Category: Random Philosophy (Page 1 of 15)

Vagaries of life’s plan

The vagaries of our lives are like the waves. We wish that they discuss (among themselves) and come to us with a synchronized display. Entertain us. And warn us when they don’t intent to. Wishful thinking.

God! We’re fools.

The spectrum of our expectations: Downright pessimism to Pseudo Optimism. The happy notes don’t make us sing in joy while the gloomy disaster doesn’t throw us off. The balanced status quo travels through the spectrum with its own confusion. This or That.

Perceived changes for good doesn’t bring in the joy. It just lasts for that instant. Gratified? Done. Gone. There’s no after taste.

‘Now, What’s next?’ echoes habitually.

There’s a foot outta door before putting one inside. The long-term plan, which’ll be followed by another one of the same league.

Sometimes you start admiring the unsynchronized beauty of the waves. There’s no plan there. They just tower over you and then fall flat. Only to return. They seem to like the ritual. We just hate the uniformity until we find a new one to replace it. Changing batteries. Waiting (sometimes) until they run out, or just because we wanted to. Like, why not? Maybe this upgrade will excite us, we think.

The knowledge of mortality is a question mark that looms large and our attempt to squeeze in the experiences is practical. Don’t you feel, not knowing this would have helped us better?

Are we subjecting ourselves to become too aspirational?

An image of achievement guided by our society, fed by our past laurels and aimed at a shifting finish line?

Are we manufacturing our own disappointments ? Do this, do this and do that too. You can’t? That’s a shame!

Not that aspirations are an enemy. Neither is having plans. But perhaps subjecting ourselves to an interrogation of not meeting them is.

unfiltered conversations

Unfiltered Conversations

Conversations with strangers are what give rise to ideas with the absence of a filter. The unfamiliarity bares open your thoughts and even surprises you. It’s not suppression or the inability that plagues your thoughts, or holds them back but perhaps an understanding of the reactions of known vs. unknown surroundings.

Instead of caring for a response, the focus is on the outlet of thoughts and opinions.

While reading a book by Haruki Murakami, I came across a concept which defines subject vs. object. We are always our subjects, and everything else is an object(s) to fulfill our objectives. I know, this literally amounts to the objectification of everything. Even people. But for arguments’ sake, what if this is the key to achieving clarity of goals?

I’m searching what I really want to search and not just what I want. A constant ‘Should I?’ at the end of each of those searches gets added like a takia-kalam. How pathetically critical of me, some would say.

Pivoting back to the conversations with strangers, the moment of ‘you don’t have to look good in any story’ part, there’s so much truth to what flows out. The genuineness of thoughts, ably-helped by what you speak, is an unadulterated symphony which lightens you up.

And when you get that in return, the warmth is comforting and connecting. Ever so slightly, or momentarily you feel elated, of having got through. Or allowing others to get through a passage of opinion visible to you.

Sure, not all filters are bad. Few are critical and necessary for social life to prosper. But it’s always important to bring in conversations with the absence of these in the mix. Intentionally if not seamlessly. The hesitancy to add Question marks at the end of difficult sentences as well as to be able to take similar ones head-on. Not answer which we don’t know, and not ask questions to those who don’t know.

In a life where mortality is a question that looms large, living life should (sometimes) be about finding your path home and not always follow the printed map.

Clarity

Early

When you walk into your office while the cleaning staff is lazily sashaying the broom near your desk, the gloomy deserted aura of the floor appears different than normal. The switched-on lights make this space appear cleaner than usual. You get to feel the AC is working. Nothing’s better than this when you’ve cycled to work. Even by early morning standards, the sun is beginning to get hotter.
 
Summer is here, after all. Even Namma Ooru feels hotter. But the still-blooming flowers does make up for it. Silver Linings.
 
As the clock ticks, people trickle in, sleepy good morning exchanges can be heard around the bay. Glad that not everyone comes to office on time. You settle in, search for your coffee mug and damn! No hot water to brew yourself a cup of coffee. Not a good way to start your day at work.
 
Wait. Hate, but wait.
 
As emails load up on your feed and the numbers tell you stories. Scary ones, and occasionally, the happy ones. The fluctuations there, reflect here. Reports. Sit, create a few more. Wonder who’s creating your reports. Is there a graph capturing the mood points being visualized somewhere? Hashtag Musings. Hashtag Reveries.
 
