Wednesday 31 December 2014

My Prayer This New Year

Issue is deeper, issue lies within me - not outside
I hope I can accept this

Things are manageable and in my control
I hope I can realise my own power

Problems are trivial in comparison to the universe
I hope I can understand that I am just a speck

Society, people, circumstances - these are just vehicles
I hope I can open my mind

Am I brain-washed & slave today to society?
I hope I can wake up one day & break free

Is this world as gloomy as it feels today?
I hope I can one day see its beauty & glory

Each new morning is a gift, not my right
I hope I can make the most of each single day

If there is one change in me that I ask for,
I hope I can learn to value what I have & thank God for it

At start of every year, there is a list of resolutions
I hope I can keep one this year & become a better person!

Sunday 28 December 2014

Time & Place

"There is a time & place for everything" - even if everyone reading this post is already tired of hearing / reading this - allow me to repeat it still...there is a time & place for everything! I have come to understand this - I have come to believe this.

The above statement could be interpreted & used in different ways...for example, it can be understood as & used to describe appropriateness of words & actions. Certain things said / done, may normally be acceptable as jest - however, not always is jest acceptable and thus not always appropriate. This highlights that there is a time & place for every action and every spoken word.

Another interpretation of this is applied at God's will & timing. "There is a time & place for everything" - would mean, God knows when & where should things happen. It is His will, which decides actions & their results...not human will. More than that - this interpretation is essentially to cover human inability to comprehend God's will & sense of timing.

I have seen both - have been inappropriate on more occasions that I would want to remember and have understood God's will & sense of timings (though only in hindsight).

We all have the capability to analyse our life in hindsight. To pick any part of our past and see what happened, what we did, what others were we responsible and how others contributed to our life (directly or indirectly). Within all this, we can also see when we were pained, the low-phases of our lives and how we questioned God - "why me?".

Over the years, it has been my understanding that incidents, people, words that caused me pain - have happened for a purpose, to serve me in good stead in the future, to teach me a lesson I needed to learn or couldn't learn in any other way.

This is not only true for pain or negatives alone - it is true for music, books, experiences, travel, friendships, success - essentially, nothing happens before it is supposed to. We take a change of interest in music / books as sign of maturity - I now realise it is designated-time bound and not age or maturity bound. Some people may start reading spiritual word and following it from an early age, while some may die old without ever giving any importance to spiritual word. Some may listen to loud music as kids and grow on to listening to softer music later...while some could prefer one form of music all through.

People may choose to look at "time & place for everything" concept in any manner - I believe it is all about appropriateness. Human society has probably managed to lay down acceptable & appropriate laws, but it is definitely nowhere near understanding appropriateness of God's will to unfold and His sense of timing.

I am writing this post, sitting in vast & open spaces of a secluded & quaint cottage in Ramgarh. It has been many years since I have been to such a quiet place, where I could almost hear myself think. The clear blue sky during day time changed to a star-studded cover in the night. Sitting and looking at the night-sky, seeing thousands of stars shimmering - one can get one of two emotions: either pure bliss at the natural marvel and the fact that he / she is taking a break from big-city lifestyle...or, a big hit on how one sees his life and his problems - this is the feeling of becoming insignificant when compared with magnitude of universal plan. 

The latter thought is a big jump - but a significant one...if I am insignificant, then my problems are even more insignificant. I think this line of thought helps put things in perspective and clear a lot of cobwebs. This helps further in seeing the validity of time & place concept...all of this to get some peace.

Boys Don't Cry - How Stereotypical?!

This post's focal point has been inspired by a stand-up comedian's segment. Louis C.K. (creator & actor of Louie) talked about pressure felt by heterosexual men to maintain their image as heterosexual men. According to him, this is the only sexual group that worries about perception of others of their sexual orientation. Explaining this further, Louis said heterosexual women are not worried if anyone considers them to be homosexual...or if homosexual men worry about coming across as heterosexual. However, most heterosexual men try to be careful of not only what they say & do things, but also how they say & do things, lest they are considered homosexual.

