Sunday, July 21, 2013

Working with reality – From disillusionment to enlightenment



Albert Einstein, one of the greatest physicists the world has ever known, contributed immensely to his field with the Theory of Relativity. But his contribution was not just in the field of physics. His work opened up the possibility of being able to understand the universe and its reality in a multi dimensional way. By this, I mean, that his work on time and space has reminded us that somewhere, physics, spirituality and in fact most other streams of learning, actually merge at some point. It is no surprise that a lot of the world’s greats were polymaths, people with multidimensional intelligences. People whose brains knew what the universe already does…. That everything is one and from one everything is born. Leonardo Da Vinci was a painter, engineer, mathematician and musician all rolled into one.  Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton are some other polymaths.

We find it fascinating to read and learn about the work of greats in the science of reality. But we have considerable trouble handling reality when we encounter it in our individual lives.

Sumita (Name changed) , a girl I know, describes her life as traumatic. She complains that men with severe emotional disabilities seem to enter her life with unerring consistency. She complains that whenever she feels things starting to go well with someone, that person starts to show signs of emotional instability and the relationship eventually comes to an end. As a person well into her thirties and looking to find a life partner, she feels life is being unfair to her. Since I know Sumita reasonably well, I once took the opportunity to dig further to find out what could be going wrong. As I kept exploring, I came to see a pattern in her narration of her life in general and more specifically her personal life. I came to realize that Sumita, believed genuinely in her heart that she didn’t deserve good things. In some sense, she WANTED life to be unfair to her because that’s what she thought she deserved. Her view of the world was a place which treated her the way she deeply believed she deserved. But understandably her intellectual, logical mind kept looking at events as unfair. A person who holds this world view as ‘real’ could be perpetuating a pattern of events. It is very possible that she feels attracted only to people her intuition identifies as unstable and goes on to start something which has no future; only for it to end in the manner that validates her self-image as an undeserving person.

Another lady I know believes fervently in her heart that the world can do no bad and everyone, including one’s apparent enemies are warm, loving, guileless and forgiving people. Even if spite, malice and hatred stare her in the face, she refuses to believe it. She has a blind side to the darker aspects of human nature. While this may seem like an endearing quality on first glance, what it does, is create a person constantly pandering to others and trying to keep peace. A person who gives benefit of doubt to the other, even when grossly undeserved and has no capacity to hold her own. A simplistic and highly erroneous view of the world was the only thing tolerable for her. Her world view was a fairytale one, with no space for reality.
These are just two examples of how people choose their reality, and how sometimes this web of reality woven by them traps them in a regressed state… a place from where there is no path to growth.
Reality is something we struggle with all our lives because let’s call a spade a spade …. Facing reality is unpleasant. One would think I’m alluding only to the painful nature of reality. But what I am referring to, is the difficulty in seeing a reality different from one we want to believe in, regardless of its nature or quality. This happens for a reason. 

We all develop a paradigm for leading our lives. We begin developing this paradigm right from childhood slowly and surely. And by the time we hit our thirties, our paradigm is more or less set, like hardened clay. We may allow some changes as life moves on but largely, patterns of response remain the same,  except of course in cases where life has forced a jolt upon us. These responses are both emotional and physical…. and largely become unconscious as they set more and more with practice. 

Raman (name changed), I man I’ve known for many years has a certain pattern of response to all sales representatives who land up at his door step. He first invites them in and offers them tea. After listening to them flatteringly for sometime, he starts engaging them in a debate which quickly turns into an argument. The conversation becomes unpleasant within minutes . He ends all these meeting with hurling accusations, often alluding to their ‘dubious’ intentions… always suspecting cheat and deceit. It may well be true that there are many cheats out there looking to con an innocent buyer. But, the point I’m trying to make here, is that Raman is convinced that this is going to be the case everytime. He extends this view to many other people and situations. Raman’s world view is one that has to be, for some reason, tainted with a negative brush.  To him, no one can be trusted and everyone is deceitful. 

