Sunday, November 11, 2012

Parallel Universes

And, no, I do not mean the celestial line-up around the Sun!

I mean all those people all around us. Lives lived. Lives lost. Again, lives lost here does not imply death of a person. Just death of a relationship. In whatever form it may have earlier existed.

I recently became consciously aware of these parallel universes. So far the world as I saw it was a 1000-D maze of randomization where people moved randomly at varying speeds. Only now I am drawn to the conclusion that it is really planes - do not confuse them with straight lines. They are fluid and flexible. People on other planes can never get a full view of your plane - they might get glimpses at best. It is really complicated. Or so I think.

There is a mother daughter duo that choose to inhabit the entrance of our building. It's pretty freaky. And so recently they were made to move out, permanently. I still see them hanging around sometimes. That is what got me thinking. While they were there or not, I kinda didn't care much either ways. They didn't imply fear or harm to me in anyway. I could safely choose to ignore them. After all, its Bombay.

I had some of my own dilemmas of heart versus head as I stepped out the other day and happened to have an extra minute of waiting when I noticed them. This time they were just hanging outside a closed shop. The mother was in a wheelchair. It must be really I bad I thought given the fact that they do have a son who returns home everyday. They can be somewhere else and they were still here. Why?

That is when the realization stuck me. They too faced a head versus heart dilemma. The head would obviously have them move in with their son and his family and "adjust". Whatever their reason, the heart wanted to hold on its own a bit longer. Even if it came down to basic existence. The choices they made still didn't make sense. Not to me. That is why they belong in another plane which I only catch glimpses of. I still wonder would you really rate pride over survival in a city of hardened hearts? By the way, the hardened heart is another heart versus head debate which I shall take up later on.

This then led to the next thought. Recently, I have tasted something similar. A prized and extremely close to my heart relationship no longer exists or is on the verge of it. Almost. I am not sure what to make of it.

Frankly, I don't trust easily. Prior to this one exception, I have never believed in the concept of best friends. There are friends and then there are closer friends. Closer friends being people you can trust and in most cases know more about you than more other people or friends. Best friends would be those who you would trust you life with and no, you don't trust your life with everyone. Think about it.

Random strangers can only see the exterior areas of your personal plane. Family and friends would experience your plane at several touch points. However, they may or may not really have a clear understanding of your plane. The family is variable and clearly will have greater interaction and intrusion. Best friends would be almost in the same plane as you with the highest level if intrusion and interaction. Almost. But you will always be in your plane alone.

Best friends are thus intrusive. Gaining access and insights like no one else. When such relationships do not work, they leave you squirming. There has been invasion, a breach. But the plane is now empty. And it is not as simple as thieves entering and exiting. You do not have emotional bonds with thieves. Exactly that brings out a head versus heart angst. Your head logically wants intruders out and less vulnerability. The heart demands love and warmth. Having a best friend in the first place means you allowed the heart to win and accepted the warmth. You opened up to vulnerability. Is it worth?

Now, I have the plane to myself. Will/should I allow the intrusive plane back in again is a raging heart versus head debate to me right now. Maybe I should or maybe I should not. The head and heart are both right in their own spaces.

What would you do?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Music & some more...

Last 2-3 days have been a lot about good music. I feel a lot more calmer than I have for some time now. Maybe not completely, but its a good start. I might just find my mojo again!

Part of the reason has something to do with enjoying some of the best in the Indian music scenario. I heard Raghu Dixit, Indian Ocean and A R Rahman: As awesome as it gets!

Frankly, I had never heard of Raghu Dixit before Fest-O-Comm this year. And then I did. And I fell in love with some amazing music! The way I didn't imagine it to be. Honestly, I am not very experimental when it comes to music. But then I experienced a new so amazing it never left me. I have been hooked on to The Raghu Dixit Project since that fateful night at SIMC. I am glad or what!?

Needless to say, it has been played over on endless loops since then. Still does. Their on-stage performance is exhilarating. Raghu Dixit is the man! They have so much electricity, you can't help but get affected. The music is soothing and exciting at the same time. The lyrics make sense to me, reach out and touch me somewhere deep down inside. I can be in the worst of moods and it can take me up to high to heavens in no time at all!

