This is one of my favourite songs by Mumford and Sons. The band arrives in white coats and pants, on scooters, hands over all their instruments to a local band, and leave on their scooters again. The local band takes over, and these cool guys go around on their scooters, in this beautiful place called Goa. It reminds me of the days when I used to scoot around the place, with my friend on the pillion. Sometimes, without anyone with me. There were times that were crazy, with beer playing games inside my head, and cool wind in hair.
Things change in a day…or so I thought…They actually change in moments 🙂
I walk. I talk. To myself. It is a liberating feeling, after all. To let go of things. Of people. Of something that you have held close to your heart dearly. I do not know how it can be liberating, but it is.
It is a hard, but somehow a calming realization. It screws my head when people say things like what is meant to be, is meant to be. Leaving things to fate, karma, etc. But it is probably true, may be in ways not related to fate, karma, etc. What is not meant to be, is not meant to be. What is meant to be, is meant to be. It is true in so many ways that are practical, that are more aligned with what we want, what others want, and not what fate or karma want.
It is not meant to be, because my understanding of the whole situation is different. Because I have lived and understood things differently. Because the other person has other priorities, and has a different understanding of things. Like I have said, even if everything is fair in love and war, love needs a “we” to win. Else, it is just not meant to be. For practical reasons, for no fault of anyone at all. It is a liberating feeling, to get your answers in ways that are meant to be. You ask a question looking at the north star, and the answers you get are echoes from the walls to your west. You cannot ignore them for too long. They are echoes, after all.
Here is what I had written years and years ago, and I am glad, that I always kind of had an understanding of such things:
What is it
Something is calling me toward it
I cannot see it;I cannot hear a bit
I can only somehow feel it;it’s far far away
Somewhere near the farthest bay
I don’t know the destination
I don’t know the cause or reason
All I know is that I have to reach there
Where this road ends I’m unaware
I don’t know to which sea joins this river
I don’t know to which village this wind brings winter
I don’t know where these grey clouds rain
I only know that I have to go with them, whatever the joy or pain
Before I wilt away with no power
Like the once wavering little flower
The unknown promises that the unknown place holds for me are tempting
far too tempting than the securities that my complacence is giving
I want to hug my future
I want to enjoy the unknown rapture
House cleaning, laundry, settling bills, shooting out emails, calling unknown people, house-hunting, looking for new roommates, grocery shopping, dumping garbage, being clueless about the long weekend to come, frowning upon a measly bank balance – this is not how weekends should be like 😦
At least there’s music to enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aofoBrFNdg
There is white calmness, in all this storm
This peace is like a floating feather, in all the noise
There is faith stronger than any fact, any promise, in all those unspoken words
When I look at his picture, there is the purest smile, in all my tears
I do not want to meet people today, because I do not want to over-observe and over-think. An old man enters office. My boss introduces us to each other. The guy asks me what I am majoring in. He hears only the marketing part of it, looks at my boss and goes – oh! I do not understand the need to market if the product is that good. In my mind, I am like – old dude, shut the fuck up. I tell him – marketing analytics is my major, and it is actually quite different from marketing. I want to make a point about marketing, but I think I can settle with just clearing the doubt. Then he says – big data! oh! I am quite interested in that. My brain makes a smiley *rolls eyes, a bit too much*
This dude is interested in big data (a term overused and least understood by people these days), and not in marketing? What is he? A teenage girl counting the number of guys who are crazy about her? Even she could help with a bit of marketing, how much ever hot a product she thinks she is. Darn! I need to get out, so as to eat something, because I have not had anything to eat since morning, if not to avoid people.
I take a brunch break. Sounds good – brunch break. I do not go to the cafe today. Actually, I do. But I come out again, and go to my favourite breakfast place in the town. I want tea, and pancakes or french toasts. I want food to fix me, as much as it can. And, I want to avoid people. Cafe has many specimen to observe.
I sit on a table top, call for my brunch, and stare at the three big ass TV screens in front of me. Classic shows for mornings going on – one has tennis, one has rich people dressed up a tad too well discussing breakfast options, and the last has news going on. I leave alone the first screen, and stick with breakfast (it guarantees that it’s going to be funny), and news (informative). No sounds, only treat for eyes. Good.
News shows stock prices. I do not understand shit about stock market. But there are flash news too, tid-bits of information. Breakfast channel has food nicely made and arranged in proper cutlery. They are tagged with names like fruit parfait, chicken something something, this something something, that something something. Oh yes, tags also have calories written against each food item. People are pointing at them, and saying things. Discussing intently. Nobody seems to be wanting to eat these something somethings. Funny as hell. Back to news.
There are flashes of important news. Or so I think. Until I read – A man in India claims that his father was dragged out of a boat and taken away by a tiger. I really feel bad for the family of that man, really do. But why is this an international news? What kind of purpose does this information serve in a first world country, apart from that of mystic awe and entertainment, when they think of a place like India. I did not take any offence, and it’s a complete coincidence that I happen to be an Indian. I cannot care less about it. My concern is, the kind of picture that is painted. There are much bigger problems that a lot of countries like India are facing, and that never seem to be covered on international news for some reason. People are obsessed with big earrings, snake charmers, tigers and lions and elephants and peacocks, pots, cutlery, and such other things about such countries. Yes, these things are beautiful, very beautiful. Cover them under entertainment, or small news. But not something that should make it to international flash news, with fruit parfait and calorie discussions going on on the other side. There are bigger problems facing every developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries.
