February 22, 2013

Hazy Smoke Rings!

“Why is it so shattered?”

She sits by herself day and night, undaunted by the intimidating night or solitude. This girl I once knew. I don’t, now. I doubt if she knows herself. The girl, with those radiant eyes and an infectious smile. The one who once was cheerful and behaved like she owned it all.  Now people, call her lunatic who once acclaimed her. She is of no value for anyone, they claim; her life wasted.  I sit facing her and speculate whatever happened to those dreamy eyes. She too would have dreamt, wouldn't she?

Yes, in abundance. Petite dreams, which would one day entwine and become a grand one. She loved defying illogical opinions or beliefs. This girl never believed in fitting-in but in fitting-out of a stereotype.  Eccentric, she was always. She lives in her past wondering about her future and her present is constantly under construction. Today, there is kohl smudged around the eyes. Her hair is undone. She looks nothing like what she once was or ever wanted to be. But, it doesn't fret her. Now, she loves the rush music gives her. I wonder if she likes any particular genre. No, I guess it should be all of it since she is not only one person on the inside. She is different just like the diverse music.

As she reclines, she takes in one more sip of the drink. From the ash tray beside, she clutches onto the half burnt cigarette again with her quivering fingers. At a snail's pace, the smoke fills in, yet again in the already hazy vicinity. Her eyes half closed and lost in melancholy. I guess she relates to the cigarette which once was bright and then burns itself up only to get crushed ruthlessly. Also, with the circles of smoke, that initially appears bright and then disappears into absolute nothingness. She clearly knows it’s a sham and momentary joy. The taste of which will last only until it glows.  But, the smoke doesn't choke her lungs any longer. She is just like another exhaled filthy puff of breath, long gone into a state of nothingness, trampled nastily in the end.

End? All say smoking kills. Ha! She laughs letting out another puff, coughing and reaching out for the drink. How much further can it blacken the innards which are already dark as hell? And yet if it does, it will only lead to light. It will take her to a place away from this world which is full of treachery, deceit and betrayal.

Her glass now, seems empty and she yearns for one more drink to find solace. The only cigarette that lit up until now too is faint threatening to eradicate the only source of light that keeps her going. As I keep looking at her, the image seems to be getting even hazier and unclear.

Oh! I smile realizing that I was just looking at shattered pieces of a broken mirror.


P.S: Smoking is injurious to health. ;) 

February 12, 2013

Intricate Thoughts# 6

Ever felt empty, barren, surreal or even vacuous?  Do you think emptiness qualifies as an emotion? I do not know if I am in awe of this precise emotion but then there are numerous instances when I have felt this. Neither is it as multi-hued, enchanting or expressive as joy nor jaded or worn out like sorrow. It has all the tints and pigments of things I have seen and may also have the ones I did not.

Sometimes, you will find some smiles so empty that it is reflected in one’s eyes, their eyes do not gleam. It encompasses all the things but still manage to contain just nothing. I have felt this during the worst days of my life and some of the happiest too. The worst days probably left me empty with the loss of hope, despair and unfamiliarity of the future. Whereas, the days when I have done/got something that I have put my heart and soul into, strangely it is this emotion that engulfs. Empty! Probably because you have gone the full cycle and need to start yet again.

Emptiness is a complete contradiction. You may find people around you rejoicing and congratulating you but you are lost in the state of melancholy. One day it will shimmer through the edges of your smiles and the other day it will die a silent death in your tears. No matter where you stand or how happy you get, there will always be a little emptiness inside. Would it be crazy to say that inspite of it not containing anything, it almost fills the existing vacuum with nothingness?

Ode to emptiness,

February 8, 2013

Confused By God!

Ever felt that you are getting into a larger mayhem the more you try to chase something about yourself? Well, I certainly do. The subject is GOD. The more I try to follow, the more confusing it gets. Honestly, I have till date, haven’t figured out as to what one essentially prays. Whenever I pray, I just chat with him. Out of curiosity, I have asked people who I feel sincerely pray and are god-fearing as to what do they pray and have received responses like “thank him” or “seek blessings”. I respect all their opinion but also find the concept mesmerizing that one can believe in something that he has never seen with such honesty and integrity. Having said that, I really doubt if I could do that, Ever!

This subject GOD is inculcated into us in our childhood by God fearing parents or grandparents. What do you expect out of a kid who always assumed that Temples were just a doorway to more and more Ice-creams? The lesson is either learnt or taught in a wrong way. My Paternal Grand Mom has had a huge influence in my life. Having had working parents, she has been around us (me and my younger brother) during most of our childhood days. She was unlike the people of her time. She would travel alone; love Ice-creams, now at 90 dotes on chocolate too. She claims that jeans seem to be so comfortable and wished it was there during her times. She was the one who bought my first cell phone claiming its time I too had it. Having said all these fun things, there are some things that probably has left a permanent confusion within me. And that is “GOD”.

