Saturday, March 08, 2014

Expert advise and self-reflections

I consider myself as a closed person who finds it a challenge to express and share. And admire people who are open and can share their feelings more openly and freely. It takes a degree of courage to open up. Appreciate the confidence that people sometimes put it in me when they share what is on their mind. Its a very humbling experience to hear someones personal experience. I always hope that I have been able to give some comfort by offering my sincere empathy and a bit of advise based on my own limited personal experiences.  

So many times when we look at the situation of others, we are almost immediately ready with answers, solutions and (mostly) unsolicited advise. And yet when we have to tackle with our situation we at a loss and have the choicest of adjectives (challenging, uphill, tough, unfair, why me??) to define it and mostly clueless how to tackle it.

Why is it that we can look at the situation of  others from an objective viewpoint and yet when it comes to personal situations our emotions colour our thoughts and judgement. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Why me?"


Just complete reading this article by Dr. Deepak Chopra - Why Does God Allow Evil ?

In this article he raises an issue which thanks to the media onslaught, have to grapple with on a day-to-day basis. Reading / Hearing about horrific acts of violence that are happening the world over often gets one thinking and questioning the very basic principles on which our personal belief system rests. Does God exist ? If he does, then why is a mute spectator in all the madness that is there around us. Why does he yet innocent people suffer and die.

Although the post talks about public tragedies, his suggestions to the issue (I will not call them as solutions) are equally valid in the case of personal suffering too. The pain that follows a personal suffering, leaves one numb emotionally and intellectually, is often impenetrable. We try to search for and attribute meanings to the suffering and in turn seek answer to one question that can at times haunt us for years - "Why me?".

No matter how hard we think over it, the closure seems to be elusive and this chain of thoughts become a downward spiral sucking in all mental and emotional energy.

The way out is not simple, it requires courage and acceptance. Courage to step out of the denial mode and coming to terms with the reality. Whatever happened, is past tense now, accepting this as a fact of life. The final step and what will actually drive things forward is the magic word - "Faith".

And just while I was writing this post an analogy came to my mind which seems apt here, for a ship to stay afloat in water and to keep moving it requires three things -
  • Ballast - which gives it stability. Similarly, courage is our ballast which acts as a reality check and gives us stability in troubled times. 
  • Rudder - which helps it move in a particular direction. Similarly, acceptance and moving on is the rudder which can give a new direction and purpose to our life.  
  • Propeller - which gives it thrust. Similarly, faith either at a personal level or faith in something external (people or religion) can be the driving force which will literally propel in the right direction. 
The sea will always be rough and harsh, however as always the choice lies with us, whether we would give in to it a remain at its mercy or if we want to steer our life in the direction that we would like to. 

PS: Writing this post has been cathartic for me. I was struggling with a few thoughts in my mind for past few weeks and was unable to make a headway. Reading the article and then thinking and writing about it has cleared my mind and helped me re-focus :) 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy every day (including Valentines' day)


"...to make a leap for real love, you don’t need much more than a twelve anna  sari and a moving train", thus ends this simple and heartfelt article - 1941 - A love story or Why you don't need Valentine's Day on Firstpost.com. There is also an audio clip at the end of the article in which Mrs. Debika Ghosh (on whom the article is based) talks about her experience. I have very limited and rudimentary understanding of Bangla, but still could sense from the firmness in her voice how vivid are the memories in her mind of things that happened more than 70 years ago and how strong the 90 years young lady still is.

As I sit for my daily dose of semi-voyeuristic pleasure from the public posts on Facebook (thank you Facebook for making it so public and convenient. And hence redeeming a billion people from the guilt and embarrassment of being caught in the recent visitor lists which use to exist in the painful and pre-historic times of Orkut), the thought that crosses my mind is, people are so caught up in the frenzy of celebrating and offcourse letting the world know in almost real time about it through the status updates, that do they actually have time to realise and relish real love. 

