Sunday, December 8, 2013


Soul-mate copy 2

And so it often happens with me..Justin Timberlake's MIRRORS is a reflection of my real life living. So many thoughts flash through, as the lyrics drown me in a flood of emotions. What surprises me is the force of purity attached - of care and love that's natural and quite fulfilling ..

Yes, sometimes, there's a certain knowledge prescient in placing seemingly disproportioned hands together- but the imperfection deems the perfect fit as joy indeed appears future-proof. Soulmates, you say. Well, always have wondered if that emotion, more than a being could exist?

Reading a lot on this subject- would form a lot of perceptions and natural opinions - read judgements- bestow it's naked heart on the matter. Mostly, we are too meet several Horcruxes along the way - and fit / resonate with several on a variety of such occasions. #HarryPotterReferance

But as synchronicity be achieved ( yes, my Owl did whisper the word in my ear) , the fit needs a fight - of seeing past layers of your own belief system and open eyes to the possibility of a certain numero uno and fighting to keep the eyes that mirror you - by you.

A mouthful of words? Could be. Quite jumbled, my thoughts there.

When you trace reason to route and scientifically evaluate emotions - you lose out on the real meaning. Apparently. Instincts and intuition guide you and you firmly reckon wordsmiths like Paulo Coelho to find your alchemic connection.

Actually - literally you strike gold- when someone resonates on your hold. It's not Karma. It's subjectivity vs the diluted objective channel through which a primate emotion called love funnels through.

Maybe, it's just the course of the Believer- of the Wanderer. When you explore, still never go astray in asphyxiated expectations. You are ready to find oxygen in the same air you breathe- with the mirror.

Trust - that's a big word, indeed. Harnessing the fear of losing identity, encompassing a whole range of insecurity ... to place it , or share it with your Significant Other calls for a modicum of courage. The turbo charged tortoise , too looks out of it's shell- once in a while. Attrition of trust, would need safeguards- but how is life a living, when you exist holding onto it's fragility? You may lose it to find it back stronger. But maybe...just maybe.. when you place it right.. it echoes back with your words unsaid.

Is living for someone else, a loss of you own self or just an addition to your being - capped by an invisible halo? Is happiness, the floating bubble, truly a price tag attached commodity? Now, that we have commodified most gains, is love all about give and take? Or is it...give..give.. give... to see the Happy One, floating in his own bubble?

Anywho, as MIRRORS, plays on, I read the Owl's article on real meeting reel and losing faith in it's forceful effort to live. Life now is therefore, as He says, a case study of 'show and tell'... or as I  sarcastically surmise in my mind - 'kiss and tell'

Kiss the camera- tell the world. Of course I am part of the camera friendly crowd. I crowdsource reality. Or maybe, time-line afflicted, I am very careful of my old age and what I  shall tell my grandchildren as Rose did in Titanic. But what if FB did exist in the Titanic era .. Haha.. quite a thought, given the creative status updates and the dilemma to 'like'..

But the case in point suddenly being, the AGE that marriage just happens. It's really a bandwagon, where cartoons wear sherwani, get drowned in shenanigans and all the brouhaha, to celebrate togetherness. Really?!

Time, is ticking out. I am sure. Men are worried about ovarian cancer too- to degenerate their spawn. More than the pink ribbon, the so called eminent bachelors choose to tie down their fate with a date (actually a dare).

The fat girls get fatter in their big fat weddings, where their fathers buys the groom or acts like a mafia to donate money to groom-broom.

Can't be helped. My idea of marriage is tainted by the Marwari wedding pictures that keep flashing on the newsfeed.

What's the point in dressing up for M-day?! I fail to understand how white-faced bride-groom( read only talcum powder) can face camera and pretend to be happy? Would they want to see their black faces sans the cosmetic pollution? Would the airbrushed pictures still live upto the overt happiness as shown in the albums?

What's with people, anyway? Have they lived their lives in full - known themselves before jumping like a baboon on the next branch to give mating calls?

I wonder, how many such FB masterpieces or cartoons, have travelled..alone..enjoyed their silence.. when left to own devices, how much have they loved themselves?

...and all this while.. the fat girls .. get fatter....

Threading this confused array to the original line of thought - just how many found their soul-mates , rather than sticking up for a photogenic sole-mate?

Is the clock really ticking and time running out? How many have defined their needs and have chosen wisely - than rush to outpace time or listen to Daddy !!

Honestly, more I see the wedding pictures in FB, more I laugh to me- how comical people look in  their uniform.. the mockery of smiles..

Is true emancipation a fantasy? Well, no. It comes with loving yourself and your Significant Other in  the same light.

....cynical..I am....

Traditions amuse me.

Don't get me wrong but.. I am all for living for and with the person one loves..I love my guy too..tremendously.

But I see him as my equal- or better, far superior- but placed in the mantle of soulmate.

That's what. It's friendship and real joy of togetherness than jumping about and being clicked in uniforms. What a waste of money - everywhere! And people still call India poor ! That too, is a sham. A political sham.

Why not be with someone for love alone- than an agenda of marrying and egg-hatching?

...thoughts go culling - mulling ...

..and all this while..the fat girls..get fatter ...

Aahhh...damn you MIRRORS.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Do Men have to 'disturbed' to Emote ?!

This post comes with some confused and displaced thoughts. It's a battery of questions that primarily are asked to self before getting any mass verdict. Or perhaps, there is little scope for that.

The context would be the fine line between expression and suppression where men are concerned.

Not sure, where to start. The key was my own mirth which I now repent as folly.

Once, there was a particular blond with the blue eyes I had liked. But when he spoke, I wished I could cover all my 5 senses.

The tryst of mistrust was with his theoretical knowledge of India. That raised an ire-chord. Blue flames of hatred flared up like sapphire.

Being a researcher, I was appalled at his xenophobia. But then again- this is yet another matter - another bone of contention.

Point of the matter is - are we scared of men and their expressions? Why do we look down if men express - in theatrical exaggerated manner?

Do we have to judge them with biased and colored lenses and label them?

Is it that our judgement goes on an extreme point  of an insidious form of habitual auto-pilot?

The cognitive load that we apparently carry, in terms of information on structures, and the way we process as conditioned, seems to be a double-edged sword pinned to our merciless selection of everyday attention & influences.

