Why don’t you?

He, silently asks me. Every time we meet.

It’s fraction of a second; when we look at each other.

The question he poses; before he gets back to his reality. Why don’t I believe in his way?

I could barely understand the question. Didn’t know the words nor its meaning. What is it that he asks? That which seems ridiculous yet simple?

We meet so many people. Look into their eyes for a fraction of a second. In that tiny moment we say our ‘Hello’s’. That minuscule exchange is the only time we really bond, connect and communicate. Not just in real life but also on levels … unreal.

Beyond that initial meeting we don’t really see the other person; we simply follow a programmed behavioural norm. We give precedence to what we have to do and eventually gauge its effect.

But that first moment isn’t just about seeing and saying hello. It is the communication of spirits and souls. It is one cluster of space dust asking other cluster, ‘Do we have bits in common? Why are we feeling this? Do you have answers to what I am feeling right now?’

We ask our Cyclic and Eternal Dilemmas to find answers.

We are taking charge. Finally!

Not letting the confusion rule us but asserting our existence, demanding that since – You like being the untangle-r, untangle yourself through me. 

And.

We meet people so that our dilemmas can meet other dilemmas and may be together we can find an answer. If not … a friend.

I got my first question. At long last, a question. My start to finding an answer…………any answer.

It came to me as a whisper while I saw his eyes in my mind. I wondered whose eyes are those? and why do I see them? Why are they familiar in a hundred deja-vu like way.

I put the two pieces together. The question and its questioner. Words and view.

He has been asking me, why don’t I believe in his way- in his higher self, his guru. He compels me to see it his way.

Look at him, he says. Look how suave and well mannered he is. How well he speaks, so measured are his words and actions. He speaks our language, just like we understand and admire. He conducts himself so well. He wears such unique clothes. So together.

I ask myself Why can’t I like him? Why can’t I see that he speaks of depth and feelings to untangle our jumbled thoughts.

He speaks again He knows about cosmic realms and the space in it. He has so many answers to our questions about life, love, happiness and prosperity.

I didn’t know the question and I couldn’t answer it because I couldn’t fathom its reality.

I wasn’t in the dark and alone. I do not fear reality but I feel like my soul smirks at others when they question. Alas! each time I failed to understand other such hellos said my way.

My soul thinks it’s silly. Ridiculous. Why ask me that? Do you think I don’t know? Do you think I will not comprehend your deep question? Do you think so little of me?

And then that tortured ball moves on to maybe I am so slow that I have missed out on all beauty around, with my self deprecating attitude and fearful insecurity.

Maybe I missed out on a hundred clues to my own questions because I never asked anyone. Even if I did ask I don’t think I have found my answers yet. I wouldn’t be aware of it of course, that’s for higher beings.

But I don’t think I have ever asked- for the fear of being ridiculed or being condescending.

I don’t fear it. I just didn’t believe in it.

My questioner’s question is asked and understood. I have my answer because when I looked into his eyes I saw my own fears. That may be the reason why I could finally understand his quest.

When you do believe in it, it feels like you are –

Opening up to the world.

Coming out from behind the curtains.

It is baring yourself to the elements.

Risking to get hurt.

I understood when I gathered courage and took a brave step out.

A small step.

So minuscule it would barely count.

Yet it opened me up to the large abundant cosmos. So large ; A small step.

I thought about why I don’t believe in his ways, his higher self, his guru.

And I say It is not that I don’t believe in you. I admire the suave persona and respect his vision and words but he doesn’t answer my questions. I may have complex questions, deeper questions or even shallow. But none that you say or he says comes close to my path.  Your guru and your path is ‘yours only’ because his answers untangle your confusion but not mine.

Thank you, fellow traveller I say. It has been nice to meet my first questioner in this whole wide world.

I do like you and all that you represent but I have a different journey. 

Advertisements

Book and its cover

Never! Ever! Judge a book by its cover….

A damningly annoying cliche…..yet it can’t be ignored.

On any given day, this old adage will make its way stealthily into our life – It is a silent reminder – a whispered warning. Its presence – a glaring real life affirmation.

It became a silent partner in my late 20’s. Never before had I cared much for it. Didn’t acknowledge its presence neither did I have much need for it.

