Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Vehicle Of Life"

"Vehicle Of Life"

On a birthday, when i finally came of age
I was gifted the "Vehicle Of Life"

"Use it well",my parents said
I did not want a guide
There was something I missed in their tone
For my heart was swelling with pride.

It had a bloated body full of energy
An engine of raw youth.
The wheels could run with mindless ambition
At an indecent speed,to tell the truth.

I steered my steed with a lot of power
Intellect was the fuel;
Competitors swarmed all around me
But I was ready for the duel.

Such was the zeal,such was the zest,
Confidence and belief beyond measure;
I drove everyday with a burning passion
My vehicle was the loveliest treasure!

To"success" is a winding journey
And companions I had none;
The empty seats stared at me
And I was all but one.

The body took the heat,
The engine all the pain;
There was still some ruddy fuel left,
But my heart was in vain

For I looked into the rear-view mirror,
And saw all that I had left behind;
Myself,my friends,my family......
Everyone who had been kind.

"You should never drive it empty"
My parents said on my return.
But never did they know that each day alone
Had been a lesson in life to learn.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On Board 15E!!!!!

On Board 15E!!!!!

There is so much abundance in life.The sentence could seem redundant,abundance itself indicating an excess,but I really want the excess expression. We are so often so much into our myriad joys,sorrows,successes and failures that we are almost oblivious to the countless little happenings around us that could help us appreciate the abundance I am talking about.
A reluctant commuter on public transport, I am forced to use it since the last three years owing to the distance factor.And that has brought about a sea change in my perspective.Though there is this problem once in a while that I need to resort to the footboard,I feel it's worth the effort,purely because of the novelty each day of commuting brings with itself.
Mundane,as it may seem, a commuter's day starts of f with some uncertainty as to whether he will get the desired bus.That problem solved,he has to get the requisite change to pay the conductor.This could lead to a heated exchange between the two.Things get really "interesting" when the exchange becomes personal.It is really avoidable,specially if it is early morning or late in the evening;but honestly,after a while it is the egos that take over and stopping the argument is not something others prefer-as they either enjoy what is happening(it's actually fun!!!) or are too aloof to bother! It takes some good samaritan to save the day,and the best part is he does turn up when required!

Yes indeed! When viewed in a bus, world seems to have a greater number of real decent people.There are ones who restore order when there is chaos because there are just 50 more people inside than the bus can hold. There are quite a few people who offer a seat to a lady,(chivalry does exist!!) even if she is not that young.People do offer seats to senior citizens and often are keen to help the little ones with overburdened school and sometimes college bags.

But then,there are others as well. There is this student who has hasn't slept,possibly because of his class tests, and drools away on his Physics text,eyes closed,glasses askew ,thanks to the wonderful effect of the almost empty buses in the morning.
As the day moves towards a sweaty afternoon,there is this guy who gets in, his phone in hand,fretting,texting away anxiously. Minutes later,the fretting increases,texting stops and a call ensues. There is a calm in the beginning,invariably followed by anger.Then it is most often followed by a few sobs and some pleading.And by the time he gets down,all is well again.
Any guesses as to who was on the other side?
As the day wears on to a crowded evening,more and more people get in.There is gentleman who
is jostled bigtime and gets pushed to the front.He then spends the rest of his evening,ogling at the mysterious beauty sitting at the far end.This happens every evening.He is supposed to get down two stops earlier to hers. But he has managed to somehow delay himself by a stop more.When he will pluck enough courage to get down in the same stop as hers is the question!

But there are quite a few serious instances as well. The old lady who is not as literate and has to get down at a stop her son has instructed her evokes pity.Once in a while there is this visually impaired person who gets in and gets out later,without anyone's help.His resoluteness to live and achieve,without being a burden on the society is commendable.All of us need to take a leaf out of his book.There are people travelling on their first day of job, there are people who are tired of travelling to their work everyday.There are vendors,there are hawkers to whom the bus is a lifeline.New acquaintances are made everyday.And old ones broken.Reunions happen everyday on the bus; I could meet my childhood friend;you could meet a person you assumed was almost out of your world.These are seemingly little things but momentous in their own right.

