Tag Archives: life

Escaping reality and being empathic

 

It is about 2-3 weeks my mid semester exams are over, now everything is going on calmly, with no extraneous pressures. But the week of mid semester exams was quite an enervating week, we had exam every other day, but it had moments which shone some light on some really important facts.

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Every person in this world wants a better reality than the one that they possess!

It was the day before my penultimate exam. I had just awoken from a nap, and just began studying the notes. But somehow nothing was getting inside my head. I was scared, so I called my friend and asked him if it would be OK if I come over his room and we could study together. He agreed, and I was happy by it. In about 15 minutes, I was at his room in his hostel. We started studying the notes together and it began quite fruitfully. Our conversation as we revised took a different turn. They turned from me asking my friend doubts to us talking and comparing room sizes and roommates. I was surprised to know that we faced similar problems. As hours went by, I got acquitted with his room, surroundings and hostel in general. My mind unconsciously compared my room to his, it started finding shortcomings and problems with my room. I grew familiar with his surrounding, and after spending about 7 hours in his room, my mind started accepting his room as my own. Suddenly, my mind fronded at the fact that I HAD to return to my room again. My mind started finding comfort in someone else’s surrounding, somehow it found comfort in the idea of escaping the reality I faced. I was happy to tell him that I could exchange his room for mine, if it was fine for him. Moreover, I knew that he too liked my room, and would be more than happy to exchange. But now my mind shrieked, “BEING EMPATHETIC IS FINE, BUT ESCAPING REALITY ISN’T”.

After about 1 week after my exam got over, I went home. This time I went home after about 2.5 months. I was excited at the same time really happy to taste home food after a long time. After coming back, I cycled, played my piano, and watched a couple of movies. The night before my flight back to Delhi, I couldn’t sleep, I was restless. I couldn’t believe my senses that I had to go back, and the whole week had gone in a blink. My mind comforted in the idea of staying at home, it found happiness in escaping reality than facing it.

Coming back to the university was difficult, I was feeling homesick and tired. As the week started, I again began the routine of cycling to classes, and back. My university cycle was not as awesome as my home cycle. There was a periodic sound coming from around the pedals of the cycle. The air pressure in my tyres was low. Out of the blue, I thought my home cycle. It never had any problems, it rode smoothly. But this cycle well it was officious. I had an epiphany, I faced a similar situation during exams. I was NOT accepting reality, I was trying to escape it. I was balancing pros and cons, and making comparisons.

Somehow the world that I know of lacks empathy. The people of this world are increasingly narcissistic, and are completely imperturbable to another person’s lifestyle. But there is an irony here. We are ready to trade and exchange for a better life, we are ready to escape a harsh reality for a reality which is much more comfortable and better. We are ready to wear somebody else’s shoes if they are grander, shinier and comfortable than our own. The concept of empathy and escaping reality are facets of the same coin. We are not emphatic, but we are ready to accept a better reality than our own. This particular aspect makes our life difficult, we are not comfortable in our own skin. Due to this, we don’t experience and feel things the way we should. Only when we accept the things that we face, only then can we really enjoy the life that we have.

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The Fall

A few days ago, I had gone out for a vacation, that’s why there was no post for a couple of days. But this short vacation that I went on, was quite inspirational and insightful.

The place that I visited in my vacation was a hill station in Gujarat, India. It is about 1000 meters from the sea level. Like any other hill station, it has lush greenery and a mountainous landscape. There were many tourist points, and the one that instigated me to think, was the Table land. It is plateau on top of hill, where you can do a number of things- that are quite missing in an urban life, like riding a horse, etc. This plateau is surrounded by declines and ascends of land, which appear like folds on a crumpled bed sheet. The day I visited this amazing landscape, I was quite ebullient and excited. With that rabid enthusiasm running through my veils, I tried to climb a dangerous high point on this ironically flat land. My mom and dad watched me from a distance; they were keenly observing me with a particular shrewdness a parent watches. And at that point, I SLIPPED; luckily I was able to hold on to the safety railings. By seeing me almost fall down from a steep point, my parents were furious, but there is where the insightful moment lies.

saputara Chaitanya's photos 174Zenith Point on the table land

As I tightly held onto the guard rails, almost coming too close dangerous to the point that I almost went tumbling down from the zenith point, my dad looked at me, and gave me an uneasy smile, and he said,” A man in his life has to answer 2 principal questions- one is what is his role in this world? And what is his fate rather he should have the ability to recognize and acknowledge his fate. And you young man, are not properly answering these 2 questions and delving into completely unknown territories!” Well my dad was quite implicit in what he said, his underlining message was quite clear- Be careful, but he unknowingly triggered in my mind a series of thoughts about this mysterious concept- fate and its recognition in your life. These 2 questions are the main basis on which the heavy metal legends Iron Maiden compose their melodies rather a more appropriate word would be anthems. These songs are enigmatic, and get me thinking each time I listen to them. Similarly, what my dad said was a general truth. These 2 questions have to be answered by each and every person born on this planet. But the thing that really got me thinking was predetermination of fate and rigidity of the future. The general truths posit that fate and future is rigid, stubborn, and unchangeable. These 2 things cannot be altered or changed.