On the same note, I realized the value of a performance recently. The setting at SIMC was simply perfect. However, the band recently performed at another another huge gig and let's just say there were a lot of "disturbances" which almost marred their performance. I liked it. Nevertheless. I still love him and his music.

That is what got me thinking and I learnt something new out of it.

I fell in love with Raghu Dixit and his contemporary folk music at a live performance. Realized I am in love over endless listening loops. If it were just a performance thing, I might have been turned off/ away by the performance that didn't exactly "rock my world". But I learnt, when you really truly love something, then a few tiny electronic mishaps were not going to steal that away. The momentum stays.

Similarly in life. There will always be performances or your acts in the larger play of life. You got to do what is right. There is no guarantee it will turn out perfect. Where is the fun in that even? But you definitely got to put your all in it and make it worth. It may work or it may not. You got to stick with what makes you feel the best. If it feels right, it's got to be right. It may not always be perfect, but it will always be right. There might be mishaps along the way, but then life would be so boring otherwise. The true things, the good things will always last out. And when they do, they will have earned the respect they deserve.

Enuff said!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Walk & Laugh

Its Sunday, again. And I see everything is as it was.

Last Sunday morning, I decided I was going to wake up a new person. Turn over a new leaf. After all, it's October. The weather is changing colors. Why not me?

So, I am up and about at 6 am. Shortly, I step our to feel the wind cooling my face. Early morning is the only time when Bombay feels wintry  I relish the moments as the sun is still sneaking out, taking its own sweet time. I first head towards our Raudat Tahera, a marble mausoleum of our beloved Syedna Taher Saifuddin  (RA). Prayer is always a good way to start you day. The cool marble makes me feel light and glowy from inside.

I decide its time to take a long morning walk. Health is wealth, no? Secretly, I want to feel the cool breeze on me a bit longer. I want to revel in today some more.

So I think of this garden close to our home perched on a hilltop which we would frequent when I was a kid. It was hidden somewhere in the layers of memories from the past and came rushing back, just like that. After nostalgia and euphoria set it, I decide to revisit pleasant memories.

It was a good 2-3 kms of walk up to the park. While I enjoyed the almost empty streets early in the morning, my mind raced back to blasts from the past. As kids we would go there with my family and cousins: racing up the hill,  reveling in breakfast picnics and playing games of all nature. It made me smile.

So much had changed between then and now. This 124-year old "Mazgaon nu pahaad", as known as in my family, is now renovated and renamed to Joseph Baptista Gardens. The in-roads were paved with tiles. The garden was trimmed and looked shapely. It was just after 7 when I reached on top. Joggers and morning walkers walked along me, some already on their way down.

It was great to see so many people actively seeking a healthy lifestyle. There were tiny tots in protective arms, kids of all sizes playing away, middle age people jogging or walking; and older people who looked more fit than a lot of youngsters do today - their age only given away by the graceful silvering.

Still, something bothered me. Something was missing. The itch that needs scratching. The serene environment, the cool hilltop breeze, people choosing health - and I was still missing something. It was incomplete. And then it stuck me. 

The smiles and laughter were missing. 

Across the years, all my journeys to gardens and parks were filled with loads of laughter. Whether it was us kids running all over the place playing games or family cracking jokes together or even on solo walks the nearby laughter clubs which always manage to tease a smile.

I was surrounded only by people - not smiling and laughing people. That is a sad statement in itself. The happy feeling of seeing people choose good health seemed distant now. While we were seeking health, we were missing the very essence of great living. If you do not smile, how can your soul  be happy? If you are not happy from inside, how can you stay healthy? Once I realized this, I looked up and smiled at the next person I crossed - she smiled back! There is still hope for the Universe.
These are times of internal strives. One deals with so many things on a micro and macro level. But only those who live happily and spread happiness have truly lived. And rightly so.

Which brings me back to today. Life is not meant to be easy, only worthwhile. And you have to make it worthwhile. Laugh. Cry. Smile. Burst forth into laughter. Then, bring on the challenges, I will scare them back with my laughter!

I will continue to turn a new leaf everyday, will you?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I don't trust news anymore

As a kid, I had learnt that news stood for North-East-West-South. I believed it then. I am no longer sure it is true anymore.

Going by the acronym it would represent the directions from which share-worthy information would be disseminated by those who knew their news, making the news credible. It is sadly no longer the case. Or at least I am convinced so.

