Monday, 22 February 2016

Dream, Disappear...and Fly !

Dream, Disappear, and Fly ! source: 

"Dream big beta, and do whatever you love, because ultimately you're the one who's going to live your life, and no one else but you will suffer if their choices for you don't match with your own."

Huh. Here I sit, ten days away from board exams, and my mind still refuses to stand still. Torn between the urge to satisfy the well-wishers, and the impulses from the heart. It stays calm on the brink, unable to decide which side to step into. Frightened of taking risks, in want of peacefulness of the mind. And I suppose you mustn't have made head or tail of what I've said so far.

Hello there reader, I'm contemplating who you might be. Some random stranger from Russia, Europe or Australia (As far as my blogger statistics is concerned) who stumbled upon my blog and then left without a word?  Or are you one of those kind strangers who leave behind a small message that makes my day? Or are you one of my friends who remembered out of the blue that I had a blog, and checked for a new post just in case (since they have nothing better to do anyway)?

In any case, I don't see how this random writing triggered from directionless musings will be of any use to you. I write all the same because the peace that I don't find in normalcy is well replaced by the relief that comes out of words. I wish I could call myself a logophile, but I'm afraid my vocab isn't comparable to one who is supposed to be a lover of words.

Let's get back to business; or in other words, the disruption of my calm. Dream. Yes I have a dream, not very well focused, but a dream all the same. Through the past two years I've been nurturing it, giving shape to it, and falling in love with it...only in the end to be told "Oh ho...that is your dream huh? You keep it aside for now, we'll think about it later okay? Now you keep studying what you are studying, never mind if you don't like it, because you are better than many others at it! And I know you will shine in it, I know you will!"

Well, to 'keep aside' is to me 'nurture it further more', only that it makes no sense to simply venture into something else when you know you have a path for your own. And the mind is once again in turmoil as to whether or not I must re-consider my ways.

And yet I know no one can ultimately form a barrier to my destiny, but isn't it naive to do something for the sake of it, because everyone else seems to be doing the same? Life is about taking risks, why wait till the fire within slowly burns out, when you can ignite the world with your spark right now?

If none of this still makes sense, I can only apologize, because to elaborate will be hurtful to some, and I can empathize with all the ones who are there to decide for me, and do not wish to hurt them.

Strangely enough, what I want right now is to disappear into the abyss of wilderness. I want to read every damn book I should've read in the past seventeen years. I want to live a thousand lives through these amazing narratives, and I want to write the millennia of thoughts brimming out of my vagabond mind. I want to be lost in the sea of smiles from the past, and I want to build myself for tomorrow. I want to just be with myself, and and be let free to be. Yeah, I want to go to that land where time does not exist.

Sigh. Its okay, I know. I know that my frustrations are trivial. I know that you have them in your life too, whether you're someone from the other part of the Earth from a different time zone, or someone from my own batch in school with more or less the same situation. That's what makes us one and the same isn't it? All the trauma that makes us question life, and all the love that answers the meaning of existence.

Well then, let me step back into the world of normalcy, where you work, eat and sleep everyday, and occasionally steal some pleasures. And you do the same too. But do stop once in a while, and let your mind wander. As for me, I'm gonna put on my invisibility cloak and disappear into Narnia. I would return after years of magic, but to you the same time would be but a blink of the eye.

Let your mind discover the hidden depths within you, and then you too can join me :)

Sunday, 24 January 2016

The Road Taken

I could sense the old man halt as I overtook him. He looked like one of those tramps you see in the roadsides who talk to themselves. You don't see a lot of people on foot along this road, and his being there was outlandish. Nevertheless, I walked on without a second glance, for my legs were not used to any halts during my walks... my walks along that road. The Road.

The sun beamed down at me, radiating just about the right warmth. The wayside shrubs swayed in the breeze, the aroma perfecting the evening. Of course, it was the road, how could it not be perfect? Every now and then, a car or two whizzed past, leaving my loose strands of hair flying. A flash of memory ... "Careful, don't get blown off in the wind." he'd say, and move to the vehicle-side of the road in a protective gesture. I'd grin and reply, "Careful, don't let the vehicles get blown off!"  
I was smiling. It was the road. It always brought smiles.

