Monday, February 03, 2014

The loaded dice...

Maybe the time has come. To roll it on the table. Finally. How long could I hold it off anyways. It was loaded to start with, and that kept changing my center of gravity as I walked around clumsily. Every step moving it around, changing the entropy (and changing a few other equations as well), and not letting my mind also rest, as if the weight of the dice was also sending out strange signals to my brain as well.

The road to start anything new, well, doesn't actually exist (if it did, then that would mean someone had walked down that path earlier). And so each road is uniquely unpaved, laced with random stones and multiple pathways to choose from. Like the path of the dice. Doesn't matter how many turns it takes, or how many times it bounces off the table, or whether it lands under your nose or on the far side of the table. What matters is the number that comes up. Though of course, the randomness significantly changes depending on how loaded the dice is.

You can choose whether to walk on that path or not. But if you were born with the dice, what do you do? Can't ignore it. Can't sleep over it. Can't even sleep through it. Can't run with it. Can't run from it.

The best alternative is then the only remaining one. Roll it. And follow the number. It will lead you somewhere. Or at least till the point where it is time to roll it again. Until you start enjoying it. Waiting for the numbers, waiting for the next turn.

Image courtesy:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Innocent questions to God

Some of you who have been told about karma and it’s effects might wonder on “certain” days about what’s going on in your life and prepare a litany which could sound like this—
"Today I helped an old woman cross the street.
Today I didn’t speak a single lie..
Today I donated to a charity
Today I helped a child with her homework
Today I actually thought about You for 15 minutes…
So, Dear God, now that I have done all this (and I am sure my neighbor hasn’t done anything of this kind) where’s my million dollar lottery?? Why did my neighbor get a shiny new ipad from the biscuit company that had run a stupid contest, and I didn’t get even free biscuits? Where is justice on this planet?
Ok, so I will do all these things tomorrow as well if You insist, but please by tomorrow evening I want my million dollar lottery (alright, I am a man of simple needs, so even half a million would do)."
Sounds fair?

After all, that is how most of us maintain our relationship with God anyways. The God of all things. Large or small. The biggest barter exchange of them all. I scratch someone's back, and You please definitely scratch mine. A very logical Santa Claus. Our theory of Expectations runs wild when it comes to God. The extension of our normal life into that domain somehow happens effortlessly. 

Until the obvious heartbreak. The crooks keep getting richer and you, of the pious kind, keep struggling with your EMIs; your famous celebrities keep changing partners every 15 days and you keep crawling through your 15 year old marriage, and the most annoying of all -- your neighbor (or close relative) of course. The guy you thought (or wanted) to end up in a ditch, ends up with his ass smoothly placed inside a BMW. Holy Cow.

And then that divine relationship starts turning sour. Though it doesn't have to be like that. If we stop treating the Karma machine as an ATM. You don't put your card into it and expect money to start rolling out in a few seconds. This one's more like a seed. You just have to give it time. Minus the expectations. Now that's the tougher part, though that's the only thing that works. Or you are sure to end up having some such weird conversations with God on a pretty regular basis. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The beaker, the dots, and other things...

Just trying to clear my head with a little bit of writing. These words are like random spouts of water that cleans up clogged drains. A spurt here, a spurt there, and then the drain is all set to take up the dirt again. That’s how my mind has become. Clogged. Cluttered. Full of junk. Like the residue at the end of a science experiment. The one left behind in the beaker. The one they ask you to analyze a little bit, and then throw away. Only in my case, the baby and the bath water have got mixed up somewhere. The beakers look all the same. Don’t know what to throw, what to keep, what to write about, what to crib about. Don’t even know if the experiment went as planned. All I saw was some smoke and some changes of colors. Maybe that was the purpose of this. But what if it was not?

How long will I stare at the blank pages, waiting for answers to form? Waiting for some miracle, for the ship to touch the shore. For the dust to settle. For the fog to clear. For the beaker to reveal itself?

