Sunday, December 28, 2008

In search of a new madness


In search of a new madness

Something more important

Than myself

Something that makes the ego sit down in a corner

Madness that makes sanity bearable

A reason deeper than my being

A link

To the me that is yet to be

The me that is still emerging

From the shadows

In search of a madness

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My World Is Smaller Now

Sometimes we think that if we don't look, then its not happening. Some of us won't acknowledge something because if we did and it wasn't right then our conscience won't allow us to sleep. So go on believing that the world is a very big place and all the bad stuff happens to other people. It won't happen to us and that's a desperate hope we live in and deep down we ignore that small little thought that says - you know that's not true. But we bury it and carry on. And then one day, everything changes. We become - the other people.


I had always heard that there are three kinds of people - those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and then those who wonder what happened. Today I understand this as my own thought and not another's wisdom.


The terror attacks in Mumbai have rocked my boat. Hell they've rocked a lot of boats. I have never seen my fellow Indians express their sentiments towards the political atmosphere the way they have. I applaud the relentless media coverage that made the world smaller however, I do feel that there is a difference between reporting facts and reporting facts with judgement. I saw some journalists/ news men become human. Perhaps it was difficult for them too. Hatred when naked can not be ignored. It burns through a lot of things. In India it burnt though cushioned seats of a few politicians.


I read the newspaper cover to cover last Sunday. Devouring the facts. I was curious to know how young men who could've done so much with their lives be convinced to give it all up and to my horror in the name of morality and jihad. A line in the center spread that day caught my eye. A hostage woman at the Oberoi asked her killers - "why are you doing this?" And the answer was - "What did you do? Train mein. Godhra Mein".


Every action has a reaction and what we saw in Mumbai from the night of 26Th of November 2008 until 29Th November 2008 was not an independent action. It was a reaction. It is difficult for me to express myself but I would try. What happened in Gujarat in 2002 should have been stopped. But you see it was happening to someone else. It was not happening in my backyard. I had not lost a loved one. My sisters were not being raped and my mother was not being killed. My father and brothers were not shot. So it was happening to some one else. I am not alone.


Nations at times behave like people. They turn their back on an event in the hope that it would go away. And that's how we contribute to the destiny of our lives. What goes around, comes around. United States turned a blind eye when 800,000 Muslims were executed by the Serbs in Bosnia. The allies didn't stir when millions of Jews were executed in Auschwitz. Children and women sent to gas chambers. Saddam Hussein allowed "Chemical Ali" to carry out genocide and kill innocent civilian Kurds in Iran and the most powerful nations continued to provide financial aid to Iraq. In a lot of cases they even refused to use the term genocide because the United Nations Charter had stated that the world community has to respond to genocide happening anywhere through peace or through force.


Today is the anniversary of the Babri masjid demolition. A day when the fabric of my country changed forever. When the divide became apparent. That was the beginning of a lot of sad things. And it was all done in the name of righteousness. When Muslims avenge their brothers, they kill their brothers too. A bullet knows no religion. We have made the world un-safe for our children.


Shashi Tharoor spoke on NDTV last night during a debate/ discussion with Srinivasan Jain. He said that the middle class in India had left the politicians alone to do whatever they wanted to do. They didn't want to vote. They paid their taxes and hoped against hope that their money (read sweat/ blood) would be put to good use. But 26 November 2008 changed all that. Suddenly the entire middle class sat up and realised that the policy makers have left no room for them to breathe. The policy makers in my country give my police force a wooden stick to combat a terrorist carrying AK-47. The policy makers (read government servant) have left the boundaries of my country porous for infiltrators and smugglers to walk in and out at will. The policy makers get Z category security while I tremble in the 6.00 PM local from Churchgate to Borivali. The policy makers do not educate the children of the poor. They lead farmers to commit suicide. They reward martyrs through money and then forget about them completely. The budget makers do not allocate resources in such a way that a hawaldar's children go to decent schools. Every child has a right to an education and every man has a right to earn a living. My policy makers have robbed my countrymen of even these. An average politicians skin must be as thick as the distance between Sonia Gandhi and LK Advani or the distance between Mr.Kalam and Pappu Yadav. I heard Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was worried about the public anger.


Mrs. Gandhi should know that they twisted everything because they failed us. All of them. As a faceless middle class taxpayer I have been ignored too long. And also, I have been tolerant so far. However, they have changed the rules of the game. Now the Politicians know that they are being watched and closely.


When the anger subsides my thoughts are these - Will I continue to demand that action be taken by someone else or will I get up, roll my sleeves and get going? What can I do and how do I go about it? I know I am not alone and that I will find those who seek the truth and want action taken.


I have a right to better systems in this country and they better listen.


My world is smaller and very connected today. Assam is not too far and neither is Kashmir. I don't want to listen to those who tell me that I am from this region or this religion. I am a good human being and an Indian. And then a Muslim. End of story.


My legal system needs to address the need to keep such individuals who divide us in any name, away from the public. Far away in a locker with no window.

I heard someone quote Martin Luther King - Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Be the change you want see.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Search

Perhaps I need to visit my country's past in order to understand our present and realistically dream the future.

I want to know what happened in Godhra.

Why did we bring down the babri masjid?

I want to know what led to partition.

I want to know what led to the situtation in Gujarat.

I want to know why Guwahati.

For now there are more questions than answers.

