Tag Archives: Life

Adult-hood.

As sunlight wrestled against the curtains, coming in ever so little only to fall upon her face, Katherin looked up a smile on her face and gleam in her eyes. She hadn’t slept that well in the past two years. Price had that effect on her. In his arms, she’d come to feel secure, a calm that completely enveloped her internal turmoils restoring tranquility in her tumultuous life.
The judgement had been passed last afternoon. The verdict in her favor, pronouncing her not guilty on any account of the homicide of her ex- boyfriend whom the cops had found hacked to death in her apartment. The relief she felt as the verdict was pronounced was something out of the world. The weight that she seemed to be carrying that of confusion and uncertainty had suddenly been lifted off her shoulders.
The early morning sun-rays today reflected her life, nature’s way off imparting poetic justice one would think. The dark circles under her eyes that had until yesterday made her appear old and frail today attenuated the radiance like scars on a war veteran, reflecting maturity and wisdom and the ability to fight it through a rough patch. Proof of her will and determination and more than anything , to the world, of her innocence. The tears she’d cried, the prayers prayed had all payed off.
Today she was not just a free lady, but one who had been victimized by the judgementality of society. Looking outside she some children, little girls probably on their way to school, smiling and waving their arms bidding their goodbyes. She recollected the last time she had smiled like that, full and carefree, it was exactly two years ago, as she bid goodbye to Philip as she left for uni.
Reflecting back on the day, she couldn’t help but frown at the reality, “Could adults ever smile carefree in true innocence? Or had they lost that capability to children alone?” Marred by deceit, conspiracy and forever worried by the uncertainty we’d enslaved ourselves to fear.

Advertisements

THE CHASE

As a toddler, you were taught how to crawl and then walk by someone, most probably close family unless they were super busy with their lives that they had no time for you, your birth shocked them into death or you were thought to be extremely capable and hence abandoned at birth and left to fend for yourself. If it were for your parents, you’d have more often than not been told to follow something. You were probably a part of their fishing experiments as well: they showed you bait (candies, toys etc.) that were further away, asking you to get them for yourself. In your earnestness to get what you loved you progressed better, and voila, your suddenly walking.

That’s probably the first time you were forced to chase something to conquer it. For those of you in the orphanages, you had hardcore competition, I understand and you were probably well acquainted with Darwin’s theory of “Survival of the Fittest” even before you knew alphabets. In and out of foster homes, you’d have learnt one thing if nothing else, you got to have your own back and you got to chase things and chase them best. Stake outs, as cool as they sound are time-consuming and more often than not failures coz hey, the guy who beat you was actually chasing and not just sitting inside some molehill waiting for you to come around.

Patience they say is a virtue one must generously and regularly practise. Knowing when to shift gears, is something that’s even more important. The boxer maybe patient, he may take in blows waiting for the opponent to tire out so that he can knock him out with one blow, but he’s also taken in so much that he’s pretty “beat up” by the end of the fight which he did eventually win. Today, I came across this little girl chasing a butterfly; arms outstretched, something that reminds us a lot of our childhoods as well. Children- the symbol of innocence they say, yet the intensity in her eyes startled me. Focussed on the prey, with the eyes of an eagle, there she was running around. Give her wings and the butterfly was dinner. Luckily for it, the butterfly lived to fly another day.

In pursuit of the butterfly, the girl was only applying what she’d been taught all through childhood: to chase. The same girl will tomorrow chase her dream, something more significant than a fluttering butterfly. The dreams will get fancier, achieving them more difficult, some she shall conquer, some she shall concede defeat to. An old man once on being asked what kept him going cockily remarked “it’s uncertainty my lad. Today you chase something, tomorrow your being chased.” I couldn’t help laughing as I heard the words coming out of his mouth. However reflecting on them, he’s hit the nail right on the head!

Fear is what inspires most of us to look ahead and run along. The chase in itself is something that stems from the fear of losing something. Something which was initially tangible later becomes more of an emotional prize. People chase dreams to social gratification, companies chase new technology to  ensure supremacy over competitors, romantics chase love to make themselves feel good about themselves, scientists chase knowledge ( you got to make the world a better place you see) and Buddhists chase happiness 😀 (Pardon me for I don’t care about religions).

At the end of the day, everybody is chasing something, primarily to survive and due to some inherent fear. This is exactly what the Neanderthals did as well, or rather we assume they did. Well if that’s true, how much have we progressed on an intellectual and emotional level, if it is the chase that still drives us? The hardwiring of this system is still so primitive, with appearances changing over the years, once can’t help wonder – “What has changed so much? How are we any better than those apes that walked the face of the earth early on?”

