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Growing up.

October 26, 2014 1 comment

*Clears Throat* … Hello there… *looks around sheepishly* … Go ahead. Laugh. No really. I mean, after making a big deal about writing more regularly, I disappear for 3 months… It is lol-worthy. I know I would laugh at myself. But anyway.

It’s been an interesting three months…

My folks came to visit me, here in the states.While my father had been to the USA before, it was a first for mom. I saw them after a year, so that was nice. We visited a few places, so that was nice too. I got good homecooked food, which I duly stuffed myself with, and put on all those pounds I shed while I was training for the half-marathon (I think you’re growing old when the deliciousness of mom’s food starts competing with the need to “watch your weight”… Not sure how I feel about that).

We took a trip together, the three of us, and *that* was really nice… I’ve been working for a decade now. I’ve been living independently, by myself, for most of that time. However, all this while, going home, meant going back to a place where there’s someone to take care of you..

This time, though, it really felt the other way round. It felt like I had to take care of my folks. I had to be responsible for them. This is not to say that my parents couldn’t do anything without me, because really, they are more than capable of taking care of themselves. However, it felt like they depended on me for a lot of things.

And honestly, it was a lovely feeling to just be able to take care of the two people who’ve spent more than half their life, taking care of you. I sure as hell wasn’t perfect doing it, and frankly, I think there’s a lot of things I could do better (perhaps a post for another day). But it felt nice to finally be able to repay, even if in an infinitesimally small way, that kindness my parents have showered on me. It felt great to realize that you are someone who is capable and willing enough to do that.

I felt like I had finally grown up.

So, thank you mom, dad, for being who you were and are. I love you. Just so you know, your little boy, is finally growing up..

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I Want to Talk to You…

October 20, 2012 2 comments

I want to talk to you.

But I can’t.

I can’t. And I watch in despair, as I shout, I scream… I say the words that you cannot hear. I despair as I see two steady streams – of words – of thoughts – of understanding, flowing down into the valley that now stands between us… deepening it even more, eroding the rocks that remain. I see you trying to tell me things that I don’t understand because they cannot leap across the vast emptiness between us. I see how things I say don’t reach you because they disappear into the darkness of the gap that I cannot bridge.

And I cannot bridge it, because the bridge is gone.

The bridge. The bridge that I thought – knew – would always hold. The bridge made out of “… I love her”, and reinforced with “She knows I love her, and she loves me too”. The bridge that I could, and would, always use to cross over the gap we now stand on either sides of. It withstood so much… the fire, the earthquakes, the rocks, the rain, and the explosions. It shook, stretched, swung, but it never cracked. In the end, it let me get to you, no matter what.

That bridge is now gone. Perhaps, the strength of that bridge, those words, I misunderstood. It turns out, that bridge could crack. It turns out, that words can damage, and did irreparably damage, this bridge. Perhaps, I placed too much faith in the strength of those words. To me, those words were inviolate. Elementary. And I didn’t see any cracks. How could there be cracks in something that was inviolate? I didn’t realize there could be. I didn’t know.

But well, now I know. Know that what you don’t know CAN hurt you. And I am lost. Without that bridge, I am lost. I’ve screamed my loudest till I can’t scream any more. I’ve tried to throw a couple of ropes over, to rebuild this bridge. But even the smallest shock breaks it up.

I am trying. But I am also tiring. I can’t do this by myself. I need help. To stabilize the fragile structure a little, so I can get to you. So I can hear you again. So you can hear me again. Without it, I don’t know what to do. I will keep trying. I will keep shouting. I’ll keep trying to build it back till I have not the strength to move any more.

Because I still, just want to talk to you.

Categories: disappointment, life, love

Empty…

July 23, 2012 2 comments

Empty.

The house was empty. And the emptiness bore down on him. It approached slowly but surely, making sure he saw it grow and envelop him, suffocating him, crushing him – sitting on his chest, like a giant weight, that made it difficult to breathe. He had to escape.

