The darkness in self-indulgence

We live in decadent times. Hedonism starts early where parents fulfil needs and wants even before children realize they have needs and wants. They are given easy access to mobiles, gadgets and tabs which ensures they get to tap into a host of information at the touch of a fingertip. How will that ever leave room for creativity and curiosity to find roots? I too have been guilty of leaning on nursery rhymes to soothe a bawling toddler. Yes that is the trouble. We’re so busy strutting about like zombies starved for time that we look for quick fix solutions for everything. Even the things that matter like relationships, parenting, friendships. We think we can compensate for the poverty of time by amassing material possessions. We think we can punctuate our emptiness by acquiring brands and gadgets we’re going to lose fascination for soon. We are so gladly ignorant of the long term ramifications of all these quick fixes. Our parallel existence in the realm of social media is yet another space where we seek instant gratification by getting instant likes for our rants and rambles, narcissistic selfies or vacation snapshots.

As a parent and a bystander I shudder to think about the self-gratification seeking monsters we’ve become and the little monsters we’re in process of rearing. We’re heading towards a world where we’ll find it hard to think beyond our own needs and wants. A world where we’d want instant solutions for all our troubles. We’ll be men and women who’ll find it hard to look beyond their own noses and whose sympathies will be narrower than Kendal Jenner’s nimble waist. Where nothing will hold our attention and instead of finding solace and satiation in real human interaction we’ll depend on the deceptive virtual world to seek companionship and derive sense of self-worth.

Is that where we’d like ourselves or our children to be?

Choice or Chance?

I’ve forever struggled with an existential question, is most of life sheer chance and destiny or do we have choices to make?  Are we mere puppets dancing to the tunes of destiny or is our life governed with the choices we make? It is so easy to blame circumstances and blame everything on sheer chance. Isn’t it? This stand saves us the responsibility of making difficult choices and living with their consequences.  But with time I have reached the conclusion it is much a dance between choice and chance, an intricate web of destiny and giving our lives a conclusive direction.  Destiny can only give us a framework and surreptious opportunities disguised as challenges. How we respond to these chance encounters is our conscious choice. Few of us have the courage to live down our choices and own up our mistakes. We need an  alibi or a scapegoat to incriminate and often circumstances or fate are the most common refuges. I wonder what if we don’t give ourselves an alibi or an exit route? If only we were to own up even the most messed up of choices and believe we are fallible ! Accept we are entitled to falter, yet dust our knees before we amble on. Own our entangled choices and brace up to face their consequences. If only…

All we need

All we need

Is a little wisdom

That the dark dreary nights

Will have a dawn

 

All we need

Is the faith

To be able to

Start from scratch

Be reborn

 

All we yearn

Is a little love

And approval

To mend

Our hearts

When they are torn

 

All we have

Is moments

And memories

When people are gone

 

All we’ve got

Is the choice

To dust our knees

When we fall

And move on

Our lopsided Indian ways

Our society has its own share of eccentricities and idiosyncrasies. Every once in a while I can’t help but observe them and ponder over them. Life is trodding along smoothly yet some instances always surface now and then forcing one to think whether we’ve actually progressed or are still trapped in a time bubble refusing to budge from how we view the world, digging in our heels while insisting how we view the world is how it ought to be.  Being reared to question instead of conforming and thinking instead of toeing the trodden line can be quite an aberration in our country. It only makes matters worse. For the life of me I am unable to fathom why most of our country is still trapped in a time warp. We refuse to let go of how things should be a certain way. Any fluctuations from the designated path are seen as abnormal.  We weave a framework for ourselves and the people around us. Anyone outside that frame is an outcast. We’re eager to shun anything that threatens our patterned mundane way of thinking.  We love to glorify miseries,  sing paeans of  sacrifice and then expect our progeny to do the same for us.  To seek pleasure is to walk the path of decadence, so is to follow one’s heart. Our  duty is to obey and please people who are senior to us in age and stature.  We have this ambiguous sense of what morality entails. And “being good” and morally upright comes with its own baggage. The baggage of pomposity and self-glorification and righteousness. The view that how we’ve lived life is how others ought to. Self-denial is seen as the supreme goal of our lives. We are so willing to demolish dreams at the altar of duty and then expect our future generations to do the same. We still let gender decide an individual’s destiny and course of life. Not sure if we pass on values and ethics from one generation to another but we certainly hand over our prejudices, our rigidity and our biases only too gladly. If you refuse to lap up these gracefully be ready to get an earful. We’re so ingrained in our stick in the mud attitude that change is shunned as  an outsider. How long will we stay wedded to status-quo let other people decide the course of our lives and stay ingrained in passivity ?  Perhaps forever. We’re so eager to label  and anything radical, different or new as ‘evil’, dangerous or threatening. Our refusal to budge from our stances is seen as being sure of what we want while it is merely sheer pig headedness.  What makes me so sad is to see people of our generation to fall prey to such fallacies and archaic notions. We seldom gather the courage to voice what we feel since it is easier to conform and get validation for doing so. But who ever said that what is easy is the best for us?

