How to Be a Bystander

First, you must feel like you’re limbless. And, in limbo. A limbless limbo. A listless, limbless limbo. Even if you’re actually not, you ought to feel like you’re in one. You must make yourself believe that you’re utterly incapable of veering the course of action that is bound to take place or, as you’re thinking of your absolute uselessness in the situation, is already on way. Then, you must be able to be able to strip yourself of all your power, your courage, your sense of justice and fairness; oh, and also, your ability to speak. Add to that, a consistent surprised and slack-jawed facial expression that reflects the vacuum between your initial thought and action.

Which thought? That thought. That most important instinct, the one that you simply must be able to completely ignore, that nagging feeling in your head that beseeches you to step in and do something, anything just to calm things down, even if by just a little bit. That’s the one you ought to watch out for. If you act on that impulse, it’ll get you involved and, God forbid if that ever happens! You’d actually have to do something then, wouldn’t you?

You should be able to be stunned enough to be rooted to the spot, perhaps even amused by the ‘shenanigans’ as you will refer to the whole scene later as you recount it to your friends and family in a crowded, cozy caramel scented coffee and patisserie shop right around Astor Place. You definitely must, must be apathetic enough to casually look at the scene and not interject or interrupt. So, it’s a curious mixture of interest, disinterest, engagement and disengagement that you have to have in order to pull off being a bystander.

Another moot point when being a bystander is to keep in mind that sense of self-loathing you feel in the back of your head, the front of your head and all over your Self. That feeling, register it. Be sure to be aware of that accusatory tone that is the voice in your head – the one that sounds a lot like your mom or dad or, sometimes, both – at the time of the incident and well after that. It is not going to go away anytime soon. The deep self-loathing that carries itself along with you well into the next day and, perhaps even the day after that, even though you joke about the whole incident or tell it as an amusing anecdote over drinks or as an experience that you almost had.

Years and months will pass though, perhaps not in that order. You’ll finally start accepting the now slightly weary face you see in the bathroom mirror and not feel as aghast when you go shop in the previously unchartered territory of the ‘L’ section of the boutique you were introduced to by your fashionista friend about a decade ago. You’ll move to another city, state, hell, maybe even another country. The memory of the incident will fade. Distant, hazy, and perhaps even mildly sentimental, that’s what it’ll reduce to, eventually.

But, then on some days, when you’re idly looking at the fan creaking above, trying to fall asleep as your boyfriend’s snores gently dissuade you to do otherwise, you’ll think about the memory of that event, of how the lady’s face looked, how her eyes screamed wordlessly, silent syllables trying to ask someone to step in and, you’ll feel the same emotions you felt when you decided to be a bystander and you’ll think to yourself, maybe I should’ve gotten involved and the familiar waves of self-loathing will again wash over you and suddenly all the years and days and months and seconds will disappear and the rawness of the incident, the smell of the fear, the prickling sensation that you felt then, will well up within from God knows where.

Then again, on other days, when you read a particularly graphic daylight robbery news report that ends with someone ending up dead or nearly so and as your eyes drift towards the picture accompanying the news piece, a deeply disturbing image where someone’s lying on a flimsy hospital cot, his freshly bandaged wounds wide on display and a woebegone expression that conveys things for which words have not yet been invented, you’ll think back to that incident and thank yourself that you didn’t actually get involved for who knows how that would’ve turned out, maybe you’d have ended up with an actual scar from an actual wound today.

 

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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.

Life’s like Twitter: Som…

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Life’s Like Twitter: Some you follow, some follow you. Sometimes 140 characters don’t do you justice, at other times, 140 is all you need.
There’re RTs, Favorites and Twitpics to spice things up, hashtags to bring one voice to the world. But, whatever you do, the trick is… never care about the number of your followers, never bother with your RTs or Favorites, ‘cuz that’ll bring you down, my friend, that’ll bring you down.

Life’s Like That!

