Archive

Interests

So many unfinished drafts, unpublished completed drafts that no longer hold relevance, or are beyond my current interests, drafts that have been half-developed, or just some random words and thoughts thrown in. That’s the status of this blog. I am sure a few of you will feel the same about your own blogs and your own writings.

Every now and then, I visit this, just to look at the relics in time I have left. It feels good, it feels nostalgic, it feels so tedious sometimes even. I question if I had lot more free time in my hand than now, but I can’t honestly bring myself to agree to this. I still have my personal time, or time that I can spend on myself that isn’t being demanded by either my work or my family. However, my interests seem to be as different and varied as they were then. My interest in writing remains the same. So, then what’s different now than it was before that I am not devoting enough time to write or publish.

One of the reasons I feel I have become so reluctant to write anything is that I have become a bit jaded with the world I live in. I am enjoying my moments, but not the picture. It’s like that movie which has some brilliant moments, builds up pace to an exciting action, but I am moving here in slow motion.

This time around, I will publish, even if it is just garbage. I need to get things moving. I don’t want this hiatus in writing to be a permanent fixture.

Indian cinema and cuisine seem to be the two major exports to the international community, apart from the obvious tech-knowledge. I remember a colleague who narrated how on her visit to South America, she was bombarded with questions on the way the ladies dressed, the big bindismaang ka sindoor, etc. Now it is true that what is popular on Television and Cinema is a representation of interest of only a section of the populace, but still is a representation of the whole as well. For example while a Tamil audience is open to tragic ends, Telugu audience prefer neatly tied happy endings.

So when you look at the recent trend of movies that have been popular, and if you are like me, you are left to wonder how it is filled with glitz and glamour, without a subject and necessity to tax your mind. However, when a movie sticks out amidst of this froth of sewer water, it catches your attention. The Queen was one such. I can’t bring out the statistics, but I would say that (hopefully) mainstream cinema is again accepting a female lead rather than them being just eye-candies.

However, to me, the movie touches the hems of greatness and falls back. Perhaps I am looking at it from a perspective very different from the writer/director. Here are the reasons why I feel this way.

  1. It doesn’t identify the root cause, the biggest culprit contributing to mistreatment of girl child, misogamist outlook pervading our society: our idea of feminism. We, as a society, through our parents have been brining up girl child as someone who needs support, a help, a hand, a crutch! Oh, you can’t go out alone, it is dangerous, always go out with your father, your brother, or your uncle or some male! All through the movie (as a reflection of the current thinking) the younger brother is sent along with her everywhere! We just can’t either trust our children, or the society!
  2. What causes a metamorphosis of a human being? Is it just the cultural shock that jolted her into complete independence? When she does become independent, is it out of reckless abandonment of boundaries or is it through reflection and self awareness? The change that she undergoes could not have just happened because of external factors, it needs to come from within. This, I believe, was not clearly depicted.
  3. For god’s sake why did she have to say “Thank you!” to the guy at the end!?!? It is not because of HIM that she changed, he was just an instrument! It is like thanking the tumbler for quenching your thirst, whereas it was the water. If you have water, the vessel doesn’t matter. He was just such a ‘tool’ (pun intended). By attributing her change, even to the minutest level, to him defeats the whole idea of the metamorphosis. SHE is independent, a fully functional social being, without the need of a male to bring about anything in her life, let along change.

Until we all can treat each person as a human being, independent of their race, creed, culture, sex and orientation, we won’t achieve the lofty aims of Human Charter.

Before email became the norm, hand written mails were the principal mode of written communication adopted equally by common man and royalty alike. Prominent people of the society not only conducted regular business through this way but also used it for matters of confidence. The published letters of quite a few leaders and scientists have caused much interest. The discovery of hitherto unpublished correspondence is nothing short of a sensation in itself.

If that’s the way public treats letters already written and sent to someone else, imagine what would happen if we were to discover the load of text that never got completed! Perhaps they were rough ideas, unfinished and incomplete thoughts. Imagine how many parchments would have been wasted on writing love letters from any of the real life counterparts of Romeo and Juliet? Imagine if we could lady our hands on letters from Scottish leaders to their English Lords asking them to shut it, but afraid to start off a new war, just wrote them to expend their frustrations and shelved it. Or imagine if a famous contemporary of Galileo wanted to defend his ideas but couldn’t finish it or thought better off it!

Now look at all the drafts saved in your emails and blogs and SMSes and think what will happen if the world comes to know of them all?

A lot has changed since the last time I posted.  I’ve moved to another country and we welcomed a new family member into our fold, the latest bud of a leaf. While this doesn’t exonerate me from my responsibility to post, at least I’ve an alibi.

