Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Christmas - The call await

My Christmas passed ever so quietly as it had begun. On 24th December, when my watch beeped 12:00, midnight, I was busy typing and editing a colleague’s resume to be presented to the Client. Almost alone in the office, I looked out of my cabin and noticed a few heads aligned with their monitor screens. I mushed down the narrow alley lined with cubicles on both sides and pushed my way out into the surprisingly cold night. Dragging on the cigarette butt, I looked on the road below and noticed a greater ply of vehicles. Everyone seemed to be traveling and rushing home. Suddenly I longed the warmth and nostalgia of wine and cakes, of toddy laced "appam" and beef curry and of relatives rushing in and rushing out. I thought about the last time I had gone home for Christmas. My Dad had a tear in his eye as he welcomed me. My Mom as usual stood in a nightie with a sweet smile and a thousand candles shining on her face. My Sister as usual remarked, "we thought you will not come" and as usual my younger Brother stood there in the corner excited to see me and I imagined him already making plans for a movie out together and a chess game in the night.

I angrily threw away the cigarette butt as it burned my hand. I hadn't noticed it burn away as I stood reminiscing. I sighed into the night and moved on, back to my cabin. I had to finish the work of formatting the resume. At 2:00 A.M, I was ready to call it a day. I switched off my workstation, gave the Gold Fish some fish food granules and quietly hushed them a "Merry Christmas" as I sheepishly switched off the light and walked out into the cold night.

Driving my bike back to my flat, I couldn't help notice the fancy paper Christmas Stars shining in basically every house on the way. Most of the houses also had fancy blue and red lighting. They looked so warm, so full of Christmas tidings... Even I had put in a star and decked up my door with Christmas decoration paraphernalia. My star was red but was with a lot of "designer holes" This probably was made to permit a lot of light to emit out of the star but looking from far, it was more "whitish" than red, so I bought some transparent red decoration paper and pasted it neatly all over the star. I remember looking at it satisfied when the paper star had become the enigmatic look alike celestial body I wanted it to become during the night. I stopped on my way to the 24/7 bakery and ordered for a coffee. I swear the coffee too tasted like "Christmas". I eyed the brown plum cake on display and ordered one too. There I sat on the cold steel chair and wished myself, "Happy Christmas"

I woke up in the afternoon on the 25th of December, pulled myself out of bed and as usual angled to the door where "The Hindu" lay orphaned. Still eyeing the headlines, I moved to where my cell phone lay muted and as usual my heart sank when I saw no, "missed calls". No one had called to wish me Christmas!! I dialed up "Home", Mom picked up; She reminded me that it was Christmas. I said a sorry. She suddenly said that there are some guests and requested me to call later. I then called my younger Sister settled in Bangalore, wished her and her hubby Christmas and hung up soon as she was busy in the Kitchen making lunch. There, my job was over, my Christmas "morning" over.

A bath later, I decked up with whatever good dress I had, drove and stopped outside the now closed church and tried praying. All I did was, think about the good old Christmas days. A few minutes later I was driving to the best restaurant near my house. The waiter, eyed me suspiciously as I ordered rice, a plate of chicken curry, a plate of mutton curry, a plate of beef curry, a plate of prawns curry and a fish fry. He glanced reassuringly at the purse and the bike key on the table and asked, "single plate rice?"

After the "grand" Christmas lunch, which was half wasted, I went for a movie. A regular Malayalam flick. I noticed that the theatre was full packed and that meant impatient child bickering, irritated baby cries and the regular chips/wafer packet messing noises. But that's the sacrifice one has to do if you need to watch a new movie before its released on VCD. Reaching home and after a long refreshing bath, I relaxed down on the recliner in the balcony and watched the sun go down. I held the phone dearly near me and waited for a call on Christmas day

