Societal Congruence

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Poe has been one of the more mysterious, cryptic and veritable writers I’ve had a chance to read. A couple of tales, a handful of poems and, in turn, a lifetime of thoughts. All palpable, ofcourse.

What is it, that makes you ignore the obvious and lose touch with reality? Which makes the silliest of deceptions seem like the most tangible of actions. The most stereotypical paradox, and a paradigm of duplicity. Its “love” ofcourse, a tiny word that can be the bane of any sane person’s existence. Maybe we are too gullible to see it for what it actually is. Or maybe, we just need an excuse to ignore our existence, lose touch with any sense of individuality and just “go with the flow”. Or maybe, the human mind is programmed to fall into a pattern of homeliness and have a total disregard for logic and coherent thoughts.

Is it right,or does it even fall into the socially accepted definition of right, to let somebody else steer your actions and mold your thoughts? And why do we just let it all happen, without any demurral, towards another socially embraced institution of marriage? Is it so nauseating to be alone or is the pressure? Else why do we just give in, mind and sense along with hopes and dreams and ambitions and singularity, just to adhere to a practice?

I’m no expert on society or how it functions or why it functions in a certain way. However, I do know a reasonable bit about myself, which leads me into this thought process of questioning relationships and their purpose. Why do we need to fall in love? There are enough reminders all around us about love and its impact and how happy people, who are in love, are. Is it something that I have utterly failed to comprehend or is it something is made up by a sadistic group of people just to social engineer the rest of us? Why exactly am I expected to give myself, that too unconditionally, to somebody else, who probably wont accept me for who I am and will, in due course of time, bring about changes – imperceptible, but perennial. In a society that expects us to adhere to a particular standard, and yet applauds you for being different, what do you do? Suppress yourself in the hope to fitting in or just be yourself? Love and relationships are just a farce, to quote the cynic in me, who has been longing to get out and shout it out loud. Those who truly believe in us to care, and care enough to believe are okay to see us become what we really want to.

No wonder I can relate so well with Poe, who to quote himself, wasn’t exactly how others were and didn’t exact see as others did.

Recommendations


TBH, I was talking to my little sister and trying to click a picture I could put on Instagram when I got thinking. Books and words have this magical, inexplicable and overwhelming way of transporting us to a land far far away, where nobody can meddle into your stuff and you get to complete your journey. There is a labyrinth you get to navigate into and it is magnetic – pulls you deeper and deeper into it and then, with a sudden jerk, you find yourself on the last page and craving for more. Some people might turn this into an analogy for an acid trip, but then books are like that – addictive, hard to give up on and ready to seduce you with a journey even better than the last one. 
One of my first memories as a child have been of me running to my grand-aunt’s place, who used to run a school, and dive into the stash of Champak, Chacha Chaudhary and numerous other Hindi monthlies that she used to bring for me from her school. There was this unspoken rule that every magazine had to be returned to the library the next day. Of course she would bring them back but I couldn’t live with those hours of parting. That was the first long distance relationship I had and I gradually learned that the only way I could be happy would be if I finished every magazine the very same day. This is was beginning of a life long love and obsession with reading which has only grown and has seen me go through and come out of some extremely rough patches. 

As it is supposed to happen, I grew up. Champak was replaced by Enid Blytons that my mum started getting me. After school, half my time was spent learning Sanskrit and Hindu Mythology and the other half reading about Nancy Drew’s latest escapade. Stories of Ramayana and Mahabharatha enthralled me as much as the mysteries of Famous Five and Sherlock Holmes. Alas, the time we now live in is the time of visuals. We are quick to judge every book by its cover (in every way possible) and prefer watching over learning. More people have probably watched Harry Potter than read it. More people have played Tom Clancy over a gaming console than flipped through the novel. My point is that the interest in reading and developing it from a hobby into a passion during the growing years has receded. Bookshops and libraries attract far fewer people than multiplexes and gaming arcades. The magic has been fading but I, being a believer in fairy dust and Hogwarts, continued to believe in the power and knowledge and love and the safe haven books have to offer. With this monologue, I present a list of books I feel everybody should read atleast once in their lifetime. There is no specific order and there are so many other titles and Ebooks I’ve read, but this list has been consistent and has only become more versatile over the years. Here it goes:

  1. Harry Potter, JK Rowling – for the sheer magic it contains and how it manages to take you along for a spin every single time you pick it up. Deathly Hallows has been my constant and I continue to read it from the most random point possible whenever I feel disenchanted with our civilisation.
  2. The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay, Siddharth Shanghvi – this is a gem of a book and reinstated my belief in Indian authors after the totally garbage (toxic and non-recyclable) crap that the likes of Chetan Bhagat and Shobha Dey have come up with. The story is as believable as it gets and has been written beautifully. I hate tears and crying but I wept when it ended. This lovely story deserves to be read.
  3. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaleed Hosseini – set in war-torn Afghanistan, it’s a magical tale of camaraderie and love that teaches how to seek the silver lining when the clouds are too thick to part and let the light in.
  4. Prisoners of Birth, Jeffrey Archer – he is one of my favourite writers and has this way of writing which makes every book of his unputdownable. This one is a modern retelling of the count of Monte Cristo and makes me smile every single time Dany and Beth meet. I forgotten the number of times I’ve read this book.
  5. Tales of Ordinary Madness, Charles Bukowski – One of the lesser popular, perpetually inebriated and unabashedly honest writers of American literature, I was introduced to Bukowski a couple of years back. His words are real and hit you hard. Everybody might not be able to deduce sense out of his work, but then that’s what madness it – completely unassuming and ordinary. Read it if you are yearning to step out of your comfort zone.
  6. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy – the writer and this book need no introduction. She is one of the most acclaimed Indian authors and this book proves just why. Complexity of human nature, emotions, relationships and desire have been presented in an unprecedented way. It makes you yearn for the love they lost and amazed at the way things turn out. Every character is grey and ultimately, relatable. In the simplest terms, it’s a literary masterpiece. 
  7. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald – the first time I read this book, it took me some time to really understand what was happening. Who is the narrator? Why does he like Gatsby? Why did Daisy leave him? It took me another reading and an open mind to truely comprehend what’s as happening to realise how both fickle and forgiving human nature can be. It’s a love story unlike none. While most people may comment on the love Gatsby had for Daisy, I feel it doesn’t even hold a candle against the friendship he had with Nick and the strength of his character. No wonder Nick renamed the novel from just “Gatsby” to “The Great Gatsby”. As a side note – its one of the very few classics where I’ve felt that the movie did justice to the book.
  8. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen – this book, I’ve always felt, is Victorian and aged only because of the timeline and the era in which it was written. I say this because every aspect of it – the social structure, gossip mongering, the desire to find a suitable match for a daughter, the social stigmas related to love and rebellion and the protagonist taking a stand for herself and taking the matter in her own hands – it’s all relevant in today’s time too. It’s a timeless classic with unimaginable depth and humour offered as respite at just the right places. 
  9. The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri – She is one of the foremost Indian diasporic writers and this book proves just so. The journey of Indians with big dreams in their eyes, across seven seasons, to America and how their next generation turns out to be, along with the dilemmas they face, is a must read. From the complicated relationship Nick shares to his Father’s obsession with Gogoi, it’s brilliantly authentic and real. Ta impossible not to feel for them and their ups and downs. It’s a refreshing read and offers much more than prospective – hope and a reinstated belief in oneself.
  10. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, Pablo Neruda – I borrowed my sister’s copy for a quick read and slowly turned into an ardent admirer of Neruda. He writes about the most humane emotions in the most humane way and it’s impossible, both, not to fall in love with his writing, and not to yearn for a love that simple and fulfilling. It’s idyllic in nature and never ceases to lighten up everything around me.

This list is nowhere exhaustive and will, with time, grow. Try reading whatever you can get hands on, if not, whatever you want to, because it’s the simplest way to learn, grow, imagine and stop the time!