Take the case of Arvind Kejriwal. He seems to be unleashing at least one new scam or something of the size and shape and pointing new fingers everyday. This seems far more programmed than television channels themselves! How much of it is believable? Speaking for myself, I choose to believe none of it. I am realist, not so much of an idealist.

Every one has the news even as it breaks. And somehow everyone on Twitter is talking about it within seconds of each other. No sooner has the timeline been flooded by so many reworded versions in just 140 characters, it has already begun its spillover on Facebook, YouTube and websites. And rest, as they say, is history.. or becomes one! Says so much about the ingenuity of our communication skills!

It is no wonder then that recently a lot of celebrities have been RIPed off virtually. Sting operations rule the roost. Half stories start doing the rounds even before the whole story can get itself out of the bag. You believe what you see but you don't think anymore. Or don't need to? Or do we? And what, who and why do you believe anymore?

Our Professor Mohan Sinha taught us the 5W & 1H of journalism. The speed at which news does the round barely leaves the time to verify the what, who, where, when, why or how anymore. So, does that mean 5W&1H is now old school news? Or are we getting ahead of ourselves with respect to news being news itself?

Truth be told: these are the times of social news and citizen journalism. News now updates even before it actually happens! To me the paradigm of news itself has changed. It is no longer the truthful looking glass from which one could look at the world. It now always needs to be treated with a healthy dose of salt and sensibility.

Do you still trust what you hear anymore?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Written Word

I have been addicted to the written word as far back as I can remember!

Books, magazines, words that create a thousand new worlds - never fail to amaze me. I still read and wallow into new worlds which always adapt me as a welcome listener as the stories weave themselves around me and together we reach the high points of castles in the air. Oh, the exhilaration!

I take the local train to get to work everyday. When I am not reading I like to simply watching the milling masses of people all around me and oblivious to me! People all around me. Ladies of all ages, earphones plugged in, listening to music - few enjoy those rhythms. Some talk to their train buddies or travel companions. Some bargaining and buying cheap stuff off ware sellers. Some just looking away everywhere and no where in particular - their eyes seeking answers hidden to the crevices of human brain constantly holding back a smile or maybe fighting the salty water from seeping that regularly collects at the edges of their eyes.

And some read.

Reading here is not exactly inclusive of the last minute preparation or repetition test or exam. It is not even inclusive of those reading technical books or school/college text books or reference books. I speak of those who read for pleasure. Those who read because a book calls out to them. They just need to know. The need to know what happens in the next chapter, next page, next line. Those who cannot put the book down.

I have noticed people and their expressions when they read - totally engrossed in the storyteller's art. The feelings cannot hide. The hero of the story never hides. You got a duty to fulfill, another life in the wings that awaits you. A life that is not so ordinary or maybe more ordinary. Common solutions to uncommon experiences and vice verse.

Here is my question: When you read, when you are the hero or the bystander in the story - how does the story change or affect you? Does it make you any braver, less hypocritical, more open to ideas, more close to relationships? Does the book really leave you when you move from one book to another. When does a book really affect you - touch your heart? Even when it does touch your heart - what does it really do to you?

I like to think books affect us all differently. We are different and unique. What we see, seek and go through in our lives are all same and yet unique. When on a beach - we all have different feelings - some feel warmth, some love, some eternity, some hope - the idea is that it does not leave you unaffected. You cannot be indifferent to the sea/ocean. Similarly for books. You can love them or hate them - you cannot read them and pretend it didn't happen. The effect it has on you will differ from person to person based on personal learning  affects, effects, experiences, sympathy, empathy, nature, behavior and so on.

So when two different people going through two different types of life expectation and experiences are reading the same lines from the same book would it be weaving similar stories? Would the warmth from those knits and knots feel the same? Would it pinch in the same places?

When authors write books is it more important to tell the story? Or do they even need to think the story will create different weaves and interpretations that even they might not have thought of?

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The mystery of relationships!

One of my close relatives began their journey towards the most holiest pilgrimage in Islam, Hajj, last weekend. Its ritualistic for close family and friends to wish you well for the journey and experiences.

People parting, crying, making each other smile, big bear hugs and so on. I am not one for these. And yet, watching everyone else got me thinking. The feelings that bind us together are they even real?

