Thank you Bob Marley!

Once in a while you read lines synchronous to your line of thought. I am all for reflections this end of the year and not resolutions. Resolutions mostly hound as forceful goals while reflections tell you to take a deep breath in the moment, in the present tense and focus. We all deal with many insecurities and we all do it differently. Since the beginning of 2014, mine starkly stared at me. It was challenging to identify and accept that the demons always existed. So, I am not really JUST the happy-go-lucky wanderer, strong willed, no nonsense, staunch independent, know-it-all, free-friend-counselor I thought I was?

While it was troublesome to suddenly be fearful, challenged for time and resources, and mostly be on the receiving end of unconditional love and care of friends and family, it was simultaneously the most gratifying realization – such love has always existed and continues to. In the rush of life and controlling it all, when did I stop enjoying being cared for and let it go? When did healthy balance of self esteem go awry to engulf the heart and erode the mind?

A year of transitions, 2014 gave me the job I wanted to do, made me take a plunge towards things I only fantasized for years, be in love again and ensured consistency of my wanderlust ability of stepping out of my comfort zone – on not one but many occasions. The humdrum of learning-unlearning, investing efforts-minimizing expectations, a little bit of pulling in and little bit of pushing back caused a catalyzing effect that I was sure about when I jotted down my first Random Post in a blog created to curate. Maybe 2015 will be the year of curate. Maybe few things could have been done better. Maybe losing oneself was not wise. Maybe its was though…to realize the value of organize in the clutter.

In probably the last random tenth post of the first year of taking up this hidden respite of blogging, I exude and conclude with the synchronous lines that I only hope make you reflect on something beautiful you experienced this year too 🙂

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.

There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby.

Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” -Bob Marley

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I sway… You sway

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At some point in time you ought to let it be
That point when calculations tower over honesty of mind and heart

When you feel the thin line between reality and pretense blurring
Leaving you to wonder and wander alone

Maybe, swaying in the torpedo is just ideal with some people
Swaying is pleasure, so you sway until you can sway

But then you got to chose and deserve to sit down
Be caressed, feel rested, feel real

To freely love, hate and communicate
To sway like you belong… just sway

One Life

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Oh dear, this life! And the purpose we are trying to find,
Trodden by dilemmas we quiver and shiver but plaster all we suffer with a smile; maybe a brave face,
Or a yes when the heart says no and a no because the yes is an imagination – a bewildering untruth,
Swinging from perfect to perfectly reckless in nano of a second.

Though this heart beats per second and there is rhythm,
Basic life nuances why those bees make honey and sting as well,
Wonder why the mighty mammal continues to quiver and shiver at every uncertainty, every insecurity,
Hiding behind a fiery mask hard to penetrate.

He trumps it all by powdering this fiery mask,
Maybe to stand out, to shout out, to seek or hide out; just like everyone else?
There is peace in it he says, there are rules and we must obey,
Continue to quiver and shiver, let it go and let it be – act brave, hide tears, save the mask on that face.

A personal interpretation of Cat’s Cradle

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For all who would not know – Cat’s Cradle are twisted representation’s’ of a loop of thread moms might display to kids to fascinate them. My mum did it too and I admit I thought it was a feat when I learned how to do one of the arrangements as well (cannot already wait to confuse/ fascinate my would be hypothetical child).

It is also the title of a brilliant book written by Kurt Vonnegut.

I call this piece not a review but an interpretation because

    1. I am very sure excellent or accurately critically reviews have already been written on it. I do not want to add to the ill-fitting vague ones.
    2. This book and a peculiar connection to Kurt Vonnegut came to me at a time when I needed it most.
    3. I love writing in first person.

Cat’s Cradle written in 1963 is a classic black satire on madness of modern men. On a larger picture its madness ensuing around us growing to a point where it will engulf humanity – read innumerable headless conflicts corroding generations in the name of oil, religion and ego.

On a personal perspective its the obsession, the fear, the reluctance of expression gripping the entire humanity. Pulling us down inch by inch until we trod our fragile self with guilt and regrets.

The catch of course remaining that everything will turn into nothing – sooner than later.

As the plot of Cat’s Cradle evolved, I encountered the foma (lies in Bokonon) of my existence and the futile effort I put in finding meaning and reason after every action I take in a human impulsive instinct. Oh! The stress of it all. The waste of it all.

Cat’s Cradle revolves around an unfinished book on bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the fictitious characters of the bomb creator, his family and the people of their karass (people with whom we find our lives entangled for no particular reason in Bokonon) which includes our writer.

While researching for the book, the writer meets the dead ‘Father of the Bomb’ (Felix Hoenikker’s) family and by chance of fate finds his lost socially repulsive son Frank Hoenikker in the fictitious banana republic of San Lorenzo – a place which is a classic symbol of the human mind invaded by dualism of ideas and how we seldom can live wholesome lives while believing one thing and living in pretense of the very other – social order alas is which bounds us.

Bokononism (an invented theology by the brilliant Vonnegut) and the looming end by attack of ice-nine (which ‘by the way‘ could have been used to preserve things, just like atom-bomb could have been used to only save lives) makes the book a perfect adaptation to portray the ever recklessness but reality human mind.