When we intellectualize expressions, and question it's roots, do we deconstruct the beauty of emotions?

Ok, let me analyze how minds were working at the time-

  • the cognitive phase of intellectualizing his mannerisms which we termed as madness
  • the associate stage where the focus is sharper on his mistakes
  • finally the autonomous stage, where we arrive at our own haphazard 'OK-Plateau' where we pilfer the information as we filter and move it back to the recesses of our minds - all the while labelling and tagging him as a 'weak man.'

As my best friend exclaims - 'Dude, like seriously?'

I do admit that I fell in this 3 step process. But I had to take multiple steps back and stop to question. I had to make use of my Socio background - debunk and evaluate the essence of the so-called  'positive deviation.'

Somewhere, it didn't settle in right, when we laughed at his nuances. We should have considered them as his intrinsics and accepted.

Are we that rigid and straitjacketed? Who, are we then in our bedrooms?

How much do men need to walk the linear path of inexpressive equanimity to seek a balance. Why can't they be freed of their own shackles too? 

To respire, aspire and inspire. And not to impress while being oppressed.

So when he exclaims, with eyes round and hands doing the talking - do we have to see him as an outlier to the manly codes of public conduct ?

Or is it just India? 

Where are we then, on the continuum of evolution - acceptance of emotions and expressions?


Monday, September 9, 2013

An Ode to Kabira

I write this much inspired. I write this, as an expression of what evades me. The song has dug its roots in me- as a sign of my times.

The opening lines speaks a boy's heart -

"Main udna chahta hoon Naina,
Daudna chahta hoon...
Girna bhi chahta hoon..
Bas rokna nahi chahta ..."

The tone is moving as it speaks volumes through the simple words. It reflects the suppressed wish to taste freedom and yet the implicit trust to come back home.

It symbolizes the prologue of a man - lost in  his desire to be a boy again and turn his back on what love may hold.

Time of essence, is of inconsequence. The timeless hails supreme of what the heart speaks and the mind conjures.

The shadow of the ticking clock - stands null and void to dreams or wants.

It calls for a greater understanding of one's own restlessness and of another's patience.

Suffering is noble for its the stepping stone to things greater- or so the fable goes. Suffering is optional. A test of will and character. Few win the fight - and the few who do, know none of the borders that reality pervades one's own soul with.

As the song starts and the mellifluous Rekha Bharadwaj's vox sings out - the sigh heard , is almost palpable. You feel the deep sorrow of the female protagonist - as she tosses and trusses about in her inner turmoil - of the intrinsics of holding on or letting go.

Dreams are fragile. Once broken - they never synthesize to a new coherent cohesion. Once dead - they are ashen - sublime of their silken essence.

Once smoke - they're brittle and hurt steps as they try to divert.

The maturity of the girl, longs to lapse back into her puerility and be rebellious to fate being pre-decided and snatched away.

She sees the man she loves walk away.

True love always comes back - all fairy tales end with this happy ending.

The used always comes back in its distorted form.

But reality is crude as her own hopes bite the dust. She must bite the bullet and let go - set free her own self.

The song calls for a higher understanding of a woman over a man's mind. It calls for an esteem-hit yet a courage much untraced.

To let go and remain buried in hopes - with wings clipped is not what every girl aspires to do.

To cut the umbilical chord that unites the twin beats - is not what the heart would ever wish for.

The song is not about love or loss. Yet its lovelorn tune tears the very fiber of being - and stitches into the very core as its encore.

The song is not a plea- just a state of silent wonderment at the other's unique brand of insanity.

And the tears fall. But in the fall, lies a queer liberation as the heart gets steadily incinerated.

She seeks a lifetime - not a light installation of it. She is prepared to lose for that. For she cannot settle for the second best or play the second fiddle to one's dream or responsibility side-tracked as commitment.

The song calls for a salute !!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Why Not Me Generation

Generation is always an ambivalent term. Nowadays, the space is so less between and pace of life so fast - that generation seems a farce word indeed. Like if we look at just 2 years younger to us- that pedigree is entirely different from us.

Wants, need, passion and even the nature of compassion seems changed. To Be or not to Be is fast superseded by To See or not To See. The eye only sees what the eye believes.

The share of trust vested is thus wasted mostly as one thing called facades bind souls together. We put on masks and our best smiles to fake while we face the innocent. In fact, in  this dog eat dog world, it's quite an irony to wish someone -"May God Bless You."

a) There's NO God above
b) We make it on our own
c) Dogs rule the world

So, it mostly must be rephrased by - May Dog Bless You.

Wishes like these hold more truth too - like we may infer it to be - "May DOGS like US bless you," or that "You're a DAWG too.. besties in your survival kit."

In this ratrace, you must be the smart dog to survive- not the loyal over-committed pig that you've morphed into - but the real dog who chases a cheetah !!

Instant gratification seems to be the instant mantra for instant happiness. Inner happiness be damned - the face glow is bought too.

Happiness is pen and paper ilked. You say it and the contract is signed.

Aspirations run high all these dogs know is how to use up people- aka resources- and survive. No place for ethics, law or the sun. No place for truth as the holy grail in the walk of fame.

Facebook is a good example - the race for marriage, honey combed honey-moons and the honey trap that's the wedded lives ! Everyday, someone is tying the knot and dying as the noose tightens.

Pockets are full of blingblings - phones, car keys, silver - what not to show off status, money , class, power but not affinity and empathy.

There's no virtue in value- just the spice of vice. Doesn't matter if you're married and you want to use girls for self-gratification. She's meant to be used after all!

This generation - rather the breed of people now- I tag as 'Why Not Me' hence. Everyone wants a share of the pie but none wants to buy it. Ownership is a loose and a vague term. More than fatigue, we fight boredom.

Shifting or locomotion from one place to the other - is the key skill one has to earn as he / she learns it the hard way. The world must be seen through cynical dark shades.

Eyes must be dry always. Moist is a sign of weakness

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Is silence a form of independence ???

Has someone ever felt the extreme pleasure point on reaching home simply after another day's work - with a mind wasted and gone to the dogs - empty moments piling onto time. The heavy burden of Time itself,. makes it crawl and drag its feet, painful second by second.

I wonder how many people are actually, stuck at crossroads of time.. awaiting for a new beginning with no end in sight ?

