Pittance and Pleasance.

10 May

Some beginnings need new horizons,

Some paintings need a new palette.

Fortunate at the unknown void done.

Listless at limits of language met.

For hopes and happiness to soar

For fear and unrest to let plummet.

I follow the cloud, that follows me

in the day and let it rain in the night.

Happiness is in hindsight, for that

which cannot last is not happiness.

Perhaps, pleasure, a gleaming veneer

Shines and bubbles with every rush.

Happiness is current of the deep!

That stays under the turbulence,

Quite like and unlike you Sweet,

In its pittance and pleasance.

The Flower of Jericho

10 May

That fateful night when,

breeze blew sweet again.

Air and hearts were warm.

Silent both; calm storms.

You held my hand, for one

and saved a hope in peril,

for all the time to come.

Until horizon, held still.

With a spirit untouched,

and a heart yet uncorrupt.

This life has begun over,

Respite for life in its bower.

I cannot, but I will wait,

Like the flower of jericho

In a closet kept, unfazed

With fear and a glow.

My Favourite Poems/verses4

10 May

Acceptance

  • Dee Daffodil

Accepting oneself

Takes time

Learning to truly love oneself…

A bit longer

Rewriting all

The negative scripts

Developed over years

Can only be done

Step by step

Day by day

And certainly

In a loving way.

***

The Telephone

  • Robert Frost

“When I was just as far as I could walk

From here to-day,

There was an hour

All still

When leaning with my head against a flower

I heard you talk.

Don’t say I didn’t, for I heard you say—

You spoke from that flower on the window sill—

Do you remember what it was you said?”

“First tell me what it was you thought you heard.”

“Having found the flower and driven a bee away,

I leaned my head,

And holding by the stalk,

I listened and I thought I caught the word—

What was it? Did you call me by my name?

Or did you say—

Someone said ‘Come’—I heard it as I bowed.”

“I may have thought as much, but not aloud.”

“Well, so I came.”

***

Mirror

  • Sylvia Plath

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.

Whatever I see I swallow immediately

Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.

I am not cruel, only truthful ‚

The eye of a little god, four-cornered.

Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.

It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long

I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.

Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,

Searching my reaches for what she really is.

Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.

I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.

She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.

I am important to her. She comes and goes.

Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.

In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman

Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

***

Where there is a will there is a Way

  • John Godfrey Saxe

It was a noble Roman,

In Rome’s imperial day,

Who heard a coward croaker,

Before the Castle, say:

” They’re safe in such a fortress;

There is no way to shake it! “

” On — on! ” exclaimed the hero,

“I’ll find a way, or make it!”

Is Fame your aspiration?

Her path is steep and high;

In vain he seeks her temple,

Contents to gaze and sigh:

The shining throne is waiting,

But he alone can take it

Who says, with Roman firmness

“I’ll find a way, or make it!”

Is Learning your ambition?

There is no royal road;

Alike the peer and peasant

Must climb to her abode:

Who feels the thirst of knowledge

In Helicon may slake it,

If he has still the Roman will

“To find a way, or make it!”

Are Riches worth the getting?

They must be bravely sought;

With wishing and with fretting

The boom cannot be bought:

To all the prize is open,

But only he can take it

Who says, with Roman courage,

“I’ll find a way, or make it!”

In Love’s e has ever been,

That victory crowns the valiant, —

The brave are they who win:

Though strong is Beauty’s castle,

A lover still may take it,

Who says, with Roman daring,

“I’ll find a way, or make it!”

***

Leisure

  • William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

***

The Road Not Taken

  • ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

***

The Raven

  • EDGAR ALLAN POE

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

            Only this and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow

    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

            Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—

            This it is and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

            Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—

            Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—

            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;

    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

            With such name as “Nevermore.”

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—

    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

            She shall press, ah, nevermore!

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee

    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—

    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

***

Defeat

  • KAHLIL GIBRAN

Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;

You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,

And sweeter to my heart than all world-glory.

Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,

Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot

And not to be trapped by withering laurels.

And in you I have found aloneness

And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,

In your eyes I have read

That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,

And to be understood is to be leveled down,

And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness

And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,

You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,

And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,

And urging of seas,

And of mountains that burn in the night,

And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,

You and I shall laugh together with the storm,

And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,

And we shall stand in the sun with a will,

And we shall be dangerous.

***

The Dreamer

  • Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Temples he built and palaces of air,

   And, with the artist’s parent-pride aglow,

   His fancy saw his vague ideals grow

Into creations marvelously fair;

He set his foot upon Fame’s nether stair.

   But ah, his dream,—it had entranced him so

   He could not move. He could no farther go;

But paused in joy that he was even there!

He did not wake until one day there gleamed

   Thro’ his dark consciousness a light that racked

His being till he rose, alert to act.

But lo! What he had dreamed, the while he dreamed,

   Another, wedding action unto thought,

   Into the living, pulsing world had brought.

My favourite Poems/verses3

10 May

She Walks in Beauty

  • Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night 

Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 

And all that’s best of dark and bright 

Meet in her aspect and her eyes; 

Thus mellowed to that tender light 

Which heaven to gaudy day denies. 

One shade the more, one ray the less, 

Had half impaired the nameless grace 

Which waves in every raven tress, 

Or softly lightens o’er her face; 

Where thoughts serenely sweet express, 

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. 

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, 

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, 

The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 

But tell of days in goodness spent, 

A mind at peace with all below, 

A heart whose love is innocent!

***

An Excerpt from Don Juan

  • Lord Byron

Tis strange,-but true; for truth is always strange;

Stranger than fiction: if it could be told,

How much would novels gain by the exchange!

How differently the world would men behold!

***

Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained

  • John Milton

***

Doors of Daring

  • Henry Van Dyke

The mountains that enfold the vale

With walls of granite, steep and high,

Invite the fearless foot to scale

Their stairway toward the sky.

The restless, deep, dividing sea

That flows and foams from shore to shore,

Calls to its sunburned chivalry,

“Push out, set sail, explore!”

And all the bars at which we fret,

That seem to prison and control,

Are but the doors of daring, set

Ajar before the soul.

Say not, “Too poor,” but freely give;

Sigh not, “Too weak,” but boldly try,

You never can begin to live

Until you dare to die.

***

If—

  • Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream, and not make dreams your master;

If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings, nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And, which is more, you’ll be a Man, my son!

***

Do not go gentle into that good night

  • Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

***

The Highwayman

            – Alfred Noyes

PART ONE

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.  

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.  

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,   

And the highwayman came riding—

         Riding—riding—

The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,  

A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.

They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.  

And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,

         His pistol butts a-twinkle,

His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.

He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.  

He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there  

But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,

         Bess, the landlord’s daughter,

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked

Where Tim the ostler listened. His face was white and peaked.  

His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,  

But he loved the landlord’s daughter,

         The landlord’s red-lipped daughter.

Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize to-night,

But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;

Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,  

Then look for me by moonlight,

         Watch for me by moonlight,

I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”

He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,

But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand

As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;  

And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,

         (O, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)

Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

PART TWO

He did not come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;  

And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,  

When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,  

A red-coat troop came marching—

         Marching—marching—

King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.  

But they gagged his daughter, and bound her, to the foot of her narrow bed.

Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!  

There was death at every window;

         And hell at one dark window;

For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest.

They had bound a musket beside her, with the muzzle beneath her breast!

“Now, keep good watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—

Look for me by moonlight;

         Watch for me by moonlight;

I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!

She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!  

They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years

Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,

         Cold, on the stroke of midnight,

The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.  

Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.  

She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;  

For the road lay bare in the moonlight;

         Blank and bare in the moonlight;

And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.

Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horsehoofs ringing clear;  

Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?

Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,

The highwayman came riding—

         Riding—riding—

The red coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still.

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!   

Nearer he came and nearer. Her face was like a light.

Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,  

Then her finger moved in the moonlight,

         Her musket shattered the moonlight,

Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

He turned. He spurred to the west; he did not know who stood  

Bowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched with her own blood!  

Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear  

How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,

         The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,

Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,

With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.

Blood red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;

When they shot him down on the highway,

         Down like a dog on the highway,

And he lay in his blood on the highway, with a bunch of lace at his throat.

.       .       .

And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,

When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,  

When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,  

A highwayman comes riding—

         Riding—riding—

A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.

He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.  

He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there  

But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,

         Bess, the landlord’s daughter,

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

***

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

  • William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

***

The Winners

  • Rudyard Kipling

What the moral? Who rides may read.

When the night is thick and the tracks are blind

A friend at a pinch is a friend, indeed,

But a fool to wait for the laggard behind.

Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne,

He travels the fastest who travels alone.

White hands cling to the tightened rein,

Slipping the spur from the booted heel,

Tenderest voices cry ” Turn again!”

Red lips tarnish the scabbarded steel,

High hopes faint on a warm hearth-stone–

He travels the fastest who travels alone.

One may fall but he falls by himself–

Falls by himself with himself to blame.

One may attain and to him is pelf–

Loot of the city in Gold or Fame.

Plunder of earth shall be all his own

Who travels the fastest and travels alone.

Wherefore the more ye be helpen-.en and stayed,

Stayed by a friend in the hour of toil,

Sing the heretical song I have made–

His be the labour and yours be the spoil.

Win by his aid and the aid disown–

He travels the fastest who travels alone!

***

My favourite Poems/verses2

10 May

The Lost Leader

  • Robert Browning

Just for a handful of silver he left us, 

Just for a riband to stick in his coat— 

Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us, 

Lost all the others she lets us devote; 

They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver, 

So much was theirs who so little allowed: 

How all our copper had gone for his service! 

Rags—were they purple, his heart had been proud! 

We that had loved him so, followed him, honoured him, 

Lived in his mild and magnificent eye, 

Learned his great language, caught his clear accents, 

Made him our pattern to live and to die! 

Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us, 

Burns, Shelley, were with us,—they watch from their graves! 

He alone breaks from the van and the freemen, 

—He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves! 

We shall march prospering,—not thro’ his presence; 

Songs may inspirit us,—not from his lyre; 

Deeds will be done,—while he boasts his quiescence, 

Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire: 

Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more, 

One task more declined, one more footpath untrod, 

One more devils’-triumph and sorrow for angels, 

One wrong more to man, one more insult to God! 

Life’s night begins: let him never come back to us! 

There would be doubt, hesitation and pain, 

Forced praise on our part—the glimmer of twilight, 

Never glad confident morning again! 

Best fight on well, for we taught him—strike gallantly, 

Menace our heart ere we master his own; 

Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us, 

Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne! 

***

Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

  • William Wordsworth

The child is father of the man;

And I could wish my days to be

   Bound each to each by natural piety.

          (Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up”)

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

       The earth, and every common sight,

                          To me did seem

                      Apparelled in celestial light,

            The glory and the freshness of a dream.

It is not now as it hath been of yore;—

                      Turn wheresoe’er I may,

                          By night or day.

The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

                      The Rainbow comes and goes,

                      And lovely is the Rose,

                      The Moon doth with delight

       Look round her when the heavens are bare,

                      Waters on a starry night

                      Are beautiful and fair;

       The sunshine is a glorious birth;

       But yet I know, where’er I go,

That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,

       And while the young lambs bound

                      As to the tabor’s sound,

To me alone there came a thought of grief:

A timely utterance gave that thought relief,

                      And I again am strong:

The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;

No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;

I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng,

       The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep,

                      And all the earth is gay;

                           Land and sea

                Give themselves up to jollity,

                      And with the heart of May

                 Doth every Beast keep holiday;—

                      Thou Child of Joy,

Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd-boy.

Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call

      Ye to each other make; I see

The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;

      My heart is at your festival,

            My head hath its coronal,

The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.

                      Oh evil day! if I were sullen

                      While Earth herself is adorning,

                         This sweet May-morning,

                      And the Children are culling

                         On every side,

In a thousand valleys far and wide,

                      Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,

And the Babe leaps up on his Mother’s arm:—

                      I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!

                      —But there’s a Tree, of many, one,

A single field which I have looked upon,

Both of them speak of something that is gone;

                      The Pansy at my feet

                      Doth the same tale repeat:

Whither is fled the visionary gleam?

Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,

                      Hath had elsewhere its setting,

                         And cometh from afar:

                      Not in entire forgetfulness,

                      And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

                      From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

Shades of the prison-house begin to close

                      Upon the growing Boy,

But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,

                      He sees it in his joy;

The Youth, who daily farther from the east

                      Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest,

                      And by the vision splendid

                      Is on his way attended;

At length the Man perceives it die away,

And fade into the light of common day.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;

Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,

                      And, even with something of a Mother’s mind,

                      And no unworthy aim,

The homely Nurse doth all she can

To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,

                      Forget the glories he hath known,

And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,

A six years’ Darling of a pigmy size!

See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,

Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,

With light upon him from his father’s eyes!

See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,

Some fragment from his dream of human life,

Shaped by himself with newly-learn{e}d art

                      A wedding or a festival,

                      A mourning or a funeral;

                         And this hath now his heart,

                      And unto this he frames his song:

                         Then will he fit his tongue

To dialogues of business, love, or strife;

                      But it will not be long

                      Ere this be thrown aside,

                      And with new joy and pride

The little Actor cons another part;

Filling from time to time his “humorous stage”

With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,

That Life brings with her in her equipage;

                      As if his whole vocation

                      Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie

                      Thy Soul’s immensity;

Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep

Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind,

That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,

Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—

                      Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!

                      On whom those truths do rest,

Which we are toiling all our lives to find,

In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;

Thou, over whom thy Immortality

Broods like the Day, a Master o’er a Slave,

A Presence which is not to be put by;

Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might

Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height,

Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke

The years to bring the inevitable yoke,

Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?

Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight,

And custom lie upon thee with a weight,

Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

                      O joy! that in our embers

                      Is something that doth live,

                      That Nature yet remembers

What was so fugitive!

The thought of our past years in me doth breed

Perpetual benediction: not indeed

For that which is most worthy to be blest;

Delight and liberty, the simple creed

Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,

With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—

                      Not for these I raise

                      The song of thanks and praise

                But for those obstinate questionings

                Of sense and outward things,

                Fallings from us, vanishings;

                Blank misgivings of a Creature

Moving about in worlds not realised,

High instincts before which our mortal Nature

Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:

                      But for those first affections,

                      Those shadowy recollections,

                Which, be they what they may

Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,

Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;

                Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make

Our noisy years seem moments in the being

Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,

                To perish never;

Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,

                      Nor Man nor Boy,

Nor all that is at enmity with joy,

Can utterly abolish or destroy!

                Hence in a season of calm weather

                      Though inland far we be,

Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea

                      Which brought us hither,

                Can in a moment travel thither,

And see the Children sport upon the shore,

And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!

                      And let the young Lambs bound

                      As to the tabor’s sound!

We in thought will join your throng,

                      Ye that pipe and ye that play,

                      Ye that through your hearts to-day

                      Feel the gladness of the May!

What though the radiance which was once so bright

Be now for ever taken from my sight,

                Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

                      We will grieve not, rather find

                      Strength in what remains behind;

                      In the primal sympathy

                      Which having been must ever be;

                      In the soothing thoughts that spring

                      Out of human suffering;

                      In the faith that looks through death,

In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,

Forebode not any severing of our loves!

Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;

I only have relinquished one delight

To live beneath your more habitual sway.

I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,

Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;

The innocent brightness of a new-born Day

                      Is lovely yet;

The Clouds that gather round the setting sun

Do take a sober colouring from an eye

That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;

Another race hath been, and other palms are won.

Thanks to the human heart by which we live,

Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,

To me the meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

***

The Darkling Thrush

  • Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate

      When Frost was spectre-grey,

And Winter’s dregs made desolate

      The weakening eye of day.

The tangled bine-stems scored the sky

      Like strings of broken lyres,

And all mankind that haunted nigh

      Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be

      The Century’s corpse outleant,

His crypt the cloudy canopy,

      The wind his death-lament.

The ancient pulse of germ and birth

      Was shrunken hard and dry,

And every spirit upon earth

      Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among

      The bleak twigs overhead

In a full-hearted evensong

      Of joy illimited;

An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,

      In blast-beruffled plume,

Had chosen thus to fling his soul

      Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings

      Of such ecstatic sound

Was written on terrestrial things

      Afar or nigh around,

That I could think there trembled through

      His happy good-night air

Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew

      And I was unaware.

***

Tell the truth but tell it slant

  • Emily Dickinson

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind —

***

Success is counted sweetest

  • Emily Dickinson

Success is counted sweetest

By those who ne’er succeed.

To comprehend a nectar

Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host

Who took the Flag today

Can tell the definition

So clear of victory

As he defeated – dying –

On whose forbidden ear

The distant strains of triumph

Burst agonized and clear!

***

Wild Nights

  • Emily Dickinson

Wild nights – Wild nights!

Were I with thee

Wild nights should be

Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –

To a Heart in port –

Done with the Compass –

Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –

Ah – the Sea!

Might I but moor – tonight –

In thee!

***

Much Madness is divinest Sense

  • Emily Dickinson

Much Madness is divinest Sense –

To a discerning Eye –

Much Sense – the starkest Madness –

‘Tis the Majority

In this, as all, prevail –

Assent – and you are sane –

Demur – you’re straightway dangerous –

And handled with a Chain –

***

“Faith” is a fine invention

  • Emily Dickinson

“Faith” is a fine invention

For Gentlemen who see!

But Microscopes are prudent

In an Emergency!

***

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

  • Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain ;

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.

***

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

  • Emily Dickinson

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you — Nobody — Too?

Then there’s a pair of us!

Don’t tell! They’d banish us — you know!

How dreary — to be — Somebody!

How public — like a Frog —

To tell one’s name — the livelong June —

To an admiring Bog!

***

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

  • Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

***

So, we’ll go no more a roving

  • Lord Byron

So, we’ll go no more a roving 

   So late into the night, 

Though the heart be still as loving, 

   And the moon be still as bright. 

For the sword outwears its sheath, 

   And the soul wears out the breast, 

And the heart must pause to breathe, 

   And love itself have rest. 

Though the night was made for loving, 

   And the day returns too soon, 

Yet we’ll go no more a roving 

   By the light of the moon.

***

Darkness

  • Lord Byron

I had a dream, which was not all a dream. 

The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars 

Did wander darkling in the eternal space, 

Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth 

Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; 

Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day, 

And men forgot their passions in the dread 

Of this their desolation; and all hearts 

Were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light: 

And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones, 

The palaces of crowned kings—the huts, 

The habitations of all things which dwell, 

Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum’d, 

And men were gather’d round their blazing homes 

To look once more into each other’s face; 

Happy were those who dwelt within the eye 

Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch: 

A fearful hope was all the world contain’d; 

Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour 

They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks 

Extinguish’d with a crash—and all was black. 

The brows of men by the despairing light 

Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits 

The flashes fell upon them; some lay down 

And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest 

Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil’d; 

And others hurried to and fro, and fed 

Their funeral piles with fuel, and look’d up 

With mad disquietude on the dull sky, 

The pall of a past world; and then again 

With curses cast them down upon the dust, 

And gnash’d their teeth and howl’d: the wild birds shriek’d 

And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, 

And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes 

Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl’d 

And twin’d themselves among the multitude, 

Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food. 

And War, which for a moment was no more, 

Did glut himself again: a meal was bought 

With blood, and each sate sullenly apart 

Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left; 

All earth was but one thought—and that was death 

Immediate and inglorious; and the pang 

Of famine fed upon all entrails—men 

Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; 

The meagre by the meagre were devour’d, 

Even dogs assail’d their masters, all save one, 

And he was faithful to a corse, and kept 

The birds and beasts and famish’d men at bay, 

Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead 

Lur’d their lank jaws; himself sought out no food, 

But with a piteous and perpetual moan, 

And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand 

Which answer’d not with a caress—he died. 

The crowd was famish’d by degrees; but two 

Of an enormous city did survive, 

And they were enemies: they met beside 

The dying embers of an altar-place 

Where had been heap’d a mass of holy things 

For an unholy usage; they rak’d up, 

And shivering scrap’d with their cold skeleton hands 

The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath 

Blew for a little life, and made a flame 

Which was a mockery; then they lifted up 

Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld 

Each other’s aspects—saw, and shriek’d, and died— 

Even of their mutual hideousness they died, 

Unknowing who he was upon whose brow 

Famine had written Fiend. The world was void, 

The populous and the powerful was a lump, 

Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless— 

A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay. 

The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still, 

And nothing stirr’d within their silent depths; 

Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea, 

And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp’d 

They slept on the abyss without a surge— 

The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave, 

The moon, their mistress, had expir’d before; 

The winds were wither’d in the stagnant air, 

And the clouds perish’d; Darkness had no need 

Of aid from them—She was the Universe. 

***

My favourite quotes3

9 May

“What you seek is seeking you.”

  • Rumi

“I am never upset for the reason I think.”

  • A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman

“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It is not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it is true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.”

  • Byron Katie

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.

  • Friedrich Nietzsche

“Photography is a foreign language everyone thinks he speaks.”

  • Philip-Lorca di Corcia

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

  • Ansel Adams

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrows of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous or the humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.

  • Adam Smith, Theory of Moral sentiments.
  1. You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  3. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
  7. You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
  10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
  • William J. H. Boetcker

Life is not short, we just waste most of it.

  • Seneca

Men are thrifty in guarding their private property, but as soon as it comes to wasting time, they are most extravagant with the one commodity for which it is respectable to be greedy.

  • Seneca

It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

  • Epictetus

In all climates, under all skies, man’s happiness is always somewhere else.

  • Giacomo Leopardi

Do not overestimate your abilities. A slow careful analysis is better than intuition.

  • Liv Boeree (A professional poker player)

The imperative to act is the illusion of free will.

  • Anonymous

You are my other me.

  • Lak’Ech Ala K’In – A Mayan greeting

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.”

  • C S Lewis

Life can be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

  • Soren Kierkegaard

“The distinction between verse and prose is clear, the distinction between poetry and prose is obscure.”

  • T. S. Eliot

Sometimes we should stop looking at the best in people and look at what people show us instead.

  • Arch Hades.

“I do not believe that art should be explicit,” …. It should be suggestive and ambiguous so that the viewer has to enter in.”

  • Balcomb Greene

We can see in them the attitude and the image, as it were, of his mind; for in these works the mind expresses and reflects itself not otherwise than a mirror reflects the face of a man who looks into it.

  • Gombrich

To have another language is to possess a second soul.

  • Charlemagne.

Maturing is realizing how many things do not require your comment.

  • Rachel Wolchin

If we assume man has been corrupted by an artificial civilization, what is the natural state? the state of nature from which he has been removed? imagine, wandering up and down the forest without industry, without speech, and without home.

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, ……….in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only” 

  • Charles Dickens, The Tale of Two cities

Man is the least himself when he talks in his own person, give him a mask and he shall tell you everything.

  • Oscar Wilde

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

  • Isaac Newton

“Time is God’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.”

-Woody Allen.

“You don’t marry a person you can live with; you marry someone you cannot live without”.

  • James C. Dobson

You cannot change what is outside your control, but you can change your attitude towards it.

  • Marcus Aurelius

Winning is all about heart, you just got to have in the right place.

  • Lance Armstrong

Secret of national health lies in the homes.

  • Florence Nightingale

He is not pleased when he is happy, he is not suffering when in pain. Only a few can understand such a state.

  • Ashtkakra Gita

You can miss someone and not want it back.

  • Paulo Coelho

“Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful.”

  • Lao Tzu

“If a lot of people loved each other, the world would be a better place to live.”

  • Tommy Wiseau

“Freedom is what you do with what has been done to you.”

  • Jean-Paul Sarte

“Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality, and likes that turned into love.” 

  • Anonymous

“You’ve got a friend in me”

  • Toystory

There is more wisdom in your body than all of philosophy.

  • Nietzsche

Stock markets are voting machines in the short run and weighing machines in the long run.

  • Benjamin Graham

Something to do

Something to love

Something to hope for

  • Washington Burnhap

O my soul, do not aspire to immortal life but exhaust the limits of the possible.

  • Pindar

“It is not doubt but certainty that drives people mad.”

  • Friedrich Nietzsche”

Existence precedes essence.

  • Jean Paul Sartre

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit”.

  • Aristotle

There are no facts but interpretations.

  • Nietzsche 

All true great thoughts come when walking.

  • Nietzsche 

The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

  • Marcel Proust

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.

  • Gustav Flaubert

The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

  • Oscar Wilde

Shine as a glow worm if you cannot be a star.

  • Anonymous

“A thing of beauty is joy forever…”

  • Endymion, John Keats, 1918

Much ado about nothing.

  • Play by William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken…

  • Excerpt from Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it will be a butterfly.

  • R. Buckminster Fuller

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”

  • Henri Bergson

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you cannot make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you will never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time…”

  • Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

What is done out of love, takes place beyond good and evil.

  • Frederich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.

  • Maya Angelou

When you discover rationality, religion does not seem impressive anymore and when you discover the limits of rationality it all comes back.

  • Dr Shashi Tharoor

Le devoir de la comédie est de corriger les hommes en les divertissant.

  • Molière

I write because of the same reasons a cow gives milk.

  • George Bernard Shaw

If you do not know where you came from then how you will appreciate where you are going.

  • Shashi Tharoor

History is not for excuses nor revenge.

  • Shashi Tharoor

Half-digested/baked history can teach you the wrong lessons and inform misplaced actions.

  • Shashi Tharoor

Any credible amount will not be payable, and any payable amount will not be payable.

  • Shashi Tharoor on reparations.

Always toward absent lover’s love’s tide stronger flows.

  • Sextus

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts23

5 May

We live in an age of tyranny without a tyrant.

Stories lose their value if there is no listener.

Love is a refuge from all the realities of life.

It causes a great deal of suffering to be authentic.

Conquering a summit will only reveal another.

When I came back to the same place looking at the mountains and the rivers, although still confused. I was filled with gratitude and felt better.

A person walking-on the street alone and in the dark has his path illuminated by the cars going both his and the opposite way.

Getting off the hedonic treadmill is not easy without falling.

A person might say something for us to know but what one understands is what they already know.

An allegorical account of the allegory of caves.

Anything that does not last cannot be termed as happiness, it is pleasure. The surface gleams and bubbles are the pleasure whereas happiness is something that stays in the warm currents in the deep.

The search for pleasure often leads us away from happiness.

Pleasure can be obtained without satisfaction, happiness cannot be.

Food is the best test of self-control.

Would India be such a big country if not for British rule; would the subcontinent be melange of many provinces turned countries?

Why remember things when they are easily accessible.

There is a difference between remembering and finding capability.

When the old socks meet, it will be a grand reunion.

When there is opulence and free flowing wine. What can they give to each other? Very little, very little.

Interest, which is something the other person has, is what makes them feel for you. Your qualities or misgivings have nothing to do with it.

People think, expressing them makes them vulnerable. Well, they are right, and I don’t agree with it.

When you differ in opinion with society, they have a subtle way of cornering you to perpetuate their false pride.

If you express what you feel, it will manifest.

Somethings that people seem or show to want for you, they actually want for themselves.

Being honest to and about oneself is not only inconvenient but at times harmful.

Life as a fabric will never be without wrinkles which we will always and constantly try to iron out.

Love fundamentally is an irrationality, a beautiful one.

The search for meaning is a painful exercise. It is a mirage that will always elude us and maintain its mystery. Thus, no one will ever be able to say that life is absurd, not certainly for sure. Calling it absurd is like giving up halfway. 

If you know someone for far too long, their misgivings and faults could grow on you if there is no love to fight those foibles.

If there is beauty and tranquillity within your mind, you will seek it less and less in your material surroundings.

Things, I took pride in once, are invisible, insignificant now.

It is a pity that ego, vanity and lies outlive and outlast pride, love and joy.

Rat is the deadliest non-human mammal.

What was the worst thing you did to someone, knowing that it will hurt them, but you did it anyway? You never want to do that again!

When was the last time you had Goosebumps or better yet what are the things that give you Goosebumps? Do you remember? Good, these are the resonances of your soul!

Laughter can be faked but not tears.

Tears, Goosebumps, reflex actions are the physical manifestations of the essence of your soul.

Cheese is milk’s leap towards immortality.

I do not know about happiness but satisfaction which is a precursor of happiness can only come when your surroundings are in agreement with you.

Each to his own.

Sometimes sharing is impossible; sometimes it can take photos or videos; somethings demand one-to-one conversation; some only a glance.

Good people can do bad things.

Everyone is at least, capable of the worst deed.

Assertions are either true or false…

…but arguments are neither true nor false…

…arguments are either good or bad…

An argument is supposed to take us from one place to another, not meandering about and least about, I say one thing and you say another.

An argument is not a quarrel it is a set of sentences, some of which are premises and some are conclusion.

An argument can never be right or wrong, they can either be truth preserving or not.

Socrates did not write anything, all what we know of him comes to us through Plato.

Atomists knew in BCE, before any microscopes or a Hadron Collider, that everything is made of atoms. That, nothing comes and goes out of existence as teleologists would say. Everything is a mere combination and disaggregation of the atoms. That things, do not have a purpose for their origin but a cause for their creation.

Everybody has struggled their part and there is no yardstick to compare one’e ordeals to those of the other. Nevertheless, there is one thing that separate the few from the lot. The will to push on, not merely reach a point but to keep moving.

Civility is the mean of obsequiousness and rudeness.

If you feel you cannot explain something well, do not bother trying. Do no harm!

Living a fairy-tale reality is like using a drug, makes you euphoric while it lasts and leaves you desolate when it is gone. But, if it so happens, you must know that it was a drug not something that was borne in you.

A simple example of emergence of beauty from nothingness is a snowflake. It forms out of environmental factors and biological elements. When the temperature is right, freezing water particles form in beautiful fractal patterns around a single molecule of matter, such as a speck of pollution, a spore, or even dead skin cells.

When Love ends

When a relationship ends, no matter on grounds of infidelity, unfair behaviour, perpetual unhappy circumstances et cetera, there is a variable immediate phase which is filled with wistful thinking, longing, and feelings of going back.