I want to know Kiran Bedi's solutions for better policing.

I want to read MJ Akbar.

I want to know what breeds hatred.

I want to understand why as an Indian Muslim (both words are important) do I feel uneasy these days.

I want to know why the fanatics scare me.

Mumbai and Me - Our ordeal

I can't watch funerals.
I can't understand how a 21 year old gathers the gall to kill people.
I can't imagine the face of that human being who can brainwash shitless kids to do the things that have no forgiveness in any court.
I can't imagine the pain of those who have lost loved ones.
I can't imagine what Rantan Tata must've felt when he walked into his own hotel on this strange Saturday morning.
I can't imagine what Arnab Goswami would've felt when he got off air for the first time after covering the events from Wednesday night to Saturday.
The world around me has changed.... painfully ... and I am scared that we will get back to normal which in my books reads as "Jaded".
I see my fellow countrymen seethe and burn with anger.
I know that as a collective audience we have developed this extreme disgust for politicians.
I know that if they showed a speech by narendra modi or raj thackrey.... I'd throw my television outside the window.
I felt happy to know that the Mrs. Karkare politely refused to meet Mr.Modi and also refused the amount he had offered. (A secondary non-critical thought - why did Mr.Modi offer money to Hemant Karkare's widow. Does he think that Maharashtra Govt. will not do the needful??).


I hold myself responsible for criticising the politicians while avoiding action at any point from my end. What have I done to elect the persons that I'd like elected. Sure there aren't too many to choose from. Why did I not protest when the political circles called Ex-President APJ Kalam "A-Political"? Why did I not stand up and tell Raj Thackrey that you can't win by dividing a state. Why did I allow Narendra Modi to polarise India into Muslims and Non-Muslims? Why do I agree to pay taxes and allow the roads to be full of potholes and trains to be bursting at seams? Why do find relief in being middle class instead of helping others?


I have walked myself to this place. Its up to me to be whoever I want to be and where ever I want to be. Am I willing to be a change agent or would I continue to just react instead of act??

I would like to finish with a small story they covered about this Greek millionaire Andreas Liveras who lost his life at the Taj Mahal Hotel at Mumbai. He wanted to have his curry despite the terror attack that he was well aware was underway. He knew he could die. But the man wanted his curry you see. I think not only did he die rich and happy (hopefully) but he died on a full stomach.

Life is short and that's all we have.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear God

Dear God,
This is my prayer tonight:

Let faith be stronger than doubt
& thoughts be clear not clouded
Let courage prevail over fear
Let strength win over weakness
Allow me to hear myself
Allow peace to prevail
Love to prosper
Let there be harmony all around
Give strength to overcome obstacles
Sight to reduce the enormity of problems

Dear god, be with me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

You & I


Love walks in with sunshine and rain laden clouds
All at the same time

I am drenched
soaked to the bone
Am happy
and content
as dry earth with first rains



A wine glass
filled to the brim
Aroma that escaped the fire
and brought strangers home


Hands and touch

Smooth and rough

Bruise on silk


A long road
A companion
A hand to hold


Hope and dreams
Fear and excitement
Adventure



We come alive
Like life in the seed
Like the forest fire
Like wilderness


The end to one search
An answer
A new road

A new direction


God smiles down
All is well at last!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hits & Misses

I am uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable because I made someone else uncomfortable. Someone I care about. That's saying the word "uncomfortable" too many times.

So we cut the crap.

Ever happened to you when you meet someone you know and in the first ten seconds of meeting that person you and that person try to figure out exactly how to greet each other. Its awkward. The person opens his arms to hug you and by then you've already stretched your hand out to shake his. And then you suddenly realise .. oops! and you open your arms and take one reluctant step forward and find his hand stretched aping you. Oops again!

Now try and recall that feeling. That's how I feel right now!

Ever cracked a joke and found you ended up insulting the person in front of you! Or the way round, when you didn't find the joke funny and the person realised that and acknowledged your reaction with slight embarrassment!

Its time for a walk.... to clear things!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bags And Stuff

There are somethings that are like a bag. The bag has no shape. Its white cloth. You put your hand in while you really can't see much of what you touch and feel inside the bag and then suddenly something pricks your finger. You quickly put pull your hand out and examine your finger where sits a tiny red dot that gets redder and angrier. You try and remember that there are good things too... inside the bag. Tough luck. We'll try again. And then you do. You put your hand in again. A little cautiously. You try and feel the things inside the bag. Odd shapes, smooth surfaces, A box, A bell, A chocolate maybe ... stuff. Odd stuff. And you are still guessing ... you still can't see anything. You know you should avoid sharp things, pointed things so you look for harmless feeling things coz you see... you still can't see inside the bag!

Know what I mean ?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I don't know who I am

I have never been so angry for so long....without knowing the reason for it. I am consistently collecting guilt by the gallon and yet continuing on my bull in china shop routine with tender hearts around. Rot in hell.... yes I will. I know I should stop the nonsense but the expression of anger is so self consuming that I attack first and then sit reflecting on the damage. Every single rule is being broken. As if it is some suppressed desire. I am leaving my carefully constructed comfort zones. In fact I got out of them without even knowing it. A lot is changing (I am changing everything - consciously!) and I guess I have a bad reaction to it. I have become a stranger to those who have known me forever and also to myself. Unpredictable, Edgy, sarcastic, angry, Impatient. These days I am not what I know myself to be. Which brings me to a scary realisation. I am changing - at least right now - and I can't seem to help it.