I wonder how many people are proactive about it?

At times, when the drudgery of work leaves your brain paralyzed by utter boredom, I ponder how is it possible to feel intellectual , organic and sexy again ?

Is the feeling of life sapped forever - at least for the time being? How does one cope up with the feeling of incapability ? Of constancy sans change?

How does life itself react - to political agenda driven attitude that erodes ethics and dilutes principles. How does one discern joy on delivery or execution ? How is the process hole-ridden?

Where does zeal lead one to- if there are dead ends everywhere?

When does ambition take flight - when all doors firmly remain closed? The only one open seems to be the one you have to enter reluctantly.

A lot of people are smart enough to shrug off the 9-5 phenomena. But what about those  wish to embrace the timelines but are left gasping for more?

In the search for linearity, when mental faculties soon become defunct, how does one rise above to another horizon that testifies one's ability and faith in oneself ? Does the dictum of corporate philosophy border on sadism?

Why is thought never challenged and actions streamlined to one goal of money?

Do most then, float with numbed minds and dumbed voices and drift aimless- waiting and watching out for a new spark.

Given the context, how many of us then, breathe a deep sigh of relief when the clock strikes 6 and there's a rush to retreat back to one's me-time?

Is one's sense of identity only cultivated by time best felt alone?

Is silence an independence?

A lot of thoughts as an outcome of largely unproductive days and a daze settling as a haze which obstructs logic and joy of 'work.'

Mulling still .....

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Life on a Treadmill

Life on a treadmill - this analogy was much derived watching legs and feet pounding to a rhythmic beat on a treadmill at my gym. Sweat dripping with earphones muffling all sounds of reality - leaving the listener lost in his or her abyss of self-peace pursuit.

Routine life and monotony besets all, it seems. Such is life- in the corporate world, where running too seems a race against time and not with time

Zooming back to the gym, I see both sexes in love with metal and machines. The natural has no scope of life and form as the structure remains shaped by the arches and lines. The shape too seems constant- slim and curvy or bulging with curious cuts.

Standardization of mind, self and body thus sets as an alignment that maligns the truth that centers all cores.

Appetite and share of mouth must follow a linear course and diverging away from the centrifugal point leaves one harassed and focus diluted. There is no scope of course correction , for that must again result in loss of time.

Bliss, peace and metal joy remains thus monetized. Pace of life must beat one's space - the idea by itself a life's dictum.

In fact, the more the world gears towards equality, the more papyrous the concept seems. Time and distance remain at unequal poles where the individual is pit as a challenge at the center.

Maybe I'm thinking all this, in a soul searching mode, after my recent trip to the hills. The greenery, slow motion life, heedless to any deadlines but just to the rhythm of one's own heartbeat - seemed magical and aspirational.

There was a sensual seduction in the air, that calmed minds and sensitized nerves to the many sounds of nature.

Colors, all at once, seemed bright and seemed to have a life of their own. The wind seemed a life-giver while lazy clouds floated about as orbs of hope where dreams may rest unhassled.

Food seemed aplenty as did people's smiles. There a more cemented spirit bound in collectivity where individuality had no scope of survival.

The scenic spots could only inspire the creative- while the slopes seemed painted by an ethereal power. It was a place to make one believe- make an atheist fall in love with the power of faith.

Mesmerized, we'd stood- strangely awed, subdued and powerless at the hands of oblivion. The clock had faded away - no herald for the known anymore.

Life suddenly seemed beautiful, serenaded by its own quirky simplicity.

Maybe I'd felt my cynicism thawing too- as the surreptitious tentacles of serendipity made me place a modicum of trust on the over-rated words of love and a life beyond.

It was as if the whole place was streaked by the conjurer's paint brush- to play with your mind- make your darkest dreams come alive, only to be hued by sunshine. Nothing seemed impossible- as the time stood still.

Standing atop the hills, breathing in purity,I could only envision enriched prosperity - not marred or tarred with commodification of wants.

As I let my eyes feast on the treat on every horizon. the route to heaven / haven seemed closer and more real than possible.

The sense of a lag- a giving up of the competitive streak- seemed suddenly a relief. All over the leit motif of peace and the white flag could shine bright as slowly it let me fade away my blacks.

Idyllic for an idealist like me, the crude way of life could finally rest the realist in me,emphasizing on the urge to forgo boundaries and dream of everything that I had shunned.

Music in the air with the natural beats of waterfall, footsteps, breathless climbs, bleats and bird songs filled my aura as it too sang its own queer song of solitary joy.

The final moments suddenly dawned the slow breakage of this gilded cage- where happy I'd lain- full of self-contentment. In my mind, the comparison map of the very commercial cemented Gurgaon with the hills loomed large, making me wish for a miracle to conspire and me to stay back forever, lost in the arms of love.

Maybe this place could soften me while the city life can only serve to sell you to servitude. The artificiality of concrete could only draw a restless sigh of benign dislike - where we would have to adhere to the norms that city culture could dictate.

I thought deep about glasses that adorned the buildings in the city jungle- pale, fastidious that deflected sunlight - while mirrors here could only reflect spirit, life, love and harmony.

Driving back to the morgue that housed the jail house of money and power, I suddenly felt quite cut away - distant as the main purpose of life seemed out of focus.

I don't really know whether escape from commercial city life to such magical places can co-create the value in a myth or that one should actively pursue a route to life than pursuit of happiness through a meaningless livelihood ..

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fathers - the 3D effect

Ist part-

He stopped to look at the clock on the white wall. 8 going on 9. Raking his hand through his hair, he loosened his tie. His stomach growled. He realized he hadnt eaten anything since that call.

At 4pm, his wife of 4 years had called him in muted panic. 'It's time.' ..was all she'd said. He grabbed his suit and ran from the presentation that he'd slaved on for more than a month.

 'It was time..yes ! and so it was."..was all that he could think.

He ran down the 10 flights and found his way to his car on his shaky feet. Jumping in, he backed at breakneck speed and drove out to the highway. His mind was abuzz with thoughts while his eyes were alight with a subdued excitement. Prayer on his lips-  his plea to to God for safety.

For years, Myra and he'd thought of this day - dreamt of this day. Since college, when they knew their eventuality, this day had seemed to be an inevitable and a veritable proof of their love. Jobs, house, car and dogs - all fell in place slowly as they worked hard to turn their dream to reality.

