Thursday, September 23, 2004

And Then a Cynic Was Born

He tied the rope to the door. With the other end he made a noose and tied it around his neck. He had stripped fully. The webcam was aimed at him. He knelt and then leaned forward. The website, still open on his screen described exactly what had to be done. He had the option of going back. He didn't. He really must have wanted to die.

15 odd years ago, a report in the ToI spoke of ragging in IIT-Mumbai causing 3 students to commit suicide in their 2nd week in college. The next day's headline had the story. Vernacular-medium students. Attempted JEE in Hindi. The pressure of not knowing English pushed them over the brink. The debate on conducting JEE in languages began. IIT aspirants all, we debated this too. Conclusion: It shouldn't. Look what it leads to.

A month into Engg and this memory of the past was back. We had several "verns" in our batch. They smashed the myth I had held in my mind for so long. A little extra effort and by the end of Sem-I they were at par with the rest. Engg doesn't require the best English in the world.....a cynic was born.

3rd Year: Rumours surfaced of ragging of a particular guy. 2 days later, he had hung himself. His room was sealed within minutes of the discovery. In an hour's time, a suicide note was found, speaking of a failed love affair. The machinery was in motion. The college could not afford bad publicity. The matter was out of public memory within days. The cynic learnt what officialdom could do, when they wanted to. The parents didn't even get to see the letter. Evidence, they called it.....

This time, it's being called an "experiment gone wrong". He was in the top 25 they say. Officialdom has told us to keep mum. Do NOT disclose any information. He had a "fetish" webpage open on his screen they say. Who knows why he did it?

He had dropped a year. He was an introvert. He had hardly any friends. On his screen was a webpage describing how to hang oneself. Top 25? Experiment gone wrong? Would you keep straining against a rope that was killing you unless you really wanted to die?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

In Blissful Dusk We Will Fall

Last night was amazing. Sitting outside the library taking a smoke break while studying for a quiz, the philosophising started. The studies, as you can imagine, went for a huge toss.

What is happiness? A state of bliss? Or a state where one is blinded to all that is real? For we blind ourselves to everything that may threaten our euphoria. Inevitably, this means blocking out everything that is real. So, it's just a euphemism for insanity. A state where one imagines for himself a world where all is good. "There's something right with the world today, but everybody knows it's wrong"....Aerosmith taken out of context make so much sense....

Depression and cynicism are the real truth aren't they? That's when you explore yourself, and the world around you, looking for what is truly real. Unless you are one of those people who would rather get out of the depression. The creative juices flow. You perceive things you wouldn't normally see. That's partly why the best creative acts are done when the artist is depressed, I guess.

Was it just a fiery dream
The night that seems so like a daydream
Swimming into a lake of sharks
Threatening to tear my life apart
Alone in the midst of lost crowds
Brain twisted, anger screaming to break out
White rats trapped inside a cage
An old man stuck inside a childish rage

No high seems to last, the vision's gone
Dull pain awaits passing beyond
Precipices invite to fall into arms
That scars of time seem to adorn
Delirious in poppy lands
Will now too weak to look behind
No last wish, no tears to cry
The old man plunges out of the mire

Laid to rest, eternal, sublime
Leaving remnants of a wasted life
Like blooming flowers in desert land
Oblivion all that's left behind
So he passes into the sea
Leaving behind him obscurity
Famed far and wide, folks wonder why
One so full could be so hollow inside

Did you ever wonder why you couldn't see
The crying soul, the hidden me
Or maybe never see what he perceives
Who goes beyond what the eye sees
And ventures into virgin lands
Where Sun is black and life a quicksand
Once there and back, yet there again
Taking last look to blood red sky

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Alone in a Lonely Crowd

Somehow I feel very alone here. There are always 4-5 people around me. Yet I feel so alone. Surrounded by people who think they know me. Living up to what is expected of me. I am definitely not in an identity-crisis, but maybe an in an "ideology-crisis". Half of me wishes to break free. Chuck up all of this, go to what I want to do. Start a band, get wasted, do what I really want. Write. Perhaps do a course in Psychology or Philosophy. The other half asks, "And what shall you eat? What will you live on? You're not an island. There are, and will be people who depend on your material success." How long can this go on? How long till I break. One half must die. Which one?