My star shone ever so brightly in the dark night. A slight breeze pushed it back and forth and the red light danced into my eyes. I kept staring at it as the mystic luminance filled my soul. Suddenly a continuous, deafening sound of crackers filled my ears. I traced the sound to the sky which had suddenly become red, green and violet. I kept my gaze and wanted to miss nothing. Soon it was all over. I looked at my own red star and picked up the phone to call everyone on my almost full phone book since they simple didn’t remember me on Christmas day. The time read: 12:01 A.M 26th Dec 2008. I jolted up from my relaxed reclining on the chair and looked again. The time was right. I had slept off and finished my precious Christmas night by gazing at my red star and waiting for a call on Christmas Day...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Of Dark Clouds & Silver Linings

I wonder as time refuses to pass through my life with the quickness which I expect it to: about time, about life, about boredom and about depression. I wonder why I normally treat these feelings by finding new experiences and new nuances by seeking something new everyday, every time. I'm always being encouraged by my mind to do, to get something new. I'm dead bored. I'm feeling the time so definite, as every second throbs on the veins of my temple, more the so since my T.V sparked out almost a month ago. Ever since I've moved my furniture twice to change my surroundings, cleaned my house practically everyday to do something worthwhile and have been depending on whatever stupid VCD movie I can hold my hands on to view on the 15 inch computer screen.

What kind of process is this and where is it leading me? What is it doing to me? Is it slowly making me less and less tender and sensitive, less and less self content, and less and less able to feel the gusto and zest of being alive? The incorrigible truth now faces me that more and more of my current life is going to become boring if I continue to follow this trend in passing my time. I've noticed that the most cherishable thing is the absolute one thing that I want now, at this very moment. But of course, I've acknowledged that it is never the same for very long, it changes and keeps changing. No matter what I want, once I get it then I don't want it anymore. It bores me. I want something else. And if I don't get it, the desire for it lasts and lingers in my mind but soon the inevitable happens: I will want something else. Craving like this for something is as I've noticed, ever faithful to its object. The thirst for something else, never for what I've already in my life. This may be why I'm getting bored always with anything and everything. It doesn't matter how occupying, interesting, engrossing or fascinating it is, I'm always getting bored with it.

I feel that the sensory stimulation of this kind is just like a drug. The more you have of the stimulation, the more you need. Smoking ten cigarettes one day, you may soon need twenty. One may drink perhaps two cups of coffee; soon one may need four to get exhilaration. I can speak from experience - I like white rum. The more I drink, the more I need to get a kick the next time. It is the same with everything. As long as we need stimulation, be it the movies or anything else, we will always feel boredom and we will always need something else everyday and every time. I must break away from this obsessional craving for something new. It's just a habit. It's just a habit. It's just a habit. Period! A conditioned reaction of the mind.

Depression is more perplexed than conditioned boredom. Depression, I feel is not associated with wanting something different every time though boredom may take you to depression. Depression is a heavy dark emotional sensation, usually related with sadness and a total sense of despair or being a total failure in life. It's like a dark, heavy cloud over you where everything seems gloomy and hopeless and leaves you with no energy or mental euphoria. When I’m bored, energy charges up to do something and works around to be relieved of the boredom. But when I’m totally depressed I simply fail to raise the energy, I loose hope and never enjoy anything; it's all so much overwhelming that I simply feel like sinking. For me, emotional troubles, such as a failure, or a relationship that went moody, or simply a strong criticism from people you fathomed that you respect, be it a close friend or someone you look up to, can easily bring me into a state of depression. I usually don't react with anger but tears usually fill up my eyes and threaten to brim over and I begin to think that perhaps they are right and a feeling of low feeling, a sense of hopelessness takes over and the coming days are lost to the dark clouds which engulfs me till I find a reason enough to push them away...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Loving Neverland

Neverland is a beautiful, imaginary island and a cherishing world featured in Peter Pan, the boy who simply didn't want to grow up. Neverland is a place for immortality. People like me just want to close their eyes and let imagination take you to the place where dreams come true.