And it was time, for a new life to enter their life.

Their joy knew no bounds, when the confirmation came. Love shone and sparkled in their eyes as they held hands and planned more. Future seemed to be candyfloss with a silvery glow - that reflected in their spirits. The 9 months of joy had passed away too quickly it seemed - and today was the day.

Sifting through the flashbacks, he felt that perhaps, he'd been waiting for this day all his life. In every image, he could see Myra and the infant. He felt, that all his life, he'd worked hard - for this day, when all his love and effort would bear fruit.

A small smile full of dreamy anticipation hovered around his lips. He paced up and down - restless and anxious - like a lion caged. As he turned for his n-th walk up and down the floor, he sighted his old man, walking towards him.

The men stood silent. The older one , with his hand on his son's shoulder.

Across the hallway, the nurse's voice rang out- summoning them. Both men ran towards the green door - breathless with excitement.

'It's a girl', the nurse smiled at them.

He walked in to see his wife exhausted , yet serene. Her luminous eyes lifted up, over her veil of sweat to meet his. He closed the distance between them and held her tight, while his father looked on.

The wail brought the instant smiles as little Misha was carried to her parents.

He looked at her - mesmerized by Creation's full essence. She was perfect - his little princess. His wife held the baby close to her heart. He could feel all his love for them both - overpowering him. He reached out and touched his baby. Together they held her.

'This is it' , he thought. 'I'm a father.'

The beauty of the realization hit him as tears welled up in his eyes. This was his child - the one for whom, he could do anything and be anyone.

He kissed her tiny  fingers and thanked God once more - in deep gratitude- for the miracle. Fatherhood, dawned on him that day, as he felt its sheen in its full glow.

2nd part -

Around the same time in the same hospital, another baby wailed too. Ali , looked on at his 6th baby. His look was austere - like the rest of him. His friends in fact likened him to an old black and white movie whose reel  the rat had eaten up.

He stood, immobile and expressionless. All that occupied his mind was- money, moolah, numbers and dollars.

In that space of time, his mind spanned back to the last decade of his life- scanning the intricate details. His first child, Samir, had brought him joy as he felt that the boy was his achievement - his payback for his labor of love.

His wife was a simple Hindu girl, whom his parents had thrusted upon him at an age of 22. Samir, too seemed the apple of her eye, as she doted on him, lavishing all her lidded love his way. Samir, was her  rescue from her husband's scorned ways.

But the chain soon followed. The violence at home followed by more roughness and more babies. Next came Sara, followed by Anam, Amol and Farook. Sara seemed to find favor with her father too.Ali felt drawn to his daughter, and lived each day to see her smile.

His sons were tough and hardy - but boys could not evoke what the brown eyed girl child could strongly bring forth. Even as he stood there, watching his wife holding the new born for the first time - he held Sara's hand tight. He turned to her- saying in his gruff tone - 'Another little brother for you.'

Sara smiled at him. Her childish innocence warmed his heart as he prayed to Almighty to always look after her.

He felt nothing for his sixth child. 'Just another burden', he thought.'Another mouth to feed.'

He picked up Sara and barked at his boys to follow him. The younger two seemed transfixed - their joy too reflected their puerile love. Looking at them, Ali, marveled at the serenity of innocence. For the first time, he was jealous of his own brood.

He felt that all his feeling and emotions had been snatched away , when his parents had not let him marry Fatima - his childhood sweetheart. Instead, he was given another fate - where his life seemed empty and vague.

Nothing made sense to him - as he existed his way through life. Sara was his only reprieve. For her again, he refound his capabilities to emote and feel.

His wife had often wondered aloud at his stoic stance. But little did she know, that his heart was dead and leaden with stone - a cover for all the love he's stored for Fatima.

He still lived in his belief - that oneday, he would find her and they'd be together.

3rd Part -

Matt stood, with beads of sweat outline his pensive profile. His eyes were closed and brows knotted in thick concentration. An atheist at heart, he found himself strangely praying for mercy.

The nightmare had started when Becky, had called him in panic, sobbing into the phone. The two words would be drilled into his head forever.

"I'm pregnant. It's all because of you..", she'd screamed.

He could sense her anguish and felt her rising fear.

He could imagine what could be going through her mind - dreams, life, hopes and parental love all clashing and enmeshing into a blurred obscurity.

He raced to her house, to be by her side - though he felt nothing.

Looking at her, he found himself feeling claustrophobic, struck by the reaffirmed realization that Becky was not and never could be the woman he would marry.

It was not that mistakes didn't happen, or that pregnancy was a scare. Becky was a soft girl She could not deal with the enormity of what she would have to go through. So Matt must think for her.

He knew his actual responsibility lay in what his old man would say- "Marry her boy. She's a fine girl and if she's the mother of your child then it's only right, you two raise it together."

But Matt knew that the words were far from the solution. They were the problem and presented no hope for happiness. Becky was a 'fine girl' indeed - but looking ahead , he could not see any family with her. He felt no love and therefore must not feign or show any.

Routes were always of 1 and 0 for him. He'd sat in silence ever since the call- pondering his course of action.
Should he swallow his own dreams and pride and get entangled into a marriage with the girl whom he would never love? Or should he walk away from it all ? Or should he decide with Becky and rather persuade her to give up the child , since one born out of wedlock would only inspire scorn in its life.

He estimated that she would be around 3 months pregnant. Just at the right time, he felt. He walked through the options in his mind. Fatherhood was not what he wanted now and he was clear about it.

Becky had to abort and he would ensure it.

The cold calculative blue eyes, sought the time in his Tissot and taking a deep breath, started his car towards Becky's house. Reaching there, he felt dismal and empty - the pit of his stomach had a nasty feeling settling in like sedimented bile.

He stopped for a moment and imagined how it would be like holding his own child. Maybe, he could be a good father and give an innocent its life which both would treasure as parents. He felt like a murderer and a traitor to Becky's hopes. He knew Becky loved him. But he also knew that he had none to spare. She didnt fit in , in his definition of life and future.

It must be done.

He rang the bell and the door was immediately opened by a pale and teary eyed Becky. They held each other and he tried to impart his strength to her.