Essentially, trying hard to always live up to the stereotypical 'heterosexual-male-act'! I couldn't agree more...

The stereotypical male act is deeply ingrained in minds of all men. This stereotyping starts, rather unfortunately, at an early age. Boys don't cry...boys don't play with make-up or even is okay for boys to break things / be aggressive. Such strong mental stereotyping can cause a lot of trouble for homosexual boys - almost to the extent of not identifying with themselves from within and obviously feeling as a social-misfit. As soon as homosexual boys / men are able to accept their orientation and tell the world (that matters to be told), they are free. From there on, they are not fighting to live up to any image or one would come to them and say - "why are you walking / talking like that, are you a heterosexual man?".

However, things are not quite that 'straight' for heterosexual men. They have been brought up in a manner that screams "boys don't cry" (used as a metaphor - for strength & control over emotions). Over time, they themselves start believing in this to be the truth of life - which makes them go hiding their emotions and, sadly, ignoring emotions all together.

Heterosexual men wouldn't claim openly that they like mushy movies, love ballads...or even that they hope for happily-ever-afters. They wouldn't show concern for emotions, if not of the opposite sex, then definitely not for their own sex. Feigning strength, it is impossible for heterosexual men to share pain & show tears. Are any of these stereotypical acts unhealthy, not sure - is it necessary for heterosexual men to be in touch with their emotions and also be good at sharing...again, not sure. Fact is, for those (few) who want to break this stereotype, have to do so at the cost of being considered less of a 'man' and possibly made fun of (in his social group - at the very least).

The problem is rather simple. Heterosexual men are made to believe and actually think that it is them who define manhood...the symbol of logic & strength. They think feelings are less important, actually believe that they think using their brains (not heart)...often forgetting they are not always led by brain!

Interestingly, this is the only sexual group that has three active & capable decision making organs - brain, heart & balls. In order to live up to the image of manhood - which is anyway incorrectly assumed as synonymous with heterosexuality in men - they curb the heart, lose their brains and end up acting purely on instincts led by their balls.

If only this sexual group could be woken up to be told that life is bigger & beyond perceptions of others about their sexual orientation and the image associated with this perception. If only they could truly learn to use their brains & believe more in their heart...over their balls. But then, if only...

You Are The Only Blessing I Need

Sitting here in the lap of nature,
You are the only one I want

Sitting here all alone,
You are the only one I miss

Sitting here, looking at the sunset,
You are the only light I ask for

Sitting here as cold engulfs me,
You are the only warmth I crave

Sitting here at it gets dark,
You are the only ray of hope I require

Sitting here as I think of tomorrow morning,
You are the only blessing I need!

The Ramgarh Bungalows: A Perfect Retreat

A rare decision, unsure days leading up to it, a nervous few moments - all of this ended up with Tina & I finding ourselves in the lap of quiet & blissful nature. Our last hill-destination holiday was in Jan '07...since then we never came around holidaying in hills, until 2 weeks ago when the idea came to us once again.

One major reason for avoiding hills was sheer commercialization at places such as: Shimla, Nainital, Mussoorie...However, this year - Tina found a perfect retreat for us - The Ramgarh Bungalows (a Neemrana property). Nestled peacefully away from maddening crowds of Nainital - at a driving distance (approx. 340 kms from Delhi) and promising the best of comfort along with experience of pure nature!

Until a week before our travel date (25th Dec), it was snowing hard in & around Ramgarh. Roads were blocked and we were told to wait until 23rd Dec before making any further plans. At the same time, we were comforted by weather forecast - it was supposed to get clear & sunny soon...and it did.

We started early on 25th morning, in order to reach our destination well before evening hours - we figured, what-ever the roads & weather had to offer, it would be easier to manage during day time.

The quality of road all through was decent to good - patches of broken road & pot-holes were definitely encountered, but overall the drive wasn't bad. With 20 minute breakfast break at Gajraula, a refueling halt and snow on both sides for last 5 kms of hilly road - we still managed to reach our destination in a little over 7 hours.