But the phase that follows is either, you continue to feel like going back which is usually grounded on the realisation that there was something more that you could have done to save the relationship or that the hurt would be worth in the long run. It is a feeling of regret, guilt, and loss.

The other one is the growing feeling that it was in the best interest of you and potentially for your partner to fall apart and be saved from each other. It is a feeling of liberation from the captivity of your whims and fantasies.

I would not doubt the love people had for each other; does not matter which path they choose or end up in.

The weight of favours is heavier than gold.

Let me ask you a question, do you think that Communism is inconsistent with human nature?

Sleep is like a curtain.

Time begets the fruits of your mind.

Weak people have no choice but to be humble.

Rudeness is never a testament of power, it does however sub-communicates weakness.

Tears are outpour of emotion, not necessarily the one you are feeling right now. They maybe those that were repressed for years, emotion about which we have forgotten and moved on. But, they come back again.

Tears are like a monsoon shower that clears the skies in rich deep blue.

Tears are like water on a dirty windshield.

Tears are like water on a dirty windowpane.

We are not hallucinating about the sounds and feel of things at times. We get alarmed because we feel more, we see more, we hear more than what we are used. Sometimes, maybe not all, we label these as hallucinations. This is the time of heightened sensations, after which we go back to our usual dull senses.

When we observe time slowly, we get scared of each small moment that we usually miss from our lives at usual pace.

I forgot to press the record button for the video, but I lived the moment and now that video is in my mind.

When we connect parts of our brains often to think or understand something. Our brain gets used to doing it more often with other pieces of information that are fed into it.

When you have nothing to do, ask yourself this question again? Still, if you can come up with no answer then ask yourself again, at least once more.

An organisation is made of two things, that influence each other – Culture and People.

Since, we are on the edge of the curve. We cannot predict what is going to happen next.

The reason why people fall short or fail in a relationship or their professional endeavour is because they think that they have done enough, and they stop.

If you do not have the life energy within you then every new passion or excitement will eventually burn away leaving you back to where you were.

Here are the problems of mankind –

  • Apathy towards others – makes one selfish and unkind.
  • Apathy towards nature – makes one ignorant and exploitative.
  • Apathy towards oneself – makes one lazy and lost.

When religion tries to do anything more than uniting people and making them more sentient to each other’s feelings. It loses its way.

Sustainable solutions

  • Solar energy in every home.
  • No more than one child for each couple.
  • Everyone needs to plant ‘x’ number of trees every year.
  • Electric cars

If the sphere of kindness could be half as big as everyone’s sphere of influence, the world would be a better place.

Humans have become lazy, just like an animal in the zoo. When basic needs like food, water and shelter are met, anyone is liable to lose their motivation.

To find motivation in a person is as difficult as finding a snow leopard in snow. You cannot find it unless it wants you to.

I understand, It takes a lot to think beyond oneself.

A person who can be genuinely concerned for the other is a gem.

In a dull and orthodox society, to be the reformer is easy to imagine because of the plethora of problems there are, but difficult to become.

All systems inherently oppose change no matter what state they are in.

Orthodoxy is maintained by people who are guilt-ridden, weak and opportunists. They know that they would not survive in the big bright world.

A leader, in theory is someone who can foresee the long-term effects of today’s actions. A real leader is that plus, someone who can take today’s action and those that are needed as a consequence, no matter what they are.

A model is something that does not necessarily work in the real world.

When you give a name to something, it immediately starts receiving more attention because it is no more an abstract idea it is concrete, framed in a word.

Everyone you meet or really know for the first time will strike you as interesting before they start their downhill journey towards oblivion. If only, love lights them up for you and you for them.

There are three ways in which you can make someone do something for you – stick, carrot, and a hug.

A friend is not a friend unless he has an epithet for you.

Our sense of time depends on our memories, emotions, and activity.

It is inevitable to make mistakes as you grow up; the best you can do is acknowledge them in hindsight and not repeat them.

How can you love someone if your values are at a conflict, if you know something about them that is unacceptable, if they have hurt someone you love?

There will not be any crossroads; the path will be illuminated once you state the truth.

Good mentors make good mentors.

When things come from the heart you do not need language competence for eloquence.

Your awareness and focus are like juggling the balls. You need to identify what are your crystal balls that you cannot afford to break and for that reason you cannot throw them high while you are juggling other balls which are either rubber balls or plastic. Even if they fall, they will either bounce back or at least not break. You can catch them on the bounce or later when you have time. But, if your crystal break, you will never have them back. So do not juggle them too high! These are your family, loved ones, mental peace. Rubber balls are professional opportunities and plastic balls are everything else.

People only make wrong decisions because they do not listen to their inner voice.

When I come to my bed, I forget everything.

Except experiences, relationships, and love nothing else has value.

The weight of the words hangs more on how we say them rather than on their meaning.

When you come to a conclusion and particularly before imposing on someone, think back and reflect on your ladder of inference. Does it look like a black-box or are you able to defend your decision, if needed?

Is it possible to be assertive and stoic at the same time?

It is difficult to remain humble when your mind lights up like a city.

When you are talking to someone, particularly when you are trying to explain them something. The tell-tale sign of affinity is their perspective on those matters, how close is it to yours? or is it just the counter?

The thing with the most addictive potential is your endorphins and serotonin, in fact it is the basis of all addictions.

Clarity is painful; Oblivion is comforting.

There is only one truth while a thousand other lies compete to fill its place.

Will a novel live up to its beautiful first page?

Is someone your Haiku or Anthology?

Is truth a noun that can be modified by a possessive pronoun?

Be quick to observe and slow to judge.

Instead of reading between the lines, read behind the words.

There is so much you can tell just by scrolling through someone’s YouTube homepage.

Like modern courtship, materialism offers the possibility of gratification without commitment.

Words are susceptible to different interpretations.

Words are given flesh over time, by the changing circumstances and the reader.

One persona living many lives.

What is the point of this life, full of care if you have no time to stand and stare?

Perhaps later in life, I will look back and find clarity. Right now, I am too caught up in doing it all.

It’s not the job you do but the way in which you do it.

Do your work in the way in which you feel you should do it.

If someone does what they had to do, it is not their fault if they did not choose better.

Is aristocracy a progressive ideal?

Do an interrogation with yourself…

You need some positive experiences of good triumphing over the bad to kill the cynical in you and lead you on the path of optimism.

Pluralism and secularism are not the same.

The world is unfair. The Gladstone were compensated for having lost slaves as a result of abolition of slavery. The slaves were not.

Germany has buses setup taking school children to Nazi concentration camps. The British have no such thing on colonialism.

Guarantee of opportunity and the guarantee of outcome are two modes of welfare.

What if your father was the best father in the world but not a good person?

Call it love when they no longer need you.

Rigveda says maybe he (the god up there) does not know who created the universe.

It is the anxiety associated with wanting joy to last and sorrow to end soon is what causes us sorrow, not sorrow itself.

God exists because of man.

AdhiShankara, in his fashioning of Hinduism used only the Bhagwad Gita, 10 out of 108 Upanishads and the Brahmasutra, left everything to catch dust.

Tolerance is in its essence patronising, it says I know the truth, you do not. But I will magnanimously indulge you in your right to be wrong.

Acceptance certainly trumps tolerance as a virtue.

Credulity in the veracity of others; not always a good idea.

Why do humans have an ecological impact more than other animals?

Cognitive revolution – language, stories, tools…

When nationalists are actually Banana republic dictator, what should the citizens do?

Humans despite their position in the food chain and having all the technological advancements are far more insecure than a lion in the savannah.

Homo sapiens are a bunch of sheep with nuclear power.

It is more dangerous if weak or insecure people have a lot of power.

The most fleeting thing more than a moment is a thought.

Is love also a human invented abstract thought.

Gossip theory – when everyone is telling the same story again and again it gains credence.

When listening to a charismatic leader the prefrontal cortex shuts down.

If you want to build a large society, you need a story that everyone believes in to keep them together.

Religion, racial superiority, caste hierarchy and other such stories have been perpetuated for a purpose of subjugating people.

Leadership is the result of social power not physical power. It runs from being able to maintain a stable coalition of supporters.

Money is the paradigm example of the hegemony of belief.

In the long run, the solution to all problems is money or economic growth.

Taiping rebellion was the biggest civil war in the history and ended in a Pyrrhic victory of the Qing dynasty. Nobody knows about that, that is history.

Science tells us how to do, our beliefs and stories guide us what to do.

The power and the curse of stories is that it allows itself to multiple and re-interpretations.

Religion, even though I do not believe in it as an institution cannot be held responsible for all the atrocities and blood that occurred for and because of it.

Take ideologies that did not reach a religious fervour, maybe because we are too educated to let it, also brought people to do heinous crimes against one another.

The religion we know today is the manifestation of human creative intellect.

Capitalism and environmental protection are not compatible. The two cannot be settled together.

There is no relationship between the success, the scale of propagation of a story and its objective truth.

The only thing that is real is the suffering and anything that prevents it, is ethical.

Anything that can suffer is real. A nation, religion, bank, or money does not suffer. 

We as a society are progressing from theocentric to homocentric to datacentric.

Consequentialist moral reason- locates morality in the consequences.

Categorical moral reasoning- locates morality in the actions (Immanuel Kant)

Philosophy does not supply new information; it gives new ways of looking at things which can make us unsettled.

Philosophy estranges us from familiar.

Self-knowledge is like lost innocence.

Philosophy distances from conventions, assumptions, and established beliefs.

Fixed salary induces slothful behaviour.

A market mechanism for fixing salary, learning outcome in kid by giving money to kids, saving the rhinos by selling the rights to kill one rhino, selling the right to kill a person in prison on death row? What are ethics?

We have gone from market economics to market society. The market mechanisms have infiltrated our life and is not anymore only a tool of growth.

Should there be a market for kidneys?

Life is what you remember or will remember.

There so much difference in when you see a thing for the first time and the last time.

India lives in many centuries simultaneously.

There is a difference between intrinsic value and market value.

Money changes the meaning of work and degrades the higher purpose.

Children in Israel sent in three groups to raise money as a civil project in three groups. One group given only motivation and the other two were given 1 and 10% commission. The first group did the best!

There is a difference between individual morality and collective morality.

When a civic question becomes a pecuniary one, it is degrading.

Money changes the meaning of the activity. Seen in cash incentives or Performance based financing.

Economics is not a value neutral science. It always begs the normative question.

If market forces crowd out the intrinsic motivations, then it might do more harm than good. This question should be asked before deciding to choose on whether to use market forces or not?

Markets do not alter the value of material goods, but they do so when they enter social and civic life.

Adam Smith talks about Economics in connection with moral and political philosophy. That is how it should be seen since economics is not value neutral.

Market forces are not a panacea to all problems.

Words shapes thoughts.

If you can find values and what qualities are worthy of honour and recognition. You would be able to answer ethical, moral and justice questions with some sense of ease.

If the power of money were only limited to buying Yachts (as it is with the Socialist countries), it would not be as pervasive a problem as it is now today with its influence on Health, education and so on. The involvement of money in certain matters changes the intrinsic value and depraves them.

There is a difference in being real and vain.

If my reality seems vanity to you. Perhaps adjust your point of view.

The level of self-control defines a personality.

Become yourself as soon as you can.

Grow up but do not forget.

Having differences is one thing and having conflicts is another.

Boxing has an interesting analogy with the art of argument.

Only the people that love you know your biggest flaws.

It is usually not that you cannnot.

When you have seen all the harshness of life, the trivialities cannot amuse you anymore.

I am averse to hurt.

Nothing will matter after death.

Emotions and feelings are constructs devised, framed, and perpetuated in words. Nothing more.

The world seems like a trouble and life a puzzling endeavour only until we find our one true purpose in life.

Emotions that survive the trials of melancholy are triumphant.

I can see the whole world burn but I cannot see an instance of injustice to the person I love.

Night is when all the grief comes unassuming, subtle, and forceful. It is a time when demons are most powerful, and you are weak.

We are all broken. All of us are pieces of a soul held together by the works of life.

A wholesome soul is a sign of a fortunate life.

With every betrayal and disappointment, the soul breaks never to be whole.

One needs to be a bit oblivious, a little ignorant and sometimes foolish to be happy.

The prospect of losing something and the ensuing anxiety comes when you possess something, not when you are possessed.

When everything tends to crumble, break, and wither the only thing you have control over is you, yourself.

Words are deceptive even when they are not meant to be. Eyes are revealing even when they are not meant to be.

I do not want to be immortal; I have already lived thousands of years through history and imagination.

One of the weakest things is a conversational thread.

Nadir Shah plundered New Delhi and took the wealth to Persia. This left the Mughal empire weak and easy pickings for the British.

Despite all the wisdom, sometimes you need a healthy dose of reality check.

It will all be revealed in the calm.

When someone loves you, they know the answer to all your questions even in silence.

Reassurances are so intimate.

Love can you turn you from a cynical to a believer?

Niceties are a survival skill for the weak.

So many people pass their lives in small talk.

It is only after you really love someone that you can feel them your own.

Planning and worrying about the future are two different things.

There is a difference between a skilled craftsman and a creative artist. A combination of the two although desirable is not necessary to produce art.

They say anger is the purest emotion. It is not, rage is. A person in anger can be calculative, rage does not even allow for that.

The course of a relationship is not decided by what happens visibly but on what people feel for each other in the background. It is what decides how they respond to what happens.

Some people are felt in the moment, whereas others take time to grow on you.

Do you know the stem of all world problems, it is that men are weak.

Someone must do what is necessary and that someone instead of being rewarded, usually ends up paying a cost.

Hatred towards others is an agent response towards the external world when they realise, consciously or unconsciously the holes in the heart, life, and soul.

To be able to see things for what they are usually ends up as a curse.

Instead of trying to get people to do what you want, try to become a person with no emotional or material dependency.

Your pacing heart can tell you truths that no sage or philosopher can.

There is always a risk in being different.

Do not fight for something, you know is not true, except if it is for love.

So many people escape without living with their true value. It only gives them a false sense of pride.

Truth is singular and does not change; lies however are many and keep changing.

Choices are half chances.

It is not worth doing, if it seems like a struggle without an obvious reason.

You can share everything with others, but not your pain. Pain is all yours to bear.

Everything in life is a pursuit; there is always a pursuer and a pursued.

Necessity usually, unfortunately, prevails over emotion.

There can only be one master of the house.

There is singularity of intention and plurality of interpretation in everything said and written.

Communication is a medium to express whereas texting allows for hiding more than revealing.

Things will break and be lost; do not let that happen to people.

We are all in this together, is the greatest lie ever told.

Money cannot buy everything but without it you can hardly buy anything.

How often does it happen with you that your imagination becomes the limiting factor and not anything else?

Twinkle

4 May

A gentle breeze flows past,

Petals fall on shadows cast,

Rainbows fleeting, clouds last;

Dazed and left aghast, alas!

Once was a still crater, unstirred,

Is an oasis in my beating desert.

Path, never treaded nor dreaded;

A life, neither lived nor imagined.

But, one that had just begun.

Out of the dusty doors kept shun,

Shone a light humble and kind,

Mysterious yet an endless shrine.

Life is not possessing, that

which can burn and die,

It is being possessed by

a star, in that forever Sky.

The Sun sets, and moon wanes,

Only for feeble eyes on this mote.

A seed sown in black soil alone.

Will rise and shine somewhere.

For the glow in my heart twinkles.

Ways to time travel without a machine.

4 May

Have you ever seen yourself, staring back at you from the past?

Despite the slim chances that an albeit theoretically possible time machine might see the light of day and allow us to take yet another leap towards being godlike, the lure of time travel has not died down. Ever since it was popularized by the Steven Spielberg franchise ‘Back to the Future’ and other such hit movies or removed from the supernatural realm and brought to a scientific possibility by Albert Einstein.

            But this is no scientific paper, nor I am an expert at the subject. I wish to share some shortcuts or hacks to time travel that I have found highly effective at least in the feeling if not objectively. The success of this method is based on the size of the bubble we live our life in, how big is it? How much does it span forward in the future and back into the past? The bigger the size the easier it would be to time travel, either forward or backward. Remember, time-travel should not be distressing because it is something that we are doing intentionally and intention should bring joy not sorrow, which can be aptly left to chance. It will also help if we see this form of time travel as a form of soft world building like in the movies of Hayo Miyazaki and not hard world building like in the Wes Anderson movies.

One can do a little excursion in time travel by going uphill, to higher altitudes from wherever they are located, in the summer season. The colder temperature which is reminiscent of the winters might just bring back some memories or evoke a sensation that was felt a few months ago, augmented by the sights of people wearing sweaters and jackets, perhaps the sight of a little snow might help too.

Memories are a great way to go back in time whether good or bad, they pull us in the times gone by. The level of detail usually depends on the importance and intensity of that memory. An ecstatic moment on a summer evening with friends or a romantic walk on the beach with a loved one might take you back to it years later, sometimes effortlessly or with little effort. We are constantly devising our own time machines as we go along; we go on sowing the seeds of our future time travel or timestamps even while we are living them. We know that we would want to go back to it and try to capture it with all the ways at our disposal.

Dreams are like travelling in time, without a compass or a watch. We do not usually know the temporality or spatial coordinates of this odyssey. At times when we are lucky, when dreams are an enhanced version of our memory, a recreation of an occurrence of the past only more polished and extravagant. It is when the distinction between memory and dreams are blurred. The fact that we do not have the steering wheel for this journey makes for a bag full of twists and turns and allows for a richer expression of our subconscious. Lucid dreams place us right in the cockpit of this immensely powerful time travel machine and once in it we can take it and us with it anywhere in this endless cosmos or at any point in time. Our imagination in its truest sense becomes the only limiting factor.

Conversations, have their forte in making time appear slower or faster depending on their quality and the person with which we are having them rather than time travel. Imagine you have met a friend after a long time, at an airport and you have only an hour before you both take your flights to your respective destinations. You start talking, and even before you have had the chance to realise, the clock has raced to a finish and you must part your ways with an exchange of the cliché ‘time flies…’ We all have experienced this at some point in our lives, it can be labelled a spurious application of the Einstein theory of Special Relativity, more specifically of time contraction, when you figuratively moved too fast, time contracts. An opposite experience is one that of time dilation which unfortunately outnumbers the former, boredom.

Generally speaking, the perception of time depends on the number of things we fill it with and not the number of ticks the clock had made in a specified duration. A minute of intensity feels forever whereas a minute of boredom almost never existed.

            Finally, it goes without saying that some drugs when consumed could cause the same effect of slowing down time, speeding it up, erasing it or even travelling back.

            Why do we need to travel in time? Some might say that it is an escape mechanism to evade the reality, which at times might be harsh and too much to bear. In my opinion, even if that is the case and it soothes us, rejuvenates us, or prepares us to take on those harsh realities, it could be of use. Moreover, for me time-travel is a way to gain perspective, newer insights, and a newer peek on life itself.

El Niño and the Economic Cycle

4 May

There is so much similarity between these two seemingly disparate concepts belonging to two altogether different domains, both in the way they appear and the effects they have. Mostly because in this world there are more similarities than differences, if only one looks closely.

The stem of the similarity is the range and diversity of outcomes they can have. El Niño affects the weather around the world causing rain, heat waves, floods and drought in different parts of the world which are in part, at least theoretically predictable events. On the other hand, the economic cycle affects livelihood, governments, morale and life itself in ways and manners which are perceived differently around the world. These effects are nonetheless, in theory predictable. Furthermore, its effect can ripple to political instability, mass migration, military dictatorship and mass brutality.

Another, rather bizarre similarity between the two is that despite them being extensively studied, documented and researched upon, they are hard to predict, to the extent that their harmful effects cannot always be circumvented. Lastly, and contrary to the aforementioned, that they belong to two different domains their effects can eventually transcend those distinctions, for example, the Economic cycle can along with socio-economic impacts, affect the climate and El Niño from the mere floods and droughts can also impact livelihoods and lives of people including their socio-economic condition.

Let us look at the two in a little detail, starting with El Nino. The earth’s rotation from west to east gives rise to trade winds in the tropical pacific which normally blows from east to west and causes a predictable pattern of atmospheric (Walker circulation) and ocean current circulation. It brings with it and causes the warmer water to rise near Australia and South east Asia, setting off a chain of events leading to rainfall and other associated weather patterns there. The reverse of this happens at the easterly side of the equatorial pacific where there is upwelling of colder nutrient rich water, which attracts with it the oceanic fauna and makes the fishing industry profitable in the central and south America. This is the usual pattern that the nature follows for most years.

But every 2 to 7 years these trade winds weaken or even reverse, leading to droughts and wildfires in Australia and SE Asia due to lack of rainfall and rising temperatures; floods in Peru; hurricanes in North America and other surrounding areas due to the rising warm water. Furthermore, it adversely impacts the fishing industry by preventing the nutrient upwelling and has many other socio-economic impacts. It causes excessive rainfall and flooding, even malaria in some areas as a result. This is El Nino and is officially declared when the surface temperature of the water rises by 0.5 degree Celsius above the historic average for three consecutive months.

La Nina is when the normal trade winds are exaggerated resulting in excessive rainfall, tropical cyclones and floods in Australia, deaths of marine life due to the warm water and coral bleaching. While at the at the opposite end of the equatorial pacific in central and South America the climate is colder than usual.

In Spanish, El Nino means the little boy and La Nina means the little girl. The geographical scale of impact depends on the strengths of these phenomenon, for example, 1997-98 El Nino affected almost all the continents of the world. ENSO (El Nino southern Oscillation comprises of El Nino, La Nina, each of which lasts for 6 to 12 months and takes 4 to 5 years to cycle from one to another; and the Neutral phase) which encompasses these two-weather phenomena, could satisfactorily be compared with the economic cycle.

Predicting these devastating climate events can prove to be beneficial in saving billions of dollars in damages and thousands, if not millions of lives. The same applies to the economic cycles, a prediction of an impending economic crisis can help policy makers prevent a catastrophe and people in making sound financial decisions.

Like the trade winds the market works on the flow of money from one hand to another, with each transfer of hands constituting a transaction and several such transactions for one commodity or service constituting a market of that commodity or service. All such market in a country put together comprises the economy of a country.

Although different, like weather phenomena, economy also has purpose, it is to improve the productivity of people, industries, country and the world in an effort to improve the living conditions and quality of life of its inhabitants. Without ‘credit’ this venture will entail hard work, more working hours and ingenuity, only. With some prospective ingenuity humans devised a way to circumvent the hard work and invented credit. Yes, it is credit which shortcuts the path for productivity and prosperity, at least in the short run. Intuitively, it looks appealing, but only like a foamy ice cream or a shiny bubble which is filled with air and will burst. In other words, there will be economic growth followed by an inevitable fall. Still, what remains alluring for credit is that it leaves the residual productivity, on an upward path.

Any and all economies are based on transactions between buyers and sellers. The substance of the transaction can be a product, service, asset – material or financial, permanent or consumable. With the transference of money from the buyer to the seller the transaction is said to have been settled; or in some cases this transaction is based on credit, in which case a debt and a resulting liability is created. Money is not what it seems as well as it has no intrinsic value, it only exists because we believe in it (The Tinkerbell effect). This calls for a small digression.

            Money was initially, commodity money (possessions that had intrinsic value like grains, gold or silver); then we moved on to representative money in the form of gold deposited in the banks; and from there we moved to Fiat money (for example US moved from representative money to Fiat money in 1960), which is simply based on faith, it does not really exist!

These moves were essential because it was difficult to carry all of one’s commodities – wheat, house, silk etc. Hence, it is better to use the representative money for transactions. The amount of which depends on the number and value of other commodities one had. Logically the representative money should be in the form of something that is rare – gold or silver. The rarer it is the more value it can represent for a commodity, further proving that the intrinsic value has nothing to do with it, it is just the rarity. You give it to the bank and the bank gives you back the acknowledgement of having received that in the form of paper money.

            Another quick digression to seal off the topic of money, is two short answers to the question – Why should not one just print more money?

       1. It devalues it in comparison to currencies from other countries

       2. Prices of commodities will rise within the country, since the production cannot go up by the same extent, leading to unmanageable inflation!

Usual inflation rates are 0 to 5 %; it is hyperinflation when it is >50%. For example, in 2008, Zimbabwe had inflation problems and they had to print higher and higher denomination because the prices kept rising, to the point where one bill had 100 trillion-dollar value. But that does not mean they became rich overnight because it devalued their money in comparison to other currencies and caused massive rise in prices. People went with their money in cartwheels to buy milk! A similar thing happened in Hungary (1946) where they had to print – 100 Million Billion Pengo Note!

If money grew on trees, it will only be as valuable as leaves!

Coming back to the topic. Another mode to settle a transaction other than money – Credit, which have been aptly called the short cut to boost economy. But before we move to see effect of credit on the economic cycles and productivity. Another quick digression to understand it via the stock market might help.

Stock markets are a way to generate credit, you buy stocks at a certain price. The company goes in your debt. They are a way to boost entrepreneurship and boost businesses faster than they would have if the only thing they could do was re-invest their profits.

It is a way to generate capital out of thin air, make partners in the company in the hope that the company will grow and produce more and more profit so that all its partners/investors will be paid back and it will retain an image of a safe/favourable investment company so that it’s stock prices keep growing (as the demand for these stocks grow, allowing the people to make profits on the increased prices of the stocks they already own) and people invest more in it so that the company can make more money.

When the public image of a company falls, people sell of their stocks before incurring a loss and as this goes on, the stock prices fall. This can leave investors with big loses. A company’s profits are affected by many factors – The price of raw materials, change in technology, shifting costs of labour, new laws and trade policies, bad or good publicity, changes in leaderships, some people just sell their stocks randomly to pursue personal interests. In stock markets, appearance is everything.

The Dutch east India company (DEIC) was the first example of a stock market, by allowing people to invest money in return for shares of DEIC. With the help of this money, it could make grander voyages and earn more profits, perhaps do more exploitation.

Finally, credit!

Credit results in debt. Credit is responsible for all the economic cycles we observe. Credit can be both good and bad. Depends on how one uses it. Credit is like borrowing from your future self. You will need to cut down spending, sometime in the future to make up for the credit or in other words to pay the debt.

If there was no concept of credit, the only way to increase productivity would be to be more productive. But imagine if your income is constant which mostly likely is because most people remain attached to a particular vocation with a relatively fixed income with growth of income only proportional to inflation, how could one be more productive in their output, the salary and if salaries remain fixed, their spending too will be. One person’s spending is another person’s income, hence all of the economy without credit is one big laden truck with a small engine.

Credit is the most important part of the economy (The borrower agrees to pay back the principle and the interest, at the prevailing rate). The reality is that most of what people call money is actually credit. And there is a difference between money and credit! Credit is bad when it is used to consume more than one can pay back. It is good when it is used to be more productive so that there is more income and more spending. The economy grows with the individual’s productivity and the debt is repaid. The difference is in how one uses the credit – to buy a TV or a Tractor?!

But humans are irrational and that is why behavioural economics is such an interesting study, every single time!

An economy with credit allows incomes to rise faster than productivity in the short run. If there was no credit, there would be no cycles. We borrow from our future self. We will have to cut down our spending in the future to allow ourselves the luxury of credit today. This is a small personal cycle.

One person’s spending is other persons income – spending drives the economy, when people earn more, they become more credit worthy. There are two ways to boost the economy. Either by increasing the productivity to increase income or give them credit (at the prevailing interest rates) to allow them to spend more (since one person’s spending is another person’s income). Credit worthiness is driven by their income and assets.

This productivity is the GDP which (hopefully) keeps growing and the rise and fall are the bubble and bust; boom and depression; prosperity and recession. This bears similarity to ENSO in the sense that the short- and long-term debt cycle keeps oscillating periodically much like EL Nino, La Nina and the neutral phase.

The Government collects taxes and spends money. The Central bank influences the interest rates and prints money (remember money?) The central bank buys financial assets from the government. Government gets the money which they inject in the market to stimulate the economy.

The short-term debt cycle lasts 5 to 8 years and is controlled by the interest rates by the Central bank, but when the debt burden becomes too much (like when the trade winds become weak) there occurs deleveraging (El Nino).

People cannot pay debt and default, the banks do not have money, people rush to withdraw money, squeezing the bank further. This leads to a recession. The measures to get over a recession are pretty simple. Cutting spending, debt restructuring, wealth redistribution (higher taxes on the rich) are the deflationary ways, printing money is the inflationary way, they need to be balanced by policy.

Long term debt cycle lasts 75 to 100 years.

A recession can be reverted by lowering the interest rates to boost the economy, less debt, easy borrowing, more income and spending. A depression, however, cannot be saved by lowering the interest rates because it is already at zero, debt cannot be paid, asset/collateral values decrease. Depression can lead to social disorder, Military coups and wars (for example, Hitlers rise in the 1930s).

Notwithstanding, productivity matters more in the long run, and it fluctuates less whereas, credit matters more in the short run and fluctuates a lot depending on the interest rates, credit worthiness (income) and collateral.

Two question come out of this debt cycle duration.

  1. The relationship between human life span and the long-term debt cycle.
  2. The success of government in relation to their election in relation to the prevailing stage of the short term economic/debt cycle.

Both these phenomena, El Nino or ENSO and the economic cycle teach us one important lesson – Knowing what is happening and what might happen in the near and distant future helps us be more aware and prevent surprises, often the bad ones.

Social evolution: Forward or Backward

23 Apr

In my opinion the French Revolution ushered in an unmarked era in human history, one that has not received enough attention as much it deserves. It wasn’t a discrete event in history but the beginning of the ‘great push’. A push for liberty, equality and fraternity. Ethos that transcend borders and boundaries. Alas, this article is not about contemporary history.