He drew her to the couch, sat her down and spoke

His words were clipped and his tone reflected no emotion. He felt heartless but perhaps he was that then.
Becky looked at him with round eyes of surprise as silent tears fell from her eyes.

She clasped his hand in her small white palm and decided that no matter what, Matt would always be the one she would love. The child would be a symbol of their love- but she could sense that there was none from him.

She nodded slowly to his plea and called up the hospital. It was the same hospital where a certain of life greeted one and a bundle of responsibility sought another.

He drove-  his profile cold and hard while her mouth was set in a determined line. She refused to feel anything. She would later- when alone , she knew she would break down- struck by horror.

4 hours later, the nightmare was over. The ordeal had left them drained but in Matt, Becky sensed a curious glow.

He dropped her to her home, and with a brief smile - left. Never to return back to her.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mid Life Crisis or Mid course correction !!!

Averee’s post on “Man” is very intriguing since most of what she says, applies irrespective of gender – or so I think.  But for now let us stick to the Martians, and discuss the conflicts of our friends from Venus later.
I was more enthralled by the former part of her post –
when men decide what they want / should do. In fact, as I get acquainted with most, I steadily feel that more men are geared to choosing what they should do / ought to do than choose to do what they want to. Is it the dogmatic society driving actions?

one must stand for what one wants….
The confusion is very REAL – do I do what is “expected” or should I do what I want? Question asked time and again. Krishna told Arjun – Do what is right, and not what you want, and both were considered to be men enough….. surely the best in their times……….or as the Hindu Mythology  / religion bestowed the title “Purushottam” – The Best Man, on someone who essentially (at least in the Hindu context) defined that doing what is expected or correct defines manhood more than what one wants… at times even taking the wrath of his beloveds.
Now I know that Averee’s post was not to say that manhood essentially would mean doing only what one wants because then morality or lack of it will cause more chaos than order. Imagine everyone literally doing what they want. Thus if we were to concur that in the end “doing what is right” is more important or required, then the questions arises that who knows what “right” is?
Does the world know better than you OR are you better equipped to know what is right? Making it more interesting is the fact that “right” or wrong itself is based on a frame of reference which is essentially sociological – and to quote Averee essentially dogmatic .
But keeping gender and religion aside, should we really do what we want?
Philosophically I guess everyone does – it is just that we are “afraid” or “ashamed” at times to admit it. In any case that brilliant post from Averee and a few other concurrent incidents, thoughts and conversations led me to think on what actually does one want? And for the purposes of this discussion the question is more metaphysical and not about “Should I take that extra scoop?”
Mel Gibson tried to tell us what women want and Averee alluded to the not so fair sex…
My conundrum is on this repetitive phase of realization (sometimes self realization and sometimes forced) where we assess, reassess and repeat the oft asked question
“What do I want?”
Not only does every person differ on the response, but also I believe that an individual responds differently in different phases of life. As a school going kid, I had “kidish dreams” to be a bus conductor, a Spiderman, a spy, a time traveler, one of the Hardy Boys. It shows my lack of creativity and desire to be someone I could not ( I mean “cool” – I could have always become a Spiderman had it not been for lack of radioactive spiders in our school labs).
As years passed and I developed a delusion of I know better, my wishes (now called goals) became more about careers, colleges, jobs, bikes,  girls, (in the reverse order of importance and correct order of likelihood) . Then came the phase of “ambitions” about promotions, stability, roles, money etc.
Now as I approach what people refer to as “Mid life” based on average human expectancy, I am allowed – rather expected –  to have a “crisis”  returning to the same question “What do I want?” with answers more about deep rooted wishes, bucket lists, purpose of life etc.(side note -  This is no attempt to show how I am progressing on the Maslow’s need hierarchy !!)
Now onto my midlife “crisis”. A few days back, I mentioned to a certain someone “who-must not-be-named” how I was seriously thinking about writing – either publishing something over a period of time, or a play or even a movie. And lo behold, I got a smirk, and an animated discussion about how this is my midlife crisis.  But as I mentioned somewhere on this blog
But write I should
And write I shall
 For I got to hear
 What I think !!! “
What got me thinking was how if something does not fit in the norms, it is considered to be a crisis. I am surely not the first and definitely not the last who will be scorned for his or her midlife crisis.  The question that begs to be answered is that that is it a Midlife Crisis or actually a Midcourse correction – something needed to ensure that all is not lost in running aimlessly !!!
And signing off with few of my favorite lines (which someone will say are mid life “crisis” of Sant Kabir”
Bada bhaya to kya bhaya
Jaise Ped Khajoor?
Panthi ko chaya nahi
Phal laage ati door……

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Musical friends -- Kaise Kategi Zindagi, tere bagair.....

The joy of landing on something rare randomly is exhilarating. On a recent flight, while casually listening to some songs I chanced upon this very nice Madan Mohan composition which I must say is a pure Rafi gem.

If you are the type (rare but priceless) who like the melancholy of slow but serene music then this surely is worth the “add on your playlist”. And if you have been unfortunate like me to have not heard this like me before, please join me in enjoying the discovery. This one was recorded by Madan Mohan for a film that never saw the light of the day. It lied unheard in the archives until a few years back when his family found it and thankfully for us, released it !!

Without much ado, here it is.

Frankly, there is no need to read any further as I always feel that music is a very personal experience, with each song touching each one of us very differently - and rightly so.

In my nomadic life voyage so far, I have made a lot of friends, but very few with whom I can discuss and enjoy all kinds of music, more so music of this genre. It is rare to find someone who does not enjoy ANY music at all, but most have a specific genre that appeals to them more than the others. There is always a set of folks with whom you are comfortable discussing every type of music. I have always had a very diverse set of friends and every group has had its own taste of music...... Guns N Roses.... Madan Mohan... Beatles.... C Ramchamdra.... John Elton.... Nadeem Shravan....Shankar Jaikishan…One direction

With these friends we had these little mehfils, just listening to something, enjoying its effect, humming it, then discussing the song, its lyrics, the composer, the shayar, and the singer and so on..

I think my urge to write on this particular song emanates not only to share it but more so from missing some of those really rare friends who would have enjoyed listening to this collectively.