Unlike all other properties that we have been to - this was 5th Neemrana property that Tina & I were visiting, The Ramgarh Bungalows is quite unique. This property comprises of different cottages, each at a different height and most surprisingly, not in the same complex / area owned by the property.

(Image courtesy: The Ramgarh Bungalows' website)

This picture is the best to explain the above mentioned uniqueness - the green roof building in left of the picture is the oldest building, where they have their reception, kitchen, driver's dorm & also 3 cottages (Old Bungalow, Rose Cottage & Vista Villa). Move to the right, past small walkways & shops, is the Writer's Bungalow (red roof) - a 2 room, quaint cottage. Further to the right and 500mts. of steep climb, comes the most exotic, 4 room cottage - Ashok Vatika (green roof). Lastly, the red roof building on the right most of this picture is known as Cliff House.

Tina & I stayed in Yellow room (Ashok Vatika). Breakfast & dinner is served here - but for lunch, one needs to go down all the way to the Old Bungalow & then climb up. It may not sound much - but 500mts. of steep climb was a challenge and in our 3 attempts, we never managed the entire climb without a breather-break. I think this is part of the charm, part of the experience that no other place offers (Glass House on the Ganges has similar distances, but not steep climbs).

Day 1 was spent soaking in the the place - letting the freshness & purity get rid of our journey's tiredness. Hot coffee & vegetable pakoras for snacks was just the thing we needed to re-energise ourselves. Though the sky was cloudy, but the cloud-cover too was unique. 

I just sat there looking & admiring the sky for sometime - living in Delhi, there are a few things that we forget completely - vastness of sky & freshness of air. Both of these were abundantly available for us and I made the most of this opportunity. Evening was spent around a small bonfire, making friends with another couple.

Service staff needs special mention here - post dinner, they suggested we use hot water bottles to warm our beds. With temperatures going below 0 degrees, it was definitely cold. The multi-layers of blanket & quilt, along with room heater, would have been insufficient had the hot water bottles not been placed in our beds well before we settled in to sleep.

Time between retiring to our room and finally getting into bed is a bit boring. There is absolutely nothing to do (surely, you don't go that far to watch television - though there is one in the common area). Tina decided to get on with her book-reading, while I sat down to write. The few hours' experience of a fresh & peaceful place was inspiring enough. I managed to strengthen some of the ideas floating in my mind, give them a rough shape, something that can be built up on easily.

We woke up early the next day - to a clear blue sky & brightly shining Sun. After breakfast with new friends made the previous evening, Tina and I were ready to try one of the suggested walking trails. 

The shortest trail was 45 minutes one-way (from the Old Bungalow). Both of us realised that for city-dwellers like us - walking 90 minutes, on such terrain isn't possible. We decided to remove any objective / destination from our trail walk (reaching streams / rivers / orchards are some of the trail-end objectives). We decided to walk for 20 minutes downhill - so that we were left with enough energy to walk back (uphill!).

Most of the trail was cemented walkway - some parts were 'kucha' road. The view of hills, greenery and clear blue sky was breath-taking. More-over, it was absolutely quiet. We stopped at times, not to take a breather, rather to try & hear something...even if that sound was distant. No vehicles, no humans and no animals around - made this walkway clean & peaceful. It was clean enough for us to sit in the middle, or lie down if we so wished to.

We returned to our cottage (Ashok Vatika), post lunch and realised Sun wouldn't be brightly shining for long. It was a no-brainer, to sit outside and get as much reading (for Tina) and writing (for me) to achieve.

Though I too had a book to read - but the atmosphere was such that I couldn't soak in everything this place was offering along with what my book had to. Instead, I felt a strong inspiration to write.

With time passing, sun about to set, temperature started to fall and wind became chillier. Tina went inside, giving up the pleasures of open spaces, giving in to the falling temperature. One can wear adequate layers to protect oneself from cold temperatures - which would include gloves to keep fingers & hands covered. But - I was on a writing spree (actual paper & pen writing), I couldn't wear gloves...neither could I get up, go inside and lose my inspiration. 

