Sunday, November 17, 2013

विश्वासाचं नातं

मी समोरच्यावर पूर्ण विश्वास ठेवायचा असतो कि समोरच्याने आपल्या प्रामाणिक व्यवहाराने, वागणुकीने माझा विश्वास मिळवायचा असतो, जपायचा असतो? कोण ठरवतं हे? सुरुवात कुठून होते? कशी होते? माझा तुमच्यावर विश्वास नसेल तर त्यात चूक कुणाची? माझी? कारण माझी डोळे बंद करून विश्वास ठेवण्याची क्षमता नाही म्हणून. का तुमची? कारण तुम्ही बेधडक विश्वास ठेवता येईल असं नेहमी वागालच याची खात्री नाही. किती खेळ खेळतो न आपण, एक-मेकांच्या मनांशी? मनाला नको ते ओढताण. खरंतर आयुष्य सोप्प, सरळ असावं. जे मनांत असेल त्याप्रमाणे वागावं, त्याप्रमाणे बोलावं, त्याप्रमाणे करावं. नाही? मग यात डावपेच नाहीत आणि कसलंही गणित नाही. जे समोर दिसतंय तेवढंच सत्य! अगदी face value! नकोच तो मनाला त्रास. 

आणि हे सगळं संपतं कुठे? कारण अविश्वासात केवढा धोका आहे! पूर्ण नातीच्या नातीच उध्वस्त करून जाऊ शकतो हा अविश्वास. कधी कधी एखाद्याचं पूर्ण आयुष्य देखील बरबाद होऊ शकतं या सगळ्या खेळांत. किती नाजूक आहे नाही हे विश्वासाचं बंधन? अगदी जीवापाड जपण्यायोगं. पवित्रता आहे यांत दडलेली. तुमच्या देवाशी तुम्ही नातं जपणार नाही इतकं हे माणसांतलं विश्वासाचं नातं जपलं पहिजे. कारण समोरच्या माणसावर, त्याच्या माणुसकीवर माझा विश्वास नसेल तर कुठेतरी माझीच माणुसकी हरवून जाईल, संपून जाईल. हो ना?

Monday, October 07, 2013

A moment in time, a moment out of time ...

There is something so liberating about living in a new place, a place where nobody knows you. You can keep all your personal baggage aside and start afresh. And if you are lucky enough to land up in a place where people hardly bother to judge random strangers for being unexpectedly different, then you are in for a good time. You can be as frumpy or as glam or as silly as you please and nobody really cares. You can just be yourself. You can wander all over town, enjoying the solitude amidst the teeming masses. Nobody looks at you pityingly or judges you as being unsociable or unpopular or just plain old sad and lonely if you sit down alone at a roadside table with a book and a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Don't get this wrong. Living among people I love and care for is simply brilliant. Nothing can come close to the comfort and warmth of family and friends. But when I am identified as a certain kind of person and am expected to always abide by people's perception of how I should behave and the kind of person I should be, then it becomes very difficult to be anyone else, anyone different. If I were to take the plunge and decide to ditch my career, or take up some crazy hobby or insist on solitude or just decide to change the entire pattern of my life, I may have to live with well meaning friends and family taking me aside and telling me that my life is going off track and that I should buckle up and start behaving like myself. But how can I be myself and not myself all at the same time? Whoever I am, whatever I am at the present moment is all me. It may not be the me that you know, or expect, but it is still me. In any case, I am not normally carefree enough, perhaps not courageous enough, to be that wildly crazy.

In this land, where few people know me, or know what I am supposed to be like, it is a delight to redefine myself. No, that's not true, I am not redefining myself, more like, rediscovering myself and my capabilities, my likes and dislikes. Discovering all those things I used to love... reading for myself. Reading a multitude of books together, in random order. Not just books for relaxation but books for their sheer pleasure. All at once. As the mood may strike. Wandering aimlessly about town, gazing at ancient buildings and into the endlessly blue windswept sky, imagining patterns in the various cloud forms and the fuzzy white lines of airplane exhaust crisscrossing the blue sky. Browsing through stores, window-shopping, people-watching, losing myself in the melodies of the street-musicians. Deciding that I do indeed love cooking. It relaxes me, rejuvenates me. I know that modern, liberated, independent women are often supposed to look upon cooking as a chore, forced upon them by the chauvinistic elements of society. But I love the planning of a meal, understanding a recipe, shopping for the right ingredients, and putting together a delicious, hot meal. I love the melodious blending together of spices and flavours. I love the smells, of chocolatey-gooey cupcakes and cinnamon-topped apple pies, wafting out of the oven. I love the visual treat of colourful food with different textures, creatively presented. It almost feels like a form of art therapy.