“The chase is still very much on, what’re you chasing today?”

Colour or Black n White?

Image

Dominic looked around, everything was either black or white. Looking into the mirror, he saw himself ashen faced, the kids sat in a corner, quiet and motionless, Natalie refused to show signs of life. She was all he had ever wanted, his childhood sweetheart whom he had gone on to marry and raise a family with, today, she looked dead. “What had happened to her?”, he wondered, “what about the kids?”. They were never quiet, the little bundles of energy, they were the centre of his universe.

Now he was all but a tree which had lost all it’s leaves, no flowers remained, no birds to sing and sit on it. He was dead while being alive. “When did the colour go out of our life?” He looked around only to feel even more convinced about the death of his near and dear ones. He was today a man who had lost everything he had. One who had nothing more to lose, he seemed lost; he frantically rushed out of his house. He could not see the light of the day, nor the stars and the moon.

He felt around for things, had he lost his vision?? Lost in complete self doubt, one that by now had consumed him in his entirety. Then in the distance, he saw a hue, a silhouette, what of he recognised not, but a sense of relief now engulfed him. He could now be sure that he wasn’t completely blind, as long as he wasn’t hallucinating. He had to be sure, he moved on forward, as fast as his feet would carry him: he seemed to be dragging dead weight. “Why weren’t his feet moving quicker?”. Only a day before, he was the nimble footed athlete, now he felt like a sloth.

The anxiety grew as he approached the silhouette, it now seemed to be in motion. He tried to move faster, only to feel even more burdened by his own weight. He felt his legs give away, thump! He was down, on the ground. He looked up, away into the distance, there was nothing there anymore. Suddenly, he felt light once again, like he was now being carried, his body rose, drifting about, squinting his eyes in an attempt to make sense of what was happening around him, he felt betrayed by the world around, he was now passing at speeds quicker than he had ever imagined.

“What do you value the most?”, asked a voice out of nowhere. “Think hard before you answer, for you have only one shot.”, the voice said. He thought hard, his entire life passing through right in front of his eyes. He saw James, his younger brother playing in the park with him, Champ, their Labrador, who had died when he was 15 was with them too; he was just a pup then.

Then he saw Natalie, how everything else suddenly seemed irrelevant, how the sunset was no longer just another routine, it had become “their thing”, it was no longer just the setting sun, it was a hue of different colours the yellow, the orange, red, the cool blue, the light breeze, more than anything else, her smiling face resting on his shoulder, talking about random stuff and then diving into absolute silence, delving in themselves, more like absorbing each other’s souls. Then he saw their own kids, Stephan and Lily, the twins, who had brought so much joy in their lives. All the smiles, the late nights, taking turns to stay up cleaning diapers, and feeding and playing with the kids, the grumpy morning’s after. The smiles, that stayed long, despite all the troubles they had.

Now he saw the the kids growing up, their first day in school, them running away towards their teachers and fellow toddlers: their new friends. The grey was just starting, he saw the first major fight after the wedding, how Natalie had cried all night long, he had finished the entire bottle of Chivas Regal, she had spent two nights at her friend Cindy’s. Things never got back to how they were after that day. The distance had only kept growing, they both loved the kids selflessly, the prospect of an eminent split however frightened them both. He had reached today..

“I want to go back to how we were great and loved each other. How Natalie and I waited for the moments we had with each other,” he said. “You’ll be late,” he heard Natalie’s voice, sunlight rushed in as she drew the curtains, coffee at bedside. he looked up to her and couldn’t help smiling. “Thank you, for bringing colour into my black and white life,” he said as he went in for a shower.

P.S: The photograph, is a painting by Bijna Balan, a friend of mine.

Happiness, Why?

So what happens now? We smile and walk away, never to turn back again.. or so we wish! Instead, we smile and walk away, and a few paces later lose all self control and turn back and guess what! You’ve turned around as well. Surprised, I take a step back trying but failing to suppress that smile! A sweet surprise, it is indeed, in the distance showing all your 32; each reflecting light rays in a different directions I see your pretty face. Now that most certainly called for another conversation and we’re back at the bar. AGAIN!!! A couple of drinks later I suggest and you agree that it’s time we called it a night much to the dismay of Lindsay, my favorite bar tender. 