But something changed in the late times, … when I made big changes in my life…..decisions like – leave a job, change cities, live without a back up plan or (in my case) a responsible plan….gain skills and see where it takes you. 

I had an unexpected additional surprise – A monumental Decision – of settling down. If I had a time machine……I’d certainly NEVER go back there – Not change it.

I walked into the grand glitter of The National Capital Region. It blinded me for first half of the year. I, slowly learnt to squint and squeech……

I could see ……hazy patterns emerging.

I thought , ‘Well this is what it feels like to filter truths.

It was a celebratory moment of my life – It stated – You are an adult now. Responsible adult. Doing adult things – squinting and filtering truths!

The art of seeing beyond the refracted light- at the dark recesses, in cracks. 

When our eyes adjust, it is wondrous to see slivers of grave serials emerging. The dark swirling pattern is so entrancing – It mesmerizes you and captivates you. Slowly, you are compelled like an addict, to only pay attention to the cracks. Until they fill up your view.

The novelty of this fantastic superpower power is addicting and you take it with you everywhere you go, treating it like a lucky charm.

Until you pause.

For whatever reason.

Or no reason. But you pause.

You look around and you see yourself surrounded by cracks.

It makes you sad.

It makes you fearful.

You realise that YOU, too, are the crack.

You feel suffocated. You feel fear. It is real. Your grief – genuine.

After almost a decade of flaw-finding super-skilled attitude, (which gave me no thrills, by the way) I found myself quite isolated- not because I wanted to be, not because I was proud if it – but because I thought that was – the only way to be adult – mature – responsible.

I wanted to escape. Be anywhere but there.

I paused. I re assessed. I rested my preconceived notions.

Instead of glittery grandeur, I saw reflected nostalgia. I admired the grace with which they handled all scenarios. The grand affaires with minute details – looked into carefully.  The planning for every person, place or thing – varied roles , duties and expectations – all back-end chores to Relationship management – all guests yet family, and visa-versa.

I especially admired the lengths they’d go to build, maintain, and re-create their networks. A different circle for every specific need- for spouse, children and others with random thoughts.

I was boggled by their humility and uncertainty about everything in their life. They covered it well yet wore it loosely around to use it at desperate times.

It may have been this simplicity that I missed earlier.

My two left feet, the larger one in my mouth and an accident prone gait can barely balance the two families. I forget languages and become a malfunctioned uncoordinated cyborg around people new.  I get defensive and cranky, overly sensitive and numb and stoic and rigid.

The more you read, the more you will know.

And I have barely begun reading, I guess.

My new perception analyses less harshly. I still believe this isn’t the final resolution to the problem of judging (If – to judge, is wrong).

I still do judge, maybe not to be condemning but, I do.

It isn’t pity or envy that I feel now, but a need to learn through appreciation. To see the difference as a friend. To learn to live.

There must be a better, more honourable way to engage with the world, who knows?

I will someday. I am sure.

That kind of day

I knew as soon as I woke up that something big is going to happen today!

Something so big that it will change my whole Life – Destiny – Future (…yada ya da…..)

I braced myself for the unknown, firmly believing that it will be awesome!

It’s almost afternoon…. And I am bored. ….. Time seems to be crawling today. ……. Nothing’s happened yet.

I have to be patient. I know.

I (kind of) still believe.

It will happen, NOT may happen – WILL HAPPEN.

Me likey.

A sudden thought. Or was it a voice?

No likey.

There it was again. But where did it come from?

You likey?

What?! where is this coming?…….from?……

I think I know.

My bored brain has decided to go on preset sleep mode with floating wallpapers….

Instead of pictures I have floating words

Words to annoy me…..

Me likey. No Likey, You Likey? 

Me likey. No Likey, You Likey? 

Me likey. No Likey, You Likey? 

Me likey. No Likey, You Likey?

My brain has decided to annoy the hell out of me…..I hate this constant nagging repetitive wordy thoughts.

It’s been 10 minutes now.

I feel silence. I can breathe and relax.

But I can feel the new word popping in;

it is as annoying as the first.