But, why did we need this and more such revolutions, perhaps to reverse the effects of an earlier evolution – the Neolithic revolution, palatably called the ‘First agricultural revolution’.

We are quite far in space and time from where we began. Thousands of years have passed; the universe has expanded by light-years; our ancestors have migrated thousands of miles; and our genotype and as a consequence, our phenotype is far separated from our predecessors. Put it all together, we have travelled a great distance! Fortunately, we only need to go back around 12, 000 years to make sense of our present selves because not much has changed in other time periods.

A time when the most radical change in human society took place, yes!! More radical than ‘Industrialisation’, ‘The Emancipation proclamation’ or the ‘World Wars’ which was more of an off shoot, an extension and a result of what was already happening, what this article tries to and can only make a cursory remark about. This change which involved the shift from a hunter-gatherer society to an agriculturalist society, changed the direction of humankind, for better or for worse, will forever remain a matter of debate and opinion.

First we were a free living society – as hunters, gatherers, foragers. Since, there was no means of storage or surplus. Along with it being a survival disadvantage, every day heralded a new beginning, a fight for survival, a new land, a new horizon, a new adversary.

One couldn’t survive without strength and agility. Fire and weapons were the tools to repel attacks and possible death. Driven by instincts, there was little time for subtleties like abstract thought, art, music and other manifestations of culture as we know it. In an interview, when asked about the future of his country from Sheikh-Al-Rashid he said “… my Grandfather rode a camel, I rode a Mercedes, my son rides a Land Rover, my Grandson will perhaps ride a Camel…” he went on to say that “… difficult times create strong men, strong men create good times and good times create weak men…”. Are we already on this path?

            As per the Endurance running hypothesis, many of our physical characteristics evolved as a result of ‘persistence running’ technique of hunting where humans who were often slower than their prey in the short run would tire out and overheat the prey over long distances for a successful hunt. But, how long will these and other such instincts and characterstics weather time?

Hunting-gathering was the most common human mode of subsistence throughout the Palaeolithic age and have been so for nearly 90% of the 200, 000 year Sapiens existence. Until the advent of the Neolithic age, around 12, 000 years ago when we parted our ways from nature and took matters in our own hands. Perhaps the genesis of Ego and the start of organised abstract thoughts… It is the difference between procurement and production. You humbly procure what is available and can be taken sustainably from nature, but when you can produce tons of food yourself, ego ingresses and corrupts the soul.

On another note, the Neolithic Revolution greatly narrowed the diversity of foods available, resulting in a downturn in the quality of human nutrition. The resulting difference is understandably massive and will forever be invisible. Reliance on a single crop can adversely affect health even while making it possible to support larger numbers of people. Maize is deficient in certain essential amino acids (lysine and tryptophan) and is a poor source of iron. The phytic acid it contains may inhibit other nutrient absorption. Other factors that likely affected the health of early agriculturalists would have been increased numbers of parasites and disease-bearing pests associated with human waste and contaminated food and water supplies while grain storage attracted additional insects and rodents.

Compared to foragers, Neolithic farmers’ diets were higher in carbohydrates but lower in fibre, micronutrients, and protein. This led to slower growth in childhood and increased body fat, and studies have consistently found that populations around the world became shorter after the transition to agriculture. This trend may have been exacerbated by the greater seasonality of farming diets and with it the increased risk of famine due to crop failure.

With agriculture for better or for worse, no one can tell and there is no use musing over the alternate possibilities of ‘if’. Since, land needed to be tended and cared for, humans became more and more grounded and the horizon was not transitory anymore. You needed to be at the same place to plough the land, sow the seeds, irrigate, protect and harvest. Further, since the produce was usually at intervals of months as opposed to a hunt which was usually daily. The harvest needed to be stored for consumption during the inter-harvest period. While, this surplus of food gave our ancestors the survival advantage and the time to explore other faculties of our mind, we became weak and detached from nature both in terms of the food chain and our reliance on it. We as children of the mother nature were grown up and could take care of ourselves. Housing became more permanent, and settlers aggregated, paving the way for governmental structures and organised society. The diseased and the weak could be cared for and storytelling proliferated into a myriad of collective beliefs which loom above our collective conscious and subconscious like a stratus cloud.

Agriculture brought, along with food security, a cornucopia of intellectual expressions in the form of music, art, painting, literature, sculpture and so on. It was able to do so because man could afford to be sedentary or semi-sedentary depending on the times of the year and need. Time begets fruits of the mind. This ultimately allowed science to flourish and reach to the point where we can go to 10, 000 BCE virtually, using computer simulations and virtual reality. This is not to say that advancements weren’t already happening during the Palaeolithic age, for it was also not without developments. For example evidences of specialised tools like bone harpoons, nets and hooks have been found, and more such things.

The technology and advancements we see today are not the only intellectual products that our intricate minds can bear. I am interested in eliciting an idea about the direction we took and where it has led us. A comparison of the society then and now would be unfair since evolution is inevitable, it permeates through the tangible and the intangible. However, and despite using a distant corollary, whatever comparison this article might evoke would be between an extrapolation of the pre-agriculturalist society and now.

Natural rock shelters and impermanent buildings, were the homesteads for nomadic or semi-nomadic people. Amongst the earliest example of permanent settlements is the Osipovka culture (14–10.3 thousand years ago), which lived in a fish-rich environment that allowed them to be able to stay at the same place all year. This was followed by established of more extensive settlements leading to a sedentary or a semi-sedentary lifestyle thanks to agriculture. This raises a question which in my mind has counterfactual answers. The desire to explore! – is it innate to mankind or was/is it a necessity? Man settled whenever he could, that is to say, whenever he found a stable, sustainable source of food. Therefore, the wanderlust that we have today is perhaps a genetic memory that there is something more interesting beyond the horizon or a vestigial habit.

Agriculture have had such immense effects on ecology as we know it that it might be plainly impossible to go back to an earth which existed before it. To cite just one example, Agriculture and grazing of animals requires land and land is reclaimed from trees and forests (Slash and burn, a type of non-scalable method of shifting cultivation). The effects of agriculture and domestication of animals on climate are still seen and felt, but for the lack of an alternative it does not and will never receive its due blame.

Hunter Gatherers had an egalitarian ethos, although settled hunter-gatherers mentioned above were an exception to this. Further, it goes without saying that agriculturalists were less egalitarian, and our modern society are the least. It can be safely said that GINI coefficient has been steadily rising for the past 10, 000 years.

To this day, nearly all African hunter-gatherers are egalitarian, with women roughly as influential and powerful as men. Since, these societies are run by a natural order where everyone has a role, a place, and a function. Compare that to an agriculture-based society where power concentration is inevitable, and members do not have a unique role and thus become subject to subjugation, discrimination, and unfair treatment. Feminism and racial discrimination are two big examples.

The “Bushmen” of Southern Africa have social customs that strongly discourage hoarding and displays of authority and encourage economic equality via sharing of food and material goods. There are similar several evidences of this in palaeolithic hunter-gatherer societies from archaeology. Although some form of social stratification and social determinism did exist. Karl Marx defined this socio-economic system as ‘primitive communism’ and used this as an argument to bolster the position of communism as something which is not in contradiction to human nature or nature per se.

Domestication of animals and plants following the Neolithic Revolution through herding and agriculture was seen as the turning point from primitive communism to class society as it was followed by private ownership and slavery, with the inequality that they entailed.

A bewildering observation is that the closest primate relative for Humans, the Chimpanzees have a rigid hierarchy with the alpha male at the top who dominates the other members of his. This is in stark contrast to our palaeolithic ancestors. Many paleoanthropologists argue that resistance to being dominated was a key factor, driving the evolutionary emergence of human consciousness. That is why, to this day, we do not like being dominated but give in easily when approached with love. This theory is supported by the observations of egalitarianism later on in the Palaeolithic age, despite the same structure and function of the group. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic example of evolution being regressive as per our current ethical code and ethos. From an egalitarian and gender equal society (although there have been some evidence of the man-woman division of hunting and gathering, about which it will be safe to assume that it was not malevolent), we have taken a big leap to slavery and sexism. But, the reason for this ghastly leap or the lack thereof in pre-agriculture age could possibly be in the reason for primitive communism. Since, it was simply not possible or favourable to hoard possessions, moreover, sharing the food fostered a capable group for hunting leading to what some call a ‘gift economy’. An ideology, to which we have come back to, in the form of social solidarity, our present credo largely, fortunately.

But, what happened in the middle, with the African Slave trade, Apartheid, Colonial exploitation, Massacre of the Native Indians, Racism, Sexism, Tyrannical oppression? To put it curtly, when people have the power over others, more often than not, they will use it to their advantage even if it is to others disadvantage. Sometimes barehanded, brutally and blatantly and at times, more subtly donning the gloves of capitalism and neo-colonialism.

Before, every man and woman were responsible for their own life and death but now despite the surplus of food and all forms ‘social security’, institutions, organisations and government. There are people in many parts of the world who do not have enough to eat one square meal a day. Is there anything more bizarre than this?

What agriculture could do in the little blip of history is immense! So much so that we as a species have come to the brink of extinction more than once, not at the hands of nature but ourselves. Looking at the bright side and in retrospect, it was good that agriculture did not come 20, 000 years ago. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Nonetheless, it is this collective intellectual foresight, that will keep protecting us from ourselves and remember A country which held the fertile crescent in its bosom or vice versa, is now Syria. Nothing more need be said.

This article lacks direction, and it is my hope that it is not meandering; much like evolution itself.

From First to Fifth Principle

23 Apr

I am a big fan of Elon Musk, not merely because of what he has achieved in his life insofar, but because of how he has achieved it. Dogged perseverance, Hard-work and a vision seem like the obvious ingredients but one that is less known and lesser seen is the ideology behind his actions – ‘First Principles’.

Next, like most of us, I have had frustrating work experiences, lived Kafkaesque, faced bureaucratic oppression, fought to push the frontiers but failed at the hands of a larger organism called ‘the organisation’. It is for this reason that I loved the book ‘Fifth Principle’ by Peter Senge which gives at least a theoretical hope that things could turn out for the better.

Furthermore, having spent most of my time au milieu de health systems. At first, without the knowledge of their existence and later getting married to the idea of ‘systems’ not only in thinking about the health sector but for everything else.

Philosophical frameworks are aplenty and rather than getting smothered by their numerousness, it seemed to me a good idea to pick up one as a fabric and weave others into it as motifs or structural elements, as necessary. While this may seem like no happenstance, it is not. It is my process of abstraction which have brought me to it.

            It is impossible to imagine ourselves functioning in a ‘World’ while being detached to it or not be a part of it. There is a purpose we are all headed towards. Except that most of us pass most of this journey without knowing what it is, and it is okay (Existentialism and Absurdism). This ‘World’ could be our social circle, professional network, place of work, a cause, family, or the world itself for that matter.

‘Systems thinking’ is a big word. Let it sink in! Despite me being a logophile and someone who loves to play with semantics and Epistemology as an extension (Playing with words) I have been enchanted with the nuances of this word that keep unfolding as I read more about it. Cognisance of the Dunning-Kruger effect helps and lets me remain humble and sane.

            Systems are made of many interconnected and interdependent components, change in one changes all others, perceptibly or imperceptibly, often in a non-linear and an unpredictable manner.

            Again, I implore you to re-read this and just ponder as to how many things it can be applicable to. I think we may well transcend the Pareto Principle in doing so. Since this is not an instructional reading or a lesson, I will refrain myself from using examples and urge you to think of examples yourself in your own domain as you feel the need. My motivation in writing this is to motivate others and give them a start in ‘systems thinking’ if that interests them and perhaps improve my own understanding in the process (this topic is vast and hence this article will need to be updated with time).

            A System i.e., the sum of many components mentioned earlier shows certain qualities like – Path dependence, Feedback loops, Scale free networks, Emergent behaviours, Phase transitions.

            Path dependence is based on the premise that the context in which the system has lived thus far affects what future choices and decisions it allows to be made. ‘A decision or a choice, constraints all future choices.’ A radical change, albeit necessary at times is often an unwelcome one and the system as a whole, resists this. ‘Radical change’ often colloquially connotes an intervention of large magnitude, but it is not so, for it denotes a change of fundamental nature with varying magnitudes, as necessary. The Latin etymology of the word helps to appreciate this more clearly. (Radix – Root). Eschewing from a completely teleological approach which hearkens to the prevalent materialistic philosophy of utilitarianism, the provenance of component parts of the system are equally important.

            Feedback loops are a two-edged sword and with any change one could set off a positive feedback loop or a negative one. Since all parts of a system are connected to each other in a non-linear way; the effect of changing or impacting one component does not remain limited to itself but is perpetuated and affects others, often in an unpredictable manner leading to emergent behaviours and the aforementioned feedback loops. The best would be to enable and support a balancing feedback loop which brings about and maintains a desired outcome.

            As with most of these properties, the scale-free network is also borne out of the interconnectedness of its components. But not all components are connected to each other in a similar way and to the same extent. Some are more networked and thus carry a higher propensity for augmenting the change initiated at one node of the network.

            Phase transition is a characteristic portrayed by systems since they are scale-free. Some changes are rapid but might plateau-off later after reaching a tipping point while some are slow to begin with but after an inflection point return exponential results.

An understanding of the causality and its direction in a system map i.e., system mapping is a key skill so that the characteristics of the system can be used for the benefit of the organisation, the system itself. Learning and respecting the context for making decisions keeping path dependence in mind; Foresight to predict and prevent harmful emergent behaviours and dampening negative feedback loops in advance and thereby magnifying positive feedback loops and enabling positive emergent behaviours; Tapping the fructuous scale-free network and keep an eye on, for phase transition.

What are ‘The First Principles’? It is a foundational proposition or assumption that stands alone, we cannot deduce first principles from any other proposition or assumption. Reasoning by first principles removes the impurity of assumptions, analogy, and conventions. What remains are the essentials! Its usage by people like Aristotle to Elon Musk is a testament to its validity and immense value.

To analyse the individual components of the system using the often criticised and sometimes loathed mechanical and reductionist viewpoint, a necessary first step, nevertheless. When one is able to construe and analyse parts of the system in isolation, only then will they be able to move to the next step which is ‘syntheses. This will allow to achieve synergy and connections previously unthought of and perhaps create ground-breaking reforms, in the way things function and goals are achieved. It could be likened to breaking the Legos fully down to its unitary parts (Atomism) before making a new structure or a better functioning or a stronger form of the previous structure.

Before moving on to the Fifth Principle, let us see what a learning organisation is – An organisation, a system if you will, that tries to achieve its goal given the resources and time; and with time, tries to do it in a better way by adaptations and course-corrections. This idea was put forth by Peter Senge in his book – ‘The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization’ which focussed on group problem solving using the systems thinking.

Although titular, Systems thinking was the fifth principle preceded by other four which could be accessed in his book in greater detail. The book’s title is intentional since it embodies and encapsulates the other four principles.

An organisation or a system could be broadly typed to fall in one of the two categories – Control or learning. While a control organisation tries to maintain the status quo just for the sake of it, a learning organisation adapts and improves and quite obviously is always closer to its goals than the former.

Bringing people together for a common cause is no small undertaking given both the rationality and the irrationality of humans and not to mention the differing motivations and values, which, to some extent could be understood by the Ladder of inference.

Notwithstanding, and for the most part we have the resources, time, and guiding philosophies to create a learning environment for success; What we need is a deft understanding of systems and an upscaled use of behavioural economics.

The Birth of Impressionism

23 Apr

The birth of impressionism is one not of romance or spirit but of integrity and assertion. An unrepressed human spirit expresses itself in purity whereas a repressed spirit stops at the mere desire to do so. The story of impressionism is alluring not only for its fame and all the art movements beyond the realm of painting that it inspired, but to me mostly because it reveals the indomitable nature of the human spirit’s desire of expression, to resonate with one’s soul and be found.

It is the year 1872 in a small town of Le Havre in Northwest France. A 32-year-old Painter Oscar-Claude Monet, popularly known as Monet was visiting his hometown. He made six paintings of the port of Le Havre from different angles and at different times of the day. One of them was called ‘Impression, Sunrise’ (‘Impression, soleil levant’, in French). While the use of this word was not new and was done rather hastily by Monet when asked for a name to be put in the catalogue, its use here made a resounding impact. Charles-François Daubigny and Édouard Manet used the impressionism to characterize their own work and were pivotal in the transformation from realism to impressionism.

The word impressionism has quite a history of its own. It was originally used to describe the effect of a natural scene on a painter, and the effect of a painting on the viewer. By the 1860s, “impression” was used by transference to describe a painting which relayed such an effect. In turn, impression came to describe the movement as a whole. It was critic Louis Leroy’s review of the 1874 exhibition, “The Exhibition of the Impressionists” for the newspaper Le Charivari that solidified the term and brought it to public consciousness through a rather caustic remark in the newspaper – “Impression—I was certain of it. I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it … and what freedom, what ease of workmanship! Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished than that seascape…”

Impressionism is an art movement which moved away from the conventional display of realism using lines, contour, and blended colours in a studio. It used loose and broad brushstrokes of unmixed colours. Since the objective was to capture the momentary and transient nature of sunlight and how it interacts with the world and scenes from ordinary life. It was imperative to be quick with strokes rather than caressing the canvas for hours to achieve the realistic, rather idealised vision. Impressionism is humbling, for it values the vision of the creator rather than of the client and that it celebrates the beauty in imperfections. As opposed to its predecessor’s precise brush strokes were carefully blended to hide the artist’s hand in the work. A popular example is the use of a single-hairbrush by Jan Van Eyck in some parts of his magnum opus The Arnolfini Couple to achieve the great levels of details that is often praised for.

Apart of this intrinsic desire to capture the fleeting moments in natural light of common people and landscape another reason for the propagation of this movement was technology. Yes, art did not need to serve as a medium for capturing something as how it looks, particularly portraits. Since they could now be achieved far too easily and cheaply by a Camera. Louis Daguerre invented the eponymous Daguerreotype and made it publicly available in 1839, unshackling art from serving a purpose and become free.

Unsympathetic critics and art purists ensured that these avant-gardists do not find a place in the Great Paris Salon (French: Salon de Paris). It was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Rejected but undeterred the free-spirited painters which were names back then – Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley are legacies now.

While protests are a nuisance and a great deal of discomfort for both the public and the protestors alike, but some are fructuous and leave an impact for centuries. One such was the protest of artists whose work was rejected by the academy and considered not apt for the Salon. The Salon which viewed art as something sacred and not to be tinkered with, maintained a strict hierarchy with which it viewed and evaluated all art. History paintings were ranked first, followed by the portrait, the landscape, the “genre scene”, and the still life. An idealized realism was to be expected! Selection at the Salon meant Prestige, Pride, and a promising career. Bent by the weight of these most artists fell in line and produced art that they knew would be acceptable at the Salon. The integrity and an honest expression of oneself that the impressionists propagated makes this art form for me even more precious. If it were not for the unconquerable spirit of these men, art would be stale, stuck at realism still.

In 1863 the Salon jury refused two thirds of the paintings presented. The rejected artists and their friends protested the art establishment, which were heard by Emperor Napoleon III. Although, Emperor’s tastes in art were traditional; he was also sensitive to public opinion for reasons not relevant here. His office issued a statement: “…His Majesty, wishing to let the public judge the legitimacy of these complaints (paintings not accepted at the Salon), has decided that the works of art which were refused should be displayed in another part of the Palace of Industry.” and hence the Salon des Refusés was born. It continued over the years as a place where Art that was not accepted or appropriate for the academy found its place for the Jury of the Public. In December 1873, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Cézanne, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas and several other artists founded the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs (“Cooperative and Anonymous Association of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers”) to exhibit their artworks independently where Monet first showcased his ‘Impression, Soleil Levant’. Art historian Albert Boime wrote: “The Salon des Refusés introduced the democratic concept of a multi-style system…” In brief, it democratized art!

It would be fair in the least to talk a little bit more about the Impression, Soleil Levant. Apart from the en plein air; broad, visible brushstrokes; lack of fine lines and contours that typify an impressionist painting there is so much more to this painting than what meets the eye. Art historian Paul Tucker said “Monet may have seen this painting of a highly commercial site as an answer to the post-war (Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71) calls for patriotic action and an art that could lead. For while it is a poem of light and atmosphere, the painting can also be seen as an ode to the power and beauty of a revitalized France.” Monet’s depiction of Le Havre’s sunrise mirrors the renewal of France. Much later in life Monet’s art will reflect a similar sentiment during the World War I and his friendship with the erstwhile Prime minister of France, Georges Clemenceau.

Since then, Impressionism has proliferated and bore branches – Post-impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Neo-impressionism, and ramified its influence in other creative arts like literary impressionism and impressionist music.

Post-Impressionism is a vague term on its own and difficult to define, it denotes an art movement that took place after impressionism with Gaugin, Van Gogh, Seurat, Cezanne being the flag bearers. They continued using vivid colours, often thick application of paint, and emphasized geometric forms, distort form for expressive effect, and use unnatural or arbitrary colour at times to depict their how they felt and their state of mind.

Cubism, considered by some as the most influential art movement of the 20th century expressed itself in the simplification of geometric forms and representative of the mechanization of the depersonalised modern life. Again, it would be fair in the least to remember that if not for its precursor cubism would and its master would likely have been swept under the rugs of history.

In a similar way against popular opposition – The Eiffel tower was built, initially thought of as a scourge on the face of Paris. It is now a symbol of Paris or France. Centres Georges Pompidou is another example of the hate – love transformation and the triumph of art, of expression.

Art is a medium of liberation, how can it be imprisoned? Any such attempts will only be met with resistance from the spirit and triumph alas. Art should not be a subject of labels, scales, and hierarchies. The successors will never overlap let alone obscure their predecessors or vice versa. Art will forever remain a long line of juxtaposed creations each with its tenderness, each with its integrity.

Louise

23 Apr

You, leaves on a verdant tree

Or perpetual waves, high seas

Like stars from moon to moon

Ripples on a secluded dune

Perched neatly, a blue lake lost lain

With an envelope of comely moraine

For it sees just, like wants manifest,

an encumbered soul and desires dead.

Now, swells with an invisible pour

With every drop comes close,

A rivulet, wild and elegant

To the ocean, To the ocean.

My favourite quotes

13 Mar

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

— Ambrose Redmoon

 

To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.

— Abraham Maslow

 

What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.

— John Ruskin

 

Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.

— Virgil Garnett Thomson

 

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

— André Gide

 

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

— Aristotle

 

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.

—Blaise Pascal

 

I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.

— Edith Sitwell

 

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

— Ellen Goodman

 

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.

— Erica Jong

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost

 

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.

– W. Clement Stone

 

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

– John Lennon

 

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

– Chinese Proverb

 

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

– Stephen Covey

 

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

– Maya Angelo

 

The best revenge is massive success. 

– Frank Sinatra

 

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. 

– Maya Angelou

 

If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.

– Latin Proverb

 

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

– Booker T. Washington

 

Sun Tzu said: “If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame.” So he started drilling them again, and this time gave the order “Left turn,” whereupon the girls once more burst into fits of laughter. Sun Tzu: “If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of the soldiers.”

 

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for the rest of his life.

– Chinese Proverb

 

Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.

– Jane Austen, Emma

 

Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.

– André Malraux

 

A lie that is half-truth is the darkest of all lies.

– Alfred Tennyson

 

Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.

– Khaled Hosseini

 

Do actions agree with words? There’s your measure of reliability. Never confine yourself to the words.

– Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune Chronicles #6)

 

I do know that the slickest way to lie is to tell the right amount of truth–then shut up.

– Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

 

A man when he is making up to anybody can be cordial and gallant and full of little attentions and altogether charming. But when a man is really in love he can’t help looking like a sheep.

– Agatha Christie, The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)

 

It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.

– René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy

 

What interests me is whatever it is that allows the heart to continue to yearn for something the intelligence knows is impossible to have: a lost love, a shelter from life’s blows, the return of a time past, even a connection to the dead.

– Alice McDermott

 

The impediment to action becomes action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

– Marcus Aurelius

 

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

– Epictetus

 

The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.

– Niccolò Machiavelli

 

The nature of promises is that they are immune to changing circumstances and time.

– Frank Underwood, House of Cards

 

Our one true choice can only be to plunge into the mystery of that uncontrollable force.

– Paulo Coelho
 

Love is only a word until we decide to let it possess us with all its force.

– Paulo Coelho

 

We can never get enough love, and we can never give enough love.

– Henry Miller
 

Indifference is love’s most painful sentiment.

– Herman Bang

 

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, and all the sweet serenity of books

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Scars speak more loudly than the sword that caused them.

– Paulo Coelho

 

At the start of the race, we’re all together – sharing the camaraderie and enthusiasm. But as the race progresses, the initial joy gives way to the real challenges: tiredness, monotony, doubts about one’s own ability. We notice that some friends have already given up, deep down in their hearts – they’re still in the race, but only because they can’t stop in the middle of the road. This group keeps growing in number, all of them pedaling away near the support car – also known as Routine – where they chat among themselves, fulfill their obligations, but forget the beauty and challenges along the road. We eventually distance ourselves from them; and then we are forced to confront loneliness, the surprises of unknown bends in the road, and problems with the bicycle. After a time, when we have fallen off several times, without anyone nearby to help us, we end up asking ourselves whether such an effort is worthwhile.
Yes, of course, it is.

– Paulo Coelho

 

We may be through with our past but the past isn’t through with us.

– Anonymous

 

A man of genius has seldom been ruined but by himself.

– Samuel Johnson

 

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.

– Joseph Campbell

 

He who pays the piper calls the tune.

– Anonymous

 

Your plans should be as dark as the night and your strike like lightning.

– Sun Tzu

 

What you seek is seeking you.

– Rumi

 

I am never upset for the reason I think.

– A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman

 

A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.

– Byron Katie

 

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.

– Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Photography is a foreign language everyone thinks he speaks.

– Philip-Lorca diCorcia

 

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.

– Ansel Adams

 

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrows of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous or the humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.

– Adam Smith, Theory of Moral sentiments.

 

  • You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  • You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  • You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  • You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
  • You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
  • You cannot further the brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
  • You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
  • You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

– William J. H. Boetcker

 

Life is not short, we just waste most of it.

– Seneca

 

Men are thrifty in guarding their private property, but as soon as it comes to wasting time, they are most extravagant with the one commodity for which it’s respectable to be greedy.

– Seneca

 

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

– Epictetus

 

In all climates, under all skies, man’s happiness is always somewhere else.

– Giacomo Leopardi

 

Don’t overestimate your abilities. A slow careful analysis is better than intuition.

– Liv Boeree (professional poker player)

 

The imperative to act is the illusion of free will.

– Anonymous

 

You are my other me.

– Lak’Ech Ala K’In – A Mayan greeting

 

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

– C S Lewis

 

Life can be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards.

– Soren Kierkegaard

 

The distinction between verse and prose is clear, the distinction between poetry and prose is obscure.

– T. S. Eliot

 

Sometimes we should stop looking at the best in people and look at what people show us instead.

– Arch Hades

 

I do not believe that art should be explicit,” …. It should be suggestive and ambiguous so that the viewer has to enter in.

– Balcomb Greene

 

We can see in them the attitude and the image, as it were, of his mind; for in these works the mind expresses and reflects itself not otherwise than a mirror reflects the face of a man who looks into it.

– Gombrich

 

To have another language is to possess a second soul.

– Charlemagne

 

Maturing is realizing how many things don’t require your comment.

– Rachel Wolchin

 

If we assume a man has been corrupted by an artificial civilization, what is the natural state? the state of nature from which he has been removed? imagine, wandering up and down the forest without industry, without speech, and without home.

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau

 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, ……….in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only” 

– Charles Dickens, The Tale of Two cities

 

Man is the least himself when he talks in his own person, give him a mask and he shall tell you everything.

– Oscar Wilde

 

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

– Issac Newton

 

Time is God’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.

– Woody Allen

 

You don’t marry a person you can live with; you marry someone you cannot live without.

– James C. Dobson

 

You cannot change what is outside your control but you can change your attitude towards it.

– Marcus Aurelius

 

Winning is all about heart, you just got to have it in the right place.

– Lance Armstrong

 

The secret of national health lies in the homes.

– Florence Nightingale

 

He is not pleased when he is happy, he is not suffering when in pain. Only a few can understand such a state.

– Ashtkakra Gita

 

You can miss someone and not want it back.

– Paulo Coelho

 

Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful.

– Lao Tzu

 

If a lot of people loved each other, the world would be a better place to live.

– Tommy Wiseau

 

Freedom is what you do with what has been done to you.

– Jean-Paul Sarte

 

Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality, and likes that turned into love.

– Anonymous

 

You’ve got a friend in me.

– Toystory

 

There is more wisdom in your body than all of philosophy.

-Nietzsche

 

Stock markets are voting machines in the short run and weighing machines in the long run.

-Benjamin Graham

 

Something to do

Something to love

Something to hope for

– Washington Burnhap

 

O my soul, do not aspire to immortal life but exhaust the limits of the possible.

– Pindar

 

It is not the doubt but the certainty that drives people mad.

– Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Existence precedes essence.

– Jean-Paul Sartre

 

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.

– Aristotle

 

There are no facts but interpretations.

– Nietzsche

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts22

11 Feb

Nothing is ever left behind. What is left behind is only a want to gain back what has already been lost.

When you understand the ways of the world and still you find yourself amidst clouds of confusion. That’s when you begin to understand human nature.

Love transcends each and every limitation of human interaction.

When we move too fast, the people who are left behind, their memories get rarefied. 

Nothing really remains the same and it changes ever so slightly that it’s easy to miss what changed.

The greatest quote is one, not by great men, but one to which you connect greatly.

When you can look back and sternly pinpoint your mistakes and misadventures, you can know that you have grown up.

