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.

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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.

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!!!!!

Another new year

It’s forty five minutes left in this year. Enough time to peek one final time over my shoulder to see the year before it gets relegated to another chapter in history.
Last year at around the same time I guess I was cooking for a couple of friends.

A year passed, one that had been in many ways, the toughest year for me. Dealing with loss, accepting it for what it was while fighting to remember the good. It’s a damn hard thing to do most of the times, and it complicates life.

But I learnt A lot about people . And I’m glad lived through 2009. I won’t go so far as to think 2010 is going be better but I do hope I learn a lot more.

As I start hearing the first of the party screams and the sky lights up with crackers, we go into the new year I wonder as I have always….

What really is the point of life? We celebrate so much with people. I’m sure next year at this time we would have lost atleast someone whom we’ve partied with today. Someone with whom we’re so close to today at next years party we’ll have only bitterness to rememer them.

Well, 2009 has made me a beliver in this quote

“sometimes, the best way to reduce your pain caused by the thorns in the walk of life is by removing another persons thorns”

My goodbyes to 2009 and a fresh eye to 2010. Yes I shall end 2009 in the best way possible. Slipping into the arms of sleep. And get up eay tomorrow.

Good night and my thanks to all the wonderful people who’ve tolerated my presence in their lives, while simulataeously giving me a comforting hand when I needed to feel human touch.