5 Jun 2012

I am tired

I do not want to live in a country where what a person is, is more important than who he is.I don't want to live in a family where I am an afterthought, where 3+1 is the norm.I do not want a father who is a man of vast power but little time.I do not want to live in a family where my worth is measured in only how well I perform academically, where appearances must be kept up at all times and rules can be bent for the figurehead but for no one else.I do not want to live in a family which is fond of hiding their head in the sand and subject like divorce and affairs are a big no-no.You know my medical condition, yet you never tried to look it up online, never bothered to find out the effects of my condition.Serious effects like depression, yet why do I wonder, I am used to you running the state, I shouldn't even be surprised. Anything that smacks of potential trouble is hidden away in the closet and your daughter comes under that category.God forbid should anyone find out she needs some therapy sessions.

Running away instead of making a scene is seen as bad but making a scene is also bad.Im tired of knowing people only see my sirname when they see me, tired of being introduced as my father's daughter.

I never needed your money or your power behind me, I could stand on my feet.I only needed time and understanding.Affection was far out of my dreams.I never wanted to be your obligation because in the society's eyes I was born in your home.This house is no longer mine, if it ever was.I can no longer please you with my thoughts, yet I cannot banish them for to do that would be to deny myself.Everything I say or do is a rebellion in your eyes.So be it.I can remove myself from your sphere, I know the other child will provide all the succor you need.

My heart is an emotional wasteland, nothing grows here any more.The plants have all withered away and the shrieking winds seem to shear the barren rocks. The skies are perpetually grey and churning.The rain always on the horizon.......

8 Mar 2012

Haul from Daryaganj

I really need to take some pictures of Daryaganj when I go there next time.Mere words cannot capture the essence of that market! My brother and I had set out for the world book fair being held in Delhi but decided to go to Daryaganj instead (long story!)
So here is what I bought:

Ever have the feeling you are missing out on a lot of reading, that even though you read almost one book a day, there are simply millions that you are not? I get it everytime I visit Daryaganj. The sheer volume of books that pass through that place is huge!!

30 Jan 2012

Is there Strength in Unity?



In an era of liberation and equality, it is not to be wondered that everyone wants to be recognised as an individual and not merely as extensions of their families or work place.There is nothing wrong in it, after all a person is not merely the sum of all the things that make up his family, he may not have certain characteristics that they do, or possess some that they do not.He is then just a small tile making up a big mosaic, and his identity, while fitting in with that of his family, is still unique.

However in a large number of cultures this individuality is not recognised and a person is first seen as an extension of the family.Anthropologically speaking, such seems to be the case in the societies that have existed for longer periods of time. In such societies, the primary characteristic seems to be its focus on group interactions through the recognition of family and caste or tribes.This is quite understandable.Most of these societies came into existence when man was fighting nature for his very survival and banding together to supplement resources meant better chances.Thus the worth of a group of people was far greater than that of a single person.Even in the great epic Mahabharat (Written in an age when man was civilised and far better at survival) when the Duryodhan is offered a choice between an entire army and Krishna, he opts for the army, thinking that numbers meant strength.

Due to their coming into existence during the ages when unity dictated the very survival of the tribe, these societies became group-centric, however while certain races like the saxons have moved on and developed a system of recognising individual worth, a large number still persist in considering a person only as a member of a group and in terms of their contribution to the group to which they belong.

This however has started to conflict with the modern sense of individuality and can be seen as a prominent factor in most households where children posess a different mindset to that of their more community minded parents.One such common example is that of the involvement of Indian parents in their childrens love life, (being 40% higher than any other community in the world, is now becoming undesirable.
It is not uncommon to find parents and children at opposite ends of the spectrum regarding an issue, any issue.The child may even disagree just to disagree because it means having a different opinion and that in some form is an affirmation of his individual thinking.We all have at one point or another chafed at the way we are simply expected to fall in with our elder's wishes or concur with their opinions.A good example of instances when this is detrimental is the election procedure where young adults simply vote for a party that their father votes for out of some misplaced sense of duty.Election is a serious business and the choice should be made after serious consideration of ideology and manifesto.Similarly parents caution their kids to do or not do certain things and while thats a good thing, some things are meant to be experienced.Let the kids make mistakes and learn.While their desire to protect the child is laudable, it inhibits the child's understanding.They should be made aware of the good and the bad but left to make their own decisions, rather than expected to fall in with their parent's dictates.

Group dynamics, while an ancient social force are some of the most ephemeral and substantive things in a person's life.While they were essential in the old ages, civilization has brought to fore the importance of individual person, after all, what is life if not an expression of self in a quest to be remembered after we are gone? Therefore a suitable balance has to be found for between the old and the new and while the old order changeth, yielding place to new, it need not become redundant.Wisdom of the ages should not be discarded  to the whim of the youth but used as is a carefully tended reference book in the hallowed halls of a library, to be brought out when in need of guidence.


