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 ideas...is 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 meaning...do we really understand?

An extrovert will not always feel comfortable in company of people...an introvert will not always be the quietest one...an 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?

Wednesday 17 September 2014

The End of Few Indian Brands

Recently, another iconic brand of India decided to wrap up and shut shop. This is the third such case in just last one year - with two common aspects to all three: a) none of these brands could keep up with changing times and b) managed to get heaps of nostalgic stories from people. I am almost inclined to add another commonality to these three: none of the people who so sweetly remembered the 'now-dead-brands' for their nostalgic reasons - had no real connection with these brands in recent times.

The third common point, actually, sums up the entire problem and the reason for these brands to shut shop!

HMT Watches is the recent most to bite the dust...a few months ago, HM's Ambassador (fondly referred as Amby) saw its end and sometime last year, Maruti 800 had been withdrawn. Both, HMT & Amby, had a life span of more than five decades, while M800 was around for three!

My question is: Is it really, truly, sad (or even shocking) for people in today's setting to see the end of these three particular brands? Well, I certainly don't think so...

With brands in the field of watch-making & automobiles (I am restricting this post to these product lines, because of the three Indian brands in question) - have lasted centuries, is it only fair to say that there is something that went wrong with all three - HMT Watches, Amby & M800. It could simply be a matter of falling out of fashion or a bigger issue of becoming dinosaurs in today's consumer's mind.

The point I am trying to make here is: why do we feel sad on the demise of a brand, when it really had started to mean nothing to us in today's scenario? Why, all of a sudden, we get nostalgic for what that brand used to mean decades ago?

I admit, I have never been an HMT watch owner. My father and his father must have owned one, but I have not grown up with any false sense of pride related to HMT as a watch brand. Although, the same I can't say for Amby...I definitely liked the car for what it was, admired it for just that little touch of royalty it used to bring...but, again - could never get myself to own one! M800 - is not quite a point in case because I was no longer their target audience. Maybe, because of no connection with these brands - I feel nothing for them today...however, I doubt I would feel anything just because I used to own a brand many years ago but hadn't used it at all in recent past.

Allow me to explain this with another set of examples: I have been wearing Levi's jeans since 1997 and continue to do so. If this brand decides to shut shop - it will bring out some emotions of sadness, because this brand means something to me today.

The other side of spectrum, for me, would be Power sports shoes (available in Bata outlets). I wore Power sports shoes all my school years, but haven't owned a pair in nearly two decades now. If they decide to shut shop - it wouldn't matter to me at all! Why should I suddenly care for something, just because it has died?

In my view, most of the people writing messages & obits about these 'now-dead-brands' - are doing what they think is the most socially correct thing to do. They don't realise the farce of their words and more so of their actions (to seem sad on the demise of the brand). They just don't want to come across as people who actually, truly don't care anymore!

Friday 12 September 2014

Destiny Decider

You can accept, you can reject
You can smile, you can frown
You can trust, you can doubt
You can be rest-assured, you are the destiny decider!

You can do the right, you can do the wrong
You can laugh, you can cry
You can stay, you can run away
You can make me do the same, you are the destiny decider!

You can reward, you can punish
You can love, you can hate
You can see both sides, you can see just yours
You can be yourself, you are the destiny decider!

You can do good, you can do evil
You can be a friend, you can be a foe
You can hold on to me, you can let me fall
You can just be...you are the destiny decider!

You have the power to decide
You have the veto to over-rule
You have the support to do as you please
You have all that I can offer, you are the destiny decider!

Pain is not pointless...is a necessary evil!

Unlike normal opinions towards pain, I tend to think of pain as a necessary evil! Take any sort of pain - body, mind or soul - pain has its own way to give us a message, teach us a lesson and if required, change the course of our lives. If we have the ability to dispassionately look at our lives, we will accept & appreciate all the contribution that pain has had in shaping us into what we are today.

It is simpler for us to accept sayings, such as: "no rider learns to ride a horse without falling" or "no pain, no gain" - but it is not quite that simple to attribute positives to pain.

This association of success & grind is, in simplistic terms, just an association of learning & falling / failing. There is one element of falling / failing that we overlook - pain associated with the fall / failure. Thus the difficulty of looking at pain with even an iota of positive outlook.

Pain could be of all kinds at the same time - body, mind & soul! The body is hurt because of the fall, thus the pain. The mind is embarrassed to have fallen, thus the pain. The soul is hit because the number of attempts it has taken & yet falling, thus the pain!

It is quite important to note that pain of body is the simplest to manage - there are enough medicines available for all physical pain. The pain that can't be treated with medicine is the tricky one - and, by its nature - leaves us with a bigger lesson. Take a broken heart as an example, or a failed attempt at entrepreneurship - these scenarios are big enough to move us to the core, the pain accompanied is almost unbearable at the moment. Once the pain subsides, more often than not, we come out stronger!

Given this understanding - think of this: if we take away element of pain from failure, will we learn as much from that attempt / experience still? If we don't experience pain (of body / mind / soul) - will we care enough to try harder, do better, learn from past attempts / experiences - so that we can do better...or actually succeed?

Agreed, each individual has a different way to feel pain and also to deal with it. It is quite the same with experiencing happiness / joy as well - the difference is, happiness brings a general level of positive reactions from all who experience it. However, pain & sadness could bring a much wider range of reactions, which could be longer lasting as well. This makes it all the more important to give pain its due respect and accept it as more than just a negative that happens to us.

