somebody or something

Friday, April 1, 2016

The slight of light

As I sat up to watch the sky
With none but me to admire
The stars twinkled
The breeze tickled

The rivers of traffic dulled out
Soon the electric stream got cut out
There were the twinkles and the tree
With some rowdy suckers giving company

The trunks and twigs swayed to a tune
A tune that was slow as a hustling snail
If you blink, it is gone and lost
But my feet dance along to the rhythm unheard

The sound is loud and silent
The move is bold and invisible
The wait for the night to roll over
Give into the day reborn

Why does the breeze sway them here and there
Brings them back to the place they were at
To begin with. What cruel joke of what-ifs and
Maybes, I wonder

The lonely light pole, with no light
Stands there alone just like the other lit towers
What makes it more lonely than the other poles
Waiting for something to change and brighten.
If only it knew, the light is still there, waiting
Not outside, but within.

Here comes the moon, shining with borrowed glory
Borrowed you say. Everyone borrows,
You ignorant watcher on the terrace
If only you knew what's beyond the slight

The stars twinkled
And the breeze spelled the rest.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Experiment 5 - So, what's new?

Everything can be changed. Some things take more time than others. Like all things, the place you inhabit can also be changed. The things you do. The things you want. The things you need. Or let me put it the other way, everything changes even if you want or don't want them to change. It is only a matter of time changing the value of the things or the things themselves.

Does one live for the sake of change? Or can change be controlled? It matters not where the change came from, only what the change is. Change is good, things could get better in the view of certain parameters. Or they could go downhill. Not that downhill is a bad thing, especially when you are on a bicycle trying to reach downhill. Unless you don't know how to maneuver over the steep.

So if the change itself is not a good or bad thing, then what am I even talking about? The parameters. That's what makes or breaks thing. What are the parameters we are measuring or even aware of? There are a million parameters, but are we taking it all in when we evaluate our feelings? Nope. Only ones that have an immediate effect in our foreseeable future. In my radar.

So how do you handle the change? Stop handling it. Let the change change. And hopefully adapt, and probably evolve. Change again. Change offers opportunity to change. If you want to know more you know where to look. Yes, that's right. Now start reading the post from the beginning to understand what change is about.

OK. You have read it, and hopefully you are still with the post, then let's move on. Why do changes happen? Why do you move at the precise moment you actually did? Why do things fall apart exactly at the moment they do? Why not an instant before that? Why do things start falling into place at the exact moment they do? Why?

Well. Us humans, we are great exponents of the art that is hindsight. Mind you, hindsight is an important tool in the science of deduction and helps build foresight and predictability to systems. But it is all too very easy to take the superficial parameters to make sense of a situation and ignore possibly game-changing parameters. It is easy to wrap it in our heads. Captain Hindsight.

Delving into the hindsight of things proves useful when we try to correct something, not to find a reason of why it happened. When the purpose is education, it serves a great deal. Other purposes have not been helpful, if not damaging. So why do changes happen? Because they do. Find out the reasons only if you wish to learn something. For reasons other than education, I wish you the best, because you will need it. Sometimes you may find yourself, sometimes you might find what you are looking for (Eg: A sense of justification).

So, what's new with you?

P.S: The "author", i.e me, is getting used to changes. So time for him to change. Feel free to amend my "theory" if you feel so.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Experiment 4 - A theory in uncertainty (Part 1/2)


An argument. The world around us tends to supply us an increasing amount of Uncertainty. The things we do, from practicing a "good" diet, a particular academic qualification, the slurred "r"s in your pronunciation, cultivating a fashion sense, or innate "altruism". These steps are taken as measures against this uncertainty. To get control over certain aspects of life. The insurance premiums that we pay, the homes we build, the perfume we wear. All aimed to get a certainty over uncertainty.

In short, one can presume that uncertainty scares us. Some believe that uncertainty can harm, so not taking adequate measures is madness. Some believe it is a part of life, and try living with it.

Science gives us a methodology to counter uncertainty, by understanding its nature and hence using it for some purposeful existence. Religion has its own way of interpreting it, leading to faith and belief. Philosophy aims at reaching an absolute "truth" that is irrevocably certain. Perhaps different means to the same end?

This causes a wave of cackle and shock aimed at me, for comparing the three in the same vein. At this I request you to listen first, not believe. Science has its own sets of priests to call "blasphemy" at anyone who suggests anything vaguely opposing the base principles of Science. Religion has always drawn flak for the "call" methodology employed by its disciples. But at least, my head is still on my shoulders, so thank you Science.

There is an innate need for us to feel certain or try to achieve certainty. Even though we sure do know that there are factors that cannot be certain. It can be drawn that, "nature" or "whatever" that is around us, is pushing Uncertainty to us. So why do we fight this force that is the most ubiquitous (I venture to say). This need is what we call "pidippu" in Tamil. Something to hold onto. Grasp.