In Case of Confusion, Read Between the Lines

Right. So, lately you’ve begun to notice that things and/or folk around you are a teeny bit weird. It could be something as minuscule as things taking longer than usual, something as significant as distinct coolness from someone you know or maybe someone’s taking unnecessary interest in what you’re doing. Something is off. You’re confused and uncomfortable. You can’t quite figure it out but, your mind’s all over the place trying to figure out where the loose end, if any, is!

Now, while a lot of times the fault lies with you and the cause is usually an errant action you took in the past, sometimes, just sometimes, it isn’t the case. There are a million ways to figure out your own mistake – introspection and retrospection being the most noble and effective of the lot. However, I’m not going to talk (write?) about that aspect here. That’s a whole other blog-post, it’ll come soon!

I’m talking about the times when it’s really not your fault that things are weird but, you think it is. And therein lies the problem – and the solution. You spend hours and days pondering over what’s wrong, analyzing every little thing, replaying events in your head on loop to figure out what went wrong, discussing every detail with your extremely bored (and irate) parents and peers on a daily basis and yet you seem to be going around in circles! You even go on to ask anonymous questions on ‘Yahoo! Answers‘ and Google the same and actually go through 90% of the search results! You’re restless, unhappy and you’re really unsure about what in ruddy Hell is goin’ on! I’mma stop you here, my friend. And really tell you why you’re so damned confused.

See, the basic problem here is that you’ve gotten some weirdass notion in your head and you’re just not letting it go. It could be something as dumb as thinking someone’s mad at you because you forgot their birthday or something as allegedly important as believing that everybody’s out to get you because you’re so good at what you do/ so beautiful everyone’s jealous/ so brilliant that people want to pull you down/ such a sinner that God *Cough!* *Godmen* *Cough* are punishing you (Really? Let me make one thing crystal clear here. God is always there with everyone. And She/He always encourages and helps you. Also, Godmen are shifty 99% of the time, don’t even go there).

Whether your notion is true or not is futile. But, to tell you honestly, it’s as true as God’s own word is here but, only in your head and it’s as true as unicorns and leprechauns are in the physical world. Succinctly paraphrasing the previous sentence – Bitch, get your head out of you ass! Don’t let it get to you! Don’t let it get you down and out!

To put it simply – your weird notion is a parasite feeding on your energy and killing you softly in the process. Just let it go. Even if your stupid idea makes perfect sense right now. Even if your gut is telling you that the shit you’re thinking is practical and consistent with reality. Even if your analysis fits in your mind. Because, it doesn’t in real life. You’re not doing anything catastrophically wrong. You’re not sending out weird vibes. You’re not unlikable. You’re not facing nine seasons in Hell. And, don’t bolster yourself by saying, “It feels like it.” or “It feels right.” Um, NO. You only feel what you want to feel, ‘kay. If you want to change things (And, I really think it’s high time you did), you’re going to have to start thinking positively and you’ll start feeling positive about things.

The main point is, you’re just obsessing about something being wrong. And, if you obsess about something for too long, it starts to show. It is only then that all of the above actually start happening. And, then you go, “See! I was right! My life IS fucked up!” What the hell? First you derail things yourself, then you say, “It was going to happen, I knew it all along!” I mean, if you knew it, why didn’t you stop it? If you’re so damn clairvoyant, wise and mature, why didn’t you do something – anything – about it? And, why do you think now’s too late? Where’s the sense in whining about things, people and situations incessantly? Where’s the sense in resigning yourself to whatever spiral you’re in? Where’s the sense in suffering yourself, making the people around you sick, blaming others and playing the victim?

Don’t sit there and take it. Just take control of your life and do whatever it takes to get it back on track – the track you want your life on. Do it now. Start this instant. It’s gonna be hard but, it’s worth it. More power to you!

Your Crush Is Not Thinking About You, ‘Kay?