The realities these people have chosen for themselves, albeit unconsciously, are so comfortably nestled in their hearts and minds that an alternate reality, even if it is a happier one, would be unpleasant for them to accept. Our paradigms were built because they worked for us at certain points in time. But we continue to take that map forward into our lives and apply the same model to most life situations. The problems with this approach are obvious. If we were to continue to believe that our world works for us the same way it did when we were children or even 5 years ago, or if we don’t incorporate real changes in our life experiences into our paradigms, we are essentially attempting to push a square plug into a round socket. The result is frustration and a feeling of failure at things going wrong all the time, everywhere. The sad thing though is, people whose paradigms have failed, hold on even more tenaciously to their faulty model because they somehow twist this new reality of failure to fit their old paradigm. The bitter man believes that the world is a bitter place, spreads bitterness back, receives bitterness in return, which reinforces his view of a bitter world and he turns even more bitter. The perpetuating cycle starts all over again.

Unlike science, there may not be a fully objective reality for our individual selves to learn and believe in. Our unique lives require us to construct our own unique realities. But still, we must remember that we are prone to incorporating some misplaced, unreal and therefore unstable components when we build our life model.

 For example, Raman could do well to know that while some sales people may be deceitful, it is possible to meet an honest salesman who sells a good product that may end up being something he needs. Sumita could try to see how unreal it is to believe, that everyone out there is emotionally stunted. It is a good statistical probability that there may be many well turned out and emotionally stable men who could be consideration worthy. The na├»vely optimistic lady, who believes there is only good in the world, could do with knowing that all human beings are a mix of light and dark. A survival instinct and fighting spirit may actually be required sometimes to exist amid society and peers. 

Having said this, changing our internal reality is a job far easier said than done. Sometimes, our desire and need to hold on to our realities is so intense, that it may come in the way of this process. Nevertheless, when we start to work at first challenging our current reality we begin the work of healthy disillusionment. We begin to realize what is unreal in our picture and begin to replace it with more realistic strokes. As we begin to paint a new picture for ourselves we start to see it changing hues. It may start to become a more complex painting, with colors ranging from the lilacs and pinks of cheer and happiness to the dark burgundy of malice and evil with various other shades in the middle depicting every nuance of the mind boggling reality that life is. Yes, the painting does begin to look less simple, but it begins to look richer.

As we keep refining our understanding of our individual realities on our spiritual growth path, we begin to see a method of working with our lives in a very concrete and real way…. without escaping from it or viewing it through a broken glass. As we work with realities we would’ve been afraid to see earlier, we begin to feel a sense of living life fully. An ability to experience all shades of our life’s events in their unadulterated form, gives us a complete experience. And then, somewhere in the complex painting of different hues, we will find our color of bliss… a color born not out of delusion but out of dipping ourselves and getting wet in the ocean of life’s palette.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A song a day...


Just shut your eyes for a brief moment and imagine the world without music. I'm trying it as I write this and I'm unable to! Or rather, the experience , even if I manage it, is of extreme debilitation, of feeling crippled by blindness or by the loss of some such primary sense organ. Not surprising at all, on hindsight. Music is after all what life is really made of , if you look at it a certain way. Even if we're not actually engaging in listening to, singing or playing music it is still there- an all pervasive, awesome yet gentle force driving everything in this world.

Music can be defined as sound that is made of vibrations that are regular. These vibrations have a cyclical quality repeating a pattern in regular intervals creating a specific 'pitch' or frequency, the stuff music is made of. Well, if we were to use this definition and expand our minds we can see the all pervasiveness I referred to earlier.... Let's list just some of the many things in our life that are cyclical, regular and have a rhythm.... Day and night, the cycle of seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon, a woman's period cycle, the circle of birth, ageing and death that repeats with unerring precision to every single being on earth..... The list can go on.

To be honest I have had for a long time, till recently, a pretty linear notion of things. The belief that things usually don't go deeper or wider than they seem and most things can be explained with a simple set of logical rules! As life kept unfolding, I began to see how ridiculous I had been all the while. The world, life and its components began to seem far to complex and layered for my mind to be able to make sense. Death pervaded my otherwise cocooned existence with seeing some family members pass away. I saw suffering of so many kinds.. emotional, mental and physical. I saw chaos everywhere, in places and situations where I would've otherwise forced myself to see order. I saw loss and pain. I saw people in close circles go through financial distress. People I knew lost their children to accidents and suicide. There was pain in so many other forms less obvious and dramatic but no less traumatic.I myself went through phases when I suffered intense panic attacks and developed an eating disorder.  But, along with this distressing disillusionment came also a 'sense' of something deeper at play. And increasingly I took to reading about people's views and experiences with spirituality. I also renewed my passion for music and finally a genuinely fulfilling career started to seem possible.

