Contemplative

The words you meant hard; but don't anymore.

What happens to expressions that were once meant deeply but now are just fiction? Imagine that a world's being constructed from the words you intentionally said meaning them fully. When you stop feeling those things anymore, I guess the world that was being constructed sort of gets abandoned; much like a settlement that was once on the banks of a river, fertile and flourishing, but is now unpopulated because the river changed course. These settlements are capable of re-visits, and more so if the corresponding  feelings are written down somewhere, in long mails, in diaries, in silly handwritten love letters and text messages typed under a desk while looking straight at the teacher.

All this is just an ode to the nature of what we call " the truth of being". Truth's just a feeling triggered by electro chemical impulses within the human body, just another of those things like love, hate, joy, and depression. It is as much a result of observation as it is of longing and that's why there is no one truth and that's also why truth keeps changing. Humanity is capable of also pairing its truths, much like phones on a Bluetooth pairing.

But, there are no worlds that get constructed. Everything is in your mind, and the importance of having an uncluttered mind is best expressed by Sherlock Holmes while explaining his lack of "general knowledge."

"I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

In other things, has anyone heard "Rudra" by mal metal band Agam?
  • Current Music
    Rudra:Agam
Happy

Some Housekeeping

So, sometimes, you get that urge to purge? Purge the shit thats been lying around in your head accumulating the dust of worry, stuff that needs to be expunged from the system? Whether its clearing the excrement of your dear depression from your blog, or deleting ultimately useless angst from your inbox, housekeeping is both tiring and therapeutic at the same time.

Housekeping's important though.If you plot the graph of life with happiness and time as its axes you'd probably end up with a series of right angled triangles, much like the roofs of those old factories and warehouses. And when you're done with some of those instant vertical drops, you cant really start the long climb to a position of  happiness without some housekeeping. Some load-shedding. (By the way, its a supremely satisfying moment when you can use that term to define any situation other than not having enough electricity to go around!)

It isnt easy, always. Actually its mostly bloody difficult. And its hell for people who generally dont like letting go. But it just needs to be done and it gives you perspective. It makes you stronger. And teaches you some rather strange lessons, like, sometimes you need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and burn your house down to kill the rats in the cellar (both metaphorically only, though.)

And while you are at it, its nice to leave a marker along the way. Write yourself something in the vicinity of a certificate of change of mood. Note therein that around the corner somewhere is a vertical drop. It'll serve you well.
  • Current Mood
    hopeful
Angry

The Nature of my Game

I have become the worst sort of moron there is. One that's still wearing a tie and looking at a computer at three thirty in the morning.

I know something has happened to me. Its changed me in ways that I don't like but can't really help. I have always been a sucker for addictions and escapism is my performance art of choice. I guess this is just another never ending search for the fix around the corner.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Contemplative

Atonement

The day came that he realized the truth.No matter what religion he  subscribed to,his counting will not be amongst the virtuous. The Gods would perhaps forgive him. Maybe he could attain deliverance by himself. But he was sure he had sinned. There were tears, if not blood, on his conscience. He knew he had harmed and hurt and upset too many people too many times. He wasn't the sorts to labour under elaborate delusions of self so he knew very well what atrocity he was committing when he did each of those things. He wondered not of the consequences of those actions then. He believed that fate was decided by the might of his arms and the strength of his will. Every advance was planned, every castle well defended. It took a lot to get where he got and he particularly didn't mind the path that brought him there. The emperor was the emperor and emperors don't sin.

But as the years past he started losing his iron grip. On his empire and on the strength of his belief. One by one they all betrayed him. Those he could have sworn would protect him with their lives drew their swords with the intention of colouring them with his blood.At the end it was just him and his thoughts. He thought of his conquests and all he could remember were the faces of the vanquished. He remembered the days when he was lord of all he surveyed and remembered only the fear in the eyes of children. The evil that men do comes back to haunt them. He wished if he could undo what he had done. He only hoped for atonement. And death.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Contemplative

My Song Of the Season

When life is chaos for long enough rest starts looking like an alien feeling and peace is a vague concept in thoughts of misty hills. When change sweeps life and time doesn't show you mercy to cope, all that you look for is that next adrenaline rush. Its been a tumultuous few months for me and while I am yet to fully grasp or come to terms with most of it, some observations do strike hard enough to have an impression.

One of those for me has been the power of art to inspire. More specifically speaking, music. Some of the few moments of absolute bliss that I remember from  otherwise very hazy memories are those spent in front of a powerful sound system listening to good live music with mildly altered consciousness.

There comes a time in life where a pair of earphones plugged to you are your only weapons against the chaos that is your life. I have gone through my fair share and this one was particularly severe. There used to be a time when I wrote about the songs that moved me and yet here I am today not writing about the music that keeps me afloat. I have decided to get something to shove back at the normative me that lives inside of the actual me and continuously taunts my inaction and weakness.

How I listen to music has also changed. The last few times music has kept me sane were mostly times i spent in bed with a laptop by my side. This time around its been a phone and lots of activity. After a long time I now have a device that shows my most played statistics back to me in the form a phone that has more computing power than my first personal computer.