Okay, you guys, we’ve all been there. That sick yet, wonderful place where we fancy someone. It could be anyone – a friend, colleague, actor or some random face you saw on the bus or something. Basically, the fact is you like ’em and, they, well, may or may not reciprocate your temporary Arrhythmia. Most of the time, crushes are ones-sided affairs and the one suffering getting crushed under this huge weight is the last one to know that. So, let me make things easier for you, poor dear by telling you why the girl/boy you’re drooling over will never, I repeat, NEVER be your Coochie-coo and why you’re just wasting your time :-

a. You get up and think of the idiot as you get dressed for work/class/whatever with her/him in mind. You change your ‘outfit’ three times (Which one will s/he like more?), realize you’re running late, skip breakfast and rush.

STOP! Here’s why: You’re changing clothes like it’s a do-or-die thing! It isn’t. Rest assured, your Crush won’t even see the Houndstooth scarf or the Ferragamo tie you’re donning. ‘Kay. Quit it. Besides, it takes time and effort to wash, iron and darn those outfits! You’re missing breakfast, Bitch! It’s the single most important meal of the day. Don’t you know you’re going to fall sick if you skip meals like this? And, for what? Some ninny who doesn’t even remember your name.

b. All the time you’re spending thinking about this female/fellow is useless. You read a page of your notes/file and promptly start thinking about the color of said Crush’s eyes. Is it Bluey-Gray or Grayey-Blue? Hmmn. Must notice next time you accidentally-but-intentionally bump into her/him at lunch/the water cooler. You ‘Google‘ the girl/guy and actually go past page four in hope of finding out something, anything about the person. You stalk her/him on Facebook/Twitter and go through all her/his posts, pictures and friends and obsess over any good looking friends s/he has of the opposite gender or interacts with frequently on these platforms. You go for a movie and midway start thinking about how the second lead looks so much like your crush. What a cute ass s/he has! You wonder if s/he thinks about your ass. You make a mental note to go to the Gym so that s/he notices your perfect teacup shaped buttocks as you sashay past her/him. (Okay, if you’re a guy and think of sashaying and shit for a girl, you’re probably kinda gay and stuff. But, you can replace words to fit in your predicament, a’rite?) You forget the plot and piss off your friend to fill you in.

Aaargh! All the time you’re spending painting frescoes about your Crush and you which could parallel the ‘Mona Lisa‘, you could’ve finished all your assignments/work, taken that week off and gone for that awesome hiking trip you’ve been wanting to for nearly six months now. Your Crush, on the other hand, is probably zoning out somewhere and is not, in the slightest way, thinking about you. Also, your poor pal just wants to see the frickin’ movie, don’t irritate her/him by constantly jabbing her/him to fill you in! Bros before Hoes, remember!

c. You strategically position yourself so that there are a million chances for you and the Crush to ‘interact’ or to devise stratagems so that s/he notices you as you pose and pout or act sophisticated and flirty. You think of a hundred witty comments and imagine the wonderment your Crush will feel when s/he hears or sees you in action. “S/He’ll be starstruck once s/he hears me discussing Quantum Mechanics/ROIs with Delilah/Dave and maybe a little jealous if I touch Delilah/Dave on the shoulder? Man, this is an awesome plan!”, you think with glee.

Umm…okay. Hold your horses, mate. Not. Going. To. Happen. Why? Well, first of all, your Crush will be bemused why you’re screeching about shit that no one cares about and poor Delilah/Dave will just stand there flustered and scared while you deliver your ‘performance’ and wonder why you’re hitting her/him for no reason. Secondly, all the time you spend craning your neck to see if said Crush has noticed you will make you look like a moron and may result in sore neck muscles, a possible neck brace and a lot of money spent at the Doctor’s. Furthermore, if you’d used the awesome power of the amount of Grey cells that you used to devise ploys to entice this girl/guy, we’d probably have a cure for Cancer by now.

d. Any time you see your Crush with a member of the opposite sex, your heart starts sinking, you start tearing up and you start thinking of killing the POI or start hearing sad violin-type music *heart broken*. You frantically run around to get details of this mystery girl/guy and start obsessing if your Crush and the POI are an ‘item’. You start analyzing their body language, throw your pencil right near them and snoop around to hear snatches of their conversation.

