Monday, 5 June 2017

The benign addiction in being a loser.

The concept of losing not only holds very negative connotations, but is even disparaged at times for what it brings along with it. In the present times, the honor and dignity of a loss, have not only been denigrated, but losing as a whole is no longer even considered an acceptable outcome. People will tell you to a battle, and would just expect you to win. You must be wondering what gibberish I am talking, and many would have even considered the possibility of leaving the post. And you should! But what I have to say today, has to be said. 

Losing is not about the state you witness when you're not winning. There's no black and white to life. You'll see your feed flooding with quotes that inveigle people about getting over their losses, about only winners being the worthy occupants of this earth. The way winners self-aggrandize, is now being portrayed as the only acceptable way left to live. Like if you took part in a battle and lost, there's no chance in hell you can look up again till you've scored a victory. But ladies and gentlemen, this is not how it always has been. 

The way times are changing, and the way winners are assuming the rostrum by asserting their natural right to it, losers can just mark the sidelines. Winning is concomitant to the grandiloquence coming from the former masters of the game, while losing is attached to the caricature of a whimpering ruffian who never got his shit right. Everything we ever hear or see only accentuates this. Even Darwin's theory of natural selection corroborates the same. And why not? Everyone who has ever lost has retired to a grotto of sordidness and soliloquy, while every winner has gone on to hit the home run. But no one ever bothered to look back a loser, and see how he feels about the defeat. 

Yes, most losers wouldn't even admit to the loss and would spew cliches about getting it right in the next go. But what about the losers who played knowing this was their last shot? Has anyone ever gathered enough courage to go back to them and see what they have to say about their loss. And what about the celebrated loser who is on his way to being knocked out with no scope of him ever competing again? Wouldn't he be too lugubrious, and too entrenched in his eternal consternation? Or wait, why should I bother about him. He is a reprobate who shall never even listen. In our minds, we are either too apathetic about him or her, or too apprehensive. But truth be told, that person is not as mawkish as he looks right there! 

Oh yes, that person is no longer in the state where he or she could consciously recall what went right or wrong. That person is ostensibly too inebriated in the benign addiction of being a loser. This sounds crazy, but yes this addiction does exist. Why am I referring to this or addiction or why I'm terming it benign is immaterial. Let's just look at what this addiction is about, instead. 

You know, there are a few people who lose because they weren't prepared and so they knew they'll have to pull themselves up and fight again. But then there is a coterie which comprises of fighters who just do their job - to train! They just keep doing their chores and what they expect of themselves to do. In fact, they're too busy doing what they always do, that they don't even have any time for any contemplation or benchmarking. They're so engrossed in their duties, that they don't know when they were transported from the training ground to the performing arena, and when they were knocked out for that matter. Truth be told, the addiction is not of losing, but of doing what they really find to be the only purpose worth striving for. 

People have many ambitions and many dreams they truly cherish. But this breed is monomaniacal. They're so much into their trade, that despite them knowing about their deficiencies and shortcomings, they'll somehow wheedle themselves to the playground again, even if they're mocked and lambasted after every loss meted out to them. What looks to the outsider as a rebarbative lunatic, is actually a frantic who is just too much into something. These people are too impudent towards the outcome. They're not worried at all about what repercussions it shall have on them. They're just in it for the sake of being in it. After all, what's life without a purpose. And while their defeats can take their shots away from them, their purpose still prevails. The purpose of staying addicted to doing what they're doing, even if it means being addicted to losing! 

If you're still with me, let's bring some examples into the perspective. Nikola Tesla. Throughout his life, he was harangued and scoffed at for being the 2nd best to Edison. Even his death was a deplorable one with a carping man dying in seclusion in his hotel room which he had come to perpetually occupy. Or Alan Turing for that matter. He was arraigned of going against the laws that dictate terms on what is considered a natural and acceptable sexual union, and yet he willingly submitted himself to the cause of helping people out, even when they made his life a living hell. 

