They say when one manages to lead themselves to the dumps, one should pray. Now being the agnostic that i am, prayers in the conventional forms, do not appeal as much as relevant words (the meaning of which I understand :P). So while I was listening to my collection of music, I found this song which can be an apt prayer.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring to you : Higher by Creed. The thought behind the song, the lyrics and the voice all mean to appease the soul off the thoughts that bring us to the level of being humane, something which we have long forgotten .. So if you like what you read in the next few lines..do not forget to listen to the song right at the end of the post.
When dreaming I’m guided through another world
Time and time again
The world where I see everything in harmony… Where I have all the people who matter to me, with all the happiness they’ve ever wanted.. with the happy moments of the past and the present, prancing in front of me…
At sunrise I fight to stay asleep
‘Cause I don’t want to leave the comfort of this place
Dont bring me down now… Let me stay here , in this state for a while. Let me not transcend into the real world, where I can only see but not touch and be unconscious to the feeling that lies deep inside me. That of faith, which I can otherwise not restore..
‘Cause there’s a hunger, a longing to escape
From the life I live when I’m awake
I want to break the shackles of all my life I live in today. I want to escape that seething face when I reach work which eggs me on to do mistakes.. I want to give up on the talk that I make to persuade people just to help me live a day longer.. I dont want to be awake with habits, I long to live far away .. In oblivion..
So let’s go there
Let’s make our escape
Come on, let’s go there
Let’s ask can we stay?
So let me go there… Let me make that escape. Let me be where I want.. For once.. Let my exasperation to hear me out reach you.. Let me please stay.. Just once 🙂
Can you take me higher?
To the place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To the place with golden streets
My capacity is only such that I reach some part of you.. Can you take me higher..To the place where I find peace…Where I see harmony.. Where I see pure indulgence.. In each other.. Where I see no distinction, between a blind man and me.. Take me to a place higher, where I see no poverty, no proof of material longings, no evidence of pain and no scathe on humanity…
Although I would like our world to change
It helps me to appreciate
Those nights and those dreams
This is where most of my world agrees with me.. I want my world to change, not for me alone.. But then this world is my only window to appreciate the dream of seeing it change someday… It harnesses my energy to appreciate the good (however little of it) that I do everyday… It makes these thoughts valuable enough to ink them here...
But, my friend, I’d sacrifice all those nights
If I could make the Earth and my dreams the same
If I can only realise these dreams, I would not feel the need to feel inconsequential.. Will not want to escape.. Would want to live here and work on everything to make this.. everything that I ever wanted to be..
The only difference is
To let love replace all our hate
So let’s go there
The only way I can do this is by letting go.. Of all the hate that they built in me.. By replacing everything sad, with everything happy.. By not sulking that it didnt happen.. By being at peace, that someone or something, had the power to move me.. By loving everything that happened so far.. and anticipating everything good will happen later as well.. I am getting my answer to my exasperation of survival.. I am getting there…
Up high I feel like I’m alive for the very first time
Up high I’m strong enough to take these dreams
And make them mine
And atlast, when I realise my answers through this prayer of mine, I feel alive. I feel you have heard me and enlightened me. My life has been renewed. My exasperation has been mellowed.. I am now at peace…
Did you find your prayer yet?
And so, I finally write about Durga Puja. Yes, this year it seems to be more special than the earlier ones. Why? Cos I decided to venture out on my own to hop into the Puja Pandals by myself! my trusted comrades (let us call them my Ms.Calvin and Mr. Hobbes) , me and our very trusted Street Hawk, our driver, decided to span Mumbai at its Bong Best.
For the uninitiated, here is a little story which will make you understand the Durga story (courtesy: http://www.theholidayspot.com/durgapuja/akalbodhan.htm)
In the ancient times, a demon called ‘Mahishasura’ earned the favour of ‘Lord Brahma’ through extreme austerity and prolonged meditation. Pleased with the devotion of the demon, the lord blessed him with a boon that no man or Deity would be able to kill him. Empowered with the boon, Mahishasura started his reign of terror over the Earth and Heaven.
