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!


Sunday, 18 December 2016

To the places I could never make it to.

Right atop the cusp of my life, as I transition from the charlatan to the one people would want to look upto, there's a very eerie and stomping regret that bewilders me to the core. It's so often said that a life without a purpose is a life best lived. I've found that to be mostly true. But a life ought to have a longing for something or someone, which becomes the solemn desired outcome of all your travails. From the people whom I see toil hard to earn bread for their offspring, to the dreamers who stay up all night to be at their best when the golden shot arrives. To be honest, even I had an evanescent stint or two where I got my chance to chase the goose. But ultimately, I've always been the "getting swayed by the need of the moment" kind of man.

Most of my pursuits were unidirectional or in fact non-directional to place it in the right standing. I single-handedly made going with the flow the motto of a journey and tarrying along with the change that this demanded in me. I'm a changed man, changing at every instant, turning from a macabre stoic who means his business to an animated kaleidoscope when it came to try and light up a conversation. I've done those changes all the way and all the time and have committed myself to making them for as long as they are demanded from me. But as I make my transition from a boy for himself to a man for the people, there is something that has struck me so fiercely and so belligerently, that I thought I should take a moment or two to grasp the intensity and then waddle into what's inevitable.

Most of the people I know have had a certain period in their lives, early or pretty late, where the brunt of their mistakes or the vistas of their experiences, have exposed them to places and events which were to shape the course of their future. These experiences become the fulcrum of most of their conscience. What we perceive as happiness and what we take as grief, what we should emboss on the visage of our dreams to embolden their conversion to a reality, and what we ought to fear in order to avert all crises which could prevent from that happening. Most of these are decisions and considerations shaped by knowledge gained through our presence at those places mentioned above. 

We all graduate from one school and some of us from two or more. One is the physical one, with the resplendent balustrade and mighty troubadours of academia enshrining in us the art of being enslaved by a paltry occupation, But there is another much more important one that we often leave out of the equation. The school of life. We all come on this planet to be students of life. To be born out of a biological struggle itself, and to traipsing our way to the stages when we become the all seeing being. And then till the very end. We attempt, we fall, we feel debilitated, we learn and we go on. In fact, we learn things of much more value from this school than we do from any of those ornate and ostentatious institutions. It is this school, that I'm afraid to say, I could never get past! 

Too tamed to look beyond the wilderness of the realm I believed to be suitable, and too frightened to become a marauder outside who would steal experiences and interactions. The fact that the entire universe remains the only stable entity in a puddle of chaos, made me feel comfortable about the notion of not concerning myself much about what I was missing out on. In fact, soliloquy has been more emancipating than the riling chatter, and seclusion more enchanting than belonging to a cohort. But as I look back, the aplomb fades away to the grim reality of my future.

My future beckons many occasions, where the recondite argot I learnt at my earthly schools won't come to my avail, and I shall feel bereft of what shall matter the most. We all shape our lives partly by spontaneous decision making through intuition, and partly through applying our knowledge from the experiences encountered at the places we'eve been to. Those places and those experiences also serve to shape the intuition over a period of time, thereby becoming the bedrock of our judgment. I, therefore as I stand today in front of a mirror, find myself deprived of that facet of judgment itself. 

Our lives gradually becomes confined to the precincts of our judgments. Judgments at work, judgments at friendships, judgments on road, and judgments on adventures. Judgments are everything, and what good is a man who cannot judge? What good is a man who doesn't adulate the whimsical nincompoop who gets his bets right and chastises the sagacious sage whose prowess turned a blind eye at the very moment? What good is a man who doesn't favor the mirth of a friend full of duplicity over the transient indolence of a loyal to the word comrade? What good is a man who chooses hardwork and selflessness over deception and deviousness? Therefore, what good is a man who cannot really judge? 

The world just lives by one dictum all the time, and if you swear by the code of the caucus, you just have to judge. There can't be a no judgment scheme. Be it the transactional elements we indulge in for our lives, to the long term decisions we make only once in a while. We have to judge. Whom to maintain camaraderie with and whom to knock off the pack. What to do in order to rise up the ladder and what not to do in order to impel down. We have to think, we have to judge and we have to act. You know why? It's because the fact that certain things could actually just stay that way, is a long lost notion. 

All other animals except the homo sapiens either genetically evolved or went extinct. But we human beings surpassed genetic evolution and produced an evolution of ourselves, and of the rest of the world, including other animals. We can't stand the absence of change, and can't stand things remaining as they are. We wait to embrace change and dearly vaunt for it. We can't even live without it anymore. A sane man when sent to a jail, feels the same surroundings and routine garrote him more than the noose does. Likewise a retired man just wishes to travel or to die, because he can't stand just being at the same place everyday. But then there is me, who changed only when it was a compulsion from the rest of the universe, and the man who couldn't go to many places to experience things unravel and then learn the art of judgment. A man deprived of the ostensible paraphernalia to create his own armor to live through a life, and denuded of the desideratum of the most important practice one shall ever learn - judgment. So yes, this is an account of a man full of regrets, not for what he did or the places he visited, but for the places he could never make it to.