People are so the more independent now and just sometimes need only a shoulder to cry on and sympathize. While people still continue to share with each other about their lives, they become hostile whenever they conveyed a problem and someone tried to "help". They interpret the "help" as the lack of trust in their ability to "conquer" the problem. Their attitude completely turns around once one begins to just "listen" and cheer them on.

Today's men have been pushed out of child-rearing, and the children are expected to connect through their feminine crowd. Today's women raise up a wimpy generation of boys and girls who are blissfully unaware of the damage caused to them by getting validation only from women. They are obtrusively punished for, or entirely prevented from, attempts to reclaim or develop a masculine heart. The true masculine soul is not abusive, but strong and protective. Inarguably, men have such broad shoulders for a reason. Don't you think Women are drawn and pulled towards men who have this character of strength and passion under self-control? If women reject this, they can keep taking up roles that are exhausting, depressing, unfulfilling, and even detrimental in the long run, while they go on considering men as incapable enough to raise and love kids. Of course the makers of those helpful anxiety drugs are, in fact, relying on them to do so.

Young children and men have fewer opportunities to acquire and evolve courage and self-reliance without the hovering dominance from their Fathers. Moms steal their sons the basic ability and nature to fight their own battles. A kind of "manly" battle-practice, they basically need for the future to make their wives and families secure with confidence in their leadership.
If men in the truest sense are not initiated by their Dad's, they sometimes (Read: always) mistakenly make the woman their adventure and seek validation of their growing masculinity from her. Ironically, the average woman and Mom's don’t want to be the adventure, she of course wants him to take her and their woman partners on those adventures. I must contend in the thought that it makes it quite difficult for a couple to surge forward when their ownership of one another is not founded. But women have to first give the men a chance to prove themselves. There is always instances, be it the alcoholism, his flirting adventures, his inability to make money (women love to compare) or simply other "feminist" doubts or "stuff" to deal with that detracts and takes away the thought from a unified step forward. If the women must continue to pursue life and adventure together with the quest of the ultimate "compatibility" and of "mutual possession", there will be no time (or energy) to seek the real adventure together.

Women should hope to relish the wonderful things that "could" happen when they "get out of the way" and trust men with the passion and strength of their masculine hearts. Of course women are free to enjoy their own best feminine hearts and the forbidden fruits of which have gone desired too long but at what cost?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Farewell Outcry

Who doesn't like the realistic dream of a romantic two-day love rendezvous? But perhaps the real reason we dearth the thought of waking up from the dream is something much more subconscious - We probably don’t want the feeling of being dumped and consider ourselves complete failures in life!

I would like to begin with the declaration that true love never ends! The feeling that ends as sordidly as it began doesn’t have the right to be called “love”. People fall in-and-out of love every time and the concept of falling in love is merely a process of love being thought, but not quite developed yet. In fact, “falling in love” causes individuals to have emotional and dramatic outbursts than love itself.

Yes, we loose something along the way including time but this “something” is not love. Yes, there is of course a depressing feeling of emptiness, as if one has cut you in half. One becomes someone "without" that other person who has become important to you and the pitiful conditional thought that it’s your soul mate who is lost, and everything is over is over whelming. As in the case of the blissful rain; as soon as the first rain is over, we shriek out: “It is over! It is over!” But in reality, nothing is over. There is more and more to come. True love is always in progress, there is more and more of love to come and experience. Everything starts from passionate infatuation, romantically increases, mysteriously becomes deeper and rebelliously stronger with the eyes of the society around.

I want to justify that true love is the power to let the person go, i.e. not to interfere and intervene with the partner's life if he or she doesn't so desire. Real love is simply the ability to let go. What does it imply “to let go?” It implies to let go lovingly, with due respect, psychologically, emotionally – at all levels. You have to determine what's important for the loved one, not you, to be happy now and in the long run as the partner understands it, just let it be. The partner will be grateful to you till the last days his/her memories live.

If a partner has left us, and we sit back and wonder, “Will he be back?”, “How do I get him back?”, “What if I try to speak to him again?”, "Should I keep pressurizing him to stay?", that means that we love our own feelings for that person, not the person himself. This is simply put a disturbing disease not only of our very soul, but of our spirit too.