As I walk to the door with you by my side, I look back again and for some odd reason can’t help smiling. Lindsay sends out a flyer with her regular wink. I give you a ride back home and then you invite me over for coffee. The coffee offered with a wink stimulates me. Is it the coffee or is it just you? All I can think of is to take you in my arms and make sweet love to you and that is exactly what I do! Happiness, sadly for a lot of us has come down to this. Picking up somebody at a bar and end up experiencing the pain and pleasure of “making sweet love”. 

So what is happiness? And why are we always working towards it, in a desperate search of happiness, we wander across nations and people. Only today, as I was walking down the lane towards my subway station I happened to spot a couple of kids, a boy and a girl, maybe about 3 and 5 years old. The joy on their faces, the fearlessness of the world didn’t really surprise me but it got me thinking. Both the kids smiled and waved. I couldn’t help myself from returning the gesture, but when was the last time this happened with an adult, I thought! This lead me to analyse the life I have lived in the past couple of months in this alien land where I knew nobody prior to my arrival. I have come across so many people at my university, at the gym, in the stores, across the lanes and in trains, buses basically everywhere. Not many though were smiling. Then I thought of the people I met in India, the different cultures I had experienced and also the various regions I had visited. The story though was similar, all those people and still not many were smiling. Again, I would like to emphasize that these are only adults that I was talking about. 

Then I wondered about the kids in these places, both in India and here in Germany, I saw kids, most of who smiled and waved. Why was it that these kids could afford the smile? What differentiated them from the supposedly wiser adults? Did knowledge hinder man’s capacity to smile? Did it reduce happiness? Do you remember how as children a meager pocket money also did provide a sense of happiness. As adults we work our asses off and get paid but however, we are never happy! The constant search for more has lead on a wild goose chase and we seem to have lost happiness somewhere in the middle.

As I continued to think, a random thought drifted into my head. Think about dogs, they’re wonderful creatures! Truly adorable and they love you probably more than they love themselves. So dogs are angered when a new person/entity tries entering their domain. Same goes for most other animals and we should remember that we also classify as animals. However on the other hand, if it’s a known person that enters into their proximity, they’d be the happiest creatures on earth. A deviation from happiness is thus an animal’s cognitive response to any change. This I guess holds good for humans as well. Only though for kids, its different. Ignorance is bliss and their tiny little eyes are constantly exploring the world for any action whatsoever. 

Where, then in our journey did we lose our capacity to be happy? I guess, we got too comfortable to how things were. Once we had things aligned a certain way, we hoped they’d just stay that way. So when you wake up in the morning and find that newspaper isn’t where it should be, you are angry. An anger that is a direct consequence of a minor change. This in turn results in anger throughout the day, so you go to bed unhappy and cannot sleep well which in turn results in you waking up cranky and the cycle just continues. Alcohol helps you to relax your neural system so a drink at a bar tonight makes me feel a little better. I realize that I have been unhappy over nothing, and then like magic, I see you, sitting there right across the bar, and can’t help but feel a smile form on my face. She smiles as well, and then as we say the rest is history. 

Wasn’t she alien as well?? Weren’t you alien to her a well?? So why weren’t we angered?? Was it the alcohol, probably, but what’s more important is that we were relaxed and only then could we accept the visitor with a smile. I was happy because for that moment, I had become that kid who had met someone new, intrigue had taken over! At that moment, I could possibly accept most changes. Only when I was relaxed could I take sensible decisions at ease. An unnecessary pressure is what most people today experience at every juncture in life. In schools, in the university, at home at work and then it eventually becomes an attempt at damage control everywhere. The pressure gets most of us to wind up with things we are not genuinely happy with. It results in us becoming or rather attempting to become different people and as a result we do stuff we shouldn’t be doing. We study the wrong course, work the wrong job, dismiss our passions, make love to the wrong people, rather attempt to love the wrong people and as a result frown perpetually.

I smile as I Write this, not because I have been perfect, but because I have understood that acceptance was the secret to happiness. Accept what you were comfortable into your life. Accept what your not comfortable with and attempt to smile at it, over some time, you shall smile genuinely. Love genuinely, always love the person that makes you feel complete and tell the person that you love them. Its bound to cause some changes and you are bound to resist making the move but do tell her you love her if you do. Work the job of your choice atleast for some time! You need to know what your missing out on and only then will you do everything in your capacity to get it and be successful at it. Only when you are happy can you create a better tomorrow, and that is what each of us should do: work towards creating a better tomorrow,

So today, as I smile after making love, I know I am happy! I know it because I know what happiness feels like! You need to feel it as well, and you should search for what makes you happy because when your happy, your better and when each of “you” is better, the world is a better place. We all need happiness!!!