Tuesday, June 22, 2021

3444 : Two sides of a story

She thinks he needs to pay alimony. A few million rupees per year. She also thinks, he should be an active father to their son.

He believes he had already paid an enormous price for over 5 years in the divorce's process. The additional alimony seems unfair. "Does she not have a job? Why does she need me to pay her an upkeep?". Is being away from the son, not a punishment itself?

She knows he got away easily. She could have asked for the house too. All she has asked for some monies for the kid and his education.

He feels he is paying blood money, to buy his rightful freedom. He hates the bindings. He detests her. 

She is looking forward to a life of slowly building and repairing her wings. She does not want him around, but will tolerate him for the son.

He is already building a Tinder profile. He does not like her; she brings the worst out in him, he will stay away from the son, to be away from her.

She hopes to fly again. He wishes for freedom.

Is it a wonder they split?


3443 : Do as I say, not as I do

She brought us up single-handedly. Sister and I always looked up to her. We saw her cook, teach, clean, repair, monitor contractors, build a house, fight off men, and even light the pyre of our dead. She could pray in the tone of suprabhatam, or she would some days be dancing in the dark. 

My sister studied in an excellent school, was way brighter than me. She also had a deep desire to make this world a better place. Eventually, after a gruelling study set, and an equally depleting masters degree, she choose to work in the petroleum sector - she wanted to help rigs turn green. 

When my sister announced to both of us, that she was going to be on rigs for a good quarter at a time, She, who brought us up, asked my sister, in chaste Tamil, "Did you have to choose these jobs meant for a man? Could you have not chosen to bank or an equivalent desk job?"


3442 : The passer by

I was speaking to a friend, who brought up this story - what if the world is a simulation. To an atheist like me, it is not just a possibility, its dancing in the clues.

So my friend is influenced by Elon. I am influenced by my view of the world. Even if it is nota simulation, it's becoming akin to a skin on the snake.

What we see of the world is just a fraction of what we can comprehend. That's a function of society. What we dont see in the world, is a fraction of what we cannot comprehend. That's a function of physics. 

Let's stick to society. Our world is to get dimmer and dimmer with the technology we have built around it. Social networks amplify our biases. The governments create biases. Godmen sell nuisance. God itself is fleeting into oblivion. The games we play have no concrete meaning, yet we play them, because we do believe that it is the only game in town.

If the Buddha extolled us to lay bare the layers, our minds on the other hands are miles deep into rabbit holes. 

Does this feel like a simulation? Does this feel like a glitch in our time-space? Does it feel like we don't belong? Am I the only one who looks up at the sky and wonders - what are the other trillion trillion stars up to today?

Monday, June 21, 2021

3441 : Rocket with blast velocity

Every day, I see you grow up a bit more. I am happy that you have a future. And hope. And a belief.

I know acutely that I might be on a reverse countdown. Like a rocket. Steady, simple and counting down. 

All roads to the future. So says the maps app. I have been typing in the search box "1999 January" far too often. Of course my search history is confusing it. Someone back in the team is wondering which part of the earth did they miss out?

As they ponder, time continues its march. Every day, I see you grow up a bit more.

3440 : Tired

I feel very tired today. Too much on my plate, too much on my mind. I should disconnect for some days. Possibly.

The fear I carry is - my fate will still await me. On the other side of my break, I mean.

So much human effort goes into doing nothing. Spinning your wheels on a treadmill. 

3 disconnected sentences. Thats the state of my mind.


Sunday, June 20, 2021

3439 : Controversial

On certain days, the controversies of my life deeply bother me.

I am not good at letting go of topics - till I find the answers. That's the dangerous combination with "controversies".


3438 : Rowdy Baby from Maari 2

There is nothing to dislike in this song. A complete foot stomper of a number.

The more you listen though - you realise it has some really fine elements of harmony built into it. And like jazz, it moves through scales effortlessly.

Listen and be enthralled. I dont know of anyone who does not love this number.





3437 : Khudkhushi

My discovery (song) for this week is Khudkhushi from Yaara. What a composition. Focus on the lyrics.




3436 : What happens at the movies.....

They stole our memories at the movies - Orhan Pamuk



3434 : What a number.....

 Thats the post number :-)

3435 : Listening to Rajan Sajan Mishra singing Hamsadhwani

A song I have heard so many times before. Bliss.



3433 : Crazy

In a sky full of people, where only some want to fly......

From Seal's Crazy.

3432 : What is immortality ?