And for a person inside the bus,the world outside is totally different.It just whizzes past or struggles to move forward(depending on the traffic ofcourse!).But the colour,the variety,the emotion,the apparent aimlessness of a few people and the sense of purpose writ large on many people's faces is indeed a different spectacle viewed from inside a bus!

The world seems so different when viewed from inside a bus......but then again,each bus is a world in itself!!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010



I have always been a great fan of the concept of simplicity. "Keep life simple" has been the mantra I have tried to practice and more often preach to people around me.The success rate has been amazing whenever I have kept things simple,but again the irony is that it is very difficult to do so. What makes life not so simple.......? is a question I have put to myself ever so often.

"It's not that simple. Things won't work that way"is a cliche I hear too many times. May be maths or physics or electronics is not so simple(and more often things don't work here) but life on the whole....? I always feel life is one question with a one word answer "Do you want to be happy?" If the answer is a yes,you do the few things that make you happy;
The fact that we link happiness with comfort,authority,ambition,power.....makes us reach for things we would otherwise leave alone and drive us away from simplicity,and the more eternal concept of happiness.

The central thing to simplicity is to see 2+2 as 4. It is to believe in ourselves.It is also to trust others' abilities and instincts-till they prove you wrong. The inability to trust the next person is,
according to me,one simple reason why things get so complicated. And our "ability" to read between lines and suspect others needlessly hinders our quest to happiness.

One major roadblock on our way to keeping things simple,is our EGO. This stands very bold though definitely not as beautiful.The perception that the other person is always wrong or rather the misconception that we are always right, along with the desire to stamp our authority on every Tom,Dick and Harry is a path fraught with complications.

More basic,I feel ,is our lack of a single philosophy or a set of core values typical to our character.
Some of us are the life of a party,while a few of us prefer solitude.Most of us want to fly:being ambitious,wanting power;while there are many who prefer to remain grounded:humility being the essence of their lives.
Yet complications do occur when we want to swap roles with the other side-when we are not satisfied with the gifts we have.
The paradox is that the beggar lacks the wealth of a billionaire but the billionaire lacks the contentment of a beggar. The toast is that both fail to realise the value of what they possess!!!

Nothing though,makes life more complicated than human relationships. The ups and downs, the expectations,the hope,the disappointment can create mayhem in the emotional world and wreak havoc in physical world. Again our fundamental inability here is that we fail to realise that there are limitations to each person. And on most occassions we are at a loss to figure what is it that we expect from a person. The bigger question.......what do we do when the person fails to deliver? These questions loop around themselves and more often our personality is what gets caught in this loop.
The solution here is to understand the fundamental fact that WE need to take care of ourselves.
And if for whatever reason you are more of a pain in somebody else's life in the long run or vice versa: keep yourself away. It will untie the knots or atleast provide much needed deliverance.

To achieve a sense of simplicity is a key milestone on the path to happiness.It is here that most of us falter. It is indeed the shortest route to happiness. But as I wind this piece up, a quote clouds my mind.
"It is so simple to be happy
But it is so difficult to be simple!"

Saturday, February 27, 2010


People. I always believed that the world is full of different people. Yet life is- or rather HE is- very unlikely to keep the world so straight. It is so simple yet so complex and unbelievable that
each one of us-You, me and everyone else is a lot more than one single entity. The world is full of us. And yes,each one of us is a world within.

Just sit back and introspect. Each one of us has different shades-a pure white, the not-so-pure grey and the ever repulsive black. We would have maximised one of them but ofcourse the rest are resting somewhere,dormant,ready to reveal themselves at the opportune m0ment. We could be colour blind to spot the grey and would have masked the black with an overwhelmingly white attitude-often overloooking the fact that there are no white crows.
Without the introspection,each one of us is an enigma to ourselves.

But is the world so cruel that each one of us need to have more than a tinge of black to survive.....?!!!!!
This is the question that bothers me most often- specially when there is a sudden surge of black
from a pure white soul. Experiences can change perception is what I learnt. White could be very graceful,but without that smallest tinge of black it is very vulnerable. One bitter experience could turn the world of that soul topsy-turvy and it would never be the same again.

