Monday, October 11, 2010

The Death of Thine Self

Who I was, is no longer who I am.
Some of it is welcome; as I grow up, there's less things to make me cringe in retrospect.
But then there is also the enhanced awareness of consequences and consequently, fear. Oh, so much fear! Scared of germs, scared of small spaces, scared of my car breaking down in the middle of winter, scared of the economy.

Am I the same person that stomped a cockroach with my bare foot? No! (ew)
Am I the same person that biked up to Sydney Point every evening? Can I ever walk into a streetside cafe and enjoy a scoop of fresh strawberry icecream by myself again? I don't think so...
..but I miss parts of it that I struggle to retain. I miss being known for not saying sorry. I even miss my peeves, the naive worries of past. I miss enjoying the ferris wheel sans the sound of my heart beating in my ears.

The inevitable change, the obvious resistance to change, combined with the constant strive for deference, leads to disaster and progress.

What happened to you? You used to be so bindaas!
What happened to you? You were always the class clown!
What happened to you?
All grown up.

One day you will tire of it and decide you need some space. Either you will pack a bag and fly off to Europe to walk the streets of Portofino. Or you might take up a meditation class. You may stop answering your needy (ex-)girlfriend's emails. How about adopting a puppy?
Because you can't tell the difference between filling a void or finding your self.

What was life like? What was I like? I breathe slow and deep and riddle myself with the meaning of life and of the Universe. The phone rings but I request the caller to leave me alone for a few days: Stop distracting me, I am trying to get in touch with my soul.

The hours pass to a climax. And, finally, now, I realize the beautiful but harsh truth: it's too late.
I am trying to get in touch with myself, but it's too late: that self no longer exists.

Who I was, is no longer who I am.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happily Ever After

There's a crazy kinda love that I may never know. The rather-die-than-live-without-you kinda love.

I rolled my eyes as my friend gazed lovingly at a woman in a photograph--her boyfriend's mother. She made promises to herself and to the universe, of how she would take care of that stranger-woman because she loved her, because she loved her boyfriend.
Don't we all know that couple, the girl from that super wealthy family that eloped with a slumdog?

Oh of course, I allow for Bollywoodic influences. Still, there is an authenticity to this kind of passion that I can't understand.

I wonder what it's like to forget yourself in a love that's so senseless. And I wonder if it's just love, or something else? Because I love too! And its unfair to call mine a 'lesser love' if I don't move to Limpopo with you.

I wonder if it takes a special kind of person. Or are we all capable of this madness if only we had The Reason?

Nah, I don't crave it. And I would never, should never, call it romance. But I acknowledge that it is its own religion. They don't understand me, and I don't understand them: we both think the other is weaker.

I think its beautiful, this crazy kinda love that I'll never know. It's black, it's white, it's constant and it's refreshing.

And, if you told me you wanted to quit your job in LA to move in with the guy that broke your heart, got engaged to another woman, then broke up with her and, asked you back...I won't roll my eyes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Faith and Reason

I begin with a strong disclaimer that the following theory is respectfully my own; it could prove to be volatile as time passes and with appropriate experiences.
Meanwhile, no offense is meant, and no offense is expected.

Spelled Pronunciation [ri-lij-uhn]

a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Spelled Pronunciation [spir-i-choo-uhl]

of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature: a spiritual approach to life.
of or relating to the mind or intellect.

Dictionary meaning of heavy words. There was more explanation, more bullets to clarify if you're interested. But be warned, the more you think about it, the more you try to apply meaning to literal text, the more confused you will become. I found myself circuitously looking up philosophy, mind, faith, conscience, superstition etc etc with still no sense of what I was thinking, what I was trying to find out, and what I wanted to tell me.

I humbly put across my ideas.

Religion is the human method of exhibiting love, respect, gratitude for their individual Supreme King(s). All explanations lead to the Supreme Being: Evolution and science, yes, yes of course, but why? Because God willed it so.
Coconut breaking, facing East, facing West, lighting fire--individually these motions mean nothing. Religion attaches meaning and purpose to these actions, specifically Organized Religion.
So, method of acknowledgment and communication with a Higher Power or Universe or Energy is your religion.

