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..!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why Gossiping is good for our Social Health

Gossiping. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

He is a dawg. She is an attention-seeking *****.

Gossiping. It is the most popular and the most favorite pastime of Indians (Yes, We the Indians!).

Till very recently, I had been a staunch votary AGAINST gossiping! Alas! How can I possibly say in words what all I have lost by this attitude against gossiping?!

I have realised the hard way that, willy-nilly, you GOT TO BE a part of the gossiping circle around you. And if you choose not to be involved, you are gonna pay a heavy price for it.

What do I mean by "get involved"?

Am I instigating you to spread all falsified and exaggerated claims about people you hate?

Am I asking you to be a sadist?

Am I asking you to waste your precious time in making the people around you the sole aim and purpose of your life?

Why would I even ASK you to do anything for that matter? :D

Well, my answer to all these questions is this: NO.

What I mean by "get involved" is simple: Do Not Turn a Deaf Ear When You Run Across Something About Someone, Be It An Exaggeration, A Mere Fluke, Or Be It Anything For That Matter. Lend Your Ears. And, Your Brains.

Please Do.

Why? To Quote a Cliche (May be this is why Cliches are called Cliches!) - There is No Smoke without the Fire. I do not know whether this holds good in all life circumstances but yes, at least till now, I have found this to be true.

You get the opportunity to at least roughly gauge and judge a person when gossiping. (listen, people say we should not be judgmental about people. But, don't you feel that judging people is inevitable in leading our lives? Why don't you go befriend a criminal or a murderer, if you won't judge? We talk about ideals, but reality is far away from it. Can we ever love Bin Laden? Can we ever rationalise loving people like him, in the name of "human rights" and "humanitarian cause"?!).

The second benefit of gossiping: You get to know to what extent a person can fall beneath his/her level, in degrading/defaming the people about who s/he is gossiping, for no real reason. Thus, when this happens, you either get to know something about the person who is being gossiped about, or, about the gossiper himself/herself (or sometimes, about your own self too!)

Thirdly, you would know how to strategically place yourself in your social environs; you would grow the ability to know how to deal with the different kinds of people around you. And, as an added advantage, you would know how to deal with new people whom you would meet in the due course of your life!

Fourthly, and the most obvious advantage, you ease your mental pressure by literally vomiting all the things out of your filth-laden mind!

Am I rationalising gossiping? I do not know. But, I have realised all the above-mentioned through my experience.

So, happy gossiping :)

(Disclaimer: You overdo gossiping at your own social, mental, emotional, and sometimes physical, cost.)

Thank you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What purpose do Fairy Tales serve?

Fairy tales.

Oh so lovely faces, slender figures, charming princes, and the "happily lived ever after" sagas.
So perfectly designed, so perfectly pictured, and so perfectly etched into the children's tender hearts and minds, that they forget real life.

Yes they do.

They grow up into girls who crib about their hairstyles and make-up, who freak out if they don't get matching pants and shoes, who are extra sensitive about their looks, and who want to be loved by all.

Welcome to the world of  unreal realities, where hearts are broken even before they are fully formed, and people are hated even before they are given the chance of being loved.

What am I even talking about? Wait, lemme explain.

Today, I had to get a bona fide certificate from my college. I had to wait for two hours to get it, and it was freakin' irritating for me to wait for that long. Bureaucracy. Red tape. One nation. One soul. Welcome to India.

I set my thoughts rolling and this was what I found inside the rolling thoughts:
  • Why wasn't I taught not to get irritated at imperfection?
  • Why didn't my story books teach me about manipulating the bad, instead of being good?
  • Why didn't I learn to appreciate the power of Negative?
  • Why didn't I come to love the Beast for its power, and why didn't I learn to use its power to my benefit?
  • Why did I want to be a pretty princess, instead of redefining what being a Princess is?
  • And if I was a foolish child to believe in what I read, I think such dangerous literature which shape a child's mind shouldn't be in existence?! Or, foolish children also should be taken into consideration, before writing about charming princes and beautiful barbies?
Do fairy tales really cater to today's needs of children? What purpose do fairy tales serve?

Don't they cherish false hopes in young minds that one day, a fairy would come and pick away all their problems and everything would be alright?