Since I had already given a rough shape to my ideas, it was all the more a reason for me to want to sit & write. I had 2 strong ideas at the time...and the location inspired me to pen down a small poem for my beloved. The next three posts on my blog have been written there. I can't remember the last time that I wrote as much...all thanks to the perfect setting there.

Sun had set behind the hills by now, but was still active - colours in the sky were truly mesmerizing. Day 2 ended with a lot achieved.

Day 3 was the day of our return. Once again we started early - once again we had a bright sunny morning. I finally decided to read up the last 30-40 pages of my book (quite an appropriate locale to read up about Yogis & Yoginis and the magical-sounding world of saints - 'Autobiography of a Yogi').

The Ramgarh Bungalows has a small jam factory - which sells jams to all other Neemrana properties and guests could purchase as well, choosing from a wide variety of options. Tina picked up two - and that was the end of our refreshing, re-energising, inspiring & extremely comfortable stay at the Ramgarh Bungalows.

This post will be incomplete if I don't mention that all meals were excellent - ranging from local cuisine to international as well. Staff is well trained, helpful & exceptionally courteous. I think such high standard of food & staff runs common across all Neemrana properties.

Now I am back in Delhi, it is half past three in the morning - but my experience of The Ramgarh Bungalows has been such a superior one that I couldn't wait for morning to put this post out!

You could click here to see a snapshot of our stay & the fun we had.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Life is for living

Life isn't easy
Life is a journey
Life is the greatest teacher

Life isn't all fair
Life is a challenge
Life is a lesson

Life isn't only party & games
Life is a mix-bag, comes with the good & the bad
Life is a gift

Life isn't all smiles or all tears
Life is inexplicable, incomprehensible
Life is to be lived as it unfolds

Life is for living!

Sunday 30 November 2014

I am not sure...

Is it that my wings have been clipped,
Or I don't allow my thoughts to fly?

Is it out of my league,
Or I am afraid to try?

Is it me who is alone now,
Or I don't want to take other's support & rely?

Is it seeking the impossible,
Or my well is indeed running dry?

Is the pressure building up,
Or my over-thinking causing problems to multiply?

Is the heat unmanageable now,
Or my temperament is on the fry?

Is it that things are serious all around,
Or my sense of humour is in short-supply?

Is it me in the mirror,
Or a far cry?

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Reading is Fuel for Thinking Brain

I wouldn't classify myself as a more-than-average-curious-guy, but I have always taken pride in possessing a thinking brain - a brain that likes to get deep with issues that either excited me or troubled me at a personal level...and there have always been more of the latter than the former.

I understood quickly that I am not a reader of news & analysis to keep abreast with the latest around the world. Rather, I understood myself as a student of human nature, of love, of philosophies, of life.

There is a remarkable contribution that reading has had in my life. When I started reading beyond course books (in VI standard), to when I was reading all the time in college and even now, when I read once in a while - people who understand me, can see the impact reading has had on my life. From the obvious aspect of improving language, to my thinking, my attitude, my introduction to love, to certain extent my nature as well - reading has influenced all (obviously, in varied degrees).

Year 2014 has been the first that I have read more non-fiction than fiction. Some of what I have read has been about Indian history, about people who shaped history (Gandhi & Jinnah), about American war on terror, about rockstars & sportsmen (post-break-up Beatles & Rubin "Hurricane' Carter)...every such book opened up my mind to new perspectives of life, to new ideas, to new philosophies, to new dimensions of life. Something, in my opinion, fiction can't fulfill alone!

Now that I am trying to maintain this blog - I need more influences, more experiences...thus - I simply know, I need to read more. After all, reading is fuel for thinking brain!

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Peace of Mind

What do I need to do to feel better?
What can I do, I hurt my pride?

It is my heart that's become unsteady...
When will I stop feeling empty & dissatisfied?

I am still wondering, still stuck with "what if"!
Will the pain ever subside?

Where will this feeling take me?
Can I just find a place to lay low & hide?

It has become dark around me...
Will the Sun come out again, make it bright outside?