I am not exactly high on relationships - family or friends. People who know me well will vouch for and against the same. While I can be absolutely loving and caring when for those whom I love & care, there are times I refuse to communicate for long periods. If you are really close, I hope it does not bothers you for you understand this is how I am! (Thanks a ton for still loving and accepting me!)

Anyhow, let me bring back my forever meandering thoughts... 

The fabric of our lives always make for interesting stories. They may tatter and tear, modified to meet needs, but they remain true for a long long time to come. Get passed down through generations. This also explains  how we as a society keep changing and yet there are things that never change.

So, while we know we love our friends and family, is it really all the same? We fight. Even the most politically correct woman/man will need to raise voice or action every once in a while. We fight for need, greed, survival, revival, love, hate or even just because. We fight because we are scared and terrified. Scared we will loose something that we believe is precious. But fear only begets fear! Who hasn't felt the pangs of another kind of fear once one is subdued? So we do fight when we are together!

What is it about good byes? Why does it hold the power of forgiveness, breaches the hardest dams of human emotional hold backs, the yearnings of never letting go and bouts of overwhelming love and remorse? Why can't we love unconditionally when we are together? Why is it so important to fight when we are together? Where does that one-up-man-ship disappear when its time to let go?

Or is it just another act? When we know we stand on the threshold of good byes might as well not break hearts and spill over, feel lighter within and sleep peacefully for doing the right thing and not letting might overcome right?

And then again, I would choose not to think so. Separation is always painful. Its almost like letting a part of yourself walk away and free, never knowing if the relationship will see the light of another day. But not always. That is why these questions. Not all relationships are built that strong. So definitely some of those emotions might be real; however, there would those otherwise too!

What is real and what is fake? Maybe the right answer is an adjustment in itself, and rightly so! We are who we choose to be; we are all free beings. It has and will always be a perspective. To each one his own!

Do you agree?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why is reality TV so unreal?

Let's be honest. I never did like reality TV at all. Never. Ever. Not for a moment. The idea that TV can be real repulses me.

When I was tiny and growing up in the middle of India in the 80's TV had just started making inroads into Indian households who gathered religiously around the TV every Sunday morning to watch Ramayana or Mahabharata or dance and whistle when India scored another century. That was entertainment!

We kids were still just discovering cartoons. I still remember my shock when I had realized one day that it was not really playing for real somewhere, but it was careful programmed and recorded. That is why the word - program. If it is programmed, how can it be real? I don't think I understood then or even now!

Anyways, I continued to miss the bus with television shows. While the country was hooked to KSBKBT and such serials I happily kept to myself rather than get involved in fake show with fake people in even more fake and absurd situations. I have been told Baa lived up to 109 or so and Tulsi was married some 3-4 times and even had kids which she didn't know about or something of the sort - I still wonder how!

Hop-skip-jump and we arrive to in 00's where reality takes over and people still love their TV sets - even more as they are now slimmer, flatter and wider. Improves perspective, no?

So now we go a step further and say we are bringing you live action and reactions and still manage to keep you in emotional upheavals that will keep you coming back for more! Are our audiences and producers so naive that they believe real life is so over melodramatic to be completely over the top? Are are pseudo celebrities so bored that choose to act in "reality" shows? 

With the recent roster of singing/dancing/comedy shows and the love (or is even that fake!?) showered by fans upon it I wonder do we even understand the difference between real and reality anymore. Or thanks to years of mindless TV viewing we now perceive better-than-real-reality as an antidote to our tiny tired lives which may not hold too drama but just too many struggles. Is that really entertainment then? What about all the news channels (barring a few) who try to dish something as serious as news with high levels of melodrama and entertainment/eyeball value? Why do we even need so much entertainment?

That is precisely what got me thinking about the way we humans behave and do what we do. Why do we watch what we do as a nation? Can something as simple as an idiot box (is it even that anymore?) make us so idiotic? It might be true, we are the company we keep. Why is there a need to own 15 minutes of fame when no one can remember half an hour after the show who you even were?

From where I come from a weekly television serial could still bring and keep the family together. Today we may have a TV set in every room, with a show targetted at each and every family member and yet we are so drawn apart that we look for reality elsewhere except within our homes and hearts.

What do you think?

