Eid Mubarak

Festivals are about faith, foremost. They are markers of our beliefs; a tangible expression of our intangible faith. Festivals are about family; coming together, sharing lives and witnessing the good within us. And more often than not, festivals are also about food. A celebration of being alive and staying alive.

4759: Chand Minar

Of all the things that festivals can mean for us, these three should be enough for us to live in joy and peace.

Eid Mubarak!

Caring & Sharing

It has been nine years since the Mumbai floods of 2005. The rain has been pouring unabated since Saturday evening, and it brought back memories of that dreadful 48 hours.

I didn’t post about it back then, and a friend chided me about it. A month later, in August that year, I wrote about it. But only because he implied that I don’t care about it. This blog has hardly seen any social commentary. Man-made tragedies cause anger to show; natural calamities cause despair. These emotions are universal responses to such events and writing about them, in different words, amounts to nothing. It was not very nice of my friend to imply that I did not care; but I know him well — he perhaps only wanted to know what I felt.

Contemporary social commentary (in India at least) has become lop-sided, biased, and bereft of thought. The ability to comment easily has, in my opinion, caused this.

We often forget that the ability to publish our comments has become instantaneous; not the need for us to think through and form our comments.

We have all done that, one time or the other, and that’s fine, as long as we are not making a habit out of it. Spewing vitriol about an event that (sometimes unfortunately) makes headlines is counterproductive to solving, or even debating an issue.

Almost everyone cares for what’s happening in our world; very few care to take part in shallow badgering.

Sunday Stuff

My high school had a very good library. I hardly borrowed from it, though. Therefore, I never read any book by Ernest Hemingway; though we knew about him. Now that I am reading A Farewell to Arms, I wonder, what my teacher was thinking when she encouraged all of us to read that book. I am, in a very different sense, glad that I did not read that book then. I would not have liked my young impressionable mind to know about love, then. My experience(s) would have stunted, I imagine.

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I continue to enjoy using my new phone.

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There has to be a sense of regret or dismay, when you sacrifice. Else it is an excuse. Sacrifice is usually about giving up something valuable in exchange for something more valuable. There has to be a word for giving up something valuable in exchange for something less valuable. Compromise comes close, but doesn’t quite cut it.

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I overcame inertia this week. I asked a friend if I was successful; she said I was — but she is being nice. It wasn’t that wonderfully overcome; what matters is that it was overcome. I have a feeling I have moved from stationery inertia to kinetic inertia. That’s a good start.

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Three people are a part of a holiday plan. It’s not working out very well. Neither seems to be inclined to have the holiday. All seem to get a holiday done. I believe you can live a happy life without a holiday, for years. To make it happen is contorted. It just doesn’t play. I once had a wonderful holiday with someone. It was amazing. Since then, I’ve never met, seen, or spoken with them. It does not matter. Holidays are less about showing off on Facebook; more about an experience that you capture in your heart. 

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I don’t pray much. When I was very young and did not know how to pray, I was taught to seek intelligence and good sense. If you think hard, that’s all you really need. As I grew up and changed my prayer, I started thanking the presence of the wonderful people in my life. When I do pray, I usually start and close my prayer with a thank you. Asking for something seems burdensome. One off, I ask for direction.

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That’s it, Sunday is done with.

Viva Saturday

It’s Saturday.

I like Saturdays. Unlike Fridays and Sundays. I like Saturdays. You could say, I love Saturdays. I don’t hate Fridays or Sundays. I just like Saturdays better.

Fridays have too much of expectation built into them. There is this anticipation of the weekend we all look forward to. That anticipation takes up too much of energy. There’s a frenzy to finish tasks and enter the weekend. Saturdays are so much better.

Sundays have a sense of dread about them. There’s no such thing as an absolute Sunday. The Sunday is a marker of the onset of the Monday. And Mondays are dreadful; we all know that. Sunday is a race towards Monday that you don’t want to run. Saturdays are so much better.

I have never taken Tuesdays seriously. They are, well, insignificant. They tell us that we survived a Monday, and while we may be far way from a weekend, we are on our way. Tuesdays are the ones you don’t pay attention to. Like some of the things in your life, you just ignore them. Saturdays are so much better.

Wednesdays are fine. Nothing wrong with them. By the end of Tuesday, you have accepted that it is going to be a series of weekdays and Wednesdays is when you accept it wholeheartedly. It’s the week. And it’s in the middle. You don’t know where you want to belong — to the weekdays or the weekends. Saturdays are so much better.

Of all the weekdays, Thursdays are the trickiest. The Thursday is the harbinger of the Friday, which is the eve of the weekend. You usually do not know what to make of it: try to finish the day so that you would be in Friday already or bring the Wednesday feeling of balance. Writers often use the Tuesday and a Thursday to start a story. It’s poetic, in a way. A warm Thursday afternoon or a cold Thursday morning; that’s how they start the chapters. Saturdays are so much better.

And before you know it, it’s Friday and the circle is complete. Saturdays are so much better.

Notice, how I conveniently did not dedicate a paragraph for Mondays?

That’s because this post is about Saturdays. The perfect day of the seven. It has escaped the anticipation of Friday and holds no dread of the Sunday. What a wonderful day. Saturdays are so much better.

