Saturday, 17 February 2007
I wear my heart on my sleeve. I love being in love. Its the most unexplainable feeling, a feeling of perpetual high. I know that you have heard this from hundreds of others before, but what is intriguing is that even today, each time I fall in love, I still feel the same way I did years ago in school. I vividly remember the day I walked this cute girl home after we went out to the cafe to celebrate my birthday. She kissed me on my cheek right outside her house. She was my first girlfriend and that was my first romantic kiss. I can never forget it. I couldn't sleep the whole night. I kept breaking into duets in my mind and pictured myself in a grand music video running around trees with her. I was all of seven years that day.
We held hands and walked in parks a few more times till one fine day she dumped me for this other boy who had an Atari video game console. After that she wouldn't smile at me when we met in the playground and worse still, she was holding the other boy's hand. I was heartbroken. I soon realised that a girl could leave you for another guy if he had something more to offer than you did - I learnt pretty early.
I have no grudges when my woman chooses someone else over me, it's only human. A woman is supposed to look out for the best among men to satisfy her needs, material or physical. Similarly a man will look for as many women as he can try and impress. It would be a lie to say that the search ends one day. He will never find the ultimate love of his life, because each time he meets someone new its better than the last. Biologically he will keep searching. So don't beat the system.
As I grew older, 'Atari' changed form into cycles, motorbikes and fancy cars. Years have passed by since then and many girlfriends later, its still the same story. I know the sequence well. Faces change, names change, duration of the relationship differs but the script remains the same. Sometimes I am the boy with the 'Atari' and at other times not. Before long I was addicted to this game. I loved the chase and the triumph at winning the girl's heart.
Many years ago I was initiated into becoming 'doubting Thomas' by a number of books. One among them was 'I'm OK, You're OK' and I'm sure most of you would have read it. It was my first step into the world of 'transactional analysis' and it helped me understand, why I thought the way I did. Before long I would try and decipher each emotion as I experienced it, till I read a chapter on 'tracking one's feelings'. The idea was simple, why stop enjoying the moment when you are in the midst of something that's making you happy. I no longer pause to think when I'm experiencing pleasure. I just do it. It's my cocaine.
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Get philosophical, but don't get too philosophical with life. Its not all that complicated. You have managed to reach where you are today despite all the odds against you in going about your business of living, just like billions of others around the world. You did it all by yourself. Collective human intelligence, however, suggests that there is a controller who is calling the shots and keeping things in order. Look around you, there is nothing out of the ordinary, nothing that calls for crediting any divine being.
Slow down for a moment. Do you feel that there is a purpose for your existence? Are you the chosen one? Or are you just caught up in this colossal global confusion, where your innate desire to be that unique molecule in this ocean called humanity, makes you feel like you just have to be special. Its great to have a high level of self worth but don't over do it. There is no special reason for your existence. You, like the rest of us that inhabit this planet, have no divine mission to accomplish.
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him". Buddha was a philosopher and he came up with this a few thousand years ago. He followed the ancient Sankhya school of philosophy; there was no room here for a supernatural being with powers to interfere with life either positively or negatively. Buddha did not believe in any cosmic CEO, he spoke about cause and effect, a balance. I comprehend this balance as an equilibrium that is maintained by thyself with the awareness of the merit of thine actions. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s just your own mind. To truly comprehend this thought, ask yourself this question, 'Is a good deed good because god said its good, or did god say its good, because it is good'? I know, it is sort of like the chicken and egg paradigm.
Why then are a majority of humans still living in this make believe world? Answer..it's convenient. We all need guarantees in life. There has to be a result for the actions we do. It would be a waste of time to do anything if there is no kickback. Why be good or do good if you are not going to gain anything? The birth of the concept of the almighty solved this problem. If there is someone who is always watching you, ready to reward you for your good deeds and punish you for the bad, it is worth giving it a shot. The evolution of god was also fool proof, if something undesirable happened then there is a reason behind it which is known only to the almighty. Heads he wins, tails you loose, like what my friend Ghosh points out, 'If you survive an accident its god's grace, and if you die its god's will'. The probability of anything happening now is covered with this thought process, so you can go about your life without having to feel responsible. I call this the 'Divine disclaimer'.
All this probably makes you feel like your presence is futile. Well its not. You need to give meaning to your existence. You need to choose. You are what you think you are. In your minds eye, step out of your body and look at yourself. What do you want this person to become? You have the tools; you just don't know how to use them. If god is acting as a catalyst for you, please continue using it. Ignorance is bliss and it’s very comforting to feel that there is a safety net to break your fall, if and when you slip during your trapeze act. I would rather practice and try to get better at it. I was not born an atheist, I chose to be one. It takes courage to denounce the accepted norms and take charge of your life. I don't say I am all powerful, but I don't believe in the existence of 'god' either. I don't need a crutch to walk this path of life.
What is interesting in this whole circus is the attitude of the majority towards regular occurrences. Almost everyone (I say almost) on this planet unanimously thinks that there is this supernatural, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent entity who has nothing better to do than to sit around all day and night and control everything.. and I mean everything - a leaf dropping from a tree to when Titanic hit the iceberg! Everyone is entitled to their own views I am told, so I let it be, but just stop for a moment and think. THIS IS A VERY DEPRESSING WAY TO LIVE!!! Don't wait around for the wind, start flapping.. fix a damn propeller!!
I don't say that you are in control of everything, but hell no one else is either... anything that happens to you is not premeditated by some almighty. I think life is like one big raffle draw. Look around and you always see some people hitting the jackpot... a prize that you wanted, but never got. 'Oh life is so bad, it sucks, its unfair'.... HELLO!!! Wake up... What you need to do is, buy the damn lottery ticket... some people might hit it on their first ticket yet some wont till its ticket 273, but it does not matter... the idea is to keep buying the DAMN TICKET!!!
So get out there and keep buying.. bet on everything you desire.. you are bound to hit the jackpot someday!