Miraculous Uncertainties

During my life, for as far as I can remember, I have always believed in miracles. Miracles or transformations — that would strike me one day, and change my life forever. Well, you know how things don’t happen when you are waiting for them; just as if you’re waiting for logic to take a hit every now and then. Well, if it would happen that often, Nassim Nicholas Taleb wouldn’t have made much out of his book.

They say there is light at the end of the tunnel; so what is the fruit of my endless expectations of a miracle, you may definitely ask. Probably just a thought, but I remember working out the fundamentals of integral calculus in my college with Aditya, and going through primarily Riemann integration. It was amazing how an infinitesimal dx didn’t matter if it was alone, but a conglomeration of infinite such small things could amount to something substantial! I still remember being marveled by the derivation, to this day. Analogizing, it is only the big things that we crave for in life, but hardly appreciate the small niceties that life throws at us. Frankly speaking, as a daily routine, we secretly wish that something would happen, and it could be about really ephemeral things — like the traffic clearing off, the lunch at the cafe to be good, the boss to not notice that I’m late, I could go on. But even if it is fulfilled, we seem to be vexed the very next moment, hassled by some other “impediment” that’s somehow looking Himalayan now. Being thankful is important in life, because it helps us stay sane and act in the present (not trying to sound too Lord Alfred Tennysonish), and comforts that we are in a better position than what we could’ve been in. We seem to miss the big picture, not fill the data points, and start panicking, and praying for miracles. Well, probably that’s why life comes around a full circle quite so often!

Feeling happy for accomplishing small things may seem naive, but in the end, it’s all about whether you have it in you to expect the worst. Though I liked the integral calculus class a lot, I still crave for miracles — because there is no life without hope. Even if there isn’t light at the end of your tunnel, you just need to know that you can always find a secret prairie in you to scratch your way through and unearth light.

 

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Travel Chronicles #1, LalBagh

Thinking what to do in the weekends when you’re working is as difficult as it is to fill in the awkward pauses of a conversation. This is more so, if you’re new to the place, lazy, bored, or all of the above (that would be me). Still, wanting to set the tone of the extended weekend, I decided to act on the suggestions I got from my friends, and made plans for the Saturday; of initially going to the garden, and treating my belly at the famed MTR near the place.

The Lalbagh botanical garden was about 12 km from my place (still is, though!), and I planned to take the bus. The bus reminds me of my childhood times at Mumbai, and the rhythmic movements of the bus combined with a fair share of intra-bus gossip gave me enough motivation to choose it over the calmer, yet deplorably uninteresting sophistication of a cab.

Within minutes of reaching the garden, and paying a paltry fee at the registration counter, I felt like I was teleported to the serene environs of Kharagpur! After nearly a month of walking in Bengaluru’s dusty roads with futile swatting of my hands, here was a place barely far away which made me feel at home quite soon.

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Walking along some lanes, it felt surreal to go back to childhood when we as a family would decide to go to a detached place like this, and feel privileged to play some stupid self invented games with my sister. Post this, I traversed the usual route; from the bonsai gardens, to the bare rose plots, and from the lotus pond to some trees which were more than 200 years old. A couple of water snakes wanted to grab my attention at the pond, as Bangalore’s cool climate agglomerated by the lake’s winds were extremely refreshing. And, along the way, the sign boards were hilarious too.

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Like plying “bored” games?

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Well, the red kingfisher should be grey, yes, it should be.

However, as it is with walking about 5 kilometers, hunger does grow. I ditched the remaining (hopefully uninteresting) areas and hopped off to MTR instead!

I’d got a fair warning from most people, saying that MTR’s ambience is not a sophisticated one, but more on the contrary — an archaic restaurant set about 40-50 years ago. The place is deemed highly, as a couple of foreigners were also eagerly waiting for the doors to open. After booking a seat, the food service commenced. The platter was amazingly authentic, covering the usual bisi-bele bath, rasam, and curd rice, but offering a multitude of other options like puris, a dosa, vada, a couple of sweets and ice cream. The badam halwa here is a must-try. If you plan to go to this place, ensure that you check with the outlet’s timings and adhere to them, for, unlike other restaurants, this restaurant closes for some time too!

If you’re new to Bangalore, and want to bide your time during the weekends, these two places are ideal to visit. Hope I get to go to some more interesting places, and until then, that’s all, folks!