As always, I’ll try to make another fresh start.

Self Portrait of Curiosity

Self portrait by Curiosity

See that landscape? It looks like straight out of a sci-fi movie! Does it look any different from ours? Without knowing that this is from Mars, given only portions of this photo, it is so easy to mistake it for some desert landscape from our own planet.

See the sky? Looks a bit cloudy and as if it is going to rain. See that black streak under the small hilltop? Looks like an ancient river left its imprints there, the alluvial soil just waiting for the right conditions to sprout some plants. It seems as if just round the edge of this hilltop, you will find some plants and shrubs! Look at the sand at its feet! Imagine it running through your hands…. Martian sand!

Do you also see the sharp contrast in color between the two edges of the composite? It is of course obvious that these were taken at different times, but imagine living in such a contrasting environment!

It gives me the goosebumps just imagining these things, sitting here, that this image has been taken at least an average distance of 225 million km.

I keep losing them.

I was very careful the last time.

Looked hard at the place I was keeping them.

Even put a bit of background story for them.

But still I can’t find them.

The funny part is everyone else around me seems to remember!

They know what I was looking for!

They keep telling me but I just can’t place them.

They even show me pictures!

I keenly look at all of them.

But the problem is I don’t even know what I am looking for.

They’re all lost.

People keep telling me what they are.

It seems they’re called memories.

I don’t know what they are,

And where I’ve kept them.

Such an interesting subject, isn’t it!!! Each of us hold so many varied beliefs as truths of life. Each of them would be true too, for each individual has a different way of looking at experiences; some gain from it, others loose. I always believed there were no universal truths, beliefs that everyone can abide by. That was until I came across the present list. Like many great observations in life, even this list does not have an author, just a torch bearer. Hence I will link the torch bearer here.

Looking at this list closely, I found there were few which didn’t apply to me. Hence I am snipping few and listing out what I think are relevant to me, or at least those that I feel are universally true. Maybe you can do the same and see if you reach closer to being a human being.

 

01. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try – That’s a tough thing to learn in life, and so is trying to change yourself, but the other I feel is little more achievable.

02. It is a hundred times more difficult to burn calories than to refrain from consuming them in the first place – Got to agree to that.

03. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about whatever you’re talking about than you do – As they say, if you shut your mouth you’re worried people might think you’re an idiot; you open it, and you confirm it!

04. The cheapest and most expensive models are usually both bad deals – Bad deals, yes!

05. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly – except when Shakespeare was talking! 😉

06. Bad moods will come and go your whole life, and trying to force them away makes them run deeper and lost longer – I always thought, and still think the other way round; if you’re in a bad mood, it’s your job to make it better.

07. Children are remarkably honest creatures until we teach them not to be – Yup!

08. Yelling always makes things worse – Yup yup!

09. Whenever you’re worried about what others will think of you, you’re really just worried about what you’ll think of you – I do worry about what others are thinking about me, but I try to see if their criticisms can bring about anything positive in me.

10. Every problem you have is your responsibility, regardless of who caused it – Hmmm… not easy, but it does have a point.

11. You never have to deal with more than one moment at a time – Easy to remember, difficult to practice.

12. If you never doubt your beliefs, then you’re wrong a lot – never gave it a thought!

13. Managing one’s wants is the most powerful skill a person can learn – you bet it is!!! Indeed the most difficult thing!

14. Nobody has it all figured out – knew that, but then we won’t have anyone to look up to!

15. Cynicism is far too easy to be useful – oh yeah!?

16. Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours – Yes to that, which also brings me to one of my favorite methods of passing time during travel. But more on that maybe next time.

17. Whenever you hate something, it hates you back: people, situation and inanimate objects alike – difficult to digest, but perhaps equally true.

18. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s works alone can teach you everything you need to know about living with grace and happiness – man this guy’s writings are indeed awesome; his quotes aswesomer!

19. Anger reveals weakness of character, violence even more so – but suppressing anger also doesn’t help much.

20. Humans cannot destroy the planet, but we can destroy it’s capacity to keep us alive. And we are – It has begun.

21. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least.

22. Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier – so true again! Something I do  often and at great expense!

23. Credit card debt devours souls – I have two and know what it means! God indeed save America!

24. Most of what we see is only what we think about what we see – Definitely true and people really do need to understand this! Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear!

25. A person who is not afraid to present a candid version of themselves to the world is as rare as diamonds – Diamonds are not that rare!

26. The most common addiction in the world is the draw of comfort. It wrecks dreams and breaks people – Yup

27. If what you’re doing feels perfectly safe, there is probably a better course of action – dunno about that!

28. The greatest innovation in the history of humankind is language – I agree!

29. Blame is the favorite pastime of those who dislike responsibility – this needs to be adopted even in our personal life!