F@*k, f@*k, F@*kity F**k……

F@*k, f@*k, F@*kity F**k……

F@*k, f@*k, F@*kity F**k……

F@*k, f@*k, F@*kity F**k……

AAAGGHHH!!!!STOP!!

Why won’t it stop?!!!

Suddenly….

(Word) BOOM!

Deafening silence

I can feel the tingle of

Death

of a small cell…… Oh! Man!

Then there was peace!

Rainbows and Unicorns

Even the most jaded and the sensibly cynical have a pair of rose-tinted glasses hidden from view.

I proclaim: We are all born Romanticists!!!

A very bright man – Mr A O Lovejoy (I shall call him Mr. Alpha Omega Lovejoy) – said thus about romanticism –

‘The word romantic has come to mean so many things that by itself, it means nothing at all.’

– Wise! Wise! Man, I say.

For the 10% of people who do not know what the Romanticism or the Romantic movement is about, here’s a quick easy crash course:

It all started with words which in turn clustered into different languages- Romanic languages – Romance, here was the vulgarity expressed when the ‘Pure language of the learned – Latin’ was diluted for the commons. Thus, came about many European languages – French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian……Later the Vulgarity in Romance slowly relaxed its stance to being Popular.

The once vulgar expression of emotions, ideas and beliefs became a norm for popular mass.

In its most primal sense then, Romantic expression is communicating crudely to express oneself clearly. Since the learned always have been few, this easy expression became Popular Spoken Language.

Fast forward to the 18th century.

The world (especially Europe) is taken by a storm called Industrial Revolution. This time was the birth place of our very popular aka vulgar friend – Consumerism. It also brought along, uninvited – urban slavery, automated dependencies, and severe need to be part of intellectual herd.

 All That We See and Surround Ourselves With (Romanticism in Art)

Romanticism in art was popularised by artists like Turner, Cole, Daumier, Delacroix, Millet, Friedrich, Bierstadt  and the likes.

Their art spoke of still landscapes, abandoned places, of war and disruption. Broken structures, a rare moment caught in thoughts, the debauchery in merriment, a working day at the farm and imperfect bodies were sketched and coloured countless times.

Romance of everyday life was depicted here. Here was the time of peace and contentment but had gone by; Here was the time to reminisce and want simpler things. None too subtly it showcased the dying goodness from all around. It advertised melancholy against hope or serenity. It showcased an idealist state contrasting with the boorishness of people.

Romantic art for us today are the wondrous wallpapers on our machines, hoardings on roads, our living structures and walls surrounding it – From landscapes to pop art – fantasy of a place so quiet and untouched – remembering and re creating the long dead in-your-face creativity. Visually, we prefer the idea of an ‘Ideal’ only against the gore and filth.  A perfect car – unbothered by the bumps on road; a holiday destination so quiet it feels like a retreat;  a lifestyle so secure that the gangs of poor, nasty, boorish lowly hooligans can’t get through.

A perfect family – caters to the healthy nutritious needs of its family- we pre-package everything.

We buy into this. Everyday.

All That We Hear and Make Ourselves Believe In (Romanticism in Music)

Music too, revolted against rules.

The late symphonies of Beethoven overthrew regimented notes of Mozart and the likes, tuning its audience to embrace emotions and nature. The compositions told the tale of its maker’s emotions- it said ‘ Feel what I feel, Hear what words can’t justify.’

The notes would move you to tears, leave goosebumps in its wake, the eerie and the supernatural sounds haunted you; the dark recesses of your subconscious would have a personalised wave like its own red carpet leading your fears out on a stroll. The beats energised you to move into action and change the world for better, the melodies cried of longing for the elusive hope and lamented about the times gone by.

Individualism gained momentum and many creative people could now pick an instrument to colour the aural senses. Here, too the measured, restrained expression became vulgar and thus popular.

Artists who lead and popularised this period were: Chopin, Beethoven (late period), Von Weber, Verdi, Wagner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Wolf, Mahler, Strauss, Rachmaninov…

Over the years we, the people have danced, head-banged, and grooved to Jazz, Operas, Electronic and Alternative rhythms. Our very own Coldplay sings of metaphorical revolutions and non-super heroes.

