Random Randomness #201901

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Its a new year, and a happy one so far, and as they say “all is well that ends well” so 2018 was a happy one too. I can’t complain much, can I?

I wish all my blog world friends a very happy new year. For those of you who are contemplating on getting back to blogging, you are right, 2019 is the right year for it. Those of you who have been silent lurkers of my blog, thank you for being around and as we have known all these years, we will continue to know each other, albeit silently.

I usually do not like to begin a new year with a randomness post, I love heavy topics, and the usually the first one is a heavy one. My mind is rebelling against all rules, and here it is, the first post of 2019, it is a random one.

Traditions

The word gives us a feeling of something ancient, something which is being followed for ages, however it is not always true, we keep developing new traditions all the time. One of such recent traditions of mine is that for the new year. Its been a while since I developed this new way of celebrating new year, every year on 31st December I go to bed early around 9:30pm. [usually 10pm is my bed time], I get a full night of sleep and wake up late by 7am [usually 4:30 am is my wake up time], I go for an early morning walk around the streets of Basavanagudi for about an hour, and end the walk with a cup of hot coffee at Upahara Darshini. Being someone who loves have a routine in life, having these traditions and sticking to them gives an immense pleasure. Watching the daily life of hundreds of vendors and street walkers, to whom the 1st of January makes absolutely no difference is an added bonus.

Reflections

December was a month of loss, as we lost my uncle to cancer. My uncle, being a very live person, with a huge zeal for life, was an active member in our lives. He had a lot of love for music, for food, for culture for everything you could think of. Seeing him go from being fully alive, in person, to being a picture on our walls within 15 days was a big lesson in life for us, on how impermanent life is. On the day he left us, as we were seeing his body being shifted to the crematorium, I witnessed something which has struck with me for a lifetime. I saw my cousin sitting in the vehicle next to a body which once was his ‘appa’, he sat there with his eyes filled with tears, and his 2 year old daughter continuously crying and shouting ‘appa’ for her father who was leaving her behind to go see off his ‘appa’. Till today, it fills me up with tears. Our loved ones can just vanish with such short notice.

Resolution

Whats a new year without resolution. I am a person who loves new year resolutions, and this year like any other, I did resolve something. Last year, in one of the farewell speeches, a colleague of mine had a fun description of one of our common friends, he said, “X is such a person, if he sees his house is on fire, he will go back to his bed thinking he will worry about it tomorrow”.  It made me introspect a big deal, I am kind of a person who would be worried, if a house is on fire in the neighbouring town. My resolution for 2019 is “Stop worrying, you can’t change the world”. I have had a good beginning so far, I have stopped worrying about work, at work. I wish to stick to this resolution as much as possible, and try to enjoy my days.

Indulgence

Being conservative is my forte, I would be the last person to spend on indulgence, If I like something very much, I would probably check the price tag and settle for something which is 1/4th the price, and at the end of the day be happy for having done that. I attribute my conservatives for my middle class upbringing, and am very proud of it. 2018 ended with a piece of big indulgence as I bought something which was on my mind for a few years now. I had loved this ‘easy chair’ for a very long time now, the one which is of the folding kind, and has a plush cushion and a comfortable and relaxed seating. I had looked at the price tag on it for about four years now and pushed myself away from it thinking it is not for my kind, and may be I will buy it when I retire from work. I walked into the store this time around, and finally made up my mind to buy it. My wife was in for a little shock, as I bought the chair this time around, she did admit later that she was pleasantly surprised that I finally bought something which I had been eyeing for a long time. I have to admit, I felt guilty for a week after buying it, and now when I sit on with a big smile, the guilt is somewhat buried.

 

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Game

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For as long as I remember, I have been playing this little game on my walks. Mornings, on my way to the bus stop, many a days I revisit this game, which brings a smile to my face, almost instantly. The rules of this game are simple, there are no rules. All you do is let your mind walk through some memory of yours, and relive the minute details from the past.  Here is one such day, and some of the memories which lit up my face that day.

Motorcycle rides with a good friend. Everyday he used to stop at my place on our way to our university. I stayed just 5 minute walk away from the college, but still he used to be my ride every single day. I used to stand at my window watching the street, and as soon as he arrived I used to hop onto the bike. It is funny that we had so much to talk about in those days. EB-1356 has stayed on in my memories long after it was sold, long after the window was raised down, long after my friend moved out of this country.

5 kids on the rooftop, do you need any more fun?. I remember climbing onto windows and then onto to rooftop, and creating a slide out of a bedspread, and me fearlessly pushed onto it, from the top, as not so sturdy hands of my cousins held the top and the bottom corners of a make shift slide.  I would kill my son, if he tried this, but how ignorant we were then, and how much of a bliss it was. I remember some of the best summers with my 4 cousins, at my grandfathers old place. We have all grown up and apart, we no longer share that close a bond, each one living their own lives with families to take care of, with problems of our own. I close my eyes, and remember the slide.

