Monday, 27 February 2017

The Bitter Truth

Trying to understand human emotions is like watching people on a Columbus. They look like a crazy bunch screaming on the top of their voices but it's only when you sit there yourself that you truly comprehend what it feels like to lose control of yourself and the screams are no longer singular beats of crazy excitement. They are reverberation of fear, uncertainty, ecstacy, energy, dizziness and the pathetic dedication to hold on, to be brave. When you sit for more rounds the ratio of fear over joy (for loss of more diverse terms) keeps diminishing. In human life too all the “firsts” are a lot more scary, a lot more painful and definitely more regretful than the “nexts”. This thought makes me look at the concept of enlightenment in a whole new light (pun intended). Gautam Budha perhaps achieved enlightenment when his ratio of joy over fear was infinity.

Most of us never dare sit on the Columbus again. A person like me would never achieve that stage where the sky kissing my face would make me “one with myself” and so for people like me the ratios of life will always only change marginally; never drastically enough to be guided out of this labyrinth.

At the center of this labyrinth is love. From here you might find the right way out or you might fall deeper and deeper back into the shadows. Who knows if you’ll ever get rescued then? It all depends on the people you love. Some will leave you to figure out your fate on your own. Some will hold your hand, unafraid of toil and suffering for as long as you promise them your own self. But what if you are too deeply lost to promise anybody anything that you don’t have possession of? Why are we expected to provide others the very thing we are in pursuit of?

This is why I believe it is most important in life to love yourself to an extent that nobody else’s love could bend or mend you. You do need your family, friends and lovers. But the person you need the most is you.

The dream is to have such power and control over your life, to be so self-sufficient that you don’t suffer anymore. And then in fact we can love more selflessly, without the baggage of getting ourselves hurt or hurting others. We can then look at people as they are, understand and accept their flaws and eventually learn to love better. Loving better for me means to put aside the pain and helplessness that is implicit in the act of loving. When you are happy and responsible for your happiness, you can carry anybody else’s sadness on your shoulders like a feather. What a wonderful, positive and desirable situation is that.

Let not human relations define you. You must not define them either. Everything in life is momental. Whenever there is a sharp shift in the momental routine you can either bend yourself or be standing while the road swerves beneath your feet. Walking on requires tremendous energy and willpower. For a chicken like me it requires all that courage I always need but never muster. To see with your own eyes your life crumbling into pieces ahead of the path and still going on with it is not meant for the weak hearted.

The point of this post is not to emphasize that being strong is difficult, but to emphasize that it sometimes is not in your hands. I just want to let everyone reading this know that if you’re weak right now, I too am. We all are sometimes. Knowing that is somehow cathartic. Thus I realize one more thing about human life. Collective grief helps soothe individual grief.

Saturday, 25 February 2017


When you spend all the summer vacations of your life in Himachal, staying away from the hills for more than two years changes a lot of thing (and change happens faster in a state of bereftness). So when the train rushed past a blur of familiar houses I couldn’t help but notice that Scorpios and i10s had replaced Maruti 800s outside the houses that were now lined with fences; perhaps the fear of deceit has shadowed the na├»ve town life too. Bungalows can now be spotted in midst of fields. Shops are lined together in semi-cut hills. But these developments couldn’t alter the known but obliterated calm that embraced me the moment I set foot in the land of Gods. Men draped in shawls over their kurtas, women with the same redness on their cheeks and the familiar joy of homecoming. I had grown so accustomed to Nana ji waiting for us at the railway station and Nani welcoming us at home with tea, I almost forgot that in the years that I grew young, they had grown old too. Coping with the disappointment at his absence I drew my head outside the auto window; in insane admiration of just normal people doing mere routine stuff. When my mother had asked the driver to pull down the binds he replied in my favorite pahaadi accent that it’s not so cold at this hour in the morning. 15 mins later he, in his zipper, was very coolly humming a song I didn’t understand while I sat shivering despite my three layers of clothing. Once back home, I spent my three days’ stay without internet and in the company of people I had forgotten how much I loved. The takeaway was more than just memories and peace of mind; rather it lies in the realization that we all still have hope to de-cluster, that there are people whose lives are not so complex and that family means not only blood but brotherhood. Utopia exists, after all.