Lost in abstraction

Lost in abstraction

10 trillion-The number of cells in an average human being. That’s more cells than the number of people on the planet. 10 Trillion cells. All working in unison humming every second or two.  From a certain point when we tumble forth into the World.

Such enormous complexity in such a simple and fragile exterior. All it takes is a poke, jab, blow, or fall to end it all. What is the end of it all anyway?

Then there is the brain. The most amazing few million cells. Lets call them “the specially chosen”. The brain that is capable of observing, and being observed at the same time. capable of perceiving reality and understanding abstractions. Capable of writing love songs and planning the most vile campaigns that are meant to destroy every living being in its vicinity.

Life surely flows through streams and rivers of thought- through fables of heroes and the horrors of villains. Through the frustrations and pain of suffering to the serenity of contentment and love. Life is everything and nothing- all in one. The proverbial World that is presented to us through the eye of a needle.

For millenia – scientists, doctors, healers and the curious ones have been studying the “how” of life. How does so and so work? Every year we recognize and reward those who tell us something truly unique about the how’s of life. I wonder how many of us have asked this question.

Why?

Why must we live? and why is the opposite of living- dying? What is living really? Is it me perceiving the things around me and other people seeing me move? If that’s the case then I’m no more alive than a car or an airplane. If living means learning, understanding, moving, and observing- that means the laptop I’m typing on is as alive as I am (and maybe better at it!) If it means feeling emotion- then half of the organisms that scientists classify as “living” aren’t really alive. And if it does mean responding to stimulus- then a dead person is as alive as a person alive- the body still responds to the stimulus (of rapid deoxygenation) by turning blue.

Yet somehow, all these suppositions and arguments seem incongruous.

A brief objective and dispassionate look at the World seems to suggest that its nothing more than an experiment in motion. Just like a scientist who mixes chemicals in the lab- just too see if the result, a great thinker suggested that nature is one big experiment called evolution. Random, chaotic, survival rather than living, and a constant state of flux. Where every being survives day to day.

That does throw our moral compass out of gear though. If survival is the goal, then there is no “good” way to survive, no “honorable” way to live and no “destiny” to fulfill. All that matters is eat or be eaten, kill or be killed.

And then- the biggest doozy of all time- is there a soul? if so what is it?

There’s something very reassuring about believing that there is a soul. Something that survives out brief existence of 50-60 summers in a planet that has probably has a hundred billion of them. Something that is ours- something that is us – that transcends. Gives value to learning, meaning to life. Just like the Philosophers Stone gives value to lead- turning it into gold. The kiss of death- something so scary- now turns into a divine transformation, where we are free of the physical bonds that bind us and many a times- burden us, into a sense of complete freedom. This is where we transcend into an abstraction- where we transcend flesh into thought. There have been so many books written by so many incredible thinkers, who after years of digging at the stem of life, discovered roots that were inexplicable and incredible- roots that were – for a lack of a better word- “divine”. Where does all of this fit into the grandest experiment of life- The evolution of the Universe?

I would like to believe that my life has meaning. And that meaning can be found by learning and understanding. I would like to believe that the crazy parts of life and the fun parts of life are there for a reason, that  my mind – muddy lake that it is- can be made transparent- and then I would be able to see the depths of cognition and perception. I would like to believe that the air around us is cackling with magic every moment of everyday- taking life from some, while giving life to others. Parching some parts of the World, while creating cherry blossoms in another.

I would like to believe that friendships and true relationships transcend time and lives, and the dead are not gone forever. I would like to believe that the voice in my head, constantly chatting with me, chastising me, motivating me, and protecting , is all the magic of the World somehow creating a “Reverse Butterfly effect” where I can travel through space, time, distance, and people, without moving an inch.

And I would like to believe that there is more to life then living, like there’s more to death than dying.

I also know that this entire premise rests on one word.

Hope.

Hope- the principal human delusion- simultaneously the source of our greatest achievements and failures.

And so I remain lost in this World of hallucinations- called Maya. Knowing that for every fact, there is an equal and opposite fact that’s every bit as true.

Like Le Petit Prince- my World has everything. And nothing.

Everyday in this World, I lose my self- in this wondrous abstraction called life.

I’ve been away for so long, I cant remember my face when I look in the mirror

One year, Eight months, One day. Thats the amount of time since I wrote on WordPress. In this period, the Arab spring in Syria moved into its second very painful year – taking many many lives, Assange showed the World what it means to have a point of view and stick to it- even at great personal cost, a small group of dictators passed into insignificance, and more being created. Some Indian men showed the World why they were despicable creatures while the the Cricket administrators displayed (yet again) why there’s nothing sportsmanly about sport. More recently an aspiring starlet decided to end her life over unrequited Love

Life seem’s to have changed so much in the past year. And yet somethings remain the same- my fascination with language and its impact on us, twirling around my little magic wand of words to get a confetti of adjectives, adverbs, nouns and prepositions and hoping- in far too many words- that my story (stories) may be shared.

And so there’s me- the horizontally gifted and potato shaped – checking in after a lim backong time. Hopefully this time- for good.

