If Not Now, When ?

For most, New Year resolutions vanish as fast as the eve’s euphoria and intoxication. But the year with a new date printed on it, returns every 12 months, to give us an opportunity to course correct or to cheat ourselves yet again. So, life trudges on with its pits and pitfalls, bumps and bloopers, and occasional highs and wets…and worrisome waits.

But the Covid-19 has turned life topsy-turvy…the way we work, live, meet, party and play…or do not. This catastrophe has cornered and compelled some, and coaxed and cajoled others to introspect, to resolve, and to act, to tackle the “new normal”.

Many, who had some free time gifted by the virus, have taken the bull by its horns…taking good care of their and family’s health, doing what they enjoy but never had much time to do, killing the habits which could turn them into a deadwood or deadbeat, learning new work and life skills to survive and flourish in times to come, and also preparing  their children to face the present and negotiate the future. Their serious and funny posts and interactions on social media, unveil not only the culinary creativity, but also care, concern and conscience.

I honestly admit…my check-list is replete with crosses, as I frittered away for the frivolous. And, if for some valid or invalid reasons, your check-list too, has more crosses than ticks, don’t worry. Heavens have not fallen, and we have not missed the bus yet. We just have to hop on. It is a journey, and there are no full stops.

Life will never be the same. Life has changed. Life is changing.

Let’s ask: Have we? Are we?

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

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Picture: David Marcu/Unsplash

Shades of Life

“Life is a series of family photos in which you keep moving to the rear until finally you’re a portrait in the background.”

On a serious note, yes, as the polite tag of ‘seniority’ is thrust upon people, the world becomes increasingly irreverent to their relevance; and many retire and retreat to the rear, searching for dignity and solace in their confined corners.

In a lighter vein, unable to resist the temptation to be in the limelight, I keep elbowing my way from the rear; and I do so wearing dark shades, tinting my greying life colourful. And my portrait, though in the background, will be a sought after possession for Rayban.

One must look stylish even when one is no more. 

Guilty are those who impose Guilt !

For hiding their own guilt or guilty-conscience, some people perpetually impose guilt on others…in ways subtle or crude. They swing like pendulum from being extremely aggressive to wearing sorrow on their sleeves. They resort to emotional blackmail, portray themselves as pathetic losers, and sport underdog’s hangdog expression. Else they shout and sulk; throw threats, taunts and tantrums; issue ultimatums, lock themselves, become incommunicado, inflict injuries and abuses on themselves, and leave home food untouched (but hog secretly).

They play victim to victimize. Those who impose guilt are the ones who are guilty. Let’s not be guilty of feeling guilty due to someone else’s guilt.

Guilty Sulking

Fat Weddings, Slim Bodies and More.….

Let’s laugh at the antics (including our own) displayed in the weddings we attend:

Highlights in Lowlights: This misfortune befalls the well-heeled sooner or later….all dressed up, everywhere to go, and a heel breaks……all hell breaks loose. Many a slips show, and intentionally oblivious of the obvious, we pretend ignorance as the show must go on. Who wants to be branded as a spoilsport? And just when we are beginning to be intoxicated with the exotic smells emanating from the beauties, a silent killer scent from an unknown orifice makes us flee the scene in great haste. You present your best face to become the Facebook darling, but you are caught on camera at your worst with mouth agape full of saliva-mixed morsels, ketchup dripping down your chin, and eyes wide open with utter glee.…depicting you as Dracula in a horror movie.

Man vs Woman: Whereas men like me display narcissistic tendencies refusing to change their stripes, women exhibit abundant selfless love for self and selfies with pouting lips.

A Women Exclusive: Fatter the weddings…..slimmer the bodies, with slim turning into slimmer and slimmer vanishing into thin air.

Spirited Spiritual Men: And what with the clean-shaven, the moustached, the goateed and the bearded sneaking out to the openly secret watering hole… suddenly there is vacuum, as if balloon is emtied of half its gas….and we find famine of the masculine, only the feminine populating the pandals in powder pink and pale purple.