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A memorable quote from Terminator 2

At this point, I beg to differ. I don’t think this is the case after all. Our actions have consequences, and as we progress in this ’brave new world’, our choices determine the path of our fate. This reminds me of my personal favorite and world-renowned Sci-Fi movie series- Terminator. The theme of this series deals with the inevitability of the future, and how the characters- Sarah Connor, John Connor, Terminator try to alter this inevitability. It also deals with the dilemma one faces when one has to take responsibility of his/her fate. In this world, we too go about in a similar way, we struggle with fate, with our future not consciously but our choices underline this aspect. This reminds me of another saying-

“What goes around, comes around”

This truth is also based on the fact that the future and our fate are changeable, and that our actions we take in this world are consequential.

I guess in our life, we struggle with these 2 choices- one is where we have to accept what fate has to offer to us, and the other is where we have to make our own fate.

I was surprised that this unfortunate fall would turn out to be so philosophical and insightful.

The Grey Photograph

We take photographs to capture memories. It helps us capture past times, times that will never return. We all feel that sense of accomplishment and excitement when we take a good photograph. But I want to ask you this one question, what is a good photograph? A photograph that truly captures the moment? Once in a while, we take such a photograph, and when we look back at it, we fell accomplished and happy. There are some photos, which not only capture the moment, but they capture the sharpness and brutality of reality. I took one such photo, when I was cycling back home. As I was cycling back home, I saw this scene, and thought to myself, “This would be an awesome scene to click”, so I stopped, parked my cycle, took out my cell phone and clicked away. What I didn’t realize at that instance was that this would be one photo that I would remember for a long time.

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As you can see, there is a small house in a depression of ground, this ground is not dry, but it is partly covered by water. This made me think of the life we live. How our surroundings are a manifestation of our thoughts and perspective that we hold dear. That depression on the ground is the spectrum (range of our mind), and that lone house signifies us. If you imagine the house to be a living being, like a tree which cannot move, it doesn’t really know what is beyond the border edge. It doesn’t really realize how beautiful and wonderful this life is, it only sees what the mind reflects. The moral this photograph taught me was to never narrow down our sight rather our vision, always keep an open point of view. You can’t be like that house, you have to more than that, you have be like the trees that surround the house, ever growing, and having a broad perspective of the overall world. Ironical to what I captured, we are unfortunately like that house in depression, which is happy to see things that are directly in front of it, but completely ignorance of how vast the world is beyond the boundaries. We should always remember one thing in our life, we SHOULD not be closed minded individuals, with a rigid set of ideals, but rather we should be open for inspiration, we should have the capability to see beyond the walls that surround us. Remember, there are thousands of things to envision beyond the ordinary things right in front of you.

 

The Play of Change

It was lazy summer Monday, as I looked at my cycle, it reminded me that its tires had less air pressure in them. I went into my balcony to fetch my air pump, and went straight towards my cycle tires. Well as we all know this, filling up air into cycle tires, is not a piece of cake, and it is quite a ‘tiresome’ process. So as to reduce my physical misery, I plugged into my Ipod, and pressed the shuffle button on it.

Coincidentally, the first song which was played on my Ipod was my favorite song – Californication by the funk rock band Red Hot Chilli pepper. It is quite a relaxing listen, and while listening to this song, I was filling up air in my tires. The lyrics of the song went on as follows –

“Psychic spies from China try to steal your mind’s elation

Little girls from Sweden dream of silver screen quotations”

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The lyrics of this particular song are quite spectacular in its own ways!

This song transported me into a new dimension. It was quite unusual phenomenon, despite the song being catchy, it didn’t distract me from the primary task at hand, rather  it made me concentrate more on it. As I was filling up air, the bright sun rays which were falling on my cycle suddenly dimmed, as if somebody came up from behind  me and drew the curtains. Initially I thought someone came up from behind me to prank me, but to my surprise there was no there, only I was there with my pump and cycle. I ignored this phenomenon, and continued filling up air, and again suddenly there was light on me, bright sun rays again fell on me. This particular activity went on for a while, as all these interesting things kept happening, in my headphone Californication played on. For all the people who haven’t heard this song, this song basically talks about how things go about in California, rather how California is actually Hollywood and vice versa. But I like to interpret it as a song about change. How seemingly random happenings in our world, have small but certain influence on our ways and perception of things around us. The bright and dim foreplay of the sun and clouds in nature, made me think about whether somebody was standing behind me. All I’m trying to say is that we are victim of changes occurring in this brave world. These changes may not always be pertaining to us, they may be occurring on a larger scale of things such as nature, but  they do have an influence on us. In short, we can consider change to be happening/ incident in our everyday life, whose casualty is us. The causality can be a positive thing for some of us, on the other hand others may not cope up well with it. The positive or negative causality of change depends upon us, and our perception of change. As I’m lost in my thoughts, suddenly my mind is distracted in the right direction towards my headphone, which still played the same song.