Spiritual people believe in a soul. They nourish it, are aware of their conscience, try not to cheat, steal or kill people. They believe that their grandma who passed away, is still with them, in spirit.

It may not be something that's explicitly written or taught to you or, you may be compulsively unritualistic, but surely, at least once, you must have bowed your head to make a wish, or petitioned silently to have your team win at football, or avoided the path of a black cat on the day of your exam 'just in case'?

For instance, I try to keep my prayer spot whiff of lavender or sandalwood. Now, either I don't do that or, I form a club of people that do the exact same thing and we decide to meet once a week to clean the ashes together. It don't matter either way, but when I am in my moment, refilling the oils, or lighting the candle, feeling grateful I haven't been laid off from my job yet, guilty for speaking rudely to Mom, anxious for my experiment to work today, please let me know, what part is religion and what part spirituality.

I draw a compound relationship between religion and spirituality. They are connected--like a clock is, to time.
It is normal to want to label objects & emotions, it is normal to want to sort & separate our affinities. The minutes will pass, even if we don't number them.

So then, here is my theory on the subject, and I hope that you will be able to perceive its dimension:
In my opinion, the only few that could attain spirituality sans religion include Allah, Jesus, Krishna...The Universe.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Think, Therefore I am

Generally, empathy sans experience is rare and difficult. I did not understand why it took so long for her to get over that 'jerk', why she still pines for him and how she could ever forgive his nonsense--until it happened to me. My anger turned to sympathy and sadness even if I couldn't feel the intensity of emotion that she did. My anger toward him and her suddenly directed itself toward him and her fate.
Only because I have now affirmed that some solutions do not exist.

If they did exist and if I'd found one, potential kindness is annulled. Yea, I took the course, and yea it was tough. But, I worked hard and excelled. I got an A- and there's no reason you can't.

Either we hold ourselves up to a very high standard: 'Do what I did, just the way I did it.'
a very low one: 'If I can do it, anyone can.'
I don't know which it is, but they're both equally nutritious for the ego.

If you will notice carefully, as I do sometimes in my drunken stupors of introspection, we judge people based on what we would have done rather than based purely on what they have done. Our back story is more applicable then theirs. We are our own norm of sanity and moral. And for someone with such lowly self-esteem as me, it is relieving & refreshing to know that I do believe I have lived life to the best of my ability (and so should you.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Ultimate Ultimatum

Lonely is a worrisome emotion. Oh the lengths we will go to, to rid ourselves of Lonely! Lonely is not just about being lonely. It is so much more than that, in fact, it's probably everything but that. I feel like a loser when I'm lonely. The aunties work double-shift to find me a nice boy to get me out of Lonely. Couples allow me to tag along with them so that they can demonstrate how nice it is to be unlonely. After graduation it is a subtle contest to see who remains Lonely the longest, eek.

Lonely attacks Ego, Lonely creates ento- and exo- judgement: We spend a lot of time and energy ridding ourselves of Lonely; simultaneously publicizing that we are lonely by choice.

What makes two human beings better than one? Why must you be overly rich or overly successful or overly frivolous to justify Lonely? Why can't I live without you?

We grow up like this, you know. There's always the most popular girl in class that everyone wants to be friends with, that all the boys want to date, that all the girls want to be like. We added as many people as possible on Orkut and measured our worth by scraps per day ratio. We keep a mental tab of how many people remember our birthday.
'Lonely' is a ghastly old man in a dark rotten-wood house, limping toward the door to shoo off the neighborhood kids with his stick and stick-like fingers.

We are attracted by default to the unlonely, we want recognition as unlonely.

Mismatched matches, rebound relationships, four women with their pink martinis and high heels discuss animatedly why their romances didn't work, millions of people sigh happily as Ross & Rachel finally conquer Lonely.

