Truth

I had spoken, or did I not? I don’t remember.

I see a smile, a pair of eyes, someone familiar, but who? – I don’t remember.

Vestiges of a celebration, a persistence, a wish to celebrate – celebrate a specious existence? I’m not sure..

I remember some anguish, some heaviness of heart – deep meaningful mourning – a sense of loss and longing – for whom and for what? – I don’t know.

I had seen, seen so much, quietly – I recognize nothing.

I had heard, something loud, something voiceless – it was beyond silence, I think.

I had thought and thought some more, I know nothing.

I had felt so much, tried so hard –  only to give up.

I had been living with people, like they did – or did I imagine?

Is this life or do I make it this? – I’m living a truth

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These times..

These have been the times of wonder. Almost on everything – within and about me.

Last year has seen so many changes in so many dimensions, that I relate with. Very little that surprised me but paradoxically only increased the curiosity – The curiosity about this life, our self and our relationship with our world.

And as another year sets its foot, a high profile death gets the media glare and something engrosses me more than I intend – maybe it’s to do with the time I have, at hand.

I write here a memoir– on the time that has been.

Last year began on a public furor on a gang-rape in December 2012. On the day of the demised victim’s birthday in Jan, AIIMS, ironically, had a few victims of gang-rapes, reeling under its aftermath and recuperating in the premises.

There were a series of reports, social media campaigns and protests. I participated in my own small way. The only saving grace of such protests being that the cat was out of the bag.

Personally, through a lot of these years, I have been variously sensitized to the issues of women -which I would delve in time and again. Thanks to a lot of great ones who’ve crossed my way.

This was also a time of finality for some dear ones, after hours, days and years of uncertainty. And for me, the time to wonder on ‘why’?

–          Why are we brought up in such an insecure environment, when our philosophies embrace universality – universality of our being and everybody else’s? And what stops us from experiencing that?

–          What is love after- all? A conference in the West, concluded that there are 5 kinds of them.By their definition, I have known them all. I know of an emotion, but that doesn’t seem to justify it enough. And here, I’m not even restricting it to one kind of it – the prevalent one in India, given its young crowd.

–          My good male friend told me once – ‘You cannot even imagine, how most of my fraternity thinks about women in general’. And women are said to be complicated? I came                across artists and articles by women of different nationalities. They opined that feminity is considered as an ‘undiscussed disability’. Why? Why do women have to lean on a              male, this thought given to her since childhood?

Uttarakhand tragedy happened. Gave people a chance to reflect and share. Some people saw it as a huge loss, the others saw it as an opportunity. Though I believe the ratio was skewed towards the good ones, nothing could assuage the extent of loss.

‘AAP’ assumed centre stage. There have been unending opinions on AAP and Anna and what not. I feel Anna doesn’t really need an ‘AAP’(with RTI, Lokpal etc. under his belt) and vice-versa, though there’s lot to be done to justify the intent(the Delhi elections).

–          But what is the problem with good people staying together? I rarely see that happen, when crooked ones find a way generally. If idealism only makes you a bigger egoist – is it worth it?

Asaram – the savior of so many souls, losing his own. Subsequent onslaught on spirituality – its need, its validity.

–          Can spirituality ever have an authority? Is it not the deepest human need to know – why and how we come from nothing, spend some time and leave every single thing,         even our body- to dissolve back into nothing?

Then the Tarun Tejpal scandal happened- where he was ironically ‘thinking sex’ in his ‘Think Fest’.

–          Why did a 24-year old women feel the need to discuss sex with a 50-year old boss? Did she aspire for a great career on easy terms(if that’s easy)? As a country, what is the     benchmark of our morality, or should we even bother?

Sunanda Pushkar’s death and the role of social media.

Personally, I have sensed a lot of loneliness and negativity, amongst people as virtual networks have expanded of late. There has been more and more of disconnect and misunderstanding, which could have been easily overcome by few minutes of a personal contact. Feeling of being lonely is very scary. We are not born to be lonely, maybe that’s why the idea of a family, society, country, God etc. exists, so that, even when we’re alone, we’re not lonely. I have been through the perils myself. Last year though mostly, it had been an intent, to be an able support, to any close one, leaning on. We all need it sometime.

This case made me write today. A case of being other centered- is that love? I don’t know. It is very disheartening, but should somebody’s (perceived/real) lack of interest drive you to a suicide? Money can buy modes of happiness, people can keep you happy for a while. Conjugal love becomes realistic after some years – this immaterial of the love /arranged setup or how it gets portrayed on social media. The question is how long do you chase or hate and for what? How responsible do you feel for your self? And if somebody really loves you, would s/he be happy to see you sad?

I have lived in times where apart from my folks, I don’t know whether I’m loved or hated.I have had my challenges, always! I have felt tired too. All I know is, barring a few instances of informed actions, I have been acting on instincts and reflexes(People are technology savvy, better informed than me!).Looking back, I could only say – maybe it was a plan. But plans take a toll on you, and if felt, fill you with the humility to surrender.

Hope it’s a year of promise ahead- A harbinger of something good.

Of Marriage

Flipping through the pages of Khalil Gibran’s works, after a long time, came across some beautiful excerpts. Difficult to find a concurrence these days, but nonetheless, sharing one, as sort of a dedication too.

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?

And he answered saying :

You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness.

And let the winds of heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love :

Let it rather be a moving sea between shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together :

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.