Monday, January 31, 2005

A Nice One....a REALLY nice one

I just received this in my mail.....and I must say, it really cracked me decided to post's awesome.

Anger Management

When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don't know

I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I had forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it. A man answered, saying, "Hello." I politely said, "This is Andrew. Could I please speak with Robin Carter?" Suddenly, the phone was slammed down on me. I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude.

I tracked down Robin's correct number and called her.I had transposed the last two digits of her phone number.

After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled, "You're an asshole!" and hung up.

I wrote his number down with the word 'asshole' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell, "You're an asshole!" It always cheered me up. When Caller ID came to our area, I thought my therapeutic 'asshole' calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, "Hi, this is John Smith from the Telephone Company. I'm just calling to see if you're familiar with the Caller ID program?" He yelled, "NO!" and slammed the phone down.

I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're an asshole!"

One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I had been waiting for the spot. The idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale" sign in his car window, I wrote down his number.

A couple of days later, right after calling the first asshole, (I had his number on speed dial), I thought I had better call the BMW asshole, too.

I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?"
"Yes, it is."
"Can you tell me where I can see it?"
"Yes, I live at 1802 West 34th Street. It's a yellow house, and the car's parked right out in front."
"What's your name?" I asked.
"My name is Don Hansen," he said.
"When's a good time to catch you, Don?"
"I'm home every evening after five."
"Listen, Don, can I tell you something?"
"Don, you're an asshole." Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too. Now, when I had a problem, I had two assholes to call.

But after several months of calling them, it wasn't as enjoyable as it used to be. So, I came up with an idea. I called Asshole #1.

"You're an asshole!" (But I didn't hang up.)
"Are you still there?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said.
"Stop calling me," he screamed.
"Make me!," I said.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"My name is Don Hansen."
"Yeah? Where do you live?"
"Asshole, I live at 1802 West 34th Street, a yellow house, with my black Beamer parked in front."
He said, "I'm coming over right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers."
I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, asshole."

Then I called Asshole #2.
"Hello?" he said.
"Hello, asshole," I said.
He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are?"
"You'll what?" I said.
"I'll kick your ass," he exclaimed.
I answered, "Well, asshole, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now."

Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at 1802 West 34th Street, and that I was on my way over there to kill my gay lover. Then I called Channel 13 News about the gang war going down on West 34th Street.

I quickly got into my car and headed over to 34th street. There I saw two assholes beating the crap out of each other in front of six squad cars, a police helicopter, and news crew. NOW, I feel better.......

Anger management at it's very best!

If Life Was a Game

"Dream big". I'll never forget that line. We were standing on the football ground. We'd lost in the last minute of the game. I was cursing myself for the time I'd blazed over the bar. If I'd scored then, we'd have won.....we were getting the usual dressing down from the coach....and I was promising myself that I'd win the tournament. We were down on points, but we'd get back....

The next few games were crazy. We won everything. I was scoring like a machine, but there was something that was bothering me. I didn't really know what it was at that moment. Never even thought about it much, but there was something that was definitely playing on my mind. The day before the finals, it struck me. I injured a chap I was practising with. It was almost instinctive. He tackled me and as I was going to ground, I kicked the back of his knee hard, with studs wasn't really deliberate and to all around, it seemed like an inadvertent thing that just happened as I was falling. It had been extremely deliberate when I had started doing this.....the refs, being the incompetent lot that they are at that level, never saw it. The players I fouled never really thought anyone could be so cynical.....I always got away....I'd perfected this art of fouling a player as I fell.......

But this time, when I saw him lying there writhing, I knew what was wrong. I was obsessed. I was too intent on winning. And I wasn't really enjoying the game. Earlier I used to experience an exhileration whenever I played the game. The passion, the intensity, the will to win, they'd all been there, but this was different. It was no longer about the game, it was just all costs...and I was missing the rest of didn't really matter.....

Why am I saying this? Well, we lost those finals (though we won the next year). And I remember what followed. I didn't stay for the prize-giving. As captain I should have, but I didn't. I left and didn't speak to anyone. I locked myself in my room for the next 24 hours. Didn't speak to my folks either. I was devastated. The next day though, I spent 2 hours in the company of a really special person. It was something I will never forget. The match didn't matter any more. I really enjoyed myself and the phase had passed......

It's much the same in life. We're taught to dream big. And we always get the dreams wrong. And in the course of chasing them down, we lose sight of everything that really matters. Ever noticed how the memories you really cherish are the seemingly "small moments". And the things that pick you up are the "small things". Are they that "small" then?