She on no account liked being idle and would always visit temples dragging us along. But, when I became of a certain age and preferred playing instead of a temple visit things changed. I don’t recall but in all probability after trying a whole lot of things on us, she finally settled on a very thriving strategy. ICE-CREAMS. That was the deal we wouldn't turn down. A visit to a temple meant an ice cream. This strategy, I must say, worked well for a long time until we began to retaliate. The major reason for it was because the deal didn't seem fair. We would visit 3-4 temples in nearby vicinity and get only one ice-cream? She still won it hands down for a long time. It did not matter to her if we actually prayed. She did not bother to know if we understood the whole concept of God’s stories or they remained just as a fairy tale concept in our minds, like the ones we read and she told. Just another story book!

By the time I was 12 my reason to pray sounded so selfish and incorrect. That was when I confronted and told my Granny that she was all wrong and that this is not how it was supposed to be. During these times, I remember asking my Mom as to why doesn't she pray every day. After all, everyone’s Mom does whole lot of a Pooja and sets it on a time table for their kids to pray. May be its all these questions of mine which triggered her to buy me a book- Conversations with God, which I still treasure but that too hasn't helped. She believed that God is a positive force which keeps everything on the move and to survive we need faith and a support which we term God. I was never taught any Mantras or Shlokas but to be truthful. She never believed in stuff of Girls being treated as impure as they mature. Oh! For that matter to some extent my granny too resisted that custom. My Mom carried a cross inspite of being a Hindu. The reason she did tell me but I don’t recollect it.

Moving onto my Dad, he was not all that spiritual but it took onto him from probably past 8-10 years. He says that he was the just like us. [But I consider, it’s the other way around. We are like him ;)] Over time, some things changed and he claims that a temple visit now gives him peace. He thinks that we will too accept it over time the way he has. I can’t deny that I find the idea a little strange. I am thankful that he has not imposed it on us.
Sometimes, I wonder how all of us co-existed. Each of us had a different notion about God. Amith and I are yet to figure it out though. Honestly, I don’t understand certain cultures that we follow.
  • Over crowded Temples. Most of the Men would be shirtless (Rule followed in south Indian temples) and you would end up being squeezed in between these people moving in a direction wherever the crowd is taking you to and you want me to claim that “I am here for Darshana.” I mean come on, forget seeing the idol, I don’t even remember breathing my lungs full until I am out. I can never ever truly pray in such scenarios.
  • The customs of offering hair to god. Ridiculous! The temple authorities are minting money.
  •  Made Snana- (practiced in Subramanya Temple in Kukke, Karnataka. People from backward castes roll over leftover food that was served to Brahmins with belief that it will cleanse all impurities.) Give me a break; I would rather live with all the so called impurities.
  • Exclusion of girls during the menstrual phase and belief that she is impure. And then you claim God is the one who created everything.
  •  Caste systems- Need I say more?

My questioning may be taken as offensive by some. But, I don’t see a reason why we would pray to a deity who has 16,000 wives, when our law declares it’s illegal to have more than one. Ram, proved Good wins over the evil but never set an example on trust, since he never accepted his wife back. Shiva beheaded his own son and then kills an elephant to replace a head? Either these stories are just fictions or we are wrong in accepting them blindly. If “GOD” is exactly what all of the human race claim him to be, I think he wouldn't want us to tell all those difficult mantras but rather have a conversation with him. You know, like a light-hearted talk!  I do not think he would provide us with our needs just because we have offered him something else in return. I mean, what would he do with all those tender coconuts or the money? Well! When the saying goes that we should just do our KARMA without expecting anything in return (that is so dam difficult! World would have been so much happier if we could all do that) why would he expect us to do anything for him?

An eerie feeling I get is when, I read people who claim they feel his presence or know he is around to always help them out. I never ever felt that. Well! Either he was never around or I am a jerk. I am here not questioning God (I guess) but the way we choose to believe in him. These stories can never be more than a fairy tale for me. I mean practicality is something too. But, then a saying goes that, sometimes we just need to have faith. Well! I believe that blind faith is just not being open to truth. I don’t know but I could never do something just because I am asked to, or because everyone follows it. You can call it stubbornness or immaturity. As a matter of fact, I am judged as soon as I let people know about my confusion. But, I think my belief shouldn't define me but my behavior should! Would you disagree if I say I feel religion is what causes all the rifts, today? I just cannot relate to the concept of Hell and Heaven. Am I wrong if I cannot trust that there is someone high up in the sky, who has supreme power and has list of do’s and don’ts for us humans; And that he will bless us if we follow the list but otherwise loves us a lot. We are taught to pray to the Goddesses and also to treat women in our society inferior? If given a choice, I will choose to have faith in MORALITY. It is to do what is right irrespective of what you are told whereas God or religion teaches us to do what is told irrespective of what is right! May be, I have an inclination towards atheism since it is so simple to understand and practical at the same time. In fact, I am open to discussion on this because I want to really know if I am somewhere a believer, a complete Atheist or just confused! L

CC (completely confused),