Music was something I had been learning from my childhood but never took seriously enough. During the process of unlearning my old understanding of the world and learning a new one, I started to observe some striking patterns. Something that linked music to almost everything. I mean this in both a loose sense and a strict one. The former, I noticed in small everyday things. Almost everything that I found reasonably pleasant or acceptable to my ear from everyday sounds were actually musical. The mellow hum of an airconditioner, the rhythmic rattle of a ceiling fan, the almost lullaby-like beat of the heart when there is complete silence. The more profound stuff came to my mind in slow but dramatic revelations.
  I'll start with health. I found actually that I fell sick whenever my body 'cycle' went out of 'rhythm'. My body had to follow rhythmic, almost musical regularity with sleep, food and exercise for it to remain fit. Any disruptions were 'discordant' with my body and whenever my body would go out of 'sync' with my routine, I would become unwell. Exercise, something that is good for the body I found, was all about rhythm... The steady pace kept on the treadmill, the rhythmic movement during abdominal crunches, the tempo kept up during aerobic exercises. Then I started to look deeper and realised that our body is actually a musical machine! Everything is about rhythm.... The heart, digestion, sleep, sexual intercourse, bowel movements, walking etc etc!!
 Now how about the cycle of life itself? A repeating pattern with every single living thing on earth? A being is born, it grows to maturity, reproduces, ages and dies. As humans we celebrate such events in our life and have rites of passage. Our birth, growing up into adulthood(spearation from parent), marriage(mating), having kids(reproduction), retirement, growing old and our death. Whenever anyone doesn't go through these phases fully or has trouble with a phase the person faces emotional and mental dissonance . As much as we may think that we have managed to break free from this mundane, rather monotonous course, we do suffer when there is an anomaly or a discord. I can see rhythm, music and pattern now in almost all things wholesome and beautiful in life which leads me to contemplate the ever elusive answer to the question 'Why is music what it is? Why does it move us so? '
 I understand now that  music is too primal, too basic a component of existence for us to ignore. It certainly must be one of the building blocks of creation, of divinity, of god! And it is through music, I believe, that we are able to experience the divine effortlessly. Then came the curious question, if music is a slice of god, can music heal? Yes it is increasingly being believed so. Music therapy is a fast growing field. But the more profound question in my mind was, 'Can music heal us spiritually? in a way only a miracle or god can?'
  When we heal spiritually, we heal in all ways..... Intellectually, mentally, emotionally, physically. Could this therefore be the master key? A key accessible to everyone, at all times without external help. This quest has led me to have a strong hunch that it can! And I think I know when a hunch comes from deep within, like a knowing that has always been there but has come to the mind anew.

 Hmmm this is as far as I've reached in my quest. For now I sing a song a day... A small encounter with god everyday. Hopefully one day it will lead me to answers that I seek, answers that may have an impact on human evolution and growth like never before!

A song a day.....

A simple question

Just wondering where truth lies....in the heart or in the mind ?....

Consider these:

Is the mind truer when you know that a brain dead person can't even recognise his loved ones.

Is the heart truer when out of true faith a mother is able to bring her child back to life from a near fatal disease.

Is the mind truer when the more intelligent / clever /street smart guy gets the job when the guy with passion is languishing in poverty.

Is the heart truer when a man who doesn't know to swin survives the Tsunami out of sheer will to live.

Is the ability to love limited by how much we can think? Or is it the other way round?

Life forces me to debate this.... wondering if anyone has found answers....