Although surrounded by white noise and the cacophony of machines we have turned up our internal volume. We loudly express ourselves; we brazenly take stands; we fixate on instant gratification, and the way to do it, is with sound. We like to hear so we can critique. We like to be heard above the average noise. We amalgamate the hackneyed and ruddy.

All That We Feel and Stories We Tell Ourselves (Romanticism in Literature)

In literature too, The Romanticists emphasised upon individuality and expression of emotions. Traits such as –  intuition, imagination and emotions were given precedence. This was the time when, ostrich-like, people started pulling out their heads from the dark dusty holes.

Romance came out of the cracks. Breaking away from Regimented -Scientific-Restrained Classicism and Neoclassicism. Intellectually superior wit and satires gave way to Songs of Innocence and Experience.

If I have to surmise it simply – taking an example from Chimney Sweepers – This movement pleaded with people to open their eyes to the plight of man; There’s a boy hidden in every man who is burdened with hopelessness. The strong pillars of society, instead of providing support plundered its wealth of Innocence, Gaiety, Imagination. Need for arduous or platonic love was replaced with bondage, in blindfold, without a goal.

It started the now-popular romantic fiction of Alpha male, Damsel in distress, Wrong place, right guy – kinda notion. Throughout it all, a serene, untouched setting  has been the platform for our feelings. We make ourselves believe that in that beautiful place lies all our answers. Our desired perfection. Our final happy destination…….

We enjoy hearing various perspectives on Twilights, The Hogwarts School, Westeros and perhaps even Middle Earth; each taking us to the edge of our seat, hoping for magic, fighting for the coveted spot, and even encouraging us to go on an adventure, for there could be a treasure small yet powerful.

Maybe that’s the reason why whenever going gets tough we talk about weather in between political debates between friends;

reminisce about past or perhaps, narrate stories of generations gone.

Interspersed between plastic money are the shillings bare.

Fairy-favours, are magically everywhere giving it an ending- Sometimes the endings are happy and sometimes there’s a lull….in either case, we love and believe in stories we tell. Because it helps us feel.

Are we all romantics at heart? We see it, hear it, and feel it everywhere yet, we aren’t brave enough to say it is so.

Music, disconnect.

If humming to tunes that suddenly take root in your subconscious say a lot about your emotional state then all the songs you’ve been singing is your own personal therapist slowly unravelling the mysteries of your emotions. Ignoring this state isn’t going to resolve anything.  So, hum away, listen to what it says and follow the truth.

The world’s fine when the songs are happy – about life and all the experiences you’ve had; its fine when its about celebrating the love today with the lover of now. It’s amazing when encouraging , uplifting words are spoken warming your soul when you praise the endearing quirks in people around you.

But what if it is upbeat yet the lyrics speak of heartbreak and longing? If the words tell you that you haven’t found what you are looking for and it seems almost an impossibility to ever get it unless you sacrifice yourself in a self created revolution.

In the end you‘ll be dead fighting for what you wish to possess and experience; nothing matters much in the afterlife, except your satisfied last breath.

Songs about feeling hurt with the wrong one, singing about the light of optimism shining somewhere far, but you are blinded. A poem telling you that to hope is despair yet asking you to make merry for the sun shines.

It needs to be said:

Be worried about the tunes you hum,

in the place you are at,

the person you are with. Thinking about. 

Be worried if to accept the bitter truth makes you uncomfortable

rocks your boat

makes you fear, chokes you.

And be very worried if you ignore it.

Song for introverts

Don’t take my superpower! 

Yes! I can think

And I can sing , but it’s not a pretty song.

It’s just a tune I sing a-loo-ne with all my heavy thoughts

I have a superpower, it makes me think sometimes

It’s all about how people think and how they use their words – per line

I think about the world so large and it’s little people there

Why they act the way they do and repercussions austere

But please don’t make me voice them

For I ll make a mess

Coz my superpower is scared of being ahead

It’s scared of being

To be caught in the act.

I have a superpower that can die a million deaths

If asked to say things loudly so don’t make it upset.

Yes I can make me sing

Songs about how we think and words between the things

Don’t kill my superpower , don’t make me talk

When I open my mouth I m just a blob , of ink on words, blotched.