Love n Longing: Amidst tumultuous cacophony, some try to steal still moments. Setting out in canoes or sitting under canopies, they weave themes of their dreams. Hoping and hopping from event to event and changing attires but not the attitudes, they wink and hoodwink to keep the rendezvous.

Touching: Bride side or groom side…is besides the point; the unwanted are kept at arm’s length. And for the privileged ones, hugs are from far and back slapping is inflicted in measured manner, lest the wrinkles creep into clothes and conversations. Husky cries, coooes and croonings of …how are you….oh my…you look so good….where were you hiding all these years….. begin with vigorous air-kissing and culminate into even more vigorous air kissing and never-to-be-kept promises of “let’s keep in touch”. Touching indeed.

The last laugh: And the one, who like me did not have the misfortune of going to an English-medium school, has the last laugh pronouncing “am in the middle of bedding”, when a friend inquires about his whereabouts. Hilarious… definitely. Scandalous…may be. But scarce are scarlet cheeks… like onions these days.  : )

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Work Hard n Party Harder ?

We come across workaholics who sacrifice their health, mental peace, relationships and pleasures that life offers for the sake of excessive work, endless earnings, or both, even if they have gold in their teeth and diamonds in their toes.

At opposite end of the spectrum, we encounter the breed who treat work as part-time hobby at its best, and as a dirty word at its worst. Their priorities are shopping online, shopping offline, partying and more partying. They waste the best years of their lives (when the adrenaline is pumping in full force, and limbs, mind and faculties are at their prime) seeking the fake and indulging in the frivolous. They consider themselves as a gift to the mankind and take people and privileges for granted. When cautioned or counselled, their inflated ego can’t tolerate and they throw threats and tantrums. The close ones give up. The savings, largely ancestral, are blown away. The long rope of time and space thrown for bringing them to senses is used to hang themselves. Atrophy soon sets in, the rot is irreversible, the decay is complete, total and final.

And mind you, both the specimen are mindful of the consequences of what they are doing. It’s mind-boggling, flabbergasting. The fire in the belly is in the wrong belly.  

One deserves when one earns, or at least sincerely tries. Also, all work n no play makes us dull n boring.

So the Mantra ? …..Work Hard and Party Harder !

 

Living In Denial !

Living in Denial: Udhar Ki Zindagi !

These days we see many living in denial……. in denial of their own strengths, weaknesses, situation in life..….both in thoughts and behaviour. They deny what is factual, and flaunt a life full of fabrication, falsehood and fakery…..to deceive first themselves, then others.  It begins with the make-believe and showing off, becomes a pretentious habit, and soon acquires dimensions where it is a permanent trade-off of ‘what is’ with ‘what is not’. Seeking constant validation outside, they lose sight of the worthy and the important, and devote endless hours and energy to the frivolous activities for others to gain their appreciation. We also see this in social settings where in order to compete with the rich and famous, they boast, name- drop, and indulge in endless self- aggrandizement (paraded with put-on accent), reducing themselves to the ridiculous and pathetic. Bordering bizarre, they believe in this self-perpetuating lie….in their pseudo existence/udhar ki zindagi.

OF CLUTTER & DECLUTTER

Decluttering is in vogue, decluttering is the buzz-word, and a fad!

In the name of decluttering, anything and everything in the house……appliances, books, stationery, clothes, shoes, bags, bedding, mirrors, furniture, repair items…..either almost new or old but functional, are thrown out or sold to kabadis.

Thus, we merely transfer the clutter from inside to outside. Whereas we waste resources (read money), it costs the environment its sustainability.

Rather than acquiring only the essentials in order to not to clutter our lives, we first surround ourselves with the clutter and then we mindlessly follow the wise counsel of some “Decluttering Guru” situated in a different world coming from a different context.  