I'm not advocating that we should give up materialistic goals or anything like that. I'm a realist. I know better than to spew BS like that. But I do know that we're taking things too far. Way too far. Do we have the time to actually look at the things around us? Most of us are so "busy" that we don't even THINK of these things. When we inadvertently come across something like that, we acknowledge how great it was. But the next moment, it's back to the same old rat race......just like it was with me......the next year, things were the same. I fouled more and was on the verge of cheating, some would say, and we won...... It was a pyrrhic victory (though no1 debated that we deserved to win) in more ways than one (reasons I shall not go into), but in hindsight, it's taught me a great lesson. Dream big, yes, dream big....but get the dreams right. What is "big" may turn out to be something totally different from what you had imagined.....

Most improtantly though, feel the ride. It's not about the good times or the bad's about life itself.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Sand Keeps Trickling

He sat there, looking at the streetlight. It was 3AM. What was he doing there, he thought all of a sudden. He'd been there for over an hour now, just sitting there and thinking. Not good. Walked up to his room. Tried to lie, not right, couldn't breathe. The chest pain was worse than it had been all day. Somehow, lying down wasn't an option. Wasn't able to breathe when flat on the back. It was almost as if there was something stopping his chest from expanding....

His mind wandered back to the same thoughts again. Damn! This wasn't really helping either. Opened the pack, there was just one left. Whoops! He'd just bought it at 9 the night before.....19 gone since then?Again, not a good sign...that made it 39 for the day...and this would be to stop. Lit up and started writing.....

Where do you look
When all the right answers are wrong?
Do you look at the emptiness and see,
The darkness all around the light,
The beacon still shines,
But the glamour is all gone,
The lights that once shone on you,
Now all seem so forlorn

Why try when all you seek is gone?
The road ahead seems short,
The distance too far to walk,
In this eternity we struggle on,
My solitude urging me forward,
The togetherness holding me back,
We looked back and counted,
All of us so alone

I used to be another person,
But that was another world,
I made-believe I could live forever,
In the moment that stood so still,
Life passed me by,
And left me too far behind,
What was so beautiful to blind eyes,
Unseen, says what I deny

And maybe life would be easy,
If I too could not see,
Or maybe if I lived right,
I too might be able to perceive,
But drifting on these seas,
I’ve ventured out too far,
The shore’s far off, the boat’s gone,
Now the only way is down

Awakening to Sleep

What do we really want in life? Somehow the more I think of it, the more it strikes me that we can only tell what we really want in hindsight....after looking at what we lost and what we gained. We also condition ourselves into believing that what we got was actually what we really wanted. It's natural and it also helps us get over all that we seem to have lost.

Started thinking about htis when someone mentioned that the Alchemist is right in its philosophy that if you want something badly, the entire Universe conspires to give it to you. It's so fundamentally untrue if you ask me, because if indeed it were true, we would all be perenially happy creatures wallowing in the fulfillment of all our dreams. Yet, reality shows that dreams are shattered everyday.

It also brings up the concept of transcience. After all, what we want today, we may not want tomorrow. So who decides what we REALLY want? In hindsight, there are several things that I seemingly "lost", things I was depressed about, which today seem as if losing them was the right thing to happen. There are also things I still pine for, years after losing them. So what's real?

Loss, that is what is real. It is depressing at times to think that almost all that is real in the world is depressing. At times, I wish I could be like the people around me. Celebrate innocuous and petty things as achievements, live in an illusion of bliss, live in a belief that everything is well as it is and that there is nothing further to be thought of, or to find out. I wish I could live in that dream.....but too often I find myself awakening.....into a sleep that seems much more real.

Friday, January 21, 2005

When The Music's Over....

It had been a long day, or perhaps it would be more appropriate to call it a long night. The King had tossed and turned and been unable to find sleep. Finally, fully awake, he decided to ponder over the problems that were causing him the sleeplessness. He lay still and lit a cigarette. As the smoke rings rose, the answers seemed to appear before him. The complexities seemed to vanish. As the hour wound down, he knew.....all that remained was putting it into action....that would take an effort, he knew. But somehow, he was much calmer. It was almost as if, with realization, life seemed easier to understand....ah well, the last cigarette was finished.....he needed sleep

The deepest has passed. Anyway, in keeping with my current state-of-mind, this one's going to be a bit cynical (did I say, "a bit"????). The cynicism has been brought on by a number of things, not least the magnitude of the bloodbath that Term 2 has been in this batch. I'm through, of that I am sure, but there are several people I know, who with 3 papers still due, have already realized that their stint in this institute is over. It's sad, specially when one considers that some of these guys deserve to stay, but have been the unfortunate object of the wrath of the professors, the vagaries of a system which sees different sections get startlingly different results (thanks to different profs) and the sheer high-handedness of the process. Anyway, why discuss something one has no control over?

