man during this lifetime of mine. Best!

Habit

4 Nov

It’s always so strange how my thoughts and, consequently my fingers, freeze the moment I open a new post page in the hope to start writing. It was just the other day that we were talking about habits; the need to inculcate the habit to read, to write or take time off to do whatever it is that provides something deeper than happiness. Caught in between the need to write, and if publicly so, then to build an identity of who you are and what your writing is about, and the need to let go and just write, is such a task; a balance that is more hard to achieve than perceived. It really is easier said than done except in those cases where people can write effortlessly on a regular basis about anything under the sun, really.

Sometimes it just seems too easy when I read the few blogs I follow. The writers have so much going on in their lives, 50 times more than what my life feels like, if I may say so, and yet they write so regularly and effortlessly (or so it seems to be). Not that I wish to draw comparisons. But really, I find inspiration in their habit; their discipline. And it reinforces the fact that it all begins with something; that effort, that initiative, that drive and that discipline; all of which seem so temperamental in me.

It’s scary how fleeting my attention span has become. I’m not sure if it’s just me or if it’s this “phase” of age or if it’s a part of the normal developmental process or a generational thing represented by my generation that teeters ever so delicately between the conflicts of new-found technological “explorations” and maintaining traditions ensconced in very well defined nostalgia; where reading and writing and gardening, etc were enough to keep us going. Do you feel that conflict too?

I know that to write goes hand in hand with the need to deep-dive and look within, to reminisce, to contemplate and to think. Well, in my case, to over think. Because apparently the million thoughts I have the potential to wallow in, on a daily basis, don’t seem to be occupying enough. Either way, my mom thinks there’s more than meets the eye; that there’s something (gravely, if I may say so) wrong. Because how can someone who has been writing, stop writing? Yes, I did write a lot. I did read a lot. But to be honest, I think there’s growing up and life that happened in between. Not that the rest who read and write don’t have a life. It’s just that, like I said earlier, they seem to be more adept at taking it in their stride and making time for the things that make them feel complete. And to be even more honest, my journals back then were pretty much an account of my daily life and its occurrences, like any other teenager’s journal. So yes, life has happened and continues to happen and I haven’t really managed to catch on to the writing bandwagon with as much ease as I had imagined. Besides, to think and over think has proven to be a liability I wish not to be imprisoned by, as consciously as I can try my level best to.

Besides, life right now would mean two urgent phone calls that had to be attended followed by responses to ma who just got back home, all three of which happened in succession right when I began this piece. So tell me it’s easy to shut the world out and sit put. It’s not impossible. But tell me it’s easy because I need to try harder.

And while we’re at it, here’s how I’m spending some me time whenever technology or laziness doesn’t take over. It’s refreshing to say that, do that and experience that. It’s turning out to be quite an interesting and gripping read. Her detailing is overwhelming. Hoping to see this through, fingers crossed. :)

IMG_5922

Random Musings

15 Apr

I don’t know why I write and why I don’t. I’ve tried introspecting but I don’t think I’m ready to clutter my mind with anything more.

I’m not made up of love poems or song lyrics that profess love. My previous post was the result of some God-awesome music that came my way and facilitated that much needed writing to take place. Who would’ve thought something like that would emerge? Of course I do dream of being half as awesome but there’s a fat chance lying around waiting for me to grab it. Not.

On the topic of love and everything related to it, I feel like I’ve lost touch, and so bad. I think I belong to that section of my generation that refuses to give its heart out, even for a test drive. So weird. And we think we’re fearless. I think we’re masters at sailing the Ship of Fear. Ironic. That’s what defines this generation, if you ask me. I see it in my self, I see it in the people all around me. This pseudo fearlessness is such a turn off. I wonder when we’ll just get real and get ready to scrape that heart a tad bit and just play.

Times have been interesting. I feel alive. I feel like I’m where I should’ve been sometime back. But I think things take time and happen when they have to. It’s true. That darn phrase is true – when it’s time, it will happen (with the added condition of “if it’s meant to”). I’ve become a believer of timing. But being who I am doesn’t allow me to give those reins away that easily. I still believe we’re part masters of our fate. And that isn’t going to change. No, I don’t have authority issues. Yes, I do have control issues. But this boils down to how much you credit yourself and value your self to be. And that answer can never be zero in my book. That’s a never I’m dead sure of saying.