 

On pausing and finding time to reflect….

 

It is strange how most of life shall only make sense in retrospect. After life has happened to us the whys and how suddenly begin to make sense. We find answers to all questions that haunted our minds.

But all of this seldom makes sense in the realm of action. When we are in the middle of chaos, in the whirlwinds of change we just get pulled in to dance with the winds. Without having time to breathe let alone finding time to pause and make sense of where life is headed. Yet when storms have passed and the dust begins to settle. Leaving us partly broken, partly wiser it all begins to fall into place. The missing pieces fit snugly in harmony. But by then we’ve written off, given up on what we want till we discover this glimmer of hope to hang on to. And we hang on to it with all our might.

Only to realize that all life asks of us is to learn to let go. To let go of how we think life ought to be, of our fixed ideas, our prejudices and notions. To let go of it all and flow like water. Become supple and nimble souls that go with the flow of life without letting it break us, yet enriching everything we touch. All these realizations dawn only in the surreptitious and quiet moments of introspection.

Such moments are far and few because we prefer to succumb to the maddening and frenetic pace of action. To lose ourselves in our work, drown ourselves in frivolous worries and speculate mindlessly. We chose not to think and feel and rather act and react. It takes courage to think, to reflect, look at ourselves sans blinders as well as look at the people we love objectively. It asks of us to look at ourselves and our existence in the mirror and have our vulnerabilities and weaknesses stare right back at us. It takes strength to be vulnerable. But our social conditioning ingrained it in us that true strength lies in denial, in masking what we really feel and want. So we run mindlessly, chase ephemeral dreams and desires yet nothing quells the restlessness within. Instead of chasing a path the world charted for us if only we could find courage to succumb to our impulses, chase silly dreams and just be our true authentic selves sans the fear of censure and non-acceptance. If only….

Spilling over

 

Every statue can crumble

Every wall has cracks

That we try so hard to conceal

Every eye has unshed tears

That well up and flood the heart

Each smile has sadness

Outlining its edges

That we try so hard to rein

Boiling rage beneath

A calm veneer that

We struggle to contain

Yet the cup of forbearance

will flow over some day

When you’ve borne

Life with stoicism

For too long

You’re cries

will echo on

Notes to my impetuous self

This blog is  officially dying and needs resuscitation now! Its been languishing in neglect. I haven’t written in ages. Either words and thoughts simply evaporate or I get so caught up in life’s madness that it just slips into oblivion. It isn’t really by choice that I don’t pause to pen down what’s on my mind. In fact to write and express myself is an overpowering need. I’m a spectator and watch life from my quiet corner, drawing my own inferences, jotting them down on paper or on my blog. This space is sacrosanct for me for here I can say all that I won’t muster guts to say in real life. Yet I seem to have pushed it into a corner allowing myself to become procrastinator.

As the year starts I have only one resolve that is to write more often and to write stuff that makes sense. Resolutions otherwise are passe for me, for they fly right out of the window in the very first fortnight of the year. However there are things I know but don’t practice so I’d rather write them down here to constantly remind myself of these all year-long. Let me start 1) Good things and all that counts always takes time, so be patient and stop jumping the gun when it comes to conversations and ideas. Don’t anticipate too much. Life is fair, but only if we give it time to unfold.

2) Don’t put your foot into your mouth.  Keep silent if you have nothing sensible to say.

3) Abandon your sweet tooth and penchant for emotional eating. It’s going to be a source of much misery and unwanted inches around the waist  as you inch closer towards the thirties this year.

4) Let go of all that you no longer need : redundant emotions, dead relationships, putting too much onus on how people assess you and zany airy ideas about the world at large

5) Learn to confront your demons, your darkness and learn to confront people when you disagree with them. You can’t live life in the avoidance mode.

6) Being restless for change is good, but don’t let the present moment turn into a saga of longing for the future. Live in the moment.

7) Quit allowing people to prick you .Stop being  ready to burst into tears at the silliest of excuses. It’s often not what they say but how you interpret it.

8)  Stop thinking in retrospect of all the witty retorts you could have made in an argument. Give back as good as you get at the right time.

9) Being content is good, until it starts to tilt towards complacency.

10) Trust your intuition but don’t allow it to colour your judgement of people and situations.

11) Spontaneity is good, but it isn’t the same as being mindlessly impulsive.

12) Every once in a while step out of the mindless rut and routine to look at your life objectively from a distance. Make time to reflect, ruminate and re-assess.

I can rant endlessly about all that I need to learn and remember but for sake of sanity I’ll stop right here and come back in a few days to write something more structured perhaps.