P.S. : Just by the way, what really got me thinking about all this was chancing upon the promos of a particular musical reality shows which happened to feature my-up-to-that-moment-favorite singer. He sadly is no longer my favorite. Doing reality shows is just too wannabe for my taste. I am better off with Raghu Dixits of the world!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Women in India

Just another day in the busy saga called India.

In a country of a few billion, what are a few negative incidents - no different than the pickles lying next to our dal-rice. After all, its a country where most of the population is still struggling at the base of Maslow's hierarchy.

The government, apart from minting and swindling money, is busy trying to provide food, clothing and shelter to everyone first. The corporates are busy squeezing employee hours and minting money. Every now and then they wake from their slumber, conduct some CSR and go their way. The middle class is busy pretending to try to grow, while most of them tend to stay where they were. The rich are busy finding / discovering / inventing new ways to stay busy.

More or less, everyone is doing what they can do. No one has the time, money, energy or inclination to do more than what they need to.

Who needs to care about a few deaths and a few mistreatment and in-human behaviour?

This is precisely the time when the first thing most of us come up with is, "It's the government's responsibility".  I don't think so. I believe, a country is who its citizens want it to be. The precise state of our country is just a mirror image of who we are, what we have become and more importantly, where we are headed!

So, when incidents like the one in Guwahati happens. We create a furor around it, blabber away for a couple of days and then go back to our coffees and conversations. In fact, in quite a sadistic manner we start looking for the next big scoop of news - old is boring. We need more. Something / someone else to talk about.

And why not?

Guwahati is in a far away, almost forgettable corner of the country. When there are bigger issues like death by Maoists, terrorist, internal conflicts, hunger and nature, hooligans do not seem to feature too high on the list.

I have a bigger concern. It's not a problem at Guwahati alone.

A few days back, I was passing Andheri station (one of the busiest work hour local train junctions in Mumbai). To the uninitiated, the place is maddening. There are people everywhere and constantly moving. Those getting off are rushing towards bridges and exits. Those entering the platforms are rushing to catch their train and grab a seat. Simply put, everyone is just rushing about, especially at peak hours.

And among the crowds that day, while waiting for my own train to make an appearance, I happened to notice something that made me question the perception of safety in Maximum City. As I was watching a woman dressed in traditional Indian wear, office bag on her shoulder, was making her way through the crowds and moving towards one of the bridges. There being too much rush, she chose to walk nearer to the edge of the platform. As my train rolled, I watched as the woman tried to get further away from the train.

She moved a bit too late. Even as she tried blending in the crowd, a hand purposely stretched out and whacked her. I will never forget the look on her face. I would describe it as stunned. A few of those walking around screamed obscenities at the person, which made the woman more conscious. The woman clearly figured the damage was done and as the train rolled over and new crowds mixed in, she simply lowered her head, walked a bit faster and did her best to blend into the crowds unnoticed. The moment when the woman got hit on, infuriated me. I feel ashamed to say I did nothing myself. The rushy life of Mumbai soon sucked up my thoughts and it was a lost incident like many other that catch my attention, till the Guwahati outrage, brought it back.

I have questioned myself. Should I not have rushed to the woman's side? Did that eve teaser not deserve to be publicly dragged and taught a lesson that he or others like him dare not repeat? Why did I not bother? More importantly, why did the woman herself not bother? More thoughts brought out more questions. What could she have really done? It was not the woman's fault - unless you want to call her walking on this platform an error on her part! She was clearly not dressed provocatively. She was out in broad day light. Earning a living, like every human deserves too. Yet she went through what she went through.

I have since then stopped often, stared at the mirror and questioned myself. That girl could have been me. I rush about, do what I got to do, live a life where I can always hold my head up in public. Why would I deserve to hide my face or hang my face in shame because someone else is so blatantly shameless?

Is it really a woman's fault that she is popularly considered as weaker sex? We are way stronger than men in so many more ways. We work longer, harder and still are caring and take care of families. Is it only an Indian-men-mentality? I know I am generalizing right now and I am glad I know loads of good men too. The kind who respect women and would step up to help them, if the need arises, not molest them when they are down on the ground.

This lead to another area of probing. Maybe, its the way we treat those whom we consider below us. I have yet to see someone who misses a chance at oneupmanship over those in a tight situation, even if so momentarily. Those who do (thankfully I do know a few!) are a dying breed.

Are we really such a frustrated lot?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mumbai Rains

The skies are gray. The trees and leaves are clean and ridden of their dusty summer trails whatsoever.

