Mother Night

It had never really occurred to me until a few moments back. As I was feeling the night and consuming with immense greed, the solitude it provided, it struck me with as little a surprise as perhaps your left hand hitting the right. Felt as if it was always there in the dump yard of the larger dumping ground my mind (mmm…actually even my body) resembles these days. It is the answer to why I like the night more than the day? What is it that the night gives me which a day, with all its big bang apparatus and crowd, can’t? And why am I, once again, choosing to write a heart-felt essay in the dead of the night rather than in the day,  without losing out on sleep and disturbing my already-slow metabolism?

 

In a pattern similar to Gautam Buddha attaining enlightenment under the aegis of the grand Banyan tree, I chanced upon an answer to these questions over the aegis of my modest domestic swing with a little support from my newly-acquired Philips headphones.

 

Night is like a mother, I feel. This one line lent an immediate explanation and helped me resolve and rationalise all my feelings towards the ‘Night’. Beginning at the dawn, a Day does all it can to take you away from yourself, your comforts, your likings and makes you do things you don’t like, don’t want to do, tires you, makes you feel hungry and thirsty and reminds you how blissful your Mother Night is. Day grinds you till there is not much left. And even as you are about to drop in despair, She, Mother Night, takes over. Makes you come back, unwind, forget your worries and relax. She takes you closer to what you like, what you want and, at the crux of it, takes you closer to yourself, much against the distraction you’ve been through. She has no conditions, no demands but simply loves you and wants you to live well. Like an understanding parent, she will not force herself upon you, rather she will let you be alone and grow. She will provide you room to explore, think for yourself, and form your opinions even as she struggles to keep the raging world outside at bay. That, to me is why I love the Night and feel it is like a mother.  

Even ones response to ‘Night’ is akin to what most sons do in real life. Like most, you behave like an insensitive child and show little concern for what she has given you and gradually start craving for the Day to come by. Anyway.

As I had stated earlier, this thought came to me and got ‘downloaded’ within just the way a new file does but this file my system seemed totally well versed with. Lastly, I also got a reason behind some of the not-so-important things I have come to know about people in the world. Like why AR Rehman composes music at night, like why most people like to read at night, why so many people like to write at night and even why I could never study at night and would always sleep. Just as Rehman’s heart and mind blooms in the soft light of the moon, my heart and mind felt tortured when I held my textbooks with me. Good I gave it up the day the government made education non-compulsory!  

Hope the last line was a decent end to this piece of writing. If not, then may be the last line now is. Whatever, I can’t stay up and keep searching for the best end. It is ‘Night’ and she is awaiting to take me to do another thing I love immensely, sleep.

Good Day! (Because Night is better as well as Best)

Down to the waterline

Stumbled upon something as I was chilling out on Saturday evening. An English song, when sung with the lyrics in front of your eyes is akin to getting to know someone you like, more deeply. 

For example, this song by Dire Straits – Down to the waterline; I heard it for the first time as I was checking my mails and finishing some chores. It turned out a catchy number featuring the God-like guitar and Knopfler’s voicebox. Perfect recipe for my ears and heart. Thus I immediately took a liking to it. As for the words, I understood a few while not all and it really did not matter much.

But on that evening, I just checked out the lyrics and went through them before letting the music on. It came to me that behind the great sounding, kickass number was a lover’s stylish yet sensitive recollection of the time he spent hanging around the airport with his mate. Talking of the pilot lights and running for cover from the cops in the same breath as describing the moneyless jackets, cold hands but warm lips zoomed one back to the thrills of early youth romance. A masterpiece indeed!

Had I not taken the effort I wouldn’t have ever known how much deeper I could know and sink myself into the composition. I do enjoy the ‘company’ of the song a lot more now.      

Me, the who

I began as someone. On the way, I met people, I observed them. I saw their good points and bad points. Tried to take the good and move ahead. Met some more people, saw some more good and bad. Again, took the good and tried to avoid the bad and moved on. Saw a few more people. It was interesting now, because some good that I knew of seemed wrong. And somethings which were initially wrong, began making sense. I did my bit – picked up the best and moved on. Today, perhaps not through with even half of my share of stay on the planet, I have seen this mix and match. Though undeniably, there is something of me that still remains as it was from day one, I would be an idiot to say very little has changed. Wonder how I would be when I shut shop. Will I be more like how I began as or will more change within? Will I move closer to myself or drift away? Will I be I or someone I don’t know? I don’t know. Meet me, the who.     

Liberate them, Mr Bush..

Some days before Mr Bush and company launched the Iraq invasion, I was watching the news on television. Mr Bush, as an answer to a reporter’s question said, “We need to liberate the Iraqi people from the rule of the despot that Saddam Hussein is.” The ‘need to liberate’ is something that has stayed with me ever since.

Last night, as I was watching the news on television and staring at the cyclone-afflicted misfortune that Myanmar’s people are undergoing, the ‘need to liberate’ them welcomed itself back to my mind. Wonder what the creator of the phrase is thinking.