I don't know myself anymore!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Answer

A struggle raging within
The crystal glass gets chipped
A tiny dream
A dark night
A single ray of sun shine
A hand in mine
A thought sails on a sigh
An old friend returns
Hides in a ghost
The ghost is a friend
Painted in a corner
The truth sits staring from the shelf
Love outside my window
Fear inside the closet
A sturdy shoulder
A firm grip
A stable mind
Fingers entwined with mine
A presence
Love and the long road home
An answer to some questions
A soul
A presence
The end of the road
Home

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kadhi, Dhokla & The Rest Of It!


All around me I find that things are similar to each other, outcomes can be predictable. If you tune in, a lot is already explained and if you understand any one process, it can give you some hints to other processes.
Lets say for example you want to make the lip smacking tasty "Kadhi". You would need to know that besan and curd need to be mixed well. So in case you were to put all the besan together, it would give you lumps of besan that would spoil the consistency of the dish. Its supposed to be a smooth paste that is then cooked. To get that paste, A - you need patience to put besan in small quantities while stirring the curd. B - You need to put all the other ingredients (salt, chilly powder, etc) in right quantities coz otherwise, you might have the damn consistency but the kadhi could either be salty or too hot.

Now I look at relationships (any kind, friends, loved ones, parents, etc). Its much like cooking. You need to pay attention. In case you don't, you may end up spoiling a perfectly good thing by overdoing something (too much salt/ sugar eh!). A certain pace is good as long its matched from both ends (consistency!). You savour it much like when you take the whiff of that delicious aroma that rises from the cooking vessel and envelops your kitchen and the rest of the house. A good relationship that is nurtured well taste as good if not better as the kadhi !!!!!!!!!! hahahhaha.

I can't help thinking food.... Dhokla is another example ... it needs just as much care or else it won't be soft and light!!!! Eating a dense piece of dhokla is like living through a relationship which has little communication. One will give you a stomach ache and the other will give you a headache.

Enough about food. Lets take the flow of blood in our body. As long as a body part continues to receive blood, it stays alive, has a certain colour of life to it. When not, it dies and sometimes has to be removed. Love is like that too. It brings life where it reaches. Sunlight. Flowers need it. People need love.

Oxygen. Money. A sheer necessity.

Working capital does for a corporation what blood does for the body and love does for the relationship or national highways to for the benefit f trade.

(I am feeling good about writing all this).

I have always looked at homes with curiosity. Mine, other peoples. I feel that there is always a certain part of the home that makes it a home from a house. The most alive part of the house. Much like the heart of the human body (indispensable). You take it away and the home suddenly becomes a house .. a building with a past. In my parents house there is no doubt about it. I know which part of the house gets maximum attention. The kitchen. Lots of memories. The aromas that come out of there sometimes bring neighbours into the house with wide grins. It bring us out of our cocoon like rooms and everyone eventually sticks around the kitchen. That's just the way it is. In some homes, its the bedroom. In some more, its the living room. Even in an office, have you noticed how a certain workstation or cabin gathers more crowd than the others. And when that person quits, things are never the same again.

Life I think brings a flow. Its when things stand still that they die. People die, relationships die.

I want to make kadhi/ dhokla and thereby I mean have loving relationships in my life.

Cheers!




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On Love and Logic

I have often spoiled things by asking too many questions. It just never occured to my poor brain that it should shut up. Not shut up on the outside (which I do) but shut up on the inside. One great spoil word is "Why". Most popularly used by yours truly. So much so that when someone expressed love ... yep..u got it.. I asked (to myself..thank god for small mercys) "why".

And then came the eureka moment. I discovered that feelings begin when the mind is shut out. Logic is incapable of comprehending the reasons of love.

I used to look at some friend of mine who "appeared" to be in love with a jerk (he was a jerk in my books only) and think to myself - why? what does she see in him? It never occured that jerk or not .... they suit eachother just fine.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

The cause of sadness

Right now heres what I am feeling - Sad!

I wish life were simpler. Feelings were not complicated. Guilt was not cultivated. Love was simpler.

And then I read this in the paper:-

There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them. --- By Anthony de mello.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Random Acts

S left early morning and I overslept. Got up. Saw the time..***t! informed boss and rushed with the routine. Nice and fresh stood on the damn highway only to be ignored by damn autowalas for thirty minutes. A lost soul finally nodded in affirmative. The rest before him deserved eggs splattered on windshield. Losers! Man how I hate them. Anyway, was on the way lost in my own numbing thoughts when noticed the presence of a feeble old man standing at the intersection begging. In pouring rain the man had nothing covering his upper half. A sudden impulse and I yelled at the autowala to stop but he couldn't since the light had turned green and the horns had started blaring. Damn the impatience of everyone on roads. I had one apple. To break the fast in evening. Wanted to give it to that old man. Don't know why but was almost desperate, yelled to the old man and he tried to get closer but the auto was already pulling away. In a split second I took the decision to throw the packet with the apple inside at the old man. My last glimpse of him was his scared effort to retrieve the apple packet from the road while vehicles blared.
I had to close my eyes. Food is not supposed to be thrown. Food to others when given is never to be thrown. Its unforgivable. I don't know what went through me but it was unbearable. Maybe the thought I was not able to offer help in a fashion that I desired. Somehow this seemed bad. Flinging food at someone much older and much hungrier.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

From madness to madness

I fought with S. I am not talking to her. Turns out when I don't talk to her, I can't talk to myself either. Sad! Some fights are good. The blood rushes, you exercise your brain to cooperate with your tongue to get the right words out. And then there are serious fights. Ones that scare the hell out of you. You think, Oh shit! now what! Did she really think that, does she really mean it. Oh man, what will tomorrow be like.