Contrails


(This picture is completely and in all totality, irrelevant to the post. I just added it because I miss the short hair days. I really wanna get them chopped again but my mom will kill me 🙁)

This is a new word I learned. Merriam-Webster says “a stream of water or ice particles created in the sky by an airplane or rocket”. I say a starry trail, a silver lining. An incredibly poetic way of explaining something scientific. It’s magic. Pixie Dust. Whatever.
It’s been a while since I’ve been trying to write. I can rant, I can comment but I can’t create. I can not conjure stories. I lack imagination (there, I said it). Fiction is essentially borrowing something from reality but then maybe, I’m far too wound up in the real world to open up that third eye and peep into the land of dreams. I read buck loads of fiction, not only because it gives me an iexplicable release from the mundane, but also in the unwavering hope that I might pick up some tricks. Maybe Harry Clifton’s latest escapade would teach me how to mould a tale. Maybe the mistress of Manderley would let me in to her secret of how to best describe the obnoxious housekeeper. Maybe Luna would help me overcome my inhibitions and show me how to catch wrakspurts. I know, I’m giving some random references but all I wanna figure out is why on earth am I not able to create my own fictions world? My best friends churn out stories on monthly basis. The Internet is full of people writing stuff every other day. Whatever they all write might not always be my cup of tea, but then who am I to judge? I am envious of the skill they have to bake those stories. Will I ever be able to write one? I don’t know. Will I ever stop cribbing? Hell, no! Will I ever start imagining? Maybe, let’s try!

That brings us back to contrails. It struck me metaphorically because in this word, I can imagine my journey. I am way to focused on the nuances and the technicalities and not really trying to read out the pattern. Rather than flying the engine, I should be thinking about the whirlwind of a pattern I’m gonna leave behind. The story I’ll write – my contrail.

Boredom 

  Is it humanely possible to get bored of getting so bored? All day, everyday. All the time, every single time. You turn into somebody extremely mechanical and the level of indifference you have towards the world, the ant on the wall, Donald Trump and everything in general, reaches such astronomical levels that it gets difficult to comprehend when something begins and where that thing ends. Any and every incident, no matter what, fails to create even the tiniest flicker of enthusiasm. I cry every single time I read (mind you read, and not watch) when Dumbledore dies. When Dracy acts with an attitude towards Elizabeth, literary greats expect you to cry, but I don’t. Rebecca’s loyal maidservant, Mrs Danvers burns the palatial Maderley down and I just blink. However, Tom chases Jerry in a riot of an episode and I laugh my ass off. Is it just me or is something colossally wrong with our generation and time? It’s easier to relate to strangers on tumblr and Instagram rather than have a heart-to-heart with real humans. We lose our patience easily, and without any regard whatsoever to the effort put by the other side. Is this us being selective and evolving into smarter beings or is it just boredom – to actually spare a thought and attempt an action? Whatever it might be, I am really really really bored right now.

PS – such thoughts occur mostly during long, post-lunch conference calls with whole onsite team at work.

Confessions (again and screenshotted)


 I took down my last post because of some shameful reasons but the psychonaut was kind enough to save a screenshot and viola, it’s back on!

Since I abhor publicising on social media, shoutout to the stud out there who has just started his own blog – http://bhuvesharora.wordpress.com/

Also, a big shoutout and a hug and kiss and some coconut water for my dobby, who went on a writing spree one fine day and is back in the game – https://expressingtheaccepted.wordpress.com

Also, Asmita and Shetty need to start writing soon.

Spread the love,or cynicism – whatever floats your boat:)

Blooms

  
I woke up this morning and saw a bunch of lilies bloom. I got them a couple of days and had been waiting for that. However, when the moment came, it caught me by surprise. Maybe I’m insane for getting so majorly affected by something as ordinary as blooming of a flower but it’s just too beautiful! The sheer joy I felt after looking at them and admiring them and getting happy that at least one of my life choices, i.e. to always have flowers in the house, was commendable. Baby steps potterphile, that’s how we’ll go about this. Let’s not think about anything or the bigger picture or if the ordinary things I’m doing fit into the bigger picture and just be in the moment!

BrokenHeart

  

Disclaimer – I wanted to title this post as <\heart> but WordPress didn’t let me.They should be extra considerate towards us nerds, shouldn’t they?