It started off three years ago, my truce with this road, long and lonely, winding and windy. I wasn't alone back then. A time of jubilance to make for home with friends, to walk along together, slow with our own time, instead of the school buses that took us straight home. A time when the exhaustion from the walk was exhilarating and worth it, even when the school bus could've dropped us off unwearied and unscathed, even when other ways could get us home earlier, or perhaps shadier. A time we hadn't realized the real length of the road, too busy wasting away our laughs.

They asked me why I went that way. I had one excuse after another...'cause how could I explain to them those magical moments of companionship? And when I ran out of reasons, I told them I liked to walk. And so, the walks continued. I walked and walked...till I fell in love with it, like I told them that I did. 

And today I walk alone, with that old tramp behind me being the only other presence. And yet they ask me, why? Why still that too long a road? And I found myself asking the same. With all those little lies I made to steal a few laughs, to have golden moments, the true reason was forgotten in the end. And all I knew was that somehow, I'd made a truce with the road. Because with time as my company varied, for me the road was the same. And now it showers upon me my past, and plants a smile as I journey through it.

Did I perhaps still have that hope? Of reviving those unforgotten days? Dubious as I am, I know better...better than to linger with what was and is no more. As I walked once again today, I knew it wasn't for the unforgotten. I was irrationally in love with the road, that in some bizarre way felt homely, and in some enchanting way was divine.

It seems longer now than it ever was, and yet I find myself journey through it. And every now and then I laugh to myself, with sudden recollections of our walks in old times. Every now and then I happily hum in my head, when the road brings sudden jolts of exultation. Every now and then I am reminded of my woes, and the quiet of the road helps me brood, uninterrupted and free. There just couldn't be a better place for an introvert, no better way to escape from what everyone claims to be a necessarily busy and difficult life. 

As much as we wish to move on, there is always the tiniest little part of us that clings to the past, and if let loose could overpower our present and make us escape reality. But as long as I only let the essence of the deeply etched memories touch me and not  revert the past itself, it is but a reason to smile today. And no smile can ever go into nothingness.

No matter how different life may turn out to be tomorrow, I know that the road will fondly welcome my return, my memories awaiting to be embraced. Like Dr Seuss said, I've decided to not cry because it's over, but instead smile because it happened. :)

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

When Future Calls

There we sat, in the well-lit, air-conditioned 'multipurpose' hall, scanning the row of grown-ups seated along the sides. Having nothing else to do, we commenced our murmured comments and giggles over their outfits. They must've been in their late thirties, and they made a good enough first impression; there was this probably-beauty-conscious-straight-haired lady, the one in jeans and a funky top who looked too young to be among them, the one with bobbed hair and a Kiran Bedi face cut, the one who came with her little daughter and was pre-ocuppied trying to keep her steady, and then there were the men...all in their formal shirts and pants, which didn't seem quite as interesting (sadly).

We were busy picking out our favourites when the Kiran Bedi look-alike approached us. "Hey guys, so what are you expecting from us?" Funny she should ask that, since we hadn't any clue about who they were until we'd entered the hall. We were held captive in our classrooms for months at end, exhausted by textbooks and question papers, and at this time, whenever a certain somebody visited school we had our fingers crossed for a 'seminar' from the visitor…anything for a break from regular classes! And at such a time, when a dozen or more people arrive at once to talk with us, you can imagine our euphoria! So when they asked us about our expectations, honestly, we had none. Even if it was going  to be a lame lecture, it would still be worth the time away from the frustrating heap of school books. We were cool with whatever we could get.

But this was no lame lecture, or any one of those serious personality development or career guidance seminars we had in the past. This was some crazy group of adults acting like kids- grinning, waving, and expecting us to tell them what we expected from them. This was a group who could relate with us, who could see a lot of themselves in us. This was us twenty years from now.

Yes, they were the 'products' of our own school, now scattered and leading their own independent lives. And thankfully enough, they weren't a mere bunch of toppers here to tell us about their success. They were a mixture of all the categories that a classroom consisted- the average, the idle, the dreamers, the toppers, and the backbenchers alike, all here to tell us about their success.