The first anticipation of the rain is our annual invitation to visiting treasure troves of memories collected over years of getting wet in the first rain, dancing on the the terrace with other kids, being towel dried by mom and warned about the perils of getting wet in rain to the beautiful walks in the rain with buddies in our teen years to walking and crying in the rain after your first breakup to leisurely walks in the rain holding hands with the one you love to watching our new born being terrified of the claps of thunder to leading them into their first rains!

I have yet to come across someone who has not floated paper boats in muddy puddles or jumped strategically through puddles enjoying the brown splatter on white uniforms.

If childhood is so strongly linked with the onset and splash of rain, what changes when we grow up?

After the initial euphoria surrounding the first pitter-patter of raindrops, hot spicy bhajiyas, roadside bhuttas and reveling in cutting chais, most Mumbaikars are back to blaming everything from God to BMC and everything in between. The rains are blamed for the high humidity, the trains / buses running late, traffic jams on the road, potholes - and if life has been uncannily kind to you so far, you blame the rains as the lesser privileged have lesser dry space to sleep in.

While I do not trivialize these issues and understand that it is important for the parent with young kid to return home on time and roads being free of car breakers aka potholes and one's need to be comfortable; what I am really hinting at is our attitude towards rain.

There is definitely still ecstasy and aura around it. I have seen people steal glances at the windows with a clear anticipatory question in the eyes... Is it raining outside? I have seen craned necks catching a purgatory glance at the heavy showers outside with a glint in the eye that dies when the eyes return to the computer monitor.

Then why not embrace and enjoy it wholeheartedly? If this is what growing old is all about then I am glad I choose not to grow up. Which makes me think some more.

I have seen the most sane people go totally philosophical just by spending a few minutes by the sea or ocean or any water body? Just as if by sitting upon its shore and pondering it sucks you in and with its gentle warm currents washes the pains and tribulations of everyday life and fills you with a deep sense of fulfilment and understanding instead. No wonder you see people, spending some time by a Marine drive, gazing as the sun goes down and city lights go up and just walk off with an inner sense of zen the coolly reflects on their face.

And yet again, the same does not seem to transcend too far beyond the first few showers. Maybe then it is about growing up from loving the first drops of rain to falling in love with the deep and infinite ocean. Or maybe its something more.

I hold my steaming cuppa by the window with the rain splattering my face and wonder on, "What is it really about the rains?"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Digital expressions...

The world will never cease to amaze me.

Just when you think you have seen it all, done it all and thus, know it all, it knocks you down once again. You can never say you know it all.

Blame Darwin.

Evolution. Humans through times have evolved from bring primates to sapiens to homo sapiens and now homo sapiens sapiens (This is the last time I looked it up!). Stopping is not our genes. Evolving is. Continually learning, growing, getting better, shedding the useless is us. Faster. Stronger. Better.

Skipping a few connections now, lets talk about the growth user generated content on social networking sites. Most social networking sites work purely based on content that is user generated. Imagine a Facebook or Twitter without any friends or followers. Blank!

So, while doing what I usually do, I came across another trending topic on Twitter. 


On click has suddenly opened up Pandora's box.

To join trending twitter topics with your own thoughts is what lots of us do. And so it happened this time around. Except for what I was reading surprises me no end. Or does it?

When I saw the link trending, the first thought to hit me was to respond with something about a clean green environment for my kids. However, I first decide to read what everyone is talking about. And that is what is now an itch. It will need more scratching.

The responses on the trending topic were far from that. The responses, to me, were a psychological window to our world. To me it really reflected who and what we have become as a society. Most the responses, at best, were a ghastly reflection of their own childhood. And unhappy at that. It should no longer be a surprise that most tweets talked about what exactly they would not put their children through. And the list includes everything from allowing concert tickets to never having to not know who your father is.

The fact is it is natural for us to pay most attention to whatever hurts the most, even though the rest might be still as beautiful and unique. I remember reading the 90-10 rule which says we do 90% of the things to avoid 10% of the pain. And this is what really stood out for me today.

Our society today has so much hurt huddled up inside us that it is unreal to happily bear the pain. We take refuge in social networks where people cannot really see where we can hurt. After all, when you do tweet even on a trending topic, who really notices, but it does get out of you! The more people we know, the faster the timeline shifts. What is one lost tweet among trending topics that seem to change faster than our thoughts?