Being systematic is a lifelong goal. The files on your desktop, a poor reflection of the lack of achievement for the same. Guess, the ‘lifelong’ is a long way to go. Hashtag Life Goals.
 
Finally, the water is here. And so are more people. But, hey, Coffee solves a few headaches (at least).

Breaking the leash

Decisions. Unlike the binaries which the world perceives it to be are complex. Complex enough to keep us anchored to our inertia. Disallowing us to move away. The imaginary leash is strong enough to allow us to peek out and yet pull us back.

Holding onto the current state is what we’ve allowed ourselves to function as, instead of striving for that something more on the other side. The one we always peek into.

I know, I know. Comparisons are wrong. But the strive for something better, compared to your own present state, is what keeps you working towards any goal(s). It is what keeps you up at night and the one that can get you started in the morning. The first goal, obviously, is to find it. Everyone runs on their own time and some get a head start in the right direction. While others float around waters to find their own course. Either way, we’re all in the waters. The ends may vary from shallow to deep.

So, how do we break the imaginary leash? How do we jump out of the nest? How do we dive into the deeper end?

“Yeah, smarty pants! We all know the questions? What’s the answer?”

Can the answer help the horse understand that the leash tied to the wood is easier for him to break than he imagines? But who’ll explain it to him? Unless he himself tries to do it.

Exactly.

No one can estimate their strength unless they try. Try to break that shell. Fall from the nest before learning to fly. Learning to pedal away without a few scratches. It’s the trial that counts. And probably the one that lends strength to our cause.

So, let’s head out into the world, trying to break our leashes.

The sounds of the wave

The sounds of these waves, the sand beneath and the moon up above, all so soothingly calming. Like the wind cooling down the days humidity away. Someone’s playing live music in the cafe nearby. All in the background.

I walk down along the horizons of the beach. It’s late and this end of the beach is all for myself. Shared by the waves, their sounds and the sand carpet laid out. But this is okay. I have this to myself.

This right here is one unique experience being added to the list of many. How easy is this to get? An unshared space in your head complemented by the nomadic view of this setting.

It’s scary too. Like the 100 odd things you do for the first time. It’s just so damn difficult to change even when you want to. Even when you know what to change. And yet, you stop. Unwillingly flow the way you’ve always been. The low and high tides, hardly counting as a major upgrade.

The waves crossed their marks in the sand, trickling down my chappals. Surprised.

‘There are things to learn.’ as I head back towards the other side.

Being The Procrastinating Tortoise

The more one indulges in procrastination in writing, the longer it takes to get the mojo back. Not that your head doesn’t brim up with ideas for a new post, but none of those seem good enough. There’s always that hesitation that puts up a red light in your way. You wait. And then get tired of the wait. Change course to find a new way towards your destination. Every post in your draft is a testimony to this ‘wait-and-change’ phenomenon.

Irrespective of where you are on the road, expecting red lights to pop up without warning, is ironically expected. The smart thing is always to choose a time when there is less traffic. The pauses in your life must be leveraged to steer you towards the ideal destination.

What’s ideal?

As far as the horizon allows you to see. Filled with uncertainty and yet the promise of displacing you from your current state. Change is better (maybe). Or at least it promises to be better. And perhaps that’s the whole game.
When you read more (the good stuff) and invariably compare your own (the yet to be good stuff), it worries you. Makes you think, will THIS ever be good enough?

I’m not even bringing in the perspectives of others, on how they find your writing to be, it’ll always be a mixed bag. Your own process, swinging in your head, automatically triggers you to judge your own writing. Helplessly, you heave a sigh! Tired of trying to match up. Crawling uphill on bare feet when the world zooms past you in their fancy motors. Blowing away their 2-cent wisdom on your face.

You, of course, don’t give a damn. Because you convince yourself that you’re here for the longer run. It is a marathon and not a sprint. You’ll be the tortoise.