 What is poetry to me? Poetry is a delightful play of words. We could call it prose, if that suits us.

Is it nothing more than a play of words? It also conveys an idea, in a neat insightful manner. A la koan.

Is it just an insight and the games it plays in your mind? No, its also about the beauty that is built into the narrative. The beauty from an intense experience - be it love, pain, anger or even disgust.

So its about strong emotions? Not just that. A poetry by its very nature is reacting to the world, either the world around us, or our very own internal world. So this magic is also also about how we interact and absorb the world around.

As we immerse the world in, we truly - each in our own way, try and live better. With more empathy. From our own contexts.

Everyday, it makes me realize that there is so much beauty and experience in the world around us. Poetry makes me want to be immortal. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

3431 : Vidya Vox

My recent find in music has been Vidya Vox.

If my daughter ever sings like this - I shall be such a gloat.

What talent.

I am listening to her compositions. I loved Fly Away the most.



3430 : Astell and Kern PE51

I indulged.

Bought the Astell and Kern PEE51. Its essentially a digital amplifier packed into a USB. But its not simply an amplifier, does a little more to process all elements of digital music.

I have not heard hifi music yet, but even spotify is performing like Tendulkar :-)

Easily one of the best monies I have wasted :-). The soundstage transformation is beyond impressive. Just blows the music out into the room.

Get one if you can afford it. Will make your phone sound like a stage.

My sample song was 



My earphone was/is Marshal 4090940 - I like the slightly tinny sound it produces. 




https://www.headphonezone.in/collections/astell-kern/products/astell-kern-pee51 is where I bought it from.

The song which is playing now.....(don't judge me)....also rocks the device out.


Finally closing with Dave Brubeck quartet's Take Five. The jazzy notes as groovy as they can.


Thursday, June 17, 2021

3429 : What defines me

Introspective today. Thinking what defines me. Is there something special about me?

I don't have a suitable answer. I don't have a special skill. I am generalist who is good at many things on a 7/10 scale. Am I 9.9 on anything? Not sure (unless you count Grandmaster level Suduko :-))

Generalist me :-)

This is the post.

3428 : Cancel me

I know (or fear) that one day I shall be cancelled. My past is far too contentious for a normal politically safe white space.

I have lived on the edge, and though I am not proud of it - neither am I very apologetic for it.

As an example - I was a truant child. Have I asked my parents to forgive me? A million times. I am a difficult person to be married to? Have I genuine penitence for my spouse? Of course. I have had my biases regarding class, caste and privilege. Do I feel ashamed for it? Undoubtedly.

Will one day, some woke person discover this  - and cancel me from our society?

Possible. I have seen this twice (not just once) in my life. And every time recouping from "cancel" is very hard - both on the soul and the body.

On days when I feel low or insecure about this - I tell myself - that the candle is burning from both sides. May the one who wants to win, burn faster.

3427 : Talking about a revolution

 I was listening to Tracy Chapman's Talking About a Revolution - and it occured to me, that my memory of my past - is exactly that. A revolution. 

Obviously biased. Horribly angled. And yet full of purpose and direction.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

3426 : Panchforon

I liked this song immensely.

Came in a as a recommendation from Deepthi.



3425 : The higher men

I live in a large apartment complex of around 4000 families. We share a common public road, which is home to about 50 stray dogs. 

Today, I saw one stray possibly injured - it happened before I reached there - by a bike. The bike delivery folks do drive quite fast and we have far too many blind turns in the complex. So its possibly one of them hit this dog.

There are about 50 of us walking in the complex (at any given point in time). So at least 50 of us (from the complex) and another 50-100 vehicles must have passed this bleeding dog. We/us are constantly isolating from the world - wearing our earphones et al....and in this case, we remained so....including me.

I saw two security guards hunched over this dog, applying some cream from a first aid kit and closing its wounds with a rag.

Those are the higher men amongst us.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

3424 : Mother me

I have long missed you ruffling my hair. Let me rephrase that, I don't remember how that feels like. Did you ever do that?

When I was three, I fell into a well. They thought I had fell into it. I was searching for you. Last year, my chariot crashed into a tree. They thought I was being blinded by the sun. My secret, I was looking for you. A few days ago, I walked up to a stranger and sought her blessings. She looked like you.

Ma, I have searched for you in my friends, in my sisters. On unusual days, I have searched for you in the enemy camp.

My final sunset is near. I need to tell you this - if just a few occasions in my lifetime, had I known, that you were around - watching over, today I would not be so desolate.