The day at a coffee shop, she sat opposite to me, her eyes red with sleepless nights, and swollen big with all the crying. It was the first time I was trying to console someone close to me, and I had no clue how. I knew the people involved too well, and it was tough for me not to be partial. As she spoke to me, tears rolled down her cheeks, she did not care to hold them back. I have known her for a large part of my life now, and we still get meet once in a while, but that day I felt really close to a friend.

What is better than watching a movie in a language you dont understand as a kid?, coming back home and enacting the whole thing from morning till evening. We were pretty professional about it too, we had a producer, a director, we had makeshift costumes, and to my absolute disliking a wafer thin villain, me. Being the youngest came with all bad side effects, you are the loser villain who gets bashed up by the hero through out the movie. All through one summer we played “shooting” as we called it. I remember locking ourselves for the whole day from breakfast to lunch, and then post lunch to dinner shooting stupid scenes. I truly wish we had recording our version of “jagadeka veerudu atiloka sundari”.

Studying was fun, it really was for the geek in me. More than studying, I loved my month long schedules before my semester exams. I used to spend a lot of time, preparing complex schedules about how I would spend my time leading up to my exams. I remember how they used to have plan Bs in case I miss, and how I used to love when I used to challenge myself to go faster than my plan. One sad thing about anyones life, is that you cannot go back to it at any cost.

Coded letters from my dad. what would I give to be able to get my hand on one of those today. My father used to work out of state, and he would send these wonderfully hand written coded letters to me. The backside of the inland letter would have the codes spelled out for each letter, and I had to substitute the codes to be able to really make sense of the letters. I vividly remember my joy on decoding the letter, and how satisfied I went to bed on those days, when I got his letter.

Ah the bus stop is here, and I get myself back into my kindle.

Blame it on Principle

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Its funny how people end up crossing the line when it comes to principles and ego. For as long as I can remember, I have liked people with strong principles. ‘It does not matter what you believe in, as long as you believe in it strongly’, this has been my motto. I guess growing up in a strong middle-class family has a lot to do with my love for principles. I have seen my grandfather, my mother and then me all having similar outlook, and now I see my son developing into one of our kind.

When I was young, I sounded right to me always, I still do. however, with age, I can spot the times when I am just another stubborn alpha male, who can go to any lengths to prove to myself that, my principles are correct, and I did not lose the battle against it. Whenever there is a clash between me and my mother, many a times I see that more than the ego, it is the clash of principles and how we are not able to convince each other that we are right. The exact same thing happens with me and my son, in which case I win most of the time as he is too young to assert himself. However, I am sure, I will start to lose as he grows up and sticks more to his guns, and as I age I will continue to hate losing even more.

Well wait, did I say lose?.. this is exactly how it turns from the clash of principles to something of winning and losing and alas it has turned into a question of ego.

I remember watching the movie “Mohabbatein”, at an impressionable age when I was smitten by the thought of school romances, my mother had a very different take on the movie. She couldn’t stop crying while watching the scene where Amitabh concedes to the rule breaking Shah Rukh Khan admitting he had been wrong with his principles and discipline, and admits that the colourful happy go lucky hero has the right outlook on life. She could not control her tears, and on probing she revealed to me that, she cannot watch how the ones who insist on right things always lose at the end. I could not relate to her feelings back then, however experience has made me see what she must have felt.

People with strong principles inevitably have strong choices. We just cannot see how anyone can choose, anything else, beyond our reasons for our choice. What we don’t realize is that, every other person is a person on their own, and they have their own sensibilities and their own conviction. Some may have less conviction then others, and may be bullied for a while, however when it comes to what matters to them most, they do stand up for themselves, and when those people happen to be the ones we love the most, the hurt is beyond doubt humongous

When people lose, I guess the most common reaction is denial. The loss is never accepted, and it is always brushed aside with a hope that the loss will turn around into a win. Well life is not a stock market, where our losing stocks can turn around one day. In fact, life is not even a game of win and loss. Denial phase lasts for different periods with different people, and reality takes its own time to sweep in. In many a case, the reality brings with it a feeling that the ship has sailed, and there is no way to get back to the coast. Ego yet again prevents most of us from turning our loss to a win, as we are not willing to take that first step of acceptance.

Having said all this, I still don’t like to lose, I still love my principles, I still get hurt a lot more for sticking onto them.

What shall I say, its one thing to realise, and a whole different thing to act upon it. I guess there will be an age, a person who will make us act open our realisation. If not anyone else, time will play that role.

The hunt

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Conversations leave the fondest of the memories behind .

When I look back at my fondest memories, there are a whole bunch of them which come to my mind, the childhood summers, vacations with people I love, moments of triumph from my life, people who have mattered to me, emotions which have brought immense joy. So many. Where do conversatons fit in them?, I don’t recall the words from any of my conversations, I don’t remember many intiricate details of it, I don’t remember the time nor place of many of them. But, then why do I feel that, conversations leave the fondest of the memories behind.