Namaz during ramzan is must. All those years of watching dad pray five times a day. Watching him, give up all his fears and problems to the almighty to solve everyday. All these years, I never followed him. But now its different. Offering namaz reassures me that I am my fathers daughter. He never asked me to follow. And then there is that conversation with god at the end of every prayer. Where I talk, ask, reveal, realise. Where god says - Hmmmmmmmmm..... And I can hear that. It means someone is watching. Every small detail is watched. There is no hiding. You go to god with your conscience and say what you did. My dad is a lucky man, he knew all this for a long time. He never told me. Never forced. Perhaps he wanted me to find out on my own. A window to escape the madness.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

screw it!

There is something terribly wrong. All screwy dreams of late. Waking up with terrible images. A few days back, saw a jet crash right on its bloody nose in a big field. Got up and described to S who promptly suggested a head examination. I wonder if they'd find anything at all .. :-)

Then another one in which am living in a dilapidated grey building that is crumbling in pouring rain! Weird, I even had guests over.....

Anyway anyway!

Was watching Sex and the city. Surprising how they cover a lot of what women think across the world. There was this scene where a mother announces that her son is a god and that she tells him that everyday. The red haired woman (one of the lead four) then says to SJP - "Thirty years from now what are the chances that some poor woman can make Charlie a happy man? I think I will go with zero" ... hahhahahaahha The world is same same ... everywhere......

Anyway anyway!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My window and my god

I sat by a large window
The world at large
Sunlight and kids running
Worried mothers
Busy dads
The usual hum of silent progress

And the window grew
And engulfed me whole
Spit me out on the other end
And Its difficult to get back
Everything is unknown
Scary
All i use is instinct

Struggling to put across all that is going on
Not really succeeding
The melody is not fine
Its not music
Not yet

Which means that the link is not complete
the bridge between feelings and thoughts is not good enough

So often lost
I speak with god
And ask shamelessly
For that that seems outside the grip

God gives me a patient hearing
For I am the child that often returns

Monday, August 11, 2008

Finding Myself

The distance between a feeling
And this page
Is immeasurable

The pause when I try and collect
A million popping vanishing thoughts
Feelings in turmoil.

Finger tightly clasped
Entwined
Words buried
Under heavy feelings

A thought
A line
A bend in the road
A glimpse of the old days
A scared glance at the future

A frog in the throat
Utterly confused
Rain out side my window
A dark dripping night

Desperate attempt
To bridge the gap
And find myself again

S.A.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Absolute Random Walk In The Woods

A disturbed/ distracted mind is quite incapable of enjoying the moment. Exercise, Namaz, meditation come to mind when I think of solutions.

I realise I will rot in hell... spoke rudely with mom. I love her.

I wish I could be Forrest Gump. Simple.

‘We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.’

Spoke with Mom on phone. She seems to have completely forgotten my rudeness earlier or as usual... I have been forgiven. I will still rot in hell! For I am undeserving of her love and her forgiveness.


Money!!!! Hmmmmm.... there is this thing about money. Its power is scary. I prefer to keep my distance... a respectful one at that! Money like fame eventually evaporates and more over, you can't take it to the grave so why bother!

Its Saturday. The bank would be closed tomorrow. After a much enjoyed extended afternoon nap, to my sheer horror, I realised that the wall clock was running an hour late. Hurriedly made tea, gave instructions to the bai, woke S up and rushed to the bank. Only half hour left for them to close for the day. Finished the job in twenty minutes. Was riding my activa back home. There is this particular stretch where construction workers have built temporary huts. The families, elders, children all sit together and chat. It was rather dark now but on earlier occasions, I have seen food being cooked, children running around, the usual hustle and bustle of a large household. These people must face the rain and the shine both. I am sure its not easy.
It may be weird, but at times their presence takes me to Nanpara, my grandfather's house. The large house with big rooms and high ceilings. A place that time has not changed much. A house that is packed with very happy childhood memories. A house that now pains me because my father is not able to live there but is deeply attached to.
The togetherness of these people by the road makes me want to stop by. But I know I can't do that. Stop and say what... that I'd like to sit with you all here and have chai. I envy them. When it rains and mumbai rains can get bad with all the water logging... I am sure they have trouble.
A week back on a particular day, office was closed at half day and people were asked to leave since water had reached dangerous levels. I rushed home. Later I learnt that on that day, there were two casualties .... in my neighbourhood!!! A child who accidently slipped and fell into a manhole and an old poor woman who could not find shelter.
That day I cried sitting in my "dry" living room. I felt devoid of the joy that comes in helping other people. I despise a selfish existence.




Sunday, August 3, 2008

Penny for thoughts!