With every dip ... (A Poem)

My first dip when I knew hunger for the first time, and a loving breast was offered to me in solace,

My second dip when I tried to walk, and learnt how to fall and how not to,

My third dip when I knew I wasn't the only one making dips,

My fourth dip when I knew that when someone smiled it wasn't necessarily because they were happy,

My fifth dip when I knew everything is not necessarily in order and doesn't follow a pattern,

My sixth dip when I knew love,

My seventh dip when I knew what I thought was love was not,

My eighth dip when I realised that dreams come true the hard way,

My ninth dip when I knew that I could dream anyway,

With every dip into the metaphorical ocean I emerge newer cleaner, wiser....

How many more dips will it take to be a child again?

A wasted tear ... (A poem)


  I shed a tear...

For someone far in a country unknown,
For someone near and known,
For those orphaned in disasters,
For those crippled beggars,

For people who live life like a lie,
For people who suffer the truth,
For the lonely dog on the road without food,
For the lonely rich man without peace,

For those dreams that go unfulfilled,
In you and in me,
For a lifetime spent on lost causes,
For a lifetime spent in but temporal pleasures,
For a lifetime spent in spiritual deterioration,
For a lifetime spent in ignorance,

For a person I could’ve helped,
For those I couldn’t have,
For all that I could’ve done but didn’t
For all that the world can do but doesn’t

I shed a tear….
A Wasted tear….

Tolle kya bole!

A few bad years at my first ad agency followed by a several months at the second, if not anything else made me,.. guess what? ..... Read!! Surprising (as much to me as to people who know me) coz i have always considered myself extremely averse to the printed word. Somehow i was never able to comprehend how people found reading newspapers easier than watching TV. TV gives you double the information in half the time! Infact TV watching, I thought, has its value adds, what with lovely models and great food and clothes as treats for every sense.Also, TV gives you those well needed breaks from all the disarry and chaos reported by the 'dressed for the occasion' Roys and Sardesais.

But the turning point came, and it came with a big bang into my life! Stints with 2 leading ad firms and exposure to some of the best brands in the country had left me with, well... a bruised sense of self, loads of stressed out nerves and a strong will to NEVER enter advertising again. You must be wondering what all this has got to do with reading. well the story goes like this....

It had been my second attempt at trying to do the most sensible thing after a Masters in Communication and having worked for 2 1/2 years in a leading ad firm... I joined Orchard with the hope that things would change and i would this time try and successfully make it as a 'client services' executive. After all , I thought, those lovely formal blazers, client meetings and the air of borrowed importance can't be without some meaning. In addition i knew i had it in me to think of great ideas and just knew i would become the next female Santosh Desai in a couple of years. Just 6 months later i found myself walking back dejectedly to the pavillion (in this case back home) cursing advertising. Guess there is a thin line between making a mistake and being foolish a second time.

6 months in orchard and there i was, having these vague early morning blues (not just monday but 7 days of the week) yet again. I also had some value adds from my job... insomnia, perennial nervousness, chewed and bleeding nails and worst of all complete loss of Nithya tke original creative confident gal (:-D ahem!).

It was the day i put in my papers that i decided to do something i had never done earlier ..... visit a book shop!! just days before, i was one the the few people who literally scorned the over-read over- informed class... whats the big deal with books anyway....just a bunch of frustrated idiots writing loads of nonsense to make a living. And there i was.. at the odyssey book store looking for... err.... actually i didn't know what, but had this hunch i would find it among the balderdash written by those very same 'frustrated idiots'.
i guess it was that day that I made an honest effort to find answers to questions about life... questions , that were all children of my failure - failure in trying to be like someone, failure in trying to 'make it big'...to be 'rich'.... to be 'successful'.
Intuitively (Don't know whether such a thing as intuition does exist at all but that day it seemed to for me) somehow within minutes after entering the shop i chanced upon a book by Robin Sharma "Discover your destiny".... its a rather run of the mill book , to be honest, for someone who has read enough of philosophy and self improvement but at that point in time i guess it shouted out to me ....a starting point in my quest for answers, i thought .... "Why do we do what we hate when we know we have a choice"... "How is it that everyday people lie... and don't even know it"...,"How is it that we follow the same society that we condemn"... "How is it that we love compliments even when we know the guy who is saying it doesn't mean a word of it?".....
That day was a day of enlightenment... enlightenment to the fact that i had lots to unlearn and lots to learn.. As is often said; suffering/pain/setbacks are mothers of philosophy and spirituality.... at least thats how it was for me (though i knew that what i was facing was nothing compared to millions out there , who have bigger, more serious life problems).That day i realised that there was a deep void in my life . I was leading life like a zombie. There i was, having just quit the only job i knew... the only thing i had studied and done internships for, the only thing that had made me 'independent'. (such an irony isn't it?.. that it was AFTER i quit my job i realised, that true independence comes from being able to be completely yourself and pure; irrespective of changes in one's life).
But funnily i was happy... in a peaceful sort of way.. as if i had removed some unwanted layers and a heavy burden off my life... i felt light as a feather and innocent as a child..