It is fun to connect with myself, as clichéd as that sounds! I miss my people. I miss the everyday traditions of families. But I am re-learning so much about myself instead. Perhaps, this is a rite of passage. Perhaps, it may not even be a question of a different place. It may just be a matter of time. Like I am on vacation from my own life. Something that everybody should go through. A time to find yourself, to lose yourself, to just be. To find out whether you are a person you can really like. A lot. Without the baggage of expectations. With all the freedom that comes from knowing that you have a loving place to go back to. A time to live for the moment, live in the moment, carefree, mukt :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

To lie or not to lie, that is the question.

Trust. The loss of trust is often the single most important stumbling block in any relationship. Isn't it important for you to be able to trust the people in your life? This means that you need to have the ability to trust and those you trust should be able to garner it and live up to it. You need to be able to trust your family, your friends, your lover, your partner, your colleagues, in one way or another. You need to be able to believe that they will not betray you or your trust and this has to be a two way street with both parties willingly involved.

Sometimes, small little lies spring up out of a desire to avoid conflict. We call them white lies and, more often than not, we do so to appease ourselves. If it is really a 'harmless' little white lie, then wouldn't it be better to just air it out in the open rather than keeping it hidden and having to cover up your tracks carefully. No matter what kind of lie, the fact that this lie is out there means that there has been a breach of trust. Plus, telling one lie to one person often means that there exists the danger of another person, who is in on your secret, spilling it out into the open. Again, trust issues. What hurts more than the fact that somebody is hiding something from you is the fact that they felt the need to do so. Loss of faith in another person is a tragic thing indeed! It brings along disillusionment, it raises doubts and strains relationships. Nothing hurts as bad as being lied to. Nothing hurts as bad as being betrayed.

Commitment to the truth, no matter how painfully difficult, and clarity of communication can often nip most problems and misunderstandings in the bud. However, we are all complex beings. In fact, the ability to lie knowingly and willingly is believed to be a very human trait. Some people are habitual lie-tellers. They tell the most fantastic lies cheerfully, without flinching and without remorse. Then there are others who fidget, sweat, get nervous while concocting even the simplest of lies. Remember Joey who can't lie and his racoon-tales? I understand that life is not really about black and white, there exist myriad shades of grey in between. As has been said, this world is a mirage, "Maya", all a lie within a lie within a lie, ad infinitum, and the purpose of human life is to try and decipher the truth hidden within. How about owning up today to one lie you have told or lived? Try it and you shall love how much lighter and happier you shall feel :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A matter of blind faith.

Oh the times when I wish that people would stop and think before they take anything and everything on faith, blind faith! Rational faith of some sort, in something, might perhaps be an anchor for some people. However, each of us is born with a brain capable of rational thought. Yet, many of us choose to spend entire lives following somebody else's thoughts, or as they call them 'teachings'. We are all blessed with dreams, thoughts, logic and an innate sense of that which is right. Add to this the fact that we, as humans, have the benefit of having parental care for a major part of our young lives. So we ought to grow into beings capable of identifying the irrational and the illogical, of discriminating between right and wrong, even when some supposedly great godly person insists on telling you what it is right and which is the only correct path of life. Not that we are perfect. Of course we are flawed. We shout, we scream, we get angry. But then that is perfect too, because it allows us to be human. Because it ensures that we learn to love, and be kind and to listen for ourselves, not as a consequence of another person telling you that this is the way to be!

