Category: Random Philosophy (Page 2 of 11)

The Mango Memories

Mangoes. As far as I remember, has been the favorite. More so because of its exclusivity to Summer and the nostalgia it brings when eaten.

Hamesha.

Even as kids, the anticipation of the fruit was one of the highlights of Summer. I can still recall Dada reminding us of its price per kilo at the dinner. And of course, the rotatory policy of, “Who’ll get the Tenkaa today?” Tenkaa is the ghutli or seed of the mango and being the biggest slice of it, was usually in demand.

And eating the sweet mangoes, was not the only good thing about it. The variety of chutneys and murrabbas that Dadi made and the elaborate achaar preparation out of raw mangoes is still fresh in my memory. 

Guess, I’m still not old enough. 

Ammi usually had to struggle in ensuring that I eat lunch. But with these, her job was easier. At least till the stocks lasted.

When our month-long summer vacations ensued at Nanijans’, we-the VVIPs, had those small mangoes at plenty and Nanijans’  Gudamma was quite a big deal!

If you’re getting confused with the names. Apologies. I’m pretty sure, you must have eaten these dishes at home but with some other names. 

Beherhaal!

Aah! Don’t you miss that time when  the Dadis and Nanis of the world pampered you? And your siblings. Although, I’d like to think, I was pampered more. 

My Frooty-stories are the stuff of legends. 

Childhood was amazing because of grandparents. Even these memories attached to Mango is characteristic of that emotion. 

It was a simpler time! 

While mangoes might last a few more days, the memories will last longer! 

Coffee Cravings

Coffee cravings and Rains 

As the rain hammers down the trees and ensures electricity catches a longish break, I long for sleep.

But, of course! I’m lying.

My caffeine addict brain pleads for a cup to make it feel sane. Times like these, I feel that my sister’s advice of getting a gas-connection instead of the induction, seems about right.

All for a cup!

The laptop’s battery lasted till I finished the finale of ‘This is us’. A tear-jerker drama that is designed  with an evil intent of making you cry. Not sad, but emotional.

An outpour. And yes, the rain outside too.

I’m worried more for my bicycle parked downstairs. After months, it was serviced, and the ride back home has given it another wash. Not a good one, though.

Also worried about my neighbors’ late night singing. Believe me, it’s not improving. On some days, I feel like shouting back the same song in response. But I hold back. One bad singer is enough for the neighborhood of Ejipura.

While the wind acts lazy and the rain seems to have taken a break, I still await the light bulb to blink.

I won’t have that Swades’ ‘Bijli’ moment but at least I’ll brew myself a cup of coffee. Maybe.

Balance

The 2-Rupee story

‘Yatrigan kripya dhyan den! …’ as I eagerly straightened my ears to the train announcement. It ended with ‘… hame khed hai’ and an unprecedented wait ensued. The April heat plus humidity, and having not eaten a bite since morning, made me miss the morning breakfast. Only if I had got up early!
 
I searched the back pocket of my jeans. There was a 2-rupee coin.
It was the year 2011 and even then there was hardly anything to buy for 2 Rupees that can be my, as I looked at the station clock, my Lunch!
 
I went outside the station, passing over the autos and the rickshaws, to look for the worthy vendor who deserved my 2 rupees in return for lunch. I scanned around the lane to zero down on one stall that appeared to have a lot of Bhajjis, samosas and fried stuff.
Asking ‘….eita kitte?’ is easier when you have money. I realized it that day.
 
Just then, a man walked by to give a 10 rupee note to Bhaina and got 5 Aaloo chops in return. All 5 packed in the newspaper cut-out placed diligently skewered over the counter.
 
Bingo!
 
‘Bhaina.. gotte Aloo chop ta dio’ was what I remember saying in my broken Odia.
 
I took the aaloo chop and walked towards the station. The taste of that Aloo chop, as I took a bite, is something that’s as fresh as yesterday. I used the same oil-soaked newspaper to wrap and throw-aim at the nearby dustbin to feel elated, I missed it by a whisker (because, of course!). I was still happy, nevertheless.
 
Years later, the reason I still remember this, is that I wasn’t sad about this. There was no ‘moment of determination’ that I’m going to change this. There was no drama attached to that moment and this might just be running parallel NOW in someone else’s life!
 
