As the Fan Creaks Me to Sleep

Sometimes I lie awake at night — well, I’m sorta border-insomniac so most nights I lie awake at night — and just ponder over stuff as the gentle hum of the air conditioner soothes my ears.

At times, I think about all the things I’ve gone through, all the weirdness that is my life and the way(s) I handled or manhandled the situation(s). Y’know, little ‘Notes to Self’ for the future, so to say.

At other times, I think about society – just people, in general. It’s funny how selfish the world can be  and yet, most fight anything anti-social tooth and nail to fit in. It’s astonishing how many people leave good sense and go along with herd mentality. It appears that the want to be appreciated by the masses swallows the desire to be internally fulfilled.

And, most are unaware of this cyclical battle between the Spirit and the Ego. Lives are recycled, souls reincarnated, aimlessly wandering, devoid of thought processes, ignorant of their reality. The world seems like a whorl of directionless souls. Even being mis-directioned would be a step towards the correct flow, a foothold to veer the black hole of nothingness into the Light.

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Still, there is a glimmer of hope. The outliers who look at themselves. The ones who really see their potential and go for their goals, sans everything, sans anything. There are the few who just have an idea, a goal or a fetish, even – all consuming desire or a willingness to do what they set out to, to complete the opportunity they possess. These are the people who bring the Light, bring life, bring everything a little bit more into line.

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Whatever I may be thinking, I always aim to look ahead as I drift off to the land of dreams (Some of my dreams are quite disconcerting, by the way).

So, let’s look ahead – we have a life to live.

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Ocher, Bronze, Teak and Wicker

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Ocher, Bronze, Teak and Wicker

The ornate lamp represents worship and work is showcased in the form of the humble wicker basket, the two most important parts of life.

The Lost Art of Holding a Conversation

Being a conversationalist, I enjoy a discussion on just about any topic. I find having conversations about anything and everything under the Sun not only triggers thought and results in exchange of information but, it also gives one food for thought to introspect and look at things in more than one way. I find talking things out not only to be therapeutic but, also enlightening.

Sadly, nowadays people value conversation less than cheap cologne, debating is misconstrued as arguing, discussions transform into gossip sessions and dialogues often become monologues. I find there is an increasing gap between those who are actually open to exchanging ideas and finding solutions and those who just want to shove their opinions down one’s throat. Isn’t the whole point of a conversation taking away something indelibly constructive, something that helps us piece the larger puzzle called life or am I missing something?

Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory. – Emily Post

Often, when a group of girls start talking, it seems kinder to throw myself out of an adjacent window than endure the hateful gossip and bitching that ensues. Guys are not far behind, in fact guys can be nastier than girls when it comes to gossiping! Cattiness, thy name is gossip!

Another sad fact is with the advent of Social networking Sites, organic conversation has taken quite a hit. Facebook chatting and Skype never really seem the same and often when one meets a pal or actually talks to them on the phone after a long, long time, conversation is muted and awkward.

Moving on to body language during conversation; People hardly maintain eye contact, fiddle around and seldom display any interest if the conversation doesn’t involve gossip or dirty little secrets or confessions. Not only does this make the other person feel like they’re not being taken seriously, it also makes one doubt the interest factor and the validity of the discussion!

Also, why do folk keep talking about useless stuff like movies or music? I don’t think discussing movies and what-not is insipid but, it’d be great to discuss something worthwhile once in a blue moon! Why don’t people like discussing things like society, politics, philosophy or art? And, every time one initiates a slightly serious topic, either the topic is changed or turns into a mud slinging fest. For instance, try talking about politics and the ‘Obamacare‘ bashing begins.

At the end of the day, sometimes I just want to have a meaningful conversation about something meaningful – a heartfelt one-on-one about something not related to Taylor Swift’s newest song about her newest ex-boyfriend.

What about you? Take the poll!

Audacious Glory

Chutzpah. That essential factor in creating something everlasting. Most would be quick to disagree and argue citing talent, hard work & fortitude as the keys to success. However, that is my point exactly. The degree of separation between success and everlasting glory is spelled out in these five letters – N.E.R.V.E.

All over the world are bright, sharp individuals leading lives of prosperity and oozing intellectualism (You may be one of them as well!). They are, without a doubt, classified as successful. But, here are the real questions – How many of these will go down in history? How many of these successful people will be remembered by those other than their close ones? How many of these intellectuals will create something that will earn them a place in the hallowed corridors of history alongside the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte, Jane Austen, George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Elvis Presley and other such ‘game changers’? How many of us will come as close to immortality as humanly possible?

In a society where the unique are oppressed to conform, it takes more than copious amounts of courage to express oneself truly and openly. This journey is not an easy one. Firstly, the constant discipline a child faces from parents, teachers, supervisors and peers as well makes one conform subconsciously in ways more than one. Peer pressure is a real and tangible force which molds kids from the time they can discern and anyone who appears different is either shunned, mocked and teased till s/he behaves appropriately. If the person resists, s/he is ridiculed and ostracized. Having a strong backbone, keeping it real and being true to oneself during these years and times is possibly the hardest thing to achieve. If I may say so, I myself am ridiculed and mocked for being my own person. I’m often referred to as crazy, stupid, irrational, a daydreamer, a person who thinks too much, a loner, among a slew of nicknames. As far as I can remember, I have always enjoyed the fruit of solitude. I find my thoughts and fantasies far more exhilarating and exhaustive than a million TV soaps and movies put together. My viewpoint on even the tiniest of issue has been known to be radically different, even obtuse. I would be happy to read and pen my thoughts on a plethora of affairs, if I had my way as of now. In all honesty, that is what I aim to do in the long run, anyway. That, however, is another blog post all together!