I have had my father's amulet constantly blessing me. Ma, with you all I have had is a name. One day, I hope you realise what missing feels like. It's akin to being at home, but always being mistaken for a stranger. 

Enough said. Goodbye, I need to blow the conch. Its end of days.

- Karna

3423 : Black is the new light

As Gandhari, I have subsumed the darkness. The light never reaches me. My eyes are now used to the black. I see a million shades in the dark.

One day, if I do open my eyes, I still don't want to see you. I never ever want to know the real you.

3422 : Reading List 2021 : #10 Life's Edge by Carl Zimmer

This is the book that got me started on Carl Zimmer and now I am hooked. Such a fabulous read. Will question your definition of what exactly is life. Absolutely go for it.

At 368 pages brings my 2021 read to 2068 pages.

If you read one book this year, it has to be this.

Images from Amazon





3421 : Came in via twitter (Woman vs Goat)

 


Monday, June 14, 2021

3420 : Bird Zen

The other day I was driving into the old city, the part where I grew up. Eventually I got lost in one of the by-lanes. Not much, drove around a few minutes and then found a familiar road again. Of course, my excuse was - things had changed.

Contrast that to birds. They fly across continents, every single year. Humans change a lot of the world around them (the birds). And yet, like a pendulum, the birds find the median in the path. 

Birds can fly over seas. Birds can cover mountains. They know their journey. The path is indeed the way. 

3419 : Reading List 2021 : #9 Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa

Susan Abulhawa is my find of 2021. Love her writing and the setting.

This book itself - mixed note. I liked the setting, the language, the intensity. Something was a bit off, not sure what.

Overall 9/10.

The other side of the Palestine conflict is what you shall read here.

Definitely read.

At 373 pages brings my 2021 read total to 1700 pages.





3418 : Reading List 2021 : #8 Rabbits with Horns and OIther Astounding Viruses by Carl Zimmer

Another short but outstanding read. 

At 22 pages brings my 2021 read to 1323.

Do read it, it will amply reward you.




3417 : Drop out

I was helping someone with their family's COVID issues. I had created a small WA group to help. As the person (patient) healed, the other members of the family signed out of the WA group, till only one remained.

I found that off. I am still part of that group. I felt I belong to that story (not in the credit's sense, but more from a human angle).

I found this very unusual. What do I make of this? Am I the one who is odd?


Sunday, June 13, 2021

3416 : Broken Poem

 He wrote a poem for her. As a tribute to what they once shared. It was a heartfelt word play. She thought the meter was broken.


Can she tell him that? Should she tell him that? Should she repair the poem? How does this play out?

3415 : What is a book?

 

“What is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?

-Alice in Wonderland”

3414 : Reading List 2021 : #7 Notes on Grief by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie

Such a fabulous read. Loved the book, totally and completely. I also wished I had such a strong connection with my parents.

Definite read. At 67 pages a small read, but will haunt you for a long time. Deals with the loss of her father.

A 10/10 read.

Brings my 2021 total reading to 1302 pages.



Images from Washington Post.

3413 : Reading List 2021 : #6 The Planet Of Virus(es) by Carl Zimmer

One of the best science books I have read in the recent years. Phew. Loved the way it pulls you in.

In summary, we are nothing but for viruses.

A great 10/10 read. 

At 128 pages brings my 2021 read to 1235 pages.



Images from Google/Amazon/Wikipedia.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

3412 : The smell of remains

Once we parked the car - I was walking her to the airport entrance. Frail, she required my support to take the steps. Slow, labored steps. 

I give her my hand, and she firmly takes my palm. Its takes us a good 15 minutes to reach the counter. Her hands never leave mine. Another 30 minutes later, is boarding time, her hands still don't leave me. 

She does not speak much. She is observing the world around her, just as if, she is a stranger in a new country. Finally, the attendant helps her on a chair and off she is ready to go.

I help her in. Touch her feet. Tell her sweet nothings. She says nothing, ruffles my hair and finally murmurs, "Kanna".

I am trudging back. Reach the car and sit in the seat. A deep sigh, this feels hard. I wont see her for a few months at least. I see some red stain on the palm of my hand. Possibly her kumkum or nail polish. 

I look at my fingers. Post a good stare, I smell them. I can smell her. 

3411 : Journey of a Joke

The more I see of Munnawar Faruqi, the more I like him. He is such an honest voice, such a fab story teller. There is so much one can learn, just about writing and storytelling.

Loved this YouTube video of his.

Have not watched it fully. So much to learn.