The biggest deterrent to a man’s success (in most of the cases) is not poverty or lack of opportunity. It is his own laziness.

Whether we are practical or emotional, we end up hurting one or the other. 

We can get more of money, power and success but one thing that we cannot get more of, is time.

People you meet, work and live with are the real teachers in life.

There is an invisible air of delusion that sweeps this place.

To feel responsible is the first step towards acting responsibly.

It’s only after you let go, that you can move forward.

Most people do not realise the shortcomings of their life, those who do are the ones constantly fighting happiness.

Love is that butterfly in the wild that you can see, catch, trap, marvel at or maybe preserve it after it dies but can never own.

No one piece of art, literature or sculpture can convey the full-scale human emotions and achievements because they are all conceived by one man at a time.

Why philosophy is so important? Because it is the extract, it is the one sentence for the things that have happened a thousand times, it is the one word that describes a whole aspect of life.

What is the ultimate aim of a life, is it limited to deluding oneself into sports, arts, money, family, career, travel, servitude etc or getting really delusional or wasted or something higher, something that has never been thought of or written about?

Everybody has a central theme in life, which is the blueprint, about which and according to which they want to create their ‘life monument’. For some its money, career/success, parents, a lover maybe, and then there are people who are still yearning to find out their blueprint, lastly the people who neither have nor want to find out theirs.

An extremist can never be loved and without being one you cannot succeed and if one is in the limbo between these two places, he does not get best of both the worlds.

Why does a man who have had too much of solitude wants a gregarious company and one who is surrounded wants solitude?

People can act noble and diabolical circumstantially.

Take your hands out of the pocket and work.

Always be a little hungry and a little tired, so that the next meal and rest are savoured.

There is so little in life that actually matters.

We are so different if we know we are being observed.

If you can support the wishes and desires of your own self, you can be the master of your destiny.

It’s not who you are, it’s what you represent.

People do wrong out of ignorance not intent.

To die in tied laces.

There is a difference between loving for a relation and loving for a reason.

Often the best ideas come when you slow down and take a break.

It is only when you remove the unimportant clutter from your life and mind that you make space for high quality stuff.

Only those people supplicate who does not have a choice.

Take note of times, places and people where you made exceptions. These are close to your heart.

There is another stage of linguistic determinism. When in a language you only know the words for the things you love or hate the most.

Most people are semi-sheep.

The laws of nature are universal, they apply to everything. The laws of philosophy are not universal and so they should be. We need to have exceptions for people we love.

All people are vain, for different things.

Some vanities are exaggerated, and others are downplayed.

Don’t mull over what they might be thinking, you have no idea!

Sometimes, concepts say too much and too little but by wringing out the details they do decrease the cognitive load.

Periodisation of time is another concept derived from a percept.

Lack of a person to talk to, is not always bad for the most important conversations are the one you have with yourself.

Saying everything you feel like and not saying things you didn’t feel like are equally hurtful.

A deficiency in one’s life creates the void which is filled with an excess of something else.

A balanced life is one that has no deficiencies.

To have a good sleep every day is success.

Life in retrospect is a collection of memories and regrets.

Know your place before you speak. 

Passing judgement on people is bad but you cannot live without it. As it is necessary to keep your mind decluttered and move on.

Never put yourself in a position where you disagree with your actions.

You are the master of your own doings. 

There are two kinds of life problems, one that come incidentally, occurring that is outside our control and the other one is regret of our past doings. While we cannot prevent the first one, the second one is pretty much under our control.

Most things in life, do not and do not have to make sense.

Logical inconsistencies are opportunities to expand intellectual horizons, but personality inconsistencies are abhorrent. For it shows the lack of integrity.

The connection one has with someone who they cannot see, touch, hear, smell but only feel is so intimate.

Some kind of love is like a night of heavy drinking enjoyable fun but then the breakup is like the terrible hangover that lurks and last longer than the party.

It is ironic that a terrible hangover can give a lot of perspective.

Joy in despair.

Let go of meaning of life, since there is no proof of all the earlier claims of religion, ethics, morality and so on.

There are many qualities and virtues one can have, good mannerisms, politeness, honesty and so on. Many, rather most people are judged based on these qualities preventing a look at the most important quality of all. Integrity.

How much we indulge other people is a reflection of our bond with them.

I long to talk to someone before sleeping, I don’t know who that person is, it could be anybody. After all, the longing is still there. I’m glad it hasn’t died.

Never start a fight, but always finish it.

If a favour is done out of emotion, it is not selfless.

If not for death everything will lose meaning and become inconsequential, all experiences will become arbitrary.

A plethora of choices can be paralysing and be a serious obstacle for happiness.

It’s only the worst of the experiences that transforms our perspective most radically.

There are some experiences that one can only have when they have spent months at a place, years at a craft and decades with someone.

A system with rigid norms is like a brick house in the San Francisco Bay area.

Once, even ties had a function.

People can love and hate for a motive!

Wanting to have positive thought is a negative thought and accepting your negative thoughts is a positive thought.

Progress is that humans these days submit to dogma and practice fanaticism less for their belief in it but more for their motives, that’s progress.

English is the Frankenstein of Languages, and that is one of its beauty.

Communication these days has become less about ‘What are they saying?’ to more about ‘How do I feel hearing that?’

Don’t read negative intent in an ambiguous situation. Don’t read yourself!

There is unbelievable amount of shit in our minds.

I accept, I was not as understanding before as I am now, and I cannot promise, if I will remain as I am now. But I will always do my best.

A person’s humility maybe rooted in his incapability to be arrogant, watch out for that!


A virus that sparked Xenophobia and Nationalism, unravelled subterranean racism and evinced the undertone of all global rationalism – Neoliberalism. A virus!

If it is suffocating, any sentient being would want to escape.

It is sad when disappointment overshadows regret.

Plan in weeks for you can control them tightly or plan in years for you can correct yourself from any amount of deviation. Months are just too inconvenient.

I feel good and it’s only going to get better.

Before any compromises can be made, we all ask ourselves, ‘what do we value more, the person or the feeling?’

Beware, before you fill the voids of someone’s personality in your mind with your imagination.

If you do not have the courage to claim what you want, then you will have only what you are given.

An indispensable ingredient of happiness is satisfaction.    

The ‘Mean’ by Aristotle.

Only the powerful have the luxury of choice.

Until you are breathing it means you are surviving. So, you haven’t lost, you are never defeated.

If nothing, solemn acceptance of simplicity of life and grandeur of its offerings, not wanting to jump over the fence to the other side and trying to be someone you are not, is enough.

What is the ultimate aim of life? To be happy. No, it is to make others happy as a way to make yourself happy.

Not everything can be stored, saved, repaired or rebuilt.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts14

9 Feb

Now, even they have become a part of history.

Everyone’s milestones in their lives are predestined, your efforts only determine the paths you will take between them when you go from one to the other, how long will it take? how much will you enjoy that phase? Will you be smiling or cursing depends on you and not anyone else.

At the end of your life, you might or might not have achieved all the milestones in your life that were destined for you because maybe you spent too much time in between worrying about things that really did not matter, or better yet, you spent too much time enjoying one of the journeys.

Not all fatalists are determinists.

The very same things said by different people have different impacts, it depends on the value of the person who is saying not the said thing itself.

Life is not so small, that can get affected by one event, one person or failures.

You can touch my body but not my heart.

Isn’t it beautiful and an accomplishment that you woke up from a restful sleep, that you breathe well, that you have everything you need to take care of yourself, you are exercising, eating good, have family and some friends that care for you deeply. What more can you ask for?

Why are we always looking for the voids in our life and not the things that are bountiful?

Why don’t we spend enough time in being thankful for the things that we have and instead keep sulking at the loss or absence of things?

The need of Love or the notion of ‘your person’ is more an enforced idea than an innate need. You don’t need it for living, although it ‘might’ make your life better. You have so many things that other people do not have; Love is just another thing.

Happiness is receiving a letter from a friend after long.

Humility is one of the best qualities, also the least rated.

People should be judged by when they are at the height of their power. People at the bottom have no choice other than being humble by virtue of their character or circumstance, you would never be able to tell.

It’s not a crisis if you are having a difficult time, it is when your response to a difficult time is by alcohol or depression or the inability to get up.

When you’ll walk the earth, there will be ridges and furrows but if you see steps uphill, know that god wants you to make the effort. Choice is yours.

You should be in a place of authority to negotiate; you should be able to say no.

We always observe what’s going on around us, give yourself time with yourself so you can see what’s going on inside of you.

All days are not the same.

A bad day should only teach you what you are not supposed to repeat.

The outside world is always going to be the same what keeps changing is the world inside of you.

There is a difference between making someone feel nice for their happiness or making them feel nice for your own happiness.

Meditation is nothing but letting your inner thoughts out. It could be a five-minute morning routine or a perpetual process, if you’re courageous enough to face your hintergedanken.

If you have to prove yourself every day to someone. It’s not your place.

Let your mind be at rest and let it entertain the idea that you proposed to it. You can know what your mind wants just by detaching yourself from it and becoming an observer.

There are somethings which go and leave you in peace.

Not all things you lose, leave you with regret.

A person who does not love you anymore becomes incredulous after some time.

You need to stop speaking when you realise that your words are falling flat.

When you start realising that your actions have consequences, you are growing up; When you start accepting those consequences you are moving further; When you can be content and even happy with them, you are almost there.

So, we are fine, and we are okay. At least that is what we tell people when asked.

Excellence requires eccentricity, the society normatively advocates against it. Therefore, the society will always pull you down on your path towards excellence, to overcome that is not a barrier to be jumped but a pre-requisite to be fulfilled.

You can tell me, which version of me would you like to talk to? The good one or the true one?

I should warn you that the latter would be not be a very pleasant choice.

One should know, when his body needs sleep and when his mind needs to wake up.

The body is the carrier of the mind.

I could never draw preference on whether the external confidence- that shows you are comfortable and in control, is more important or the internal confidence- that says it’s going to be alright no matter what happens. The only distinction I could draw is that you need the former more than the latter.

I wake up to e-mails, I live the day by WhatsApp and Instagram, I see people on Facebook, I Have dinner conversations with Netflix, YouTube is my lullaby. Such are the days.

The feeling when you read an innovative research article and are able to understand that and tell yourself, I could come up with that idea in original if I would have worked or thought about it earlier. This feeling should tell you that you should try to position and finally poise yourself in a place where you are able to actually do that or you will be wasting your life.

You actually learn the art of human resource management when you manage them, after all those books were written only and based after people like you and me had all these experiences, some of which are still not recorded in any books.

Humans are not like horses, if you pull the reins too hard then they’ll stop. If you let them on with loose reins then they will set themselves completely free.

We judge people for their values based on our values and experiences and not theirs. So, our judgement does not reflect their values but ours in action.

The universe will always be fair to you. Believe in it. It will give you what you need and sometimes what you deserve, It will take away from you what you don’t need and sometimes things that are hurtful. But, one thing is for sure that it will keep nurturing you, you only need to let it.

The universe will take care of you.

You need to realise, how incredibly efficient you become at doing something, if you focus on one thing at a time.

For me the most beautiful thing is when someone thinks of me, it’s like a light bug in the darkness, a bright star or a moon in the night. It is one of the best feelings to be remembered.

The ensnaring shackles of our decisions.

Rather than lamenting on what all have passed and is now irrevocable, focus on what lays ahead. Prepare for receiving it like a good host.

The best way to learn if you have an interest is to practice it for sometime and see if it dies out, in which case it was just a fling with the subject. It might even grow on you and take you deeper in it, in which case it will be your one true love.

A person who reaches out to take a selfie with you is seriously thinking about you.

When you give people information, you give them power over yourself.

A miscommunication between two people leading up to a divide spreads like a virus in their mutual social network affecting others.

We spend nearly one third of our life at workplace, we should make the most of it, including respecting and learning from our colleagues.

You will be able to both, go to and appreciate reclusion, only after you have had a rich social life.

Simplicity is a force.

Imagine, how must it feel to have lived your entire life at a single place.

Those who often look back have the highest chance of being hit and stalled.

Things having a certain degree of complexity attracts different people differently.

Some people benefit you by staying in your life, some people have the same effect when they leave.

I am a person who puts 12 alarms every five minute for the waking hour. But not the kind of person who needs to keep their watch ahead of time in order to be on or before time.

If today is a good day, that doesn’t mean that all days ahead are going to be the same. If today is a bad day, it doesn’t mean that all days ahead are going to be the same. It is that simple.

Your word is you, keep it untainted.

Devotion and sacrifice are powerful things.

I have been dismayed but never was despondent.

I’m between an agnost and atheist, a believer in universe.

Wallow deep in my pity.

Society, they always have something to say.

There is a difference between self-doubt and knowing your limits.

Everyone has their own priorities, and they will rarely coincide with yours, only by chance. How can you expect lunar eclipses to happen every day?

Do less, do essential, do better.

Try to indulge in short escapes of reflections and contemplation every now and then and be prepared for when the novelty subsides you will have to face yourself again.

In the cosmic scale of things your life is but a blip.

Everything in life is in flux.

A global health cooperation can be envisioned as the highest ideal of humankind, for being beyond the ideal that it should be, it would act as a collective propellant of all of humanity – Social, technological and economic development. An Open world health system!

No, I don’t hate you, I am just deeply disappointed in you. It takes me aback to know that I will have to live with that.

You will hate people and mankind a lot less when you realise that people are not bad categorically, they are just people; whereas some rise above that.

You will always have temptations, it’s only natural and healthy but resisting the temptation is virtuous.

My life is a marathon not a sprint.

Grit- Eyes on a long-term goal with a lasting commitment and motivation to make it a reality.

A pretentious liar is more dangerous than a man with a gun because he doesn’t want you to even try to defend yourself.

No one is happy or sad, some people are sometimes happy, some people are sometimes sad.

I feel that my capacity to feel has diminished.

The reason of any quality is neoliberal economics’ a.k.a. Capitalism

People are not paid according to the value they generate or what they are worth they are paid according to what they are able to negotiate.

Human beings are not perfectly rational or selfish maximiser as per the tenets of neoliberal economics, they are highly cooperative.

Neoliberal economics is a pseudoscience not a natural law.

Economics is a dismal science; market forces can be likened to an invisible hand the supplier says this is the value of my product or service the customer says this is what I’m willing to pay for it.

UHC is based on solidarity and an assumption that at Least some of us are altruistic and on the fact that inequalities lead to loss of productivity and negatively affects the economy.

A health system that is functionally based on prevention and promotion of health and structurally based on primary healthcare is both more efficient and sustainable.

It’s easy to be deep, much difficult to be fun.

There are many stages to grief, they say, as per Kübler Ross model they are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. But, to me they came in all together. I had accepted the loss but still I try to deny it in my mind.

Weed out disturbing thoughts from your mind as you would, one from your garden, if you want it to be beautiful.

There is something that fascinates me about death. It is like the urgency of an examination hall or a 90 minute game that could never let your spirit die. It’s ironical, how easily we lose sight of that and become sloths in our own unique way.

We humans are only afraid of one thing, ‘the unknown’. That is why, knowledge is power.

There are two kinds of losses we incur as we go on in our lives, some that can be amend and some that demand us to learn to live with it.

You are powerful when you can negotiate anything with the world and are capable of accepting whatever the outcome may be.

From a state of shock, I moved to a state of disenfranchised grief. I made walls around me, that people couldn’t see but only feel.

You cannot accommodate everyone in your life, even nature has a carrying capacity.

A man is a mixture of good and bad habits.

Peace and happiness cannot coexist together.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts13

4 Feb

Sometimes, your victory is having it in your terms. Sometimes, it is letting the other have it in their terms. It depends on what you feel for the person.

If you want to make peace with someone, tell them the truth.

Do we understand each other, or do we want to understand each other?

All coward people and some wise men have mastered the art of controlling their anger.

Weak people wait for an opportune moment to act.

You’re not asking for too much, you’re asking the wrong person.

Nobody wants to make an active choice of solitude at least not for the first time.

At some point you got to give up your oars and build a sail and let the winds carry you adrift.

As we grow up, the number of people in our social network keep multiplying but the number of people in our hearts keep diminishing.

I am open to believing that I might be wrong, but I am not willing to make assumptions all along the way.

All you need is good music and a goal.

My life will not be about choosing curtains and crockery.

I know that my path from here onwards is going to be dark and full of contempt. But, in this darkness, I want to see not the darkness but the light of where I’m headed, I know it is going to get brighter and brighter pulling me towards it.

Be aware of the fact that your time becomes more valuable with the passage of time.

It is a fresh page; we are making a new start with no expectations or authority.

You have no power or authority over any other living being. Let them be, let them make their own choices and do what pleases them most.

Some people are in love for themselves. It’s like dog love, they pet him as long as they want to feel better and then tie him in the kitchen.

The dream is always better than the reality.

Loving someone and wanting to spend your whole life with someone is not the same.

Who would hold your hand? just to make you feel better, just for that.

Hard work and entitlements shape a person’s character in opposite directions.

A person cannot change his upbringing and the experiences he has had until a certain age after which he should take the helm of his life’s ship, be the captain and moor the ship whenever, wherever and however he wants.

The clouds are always changing.

There is nothing in nature that remains the same, there is nothing in nature that is not subject to change. How can we wish to control something that governs all of us not by authority but by being?

Love is but a distraction.

It’s important to give your feelings to only those who keep them safe and maybe nurture them. It is very important.

At any point of time, we are but an aggregation and culmination of our thoughts.

The less distractions you have, the more focused you are and vice versa.

If you stay strong enough for a good amount of time, everything will be alright.

There is a difference between a problem and a misunderstanding.

Most issues we have with our lives are because we don’t say with honesty what we want, to others and to ourselves.

In my imagination PhD thesis is the ability to stand at a knowledge point where you can put it on a piece of paper on one end and be able to deliver it in an hour-long discourse on the other.

I flow like a river with feelings, my water.

People’s insecurities make them do things that they never imagined.

Insecurity can take you to a lot of places.

I don’t want to have a conversation with ideas half cooked, it would simply be unfair to both parties.

I’m usually a strong person, so it takes an even stronger person than me to hold me and my heart when they are at breaking point.

It is never too late to realise that the other person is not for you.

You can be made for each other but still not suited to each other.

‘But’ and ‘If’ are the strongest words in parlance that shoulders the highest emotional weight.

The fear of being opinionated halts self-discovery.

Knowing oneself is the only thing you are truly capable of, rest is just extrapolation, projections, and expectations.

Being in the moment is the only thing that you can own in this life ‘the moment’, one that is always fleeting, just like the butterfly that you think you can catch but you cannot even hold a watch on it for more than a moment.

The only thing that should be normal is you, rest is the outside world, that’s busy in finding its own normal.

People can lie and not let themselves know they are lying; they can deceive and not know that they just did.

We create barriers after barriers in front of us to not let anyone from coming in but what happens is that it eventually becomes our own prison.

A person who doesn’t like music, children and roses is not human.

Some people are so good at deceiving that they don’t even let themselves know what they are doing.

When you lose the value of someone’s word, they are as good as dead for you.

You can judge the worth of a person in your life by the value, their words have for you.

Memories are just a way to keep you attached to the past, it’s our duty to use it wisely.

You can’t heal bullet holes by flowers.

Everyone has a purpose to serve in your life. When they are done, thank them and let them go.

Food for thought – The period just after a breakup is usually a very creative and productive space.

The idea is to continue to get better.

A good politician knows how to please everyone.

It is neither your duty to tell people how they are nor a necessity for them to know.

Everyone’s has their own struggle in life.

Those who haven’t earned their life are still lost.

If you can look up, you’ll see that life is an upward spiral.

Individualism is so selfish.

What is a social interaction? A hollow and empty conversation filled with ready-made lines is certainly not one.

I didn’t give importance to money when I started earning because I was young and naïve; I didn’t give importance to money even after I was thirty and until now because I realised.

You never thought on your own, you just listened to the world and the people in it and said the same.

People in the development sector are constantly meeting new people and are usually subsumed in negotiations and compromises whereas people in the business of creative expression are free from any such obligations.

The reason why I take ‘things’ seriously is because I take things seriously.

I smoke because each cigarette gives me the moment, I need every once in a while.

If you could see me in pain and still think about some other thing, that’ll be the last thing I’ll need to know.

Growing up is not only knowing what’s right or wrong, but also the ability to ignore what does not matter anymore.

I’m going to do something that I haven’t done a lot in life, I’m going to stay at the same place, do the same thing every day, have a routine, improve myself.

Tell the truth to a person only if they can handle it, some people are better off without knowing it.

There are only two kinds of careers one that deals with people, the development sector and one that deals with yourself, art. I advise every young man and woman to first make this distinction and then make a choice.

Control your mind, for only then will you have the rein on life.

If you cannot excel at something, at least be a nice person.

If at one point I could accept that I’ll never be able to walk again and live with it, I can live with anything.

Do not waste your energy in trying to think about the others and how they feel. Be earnest in your approach, help them, laugh with them but when you think something is necessary or excessive, stop! 

When you live alone, your thought power increases.

She loved me for herself.

Help is only helpful if it is being perceived as being helpful by those who are being helped.

How do you treat a person when you feel you are in complete control, defines you, your moral weight and character.

Why do we miss the people that leave us and go and why don’t we have an equal level of excitement for all the people that are going to come in our lives?

Why cannot we have an inclination towards the future rather than the past.?

Are we free? when we make a choice out of our freedom, it irrevocably binds us to its consequence and it continues to happen, we think we are free but with every choice we entangle ourselves more and more.

You don’t need to need something to cherish a gift.

One of the most complicated things have the simplest answer.

With time, I’ll be stronger.

We are always aware of the consequences of our actions, except sometimes, we don’t care about them.

So, it’s not the consequences but how much do we care about them is what dictates our actions.

I will be sad when you are sad and happy when you are happy, sometimes the opposite, but we will never know.

An unfulfilled wish is an elegant symbol of the life.

If you get everything in life, then there is no fun in it.

The state of being incomplete is beautiful, for it is full of possibilities.

If you have done everything that you planned to do in your life, your life is a great tragedy.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts12

4 Feb

When you don’t even compare to animals, you should know your place.

Love is not about feeling better, it’s about making the other feel better. It’s not about loving yourself; it’s about loving the other person.

Loving a dog is so different than loving a person. It’s not mutual, you are training him to love you.

No knowledge or wisdom in the world can make you a better person, either you are a good person, or you are not.

Somethings you can see clearly only when you see them yourself, up close and carefully.

It’s about carrying one another in times of need and in times of happiness.

Try to spend your life with someone, who makes you feel good about yourself.

There is only so much you can ignore.

If you ignore all the signs and keep telling yourself that it’ll be fine, well, after some time, It surely wouldn’t.

Always carry your own headphones.

The things that are unacceptable in others are our greatest fears and not their bad.

Love is and until when you are able to see the best in others no matter how they are and what they do.

Love starts and ends at acceptance.

You need to go far to discover yourself.

Let’s all get lost in what we love.

Emotions are not bound by language.

Living alone for far too long? A melancholy inevitable.

Belief in the veracity of others is not credulity.

So, I’m going to smoke a cigarette and tell myself that it is fine.

A man needs distraction, that’s all.

Sometimes, things are scattered in our minds. We just need a day off to organise it.

Ask yourself uncomfortable questions.

These days people are obsessed with pictures, good ones. When they look best, are dressed well, in a beautiful place or with someone special because they know that it’s not going to last forever because things however grand or formidable are prone to decay.

In part, they are right and in part they are just brimming with fear and non-acceptance of the fact of the matter – Everything has a timeline.

Love is usually of little significance, it’s the other things.

When only a few things amaze you and still fewer disappoint you. You need to contemplate.

Don’t try to eliminate the element of convenience in a relationship, only try to figure out if it’s the driving force.

Our bond was as strong and effortless as the gravity of the earth and the moon.

Never force creativity.

The feeling of loving is the best seconded only by the feeling of being loved.

Life is a road and everyone along the way is your companion.

Love is a balancing act, it shouldn’t be.

We and our feelings often respond, they shouldn’t.

The weight of the ring is immense.

I go from simple to complicated like a flip of a switch.

All favours and care are a veiled self-fulfilment at some level.

Destiny is the acceptance of what we cannot change or revolt against.

Feminism and slave trade have so much in common, it was what people could do so they did it.

I have patience but I cannot lose my self-respect.

I derive pleasure from very simple things,  

One needs honesty, brutal honesty with oneself to know what he really wants.

There are no rules in the house, just understanding.

Just remember one thing, don’t argue together.

In times of crisis, you become another person. A stronger version of yourself.

There are so many people in this world, interesting and uninteresting, kind and harsh, fun and boring, caring and hurtful. Why should I bind myself with just one for the rest of my life? Give me a good reason.

What could you call your desires, ones you don’t want to be fulfilled?

Why is it important to forgive yourself and move on, because when it comes to that, there is no other option than to forgive oneself, no matter how horrendous things we might have done.

The feeling that the other person is stupid is usually mutual.

Some feelings take years to mature.

When someone’s sadness is above your happiness, you should know that you are in trouble.

We need to face the facts, the reality, most of all, we need to face ourselves.

We just need to be simple with the other person and life is enjoyable with pretty much anyone.

I need some strength, from you, you need the same from me.

To feel that you are in a wrong place, that you shouldn’t be here is the worst feeling of the whole world.

Love is not a beautiful thing; it hurts most of the time. We just accept it because we don’t know any better.

The world has been made too complex by the mandates made of mist that we see everywhere.

Know your place before you speak.

You cannot lose what wasn’t yours, you will not lose what is yours.

The only things that you will lose with time are the misconceptions.

You will eventually do things that you want to do.

Life does not become hard as we grow, it just becomes real.

Accommodate your own interests.

Morals are not universal; we choose to not apply them even when we have them. The use of moral code is very selective.

Immoral acts do not mean the absence of moral code.

The most common type of people floating around is opportunists.

We are just friends and I can already see us getting old interestingly.

Mornings are so full of energy; everything takes half the effort.

We all are full of energy and potential already, we just need to find it and then channelize it in the direction we want.

We’re all just victims, of our own fate. Some suffer while some sail.

People who don’t have a lot in their life usually seek comfort in a partner for life, people who have seen the world and have embraced it with both hands don’t need one particular person, they have everyone. But, when these people want not the world but the one, it’s sad and beautiful.

Even an auto-biographer wouldn’t compare with a person with whom we share our life, who knows us best.

Peace is when you want something and also do not want it.

There is a difference between wanting something and being okay without. The former is a choice, and the latter is merely acceptance.

If you live by logic, then you are sure to have a lot of friction and arguments with people not because people don’t have it but because they ignore it to their advantage.

During the course of a relationship, our feelings change, we fall in an out of love with the same person many times. It’s most difficult when we feel away, it’s hard to even recognise the person we used to love. Here is where some people leave, and others stay. I will always stay.

Everyone and I mean everyone will seem interesting at first and boring later. Only for a few though, we associate values bigger than ‘interesting’ and we internalise interest in them.

Before making any decision, evaluate whether it’s your values/principles or your peace of mind that is more important.

Divorces happen when one of the partners usually the unhappy one who is also, more often than not, the weaker and the less successful one, while all along was clinging like a parasite has now found an opportunity, more like a steppingstone.

You would hardly find a person who reveals his intentions and carries them out regardless of convenience.

For me, love is a very internal thing, close to my heart. It does not get affected by things that happen in the outside world not even by the person they’re for.

Allow yourself some time, let the time pour like unchecked rain, it will gravitate to what needs it the most.

I’m always ready to face the consequences of my actions. Whether fair or unfair.

If you have basic goodness in you, you are already better than so many people.

In a global setting especially the development sector, money is not money, it is the transaction, an order, a form of communication and a response.

MDGs and SDGs apart from other things highlight the paramount importance of coordination amongst the different sectors.

I have forgotten two things, good and bad, to seek help and to complain.

If you want to be at peace with someone, tell them the truth.

Philosophy is my friend; I confide in it.

You do fall out of love, but only after falling in it and giving yourself truly.

Falling in love is like falling from a cliff. You could either die with impact and you never come back to the surface, you become part of the water. Otherwise, you soon realise that you are out of breath and you want to come back to the surface, in which case if there is something that catches your legs, it only troubles you. But your survival skills will carry you to the surface, to yourself. You cannot kill yourself knowingly.

That’s why I say, do not give anyone, anything, more than they deserve.

If you want people to be fair with you,

Start by being fair with them.

You always fall in love with an imaginary person and then if you’re lucky, you find them in the person you think you love.

Your expectations will rise in proportion to your efforts, mind it.

You can’t expect other people to think like you, at best you can expect them to be kind.

Sometimes love is not enough.

Sometimes you are not enough.

Strong people manifest their personality,

Weak people manifest opportunity.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts11

4 Feb

In a world of limited resources, approaching cost effectiveness can potentially increase the value of the available resources.

It’s an exhilarating process to know oneself as one ages, but with courage, honesty and the right amount of disclosure to the outside world. You can then, go on, on a path where you will be alone for sure but you will always be there with yourself.

I have realised that I do not need another person to make me happier. I can be quite content and satisfied with my own life and maybe more productive. It is a subtle yet the strongest epiphany of my life.

A person who does not lend himself to indulgences of social obligations and fake gestures is not necessarily cold or rude, maybe he is efficiency oriented.

The only thing that is holding me back right now is the lack of focus and by that I do not mean I am not sincere with what I am doing, it’s just that I am doing a lot of things at the same time.

There is always so much more to discover about the other person no matter how much you already know, they can always surprise you. But, two particular situations which are goldmines of such information are when someone is angry or happy.

I am always particularly intrigued by how people change when they gain absolute power or at least feel that they are in such a position that they cannot be affected by another person.