I admit to myself that at times I am scared of myself. I am scared of what I am capable of doing. Often a choice presents itself like a fork in the road and we make a reasonable decision, one thats in our best interest. I always prefer to make decisions with one eye on the future. But I also know that I am pefectly capable of making a short term gain and long term loss. Perfectly capable of making a mistake. And that scares me. Mistakes usually are very attractive before you make them :-)

Something else I read also caught my attention. Somebody said that if you're not having fun in doing what you do then you are doing something wrong. Ambition is good but don't let it burn you. You need to be happy when you get there and not burned up. That makes perfect sense!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thoughts Quotes and More

There is a pause between me and a blank page and in this case the "create post" window. I have often been disturbed by something that doesn't really surface but yet lurks behind in my mind. It doesn't translate into words so I can do something about it. Life does exist in greys.

It occurred to me that I should perhaps not be disappointed when thoughts don't come through as words for me to put on my blog or journal. When I get frustrated by my apparent failure I ignore what happens in that pause. The impregnated pause that makes me pick my thoughts, examine them, turn them over in my mind to see what lies beneath them and to discover a feeling or two.

I read quotable quotes religiously in the sunday paper. Very thought provoking. So thought provoking that I thought to myself - watching a route chalked out on a map is quite different than travelling and discovering it by experience. A quotable quote is like that. Someone else's lived through wisdom. I may have read hundreds but how many did I arrive at? Perhaps only a handful. So my life is enriched only by a handful of these truths. What we read.. we often forget. Chances of forgetting are drastically low when one goes through the experience of arriving at a conclusion which when quoted goes into the sunday papers' Quotable quotes. I would like to arrive at these conclusions... as many as possible.

The mind is free but the body is enslaved by the elements that put it together. It responds to the immediate surroundings. Its a fine balance between the two - the mind and the body. Some days I experience myself being tilted to one in comparison to another. For neither my mind nor my body are bound to me.

The most endearing of truths are simple and not complicated. The source of happiness that I seek is always available to me. It lies with me but am I capable to deal with it? Today I feel a certain calm inside. A leveling of thoughts. A subsiding of feelings that are often in turmoil. I can enjoy it better when I know for certain that this balance will not last. Its here right now for me and I should live in the moment. Its a liberating feeling. The noise around and the constant pressure of everyday life blocks out that inner guiding voice. The voice that constantly whispers to you and tells you what you truly want.

Several years ago the first time I laid my eyes on the famous "No Fear" logo on a car; I said to myself - what is this? Now when I see it. I see it in completely different light. My relationship with fear is rather personal you see. I have found myself a constant companion of fear. It took me maybe twenty six years to realise this one truth about myself. It took me more time to realise that until you find it, you can't deal with it. And then to realise that even though I try to face my usual fears, I fail quite often. I also realise that I feel on top of the world whenever I have conquered any one fear of mine - For instance the fear of intimacy or the fear of expressing feelings or the fear of appearing idiotic or the fear of being judged and many more (I have a list). And so I never stop trying. In fact its amusing when I realise I am scared of something. For when I found fear, I also found that god was generous with me in courage. So you see, I now understand and respect and admire that logo of "No Fear". In fact I downright love it :-)

Juxtaposition of opposites

There are somethings that exist in twos. It appears as if one won't exist without the other. Opposites joined together. Happiness and sadness. Sometimes one blends into the other and causes feelings unlike anything else. The degree too is matched. When you feel extreme happiness or joy, you also are warned that its absence can cause equally matched grief. Risk takers know that by experience. The greatest of heights risk the greatest of falls. One is meaningless without the other.
I ponder over a few thoughts. Questions mostly? The kinds that stir you and sit there watching you think. One is that if one has the capacity to hold on to truth come what may, will that person also carry the courage and capacity to lie if he chooses to?
A person needs courage to succeed? I call it courage because the risk of defeat is involved.
Do things always exist in equal proportions or can one outweigh the other. who knows.
Can a big victory defy a small defeat? A big lie concealing a small truth? Love as opposed to hatred and love as opposed to indifference... what is a better opposite and which is more appropriate?
Why do some people attract me while others put me off? Is it the other person or is it me? Or is it both?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

To S..with love


By ee cummings

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)

I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is doneby only me is your doing, my darling)

I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)

I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

And it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which growshigher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

The almost perfect weekend

I happen to change the definition of perfect quite often. It being a Saturday I enjoyed getting up late and being served "bed tea" !!!! Last nights' mammoth headache had vanished.. thankfully! For once I told myself... don't be stupid... nobody wrote to you over the past two days... so don't even bother checking your emails... ha!". And so... the next task (and I always have some of em) was to think how many bills are still to be payed. What time does the electricity office close? Which ATM drop box would take the cheques for gas. How much time do I have? Breakfast? not now. Enquiry about the gym? Find out how far is the gym from home? How? Well!! travel there and then you'd know. what about the bills? Idiot! pay 'em on the way. Groceries!!! Buy them from a supermarket near the gym...cool... Ah! weekend! Only so few things to do!!!!!
Anyway... there is nothing like an afternoon nap after a good lunch and a good movie. So off I went to that lovely cozy bed and caught some zzzzzzzzzzz! S is out. Meeting an old friend for lunch. Somehow that lunch got extended to coffee and time pass and she isn't back yet!

I am talking about all this. While the back end processor is on... I don't mean anything other than a remote section of my brain... the one that really screws up my thoughts!