Hello? They’re just talking, okay! No need to panic. And, even if they have a thing going on, it’s not like you didn’t know that s/he was never into you in the first place. Quit making a fool of yourself! Your nerves are on edge half the time and your brain’s on overtime for the rest of the day! Just forget the female/fellow and MOVE ON already!

I mean, it’s okay you have a crush and all that but, let’s be realistic. It’s a crush, it’ll go away. You probably don’t even like her/him that much. You’re just tired of being alone/bored/horny and need a release. Get your Klingon avatar on and redirect your energies into other stuff! Talk to your friends, go places and really immerse yourself in those experiences. Stop fantasizing and if you really, really like her/him so much, just go over and say ‘Hi!’ already!

What’s on Your Mind

Hey guys!
A friend (AM) and I were discussing myriad stuff and we started talking about why some people think so much and others, well, don’t bother too much with things, in general. Of course, the context we discussed ‘thinking’ in was more regarding worrisome pondering but as I was returning home, I thought about ‘people and thought’ in general. How many of us sit and think about the thoughts and ideas lurking in the crevices of our minds?
I was surprised to find that there was not one article online on ‘What most people think about’ or ‘What occupies most peoples’ minds’ (I tried several different keywords – nada! OMFG!! GOOGLE DON’T HASZ ALL *LE ANSWERS*!) Yes, I know, it’s commonly agreed upon that most people think about sex most of the time but, I’m going to let that slide for obvious reasons.

We spend at least eighteen hours a day using our minds. It’s a powerful tool, ain’t it!? We crunch data, generate or process ideas and memorize everything from formulae to grocery lists in our minds daily. We use our mind’s analytic ability to solve complex Integral Calculus problems, we use the mind’s eye to visualize scenarios, we use our mind to get us out of tricky situations, we even use our mind to remember that juicy tidbit of gossip about the girl at work who wears short, tight skirts without stockings – besharmi ki haddh ho gayi (The limits of shamelessness have been reached)!

But, this is where most people stop contemplating. At a superficial level which holds no true purpose. Rote tasks engulf us to such an extent that we hardly take out time to enrich our minds with introspection and extrospection although, a few of us do indulge in occasional retrospection.

My scant observations regarding society lead me to conclude that the few who do occasionally introspect and extrospect rarely do so with the intention or objective of finding ‘oneself’ or a solution to an issue. This mulling generally pertains to trivial issues such as:-

Introspection, WTF? :-

Female: Do these bangles make my hands look chubby? I wish I were thinner! That Binno from three doors down has lost so much weight! I wonder how she did it? And, whatte bitch she is, na! I asked her so many times (Madam would’ve asked Binno once – cattily.) and she just gave some excuse and ran off! Hmph! Must be bulimic… humein kya (I don’t care)!

Male: I wish I had more money. I wish I had more money. I  wish I had more money. I wish I had more money. *Random female passes by* Hey, she looks hot!

Extrospection, WTF? :-

Female: Just look at those two, making out in McDonald’s! *Gasp* Aajkal toh sabhi log videshi chezon se influence ho rahein hain (Nowadays, most people are influenced by western culture).

Male: How did he become so rich? Zaroor ‘black’ ka paisa hoga (How did he become so rich. This is definitely ‘Black money’).

