Break open all the shackles....be free...be seamless...be one with the One...be Boundaryless..!!

You are me....I am You....We are the Universe...We are the trees, the insects, the animals.....We are Our Enemies...We are Our Hatred....We are the Love...Love thyself....You will love the Universe....Hate yourself....and you will discern that you are the most hated..!!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Freedom from my mind

I always wanted to be free.
Free from all the invisible shackles,
That bound me to invisible ideals
That made me just a part of the whole.

I always dreamt of charting my own path,
Path gleaming and glistening with youthful dreams
Dreams that are screaming to be realized
Dreams that have never been dreamt before

But dreams are just dreams
It takes grit & guts to make them real
Where did mine go?
Where did I lose myself?

I lay prisoner within myself now
The web which society weaved for me
The web which I wanted to tear open
I lay trapped within it
I lay trapped within myself

I became the web
I became the enemy I was fighting against
I became the prison I dreaded
I became the mask I wanted to shred

Where lies freedom?
It's nowhere to be seen
Where lie the dreams?
They are nowhere to be found

All I have is society
Living comfortably within my mind
All I have is this mind
Which is no more mine

The enemy has seeped into me
Twisting and turning my identity
It's beyond my recognizance 
I lay hostage to it

Who am I?
Just a part of the whole?
Or a whole in the part?
Am I really free?

I want to be free
Free from the society
It's arbitrariness, it's meaninglessness
I want to be free from my mind
I want freedom from this mind.










Thursday, September 29, 2016

Living my dream of teaching - Some reflections

I distinctly remember my English period in Class 3, when my teacher was about to leave the classroom after the roll call. My friend and I were discussing what careers we will choose when we grow up. I thought for a few seconds and answered her, "I will become a Kannada teacher!" My English teacher, who was overhearing our conversation, looked at me and smiled. I thought it offended her that I wasn't willing to teach English, and I retorted to my friend, "No! I will become an English teacher!" My teacher again smiled at me and left the class.

Since that moment, consciously or subconsciously, I had been, and have been, nurturing this wish of mine to teach. Throughout my middle school, I used to teach imaginary students at my home, writing on the stone and wooden planks available around me. I had bought a big box of chalk pieces especially for this purpose. I used to feel an immense amount of pleasure and satisfaction doing this.

And then I joined law. Though generally accepted that I was a talented student with potential to achieve something (big), I seldom used this potential of mine to the fullest. I despised memorising sections and case-laws, and despised even more my teachers and college. Even as they used to teach me, I used to imagine being in their shoes, and how I could teach the concepts they were teaching me in far more interesting and creative ways.

Time passed, I did my masters, because I knew teaching was the thing I want to do in my life. I still haven't qualified UGC-NET which is mandatory to get a permanent teaching job in universities. But, I consider myself lucky to have got an opportunity to teach even without this qualification. It's been a few months, and I realise that this has been the most satisfying job from among the various jobs I have done till date.

As I teach, I get reminded of my own undergrad days, how non-focussed I was, how non-serious I was as a student, owing to my disaffection towards rote learning. As a result of this, I am now required to put double the efforts to teach. Nonetheless, it's nice that someone is paying me to read books and share my perspectives with people just a few years younger than me. Yes, I do get annoyed when my students do not put the required efforts even when they are being given with all the resources which I as a student didn't have. I start wondering, where would I have been, if I had such dedicated teachers who went to great heights to make sure that education is learner-centric, and not teacher-centric? I do envy my students for the privileges they have got. Yes, I do call having a good teacher a privilege these days. Getting a mentor is hard.

Not one day do I find my job boring or frustrating. The other day, there was a Facebook post which said, the only people who are happy on a Monday are those who are unemployed. When I disagreed with this in the comment, a guy tried to rebuke me saying it's just a myth propagated by the "illuminati". It's very sad that people think every profession is frustrating on this earth, just because they are not happy with their jobs! I sympathise that guy, because I was exactly in his shoes two years ago, or even a few months ago, and I was courageous enough to call it quits when I could no more handle it.

Also, I would like to thank all the bad teachers I have had in my life, for, it's they who are  - vicariously though - guiding me till today, as to how to be a good teacher! And the best of the teachers I have been taught by, obviously keep inspiring me to follow their footsteps.

Lack of internet facilities is hampering my personal growth here. But this might sound as a lame reason for an outsider. Or maybe I am becoming like my students - lazy, not willing to push my limits?