While on that same continuum, I’ve also begun despising this entire concept of hope. It turns me off. There’s a falsity in it that almost makes me angry. Because I’m a believer of having that harsh truth out there and doing something about it than living in the bubble of hope that may or may not work. I’m not okay with hope. It’s pretend play. It’s fake. It’s making someone ride on a bike that’s made up of air, magically expecting it to turn into the bike of your dreams. While that might float one’s boat in dire times, it’s something I find very hard to digest. Maybe it’s because of the expectations that being hopeful allows you to have. Really, I am a cynic, but I’m being real here. There’s no point hiding behind a veil and praying. There’s a point in working and working hard. There’s a point in believing in yourself. And there’s a point in knowing that not everything will turn out the way we envisioned them to be.

This reminds me… time has constantly reinforced the need for me to believe in my own self. You’re only ever answerable to your individual self. I don’t know what happens at the end, and whether Judgment happens or not, but it matters to just believe. Because who else do you turn to when you’ve got no answers? What else to you record in pages of your book except what you’ve done to arrive at where you are today? I do not discount the efforts of others that have contributed to our arriving wherever we need to…but just how we easily thank a billion factors and people for making us get to where we are, why is it so hard to understand that we’re where we are also because of who we are and what we’ve done? How is that selfish? How is that being self-centered? How is that not okay? Yes, while the universe conspires in its own way and makes magic happen, I’m beginning to realize that we’re right there, in that moment too. We’re probably the ones holding the wand or saying the right words or being the right person. We’ve got to have done something right. We have. And I’m thankful we have.

I’ve been meaning to write but it hasn’t been happening. And I don’t know why. Moments (my previous post), was written as a result of some God-awesome music someone I know played. I guess I needed that release. Look what it turned out to be. I guess I was shocked looking at it too. Love and me…we don’t really see eye to eye a lot. But I’m so thankful for music. When everything else fails, music really does shine through. Music really is the magic language of the universe.

Here’s me wrapping up this rather random but heartfelt post. I guess this I’ll write more when I’m up to it. In the mean time, I’m continuing to drift the stream of consciousness way. Thank you for listening. :)

Sundays

9 Mar

IMG_9093 IMG_9098 IMG_9092 IMG_9091

The pigs were given a bath yesterday after a long time. Now that there are signs of summer aplenty, fortunately (or unfortunately for them), it’s a better time to bathe them and have them figure what ever happened to their dry and filthy fur. I’m more than happy. I like my pigs bathed, groomed and clean. Poppy (Poppins, the first one with a big black patch on his face) is such a pleasure to bathe. He’s the baby of the family and he sits put on the balcony while I lather him. He even lifts his chin so I can bathe/rub his neck, which he really enjoys so much. Fuzzy (the last in the series of pictures), makes bathing her a little more challenging. This is perhaps the only time that she shows me that she, indeed, can run. Because she’s the laziest pig you can ever find. Thankfully she isn’t reading this blog post. But she knows what I think of her, so she and I just have to deal with the reality of it all.

I haven’t seen them clean in such a long time. And now I find it hard to let go of them because a) they’re so clean and white and soft and neat, and b) they’ll go roll around in their cages and become brown all over again. Gosh, it’s such a pain being a parent. I’ve figured that this is as close to having kids as I will ever get. :)

So everyone’s happy this morning. They’ve been combed, their noses and ears have been sponge-bathed and are more presentable, and they’ve been groomed. Fuzzy believes she can run for being prom queen again. But I was telling her that maybe she should give someone else a chance. Vanity, I tell you.

Sunday breakfast of Bombay toast, adrak chai and cake has been had. The sky looks beautiful laden with wispy clouds going their own way, and taking their time to do so. The plants in the balconies are happy because they’ve got their dance partners – the breeze – back. And in the midst of all this, it’s been a good day of reminiscing. It all started last night, actually. It started last night when a friend and I were talking about love and how foolish we are in love, in her words.