It evokes a layer of feelings when you feel yourself capable of a lot of things but also realise very well the absolute finitude of life. The upper layer of this feeling is perplexity because we are faced with an immediate choice and the understanding of the gravity of the choice is just too burdensome. But, layer after layer as go deeper and uncover what is it that we really want is our own path of salvation.

Only you can develop yourself,

Only you can protect yourself,

Only you can serve yourself, 

But,

Someone can nurture you,

Someone one can care for you,

Someone can love you.

If you have truly given yourself to someone, you will never have yourself back.

The person who loves you truly and I say truly for a reason, will never judge you adversely.

My father may not be a perfect person but because of the choices, decisions and sacrifices that he made, I am what I am.

When we want everything only on our terms, it cannot be love.

You can never have the right to be harsh with someone, no matter what or how much you have done for them.

Food habits can tell a lot about a person, How easily they get bored, are they passionate, do they value themselves, from where they are coming, upbringing, discipline, greed, sharing, self-control.

Satisfaction and happiness are two concepts not very far from each other.

I feel my fingers while typing thanks to the guitar that I’ve been playing.

The ability to create a dome of higher consciousness in the midst of chaos.

Juliet- O now be gone, more light and light it grows.

Romeo- More light and light, more dark and dark our woes.

Lover’s feelings are like tidal waves, it’s just natural to have highs and lows.

If you demand absolute respect without looking down, you are a tyrant either in the making or at least in aspiration.

We allow a great change in the state of our mind for a small change in the state of our lives. That’s unfair. We need to realise that even tragedy can be dealt with, with composure.

I’m a driftwood, still taking shape.

The contentment we feel after a desire has been eradicated is the same, no matter how we achieved it.

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.

The ability to pay attention differentiates between mediocrity and excellence.

The first step towards humility and away from arrogance is honestly asking yourself whether you have more than you deserve.

The first step to self-exploration is asking yourself honest and sometimes uncomfortable questions but it can only be accomplished if we follow it with admittance and courage to withstand revelation.

Closed caverns, they stink; open spaces they don’t.

Sometimes we expect an angel to guide us home.

Other times, we are just more realistic and do it ourselves.

These are the only two states we find us divided in.

Never speak more than the truth, especially when drunk.

The only absolute is what we feel for each other, everything else is just imaginary.

If human intellect were to separate humans from animal in practice not only in theory, a substantial proportion would still to waiting to graduate to humankind.

Sometimes, all you need to know is that there is someone who has your back, no matter what!

Happiness is in the baseline.

Everyone has their own scales and preferences, some of us live in a bubble, let them. Some of us can see much more. Conflict occurs when these two people collide.

You can never really follow an advice or agree with something, until it reverberates with your inner voice.

The value of culture should be limited to stimulating ourselves intellectually and not about hoarding artefacts.

All good things are based on faith, the faith that it will be good.

People will take care of you when they have time and inclination.

I don’t mind the solitude, but some company would be nice.

It scares me sometimes to know that I cannot go back to who I was.

It doesn’t take much to realise what does a person feel for you except maybe courage.

When you’re too used to be strong, it becomes difficult to ask for help, worse is to realise that people start leaving you on your own.

There is an unusual link between solitude and creativity.

Sometimes we need company, despite a pleasurable solitude, a company with no conversations.

What have I got to lose?

Be thankful, more and more.

There is only you who can look after your interests and you should. Everybody else can just presume that they do, but don’t let them go through the trouble, do it yourself!

I can never come to respect weak people, then the only way of associating with them is by love and sadly everyone is not lovable.

They lived in an age which was way ahead of them or that they were far behind their time. The world was relatively complex for their simple understanding.

I carry with me bits of my dream in the day.

There is a lot one can tell about a person’s character just by the things they do in their daily life and how they do it.

It doesn’t always take testing times to reveal a person’s character. It is unfolding in every moment, even in the mundane things of daily life.

There is a reason why women chop vegetables and men chop wood.

There is no prerequisite to happiness.

Che Guevera noted in his road trip the sufferings of people. I noted in mine, people living their life the best they can, the struggle of life as with everyone. So, I guess I’m not for a revolution but letting the world be.

It might not be possible to have the perfect things, but you can always make a perfect moment out of anything.

You should not be too fast, nor too slow on the road, just like life.

Life and the road have a lot of similarities.

When you realise that there is everyone for himself first, you’ll feel so much better. Never sad.

We are usually taught to prioritise the destination over the way.

Life is taught to us like a greyhound race, running after an artificial lure on the whims of people who have some sort of stake in us. I want to teach my kids to choose their own race and sometimes to choose not to partake in any race.

Intimacy is when one starts to see the flaws of the other as eccentricities of character.

Philosophy is like looking at the world from an airplane window, you don’t exactly know what’s going on down below, but you have a very good idea of everything.

First step towards happiness, stop comparing!

I could never learn to make a face, that has been my weakness.

The frivolity of human heart can leave you stranded, invited and unwelcomed.

Love is all about being kind.

When you know something deep down in your heart, trust it, follow it. Also, be open to the fact that it might change with time. 

Everything changes with time. Nothing remains the same.

Don’t be unfair, listen to yourself.

True confidence is when you can tell yourself with conviction that it’s going to be Okay. Ability to do it comes afterwards.

When you are at the height of emotions, you are also at the fringe of language.

He had a sustained, unbearable confidence.

Be kind and rewarding to yourself, first. The world and the people in it can wait.

The feeling of weakness is worse than that of betrayal.

It is the lack of love that deflects two people apart not the other way.

Adjustment problems do not lead to lack of love it is the other way round.

I’ve seen love, I’ve seen hate, love-hate and hate-love. What can you show me?

It feels so good, to know that you have nothing to lose.

Don’t believe in what people say, words are deceiving. Trust your feelings.

Love is just a way for some people to feel better about themselves, while being almost blind about the presence of the other person.

Love in the absence of conflict of interest is just too convenient.

Most people are kind because it doesn’t hurt for them to be kind.

There are somethings in life which you only find once, these are the things that you lose forever if you lose them. You only find them once.

You will eventually get used to your living conditions. Happiness and peace will come when you don’t have an unsettled mind wherever you are.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts10

4 Feb

The difference of the lives that we live spaced out in time is what makes us feel elevated or depressed.

Sadness is contagious, happiness is not.

The foliage has grown dense, the sun is hot outside, winter is far, just a million miles away, it’ll come back for me possibly in another lifetime.

God can only craft your face; your body is your own doing.

If there is a god of death, then you are certain to meet at least one god.

Fascination with death has been since eternity because there is nothing more absolute than death.

We’re like ship anchored in deep ocean. Neither at the harbour nor at the destination.

I will live the life of all the people I love.

A painting on the loops of two life around each other but never meeting.

Every time you sleep alone, expecting or missing someone, a part of your heart collapses never to recover.

When you have very high expectations of yourself, you become your own enemy and you can hurt yourself.

The range of your expectation is the measure of your basket of happiness, you can however lower your expectations to lessen the hurt.

You cannot make everyone happy but you can at least be fair with everyone. It’s up to them then, if they can see it.

Everybody has a version of their own reality which suits them best, which makes them feel the most comfortable.

People can see the same thing and come to a common ground only when they can detach themselves and have an objective vision.

Objectivity unites and emotions divide people.

In a team, everything is shared, the burden of loss and also the spoils of victory.

Everybody can see their own suffering and pain and point of view. How about I do the same thing?

Everyone with their assumptions and judgements are like rebels against each other. No matter who they are.

It’s hard to respect people who don’t know what they want in life or people who are unsure of themselves.

The thing is, I don’t need love, I’m like the Christopher McCandless but living in society.

Beer is like ‘tu’ and whisky is like ‘vous’.

The devil and saint in me are both set loose.

Everybody will have their own different version of reality no matter how well you think you know them or how important you think you are to them.

Peace in the midst of chaos.

Two paths diverged in the woods, I took the one more taken and that has made all the difference!

How you are feeling is not what’s happening around you but inside you.

Some people are effortlessly themselves whereas others are always in an effort to be someone else.

When was the last time you did something you truly loved?

You were good to me!

Happiness in hindsight is like cherry-picking.

Perhaps, I don’t know myself well enough yet to understand what is it that I want or what is it that makes me happy.

The best way to live life is to keep yourself so busy in doing things that you don’t even have time to think about what’s wrong in it.

There is a finite amount of time in hand, make the most of it, but don’t think about it.

Living consciously in oblivion.

If I feel I’m not able to communicate with you, that you don’t understand. There is something wrong, it might not be even you.

There are times, usually in the night when you need someone in your mind.

Curiosity leads you to places.

After being in and out of relationships, one of the things that you learn is what are those reasons that fail two people other than themselves.

The question is ‘what can I live with and what can I die without?’

When we don’t have a choice, we often tend to conform to the best available option.

People will come into your life and go, although some will stay. You need to carry yourself everyday out from the bed and back to it, even in the end.

Rarely, if ever anything happens as per your will.

Adaptability is the biggest skill.

Stop testing people, they are already testing themselves in front of you.

Stop fixing, finding, arranging and organising things. Let them be, found, fluent and gravitated. Observe them, appreciate them.

If you never knew me at my best, you didn’t know me.

I cannot love people who don’t flinch at disapproval or don’t cry at sorrow, lament at least, who don’t fly when they are high and it’s windy.

Those who cannot give more that they have received, I can’t love.

I’m the strongest when I’m by myself.

One should find enough things to do for themselves so that they can sparingly bother themselves about other things.

I guess the measure of love is how rapidly and how many times over the heart can heal and can begin to love again.

If you want to be pampered like a child, behave like one first.

What is life? You are doing things that I like and I doing things that you like. Simple.

“Happiness is when you are always there”

Dreams and reality, make one into another.

We show disapproval in all sorts of different ways. Not everyone can say, I don’t agree with this or I don’t like this.

It’s a very difficult thing to do, something solely for the sake of others.

Speak your truth, Always!

No matter how big the umbrella is, when it rains, you’ll get wet if you don’t have your own umbrella.

All concerned are hurt some more and some less, some show and some don’t.

People give up on other people, so easily.

After a certain point, nothing seems to matter.

This morning when I couldn’t fall asleep and my head was hurting from all the thoughts and words that were pinching. I told myself, I wouldn’t be able to get through the day. But now, it’s evening, the day is gone, it’s about to end. Quite like life I suppose, it will pass.

When I see your face, I know everything.

There are somethings that you don’t say, you realise them and keep them to yourself.

Quality speaks for itself.

Ice can never get dirty, but it cannot also hold its form.

When you get married, your mother is like your girlfriend and your wife is another.

Sometimes, even the best intentions can lead to the worst of things.

A thing done to prevent something can often lead to that same thing.

This world is a chaotic place, sometimes you need to be rigid and other times flexible in approach. All that you need to figure out is when to be which.

The ability to forgive oneself comes after one can forgive others. Long after.

It’s much more difficult to forgive oneself than to forgive others.

Everybody knows what needs to be done, some choose to do it for the sake of doing whereas some choose not to do it because they don’t want to.

The world seems like a huge place, when you are in it.

We lived a life like the best romantic movie ever.

It’s strange when you think about the life that has passed. The things that went by, the people that came and gone. But, what I will miss the most are the persons that came and wanted to stay.

You never really lose a person, a part of them stays with you and a part of you that is with them is what you miss.

You are a storm.

And then she said ‘she’ll write him a letter after 30 years.

Forbidden fruit, tastes the sweetest.

In life, always find new things to do, new places to go.

Satisfaction lies in yourself.

I don’t know whether I lost you forever after finding you or found you for forever after losing you.

It is much easier to know what you don’t want rather than what you want. But it is much more difficult to act on it as compared to when you know what you want.

Rather than the boredom of life, I would rather choose the stress of it and the exhilaration along.

To feel something strongly is a sign of young and living heart. As we grow old, it takes effort to feel it.

We often feel a lot of things, at the same time. It is up to us to distil them.

You don’t need a perfect life; in fact, you can’t have one. You just need someone who makes you believe in one.

The normal process of ageing is the belief in futility of things outside of us.

First, they make you dependent on organised bodies and then they tell you that you need to break away.

Everyone is crazy, they only differ in self-control.

If someone can go from, I can’t live without you to feeling unloved in a few days, your belief system crashes down.

We can feel love again maybe even more intense, but we can’t be hurt by the same thing again.

You can tell a lot about a person when you fight them.

You shouldn’t work, if you don’t like your job.

Sometimes, we try to make ourselves believe what we like. But, it takes time and honesty to know what you really want.

Sometimes, we don’t move on. Everything else around us just disappears and it’s just a matter of time until when we turn our back to it and walk away.

There is no element of practicality in it, not until now. But I’m willing to do it, I always was.

If only we tried to make others feel good in the moment, every moment and on, everything would be so much better.

Most of the good that we do is because we want to be good.

I can risk losing everything but not my integrity and creativity.

Only so much is real.

When you start accepting yourself as yourself, you are so much more courageous.

You can’t change the world not even your own life just by wanting things to happen.

I’m in no hurry to see the world.

The fact that you love someone does not mean anything.

Today, I saw a huge tree stump totally uprooted from the ground. I could relate to it.

I’ll never see my cruelty for you and you’ll never see my kindness for you.

As I blow the smoke off the last drag of each cigarette, I say to myself ‘I’ll quit’.

Characterless, is not a person who has a bad character. He is a person who has no character, no stability, no stand. Like skin without bones.

What we say is the version of the truth that the other person wants to hear and what he hears is the version they want to hear. But then there is a difference between the two.

Why do we do what we do? Most of the times things are more instinctual than planned.

Make your presence felt when needed and be absent when it’s not.

If you want to exercise power, you need to have power.

You’re like air, omnipresent. Not even like light which can be shut out.

Time passes, good or bad, both.

The fire that you started for giving light is now burning you. You need to put it off, don’t expect others to come with water.

Don’t expect to understand everything. Let go.

You can actually know the meaning of a word when you mean it.

Going high up in the sky and planet after planet, hopping moons and galaxies coming back to earth by a black hole when they found one.

Hopping one moment to another with you without thinking about the traffic.

Every thought does not need to have a response or a result. It can stand on its own.

It is impossible to escape the dichotomy – Yin and Yang, Good versus Evil, Love and hate, Hero and the villain, God and Satan himself, Heaven and hell itself.

This is a point in my life when one of the possibilities are that both my personal and professional life can be devastated.

Secrets create barrier between people.

When our feet walk out of darkness,

When our mind grows out of limitations.

The right thing always seems like the weird thing because that is not normally what you hear; altered is the norm.

There is no difference between legal or illegal, right or wrong, between different persons.

Do we live in a perfect world? It is and it isn’t at the same time. Whatever it is, lies inside of us.

We have reached high living standards of life at least in some parts of the world but do we actually need to spread it everywhere else or find and strive for something else, something more internal.

Find it, what you are missing in life and then work for it.

One day I’m sitting here at the balcony of a ‘mansion’ in Europe, the other day I don’t know where I’ll be, with whom will I be, what will I be doing. That’s life!

We all try to dramatize our lives for the sake of breaking the monotony, but what if life itself becomes a drama.

I saw so much light and heard so much noise of the world. For a moment I want to share it with you but only for a moment, from time to time. Then, let’s slip back to our world, one that’s much quieter, more peaceful where there is only your voice and you.

Until you have something bigger in life you will continue to seek small pleasures.

There are somethings that you cannot take a photo of.

A couple is the strongest team.

Creativity comes in rations, feed the fire continuously.

Forge a bridge or make a gorge.

It’s the way it works, that it doesn’t work.

Reverse grief is dangerous.

There would be times, I will sit and close my eyes, let a cold breeze touch me and take myself to you.

Mountains, they test your patience.

There will be times when no one will hold your hand in a treacherous path even if you have a lot of people who love you and are around you because maybe they can’t see or maybe they don’t want to see.

You will feel alone amidst people who say they love you and it is at these times when you and only you will have to hold your hand and walk.

In the end and more so in the journey, what matters is, your will to go on.

There is but one imperfectness in my otherwise perfect life. It’s me willing to do everything for people and expecting the same.

Have faith in people but don’t expect it in return.

I’m not going to be held back by anything, anything.

You need people like me to make yourselves feel better about your mediocrity.

Life is a string of moments, nothing more.

Karma is a series of bad gears.

There is certainly cowardice in saying it won’t work or it isn’t possible because if you want something to work or happen or exist you never give up.

You’re love has become a central idea in my life.

I know what it feels like and what it takes to say that you love someone.

That love is reverence.

That love is pure.

How it can make you a better person,

is the beauty of it.

Your feelings are a test of everything.

How about we go around the sun, say 200 times more?

If everyone had a free will and the opportunity and intellect to make a choice. This world wouldn’t function in the existing way of an organised society.

It’s all about the neurotransmitter in your brain. You can control them.

Reality is different from what we feel. By reality, I mean how we feel for real.

Some people have it easy and some have it tough but there is one thing we all do at some point of our lives is to complain about it.

I am myself, there is no comparison with anyone. Just one thing to do – to be more and more myself each day.

And then she said, with you I feel like one feels with their parents. Safe and always connected.

If money is nothing; then why do we devote our lives to chasing it, if we have all we need and more. We know very well that we can make sure everyone can eat, have a home, and live together, yet we keep chasing ‘things’.

Why do we allow ourselves to ignore issues and those who need our help, and instead opt into a life of facades and perpetual routine? Collective insanity, it must be.

Why is it so hard for people to love unconditionally and share? I guarantee that people will say they want exactly that; love, but will not give it when shown the opportunity.

Always do your best to help people but don’t let ever your hand burn in the fire.

Those who speak the harshest are the purest.

The Germans gifted the gun.

Be humble, be kind and be loving.

She would be minding her work but her back will be listening.

Be like water, take the shape of the vessel you are put in.

The day your shoe fits your son, he should become your friend.

We make our own enemies.

He speaks less but with conviction, he has a short temper, he smiles rarely. But that’s him, that’s my father. I will embrace and respect him and never try to change him because he has seen what I can never see, and I have seen what he will never see.

Our future generation does not need to suffer what we have. In fact, it is our duty to ensure that they don’t.

I only want to play my song sometimes and listen to it in complete silence.

There is just not enough that you can do for someone.

I still imagine for myself a quiet life in the woods somewhere deep in the mountains.

Life will give you a boon of blessings sometimes and at other times you will feel wanting more.

It’s not about what is happening, it’s about how we are seeing them happening.

The real test of people is how they behave with you when they are uncomfortable.

A memory is not in a photo or a note or post, it’s in the mind.

I don’t know when did I become someone, like myself and so different from who I was.

The day we lose our innocence is a tragedy.

It is a feat to be able to break down life into a string of days and days in to a string of moments.

For me, the reality and dreams have switched sides, now you are my reality and everything else is a dream.

Everything in this world is by comparison, except you.

There is something worse than being stuck in traffic, it is being stuck in it alone and looking around.

I want to go to a place where there is no traffic.

Things that really matter in life cannot be stored for later use.

People are very good at fooling themselves.

Sure, everything is related to each other but the ability to see things in isolation and deconstruct is the first gaze of foresight.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts9

4 Feb

There is no mistake in life that can’t be rectified, in other words, there are no mistakes in life.

Be fluid, be natural, be yourself.

A moment is a great one if you were lost in it. When you forgot the details of the faces and the noises around, the people walking by and giving their ear, when you could ignore the thunder and go on your rant.

Either ignore and be immune to what people say or give them a reason that they don’t tell you the same thing again. No matter, what you do, never be stuck in the middle.

Availability causes desire.

Desire is dependent on availability, need is not.

All we want is for the other person to understand us.

To realize something real! You need to go to the extremes of emotion, mortal danger or psychic depths.

The day when you realize the difference between missing someone and wanting to be with that person; the difference between joy and happiness; that the difference between the two is as stark as the night and day.

We function somewhere between our availability and our priorities.

If we can feel like tourists in our own city and like a local in a different country. There is nothing more we would ever need.

There is a sense of loss only when there was a possibility of having something.

The idea of life is to be busy with something and try maintaining your mind to rest.

Messy is neat!

It’s a weird feeling when you have more people who are ready to listen than you want to share with.

Art is more about the artist and less about art itself!!

What do we want at the end of it all? To be understood!

Life is like a play, only without a script. Sometimes you’re amazed at what you say. The only thing you can actually control is whether you’re watching the play as an audience or one of the characters.

Self-proclaimed realists can’t take the truth because they’ve been deluding themselves with convenient realism.

Is there any day when you don’t expect anything from others?

It is in expression that our salvation lies.

Our success is usually judged by the recognition of others.

It’s not very difficult to find reasons for or against a decision but it is often difficult to hear our own inner voice, what it wants?

Sometimes you need to inflate your self-esteem to get by a bad time.

Conscious living and integrity. Sometimes impeccable qualities, sometimes hurdles.

Poems are a condensed form of expression; it makes us make the best use of words.

Peace is when you can think and talk of everything and then put your mind to rest.

Sharing is the best way of saving a memory for it will always remain with the person, it can never be lost. It’s richer than a photograph or even the most illustrative memoir. It is immortal.

Life is not a bunch of futurs plans but a loft of memories.

You can’t get anything valuable by asking.

Life is not like a canal to another but a river that defines it’s own course.

The association with another person is in itself a compromise of ones independence.

The subterfuge of the imposed meaning of the lyrical song fails at what emotions a piano can evoke.

I want you to eat away all the crust in my life.

Whenever I see an old man sitting alone and quiet, I wonder what he is thinking.

It’s important to have something, it’s equally important to have it handy.

The things we choose to do are remembered, the things that happen to us are easily lost.

Decay is much worse than wreckage.

Sab khair kheriyat se ghar pahuch jaaye, aur kya chahiye.

I’m more a person person.

A day is but the usual mix of surprises and routine.

People come as a package not as an assembly of modular parts.

Nothing is fancy, it’s just the life usually don’t live.

Having an existential crisis is a luxury.

You can pick your sacrifice rather than making one, it’s better.

Be who you are than who you are supposed to be.

Part of the journey is the end.

Sometimes I don’t feel anything.

There comes a point where you need to liberate yourself from dependence on others, a state in which you can live all by yourself.

Man is a social animal but a lonely creature.

All we need are distractions, from everything else.

So much changes, with the seasons.

There are two kinds of relationships, one needs constant nurturing, the one that keeps you on your toes and the other that makes you feel like a king. One makes you better, the other makes you feel blessed.

Why is it so difficult to just live simply, without envy, without jealousy, without evil intentions for the other. 

When we say something, it’s so hard to not say it to ourselves. A part of what we communicate is to ourselves and a part of what we listen, feels like for us.

Expectation is a dangerous thing to have, it’s like holding a candle in a dark room filled with gasoline.

It’s a luxury to be able to think – what we want from our lives?

Always remember your bad times, but don’t dwell on them.

It’s courage and strength, to share.

It’s okay to not be able to meet someone’s expectations but It hurts the most when you can’t reach your own expectations.

Clarity of what you need to do in the short term is more important than long term goals.

You put more thought in a tattoo than anything else because it one of the rare things that is permanent.

It’s not the paucity of material value that drives a man into jealousy, it is the paucity of character value.

You need to invest time and inclination to meet yourself.

There are three kinds of people – Tea, coffee and acting.

When doing something, one must think – is it because everyone will praise you or you really want to do it?

When choosing your options, along with desire, also think of your capacity and time available.

If you come across a hurricane, either run to the centre or run away from it.

To live with ambuguity and express clarity is the sign of a man.

Truth is not in the spoken words, it’s in the feeling.

I came to know that I’m sleeping, only after I woke up.

Learn and master the art of staying alone, as a fall back option. Don’t let anyone know.

The fidelity of your love also depends on the person you love.

Everybody should get what they deserve and not more than that.

You have the right and also the responsibility to surround yourself with positive people, putting up with negative people is a tacit approval to their actions which is harmful to them and you both.

If I’m leaving my comfort zone for you, you’re gold!

Don’t ask me questions, if you’re not ready to listen to all possible answers.

Judgement is when you can’t forgive a person for a thing they cannot change.

Art is pain, life is suffering.

The path to paradise starts with hell.

Sometimes even the most selfish intentions turn in to beautiful acts of altruism.

It’s not a choice of a person, it’s a choice between rationality and emotion.

I’m living the life of so many people literally and figuratively. I can do that because when I talk to someone, I’m talking; when I’m working, I’m working; when I’m enjoying, I’m enjoying; and when I’m sleeping, I’m sleeping.

The pursuance of happiness is futile, the pursuance of things that make you happy is the pursuit of life.

Sometimes you leave the best seat besides you so that they come and sit by you and have the best.

How far one must go into loving someone. All the way.

Nature does not have a definition of suffering, suffering is something that happens in a human society. Where one human troubles the other for reasons other than survival creating inequality which by no means is a gorge of worth.

Somebody take care of me like that kid in the car playing with the balloon. Someone other than my mom.

Mixed emotions are perplexing, extremes are not.

Everytime there is someone unfair to me a part of heart gets irredeemably wilted, never to recover, only to be covered.

Understanding needs maturity, sure. Honesty needs nothing.

It’s all about communication.

I’m starting on painkillers for an uncompromising life.

You gave me what I deserved, isn’t it what everybody does? It’s normal, so relax!

Satisfaction breeds happiness.

If you cannot speak about a topic in a succinct manner then you need to improve your understanding of the same.

Understanding has only two levels, complete or nothing at all.

Truth needs to be rationed.

No hard feelings, no hard plans.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts8

4 Feb

I have all the elements that stars are made of and stars have all the elements in me.

Everyone came alone, they’ll go alone. All the misery started when people started making bonds and all the misery shall end only when we leave this world breaking all bonds.

It depends on you to deal with the society. The society is like a huge mirror of what you feel inside.

You’re mind needs to be at peace to know thyself. Only in still water can you see your reflection.

The very basis of moral philosophy for the society is hypocrisy and dichotomy of values.

Their conscience appears for a moment just like a crocodile comes to the surface for breathing.

The three layers of priority. Simple people are more open and always find time to remember other people, people higher up the ladder have ego. But people higher up the ladder are busier and have less time. But one always finds time for people in priority.

Money and other materials are tools to have a good life, they are means to an end, not an end in itself.

Kids cry because that’s the way they express their discontent with what’s going on and with their parents, who take their crying as something which is normal and try to console them with something, they think the kids need, not what they might actually be crying for, the indifference is petrifying. When these kids grow up, their crying is replaced by a series of implosions and concealed emotions, everything else remains the same.

We always have a choice, sometimes we can exercise it, sometimes we can’t. No one or no situation can force anything on you.

Stand for yourself if you want others to stand for you.

If we want a very specific thing then we cannot be open to the all the possibilities.

Young couples are so cute; old couples are so classy.

When you hear the noise, someone is either trying to break something or make something.

Make personal obligations to yourself and know where or with whom you don’t want to be.

Have immortal finish lines and reach beyond your grasp. Let them come to you and say you did well, you can go home now.

Be kind, be fair, be humble.

All the interpretations and feelings are a culmination of what we want to feel and what is convenient for us to feel and see at that moment.

There is no sadness in truth, there can never be!

People will use your words against you; don’t arm people with them, choose your words wisely.

When I was the closest to you, I felt farthest to you, what an irony!

Everything was okay, until I was convenient.

Whether two people love each first and then get along? or get along first and then learn to love each other? 

We see what we want to see, there is nothing called objective truth between humans.

An act of kindness is bigger than most things in life.

Peace of mind should be your pillow; No matter who is in our bed, we all sleep alone.

Judge someone not by their actions or thoughts or intentions

But by your actions, thoughts and intentions about them.

At this age, you don’t cry. You blink away the tear well and let it dry.

There is hope all the time but for something that doesn’t exist.

You can love an animal more than a human being because they can never contradict your feelings. Something that you’re very afraid of.

Rationed kindness is not kindness, it is a self-gratifying conformity exercise.

We can only feel a sense of loss after truly having something.

This is a competence-based world, the sooner you realize, the better.

Anything that makes you ask yourself fundamental questions, cannot be bad.

It is either the black or the white color that becomes dirty very easily.

It feels good to feel good after all.

If you have a good physique, good money and if you’re a man, fuck the world!!

If you’re too understanding, you’re weak. Have hard lines that you respect and make other people respect them.

I have laughed, I have cried, I’ve felt Joy, I’ve sobbed, all because of my feelings. I’ve done the full circle and I’m happy for it.

Wanting to be with someone and not wanting someone to leave are two different things.

Convenient love is like mindful shopping whereas romantic love can either be a simple endeavor or an impossible wish, but you don’t lose hope, you don’t give up.

Romantic love has always failed me, or I failed it. But every time I am confronted with a choice, I will choose romantic love over the ‘convenient love’.

People who prophesize about convenient love are beyond my comprehension and I hope they remain there.

At first, I was living the moment, the dream. Then, I started taking one day at a time. Then, I got braver and started taking one week at a time.

Maturity is not learning to say the right thing, it is keeping quiet at the right time.

There are some privileged people who can think what they want to think and see what they want to see.

Sometimes, I felt choking on my own breath, I felt my heart beating in my chest wanting to come out at the same time as I was smiling and greeting people. There is no escape, nor will there be any help or remedy. But you’ll live more life than many.

There are somethings that transcend our rational understanding of the World.

Association with another human is the beginning of all misery and the magic.

I wonder how weightless words can be, how fleeting feelings can be and how transient their stance can be!

Some people are lucky, I mean it! They meet a person who wants the same things as them.

When there were not many things to do, the focus was much more, it didn’t require such a conscious effort as now to focus. 

When there were fewer means to communicate there was more weight in words.

We want someone to say – it’s alright, everything is going to be fine, give me a hug! 

If we can just accept people as they are, life could be be so much easier.

There is love even in my hatred.

There is care even in my anger.

Do you realise, how rare is it to have an honest conversation?

Just keep feeding your soul.