The lyrics now says –

” The sun may rise in the east, at least it settles in the final location”.

At that moment, I realize that the “Sun” is the change, and East and final location(West) are our perception of change.

This is the music video of this great song! 🙂

😀 🙂

An open letter

Hey! It has being a long time, since we met each other. There are a number of things to be discussed during each other’s time of absence. Despite the time we spent together, having a good time, and understanding each other, I’m sure we would have done this one particular thing – judging. Yes, judging, it is an activity done by each and every human being on our planet Earth, judging a person by his actions, emotions to a particular set of circumstances. You will see that I have used “particular set of circumstances”, because you can’t expect each and every situation to happen in a short time frame, during which you have known me. By that particular set of circumstances, you would have definitely formed an opinion about me, you might have associated certain words with me, but in this letter I’m not here to see and understand what you think about me, I’m here to assert the fact that I will be what  I will be.

You might have met me, during hard times or angry times or happy times, and I’m sure you will have an opinion about me, words associated with my personality. But, you would have never undertaken an important activity- showing empathy- which is all about walking in somebody else’s shoes. You might have told me what is wrong about my ways and personality, and you even went above the fence about suggesting some solutions to this problem of “personality”. Despite doing this activity which is full of negativity, I would forgive you because you are a human being who judges a book by its cover mostly, considers yourself as an ideal human being, and also are a bit of hypocrite about being non-judgmental. I will forgive you, i will forgive you and be greater and better man, because the problem lies in you. But there is still time to change this bad lifestyle, only when you accept that seeing a cover of a book is just not enough, it doesn’t really tell you what’s inside. Well a note to my under-confident friend, don’t be afraid, and don’t be under-confident about your ways and about who you are, because you are perfect in your own ways. I think you shouldn’t ask anyone this question, “Is there something wrong with me?”, because this answer would always be yes, yes because you are unique, yes because there will be always some shortcomings, yes because there is no such thing as an ideal human being. But I’m sure, there is one thing – relativity regarding personality – people might be more like you, or less like you, it doesn’t make you a lesser human being, it makes you who you are. The ultimate goal in our life should be to be better versions of ourselves and not somebody else’s self.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Your unique human being

🙂

Blank Space

It was 11.15pm in the night, I’m conflicted between 2 thoughts – one to write an article about a certain idea I have in my mind, and my mind telling me you are too tried to concentrate. But I gave into my former thought, and started writing an article. But this article which I had started writing was different, it had no title on it, it was blank. Well I thought to myself, whether it was right to write a title of the article, or to write on with the flow of my thoughts. This time I chose the latter, and continued to lay down my story, my ideas on paper, without giving a thought about the petty title. By giving a title an article, I would confine myself only to a particular line of thought, and not go beyond that, on the other hand without a title, I would be like a tree who spreads its roots in all possible direction, and would expand on a variety of thoughts and ideas. All these thoughts made me think of the other writers, who are also writing , are they conflicted by such trivial things, or whether they just ramble on with their ideas. But I continued writing my thoughts, well by now it had an intro, and I was thinking about how to begin writing the body of the article, when I had this bright moment of epiphany. a-mind-that-is-stretched-by-a-new-experience-can-never-go-back-to-its-old-dimensions-quote-1

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. sir I salute you!!

We begin our life as a small child, full of innocence and undiscovered things and habits, we don’t as a child have a particular line of thoughts, all that we are confined to is the cycle of sleep-wake-cry-eat-poop-repeat. It goes on until we are old enough to think about which particular toy we like and we want, which color we like, which sport we like. Then as years go on, our line of thoughts starts getting narrower and narrower, we start developing likes and dislikes for a particular thing, we starting putting boundaries in our world, to confine ourselves to a particular set of experiences, and become completely immune to  experiences which are not particularly our jam. I don’t think we should do such an unfeasible activity, at that moment I start removing the mental fences I had put up in my mind, and allowed my mind to drift into the unexplored territories without being afraid, that  I might fail. If we fail, still we win, we become wiser, and if we win, we learn to push onto our limits. I start deconfining myself, by removing those mental fences. and at that particular time, I find myself, writing the end of the article. The body, which I had written, it had variety of thoughts, ideas and experiences all completely random, but somehow cohesive to one another. As I write the last sentence of the article, I realize one another thing, I forget to give a title. I think it would be appropriate to leave a blank space, at the place where I would be writing the title. It would be UNTITLED. Quotation-John-Steinbeck-ideas-pretty-Meetville-Quotes-10

Its all about getting ideas out of you!