Most people today “think” rarely and when they do, they stop pushing themselves to speculate beyond nugatory nuances. Our ‘idle mind-time’ (New term coined!) is exhausted thinking about other people or around material possessions.
Most of our free time is spent in gossiping, revisiting grudges, envying the neighbor(s) and judging everyone from here to the Moon. In social gatherings corruption, crime and economy may be discussed with frivolity over flutes of Moët and hors d’oeuvres. But, that’s pretty much where most people’s thought process and any semblance of meaningful discussion on such topics shrivels up and dies. By dinner time, most let out a sigh of disdain and go, “What to do? *pout*” and start discussing something inane like Brangelina, Saifeena, Geneitalia (Genelia and Riteish, for the uninitiated) and the like.

Which brings me back to introspection because, you really can’t extrospect without introspection. Not many people really sit and think about themselves. I mean, really, really think about themselves in all their goodness and wretchedness. Not many people willingly look at themselves holistically, spiritually and detachedly. Few sit and ascertain their spiritual SWOT analysis. These exercises are painful but, necessary. Yes, they involve looking a oneself sans rose-tinted glasses and accepting some very hard, cold facts about oneself.

For instance, I happen to be a ‘Class I Asshole’. I had to figure it out the hard way (When is it ever easy, anyway? – It’s worth it, yes.) but, I think it’s really helped me in more ways than one. Such pursuits bring clarity and makes one cognizant of oneself. Introspection of the purest kind makes one a better, more secure person.

On the other hand, extrospection is equally important. We need to be in-tune with the world around us. Not superficially, though. One needs to look at an issue analytically as well as empathetically and think of the root causes, the undercurrents, visualize, rationalize, find solutions, implement them (Yes, thought sets the wheel in motion for actual physical execution).

For instance, one may think that such-and-such person is a hardcore snotty bitch and her only concern in life is to look good and put others down. But, is it really? So, this such-and-such lady is hoity-toity, to say the least. She obviously has a trust fund and enjoys her baubles and she definitely is sarcastic and aloof to 99% of the people she meets. Most people will end their line of thought about such-and-such here and start thinking about what a mean person she is, how curdled society is, how bad and unwelcome they felt after or while talking to such-and-such.

Why don’t we think what’s really happening over here with the stuck-up girl in question? Maybe she’s insecure and putting others down is her way of dealing with it (This doesn’t validate her behavior, we’re merely attempting to understand what’s going on.). Perhaps her family is going through a rough patch and she prefers to be aloof? Maybe something is gnawing at her, maybe she’s not happy about something at work, what if she just got dumped, could it be possible that she’s really stressed out about the future and doesn’t know how to deal with all these emotions?

How many of us empathize with and extrospect about a random such-and-such person? Most would say, “Why should I?” The answer is, to understand. To figure it out. To find a solution. To help. To heal. This is how we help each other and grow ourselves in the process. This is how we build a better world. All the brouhaha about positive thinking and Rhonda Byrne’s 35 editions of ‘The Secret’ render useless if cracks in our minds such as these are not sealed. There are a million issues out there to be tackled and we need every single mind to get to work if we want some positive energy in this world.
People don’t think much, they seldom postulate and sparingly grasp what is really happening around them. They’ve have come to a halt at a comfortable junction in their own minds where they are snug in the gray area regarding most matters. Most are insufficiently bothered and sufficiently unfazed at the same time. This tiresome limbo is sickening to say the least. Why is everyone settling? Can’t you see we are stagnating?
It is essential for one to comprehend the chaos within and elsewhere. It is a fundamental that we must all grasp. A lot rides on what goes on in the 1.5 kg mass in our Craniums. I am unsure whether people fathom the sheer energy here, there and everywhere. I mean, seriously – there’s cosmic energy humming and vibrations all around us just swathing our bodies, minds and souls in gossamer-light pulses, binding us to each other and to everything everywhere! This is the stuff that matters! These are the invisible threads of the Universe – all around us, for us, with us, within each one of us!

Why the fuck don’t you think about the good stuff? Maybe you do but, you rarely make an attempt to even think of setting things right? Or do you think of setting things right but, don’t do it, anyway? Do you not want to?

Could that be it?

I wouldn’t know, I can’t think for you.

Only you can do that.