In the following couple of weeks, i started to live life from the start... Somehow for the first time I realised, that one needs to have a strong sense of philosophy and purpose in life to be able to be truly peaceful and successful.... Its more than just a happy (or unhappy) job / family / friends that one needs in order to see sense in the nonsense of this world.

I realised at that point , that i was better off than all those people around me who were carrying on cushy jobs, but were actually in a state of trance... a state of darkness... a state they'll probably snap out of, only in their death bed. And wake up to ask questions like 'what have i done with my life?".

Anyway, that day was the day my friendship with books started... i read many of them .. mostly philosophy and psychology. some really good ones like the monk who sold his ferrari, siddhartha, alchemist, the power of now, notes to myself etc. I realised a few very important things that i would like you also to know... if not anything else atleast as food for thought...

1. Never underestimate the direction your deeper self gives you. Most of us have a voice telling us about our dreams, what we should be doing, how to be etc but in all the noise of the world we somehow lose ourselves... LISTEN to that voice!!

2. Never do anything just to prove. if anything do it just to be a better you.

3. Quoting Prather "there is no best in a world of individuals"... somehow i don't understand why people are so dependent on others as benchmarks to lead their life... isn't it shameful that we don't respect our own sense of direction enough?

4. Nothing is more important in life than to experience it. Not money not power not status ... NOTHING... the only thing one will ever regret is not having seen enough or done enough...

5. Try and love even your enemies(sounds gandhian but will risk the cliche')... you know they're not so bad... youve been worse at times!

6. NEVER do anything to abuse your physical or mental health. Do what youre good at and what suits you.

7. Be genuine and say only what you mean.

8. And most of all..... LIVE IN THE MOMENT


I just can't tell you how important that last point is.. this is an important take out from a book by a person called eckhart tolle. somehow living the moment brings a lot of peace and appreciation to life. i can't believe i turned from a nervous wreck to an internally clear and tranquil person within days after i tried this.

At the end of the day i realised, that what gives a person enormous peace is the presence of what i call an internal compass; that gives directions... The fact is that everyone has a compass... The difference between someone who looks for peace and someone caught in the maze, i guess, is that the latter just keeps telling the compass to shut up and the former comes to realise that the world actually lies within and not outside and cares to LISTEN to his compass.

Wondering why my blog is titled.. 'Tolle kya bole!' ? Well what do you expect an ex advertising exec to do... sell a product with headline that has almost nothing to do with it!! :-)

cheers!

And sorry if i ended up sounding like a spiritual guru... was not intended!! :-)

True poetry .. (A poem)

I am here reading your thoughts,
I am in awe

So much talent, so many experiences,
I live many lives in this hour,
I wonder whether with all my senses,
As a poet, will I ever come this far?

But...
To all the people ahead of me in life,
People who know more and say more,
Have you ever wondered whether poets and writers,
Are really just one in four?

In those millions who see the gravity and lightness,
In the myriad reality of their life experiences,
I see poetry in its truest form

In every moment of living,
In everything and in every being,
Hidden, is a poem,

And so my friend while honing the beauty in your written verse,
Do realise the beauty in people who reherse,
To express the very same thing as beautifully as you do,

Drawing from their deeper delving into life,
From all the worry laughter and strife,
That makes you and them one...

An honest voice to be heard, an honest story to be told,
Is what makes poetry worth its measure in gold!