They make girls so dependent on others! "Fairies" they are called! "Princes" they are called! Blah!

We do not need "fairies" to make our "tales". We need "heroes", and they are "US"!!

What purpose do Fairy Tales serve?!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Flickering Lights, Bickering Nights

Matching pace with the roads here, cool wind in my hair,
Bumping off the bumpers, containing a thumping heart,
Smile on my lips, and face towards the fading moon
The dark blue night has its way of calling me.

Flickering lights, oozing out glamour
The clothes, the glasses and the classes
Tip-toeing into one another's eyes and minds,
Glossy lips and steamy eyes
Hey 'yo, I am here to stay!

Smell of food, the prawns, 'n crabs, 'n fish,
Dancing with the soupy wave of choco brownies,
Clapping hands, jumping feet,
Faces smiling all the way to our hearts.
Hey 'yo, bickering nights have come all the way!

Rising towers, soaring dreams,
Twinkling eyes, so doing stars,
The hush 'n slush of the waters,
The creaking 'n squeakin' of the bikes
Hey 'yo, the golden oriole is all set to fly!

Flickering lights, bickering nights
Dreamy eyes, sleepy vibes,
Mind-numbing music, heart-thumping dance,
Roads calling, goading flying,
Hey 'yo, I am free, I am free, I am free!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Bussing" around Bangalore - An Ode to the City Bus

Buses, buses and buses. Buses of all colors, sizes, qualities and make. Some jerky, some smooth as butter, some harsh as a devil. Some remind you of the global IT city that Bangalore is, and the others make your back and head burst out of irritated agony. 

Symbols of Democracy

Travelling in buses can be really exciting, despite the incumbent discomfort of travelling long hours, sometimes standing all the while. I feel buses are the most successful exemplars of democracy. Buses are great levelers. They are no match to the comforts of A/C cars or private jets. Why?

Because, you get to feel the pulse of the city, its soul, while traveling in the city buses. The kind of people, their variety, their disposition, are all like a colorful display of fabric, a feast to the eyes and the heart. 

My journey

I get to travel for around 3 hours in total everyday to and from work. And, man! I do not think I would have understood Bangalore like the way I have, if I would have cocooned myself in some smoke emitting private metallic portable containers (also known as cars). From little school children carrying huge bags on their backs, to old feeble bodies emitting depths of lifelong sorrow, the spectrum of my fellow passengers is wide enough. And not to mention, the brashness and the unbeatable rudeness of the conductors, who very authoritatively order you to get rid of your bag from you back, or else threatening to throw it out of the window!!

From young graduates in formals with earphones hooked into their tired ears, and eyes hooked into their smart phones, to stylish ladies with stilettos and flowing hair, enough to have you stymied into the mesmerizing world of glamour - my journey is a colorful rainbow :) 

For around 4 weeks that I have spent around 60 hours (W-O-W!) in the ubiquitous City Bus, certain incidents have been etched in my memory. And I would love to share them with you.

 Memorable moments

Thanks to my lack of pre-planned itinerary, I spent most of my first day on the roads, roaming around, searching for an unknown destination a.k.a. my office (pointless, I know). Hence, it was very late when I reached back home. As I was narrating the entire story of the day to my mom on phone in the bus, an elderly couple sitting in front of me took me by surprise, when they revealed that the fierce woman judge at the Dharwad district civil court who had inspired awe in me when I was interning there, was indeed their relative!  
They were also very kind enough to educate me about the various tariffs and kinds of city bus passes available on daily and monthly bases, together with the detailed addresses where I could get the pass done, with the procedure attached! It was as if my entire day, its inherent aspirations, hope and gratitude had been redeemed. Could I have asked for more?

During yet another long tiring day, when the bus was filled to the brim with similarly tired and lost souls, and when my mind was weaving multi-colored strings of unstoppable thoughts, amidst pangs of irritation, time was flying by, and it was almost 45 minutes that I was standing in the crowded shaky bus. 

A dark-skinned woman, with many creases and folds on her face due to the grace of age, had luckily got a seat and she kept staring at me. At one point, a seat in front of me fell vacant, on which a young mother thrust her little kid and all was well, and the bus chugged on the water clogged roads, thanks to the rains. This elderly woman who was staring at me, started telling me to put the child aside on its mother's lap, and occupy that seat. I did not have the patience or wish to do so. She started saying, "Only a woman can understand another woman's difficulties. You have been standing for almost an hour." Saying so, she turned to the young mother and ordered her to take her child off the seat, and made me sit there. 

