Thursday, August 27, 2015

Take off!

Amidst your mundane, robotic activities that constitute life, pause suddenly and spontaneously.
Turn around to heed to the chirping birds, respond to the trees - tall and handsome, and so very green. While walking on a lane flanked with trees, look for long at the tapestry that the leaves have formed at a distance. Stop and stare, wonderstruck, as you would be if you saw them for the first time (even if you've walked this lane everyday for the past several years of your life). Stop to smile at little children who wait intently for your sparkling glance, lift them for indeed their place is within loving hearts.

Watch movies with all your attention but do not remember how they end (so that when you watch them again, it'll be like the first time).
Remember everyday to pause suddenly and spontaneously, (without having planned for it previously in any way), for real understanding descends in these pauses. That this exquisite world with its chivalrous and respectable mountains, the charming rivers and elegant oceans, its adorable birds and delightful flowers took milleniums to become so that you would arrive one day and walk amidst them for some time, stunned at the breathtaking beauty of it all.

Occasionally,  you may find your consciousness at the brink of the unbearbly dense, teethering to take flight in to the infinite expanse of lightness, like a satellite on its final moments in orbit before escaping into the peaceful void beyond the iron-grip of gravitation.

It is at this very edge of gravitas that life's most valuable realisations lie. And when you wake up on another day, you would have turned into a different person, with just the distant memory of the person you were a long time ago, someone who amidst intolerable grief and heart-breaking agony was able to lift the weight of it all and turn it into Nothing.
Or perhaps something slightly significant, akin to inspiration.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Myth called Closure

Seems like yesterday when you'd caught hold of my diary and wouldn't give it back before sneaking a peek. You'd opened the pages where I'd written this:

Be the home I return to for laughter 
When I turn around let me find you laughing too

Be there 

to share with me what I lovingly cook up
let your heart be a canvass for my colours
Let me paint my dreams

Be there
when I bring home a homeless little baby
Help me bring her up.

Be my church and my temple
Pardon me when I err

Be successful in what you do
so that I can take inspiration

Was that the day when you'd sealed the fate of our friendship?

I know the kind of jokes that would make you laugh, that you like to listen more than speak, that you stop for that clandestine cigarette not in front of the stall in front of your apartment but at the one a little further away (although the chances of your mother (who probably knows that you smoke) discovering you smoke are very remote). 

I know that you value your friendships. Once when we were walking with friends, I fell behind to tie my laces, to see if you would turn around and wait till I caught up. You did.
I know these these things about you (that will absolutely of no use to me soon)
Whom are you kidding? I know you like me, you always have.
You are at peace when I am around as if there is order suddenly in this chaotic world, as if everything is as it should be in our random lives. I know this about us.

This knowing you and being friends with you didn't happen in a day.

This note though is about today.

Unlike every other time, today I spared the pillion on your bike for your fiancee. Obviously dancing with you was out of the question at the club. Thus, while you were dancing with your fiancee I was left at the gracious company of her friends.
Occasionally I stole a glance to see if you were happy. I caught you looking at me wondering if I was feeling lost among new people. 

Your fiancee, I am sure, is a fine woman. One day, she'll know you more closely than I've known you.Can there be an end to how much there is to know about a person?

Occasionally in those stolen moments while deeply inhaling a smoke, you would perhaps think of me, of those long drives along pristine beaches, on silken roads.

Having let you go, I on the other hand would forever have the satisfaction of having known you once in my own way and having written about it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

On cartoons and anger management

The following is a list of human activities infinitely more cruel and harmful than drawing cartoons or being satirical. These however have nothing in common with what any self-stylized godman, priest or prophet or seer has ever prohibited. Not so surprisingly, these have also not been mentioned in any religious texts.

1) deforestation
2) dumping toxic chemical waste into natural water bodies
3) sweeping seabeds clean while killing million fishes and destroying aquatic ecosystems
4) hunting tigers, whales, dolphins for trade and fun
5) killing animals for food
6) circumscision - because the creator made you with foreskin and you obviously know better
7) killing fellow humans - because thats what you do when you are angry and you are always angry
8) evading taxes - because you owe nothing to the government and your country for your identity
9) hoarding wealth while millions starve
10) abducting and raping women and children
11) exploiting the less mightier through pornography and prostitution
12) creating wealth by trading drugs and weapons which are used to crush the innocent and meek
13) being remorseless about the above

For those who don't understand sarcasm and cynicism i'll put it more plainly:
If you find yourself burning with mad rage and uncontrollable anger use the above list to give direction and reason to your wrath. Perhaps the godmen you respect and revere may even be proud of you. And reserve some special houris in heaven in your name.