I read a post on a blog about love. It discussed the "fairytale" concept, the sugary pill that we are all fed on TV and in the films.....Person A is so blindly in love that he forgives his/her lover hating him/her etc etc. It shows the state iof immaturity of our society right now, in my opinion. I often call "love" non-existant. Just a metaphor for lust. It's not that I do not belive in the idea at all. It's just that the way these things are portrayed so often is so silly. After all, let's face it. What do you think "love at first sight" really means? Lust. Full stop. If I have only SEEN a woman, how on Earth can I love her? It's just plain and simple lust for the physical form I have seen. In my first post on this blog, I described the next few steps that such a course of action generally takes. Yeah, I know that most people disagree, but I credit that more to the influence that the movies have on the psyche.

Wrote the following piece once while coming out of a depression. Reading it after returning to the ground ensured that I did not partake of any abusive substances for over 3 years.....

Take a look at yourself,
Whom do you lie to please?
Yourself or me?
Or the world you perceive?
The lie of life that you live,
Or is it what lives?
And consumes you in itself?
When you begin to pain

Aching joints never heal,
Unless you give them a rest,
Like the mind that believes,
Until it can see,
Is this me or a dream,
Something best kept unseen?
Within you my being,
Life uncovered a Hell

So maybe it’s true what they say about you,
Only as far as you show, that far we shall go,
Not me, I could never know,
The still waters run deep, lies are the truth you show,
If you would only care to tell,
But then you never tried to extend,
For in yourself you felt you would live,
While the world never would heed

And maybe Life led you to this,
A dead-end to begin,
This long road to bliss,
Maybe relieve you of grief,
But could you ever tell,
That vision from Hell,
Standing under that dark tree,
Was that you or me?

Ride to ethereal dreams,
Seeing blind expanses of hate,
Of things said to deceive,
Said by you or was it me?
Someday we’ll see what we tried to believe,
And tried to help conceal,
From eyes we wanted to live in,
And years we spent doing things best unsaid

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Meeting Myself

Was with some friends tonight. The walk back though was what made the time worthwhile. Sitting there seemed, at the beginning, to be exactly what the doctor had ordered. Yet, 15 minutes into the session, I knew I was out of place. Christ, these are my friends. The chaps I have spent almost every day with since I reached campus. Some of them I know since as far back as when I was 9.

And yet, somehow I was feeling like the odd man out. At the outset, this guy speaks about 'The Alchemist' and how he believes in its philosophy. I've just finished the book. Bullcrap, I say. He's being populist. All of us would like to believe that our dreams will come true, whether through our efforts or plain destiny ("the universe conspires to give it to you"). The opposition I faced was quite amusing.....specially when you consider that most of them hadn't even read the book.....and then I say I hate hypocrites, I own friends behaving like this? I shut my trap...and kept it that way except for the moments when I raised my glass.

I also reached the conclusion that I just live wrong. Towards the end, this chap drifts towards me. I barely know him. He started talking and something, somewhere struck a chord. I just listened and he just bared his soul. Normally, I hate the experience and walk away from such people. I hate people who can't tackle their own problems.....he looked at me and said at the end, 'Tell me, what the f*ck can I do? Actually, don't tell me, I'd not take your advice anyway". He lumbered off to his room after that and I was just speechless. The fact is that even if he had waited for me to say something, I would not have been able to.....I was just too shell-shocked. He was too similar to me....and while I may still be regarded as a "friend, philosopher and most importantly, GUIDE", by quite a few friends of mine, I would not have been able to say a word to this chap....his problems were too much like mine....and so was his reaction...."no1 can help me really". And I'm honest enough to admit it right one level, everything I may advise a person is in a way a piece of hypocrisy. After all, who am I to have an opinion, when I can't solve myself? And no, that's not an error....I mean "solve myself"....

Anyway, one good thing, at least for that I am writing a lot....though yeah, if you are a regular visitor you're probably wishing I'd just stop the mindless drivel....:D

Hidden inside, within the dazzling smile,
Quivering hands rising so fast to hide,
Raising merry toasts, glass raised high,
Still the malaise continues to gnaw away inside

Smoke rings rise and start widening,
While my world continues to contract,
The white lines etched in my mind reach out a hand,
That sprawling on the ground, I just can’t deny

Still the crowds around wish me to laugh,
And with twinkling eyes continue to provide,
Wherever I arrive, must I be so benign?
Would hostility involve stoning beings in the skies?