Sad state of affairs I guess. There is one other person who thinks like me though, PSE. Very nice person (Hey PSE, pun fully intended). Though I guess, as anachronistic and crazy as me in the reality that is today.

Anxieties of a life flying past
Endless search for a place to hide
Peace inside a myth of our times
Satisfaction we're never meant to find
Heroes all with feet of clay
Dark clouds of grief ever overhang
Still we scour for ways to please the mind
In this race forward we're moving behind

Twas meant to be a world so free
A world made for you and me
Survival and greed seem to hold the key
This circle of time makes my head reel
Higher and higher I'm falling free
Sucked into a famous obscurity
Well-known strangers on every street
Defining a solitary community

Yeah, I know, its a pathetic effort. But Hell, it's my blog.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Priorities Confuse My Mind

Does anything really count? Do dreams amount to nothing? Today, we are trained to walk down a path shown to us by blind men who promise to make us "rich". But only if we forsake the immeasurable wealth we already possess. Prioritising seems to have become act of madness where we further suppress our calling in an attempt to get "real", to pursue what we are led to believe is in our best interests.

As a child I used to be forced out of the house every evening, for two and a half hours to play. My parents forced me to read books and cultivate and pursue interests outside my curriculum. So it was too with several of my friends. We were taught to be all-rounders. Today, that concept is dead; a relic of a bygone era. Today, children rarely play. Most do not even know what it feels like to kick a football or hold a bat. Their only purpose in life seems to be to grow up fast and grow up smart.

Children today attend coaching classes before they are even old enough to pronounce "coaching class" right. The only idea constantly dinned into their heads by their parents is that they must excel in their academics, get into good colleges and earn a lot of money and be very happy in life. This is where they lose their chances of really achieving the last part of their aim. They have no interests as a consequence of their obsession with grades. They never know where their true intersts lie nor what they could perhaps excel at, due to the same reason.

Their parents pat themselves on the back for having such "mature" children. But wait a minute. Isn't a child supposed to enjoy life? To indulge in his immaturity and explore his potential in a manner and time that will be accorded to him for his immaturity? The moment he becomes mature, doesn't he cease to be a child any more? Yet that is exactly what we have today. Mature persons, not yet old enough to be adults, nor young enough mentally to be children. Still at school, they have decided the courses their careers shall take.

Shall they ever achieve happiness? Shall WE ever attain happiness? Perhaps, but not the way we live today. Our mad rush for what we call progress ensures that even if we do attain our wants, the very way we must live to achieve those and our subsequent demands, will ensure that we never have the time to enjoy our riches.

Our childhoods we lose thinking of the riches we shall enjoy in our youth, a youth that we are then made to lose in the search for a comfortable middle and old age, which in turn we are destined to lose to ailments born of the excesses of a life, lived to achieve this stage.

Monday, September 06, 2004

When Fate Chooses to Die

Is there really a thing such as Fate? Conversely, is there anything called choice? What I have seen is that when people achieve what they want, they say they did so because they chose to, because they made the thing happen. Because they deserved it. When something they hanker for equally or perhaps more, does not come through, oh well, bring out the favourite whipping boy....Fate! It was not meant to be. Kind of takes me back to school and our physics class on the theory of light.

When you need to explain phenomenon X, you say that light has a "wave" nature.....but if you want to explain phenomenon Y, you say that light consists of photons and is not wave in nature.

The point being that we believe in whatever we find convenient and whatever suits our needs at that moment. So we believe in God when we want something or need someone to lean on or someone to blame for the varied injustices meted out to us in life. Ultimately though, do any of these two schools of thought hold any merit? Do we choose anything in life? Is there anything called choice? And is there something called Fate? We reject one of the two in almost every scenario we face in life. So, if certain scenarios disprove both theories, isn't it safe to assume that both are false? If they are, what is the truth?

We spend our lives hankering after things we never achieve. True love, happiness, peace. And these are the very concepts that ensure we never achieve them. Or maybe, it is our approach to them that ensures this constant dissatisfaction. More on that later..... Adios!