How does one put this behind?
How does one achieve peace of mind?

Sunday 12 October 2014

Accepting Human Imperfection & Hypocrisy

If I have to think of one word that fits all humans accurately, then I would say it is 'imperfect'. If I have to think more, pick another word, then I would pick 'hypocrite'. Unfortunately, I can't think of word with positive meaning or even connotation - to fit accurately across all. Not every one is kind / friendly / jovial / loving / selfless / giver ... I am sure I have put the point across w.r.t. positive connotation words fitting all humans...they can't!

Few weeks ago - I wrote a short poem to describe some of my thoughts on human imperfection. The reason I am writing again on the subject is because I don't think this idea has been dealt with in depth that it demands. Also, I now have another angle to discuss - hypocrisy added with imperfection...this makes us, humans, quite the special one!

In any interaction between two humans - both of these aspects, imperfection & hypocrisy, play their respective roles. It is important to note here that these aspects vary from person to person and interaction to interaction. Person X, when interacting with Person Y could display an entirely different combination of imperfection & hypocrisy, than when interacting with Person Z.

There is an added complication - who decides what is perfect? Whose idea of perfection is perfect and thus should become the benchmark?

We all create our own definitions, basis our roots, our upbringing, our social network, our own outlook, our own beliefs and our own idea of perfection...because of this, it is hardly possible to find people fitting in our mould of perfection, perfectly!

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone to have me say that no human is perfect and also, all humans have some level of hypocrisy in-built! Actually, the ones who would believe they are perfect, would be the ones to have highest level of hypocrisy as well...

Let's bring back Persons X & Y, within their interactions we can see hypocrisy at play. Let's say that Person X does not like Person Y's religious bent of mind - going to temples, keeping fasts...however, Person X is superstitious enough to still go to the temple on one particular day of the week - just because he's been asked to go by an astrologer. If Person X is okay to go to the temple (for what ever reason - obviously not backed by any reason or logic) - then there shouldn't be any problem with Person Y's faith & interest in religion.

Fact of the matter is - we are not only hypocrite with things we claim about ourselves, but also about what we allow others to do in front of us. Hypocrisy can be at play in a slightly different manner too - Person X doesn't like Person Y going to the temples, but, is okay with Person Z doing the same. This could happen between boss & team (favouritism does happen in offices), this could happen between parents & their more than 1 children, this could happen between friends...which ever interaction we can think of - I am confident that selective hypocrisy plays some role in that interaction.

In my opinion accepting both, imperfection & hypocrisy within ourselves - is the first step towards better-understanding our interactions with others. Without this acceptance, we can never understand how we possibly could be wrong, how the other person is not all that we can improve on things as they stand today. Without this - we will either lose company of good friends, good team members or - lose their respect for us.

'Perfect-for-each-other' people will not necessarily make perfect relationships...however, imperfect people who are willing to work on their relationships, will manage a perfect one!

The good part of both - imperfection & hypocrisy, is that they allow for a plenty of room for improvement...we just need to be open to accept, change & improve.

Thursday 9 October 2014

I have been...I still...

I have been hopeless
I have been alone
No company, not even a sound

I have been pushed back
I have been down in the abyss
Lying gagged & bound

I have been beaten
I have been cut open
Left bleeding on the ground

I still lived through & survived
I still believed
Got up...refused to be drowned

I still thought of you
I still saw a reason to smile
Thanked the love I had found

I still am scared
I still have sleepless nights
Comfort is having you around

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Is Anything 'Real'?

I have often wondered why is this life the way it is, which I am sure is not unique to me. The questions - 'what is life / what is real / do I really exist', do make their presence felt in my mind. There are a couple of reasons for me to write this post: one, I have been thinking & writing about life, reality, pain and similar things - making this post only natural and two (more importantly), earlier today I saw the movie Inception again (on TV).

There are two movies that have left me with a feeling that, probably, what we consider our world, our reality, is all a game for somebody - or worse, a joke! 

