Sunday, December 31, 2017

Auld lang syne

And so, another year has passed. Lots of ups and downs, unexpected surprises and disappointments and a fairly stagnant year of personal development with respect to this blog. I sincerely hoped to write more.... but microblogging  has taken up whatever little blocks of time I tend to have throughout the week to pen my thoughts. I consciously decided to sit and do something on the last day of 2017 that pleases me so here I am writing whatever comes to mind.

Do I have any huge New Year resolutions for 2018? Not really. I do have a few that relate to looking inward and clearing out priorities in life. I give it just one word - CONNECT. Connect with oneself, connect with the people that matter to me, connect with the world and connect with life in itself. Too often in this rat race I have found myself being completely disconnected and almost not even bothering to figure out what is happening with anyone who is not named me. Many of us have found ourselves in this situation when push comes to shove in our personal lives. The challenge I give to myself in what will be the biggest year of my life as yet will be to tap into my bandwidth and be able to deal with all of this patiently and come out on the right side of it all. Sounds like a humongous challenge, but this is also the first time I have been this clear with my goals in long in the face of adversity.. so that's that.

2018, I cautiously and optimistically look forward to you. Hope you don't get too crazy on me.

2017, thank you for whatever you have given me in experiences. I will never forget the learnings you gave me. For whatever little chance I got to spend with anyone who is reading this blog, I am most thankful for. (#Yodaspeak, anybody?)

To everyone who has been by me all these years, I hope you will do so this year too - and let me bug y'all a little more. Maybe this year I will do better to be on the good side of y'all.

Have a great turn of the new year... and Auld lang syne, everyone! Peace. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hey, Goodbye.. Old Friend!

Hey, Goodbye.. Old Friend! 

The human mind, depending on who you are is either an eclectic artifact of paradise or a devil's workshop. Back when I was forced to study biology classes to pass secondary school, one of the toughest things to master was the structure of a neuron. I think that turned out to be a euphemism of how complicated the brain is. We often hear about people having a conflict between the heart and mind on making a decision - when it really is a decision between a couple of hundreds of neurons in your head! 

As I write this piece on a three hour flight back to Texas from the west coast, there is nothing but darkness around me with a couple of reading lights flickering across the aisle. No internet, no headphones, nothing to listen to but the propellers thrumming along at 37000 feet of altitude. My guilt of drinking soda and chewing on ice cubes fades away as I pull strands of thoughts together from a few weeks of fragmented thinking. 

I've often been told I'm forgetful, absent minded, lazy and procrastinating. It kind of manifests itself in the fact that I had to wait a couple of weeks to write this when I could've just done it right there and then. But time is a beautiful son of a bitch.. whilst the world wonders if it's a dimension that can be altered or not, it has the ability to change the nicest of things into something ugly, and vice versa. The Vatican City was originally a mass tomb, India was once the land of all riches, Nolan's Batman lived long enough to see himself become the villain.. so on and so forth. To the human mind (especially the one inclined to Artsy pursuits), time acts as a slow cooker. It cuts, grinds, polishes, and sets the rough diamond that the initial blurb is. A single line of thought becomes a beautiful poem or an epic (LOTR,anybody?) over several hours of thinking. 

A few weeks back I found myself humming a random song on my way home from work. I hadn't heard this song in almost a decade (Hey Goodbye Nanba from Aayutha Ezhuthu - a Tamil movie), not even on YouTube or iTunes. I realized that a minute into singing it, and went on to hum the entire song. A few minutes later I played the song on YouTube just to notice the lyrics had been on dot. I still have no explanation for how I'd been able to remember the lyrics with my forgetful nature. It's a beautiful song, one that was on top of my lists back in the day - but it isn't what you would call an all time classic. Maybe it's dumb luck I remembered it all, maybe I hummed it with or without context.. or maybe the human mind really is a freaking awesome piece of work. I'm thinking I should go for the latter. 

Until next time, 

Hey... Goodbye Nanba! 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Who am I?

"Who am I?"

A question like this is more often than not considered representative of someone with a psychological crisis.

Or is it?