Invasion of Heaven:
People were already being killed mercilessly and even the Gods were assaulted.
Yet the worst was yet to come. It came when a strong army of demons was gathered to siege the abode of the Deities. The army was led by the king Mahishasura, the green skinned demon with the form of a giant buffalo. With its weapons of iron, and its phalanxes of elephants and charioteers the army finally marched on the king of gods, Purandara or (Indra), defeating him. Then, Mahishasura usurped the throne of heaven.
The victory was complete, and all the gods were driven out of the heaven. Routed they went to the trinity of the Supreme Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva to save themselves and the men on the world.
The orgy of violence vis-a-vis the invasion of the heaven by the evils enraged the Supreme Gods. Their faces were flushed with anger and a dazzling luminescence flooded forth. Great flames and thunderbolt streaked through all directions. The fires illuminated all the three worlds: the heaven, the earth, and the nether-world with penetrating beams of light.
The Birth of Durga:
At a single point, the energy of all the fires coalesced and assumed a shape, in the form of a young woman. Her face was from the light of Shiva. Her ten arms were from Lord Vishnu. Her legs were from Lord Brahma.
The dispossessed gods were awed by the supreme energy and enchanting beauty of the conceived Goddess. They praised her and equipped her with their divine gifts: Shiva gave Her a trident with a spear-end. Krishna gave her rotating disc. Varuna, the God of sea, gave her a conch and the God of fire gave her a missile. From the wind, Vayu, she received arrows. The king of gods, Indra, gave her the thunder-bolt, and the gift of his white-skinned elephant Airavata was a bell. From Yama, the god of death, Durga received a rod, and from the Ruler of Waters she was given a noose.
Durga received many other precious and magical treasures– gifts of jewels , new clothing, and a garland of immortal lotuses for her head and breasts. Heaven’s architect gave her a bright axe and magic armour. God of mountains, Himalayas gave her jewels and a magnificent lion to ride into battle.
Now equipped with the fearsome weaponry and magical powers of the gods, and dressed in golden armour and jewels she set off, seated gracefully upon the lion. His thunderous roars shook the three worlds. Oceans swelled up to scrape the sky and surf broke over the land. Continents were torn at their granite foundations as whole new chains of mountains rose, while older ranges crumbled, cracked, and gave way to dust in a thousand landslides. Seeing these cataclysmic rippling in waves through all the three worlds, Mahishasura and his demon allies found their attention drawn from heaven to Earth. Though confident of their power and control in heaven, even the conquering demon host could not help being awestruck.
The demons had little time to admire the radiant visage of their new adversary, for soon she engaged them on the battlefield. First, the army of Chikasura, and then that of Chamara, the two chief commanders (also called Shumbha and Nishumbha, of Mahishasura by some) were met. They were destroyed in a great battle.
Now it’s turn for Mahishasura.
The Termination of Mahishasura:
Confident but confused by the humiliating defeat of his loyal and powerful commanders Mahishasura did his best in arranging and equipping his personal army.
This time the heaven was led by Durga as the boon of Mahishasura could only make him invincible against all but woman. Surrounded by chants of praise, the blowing of horns the beating of drums and songs of worship Durga roamed the battlefield on her mighty lion. From her divine breath her army was constantly replenished with new warriors, each able, brave and resolute.
Shocked and enraged by the disastrous events on the battlefield. In a mad desperate bid Mahishasura then reverted to his own form, a buffalo, and charged about on the battlefield. In a wild rage he charged at Durga’s divine soldiers wounding many, biting others and all the while thrashing with his long, whip-like tail. Durga’s lion, angered by the presence of the demon-buffalo, attacked him. While he was thus engaged, Durga threw her noose around his neck.
But through magical spell Mahishasura kept changing his shape and form from one to another so as to puzzle the Devi.
Finally the Goddess beheaded the buffalo and from it emerged Mahishasura in his original form. Durga pierced his chest with the trident and relieved the world from the evil power.
