Tag Archives: world

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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Path and Wisdom

Cycling is one of my many hobbies, which I pursue passionately. In a week, my cycling workout is around 70 kilometers. It has being 5 years since I took cycling as a serious activity than just a means of exercise. At home, I have several that complete my workout, while back at my university, I have another set of routes, which satisfies my hunger for a ride. One thing that I admit in all this is that it is quite a repetitive activity, and it can bore you, but there is another aspect to it.

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This is my current ride- R Bike from Schnell! 🙂

15 days ago, I was home. Back home, I used to complete my cycling workout in morning when the traffic is low and roads are empty. I had completed 3/4th of the path, and 1/4th remained. As you might have heard, cycling is an activity best carried out in a group. But even if you’re in a group you are by and large alone. It is an individual activity regardless of the fact you do it alone or in a group. That morning as I waited for the traffic light to turn green, I suddenly realized how alone I was, even though vehicles and bikes surrounded me. I was my own responsibility on the road, nobody was instructing me, following me. A chill ran down my spine, and I took more time to complete the remaining 1/4th path than I did to complete the 3/4th path. As I was down to only 2 kilometers from my home, my conscience suddenly made me realize that you can’t be too careful, you HAVE to be strong and you NEED TO concentrate on the road than on your mind. Reaching home, I had this moment of epiphany, that persistence and perseverance are 2 important aspects of cycling. You can’t get lost in your thoughts, and you can’t get discouraged by the miles you have to cover to reach your destination.Screenshot_20160228-154141-2

Cycling taught me persistence and perseverance

Another morning as I was cycling on a different route, I see other cyclists going from the opposite side of the road, some acknowledge me as a fellow cyclist, others are lost in their mind, OR ARE THEY? Are they lost in their world or are they like me too busy on the path? I suddenly realize cycling is not just pedaling up and down, but rather it is more enigmatic than that. It is about staying put on the path, you have chosen and completing it with determination and focus. Once you start doubting your path, the path will slow you down, it will make you less adventurous and more cautious, it will affect you on a psychological level. You will start considering the path a burden and become less curious and interested.

Back in the university, when I went on a short cycling trip with a group essentially I was all alone. Every guy of the group was alone, but on the path, we were all together. The path meant different things for us, but we were unified on the idea of conquering the path. The destination didn’t mean much, but the journey taught me many things.

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.

 

Masculinity, violence and the expectations of a male dominated society

Yesterday I watched a movie called ‘in a better world’, it is a Danish movie, it is so amazing and beautifully heart wrenching that it made me shed a tear or two. From a couple of months I’m watching a lot of foreign movies and upto this date I watched 2 more Danish movies- the hunt and after the wedding. Both these movie and yesterday’s movie that I watched have one thing in common that they are filled with a melancholic atmosphere, they are difficult to watch because they are heart wrenching drama about family lives. I’m NOT going to review this movie but I’ll tell you what it taught me.

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The film poster

This movie, in a better world tells us the stories of two adolescent boys named Elias and Christian who share a risky friendship. Both these characters are poles apart from one another. Christian has just recently lost his mother to cancer and he is deeply disturbed by it, while Elias is a boy who is picked upon by a merciless bully in school. This film also shows the lives of their respective fathers, Christian’s father is a man who is filled with grief and guilt, he is worried about his son and his behavior, while Anton Elias’s father is a man who switched between two countries- an African country and the beautiful Denmark countryside. He too is disturbed as a result of violence during his doctor job in Africa. This movie taught me a lot of things.

The way the adolescent boys are depicted is brilliant, it makes me remember of my own mental state when I was an angst filled rebellious teenager who had hate for the entire world and was equally ineffective in distinguishing between what is good and what is bad. It also surprises me that this world is a patriarch world, where men who resort to violence are favored. This movie speaks about this and also highlights our inner dark urge for violence against a fellow human being just to exhibit dominance. This society expects that the man should be strong, dominant, cold hearted and also insensitive to emotions. These expectations are very wrong, when a man cries it doesn’t mean that he is weak it just means that he is sensitive to his emotions, and that does infer anything about his maleness at all, when a man backs out of a fight, it doesn’t mean he is coward, it rather tell his courage to not to get into trouble for the wrong reasons. All these expectations are that of a male dominated society, and they are not really the criteria for a perfect male, rather they are all signs of an irresponsible man. We should remember that man/male/boy is also a human being, he too feels emotions like pain, he is not cold hearted he too is scarred by the real world moreover he also has the right to express them. I think it is time to move on from such a hypocritic expectations, that produces a highly irresponsible man who takes up violence at the slightest instance, and gets into a fight, and move on into a world, where this society accommodates a man’s feelings, his freedom to express it and at the same time accept a man who solves problems by his wit and brain than his fist and adrenaline rush. Let’s move on to a better society and be peaceful. 🙂