He drove. He turned up the volume, till the music filled up the car, and he couldn’t hear his own thoughts. Thoughts about how much she despised this music he listened to. Thoughts about what good music meant…

The church was full of people. The pastor preached and he listened. The Word of God would save him. It would take over. He closed his eyes and sang along with the multitude. They were the same songs he remembered her singing beside him, her hand in his. He saw in His eyes, the love she had had in hers. The love he missed.

The mall was full of people. The low homogenous rumble of the mass of humanity going about its business. It was like static. Calming, filling, non-specific. His mind lulled, he walked about, losing himself in things – clothes, watches, shoes, books… Until he got too close to a snatch of conversation; that penetrated through the ether and stabbed at his mind. And the illusion was broken; the quiet was no more…

He was at the beach. Sat in the sand, and looking at the waves gave him peace like it always did. The natural rhythm of waves was unceasing, hypnotic. They slowed, they accelerated they grew bigger and they became smaller, but they never stopped. They kept coming back…

Just like the memories…

He tried to crowd them out, he tried to fill the void up. But it was like the house. The new IKEA sofa-set, the bookshelf, the new wardrobe with a bunch of new clothes, a new set of dinner plates, the new bed with the latest memory foam mattress, things – little and large… All that stuff… it did nothing. It only served to magnify the existence of what was not there. All it did was tell him, scream at him, how he felt…

Empty.

Categories: life, Ramble, Uncategorized

Apathy and the citizen – A call for help

April 4, 2012 4 comments

A few days ago, Purba wrote about a harrowing experience with the Gurgaon police. While an experience like that may not be something new to a lot of people, it caused me to stop and think about how much we are doing to improve the situation. The answer, unfortunately is, I think, not very much. I wrote her an email, which ended up being a blog post that she has very kindly posted up on her blog.

I am not going to reproduce it here. But suffice to say, the comments were interesting. Also heartening. It was nice to see that there are people who, in spite of the difficulties, do not give in to the temptation of taking a short-cut to get their work done. Here are a couple of examples.

I will admit, this is perhaps more than I would have done. I try and do my part. I avoid greasing palms to get work done. I stop at a red light even when there are no cops around, I am generally an honest, law-abiding citizen. On a personal level this works for me, and I have, over time, tried to recognize and remedy cases where I am personally failing in my duties as a citizen. Examples such as Rachna’s serve to renew my enthusiasm to keep up the fight at least at a personal level.

However, if I am really honest about it, it isn’t really enough. As I mentioned in one of the comments on that post, the country is my home. It is dirty and it needs cleaning up. It isn’t enough to just make my bed. I need to clean the room, the drawing room, and the kitchen too.

While I can do a bit more than what I am doing now (and I will), I am not sure if this is something that I can do alone. It is true that there is strength in numbers. However, I do not know how to mobilize the help. I need ideas on how to effectively organize ourselves to make an impact. I need help on (maybe) the use of technology to get a bunch of us together and make a concrete difference. I need pointers to something like this already being done elsewhere that I can contribute to. I need access to sources of knowledge about mechanisms like RTI that we can use as tools in this “cleanup” bid.

A part of the reason for that post on Purba’s blog is because my blog is read by all of 3 people. And the post was a call for help more than anything else. It was a call for ideas. It was a call for possible answers, or even pointers in the direction of answers. Because I do not have answers. Not all of them anyway. Not any of them, most likely.

To start with, I am going to refresh my civics, and dig some more around public policy laws that we can use, or that are, in theory, supposed to empower the citizen. I will find out more about avenues of information about what the government is doing with the citizens’ money. I will share what I find here. As a first step, the least I can do is increase awareness, mine and others’.

My request is, once again, for help. Spread the word. If you have pointers to this end, or stories, experiences, or know of programs that we can participate in … please, leave a comment. I will be eternally grateful.

I am resolving to be less apathetic, and more aware and responsible as a citizen. I hope you’ll join me.