Of course I thought I’d wake up late today or at least get up after having spent a good amount of my Sunday morning, reading in bed. Isn’t that the best feeling ever? But today started off early and post all the extra productivity that did its rounds, we continued our conversation. I hope it carries on. We reminisce ever so often. Because we really did have such a lovely time.

In her words, “a few years back when we were in love, we were sooo in love.” And it was true. We were so in love. We were in love with our new-found freedom. We were in love with life. We were so in love with the boys that we were so in love with. We loved without consequence. Or without thought. Or without preconceived notions. Or without fear. We loved with such abandon. We loved keeping happiness in mind. We loved in the moment. We loved without hesitation. We loved with so much joy. We loved without the prospect of heartbreak.

None of us is with the boys that we loved without a care, today. None of us hurries to meet them for hurried breakfasts before rushing to work. None of us runs to the train station in time to see them off. None of us spends evenings with them. None of us stays out late and has the other cover for us. None of us has immense phone bills testimony to innumerable conversations about the infiniteness that was our relationship back then. All of that’s gone. And we made it out okay. Or have we?

Because we’re not the same anymore. We’re more cautious, guarded, afraid. We’re more sure of ourselves, but really, are we? We’re more “grown up”. We’re more “independent”. We’re all that we wanted to be but I don’t know where that abandon went, where the ability to just let go and trust yourself went. I don’t know where the fear crept up from. I don’t know how the years that have passed have made us more fragile. Life is so strange.

But on this particular day, I choose to think of all that we were and of all that we did, without a doubt, without a thought. There’s something about that kind of youth that fades. Unfortunately. But we’ll always be fools in love. That we’re all very sure about. And that’s the thought I’m going to hold on to. :)

Have a lovely Sunday, you guys.

Bandwagons

8 Mar

I’ve been craving to sit down with my laptop ever since my workday ended yesterday, just so I could write. It’s been a rather hectic week and I don’t see it getting any better any time soon. It’s good in a way because it’s been so busy that there’s been no time to breathe, or have lunch, as it were. Clearly, I hold breathing and eating at the same level of importance. Some things will never really change. I got back home to have my lunch of maggi in the evening; not that that makes me happy or that skipping lunch does, but it’s been a while since I’ve had an alternate escape plan. Being too busy to breathe or eat lunch is quite the escape route. I’m an escapist. And if given the chance, I’ll run out that door. And so, I’ve been running. Yes, clearly my education (I’m a counseling psychologist by education) hasn’t or isn’t being used to its best. Come what may, the fact that there’s an escape route/option always thrills me.

Cutting the long story short, I came back home to find that my laptop was out of charge and that the charger I had wasn’t working. I just figured that my brother’s laptop charger thankfully works, and so here I am. I’m also most thrilled. The withdrawals were getting to me. And so I’ll move on to the post I really came here to write. Thank you for listening to my sob story so far. Moving on…

Disclaimer: I foresee an infinite use of the word I, because I will be referencing and voicing my views about my self and my thoughts. If the thought of it is unbearable, I don’t/won’t blame you. Thank you.

My laptop screen is dusty having been here on my desk for a grand total of just a few hours. While I feel compelled to go get a wipe and clean it, I’m staying put because I really want to sit here right now and write. My hair is oily and sticky and I’m awaiting that languorous bath though I wish I really didn’t have to. I feel most ungroomed (?) and I’m going to regret not going to the salon sooner. The pain is such a bitch. But here I am. I’m not very happy or at peace or at liberty. But I’m here on this, sort of lazy, Saturday afternoon with no agenda in mind, in my boxers that are really actually meant for men, contemplating what to make for lunch. Will I have a book for lunch or a snack that’s not meant to see its time so soon? Will I sleep with a nap or will I waltz with a walk, that’s just for the lazy clouds, sun and trees to tell me. But I’m here. By the way, these men’s boxers are just the best thing to ever have. Ever. Best home wear.