I was in college when The Matrix came out and for the first time, after seeing the movie - I walked out questioning if indeed what I considered as real, was real! Before I saw this movie, I had never questioned my surroundings, my environment, my reality - as I lived. Needless to say questioning the reality didn't last long and, obviously, I didn't get any answers to help me understand anything better - neither about the reality, nor about possibility of my existence inside 'the matrix'!

However, impact of this movie has been strangely strong still. Till date I wonder if I am nothing more than a small part of a ginormous game making me, somehow, inconsequential. This is an important feeling, especially when I feel ginormous pressure of things not going my way. If I accept that I am inconsequential in the larger scheme of things, then my problems, my fears, my disappointments are just as inconsequential...thus not worth fretting about!

The second movie that pushed me to question my real-seeming-life was Inception. My take away from Inception is not about possibility of stealing ideas from someone's mind or bigger still - planting the seed of an idea in someone's mind. That, I understand, is fantasy world. The concept of dreams becoming more real than reality and possibility of building alternative reality basis shared dreams is my take from this movie.

For someone who rarely remembers any of his dreams, this concept of dreams becoming more real than reality was quite a leap. Almost similar to the idea that The Matrix had - reality is not necessarily as we know it, as we feel it, as we see it, as we understand can I be absolutely certain that I am not just a computer generated entity living on commands given to me, within the scope allowed OR just a projection of someone's mind, in his / her dream!

Monday 6 October 2014

Human Mirrors

“Look in the mirror and one thing is sure: what we see is not who we are.” ― Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story

There is something fascinating about mirrors, something mystical actually. Mirrors allow us to see things about ourselves that are as is - also allow us to visualise who we would want to be. This vision of reality & visualisation of fantasy are some of the truest moments of our day, which are becoming increasingly rare. Either scenario - not seeing the reality and not being able to visualise our fantasy is linked to losing a bit of confidence, a bit of faith and a bit of our ability to dream.

Pressures of daily life, experiences that have changed us, feeling of limitations that has crept in, responsibilities that have piled-on over time...are just some of the parameters that lead to creation of a changed perception of ourselves in our mind...leading to losing touch with both, the reality as is and the fantasy that we would want to carry in our dreams.

The life we lead becomes our reality, not realising just because we are flowing with the flow - it is necessarily the reality. We have the power to change course of our lives and thus, change the reality itself. We don't even see the possibility of an alternative reality, however small difference there is in the alternative from the present.

Over a period of time I have come to understand that there are 2 kinds of mirrors - inanimate & animate mirrors. The former is, obviously, easier to understand - these are the mirrors, the objects that show us our reflection and we find them at various places around us.

The inanimate mirrors are just objects that, when added with introspection, show us the reality and allow us to take a moment to think about the fantasy we once had for ourselves...this moment at times can be enough for us to start visualising that fantasy once remind us of the path we would want to be reignite a spark inside us to get closer to that fantasy. Unfortunately, this moment of time, which may have renewed our interest in our fantasy, is nothing but a moment of time and fades away - sooner than later. Rarely the renewed spark, brought out in that moment, is strong enough to offset the reasons that subdued the spark in the first place.

What I call animate mirrors are actually humans or 'human mirrors'. There are certain people, whom we come across and immediately connect with. This connection is more than just is deeper, it is is about understanding  each and every aspect about the other person. In order to clarify this further, I am suggesting understanding the other person, not accepting or appreciating everything about the other person. 

With human mirrors, I believe the connection is strong due to similarities between the two individuals...similarities of background, similarities in outlook, similarities in attitude, similarities in dreams and fears, similarities in understanding of this world and life in general...similarities in self-image. I will rather extend this to say that human mirrors, have mirroring nature & habits, hopes & dreams, fears & pain...

It is not difficult to imagine that finding even one person in our life, with such similarities and understanding is a rarity and thus nothing short of God's gift.

Much like the inanimate mirrors, the animate mirrors help us see our reality of the moment and also, have the ability and to remind us of what we would want to be...essentially, bring out our subdued and forgotten visions and dreams. They have the understanding to see alternative realities for us and the willingness to suggest we do something about making the change.