We need to express, even if no one is listening, even if it does not fix anything. We don't want hurt anymore. Instead of fixing what needs to be fixed, we seek new addresses to be happy. If Facebook bores us, there is a Twitter. When that gets too drab/textual, there is Pinterest and Instagram. If images get boring, there is always YouTube. And so on and so forth.

We are open to express ourselves more freely than our ancestors ever did, yet we seem to be hiding under new layers than imagined. And I bet I am just scratching at the surface here.

Do you agree to disagree?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Bucket List!

Not very long back... maybe like 10-odd years ago, I read somewhere about creating a bucket list.

I don't really remember what triggered it. However, just like an itch that needs to be scratched, soon after, I ventured into creating a bucket list for myself. I have no idea where that list lies today! However, I bet, that does not change much. Think about it, as a person despite of me having changed I am sure most of my bucket list would still remain consistent.

So, today morning I came across an a picture of me a few years back and happily told myself I have changed so much now. Or have I? And the itch came right back!

And I looked up the social mirror and re-discover one such list by me done in 2009. Although the list was meant to be about random things about me, I believe it clearly highlighted what I like to do and what I would love to do in the future with sufficient resources.

But looking at it now, surprises me, disappoints even. Here was a list of things I would love to do. The disappointment was simply because it made me feel so common. Just like everyone else. Finite. Perishable. With a due date.

Years pass us by. We live and love loads of moments. But how many of us really fulfill all our bucket lists before really kicking the bucket?

And that is when lightening stuck me! We love to make plans and think we are the masters of our lives. I will travel the world. I will leap from the highest mountain and dive into the deepest of the ocean bed. I will be a best selling author. I will mother a daughter. I will climb the Everest. How close I am to living any of these at the present moment... barely any! What stops me? 

The everyday realities and emotions of our livelihood.
I travel the journey of life everyday. I take giant leaps of faith. Divulge in love which leads to emotional roller coasters ranging from happiness like being on the top of the world to lonely depressions like being hidden underneath the earth's crust. By forging new friendships and sometimes letting go of some others, write and re-write the story of our enmeshed lives. I allow myself to dream, the highest dream. A new dream every day and every night.

These never feature on any bucket list that I have seen. I live my bucket list. It is pretty never ending. I still want to travel the world & author a bestseller besides other things. It just means that my bucket list will remain never ending. But none will be able to say I did not live up to my bucket list either! 

What do you think?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

#SMJ - Arousing a nation!

There is a new obsession with my Sundays.

No matter how late I have slept, I wake up bang at 11am to turn on my TV.

My last treasured memories of awesome Sunday morning goes right back to my childhood days where waking up to He-Man, Discovery of India, Chanakya, etc on Doordarshan was an absolute must!

I have to say after a huge time lapse another show is tingling my senses with good minded excitement. Satyamev Jayate or #SMJ

A lot has been said about the show already. Every Sunday morning as I log in to Twitter, I unfailing notice at least two trending topics around #SMJ. Every time a Facebook update shows up, it garners 500+ likes within seconds.

The content on the show is thought provoking albeit a bit dramatic. However, I don't see that as a negative. For all those who only notice the drama, you fail to realize we have had channels like NDTV that dish good content consistently without dramatics and most of us do not even notice the channel quite frankly.

The fact is that as a nation, we are obsessed with drama / reality TV.  The dramatics attracts your eyeballs and keeps them there too! Uninteresting content does not hold our attention for too long... 

Kudos to #SMJ for making people watch a show that addresses everyday reality. These are topics that one feels always happens to someone else, until it falls upon you.

The rating and the widespread fire is for everyone to see. It is doing what it set out to do - garner attention. It is difficult to ignore it. And I believe its a good thing too. Good because it has even been able to move a few state governments into action. This is positive action associated with it. And that is exactly why I think it is so powerful.

Having said that it does not mean all evil is now eliminated from this planet. Good things come in small packages. Every bit counts. And I believe that is the need / necessity of the hour. The belief that a billion of us can bring a positive change.

Too long we have believed "Even if I change, not like the country will come back on track". That needs to change. Every single positive change matters.

If #SMJ can ring in the bells for those changes, then it can be called truly successful.