Aaj kuch likh rahe hain

आज काफी मोहलत निकालके लिखने बैठा हूँ। कुछ खास लिखने को है नही पर फिरभी मन हुआ कि कुछ लिखूं। आजकल लिखने का routine फॉलो नही होपता और न ही कुछ होता है शेयर रोज़ाना करने।

हल्की ठंड में जो यर हवा चलती है, इसमे में कम ही निकल बाहर बैठता हूँ पर साला आज ये भी कर रहा हूँ जैकेट डाले और कानों में शफल पे लगे ईरफ़ोन पर गाना.कॉम पर गाने सुनते हुए।

सुनिएगा क्या?

फिलहाल ‘मीर-ए-कारवां’ बज रहा है। लिखने में थोड़ा इफ़ेक्ट आये एहिके लिए लगा दिया है। खैर, गाने तो आप सुनते ही होंगे। कोई अच्छा हो तो बतलाइये हमभी ऐड करलेंगे प्लेलिस्ट में अपने। ऑफिस में ईरफ़ोन लगाके ही काफी लोगों से बचा जाता है, कभी कभी तो गाना बज भी न रह होता है और हम ‘हैँ?’ करते पाए जाते हैं। का किया जाए, बकैती करने वालों का ढेर है हर तरफ।

दिमाग खुदको शांत रखने देना ही नही चाहता । बताइये। पहले पूरा दोपहरी बस लेटे लेटे ही बीता लेते थे। इसी सोमवार आएं हैं गुजरात घुमके और अभी अगला कहाँ निकलना है उसका प्लानिंग होगया। कंपलेन नही कर रहे बस कह रहे है । नही सुन्ना तो सजाइए, रात होगया है। सुबह पढ़ रहे हैं इसको तो जाइये काम कीजिए , वीकेंड ठक ठका रहा है।

कितना कुछ होता है न कहने को? मतलब हम तो ऐसे ही लिखके थोड़ा कुछ बाहर उगल देते रहते हैं? ई न हो तो का करे आदमी? उमर के साथ, बतियाने वाला लोग भी कम होजाता है। बोल बताने के लिए तो कतार रहता ही है, खैर। सबका अपना अपना है।

ठहराव नही है। आता है और फिर गायब। लाइफ भी एक्सपेरिमेंट होरहा है। थॉमस एडिसन जैसा 1000 बार नही कर पाएंगे बल्ब जलाने का ट्राय। स्वदेश में आखिर में खड़ी बुढ़िया ‘बिजली’ की आस में। ओहि होना बाकी है।

कहना का का था, और का का कह गए। बकैती सीख रहे जैन हम भी। दस्तूर है अब ज़माने का।

pointlessnes

Pointlessness

Pointlessness.
 
That’s one word that has got stuck in my headspace. And the more I think about it, the more dangerous the thoughts emanating from it appear to me. Not having a purpose to your social self is problematic. And it’s not limited to the idea of ‘nothing to look forward to’ but the eventuality of that (or anything desired) ceasing to exist.
 
Towards the end of last month, back at home, I ended up visiting the graveyard for a funeral in the colony. Being away, it is very rare that you even participate in a funeral or even visit the graveyard. Without an assured certainty, I can accord the origins of this persisting pointlessness to it or just consider that as a trigger. Nevertheless, it has occupied some real estate for a while.
 
And then this evening, as I sat down in the balcony, while the evening was announcing its arrival, the moment brought some sense to me. I could finally feel my breath. All of it, the inhaling and exhaling of it, right there. The partial answer to the pointlessness just bared itself in the form of a simple moment of idleness. The scenery is as exciting as our mind wants it to be. The dimmed skylight is hardly making a case for an Instagram worthy picture.
 
Not that I have an answer to the pointlessness that our lives are. Yet. Yes, our tiniest of efforts contribute to an objective that we don’t individually value and maybe that has a purpose. The purpose of our existence.
 
But, on an individual level, the absence of a purpose is a wordless description of nothingness. You don’t seem to care if the race you’re part of is getting kickstarted, or the goalposts keep getting shifted, or that you find yourself in multiple races with an eventuality of you never reaching the finish line. When that realisation becomes clear, this pointlessness becomes real heavy.
 
Hence, a moment like this evening, of being able to watch, sit and breathe with a sense of contentment, keeps your sanity intact. A moment is all it takes to bring you back. Back to hope.