People are lost in their own passion or moment are called crazy in abhorrence by others because they stop conforming to the society and it scares them.

What’s the difference between a cheap watch and an expensive watch? An expensive watch remains the same with time, true to time.

Happiness is a choice.

There is a limit to poverty but none for riches. That’s why you need to choose your own.

We are not supposed to win or lose the argument or prove our point, we are supposed to reach a mutual understanding and a common ground or else, we both lose.

If we both had our own way, there won’t be a we. So, the basic question is how far do we want to reach out to each other.

We know everything we need to know, it’s just realisation that keeps happening of the things we knew.

Err on the side, away from caution.

You should be able to differentiate between significant and non significant people in your life.

If women will grow up in societies where there are signs of ‘reserved for women’, it’s gonna hamper their empowerment.

If you have things to do, you don’t need people.

It’s love when doing something becomes more about the other person than about yourself.

It’s a futile exercise to try to think about something, what matters is eventually going to come back to your mind.

Peace is about balancing the hindsight and the foresight.

All we ever do is for ourselves! Rest is just interpretation.

All people are fundamentally the same, they have the same needs and desires and responses. Well, they are conditioned by their culture, experiences and upbringing in some ways but one should learn to see the two differently – basic likeness and the superficial dofferences.

Today in the metro, I saw a girl just like Drew Barrymore and then I saw her smile.

You can never know what really is out there. Believe, either your instinct or absolute knowledge, if available.

Religion and politics are just means to an end, for some people. Whereas, for others they are means of oppression.

There is a lot of danger and uncertainty at the door of excellence. If you don’t feel it, you’re far from it.

Art is about creating something that was never there.

Travelling is all about presence of mind, whether it is about safety or experiences.

All arts are linked to each other. Words make you picture and pictures make you think, in words.

Indulge in art and lose yourself. Then find yourself again.

Even in nature, a vine lives off a nutrient ball and then moves on to the next once it’s saps are over.

Does language shape reality?

I feel so strong, I feel capable to manage everything but, I feel so lonely at the same time.

Most of your words are out there to be interpreted in many ways by different people and the way they do it can tell you about what they think of you.

Don’t worry about what you do in life if you are happy, everyone is going to praise you in your funeral anyway.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts7

4 Feb

It’s the thing that you have less or is rare, that you are drawn towards.

Early morning and late nights are when your subconscious is the least subdued.

They prefer black and white, and here we are exploring the colour palette!!

For every different conversation there is a person. For example, we can share our happiness with many, sadness with few and guilt with even fewer. I wonder if there is a person for all kinds of conversation.

A person who does what he says and says what he thinks is rare.

This moment in time, when I’m doing something in the living room and I can hear mom cooking something in the kitchen, no words, just the sound of her presence that she is there. It’s the best feeling in the world.

Rubber band effect – when a person knows the extent of your flexibility and tolerance, they pull you to the end of your limits, so that you don’t snap back.

Excellence can be allowed to be flawed but submission should be spotless.

We are bound for destruction, says the law of entropy and cannot stop that. But we do have a choice to either live like a meek and become non-existent in our posterity or to leave an ever-lasting legacy.

You’re not going to have a completely amazing life, there will be good moments and bad moments. There will also be times when you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. All you could really hope for is that the sun still shines despite the clouds.

When the ultimate state is inevitable, why make the effort?

I can’t give you my best every time.

I’m stubborn in the sense that I don’t want to suppress, moderate or compromise what I’m feeling, which sometimes comes out as arrogance which it is not.

Everything seemed so small. The deep well which used to scare me; the fields which seemed endless; people so old, some loved me, some not. I was listless and so far from where I was.

Experience is one of those things that chisel us into better beings!

There is no scale for greatness.

There might be a deeper reason of why we flush the toilet.

It’s ironic that death despite being a mere instant, a blip in time can give wisdom of a lifetime.

The news of someone’s death while tragic is still just a piece of information. What’s actually tragic is when you know the person, their plans, dreams and aspirations. Death is not the end of a person; it is the end of a stream of spirits.

Purest interaction is Business.

Charity is a label.

It’s only when you do something for your own happiness that you can do justice to it and give your 100%.

Social progress is not linear but a dwindling isochronous movement where we are making progress and rubbing most if it off.

We have a habit of magnifying whatever little problems that we have into something we can talk about and squander our time with.

One who hasn’t actually cared for a person can never feel what it feels like to care.

With power, arrogance come naturally. But, to remain humble requires conscious effort.

All virtues stem from humility and kindness.

I’d much rather prefer to have a mellow sense of belonging than a prude sense of achievement.

There are three degrees to everything, left right and center; high, low and at the level; right wrong and no need to judge.

Knowledge is both liberating and constraining.

Love is when, you take a person and glorify him or her beyond your god.

I could look into the sun and say, ‘I have sunshine too’.

Civility is organized chaos.

You’re the childhood friend I play with, you’re the colleague I work with, you’re the friend I enjoy with.

The worst thing that can happen to a person is when his imaginations are stretched beyond his capacity.

If the table and the chair you’re seated on, are far, what do you do? pull the chair up to the table or table up to you?

In all the chaos and noise of the world that I thought was normal, I feel different. I feel I’m immune to both, the mundane and the hassle.

It is when you are alone, you are least vulnerable, because there is no fear of indifference or disregard from anyone.  

Assertive and considerate are two traits that can co-exist.

People usually proclaim a higher ground than they are standing on.

Don’t expect people to possess the time or the inclination to look beyond what you chose to show them.

People often say remarkable things subtly and still pretend that they are being subtle.

It is so hard to have a real conversation these days; almost everything is veiled. Photos, people, their words and even actions.

The most important thing to learn, is to learn to live independently.

We don’t want god, the feeling within us that god exists is enough.

No one can take away from us what we hold dearly.

All we need in life is a purpose to go on, it could be a person, a place or work. It’s so damn simple. There is nothing particularly special about any one of them. 

Somethings are just unsolvable mysteries, like an equation with more than one unknown variable.

I can never be caught in the middle, either it’s me all by myself or I’m consumed in you.

Your actions, your thoughts, your outlook will be judged in the backdrop of your background, where are you from? what’s your status? and least importantly who are you?

Giving love to someone only when they deserve it, is like rationing food in a war camp.

People should be given a chance to prove themselves, have their say, do their deed, be free. Do not bind anyone even with expectations.

We believe in individualism but with different meanings I suppose, some can elaborate it as the individual existence and survival in a reclusive society and I argue it’s more about individual integrity and worth in a collective world.

It’s exciting and dangerous, to feel so much.

Sometimes words alone cannot comfort.

The reason we don’t find solace in anyone – maybe it doesn’t exist, maybe we are meant to be alone, maybe being together is just another social imposition that we’ve come to call love, maybe those who claim to have found it are living an illusion created by convenient circumstances. Maybe! I don’t know.

There is an objective reality and there is a perceived reality. It is a bliss when both are exactly the same, as it is to gaze on a total lunar eclipse despite the total congruence there is a light that shines, that’s magic for real! It happens rarely and lasts for, but a moment. Time wouldn’t stop for anyone, but maybe you can feel the bliss forever. Afterall, what is reality?

As we grow older, the biggest currency becomes time, not because it becomes rare or costly but because we get poorer and poorer in time. A day is yet a day, a moment is yet a moment, the difference being, we can afford less and less of it.

Writing for me is like venesection, letting the bad blood flow in hopes that it will make me feel better but in fact it makes me weaker and weaker. 

If you handle uncertainty poorly, it means you care for something.

You can have a visceral reaction to many things but vagal reaction to only things that are close to your heart.

I feel like going to a place where no one knows me and I know no one, a place where I can reset my life  

People tend to forget the goodness of others in the face of adversity, because it is convenient, it frees them of the obligations and guilt.

Change is the only constant thing; objective truth is the only reality. Sometimes, we are taken by the moment so much that it is hard to think clearly. Never regret such moments.

Changing stances are more dangerous than changing circumstances.

Love is nothing but a series of circumstantial convenient coincidences.

When you have everything in life, you don’t need love as much as others do. In other words, emotional needs are inversely proportional to material wealth.

It takes a huge conscious effort to laugh when you don’t want to, an otherwise spontaneous activity.

Dreams are bad, if they unwantedly distance you from reality. Make dreams, make efforts, see them come true, all awake.

Those who say money does not matter are naïve.

Things are not only grand when they are, they can be grand between two people too.

I believe in saying what I think and doing what I say.

Our brain is usually like a dining table with all options laid out, confusing us, amusing us, often not letting us make the right choices. Abundance can be both empowering and paralysing.

Choose from available conclusions.

The only selfless act in this world is the act of foolishness.

Innocence is the sweetest weakness.

It only works when the distance between hardlines is less than the range of compromise.

Maybe, I never really found myself or actually knew myself, so I always tried to find it with someone else. But all along, others were also finding themselves.

You will need to indulge in the chaos of life, as deep as your capabilities. The choice of not indulging in it, although voluntary and well within your reach will seem impossible before you’re spent.

How can you try to trust another person when you can’t even trust yourself?

Our time in this world is limited, still we want eternal relationships.

Philosophy is thinking, understanding, speaking and writing in a layered manner with one layer of thought buried in the other and so on.

With the nights, it can become harder, when conscious faculties are overpowered.

Learning, experiences and upbringing shape your thoughts and thoughts leads to actions and everything in this world are your actions. If you can control your thoughts, you can control your world!

Being emotional is not a weakness if you can complement it with an objective approach. Life is but a balancing act.

Nothing is worst, there is always a possibility of even worse!

You can nurture the personal or the professional in you, it’s a choice.

We were like peas in the pod except that the peas are scattered now.

Sometimes people use their ‘principles and values’ in defence of their action of defiance to those principles and values.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts6

4 Feb

Polytheism is by nature, tolerant.

I have lived days with happiness and days without it, I can tell the difference and that’s how I know I was loved.

Everything in this world may not be in just the right amount but it is in just the right proportion to everything else. So, worry not and tremble not for you will have your proportion.

Sometimes we like someone so much that we try to take them away from themselves.

Everything that we do is for the sake of ourselves whether it is a murder or helping the poor.

I can almost feel how I used to feel, a feeling I don’t have now.

Grand success is like a sweep of oblivion.

Nobody should go through smiling when they are not well on the inside.  

Being bad is a great disguise.

There is nothing which is ever strictly one directional. Even when we give, we get back. We just need to be able to accept it.

The sensation of completeness is feeling when you are with the right person at the right place and it’s a peaceful time of your life, you mind is not at conflict.

All responsibilities are implied obligations that we take on ourselves to fulfil.

Just as a whiplash keeps the herd together, morality and ethics keeps the humans together.

When one is educated, he is alluded of the possibility that he can break through the social fabric of obligations; when one is learned he thinks that it is better to rather not; when one is enlightened, nothing matters.

To err is human, to forgive is divine.

The biggest impediment in the way of “peace of mind” is our own only inability to share how we feel with others.

Love is that extra effort that a person puts in, beyond his convenience and comfort for even the small expectation and little needs of the other without the hope of ever getting anything in return.  

Play me but do not make a fool out of me.

All of us at some point need someone to tell us that’s it’s okay, that it’s going to be okay.

He was a stoic before he knew about stoicism.

I’m amazed how I can deem my own writing from a few months ago “utter bullshit!” It means however, that I’m evolving.

We need to bore ourselves with the old to evolve.

Nothing is permanent, neither love nor hate.

The first step to achieve excellence is knowing that it exists; second, that it is achievable; and then, how to achieve it.

You can humble me down to a level, but I’ll never brownnose.

I’m an atheist yet I don’t vehemently disregard other people’s belief in god. They have their faith and I have mine.

It is possible to feel weak and strong at the same time.

To be mindful of the changing world and adopting to it is a good thing but being aware of the changes happening in oneself is weird, you can’t really adapt to it because adoption is to external things. You don’t have another you.

I know what’s right for me, I also know that it is not what I want to do.

The insect crawling on the ceiling is not necessarily higher than you.

Sometimes you don’t find what you are searching for at the place you’re looking.

The best thing you can give someone is your time.

Sometimes a conversation with the right person can heal you.

You cannot find a solution until you realise that it’s a problem.

Something can be empowering and a curse at the same time.

Close the window which does not give you a clear view.

Life is like a sinus rhythm.

A fragrance can teleport you in the past.

Have the courage to embrace yourself.

With each day, you’ll become more of yourself.

A form of writing which confuses, where the readers can interpret anything should be avoided. A reader could be led to a room with many doors but not in an open space with no directions.

If I am being unreasonable with you, you can be sure that I love you.

A gift should be such, that lasts, that survives the elements and must always carry a thought.

Some people make their demand of comfort so subtle and unobtrusive that it remains invisible.

In my early days, I often wondered about why things happen the way they do. How goods reach places that they do? Why people behave the way they do? They all have one answer – need.

People should be left to their own methods.

Welfare ideologies cripples the spirit.

The most bullshit of all statements in the world is – ‘We don’t have enough money for this’

People take pride in the little things that they do, more people need to see and acknowledge it.

It’s astonishing what company can do to you.

Nature has no straight lines, no order, no motif. Pattern and repetition is a very human thing.

A mountain teaches principle and solidarity; a river, to make way for oneself in adversity and perpetual motion; trees, to nurture others with yourself, the help that you can offer and the ever-changing outlook.

The canvas of our mind has no delete button or erase function for the thoughts that have once landed on it, they only can be covered under a stronger thought.

An incapable person or an underachiever has no right to claim the virtue of humility, it should be reserved for people who choose to be humble when they have the power to be otherwise.

Sometimes coffee does not wake you up, it just prevents you from sleeping.

Collecting ship wreckage will never build you a ship.

I’m thankful that I’m not as balanced as many of the people I know. I can still feel a lot of things that amaze me and I’m thankful for it.

Even after seeing so many forts, palaces, mountains and rivers, I still want to travel. To meet new people.

What is the purpose of life? It is definitely not what we do every day for work; work is one of the means to achieve the purpose. So, what is it? Success, happiness, happiness of others, carnal pleasures, oblivion, jolly, serving god, passing your time healthily and happily or nothing but then what good would it be to renounce the bounty of life and just exist? Whatever be the purpose of life, pausing to think about it is definitely not one.

Seeing yourself evolve is like seeing a child grow.

You can understand a person’s point of view but cannot make them understand.

It’s an empowering feeling to know that you want something with all your heart.

The biggest effect you can have people is to have changed their thinking.

Your chair can sometimes become your chain.

Only those who love you and envy you can respect you; the rest will just hate you.

Not many people will appreciate that creativity is a word derived from create.

Everything is tending to die, still we enjoy seeing it grow, wither and dance towards its ultimate demise.

It’s not the dew drop on a leave that’s beautiful, it’s the whole system in which it is there that makes it beautiful.

Congruency of the micro and the macro picture of life is when you command life.

We are on top of the hierarchy of living anatomies because of a reason.

The incompleteness of a thing makes it appealing and adds an element of elegance. The gaps in history, La Sagrada Familia, an unfinished business, a perplexing relationship, the state of trance and so on.

Life is in the uncertainty of things, if things were certain there would be no charm.

Our senses give us the objective truth, which is often incomplete, that’s why we need our mind to expand the horizons.

Being able to see the bigger picture is not always the most peaceful thing.

When you see life from up close, things can either be good or bad, everything has an apparent meaning with which you can either harmonise yourself or continue to rebel. But when you see the bigger picture, not everything makes sense, it’s vague, which can be perplexing. Choose wisely.

Everyone is doing the same, putting water from one glass in another.

Foresight and backward integration are the two basic qualities of a strong character.

Love is when someone accepts you, just the way you are, and you do the same.

What are you? a speck of dust in the desert who is at the whim of the wind that blows.

You look or photograph anything from close enough and almost anything will look beautiful.

When you’re taking your flight upwards in Life, motivation is high, and you care less about the struggle and hardships because sometimes your sight might be hazy, but your vision remains intact on the goal. But when the goal is achieved and the fire in your wings is just not enough for further flight. There, from that vantage point when you look back the only things that can give you happiness is the spread of your timeline, the path you took, and the moments and memories embedded in it. The conscious mind might not remember them, but the heart knows because it is all that matters.

Your sight may become hazy at certain but your vision should remain clear.

You give a man enough freedom of speech and latitude, he will say nothing but the truth, a truth he feels is true.

People constrained in some way evade veracity. Free people don’t.

Everyone has problems, insecurities and vulnerabilities. No one is the perfect companion.

The purpose of a relationship is not to average out the goodness or mellow down vices but someone who makes you feel good about yourself.

You can wash away your sins, but emotions once contaminated cannot be washed.

Art remains the same, our interpretations of it changes.

Opinions need refreshing.

I don’t know what love is, but it definitely should have something to do with wanting to be with each other.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts5

4 Feb

How big is your rear view mirror? Well keep it small so that you can look forward and move ahead.

There is no one ‘way’ to do things right, there is none. It’s what you choose to consider right and what makes you happy.

If you don’t have the strength to fight back, you don’t have the authority to forgive.

If there is a god, I must see him.

You can’t say you have moral integrity unless the span of your thoughts and actions can range from saint like to diabolical but still you choose integrity.

Regret is the greatest salvation because in it you acknowledge and deem yourself wrong and let go of your ego and self centrism.

Sometimes, the use of an adjective can dilute a statement.

Alcohol brings out, not the best, not the worst but yourself. Not that you start speaking the truth but you do let your guard down. You can feel and do what’s inside of you. That which is usually kept cloaked in the curtain of morality comes out; something you never want to show to anyone.

There are somethings which you only reveal to a person you’re in love with.

First be yourself, then try to do anything with it.

Sometimes the moments are just so good, that you don’t even want to improve it.  

Love is patient, love is kind, love is forgiveness and love is selfish. It’s when someone fills in the voids completely and you do the same for them.

You are the kind of person I would like to ask opinions of.

It is usually when a person makes the most emotionally intense decision that he is most rational.

Liking and loving are not the same, for they coincide rarely. One is fortunate if both happens to him with the same person.

Weirdest of thoughts and furthest of expectations; it’s amazing how people are able to put them in words.

Not only that two people are different; the same person separated in time is, as well.

War is a means to an end and not an end in itself.

Most of the times we say things we don’t even mean, just to be humorous or acceptable.

Any deviation from the one true self is a negative judgement of oneself.

Attractions to certain qualities is just a gateway to knowing a person better, it should not be the reason we fall in love.

It’s also caustic to know exactly what one wants and what one doesn’t!

It is the differences that truly govern the dynamics of life. It is the difference of where we want to be and where we are that moves us; it is the difference of our ambitions and our realities that motivates us; it is the difference of our capabilities and our need that makes us live.

Our needs will always exceed our possessions.

I am glad I did not put timestamps on my thoughts, for time is relative.

Having opinions and judgements are two very different things.

Do not place the source of your happiness in someone else.

It’s a cruel world out there and it becomes worse when you have tasted solace.

The same summer heat becomes intolerable if you have tasted the comfort of an AC.

We never lose a person all at once, we lose them part by part in the quarrels and the disagreements.

We never have anyone fully nor do we lose anyone completely.

You scroll the social media endlessly to find something you will never find there.

You love someone not because they’re perfect as you are not. It’s because you meet them, like them and just because you’re a beautiful person and you choose to love them. 

So many voices are silenced when there is no listener.

What if this is all the love I will ever get?

We work hard not because it is a means to an end but because we love the hard work.

It’s not what you believe, it’s what you’d like to believe.

A life spent serving others, is a life well spent.

Struggling to remain afloat in deep waters is better than the comfort of a shallow life.

Detachment is the end of all sorrow.

Ignoring things that hurt you is unfair treatment unto self.

Ethics can be harsh.

There is a difference between a naïve and a non-calculative person.

It’s not going to rain everyday, but you still should carry your umbrella.

Only we know the meaning of hypocrisy. Animals don’t know that word nor ethics and they don’t bother, they don’t care, and they don’t go to hell.

We destroy the world we live in and then pretend to make it better.

Agriculture made us weak or advanced could be a matter of debate. But it definitely gave way to lassitude and its adverse effects.

Why do poor people don’t have manners? They hardly ever have time for them.

Fragrance seems more alluring when we’re tired.

Ethics is just another imagined reality for weaving us together in a social fabric and making us weak.

There are only two types of things we do in a day, the routine and the new. There is no third thing.

You might forget what you ate but you can’t forget what you vomited.

The shared myth of financial security in the form of salary is what keeps us going even in uncreative environs.

Find happiness in moderation if you want it to be persistent.

Bouts of happiness are often deceiving.

When there is loss of objectivity in life, it paves the way for all the nonsense there is.

Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

When you dance with the devil you wait for the music to stop.

There is nothing as good as reconciliation between family members.  

If you look close enough, you see the beauty in little things and then everything becomes a bunch of these little things – beautiful.  

In the long run, it’ll all even out.

When you don’t have enough to share, you cannot have the quality of benevolence and brotherhood given the basic human instinct of survival.

Virtues are lost in times of scarcity albeit temporarily.

Don’t try something too hard or don’t take the delicacy of matters lightly.  

Epidemiology is Just critical common sense.

When things got mechanical, I had to leave.

There are a few things in life that makes you feel that your heart is where it is. Treasure them!

When you see beautiful things, you want them to last and also share with others. Photography is one way to do it. 

The very presence of so many religions, makes it clear; blind theism just because of birth is perhaps not the wisest choice.

People from the cities are not heartless, it’s just that they cannot afford to give you so much time, as would you if you were in their shoes.

If you can dance alone in a club and enjoy. You can conquer the world.

These days you don’t need to beat a feeling to death and have a hard time at it, you just need to gently suffocate it and the feeling obliges.

I hate the fact that so many human aspirations are killed by the paucity of money.

An image is not the thing it’s just a representation of that thing.

Sometimes when people are faraway and you hardly meet, you don’t want to say, and they don’t want to ask. It’s not the same as you don’t want to tell, and they don’t want to know.

I don’t understand why the share market even exists.

The things that you don’t know can never hurt you.

The craving to end pain and the wish for an everlasting joy is the cause of all pain.

Knowledge of the distinction between what is under your control and what isn’t, will set you free.

Usually, first we suffer in imagination and then in reality. The least we can do is not to suffer in our imagination.

If you want to enjoy being alone, you must first eliminate all possibilities of being together.

The fear of losing someone, prevents us from being truly who we are. We are often consumed by what does not exist in the moment and the moment we have it; it loses its worth.

One of the worst feeling is when someone sees you as you are not.

The chest of revelations is often right in front of us. We usually don’t have the key or the will to open it.

You can gauge the height that you have achieved in your career by the type of interview questions that are asked from you.

The best thing about being a writer is that you don’t have to be an expert in field.

Life is but a waking dream and we should not hesitate in giving an uncensored account of the same.For there is nothing wrong with living.

Just as energy cannot be converted from one form to another without wasting some, likewise good intentions also cannot be converted to good work fully.

It is hard for people to give up their belief in something even for a brief moment, it takes respect to do it.

There are two types of pain one is the frank kind like that of a cut, it’s sharp and pointy but seems bearable. The other kind is the soft, blunt and more broad, more visceral. It comes from the inside with an accompanying feeling that something is not right.

There are somethings that are too personal to write even in your own diary.

Basically, what you need, is the right song at the right time.

These days people don’t have patience, it has become one of the rarest virtues.

Perfect compatibility is just as likely as a matching fingerprint.

I have no objection to religious practices or to even harmless fanaticism when it’s an individual’s choice, when he does it out of faith. Not, when they are told to do thus and blindly follow it for the lack of their conscience which stems obstinate passion or frank bigotry. Often, in groups.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts4

4 Feb

When there was no conscious of right or wrong, there was never a good time or bad.

Some decisions are not the result of choice but a lack of one.

Every possible feeling is just a state of mind.

Courage is not something people can carry with them, it comes to people as needed.

Just because you want something, doesn’t mean it’s meant for you.

You should identify your priority as something the pursuit of which remains unshaken even in the most adverse situations. No matter what happens in life the time and devotion for it should never be redirected, it should be something which is constantly reoccurring in your mind without conscious effort. If that happens you will never fail in it and when you succeed everything else will fall into place like the pieces of a puzzle you never even imagined of.

There comes a time when you must realize that the brief banal pleasures of life are not gratifying anymore.

There is a fragrance in blood and sweat that no perfume or fabric has.

Good looks are nothing without confidence.

I travel and I learn.

Photography is showing the world, the world with yours eyes.

Nature is powerful, ever changing, beautiful, giving and fair.

It humbles you down, it makes you a better person.

It is dangerous to know someone too well- not only because you know their weakness but also their expectations, desires and yearnings. You are no more treading softly and carefully in an uncharted territory; you are running ablaze through a mapped maze.

You can never know someone too well.

To be with yourself in the face of loneliness.

When you are alone, side with yourself.

Some people are incredible to work with or to have an enjoyable time. But, not to love.

Everything starts out with a feeling.

If you don’t have a moral compass, I hope you don’t bump into me.

You have a lot of work to do and you are already down with the flu.

Only you got to take care of yourself.

Don’t show off until you have something big to show off.

Our experiences are a bigger part of us than our material goods.

That sweet feeling when you eagerly wait for someone to tell you how there day was.

You can be motivated when you want to be motivated.

The liberties we allow ourselves to take are like dealing with a child. Although our heart wants to spill out all the love, we have but we should know that it is going to spoil the child.

Why do we give a part of us to someone and threaten our integrity? For a moment of pleasure or something bigger?

You can only hear the ticking of the clock when you want to, despite the fact that it is always ticking.

When I feel that the things I want are out of my control and the feeling of despair overwhelms me. I take my watch to my ear and focus on the tick. That faint sound becomes so powerful that it silences even the loudest noises of the mind. Only because I focus on it and let it possess me.

The difference between melancholy and sadness although subtle is very big. Melancholy can be enjoyed; it signifies a mind at peace to be able to do that.

Melancholy can be conquered but sadness is surrender.

Just as a word has one literal denotation but several different connotations, a human interaction has a number of connotations for all the people involved. Many a times we say something with an intention but if we feel that it might harm us, we have an alternate translation for them. Similarly, the person hearing us also can interpret what we say in a variety of ways. So, it is left to the permutations and combinations of our backgrounds for the ultimate meaning of the interaction to come out.

No matter what others have done unto you, if you do them wrong, you are wrong.

There is no justification for a wrongful act even if it is reactionary- direct or indirect.

An event can be interpreted in a lot of different ways and it depends on the interest of the person involved

That walk on the bridge has to be one of the highlights of our trip, walking on that bridge made everything look so small even the rapids of the Ganges looked so innocent and the Ganges itself like a fine thread of silk.

It is amazing what people can do, for what they believe in

The greatest possessions we can ever have are memories and that people have us in their memories because of the way we made them feel.  

When I see people engaged in work in flow. I feel so different, like I am not in the moment. These are my little escapades and I love it.

I want to share my inner fears, I also want to know yours.

To be able to smile in the face of adversity and sorrow, that indifference is the mark of tumultuous peace.

You are perfect, don’t try to achieve a stereotypical beauty, be yourself. Nothing is the definition of beauty you are the definition of it for yourself.

Searching for meaning everywhere is a tiring thing to do.

Every decision by every person is governed by emotional economics.

If a wine opener cannot open a beer bottle, you cannot judge its competency.

Formula one is not designed to run at 60 kmph.

There are some people whose sweat smells sweeter than perfume.

Life often asks you, what is the price that you are willing to pay?

The treasures of the sea won’t shore up by themselves. 

Ask someone what they want from a genie for their three wishes. I don’t want nothing!

The whole humanity has just started to learn ethics.

There is no point in being serious all the time, fun is in the alternation between serious and not at all.

Truest emotions are those that are not expressed or are very hard to express because it is our inner self which we are always reluctant to share.

Buy only things that are absolutely essential, always eat and drink in moderation, try not cry and worry excessively. But be limitless in love and thoughts.

Losing anything other than a person’s trust is okay!

The more I am growing up, more I am realizing that I am so immature.

Make a choice in life and be prepared to pay the opportunity cost of it.

Choose company wisely.

Either make, to be something big, the goal or just choose plain and simple happiness. Just make the choice.

It is important to empower your child more than anything else.

I’m sleepless and tired but what I’m feeling is how I would want to feel always

Forgive people not only because they deserve it but because you need it.

There is just not enough time and money to do everything.

The purity of thought in the morning, when the conscious is not awake is astounding. It’s your inner self only, that’s talking to you, telling you what is important in life.

I’m becoming immune to small things, because I’m tied to something big.

When the landscape is replaced by dreamscape and when the dreamscape becomes a landscape.

Wisdom begins with owning up to ignorance.

When we leave ourselves at the disposal of others but still being our naked self, a vulnerable individual. That bittersweet feeling of uncertainty and a

probability of rejection but still the willingness to move ahead, is the quest of love. A path which leads to no destination.

Under that cynical shell lies a sentimentalist’s heart.

Just like in a room full of strange people, if we have something to do, we can tide the time. If we are in a strange country and we have something to do, we can tide it.

Anchor chains, plane motors and train whistle.

Tell me how far am I from reality when I feel that we have a future?

There is nothing called pure virtue.

Passion often trumps virtue.

My idea of love is having a personal space with someone I love and not sabotaging my life or theirs. 

The spiraling mind of a commoner never strikes the point, there is no foresight nor there was ever a hindsight.

The courage to do what we can, the serenity to accept what we can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.

At first, they enforced slavery and now they want to volunteer and make world a better place.

If I have time to breathe, then I have time for you.

If you keep bottling up your feelings, they manifest elsewhere in much worse form.

Almost as if the horns were blaring for me to go, or in my heart urging me to realize something as close as an approaching train.

There is a reason why the general term for human behavior is called human nature, because it is as unpredictable as the nature itself is.