We would have started with the lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan. Simple, meaningful and apt, which was always his style like “Naina Barase Rimjhim Rimjhim” or “Tum bin jeevan kaise beeta – pooch mere dil se” or “vatan ki raah mein vatan ke naujavan shaheed ho”.  No chaste Urdu or heavy words unless required . We would talk about how he stays true to the spirit through to the end. Longing conveyed without a lot of dramatization in the song, which makes the magic of this song an actual team work.

The opening line itself completes the thought of the song

Kaise kategi Zindagi, tere bagair, tere bagair
Paunga har shay me kami... Tere bagair tere bagair.

We would listen to the song again and then come to the real magic of this song - Madan Mohan and Rafi. We would rewind to just enjoy the way the "tere bagair" is sung at the end of the mukhdaa… pure magic….. Or we would discuss and sample the ..”jaise bujhe chiraag hain” the frist antaraa.... We would try humming it....

I am not trained in music, to know if this based on something classical, but knowing Madan Mohan, this is undoubtedly in his inimitable style. Soft, simple, serene yet divinely classical. He will always remain the Ghazal king, and I will continue to miss my friends who could have enjoyed this with me… not to say I don’t have friends now in Dallas who don’t like Music, we all enjoy music every weekend too…. Just not this genre … Yet

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dilemma of the Dreamer

I rarely write about movies, but there must be a first to everything in life. Righto ! So this is just a mirage of what all I felt post the effect - the profound questions that disrupted the smooth flow of absurdity otherwise ! The movie in question is Baz Luhrman directed wonderfilm - The Great Gatsby.

Where do we really draw the line between real and surreal ? How  does our consciousness wake up enough to demarcate the strict borders with rigidity, monitoring heart and head ?

Great Gatsby spoke about the 4 pillars of love, lust, faith and dreams. To it all , it added a vague fifth pillar of convenience, who's stature grew as the plot progressed.

We speak so highly of love and all its treasures. However, reality be, in the end, its all indeed measured - quantified against rationality absolute, set against parameters of want, desire and life - to choose the optimum fit.

Therein lies the dilemma of the dreamer - the dreams he / she has are ultimately not the pathways to the future. Future remains a steady goal in everyone's life, where no random variable must disturb its structure. Future thus must be one concrete whole.

So maybe, that's why it was difficult for Daisy to settle well in Gatsby's dreams - though her part was well defined , her path seemed unsure to her. To which, further I may add, she lacked the courage to make the change.

Maybe , over time hopes and dreams lose their shine - specially when the end is questionable. Dubious minds thus seek the next best option that's more readily available to make do with, and let their loyalties stretch than stray. Hope be doped / duped, minds and hearts are bound to cross-function, yet find their curious harmony when comfort is sought.

Waiting on the watch is thus perhaps a euphemism for shifting to another target - the time must not be wasted. Life must go on... minus the perils. One must seek shelter in the cocoon of convenience than further fight on for what's apparently a lost cause or a delusion. When the end is nowhere in sight, the easy path to one's peace is to follow the route of amnesia and attract another new end. Goal is always constant thus - evergreen happiness which cannot be shortchanged at the willing desire of another.

Long term vision is always compromised with one's immediate gain, when specially belief in another's actions and dreams are concerned. Inherently then, as shown in the movie, we don't allow ourselves to be swayed by others' vision of the future, as the clock comes in vision. A friend recently told me -
 " uncertainty steps in when time comes into play."

True that. To avoid such uncertainty, therefore, we must follow the wise adage of ' let go or be dragged.' And it so happens,  it's at this point , that the mind and heart refuse to be drugged enough to be dragged and let go - for what's available next. It maybe a remote second best - but logically its still something versus nothing.

So essentially, the questions that crop up are - what indeed is 'love' ? Is it nothing but numbers pit against each other ?

Where is the place for a dreamer today? Should he too be garbed and cloaked in the shades of logic and emotions be rationalized ? Where indeed do we draw the lines between a cognitive and an intuitive stance? What indeed is that point of absolute must, when let go becomes the leitmotif ? In this numbersome and cumbersome world, therefore, do we lack the courage to be dragged - specially when time and its essence require our time and understanding ?Do we ever question our beliefs or question why had we believed in certain wordly dreams earlier ?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Man-U ???

This account comes as a form of self-awakening. In fact a lot of soul searching and face-to-face with frayed facts could only lead me down this road of jotting down some of the key questions, inferences and nascently formed strong beliefs regarding the vitality of co-existence with another species.

Well, the species in question is something called a Man. I wonder what that is. Or how people view the structure as. Albeit the anatomy, wonder what makes others associate the frame to strength, stability, shelter, security and power?

Obviously, to this general cattle, there must be some exceptions. Quite rare - probably on its way to extinction too - or probably myths like Yeti.

Constructs of masculinity vary across historical and cultural contexts.The extent to which masculinity is a result of nature or nurture, a matter of what someone is born with or how they are socialized, has been the subject of much debate.

But is it really nurture that drives the being or how the man himself grooms his nature to be in his adult years? How does he perceive himself and is there any correlation through the looking glass to his public and private selves?

Is the stress on his masculinity code quite taxing - making him forgo his own eros in search of an identity reflecting collectivity? To be or not be - HE - is it the question that predominates most thoughts when men decide what they want / should do. In fact, as I get acquainted with most, I steadily feel that more men are geared to choosing what they should do / ought to do than choose to do what they want to. Is it the dogmatic society driving actions?

So, when we view the category codes, do they constrict life - not only for men but also women. Does the micro view deny the larger picture of accepting masculinity is all its shades? When women think of men, or see them in their flow of life, do they adhere to a vision or see the reality as it is. Then , I am forced to question, whose is the greater view - the men who have to be men or the women who must see them as one?

For women , I guess, a man's man is someone who stands up  - for them and themselves.

Recently I came across this picture that made me further ponder on this issue -

Do men really know what their women want of them ?And are they scared of showing their real selves?

A man is always viewed as the breadwinner- no matter the societal progression.He must earn and take care of his progeny and dependents. But what if his heart lies somewhere else - and he denies it all to himself to follow the one course in life that history books have recorded time and again. So, if HIStory gets enmeshed in the flow of life, is he questioned on his masculinity?