Listen through the noise

It’s never easy to listen amongst the noise. The noise of existence around you. The blaring horns of words that demand an answer. Their need and your obligation. You oblige. That’s how the world survives and with it, you do as well.

What I mean is to really listen. Not to hear the formation of words in a syntax. To listen to it from your eyes. Eyes that bloom away stories out of the air, shouting for the world to hear them, but only you listen. It is then that you listen to, by keeping your breath flawlessly still. Your throat dries up in anticipation for more of it.

You’re thirsty now. You always were. The realization simmers down your mind, deviating you, and you bring it back. To listen to it again. Is this real?

You take a moment to answer it. A moment all it lasts. And.

And the noise gathers around and your question continues to hang in the balance. The eyes get back to see. The ears gather the sounds. You can feel a sighing breath passing by. All it took a moment for you to doubt. A moment for it all to vanish. Ever suspected this to be that moment? No one does.

Now you want to listen. You knock on the doors. The wrong doors, to listen. All you get is the noise. You console yourself about that lost moment. A hesitant moments’ flick of fingers. Gone.

Was that real? Or this is?

Ghar

ट्राली धकेलते हुए प्लेटफार्म नंबर 4 पर आ खड़े हुए आज भोरे भोर। ट्रैन आने वाली थी 7 बजे और अभी कुछ 10 मिनट बचे भी हुए थे कि हम सोचे कि थोड़ा खड़े ही रहते हैं, ठंड में सीमेंट वाली सीट में बैठना मुनासिब नही। ठंड उतनी ज़्यादा तो नही पर थी ज़रूर। अभी ही भाई छोड़के गया था टेशन बाहर।

सामने खड़ा RPF वाला धूप सेंक रहा था बंदूक ताने। हमारे पास भी हल्की धूप टच कर ही रही थी। हम दोनों शालीमार एक्सप्रेस का वेट कर रहे थे। साथ में काफी और भी पैसेंजर वेट कर रहे थे। ट्रैन आते आते और लेट होरही थी, लोग भी साथ मे विचलित।

दांत में सुबह सुबह खाया हुआ गाजर का हलवा अब भी फ्रेश था।हमरे लिए बना था तो खत्म करके ही निकलने को कहा अम्मी ने। मना कौन करता है।

लोगों के सामान और लगेज देखके छुट्टियां खत्म होने का अंदेशा साफ दिखता है। चेहरा थोडा कुछ न भी बोले भी तो लगेज बता ही देता है: वेकेशन ओवर!

सामने वाला RPF भी लोगों को ताक रहा था हमरी तरह। ड्यूटी उसकी शुरू हो चुकी थी, हमारी शुरू होने वाली है अगले दिन। ड्यूटी समान तो नही, काम मे आराम ही कह लीजिए। काम से कौन घबराता है भला। अब तो आदत जो होगयी है। हम ‘बड़े’ जो होगये हैं। कामना तो सोसाइटल नॉर्म है, सक्सेसफुल कहलाने के लिए।

ट्रैन हॉर्न देते हुए प्लेटफार्म पे घुसी चलो आरही थी और हम सोच रहे थे CTC में घर से दूर रहने का भी कॉम्पोनेन्ट होना ही चाहिए। फिर अपनी बोगी की तरफ दौड़ते हुए सोचा, ‘पैसा कबसे पूरा करेगा घर से बाहर रहके नौकरी करने का मुआफ़ज़ा?’

Letting your Youtube playlist play

Do you also just let your YouTube playlist do it’s own thing by queuing songs on it’s own ?

I do, too. 

But most of the time it’s either because it plays in one of the chrome tabs while I’m on an Excel sheet sorting/arranging some data. 

Tonight (I, of course, mean the night before) after dinner I thought of writing a post and while staring at the blank Ms-Word screen. Blink. Blink. 

Youtube, by default, becomes your TV when you don’t have one! And thank God! Otherwise, watching those awful news channels would make me rant everyday about things that I’m really trying not to get worked up about. Seriously! 

There used to be a time when my Grandfather used to tell us ‘Watch News’! Watching news was considered an intellectual indulgence and a value addition to your GK! I hope today’s grandfather’s don’t say that to their kids. Else, God save us! 