It was hard for me to believe that such simple and straight-hearted (and minded) people still do exist in this super-twisted world of today. I thanked God for showering his grace on my tired body, and sat, at last.

Good Samaritans

The world has not yet lost its share of good samaritans, or I was just lucky, I do not know. But, I am grateful enough that I have had a very friendly experience with the passers-by of this cozy city, who had patience, empathy and grace to guide an outsider like me, through the labyrinthine alleys. Specific mention to be made of an old man wearing a white cotton lungi, walking along the MG Road (I wonder what he was doing there strolling along the busy road during the peak hour traffic, I am sure he would have found a better place to take a walk, it is the garden city we are in, after all!), and the woman in a crisp saree and a professional smile on her face, who were my saviours on my first day.

In hindsight

With less than 3 days left in Bangalore, I must confess, I am gonna miss the din and bustle of this city. There is some peculiar lilt in the tune of this city. Where else could my heart smile at the sight of absolutely brilliant hued bunches of exotic flowers in the background of utter filth and disgusting odor at KR Market? And, not to mention, the witnessing of the absolute sense of achievement and pride gleaming in the faces of my co-passengers, when they bravely manage to get a seat, against all the odds of pushing and pulling against the bodies of all shapes and sizes?! The City Bus has almost taught me how to live. In the buses, we are so close to the other bodies and souls, almost cutting short of hugging, in weird positions and angles though, but even then, we are so far away from each other, lost in our own meaningless worlds.

Can I anymore afford to despise the heat and sweat that is synonymous to the city bus?

NO :) 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bangalore Diaries

Yet again here I am, at one of India's booming cities, trying to 'make my life', just like everyone else who comes to cities like this do, or try to do.

There is a peculiar glamour attached to this place, with all its dirt, dust and pollution (both intrinsic and extrinsic, if you know what I mean). Feeling at home, amidst millions of people alien to you, now that's something which gives you the chill of the winters amidst the warmth of the sun. Never had I imagined I would frequent this place so often, and never had I been able to comprehend the way this city would shape me.

The first day of my internship I came here, I was lost in this familiar sea of wilderness (a beautiful irony which has held me hostage). One word which I could muster to describe this city that day - madness! Now, madness is good or bad, you decide! For me, this madness is quite heady! It's exciting and it gives me a high. What kinda high?

A surging inspiration and aspiration to raise my bars, to achieve something in my life, to run, and to keep running - this is what Bangalore has taught me over the years. But, how fast should I run? This, I do not want to learn from my similarly placed acquaintances in the city, nor from the city itself. Because, as Grisham in The Street Lawyer says, The faster you run, the harder you fall. Now how fast is fast is totally relative. I am running, and will definitely keep doing it, as comforts me, and within my existential limits.

Running the "rat race"?

#1: I am not a "rat" to run the "rat race".
#2: Just because I am running, doesn't mean I am into a ":race".
#3: Even if I am assumed to be in some race, it need not necessarily be with/against others.

Lessons learnt the fast-track way

It's too tempting an impulse to be ignored, when I find myself eager to compile the lessons Bangalore has taught me. Being responsible, being strong, and fiercely independent, being calm, and being a person who smiles often, are the many "be-ings" which I have learnt here. Not that I did not know these simple things when at my place, but, this place, is like a practical ground for me to test my lessons seemingly 'learnt'. Otherwise, my place is like an eternally blissful hill station, where you just be, you just are, happy, contented with whatever you have.

Dealing with these opposite alter egos of social realities is exciting and challenging, if not tiring. I have truly come to love the social dynamics resulting from the existential differences between the two places - my home town and my 'heart' town!

Is this an attempt to just rationalize my tumultuous thought processes? Or, is this just a meaningless rant, trying to understand what's happening? Both Yes and No.

One can never fully assimilate the depths of one's thoughts, for, they are the pious manifestations of the Almighty Himself. I may not have been truly successful in driving home the point which I intended to make. But, as always, the God in me, and you, understood what was meant to be understood.

Amen!