The Ballad of a Traveler

I walk today across the hallway with deep melancholy,

With each step I take I feel my heart grow heavier.

I begin to play the Blues in my Mind and feel a wrenching in my soul,

Knowing I can’t cry because I’m leaving alone.

The swivel door through Security leads me to the antechamber of waiting,

For the Ferry rowed by Charon.

I’ve paid my coin and I wait for him row,

From the World of Love, to the World of destiny.

The World I love dissolves beneath me into a mist of fog, I touch the skies,

And the memories of a thousand happy times come rushing to my mind.

The ball of dust beneath my feet dissolves into the placid sky,

As the first rays of the Sun Cause me to smile.

A Traveler I am, an epitome of strength sublime,

Quests take me to uncharted lands to discover untold Hope.

It puts a smile on the Lips of people I Love because,

Travel to me is a journey to Self Discovery

My Love spans across continents, so my doubts begin to appear

I’ve left so much behind!

My work and Life takes me across the three continents of the World,

But my heart resides in Two.

The morning comes as the night darkness recedes,

I’m still in Ferrying toward my destiny.

The Sun winks at me through the first rays of his Light

And speaks in whispers to me

“I shine through the windows of Hope, to tell you today,

The people you Love reside within you forever,

Feel them alive within your soul,

And hear them speak to you alone.”

And I try to see them in earnest, as I hope for them to come,

I feel my Mother Hugging me, my Father Gazing in trust.

They want the world for me

I know they’ll never let go.

The One I Love holds me so tight; I feel my eyes go moist,

I can’t hold back the tears as she whispers ever so gently to me.

I smile in knowledge now, as I wipe away my tears of Joy,

My Loved ones are today with me, and Joyous forever I’ll be.

Hallelujah!

Over the past past few days I’ve realised just how beautiful this word is. I’ve been an agnost most of my life, and continue to be so, but this particular song made me realise that there is so much beauty in the World- such magnificence. Such magic!

While there’s still a some way for me to reach ‘old age’ I cant help but imagine a 70 year old version of me, and I must admit, at the best of times, its a scary image that emerges.

All good things in life have a habit of sneaking upon you when least expected, slowly seep into your soul until you realise, just how beautiful everything around you is!

These three aspects of life, i.e. beauty, old age and hope, were presented to me, by an amazing septuagenarian- Leonard Cohen and I have to say a Hallelujah for him!

While there have been good songs, bad songs, and memorable songs, I think this is one song that, if listened carefully, springs forth like a fount of hope- something altogether magical!

This is a song that needs to be experienced – so – to enter wonderland-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q&feature=fvst

As I see him sing- I wonder about the horrors that the World had offered him in his formative years- The Second World War, Personal Tragedies, a very long era of self doubt, various paths of realization – the spirit of Music has remained with him.

If, after another 50 odd years (Assuming I live till then- which is doubtful!!),  if I can have the kind of passion, humbleness and grace that Leonard Cohen (again, click on the link). I shall consider my life well lived.

This is  the closest I’ve been to divinity- and a song that I’d want to listen to on my last day on Earth. Just to give me hope- that as long as the human mind and the human heart can compose music as beautiful as this- perhaps- Human life is blessed after all!

A Hallelujah to you Mr Cohen! A Hallelujah to you, for giving me something of permanence in this Evanescent world of ours!

 

 

 

The Karnataka Conundrum

This post is a lament.

Something that happens to a disappointed resident when the layers of anger, sadness and pain have been stripped, and tears dried out. What remains is a dull throbbing headache, and a desperate wail for help. So I have decided to write

To My Dear Chief Minister :

Please stop acting ‘defiant’  and leave your chair. Let it be occupied by lesser mortals who care about the city and the state. You remind me of a pampered kid denied a lollipop! Puffing your cheeks and jumping around throwing a tantrum.Grow up!

I’m tired of having a bumpy ride when I go to meet my Clients and I’m tired of the Police treating me and my friends as irresponsible kids. We get off work only by 8:30 or 9 pm and we would like to have a good time once in a while! By all means, punish me if I am DUI, harassing a woman, or whatever, but otherwise, please leave me the hell alone. You cannot improve my life, so don’t make it harder than it is.

I respect your beliefs, though I can’t claim to understand them. But places of religious significance need to be accorded the respect in society. The temples you want to ‘swear’ in, have stood long before you came here, and will remain long after the people forget your very existence. Please dont defile temples like you’ve defiled your morals.

Because when you’re gone, other people will have to clean up the garbage you’ve left behind.

Its only your coterie that wants you to stay back. The rest of us really don’t! Let a court of law decide if what your cabinet has done is ok or not. If you come out clean, trust me, the people will not forget you. But your image is too tainted, and at this juncture, we would not want to touch you or which ever party you belong to, with a 10 foot pole! You reek of ill-gotten wealth. Please clear your name before you ‘defy’ your party or your people.

We wanted you to have a shot because you were screwed over, so we gave you an overwhelming majority! I’m note quite sure what you’ve done with it. I am shocked, however,  with your selection of the Tourism minister. Please let us know why you’ve consistently supported the environment’s rapist-in-chief and helped him get the Tourism Portfolio.