So it turns out that the single piece of music that I listened to the most was Dani California, from one of the few really pleasurable albums of the last decade by any band, Stadium Arcadium by RHCP. I don't generally know why I like a particular song. I mean, generally its such am instinctive and deeply personal affinity that's difficult to ever really express in words. But with this one its different. I know exactly why I am in love with this song. Its a perfect example of a talented group of artists take something made by the real immortals and do their thing around it, with it, and make it. their own.

Dani California starts off as Sweet Home Alabama and ends as Purple Haze and in between RHCP just does their own thing so well that you just get blown to pieces.  In fact if possible  I suggest one should listen to all three songs in order. With Dani California in the middle. Its enriching.

How i Wish i could listen to more world class live music!

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

  • Current Mood
    indescribable
Default

At night on the streets of Bombay

The measure of a place should always be made on the best it has to offer. I seem to remember only the happiest and best in both places and people. Delhi for me has always been about the winters for example and i dream of home as wet in the monsoon rains. These are of course places where i like the seasons but there are places i like  and remember for the nights. No matter what season i go there i remember the nights in Goa way more than the days.

Bombay is a stark example of how a town can be two different places twice in the span of twenty four hours. The days in Bombay are nothing but a study in how  inhospitable a city can be. Almost everyone is in a hurry and getting around or doing anything other than sitting in air conditioned spaces is quite a bit of a hassle.  A Bombay day on an average demands more effort and stamina than most other places i know. To add to it the weather is pretty horrid except when its raining.

But once the sun goes down the script takes a turn for the better. The reassuring sepia which reflects off the roads and the space for both automobiles and breeze to work the way you want them to show you what Bombay truly is or can be for a little while every day. Sitting at a sea facing public area in Bombay is one of the best things to do whatever else is happening with life. The Bombay night is warm and breezy and its a just reward after the pains of daylight.

I have been running a bit at night and i find it to be a very pleasant thing to do. Its quite safe and there is still a gatorade available if i feel i need one even past midnight. Maybe its the lighting; maybe its the unobtrusive presence of other humans, but i also find these nights to be consoling to troubled minds.

People call this town the city of dreams. I think i know why people dream a lot here. If you believe, like me that dreams are mostly a reflection of your feelings, then maybe its this night that makes people dream so much.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Contemplative

A Full Circle


If you were the kid no one could stand in school, like I was, it wouldn’t have taken you very long to learn that happiness is something that has to be found within self.  There was no use looking for it anywhere else because the world (and the people around you), just don’t care that much about whether you are happy or not. At a very early stage in life itself, I learned that a basketball, with the right amount of air in it, would bounce back exactly the way you wanted it to. There was certainty and reassurance in it. It was a fact that enabled me to be happy despite the fact that most of my classmates wanted to beat the shit out of me.

 

Then I went to college and the pretty much the same story got repeated. For the longest time, the basketball going where it went, the smoke that affected my mind the same way no matter what, and many other such constants kept me happy. I steered clear of finding my happiness in another person, and I found satisfaction in my loneliness.

 

Then it happened. Someone came into my life and enriched it to an extent I thought wasn’t possible. The absolute certainty that someone other than my parents would care for my happiness over their own stamped itself into my protesting mind slowly but surely till it became the way I thought. I was an addict.

 

I was a very happy addict. Joy knew no bounds and the seeming achievability of success added further conviction till I was sure that true happiness is incomplete till it can be shared. I wasn’t lying when I told people that I’d been a fool all along.

 

Things changed. But the fact that I’d been a fool didn’t. Once you are an addict to something as dangerous as a definition of happiness that included someone other than you, you better hope the other person is your mother or something. It wasn’t my mother, in my case. Moron.

 

I’m back to being the unpopular kid nobody wants to play with. And this time I don’t even have a basketball.

 

 


  • Current Mood
    crushed
Impact

Random Things about Bombay


These are a collection of things that I've seen heard and felt in Mumbai, with absolutely no relation to anything else in the whole wide world except that I found them worthwhile enough to write about. They are not put down in any order of preference and would seem completely trivial to some, if not most.

1. Late Night Local Train Rides

The Bombay Locals are hardly the sort of things that people would write about in the general tone and measure of a leisurely and peaceful mode of going from one place to another. And yet, a job that frequently involves the sort of timings that would entitle factory workers to double pay has given me an alternative outlook on these often maligned but absolutely indispensable (unless one is of the disposition as one of my dear friends is, that South Mumbai ends at Colaba Causeway and Mumbai at the Mahim flyover) ascpect of Bombay life. To cut a long story short, I like travelling on the footboards of trains. I have done entire waking sections of epic train journeys (being from Trivandrum, I've done my share of 2500 plus km trips, epic by most standards), cutting through the length of India, standing on the footboards of the train. The only sane time to travel on a Bombay Local on the footboard (actually, there is no footboard, its just the door) is past eleven thirty at night, and the twenty minute ride from Mahalakshmi to Santa Cruz is one of the few pleasures involved in working late.