I have recently been advised that one should not speak straight up. Let me explain. Supposed someone at work asks you..what are you doing tomorrow. And you say nothing. and then they say... well then get prepared you are going and meeting so and so since they need our services. And now you can't protest that its a weekend and you don't want to work since you already told them that you aren't doing anything! So basically... you got yourself screwed..simply because you gave a straight answer. Now imagine that someone asks you again... "what are you doing tomorrow" and you say - "why do you ask". They say.."so and so client wants to meet someone from our company since they need our services" and you say.." well I could meet them on Monday". So what is the smart thing to do? Go with the second option. Always! particularly at work.

Anyway..anyway..anyway

Thats it for now. Oh .... and have you seen this flick called "A lot like love".... bit** of a good movie.... !

Saturday, June 21, 2008

To Mr.B

I am not a movie buff. I am not crazy about film stars. But off late I am getting to know a legend in a new fashion. His name is a household name. As household a name as the Kissan ketchup bottle that has been around forever or at least 29 years. He writes a blog. Someone told me to check it out saying its a good read. And so I was this casual visitor to his new domain - his blog. I was unprepared for what happened next. How I felt was something like witnessing an intense intelligent process. It was like participating in someones personal transition. Being part of that persons awareness. It was not possible to stay a witness. The sheer honesty of purpose, the grace and dignity reflected through the words chosen caught me off guard. Beauty in things has that effect on me. I am blown to bits. He wrote in complete and unfailing honesty. Straight from his heart to the reader. He did not write for the effect he would have. He just wrote for himself.

I am also wondering about my need to declare that I am not a movie buff. I am just a sucker for beautiful minds, where ever I find them. Intelligence delivered.

Its important that I admit this. Way back when lady Diana died. I cried watching television. And I kept thinking, will this person that we consider a permanent fixture of our house, one day be gone. The answer brought shocked tears. Why. He will probably never read this piece. How can I love this man who reminds me of the ketchup bottle that I love too. (Mr.B, my apologies if you ever read this, I didn't mean to offend by using the kissan ketchup example!).

There are so many individuals out there. What makes one succeed and not the other. I think it applies in every field - conviction, principles, clarity in what our desires are and what we want to do about them, faith, good intentions, courage, integrity are the essential ingredients. And then of course, one has to have an eye on the possibilities that arise out of choices. We are responsible for what we do with the choices we have.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Choice - Wildflowers Vs Ulcers



Was it Gandhiji who wrote - My experiments with truth!


Well...what an apt title for my new book or short story or essay.... oh heck... just a small write up ...but like all good things its already taken...by good ol' GJi


I notice that whenever I am in a new situation, the urge to ape someone else whom I may have seen in a similar spot takes over. So hypothetically speaking- Say I am in conversation with someone in my team. And we have a disagreement on an issue, what are our options.... (1) I recall my first boss five years ago and step into her shoes and then I yell on top my lungs coz I am the boss and get my way (2) I behave like yet another boss and don't even bother about the disagreement and let it go ... coz I don't bother either way. (3) My ego kicks in and I behave exactly like a ***ch that female bosses are anyway made out to be and get my way.


And then there was the last option... (4) to be just me.


Its a scary decision but I was glad I took it. I realise that if you don't work with your team and just like playing boss coz you happen to be, your team will align themselves to that. But if you can shed that picture that bosses don't make mistakes, well... its a lot of fun. Everybody learns together. I also think that you don't really have to be the mystery boss who doesn't share the reason behind their decisions. Its a good thing to share the logic with your team, who knows they might after all come up with a better alternative. I am proud of myself, particularly when I realise that I can handle situational feelings ... anger, frustration, even extreme happiness. Patience is a good thing. Destructive ego - very bad. Keep it in check and you'd steer clear of half the miseries.


The people I work with teach me a lot about myself. They give feedback - verbal, non-verbal.


I recently attended a meeting with a very senior manager at a firm. Ten minutes into the meeting, I realised that I was sitting with all my muscles taut. And I asked myself, what about this person in front of you is making you tense. And suddenly, that changed. It was silly but his designation was scaring me and I could see the other people respond similarly. They were all super attentive and very tense too. I sat back in my chair and just treated him at a human level then on. Funny how designations can elevate people in other peoples minds. I could concentrate more on what I had to say and thattt! I couldn't afford to mess up!


At yet another place I was dealing with an old gentleman from the fauji background. Being from a similar background, I always feel at home with such people. They are the best people to be on a negotiating table with. They have patience. They mostly look at your face when they talk. They treat you like a lady. They usually aren't shrewd. So, here's another insight, for some reason of my own, since I feel comfortable with these people, I automatically am less guarded with them, which means that there is more trust which further means that I bring positive energy to the negotiating table. And the other side can always sense positivity and its usually contagious. So maybe I should practice trusting my opponent a little and see where it goes. hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Atlas needs to shrug


How many times have you done something that you had to muster all of your willpower to do simply because it had to be done. How many times would you have looked at people returning home and released all the weight on your shoulders on a sigh. Does it ever happen to you that you hug a loved one and choke up but know not the reason. Everyday I do at least one task that requires a huge effort and I find so many reasons to prod myself that sometimes I just do it .... without thinking. If this is what growing up was all supposed to be about, I am afraid I am not having too much fun. The party must be happening elsewhere for sure. I am exhausted today in every possible conceivable believable way!Atlas needs to shrug!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Trivia





Have you ever had that feeling that the moment you are in is actually huge but it doesn't appear that way.... you know the defining moment which resulted in your choosing a single direction instead of all the other options......somehow I can spot those moments but only in hindsight.... I can actually see it as one huge map with all these lines going everywhere and my path chosen by the choices I have made seems crystal clear complete with those little red flags saying you took this major turn here and that turn there. Its all so clear. Of course not all decisions were right but then, you either take a call and choose your own course or someone else will do it for you. I have to my credit all of the good decisions and also all of the not so good ones. I don't think there are any bad decisions, simply because we always always always take the option that best suits us at that moment and we do it with all the limited information we have and where we stand on that fine balance of the emotional logic verus simple reason.