I for one, still derive comfort from many beautiful, timeless and often contradictory notions of love which are not bound by any specific day of the year. Sharing the ones with whom I strongly relate to - 

“To say ‘I love you’ one must know first how to say the ‘I.’” The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
"Love is painful because it transforms. Love is mutation. Each transformation is going to be painful because the old has to be left for the new. The old is familiar, secure, safe, the new is absolutely unknown." - Osho
"Love is not a thing that can be planned and cultivated; it cannot be bought through sacrifice or through worship. There is no means to love. The search for a means must come to an end for love to be. The spontaneous shall know the beauty of love, but to pursue it ends freedom. To the free alone is there love, but freedom never directs, never holds. Love is its own eternity." - Jiddu Krishnamurti 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Midnight's Children - Thoughts and After-thoughts



This post is not a review of the movie. 

Although I must admit, it was brilliant to watch. A bit disappointing when I compare it with the novel. However, the sheer visual delight and screenplay more than compensated for the erratic narrative. And what made it an even more enjoyable watch was that I managed to find a near empty sunday afternoon show. 

"The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense "- Tom Clancy

Read this quote on sunday morningand it bounced back in my mind when I was seeing the movie - Midnight's Children. And has been ever echoing in my mind. Nudging me to give space and dimension. 

The story line is layered with multiple themes (realistic and abstract) and full of allegory. And yet as the story progresses, each of them flow along with it sometimes in parallel, at times intersecting and many a times in disconnect. And yet as the climax approaches they all entwine and start heading towards a culmination as if causation was working its magical charm. Wish the same could be said about reality. 

How I wish reality could make sense and provide a sense of closure on so many parallels - thoughts (real, unreal, imagined and surreal), hopes, experiences (lived and vicarious) that keep running in our head. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Musings

"Is life meant to be rational and linear? Or is it just us trying to retrofit our ideals, illusions and delusions into everything we touch and see?" - AT

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Window Sill

Captivity, muted growth, crammed spaces, sunshine and hope. Sometimes a picture can capture so much in a single frame. Then as a after-thought I wonder is this a reflection of the state of my mind.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Diwali


Wishing all a warm, loving and prosperous Diwali & great year ahead. 

Amidst (I was tempted to say "Instead", guess I am gradually but surely turning into a puritan :) ) all the shopping, decorations, crackers, texting, calling and euphoria, lets also may an attempt to imbibe the festival in its true spirit. I realized this as I was writing, the rituals of Diwali and all other Hindu festivals also have so many layers of symbolism in them e.g.cleaning, so much effort goes into cleaning and decoration, if only we put similar efforts to clean and unburden ourselves of the emotional baggage and vicious circle of thoughts. 

Wikipedia page for Diwali has a beautiful explanation - While Diwali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", the most significant spiritual meaning is "the awareness of the inner light" 

May this Diwali also inspire us to discover the inner peace and awareness that we all aspire for.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

TGIS


Wonderful lunch, a lazy saturday afternoon spent sleeping and in random nothingness followed again by some delicious home cooked dinner is all it takes to break the monotony of thoughts, anxiety and so many vicious circles that I tend to tangle myself in. I am glad to have discovered and realized this :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Rambling

Just when friday is dragging endlessly and I have already been bombarded by 39 emails (addressed directly to me, not counting the ones on which make I wonder why have I been marked in the first place), continuous flow of phone calls and vendor meetings, I come across a classic from Woody Allen

"Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem" - Woody Allen 

So what should I do when I have 30 more mins to go before the (office) day and (office) week ends and I realise that I have finally and unfortunately understood. And not just one understanding but have become a fountainhead of realization and that if I continue at this pace, might be hitting self-actualization much sooner than I intend to. After much deliberation, i.e. all that I can think in 2 mins flat, I decide. A decision that's so elegant and simple.

Put the "Add reminder" feature in Outlook to the best use, set a dozen reminders for the week ahead and with a freshly dry-cleaned conscience take a coffee break :P

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Infinite Loop


Mind cannot be still. It needs continuous thinking, worrying.
The mind functions like a bicycle; if you go on pedaling it, it continues.
The moment you stop the pedaling, you are going to fall down.
Mind is a two-wheeled vehicle just like a bicycle,
and your thinking is a constant pedaling.
-Osho

Above quote pretty much sums up my current state of mind. The restlessness and continuous rumination has entered into an infinite loop

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