3410 : Petrichor

We can all smell the rain - the dance of the petrichor.

It reminds of my school days. Walking to school and back. Memories flood back. 

I let the daughter go out and get drenched. Though I have not done that in recent years.

Having to lug around a wallet and a phone (which can't get wet) is part of the reason.

3409 : Whats in a name?

I saw her waiting near the car. On the phone with someone. In the distant past, I have exchanged a few smiles and words with her. 

I can't recall her name. I can't exactly surmise the reason why I spoke to her then 

So, do I know her? Or don't? Help me decide.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

3408 : Words

I have been working on my writing (doesn't show right :-)). And for me writing is like the rest of life, the more you know, the less you know. I now know that I write like shit. I am thinking for a few seconds before I jab the sentence down. Earlier it used to be a stream of consciousness. 

Some folks are just so naturally gifted in writing. I know it's not me.


3407 : The worst is here

"You bring out the worst out in me.", she yelled at me. 

I understood her to mean that the worst of of her insecurities, the frailties and the fears. I was feeding her demon, maybe. 

There used to be a time when I would also bring out the best in the same person. I realise that the journey from best is usually a downhill slippery slope. Did not realise that we might already be bottom scraping.

This is a poem without its meter.

3406 : I am not the man I used to be.....

I am definitely not made to be a husband or a father. Its a strain. I vacillate from too much investment to too little engagement. I swing like a pendulum. I really still make an attempt to be the best version of myself. Now if a honey bear decides to be like a gentleman, does not work, right?

I am not the man I used to be....

Monday, June 07, 2021

3405 : Hum Tumse Mile from Rocky

 I have been listening to Hum Tumse Mile from Rocky.....and I noticed something fun about it.

It is more RD Burman classic that has some great harmony. It has an unusual harmonic element - instead of chorus, or chords, it has the two lead singers singing in tandem - the same lyrics, at the same time. 

A very rare construct in Bollywood Music - but its so well executed.



3404 : I am on a break

I have not worked today. Not a bit. 

Just absorbing the world around me.

Totally introspective. Unsure what my life holds and how it unfolds.


3403 : The house I see - 2

In the same house, (from the previous post), there is a young daughter. Last year (as the lockdown was easing) on Diwali Day - the girl and her beau (I assume) were in the house alone. 

And they did an elaborate photo shoot. It was mesmerizing to watch.

And wholesome too.

When you are young, you are so full of hope, and so full of happiness. And I do want that back....really do.

(And and before you think I am voyeur, I often sit alone at my window sill and I can see them some 50 metres away. And they seem ok with the stare in, since they leave all their curtains pulled back all the time.)

3402 : The house I see

From where I live I can stare right into another house.

Its the house of a couple who have a daughter who is probably in her 20s.

The couple (parents) are big time into dancing. Bollywood dancing. Every evening, they are dancing with each other (and sometimes with a coach)....fun steps and with coordination.

I have never been like this :-), but I sometimes on days, I do wish I was like this. 

3401 : We built this city

I have been driving to the hospital a few times in the past week. As I drive with the ill person, I  realsie that the roads of Bombay are a terror for anyone who has any sort of health issue - specially back or any other injury. 

The drive quite literally rattles you.

......and this is the city we built for ourselves.


Sunday, June 06, 2021

3400 : Mona Lisa was a Malyalee

I was talking to my daughter yday. We were talking about art.

And I had an epiphany. Mona Lisa was actually Lisa Mon :-)


3399 : Conundrum

Writing comes most easily to me in the morning (idea flow), but what I write at night (turns out to be the most poetic and there is an economy to it).

What I end up doing (when I can afford it), is writing in the morning, and re-edit it at night.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

3398 : Opening, Flowering, Drinking (Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones)

Fall in love again, is the only way I can describe Norah Jones. She is a blessing on this earth.

Thats all I need to say.




3397 : Hum honge kamyab (We shall overcome)

If there is one thing you must listen to this weekend, it has to be Amjad Ali Khan and Joe Walsh playing Hum Honge Kamyab.

Its just outstanding. 

Goose pimple moment.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/2PDchDtorf4Bgh1HnR9Uf2

Listen to all three songs if time permits.




Friday, June 04, 2021

3396 : Fish bowl

Enough poets have said this, but I need to say it too. You and I are in the same fish bowl. We are running out of oxygen. I will let you float to the surface to seek more air..

Me, I will stay rooted. Right down there on the floor of the tank. Waiting to exhale - and with that for my soul, to eventually rise and escape.