Like teacher, like students, it is said. But today, as I was invigilating my students writing a class test, I realised that the converse is also true. Like students, like teacher, that is. I believe that the reason for this is that, a teacher-student relationship is osmotic. It's no more the old model of one-way authority flowing towards the students from the teacher. How far a teacher excels in her profession, is definitely decided, at least to some extent, by the kind of students she is teaching. If the students aren't making her push her limits, in the form of asking her more questions, or giving her newer insights into looking at grey areas of law, there are chances that a teacher who needs external motivations to flourish (unlike some who thrive on internal motivation), will definitely start retreating in a collapsing cocoon being woven by her in partnership with her uninterested students!

I wish this trend of negative symbiosis between me and my students changes, and I get some resilient internal motivation to strive and thrive, to work for a better future, to work for a better self, to live my dream of teaching in a better way. I hope I start thriving, rather than just surviving. I hope I don't let my students win over me this way. I hope I get that strong internal motivation to change not just myself, but also them!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Life at TISS so far - Some Major Learnings

Finally I have taken time to pen my thoughts down in my blog, hadn't done it since a very long time. It's so hard to believe that it's already October, 2015. Time just swooshed by so swiftly this year, it's remarkable. It's also hard to believe that it was on January 10 of this same year that I gave the TISS entrance exam, and every night thereafter, prayed with trepidation that I want to be there at TISS. My heart gets filled with warmth when I remember the early months of this year when I attended the entrance exam and interview of Azim Premji University, and yes, not to mention the Bar exam (which was such a joke, and whose results I am not able to access, I do not know why!). 

Most of the academic year 2014-2015 was spent by me doing nothing at all, but lying in my bed at home and dreaming of a better future, dreaming of the idiomatic light at the end of the tunnel. And ever since the day I got into TISS, it is as if time started running at double the speed and I am caught in a time warp in a different galaxy altogether, a different world altogether, where things are so very different, so very new, so very amazing and exhilarating at the same time! So MANY MANY things have happened in these months and I have changed in so MANY MANY ways, in ways that were unimaginable and unfathomable just months ago! 

It's true life is unpredictable and unimaginable, it's always wise not to try to predict the future and to live every moment wisely, taking care that we do not hurt ourselves in future, due to our present actions. I think this is the simplest rule we can follow in our life to live a happy and peaceful existence.

So what changes has TISS brought to my life? It's such an exciting feeling even thinking about the kind of changes it has brought in me. It was as if I was yearning to be at such an academic institution since years, and it finally happened, and I am so glad and humbled that it did happen! The academic environment here, the kind of people here, is all so different and so profound, just as I wanted it to be..

When a person like me comes out of a small place like Dharwad for the first time, to a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai, it is so easy to get carried away by everything that I meet with or see. The people, the kind of clothes they wear, the kind of attitude and behaviour they carry, the way in which they talk to each other about the opposite gender, the way in which they drink, smoke and smoke up, the way in which they sing, dance, eat, cry and laugh together, it has all been too overwhelming and breathtaking at the same time. 

It's as if my mental horizons have broadened remarkably in a very short span of time, the learning curve has been so steep, that now when the first semester is almost ending and I look back at my life journey till TISS, it is so hard for me to believe that I have not been here for more than four months, it's so hard to believe that my roots lie elsewhere and not here!

TISS has given me so much to cherish for, even in this short span, that I cannot possibly thank God with words for everything that has happened here. Today as I was thinking about going home for holidays, some weird uneasiness started creeping into my mind, and I realised that it was because I wasn't feeling comfortable accepting the fact that my "home" is elsewhere, in a place called Dharwad. I realised that TISS has become what I can call my "home" in its truest sense - I have friends here with whom I have cried the whole night, laughed the whole night, have had deep  meaningful philosophical discussions the whole night, friends with whom I have shared my deepest fears, sorrows, joy, happiness, thoughts with, and friends with whom I have been as irrational and unreasonable as I could possibly get, but I still continue to have them as my friends. 

I have seen them lose it too, and I am glad that I could be there for them when they weren't being there for themselves. I have seen myself pushing my limits inexorably and unbelievably with such ease and alacrity I thought I never possessed. I am watching my thoughts grow so mature and profound due to all kinds of lectures and thoughts from some of the brilliant minds of the nation that I get to hear here. I have seen myself being humbled by the beauty of people's minds and souls here, it has truly been a life changing experience. My stay here has made me more thoughtful and mindful of every action of mine, more caring and sympathetic towards sorrows and suffering and more confident about being myself without having the fear of being judged.