........ and as usual I continue on my natural inclination to talk sense and sound reasonable. Although what I really need is this --- dfmbfbfkfkjnkfnfnlflmmfmfefkekd. Yes, thats right. I need to just talk crap. I spend probably thirteen hours a day for five days a week trying to make sense of what people are saying to me (sometimes it includes what they are not saying)and trying to explain logic in small things to them... the "my side of the story".


I wish to be les thn perfct fr a chnge.Henc I shal nw tlk abt thngs tht may nt mke sens bt I lke thm fr som resun. Fr instnce I lik da loooong ride hom in a crauded lokal wth stnding room onely. ppl r caind 2 u if u hav biin standing 4r 45 mins without stepping on dem. dey wud giv upp their ceet 4r da las 10 mins auf da ride. Oh an that pheels gud.


I lik da experiments I du in da kitchen an mor so when the results are good.


I like the 4th raund auf my jogg when evry masal in mi body is screaming for me to stop and I dont.


I like tu c a warm feeling flood mi wen i talk tu an ol frend aftur a long time and ve hav this long conversaion about evrything andar da sun.


Oh an I lauuu paani poori.........

Friday, April 11, 2008

The me that changes so much that I can't keep Track

I am unable to shake off this feeling of being a part of the larger picture where I see that not everything that happens around me is something that I have actively designed. This is not deliberate but I end up keeping quiet for a long time. That's the only time I spend with me. what I see and observe is getting stacked somewhere between the ears. I often don't feel like disturbing the view by becoming a participant. It fun to find patterns. A really long time ago a very old teacher had told me that those who can relate one thing to another would always know more. And I find myself walking that road. Always on the look out to find similar patterns in things around. From the human behaviour to human body to the universe. From god to fear and from love to indifference. And I get glimpses of mysteries that reveal themselves in strange ways and moments. Sometimes I feel really wise and then there are moments of sheer and absolute stupidity. I experience too much at times. Sometimes how I feel liberates me while on some days I am a chained slave to my self.
I find myself on a head on collision with my own head. I recently turned vegetarian. People who know me well have given varied responses. There were all shades - There was surprise, there was accusation that I am turning into a Buddhist and hence the vegetarianism, there was appreciation, there was excitement (How long they ask!).... and so on and so forth. To the relentless "whys", I said - just like that. To those who actually wait for an answer I said the truth - I had to defeat my mind which had announced to me that girl... you can never leave non veg while your mother continues to make biryani. Ha! I won..... its been four months already.
There is something else I learnt, when you feel an incredible temptation, its a great high when you let it flood your mind and then instruct it that desire will not turn to action. Hence, I can smell a great biryani, see it, appreciate my moms love that she puts into it, find myself gulping and swallowing saliva that can fill a bucket and yet not eat a morsel of it. That feeling is so good... to know that I am the boss and that's different from that ruthless thing between my ears.
There are moments of great sadness. When I see the cold places of the world. By that I don't mean the north pole or simla but rather that road divider where a very old woman stood crying for twenty minutes because nobody would stop and help her cross the road. I found myself a completely helpless observer. It was a wretched feeling and I can't get rid of it. I don't want to either.
I have been with myself. I realise that I am learning (painfully slowly) that beyond a certain point, nothing can affect you. I don't mean it in a negative way. Can an accusation hurt someone. Yes but it doesn't have to. If my self worth and confidence finds its source in me and not the other person then yes, nobody can hurt me, not even me. Also, what I am is not what I do. That links with dignity of labour. Do I have a right to feel superior or arrogant in front of a janitor. If I do, then probably I am the lowest of the kind that crawls on this planet.
Trust, I taught myself that when I trust another, I am able to experience that person better and they always sense it and respond in similar way. This lead to the belief that the world is not full of bad people. Its how I am that I am will see others.
When all this goes on in my head, a natural prerequisite is silence, not just in the room, but within. And so.......... I don't talk all that much.
I think I am just about ready for an out-of-body experience. Ha!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Distance

I experience this today:-

I heard a voice that came from someone else. I thought the source was very near but it was actually very very far away but as usual my mind was upto its usual tricks. I saw a picture that had bright vivid colors. I had to take a hundred steps back to realise that the size of the picture in my mind is relative to the distance I put between myself and the image. I can almost never find the right distance. I can almost never find the right distance. I burn or I freeze...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The way I see it

iamanidiotiamanidiotiamanidiotiamanidiotiamanidiot
iamanidiotiamanidiotiamanidiot
i am an idiot!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Assorted Chocolates