To go back and check the singular emotion going through my head: It was Hope!
 
The hope that this temporary mundane would change for the better. The way it has always been.
What I now realize, Hope is a peculiarly strong emotion. It CAN change the perceived impossible. It has a vision and it lends wing to that vision.
 
We’ve all faced moments when we’re hard-pressed amidst a no-way street. The dark hours are upon us and there seems to be nothing that can bring us out of there.
And yet, it does. With the hope that there’ll be a new dawn. It’s axiomatic that things will always change for the better.
 
We all strive to achieve and we won’t get ALL we want. But we’ll get something. Something that’ll make us happy to look at the past and smile about it.
 
The story I shared is everyone’s story. What we never had before, we have that now! Our list is long, and it keeps getting longer, and it might take the time to get it all. But we should always sit back and see, how many of those we already have.
 
I keep getting back to this 2-rupee story every now and then. What’s your story that puts a smile on your face when you remember it now?
The uber small talk

The Uber Small Talk

The adrenaline pumping action sequences and the grandeur of Bahuballi was laid to rest in the silence of the diverging road outside the theatre.

A seat witnessing the glory of the make-believe movie world fiefdom and the contrast of the life outside is a reality check.

In the midst of those goodbyes and people requesting the ever-so-demanding autowaalas to drop them home, the ‘Sorry, we couldn’t find you a ride’ notification from Uber wasn’t a surprise.

As I skittled in vain to book a cab, a sense of ‘chal theek hai, thodi hawa khaate hain’ seeped in. And I sat there doing absolutely nothing.

I’m pretty used to being on my own. It is very mood dependent but still a major part of how I like life to be. Less intrusive, unless I allow others in. On my own time. I’m not anti-social nor do I dislike people or their company. But to stay sane, I find being selective is important.Growing older the fear of being stuck with bad apples is far more than the occasional pleasures of solitude.

I like conversations. The ones where you’re not reacting or in a rush. The elaborate ones. Listen. Speak. Listen.

The driver arrived and was in a mood to talk. Probably just to stay awake for a few more hours and clock the mandatory hours/rides for the day. More Small talk. I’m okay with the awkward silences. Rather, over time, have got used to it. And so have my friends. (Hopefully!)

But the driver needed it. And so we talked. About Dinner, about Bahuballi’s impressive collection, his family, him being the sole bread earner and the standard driver-passenger talk about ‘How’s Uber doing?’.

As we said Goodnight to each other, my philosophical musings from earlier were overshadowed by the tough life of the driver. There I was pondering over me being alone after watching a movie, spending money equivalent to 4-5 rides he’ll have to make to match. First world problems!

Walking upstairs and crashing on my bed, when I wanted to, never seem such a luxury.

exasperating farrago of small moments

Exasperating farrago of small moments

As the aeroplane whizzed above, screeching its way through the clouds, I huffed an exasperating farrago of emotions. I mean, let me also join the elite herd.

A hammer banging against my head while I’m left with no choice to avoid.

A few seconds later, as the sound vanishes, sanity returns to the tiny lanes of Ejipura. And the dogs go back to enjoy their karaoke nights and the odd neighbour, who treats every night to be a Friday, doles out trans music. High on life.

The weekend’s almost there, mate.

Those few moments of irritation caused by the plane looming over is still difficult getting used to. Two years and counting.

After an entire day of working, all one craves is- Silence. Moments of silence. Before embarking on another day to spend in the enlightening company of spreadsheets and data.

But damn! that noise?!

I do realise my cribbing is akin to the first world rants. Still better than people who paid 75k to watch Justin Beiber lip sync. Right?

Too soon?

Of course, Aapke paise hain!

I do understand that a few moments of irritation isn’t something that deserves so much footage.

To clarify, we’re still talking about the aeroplane.

But yes, these moments that create ripples in our mood, if you closely analyse, last for very brief moments. The guy who wouldn’t stop honking on the road even when the red light is still on to those who won’t understand when they should stop talking, our day is filled with similar events. Irritating as they are, the still pass over.

But we get stuck there.

We carry on with our day with the baggage of those very moments. We love adding extra kilos to our luggage anyway.

Compartmentalising our mood and reactions can help make our day so much better.

Many of these incidents make me feel that we want to be in a bad mood. Agitated. Angry. Willing to take it out on the next possible opportunity. Like there’s a jar that we’ve promised to fill by end of the day.