I love being a part of this generation of young people. We represent the kids of the 90's and early 2000s. A lot of us have seen both the pre-technology age and the post technology age. No landlines to fitness tracking wristbands. Snail mail to Whatsapp... so on and so forth. Throughout the years, we have been forced to adapt ourselves to the changing landscapes around us. (Not that older generations have not had to do the same) Constant change has brought about differing sensibilities in a lot of us as time goes by. Some of us refused to move out of the paper era into the computer age. Some others kept the bowl cut (also called mushroom cut) going through the 2010s. I had a Nokia 2610 brick phone till atleast 2012.. feel free to judge this fool on that alone.

Almost three decades of steady change has left a lot of us at a completely different point than where we intended to be when we set out into adulthood. What is important now to me was hardly known to me just a handful of years back. What was important to me when I was 21 has completely disappeared from the horizon since then. In a way this makes perfect sense but when you realize how much time you wasted thinking of things that will never be important to you, it sort of feels deflating. I still believe there are geniuses who planned every step in advance, reached their goals and went way past it by this time in their lives.. I'm certainly not one of them. Neither will most of my readers here be.

Ideals and beliefs make a person live life the way they do. Ten years ago if you asked me what unconditional love is, the answer would be a complete 180 from the answer you get today. Ten years from now, who knows how different the same answer would be from now! Life is a constant search for truth. It's a wild goose chase behind the holy grail of self ECG connecting moments, people and their feelings.

Self discovery does not happen until you open your heart, lay it out in front of you.. and ask yourself what matters to you and what does not. Many years ago when I had not seen the real world and was still in the loving embrace of my parents, my span of acceptability was a lot smaller than what it is today. The realization: Acceptability is a direct result of what is presented to a youngster. I believed what was told to me, and what was dictated by society. I was stubbornly resistant to change and anything "out of the norm". In short, a CLOSE MINDED WIMP.

Indian society and its norms are a fun story unto themselves.  Drinking? No. Smoking? No. Weed? Drug Addict! Late night outings? No. Girlfriends/Boyfriends? No. Pre-marital Sex? Disowned. Homosexuality? Big Fat NO. Women wearing whatever they feel like? NO. Not going to the temple? Blasphemous. Smiling at a random person from the opposite sex? Nope.... It almost feels like a Meghan Trainor song. I know many of us have been through these situations and more. What I have learnt is this - nothing matters but your belief. NOTHING. Not 98% in your high school exams, not your fancy engineering degree, not your 16 years of school, not your first half-girlfriend, not your endless coffers of money. None of the societal norms matter if you believe strongly in yourself. When you believe, you live. Every moment of life then becomes unique, self driven and precious. Every moment fuels your search for the ultimate truth. You then quit existing and start living. (Atleast that's what I think awaits me when I'm done with figuring out where I stand on the roughly 3 million South Indian societal norms.)

Believe, and you Become, Love and you Live! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A right time to write.

Image result for writing

There are some instances in life that cause you to wonder "what the hell was I doing all these years going off on a tangent?" I had one such epiphany sometime back.

Call it whatever - a course correction, throwback, renewed purpose.. I love writing. I used to write a lot, and then I stopped and did not know what or why that happened. Writing is a great way to express yourself - especially when you put pen on paper. With corporate life sucking the juices out of most of us millennials, we do not find time to even write a note to our loved ones. Writing letters to pen pals, relatives and friends stopped being fashionable in the 90s. Blogs apparently went out the window when Twitter arrived... Hold on a second.. that's what happened with me! 

Whilst Twitter is awesome to trash talk sports and politics, I find that writing blogs calms me down and helps me focus. For thoughts and feelings that go beyond the 140 character limit, this is still the best medium to write in. Everything around me shuts down when the words flow from the heart through the fingers onto the screen. It's akin to what they call "being in the zone" when you are out playing the innings of a lifetime on the cricket field. The feeling of being engulfed with adrenaline, singular focus and the world slowing down to how fast you are zipping through the paces - there are few things in the world that beat this experience. 

Sometimes all you need is a hard reset to get back to the basics... and start doing what you were best at. It was a refreshingly thorny happy-go-lucky, insightful straw that broke this sleepy camel's backbone. My hope and prayer is this lasts longer than the false dawns that have come in through the years.

Writing, the love of my life... here I come!