3395 : Make up some ground

Some people make their own luck.

I make my own ground. The earth is composed speck by speck by my wheezing.


3394 : Cantaloupe Islands by Herbie Hancock

 


One of my favorite Jazz compositions.

3393 : Groupthink and insular

I was talking to a few of my work colleagues/friends (who might not be from my current workplace, but more folks I know due to work).

I see an unreal level of disconnect from what is the actual world around them. They sound like a happy rational bunch. They love parties. They love fun.

Which I don't grouse at all. And yet, exceptions aside, there is a complete divorce from science, critical thinking and individual think.

They are essentially victims of groupthink and are very insular.

Should they be worried? No. I know they are way happier and simpler than I am. I kind of envy them.

At the same time. Without divesting off group think, you shall never see your own truth. 

Choice is up to each of us.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

3392 : The artist

After she had drawn him (as in painted or sketched....whatever the right word), she smiled. He thought she smiling because she liked the output.

She was amused. By the mirth such a corpulent doodle would generate on her WA group.

:-)

3391 : The endgame

Life is a strange sort of game that we have constructed. We can spend days and months without meaningfully engaging with another human person or a system. 

I don't remember the last time I spoke poetry with someone? Or philosophy. 

We all are so busy judging each other - or dragging down our markers - winning the game of darts - and then of course filling our life with work. 

It all seems to pass by. The great journey, where most of us are ticketless passengers. 

3390 : There is monster under the bed

There is a monster under my bed. I have known it since I was a child. The monster sometimes likes to growl, sometimes like to mew.

As I write today, I realise that all I am doing is translating what she (the monster) has been growling.


3389 : Sellout Beatty

It depends on how you define art. Everyone seems to define it differently. I define it as a need to say something in a way which is unique and possibly insightful.

I have always maintained that all art is always a sellout. Including very personal art. Art is usually an expression of what one wants to be, then what one is. 

It's an aspiration.

I write this blog :-).

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

3388 : Writing

In the earlier parts of recent times, I struggled with the quality of my writing - both on this blog and otherwise. 

With time - I realise there is a better and better way to write. It's finally a craft.

How I wish I could encourage my daughter down this journey.

3387 : Remember

 I remember those things that have never happened too.

3386 : Munawar Faruqui

I have a view on if we arrested him correct, but that's for another day - and involves huge dollops of politics.

But....do watch this, and be mesmerized at how an average everyday person deals with life, and how his philosophy is simple, but his voice is so bleddy authentic.

I wish this was a podcast, would be an easier listen than watch. 

Highly recommended watch - even if you politically disagree with him. I like him for his philosophy. This is how resilient I want my kid to be. This is how resilient I want me to be.



3385 : Roz Roz Ankhon Tale

I honestly never realised this sing is sung by Amit Kumar. One of my favorites. Great lyrics by Gulzar.

I love this cover by him years later.



Tuesday, June 01, 2021

3384 : My house is geometric

 “I prove a theorem,” the poet Rita Dove wrote, “and the house expands.”

3383 : My left foot

During my walks - I sometimes see this person - he seems young - say around 20 - he seems to be challenged. One of his legs - I believe it's the left - cannot fully bend or pivot around his knee.Which means if he were walking, he might have to drag his left foot to keep pace with the right.

And then.....

I often see him running (or jogging). I kid you not. He literally hops like a rabbit or a kangaroo for a 50m sprint. And then rests for a few minutes.

Life is full of oddities. Some like this, make you brim with hope.

3382 : Window to the world

I see her sitting near the windowsill. She is old, grey and frail. She spends her day sitting by the sill. Her story is in the past (presumably).

She is still as she watches the rain pelt the street, and at other times as the sun burns the tar down. In either case, she is unfazed. She has seen far too much of grime and smelt in her life.

One day, when her story is being told - I hope this window headlines an entire chapter.

Monday, May 31, 2021

3381 : The burden of revolutions

You tell me you are tired of being in the line of fire. The proximity hurts you. You no longer want to fight the heat. You want to let it singe you, if "that's my fate".

I want to take you aside and tell you - that you could never escape this fire. It's indeed your fate. The villages on both sides are burning. We need words which can calm the war. 

And you, my friend, are the poet. Carry the burden.

3380 : Harmony

 When someone tells me they don't fully get the concept of harmony - I tell them to listen to "Saagar Jaise Ankhon Wali" from Saagar.

It has some of the best harmony I have seen in modern film music. RD Burman was indeed a genius.