When I read Amit's post earlier, about how divorces generally start with the notion of the men being questioned / suspected, I felt that this society has quite a harsh view on manhood. If the man in question, slips his standard of being a so-called man, then instantly he is emasculated and tagged.

Tags stigmatize dreams - cutting short a free living.  So many men, flowing through consequences of codes, resign themselves to roles assigned. We easily glare or stare at the man as he de-mans himself.

Funneling my random thoughts to one central question - when women see men, which is the parameter they judge them by - brains or balls? Balls to stand up or brains to sit out ?

Well .. this is a continuous debate raging through my mind- slashing with other thoughts. I still wonder what a 'man' is ...

A strange(r) companion.........

 Midnight is not exactly anyone’s dream hour to be behind the wheels trying to juggle two seemingly contrasting jobs at the same time - driving and sleeping.  However as history has it (at least since automobiles were introduced), every once in a while, a true braveheart must undertake this hypnotic act and literally live to tell the tale.

This past weekend destiny (read my Travel Plans) decided to hand me this task and judge if I could live up to its daunting challenges.  Like every Don Quixote  who has had that “one for the road” extra drink, I decided to take up the challenge and considered it an act of weakness to succumb to the somnolent desires. So at midnight, here I was zipping and swirling through the “video game like” labyrinth of Interstate Highways and Freeways of Texas while Hypnos the God of Sleep and his half brother Thanatos the God of Death ferociously fought over who should get my final “custody”.  Fortunately for me and unfortunately for many of you, Thanatos and MS Dhoni both were later found drinking at the same bar and licking their failure wounds as I lived on…..

So, on this entrancing ride to the Beaver Bend State Park as I was juggling with my cell phone, my GPS (which refuses to form a bond with the dashboard), and a water bottle ---  at one enlightening moment, I realized that after a long time in my driving career, I was the only “one” on the road. This was a single lane state highway, with no lights, large fields bordering it on both sides and no one in sight. I quickly glanced around and looked in all mirrors to spot some signs of human existence, but all in vain. This gave me a glimpse of how Mars Rover might be feeling every day. However even Rovers has the excitement of unpaved roads and a distant communicative companion(s) in “Houston”.  I did not have that luxury !!

A moment after I realized my lonely existence, the ubiquitous sadist in me quizzed me in a Rapid fire round……

Do you have fuel in the car?...
Is it enough?..............
Do you have Cash in your pocket?.........
When did you last check the air pressure?....
 Why did you not get the “Check Engine” light checked?….
Did you renew your AAA membership? …..
Is your insurance card updated?............
Does your cell phone have coverage? ….
What if your car breaks down here?........
Where is the damn flashlight?......
What about the dead body in the boot?.... ok maybe that was in some movie…. But the others rang loud and clear in a few seconds.

Now as I tried to appease the sadist in me and convince him that “Aaalll izzz well”, I stopped juggling with my electronics and also instinctively took my foot off the gas pedal. My convincing of the inner voices might not have been that effective as some sense of insecurity still loomed in the mind. I obviously kept on driving confused if I should attempt to enjoy the serenity or hope that none of the fears actually come true. As I have trained myself to do over the years, I went through a series of “What ifs?” and realized that even if the car was to suddenly come to a screeching halt in the middle of this lonely road at this unearthly hour, I would be able to manage the “disaster”. That helped a little to calm down and keep driving, ----- not that stopping was an alternative in any case.

I must have driven a few miles in that confused state of mind, not realizing fully that this had actually helped me become fully awake and aware.  As I went downhill on the road, I saw a set of headlights appear on the horizon of my rear view mirror. In the otherwise pitch darkness they were hard to miss, rising from behind the hill – sunrise of a different kind! And suddenly I had company…. a fellow traveler, a mile away from me. Weirdly enough, I suddenly felt not only some relief but also a strange connection. I slowed down enough so that the car catches up and stays in my rear view mirror as I continued my drive to into the darkness, with a liberated sense that up close and behind I now have a companion…. I kept driving at a speed to ensure that we are in each other’s sight. Every time I felt that the distance is increasing I consciously slowed and sped up every time I thought that we are too close (lest the car overtakes). This slow waltz of ours continued for eighty odd miles, with me taking the lead. Then as we approached a town interestingly named “Paris” in Texas, we parted ways as I could see the car turn left  driving into oblivion. Now why did I feel a sense of desolation as I watched the lights disappear from my rear view mirror?

Nowhere in this entire drive did I ever figure out any details about the car – what make was it? What was its color? Was it even a car or a small pickup truck? Who was driving it? Were there others in that car? Was the master of the car equally relieved to see me drive ahead? Did he (or was it she) also make an attempt to stay close? But there it was – not just a “light” at the end of a seemingly dark tunnel but also a companion of sorts in those eighty miles.

How many times in our lives too we have such markers or milestone people who we don’t know well enough but do expect them to be “there”. How often do we then notice them only when they actually disappear?  A cobbler at the corner of a road who you never will go to but someone who you see daily working diligently head down – making someone’s life better? Someone sitting in a cubicle close to the elevator who you see daily and maybe occasionally smile at too but never even bother to read the name plate. A neighbor who you never get introduced to, but with whom you share the exact office time and see him backing out his car while you alight from the stairs. These seemingly meaningless relationships too I guess have some meaning because you do feel a sense of loss (however fleeting it may be) when that milestone ceases to exist…….


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Being headless is being a chicken ?

More oft than not, specially in our sagacious country, where every other person competes in omniscience and its associated degrees with one another- we have heard our wise elders preach values about determining a course of life.

A charter of rights - to be right- to do right and in short - just exist right. The charter forms the mandate - the holy grail to truth absolute. Its also said and felt, that this would lead to the path to success... possibly Nirvana too as the state of  Kaivalya obviously rests in paying heed to he(a)rd words.

All kinds of eyes watch our progress in life- wide eyes, big round eyes, red eyes, blue  eyes and green eyes. Our steps are always measured with time and distance sums. The space between the footprints, seems to be imprinted in the in the baby's mind , while it lies in oblivion in its nascent stage.

The words uttered all around us - a chant handed down as a lip service across time and space- are expected to cover all tracks in life. No-one must question the power these words wield as they  hold a biblical  relevance in one's life. Years can only fray the edges, adding to their wisdom. Obedience is thus sought as an inevitable dharma. Deviation is thus chaotic, for a world so orderly.