I saved the best one for the last. Now this one might be platitudinous, but it's more germane to be honest. The classic case of the unrequited love! A person becomes so besotted and enamored by someone else, that he not only loses sense of what's real, but even inveterately denies all possibilities of his beloved being already taken. He is in love, and he believes it his is solemn job to keep the love alive. Any considerations on how he is supposed to achieve course correction if the beloved is seen with someone else, is beyond the scope of what he finds deft. In fact he becomes this adiaphorous man with no regard to how the society or his supposed beloved treats him anymore. To the world, he is a loser who couldn't get over him being played out, while to himself, his job is to remain addicted to the benign addiction of love, which to him means more than paltry coquetry. 

There is no merit in the fact that such a recluse has an acceptable way of leading his life. However, there are cases when an addiction is beyond reparation. That's true for malicious addictions like that of liquor and meth, of course. But this benign addiction of getting defeated is the most extirpating of them all. Not only is the person being expunged from inside, but he is addicted to to it, and in a rather trenchant way is even oblivious to it. Truth be told, any addiction when it has crossed the threshold, has already claimed much already, which this person may not approve of, but which is never going to come back nonetheless. The most important thing being how he used to be. Yes, the loss of identity is the biggest of them all, and beyond that, there's not much left to lose. So hence ladies and gentlemen, this was the story of a man suffering from this benign addiction of being a loser. The addiction no one would talk about, but an addiction that exists.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

The battles I've lost.

There's a lot that changes everyday in our lives. The OOH ads near your building are taken down, the headlines of the newspaper change, the one odd pal in your neighborhood leaves and so on. We witness all these changes as a passive observer. We even take a note in our subconscious mind, but they're all so jejune. But hidden in these vacuous changes is a truth, which often escapes our attention. In fact while this truth is furtively hidden in every chapter we're taught, this dictum seldom receives the attention it deserves. The only truth that shall ever prevail is change! 

A lot has changed in my life, and for some reason it is only today after so many years, that I feel like taking a note of it. Why? Well recently something pretty big happened. Not big to the naked eye, but gargantuan given the impact it shall have on my life. For 3 years, something had become an innate part of my life. It had suddenly assumed such a pivotal position that I could always aim for it everyday. All of a sudden, my lackadaisical demeanor had left and there was a new me all over. 

For some context, I have been a very wayward and apathetic guy throughout my life. I was the typical iconoclast no one could really relate to. To be very honest, even I didn't see myself amounting to much. Like a vapid litany from the church, I was just a stream of actions after actions, all falling haplessly apart in the longer scheme. There was no routine, no structure and no purpose. And then suddenly something changed. 

In this post I'll not mention what that thing was. However, I'll enunciate what it really meant to me. The thing, or the event I shall call it from hereon, made me realize that there is a method to the madness. Haven't you heard the platitude - God has a plan. Being an agnostic, I never really discredited god, but I didn't have much in my quiver to corroborate for his presence either. So yeah, this kaleidoscope of light was quite a phenomenon. Not something I had the privilege to experience before. 

In the blink of an eye, my actions became more organized and life became very euphonious. My apathy from the past, which was often quite an odyssey to reason with, had now given way to consideration. I suddenly became a much better human being. From a drab, reticent and garrulous person, I had suddenly become the debonair. I was seeing sense in living out, rather than considering it as a mere formality. The event was numinous and the effect palliative. It seemed like after 24 years of a dismal and laconic existence had finally given way to surfeit of human emotion. Little did I know then. 

There have been many battles that I've fought in my life, not because I wanted to but because I had to. From being an infant born with a right clubbed foot, giving pangs of tribulation to my parents right from the word go, to the profusely sweating boy who was always sick, to the confused schoolboy who just went blindly with his career choices just because the society deemed so, to the professional who was again a rather apocryphal placeholder. I never chose any of those battles and even defeats could only annihilate a small chunk of me. But this event, not only gave me a lot of solace, it also gave me a battle I chose to fight. The battle to ensure this event was not evanescent, but permanent. 

I've been fighting for three years now. I've learned a lot during this course. For the first time, just a single event had made such a profound change in everything. This entire event and the entity linked with it, came across as being so sibylline, that I decided to reify their status by making them a mission. So this was my first conscious battle. I knew the odds were stacked against me like they did in many battles in the past as well, but boy did I have to fight this one. 