3379 : The underbelly

As I navigate these times, it's easy to lose hope. Like today, I am not feeling too well. Both mentally and physically. I am stuck in time. I need to unblock.

I am playing hide and seek. It's tough playing this game in a new town, when you know you are bad with maps.



Sunday, May 30, 2021

3378 : Zen Garden

I have a little Zen Garden at my home. I maintain it, or more precisely, just let it be.

I love the wildness of its growth. Admire it for its insects and the resilience. Trees (yes small trees) and tiny outgrowths from everywhere.

Love tending to it. Feels like tending to the earth. Feels like building a home.

3377 : Dad

I adore my parents. And yet, I share nothing like a meaningful relationship with them. We hardly ever talk, we hardly ever share. Should I change "we" to "I"? Maybe.

As a kid, I used to always want to hold my dad's hand and walk. He was my succor. He was never a role model. Until now.

As I am growing older - I am realizing how much wisdom he has, and yet how little he dishes them out.

One day, I hope to be like him. Wise, silent, and content.

3376 : Writing

I find immense peace in writing and being silent.

I know that makes me a nerd or even a weirdo.

I am what I am. 

3375 : Resistance poetry

I do like poetry. I also like resistance poetry.

It usually comes from the heart and hits home emotionally.

This came in via Twitter (Dr. Sonali Vaid), and I could not help fall in love with it. Powerful, I wish I had written it.

Link here

I cannot sleep Because I Wrote a poem. A poem Needs an Audience To breathe But this (other) one Was about How the oxygen Was snuffed out Of many lives And I feel I too must Resign To the Censorship So I in circles. I write A verse About a Poem Best buried In sand

Saturday, May 29, 2021

3374 : Anger

I used to have anger issues as a teenager. 

Over years I have learnt to observe myself (and my breath) to detect anger. Its been years since I felt my heart throbbing. 

And I felt that recently. I was angry. 

Took me a good 2 hrs to return back to normal.


3373 : Conflate

It's very easy to conflate me, my values, and my actuals. 

I see this so much in our corporate world. We assume that the "head of D&I (diversity inclusion" is an inclusive person herself/himself. Or the person doing the sales role would be good at representing herself/himself.

Does not seem to play out. 

It's one thing for others to make this error in judgment, this conflation. It's another level of whataboutery (in our head I mean), when even I, myself believe I am a solid salesperson.

Get the drift?


3372 : The illusion of time

Abandoning the imposition of a calendar helped me understand that time isn't real; it has no logic in the absence of hope and anticipation.

Susan Abulhawa

Friday, May 28, 2021

3371 : The ribbon on the oak tree

This came in via twitter. From a poet named Kaveh.
Loved the poem. What fabulous words.



3370 : The lost conversations

When I refuse to speak and choose my silences, I know I am probably missing out on chats that otherwise could have happened. In a language, in a time, in an era, in a dialect, and most of all....in a common shared space....that is probably never going to happen again.

As in, this today, will not happen tomo. We might still talk tomo, but that will never fill the gap of today - to the hole of the (to)day.

This strange dichotomy bothers me. It does. I don't have good answers. I ponder on this. What did I lose today by not talking to you?

What did I lose today, by not writing a few more pages for that book which is brimming in my head? Tomo, I will catch up. Today though is gone. Like a long-lost tongue, like a floating butterfly, who is drifting, and will be gone in a few hours.

3369 : Roaches

I came from quite a poor background. We had privileges like access to education, food, and a home. We were still though broadly very poor. My childhood home overlooked a nullah (or a gutter).

And due to this, our home was always infested with all kinds of insects. All the time.

We had a toilet in the house (so privilege again!!).....but it was overflowing with large roaches (cockroaches).

I used to be terrified (well into my teens) of going to the restroom at night. 

It's both a funny and a weird story. Till today, I am scared of roaches. I don't mind lizards, snails, snakes, ants, spiders, butterflies....but I detest roaches. The mere presence of one in the room - makes me slightly nervous.

Versus I can live with 20 lizards in my room. I can sleep with the lights off.

That's the post.

3368 : Everyday heroes

I was hearing/reading someone new (not someone very new to me, someone I have been reading for a good 6 odd months). Someone in the journalistic endeavor. And I was quite frankly enamored by the courage, the vision, and their clarity.

And then I look at myself in the mirror. I have solely committed myself to build some semblance of stability and some basic wealth (even with that - I have not been elite).

So the question that often bothers me.....purpose, meaning, and "personal greatness". I am not being self-critical - but I think I walked off that path such a long time ago - that it seems alien.