Where does the "pidippu" come in all of us? I wondered. Why do we feel the need "to need"? I took a wild shot. Survival. The animal instinct. Something that is base. Something that is common between a human infant and a bacteriophage, a sewer rat and a mountain lynx. It brought upon another thought. Is this really the "noble" cause that everyone is working towards? Doesn't sound noble to me. It is the base instinct encoded in our genome. Everyone has it. Some realize, others do not.

At times this "pidippu" becomes the only thing that enables people to do things they need to. Motivation. Without it, there is no more "you" or "me". The need consumes the person so much so that you are your need. And without a need, you are nobody.

This is a thought in progress. Thank you for the patience if you have got to this line. More on this soon.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Christmas tryst

So there I was. Standing alone on the rink of the balcony. Squinting into the horizon filled with the hot and happening of Mumbai. Exaggeration? Only a little. There were bright lights and enough noise to fill a cup. Lots of people walking by, looking, buying and selfieing. And I was watching them do those things. A few moments pass like that. I got a tap on the shoulder from a random dude. I responded. He pointed to the ground. There was a folded up currency note. I bent down to get a closer look. It said 1000 Rupees.

Random dude - "Is that yours?"
Me - "No, I don't think so." *Picking up the note*
Random dude - "Really? Are you sure?"
Me - "No, I don't think so." *Handing the note back*

Random dude points me in the direction of a staircase. On the top, there is another random dude. Holding his phone up, pointing towards my direction.

Random dude - "You were part of a social experiment. You were honest! Congratulations."
Me - "Ok. Nice"

I smiled and waved to the camera. Then I went back to my people watching business. Looks like I am a pretty decent human being after all. Honest and all. My mom was right all along, I AM special. This is proof. You know, that warm fuzzy feeling. Like hot tomato soup with pieces of toast.

But as usual, my mind did a back track, and what I realized gave me a bit of sweet shock. Here is the revisited version.

So there I was. At the Palladium mall in Mumbai. Christmas time and I hadn't had any bakery products. The first patisserie I chanced upon, I barged in. Shooed away the girls ogling the shelves and placed my order. One Belgian Chocolate cupcake. For immediate consumption. Paid for it. Got the cup cake. Hovered around for a vacant spot on the balcony rink. There was lots of space. I was looking at the people standing below. Slowly opening up the wrapper around the cupcake.

Then I get a tap on the shoulder from a guy. My impulse was to respond and resume ASAP. The Random dude pointed out to the ground. There was a currency note. All folded up and scrunched.

I didn't care. I had a cupcake in my hand that needed my immediate attention. Besides I had just emptied my purse at the counter.

Me - "No, I don't think so". Carefully balancing the cupcake in one hand, picked up the note.
Random dude asks again - "Really? Are you sure?"
Me - "No, I don't think so". Let's get a move on. Please. Just take the note and go. Even if it is not yours. Cup. Cake.

Random dude points me in the direction of a staircase. Now what? I have to turn? On the top, there is another random dude.

I understood the situation. I had just shown someone honesty. Inadvertently. Just smile and wave. Act natural. Smile. Wave. Cupcake.

Smiled, waved and cupcake! I didn't bother asking any details. Just turned and stuffed my face into the creamy, chocolatey goodness of the Belgian people. Sweet Baby Jesus, that hit the spot!

If anyone happens to see my honesty chops in action, I blame it on the Belgian Chocolate cupcake. A little bit me, but mostly the cupcake.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.

Note to self: Never make conversations with a cupcake in hand.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Experiment 3 - The nightmare at 3:15

"What gets you to sleep at night?", somebody asked. I remember the first time I was asked that. That was a long time ago. But I am not ready to answer that. What wakes me up is more answerable.

A couple of months back I changed a couple of things in my bedroom. Then I started having a cluster of bad dreams. When I was discussing this with my boss, he suggested that the direction could have an effect on your brain activity and sleep cycles. So I was curious to find out more.

So I did some research. Does direction impact the nature of dreams? Are dreams supposed to wake you up from your sleep? Can you focus your mind to dream the kind you want? This is my experiment with sleep and how seemingly unrelated/related things affect the nature of dreams/nightmares. Below are a few of my observations.

Direction - West to East
Tiredness - Very tired. 4-5 kms jog/cycle around 9-10 PM
Sleep start - Around 12:30 AM - 1 AM
Rituals - Brush teeth, under sheets
  1. Cycling along the side of a cliff and suddenly losing control and falling off it. Then I wake up from the fall
  2. Jobless, totally broke. Everything I have is obsolete followed by cacophonic laughter from nowhere. Then I wake up
  3. Slowly drowning by hanging upside down into a pool of water. Then I wake up gasping and looking around
  4. Accidental pipe leak on the runway just when the jet is about to take off from the point. I am at the ground trying to fix it. The time is running out, the jet is getting closer. Then I wake up.
  5. Lost my legs, both of them, a blast perhaps. Had to amputate. Now couldn't walk, or do anything without help. Then I wake up with a cold sweat
  6. Beating a friend to a pulp thinking him to be an impostor, but he is not. Left how it could have happened, trying to make sense. Then I wake up
  7. I killed someone in the past and I cannot get over it. If I agree to it, I cannot live peacefully. If I don't get jailed, I cannot be who I am. Guilt wrecks the mind. Then I wake up
  8. Feeling that someone is watching me sleep, but obviously nobody. But then again I should just check. Then I wake up
All these dreams happen around 2-3:30 AM. Then I wake up. More often I remember seeing the time as around 3:15 AM on my phone. Then I sleep again, the tired kind of sleep where I don't remember anything.