Like a bewailing hermit who didn't know the trade, I have cringed and cowered against myself to stop. I kept telling myself this was not the battle for me. However, the unperturbed stoic in me told me to keep going and so I did. On the way I had many hurdles, some which I could nip over, and some which extirpated a part of me at many levels. I didn't realize that not only was I fighting a tough battle, but the fact that the battle was expunging my identity from within!

I did not have much in the form of an identity either. All I had was a random set of events which helped me get to whatever maudlin position I was. However, that excuse in the name of identity was all that I had. It was all that I could garner throughout my life. So during the course of this ravaging battle, I slowly and steadily eschewed all of it. What came of me was a socially acceptable man, but what ensued behind was a larceny of all that I ever was. 

Of late, as expected, I've lost the battle. What's more vitriolic than the loss is the fact that I was just destined to. You're raised on this planet with maxims of hard work. You are told that if you stick to your morals, you'll get everything you ever need. And I duly vested my faith when I fought this battle. The defeat was excruciating, but the toughest part was knowing that even a win would have been Pyrrhic. For a shred of momentary glimmer, I chose to traduce my own history. Whatever modicum of a man I was, there was a certain set of experiences that defined me. Today, as a loser when I try contemplating them, I can't even relate to them anymore. 

A period of 3 years ha just passed by, withering away in the tempest of change almost every hope I had from this first battle I chose. I've walked out conquered, but I've also bore the brunt of my own alter ego from 3 years ago, having a guttural laugh at stepping into a battle I was bound to lose. We all have to fight in our lives. For our people, our opportunities our standing, but there is a fight everyone is in. We as human beings don't have much control over the purview of how battles progress, but we do have dominion over the battles we choose. I chose my first battle and I've lost. And now all of a sudden, there are no more battles left ahead of me. This, my patient reader, was my miserere for all the battles I've lost!

Friday, 27 January 2017

The tale of tranquility.

Of late, my blogging skills seem to have gone for a vacation. There isn't much happening in life on the exploration front. Not many new experiences galore and neither has the candor of anyone struck that chord with me. There often comes a phase in your life when you furtively befriend clamor, for it becomes the only constant. The din at the workplace to the chattering of the transport you take to work. The more the world runs amok, the more you embrace its futility, and the more you give in to the chaos. You live with it, thinking that your involvement in the universal entropy, gives you a place in the order! While order, ironically, doesn't even exist. 

This longing for your own place in this fast paced world, endows certain lifelines to you. These lifelines are boons because without them, you'll find your hallucinations about the aptness of your current world vivisected. In the noise, you avoid the noose of penance. Penance for having overlooked the vagaries of a life that was not worth living, but that you merely convinced yourself to endure, at the expense of fitting into the paltry order. And once you've avoided any considerations about the moral ineptness of acquiescing to that life, you're off the hooks. However, if you fail to do that, you give in to a force so ravaging and so grotesque, that you simply can't escape it. Tranquility! 

The perilous move to surrender to this force can often result in rather dastardly consequences. The juggernaut of human progress, concomitant with the promise of prosperity, hides a lot more than it reveals, In the mist of universal cacophony, tranquility loses its place, only to be found by those who have "lost their way". And losing your way is always a pernicious misdeed in the now nearly perfect facade we call the modern world. 

Human beings as they are today, are not a product of natural evolution. When homo sapiens went on to beat various other species of the same genus, it was nature calling the shots. But then, we took over the reins and produced an evolution of our own. It was the evolution of collective psyche. From individuals, we formed clans, then tribes, then villages, then towns and then cities. And just like that, the collective psyche spurned its magic. The purpose for congregation was different. From water to river basins to religion to opportunity, but something always acted as the magnet. And as folks got attracted towards the rather innocuous common objective, the lying purpose often became nefarious, and we couldn't catch a blink.

When we came together for opportunity, our actions bred inequality. When we came together for religion, our motif turned into a massacre. And likewise, when we came for water, we invented bondage basis the first come first serve principle. Our purpose always got desecrated, but the root remained true and sactimonious. And thus, emerged from the ashes of the purity of our original purpose, the myth of order. What lies beyond this myth, bemoaning and wailing while dying a slow death, is tranquility.