But masks just seem to fall and faces crack
When leaden-footed angels tread streets lined by fires,
A careworn man turns inside seeking reasons to smile,
Slowly releases a sigh and breaks down to cry

And when people say that I should die,
For all I know they just might be right,
Head bowed to the power but still held high,
Fears of pain which every action denies

Birth of blinded eyes seeing virgin light,
Sight stolen? Or given up without a fight,
Crawling for the cover of tearful eyes,
Bitter drops like a pill preventing my flight

Contrasting desires making life a lie,
Valleys of Death never seemed so beautiful and wide,
My life’s wasting time, trying to wipe,
The slate of time, whose designs make maleficent sound nice

Uneasy Lies The Head

The King looked around. It'd been years since he'd been in these surrounds. Nothing had changed here. And yet, everything seemed so very different from what it had been earlier. Maybe it was just him. The years spent away from his chamber seemed to have weakened him. Where once had slept a monarch who reigned supreme on whichever land he chose to set foot on, now there was an old man, too weak to continue. A minister asked if there was anything troubling him. No, there wasn't, and yet there was a restlessness, a restlessness masked by the seeming laziness that now formed part of everything he did.....he seemed content to just let things move, he different from the time he had been the prime mover; and how different from the feeling that was eating him up within......and yet, was there anything he could do to change things? Maybe he was just thinking too much......

Motivation is a strange thing. All of us need it and we find it in the strangest places; some of us within ourselves and some outside. I keep saying and truly believe that all the answers lie within...and yet, for some reason, I am unable to summon up the will to push myself harder than I am doing. Even when I see everything pointing towards the fact that I am perhaps working at less than a tenth of my potential, I somehow fail to summon the will to try harder.

It was the same at work. I knew I could do better....and yet, I was achieving my targets, outperforming my peers and had been earmarked as a fast mover. Somehow, it didn't help. I kept telling myself that I was excellent at the work, cut out for it and would someday start enjoying it too. I tried blocking out everything but my work....and yet, I failed to drive myself harder. Minesweeper and Hearts seemed more appealing than work most of the time....was it the work? Judging by the enthusiasm levels of those around me, I'm inclined to think not. It was me. Somehow, it wasn't what I wanted to do.

My folks kept pressing on though. So I decided to escape for some time. Decided to take CAT. Knew I'd make it. Yeah, I know it sounds arrogant, but I was sure. I'd never really failed in anything I wanted. Thought these two years would help me sort out my thoughts and my life. Unfortunately, they only seem to have made it worse. At times, there is the feeling of really not giving a damn which way things go from here.....

Lost after gaining everything he desires,
Nothing quenches the thirst he feels,
Years of yearning fulfilled or lost,
Doesn't know whether or not to mourn,
What price would he be willing to pay,
Would he want to lose what he spent life to gain?
The fire's burnt out, the embers remain,
Is this success or defeat's champagne

Victory in the loss seems so empty,
The moment's joy for a lifetime's misery,
Wondering why he withdrew from the edge,
Was it only to confront his infirmity?
Handicapped by birth, crippled by the years,
Spent in searching for what he wants now to lose,
Lying spent, a wasted power,
He asks only for death's sweet succour

Monday, January 17, 2005

Cesspool of Unrest

Stood at the edge of a world I'd left,
So near to far away, you never let me forget,
Breaking free, something left in a dream,
Will the dream fade away or will it be me?
A lifeless dream or a dreamless life,
The choice of no choice leaves free will to die,
Expected surprise, unseen futures known,
A moth drawn to the flame, mother devouring her own

Cracked mirrors hanging on painted walls,
Reflecting visions of times that are shorn
Of reason; and thoughts that betrayed,
A screaming desire to weather this storm,
A chamber enclosing within shrinking walls,
The tearing fabric renders the mind,
Homeless, an orphan, a prisoner of time,
Yearning to break free of humankind

Sunday, January 16, 2005

When Nightmares Live

Two and a half years had passed since that fateful day. Yet it felt just like yesterday to him. He lay back and lit another cigarette as he thought of it.