Direction - East to West
Tiredness - Very tired. 4-5 kms jog/cycle around 9-10 PM
Sleep start - Around 12:30 AM - 1 AM
Rituals - Brush teeth, under sheets

No clues of any dreams. Pleasant or unpleasant, none of them were potent enough to disturb my sleep and wake me up.

My observations are inconclusive. Is it my subconscious mind fighting the battles my conscious mind doesn't want to? But why is the direction affecting it? There are a few more patterns to try out before attempting an explanation. This could just be a whim waiting to be brushed off. Or is it? Intriguing. This experiment is far from over.

So now, I ask you, my reader, a borrowed question. What keeps you up at night?

P.S: Some disturbances and interferences have been there, but ignoring that sort.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The problem with getting used to

Once upon a time I couldn't stand sitting in a car. Literally speaking, that's still true. But that is not what I meant. I used it figuratively. The closed doors. The unnecessarily muffled sounds. The used up air. Ugh. It made me sick. Never able to be in the car without all windows down. A/C? What A/C? I am struggling to breathe and you need A/C? Get out of the car! But I am getting too ahead of myself as most of the time it was "Let me out, just let me out!!".

Motorcycles. Ah, now that's more like it. Wind on my face. Arms flailing about any which way. Hair bike styled, standing there, with the dust, browning from the sun. Raising my perceived height by a few inches (or so a friend proclaimed after finding I was taller than her). Face parched from the lack of moisture. And yes, there were bugs. The first rain drops of the monsoon drenching everything but the steaming silencer. Twisting and turning in every nook. Stop where you wanted. Park wherever.

Now. In the car, I can hear myself think while driving. I can hear ear-busting music while driving. I can sing and shout at the top of my lungs! All that without the worry of consuming a new species of buzzing arthropods every time my buccal cavity is exposed. Significant reduction in chances of physical harm. And it has space. Think of all the things that can be done in that space. Yes, it curves, it purrs, it rages. Spoiling me. A few things amiss, Hair lost its stand, it just lazes around above the brow. The tan slowly fading away. Waiting in traffic! Damn high beams!!

Again, motorcycles. This time. They have 6 gears in a bike. WTH! KTM Duke 390. Whattay bike. The roaring blare of the engine. The pull back of the throttle. Wow! It scared the shit out of me. This felt like riding a cheetah through a jungle of puddles and bushes. Alas, it was only a test drive. Night driving took the fear to a whole new level. Could barely see anything in front of me, let alone the guy who just jumped out of nowhere to cross the road! Brake, please. I hit the break and it stops, where is the seat belt on this thing?? I forgot you can bend it around the obstacle. "Be like water" as Bruce said. I think he meant it for bikes. The rush blunted the chilly gust of Physics. Blindly curving hoping there would be no potholes.

The problem with getting used to is, it will also be gotten used to, and so forth.

P.S: It was Hero Honda CD 100 passed on to from my cousin to my dad to me, and now she rests with the mechanic, the only person who could service her needs. Forgive any exaggerations.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Experiment - 2: Give up or

Always wonder what makes one hold on to things. People. Places. How difficult it is to let that last morsel of adhesive, hinged by an inch. The joint is the only thing that keeps you together. Or so it makes you feel like, at least at that time.

If it comes undone, will it throw you overboard? Things haywire. Messed up. Everything going whichever way. The incoming currents leaks up way too faster than your hands can do to chuck it out. The rocks. The winds. Everything looks like it is out there to get you. And sure as hell, they greet you with their wicked grins. All you want to do is look for something to hold on to. Grab. Gnaw. Scratch. And when it gets calmer, you wonder, is that really going to save you? Then at the slightest shudder, hold on tighter. Run, looking for cover, for the next cooling zone. Wait until you can move to the next. Do you feel tired? Yes, you always feel tired. Tired of what is about to come, what is coming and what has gone past. Look for a poison, taking prescribed amounts just so that the silence gets less deafening.

Or... will it liberate you? Opening you to the world you don't know of. Things much clearer than they used to be. Pits you don't want, get filtered out at the top, leaving only an amalgam of rapturous emotions, to drown you. You float under the sun. Catching it with whoever cares to share. Moving, but unmoving. The sunlight doesn't blind you. Neither does the thunder rumble within you. There is only the search. No, not for an answer, the answer lies in the search itself. Run as fast you can. With no destination. Stop when you are tired, take in the high. Nothing to look for, there is no wait, because most of the things are now. Some things are going to be. You don't have to wait for anything. Everything you need is right there for your taking.

How long do we try not to give up? How long do we wait till letting go?

To complete the title, do you give up on something or do you let go of something? Some decide to give up, some to let go. Only time knows the entirety. Choice.