They hugged each other like they were water to the other in desert.

When you cling to a futile wish, first, it is not possible and lastly, everything in the present becomes worthless.

We fought each other for death, and he won. Death was his price.

I don’t have one big long-term goal, I just have an idea and I keep making many small goals in its direction.

We are all alone here, we have to deal with our problems ourselves and any sign of weakness is repulsive to most.

We put our expectations and raise demand from people, not from those who are able but from those who would, even if they are not.

This life is too small to spend into thinking, ‘oh they might be busy’

Find yourself, lose yourself, find someone.

Philosophy and abstract expressionism grants release, for the soul so that it doesn’t succumb under its own pressure.

I need to know the ground on which I’m standing is firm or not? 

Most people stay where they were born, while some people set out to find paradise beyond the desert. They keep chasing the mirage and when they reach an oasis, few of them settle and call it paradise. Fewer still, carry on and find the paradise.

The things you do are far more powerful than the things that happen to you in shaping who you are.

Your family will never judge you.

Sometimes, silence can heal where words would harm.

Everyone has their own reality.  

Knowing a lot, hurts. 

Is it all we need, or do we need it at all?

Sometimes, it is easier to speak to strangers than most people we know because strangers have less reasons to lie.

Do not try to find too much meaning in life because there isn’t.

Travel has long been misinterpreted as therapy. It is so much more than that! Just like shopping has a purpose and retail therapy is, well, therapeutic.

Beautiful is what we see, more beautiful is what we know and most beautiful is what we don’t know.

Winter is going and I am waking up.

Just like thousands of children dying in Africa is not my problem, me being sad should be nobody’s problem.

Indians don’t have a unified inherited legacy like the Irish or Scottish, we need to make our own, now! Or to be proud of the fragmented legacy we have and take collective pride.

Can you tell a naïve from a knave?

We usually regret things we didn’t do or say more than what we did and said.

When we say something, we can only hope to be politically correct; not literally and never emotionally.

Etched in stone for all eternity, living document, derelict, sacrosanct.

I’m selfish, but if my dome of selfishness includes you. You wouldn’t need anything else.

To be inebriated is living for me.

Do not forget to water your house plants.

When it is drizzling and there is a light breeze that carries with it, the scent of green leaves; a memory is evoked which was made on a similar day with some other pieces, now lost. Feel this bubble of joy, of reliving something beautiful rather than searching for those missing pieces.

Be stable like a boat, fluid and dynamic, that boat which always rocks in every direction but moves only in one – the path which we choose, set our sails on, guided by the wind.

Weed out the impostors.

Some people are insane to me, as I am to some people.

You are always at the staging point of your life.

Nothing is absolute – no feeling, no person, no accomplishments, no possession, but survival until death is. Death is the surrender of that absolute.

If you are breathing, you haven’t lost.

The biggest loss in life is the loss of integrity.

The best impression one can have is no impression at all.

Where knowledge ends, speculations begin.

A lonely man is like an icicle waiting for a ray of sunshine to thaw its misery.

Letting go is an utterly selfish act.

When we let something go, how often do we think about why did we hold it in the first place?

Before belittling someone as a recluse, think, maybe he chose to spend more time with himself than anybody else.

Learn to be true to others but to yourself first.

Stop regretting and start building.

I’m not sure if I am right but I’m sure I didn’t meet anyone who is.

With insight, conscience, intellect and reasoning we should not become so prescriptive so as to let it steer our personal lives wholly. It should also be reckless, witty, whimsical and most of all guided by heart.

I change shoes more often than one can appreciate.

Whether there is a master plan for you or not? whether we believe in destiny or fate? Does not matter, for life will still happen.

Enlightenment is knowing that there is a state of mind called enlightenment.

I do not know what I want and I have no shame in admitting it. I don’t even know when I am thirsty, I just drink water when I am parched or I have time or when I come across a tap or when someone offers me.

Don’t let even the person you love dictate how you love.

Recognition of both, the saint and the devil is very important to have a deeper understanding of oneself.

Everyone has a devil in them, it’s just that the powerful people can let it loose for they don’t care for the aftermath. The cruel Kings or tyrants of the past, the reckless rich, corrupt ministers in democracy are all examples of the devil let loose.

At some point in our lives we are faced with a situation when being the devil won’t really hurt us. The choice we make in these moments is the true test of our personality, how we really are? are we really a good person as our mothers think? or are we hiding a hideous beast shackled in the chains of imposed morality by the society?

I would respect a person if he can own up to the choice he made in being the devil and be modest about being the saint.

Being good is choosing to be good when you can afford to be bad.

There are billions of people in this world but why are we affected by the choices of one or a few people only? because we have invested in them our time, energy, thoughts and just like a good businessman we want the return of our investment. Their going away is seen as a loss, their sorrows perplexing and their hatred, a punishment.

May the possibilities be endless, and the reality be what you choose.

There is no point in deluding ourselves. It only helps the moment and harms the future.

At some point, pick your side.

Why is parent’s love not enough? Why we need someone of opposite sex to love us, care for us? The answers are rooted in the instincts. We are all survivalists and deep down we know that they won’t around forever. The only way we can continue in posterity is through our offspring. We all want something of our own.

Don’t panic until you can do something.

Moderation is good. As Aristotle said, all good is the mean of two bads, like courage is the mean of rashness and cowardice.

We judge our actions by our own internal motives and that of the others by the consequences of their actions.

Rudeness is the insurance of some people against emotional scrutiny.

The bed becomes a very interesting place at night, especially if you’re alone and if you have the courage to face the truth. It becomes the meeting ground for all the people inside of you.

The path to self-knowledge is treacherous.

It is up to you to decide, which impulses to restrain and which to channelize.

Moderate yourself only unto the point where your will is not diluted.

Do not impose your thinking onto others.

A paternalistic approach can be labelled and rationalized as care but it really is a veiled incredulity in the ability of others.

Something beautiful happens when you spend enough time at a place or with a person.

It is when you go to depths of a body of knowledge that you find the treasures. Gold is buried deep.

I know I am careless, that’s why I am always careful.

Discursive, Fragmentary, Epigrammatic – My thoughts3

4 Feb

I do want to live in a bejewelled sea of lies and deceptions. I would much rather prefer a cleaner sea of miseries.

There is a beauty in struggle.

If you do not add wood to the fire it is bound to extinguish.

Why surmise only when an aching heart has found its solace?

Keep amusing yourself with one thing and then the other and life shall go on.

Never stop pursuing what gives you pleasure and never keep doing what gives you pain, for no possible reason or person.

If we really want to document human feelings beyond the categorical. Every person should write about their lives, experience and feelings. That is how unique every person is!

Everything in isolation has its own beauty, which is lost when seen in context.

I can hear the clock clearly! Each second passing by with a loud thump, if you only stop to hear it.

How often does it happen in life that you know it cannot get any better than this and yet you choose to walk away?

Just like at the end of a hard day at work there is a sweet lull of the satisfaction and the anticipation for a sleep. Such should be our life, when we are towards the end, a sweet lull should infuse in anticipation for the sleep. 

Our life is not an object that we may expend frivolously over unworthy people.

One thing that I will never want to do if I get to start over, that I will not hurt no living being ever, including myself.

Have you ever wondered about a paradox that every good thing in this world is difficult to obtain or do and every difficult thing is good?

Do not expect others to think in the same manner as you would think given the same situation.

I learnt, and lost you.

Life is nothing but a work in progress of reaching somewhere, we think we know.

The scale of our activities depends on how high our aim is.

There are two kinds of motives, deficit and inspiration, sometimes both.

The more surety seeking you do the more unsure you become.

Anything distant in time becomes murkier.


We tend to forget what we have promised earlier. 

We can never make a perfect decision we can only make a decision.

One should always keep things simple, everybody suffers from a complication.

Regret of not doing something is far worse than the punishment of doing it.

Everything bounces back!

I was once a small innocent child to whom I could never go back.

You can never marvel at the concept of a time machine until you have lost something very dear.

A great fiction novel will still remain a fiction novel.

Real stories are real but fiction has multiple realities, the embodiments of primal landscapes and testimonies.

It is very important to go out of your comfort zone sometimes, for it to remain comforting.

Unfulfilled wishes are essential in a life of wisdom.

I pray nobody experiences death before death actually happens to them.

There is nothing more valuable than human emotions.

One can say ‘I love you’ and mean it in the moment but some see love in hindsight.

Those who are mostly angry or irritated do not hate others, they actually hate themselves 

There is nothing that you can hold on to permanently, so make the most of it while it’s yours.

The only thing you can control is your deeds everything else in this world is variable.

There was a time when my face used to shine and my happiness knew no bounds. Now, it’s not the same but it’s not bad either.

I want to go to a place where I see no road signs, ad boards, license plates or milestones or radio towers; where there are people.

I know not, what gives me pleasure and what gives me pain.

I’m about to die but it is not death that worries me, it is my past. Still irrevocable, still irreparable and that is how it will remain..

You can never know what life is if you don’t know what it’s not.

Peace is the thing everybody wants but not everyone can come to terms that they need it.

You don’t know until you know and even then you might not know.

You lose the people you love when you put them in the sight of rationality.

We don’t share everything, we just try and delude ourselves with the merrymaking, Sometimes you need to feel lonely to know that you can be better.

The thing about life is, the more you know about its puzzle pieces the more difficult it gets.  

People that we have lost cannot disappoint us, or at least not any further.

A façade of non-vulnerability only adds to the suffering.

I’m letting you go but I’m keeping us.

Scott Westerfield once said that the human heart (and for that matter brain too) is a very strange vessel. Love and hate can exist side by side

It’s a long long time since I felt anything.

He was scared but not afraid to lose his life.

Life is a string of fleeting moments and we are all in a constant endeavour to capture them.

At first we don’t know what we want, then we want everything and when we realise that we only really want very few things, it’s usually very late.

All men reach where they want to, but it is the path which had taken them there thar matters more than the destination.

You find yourself when you are alone.

You have to know your place. All the time and every time.  

What happens when you place the lantern of your happiness in somebody’s hand. You become a puppet and run after them.

The greatest joy is in indulging yourself.

You have been one encounter that can never be repeated, not even yourself.

Far too often, you make the stride out of the realm of reality in to fantasy. In hopes, that the adventure, the fantasy could be turned into reality.

Sometimes I just want to curl back into myself and sleep.

Dependence often transcends into cowardice.

It is the uncertainties of life, that makes life interesting.

Your time on earth cannot be increased or decreased. Nobody can take it away from you or give to you, what you have is your own share of time. All what you can do is, make good use of it.

Never be hassled by the tumultuousness of life.

There is a vague sense of happiness in detachment. Although, it depends on where we were to begin with.

‘There is no happiness or sadness in this world, simply a comparison of one state with another, nothing more’ – Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo.

Only the successful can afford the luxury of unkempt thoughts.

Passion is like fire, it consumes the person.

When you feel hurt, it’s important what you think about!

When you have the most awkward feeling, it is not everyone you feel like speaking to.

Some people are reduced to figures that hold sentimental values, nothing more.

Make yourself comfortable to spend time with yourself, train your mind to have no thoughts when they are not needed, keep your soul undiluted and unadulterated, uphold your existence to not be affected by the existence or non-existence of others.

It’s not all black and white and I guess that’s one of the aspect of storytelling that one tends to omit, the grey areas. But, when so many things happen over so many years it does become hard to communicate the sanctity of emotions without being hurdled by the grey areas.

No amount of time spent in travel is ever wasted.

The mountains, they are so different from afar.

The difference between the things one can forgive and the things one can’t, defines a person.

If I could hold on to only two things they would be, To be able to help and forgive.

Cars are not permanent, thoughts and philosophy are.

If you feel anything because of anyone, it’s because of you.

To be true is most important.

Be equal.

The essence of philosophy is that we should live as if our happiness depends on as little as possible on external causes.

The most important thing about a person is the quality that he possesses. Not the money, not the looks, not nothing.

Question everything!

It’s not important what a person said but how a person behaved.

One should not let himself be controlled by the desire of pleasure or the fear of suffering.

To be peaceful one should be able to detach himself from everything but not forever.

As one ages the blacks and white tend to become grey.

The key is not to get bored with one thing too fast.

This world has no value for the good of a person. There is no currency for goodness.

Always with a smile.

There’s nobody to hear me now, maybe it’s time to sleep.

Nature has all the answers.

If you can’t say, you know everything. If the limit is infinite, your best is to do your best. Be humble.

Honesty comes in degrees.

Do your best and let the world happen to you.

When you read, you don’t see, you imagine.

Do not take refuge in someone’s heart for they also need to take care of themselves. 

For me, home is where my mother lives.

What you think, what you do and who you seek when you are feeling low, defines you.

An Autumn Dream

2 Feb

Never someone with a purpose,

Fallen, tumbling driftwood at best.

Swirling, swerving at every cross,

I found myself lost but not lost.

 

I saw arrows fly and trees grow,

Also, leaves fell and rains flow,

With wind blowing from all four,

Kin’s apathy, a stranger’s succour.

 

People from all walks came across,

and shared their journeys with zest.

But life isn’t one with two horses,

I conceived at other people’s behest.

 

In the rhythm of the music, I waltzed

If only, had I known what I wanted?

I wouldn’t have made, misery

Or Ecstasy, their lives maybe.

 

A life, so enchanting, can be

full of disenchantments seen,

In loser parties, shindigs or soirées.

Alluring then rubbish, like a bouquet.

 

Have you ever paused to hear?

the rustling of the golden brown,

the trajectory of the golden green,

In an autumn evening’s dream.

 

If yes, nothing more need be said.

Still, I don’t know what’s the case?

Love more or care less.

Lonesome Faith

2 Feb

A silent prayer, made of words,

But sounds seldom heard.

Made in void, with faith to carry

A faith in faith, made awry.

 

A spirit is a soul; a man, a person;

A tree, a shade; a flower, beautiful;

A house, protective; a fence, useful;

Years, a life; Only in presence, yours.

 

One’s cup is another one’s cage.

A sinner for one is another’s sage.

Love for one is someone’s rage.

Alone, is someone on the stage.

 

Unable to be by himself only.

In circles, but ever envy.

Respected but loved rarely.

Not alone, but definitely lonely.

 

Where compassion is conditional;

Sympathy, short-lived;

Pity, purposeful;

Love, lost.

Two Haikus – My Heart

2 Feb

When I think of that winter morning,

that beautiful chilly morning,

my heart freezes.

 

When I think of those summer days,

those beautiful warm days,

my heart breaks.

Water and the Sky

2 Feb

A boat rocks, in a shimmering lake,

Two people, watch the red drape,

The silver merges with the canvas,

Water beneath, perpetual and ceaseless.

 

Birds scuttle in the domed backdrop

And the world moves as a mere prop.

Two, caught in waves look for a clue,

Of significance in the indifferent blue.

 

 

They fly in the same gust of wind,

Sharp chirp and feathers fluttering.

Breaking promises never to rescind,

Seeking solace in their brief union’s inkling.

 

Just before vanishing in the blue

As merely distinct dots thus far,

They fly in, towards each other

To become united as one.

Beyond the horizon.

The Poor Stone

2 Feb

Once, so proud

The stone, proclaimed

I’ll be forever

Not knowing 

The generous water

Will wash with itself

The sheen and the strength.

The Moon

2 Feb

You’re like the moon I was right,

Beautiful scars all over, still pure as white.

 

Just like the moon you wax and wane,

But in feelings, not your name.

 

You are red and sometimes blue,

Magical eclipses like the other moon.

Sun and the Warmth

2 Feb

Clear like glass and sure like death,

My love is neither fragile nor timid, like fate.

 

To give up is not to lose,

To give up is not defeat.

 

Neither it’s a goodbye

Nor the loss of pride.

 

To vouch in my love for you,

Trust me not, if my breath said so,

 

But, place your hand on my heart,

And look into my eyes, they’ll tell you.

 

That it is as true as I am alive,

As true as the day, the pain or the sun.

 

If you can see what I see, we are

United as the sun and the warmth.

Water – An imagery

2 Feb

Formless forever,

Obedient to nature.

Babbles and ripples,

Trickles and bubbles.

 

Ceaseless, Motionless;

Lacklustre and shiny.

A glass, a vase;

A spoon or a pool.

 

Offers lessons aplenty.

Fall, fly; burn, build,

Rest, rapture; heal, hum

But never impervious.

The Nails of regret – A poem

2 Feb

One must give his all,

For what else is life without

Emptiness that grooms a soul,

For fulfillment beyond clouds.

 

Take caution in your actions;

Seek not the fruit but the seed.

Alike, so in your inactions-

Heed not the shelter but a shade.

 

For easy is to live, wanting.

Difficult is to live, regretting

An action not taken or that

taken too soon or too late.

 

A cold space that freezes

gumption, a fire that burns

the spirit, a nail that hangs

the soul on the wall of time.

Revelations – A poem for oneself

2 Feb

Extravagant and wild,

But never a squanderer,

Swift and windy

But never a wanderer.

 

Come across people sly

Let them aggrieve, for they will

No one could stop you fly

But you, could break your will.

Let’s get ahead of the rest – a lipogram

2 Feb

Let’s get ahead of the rest

Lest we secede the test

See the blessing at the crest,

Breast ahead, breast ahead.

 

Feast and fest, lurk ahead.

Leave the fear, for the fear

Of festering, Festinate!

Free the fear, free the fear.

 

Leave the lesion, leave

the legion, circumvent

End in a cess of mess.

The lesson is — Less is excess.

Piano

6 Jan

Piano is the best musical instrument for me; I don’t know to play any musical instrument except a little bit of guitar or harmonica. It is because piano has these clear notes that come one after the other as strikes of keys that are purposeful yet do not always submit to a pattern. Other instruments for example have a flow of sound which are too continuous for a music naive mind like mine. They do not give time to think and react, in a way that makes my mind a passive listener; they do have the transportive effect that music is supposed to have but I do not want to get lost, at least not most of the times.

As I said a music naive mind like mine is not an expert to adjudge one piece of piano from another but the ones I like best which evoke a sensation of contemplation with every stroke of ivory, where the pianist is inviting the listener to come along in a journey with closed eyes. I do not like pieces which are jolly and uplifting because they make you want to open your eyes and smile nor do I like melancholic pieces because they hold your hand in to a dimly lit room where one usually prefers to close their eyes. I want to blink.

Try this – Piano Concerto No. 21 In C Major, K. 467: II. Andante

Languages

5 Jan

There is a reason some languages have words with a deep, subjunctive meaning open to interpretation. For example ‘Saudade’ is a beautiful word in Portuguese which means vague and strong longing for someone or something you are not very familiar with or ‘Schadenfreude’  is a German word which means gratification in the misfortune of others. These words as you might have noticed have no easy or direct synonym in the English language and they need description, almost a definition. Why are they and many such words are there in certain languages. The answer to that is in the very development and evolution of the language itself. The shared feelings, common observances and values of a culture are codified in the form of words. They not only reflect the semantic diversity and contribute to the growing enormity of the language but are pieces of culture, values and feelings which have been collected and stored as relics in the museum of language, forever preserved like art – timeless and indestructible.

These words not only reflect the evolution of culture of the past but continues to dictate it in the present and will without a doubt continue to do so in posterity. This phenomenon has been captured in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of Linguistic determinism which in essence says that the language we use affect how we think.

Hopi language have no words for time. The Dani people of New Guinea have only two words for colour – Mili (Cold and dark) and Mola (warm and bright). Such examples are many.

Not having words for certain things does not mean that the people see the world any differently, it is just that they value different things differently. The beauty of language is that sometimes a string of alphabets can describe the most vague and inner feelings, say volumes about our condition, something no other human could comprehend. Sometimes, that’s all that we need.

Steven Pinker in his book (The language instinct) says that all people have an innate language of thought called mentalese and we are translating that to the language of communication.

So the languages can be seen as DNAs of the culture or at least the building blocks of it along with some other building blocks like art and music. But, one thing that gives language an edge and an advantage is that to alter a language within and by a cultural context, one does not need money or prodigious talent as art and music does. Language chisels the intangible sculptures of a culture by a force as human as humans itself – perseverance.

So the question we can all ask ourselves is, Does language inform culture or culture inform language?

The Tiger

5 Jan

They set up bait and waited and waited but the tiger who has been a menace to the nearby villages but he wasn’t lured. It was already late in the night, later than their earlier expeditions. The sky was dimly lit with a half-moon, enough to see outlines of trees and people nearby but nothing quite clearly.

Perched at a little height from the bait, near a clearing and a dash’s distance away from an old mango tree, was their camp. Men think that they are invincible if they have a gun in their hand, but they forget that one can only defend themselves from the dangers that could be seen or heard or otherwise sensed and danger usually does not come howling or screaming or roaring.

They were far from home and deeper in the jungle than they were prepared for, but a sense of responsibility and duty overwhelmed their fear, a sort of integrity and effrontery that has gotten rarer by the years. Some might call it stupidity to put oneself in the face of danger for no obvious benefits but then it would only bolster the point that chivalry is getting rare and selfishness is sweeping across the society.

When it was the turn for one of the younger members of the group to keep watch, he found immense comfort in the fire in front of him which pulled him while the cold breeze on his back further pushed him towards the dancing warmth which seemed like moving gold in this inclement weather which befell the night. Ironically, he was the last one to wake up from the guzzling noise of the bear as he grappled and twisted your grandfather, bears don’t let go easily, they are fixated on their target. But, fortunately for all of us, other people managed to scare him away somehow, with gunshots and such. He was breathing, barely and with pain but breathing, nonetheless. There is so much difference in life and death that it is incomprehensible for a person unless they actually experience it. Until then, live every breath and moment, really.

In this upheaval, some of their horses broke free and two men ran after, to fetch them or for their lives, no one really knows but they didn’t come back which was telling as usually is the result, not the act. More importantly, the rest stayed back as loyal companions and became more so as time went by. It is in such defining moments of life that our river takes a turn and unites or secedes from others.

Do not confuse my advice to ‘live in every moment’ with ‘only a few moments matter’. I know they do not align together, still, they both are true. You’ll know!

So, then it was impossible to carry your grandfather back home without the horses and the men. While I waited and waited, at first in the room with your uncle and aunts sleeping tight and warm after a day full of play. But as the night grew darker and colder with time and the flickering lamps began to trouble your father’s sleep. I took it out and went into the courtyard and soon your uncle who was the eldest followed me, he also knew what it meant to have not returned. Those were uncertain times, a broken bone could mean destitution for the family, let alone the loss of your grandfather. Yes, that thought did cross my mind and also your uncle’s, I am sure. As we sat there helpless in that damp winter night, there was not a clock nearby to remind us of the ticking of time. Each draft of the windswept the dried leaves and ruffled the curtains but hit us both hollow. We then moved to the ‘big door’. As I looked at the converging grey band of the earth that vanished into a point between the trees in the distance. My eyes were filled with tears forlorn and they found their way out eventually.

When I found my vision be awash in my tears, above the surface I saw a yellow dot dancing and becoming bigger and bigger as I rose to the surface and eventually out of the water to see my husband in the bullock cart, trying to say something…

The mother-son clung each other’s hands in hope. Luckily, my grandfather survived and suffered no disabling injuries. He spent months recovering from the flesh wounds, but when he was fully able, he returned and killed the man-eater tiger.

Grace – Acceptance unto yourself and others

10 Dec

In a world so dark and gloomy,

Where feathers fall from grace,

Dead leaves dry on stone face

Thunder rumbles without a trace.

 

Magic fountains run within

And people gather a while.

As long as birds are sitting,

Even on a bone brittle aisle.

 

Know nothing but this

You are not a rigid receiver

But a moving receptacle 

Open up! don’t quiver 

 

Faith is your child

And hope is your enemy.

For there is no friend,

But you, unto yourself.

 

Love and you will be lost

In woods of horror or

Amid trees of paradise

Love and you shall find

If not love, yourself.

The beauty of Language

1 Jul

There is a reason some languages have words with a deep, subjunctive meaning open to interpretation. For example ‘Saudade’ is a beautiful word in Portuguese which means vague and melancholic longing for someone or something you are not very familiar with or ‘Schauderfrade’  is a German word which means gratification in the misfortune of others.

These words as you might have noticed have no easy or direct synonym in the english language and they often need description, almost a definition. Why are they and many such words there in certain languages. The answer to that is in the very development and evolution of the language itself.

The shared feelings, common observances and values of a culture are codified in the form of words. They not only reflect the semantic diversity and contribute to the growing enormity of the language but are pieces of culture, values and feelings which have been collected and stored as relics in the museum of language, forever preserved like art – timeless and indestructible. Living in the collective conscious of us all.

These words not only reflect the evolution of culture in the past but continues to dictate it in the present and will without a doubt continue to do so in posterity. This phenomenon has been captured in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of Linguistic determinism which in essence says that the language we use affect how we think. If I know a word say – Saudade, I will subconsciously align my feelings with what it describes, simply because then it will be easier for me to communicate it in the form of a package. It will also give me a feeling of being a part of something, when I feel something that has been described before because it was felt by someone before me.

So the languages can be seen as DNAs of the culture or at least the building blocks of it along with some other building blocks like art and music. But, one thing that gives language an edge and an advantage is that to alter a language within and by a cultural context, one does not need money or prodigious talent as art or music does. Language chisels the intangible sculptures of a culture by a force as human as humans itself – perseverance.

Tiger in a cage : Reflection on the repressed desires, a short story

28 Mar

Jameel was a middle-aged tourist guide in the regional national park in Mombasa, Kenya. It could be said in succinct that he was much too endowed than a ‘tourist guide’ is usually imagined as. He was tall and slim but not thin, he moved briskly with agility and grace at the same time. He was quite reflexive to the sounds, as he needed to be – from tourists and the jungle alike. His face was sharp with prominent jaw lines and the aviators complemented his countenance superbly.

Today, he had a little stubble which he couldn’t care for, in his morning routine as he had errands and a visit due to her grandmother at the hospital before going to work. He always had so much on his plate, much of what he enjoyed and accepted everything else as burden to be shouldered responsibly like attending school meeting for his younger sister, helping her with homework, cooking meals for his family which included a much too young sister and a much too old grandmother — being the parent for the lack of them. He always did everything to the best of his ability and time. Took every day as it came, for there wasn’t really a choice otherwise.

But there was a desire lurking inside him, kept shackled only by his earthly circumstances which he could break only in his imagination—daydreaming as some of us call it.

When we cannot fulfil something in the real world, we tend to do that in an alternate reality in our mind. He did that too, but he was resolute in bringing that to the real world. He wanted a car, all for himself not rented or leased but his own, almost like an extension of himself, which he could drive and feel at the steering like the proud captain at the helm of a ship.

Amongst all the vain and childish desire that he had managed to kill conveniently, throughout his years growing up. This one was a survivor and he took cognizance of it by toiling tirelessly day and night, saving up. But somehow, he always fell short.

Today, while returning from the hospital he thought to himself ‘I need to keep some money saved for in case Kiki needs hospital care for long and it will be a wise for if she does not need it Luna will need it for her university and if I keep saving, it will contribute to my car’ He smiled at himself, he had successfully tricked his mind like a ring master would put a tiger in a cage but one day the tiger will explode out of it, Hopefully.

Different mornings – A piece about the start of the day

27 Mar

Waking up is the best part of the day when I am at home, especially in the winters. It usually is by the chatter of the news reporters on the television which my father puts up, only as a morning routine and paying no attention whatsoever while reading his newspaper and sipping his richly sweetened ‘chai’, the aroma of which fills the room and for me is enough to awaken my senses. After wishing him good morning and exchanging a quick untainted smile, I settle on my Sofa with my phone and all the otherworldly thing it has to offer. The sofais placed such that the sun casts a wide arc of ‘stage light’, which tenderly warms me. My olfactory senses are soon attacked by an army of aromas from the kitchen, which usually, inevitably abducts me and bring me to my mom where her uncorrupted smile greets me. She offers me a rich cream milk, every sip of which lasts a lifetime on my tongue … my day begins.

On some days and usually earlier than my dad, it can be my mom in the prayer room chanting mantras and prayers with the metronomical beating of the prayer bell. Although, I have never noticed, if there is a difference on how the day progresses differently when it starts this way. This draws me into a more relaxed mood, almost like a continuation of my repose but in a more engaging way, I follow the sound trail and end up in the prayer room. I, am agnostic by belief but when the ambience is at harmony with the peace of the soul, I submit to whatever that is and indulge in it. Very, soon my gurgling belly demands for supplies and I find myself fishing for breakfast in the kitchen … my day begins.

On most days, when I am at work, the alarm bell rings and becomes a lullaby for the ensuing power nap and every passing minute becomes henceforth, the force which pulls the string of the slingshot and it finally snaps and sends me off in the mechanics of the day. My mind goes from sleep to a hyperfunctioning state in a matter of seconds, the acceleration can even beat a 2020 Tesla Roadster and suddenly I am brewing coffee and hardly finding time and space to appreciate one the most beautiful smell of the world, I am also getting ready in all possible ways – mentally and physically for the day that lies ahead.

There’s you – A poem about the overwhelming feeling of love

31 Jan

Everywhere I went,

Every person I met,

Every laughter I sent,

Every evening where the sun set.

There was you.

 

You live in tenses, all three;

The present, I live;

The past, I believe;

The future, we will be.

 

Aloof from the world we remain,

Living in it nevertheless,

There is nothing left to gain,

Except togetherness.

 

Eternal life is a myth,

They say with mouths stiff.

That forever has its limits,

But, we walk on the edge of a cliff.

 

To feel the strong sea,

and touch the ground beneath,

The waves are our life’s potpourri

The stars above and us Underneath.