The gods returned to heaven, and along with the sages of the earth, they sang praises and showered floral compliments to the Goddess Durga.
Henceforth, and to this day, the Goddess Durga is worshipped by all the gods in heaven, and all human beings on earth. Mahishasura is there too–frozen in his moment of final defeat, impaled by Durga’s spear and seeking pardon beneath her left foot. The Goddess Durga then continued to be worshipped in this form.
According to Puranas (the epics), King Suratha, used to worship the goddess Durga in spring. Thus Durga Puja was also known as Basanti Puja (Basanta being spring). While the vernal worship of Durga still goes on but it is the Ram’s Akalbodhan during the autumn that came to be a most widely accepted practice.
In the ‘Ramayana’, as it goes, Rama went to ‘Lanka’ to rescue his abducted wife, Sita, from the grip of Ravana, the king of the Demons in Lanka. Before starting for his battle with Ravana, Rama wanted the blessings of Devi Durga. He came to know that the Goddess would be pleased only if she is worshipped with one hundred ‘NeelKamal’ or blue lotuses. Rama, after travelling the whole world, could gather only ninety nine of them. He finally decided to offer one of his eyes, which resembled blue lotuses. Durga, being pleased with the devotion of Rama, appeared before him and blessed him. The epical battle started on the ‘Saptami’ and Ravana was finally killed on the ‘Sandhikshan’ i.e. the crossover period between Ashtami (the next day) and Navami (the day after). Ravana was cremated on Dashami. This is why Dashera is celebrated in India with so much of fanfare and the effigy of Ravana is burnt.
In course of time Bengalis adopted the autumnal worship of Durga performed by Rama and made it their main festival. The Pujas span over the four days, the time taken by Rama to finally kill and cremate Ravana. ‘
After landscaping Mumbai, it was time to explore a bit of our friendly neighbourhood laid back town… Pune! And so Hobbes, me and Ma set off on our little exploration of Ma Durga. Little did I realise, that self-realisation was on my way as well… All this in the next piece…
Pune showcased the perfect town landscape. No commercialisation (virtually, except the Bengali cuisine and sari stalls) and absolutely fantastic idols. Time constraints, didn’t allow us to scan the whole of Pune except the ones showcased here. Comments are welcome!
An energetic set out, a beautiful journey, lots of good food and a deeper meaningful relationship with my culture. My collectibles. Not to mention the little nostalgia. Look out 🙂
After months of infatuating over a single guy, I burst my bubble by telling myself he would never like me back. It was like telling me that I didn’t want to have fatty products when I was trying to be thin; which ended up failing as well. So then, after the mourning with the drinks and cribbing bout my ruthlessly boring life, I decided to get back in the dating scene once again. Although, this time there were four paths which I could follow:-
a. Dating complete strangers who know nothing bout me.
b. Go out with men friends who have asked me out on several occasions earlier.
c. Go out with a man by asking him out myself.
d. Simply do not date and hang around with friends.
Being the “astrologically CONFUSED” person that I have been labelled in a lot of such situations, the peradventurous me, decided to wander along each of the paths to see which one of them suited me most. What followed were a series of hilarious incidents…..
A. The Others:
So I’m living it up this one fine night, in one of the city’s posh clubs. Sitting, enjoying my drink and the good music being played in the background. Being a weekday, stags were given a relatively cheaper entry. The “friends” were dancing around, and some others prancing in search of the attention so needed to boost their over-deflated morale. And then out of the blues, realisation knocks on my shoulder and directs my gaze to an individual who was already staring at me. Tall, pretty good looking and well dressed for a casual Friday party were the first things that entered mine…The seemingly high me, began to get groovy and my alter egos, started humming…
“It’s now or never…
Come hold me tight…
Speak to me darling…
Be mine tonight….” [Courtesy: Elvis “the King of Pickup Lyrics” Presley]
As the song played in my head, the visibly preen man walks toward me….For some reason, Elvis told me to get ready for some good conversation…And then he came to me, looked at me, smiled and said…….