It was as if I found my home that I was looking for in TISS, and in all the people I met here. I realised the ultimate oneness of everyone of us living and breathing on this planet, and the oneness with the non-living things too. I realised that we as human beings are one and the same, like someone said "We are all as good and as bad as we can possibly get in our life time". I have met some of the most influential teachers I have had in my life at TISS. My teachers here have so substantially contributed in opening up my mind to be as less biased and judgemental as possible, it has been an intellectual feast attending the classes here. I wish to be such a teacher one day, inspiring students to think for themselves, unlocking their minds with the key of knowledge and revelling in the fact that the students are finally coming up with their individual and unique perspectives.

And, all my classmates and friends from other courses I met here, all of them have taught me so many things about life and its ways, directly and indirectly. My brief stay at the Aditya Birla Working Women's Hostel too seems like some dream from a distant past (hahaha!)

I still remember the way I cried when my father dropped me to the hostel and left for home, I felt like that kid who was dropped to the kindergarten for the first time...It was so hard for me to stop crying that night, but then, now I can proudly say that all of it, all the challenges that I faced here, all the tears shed and laughs laughed were so very worth every moment of their existence!

I never imagined coming to TISS would change me like this, that I wouldn't really look forward going home during holidays! But then, TISS also made me realise that come what may, I can never forget my roots, and I can never cut myself away from my roots. I realised that I cannot remain floating in an island, however beautiful it may seem. I will have to move to another island some day, but all the time, my roots, the ideals which my parents taught me to live by, would stay in my heart, forever.

I also realised to what extent my parents' ideologies and opinions matter to me - a thing that I had either taken for granted or ignored when I was staying with them. What they think of my actions and thoughts, does matter to me a lot, though I have always been the rebel since childhood. But, at the same hand, TISS taught me to count my blessings always, and to be grateful to whatever I have received from my parents and God since childhood. TISS also taught me to be fearlessly Me, because in the end, that is all that matters. TISS taught me to unquestioningly accept myself for all the bad and good that I am, because I am human and humans are imperfect. It made me realise that I should recognise this fundamental truth of our existence here on Earth, that all of us who are born as human, are imperfect, and it is okay to be imperfect, and that there's beauty in this imperfection!

Above all, TISS has given me memories that I will cherish for a lifetime! Looking forward eagerly for the next semester and life thereafter!

I hope that life keeps surprising me like it has always been doing, and I hope I develop the strength and courage to confront it all.

Hostel V, TISS Naoroji Campus, Mumbai (4:17 AM)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why my marriage is none of your business

This post is dedicated to every single person, male or female, who has asked, or who will ask, me and my parents, questions like, "What kind of a guy do you want?", "When are you getting her married?", "Why don't you get her married?", "Are you searching for a guy for her?", "Do you know how to cook?", etc. 

People, Namaste.

I am a girl in my early twenties; haven't yet created an identity for myself, haven't learnt to stay comfortable within my own skin, haven't found myself as I want to be found by myself, haven't even started with my career. There's already enough clutter in my head regarding so many many issues and I clearly do not have any space left for any more concerns.

Why am I telling this to you? This is too personal right? Right. So is my marriage. MARRIAGE! Frankly speaking, everyone who has asked me or my parents the above questions, makes me pledge that I won't get married and I don't want to get married, just to show you that it's not necessary for me to get married.

Consider this as an answer to all of you who are so very concerned about marrying me off. The first responsibility which you have on you, if at all you are so very concerned about my life is: know what state of mind I am in. Am I a chattel owned by my parents, that you say that it's their 'responsibility' to marry me off? It's high time that we Indians understand that it will be the parents' responsibility to marry their child off (male/female) ONLY if and when the child WANTS to get married. And if you think that no child ever goes up to her parents and says she wants to get married, please wake up from the slumber. We are living in the 21st century, and not the 12th, where the child is too shy to talk about things like marriage and sex. Times have changed, and so should we.

So, please do not concern yourself with my marriage. I may decide not to marry at all. What will you do then? Will you be devastated? Will your life be shattered and tattered? I respect you for showing the concern. But, I think you should also respect what concerns me at what stage of MY life.

Next, you directly come to me and ask, "Do you know how to cook? You should know how to cook, because you will be married soon." My answer is this: I do not want to learn cooking, just because you and millions like you believe that cooking is a qualification for marriage. I won't learn cooking, and then I will get married if at all I feel like. I will learn cooking if at all the time and need for it arises. And, just because you think that making me learn cooking is akin to readying me for marriage, I do not want to learn cooking.