Once one is able to hold her/his ground with temerity, comes the part where this uniqueness is nurtured and it grows so as to provide the strength to be unleashed unabashedly to one and all. This comes through sheer honing of skill which must be achieved through rigorous practice and deep contemplation. In essence, it comes back to the base truth that if you believe in it, don’t let go, keep fighting, keep struggling, keep learning. Immensely talented people have given up because after a point they just breakdown and conform. Though they don’t conform due to peer pressure, they conform due to the dwindling belief in their own capabilities. Also, it takes endurance of a different kind to go on sans support, appreciation and at times, even basic amenities due to lack of funds.

Luxury is a cunning bitch; she woos you and comforts you into her trappings such that you start losing sight of your goals so as to inch closer to her lap. In my opinion, humble or not, anyone who has ever achieved anything or hopes to, must embrace a spartan way of life. This not only brings one closer to reality but, it also gives one the ability and time to ponder deeply. I do not say that those living comfortably are unable to grasp reality and exhaustively opine on issues but, somebody who has truly experienced the hard knocks of life will always be able to make better analogies than a mere observer can.

Finally, it takes brazenness to express yourself in front of the whole world every day, irrespective of the bouquets or brickbats hurled your way. Criticism can make or break a person – and I imply both kinds of criticisms here. Negative criticism can obviously affect a person and result in dampening one’s spirit thus, making one hesitant in the future. On the other hand, positive criticism can also have negative effects. It can inflate egos, make one extremely sensitive to negative criticism or, the worst (in my opinion) could happen – the person becomes lackadaisical in attitude and thus, begins the fall from glory. This type of laziness is often masked by arrogance and turning a blind eye to sore spots, which anyone with a keen eye would notice. A person of repute who falls into the quagmire of commonality after this attitude shall surely sink into a deep depression of self loathe, self pity and anger against the masses. However, if one harnesses any criticism constructively and believes in herself/himself, it will only propel her/him to greater heights which will eventually lead to an everlasting trail into the annals of history!

Ideas and people come and go. What stays is the legacy you leave behind. A legacy is, ironically also creaed by ideas and people. Where lies the difference?

It’s simple – at least in theory – really,

All it takes is nerve.

That’s it for now, folks!

‘Fork’lore – Which one will you choose?

Hey,

It’s been a rough couple of days for me. I’ve been unfair to a few people in more ways than one. I’ve been unfair to myself as well. I should say that I regret it; I won’t. I don’t. Why? Because, I think regret is a state of vacuum – a grey expanse, if I may say so. It is a stand-in for coherent thought and action. It is during this phase – for lack of a better word, that the unraveled, crestfallen mind begins to gather the fragments from the woe-drenched state and sews them back soundly.

It is during one’s period of affliction that one’s perspective broadens, one sees things sans rose-colored glasses and most importantly picks one of the two – response or repose. This act defines a turning point in most people’s lives. Someone who decides to act with alacrity will no doubt make amends sooner or later and move on stronger, wiser and more content than before.

On the other hand, someone who decides to wallow in misery, reliving the painful moments in his mind incessantly will surely lose focus of reality and his mind will disintegrate into the abyss of delirium. It will take copious amounts of strength and immense concentration on the part of the regret-inflicted soul to make peace with the situation – it may even be too late. Or worse, the person may slip into a curious state where the regret surrounding him will start to conform him existentially. Pining will soothe him. Tears will be his most favored bedfellows. Pain will make him feel alive in a way exultation has never made him feel. Hopelessness will comfort him.

They say it is better to feel pain than to feel nothing at all. I disagree. An existence bordering on apathy is far more acceptable to me than a morbid life run on self-inflicted pain while inching closer to insanity every day. Depression is an illness far underestimated for its potential. Like all things, this potential is also two pronged. If fact and fable alike are to be believed, some of the most erudite work in art, literature, science and philosophy has been churned out during phases of depression and bewilderment.

Though this may appear to be a silver lining, it must be pointed out that on a majority of the occasions the protagonists are either dead and long gone or in no sentient state to reap the fruit of their labor. I mean, I love Van Gogh’s work – ‘The Starry Night‘ evokes melancholy yet, the promise of freedom and serenity in me in terms indescribable – but, I can’t help but wonder would he have been more productive had he been happier? Or would math be radically revolutionary today were it not for John Nash‘s dissolution into delusion post the Nash Equilibrium and the Nash Embedding Theorem? Would Virginia Woolf have affected society with more than ‘A Room of One’s Own‘ and as a result, would it have sparked the proto-feminism movement sooner and thus, made life as a modern woman more successful today?

I agree these are dichotomous questions and we may never know what could or could not have happen – we never do and never will know the future, nor can we predict accurately what could have happened in the past had the equation been tweaked ever so slightly. Chaos theory has a way of creeping up on us and muddling up the best thought out plans and most exhaustive conjectures! However, if a rudimentary comparison is done, I believe those who have been in a happier state of mind have been more productive and their work has created great impact.

In conclusion, I believe regret to be a crossroad of sorts. But, with the caveat that there is one absolute path – one which will definitely lead to closure, renewed vigor and vim, happiness and peace and, the other path which possibly may or may not fork out later to perhaps lead to a better end. I for one, am grateful for this regret I have felt over the past few days and the fact that I have made it to the other side (Quite like the chicken who crossed the street narrowly missing being run over!). As I write this I find myself inching closer to closure and all those wonderful feelings and emotions which propel me higher and higher, one illuminated step at a time.

‘Til next time, then.