It was a strange feeling. He stood at the edge and contemplated the options. He'd never been out so far before. He was drawn into this, he thought. Drawn into this misadventure by forces he was not able to resist. Standing where he did, he felt cold and naked. It wasn't the nicest feeling. He longed for the warmth of where he'd left.

Looking back at the what led him to this, he realized that what was galling him the most was that the very solitude he was revelling in earlier was becoming painful now. He looked down from the cliff....he could still see what lay down there....somehow, it steeled him to face what he'd been avoiding. He turned back slowly, but purposefully. It was done......

The cigarette had burnt right down to the stub. It burnt his lips this time. He winced as he threw it to the floor. Why couldn't he just quit the damn thing? Needed to try at least....and yet, even the realization that it was ruining him physically wasn't enough to drive him to quit. He'd done it once before....quit.....and stayed off for a year and a half. And then, the blow had fallen. He didn't want to share it. Scared? Or maybe just too obstinate in not wanting to take support. After all, he'd never shared the good times why now? And who'd understand anyway?

He decided to take a walk to get his thoughts in place. On the terrace, he stood still and as the wind hit his face, he pondered a bit.....looked down....thought about it and knew what had to be done....

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Master of Puppets

A few days back, when I mentioned that each person has facets within our personality, someone retorted that in fact, we don't HAVE facets, we just choose to develop and project them. Set me thinking about whether he was voicing a different viewpoint or whether he was just stating what I had said differently, at the fundamental level.

We do indeed try to choose just how to project ourselves. But can't there actually be various facets of our own selves that we choose to project? After all, I may choose only to show a jovial side to a set of people. But that doesn't have to mean that the people who see a manic depressive see wrong. Read some books on this.....can't say they helped.....for the first time I realized what it's like to be the audience for someone who loves being abstract :D

Is it good to be open with people? To let them see you for what you really are in all aspects? To let them really know you? My opinion has always been that it's not. It's better to be guarded and let as few people know you as possible. Choose those people wisely and you will be better off. Yet someone started arguing this with me recently. Noticed his nick then (it was an online argument) was "X". Errr....thanks, so you revel in the use of the anonymity of cyberspace to state your view that we should be open....ironic?

Crime and punishment, the battle's eternal,
The convict sentenced to a lifetime in our world,
The worst seems past, the mind's so blank,
The reasons beneath, lost in a whirlpool of time,
Blinded by joy, punishment forgotten,
Treading on streets with a carefree face,
The lasting misery never seems to be real,
Enthusiasm spills as he joins the mad race

Ranged against a plethora of beings,
Each with his burdens, each one to his own mind free,
The spirit battered but still so supreme,
The road ahead seems suddenly so steep,
Fatigue setting in but pushed on by a rage,
To ensure he's not just a bit-man on the stage,
But playing a role he chooses to play,
He's as free to dance as a puppet on strings

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Throne Once Again Is Occupied

There was a throne once , the ruler of which chose to abdicate. The reasons were unknown. And yet, today, the King has decided to return. The best interests of both the King and his kingdom are served. And I delight in this turn of events. The uncertainty is ended. The chaos forgotten. All that reigns is the serenity of still air.

Had an amazingly deep discussion today with a batchmate. We covered theology, philosphy and contrasting viewpoints on choice, Fate, life...and of course Death. After all, no discussion can be complete without thinking of Death. It is after all the destination our lives are headed to. Ultimately, while some may fear it and some avoid thinking of it, it is the end, and the beginning. The one thing that noone can explain and yet the one thing that everyone must face.

Is there a God? Probably not. At least not the way we are taught to believe. After all, if everything you are taught about God is true, then how does one explain life? As my colleague mentioned, it would make life "more illogical and irrational than I care to admit". It would kind of bear out that dialogue, "God's an absentee landlord".

I'm getting drawn into this cesspool of thoughts after today's conversation. After a long time, I delved in within again....deep within...and the results were pleasing and frightening at the same time. All the answers lie within. The whys and hows are all answered within...and yet we "seek". And we seek outside. Why do some of us need answers while the rest are happy to live in ignorance? Are they happy? Is happiness real. If you ask me, happiness is a fleeting moment of insanity. A mirage, a myth that we want to believe in......because it hides the truth for the moment that it clouds our vision.

And yet, I meet another person who looks at me and says I delve too deep....and that, as per him, is the reason for what he terms my cynicism. But am I really a cynic? Or, as I like to believe, a realist?Are they really that different in today's world?