A huge of up growing up (?) has been the realisation that heart breaks don’t necessarily relate to love and relationships. They can sprout up from something as minuscule as Lakeview messing up my favourite Sunday or Jeffrey Archer taking forever to come up with the next in the Clifton Chronicles (I hope you’re listening Mr. Archer) to me realising how the very company I have always hated has played a significant role in the kind of career I’d have. Doesn’t help that I’ve started having these 2 am thoughts. The entire world is sleeping and I’m sitting up in my bed like a nocturnal, myopic owl and trying to figure out my life. Having one aspect of life sorted out, once upon a time, used to be a huge source of glee but now, it’s nothing but a cause of panic – what if I lose that too. I remember reading this amazing post online a couple of nights back, where they said “are you scared, or are you not ready?”. This hit an artery particularly close to my heart. People come out shadows but I seem to be moving back into them. I literally can’t wait to fast forward till a couple of months from now and see how it shapes out to be. Or maybe, this is all a by-product of reading Neruda (I will persist you in my grace) and depression about not having my hair cut since more than an year! In the meanwhile, I’ll let the broken heart spill random 2am thoughts and have outbursts of happiness when I see my next plate of biryani (I swear I’m the most fickle person I’ve ever met!).

Sepulchral

  
Words have a way of twisting their sly, ambiguous and hidden meanings into and around our minds, often weaving uncertainties and melancholy. With a heavy heart and a light head, I present “The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay”. Each page has been a treat, each word a weave of emotion. I have cried, loved and laughed with the people in those pages. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I’ll admit that I’ve fallen in and out of love with Karan and Rhea. It’s been one of those inexplicable books that take a piece of you as they end. As sepulchral as it may sound, it moved me beyond words and made me feel okay about life. Yes, we screw up. Yes, we fail. Yes, we do not achieve every single goal we set for ourselves. Yes, every dream doesn’t go fulfilled. Yes, we make bad choices. No, every intoxication isn’t consuming. I have come undone with these pages, left with this quivering doubt that do words yield that amount of power over mortals or am I a fickle fool, waiting to be consumed.

Wishlist

  
I’m a human, a good one IMHO, and am entitled to a Wishlist every new year, regardless of the fact that there’s no Dumbledore waiting in the afterlife to fulfill it. So here it does:

  1. Coke that makes your lose weight with every sip
  2. Nutella that tones your body with every lick 
  3. 2 more pairs of eyes to read more 
  4. A world where we don’t need visas to travel (my biggest peeve)
  5. Food
  6. More food 
  7. Even more food 
  8. A direction to my life 
  9. Psyhonaut’s psychotic chaos 
  10. My mum should chill more and worry less 
  11. Tony Stark should ask me out 
  12. Sirius Black should ask me out 
  13. Both of them should fight over me and the winner should be decided by a deadly combo of the triwizard tournament and the hunger games
  14. If I get number 13, I don’t need number 15. If I don’t get number 12, I NEED number 15
  15. A crossover between Harry Potter and Avengers. Loki and Lord Voldemort will absolutely annihilate New York (coz everything happens in USA) before Harry, Order of Phoenix, Thor, IronMan ❤️ and black widow stop them and rip them apart. Haven’t given a thought to Horcruxes and Hallows but this is an interesting idea for a fanfic.
  16. More trees 
  17. A husky
  18. A fat, ginger kitten
  19. A black carnation
  20. Jai Kejriwal

This has been a useless but an entertaining list. I rest my case. 

Unfocused

  
I was home a couple of weeks back and a random experiment with my phone’s camera lead me to the picture above. Like any newbie, I enthusiastically juno-ed it and increased the saturation and decreased the shadows and did all the tricks a rookie instagrammer does, before uploading it. Psychonaut shed the light on the phenomena and told me it was called a “Bokeh”. At this point of time, I have to make it absolutely clear that I am, in no certain or uncertain terms, a photographer or even remotely interested to be one. What I thought to be an accident turned out to be an actual thing. I was amused.

Fast forward to three weeks and a chance trip to some ruins where I saw this… 


T’was a shiny, glittery corner with a story untold, which beckoned me with the promise of a secret unfurled. An inverted mirage, a paradox. A prefect shroud of darkness concealing light. A mere picture which looks umpteen times prettier when seen out of focus; which makes me wonder if that’s what life is – a simple journey to be undertaken without focusing on mere trivialities. Where you don’t focus on just one thing. Where losing focus means looking at the bigger pictures and, in turn, being able to perceive more. An unfocused picture. A Bokeh. 

 

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