A blank page is an invitation. I am taking one right now. I have a box of assorted chocolates and lets have some right now. Some I may like and some to my horror I would know that I don't like only after they've melted on my tongue.
All of my yesterdays, my today and all of my tomorrows are in my fist. I open the palm of my hand and they begin to slide. I don't exactly fit the bill. Dressed in really sad looking purple pajamas under an over grown, safety-pinned, night gown with yellow and white socks and an oiled head. A large omelette, three cups of tea, some fruit including a banana, some bread and cheese stretched through the day. A movie too. I am far from the sight of successful and sexy. A bit of the first but too far away from the second. Nuts about all the wrong things and that includes imported cheese cubes.
I have been trying to ask myself what do I find in cooking. I mean why am I so into it. And my cruel mind throws this back - what else do you have sweets???? Hmmmmmmm. I still don't mind. Yes its true.... cooking calms me down. Sorts my head and the traffic therein. Gives me something constructive to do and helps me maintain this perfect image of a responsible sibling who doesn't starve the younger kid to death.
Superman. I have to tell you abou this too. You know in the movie "Superman returns" when superman takes off and goes to the outerspace and just hangs in there. Just closes his eyes and relaxes. I thought - Oh wow! Wish I could go someplace that was just as peaceful and quiet. Away from the crowd and noise and people and my own thoughts.
Have you ever day dreamed. I have..... bringing myself back is always a problem though. I could be listening to someone and my mind could be playing a movie..... multi-processing you see. Though this is something I am not proud of and have changed to some extent.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Balancing Act

Thou shall kid yourself not! and yet I humor myself. I am reminded of that Sanskrit exam that I used to dread from the moment the time table arrived. I would not even touch the notes for I knew that I the moment I pick it up, it would eat me up whole and spit me out on the exam paper. I used to delay the preparation for this paper till the very end. At the eleventh hour, I would memorize everything and understand very little. And promptly allow myself to forget every word right after the exam. Everything was stored on RAM. No permanent storage allowed.


I am dreading some thoughts now. Not allowing myself to look at whats already taken shape. Somewhere my tricky mind says that if you ignore it just a while longer, it would dissolve into nothingness. But that's not true and I am learning that by experience.


At times one has to go through the struggle to free oneself from the bondage of thoughts. Not everything can be changed the way we want it to be. Desire and aversion. Desire and aversion. The misery continues. Break the circle and you are free.


I am ahead in my private battle to not disown myself for the cravings that I have nor berate myself for the dislikes I have for things around. Just to reach that ever fine balance to acknowledge whats there and then to wait it out without being disturbed. And at times its fun. To watch yourself change moment to moment. To see the intensity of your desire change and turn into a milder form of itself and then get completely replaced by yet another intense feeling and that too starts changing. My search to find my own limits. Of just about anything. Of how much I can take and how much I can give. And what can be given or taken. who starts it and where does it end.

All this jumble of words. Some missing of course. The story is always half told!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Never Mind !!!

I don't listen to everything that my moronic brain throws at me. Sometimes it says such atrocious things that its hard to believe that these crazy illogical thoughts have originated between "my" ears.
Off late, I've had at least one minor victory over my anger. My gym membership expired in Dec-07. Now, it was an utter waste of money Coz I couldn't find the time for it. Anyhow, I managed for two months with long gaps in between and then finally gave up and watched hard earned money go down the drain. That hurt. Trust me! And I kept thinking these people haven't called even once to ask if I am alive and alright. Nobody called to ask why I've stopped coming. And then I thought, sure... they'll call. After they realise that the membership has expired for this moron who made 100% one time payment. And then they'll call. So I did border on rage when the call came after the membership was one week into its expiry date.
I calmed me down and told this nice gentleman who called me that I am not renewing my membership. He asked why.. he had to... So I told him that I was expecting his call before the membership expired. I told him you guys are so many people as a team and not one single person called to ask why haven't I turned up for four weeks in a row. Not one person.
I didn't say this with anger. Although I felt it. I said this with lets a little bit of sadness. The guy apologised instead of being defensive. I told him, you guys are a team. So don't apologise for everyone. But in the end, it makes a deference if the client sees a team effort and I told him its not any one persons fault. He had to say something coz I was just so right and he couldn't help it. So he said actually ma'am, our computer crashed sometime back. I let him. I said I yeah sure, I understand. I think he knows I didn't buy that. But thats okay.
I realise, sometimes, you should just lay your cards out on the table and you instantly get through the defensiveness barrier. But then, you've got to take the risk first :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Madness and Rush and little bit of everything else!

My feelings ran away from me..........again!
They ran and went some place I was running away from.
And I waited for the rush to subside...... it did.
Like it always does.
And then I geared up for it again.
And we play this game.........every other day..
Most days I win.
Some days the madness does.
I know running away doesn't help.
But neither does staying.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Slow Walk

Slowing down is a good thing. I now see sunlight change colors. I see the pace of my relationships. I find the time to respond to the bends in the road. I see the road I want to take.
I see the space that people create in a friendship. I see them change that space. And while I am involved, I still can see it all from the outside. I see things happening to me and to those around me. I realise, I can't help someone else. That they too have all the answers but they aren't used to productive silence of the mind. I watch myself change the things I want to change and let go of some of the others.
I watch relationships being built and I have the time and pace to decide where I want to be an observer and where I want to get involved.
Because I can keep quiet, I find little reason to disturb the silence within.
I have found the roots and they hold well for now.
I lead myself to where ever I desire to go. Only earlier that was not a conscious event.