Childish Idiosyncrasies

Eyes open. Try to widen up, but a more righteous force decides otherwise and pervades. First thing that gushes in my uncached memory is that I have to complete a myriad of tasks including that mail I had to send to my mentor, a bucket-load of assignments, and some essential purchases. Stretching myself to soak in as much of the final relaxation my bed magnanimously offered me, till I become inundated with these tasks and my more pragmatic self decides to relinquish the conflict and pulls up to fight another day.

Brushing my teeth, my mind chooses to wander off to more calming reminiscences, like waiting to celebrate a friend’s birthday in school, only to get the chocolate, carry it safely back home and surprise my family members with it — generating so much of seemingly inane yet deeply etchable memories, lending a smile whenever it crosses my mind. The prime form of retribution at school was detention, awarded to a deed of carelessness. For me, it served as a deplorably uninteresting experience, as I had encountered in the first grade when I smirked at the teacher when she punished the class. Standing outside the class for the entire day, and having the luxury of seeing grasshoppers fight with crows in the vigil of the shady trees. Well, that and a rebuke from mom’s side, which carelessly merged into a day of reconciliation and joy the very next day. If this was the peak of the extent to which things could go wrong, I would gladly accept it. But it’s quite the contrary — stakes have become drastically higher, and the odds of things going wrong too, have increased. You click a button wrong, and somehow, money blows, relationships distort and goals tend to deviate. There are things which could change your life forever, and it’s more like a path full of landmines which you would have to carefully navigate through. Life does have a steep learning curve, with poor documentation, doesn’t it!

However, isn’t the entire joy of life centred around new experiences and exploratory ventures? It’s always the firsts that usher in the joy, rush and thrill centred around the experience. So, it might just be useful to think that adulthood could be a new experience in itself, heralding independence, decision making and prudence.

Yet, life presents a way to curate current incidents, and make them look glorious to us in the future. Hence, it could be safe to assume that just as childhood seems a happy backdoor to retreat to, presently, we may find numerous ways to look back to where we are today, fondly. For though the grass may continue to stay greener on the other side, the luscious fruits borne due to the seeds of the past are here for us to taste!

 

Learning to let go

There are a million attachments man confounds himself with. Most of them being materials [I’m not going to cheat on cheese, pizza and a dozen of other things here], all it could take is an austere person of some sort, and then, BAM! You forget all about it and move onto another thing. However, unsurprisingly, people etch deeper impressions on you, often indelible eternally.

Well, there are people you know well, and others, who just infuse and become a part of your life. Those people, with whom you would continue to stay in touch, irrespective of whether you have shifted to another city, or if you’ve lost your job, or, if you’ve had an appallingly unkempt hairdo; such people start impacting your life, thoughts, opinions and nuances in ways inexplicable and unknown to even yourself. It is learning to let go of such people, which becomes a little more than dropping your ice cream on the pavement and walking forward without feeling bad about it.

If they are so integral to my functioning properly, why do I have to learn to let go of them anyway? The central reason around this, is because everybody leads parallel-seeming intersecting lives, and sooner or later, you have to manage life without them around you. It probably revolves around being more independent, and probably using your memories, experiences and time you’ve spent with them to help make these decisions; more like a cliched “What would they do if they were in my position?” would help clear a lot of clouded judgment. Also, it is highly likely that you may not have anyone around you when you are at your worst, so it’s great to be prepared for the worst by offloading most of your difficulties to yourself.
By letting go, I wouldn’t mean erasing every vestige of the person’s remembrance from your mind, but by that, I mean comprehending to live life happily without depending on their presence, and relying more on time-stored capsules of memories of them which recur from time to time — allowing you to retreat to a wonderful memory palace with them, talking and smiling around. for, after all, you’ve got the entire world to explore and a ton of new friends to make!

Holding you by the fingers

Balancing an air-bag in one hand, and a trolley bag in another, I strode out to call a cab. It was a typical cold winter morning, and an arduous semester had just culminated. As I ended the haggling ritual with the cab guy, I looked at my watch to see how much time I had for the next train. An hour to go — I remembered the ironic retort of my friends, who have always told me I was a bit too early for things. Dismissing such thoughts, I managed to obtain a seat in the waiting room with my belongings. Amidst the cacophony native to the place, I gathered my Zen-like skills to sit down to get to the middle of the best thing I had — an Agatha Christie novel, something I’d always cherished since my childhood. One thing led to another, and boredom forced me to digress in my thought-flow and get perpetually lost in some recurrent thoughts.