The truth about life


                    
So  back again are we? He he he.What I thought of writing here today, came to me suddenly.  I was walking down a residential lane in Delhi with my friend today. You know the kind, where the gardens are well tended, the cars washed and where drivers stand waiting for their employers to be driven to the office everyday.The night was pleasantly humid, the chirp of the crickets music in my ears, and the ice cream in my hands just melting enough to make me go at it quickly. Life was good alright…Then we chanced upon this little patch of grass smack dab in the middle of which were a couple of swings. My friend and I looked at each other and back again and then sprinted to those forgotten joys from childhood.Sitting on it, I thought, yes my life was good when I was walking a few minutes back, but now, now it was perfect.And the thought came unbidden, that I had forgotten what innocent pleasure was, instead believing that attaining a status, making a name for myself and being independent was the pinnacle of joy, but the poets are right when they say that you don’t know what joy is unfettered by the chains of the adult world. That it is the prerogative of a child, a being so innocent that there isn’t anything but the sheer joy of living.The innocence seems to add a rosy hue of dreams, open minds and the simple enjoyment derived from a life that has no cares, yet. The moment you feel the swing reach its highest point, you feel invincible, like you could take wings and fly away, leaving the skin that carries the taint of worldliness behind. The sky seems nearer and the problems that weigh you down feel miles away as if they no longer matter and that life has to mean more than that. The kick that you aim at the ground seems to target all those things that try to ground you, the people, the worries, and the little everyday irritations, all seem so far away.Doctors could easily explain away the fact by using grand sounding words like endorphins and adrenaline but I think it’s just a simple word. Regression.I think in a setting like that of a playground, we unleash the child held so tightly within us that even we forget that it is there.But its good to let that child out sometimes and run crazy and barefoot in the park, laugh like a loon at something that has no meaning, simply because you have company to laugh with, or do something outrageous like drink coffee with your friends in CCD with loud slurpy sounds…Life is about living and buried in our humdrum little routines, we forget what it is to feel that exhilaration and the rush of happiness .So, take back your life from whatever closet you have relegated it to, claim it back from the dumpster you threw it in and live it like it was meant to lived. That is what childhood tells us, that life is meant to be lived, yet we forget the first lesson taught us (and so much more pleasantly than it teaches other lessons!). Doesn’t that make children wiser than CEOs?
Yes, the child is truly the father of man.

This Age of Anonymity


Yahoo! messenger the great pioneer of its kind….wow. We all have an account. And use it for our own perverted pleasures. But have we thought, stopped and really thought about its real purpose? To connect the masses.
Well I used it for the same purpose u did. To find so called true love. lol. I even carried it further and baptized my self something.truluv. What a joke that turned out to be when I met someone special and lost him through my own fault. Why? because I was lying. About my looks and profession. But the rest was all me. My words, my deeds and my feelings. So was it really so wrong? As usual we traded our pictures trying to prove we are a girl and a boy. Who actually has their real pictures there anyway. And can you really blame them? With all the bots and spams you’d be crazy to share them indiscriminately. But what began as joke turned around and bit me in the ass 3 days later. As I fell for the guy I was talking to. The question was how to tell him that this persona I had draped over me was all hot air and moon beams. I tried to let him go. I really did. I swear to you I thought that he would be better off not knowing about my deception ,knowing he had said he loved me and I would be breaking his heart.  And mine.
And trust me I tried. Told him we should break off our friendship. That I would never feel anything more than friendship for him. As I saw his heart break I saw mine stop. He accepted my decision. But came back roaring to know why we couldn’t meet, even as friends. God forgive me, I told him.  And saw, felt his heart quietly shatter into a million pieces. And mine that had stopped, died.
So this was to be my punishment. The penance I would do for deceiving a true person. But why should we decieve ?is it necessity?a friend and I discussed the reason we are so comfortable talking about ourselves on the net. We leave reality behind us. It gives us a chance to be ourselves. Even if it’s just a change of name.Escapism? Or something deeper? It seems simply that people want to be reassured that they are alive, even if by virtual contact.
It is our ultra ego. The one we want to be but can’t be. Then would being this person be lying? Or would it be actually displaying our real selves as we never could do in the real world, knowing the limits and restriction put on us by the very society we live in.There is a certain truth in that too.
(And here we come to an important question : do we make the society or does it make us? but this is a question that demands another post all its own.)
The question is also undoubtedly moral, are we really cheating? And if yes then who? Other?Ourself? And Anthropological, wouldn’t it be better if there was one place where we could be ourselves? Certainly it would be good for us to have an outlet to purge some negative emotions (or those that could be perceived negative by others). So then is it wrong? I am not trying to justify what I had done but yes I can now face myself in the mirror and admit that I was wrong but maybe at a totally different level.