I would like to justify to those who are in the "convincing" love scenario and are departed or rejected that while your partner can farewell you, your kismet and destiny cannot. If a person has willed to bid farewell to your life, that means he’s not your destiny and is never meant to be. Your destiny will never simply leave you and won’t leave you.I’ve had adequate romantic blow apart’s to gather that they are never really easy, even if at some point you can get past things the depressing roll of events, and become “friends.” I know that there is no proven way to breakup, but I conjecture that there can be a dearer way - definitely better than being hurtful, tearful, deceptive and being downright cruel by making the partner feel so disgustedly wary of loving again.

I’ve now finally arrested my farewell blues with the person whom I was in love with sometime ago. I realized that the situation has faded and lost its urgency and charm. I reckon that only memories are left over in the shallow parts of my mind. They are sad, and some sweet but mine and mine only. I realize that nothing belonging to my former beloved can unsaddle me since I wished her no harm and let her go. I thus discovered that true love doesn't die! Love is a beautiful feeling which you can cherish and must keep (sometimes hidden), care and nurture, even after farewell. The only egress is how to find a use or a cast for this love is something different….

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kalashnikov's Love

For three blood seeking nights, a small group of about 12 young but highly-trained Islamic militants trained purportedly by the Lashkar-e-taiba managed to transform India's economic capital, Mumbai into a war zone, killing randomly at will and hunting foreign hostages while holding off crack commandos of the NSG, the Indian Military and the Mumbai Police. The "young boys" struck two luxury hotels frequented by Americans and British nationals, the Taj Mahal Hotel and the Oberoi Trident Hotel as well as the city's largest train station, the Metro Theater and the Cama Hospital with automatic Ak-47 rifles, grenades and a couple of Kg's of RDX

Little did the Russian brain child of the AK-47, Kalashnikov's automatic - Mikhail Kalashinov realize that the assault rifle due to its durability, low production cost and ease of use would become the ultimate killing machine in the world - so much, so that more AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined and is basically assembled and produced in all countries (Read: Poor countries). After the Soviet backed out from Afghanistan, the Soviet Army left huge quantities of AK-47's which were then eventually used in the civil war between Taliban and Northern Alliance and were also exported to Pakistan. The gun is now also made in Pakistan's semi-autonomous areas and is widely used in South Africa. Behind the busy garland-makers market in Pakistan they say there stands a row of gun shops where racks of Pakistani-made AK-47 assault rifles, await buyers at 7000 - 9000 rupees ($ 140 - $180) a piece depending upon the age and scratches on the gun. The heavy trafficking in Ak-47 along the Uganda, Sudan and Kenya borders is so booming that the cost of AK-47 assault rifle has dropped from 10 cows in 1986 to two cows today.

The origins of the human weapon use can be traced back to primates hurling rocks. No one clearly knows when the world's first slingshot was invented. Perfecting the art of hunting for their suppers, our forefathers must have graduated fairly quickly to shaped stone weapons, like arrowheads, and other lithic tools. The story could go on from there with the invention of firearms, bombs and so on, but then things get pretty frightful and dismaying with the invention of nuclear bombs. It sometimes surprises me to note that the arms and weapons race must have begun with some of our pissed off forefather tossing a stone to kill and eat.

Now, why do we need weapons? Read: Why WE? We now live in the hi-tech era where all wild animals are contained in modern zoos and specialized parks. The nations are no longer in the business of conquering and making kingdoms and hence need no weapons of mass destructions. Is it not feasible for a body like United Nations which is a global association of governments facilitating cooperation in international law and security to ban all new production of any kind of weapons by any country and start the destruction in a phased manner of all the existing handguns, rifles, shotguns, AK-47's and of course all those grenades, fighter planes, warships and everything existing under the sky built for combat? When there is no new production and all existing weapons removed from the planet, what do people fight with? My best guess is the thorn on a rose stump!! An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.