Some trivial things in life are taken for granted. The usual metrics of a person’s performance in life, success and failure, can mean so much than just absolute words. A person gauges his success solely from what he is doing at that point in life, as compared to a person whom he has seen grow up along with him. This has no account of the kind of impact he has on his immediate circle, or, for that matter, on the people he talks to. It is the kind of energy you enthuse people with, which becomes a fingerprint of your character, and hence that determines your success. It is your idea, influence, and aura which stays on with people for eternity.

As each generation passes, the experience and wisdom of a lifetime is encapsulated and compressed into an instruction. An instruction, so small though effective, that future generations begin to question or rather undermine the usefulness of the earlier one, as they didn’t have to work for it. As a result, they tend to call every further action of theirs old fashioned, backward, orthodox, and continue a myriad of activities till they begin to realize the simple truth of the instruction in the first place. I’m not quite accusing new thinking, or out of the box thinking here, but rather the callous and careless attitude of trying to do something different every time, rather than just trying to stick to simple basics. Again, a similar figure of taking simple things for granted.

When you’re down in the dumps, you know how much you appreciate any help. Even when you see a person wanting to help, but unable to help, you appreciate that. For a lot of times in life, the most beautiful gestures are the ones without any words, and all they could do was sit next to you, talk to you, or just hold your fingers, giving you sufficiently endless hope that all will be well.

Elements of Self Motivation

Self motivation is something intrinsic in each one of us. Every time we metaphorically fall into a hole, we tend to introspect and think why we fell. Most of the times, we know why, and in these cases, we tend to blame ourselves. Fair enough, till we can never seem to stop blaming ourselves. Before we know, we seem to have done enough damage to our self confidence. There seems to exist some threshold, below which we should never venture, and blissfully attribute any uncertainty to luck, fate or destiny, our synonymous syndicates. Hence, we resort to self motivation to hand us a magical rope from that abyss, and exert some dubious force to rescue us in no time.

Self motivation, though seems like a complicated term. However, it could be as simple as thinking about a happy remembrance. Thinking about your parents, siblings, or loved ones, not any particular incident, but just a feeling of being with them, could instil a sense of assurance, calmness in you. Some evils to dispel are competitiveness, lack of self confidence and insecurity. Your ability is not limited by anything, not even the sky. You cannot do anything about others’ abilities, so there is no point of doing damage to yourself by feeling low. Instead, feel good for them, take inspiration from them, and make it a point to learn/apply that. However, the very feeling of being surrounded by your favourite people, regardless of how many, can assure you that there is more to happiness, life, than just sulking about something in life, which you may not even recollect in a few years to come. Some other things that could make you transcend to your comfort zones are listening to music, playing some sport, taking a walk, meditating, or just eating your favourite chocolate. Though the remedies are as simple as these, we neglect our mind, and try to shrug it off. For all the people who are still spooked with the way I treated this like a disease, I’d like to remind you that it is this very mind with which wonders can be articulated out of nothing, or you could even fall into a revealing abyss whose end you could never view. Hence, it becomes important to reach a level of satisfaction in today’s racy world. How much ever important deadlines, tests, semesters, [forming an infinite set in a finite life] may seem at first glance, make sure it does not get to you mentally. For in the end, all that matters is being in your favourite place with your favourite people, enjoying your reminisces, and lingering in that eternally peaceful aura.

Why Optimism is all that we’ve got

I remember my English class in the sixth grade, when our teacher wished to instruct us about our skills. We were ridiculously missing apostrophes, overusing them in most of the cases, and the unnecessary ubiquity of commas, not to forget our grammatical chaos. Nevertheless, she told us that most of us were using the phrase, “Life is not a bed of roses” very frequently. Almost all of our so-called “philosophical essays” used to commence it with, and she was bored to read them over and over again. Now, as I distinctly remember, and as most would agree, the number of phrases a person used, used to be directly related to the marks allotted, so this news wasn’t startling! We immediately sported evil grins coupled with apologetic smiles, and readily convinced her that nothing of that sort would happen. And, just as every other day, we just packed our bags and left for home, loquaciously chatting away on our school buses.