30. Everyone you meet is better than you at something – the difference I guess is knowing what the other person is good at!

31. Proof is nothing but a collection of opinions that match your own – except mathematical proofs; yeah they can fill pages!

32. Self-examination is the only path out of misery – also another way into!?

33. If you aren’t happy single, you won’t be happy in a relationship – I have to nod here as well!

34. Even if it costs no money, nothing is free if it takes time – all of us need to absorb that into our minds!

35. Emotions exist to make us strongly biased towards or against something. This hinders as often as it helps – align it with your brain!

36. Addiction is a much greater problem in society than it’s made out to be. It’s present in every person in various forms, but usually we call it something else – like what!?

37. “Gut feeling” is not just a euphemism. Tension in the abdomen speaks volumes about how you truly feel about something, beyond all arguments and rationales – yes, we need to give a bit greater attention to our instincts!

38. Posture and dress change profoundly how you feel about yourself and how others feel about you, like it or not – unfortunately yes indeed; although the posture speaks more than the dress.

39. Everyone thinks they’re an above average driver – indeed, I’m a better driver than….

40. The urge to punish others has much more to do with venting frustration than correcting behavior – hmmm… it is!

41. By default, people think far too much – yeah, ask me!!!

42. There is nothing worse than having no friends – scary thought, scarier imagination!

43. To write a person off as worthless is an act of great violence – and violently vicious and voracious violation of volition!

44. Try as we might to be otherwise, we are all hypocrites – I have to hang my head in shame!

45. Kids will usually understand what you mean if you keep it to one or two short sentences – Bet this is difficult to prove unless tried.

46. Stuff that’s on sale usually has an annoying side.

47. Casual swearing makes people sound dumb  – but it seems cool first!

48. Words are immensely powerful. One cruel remark can wound someone for life – even sword wounds heal, but wounds of memory never!

49. It’s easy to make someone’s day just by being uncommonly pleasant to them – you need to be a romantic to believe in it though!

50. Most of what children learn from their parents isn’t taught on purpose – yes man, we gotto be doubly and triply careful.

51. Problems, when they arise, are rarely as painful as the experience of fearing them – just like our belief in friends, that they will come and help us is much stronger than their real ability to help us.

52. Nothing – ever – happens exactly like you pictured it – I was always afraid of it, so nothing really new :(!

53. There are  not enough women in positions of power. the world has suffered from this deficit for a long time – you can’t say they’re soft, huh! I know few who aren’t!

54. When you break a promise to yourself, you feel terrible. When you make a habit of it, you begin to hate yourself – and it becomes harder to look at yourself in the mirror.

55. You can’t hide a bad mood from people who know you well, but you can always be polite – but please don’t take it out on them, they’re the only ones who might be patient enough to listen to you!

56. Anyone can be calmed in an instant by looking at the ocean or the stars – both of which aren’t always in ready view, so you gotto find something for yourself mate!

57. Breaking new ground only takes a small amount more effort than you’re used to giving – I need to test this out

58. Life is a solo trip, but you’ll have lots of visitors. Some of them are long-term, most aren’t – I find it rather a depressing thought, but yes, we can’t keep carrying others and their memories along with us; both the good and bad ones.

59. One of the best things you can do for your kids is take them on road trips – sounds fun indeed!

60. The fewer possessions you have, the more they do for you – the more you have, the more you crave!

61. Einstein was more wiser than he was intelligent, and he was a genius – yes he was, but what can we learn from that?

62. When you’re sick of your own life, that’s a good time to pick up a book – I would be completing volumes by now!

63. Wishing things were different is a great way to torture yourself – and even bigger torture is learning how not to do it!

64. The ability to be happy is nothing other than the ability to come to terms with how things change – but should we be accepting all changes!?!?

65. Killing time is an atrocity. It’s priceless, and it never grows back – Would that include surfing on the net in the hope of finding an article like this?

 

This entire exercise gives good food for thought (and a little pain to the fingers as well! 🙂 )

Those are not just quotes from an epic movie, but hold a lot more meaning to it in real life as well.

Many a time we are part of something beautiful, marvelous and wonderful that we create or help create. But over a period of time, sometimes, things get rusted, relations sour and instead of the heroes we were, and hoped to continue, we become the villains; black hats of our own stories. The tragedy of it is we become even more attached to our creation! What started as love, becomes obsession and we tend to lose focus on the true objective; and ironically we do ultimately become villains.

There are numerous examples throughout history to this. Ricky Ponting is on the verge of becoming another.