I’ve never kept track of days. I never know when it’s what international day. I never know when to treat my mom right or when to say my daddy strongest or that HIV sucks or that AIDS is rotten or that good health is a must or that peace is supposed to start from within or that the earth is what you owe your everything to. I never really know and I doubt I’ll ever know. I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman or a man or a tree or a pet. I don’t know and therefore I can’t say. I can’t say you’re supposed to be this way or that. I do belong somewhere, but I haven’t figured out where. I know nothing except what it is to be me or an individual living in the generation that she is from and in (there’s a difference, all of a sudden, but I saw it coming) given all the variables that life generally ladles out to every single person and being that exists, and chooses to live, consequently.

I don’t know anything else or what it feels like to be anyone else because I’ve never really been anyone/anything else. I do know what I am, I do know a little bit of the tip of the iceberg that I’m made up of. And I believe I’m one of those people who gets on every single bandwagon pretty much after everyone else is two bandwagons away. I’m sure of it. It’s no wonder I feel like I’m living my teenage years now. I certainly feel like it. I’m not fighting it. I guess it’s a bandwagon I have to travel on before I move forward. It’s not a sad excuse, but a realization that some of us really do blossom way after so many flowers have already bloomed once, if not more.

I cannot think of any other reason why there is so much rebellion, so much angst and so much conflict. I cannot think of why the ways of society are (supposedly) absolute or why we have to behave and act in a certain way. I’ve just begun discovering what it means to enter the conflict zone, of doing what I’m supposed to do versus what I would ideally like to do and what having to choose between the two makes you feel like. It happens when you’re that latecomer. It happens when you’ve been blindly following the path that “has been etched out for you”. It happens when you concede, blindly. It happens when you read without understanding.

I believe in science, in biology, in logic, in that things need to happen at a particular time for one to proceed forward. I don’t believe that skipping steps to getting somewhere, helps. Therefore, I do know that there’s a time and place for everything. That you ought to do certain things at certain times not because someone said so but because there’s that something in us that needs us to. Some of us call it time, some call it the bio clock while some call it maturity. There’s always a time. And if I were to look back, there’s so much I ought to have done, which I haven’t.

Therefore it isn’t strange that I don’t know what each day stands for, in an international celebratory context. I cannot connect those dots. Here’s a tiny little me, living her life, trying to figure out what now, next and so on. It doesn’t matter what I’m “supposed” to do or be like because I’m still trying to figure how I’d like to be for myself; that I’d be satisfied with the person I see when I look into a mirror; a person whose eyes speak of things she loves being a part of. This really isn’t even about rebellion as much as it is about exploration. I’m on that journey. It’s always about that journey. It’s always about what you see when you’re on the journey and what you let become a part of you. Every single day holds the promise of discovery. And that’s what’s heartening because I’m here, doing what I have to do because my mind, body and soul need me to. There are no flat lines, just jagged reminders that we’re so alive.

To live is the chance we’ve been given. To be alive is that choice we make, that journey we decide to take. To move on is to know there’s nothing left behind, that there really is no looking back.  And I speak for myself when I say, that I’m almost always trying, if not hard. I’m running, even if I’m two bandwagons behind.

Lent and Lessons

4 Mar

IMG_8952 IMG_8953 IMG_8954 IMG_8955The mood I was in before I started writing this post and now, is drastically different. I’ve Deadmau5 to blame. He turned my sober, weekday evening mood to something, well, more alive in a Deadmau5 kinda way, shall we say? I’m not a huge fan of his. Repetitive electronic beats which take a while to build up don’t exactly match my taste in the electronic music genre. I happened to come across his track in the recesses of my system (and that should safely show you just how much of a fan I am). I’m a trance lover, though. A finicky and choosy one, I must clarify, but a lover nonetheless. I’m listening to this one of Deadmau5’s, IF you’re keen. I think it’s just the one exclusive track of his that I enjoy once in a blue moon, which has stuck on. There’s something about the beats and pace of this one. It’s best enjoyed in a pitch black balcony, somewhere in Goa. Look, I blame Deadmau5 AGAIN for distracting me. Moving on to the rest of the post.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. I have no idea what it signifies. All I do know is that Lent starts thereon and ends at Easter. Last year, like a lot of my practicing Christian friends and colleagues, I decided to observe Lent as well. No, I’m not Christian and neither am I religious. But there was something about the concept of Lent that made me want to follow it. I don’t know anything about Lent or Christianity per se, but I believe the basic concept behind Lent is to abstain from anything you wish to, anything that is particularly hard for you to abstain from, over and above those who wish to give up meat and alcohol additionally during this period.