“Ma’am, I represent Citibank and I have a great offer for you! If you buy the MTV Citibank Credit Card you would get 15% discount on selected night clubs which includes this one as well!”
For some reason, exactly at that point in time the music changed to The Pulp Fiction Soundtrack or in the words of The Black Eyed Peas….”Pump It”
B. GOING OUT WITH ALREADY INTERESTED MEN FRIENDS. [Or so I thought]
So, moving on, after two weeks of the first incident, I decided to go out with this friend from work who had asked me out several times earlier. We hadn’t seen each other in a month or so and hence a good way of catching up was to meet, I believed. But the cynic in me kept telling me that either he or I would grossly embarrass us that night.
Anyway, so we dine [at 1930 hrs!] at this high end restaurant and the “catching up” actually ended up in interesting conversations bout a lot of good things. Just when everything seemed good and I thought of meeting up again, the man gets a call and I only hear stuff like,
“Yeah, I will get there right away. Yess, me too. Don’t go. Please. Stay. Give me 15 minutes. I’ll be right there”
He apologised profusely, and left hurriedly in a cab. Turned out, his -ex [of one year!] wanted to reconciliate for the umpteenth time and it was probably when he spoke with me that I reminded me of her [yeah kick ass joke] and how much he loved her [and hence the asking out of girls during that period of time] ,that he decided not to let her go. Atlast, I get to believe, that I am the re-incarnation of Nirupa Roy. Classic mistiming, I say.
C. ASKING MEN OUT
Now, this is the place where your intelligence is tested. Kindly read the first line. If I had been comfortable with the same, I would have been committed and looking for a marriage date by now.
This was the winner hands down. Cause these are my world’s most innocuous people! Hearty conversations, lots of bowling [ohh yeah I love the game, though I suck at it!] and most importantly, least heed to the ingénue, that is me. No space for inhibitions, yet a certain protocol to abide by. The castles in the air, the fights bout goin Dutch over a cup of coffee by the roadside, the swearing, the innumerable wedding pacts [if in 5 years time, none of us get married, I will have 7 husbands! ha-ha], the swearing over work places, were good enough to keep me happy for a long period of time.
The only conclusion was probably that close relationships do, actually complicate things. Close associations on the other hand, just make it easier to live. By far, the only good thing to happen to humans. The power of symbiosis.
24, raring to go. Who needs romance?
“A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You’re free at last.” [Courtesy: Lynyrd Skynyrd]
I was merely 6 years old when Cable TV was first introduced in India. Until then, Doordarshan (DD1 which strangely catered to the “agricultural” needs of the “service class in the cities” rather than focussing on the farmers and DD2- Metro for pure entertainment) ruled the roost. A set of new TV channels were aired in a year’s time and soon with the benefit of living with a brother in teens, Music Television (TV) came into my life.
Although, the first sight of a music video was Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden (which made me cry since they burnt Barbie Dolls on a barbeque!); the first music video was “I’ve had the time of my life”- Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, from the Dirty Dancing OST. I never understood why was a movie named “Dirty Dancing” [:P]… but what really caught my eye then was this lean, handsome man doing the SALSA with this beautiful woman and that too Well!
The movie was a taboo at my place as it contained some “explicit” scenes which pre-teens and teenagers were not allowed to watch. What accompanied the taboo, were the occasional awkward moments of switching channels whenever a “kiss/love making” scene was aired. Years later, when Ghost and the very famous Unchained Melody were released did I know that the extremely handsome man was none other than Patrick Swayze.
Mr. Swayze had the charisma to woo a woman the way they normally would want to be wooed; both in professional as well as personal life. Whether it is an aggressive dancer in Dirty Dancing or the ultra romantic husband in Ghost, the man only grew higher in his strike rate with women in terms of enormous popularity and fame. In fact, my very own idea of a first date in my teens, was an evening spent in passionate dancing in a suburban joint in Cuba!