One needs to view everything with the right perspective. I'm sick of hearing that line. What is the right perspective? Everyone has a way of thinking. I have mine and I can't change it. I look at every situation from every possible angle. But can it really be said what the appropriate angle is? There will be takers for every possible angle, every perspective. Some think purely logically, as if everything was a transaction. Some think otherwise and look at other aspects.

While I may think there is one angle that is more important for me than the others, there will be thousands who think I am wrong. Yet, can anyone really pronounce judgment? No! Because it is only when YOU, yourself are on the spot that you realize the pressures, the pulls that determine your decisions. How can someone on the outside tell me what's right for me, not knowing the position I am in....and more importantly the way I perceive my position and my priorities?

I thought of this today when I found myself on the verge of telling a person about "perspective". And about how to view things....and then I realized that I too have yet to find "perspective", yet to define the whys and wherefores.....

Wrote something after quite some time today....maybe it's just the pointlessness of sitting in an IIML classroom that drives me to this.....perhaps I should get GPRS and blog from class ;-). Wonder if that's possible.....somehow the best ideas flow in class.....

Skies of blue reflecting the red haze,
A rattlesnake coiled but killed before strike,
The mazes that confuse with the million ways,
Show me just one, the rest my mind never evaluates

The working of the complexity framed by my hands,
Hits the mind with the simplicity of denial,
The crime of innocence like a fish on land,
The torment dies, but it takes its time

Overflow of time, heavy on my hands,
Emptiness inside keeps the mind so occupied,
And barren lands where once a deer ran,
Extend so far, the end evades sight

The most jumbled thoughts, the messiest mind,
Perceives the beauty hidden in the depths of the mire,
And in the plentiful dearth time flies by,
As destiny again makes a mockery of choice....

Monday, January 10, 2005

I Choose My Destiny......

...or does destiny make my choices? I speculated once on whether Fate or free choice were what decided the course of our lives. I never was sure. But the more I see, the more it strikes me that perhaps choice as we define it, does not really exist. It's just a myth that makes us feel good.

I am not a believer in Fate to the extent of saying "whatever will be, will be"; I believe that one's efforts definitely are what shape the outcome, but that said, the outcomes of most of our actions seem to follow a pattern, a predetermined pattern. After all, when have we ever really been able to make a choice?

Every time I analyze any situation where I made a "choice", I realize just how optionless I actually was. The constraints make our choice for us. Whether it is our way of thinking, the circumstances, or of course, as happens so often, "gut feel". So, what does all this add up to? Simple, you never really made a real choice. You were shown a number of alternatives and simultaneously, told which one you had to take. Choice? No choice.

And there are so many times you can see it happening each day. Your mind may tell you that you shouldn't do something. Yet you end up doing it. What was that? Choice?

But can we really afford to let go of "choice" as a belief? Not really. It's something like God. It may or may not exist, yet when you're not strong enough to handle the truth (Reminds me of the dialogue..."You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!" ;-) ) , choice, like God, seems like a good support system.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

There's an Aeroplane Up In The Sky

Yeah! It's a Floyd mood. Get into these at times. Helps relieve the mind, or does it? At times I really wonder whether Floyd is my relief or whether it is what reminds me of the cage. Both in a way. How did they manage it? The metaphors, the emotions, the philosophy, all cloaked in the most beautiful words imaginable. Every song seems to have something to offer, something to make you think about.

And every emotion you can imagine is covered. Every true emotion. What aspect of life is there that Floyd miss out? Nothing. Be it a deep depression or just a plain expression of life without the masking frills. Everything is Floyd........if only I could write half as well. We all feel the emotions. Which is why we can all identify with Floyd at some level or the other. That is what makes them the band which would have influenced the thinking of the maximum number of people I know. Everyone who thinks has heard Floyd and been inspired by them......

So today, I shall just lie and soak in the words, the thoughts and the philosophy

"Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the blue, blue sky"

"The flames are long gone, but the pain lingers on..."

" Hey you, with your ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out
Would you touch me?
Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone?
Open your heart, I'm coming home."

"And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the where's or why's.
Something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb toward the light. "

"Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me.
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand
The best I can. "

"And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky...."

"And far from flying high in clear blue skies
I'm spiraling down to the hole in the ground where I hide. "

And did they get you to trade
Your heros for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?"

How much do I quote?

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Of Whispered Dreams

The past 24 hours have been a revelation. I've discovered some aspects I never thought existed. And somehow things are a lot different.....well, actually hings are the perspective is a lot different. I spent the last 24 hours talking with an assortment of friends. On very different things. And yet, somehow, everything came back to the same point for me. Mentally.