We waited for them to speak, and discovered that they'd come with only as much preparation we did...close to none. There, we already had something in common! So, what followed was a spur of the moment thing, when Miss Kiran Bedi look-alike took over the mike and started introducing her old mates, with bits and pieces of nostalgia. And who would've imagined her to turn out to be a freaky styled cool dude! That crooked smile on her face when she teased her fellow batch mates, and the gesticulations arising from them in response!

One by one they interrupted every pause, filling in with their own experiences, with their timely advices and more importantly, assurances. There wasn't anybody who needed it more than we did! Three months to go and we're going to be christened the same as them - 'Alumni'. There is this dubiousness that never leaves the back of our minds...will we be able to make it? Will we reach where we're meant to be? Oh well, where were we meant to be ?

They told us about how vast a world it is out there, and how this stage of our lives seems petty. But the truth is that whatever's ahead of us is moulded by this very stage. They told us to broaden our horizon, to not sit and whine when one door closes, because that is when many other doors open. We need only just look around, and this they knew from experience.

However stupid our decisions may be today, it has to be made. Because  making mistakes now and understanding them is the beginning of growth, and this is what essentially shapes our future. So for now, all we need to worry about is to take care not to halt. Begin the journey, and the rest will be taken care of.

For once, after a very long time, relief swept over us. In their presence, we were floating in bliss. We watched them as they continued to cackle and pull each other's legs. Were they always this kind of happy-go-lucky, fun people? Or was it just a result of a ride back to school memories? I'd like to believe that this is what life would make us eventually, especially for the 'products' of our own school!

Time was up, and our dear super-seniors rose to bid us goodbye. Coming over to where we sat on the floor, they began talking to us all at once. They were like those parents giving last minute instructions to their children leaving for a long journey. The situation here was more or less the same. And we sat there nodding away like obedient kids.

And here we are now, nearing the close...or perhaps the beginning. It's 2016, a special year to us, which it must be to every one of you too in plenty of other ways. In no time we're going to break open our cocoons, and get our wings ready for flight. Before the takeoff, here's a big thank you to our alumni for that special day back in 2015, for being such an amazing inspiration. And here's another one to our school for all that we've become because of it.
Like each one of them did, we're going to script a success story of our own too. And ten years from today, we shall be back to #SpreadTheVibe ! That is our promise.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

One Day

picture source: 

 One Day

One day I shall smile
 Not my visage, but my heart.
One day the veil shall fall,
 Adieu to my mayday calls.
One day I shall leave
 To the land of what I feel.
One day I shall cry
 With no reason to a why.
One day, I shall dance 
 With not a pang of guilt.
One day, I shall write,
 Of a legend that I built.
One day I shall dream;
 Let my vicinity vanish.
One day I shall move on;
 My own shoes, I shall don.
One day I shall heed,
 Myself and not any else.
One day I shall decide,
 Not you or him, but I.
Yes, for once I'll fend
 But nor will I now sigh.
That day my wings shall sprout,
 Then yonder, I shall fly.
That day I shall know
 The 'me' and all the 'rest'.
That day I shall be free.
That day
 I shall BE.

Friday, 13 November 2015

A Pensive Evening

   My head is a mess... frustration, anger, annoyance, exhaustion and god knows what more is muddled up in there. I can literally feel the congestion. I walk around advising people to take everything lightly, and here I am having a fix with a confused mind. It doesn't make sense. What, you ask? My existence, perhaps. I wish to start anew. I want to figure out this so called 'purpose' of life and work on it to death. We all do, don't we? 

  As a kid, we all have dreams, ones that we are crazy about, ones that we are determined to accomplish. As we grow up, realization dawns that life isn't as easy as it seems, so the intensity of the aspirations fall. Further on, when the time is short, and the path too long, we tend to drop the dreams altogether. But there are some who hold on to it, who keep their hopes up high, and keep trying. But then, a failed first attempt, criticism from the dearest, mirages of pleasures interrupting the way, and there it's lost. All that you've done to achieve so much goes in vain. We give up just when we're only a mile away from the summit. If only we'd work a little bit more, just a bit more.