The movies which were released later were only a showcase of the tremendous talent that he possessed in all spheres of acting. Dirty Dancing 2 (Havana Nights) needs a special mention as he managed to still cause a skip in my heartbeat in his ageing yet subtle-n-stylish SALSA teacher demeanour which was uber and sexy at the same time.
Until pancreatic cancer struck.
It saddened me to read juicy gossip out of a dying man’s life to satiate the needs of the readers and make money out of someone’s receding hairline or increasing weight. But then, it is a part of a celebrity’s life, I guess.
All in all, for the man who managed to be my first secret crush, Patrick Swayze, you really upped my taste in men.
Peace, Mr. Swayze.
“He’s like the wind through my tree
He rides the night next to me
He leads me through moonlight
Only to burn me with the sun
He’s taken our hearts
But he doesn’t know what he’s done…. “
You wanna know what I’m talking bout?? Click here
So I watched the movie. But apart from Gerard Butler’s “corny” yet “weirdly cute” references to men’s sexual behaviours, there are a whole set of other truths that are absolutely UGLY! Here are some of mine : (And no, I aint preparin for Sach ka Saamna)
1. I hate waking up in the mornings. Half my frustrations at work are due to the very fact that office hours even on a Monday continue to begin at 9.30 am.
2. Tuesday is the worst day of my week. Why? Cos Monday goes by in a hurry and in anticipation that if this passes through, I will be able to pull through. Tuesdays are just long and never ending as all the urgent work is already complete on a Monday.
3. I love watching people. Irrespective of location, size or circumstance. I just caught an ugly look from a couple for staring at them while they were smooching on Marine Drive. I was not thinking happy then though.. The thought disturbs me now. :-S
4. I have an open and flexible mind. That is where most people (esp women) find me threatening.
5. I hate wannabes. There was a certain someone at my workplace who used to smoke cos she thought it was cool (and then she smoked the cigarette as if she were holding a straw to suck some cold drink out of the bottle). Then she said, she liked tattoos and then backed out of getting one, cos she thought it is the rainy season and she would get infected by needles. As if. 😛
(If you are reading this, you are nothing but a piece of JACKSHIT, trying to pose like an INTELLECTUAL 🙂 )
6. I fell in love thrice. Ah come on, not that bad for a 24-year-old.
7. I secretly fantasize bout having a great hot body and carrying everything off with ease, while I portray otherwise in real life.
8. I am narcissistic in most of my conversations. Please note the “I” at the beginning of every pointer 🙂
9. Which makes me mention, I am NOT a control freak. But I like to have the last word 😛
10. I smirk. A lot. Cos it bugs me to see people pretending. Why is it just so difficult to say what you want to? Beats me.
11. I did fall for a colleague at work once. He turned out to be a bummer though. Obviously, I didnt account for it in my Truth no. 6
12. I have had embarrassing moments, when I thought maybe the person I am dating, shouldnt be with me. Yup, I do suffer from a split personality which also has a low self esteem.
13. I dont remember the names of the books I read all the time. I just type in the story or character names on Google once in a while to recommend it to a friend.
14. I love hugging people. It relieves me of all the worries in life.
15. I do lose interest in things when too many people tend to like it at the same time. That is why I refrained from doin an MBA post graduating.
16. I am a proud music lover. I have the best retro collection anyone could ever have.
17. My favourite movie is The Road to Perdition. I do not like The Godfather cos of no.15 now.
18. I like small cars. They are compact and easy to manoeuvre unlike huge cars.
19. I secretly wish to live in an apartment by the hillock, have a pet dog and a table on which i can sit and write whenever I can.
20. It is hard for me to believe in the word SORRY. I think it is impossible to stab a person and then ask for forgiveness to bring him back to life.
21. I do believe in One Night Stands. Nothing really interesting bout it. Sex in India is over rated anyway. Not to mention the hypocrisy behind pre marital virginity.