Therefore, in undisputed summary: Lonely sucks, being unlonely is way cooler.
My only contention is, Lonely drives my relationships. I go to your party because I want you to attend mine. How would you feel if you were at the hospital and noone sent you flowers? I cannot possibly go to my school reunion without a date!

Really worrisome.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not All Men Are Created Equal.

Imagine driving down a Mumbai highway late night at a 'high' speed (relative to the am traffic hours). It's 2am and I'm so tired, been up since 5:30 am. If I drive at the same rate I should be home and stretched out in bed by 2:40...

A man, a homeless bum wobbles down the road. Maybe inebriated, maybe mental. Noone to call his own, noone that cares if his blood pressure is a long ways over 120. He falls down strangely in the middle of the road and my brakes screech urgently. His head is bleeding, maybe hit his skull on the divider. There's noone around.

2:40 in bed vs...a longer night. Maybe cops, maybe the cold antiseptic tube-lights and green curtains of a hospital. Maybe under my plush quilt with the fan blowing my hair gently, the air conditioner set to the perfect temperature. There's noone around--but me and him.

What do I do? I'll never know, until it happens.

I do know this: If this man had the paunch of prosperity, a starched shirt, a pouch with a convenient wrist strap--he would be in the ER in under 30 mins, witnesses or no witnesses.

I know right from wrong. I also know convenience from inconvenience. And I know degrees of justification. Right and wrong is a variable measure depending on the strength of x and y. Black is one shade of gray and white is another shade of gray.

It creeps me out to think that I would actually consider walking away from a human in desperate need, rationaling 'maybe its for the best for society'. I judged that he doesn't contribute, doesn't work, has no family/friends and thus...

Please understand that I don't know yet, what I would do. Maybe I am a nice person and would help him. But I'll never know until.

Very very unfortunately, and maybe rightly so or wrongly so: every life has a price tag, subject to change without prior notice. We decide.

If I kill a cockroach I don't get nightmares about it, and wake up guilty. Certain countries practice public stoning as capital punishment. Staunch believers of Jainism won't even consider sauteing onions and garlic for flavoring their food. A trainful of dead Hindus delivered to India from Pakistan, and colonies of mortified Muslims hiding from rioting avengers in tilaks.

This is why dead homeless man won't make the news, not even a fifth page tiny paragraph; on the other hand, afternoon dailys will rush to the 1st floor, 2 bedroom flat of the widow seeking justice and life insurance.

Friday, October 10, 2008

No News is Good News?

Sometimes I don't return calls. I pick up the phone, and go through the motions mentally. I have a rough skeleton of the entire conversation so, I yawn and rewatch a rerun of South Park.

Relationships, friendships plateau off endlessly because of time and space. Too much time spent together, or too little. Too much space in between me and her, or too little. Nothing to talk about, too much to talk about.

"We finish..."
"...each other's sentences!"
and that's why we clicked.
"I want to make friendship with you," I said, and we laughed and laughed and laughed until our sides hurt. But, in my defense, even a standup artist can be redundant in his acts. The jokes become predictable. I become predictable. The habits are cute, but the conversation isn't.

Soon, our friendships thrive on other lives. Pregnancy, divorces, secret boyfriends, births, accidents, rumors. Something new, something borrowed, something blue....

Now, I pick up the phone and go through the motions physically. Discuss, analyze, judge, agree, reconnect--reset.

Things must happen, information must be amassed to patch our lines. Otherwise, we are left reading about Sachin Tendulkar's broken toe for over a month in the headlines.

Strangely and maybe even rightly so, by general consensus the best of our very best bffs are the ones on that plateau with us. The 'I can be quiet when I'm with you, I can be myself' kinda buddies. The bored and boring kinda buddies.

The only way that I know of to fix this, is by careful manipulation of time and space. We meet after so long and yet, it's like we were never apart. How have you been? This was so much fun, listen, let's keep in touch this time...yes, yes, let's.