Should we not wake up with a clean slate every Morning? But do we?

I cannot remember anyone waking up happy. Not me, for sure.

And this is so very sad!

As another plane passes away and gives me the same feeling of disgust. I wonder. Getting used to, huh?

falling short

Falling Short

You know that feeling of running with all you have to reach the finish line? Only to realize that there’s no prize waiting for you at the end?
 
It sucks. Right?
 
And no, the effort alone doesn’t satiate. Our panting molds into teeth crunching anger at the rate of several expletives.
Until we decide to calm ourselves down.
 
Even when, at the start of the race, the prize wasn’t the goal and participation was, it still sucks. Humans. The faulty ones, we are. We are wired in a way that the emotional switch is quite trippy.
Definitely, the learning from one race can be recycled to be implemented in another. Making the other race, easier. But the proportional effort vs result has to match. There ain’t no joy replacing that.
 
End goals are vague. But milestones should come with signs visible from the starting mile.
More than others judging you, our forced incompetence viewed in our own rear-view mirror, judges us with disgust.
 
The next race doesn’t start soon. And until it will, the rear-view won’t let us forget the tail.
Our present doesn’t live in the present. They keep juggling between the scarred past and the uncertain future for their own amusement.
 
The answer to the question of “Why do we fall short? ” is the present which cannot hold its own ground. The ‘Present’ that just doesn’t cut us some slack!
Gokarna_Travelogue_Breakfast

From the corner table

As I apprehensively looked around to cross-check whether someone’s noticing me or not, only to realize that no one gave a damn, I ducked deeper in my seat. 
 
The human emotional shift is worryingly fast. It is a mixture of many unflattering lows to exaggerated highs.
 
I sipped down my Latte. Wondering in the process as to why I ordered this and not the usual; and trying hard to make sense of the song playing in the background. The voices across the table seem to overtake that song. Laughs, I should say instead.
 
Canceling out noise without your earphones is nearly not possible. How do we get to the ‘zone’ without being on a high? With a passion, of course. Naah.
At least grabbing the corner-most seat proved to be less intrusive. The trafficked road’s view hinges on noises of a varied variety. The travel plans, the arranged-marriage wali date, the b-plan discussion, the selfie/minute gang as well as the only-one-guy-shouts in the group and the odd guy hitting down on their keyboards. Work, I believe.
 
Typically, I dislike waiting. Although, I am, currently.
Unless I can do something productive. And that’s why it’s difficult to fathom the reason as to why that guy being, staring at the wall all by himself, is doing.
 
I was in two minds on taking a day off from work but it feels it was important to lay back. The weekend is still there, but they’re usually hectic. At least socially.
 
True, I’m investing this time in my reverential observation of the general audience but I won’t call it wasting my time.
Would you?
death

What does Death teach us?

Looking around, I find strength in the idea of the destination being all-that-matters is quite a reality. But irrespective of how hard I push myself, I fail to comprehend the notion of it. Not that I don’t empathize with it or a part of me even relates to it, the thought seems to conflict with what I’ve learned in the quarter of an idealistic lifetime. Uncertain lifetime, of course.
 
Funny thing is, no one has any idea on what that destination is. And yet, they (and a part of me, sadly) wants to rush there. All trying to steer to a place they can find the comforts of the world.
 
Being laid back for this journey is not an option.
 
For a second, let us all think of death. Yes, your own death. It won’t knock. It will come unannounced.
 
All the stress we take. All the future planning that we spend hours on, will simply be for nothing.
 
I’m not excluding myself from this. And neither should you. You, the one thinking, I have time.
Our complex life is a result of our own doing. Yes, everyone thinks their life is especially complex than others. Our romance with our own past struggle is gloriously insane. For the lack of a better adjective. True, nevertheless.
They say, ‘It doesn’t matter how you reach there, what matters is, whether you made it or not’.
 
A part of me wants (badly) to believe this and reach for those societal goals. A part of me is lazy enough to not care.
 
Both are wrong. And right.
Moonlit sky

Filling it up!

A box with 24 different sections lies empty in front. Scattered pieces of fittings, big and small, asking me to pick and put ’em inside that box.
 