You think you're never alone, that your awesome little group of friends from school would always be there for you. Yes, friends matter a lot. They are on top of everything else in life, because they make it worth living. But there will come a time when we realize that no matter how close a friend you may have, you are still on your own. No one in the world can show you the path of your life, for they are busy searching for their own. You can't always expect to find a mentor. Whether you do get one or not is not of importance. Because in the end, you are on your own. Get a hold on yourself, and go! Don't stop, just go. The thing is, we've been ready to have a go since ages, its just that we haven't got a clue on how to begin. Where to start, what to do?!

Here's a vision ten years from now. 26 year old me walking down a lane with my pet robot (Mind you, things are going uphill with the robot population- read Robonomics) . They are trying to build a computer with artificial intelligence. Why are we trying to make replicas of ourselves? Aren't there enough of us on earth already? It's funny how Earth is suffering from the issue of overpopulation, and here scientists try to create more life. They try to put life into inanimate objects. I don't know how to call it, a mission to make humans as accurate and emotionless as machines, or to make machines as bad as humans. What then would differentiate machines from humans? What then would be the meaning of our existence?

 Talk about deteriorating the balance of nature, we've done that already. The decrease in greenery is directly proportional to the increase in batteries. We're always going to have problems. Gap between the rich and the poor, an increase of intolerance, mother nature breaking down. We cannot tackle them all, admit it. We talk of nothing being impossible, we talk of the strength in unity, great speeches and projects, summits and discussions, for decades or more. Considering all the joint effort of the good minded people, there definitely has been a change, a gradual one. But at the same time, a great chunk of the better side has been chopped off too. Their innovations are supreme, their ideas brilliant. But again, not quite enough to solve the whole problem at hand. Is it?

Man has made the world the way it is today. We have visions of the same world 50 years from now. Machinery inventions keep accelerating, giving us great comfort to sit back in our settee and relax. Would you still say that the balance of nature is further deteriorated? Why don't we see it in a different way? What if the balance does not get disrupted, and it only changes the rate of balance? 

Nature shall set herself right if need be. We humans have the power to make the best of the resources at hand. But we also have the power to destroy it all. The both of them are in form today. The good and the bad are in a balance. It is not possible to change that balance. At times maybe the bad may exceed the good, but it would be only transient. In the same way, the good may overpower the bad at times. But that too shall be temporary. It is an endless battle between Yin and Yang. The moment the good stops the better-fication of the world, or the moment the bad stops to worsen it, the balance is broken. Such a situation, so to speak, doesn't exist, and it never will. 

Such is the cycle of time. Right now, when I come to think of it, my frustrations and silly concerns seem mundane. It will get better. And then it will get worse, and later better again. A circle has no beginning nor end. Neither does the universe and time. So what do we do in this short life span? 

Put on our seat belts. And simply enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Real Togetherness from a cleaning drive

The streetlights were still on when the sun rose, lighting up the peaceful Calicut city only beginning to awaken from its slumber. The Kozhikode Beach witnessed a higher turnout of visitors than the usual weekends. Especially today, when people had something more than a casual hang-around idea in mind. Most of them were here for a purpose, with a resolve to transform the arena. They were here to clean the city and show their respect to dear Bapu.

It is the second day of October, the day that reminds us of the greatest man on Earth who couldn't rest until he saw goodness reap in every corner of Earth. This day saw the nation holding hands in integrity, for the better good of the society. This day, not only India, but the world bowed to Mahathma Gandhi, the man who became the change he wished to see in the world.

 And today, the natives of Calicut had gathered at different places for a cleaning drive, for every man in the city was entitled to its cleanliness. Their smartphones and laptops were going to be disappointed, for they would be inactive all day. This time, the people were going to be active, and not the phones.

The daily morning walkers passed right past the quarters across the Beach, expecting to see the usual mountain of garbage near its entrance which had become its landmark. But today, they saw something new. Masked men holding sacks and sticks dotted the place. Some of them brought in shovels and buckets. After all this time, the residents had decided to clear it themselves, why wait for the rag pickers who might never show up?