I realize that I need to stop my train of thoughts. Stomach is full, head too. I have over-observed and over-thought. I leave the place, to go back to work.
Sitting at my work table, with a clear conscience, and consciously, I let my mind free. I let it wander, I let it go to where it wants to. I should, once in a while, without worrying about the consequences 🙂
When he was far, she pined and whined
It was no weaning, it was a pain
When he was near, her heart fluttered by
Like a dying butterfly
She could go on like this everyday
With a prayer that it never ends
They thought he was a drug
She was addicted, they said
If only she could pick him up everyday like a pill
And pop him in
He could also be her
I want to write a lot, but cannot. Courtesy, stupid kinda incoherence. I have a lot of old write-ups in digital format that I recently came across, and they save me my grace 😀 When I read through them, I see my own younger self – angry, frustrated, rebellious, antsy. If I were to think of the same subjects to write on, today, I might be a bit mellower may be, but I will not ever re-write them. I will share my old write-ups here, one-by-one. I begin with a Fight.
To read further please put yourself in the shoes of a retired middle-class old gentleman.
You have a house of your own. And a flat which you have given for rent; your only decent source of income besides the small monthly pension. The government levies income tax on that from you, and you being a good responsible citizen, pay it regularly.
Next, the government wants more. So it levies rent tax on the same property! Double tax! Robbery in broad daylight! To fill the hidden-somewhere chest that contains all the money pirated from the decent citizens like you. What do you do?
Pay up. What more? Or maybe if you are shrewd enough in your old age, hide your measly assets so that the government keeps guessing what to tax you on. In short, cheat the bigger cheat. But never fight for it. After all, you got to remember that you are an old man with not much time left in your hands that you may see the day of justice, if ever it is meted out. You know better than that; there is no justice for goof-ups in and extortion of civic rights. Big deal? Why am I even asking you this?
Now adjust yourself more in the shoes of that old man. To know the things better, put yourself in his bare soles when he was a child running errands to make ends meet; a part of huge hard-working and a very poor family. A snotty kid with no one to look after you. Wearing pass-down clothes, you would clean after yourself after your meals(if you were lucky enough to get that), do some odd jobs like selling peanuts and collecting cow dung running behind the farm cows. And in the morning with oiled hair and ujala-whitened white-blue shirts you would go to study in the municipality school. While coming back to home you would stare at the delicious-looking eatables that the vendors
sell, on your way to home from where you will pick your peanut basket and run to salt-sand heat the peanuts and then vend them.
Then one day you would be quite grown-up. SSC and all done with, ready to move to the big city, to learn more, work more and earn better. Things would change. You would be completely broke many times, sleeping on pavements, platforms and going to Degree College by the day, part-time job by the evening. You will manage to send some money back home to your old mother. And lie to her that Bombay is good and you are happy. After many cuts on hands, many miles of walking bare-foot, many hungry sleepless nights, many cheap swigs of alcohol with your likes and many heartbreaks you find yourself with a bejeweled wife in a modest house of your own. Children have great-sounding degrees and have earned scholarships and settled abroad. Daughters have been married off. Huge dowries, mind it. And you have managed to invest in one more flat. All with your hard-earned money. For which you didn’t care if it was your sweat or blood oozing out of your pores.
And now you have retired. You want to rest before you are rested in a coffin. You want to know how a peaceful life tastes like. But the government doesn’t want you to do that. The politicians in their old ages and crisp white kurta-pajamas want a lot more than what you want. They are more ambitious than you. And you will suffer to fulfill their ambitions. Big deal again? The poor deserves his poverty and communism is mal-defined. Pay the taxes quietly. Let the deserving ones have their share of it. Why should you get what you do not deserve?
The poorer and the unluckier are the ones who stayed back to avoid the big city, the ones who never got even a hut to live in(they were always razed down), the ones whose lands were seized for building factories on them and the ones who just never got a chance to live. They were not smart enough and so they will have to suffer. Fair enough? Can you put yourself in one such person’s shoes (haha, shoes)?
Now you are oppressed. Your only material asset is your land on which lies your portable hut. It is seized from you. The hut is bulldozed so that dams and factories come up. Development is necessary. And your old crippling father is left bereft of everything. Your silly things inside the house are broken like Barbie-doll legs and china toy-cars. I am sorry but your sister is taken away by the Officials to some shady place. I am not interested in talking about what happens to your neighbours and friends. And you don’t close your eyes once when all this happens. You stare and you cry and you scream. And you are slapped, beaten, kicked. The dogs and cats on your land run away to save themselves. But you are not allowed to fight back. Violence is bad, remember? It is devil.
Do you want to fight but? Ok. I grant you the freedom to fight back. But you know that you cannot, not without arms, guns, ammunition, and blood in your hands, revenge in your grotesquely distorted mind. Wait. You resemble a terrorist now. A naxal. In fact you are one now.
Time warp. You are in the old man’s shoes now, again. With well-settled children and old age hanging loose but heavily on your shoulders you cannot afford to fight back. Can you? You will accept your INR 10,000 and let the government loot away the rest INR 50,000. You submit like a good responsible citizen.
PS: All of these is a mixture of my father’s childhood, civic rights of the people in my country, some real life stories, my understanding of communism and socialism and how it has been twisted way out of line, and blamed for all the bad that is happening (and not the people who are playing mind games there)