Tranquility is not merely the absence of din. It's what we've made it look life because of the noise that our lives now largely comprise of. Tranquility, in fact, is a state in its own right. It's the state when we get to see beyond the diaphanous curtain of morality. It is the curtain that ensues in our daily hypocrisy; the art of keeping two faces which nature certainly did not endow upon us. But tranquility, true to the peril that it presents, is too strong to make us realize its presence. 

Tranquility is not akin to silence amid the shores, but the foreboding of the upcoming tempest. Like the sonorous metal utensil that lies on the shelve, untouched for days, biting dust, and suddenly on a single jerk, falls on the ground and shakes the last neuron in the brain. Likewise tranquility is a barrage so powerful and yet so surreptitious. that it's only when you witness it, that you feel the impact. 

The moment you strike that curtain, you see your misconceptions char to ruins and the hard hitting reality annihilating the irascible liar in you. Deep beneath the usual go-to man, lies a suppressed giant, one who sees his horrid face only on the surface of the stream called tranquility. The absence of chaos with the compulsion of vices absconding, you surrender to revelations, more vitriolic and more condescending than the pressure to act against your will ever was!

Yes, that's true. You always knew you ere going wrong. A child's questions are never wrong for they come out of natural instinct. What you don't find right in the world is not right because you're a manifestation of unbridled nature. However, your questions either result in the elders' futile circumlocution or in you getting reprimanded, and the questions are turned into hardwired answers. But throughout your lives, you do ask some questions once in a while, only to no avail, as you fear falling out of the universal chain. The chain of following a trend, or the literal chain of holding hands together at a procession. But it will always be a chain and you are always the next victim, made to act against your will. 

Now you've given into tranquility and you see the fortress of the enigma you called your life, crumbling into pits and pieces. In the splinters of the glasses from your kingdom of vignettes and achievements, you find pieces that reflect the hideous blurred and inverted image of that 'you' who did something to earn what that shred was worth. Bit by bit, you toil hard to put the entire image together and try seeing it all at once. But the sight is too grisly, and the contempt for self too labile. So you keep looking, as tranquility enshrouds the stubborn giant, which as it now turns was only the semblance. 

Tranquility, I reiterate, is not the absence of chaos, but a rambunctious state of mental thought. It's a figurine of your true self, beneath which lies that suppressed motley of questions from when you were a child, and over which is plastered the palliative visage you present to the rest of the world. Tranquility is so eerie and so obscure, that while all your life you craved for something or the other. Be it that girl, that car or that promotion. But tranquility, makes you renounce, and not just eschew those earnings and those possessions, but your very own self. 

Tranquility is much more than just silence. It's a stream of your virtues, winnowed away in the whirlpool of universal redemption. It is a silent reviling of the code of conduct , which you reluctantly, but eventually vowed to. And it is indeed the moratorium of the application of the same. In that sense, tranquility is a like a computer hanging for a while. All inputs resulted in a particular output and suddenly, either excessively prolonged operation or some undefined input results in erratic behavior. Likewise, despite the attempts of mankind to make our species a factory for producing more and more individuals programmed to act in a set manner, our program too goes awry, and we don't hang, but we recede to tranquility. 

Moreover, just like a computer program, at times one may return from there, but more often than not, the fault was too grand not to have a long term impact. Tranquility casts a spell on you, where for the first time, not only do you confront the truth about the myth of the order which you made the holier than thou tenet of your life, but it also absolves you of the guilt to question the same. Tranquility is the catalyst that provokes you like a seductress to give into her charms. It lures the stubborn you and leaps you within in the whirl of emotional concoction. 

It is in the mist that surrounds the silent shore, that the strength of the tides beneath the surreal moon becomes most prominent. Tranquility is an agent too powerful to shatter all myths, and yet too irrelevant to even exist. It is the force that exists within, but one that fights through the whims of gunfire, which it prevails through, and then suddenly presents during the ceasefire. It is the actions men take during the ceasefire that decide what happens next. Whether we all die by opening fire again, silently longing to kill each other only to attain a permanent silence, or we realize that the silence we just got is all that was ever needed. This, was the tale of tranquility. The might of the warrior of the masses, subdued by the meekness of mankind!