Let me clarify. I love my job. I adore it. I find immense purpose and meaning there, but in some sense, it could eventually turn into being a cop-out.

That is my meditation. 

3367 : The death of a city

Someone I know died. Not terribly close, but I would try and meet this person when in her city - which was rare enough - say once in a few years. A lot of my memories of that city are defined by those shared experiences. 

It's like remember your favorite food via the lens of your mother. If you are my age, you probably don't meet your mother often, but yes, the memory of a fav sweet dish is through her lens - since every time you were in the same shed, she makes it a point to feed it to you.

Now imagine that person is gone (like in my case, the friend is gone). Will the city remain the same for me? Will, my prism to view that city evolve and change?

Should it change?

Or does that city slowly walk into its own reserve and silence?

3366 : Physical silence

As I try and write some of the nights, just the lack of physical silence is very hard on me.

I need silence, maybe some music (that's usually fine). 

It's very hard to write (in case some of you have not tried that, you must) - it brings a great deal of structure and clarity in your head. It also helps open up a dialogue with yourself - but to collect thoughts and to jut out a single sentence, takes a whole toll on your mental psyche. Its usually an uplifting experience (this toll), but it is also a hugely difficult thing to do if you don't have personal (and physical) silence.

My lullaby. This.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

3365 : Distortion (or belief)

 Any conflict (or any past) can be distorted by repetition. I recognize this and it bothers me. Like I wonder how much of my story - is the real story - and how much of it is a narrative that I have constructed for myself?

It's the "person in my head" kind of problem. It's not me, and yet it is me. I am the one who is both examining my memory and my conflict. And in both cases - it can be manufactured or doctored.

3364 : Virus(es)

I have been reading about Virus' more and more. Anything I can lay my hands on. And its totally sucked me in.

If I have found this subject when I was in my teens, I might have been a virologist today. Possibly.

Totally enamored by their world. Onto possibly my second book on this topic.

There is so much to know and understand in this world, and I really cant get enough of this world. I am mortally afraid of mortality :-). I want to live for another 100 years.

3363 : A fall

 In the past few days (7-10 maybe) I have consciously shut down the noise from outside. My conflicts, my grouse, my anger......shut it down. I still have to talk and have all of these responses within work - but broadly have shut the world out.

Initially as a response to the chatter....and then as a mechanism to assuage the mind.

Where I am today, the mind is a little saner. The conflicts are still there. So is the battle. But, there is equanimity in accepting that this is the world I built. This is my world. 

The house that Jack built.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

3362 : A love supreme by Carlos Santana, John Mclaughin

So you like John Coltrane. You like A Love Supreme. And then you discover this version.

Chill and bake :-)



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

3361 : I shall build a bridge.

I am Bob the Builder. In my imaginary conversations with you, that's all I do. Build bridges.

3360 : My poem

 There is something in this image that spoke to me. Or speaks to me (present continuous).



Monday, May 24, 2021

3359 : Is it just me?

There is an uneasy calm in my head nowadays. Something almost unreal. As I process the world around me, the crisis we are in, I volunteer a bit....in all of these....all I am seeing is a steady cadence to my own beat. A slowly evolved rhythm - where I am deeply aware of my losses - some covid related, some otherwise - but I am also able to see that more is possible on the way. And if I don't pause my "stressed" response - and if I don't switch to my measured everyday reactive response - I will not be able to help folks that I care about, the parts of the world that I love and deem personal.

3358 : Walk within

Nowadays I probably spend the entire day working, writing, walking, (a bit of tweeting)...and that's it.

Entire days/weeks pass before I speak to someone (not work or Amazon related).

Interesting times.

It allows me to "walk within".


3357 : ....and then there are poisons

Continuing from the previous post - I still want a great music system (know exactly which one I want!!), and I love peated whiskey.

So much for farting about Buddhism and ilk :-)

We are all uniquely dystopian :-)

3356 : What makes us happy

There is very little that will make us happy. That's genuinely my learning - after years of internalizing Buddhism. And the next car or the next cool phone definitely won't make me happier.

Its taken me years to reach this point. I would say almost 10+ years of just meditating on this same point again and again. 

As I reach this point of realization, I also realize that "less is more" and sometimes just being ok with the world around me is ok. Being ok with losing your loved ones and their mortality is another huge internal acceptance.

Happiness to me has become more being ok with the world around me - a more simple profound acceptance of the world around me as flawed, conflicted, and just wayward. I genuinely don't believe something from the outside is going to make me any happier.