Standing in front of the 'human mirrors' for long, or even meeting them often or, for that matter speaking with them on a regular basis is not important...irrespective of the geographical distance and the time lapsed since the last communication exchange, 'human mirrors' never lose the ability to work as mirrors.

It is important to note that all that has been said above about human mirrors, stands quite true for friends in general. However, there is a slight difference between friends and human mirrors. A friend may not hold on to the willingness to become a mirror - thus may not be able to continue to understand the other person after a period of time. This gap in willingness, compromises not just the ability to completely understand the other person, but also the ability to show reality and the vision for future. And this, in my view is the simple difference between a friend and a human mirror!

A human mirror shall never lose this understanding & willingness...A human mirror shall never show a distorted view...a human mirror shall never show an image just to please.

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Island of Convenience

Having already written about my dislike for society's interference in my life - and my inability to care for social norms (the ones that I don't want to follow) - I am writing this post as part of further realisation on this subject.

Earlier, I have written that I would want to be left alone, also - being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely...all that still holds. The added realisation - is that the 'pseudo rebel' in me is a rebel when people ask me to do something for sake of social acceptance. The simplest fact is - I want to do things, when I want to do them and how I want to do them. This includes some of the very same societal norms that I wouldn't normally care to follow.

The realisation that has dawned on me, with experience, pain and churning of that no person is an island and thus, cannot survive on his / her own - completely independent of the society. How-much-so-ever I may want to be that independent, deep down I do need certain people, certain amount of human touch...if nothing else, just someone to talk to!

This entire realisation has led me to develop a concept - Island of Convenience. This in its basic sense means: "I am on an island, away from societal norms & working - for as long as I want to be. I shall come over to the mainland and mingle with other people, as and when I feel like. I will do things, when & how I feel like...".

Island of convenience is nothing more than a make believe safe haven, where I feel in control (even if fictitiously) and has just me and anyone that I want for my company.

In my opinion, every single person has this island of convenience - difference could be the amount of time they actually spend on this island. My guess is: married / live-in couples manage to spend lesser time on this island than those who are single - people staying in joint families manage to spend lesser time on this island than those who are staying alone or in nuclear family set-up...However, there could be similarities among the people in these groups regarding how much time they would ideally want to spend on this island of convenience.

I call this a make believe safe haven because in reality we are still a part of the society at large. It is only in our mind that we are away on our island of convenience. Problem that arises due to this conflict between reality and illusion - is quite obvious.

Our words & our actions definitely differ between the reality (society as we know it) and the make believe (island of convenience). Since the make believe is for us to be in control, we act and react in a manner that pleases us the most...most often without giving a thought to how our actions / reactions would impact people around us (especially the ones who matter).

Ever so often, we end up hurting people, doing things wrong, making a fool of ourselves - because we forget whether we are operating within the make believe or the reality.

With some considerable thought to this, I think the summary to this is: much like everything else in this life, the Island on convenience that we make for ourselves has its own share of good & bad. It works wonders in getting our balance right - between how we, as individuals, manage life in the society and on our own. However, it does come with one potential problem - being on the island on convenience for too long makes an individual incapable of understanding and accepting the good that society has to offer. These individuals get into a mode of denial - to deny their need for other people in their life, to deny their need to feel pain, to deny their need to need anything from anyone...reaching such a level is certainly not healthy. Since I definitely believe, I am one such individual - I think the realisation of downside of being on my island of convenience is quite an eye-opener.

Challenge for people who spend more time on their island of convenience than reality - is to make room for people who genuinely care for them, for ideas that genuinely are for their benefit and for love & happiness that may come from unexpected corners. Such people, such ideas and such unexpected corners have to be allowed in, have to be accepted and this can only happen if we allow ourselves to lose just a little bit of control.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Being One's True Self Is Over-rated!

It is quite often said, almost abused - "I am my true self only with you!". There is nothing wrong with emphasising on 'only with you" - rather, it is in the 'true self' bit. Do we even know our true self? Do we even understand what is this 'self', as a creature, a person, its true-ness, its we really understand?