Plainly speaking, a bitter experience in a sensitive person's life can change the way the person looks at the world. Pure white could make it impossible for the soul to accept the harsh realities of everyday life.Life is not perfect.GUYS SUCH UTOPIA DOES NOT EXIST!

But then again, life is not just battle and bruises and malice and distrust. There is a rosy side to it as well. What we do sometimes is once we know that there is something which hurts our white, we simply shield it with black. Ironically that black is repulsive to any positive energy as well.
The end result again, is that we are not affected by negative energy,but we are not blessed with positive energy as well. It is sad,but true.

I guess we need to step aside from the race-if life is one-and take a deep breath. Trust the next person who comes with a little bit of our positive energy.See if he can multiply it. Most of them generally can. Then there is the occassional person who tries to misuse it,throw him out of your world and look out for the next one. But to mask ourself with a veil and fight the world, resisting each person who turns up-will eventually make our world dark and friendless.
We could end up isolated. And it is this isolation that breeds negative energy and traits within us.

Each of us is an abudance of positive feelings and energy. Once in a while,we could lose some of it in the form of a person or a friend or a relationship. But that does not mean the world is black. It is more the fact that the vaccum created by the loss is clouding our mind. We just have to resolve to walk ahead for a certain distance-and rediscover the lost positive energy in whatever form. Rest assured that we will be stronger than last time-as with or without meaning to, the last experience would have left a tinge of black in our soul-that makes us immune.

We ironically live in a world where materialism is steadily conquering everything otherwise.
The innumerable shades of colour are quietly replacing white,black and grey. Go get a moment of solitude and examine where you belong.
If you ask me, you belong to that world that belongs to you: That world of WHITE ,BLACK and GREY!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A cinematic experience

A Cinematic experience

I have always been an ardent movie enthusiast. Somehow the three hours-give or take a few moments- I spend at a theatre have always kept me involved and at times offered useful insights and opportunities for reflection. But recently, I chose to take a step aside and find out what makes watching a movie, specially at a conventional single screen theatre such a wholesome experience.
For me it starts off with scanning the newspapers for the "ideal" movie-one I can safely watch and come back alive to tell the story; one I can suggest and live safely after people pay heed to my suggestion.
The excitement associated with arriving at the theatre to get the tickets is quite a phenomenon in itself. The uncertainty,the bustling and jostling in the queue to get to the counter,the occassional guy who bypasses the queue are all inevitable,integral parts of a complete movie experience. The feather on the cap is when you manage to get those priceless pieces of paper in your hand (black/white, balcony/second class-but who cares......???!!!!).Pity,online booking for multiplexes and the overwhelming transparency to an extent eliminates this excitement. If tickets are booked, we wont even bother to try. Let me add that if you do manage to get the tickets and save the day for many of those mortals at your mercy, you are a bigger hero than the one on screen!!!
Once the movie starts, each of us enter a world of our own. While you might connect with the protagonist, your friend may favour the antagonist. A person like me would be a side actor trying to figure out where the world is going to end. Occasionally the real world tries to mask the ever enthralling reel-world, what with an over enthusiastic fan trying to yell out to his hero/heroine- not to forget the idol worship with the coconut offerings that are done if the hero is a favourite son of the land( I am sorry, but your multiplex crowd is way too decent for this!). Also the rare disturbance that could occur with the audio-visual systems or projectors.The crowd is jerked from its reverie, for a moment or two- and amazingly slumps back once things are normal again.( Again your multiplexes are way too perfect for this).
But the core experience of movie watching remains the same in both cases. Once the lights dim and the emotions unfold its just adrenaline (and the rest) that takes over. Most of the on screen stuff is a treat to the senses- a break from the usual monotony. Some of it is food for thought. And a portion of it-however small, is more than a little toxic. Be wary of it. However the fact that watching a movie relieves us from the burdens of our life and makes us forget our routine for a while is more than a reason to indulge. More often than not, a small part of a film mirrors our life and we identify ourselves with the characters. If we are lucky enough, the film could be a solution to a persistent problem. It could be powerful motivation. It could be mere entertainment or pure enlightenment.
And depending on what your previous movie experience was you get what you deserve..........rewards or brickbats!!!