86 going on 25

 (Dear readers, this blog was written a few years before my grandfather passed away)

This piece is dedicated to my grand dad (86) who has never failed to amaze and insipre me. I have often wondered how it feels to be 86……to know that you have at best a few years left in front of you. To know that Yamraj is fast catching up with you and that he is giving you strong hints about his next move.... the failing physical strength, the failing eyesight, the wobbly walk....

My grandad is actually a fairly healthy man at 86. He has no serious health problems like most of his counterpart octogenarians. He just shows normal signs of ageing. But thats not just a coincidence. Thats exactly the reason I am dedicating this blog to him! He is probably the only person I have met who has genuinely combated age ... in a mental psychological sense! Actually in every sense! This man is truly remarkable! He still takes immense pleasure in watching the WWF wresting matches.... (The Undertaker... his fav hero) , loves to track the stock market , thrives on discussing burning economic, political , social and cultural issues…loves travelling even at this age, particularly to the hills.. all this, besides a passion for carnatic music, afternoon soaps on TV, his evening whiskey, buying new gadgets for his loving wife and of course his constant fight against age.. Yes! he loves the fight... loves to keep himself fit and healthy... goes for regular walks... loves to have vitamins, fruits and veggies... keeps to a regular eating schedule... WOW.... Wonder whether i can manage all this when I am 86 (rather IF I become 86!)

Most of the ‘70 and above’ people i have met have shown signs not only of physical ageing but also of a 'failure' attitude to life... more than the physical troubles , the setting in of a 'give up' mode is what seems to be charecteristic. "What to do... my age is such!"… "Won't make a difference even if i go to the doc for that knee pain... anyway my end is nearing"..... typical statements one hears. I guess, the fact that they are above 70 looms large and threatens everything they dare to do or think. Sometimes I feel it really might help to make these people believe (through some breakthrough psychiatry technique) that they are actually not seventy but just 45 and see what happens.... I have a strong hunch that the attitude will change dramatically..

Anyway coming back to my grand dad... there are pearls of wisdom he has imparted to all those who have been curious to know the secret of his vitality and will to live.... including me . And sure enough I found what he said extremely inspiring. In fact it has made me realise that its a shame to compain about anything at 26 when you have someone like him around... Seriously! Conversations with him have both inspired me and put me to shame.

Some intersting guidelines to life (courtesy Mr. N. Krishnamoorthy) from the many conversations I have had with him:

1. Age is truly in the mind.... you think youre old and ailing and no one is helping you? …. Then you most definitely are and no one will! So think young and be completely dependent but only on yourself.

2. Almost all physical ailments stem from a conscious or subconscious mental state. So watch out for what you think.

3. Never make people your occupation after a certain age. It is certain to depress you and youre always going to feel people don't care enough and do enough. (even if thats not true)

4. Keep healthy. Eat at regular hours... and eat healthy. If you have an ailment take care. Don't give up and say "I am already at the dead end of life so what the heck. That extra sweet is not going to make me any sicker than I am now".

5. Always be positively occupied.. read a lot and never stop learning. The desire to learn is the strongest motivation to live.

6. The most important lesson in life is to be able to be accepting of life in all its glory and 'un'- glory. Life is never good or bad. Its just a bunch of experiences that you keep learning from. Enjoy the journey.

7. Love what you do and do what you love. This is true right from the smallest things you do in your day to the biggest things you do in life. It applies to people of all ages.

8. Have no regrets. Don't miss doing or not doing anything that you might regret on your deathbed. Take risks. A man who doesn't take risks will never see life in its full splendour. Actually you can't call anything a risk. No matter what you lose, a lesson is always there to learn.
9. Don't make any problem the centre of your attention. No problem deserves it.

10. Make lots of friends and acquaintances. Speak to every person you meet, with earnestness. You have things to learn even from your grocery walla.

11. Live life in moderation with respect to food and emotions... extremes of both are bad.

12. Keep your promises and don't make any if you know you can't keep them. Do as much good as you can to people in need.. even from a practical standpoint you never know when you’ll need them.

13 And play the game of life as a participant not as a contestant. That way you'll never lose.

Well..... the years I have spent talking to my grandad has truly insipred me. I can see from his example that the most powerful influence in your life is you and no one and nothing else. Simple but profound isn't it?