An extrovert will not always feel comfortable in company of introvert will not always be the quietest optimist will not always manage to stay positive and a pessimist will still be hopeful (more often than he / she would like to admit)...a matured thinker would still want to be in touch with inner child...children often act more matured than adults...people in love do hate certain things about their partners...there is usually something to respect in the people we hate...a good friend could secretly want more...a confidant could betray...there are just about any and all possibilities for people to either do things that were not expected of them or do things in a manner that they themselves didn't know they were capable of!

We definitely act / react differently, we change...I don't know how we could cling on to the hypothesis - there is a true-self! At best, there is a sense of an outline to the true self, which we maintain more often than not...but definitely don't live within all the time.

We change because of external forces, experiences over time, learning from past mistakes... making us act / react differently - to same / similar situations & people over a period of time. It is rather futile to expect people to remain the same and react in an expected manner all through. More-over, there is this thing about being moody - how has been our day, how has been our mood at that moment - such small things could make us act / react in a manner that is not considered our 'true-self'!

The challenges, the priorities, the fears, the excitement that ruled our thoughts a decade ago, no longer remain and get replaced with a different set of challenges, priorities, fears...thus, how we live our lives today is different from how we lived a decade ago and how we will be living a decade from now!

My question is: if our basic priorities have changed, the basic need to do things has changed - where is the concept of 'true self'? Each phase of life sees a different version of 'true self' - I would even risk saying, each compartment of life (in same phase), sees a different 'true self'...why then are we so bothered about this concept?

It is almost impossible to categorise ourselves in a manner that will hold true in all situations, under all circumstances and irrespective of things at stake. I think the issue is not about being 'true self' with someone - instead it is a matter of being comfortable with someone. We, mistakenly, confuse the comfort of being accepted by someone as being allowed to be our true self.

Finding the true self, or the person we can be our true self with is not important...rather, it is important to be true! The bigger challenge is not being true actually, but knowing what is true...

Monday 22 September 2014

My Promise!

If a bad patch comes and shit hits the fan
If things go wrong
If love is forgotten along the way
I will still stay positive & strong

If anger blocks out everything
If logic & reasoning become meaningless
If all bridges seem burned down
I will still not become loveless

If our future together begins to look dim
If all looks bad and end seems near
If only sadness & pain remain
I will still take care of you, my dear

If running away becomes the only option
If there is no light, only despair
If thoughts of killing the relationship become stronger
I will still be looking for ways to repair

If time is up, with nothing more to do or say
If all the frustrations start choking
If going separate ways comes closer to reality
I will still try to save us and no matter what, continue trying

If our ship starts to sink
If all efforts are done, but fail
If you are no where in sight
I will still, somehow, anyhow - find you and never bail!

Thursday 18 September 2014

Kya Aisa Ek Din Aayega...

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - itna udaas kyun baitha hai tu

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - galat nahin hai tu

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - yeh to bas ek imtihaan hai

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - tu ek akela to nahin hai

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - soch mat, kar

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - has le jee bhar

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - chinta mat kar kisi ki

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - karle apne dil ki

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - samajhna chod, mehsoos karna seekh

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - aankhe khol, sab to hai theek

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - dil se soch, dimag se nahin

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - khushiyaan tere kareeb hain, yahin kahin

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - dar mat, sar utha

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi, kahegi - jeena to shuroo kar zara

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi

Kya aisa ek din aayega
Zindagi muskurayegi

Befitting Punishment

For the pain I brought along
For the hurt I caused you
For the tears I have been the reason of
For the anger I have raised inside you...

What befitting punishment can there be?

For the good times gone waste
For the love you have lost
For the waiting & wailing
For the bridge not crossed...

What befitting punishment can there be?

For keeping 'me' over you
For letting opportunities go by
For allowing head to rule heart
For not understanding why you cry

What befitting punishment can there be?

For the promises I didn't keep
For the chances I blew
For the suffocation & frustration
For the things that didn't come true...

What befitting punishment can there be?