I may not remember the words, however I remember the fondness, I remember the joy, I remember the emotion, I remember the person, I remember myself. I remember myself from that conversation, I remember how I went in, and how I came out. I carry ‘that’ with me everytime I have spoken since.

A conversation is not a flash in the pan, but a complete story in itself. It begins long before it actually starts, there is a build up to it, followed by the main body, and then a follow up including the aftermath.

In other words, it does not begin where it starts, and it does not finish where it ends.

In many a conversations the fodder comes from various sources, thoughts which has been in our head for years together, our views and opinions which are waiting to be heard, the books we have read, the movies we have seen, and most importantly our inner voice, which seldom gets its due. When all of what we have to say, is already inside us, what makes a conversation tick?, I wonder. The reason why a conversation clicks, is the twists the other person brings to your thoughts, how he/she is able to make you think more about what you already know and how the collective thoughts conclude into something wonderful, usually much different from what you had to begin with.

Conversations are not easy to come by, specially at this age of digital media, and cramped lifestyle, where is the time for us to converse. We dont have time to build the inner self, there is no time for a conversation to build up, and there is absolutely no time for the aftermath. The chance encounters are cut off, as we don’t give it a chance. Variety is curtailed due to lack of variety. People are subdued due to lack of interest. Lucky few conversations that we sneak in, they too are not well developed, and hardly leave a lasting impression.

Even though comments on these blogs are almost like facebook posts, which are more of a reaction, rather than a contribution, they do act as a catalyst in finding like minded people, who many a times end up having a good conversation. I have been fortunate in finding few people who have had some good conversations over lengthy emails, over a period of time.

I am sad that the number of conversations I have had, have reduced over a period of time. It has to do with the amount of time I am willing to dedicate to them, the amount of time I spend with people, and number of people whom I meet. The intimacy in my inner most circle of friends has reduced. There are various reasons for it, but who is looking for a reason.

In search of the next conversation…..

Rebellious grin

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Dreams are what keeps you up, he was told

You don’t need coffee to pump you up, he was told

There is no shortcuts to hard work, he was told

Winning should be fun, he was told

Studying hard cannot backfire, he was told

A good (earning) job is a great accomplishment, he was told

You don’t need coffee to pump you up, he was told

Dreams are what keeps you up, he was told

He woke up, Ah! Freshly brewed coffee, he smiled in bliss.

 

Random Randomness 09/18

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It has been ages since I let out my random ramblings. It is like 90s movie songs, whenever I accidentally catch a glimpse, it makes my day. Here are some random musings from mind, which has kept my mind busy in last couple of weeks

Is blogging a nudist resort for our thoughts?, it is as if people strip off all the protective barriers from their thoughts, and present themselves at their naked best, for the world to gape at. Introverts turn into exhibitionist, and extroverts go beyond their usual selves to present a view which they have hidden behind layers of protective clothing. Does it give us a weird satisfaction of exposing ourselves?, or does it give us the high for having shed our inhibitions, may be it does give us a mask to bare it all.

If I have to chose one of the best lyrics from all the songs I have heard in my lifetime, the song “Tujse Naaraaz Nahi Zindagi” will definitely make the list. This remains the only song, I have ever requested on a live radio show, and it still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it. The lyricist happens to be one of my all time favorite, Gulzaar. Recently, I heard his latest contribution to the world of hindi music, “Aaja network ke bhitar
Keh ke hello hello, Ho mere whatsapp ke tittar, Keh ke hello hello”.  What a transformation, from class to crass in no time. I have heard conflicting ideology when it comes to artists and their art. A school of thought says, art gives the society what it deserves, the other says it has enough power to dictate a society what it ought to see. I definitely believe in the latter, hopefully more artisits will begin to see the same.

Oxford dictionary describes a hypocrite as “a person who pretends to have moral standards or opinions that they do not actually have”. It definitely sounds like a perfect description of ‘rambler’. Have you ever felt this, you see a person in real life, the one who is your friend on facebook, and happens to be an acquaintance from your past, and you go out of our way to avoid meeting him, on the other hand you are more than happy to like a post or wish him/her on their birthday online. I used to love the interaction with my blogger friends, loved to chat with them online, I even had/have a facebook account under rambler’s name, all this to interact with people from blogging world, who would have certainly not minded to talk to me in real life, or may be address me with a real name, and share the very same thoughts over a meal or coffee. This is where the hypocrite in me takes over, where I tell myself how I should not let go off my guard, and try to be as opaque as possible, to make sure I don’t lose my freedom to say what I want online. Is this not hypocrisy, where one is hiding themselves in real world, where they can be evaluated by a true yardstick, but more than willing to be a real person online.