2. Grafitti/Street Art

Very recently, some enlightened soul did Bombay a favour by taking the very uncharacterestic decision of allowing the walls on one side of tulsi pipe road from Mathunga all the way to Lower Parel to be painted/decorated by, it seems, anyone who wanted to. This has resulted in some real gems, including some stuff that cannot have been done by anyone but a professional grafitti artist. My favourite is a simple and essentialy Indian cartoon thats painted on a wall between Phoenix Mills and Mahlakshmi. It shows two groups of people pointing guns at each other. The group on the left are without question the naxals and facing them with guns are a cop/armyman, whose being pushed forward by a neta, who in turn is backed by a fat cat corporate honcho. The caption under the Naxals reads "MAO-WADI" and the one under the cops/netas/fatcat reads "MOU-WADI." Priceless to say the least.

3.Medina- Step In Combo

Mahim is an area of great interest for any sel-respecting Mallu boy in Bombay, who is looking for a good way to spend an evening with his friends. It has the underappreciated Hotel Medina, which serves the best kappa biryani I have eaten outside of Kerala, and yet does not have the sort of fame that Hotel Deluxe in Fort has. The same area also has perhaps the best watering hole for a wallet conscious gentleman, in the form of the apty named Step-In Bar. Not shady in the mode fashionable to like if you are a Lawschoolite (which means a dimly lit, dirty place), Step-In is brightly lit, and provides much required quencing of thirst at very affordable rates. If you thought Ambience or Gokul was the ideal place to get sloshed on Rs. 200, then this brilliant place tucked in a side lane in Mahim will take your breath away.

4. Intoxicated Relaxation at Marine Drive   

If you have been there and done that, then you know. If you havent, please do. It is one of my top three urban peace/contemplation spots, the others being Lodhi Gardens on a winter evening, and the Vadakkunnathan Temple grounds in Thrissur. Be careful with your slippers, though.
Impact

Rain

It’s raining here in Bombay. The sun, so unsparingly searing for the past few weeks, has so sportingly gone absent without leave, and almost gale force winds are deposing the potted plants on the balcony from their majestically upright position. For the first time in ages, the air conditioning is hailed because it is essentially warmer than it is on the outside. It’s the perfect weather for intoxication and clean acoustic guitar based music.

Over the years, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with rain. The vagaries of fate and fortune positioned me in Trivandrum, Kerala for the first nineteen years of my existence. For a good majority of these nineteen years, I was in the habit of scrutinizing cloud movement to see if precipitation would disrupt my evening basketball practice, the epitome of goodness in life, as it then was. The basketball court in Loyola School, Trivandrum was a thing of glory and wonder. It was located in a massive quadrangle, sheltered by trees, and when a match was happening, all classes in senior school were suspended, and the entire school would be there. But the most peculiar attribute of the court was that the flooring was made of marble chip tiles. When dry, it was a better surface to play than any other, but was notoriously treacherous and genuinely dangerous when wet. Also if it did rain, the water would not seep down like the usual rough concrete courts, as a result of which I’ve spent many an afternoon, along with fellow teammates sweeping the entire court dry so that we could play. Quite obviously, rain was not a welcome visitor those days, and the fact that we had so much of it made me only hate it more.

In college, Lucifer influenced me well enough to hit upon alternate modes of spending an evening. One of the few positives results of this revolution was that it allowed me time and inclination to enjoy rain. NLS Bangalore is a narrow patch of land which would have been condemned to ordinariness had it not been for the greenery. Rain at NLS was beautiful, and many an intoxicated afternoon was spent enjoying the sight of earth renewed by rain.

Now, rain feels strange. It’s a pain to get around, but it’s also a huge relief from the scorching heat. I think this calls for a Khandala trip this weekend. ;-)
Contemplative

On Activity and Nostalgia

Unfortunate indeed is the man who cant look back at the days of his childhood and smile. In terms of the days of my youth, I’m privileged to have been splendidly blessed. I lived a very happy life, carefree, with not an inkling of the angst that was to manifest itself so darkly and completely much later. In addition to not being angsty, there were also other momentous differences between the me of my childhood and me now. The most pronounced difference would probably be in the level of sustained activity that was the hallmark of my existence in those days. Make no mistake, I’m not being a hopeless romantic here, and it might sound eccentric but I miss the countless hours of running around and playing in the unforgiving tropical heat of a Kerala summer. Nowadays I start grumbling about the heat and humidity I am subjected to in a twenty minute taxi ride in Mumbai, when it strikes me that I am the same human being who wouldn’t mind three hours of football in the scorching heat as a kid. And mind you, by activity, I don’t mean just sports. I miss the running. Running for no cause, motive or basis. If I needed to move, I’d run. Running defined freedom, and it almost defined existence. And here I am, the same boy grown, who frets over his laziness to exploit a ten thousand buck gym membership. Forgive me if it sounds like a condensed version f the philosophy of Forrest Gump, but it was quite something to race around randomly.

Life is nothing but the corruption and systematic destruction of a beautiful ideal known as childhood.