Have fun, enjoy your Saturday.

Fatigue Fighters

Apart from watching a few select sports on TV, I don’t have much of a relationship with sports. I don’t worship a sportsperson or a team; I usually don’t take sides (with the one exception of any Indian team or sportsperson playing any sport); I don’t armchair comment; I don’t follow any controversial news about sports; I am not glued to any device for scores. Also, I don’t play any.

In high school, however, I was an athlete. End of the school day, we used to head out for practice; Track & Field events. I never tracked, I only fielded. But our PT instructor made us run around the ground before we could begin practice. Warm up, it seems. Once on the far side of the ground, we field guys used to cut corners — convert the 400m track to 300-350m — if were only to throw medieval weapons as far as we could, running and getting tired didn’t make sense to us. All the stretching exercises that we did before the run should suffice, we argued — in our heads i.e.; never in his presence.

One of best friends then, and now, was a track guy. He used to run long-distance events: the 400m and the 800m and the marathons and other similar events. He is in the Merchant Navy now, and I asked him once, if he still ran. Apparently he does. In my head I have this aerial view of a large rusty coloured merchant vessel in deep blue waters, and I see him in white, running around edges of the ship.

I’ve, however, stopped throwing things around. Not tantrums even. Of all the sports I was involved in, I’ve never played any that involved continuous activity. I’ve never experienced fatigue, in that context.

For my challenge, I am to write six more posts for the next six days. And I am beginning to draw blanks.

4348: 49 Shades of Grey

This must be fatigue.

My question to my friend, when we meet next will be this: what goes on at the instance when every aching muscle is ready to fall out of your body, and you have only a few metres left to the finish line? It has to be a little more than inertia that takes the athlete to the finish line.

How do you fight fatigue?

My Mad, Mad, Mad, Mind

Insanely smitten.

Smitten could qualify as crazy. As crazy as can be; in love. One man’s mad is another’s genius isn’t it? Or perhaps the right word is to be moonstruck. That’s how love is. The moon guides how the tides flow. But for someone in love, the scientific relationship of the moon phases and tides mean little. And, the moon has little control on how the tides rise and fall in the human heart. Moonstruck is the same as being foolish or insane, or being enchanted or enamoured. When in love, the differences between these words mean little because the insanity is all-encompassing and the opposite of worldly sanity. We’ll use insane, to be consistent (or not), but we all know the feeling of being in madly in love, which is haplessly waiting for a word.

To experience this insanity is to be in love.

And it is this insane mind that sets out to dream an impossible dream. Perhaps it is the madness of being in love that encourages us to set out on this dream. Where else would we find this valour? So we leave the confines of all that is comfortable to see this dream.

Listen to this insane mind, it makes crazy statements. Someday we will understand what’s crazy in the context of what’s not crazy. For now, we will go by this craziness and live it to the extent possible. For, insanity permeates the heart, the breath, the very essence of what keeps us alive. The madness of being in love deprives of the sleep and we keep tossing and turning in our bed, making folds of the sheets that I wish were you, and it keeps me awake through the dark night. The yearning eyes, through the windows of my dreams seek your eyes.

I mentioned you, for the first time, did I not?

In this world that has been lost to the craziness that I am and my love is, I seek your intimacy. Two hearts that are beating at the same rhythm. Just you and me. Knowing you, I care less and less for the sanity that this world can offer me; give me  your hand out and I could live my life forever knowing you are with me. Let’s go for a walk.

2685: A Millennium Conversation

And we will make it ours: that one tune and that one rhythm, in our shared madness – you feel it too don’t you – where our insanity makes sense. Would you dance the dance of insanity with me? If I would show the madness of what I feel, would our feet tap to the beat of what you and I feel? Come dance with me.

Join me; let’s see this dream together.

The sun will set in the way it knows. There will be night. There will be silence. Not much will move. The night and the silence will take on the enchantment of the love that is ours. We will be together in this fantasy and we will see each other, face to face. Our lips will quiver. And we will discover that the madness, isn’t in becoming, it is in being. The moment will be intoxicating. I need not see your face, for in the madness I can see your face behind the cape of flax that is you. Was it the force of nature that slid the cape from your madly-in-love face that made me fall in love you again, and again, and again.

My mad mind saw a dream. It was all about you.

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The content of this post is not mine. It’s a statement of a song that I love.

 

No More Golden Eggs

When we were young, we were narrated the story of the goose that laid golden eggs. The moral of the story was, not to be greedy; not to kill the goose.

Stretch Marks

Am not sure, if some of us learnt from it. There was, perhaps, a parallel story that we weren’t told; that the farmer was supposed to allow for some time between the golden eggs. Was this a story to teach us about patience or opportunism? We were never told if the goose had a mind of its own. Could the goose, for example, choose not to give golden eggs? Was it genetically compelled to give golden eggs? Was it helpless? Or was the goose so compassionate that it did not care. One of these days, this story needs to be told from the goose’s perspective. If this story is told from the goose’s perspective, perhaps all of us farmers might learn something more valuable. We’ll perhaps learn to respect the goose for more than the golden eggs that it could lay.

When you wring it, you have to think of why and how, you are wringing it.