Saddam gassed his own people, imposed himself upon them, lived a king’s life when his subjects killed each other for food and did all the a dictator does.  Oh yes, he also desired nuclear weapons but never got near doing that. Lets take Gen Than Shwe’s regime in Myanmar now. Denial of basic human rights, crushing rebellion using bloody means, hes done all that. So much so that even the usually apolitical monks came out on the streets in protest only to face shocking brutality. Today, as his country is facing what is perhaps Asia’s worst natural calamity in over a decade, after tsunami, his men are busy restricting planes carrying relief materials from reaching the affected.

And from 6:15am, this morning, his men have even begun awaiting people at polling stations. What for, one would ask. Well, they want people to go through and approve a military-drafted constitution. So what if 1.5 million people are displaced, number of registered voters is not known and perhaps, over 1,00,000 people have died only a week back.

And like Iraq, Myanmar too is home to one of world’s largest fuel deposits. Makes a case for ‘liberation’, Mr Bush?

Something to work towards

We all work. I do as a journalist, you do as a student and some other person does it as something else. And what are we working towards? Hmm..money, luxuries, fame and everything else that everyone else is working for….yawn. So much so for the unique path we chose for ourselves as individuals!

Yesterday, as I was conversing with my girlfriend, we stumbled upon something which I want to work towards. More competition I have, the better and having done this brings me the sweetness I miss in life. 

It goes like this – I meet, say, 10 people, everyday. Of which 8-9 or all 10 turn out to be those indifferent souls that the world is full of. These souls dont give a damn who you are and why you met them and in fact, flowing with the foul-mood that most in world do, for them everyone who meets them is a cause for a splitting headache. This can be your traffic constable, your liftman,a government servant you are wanting to get some work done from. In this situation, why not be considerate? Be that beacon which shines above all and bright. It is simple – I want to behave like an individual and not like a part of a system (which anyways sucks). Several times, I wish to do these ‘nice’ things but stop because ‘it doesnt look proper’ or may be ‘people don’t be so nice’. No denying, you got to get even with the promoters of rascalities all over but where there is no malice, I want to just, be good. 

Last evening, I met an ex-defence official. Since what we discussed on was so technical, I came out with a mental condition one identifies with those who just finish watching ‘Saawariya’. There, in front of me was an old Parsi uncle. Wearing a banyan and shorts and was struggling to walk with a pair of supporters. Out of nowhere, HE asked me, “So, how are you doing?” Being a man from the world (and am not being sexist), I was caught by surprise and it took me a few seconds to register this genuine inquiry. I answered, “Am well. How are you?” To which he gave a frank reply indicating his time has passed and he was just ‘hanging on’. Minutes passed and then the lift door opened, I wished him well and exited. For sometime I kept pondering whether it was the man’s absent-mindedness or friendly nature that made him converse with me. Decided that whatever it was, it made me feel nice for him because he could have that conversation since he wanted and for me too, for this chat was like a cool breeze in summer time. And that is because he did a ‘nice’ thing and did not stop because ‘it doesnt look proper’ or may be ‘people don’t be so nice’.

Anyway, time to rush. Circus of life is about to begin but am gonna keep in mind, things I discussed. Bye.

                  

Villains we seek..

Man is a social animal, we are all a part of the society and so as to make good of our society, we should look up to, and for, heroes. To lead us and propel us upwards from the nadir, we just so often achieve. But what I don’t agree with is the real implementation of what I scribbled. I am writing this purely out of my observations of self and outside and may be by the end of this essay, I would have painted myself red in the loser portrait but that is not exactly unfamiliar territory.

 

So what is this point of view of mine all about? It’s simple – instead of heroes, we seek villains. Villains are the ones, we make them drive us, we crave for them and sometimes unless you have villains, you don’t know where to place your next step. Been through this myself too but obviously the vagaries of the writer can take a back seat, we can start with what one sees around. You are late to work – it is the boss who is the evil reincarnated for having kept the reporting time to this or may be it is that corrupt IAS officer running the transport department, who is filing his coffers while you don’t get your bus. It can be anybody but you. There is a problem with your appraisals, of course the HR doesn’t have any corner for you, forget the softer one at that. As for working hard, doing better – well that can wait.
 
Don’t we all just let out this sadist-like ease when we’ve managed to pin the blame on to someone who ‘just isn’t the right man for the job’? Not only internally does that lend your troubled heart a moment of false triumph, even on the outside, you manage attracting a lot of similarly-frustrated souls (and as we know, the worlds full of them). That in turn gives you the high of having detected the rot, may be akin to discovering what causes cancer!

 

Heroes, what happens to them? I don’t think we quite like the fact that there is someone who is better than us. So we dig around and sniff around and try and come up with something which breaks the image that there indeed is someone ‘really good’.

The ones who are deft breaking images – generally the ones we find with most amount of ugly, dirty cynicism (and not healthy, competitive criticism) are the ones with a lot of mass following. People hear them when they talk, they believe them because it’s like home. What you’ve always felt but never had the guts or people to say to is being said by somebody, is being legitimized. Wow!

 

Guess am trying to grow out of this and successfully implement what Osho said, “You are responsible for everything that happens to you.” On understanding it well, this one, very ordinary-sounding sentence can make you realise that all your problems are solvable and that too because most are your own creations. It proves that the quest for identifying villains outside is a witch hunt. If I would achieve that realisation in Toto then I would be in much younger an age than when Osho perhaps thought of it. But am again far from achieving that too and so are most mortals. So, till that is achieved, our villain-seeking ‘hearts will go on’

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