The book did not force me to think. It fluidly made me travel through conflicting emotions. It did not transport me into fantasy. It made me accept few realities, realize reservations, recover from what I categorized as pain to only remember that there is always “a heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality and a heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it” and the test of my time is to strike the balance between the two. Though, isn’t it the test of time always? – To strike perfect balance where perfectionism is only but a bunch of foma.

After finishing the book, I woke up the next day from a disturbed slumber with a panic attack. I remembered my list of things to do are never-ending and time is short. I remembered that I don’t need just ‘a’ plan but I need many plans to tackle the next few weeks… I remembered to recognize limitations – of love, lies, lopsided emotions and the disturbing dullness of lull.

And then I remembered I just need to write. Again and again. To preserve my truth and cause no pain. Write away.

A withdrawer’s withdrawal woe

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In a totally unrelated post by the excellent Brain Pickings; I was moved to question state of mind while moving things around – or lets say, things/ mind/ heart/ life?

Being a compulsive/ impulsive ‘mover’, I have an inbred tendency to seek adventures that I assume lie beyond. The impulsiveness borne those wings when I left home for college and since then I have successfully managed to do things I have thought will bring me great pleasure and only pleasure.

However, with experience and the clarity that comes along with it has taught me several things about a romanticized idea vis-a-vis living that idea in reality. They are truly overwhelmingly different and truly happy are those who realize it in good time and manage their expectations around it.

The glitch lies in the truth that managing expectations is no small task for human beings. We define our boundaries of tolerance and we expect people and situations that cross our paths work within our sphere of imagined perfectionism. When they don’t, we subject ourselves to high-strung emotions and run for cover under reasoning and at worst, resentment.

But, if we are concentrating on real life scenarios, maybe the argument is contradictory to expect human beings to try to manage expectations? So where is the perfect balance?

I yet do not know the answer. Though as I once again find myself wondering at the end of a journey; if I could contribute enough at the work I was set to do, if I could give enough in relationships that made me happy and if I am ready for yet another change that I expect will be ‘stimulating’ – I chose to let these persistent queries go. Instead, focus on things that time has taught me and how gradually and slowly, I have been connecting everything to move towards where I want to really go.

Maybe, to be only overwhelmed again but maybe this time and every other next time, a little less than before.

The Balance of a Bubble

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If you are fiercely independent… where do you find your roots?
If you are liberally living… where do you rest those hoots?

If you worship change… what is your plan to sustain?
If you guard your walls well… what is your cure for inevitable pain?

If you feel at home with strangers… how will you stay with the only One?
If you love playing with fires… how will you cherish what you have won?

Maybe the answer lies in our insecurities which inspire us to find our roots
and make us crave for a comfort zone despite of nomadic hoots

Maybe the answer lies in our vulnerabilities which verifies our need to sustain
and coax us to identify a shoulder when inflicted with inevitable pain

Maybe the answer lies in our fears which flawlessly help us hold on to that One
and let love engulf our restlessness to cherish in peace all that we have won

Things Change

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Yes. I would repeatedly say that to my younger self, my gawky teenage self, my awkward adult self and I will say that despite of numerous arguments and quotes around how the world perceives ‘change’.

Some hate change, some love it and some dismiss it as a natural process. I belong to the group of people for whom change is equivalent to faith. Faith running deep enough to not be casually dismissed, intimidated or glorified, but accepted as the truth of existence.

Associating change only with moving cities, breaking away from relationships and switching jobs is like denying growing up. Change is not a flimsy external process; it is a continuous humdrum of growth and decay, like meditation or let’s put it simply – sleeping. A recent study claimed that sleeping enables our brain to flush the ‘toxins’ out of our system. In short, there is always more room being replenished in our body to accept the new by letting go of the unnecessary in the old – this fact probably forms the basis of the theory why change is only but natural.

We are educated to be successful and led into a mirage that ‘success’ is the ultimate state of being. The definition of success remains in the tight grip of social framework while we were structured to experience evolution every second of our being. Reluctance to accept change has led generations to hold on to customs and rituals and limit happiness to mere pursuit.

So where is hope?

The world around us is changing and as many will rightly point out, for worse. A UN report claims rapid climatic changes will continue rampaging lives, developing and developed economies struggle, revolutions for democracy and communist claims of land will ruin peace and the list is endless. Our world is changing and in a way we would not wish. This is the point when we often hear that the ‘current’ scenario is volatile and the misuse of technology is causing the said damage. But the reasonable will acknowledge that it is not greed of one generation eroding our planet and it will not be one generation’s ability to pave the way for good change.

A New York Times article recently placed great hope on the millennial. After all, we are the children of comfort; thanks to hard-working parents contributing towards development in a post war world. But we are also accused of recklessness and for living in a constant state of wanderlust, and they just might be right.

I am inept to place a comment on behalf of a generation. What I can vouch on behalf of the millennial I am acquainted to, is that we chose sincere belief in happiness over success and beautiful changes over rigid customs.

The mantra, I am the change I wish to see; sums up my hope – for good change and growth.