One Summer

27 Jan

One summer, I made a sandcastle with my sister on the terrace of our old house, it was two flights of stairs and very sunny on the top, so our mother would advise us against it, rather prohibit us from going there in the noon time. And, we as all children are, were indomitable to do just the opposite of that, which usually is against our parents’ advice. So, we would wait each day for our mother to take her afternoon nap so that we could sneak into the terrace and work on it day-by-day, from architectural design, to building material to the engineering and the actual construction, it took us almost the whole of that summer to build it.

It is one of the most vivid childhood memories I have. Every day it would become more beautiful and bigger, we would never feel the thirst or the heat or the dirt on our hands, we were very enthusiastic, we were kids!

Some days, we would even have some wreckage due to winds or rapid drying of the sand or due to some birds while we were gone and some days we would just spend on repairing what was lost without making actual progress, well we did not have a blueprint or a timeline anyway, which was helpful in preventing us from being disappointed and, again, we were kids! But, slowly and surely, we thought that it will be complete even to our vague understanding of complete and that one day we would surprise Mom!

One day, it drizzled just a little bit and we enjoyed that because it was the first rain of that year and I had always loved it, so we danced in the rain, enjoyed it a lot, received some furious words of caution and warning from our mother about that too, about how we can fall sick if we played in it for too long. But, only after savouring the rain for all it was, did we stop and then waited to resume our project that afternoon. With a joy more than usual we climbed the stairs and to our dismay we found that our castle was washed away, with some pricking remains of it trying to hold on, in despair. It was hurtful to the eyes and our hearts, that months of our hard work, dreams and fantasies crumbled to a modest and innocuous rain which we ourselves had enjoyed so much not so long ago. I remember my sister crying and I not knowing what I was feeling, my sister wanted to work at it again and rebuild it. But I was dissuaded, and we never returned to it. The first few days were hard, every afternoon we would miss the ‘castle’, but as more days passed, we found comfort in the feeling that it is not the castle that is gone that we miss, we miss us working at it, together. The sand was cleared, and it gave way for a nice patio which we enjoyed growing up. Now, we never talk about it, something that once consumed us and our mind almost all of the day is now reduced to a distant memory, a memory which we now remember, and it only brings us happiness of the times we worked together.

When I reflect about it now after 20 years, I think that summer, taught me this:

  • Nothing lasts forever.
  • It is important to enjoy the moment.
  • Do not stop anyone from doing what they want, it will always be in their interest and the best for them.
  • It is the knowledge and our interpretation of things and events which can either make us happy or sad, not the thing itself.
  • It would be a prudent advice not to invest your feelings in something that is not permanent, but I know it is impossible to so.
  • We all need distractions in our lives.
  • Find someone to work on a common goal, the road becomes so much more enjoyable.
  • Moving on from something is not a sign of incapability or cowardice, not all the time at least.
  • You and only you are the best judge of that and everything else.

Thanks for reading!

My favourite Poems and verses1

10 May

Three Haiku, Two Tanka

  • Philip Appleman

(Kyoto)

CONFIDENCE

       (after Bashō)

Clouds murmur darkly,

it is a blinding habit—

gazing at the moon.

TIME OF JOY

       (after Buson)

Spring means plum blossoms

and spotless new kimonos

for holiday whores.

RENDEZVOUS

       (after Shiki)

Once more as I wait

for you, night and icy wind

melt into cold rain.

For Satori

In the spring of joy,

when even the mud chuckles,

my soul runs rabid,

snaps at its own bleeding heels,

and barks: “What is happiness?”

Somber Girl

She never saw fire

from heaven or hotly fought

with God; but her eyes

smolder for Hiroshima

and the cold death of Buddha.

Lemony Snicket – I love you

I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you as the starfish loves a coral reef and as kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. I will love you as the pesto loves the fettuccini and ats the horseradish loves the miyagi, and the pepperoni loves the pizza. I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce and as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as the beard loves the chin, and the crumbs love the beard, and the damp napkin loves the crumbs, and the precious document loves the dampness of the napkin, and the squinting eye of the reader loves the smudged document, and the tears of sadness love the squinting eye as it misreads what is written.

I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavour of naval uniforms. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret love to make a person gasp… I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled. I will love you until every fire is extinguished and rebuilt from the handsomest and most susceptible of woods. I will love you until the bird hates a nest and the worm hates an apple. I will love you as we find ourselves farther and farther from one another, where once we were so close… I will love you until your face is fogged by distant memory. I will love you no matter where you go and who you see, I will love you if you do not marry me. I will love you if you marry someone else–and i will love you if you never marry at all, and spend your years wishing you had married me after all. That is how I will love you even as the world goes on its wicked way.

Also, I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence, and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong.

Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

***

Alone

  • Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood’s hour I have not been 

As others were—I have not seen 

As others saw—I could not bring 

My passions from a common spring— 

From the same source I have not taken 

My sorrow—I could not awaken 

My heart to joy at the same tone— 

And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone— 

Then—in my childhood—in the dawn 

Of a most stormy life—was drawn 

From ev’ry depth of good and ill 

The mystery which binds me still— 

From the torrent, or the fountain— 

From the red cliff of the mountain— 

From the sun that ’round me roll’d 

In its autumn tint of gold— 

From the lightning in the sky 

As it pass’d me flying by— 

From the thunder, and the storm— 

And the cloud that took the form 

(When the rest of Heaven was blue) 

Of a demon in my view—

***

The Ladder of St. Augustine

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Saint Augustine! well hast thou said, 

      That of our vices we can frame 

A ladder, if we will but tread 

      Beneath our feet each deed of shame! 

All common things, each day’s events, 

      That with the hour begin and end, 

Our pleasures and our discontents, 

      Are rounds by which we may ascend. 

The low desire, the base design, 

      That makes another’s virtues less; 

The revel of the ruddy wine, 

      And all occasions of excess; 

The longing for ignoble things; 

      The strife for triumph more than truth; 

The hardening of the heart, that brings 

      Irreverence for the dreams of youth; 

All thoughts of ill; all evil deeds, 

      That have their root in thoughts of ill; 

Whatever hinders or impedes 

      The action of the nobler will; — 

All these must first be trampled down 

      Beneath our feet, if we would gain 

In the bright fields of fair renown 

      The right of eminent domain. 

We have not wings, we cannot soar; 

      But we have feet to scale and climb 

By slow degrees, by more and more, 

      The cloudy summits of our time. 

The mighty pyramids of stone 

      That wedge-like cleave the desert airs, 

When nearer seen, and better known, 

      Are but gigantic flights of stairs. 

The distant mountains, that uprear 

      Their solid bastions to the skies, 

Are crossed by pathways, that appear 

      As we to higher levels rise. 

The heights by great men reached and kept 

      Were not attained by sudden flight, 

But they, while their companions slept, 

      Were toiling upward in the night. 

Standing on what too long we bore 

      With shoulders bent and downcast eyes, 

We may discern — unseen before — 

      A path to higher destinies, 

Nor deem the irrevocable Past 

      As wholly wasted, wholly vain, 

If, rising on its wrecks, at last 

      To something nobler we attain.

***

Invictus

  • William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeoning of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade, 

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul

***

Childe’s Harold Pilgrimage

  • Don Juan

Excerpt:-

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is society where none intrudes,

By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:

I love not Man the less, but Nature more,

From these our interviews, in which I steal

From all I may be, or have been before,

To mingle with the Universe, and feel

What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

*** 

When we two parted

  • George Gordon Byron

When we two parted 

   In silence and tears,

Half broken-hearted 

   To sever for years,

Pale grew thy cheek and cold, 

   Colder thy kiss;

Truly that hour foretold 

   Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning 

   Sunk chill on my brow– 

It felt like the warning

   Of what I feel now.

Thy vows are all broken, 

   And light is thy fame;

I hear thy name spoken, 

   And share in its shame.

They name thee before me, 

   A knell to mine ear;

A shudder comes o’er me–

   Why wert thou so dear?

They know not I knew thee, 

   Who knew thee too well–

Long, long shall I rue thee, 

   Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met–

   In silence I grieve,

That thy heart could forget, 

   Thy spirit deceive.

If I should meet thee 

   After long years,

How should I greet thee?–

   With silence and tears.

***

The Graveyard By The Sea

  • Paul Valéry

This quiet roof, where dove-sails saunter by,

Between the pines, the tombs, throbs visibly.

Impartial noon patterns the sea in flame —

That sea forever starting and re-starting.

When thought has had its hour, oh how rewarding

Are the long vistas of celestial calm!

What grace of light, what pure toil goes to form

The manifold diamond of the elusive foam!

What peace I feel begotten at that source!

When sunlight rests upon a profound sea,

Time’s air is sparkling, dream is certainty —

Pure artifice both of an eternal Cause.

Sure treasure, simple shrine to intelligence, 

Palpable calm, visible reticence,

Proud-lidded water, Eye wherein there wells

Under a film of fire such depth of sleep —

O silence! . . . Mansion in my soul, you slope

Of gold, roof of a myriad golden tiles.

Temple of time, within a brief sigh bounded, 

To this rare height inured I climb, surrounded 

By the horizons of a sea-girt eye.

And, like my supreme offering to the gods,

That peaceful coruscation only breeds

A loftier indifference on the sky.

Even as a fruit’s absorbed in the enjoying,

Even as within the mouth its body dying

Changes into delight through dissolution,

So to my melted soul the heavens declare

All bounds transfigured into a boundless air,

And I breathe now my future’s emanation.

Beautiful heaven, true heaven, look how I change!

After such arrogance, after so much strange

Idleness — strange, yet full of potency —

I am all open to these shining spaces;

Over the homes of the dead my shadow passes,

Ghosting along — a ghost subduing me.

My soul laid bare to your midsummer fire,

O just, impartial light whom I admire,

Whose arms are merciless, you have I stayed

And give back, pure, to your original place.

Look at yourself . . . But to give light implies

No less a somber moiety of shade.

Oh, for myself alone, mine, deep within

At the heart’s quick, the poem’s fount, between

The void and its pure issue, I beseech

The intimations of my secret power.

O bitter, dark, and echoing reservoir

Speaking of depths always beyond my reach.

But know you — feigning prisoner of the boughs,

Gulf which cats up their slender prison-bars,

Secret which dazzles though mine eyes are closed —

What body drags me to its lingering end,

What mind draws it to this bone-peopled ground?

A star broods there on all that I have lost.

Closed, hallowed, full of insubstantial fire, 

Morsel of earth to heaven’s light given o’er —

This plot, ruled by its flambeaux, pleases me —

A place all gold, stone, and dark wood, where shudders

So much marble above so many shadows:

And on my tombs, asleep, the faithful sea.

Keep off the idolaters, bright watch-dog, while —

A solitary with the shepherd’s smile —

I pasture long my sheep, my mysteries,

My snow-white flock of undisturbed graves!

Drive far away from here the careful doves,

The vain daydreams, the angels’ questioning eyes!

Now present here, the future takes its time.

The brittle insect scrapes at the dry loam;

All is burnt up, used up, drawn up in air

To some ineffably rarefied solution . . .

Life is enlarged, drunk with annihilation,

And bitterness is sweet, and the spirit clear.

The dead lie easy, hidden in earth where they

Are warmed and have their mysteries burnt away.

Motionless noon, noon aloft in the blue

Broods on itself — a self-sufficient theme.

O rounded dome and perfect diadem,

I am what’s changing secretly in you.

I am the only medium for your fears.

My penitence, my doubts, my baulked desires —

These are the flaw within your diamond pride . . . 

But in their heavy night, cumbered with marble,

Under the roots of trees a shadow people

Has slowly now come over to your side.

To an impervious nothingness they’re thinned,

For the red clay has swallowed the white kind;

Into the flowers that gift of life has passed.

Where are the dead? — their homely turns of speech,

The personal grace, the soul informing each?

Grubs thread their way where tears were once composed.

The bird-sharp cries of girls whom love is teasing,

The eyes, the teeth, the eyelids moistly closing,

The pretty breast that gambles with the flame,

The crimson blood shining when lips are yielded,

The last gift, and the fingers that would shield it —

All go to earth, go back into the game.

And you, great soul, is there yet hope in you

To find some dream without the lying hue

That gold or wave offers to fleshly eyes?

Will you be singing still when you’re thin air?

All perishes. A thing of flesh and pore

Am I. Divine impatience also dies.

Lean immortality, all crêpe and gold,

Laurelled consoler frightening to behold,

Death is a womb, a mother’s breast, you feign

The fine illusion, oh the pious trick!

Who does not know them, and is not made sick

That empty skull, that everlasting grin?

Ancestors deep down there, 0 derelict heads

Whom such a weight of spaded earth o’erspreads,

Who are the earth, in whom our steps are lost,

The real flesh-eater, worm unanswerable

Is not for you that sleep under the table:

Life is his meat, and I am still his host.

‘Love,’ shall we call him? ‘Hatred of self,’ maybe?

His secret tooth is so intimate with me

That any name would suit him well enough,

Enough that he can see, will, daydream, touch —

My flesh delights him, even upon my couch

I live but as a morsel of his life.

Zeno, Zeno, cruel philosopher Zeno,

Have you then pierced me with your feathered arrow

That hums and flies, yet does not fly! The sounding

Shaft gives me life, the arrow kills. Oh, sun! —

Oh, what a tortoise-shadow to outrun

My soul, Achilles’ giant stride left standing!

No, no! Arise! The future years unfold.

Shatter, O body, meditation’s mould!

And, O my breast, drink in the wind’s reviving!

A freshness, exhalation of the sea,

Restores my soul . . . Salt-breathing potency!

Let’s run at the waves and be hurled back to living!

Yes, mighty sea with such wild frenzies gifted

(The panther skin and the rent chlamys), sifted

All over with sun-images that glisten,

Creature supreme, drunk on your own blue flesh,

Who in a tumult like the deepest hush

Bite at your sequin-glittering tail — yes, listen!

The wind is rising! . . . We must try to live!

The huge air opens and shuts my book: the wave

Dares to explode out of the rocks in reeking

Spray. Fly away, my sun-bewildered pages!

Break, waves! Break up with your rejoicing surges

This quiet roof where sails like doves were pecking. 

Original French Text

Le Cimetière Marin

Translation by C. Day Lewis

Original version

Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes, 

Entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes;

Midi le juste y compose de feux

La mer, la mer, toujours recommencee

O récompense après une pensée

Qu’un long regard sur le calme des dieux!

Quel pur travail de fins éclairs consume

Maint diamant d’imperceptible écume, 

Et quelle paix semble se concevoir!

Quand sur l’abîme un soleil se repose, 

Ouvrages purs d’une éternelle cause, 

Le temps scintille et le songe est savoir. 

Stable trésor, temple simple à Minerve,

Masse de calme, et visible réserve,

Eau sourcilleuse, Oeil qui gardes en toi

Tant de sommeil sous une voile de flamme, 

O mon silence! . . . Édifice dans l’ame,

Mais comble d’or aux mille tuiles, Toit! 

Temple du Temps, qu’un seul soupir résume,

À ce point pur je monte et m’accoutume,

Tout entouré de mon regard marin;

Et comme aux dieux mon offrande suprême,

La scintillation sereine sème

Sur l’altitude un dédain souverain. 

Comme le fruit se fond en jouissance, 

Comme en délice il change son absence 

Dans une bouche où sa forme se meurt, 

Je hume ici ma future fumée,

Et le ciel chante à l’âme consumée 

Le changement des rives en rumeur. 

Beau ciel, vrai ciel, regarde-moi qui change! 

Après tant d’orgueil, après tant d’étrange 

Oisiveté, mais pleine de pouvoir, 

Je m’abandonne à ce brillant espace, 

Sur les maisons des morts mon ombre passe 

Qui m’apprivoise à son frêle mouvoir. 

L’âme exposée aux torches du solstice, 

Je te soutiens, admirable justice

De la lumière aux armes sans pitié! 

Je te tends pure à ta place première, 

Regarde-toi! . . . Mais rendre la lumière 

Suppose d’ombre une morne moitié. 

O pour moi seul, à moi seul, en moi-même,

Auprès d’un coeur, aux sources du poème,

Entre le vide et l’événement pur,

J’attends l’écho de ma grandeur interne, 

Amère, sombre, et sonore citerne,

Sonnant dans l’âme un creux toujours futur! 

Sais-tu, fausse captive des feuillages,

Golfe mangeur de ces maigres grillages,

Sur mes yeux clos, secrets éblouissants,

Quel corps me traîne à sa fin paresseuse,

Quel front l’attire à cette terre osseuse?

Une étincelle y pense à mes absents. 

Fermé, sacré, plein d’un feu sans matière, 

Fragment terrestre offert à la lumière,

Ce lieu me plaît, dominé de flambeaux,

Composé d’or, de pierre et d’arbres sombres,

Où tant de marbre est tremblant sur tant d’ombres;

La mer fidèle y dort sur mes tombeaux! 

Chienne splendide, écarte l’idolâtre!

Quand solitaire au sourire de pâtre,

Je pais longtemps, moutons mystérieux,

Le blanc troupeau de mes tranquilles tombes, 

Éloignes-en les prudentes colombes,

Les songes vains, les anges curieux! 

Ici venu, l’avenir est paresse.

L’insecte net gratte la sécheresse;

Tout est brûlé, défait, reçu dans l’air

A je ne sais quelle sévère essence . . .

La vie est vaste, étant ivre d’absence,

Et l’amertume est douce, et l’esprit clair. 

Les morts cachés sont bien dans cette terre 

Qui les réchauffe et sèche leur mystère. 

Midi là-haut, Midi sans mouvement 

En soi se pense et convient à soi-même 

Tête complète et parfait diadème, 

Je suis en toi le secret changement. 

Tu n’as que moi pour contenir tes craintes! 

Mes repentirs, mes doutes, mes contraintes 

Sont le défaut de ton grand diamant! . . . 

Mais dans leur nuit toute lourde de marbres, 

Un peuple vague aux racines des arbres 

A pris déjà ton parti lentement. 

Ils ont fondu dans une absence épaisse,

L’argile rouge a bu la blanche espèce,

Le don de vivre a passé dans les fleurs!

Où sont des morts les phrases familières,

L’art personnel, les âmes singulières?

La larve file où se formaient les pleurs. 

Les cris aigus des filles chatouillées,

Les yeux, les dents, les paupières mouillées,

Le sein charmant qui joue avec le feu,

Le sang qui brille aux lèvres qui se rendent,

Les derniers dons, les doigts qui les défendent,

Tout va sous terre et rentre dans le jeu! 

Et vous, grande âme, espérez-vous un songe

Qui n’aura plus ces couleurs de mensonge

Qu’aux yeux de chair l’onde et l’or font ici?

Chanterez-vous quand serez vaporeuse?

Allez! Tout fuit! Ma présence est poreuse,

La sainte impatience meurt aussi! 

Maigre immortalité noire et dorée,

Consolatrice affreusement laurée,

Qui de la mort fais un sein maternel,

Le beau mensonge et la pieuse ruse!

Qui ne connaît, et qui ne les refuse,

Ce crâne vide et ce rire éternel! 

Pères profonds, têtes inhabitées,

Qui sous le poids de tant de pelletées, 

Êtes la terre et confondez nos pas,

Le vrai rongeur, le ver irréfutable

N’est point pour vous qui dormez sous la table, 

Il vit de vie, il ne me quitte pas! 

Amour, peut-être, ou de moi-même haine?

Sa dent secrète est de moi si prochaine

Que tous les noms lui peuvent convenir!

Qu’importe! Il voit, il veut, il songe, il touche!

Ma chair lui plaît, et jusque sur ma couche,

À ce vivant je vis d’appartenir! 

Zénon! Cruel Zénon! Zénon d’Êlée!

M’as-tu percé de cette flèche ailée

Qui vibre, vole, et qui ne vole pas!

Le son m’enfante et la flèche me tue!

Ah! le soleil . . . Quelle ombre de tortue

Pour l’âme, Achille immobile à grands pas! 

Non, non! . . . Debout! Dans l’ère successive!

Brisez, mon corps, cette forme pensive!

Buvez, mon sein, la naissance du vent!

Une fraîcheur, de la mer exhalée,

Me rend mon âme . . . O puissance salée!

Courons à l’onde en rejaillir vivant. 

Oui! grande mer de delires douée,

Peau de panthère et chlamyde trouée,

De mille et mille idoles du soleil,

Hydre absolue, ivre de ta chair bleue,

Qui te remords l’étincelante queue

Dans un tumulte au silence pareil 

Le vent se lève! . . . il faut tenter de vivre!

L’air immense ouvre et referme mon livre,

La vague en poudre ose jaillir des rocs!

Envolez-vous, pages tout éblouies!

Rompez, vagues! Rompez d’eaux rejouies

Ce toit tranquille où picoraient des focs!

***

The guy at the Notre Dame Station

9 May

We can only do two types of things in this big little world, one, for ourselves and the other for others. It is rather difficult to pin which of these two brings more fame or recognition but as for joy, it is quite clear. If someone paints for his/her own delight, he/she can be a renowned artist. Likewise, if one renders their service in conflict situations, say for refugees, they might accrue a lot of acclaim as well.

                The kind of gesture, I am recounting today is very personal, it is of that sort where someone does something for someone in a situation so desperate that it leaves an indelible mark both in memory and conscience.

                I had spent three long, exhausting, and beautiful days in Paris. The last one in particular, which included an excursion to Versailles and ended at Montmartre. The dream run was finally coming to a close and I arrived at my host’s apartment in Belleville, drained out and filled in. I fell asleep in my condition and slumbered with the lights on, because of which Alain came to check up on me at some point in the night. I still remember his smile which must have said ‘it is okay, go back to sleep’…

Luckily, I had not forgotten to put an alarm as I had to catch the morning 7 am flight from the notoriously busy Charles De Gaulles (CDG). I got up on time, well, almost! and headed out to catch the N12 Bus from Jourdain, which was 5 minutes’ walk from Alain’s place. I was there on time with my two bulky bags and an even bulkier headspace which was brimming with memories and experiences. The bus arrived, it was dark on the inside and many people headed to the city Centre were still finishing up their sleep quotas. I entered and eagerly asked the driver if it was the one going to Notre Dame? Which must have been a silly question for him, because of my glaring tourist outlook and having skipped appending … station at the end of Notre Dame. Still, he indulged me and said in his deep, husky voice, ‘yes’. I hopped on, still a little restless and sleepy but smiling. I just wanted to make it to the airport on time and my maiden foreign trip would have successfully concluded.

                The driver, who had the look of an undertaker, maybe he really was, again in his husky voice signaled me for the arrival of my destination, the interim one. I got off and for a brief moment paused to marvel at the majestic beauty of the sleepy Paris. The Seine was lit up by a thousand little bulbs, lined off to its sides and in the distance loomed the two imposing bell towers of Notre Dame. I looked around and filled myself with the sight. I am struck by a moment of Epiphany as I am writing this, realizing the reason why Paris by night still allures me because I think I have only had an enticing but not a satisfying glimpse of it.

                I lugged by bag to the nearest entrance to the station, only to find that it was closed for it was only the wee hours still. A cold sweat dripped behind my neck, as I sped up my ascending feet back to the bridge to crossover to the other side, hopefully the correct entrance. Although it was the right one, I entered and found myself all alone with an old ticket vending machine. At this point, I looked at the time which said that I still had 15 minutes to buy my ticket, go down the platform and board the next non-stop train which I intended to catch. If, however, I miss it for some reason the next train would have been an all-stop train, 20 minutes later than this, making my arrival at CDG, a rather close call.

                I struggled with the ticket dispensing machine for a few minutes and utterly failed to take it out of the French language and was unable to buy my ticket. Exasperated and rather panicky, I started looking around to seek some help. But it was still too early for anyone to even start their commute for work, the station was still sleepy. Moreover, it was Saturday! But something else happens on Saturday’s – Parties! And hence came my angel for the day – A drunk guy, slapping footsteps and walking carefree towards me.

                This experience is slowly receding from my vivid memories and becoming solidified in the abstract section. I hardly recall the face of that guy, to the point that if I meet him today, I will not be able to recognize him. The overall memory of that night or early morning itself is becoming grainy and dim.

                I asked him, if he can get a ticket for me from the machine for the airport, desperately, as I had failed to do so. He leaned on to it and started pressing some buttons frantically and exclaimed – ‘damn, these old machines…’ My shoulder started drooping, my head lowered to the floor as I thought to myself the alternate plans in case, I miss the flight. I started doing the damage assessment – the costs, the time and so on.

                I heard him say, in hopes of it being something good. On the contrary, he said ‘do you hear the train, it is the one you need to take…’. I did not have the energy nor the words to answer him. He added ‘now you put the card’ and went away, just like that! Almost, snail like, I took out my cardholder, verified the right orientation to insert it, paid for the ticket and waited generously for it to get printed.

                Alas! I had the ticket in my hand, I collected all my baggage and started trudging in the direction of the platform that he had indicated earlier, from where the sound of that train came. My luggage was rather heavy with all the first timer packing and due to my injury, which made it all the more difficult. Furthermore, I was drenched in sorrow and entitled myself every right to trod along at my own pace.

                So, I started my journey downward in my sorrow and along the stairs. To my left, I saw a train standing on the platform. My first reaction was, can I take it? and as I scoured along lots of French directions, signs on the train and on the platform my eyes settled on the same guy with one of his foot in the door of the coach! It was that train that had arrived minutes ago and was effectively being held at the platform. My eyes lit up and feet sped up to enter the train. Something told me that it was that non-stop train to the Airport, which he was referring to earlier. I gathered pace and as soon as I neared the coach, the doors spread open, and I literally jumped in. By the time, I could turn around to look back and thank him for all that he has done for me. The doors had already begun to close, and I could not utter a word of thanks for him in any language. I really hope to this day that my face did the job and communicated the gratitude I felt for him. I managed to raise my hand to wave a goodbye and before the closing shut of the doors and the train started to move, I heard his words – Au revoir!

God of the Gap

6 May

Do not you think that by attributing every extraordinary event, moments of joy and achievement to god, we are distancing ourselves from the ingenuity of human race, or of being his brother’s keeper without the word of god, of human kindness. That by simply associating the word blessing with god we have instituted and perpetuated a norm by which all attributions to all the good things we see, and experience are said to be the ‘acts or will of god’. I know that ‘God’ also takes a lot of blame for a lot of our misfortunes and our doing unto others. Still, the balance is simply skewed!

We do not hug each other or show gratitude one way or other the much we express resentment and hatred for equal opportunities we get for either of them. It would be fair to say that god is taking the balance of credit more than he deserves and humanity is suffering as a consequence.

A friend of mine who once was living off on a day-to-day basis, barely struggling to make ends meet came to a hurdle in life for an education loan. His family’s financial situation was not enough to provide the bank with an appropriate collateral. Hence, he faced a possibility where he would have to continue living off meagre wage and not be able to pursue higher studies which would mean no ascension in the social ladder and possible destitution with any of the many financial catastrophe that can hit. The manager of the bank seeing and understanding his plight made an exception, went beyond his way, and processed his loan at his own risk. My friend then went on to study and secured a job in the export market and is now financially secure.

While recounting the olden times and how my friend barely managed to stay afloat and finish his studies. He thanked god and finished the story. I was anticipating a big thanks to the manager and perhaps how he was still keeping in touch with him and maybe even tried to repay his act of kindness. But, no! to my surprise, there was none of that. He did not even remember his name or where he was.

While not everyone is the same, still I grappled with this anecdote and could not help but surmise that god had stolen the credit from that manager. Some might say that the manager was an agent of God himself. I have no problem in agreeing to that, if not believing. My point is, because of God a link of kindness was not established that the fellow human did not receive the praise which could have maybe motivated him to do even more good, seeing the fruits of his earlier actions. At the same time, my friend taking cognisance of human kindness might have been pushed to do good for others in his own capacity, perhaps more good.

Instead, he attributed all the goodness of life on God and still does so, like many of us. If he did feel the benevolence of the fellow human and not god, maybe it would have started a ripple effect, now multiply that by billions and you have a better world in an instant. Sounds utopian, does it not?

It is quite natural from the forethought that religion has divided human race much more than we see the chasm, that the cut is far deeper than what it seems. That, on the surface, some of our differences have been bridged and we no longer, most of us at least, don’t label a believer of another god as infidel. Nevertheless, we are much less cohesive and thankful, to each other as a society than we would have been, had it not been for religion.

I am agnostic by belief. I do not believe in miracles of healing or recovery or surviving a car crash or being benefitted by the benevolent acts of other fellow human being. Rather than a literal miracle it is a figurative one where we can, if we were so inclined, seek explanations and solace and gratitude – the very essence of humility and meekness, the realisation that we, just as other creatures are subjects of natural law and nature itself. I shall not believe it, unless I see someone vanishing in thin air or levitating off the ground or arising from the dead. Until then, I will strive to seek explanations in my life and thank a sentient being whole heartedly when coming across a ‘miracle’.

Has anyone ever thought why we have so many gods? Almost every culture, subculture, tribe, clan, or faction has one and animals have none, well at least human intellect so great as it is, have yet not been able to find the evidence for one. The answer is simple – We are creative beings, and our imaginations are indeed infinite.

Religion was probably created to instil a sense of order in the society, to control those who were difficult to deal with, to instil a sense of fear of the sufferings in afterlife and social disregard if they did not follow the norms, for the doctrine of law was still unfound. Hence, an organised punishment in this life was not possible barring social banishment. So, create an imaginary one. Those who can respect other sentient beings, be humble, kind, and fair to their fellows, do not need a religion. They are free!

The personification and the gospel of gods are nothing more than figments of imagination of some wise men’s disillusionment and veiled motive. Something that has been passed on and rather magnified in proportions over the years.

I acknowledge the freedom of speech bestowed on me by the society and despite having such agnostic thoughts, I have an agreement with myself that I will never try to shake up anyone’s convictions or vandalise their beliefs. I will, however, communicate my undistilled beliefs to anyone, who might ask or be willing to listen or read, just like I would tell my name.