Net has now evolved as the “in” way to meet people but at what cost to us? We lie more, we cheat more, we waste time and end up disppointing or disillusioned. So then where is the middle ground?
We arrived at the conclusion that satisfied us both. It is alright as long as you are not hurting anybody but immensely wrong if pain results as a result of your action. We had reached where we all stand sub-consciously anyway. Because no one wants to willingly hurt people. Then why does it happen that we do?

It  isn’t people that hurt other people. It’s just some thoughtless decisions they make for the sake of simplicity, for the sake of appearances, for the  simple fact that they didn’t think. So let us start thinking, and taking conscious decisions before we end up hurt, or more importantly, hurt someone else.

Friendship Fribbles


You know, I always thought that friendship was never dependent on outside influences. But then I recently had my mind changed for me when I saw that it is in fact the very opposite.
Have you ever been in a group where two people end up seeing each other and which leaves the group on the fringe and brings in a difference in the texture of the fabric of friendship? Or been one those friends side lined because one of the partners did not want to involve you and therefore your friend also decided that you held no importance to them anymore?
What brought this thought to mind was the observation that my relationship with a really good friend was suffering because my relationship with his girlfriend was not as it used to be.
So what really brought on the change?? I got thinking, is it me and my habit of distancing myself from people when I’m not comfortable around them anymore, or was it something more? Is it necessary that it is either’s fault? The questions pinged on my mind one after another, like the bees flying homing in on the one threat that they perceive to their hive.
I wanted to examine this change in my life. Rip it apart and conduct an autopsy. Like any other time I wanted to blame myself but then I decided that for once I did not want to see my self as the guilty party simply because I refused to let myself be hurt anymore and took steps to prevent such an occurrence. After all I believe that one can plead self-defense in matters of life and death.
And so began my journey of revelations.
I reached two conclusions: that a romantic relationship between an older woman and a younger man, causes an age anxiety in the woman and a deference complex in the man.
And that every human wears a mask at all times but this not a mask to deceive people, it is just a fa├žade to protect the heart that is easily bruised. The tenderer is the heart, the harsher the mask. The world has already taught the value of not displaying weakness to its citizens well.
This then was the source of all my angst. My friend bowing to his woman was as natural a thing as possible, to him, just as my withdrawing to avoid hurt was equally natural to me. So was this then the meeting of the rock and a hard place? Why do we assume that simply because we are in a close relationship we cannot have friends independent of each other’s social circle? It is extremely common to find such couples constantly deferring to each other’s personalities and if it’s the kind of a couple with an older woman, god forbid lest the guy do something not pleasing to his woman! One can almost see the bow being made as he acquiesces to her wishes. Losing one’s identity seems an obvious result, which is ironical because that’s what attracted their partner to them in the first place (at least it is to be hoped that it did!) one can argue this all they want, call it adjustment or getting to know each other, but the truth as seems to me is the simple fact that we are afraid that if we don’t comply with our loved one’s wishes they would leave us. So does that justify people leaving old friends for their newer interests?
I do not know, maybe to the person in such a situation, it is justified but ask the friends who have been put in a similar position of having become redundant.I do not know if things will ever get back to the way they were between me and my friend but I do know that I do not want to be friends with someone whose relationship with me depends on my relationship with his girlfriend.
It is a painful reality to lose one friend but to lose another solely by proxy, and to find no reason is agony still. I wonder if the feeling of inadequacy ever completely leaves us.
So why is it that the more important a relationship is, the more prone it is to outside influences?? Funny question that…

Our great life......or is it??


Is it a paradox that what we value most in our life is what we are moving away from slowly and steadily or is it one of life’s ironies that life forces on us to acknowledge its superiority?
Lets take a look:
We have larger houses(after all we r “civilized”.only savages lived in mud houses) but our families have shrunk.from joint families to nuclear and now microbial?its a common sight to have a lone parent bring up a child.
we believe in surrounding ourself with conveniences, but have less time to enjoy them…when was the last time you listened to ur favourite song on that new ipod?
we collect degrees,yet give away our common sense.we wander in search of knowledge and yet lose our good judgement.
the world has more experts, yet the number of problems is on the rise…
we have more medicines, more cures yet less wellness.we spend recklessly,drive fast,get angry quickly (i know this is the age of jet propulsion but seriously!!!)
we laugh to little,stay up too late, and pray too seldom.
We look to multiply our possessions but in the process reduce our values.we talk too much, listen less, love too little and lie all too often.
We have learned how to make a living, but not how to live, we’ve added years to life and forgotten to added life to those years.
We have taller buildings(and even taller egos) but shorter tempers…
wider roads, and narrower viewpoints.We spend more and still have less,we buy more but yet enjoy it less.We have been all the way to the moon and we have trouble crossing the street to meet our neighbours.funny.
We have conquered outer space but what about inner space?
We split the atom, yet our prejudices remain as solid as ever.
We write more and learn less,plan more accomplish even lesser.We have learnt to rush, yet we never seem to get anywhere.We have higher incomes, yet lower morals.
We built more computers, more machines to help us, yet have less communication.We are long on quantity yet less in quality.
These are the times of fast food and slow digestion,tall men and short characters.More leisure but less fun, more variety of food but less nutrition,2 incomes and more divorce, fancier houses but broken homes.
Ever stop to think why? the why is not important. What is important is what are we going to do about it ???
So i say, don’t keep anything for an occasion because everyday you live IS a special occasion.Thirst for knowledge, read more, take time to smell the flowers, walk in the rain,admire the sunrise(for the larks!) and the sunset(for the owls!)
Spend more time with family(use ur mobiles for the right reasons- finally!!) ,eat your favourite foods, visit the places you love.Use your best china, don’t save on ur best perfume, use it everytime you feel you want it.
LIFE IS A CHAIN OF MOMENTS OF ENJOYMENT.