Where I have reached, my needs are less - though my expenses due to older loans and habits are still high. Slowly will unwind on that front too.


Sunday, May 23, 2021

3355 : Snails

My little Zen Garden in about 20 sq feet must have at least around 500 snails. It's a riot. They eat a lot of leaves, but the net effect on the garden is positive.

I love this little melting pot we have.

3354 : Landscaping of trees

In the complex I live in, once a week, the gardener trims all the smaller trees and potted plants.

I find it the most bizarre practice - if we really wanted good plants - just let them be. They might not look great, but they will be the best in terms of dealing with fungi and infections. 

My little zen garden is a complete jungle.

Everything from snails, centipedes, fruit trees growing wild..... it's my most fun side project.


3353 : Goals by Susan Sontag

 Came in via Twitter. This is what I need. And I need it pretty much now :-)

"You have to create your own space which has a lot of silence in it and a lot of books.” — Susan Sontag



3352 : Rascals of Gaza

Came in via Twitter. Loved this poem. It is anti-war. I am generally a pacifist. I don't believe wars (even between individuals solves much).....Any war just leaves one thing behind. A battlefield full of losses.



Saturday, May 22, 2021

3351 : One day

One day I am going to try and own all a personal copy of the live recordings of DMB (Dave Matthews Band).

Listen to https://open.spotify.com/track/2iNNq1ooxQyNAuQRsd6aeU?si=870a4a5cfdc84766

This is #41 they are playing at the Montage Mountain. This 22-minute monster edition is a complete delight.

You will roll over in glee listening to them. The jazz improv is out of this world.

Listen at around 10:00 minutes - and it keeps crazier from thereon.

Phew!!

3350 : To speak and then fade out

I don't speak much. That's how I always have been. I am a leech. I like to listen to others, observe them. I learn in every single chat/convo. I enjoy listening to others go tongs.

The only time I talk is either when I am at work or when I am in a heated debate - where I have a view. As I am growing old, though, I am realizing that a lot of my views are shaky. A classic case of "the more I know, the less I know".

And then there is this pressure to talk, to express. I mean societal pressure/peer pressure. I have genuinely come to realize that for most topics that matter - like deep philosophy, mediation on mortality, or even simple heartfelt love - words (and hence language) are a very inadequate sort of vehicle. 

Poets do take this a notch higher....but even that..... it's still like trying to trap a whale with our aquarium fishnet. Inadequate and foolish.

So how do you express deep ideas? Or deep feelings? It's so much better across the table, where words matter less - and less.

And now think of how some like me is doing in these WFH times. Totally fucked :-). Its balls and chains all the way.

3349 : Blondie one way or the other

 

This song came in via Twitter, and it reminded me of a song that I loved and had forgotten about.

Go have a blast.  Volume up for fun.

3348 : Your skin makes me cry

Continuing from the previous post.....I listen to "Creep - Radiohead" and it always perks me up. Now that would be odd in anyone's book. That should explain how I float in weirdness.

I wanna a perfect body

I wanna a perfect soul.....



3347 : You - 2

I have always felt alienated. Not sure why. Its taken me years to recognize that about myself. That sense of not belonging. This is different from feeling rejected or any similar expression. Infact, on that front, I have gotten immense love, care, and happiness from the world around me.

Think of "alienation" - as something that would happen to someone uprooted from his/her phages (roots). Think of someone who might have lost something.

Have I been uprooted? Have I had a heartbreaking loss?

Nothing in my life sounds like that at all. And yet, I have always related to writers who bring Kashmir, Palestine, partition, or immense melancholy into their work.

As I examine my own sense of anchorlessness......there is something that definitely does feel like home. You.

3346 : You

Words and speech do make this world a better place. Its even better when we can express a lot with our silences - which we often can do.

Remember when you said, "Listen, let me tell you a story.". I did try and listen, but I lost the plot. I was clearly more focused on the poetry that was playing out too.

3345 : Looking

Looking inwards is hard. And meditation be damned. Most forms of meditation (and I am not an expert), all they do is create space in the mind for the thoughts to settle and sort themselves out. And hence the sense of calm and peace they radiate.

Of course, mediation can also lead to increased awareness of one's own responses.

Here is the challenge though - what if, you have never been honest to yourself? What if, all life is nothing but a charade? What if, my life is driven by a goal and an ideal - that is not mine, but I have made it mine? What if, when you look inwards - you do nothing but stare into a fictional world of your own making?

I have questions - don't have easy answers.