Thinking about the phrase now, there’s nothing truer than it. Each day, we face different problems. Some may be trivial. Most, we often tend to size up, considering the urgency and the gravity of the matter. And as I have grown up, one matter is becoming quite palpable —  the size of the issues simply increases. And in our age currently, when most of the news is flooded with depressing news, we need to transform most of our negative energy into positive ones. For example, when we are faced with a problem, we should try to contemplate how we solved a similar problem earlier, and try to extend it using what we did at that time. This is what the mind usually tends to follow anyway. Apart from the problem solving strategy, what’s different is that we also need to incorporate confidence, calmness and a certain will into doing it, and thus imbibe this from our earlier experiences. This way, the mind sort of reassures itself that the situation will be solved eventually.

Some people have huge problems, and still never show it on their faces. They believe that they have the strength to come outside it, and never make a big deal out of it. Some, tend to get solutions by sharing it with others. Overall, it’s all about perspectives — you will never know unless you try. Also, you’re going to get much more as time passes, and life’s never worth if you’re determined to take each one with a frown!

 

 

 

A Phantasma

A petal falls, away into darkness

As a bud grows elsewhere;

A light year away, an eon away;

Just to take its place.

 

A bee sits, nectar absorbing

with no thought, with all glee

while ignorance meets catharsis,

with a sting, life will flee.

 

As every twig waits for its fall,

does the streak of wind take its pride

But for every undefused one that blows,

it takes the world a li’l downside.

 

Spraying tots with e’ery bullet,

chiding them hence – for who knows what?

Here’s a tat for which there’s no tit

And no theory we could really fit.

 

A hideous dark beginning it is indeed

As Cowardice, tyranny & butchery run amok

while Helplessness is giving all people shelter;

And Revenge, satiated, smiles on forever;

“There will be a time, there will be a place, .. ..”

Pauses her smile, thoughts plunge deeper,

“There will be an eye for an eye for peace.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Traveling in the train, I got tons of time to think about the earlier semester, and ponder about what it was all about. More or less, it was ubiquitously monotonous, and I guess it might’ve been the same for most of us. Time is an important resource, and it is all that we’ve got with us till the very end.

 

              Life brings us various facades of situations to view at. As I perceive it, it is a set of several continua fused smoothly by what is famously called destiny. One of these phases, comes life’s most testing part, is the phase of Endurance. Sometimes, more often than not, we feel that we are caught up in a circular cycle – doing some set of things repeatedly, and thus in an agile perspective, knowing not what new to do next, for most of us think that life is just there for us to ideate, innovate and bring about novel things, experiences and emotions. However, we do have a faint idea, of what we will land up doing if we continue this cyclic process which motivates us to do the intended work. Though our hindsight may not be wrong, we generally fail to work as spirited for a long term cause, as we would, if, for a short term cause, mainly attributed to the reason of early fruit display. We somehow fail to grasp the straight truth that the work we do now will eventually accumulate in the same way and we should have a strong hold on these goals too. Thus, the main burning elements of Vigor and Focus are missing, and if they are incorporated. the light at the end of the tunnel may not be so far and unattainable at all !

Parental Love – Defying laws of science ever since.

Something that will originate from no where. Something, that turns a normal person, into one who becomes entirely responsible for someone, and continues to remain in favor to that service throughout his/her consequent life. Is it that easy, to leave everything and devote oneself like that? Some may call them fools, though everyone else, calls them parents.

 

            Parental care is not only due to the causative factor of the sheer introduction of an individual into the world, but it is something that transcends all kinds of logic. It is associated with a sense of belonging, a feeling of not letting go of a thing, and some incomprehensible force. At the core, it does not matter to them, how successful, bright or extravagantly talented their child maybe, though this would certainly give them an added fringe happiness, nothing could surmount the intrinsic belonging feeling. Needless to say, parental love is selfless and knows no bounds. Often have we heard about parents who give up everything, and end up watching the glory of their children in stupendous glee. What makes them risk their own life, the very thing they’ve dreamt their entire childhood for? May seem irrational, but it is the way the world drives itself.

 

          The amount of thought, effort, and consideration is literally unparalleled. No matter where you are, they would be the only people who will always wish the best for you, and will never misguide you out of contempt. It is, indeed a life long sacrifice, which they would themselves lovingly call ‘love’. It is, but a wish, that all relations would be just as trustworthy, selfless, age-proof and proof of everything else that would be demarcating.