Reminds me of a quote by Will Smith in the latest RD:

"Too many people spend the money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like" ... :) :) :)

Summer


The febrile body that sets mercury rising,

The heat that sets lovers on fire,

The steam behind a heated pursuit,



The crimson heat of jealousy,

The flaring rage of anger,

The fire of dynamism,



Simmering fears deep within,

The golden dawn of hope,

The warmth of a loved one,



The internal fire ..... destined to burn to ashes one day...

Ah ....The heat of summer is but a cinch to bear...

Ghost... (A Poem)

Ghost

I laugh I smile I cry
I yell I plead I scream
I sing I dance I write
I hug I kiss I pamper
I run I hide
I love I hate
I desire I abhor
I envy I covet

I see I hear I smell I taste
I feel I think I act
I learn....

I am alive... and possessed!! ... by a ghost called life

We're Alone

The more independent we become the more we grow.. i am not talking merely to indicate material / financial independence. I am talking about independence in thought, in action, in creativity , in emotions, in feeling and in all decisions we take at every step in our daily lives. Its funny that when i read what i have just written i have the urge to say ... so whats so great? I am already independent. But true independence is the stuff that madness , genius , greatness and creativity is made of. In my opinion i would call myself truely independent and truly on the path of growth when,

.... I hear a man on the road say something unpleasant to me and it doesn't bother me (not reacting is not independence, being truly not bothered is)

....I hear a loved one reprimand me and judge me and that doesn't hurt. Instead i take it for what its worth and continue to be true to myself and who i am.

.... I push to sell only things that i truly believe in and do only that work that truly inspires and involves me.

.... I don't complain if I realise a certain weakness in me. Instead i accept it as a part of me and move on to experiment with personal change rather than tell myself that it needs to be 'corrected'.

....When even the most eccentric person on earth doesn't shock me...because of the realisation that if all of us were our instinctive selves we would be eccentric too.

....Something feels right and i have the conviction to act on it even if 100 others say its wrong and even if in the end i know i might be wrong.

....Ask for opinions only when i know i can take it with equanimity.

.....When I show true commitment only to myself.

.....When I know i can never do something to earn anyone's respect or gain 'status'. Put simply the day when I know that the only person i need respect, approval and appeciation from is me.

.... The day learn to love even people that we strongly disagree with.

..... The day i realise that while we are one and connected at one level we are also alone and independent in another.

.... the day i can never feel jealous or envious because i know there is no place i'd rather be than where i am now.

Today i promise to myself an attempt at true independence and growth.

Feels nice ... Like never before

Today, the sky takes on a hue like never before,
Sun pouring its rays generously through the windows,
The sound of family banter, cacophonic, yet soothing in a strange way,
The smell of fresh rice, and soup boiling in the kitchen,

Images lying on my bed, all works of art as seen through my mind's eye...captured by my inanimate confidante..
The next surge of creativity dormant in my heart
waiting for a spark to bring it to life...

A book of wisdom lies open to my view on my table,
offering me invisible wealth with every page...
A member of my past, no more a co-worker...
makes a courtesy call... talking of 'new' stories of sweat and survival...
"hmm Just history repeating... " , I muse
.. his words reminding me of a past cherished but not desired again..

A lovely piece of article on my email ...a speech by a wise man far away who has seen what I yearn to ...
as if god sent, to endorse my every thought, every move....
My blog looking back at me from the screen, with nuggets stained with all colours of human thought and emotion, ...

Caught a glimpse of the new me in my mind's mirror ...
This clay moulded into a new form today, after what seems like eons but is not..
Now eagerly waiting for another rebirth...and another..

Yesterday is passe'
Tomorrow will bring something different

But today, this moment, feels nice ... like never before 

Freedom ... (A poem)

Freedom

Elusive and coveted,
Desired and cherished,
Waiting for supression, unhappiness and helplessness to invite..
Often taking the form of a cold shower of realisation,
when its already too late..

Tis irony supreme isn't it?
That source and destination, cause and effect, dependence and independence...... and FREEDOM!..
Lie encompassed within one being,
But a lifetime is spent, blinded, in search of answers..