22. I take more interest in male friends than females. Too much bitching happens in the company of women. Nothing against it though 😛
23. I am faithful to the tee. Cant overlook human emotions quickly.
24. I like making people happy. Even if it means lying to them.
25. It did pain me when I tattooed myself. It was more like a sting than anything else.
26. I love it when people I take interest in, open up to me. It means much more to me than “friendship”, love, monogamy or anything else.
27. I have an indispensable liking for tea in the mornings. Even if it leads me to acidity for the whole damn day.
28. I do believe that forgiveness is truly the key to unhappiness. People who do not forgive have more chances of moving on from past experiences than people like me.
29. I love different types of bags. Umm, not to forget, shoes, clothes, accessories and socks!
30. I despise E-books. The old charm of books can be only sought from a HARD BACK.
31. I miss people who I had once forced to leave. These people were the ones who showed me reality bang on my face. I miss them everyday and pray that they forgive me for being rude to them.
32. Time and time again, I wake up with a feeling that I may have to spend a major chunk of my life alone. Then I realise, that everyone is indefinitely alone in one way or the other.
33. I am a hypocrite. Things which are otherwise wrong, look ok to me when I do them.
34. I cry. A lot sometimes. Out of no reason.
35. I sometimes wish, I could change the way my parents shaped their outlook toward me. I really wish.
36. I do like watching Pornography once in a while. It humours me to find someone faking emotions so well to fool the mind into thinking that the body is the supreme source of joy we have in our lives.
37. Alcohol, drugs and nicotine addictions do not define a man’s character. Many a righteous men have had such addictions.
38. I do not believe in social obligations. The same society absorbs both virtues and rapes according to convenience.
39. I believe in acquiring Material pleasures. Afterall, that defines me spending most of my day in a lifeless cubicle looking at nonsense reports anyway.
40. I think too much, make my assumptions and rebuke people at my own free will. Why? That is how I have been bred since puberty struck me.
41. I hate my name. Anonymous is not something I would want to be known as . Forever.
42. I dont believe in keeping my family unaware of what I am up to. Good, bad or ugly.
43. I take revenge. By subtle manipulation.
44. Not putting my preferences in danger, I can confidently praise a woman of her beauty, irrespective of whoever I am with.
45. I have often lied to people about street wear being tagged as brand wear. (Not that I dont do it even now )
46. I love some people. Just that they would never get to see that side of me. Why? Cos I am too afraid to risk another heartache. I secretly wish they would know what I mean. Sometime. Atleast.
47. I like darkness. Its mystique and alarming danger is something of deep interest for me.
48. I wish I was dead and reborn.
49. Pen ultimately, I do wish for the perfect guy and end up getting hurt most of the times.
50. Lastly, off all the things, my innermost fear is that someday someone would come unto me and show me my mirror of ugly truths. One reason for being aloof, is also this. 🙂
Thats bout it, folks 🙂
Long walks by the sea
Hot cup of tea at 0500 hrs with the watchman of the building
Staying awake all night talking on the phone about future plans
Break up on grounds of deception and betrayal
Finding love in the middle of mental tumult
Overwhelmed by emotions for people who appeared strangers initially
Smile unassumingly at rude people and in turn feeling happy about a shitty day
Thinking about the good days coming up
Feeling sad on understanding that there would be no one to share the good days with
Awkward conversations with best friends
Travelling to a far off land every six months
Being hugged every half an hour of the day
Look outside the window and watch kids play by the broken water pipe
Colours of Holi
Building castles in the sand and in the air
Some more Travelling…
Search for that glint of joy in the eyes of a human close by..
Thoughts of becoming a full-time writer in the middle of work
STRONG EPHEMERAL MUSINGS…..
Walking on a long and winding road, often helps. Not cause, it helps one liven up. More importantly, it helps ’em sigh and let go. And await the next turn, that the long winding road (metaphor for a never ending life) beholds.
I have had my share of ups, downs and the medians dispersed far and wide. Quiet vaguely though, come back to the same mode of sharing it all.
Back to words. And the meaning they hold.
It feels good now.