They say a part of us dies when we tell a lie. Some part. I don’t know which. More importantly, what happens to the parts that are left behind? Do they remain the same? Or are they tainted too? And if all our lives every day we have been lying to ourselves and to the world around us, then what exactly are we carrying forward every day? Which remnant it is that is sustaining us? Or again, have we blurred the lines so much that we cannot distinguish between what’s gone and what’s left behind? We held on to something. Too late to find out if we were clutching at the wrong straws?

The time had come, to talk of many things. Of cabbages and kings, and whether pigs have wings. Maybe that’s the problem. That the world seen through the looking glass seems more comforting and realistic than what goes on around us. Out of the two sides of the rabbit hole, which one are we really living in? Which of these is actually the make-believe world? The beaker with the dark sediment? Or the beaker that seems to have clear water?

But what if there were only no rabbit hole. What if there were not two of anything? There was no dust, no  fog, no nothing. And no experiment either. Just a beaker waiting to be observed. Nothing more, nothing less. Maybe there was no need to burn all those fires and try and connect the dots. We assumed that there were multiple dots.

But what if it there was only one?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Redemption through Shawshank

I can watch this movie a million times (though so far, it’s perhaps been only 19 times), and still end up staring at the screen as the credits roll, wondering about the characters, their lives, and the amazing lessons one can learn from it. It’s no surprise that the movie has stayed at No. 1 on IMDB Top 250 for as long as I have been looking at that list.

Perseverance, Intelligence, Patience and Faith. All the qualities that are required in any human being to win and succeed can be distilled into these four major ones. Every other trait is a ramification (or a combination) of these. And that’s exactly where “The Shawshank Redemption” hits all the nails right on their heads. All four qualities are amply demonstrated throughout the movie by both the protagonist and the deuteragonist, leading to some amazing, unforgettable dialogues ever written and spoken on the silver screen (“They send you here for life, that’s exactly what they take. The part that counts anyways..”)

And while the numerous Oscar awards already confirm the brilliance of this masterpiece from a technical perspective (Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Film, Best Actor, Best Editing), the greatest victory for the movie lies in its ability to actually change the mindset of the viewer until he/she is actually pulled into it and the final freedom of Andy leads to a sense of well-deserved redemption and freedom, goals which most of us keep seeking during the course of our lives.

When Red sets out on his final journey, every lump in my throat prays to have more of such movies created; ones that you can watch until you gladly lose count; ones that you would willingly give 11 stars out of 10, every single time; ones which make you wish you had more hours in the night...

And so, I can’t wait to watch it the twentieth time.  'Cuz after all, “hope is a good thing, perhaps the best of things, and no good thing never dies…"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A weight off my chest...

It could be a catharsis of sorts, though playing out on an unlikely stage (well, it's actually just a bench).

When I walk into the gym (and I must admit, the frequency is dropping to unhealthy levels), I am all weary and bleary. Though by the time I have warmed up, the battery levels seem to be inching up from the red zone.

But what really does the trick is the act of pushing (literally) all that weight off my chest. Every rep is like a transferred epithet, as if the day's heavy events have somehow moved away from me, and piled themselves alongside the weights on the bar, while I exhale with all that I've got; the exercise exorcising the day's evil spirits out, to be consumed by the thick, sweaty air.

The end of every set is a step towards resurrection. The phoenix slowly pushing against the debris and coming up for oxygen. The pause between sets forces me to hear my heartbeats, and of course, the mirrored walls definitely lead to some close encounters with the self.

Gym is a great equalizer. You could be anybody outside that door, but inside, you are just another mortal who is huffing, puffing, gasping and grunting like the rest of them all. No matter what your bank balance is, somebody will walk in and add a weight to the bar you left behind, and suddenly make you realize that you've been over-rating yourself, and that there's still a lot of work to be done. A lot.

Finally, at the end of the hour, the catharsis is complete. The hot shower awaits, and yes, it's been a great wonderful day, and tomorrow will definitely be better...