To the nice guys of the world...


This is a tribute to all you nice guys.

The nice guys that finish last, that never become more than friends, that endure hours of whining and bitching about what assholes guys are, while disproving the very point. This is dedicated to those guys who always provide a shoulder to lean on but restrain themselves to tentative hugs, those guys who hold open doors and give reassuring pats on the back and sit patiently outside the changing room at department stores.
This is in honor of the guys that obligingly reiterate how cute/beautiful/smart/funny/sexy their female friends are at the appropriate moment, because they know most girls need that litany of support. This is in honor of the guys with open minds, with laid-back attitudes, with honest concern. This is in honor of the guys who respect a girl’s every facet, from her privacy to her theology to her clothing style.
This is for the guys who escort their drunk, bewildered female friends back from parties and never take advantage once they’re at her door, for the guys who accompany girls to bars as buffers against the rest of the creepy male population, for the guys who know a girl is fishing for compliments but give them out anyway, for the guys who always play by the rules in a game where the rules favor cheaters, for the guys who are accredited as boyfriend material but somehow don’t end up being boyfriends, for all the nice guys who are overlooked, underestimated, and unappreciated, for all the nice guys who are manipulated, misled, and unjustly abandoned, this is for you.
This is for that time she left 40 urgent messages on your cell phone, and when you called her back, she spent three hours painstakingly dissecting two sentences her boyfriend said to her over dinner. And even though you thought her boyfriend was a chump and a jerk, you assured her that it was all ok and she shouldn’t worry about it.
This is for that time she interrupted the best scoring spree you’d ever
orchestrated in a good game of tennis to rant about a rumor that romantically linked her and the guy she thinks is the most repulsive person in the world. And even though you thought it was immature and you had nothing against the guy, you paused the game for two hours and helped her concoct a counter-rumor to spread around the floor. This is also for that time she didn’t have a date, so after numerous vows that there was nothing “serious” between the two of you, she dragged you to a party where you knew nobody, the beer was awful, and she flirted shamelessly with you, justifying each fit of reckless teasing by announcing to everyone: “oh, but we’re just friends!” And even though you were invited purely as a symbolic warm body for her ego, you went anyways. Because you’re nice like that!
I know now for a fact that nice guys don’t often get credit where credit is due. And perhaps more disturbing, is the fact that women are just plain illogical when it comes to nice guys!
Many of them claim they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a specimen, they say irrational, confusing things such as “oh, he’s too nice to date” or “he would be a good boyfriend but he’s not for me” or “he already puts up with so much from me, I couldn’t possibly ask him out!” or the most frustrating of all: “no, it would ruin our friendship.” Yet, they continue to lament the lack of datable men in the world, and they expect their too-nice-to-date male friends to sympathize and apologize for the men that are jerks.
Sorry, guys, girls like that are beyond my ability to fathom. I can’t figure out why the connection breaks down between what they say (I want a nice guy!) and what they do (I’m going to sleep with this complete ass now!). But one thing I can do, is say that the nice-guy-finishes-last phenomenon doesn’t last forever. There are definitely many girls who grow out of that train of thought and realize they should be dating the nice guys, not taking them for granted. The tricky part is finding those girls, and even trickier, finding the ones that are single.
So, until those girls are found, I propose a toast to all you nice guys. You know who you are, and I know you’re sick of hearing yourself described as ubiquitously nice. But the truth of the matter is, the world needs your patience in the department store, your holding open of doors, your party escorting services, and your propensity to be a sucker for a pretty smile. For all the crazy, inane, absurd things you tolerate, for all the situations where you are the faceless, nameless hero, my accolades, my acknowledgement, and my gratitude go out to you. Boy, you sure do have credibility in society, and your well deserved vindication (reward??) is coming.