Wonder what name the world has, for someone searching the world,
for what lies within....

Dry ... (A Poem)

Dry

Leaves aplenty, flowers galore,
Mongrels and the like dance in it

The rap tap of the genorous gift of nature
Tears of the sky pouring through the invisible roof
Nourishing the living and bringing the dying alive,

Everything seems to be soaked
Even the tar pathways, the cement
the four legged charriots, the mortar

All .. except the imposter creator himself
housed in his own cheap imitations of the original...dry

Blissfully unaware of, or maybe in shame...
in front of the brilliance of nature's craft

Amoeba

hmmmm .... a flurry of thoughts in my mind... most of them blurry subconscious images and feelings... its almost like there is a parallel universe inside me which is living a fuller more energetic life. I need to quiten down to hear the noises inside. What a racket! ... cacophonic and confused ... guess these guys will find their air time later tonight in my dreams when they get to play fierce creatures or a lonely road or Amitabh Bacchan morphing into my mum! .... Freud earned his living I guess, from trying to comprehend this, like a snake charmer who tries with his music to understand the unpredictable ways of a serpent... wonder if any charmer has managed it successfully.

I heard from someone that by paying close attention to this backstage activity we can actually get to know the real us! ... whoo! scary eh? ... Who knows what we might end up finding! .. maybe a fearful cowardly rabbit running from its predator (a leader like person we might know from work!) , or a vengeful Hitleress in the guise of a kind social worker in real life, or even a creative genius posing as a straight jacketed accountant fending for his family and living a proper life.... Who knows! Who WANTS to know? Hmm ..I don't know.

I think there is countless times more to a person than what meets our eye... and may be a zillion times more to us that what meets our own eyes... I have come to believe that humans are just amoeba.... they morph into people of a certain type based on their circumstances and many other things .... and they keep morphing till the end. Infact if someone comes up to me and asks me reproachfully about something i said or did even a year back , I'm tempted to say "Oops...wrong number.. That wasn't me" ... Really! ... how many people that we have met feel they're exactly the same person as they were years ago? ... no one... even if someone does claim so, I would say he is married to an illusion of what he thinks he is and probably wants himself to be.. and hes being loyal to his marriage. This is one time when actually disloyalty might pay.

I have come to believe that it is this very nature of man that makes him so resilient.. so capable and so powerful. Sad that this resilience isn't exploited unless called upon by some extreme event or calamity... And then he gives another birth and feels new feels wise. And then he/she becomes headlines, makes news and becomes your favorite spiritual leader next door. The problem is that when such a thing happens its easy to think that thats the end.... that one has reached eternity and salvation. From this misconception comes the conviction that wise men you know and revere, harness as a powerful means to hold people and 'guide' them to a better life. A conviction so strong that its stagnant, like a rock , not absorbing futher change and further experiences and therefore futher wisdom ... As they say in the movie 'incredibles'... One has to be a 'learning robot'

So whats the big deal about this anyway.. Why change? Why learn? Why explore?. Sometimes I'm tempted to be macro and think 'We're all going to live and die like everyone else. Even a Gandhi will be forgotten ... its a matter of time. So whats this huge hue and cry about learning, changing and metamorphosising?" Simple .. Because its fun!... Isn't it a bit mundane to do and live as expected of you? To marry, have kids, have a job , get promoted and retire? these aren't unimportant ... But I have a hunch these may not be enough. I an almost see myself at 80 saying to myself "Sigh so all these years for just the mundane?.. What a waste of a life.. Did i Enjoy? ... hmmm yeah kinda, Life was 'decent', good, I guess lived and enjoyed as much as the average person' ...But who wouldn't want more? There is only one that seems to give me pleasure and meaning beyond everything else i know , without fail... knowlege! ....discovery, learning, exploring and finding. Something that I can vaguely see taking me through to old age, sickness and probably beyond. oops i better watch out! Have I stagnated like a rock with this conclusion, probably refusing to believe alternate theories? Probably. So lemme go back and throw all my beliefs out of the window and see if there is something on the other side of my thoughts... maybe my night time characters will have an answer. :)