Until the next time guys! 😉 😀

All that matters is humanity

It was a fine day, the music player of my phone was playing all my favorite songs, as the player played a hit after a hit it came to a song by the band metallica- wherever i may roam. It reminded me of a particular incidence in a place away from home. 1 year ago during my summer vacation I had being to a place about 500 or 600 km from  home to a place where I had my internship. During that period I had a first hand experience with dealing with roommates. My first roommate was also a summer intern, but his stint ended a week earlier than mine. When my old roommate left, a new one came well he was not a summer intern, but it had come for a small course of 2 weeks here. This roommate was quite intriguing, he didn’t understand English he only spoke a language I was completely unfamiliar with, well he did understand English but only to a limited extent. The conversation we had were only in few broken English words and hand actions to tell necessary things. When you don’t understand the language the other person speaks, you become elusive and alert you try to judge that person and view him or her in a particular way. That’s what happened to me. When the time came for me to leave the place, it so happened that my roommate would also leave a day after I would leave. As it was my first ever stay away from home, my parents were coming to the place where I was, to pick me up and in that particular area there weren’t any good hotels to stay. I was trying tirelessly to make a place to stay for my parents in the same place where I was staying, as the room I which I was staying had 3 beds, and only 2 beds were occupied at that particular time.

Peace

This is one lesson I learned by my stay away from home!

One day when I was talking  to my parents on my phone, and I was pretty disappointed that they had to stay someplace far away from my place, my roommate somehow got a hint of my conversation and concern of my parents on the phone. After my call ended in a bit of disappointment, he asked me what was the problem?, in my broken English and hand symbols I told him that my parent were coming and they had no place to stay. After seeing the empty bed lying in front of me and my empty and disappointed face, In the same manner of sign language and broken English, he told me that he would move to another room in the same place, so that my parents could stay in this same room. Hearing this, I told him that it was fine and that told him to not worry about it. I told him that doing this it would be inconvenient for him. But he insisted, he told me they are your parents and they needed a place to stay, they can stay here I will find another place to stay. Hearing this I felt a bit obliged and I told him not to do this. Somehow afterwards everything went well my parents got a place to stay the night, since the next morning we were leaving for home, my roommate stayed in the same room, I moved for the night to the place where my parents were staying. But this incidence taught me one thing, just because you don’t understand the language the other person is speaking in and even if you communicate in a somewhat weird manner we should not have a prejudice against that person. We have to understand that we are all humans and regardless of what the other person speaks in we all understand our human ways. Everybody knows that when we are with our parent all that we want is convenience for them. That room mate of mine was ready to move out of the room so that my parents could stay there, even if  that meant bringing inconvenience to him despite the fact that I knew him for only one week. I feel bad that I judged him too early but it taught me and told me the meaning of the saying.
It is important to be a human, than to be just a human being. 🙂

A Mug of Responsibility

As I went about the sink to wash my plate after dinner, in front of me, stood my milk mug- waiting to be washed. I had been keeping that mug for washing every day for the last 5 years. But today, some force took hold of me, and I took the mug instinctively and washed it in an instant. These are the final days of my home stay, and in a couple of days I would leave home for higher education. The first lesson to be an adult is to be responsible for ones own actions.

Change is the only constant

You must have come across this myth several times in your life- Nothing changes in a day but everything changes when you look at the big picture. We want our life, our routine to stay the same, but despite this we still want something interesting occurring in our life, so that it changes everything. It is ironical, but it is true. Wherever we like a certain spectrum of bands that play similar music( rock scene, pop scene), we make a vow to ourselves that we would listen to this music for the rest of our life, but as years pass unconsciously we change the music we listen to, and subsequently break that vow we made years ago.

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The inspiration behind the post!! Thanks C.S. Lewis sir!!

This just highlights the most important aspect of our life- Change; Change is a factor that drives almost each and every aspect of our life. It is string of events that occur that change our situations in our life, they are good, bad, worst, but remember they are NEVER permanent. It teaches us to adept to this ever flowing river called life; the way we react to change makes everyone different. During my 2 months stint away far away from home. I got used to the hostel life, I truly enjoyed it, but when I came back home, I found it hard to get back to my normal life. The moral of the story is don’t make the mistakes I made, don’t get used to a particular way of life, don’t put your heart and soul to a particular way of life, in short don’t attach feelings/longings to a particular routine, adopt a simple principle- Change is the way of life. Have you observed a particular thing that happens to us when we’re listening to music, we tend to enjoy music when we are in a journey, or when we are in a transient phase, than when we are at equilibrium. This is just another way of life telling us that TO CHANGE IS TO GROW. Change is the only constant, embrace it not too tightly, but ENJOY it!!