As I look at the moonlit sky and the reflecting stairs outta this window, I give it a thought. A sequence forms in my head. A plan to fit most of those pieces in that box. My eyes hum a different tune altogether. My already tired body doesn’t seem to enjoy the view. The pull of the pillow is stronger today.
 
Planning how the 24 would be stacked together has never been my forte, anyway. How would today be different?
 
There’s just too many things to fit in numbered sections. Few will be left out. But isn’t that the norm?
 
Somehow I try to fit a few extra ones to push and close the box. Wishing, in the process, that it doesn’t blow up in my face. Like always.
It’s not that bad. It’s just normal.
 
Perfectly packing up the 24 isn’t possible. There’ll be a surplus on a few things and deficiency in others.
 
We’ll be happy to have a few things and might feel just the opposite emotional sets based on what comes after we let the box open up.
That’s just like another day. Oh, wait, what was I talking about, anyway?
John Nash

Oh Sorry! I forgot your name

Of all the things despicable, ‘Oh Sorry! I forgot your name’ should rank pretty high on the list.
 
Worse is, when you can actually tell that it’s all a charade to simply ‘act cool’.
 
I understand people forget names. Even I do. There are occasions when I’m narrating a story and I go like, ‘Arey Kya naam tha..‘ and stretch my eyeballs close like a kid who is trying to remember an answer. We’ve all done that!
And this question can belittle your ego quite a bit. Especially when all you have is your false sense of ego. *Coughs*
 
If I forget someone’s name, I simply carry the conversation without asking their name and later joining 2+2. Same goes with phone numbers too.
 
I know you must be thinking, ‘Why to bother so much, just ask them their name directly. ‘. Right? But when you’ve studied in the same class for years or worked in the same company, it gets irritating when people ask that!
 
And if that’s your idea of making ‘small talk’ then, Woah!
 
In a world where our name is what matters above all. I take it personally. After all, why would I rant so much about one stupid silly question?
 
Or maybe I had nothing new to write. Maybe. Yeah, maybe. Still, don’t ask that question!
Unless you’re really cute!

TV shows

While binge watching another season of “The Good Wife”, one particular episode intrigued my professional curiosity. If I may say so.

The TV series, The good wife, is a court-drama and the lead is arguing on a case related to Search Engine optimization or SEO! Of course, apart from feeling a little extra excited, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the writing. They made sure the technicalities of SEO were accurate to the T. Especially when this particular season of the show was aired in 2012!

You know those ‘hacking’ scenes they show in movies and how they are just not accurate. I usually considered, by default, most of those as a dumbed down version of what actually happens! 

Television writing for most of American Shows is crisp and intellectually engaging. Not all shows work for everyone, but the quality of Television writing is axiomatically brilliant.  Even the blink-and-miss characters are pretty well-defined. 

At least the writing on Indian Web-series has started picking up if not the Indian TV, which continues to be the same. But maybe we’ll skip the ‘Television’ altogether just like most of India jumped to Mobile phones before Landlines could spread their wires across. A very unusual comparison, but why not ? 

Thankfully, Internet isn’t censored as our Television or Films are; and with numerous investments from YRF to Balaji, along with the existing TVFs and AIBs, can breathe in a something exciting in terms of writing. 

Which show are you hooked on to ?

Eavesdropping

There’s a certain weirdness in having knowledge of everything that goes on around you. 

The good. The bad and the ugly. Especially, the ugly. 

One particular friend of mine starts off the ‘once-in-a-quarter phone call with Aur kuch gossip bata? 

I don’t usually have any. But she sure does.

We all crave for the, ‘So, what’s going on with that person?’ 

However, on the rare days when I forget my earphones at home, there’s a lot that goes in my ear, other than Ed Sheeran’s Shape of you. And what’s with the song ?! 

Of the many things, I realise people talk a LOT at workplace! I mean, way too much! Of late, I’m even fed with the knowledge of their breakfast menu, their spouses, in-laws, and sooooo many variations of ‘laughter’. 

Every ringtone in a far off cubicle is like an RFID tags that is way too loud for making their presence felt. Even in the washroom. I mean who attends this call along with the nature’s?

In the midst of it all, I miss a few of my colleagues. The discussions. The breaks. The fun. 

Now, forgetting my earphones is akin to attending class without getting an attendance!

People talking-out-loud is just too much information. The one I don’t need. 

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