Important note: the author of this wordy concoction is tone deaf, musically and rhythmically challenged!

This is not an apology. It’s your karma .

Words 

I had my ear partially tuned to what my daughter watched on TV, it was repetitive, a bit moralistic yet not too bad as children’s  program goes. All the musings led me to thinking about languages and how well they explain what we are trying to convey or feel. 

Now I am slightly slow and a tad bit dense in my head. I have to create a likely scenario to better explain my point. The point being – languages – that art of speaking (whether to communicate or to simply create sounds is another matter).

It starts with me, at a gathering of a few friends for a fun-filled fiesta. Around me were grown-ups, with grown up topics to discuss; the kind who’d be serious about money, business, contacts and net-worths while they all networked. 

Amidst them all greys in greens, sat little old me , feeling like I sat stuck with my peers in a classroom: Bunch of teens trying to explore inner selves while unravelling the other. Of course the real situation was utterly different from my skewed perception.  However, there I was when unfortunately the limelight set on me. In a hurry, god awful one, to deflect attention, I opened my pre-graduated brain, when all peace shlumped out of me, in a heap, at my tetchy feet. Ironic!! that act!

The question that arose from that damning mouth of mine was ‘Interesting people you’ve met!’  ‘Funny situations you’ve been in’ and ‘interesting places you have been.’

In my head I had unknowingly chosen ‘interesting’ because it wasn’t only the ‘best’ or ‘most favourite’ that I was looking for; it had to do with all the varied emotions that make one memory up.

While everyone grudgingly answered I admired how people could be so clear about themselves yet confused and ignore simple truths within. 

Personally, I have no particular favorites of any kind. I fear to tag any situation, person or place as the ultimate- never to change-best of anything. 

It’s taken years of practise to remain this aloof and unopinionated in life.  I am a master non-confrontationalist. Under no adverse or opportune circumstance will you get me to air my true blue thoughts. ( yeah, blue- royal too) . 

Which in turn forced me to ask myself, why don’t I have any interesting of any,  ‘the best’ or      ‘most favourite’ of any kind. My good moments, places and people all level to a – ‘all are unique in their own kind-of way.’

I wondered, is it because of my linguistically-hyper-meta brain? Or is it because the rest speak only half a tongue and may be a quarter of another?

When people talk about their favorite places they usually mention the fashion favoured.

When the favourites are people ,they are eminent personalities who are either powerful, wealthy or intellectually superior.

Memorable funny moments -when invariably and innocently they discover the answer to world problems.

Now, me on the other hand (needless to say, an average stay at home creature with average culinary and cleaning skills) wonder would it be so bad if any or all could have an average response. 

Imagine a place you thought was a beach and it was a beach, nothing more. But at the beach the feelings you had, the conversations you felt, and the wisdom you got was incomparable.

 Imagine a person you met was just so ordinary with no frills, tune nor courage, yet made you feel like you were looking into a mirror. 

Or maybe that embarrassing moment that really made you look like a dope.

 I wonder why can’t  people have simpler answers,? Would it be because the language they claimed as theirs- polished, classy, accented English instead of the quarter of their real tongue (discarded as outdated) couldn’t  express or communicate their feelings. The language that is hardwired to your DNA fosters the understanding of its culture, it’s belief , centuries of history and the emotions that run with it. Even if you don’t speak it as often as you could, the essence still lingers and pops out in your tone, words you prefer to use, your pitch and gestures. It even affects your attitude towards everything around you.

In that sense, all poor non-native english speakers are in a crazy  conundrum; apathy of feelings towards one another. Each feels the other underestimates them in every perceptive way.

In India alone each language -of all the 4 regions- have an underlined feeling that conveys the emotions in that tongue well. Punjabi/Gurmukhi speaks about vehemence and patriotism, The Bengali speak of politely asserting their rights, the The Marwaris speak of compounding the constantly varied flow of life and the Gujaratis of taking it slow……

The European languages have their own special linguistic emotions- the seductively rational, the in control warriors, the passionate emoters and the primal truthsayers. 

As for the Native english speakers like the Americans, British and the Australians…….they say what they have to say, the way they want to say but unfortunately are misunderstood by the ever increasing non-english  speakers of standardised language.