What is required is decluttering our minds, to realize that 3Rs- Reduction, Reuse and Recycling are the possible solutions to give us space as well as to protect the environment from our onslaught: reduce unnecessary acquisitions (buy one less than a dozen pair of shoes?), reuse (use blank side of the written pages, use the carry bag again n again?), recycle (food waste into compost?).

In that sense who is more responsible, modern minded and eco-friendly: the traditional housewife who practices “reduce, reuse and recycle” day in day out, or the fashionable ones who first throw money to amass things and then throw those same very things away?

THINK !

Life by Death ! Live by Death ! And Death by Chocolate !

Hi, my following piece on life and death is not intended to make you feel pessimistic or doomed, but to put the greatest fear of our lives, i.e., death, into perspective and leverage it to live by our values…..by what really matters.

When any near and dear one dies, we become philosophical and our values transcend to exceedingly good, and the importance of love, empathy, selflessness and so on suddenly dawns upon us. In those deathly moments we ask ourselves: does it really matter- this pettiness, this selfishness, this anger, hatred, ego, this one-upmanship, this attention grabbing and status seeking ? In the face of death, we realize the futility of it all, and the ultimate truth hits us hard:  I may not exist next moment and nothing will matter once I am dead, not to the “dead me” at least !

But these transformational thoughts are temporarily caused by death of some one close and evaporate soon. Therefore, does it make sense to make the temporary permanent ? Is it wise to think of death consciously and continuously, so that we remain transformed, so that we are naturally good…not artificially or by design, so that our values are not blurred in the hurly burly of life and we can be in command of our priorities? Remaining forever conscious of death may not be such a bad idea after all….. not in a forlorn, despondent, or pathetic manner, but in a life-defining, positive and reinforcing way.

In those few moments when we are aware of death, we let go of the superficial, the shallow and the sinister. This awareness then allows us to embrace the good, the beautiful and the worthy. Therefore, it logically follows that keeping knowledge of death as our constant companion, even if in the subconscious, simplifies and untangles everything…..from owning responsibility for “what a mess my life is” to ridiculing and rebuking myself for my sense of selfish entitlements, from accepting failures and rejections to allowing myself to be at peace with myself and others…warts n what not!

Change is the only constant and death is the only certainty. Our birth too was not a certainty…it could have been or would not have been…depending on so many factors. But once we are born,  death is a certainty….the only absolute absolute in life…and it comes at a time and place of its own choosing.

We can appreciate life more, live life more by being aware and accepting of death. Once we come to terms with our death (which is inevitable), we can let go of our fears as well as false values, dogmas, anxieties, and stupid sense of self-importance. It lifts us up from being mean, narrow and petty. That’s life in its true sense and in its magnificent glory. Death takes our lives away, but its knowledge makes our lives worthy by making inhuman humans humane !

So, shall we be in cahoots with death always while being alive ?

Yes ! if all that’s written above is true, then it is also true that:

Meaning of death gives meaning to life !

Death therefore define us, our values !

Death become us, for in death alone we live honestly and honourably and we do not become living dead !

Let’s not be in denial of death then, let us not lose sight of our destiny defined by death !

In this game of life n death, life is by death….so live by death !

And try Death by Chocolate…to sweeten it : )

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ARE WE MODERN ??

Divorced from our own thought process…

mindlessly following what is fashionable, what is in vogue, what is in….

to be with it….to belong…

to say it first, to show it first….

only to be slightly ahead of others in point of time !

Craving for appreciation from known and unknown…

Judging ourselves in the light of others’ judgments…

Attempting to impress with inanities,

N easily impressed with the banal…..

too eager to laugh at vapid and the tasteless ,

 simply to seem to be enjoying with others….

suppressing individuality for the admiration of the contemporary crowd !

Being modern is to apply one’s own mind, or mindlessly follow the herd mentality ??

I quote Bertrand Russel in lighter vein:

“ The belief that fashion alone should dominate opinion has great advantages. It makes thought unnecessary and puts the highest intelligence within the reach of everyone…..”

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