If we could look back on our lives, pick the lowest of lows and allow ourselves to feel similar pain that we felt during those days - we will not take long to realise such lows aren't many to begin with and also, how these days taught us a few lessons. These are the lessons that we haven't forgotten, rather have become pillars of our personality today.

It is time, in my view, to embrace pain - probably, not seek it, but accept it for sure. There is no one who is living, or has ever lived a pain-free life. Pain comes to one & all - it is up to each individual - to take something productive from it, or become a whiner!

Wednesday 10 September 2014

My Shortcomings

I know I break your heart at times
can be selfish & inconsiderate too

I know I act as an ass at times
can be overbearing & immature too

I know I am unloving at times
Can be detached and unfriendly too

I know I become over-demanding at times
Can be rude & pushy too

Do you know I understand my shortcomings
Can be better, trying to imporve too

Do you know I can get hurt as well
Can I, at times, show my emotions too

Do you know there is just one life
Can we not just hug & settle our differences too

Sunday 7 September 2014

Relationships are not easy - work on them - Communicate!

It is no suspense that relationships aren't easy! No relationship is perfect, because no individual is perfect. The difficulty is in trying to understand 'why' and 'how to work together in order to improve things / situations'.

Another simple fact is - men & women are different...almost in every bit possible. From the base thought of a relationship to daily life's activities, from dreams & expectations to frustrations & anger, from managing & working towards the common goal to managing the 'walking away'. Some of these differences are the starting point of a relationship and bring spice in life...while some of these become reasons for ending of a relationship, after some amount of hurt & pain.

It is quite understandable - proximity breeds familiarity and familiarity breeds contempt. In the words of Mr. Billy Joel: "the closer you get to the fire, the more you get burned". 

However, one must remember, burning a bit is only but natural in any relationship. It is just a matter of knowing, whether you would rather burn in the company of one particular person or with multiple...or may be alone.

With everything that goes on in our lives, on a daily basis, the pressures of working, commuting, relationships (of all kinds) - we are becoming less patient. Instead of striving for peace of mind & a healthy body - we strive for quick success & gratification. All of this takes away (a lot) from our time & energy spent on maintaining relationships, which in turn puts pressure on survival of the relationship in question.

Much like any building or organization - relationships stand on some pillars. If a couple can identify their own pillars and is willing to work on them - more often than not, there will be no insurmountable difficulties faced. Some common pillars could be: love, expectations, trust, sex, communication, need, security etc. 

In this post, I would like to talk about the communication pillar. I believe this is one of the strongest pillars of a relationship and often the most neglected.

Before I start explaining my views on communication as a pillar - my base assumption here is: people involved in the relationship want the relationship to survive. Otherwise, no pillar would work anyway!

In any situation, if a couple is willing to work together - communication is the only ingredient required. No matter how bad things look (or are) - two people who can sit and talk, can find their solutions. Problems are often due to unsaid expectations, some stupidity, some misunderstandings, some short-comings, some faults, some inconsideration...sometimes genuine and sometimes more felt than actually there. All of these only become bigger and stronger with little to no hope of rescue, without communication!

I have seen many a relationships fade out, phase out, die a natural death - just because the couple refused to share...didn't know how to talk to their significant other. How can, ever, the difficulty to communicate be bigger to overcome than the difficulty of saving a relationship? How can one person simply assume and expect the other to know exactly what is going on inside their head...especially, when it is not a 100% clear in their own mind.

There is no better & sure-shot way to show you are still inclined and interested in this relationship - than to want to work at it. Communication is the key to all these - just sit together and talk...sit together and let the other person know what's troubling you...sit together and let your heart speak...overcome all hurdles together!

I would like to end this post by quoting a great mind of 20th century, Octavio Paz:

"...in politics, as well as in private life, the surest method of resolving conflicts, however slowly, is dialogue".

Friday 5 September 2014

We are Humans...Not Perfect!

Imagine, a life...where every thing was just 0s & 1s
Imagine, a life...where emotions were decoded
Imagine, a life...where love was just an equation
Imagine, a life...where disappointment was just a system error
Imagine, a life...where there were warranties and guarantees
Imagine, a life...where we all came with a manual
Imagine, a life...that's actually simple!

Now, imagine, a life...where there were no attachments
Now, imagine, a life...where there were no surprises
Now, imagine, a life...where there were no tears of joy
Now, imagine, a life...where there were no happiness
Now, imagine, a life...where there were no smiling faces
Now, imagine, a life...that's not ours to live
Now, imagine, a life...where we are not humans!

Thursday 4 September 2014

You...Me...Our Truth

This is just for the two of us
This is not an apology
This is not a thank you note
This is the truth!

This is just for the two of us
This is where I tell you, once again
This is where I bare all, only for you
This is all there is - the truth!

This is just for the two of us
This is about how two of us are stronger when together 
This is a testament to 'us'
This is what I know as the truth!

This is just for the two of us
This is written today, but our story was written by the Supreme
This is the story that had to happen
This is not romanticising life - simply the truth!

This is just for the two of us
This is a reminder how we have overcome hurt
This is a reminder how we have shared all joy
This is a reminder - how our togetherness, is the only complete truth!

This is just for the two of us
This is just to let you see what lies beneath
This is just to brush-off dust from the obvious
This is just to put focus back on our truth!

This is just for the two of us
This is to let you know - nothing else matters
This is to let you know - no one else matters
This is to let you know - this is the truth!

This is just for the two of us
This is just to put words to feelings
This is just to try encompassing life long affection
This is all I know, this is all I feel...this is all - the truth!