My willpower is weaker than that of a fly’s. Also, my life makes most sense when there’s an instilled disciplinary structure and foundation to have the form of discipline make sense to me. Therefore, last year, I figured I’d use the principles of Lent to test my willpower. I decided to give up alcohol and meat. And because I am who I am, it dawned upon me that I was on Lent after I’d devoured half my meal of grilled fish in butter garlic sauce accompanied by my mojito. Fancy. Of course, I felt terrible at being so unaware of the rules I’d enforced on myself to test something that, I believe, must be rock solid in any human being. I, also being me, promptly decided that fish didn’t cut it under the non-vegetarian section, that it was healthy, that I was after all observing Lent to avoid eating meat for health and medical reasons and that since fish was and is possibly the healthiest meats the universe has to offer (which I love to death), that it was all okay. FINE, the fish was just too ahmayyyzing and well yeah, it would be a sin to leave it half finished. The things I do to placate the guilt of cheating with food, gosh damn you rationalization, may you burn in a secure ego’s beautiful garden, you weed, you!

Anyway, Lent progressed, I avoided meat as much as I could because I had slowly (thanks to my workplace), begun consuming meat on almost all days from just over the weekend. It was an interesting experience because for someone like me whose willpower is the way it is when it comes to food, I began understanding what it meant to say no when you really wanted to actually scream YES. It wasn’t easy. But it was insightful and it certainly made me feel better about myself. I wonder how I would function if there was absolutely no structure in this world. But that’s such a scary thought. The chaos is unfathomable. And I don’t want to imagine it.

So, Lent commences from tomorrow, if I’m not mistaken. At least I’ve prepared myself to start giving up, erm… meat and alcohol (again?) from tomorrow. I haven’t completely decided what I’m bidding a solemn bye to yet. But I’m excited. And I pray I don’t “forget” what I’m abstaining from. It’s strange how you CRAVE something just when you’ve said buhbye to it. I hope to not see tandoori chicken and Long Island Iced Teas float around. Let’s see how it goes. I’m positive. I feel good.

It’s been an interesting start to the week otherwise. Things are settling down and I’m gaining my foothold slowly. My biggest takeaway from this week (and life) is (and will always be) remembering the importance of family. Not that I didn’t know of it or remember it. It’s just that the world will always continue doing its thing. You’ve either got to go with it or fight it. And in the midst of all the madness, I’m gaining some courage to stand up and fight it. I know I said just the opposite a few posts back, but when it comes to your life, there’s nobody else who’s ever going to fight your battles for you, is there? If you think you matter, you’re going to have to stand up and fight. And so I’ve been reminded constantly. It’s important to hear that you’re important. That you’re here because you’re worth it. That there will always be haters because that’s their preoccupation. It’s important to have sounding boards and constant reminders and they can only be your family. And friends you can trust your world with.

I end this post feeling nothing but gratitude for being here, talking to you and knowing that I’m blessed with nothing but the best. And that there’s just too much beauty around to be distracted by the ugly. Thank you, for everything, from the bottom of my heart.