Yet today, path seems clearer. The destination is still nowhere but the road there seems a lot l;ess cluttered than it was. I'm still the same. Still lost and without a clue about how to return to the place I was once headed to, the place I know should still be going. And yet, the load's a lot lighter, the mind's more at peace. And while the belief may not be there, the turmoil is lessened somewhat. For no ostensible reason, I seem a lot more calm today than I have been for a few weeks now. No legdes, no concrete ground clouding my vision. It's all flat. It may be a desert, but it's got an end.....I may not be able to see it, but even if I don't find the end, the end will find me.

Two situations. So alike and yet so startlingly different. Two phases, so dissimilar. And yet in a way, the similarity was chilling. Somehow though, I realized last night that in a way I am very lucky. There are things we throw away, there are things we fail to see, things we fail to acknowledge exist....and then there are things we misjudge. The last are perhaps the worst mistakes we least the worst mistakes I make. I'm still not sure whether I should call them mistakes, but for want of a better word right now, I shall.

I'm abstract. I love being that way. Why? I shall never know. Perhaps it's the inherent fear of letting things out, the inherent fear of letting people know. Either way, it's something I can't change. There was once a building that broke under its own weight, due to its amazingly simple intricacies which ensured that a single stone could wreck it (For want of a nail, a kingdom was lost). Yet, where the edifice once stood, there still is the need to restart. Motivation is something one cannot afford to lose, even in the face of Hell itself. And yet, at times, it does get lost. Does it return? Can it return? I hope so. When? Time will tell. But there must be a beginning; ironically, the beginning must signal the end.

Am I the way I would want to be? Would I change anything about myself? Ultimately, no. I know my weaknesses. I know my failures and also know what will cause me to fail in future in certain fields. Yet, I'd rather stay this way and accept those than risk another course. Somehow, my comfort zone is too dear to me. I'd rather be alone in a room contemplating, introspecting and evaluating than risk attempting things I am not sure of in the hope that I will succeed. Somehow, that is me.......sad? Perhaps. But definitely true.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

How much is too much?

In turmoil. These words just sum up totally what I am feeling like inside my head. It's a feeling that I am not entirely used to. I'm generally in control of what I do and am able to resolve conflicts within myself easily enough. At least I like to think of myself that way ;-). Yet, now I am feeling as if I have reached a breaking point within. I know I need to make a decision and yet I know not when to make it and which way to sway.

What is risk? And what amount of risk is enough to make you shelve a course of action? I guess every situation and every person has a different answer and each of us needs to decide where our thresholds are. If confronted with a pit in your path and if told that there was no way forward other than this.....if you knew you couldn't jump across the pit, what would you do? Would you turn around and walk back trying to find an alternative path? Would you just wait and hope for something to happen to either make the pit disappear or a new path appear or a means of getting across, whether by a miracle or otherwise? Or would you decide to try and jump across the pit anyway, hoping that even if you fell, you would rise again and climb out of it, to find another way?

If you did decide to jump, how deep would the pit have to be, for you to change your mind about trying the leap? After all, beyond a certain point, the depth itself would convince you that what you stood to lose by attempting the leap (limbs or perhaps even life) was not worth the possible benefits.....

I stand today at such a point. I know not what to do....yet I do know that I must make a decision. For the longer I defer it, the more turmoil I shall undergo......yet, the question remains, how much is too much? I shall go crazy if this goes on too much longer...

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Ode to the Nice Guys

Received this in my mail. Really nice. :-D. And of course, I agree with this one totally. This chappie, whoever it is, has expressed the thing perfectly......Read at's bound to give pleasure..... ;-)

This rant was written for the Wharton Undergraduate Journal
This is a tribute to the nice guys. The nice guys that finish last, that never become more than friends, that endure hours of whining and bitching about what assholes guys are, while disproving the very point. This is dedicated to those guys who always provide a shoulder to lean on but restrain themselves to tentative hugs, those guys who hold open doors and give reassuring pats on the back and sit patiently outside the changing room at department stores. This is in honor of the guys that obligingly reiterate how cute/beautiful/smart/funny/sexy their female friends are at the appropriate moment, because they know most girls need that litany of support. This is in honor of the guys with open minds, with laid-back attitudes, with honest concern. This is in honor of the guys who respect a girl’s every facet, from her privacy to her theology to her clothing style.