Friday, December 19, 2014

On love and remembrance

The only bit of reality that has ever made sense is that outside of this earth bursting with billions of humans, there is not a single entity who'll return your smile or say hi or share a drink with you.

And the wonder that's keeping the stars apart is how your smile lights up my day, making me forget the billion people, the stars and the universe.

There aint no sunshine when you're gone, as i remember that i can never forget that teaming millions spend their lives on roads, with wretched hunger in their stomachs, that thousands would repair their leaky rooftops and send their children to schools if only they had a little more money.

Kuch na tha yaad ba-jus kaar-e-mohabbat
Ye jo bigra hai tou kaam kayee yaad aaye

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The enigmatic paradox

One of the greatest secrets of the universe is even simpler than the h2g2's answer 42. It is this: the truth, that which sets you free is neither good nor evil, neither correct nor wrong.

Now if you have ever been baffled by the beauty in nature or disgusted with war and terrorism or just disillusioned in life, you would find your mind polarising, wanting to take sides. Because taking sides gives the mind the semblence of and the motivation for moving forward vis a vis the alternative of being stuck in hopelessness and despair.

But which side should one take? If the answer to this question is even slightly important to you, you are probably already on a quest for answers. You could meddle with philosophy (particularly impressive are the works of Socrates, Aristotle, Cicero and Plato) and metaphysics while losing yourself in the works of Kant, Schopenhauer, Ouspensky, Gurdjieff. In your search you could discover bizarre rituals of secret societies like the order of Illuminati, the Freemasons, the Yazidis, the Zoroastrians or marvel at magical koans and the mystical lives of sufis and yogis. Poetry by e.e. cummings and w.h. auden and songs by leonard cohen will give wings to your heart and make you cry.You would decide for yourself that pirsig's compassionate metaphysics of quality touches you somewhere where rand's superficial objectivist philosophy though powerful wouldn't even begin to skim.

Between hoarding and processing so much information you would stand up for friends, fall in love, be betrayed, understand fear and discover that your condition is not very different from the general human condition. And at some point, you will laugh at the pointlessness of it all and arrive at the truth i mentioned above.

Or you could spare yourself the hardwork and consider that the following is a paradox:
In the pursuit of an idealogy to live life according to, so as to have done justice to it thereby leading to the notion of freedom (consisting of peace and contentment and the absence of guilt) in the end - 'good' and all that it stands for is a better guide than 'evil'.

The above sentence and all ideologies, concepts and religions derived from it are extremely deceptive. This idea has for centuries in different contexts enmeshed mankind in battles in which humanity has always lost. In its enigmatic best, this notion has the potential to throw the thinker far away from any understanding of freedom. Truth thus has always remained elusive.

For our amusement let us in simple and elegant ways try to show what is wrong with the above idea:
The first thing that breaks it down completely is that the measure used to compare the two is what is being compared in the first place. The whole problem is analogous to answering that a mango is more mango like than an orange on being asked which of the two should be preferred.
Secondly, there is also an element of bias because before even beginning to compare the two we have already formed judgements (depending on our natures) as to which side is worthy of emerging victorious. 

The reverse - 'evil' and all that it stands for is a better torchbearer than 'good' is by similar reasoning, a paradox. Races, cultures and civilizations have perished trying to defend, uphold and preserve, the good, the pure, the clean, the white, the more, the true.

The problem with swearing by any ideology however legitimate it sounds like in the beginning is that it makes you fearful of losing whatever thing of value it helped you to hoard in the first place - wealth, power, grandeur, luxury, supremacy, superiority, a sence of entitlement, etc. Once you have things that you are fearful of losing you try two things : to make others see value in the things you hold dear, or you set out to destroy everything that threatens you. Thus while fighting for and standing up for your 'good' you become that which you set out to destroy in the first place.

Pause for a bit. Think if you help your brethen in their diffcult times as easily as you pick up a weapon to defend them. Congratulate yourself on being a part of a race that has used its intelligence to spot the differences between the opposing values and put the worldly miscellaneous in correct baskets (albeit in their heads).

However it is my hope that we soon realise the danger of believing that either one is more correct, more beautiful, more right, more legitimate, more worthy of preserving than the other. 

Now and right now is the time to transcend.