556000_10151558256748259_2025533096_n[1]

 

PS, isn’t that the cutest fridge hanging ever? Plus it has so much truth in it. :)

Into the Wild

1 Mar

We’re all about wanting that space, that freedom, that independence. We’re all about ideas, newness and novelties. We’re all about that sense of freespiritedness (I just made that word up). We’re all about getting away and going to places unknown. We’re all about discovery. We’re all about peace, chi and shanti. We’re all about thoughts, ideals and dreams. We’re all about desires that partner with rebellion most often. We’re all about the here and now. We’re all about finding that zone, that space, that one thing we can call our own from the very start; the one thing we get to on our own merit and by our own being. And if there’s struggle involved in the process, the manifestations of that goal just taste sweeter. It’s all about that journey and getting to where we eventually want to even if it never featured in our constellation of dreams. It’s always about the journey, isn’t it? We’re always going places, every single moment of time itself.

And yet, while we’re all moving in a mass, thinking and believing that we’re all on different paths, we’re all often running the same race. It’s just that handful of us who really, really stand out. There are no judgment calls or days. There’s just that blind urgency to get to where your destination is at and what your goal is all about. It’s just those few who ultimately stand out. The rest of us are, well, just mediocre, or regular, for the lack of better words. That doesn’t make us sad people. It’s natural. It’s normal. That’s what statistics, science and the theory of probability is all about. The bell curve, they call it. Norms are built based on the regular. The exceptional, well, they’re who inspire us and give us the ideas we sometimes merge into our ideals. They stand out for a reason. Because they’re just that, they’re mind blowing, they’re exceptional. And I’m more convinced about this not because I’m a weirdo who sits and thinks beyond measure (which I am and which I do), but because I was urged to watch a certain movie I’m here to talk about and I did.

Have you watched the brilliance that is the movie called ‘Into the Wild‘? Well, I’m always the last one to jump on to the bandwagon, but what the heck, I watched it today. I think movies, books and music (and people) happen to you when they’re supposed to. I think it’s one of those bigger things the universe has a hand in. I do believe this movie came to me at a time that I needed it. I’m not going to give you a movie review because I’ve linked it to the best source possible and you’re sure to get your best reviews when you click the link. I’m here because I’m just another person in this massive universe the movie left gobsmacked. Watch it if you haven’t already. Watch it if you’ve already watched it. I think stories like this need to be told more often.

We’re a deprived lot. We’re a lot that’s stuck in such a deep-rooted falsehood ranging from the principles of education to society to relationships to life itself. I doubt we know what it means to really live life for what it has to offer. I doubt we know what we’re born with. I doubt we realize that our life is just a bunch of reactions we display; that we seldom live beyond that. I doubt we know what freedom feels like or smells like. I doubt we’re aware or educated or skilled.

We talk about, wish for, dream about, desire for, crave for a sense of being, a sense of identity, a sense of oneness with that which will make us one. And yet that looks like such a distant aspiration, such a fickle flame that’s subject to the winds of change. It makes me question everything we’ve been “taught”. It makes me want to reason why we do what we do and where our purpose lies. Are we somebody? And who are we?

While this movie makes me look back at my life and feel like there’s not much I’d bookmark, I’m glad it came to me at the time it did because I think it’s important to have that reassurance, that affirmation that our questions and rebellion aren’t just a wisp in the air but that they’re real. That they’re the fabric of the stories we want to weave and spread across our life. That they’re more than just mere thoughts and voices that pop out of nowhere, that they’re not existential quotes we come across on social media every other day. That they really do have the power to change lives, especially ours to begin with.

We all have the power to dream. I wish I had the power to follow through. And this movie gives me the faith to do so. The movie gives me the strength I need to question education, society, norms and the ways of life we’re “supposed” to live by. I may do not have the courage to be Christopher McCandless, and may the world give us so many more people like him, but I do know that the path I’m on isn’t futile, isn’t garbage, isn’t worthless.

If you want inspiration, if you want to get a taste of what life can really be like, if you’re the kind who lives outside the box, if you need a lift, if you’re low on courage and belief, if you’re scared and alone, if you’re stuck in the rut of it all, if you’re out of options, if you’re a rebel, if you dislike society and/or have parent issues, if you think materialism is bullshit, if you think relationships go beyond finding a girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband, if your slate’s overcrowded or can be rewritten, if your life means more than just 9-5, if your heart, soul, mind and body are the crazies that make you believe you’re worthy of it all and so, so much more, then watch this movie.