Thirdly, about you people "searching" for a match for me. People, at this point of my life, I have better things to do. I have better things to think about. Even if I tell you that I want a guy who looks like Ranbir Kapoor and who has the character of Lord Sri Ram, can you promise me that you will find me "the suitable match"? Even before all this, have I asked you to search for a partner for me? How can you assume that I am "ready for marriage"? HOW? And, WHY?

If you really really want to help me, talk to me about my current life, about my thoughts, my aspirations, my concerns, not about "what kind of a guy you want". And, authoritatively telling my parents to marry me off: Seriously? Why? Why should it be a priority in my parents life? Won't they know what's right for me and when? You coaxing them into it, doesn't it make me feel like a liability? The urgency with which it's told and the kind of statements that accompany them, is plain ridiculous. "Marry her off, and all your responsibilities will be over"... What am I? The last cattle waiting desperately to be sold at a fair? What?!

So the bottom line is, though I do not disrespect you, I do not mean to offend you, I need to be left alone. I have a life to live. Let me live. I do not need to think about marriage, I am already so saturated with the term, that it's making me question the entire institution of marriage and it's social relevance. We as Indians who want to lead the world, let us get our priorities right in our individual lives, the nation will then take care of itself. Be it a boy or a girl, let us learn to leave each other alone. Life will take care of itself.

P.S.: Everyone of you will be invited to my marriage, IF and WHEN I decide to get married. Cheers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What do I want to do in life?

I have never been so confused in life. Seriously. It's such a total mess inside my head. So many things going on, ideas and thoughts colliding with each other, with nothing conclusive happening. It's said that this shouldn't be the case at this stage and age of my life. I should already have got my answers. Seriously? I really want to know what such people are made of, who have successfully lived their lives in such a linear fashion. THEY HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN WHAT THEY HAVE WANTED IN THEIR LIVES! It's just wow! I for once haven't been bestowed with this wonderful power, NOT ONCE. I have never known conclusively what I have wanted in life. In fact, I didn't want to go to school during early childhood once 'coz the teacher used to hit/scold me 'coz I wouldn't do my homework, and once 'coz I was plain tired of school I guess. After the completion of my 10th std., I opted for Science (OMG!) 'coz well, I thought that was what I was supposed to do, though there was no pressure on me to do so. And after Science I opted for Law, 'coz I like English. Now that I have finished law school, what am I supposed to do? What should I do? Work? I tried doing that, but couldn't. I cannot for the love of my life lead that so called modern life. I quit working.

I have now taken to sleeping, sleeping and more sleeping. And reading, and thinking about what I read, and thinking about what I should be reading in stead of the things I am reading now. And thinking about what should I be doing in my life. To make it easier for my poor soul to answer this million dollar question, I have simplified the question itself. What do I like to do? What do I want to do? Chucking everything else, where do I want to belong to?

Well, as an answer, I have these to offer: I do not want to belong to any ONE category of people: NOT a woman, NOT a lawyer, NOT an ideologically bound writer or thinker. I want to be free. I want to travel; travel through space and time, through books, through written words. Yeah, I want to read, read and read, and most importantly, I want to have some one competent and willing to discuss with me about the things I read about, without biases. And, above all, I want to write. Write for myself, write for the humanity, write for all the wisdom of the past and future, write so that I express the energy hidden in me. I also want to sing. That is, get back to singing, get back to learning how to sing. I want to teach, break down complex concepts into simpler pieces of knowledge packets that people can just tuck inside their heads and feel relieved as well as enlightened. I want to teach people about such things which they wouldn't even have heard of in their lives, and want to revel in the innocent fascination with which their faces start glowing when their minds get enlightened when they are exposed to such pure virgin knowledge.

I want to make the quest for knowledge and wisdom as the ultimate goal of my life, 'coz I believe that it's the art that's the dearest to my heart.

I want to be Boundaryless. Above all, I want to keep reminding myself to read this blogpost, whenever I feel I am confused about my life.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life after graduation: The lessons I learnt from my first job

So, it's been around one month and a half, approximately, since my final year results have been declared, and I have barely managed to be counted in the ilks of the few number of students from my class who have scored a 'First Class'. (Do not be mistaken by this 'Class'ification of students. It doesn't necessarily reflect upon the knowledge gained (by me). It's just a meaningless number that would be printed on my degree certificate, due to which I might earn some appreciation here and there, with some people still commenting that I could have done better, I could have gotten a distinction.) Anyway, we had been told that the Convocation (Aww!) would happen in the last week of September or the first week of October. But then, as was expected, no signs of any Convocation being held any time soon are to be seen.