This is for the guys who escort their drunk, bewildered female friends back from parties and never take advantage once they’re at her door, for the guys who accompany girls to bars as buffers against the rest of the creepy male population, for the guys who know a girl is fishing for compliments but give them out anyway, for the guys who always play by the rules in a game where the rules favor cheaters, for the guys who are accredited as boyfriend material but somehow don’t end up being boyfriends, for all the nice guys who are overlooked, underestimated, and unappreciated, for all the nice guys who are manipulated, misled, and unjustly abandoned, this is for you.

This is for that time she left 40 urgent messages on your cell phone, and when you called her back, she spent three hours painstakingly dissecting two sentences her boyfriend said to her over dinner. And even though you thought her boyfriend was a chump and a jerk, you assured her that it was all ok and she shouldn’t worry about it. This is for that time she interrupted the best killing spree you’d ever orchestrated in GTA3 to rant about a rumor that romantically linked her and the guy she thinks is the most repulsive person in the world. And even though you thought it was immature and you had nothing against the guy, you paused the game for two hours and helped her concoct a counter-rumor to spread around the floor. This is also for that time she didn’t have a date, so after numerous vows that there was nothing “serious” between the two of you, she dragged you to a party where you knew nobody, the beer was awful, and she flirted shamelessly with you, justifying each fit of reckless teasing by announcing to everyone: “oh, but we’re just friends!” And even though you were invited purely as a symbolic warm body for her ego, you went anyways. Because you’re nice like that.

The nice guys don’t often get credit where credit is due. And perhaps more disturbing, the nice guys don’t seem to get laid as often as they should. And I wish I could logically explain this trend, but I can’t. From what I have observed on campus and what I have learned from talking to friends at other schools and in the workplace, the only conclusion I can form is that many girls are just illogical, manipulative bitches. Many of them claim they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a specimen, they say irrational, confusing things such as “oh, he’s too nice to date” or “he would be a good boyfriend but he’s not for me” or “he already puts up with so much from me, I couldn’t possibly ask him out!” or the most frustrating of all: “no, it would ruin our friendship.” Yet, they continue to lament the lack of datable men in the world, and they expect their too-nice-to-date male friends to sympathize and apologize for the men that are jerks. Sorry, guys, girls like that are beyond my ability to fathom. I can’t figure out why the connection breaks down between what they say (I want a nice guy!) and what they do (I’m going to sleep with this complete ass now!). But one thing I can do, is say that the nice-guy-finishes-last phenomenon doesn’t last forever. There are definitely many girls who grow out of that train of thought and realize they should be dating the nice guys, not taking them for granted. The tricky part is finding those girls, and even trickier, finding the ones that are single.

So, until those girls are found, I propose a toast to all the nice guys. You know who you are, and I know you’re sick of hearing yourself described as ubiquitously nice. But the truth of the matter is, the world needs your patience in the department store, your holding open of doors, your party escorting services, your propensity to be a sucker for a pretty smile. For all the crazy, inane, absurd things you tolerate, for all the situations where you are the faceless, nameless hero, my accolades, my acknowledgement, and my gratitude go out to you. You do have credibility in this society, and your well deserved vindication is coming.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The Similarity of Difference

As someone rightly mentioned in a comment, being "different" is today in vogue. It is considered the "in" thing. But, what really does one mean by "different"? Does having a dream make one different? Does wanting to be a rockstar or a poet make one different? Not really, if you ask me. Each one of us has a having a dream is in no way a factor that makes us "different". Wanting to be a Harsh a Bhogle or a Kalpana Chawla is not being "different".

Then what is? Being yourself. Today, most of us are too caught up in being "politically correct", we are too obsessed with living up to standards we perceive as having been set.....standards that we must meet to justify our status in life. We are too obsessed with these to pursue our dreams....and more importantly, we are too caught up in this to ever express ourselves in the true sense of the word....

When was the last time you had to say something you didn't really believe in, just because you knew if you said something different, you would be, well, politically incorrect, or else, because you felt your view wouldn't go down too well.....chances are it happens pretty often...with most of us, it happens daily....several times....we must say certain things, because, well, that's the done thing.....and THAT is what I object to....why must we conform? Why must everyone think alike? Being an I-Banker in NY is to be successful. Does anyone ever oppose this in a public forum? Errrr....I think not.....not the "done thing", y'know....

Someone I know said that to be oneself, would be to be selfish. I think not. Actually, if anything, it is possibly the exact opposite. If you are yourself, you are letting the other person know just who you are. After that, at least you know that if you have a friend, that friend is yours, not the friend of that fictitious being you project yourself as. You can't let down this friend, because this friend obviously knows you and therefore knows what to expect from you. You can't betray that person's trust.....