Even Durkheim, while eulogizing on law and order, spoke about chaos being ridden by disobedience to norms. In fact, literature and history remain strewn with examples of turmoil caused by non-adherence to words. The fables must be believed. The scriptures must be swallowed as a whole- to be a whole and be part of a larger whole.

Expressions come easy at another's failure thus. People, socially driven to emote in the least positive manner, frown on the one unable to follow norms. The tongue clucks itself while the muscles all around the face contort to show displeasure. So easily can the smile turn frosty while one's support maybe withdrawn at the slightest hint of 'trouble.'

Yet how many of us are empathetic to chaos? How many understand the need for turmoil?

In how many books / movies / serials / WOM, would you find a support to such a brouhaha?

While the destination always remains the goal, how many of us fall in love with the road to it and all the agony along the way? Is noise a barrier then - to still one's own rhythm?

Delving deep in our hearts, how many can admit to the courage required to follow one's choice? Is everybody led on by the illusion of a straight line?

So then, what about those stuck in a quagmire of their eccentricity? Would people doubt their authenticity or dub their ethnicity in terms of origin, to be hollow?

Is success linked to linear progression? Are these straight lines, the path to self-actualization?

What about those again, who seem confused about their aim as they run along amok in their concentric circles? Is circle or round a shape then, symbolic of worthlessness / defeat/ loss of purpose?

How joyous is that life full of questions than answers? Does it rate high even among the mass? What's the role of hope then in such a seamless life? Is it all a part of wasted lights, as the shining words illumine one's evolution.

It's a thought that often plagues me... I must be sounding strange...but what I really wish to understand, is the benefit of being directionless / aimless - in short non adherence to linear life. What is the role of an individual's essence wrt the collective? Is it that the herd mentality seems a safer route than a chaotic path  to joy?

Does it take someone more courage to be self-declared as headless - without being a specific-ist. Is transparency about a lack of vision, a reflection of greater bravery? Must all paths be pre-determined? How much does a flow attribute to finding one's direction despite the winds of change.

Taking this thread further then - must the headless person be called a chicken ??

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Brand Associations?

A Friend of mine recently got divorced and everyone asked HIM – “What did you do?”

Is this – Brand Association or Brand Extensions or just Brand Positioning which makes up all our “assumptions” in life? In this case, the assumption always is that statistically the husband is at fault in divorces more than wives and hence the "brand".
The question that comes to my mind is that does our (consumer’s) association with something in the past make us relate a brand in a particular way? I know it does in many ways but does a company or a person for that matter stay true to their Brand Positioning or should they try to alter it proactively. Do we rely on the neutrality of people or do we actively seek to take (dis)advantage of it? More to follow.....
But for now see this:


Monday, May 20, 2013

Dissatisfaction is a symptom of ambition?

I have always believed that there is a thin line between being ambitious and being dissatisfied, something that many times decides whether you remain happy or not. One has to always understand the need to be content yet strive for further gain.

The saints always claimed that needs and desires are the bane that cause the most trouble, whereas economists have always told us how choice and needs feed the wealth. Necessity always had to be pregnant to deliver inventions we were told.

Yesterday I came across two pieces which got me thinking on the same. First was the post by Averee on how one can and should self indulge to attain contentment and the other was when I was seeing an episode of Mad Men.

Mad Men has very good script writers and some really nice lines have come from the writers. The one that really struck me yesterday was from Trudy to Pete. The audio clip is given below

"Dissatisfaction is a symptom of ambition. Its the coal that fuels the fire" 

So the debate continues...... at least in my mind - do we need to be dissatisfied to be ambitious ?


Little moments of joy - how many of us have time to stop and stare. In their pathways to the Hall of Fame, amidst all blame-game, how many of us spend time in the solace of reflection at what really makes them happy.

In a movie seen recently, I heard the 2 very poignant lines that stayed as stray strands of unsettling association -
at the end of any event, stop and question - 'what do we know now and what have we learnt.' The question stretches itself to further build on - have we learnt anything at all ?

In fact, time given for self-absorption means time gained in return.

Time given to oneself for the love of solitude, translates in return to moments or selfish joy in harmony with one's own aura.

How many of us ponder as they wonder on the triggers and barriers of their own existence?

Do we care enough to love ourselves - so lost are we in our own bread and butter pursuit.

Do we really listen to our inner voice - or the stop button engineered in our system?

How many of us, have again, given up -  lost in the flow of time ?

I do know of some - quite close to home- who are waiting on the watch - looking for seconds to pass and the fate to reveal its mysteries.

Their eyes have lost the glow- spark of life amiss.

Questions linger in their minds - where is their life headed to? But little do they question themselves of their own wants and needs. Least do they realize, their own essence in their own happiness.

For these people, the joy in their lives seems measurable - actually reduced to some numbers which they crush with their own footsteps.

Mirthless in their own company, these lackluster people yearn deep down- for the little joys- that had made them happy in their days of innocence.

Their eyes perhaps see the picture of a long winded road left behind, while today , they feel no courage to turn back the time.

Anchored in moneyed hopes, these people find the canvas a jigsaw puzzle - while the numb pieces fall in places by themselves. The hands remain tightly pinned to their sides out of their own volition. Fire seems to have deserted them , as their blue hearts fail to keep pace with the thunder outside.

They become a parasite - to their own dreams or another's - which they zealously veto.
.... And slowly, the rat-race, turns the brightest into the most insipid- as he or she becomes an effigy of the countless year after year, the children plunge down the linear path of co-existence, failing to rise up or put a foot down- to crystallize their own sense of adult self. The id-entity gets submerged in the shadowed identity, as the clouded vision fails to see the bright light ahead.

How many of us thus have time look inwards- giving time to self ? Have we placed much faith in the idea of self healing at one's own pace and space?
We must love our own limits, to explore beyond them. The elasticity of existence, must be tested - the battle against self-drudgery , in itself a war to be won. All we need to do, is at times, give reigns to our silencio- to hear its echo when the mind's at the loudest.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

To write or not to write is THE question


Do I write for someone to stumble and read?

Or write because I want to?

What if no one reads?

Or worse they all do?

What if they don't get it at all?

Or get it and don't like it?

But write I should

And write I shall

For I got to hear

What I think !!!