Beherhaal, YouTube popped up a favorite ‘Jaane would kaise log the’ which occasionally ends up on loop. But is something that I’ve not listened to, in a while. Click. Play. 

I get back to the blank screen. Still Blinking. 

Aargh! I wonder what’s with the whole, ‘What should I write?’ thought. Getting stuck is awful. Irritating. Questions loop in an echo. Answer? Ha ha ha! 

‘Ye Jo Des hai mera’ 

Listening to the song only takes me to that scene where Mohan Bhargav buys a kulhad of water from that boy in the station. That moment freezes in front, even when I’m not looking at the video. If I look at it, I’ll feel like watching the movie again. And it’s already past midnight. It’s the other day. 

‘Kyun’ from Barfi

‘Aazadiyan’ from Udaan

‘Tu bin bataye’ from Rang De Basanti

‘Kitni baaten’ from Lakshya

And they all play one after the other. The ads play in between because well, YouTube is the new TV. Right?

Coke Studio Season 9. Woah, I need to switch. ‘Tera Would Pyaar’. What’s the point of starting at a blank screen, anyway! And well, Momina Mustehsan. Do I have to give a reason? 

Nawazishen Karam. Indeed. Fits perfectly. Now, I can sleep. 

ठंड के वो दिन

आज बैठा था धूप तापते हुए बालकनी में। हवा साथ मे चल रही थी तो धूप की तपिश का वो मज़ा नही मिल पा रहा था। मैंने अपनी नीलकमल थोड़ी खिसकाई और आगे की तरफ बढ़ा। पर हाल फिरभी वही था। 

यूँ तो मैं सर्दियों का फैन नही हूँ। वैसे देखा जाए तो गर्मी या बारिश के extreme नेचर का भी फैन नही। हर चीज़ में मॉडरेशन पसंद कुछ ज़्यादा है हमें। लोग आजकल लिबरल भी कह डालते हैं। कुछ विषयो पे एक्सट्रेमिस्ट भी कह चुके हैं। अब लोग तो लोग ही हैं, काम हैं उनका कहना। 

खैर, अभी बस ठंड की बात करते हैं। आज घर वाली सर्दी को miss कर रहा था। धूप में भी स्वेटर पेहेनके बैठना , घंटों तक, कॉमिक बुक हाथ मे लिए। फिर जब वक़्त हुआ तो , खेलते रहना बिना थके। उस दौरान हुम बड़े चाव से टेस्ट क्रिकेट भी खेला करते थे। हालांकि में कुछ खास नही खेलता था पर उत्साह हमेशा ज़ोरो पर रहता था। आलम तो कुछ ऐसा हुआ करता था कि हम रमज़ान के महीने में भी घंटों खेल लिया करते थे। क्रेजी कह लीजिए। फज्र की नमाज़ के लिए न निकले पर बैट धरके सबको जागाते हुए गांधी मैदान में दिख ज़रूर जाते थे।

गरम पानी के इलावा कुछ चूना कहर हो मानो। लकड़ी के चूल्हे पे बारी बारो पानी गर्म हो चलता और नहाने की बारी लागतो। थोड़ा टालते पर कुछ डांट सुनते गुसलखाने की जानिब चल ही देते। नहाके सीधे दौड़ते हुए धूप में। ठिठुरते हुए। 

इस मौसम में बैर काफी मिलते थे। कभी कदर हम पास के एक कंपाउंड को फांदके बैर भी चुराया करते थे। और ये भी न किया कभी तो कमसेकम घर मे बुयाम में हल्दी लगाके रखे बैरों का चुपके सेवन तो ज़रूर किया है। 

रातों को बड़े की निहारी सुर सुर करके खाना तो याद है ही और साथ मे मोहल्ले के चौराहे पर अंडे के कूट से हाथ सेकना भी। फिर अम्मी के चिल्लाने पर घर आते ही रज़ाई में दुबक के दादी के साथ सोना, ताकि अब्बू डांटे नही। 

वो थे ठंड के दिन। और आज यहां पंखे की स्पीड को ताकते नींद को बुलाने की कोशिश जारी है। 

नींद से याद आया, कल मंडे है। 

कोई कह रहा है, ‘आज कहिये जनाब’।

Page 1 of 15