Nuclear Power

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

In the beginning there was just, the word… And then came science… And then someone discovered radioactivity. Everyone found this interesting… Others extended the concept and discovered fission… Then things became really interesting…

That was the advent of nuclear energy…

Now there was a set of people who thought nuclear energy could be the new-clear source of energy. So they built reactors… A lot of people heralded the idea… But there was also a set of people who thought it was dangerous. They opposed it. There were demonstrations, pamphlets, speeches, conventions… The lot basically. The reactor-builders still went ahead and built reactors. There were accidents… and another round of demonstrations, pamphlets, speeches and conventions… The reactor-builders improved and built better and better reactors..

Of course, there was this other set of people which wanted to make nuclear bombs. That was scary… There were people who opposed the idea, organized demonstrations, conventions, speeches – you know the drill… And the bomb-makers continued to make bombs… and deploy them… They made them more and more sophisticated, bigger, “badder” as the clamour against them increased…

There was also this set of people who got nostalgic about the world before nuclear power. Presumably these were the set of people that also got nostalgic about the world before rapid industrialization (when that happened) and longed to go back to the time when the earth was flat. They advocated letting the U-235 disintegrate in peace. There were demonstrations, speeches, conventions and pamphlets.

People got confused, divided… And all this while, the bomb-makers made bombs… the reactor-makers made reactors, they won the preeminent science-prizes… And there continued to be demonstrations, pamphlets, speeches, conventions and peace-marches…

Categories: life, philosoraptor, Ramble

Freedom. Choices.

November 21, 2011 2 comments

Human beings are creatures of choice. In life, you always make choices – based on what you “know” at that point in time.

The path you take, will then be constrained by the choice you’ve made. When you make the choice, you’ve committed to following that path until you come to yet another fork on the road – another choice. Not taking a particular road is also a choice you make – consciously or unconsciously.

And then? Then you’re just a “slave” to your choices.

So, individually, the only possible “freedom” that you could really ask for – is the freedom of choice. The only real freedom is the freedom to choose what to do next.

But man is also a social animal. And so there are groups. And the group may limit your choices to preserve itself. And power is the privilege of deciding which choice a group is allowed to make, and enforcing that discipline. So, if you are in a group, you choose to live with these constraints in return for what the group gives you.

So, here we are in our little groups, our little world – family, society, state, country – and the only possible definition of freedom is, really, the freedom to choose what bounds to be bound by.

Categories: life, philosoraptor

This way and That…

September 28, 2011 6 comments

So, imagine this. You’re walking on this road. Just you. All alone. You cannot turn back. You cannot sit down. You have nowhere else to go. You have nowhere to turn. And so, you must walk the direction you’re walking in.

And then you see a vehicle coming at you. You move out of the way. As you continue on, you see another. And another. And yet another. And then one comes towards you. And so, you change lanes. And wave at the vehicle as it passes by. No sweat. You’re still on your way. You know you want to get to the end of this road. To find your destination. Or maybe just a rest-stop. Where you can take a break. Rest. Recuperate. Rejuvenate.

And so you keep at it. Move out of the way. This way and that, as more and more vehicles come your way. It gets a little tougher, but you’re strong. You can deal with it. You’re still on your way.

And the longer you keep at it, the bigger the vehicles get. The faster they get. And the quicker they arrive. It feels like a videogame. Only, it is not a videogame. You cannot turn it off and leave. There is no second chance. And so you dodge. Faster. Quicker. This way, and that. You just need to get to the end of the road…

This way and that… There is no respite. No break. You’re tired now. Your legs hurt. But you are doing all you can. Doing all you can to stay alive. You concentrate. Just a little further and you’ll cross this. And there will be time to rest. There is still hope.

Bigger, faster, quicker. And you’re hurting now. Hungry. Thirsty. Tired. Bruised. Your feet are lead. Your eyes are runny. You are walking, dodging, still moving this way and that. Only barely. Only by instinct. Only because evolution has ingrained in you that indefatigable desire to preserve yourself. And you start to wonder if this road will ever end. If the vehicles will ever stop coming at you. If you will be able to stop without being run over. If the only way to rest is to stop and be run over…

You’re battered, bruised, and broken. You’re one step away from giving up. And you see… the end…

Categories: experiment, life, Ramble