And for once, the quarters saw real togetherness among their residents., united with brooms (mind you, we're not talking about AAP). People from every block came out with their tools. There was a lot of swishing and sweeping, picking and poking, scrounging and brushing until the mountain was brought down and replaced with natural manured soil. The land was then embed with small plants, and a sign that read, "Please do not throw waste here".

By the end of the admirably exhausting effort put forth by the neighborhood, the ladies had prepared a lovely lunch for everyone. As the men, women and children gathered together for the lunch, they had had their reward. Nope, not the lunch (although one wouldn't deny that the ladies had done a stunning job), but what was more worth was the real togetherness that they got to have. The profuse sweating that spoke of the volumes of hard work, the taste of the food that explained all the love put into making it, those smiles on everybody's faces that could beat everything else they could possibly have.

Yes, Real Togetherness is the best reward for their effort. Why,  they had made a pact with mother earth as well, all along in the presence of Bapu  in their hearts. And from the next day on, the morning walkers had a surprise, with the garbage landmark being replaced by a garden.

Such is the story of this quarters. Maybe the same happens elsewhere too. Here's a video of a similar incident of Kissanpur discovering real togetherness.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Go McCrazy India

"I'm going home!" she snapped back at me, visibly frustrated. With her hair all tousled up and eyeliner smeared, anyone would've said she looked like a ghost. But not me. To me, she would always be my gorgeous bestie. And today I was determined to give her the best surprise one could possibly give. 
"What are you sniggering at you meathead?!" she squeaked at me again. Gorgeous, that she was. But it was so hard not to laugh at how funny she looked when annoyed. In a few minutes, that was going to change anyway. I had to take care not to spoil the surprise. So I composed myself and spoke up, "You're not leaving yet sweety. There's something important, come with me." and I turned my back to her and walked off, knowing she would follow. "This better be good." she chimed from behind me.

It was Catherine's sweet sixteen, and for a girl like her one wouldn't disagree that she deserved better than what happened with her today. She was so caring, so smart, so elegant though slightly crazy, that you couldn't just not love her. She'd been in high spirits in the morning, but was quite bummed when all she received was a few birthday wishes from people who didn't matter. Her gang did meet up with her, but hadn't uttered a word about it being her special day. By now, it was noon and Catherine couldn't be more pissed about it all. 

We'd reached Forum Mall. I could bet she knew why we were here already, or at least had an idea. "Look!" came her cute squeaky voice, "If you simply want to sit and have a snack, I'm not in the mood. I'm just gonna buy my McCain french fries and leave okay?"
I was grinning again. Of course she wasn't in the mood to eat! But she never said no to McCain (none of us did in fact). Cathy was nuts about potatoes, and naturally of McCain. McCrazy, we called her.

 She followed me to the elevator. Catherine stepped out on the fifth floor and turned to our usual place. She stopped short. "Oh My..." 
"Surprise!!!" chorused the twenty or so people before her, each holding a coloured balloon. The arched board on top read "Happy Birthday McCatherine!" 
A table placed right in the middle of the crowd had a double-decker cake, decorated with McCain smiles with whipped cream and lettuce on top. McCain french fries covered the whole of the bottom layer. A tray next to the birthday 'McCake' had McCain cheese shotz, and another had nuggets. There was no better gift for miss McCrazy Catherine.

I could swear Cathy went wild with joy. All her frustration disappeared in a poof as she hugged me in euphoria. Ha! It was worth it. She looked back at all her favourite McCain snacks and then at us, at a loss for words. And at that moment I knew, that my gorgeous girl couldn't have asked for more.

McCain had always brought us light moments. With the way Cathy was ignored on her special day, one would've thought she'd never forgive us. But then, this surprise definitely beats everything.
Right now when I looked at her, I couldn't say if the happiest person in the world was her for having gotten the surprise, or just me for making this happen. Why, it was not everyday that we get to have all the McCain snacks together. Each one of us in the party was glad to be here, glad to make Cathy smile, and glad to smile with her.
 "You guys are crazy!" Cathey finally croaked, finding her voice again. I shook my head, "Nop." And with loud ripples of laughter, all the twenty of us chorused, 
"We're McCrazy!!"