Live n Let Die !

We all sooner or later reach a station in life where we get bogged down with pressures of managing our past or present relationships, business/job, health, feelings of redundancy or irrelevance. I say, insert a twist in the tale…spit out the unsavoury, ignore the unwanted, begin dancing to your own tunes, wink at yourself remembering peccadilloes in Piccadilly/Pan Bazar or Police Bazar, raise a toast to yourself, and sing at the top of your voice Dr. Alban’s “It’s my life”. Let your hair down, love yourself unapologetically, and be a harmless hedonist. Cheers to the free spirit…flowing or otherwise. Live n let die*.

(*the sad feelings)

 

Right or Wrong!

The well-meaning agencies caution us against paying child-beggars, but we wish to help them out of pity or to assuage our own guilt feelings; the mind forcefully argues against riding on the dignity and drudgery of the old rickshaw puller, but his plight tugs at the heart to allow him to earn his bread….

In situations such as these, where the heart pulls in one direction and the mind pushes in the opposite, can we, as humans, ever sit in judgment over what is right and what is wrong?

Right or wrong, in the conflict between the conscious and the conscience, I am inclined towards the latter.

The Hot Cool Conundrum

Cool is Hot n Hot is Cool! 

Ohhh…everyone is so cool these days…..so cool, they are hot…..and so hot,  they are cool. Hot Dogs n Cool Cats or Hot Cats n Cool Dogs : ) Descartes’s soul must be desperate to rephrase “I think, therefore I am”(Cogito Ergo Sum) to “Am Cool, therefore am Hot!”. So in which state of the matter one really is? Iceberg or Lava? An existential enigma facing the humanity. And we no longer have a Camus or a Sartre : )

There are People, and there are People!

Some people are so “in your face” and wear so much of themselves on their sleeves. They flaunt their self- imposed “superiority” shamelessly and brag endlessly about their knowledge, hard work, achievements, contacts and so on. Some do it blatantly and some are nuanced having mastered the art of subtlety. Their ego drips and arrogance oozes out of every pore of their being. They are also adept at blaming others and the circumstances for the occasional two drops of sweat. They consider themselves and expect you too to regard them as God’s gift to mankind (womankind if you like).

And there are people (though the breed is rare and fast vanishing) who keep a low profile, are polite to the ‘P’, do their honest day’s work and some more, are intelligent indeed, extend help where needed, and neither brag nor complain.

The contrast is striking n stark !

Arrogance of the Knowledgeable !

Many business executives, government officers and professionals reply with great contempt when asked for some information. This derision and disdain is seen even in families. Many a times their silent scorn shouts louder than the screaming sarcasm.

Those “knowledgeable” when they sneer and snigger forget that the “knowledge have-nots” have alternatives. One may feel important by pulling others down, but arrogance alienates and humility endears. Pseudo Facebook Likes are no measure of true likeability.

 Shall we then, pass through knowledge to arrive at simplicity, humility ?

What is the Point…

What is the Point… If we grow but don’t grow-up,

If we speak but don’t communicate,

If we hear but don’t listen,

If we look but don’t see,

If we touch but don’t feel,

If we have senses but no sensitivity!

What is the Point… If we are together but remain separate,

What is the Point… If we grow but don’t grow-up!

REACT WITHOUT REACTING ?

During a recent conversation with my friend Sanjeev Patni, he touched upon an interesting aspect of human behaviour – about not giving a “margin of error” to people while responding to them. While thinking about it I realized how eager we are to react and jump the gun. We make instant judgments (mostly erroneous) about people, and respond viciously based on their one-off act or words. We do not step back for a moment and try to understand their reference point…..from where are they coming…from which situation, with what emotional baggage…? More often than not, their words and acts are nothing but  outpourings of pent-up feelings, nothing to do with the situation at hand but merely finding an outlet.

Can we then, in these situations, react without reacting? Can we speak with understanding silence? Can we let the moment pass? Can we just let them be…? And thus maintain our dignity and salvage theirs ?!

We Walk Straight, but do not Talk Straight !

WE WALK STRAIGHT BUT DO NOT TALK STRAIGHT !

In pre-historic times, we used to crouch and walk on all fours. After millions of years of evolutionary learning, today human beings walk straight, but still do not talk straight. In many of our conversations we reply with taunt and sarcasm to deride and to ridicule. Many a times we speak with conceit and contempt to insult and to humiliate. And at times we resort to sneer or silence to shut or to silence. We derive sadistic pleasure in putting some one down. There is violence in wounding words as well as in sulking silence. Why can’t we talk straight, reply straight? Why this urge, this competition to belittle? More often than not we are only too eager to assume the worse and doubt the meaning or intent of someone without understanding the context or the situation. In such cases we mostly err. Then why not try and err on the positive side? Two wrongs do not make a right !

WORDS GIVE LIFE ! WORDS KILL !

 

Where we are and where do we go depends a lot on where we come from!

Where we are and where we go depends a lot on where we come from!

Where we were situated at birth, decides to a large extent and with some exceptions, what we are today and where we are situated now. Not to belittle one’s own achievements, the exceptions merely prove the rule.

Those of us born with a silver spoon in mouth, have the shining polish on nails, boots n manners; go to that international school and the ivy league college; get into a great job or inherit the ancestral business. And life is a serial party, a picnic under the hanging garden.

Someone born in a poor family spends entire life trying to fend for self and the family. Children, if at all lucky to be in a government school, are forced out of it sooner or later as more working hands are needed for survival. Even if there is an earning eked out of drudgery, it is so meagre that all of it is spent on few morsels and medicines. The threshold, the inflection- point to break out of the vicious circle of abject poverty and misery is rarely crossed.

Just as wealth begets wealth, poverty begets poverty. Just as birth in favourable circumstances gives a kick start to life, birth in poverty tends to keep one in perpetual penury for generations.

And we have no role to play in where we are situated at birth. It’s accidental whether we are born in a CSS, a R K Marble or an Ambani household, or in the family of a beggar, a bootlegger or a grave-digger.

The arrogance then, which comes from one’s status or station or so-called success or sense of self-importance, is laughable.

In a lighter vein:

Commented someone with pompous humility “whatever I am today, I owe it to the family”.

My remark: “why blame the family?”  : )

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Last night I dreamed of him again !

Last night i dreamed of him again…one of my most favourite persons…….a professor…with whom i have developed a special rapport over the years, a heart felt something difficult to put in words. He was as handsome in the dream as he is in real life. I met him last when i went to invite him for a function. As always he was with his spastic son whom i had often met as a child. After embracing me and giving me tea, he gave me a packet saying this was the money i had arranged to buy a wheelchair for his son decades ago. I choked and understood under what compulsions he must have accepted the money at great cost to his uprightness, righteousness, dignity…but his love for son had prevailed. We argued, we fought…he to return the money….i to make him keep it. I won, but i did not feel triumphant.

There are men  and there are men….He stands tall- heads and shoulders above most others…humane in his humanity, dignified in his simplicity, graceful in his sensitivity. He warms the cockles of my heart and brings tears to my eyes each time i meet him in person or in dreams.

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