And if you’re none of these or want none of this and think this is all below you or that you’ve a better life to lead, you really need to watch this movie. Really.

Here’s some of the magic, apart from the movie in its entirety, that took my breath away. Here’s leaving you with some of it because, in Christopher’s words, “happiness (is) real only when shared.” I hope this movie is a constant reminder to all us rebels. Let there not be a flat line. Let there be life.

Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.”

I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong… to measure yourself at least once.”

You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.”

This one goes down as one of my all time favourite lines to have ever been written or spoken.

Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

I hope this has been convincing enough. :)

Mirages, Walls and Magic

1 Mar

It’s now that I’ve got some time to myself this beautiful, beautiful mid-spring-almost-summer Saturday evening to write all that’s bursting from within me. I wouldn’t say I had the best Friday at work yesterday. One normally looks forward to Fridays, not necessarily because one hates their job, but because Fridays are days that were born to be loved. And Saturdays. I did too. I always keep my Friday in line and view as soon as one ends. No, I don’t hate my job. Yes, I do have a life during the week. And no, my miracles don’t just happen on Fridays. I just really love the day.

But in lieu of the last post on change, I think this week was shattering enough to make me forget days or time or the semblance of the magic that Fridays bring. What happens when your sense of security gets threatened? What happens when you’re so close to the fire to feel the heat but just about escape the burn? What happens when your walls shatter and you realize you had no walls at all…that the structures you thought were walls were just mirages of a false sense of security? What happens when you just don’t know anymore?

For people like me whose entire worldview is based on boundaries and a sense of security, where I build walls wherever I go, where I construct new meaning as I walk forward and hang them as paintings on these walls, it’s hard to define the feelings you feel when you realize what those walls were really made up of. When meaning and logic cease to exist, there’s havoc, there’s a sense of nothingness and there’s a sense of blankness because everything you knew, attached meaning to and comprehended to be your own, disappears. And it’s hard. It’s that blinding light that hits you and renders you blind. It’s that moment when you can’t think and you fall. It’s that moment when you’re watching everything around you crumble and you’re motionless, unable to hold on to those pieces to fix and put back together. There’s just a sense of desperation left behind.

So, it wasn’t a regular Friday. It wasn’t a day at all. It was just a moment of time that dawned and died. That’s what yesterday felt like. And sometimes in the face of it all, when you still haven’t been able to grasp or comprehend your surroundings, you’re forced to move, because we’ve just got to move. And so one moves. Where you go and what you do is such a crass mix of what you think you control and the pages fate decides to read on that day. And then you just keep moving. Time, they say, plays its part. And the lack of choices, as well.

In the madness of this all, I’m thankful for the pillars I have: of friends and family. Of moments that remind you exactly why you’re here and what you’re meant to be. And what you’re made up of and what you’re worth. Because there can never, ever come a time when you stop believing. Never. There’s got to be that star, that conversation, that string of lyrics, that strum of music, that rhythm, that hug, that random moment that sticks and pulls you together. There’s always that something that wakes you up and guides you when you’re at your disoriented worst. And I’m glad I seized that opportunity to get myself a bit of all that to enable me to write these lines and to believe. To really believe. To believe in good. And the beauty of serendipity; of finding something that you knew belonged to you without your ever looking for it. I’m thankful for time and moments and my pillars. I’m grateful.

And so today, not so long after the happenings of this passed week, I’m here, feeling like someone ironed out those creases that needed ironing out. And the evening looks beautiful. I’ll make do with that for now. It rained today. Small signs. Tomorrow will be another day.

IMG_8904 IMG_8903

And because there really is beauty everywhere, here’s a brand new track I woke up to in bed today. Thank you, Alexis, for the magical start. I haven’t looked up the lyrics. I’m not going to either. Do give it a listen. It’s one track that goes on the list of the best discoveries of 2014. Small blessings. Do turn it up. Do let it make you feel. Do let it take you where you really, really, really want to go. Do let it make those sparks within you ignite and show you the fire that lies within. Engulf yourself. Let it.

Have a beautiful evening and a lovely weekend.