Each of us must have distinctly individual paths in life. How can we allow another human being to tell us what is proper for us? Aren't we, or at least the people closest to us (friends and family), best suited to decide such things for ourselves? How can we equate another person's words to gospel, as if he or she is, in fact, god? In fact wouldn't that be blasphemy of sorts?  In fact, how can a person who is truly learned and wise ever want to be adulated and revered as god? Only people who perhaps don't understand life, who just want to be lauded as godly or saintly would encourage or allow other fellow human beings to think of them as greater than the common masses.Whether or not you believe in the existence of a god as an all-powerful being is an entirely different issue. There are those that believe that god is perhaps all that is good and beautiful around you. The goodness of people, the beauty and wrath and awe of nature, the intricacy of all the biological processes that keep you alive, the imperfect perfectness of evolution - any or all of these could be that which is named god. A very personal issue. A very delicate issue.

However, isn't allowing another human being to take the form of this personal, private, delicate matter, completely irrational? Especially when that person has not lived your life, has no real idea of your peculiar personal problems and difficulties. How can we accept that there is a standard one-shoe-fits-all approach to life's problems? There can not be a universal solution to human problems. Simply because we are a bunch of complex, diverse, crazy but unique individuals as a result of the myriad circumstances and situations that we have each inherited or encountered. Of course, we will all need advice. We will make mistakes and will need to be made aware of them. But being reduced to parroting out another's words as the only words of wisdom is an insult to a rational thinking human being. Accept only that which you believe is true, not something that some 'great person' has told you is the way of life. Because at the end of it, that person is going to live and die in his or her own unique way. In a way completely different from the story of your life. So please do stop to think, think deep and hard, before you let another person tell you how to live your life. It is truly the only life you shall have. Wouldn't you have rather lived it your way? At least at the end of it all, you wouldn't blame another for the life you led!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Switch off!

Sometimes, you may spend all your time with a person, but you still feel like you have had hardly any companionship. You may have been sitting right next to each other all day. Yet, you have hardly exchanged a few words; forget thoughts or opinions or feelings. Perhaps, it is a reflection of the times. We are all evolving towards being superficially self-sufficient. We have numerous devices that make us feel entertained, stimulated and even apparently connected to the entire world. The fact is we are all increasingly connected to and involved with our devices, leaving us with little concern about the actual human beings around us. Don’t you feel the urge for some real human interaction, for a little conversation, shared laughter, even a wholesome fight?!? With a person who is actually in the same room as you, and not staring at you out of a psychedelic screen? Some days I wish I could just switch off all telephones, mobile devices, laptops, music players and listen to non-electronic sounds. Days go by and I realize I have not even heard birds or the wind in the trees or the sound of rain … in a long, long time! There are days when I want to just talk aloud endlessly and still be heard patiently.

Your fancy smart phone’s networking applications may leave you feeling like you are constantly in touch with so many people, but are you ever really involved with these people? Being involved, in the everyday sense of the word, including the expression of emotions, opinions and urges, is essential for us to stay human, to make sure that we don’t turn into automatons. Don’t you get the feeling that you are turning into a boorish, impolite, intolerant person? As if you are not able to tolerate other people and their foibles? As if you are always right and the rest of the world needs to really buck up? Doesn't this feeling intensify when you have been cooped up with yourself with just your electronic friends for company? Do you find yourself easily irritated, hardly ever satisfied, very rarely happy from deep within? 

It is not that I want to get rid of all my electronic devices. They appear to make my life easier; sometimes they really do make my life simpler. But they never really care for me, they don't love me or hurt for me or are happy about me. I want to stop and appreciate all the people who do all of those things for me. I want to reclaim my joy of life. I want to be able to like the people around me. I want to learn to see their goodness amidst all their faults and not just expect them to be two-dimensional perfect personas. Perhaps, I ought to go out and make some new friends, or renew old friendships over a cup of coffee, go for a walk together, or even spend some time watching neighbourhood kids laugh and play. I might find myself a lot happier, more relaxed, a lot more human. Perhaps, I ought to slow down, not caring about the crazy demands of a faster and faster world. Just stop and savour the tiny moments, stolen out of my own life. And do so right now. Stop typing away here and go say hi to somebody nearby. Just say hi. To the next person I see :)