After pretending to be seriously involved in the study of law for five lawwwwnngg years, I have finally gotten out of the role play I had been doing. I remember, during the last few days I spent at law school, I was so glad that the stay at the place that I had much hated was coming to an end. I had earnestly dreamt of the day when I would get out of the place, my law school, when I would be all to myself, doing all the mundane things of my life all by myself, by finally owning up my life, all by myself. I had waited for the excitement to begin.

And, alas, the excitement did begin, and it has left me dumbfounded till date! :-p I had landed up a job for myself during the last semester of my law school itself (and I had felt immensely proud of myself for this 'achievement'!) and that, in the city of my (nay, everyone's) dreams, Mumbai! I had been thoroughly excited, with eyes filled with dreams of conquering the corporate world with my hard work and talent and skills (whatever I thought they were!) and yes, L-O-L for this out-of-my-mind-dream. Sometimes, I start wondering, why the heck did I choose the field that I had both dreaded and hated for all the five years at law school! What was going on in my mind? I remember, though I very well knew that there are students far well-versed than me in that subject, I had this desire to learn, without prejudices against the subject. I wanted to immerse myself in the subject, in the world of commerce and finance (This, in spite of the fact that I have hated Maths and everything related to it ever since I have been born on this planet). 

Ambitious though I was, fortunately enough, I couldn't sustain myself in the job for more than two months. In these two months, I had lost my mind, my sleep, my appetite, my money (Mumbai is freakingly expensive), my urge to indulge in creative activities, my energy, my enthusiasm and my spirit. With so many things I had lost, I always used to find myself longing desperately to get back home ASAP. I found myself in a pathetic situation. So many new things were happening for the first freaking time in my life, including the kind of work I was supposed to do, and the pressure and pace of all that was just too much to be bearable for me. I call it quits at last, and returned home, by making one thing very clear to myself: I shall never work in a corporate setup ever in my life. This because, I had realised that it just wasn't for me. I had forced myself into it. But I realised that I shouldn't have to force myself into anything in my life, and it perfectly is okay not to have all the answers in life. I am grateful that I did not find the grapes bitter, without even tasting them. 

But then, why did I force myself? Was it money? Mumbai? The urge to explore a world wholly different from the one I have known and lived in? The desire to be 'independent' in its truest sense? The determination to break free? Insecurity? Plain random madness?Anything more which my mind hasn't been able to comprehend till date? May be it was all of this. I wanted to go in an alien land, and wage a war. Totally, unmindful of whether the war was meant for me, whether I had chosen the correct war, whether I had learnt the art and science of warfare, or whether I had correctly and accurately assessed and known my enemy at the first instance!
                                        
So this whole act of going to Mumbai and returning therefrom has been a result, more of a jerky decision-making and immaturity. And, why am I blogging about it? I could just have penned my thoughts down in a personal diary and gotten over with the rant. Why make the reader suffer? Well, I write so that people read, and I enjoy writing so that people read, rather than writing things all for myself. There is no thrill in writing things in secret. 

So now that I am back home, learning things the way I had wanted to, living life the way I had wanted to, it's time I should stop complaining about the silly little things in life which are meant only to be ignored, meant only to be heard, and not to be listened to, by the ears of the body and mind both.

The experience of life after graduation thus far has been filled with rich lessons, both professionally and personally, and I am grateful for everything that has happened!

P.S.: I realised that today is Eid. Eid Mubarak everyone! :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Reconfiguring Realities: Day 2 of Facebooklessness

No time for Love. No time to stand, relax and/or enjoy the wonder that the Earth is. In what world have I been living in all these years?

I have got a test to give by tonight. In five months, I will be graduating. I do not have a job yet. I want to start earning. I want to start having a steady flow of income. Who will give me the job? What should I be doing right now, to get that job?

Where should I go, whom should I contact for the job? I can't sit complaining my college at this stage. I can no more blame the circumstances. What I have, I have, what I do not, I do not. Nothing less, nothing more. It's all left to me now, what I do with what I have, and how I use what I do not have, to my own benefit.

Yeah. Enough of the trivialities. Meaningless rant. Misplaced, ill-timed discussions about things which are not even our immediate concerns.

Time to Reconfigure the Realities. Of life, of career, of job, of security.

No more conferences, no more anchoring, no more youth fests, no more showing off. What's there will always be there, what's not there, won't be there, unless I get them in place. So, why worry?

I got to work for the long term, not for the short term gratifications. Not for the friends at college, but for a bigger goal called life itself. Time to prepare for the Test!