What would he have to show the outsiders? “See, this used to be an ecological preserve until we ‘developed’ it. Now its a lifeless cesspool of red dust and SPM related health injuries for the unfortunate people.”

And finally, please remember, the CM’s chair is NOT your birthright. Slapping an MLA who woke you up, or throwing your party president’s laptop only goes further to prove that you really are, in fact, a small-minded petty human being addicted to power.

I don’t know if you still read the news but here’s a clipping about why I don’t think I’ll vote for you or your party anymore.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/yeddyurappa-smashes-venkaiah-naidus-laptop-slaps-minister/articleshow/9451084.cms

While I am angry, I would also like to tell you that we have all had horrible experiences in life – and probably this is one of your worst. It’s never too late to change yourself and see life a little differently than you used to. Please look at this as a wake up call than a betrayal.

Every religion on the planet preaches this, “The only people who do justice to the power bestowed upon them, are the people who do not desire power for power’s sake”

Every single great leader who helped mankind out of crises – used the power for people, and stepped down with grace when he/she was asked to. I’d recommend that you read our history before stepping into active public life.

Because we respect great leaders, and we want it to be you. We know you can do a lot better, if you don’t make a deal with the devil again!

My Renaissance…

We all deserve a second chance.  At times its the new environs that make a difference.

After being on Blogger for nearly 2 years, and not writing much, I’ve made a move. It feels a bit like shifting from one home to another. A lot of excitement, a lot of aspirations, Hope and expectations. The cobwebs of the mind are pushed to the corner as I look to explore (over the next few days) the functionalities of a new blog hosting site for me. From where I stand, it looks incredible!

Over the course of the next few months and years, I hope to make this place my own, contributing a bit to this large large community and sharing experiences, thoughts  and memories (most of the times, dark- and some – funny) in the hope that this transference would add some value to the readers life as well.

I have loved writing, and will continue to do so until I drop dead! People, places, thoughts  and memories are, evanescent, as they are meant to be. Through this blog I hope to hold on to them a while longer. And share them with people living life in its glory, pain, hope and sadness.

My special thanks to Fat Boy for making this transition simple and painless. He guided me through each step, through the countless irritating questions and tolerated me patiently until I tumbled forth into the World of WordPress!

So, please feel free to read around and drop in a comment or two on my previous posts! If it strikes a chord, and you have an opinion, let me know. If you absolutely detest the work and you think i really need to improve, let me know more!

WordPress is my new Home! The only difference between a ‘House’ and a ‘Home’ is the human element. A House has walls, a Home has people- people you care about, people you Love, people you fight with, laugh with, live with. I look forward to meeting all of you, albeit, virtually, through your thoughts, opinions and comments!

So… with a Heart of hope, and a surge of excitement…..

Herzlich willkommen auf meiner neuen Haus

मेरे नए घर में आपका स्वागत है

ನನ್ನ ಹೊಸ ಮನೆಗೆ ಸ್ವಾಗತ

Welcome to my new Home!!!!!

The Raincloud

Big brown eyes -This is how I will remember her long after she forgets my name and my very existence. Big brown eyes contain within it all that is beautiful in the world. Her big brown eyes opened doors that I had shut in my life- ages ago. I still wonder how I picked up an invitation into her life. I’m not sure it was meant for me.


She stands in front of me in that time of the night where street lights throw strange shadows on the streets. She stands in silent repose- Handles gently tucked into her jeans pocket, the soft breeze brushing past her cheeks and gently blowing her hair. The din of the night grows louder, and the people around begin to wonder about two people talking, non stop. This is beauty- in its simplicity – conversation without a care in the world. Its the simple things in life that make for the most powerful memories. I am going to remember the day half a century from now. Right down to the slight chill in the air, the dampness after the first rains. I can’t help but feel a sense of irony at the situation. She has come into my life like the first rains of the season – Bringing so much life, so much joy and so many colours. She stays true to her name- the bringer of hope to parched souls.

To call a person a raincloud is to put an entire generation’s hopes on a young girls shoulder. And as she moves around in life- I see her at work and I realise she is fighting toward realizing her Dharma- to prove to be a symbol of hope for a million parched people- like the first appearance of a raincloud over a parched sunny city. For a person I’ve just gotten to know, it’s amazing how she’s turned my life upside down. Whether it’s her gentle demeanour or directness of talking or a million other aspects of conversation, she has undoubtedly brought colour into my life. Or it may be a so many trinkets all perfectly color- coordinated, that make me wonder if I’d become so used to feeling grey that I’ve forgotten what it feels like to have so much colour in life.

Sitting at the desk writing a piece about a woman I’m just getting to know is superfluous, but again, very few people in the world are worth writing about. And even fewer people have it within them to stir up such passions and such warmth in people. I just hope, over a course of time, the spirit of good does not get tarnished by the morbid cynicism of the soulless zombies that traverse the world and office spaces..

A little tribute to my Valkyrie on a Honda- The Raincloud!