Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reminder:

I am a bird. I must not walk.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Love. Fear. Sorrow.

i didn't realise how diverted i was
until you looked at me, and only then my reflexes realised
that i must set my stealthy eyes off you.

It is the most fearful when
you relate discrete events or objects
to the death of someone close to you.

True tears are those that you wept
while you were imagining a world
without the someone whom you value.

i love your presence and fear your death...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Music and people

This analysis started when I read a quote on iGoogle: Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune. - Kin Hubbard

For a long time now, I had gotten into a habit of sharing quotes with my friend, over messenger. But, now that she has migrated to a foreign land to assay if the pastures are really greener, I kind of miss the remnants of the grins that we usually exchange when we meet—the ones that we did not have time to share amidst the busy schedule at work. But, you don't really have to worry about not being able to share your thoughts, because the messenger medium is still going to be the same except for the time gaps after which I get a reply. The time gap is close to 12 hours, which is an expected modus vivendi and to which I have got pretty used to, after a bunch of my sidekicks and thought partners left to the US about four years ago.

Well, the reply was: I really don't understand what he is trying—if he is making fun of classical music, I do not agree to it and if he is trying to make a point, I do not understand it…

Fair enough, I thought.

The reply that I managed to send was: I don’t know if he is trying to make a point or make fun; but given that he is an 18th century cartoonist/comedian, I guess it is the latter. Seriously, I mean, accepted that it is really difficult to learn and master classical music (be it hindustani, carnatic, or western), but still, I think the frequency of the patterns are so sparse in a given 4 to 5 minutes time space that it is really difficult to comprehend it. May be if I acquaint myself with its structure by methodical learning, I might enjoy it better than I do now.

Not sure on what lines she is going to reply. Meanwhile, I thought I must gather some of my scattered thoughts together before they get volatile. So, what is the relation between the words in the title, and the title and the contents that you have been reading till now? I do not have a concrete answer for the latter question, but I seriously thought understanding music and people were similar in some kind.

Certain people connect to you so well, match your wavelength very well, that after one or two conversations, you think you would be able to predict much of the person's behaviour and become friends. Same with music—certain tunes catch you real quick.

Sometimes, you feel the need to know a person for quite some time, to get started and going. Same is it with music—certain songs stay in the testing grounds for a relatively long time before it stirs you deep inside.

With people, you need patterns to judge a person's behaviour. You would like to see certain patterns in them and would want to see them quite often to actually accept them as friends. Almost all songs that appeal to us follow this simple logic or mechanism. I mean, it is not that you sit with a paper and pencil, or laptop to jot down the observations—the brain keeps registering all the behavioral patters associated with a certain person in a certain memory slot allocated to that person; it could even be an incident for that matter.

Certain other people fall under the category of fast music—they catch your attention pretty quick and leave you without any damage, with the same speed they came zooming into your life. You were happy as long as they were there, but did not really bother or worry you after they left you. This could be because of the entry of another person of the same or a different kind, like how one number replaces another, on music charts.

Some people leave lasting impressions and they might happen to be your school-time friends, who come all through your life's up and downs. They would have accompanied you in almost of kinds of moods—moodswings. Like certain songs that you just want to listen whether you are bored, tired, depressed, irritated or uninspired, or happy, elated, or fully loaded and in full throttle.

What I have written can well be passed off as worthless, but still it seemed to have derived some kind of satisfaction of having me gotten an opportunity to reel off my thoughts. Alright, it is time to wind up the free fall...

Friday, October 19, 2007

the 'd' words...

despondent
dispirited
diabolic
depressing
dull
disappointed
discontented
damned
desolated
devastated
dank

Add Death also to the list... Somehow, I seem to be collecting a lot number of negatively-connoted words starting with 'd'.

Monday, July 02, 2007

July 2

Every king was once a helpless baby, every oak once an acorn, every mighty ocean swell once a ripple, and every great structure once a blueprint. It is not where you are today, but where you are going that counts.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Being Varun...

It does not take much being a two and a half year old kid who is very sharp, who does not bother much about things that he is not interested in, who lives the moment to the fullest—be it being angry, frustrated, sad, happy, ecstatic, or funny. Well at least, the state in which he is happy is certainly longer than the time he spends being in the pessimistic gamut of states. He quickly forgets about why he was sad or unhappy about something, and moves on if he finds something more interesting. He does not stand hell-bent on being unhappy about something. What if he does not find anything more interesting? He perhaps lowers his interest level and settles for something that just deviates from his erstwhile state. Most of all, he wants to be happy all the time.

But seriously, believe me it is pretty tough to be Varun; primarily because, as we grow, we start gathering worthless definitions of ourselves. We accumulate misgivings, learn things wrongly and think they are right—misconceptions; do things that most suited us before and stick to it without revamping it to the time we currently are in.

Before proceeding, just one question: why can't we all forget about the misgivings and be happy about what we are presently happy about? Why don’t we just forget things that do not do any good to us?

Anyway, there are two things to this whole rigmarole. About forgetting the things that made you unhappy and about preventing yourself from being unhappy.

With respect to forgetting things, it becomes a bit difficult because, we are always taught to remember things. And it being our sole responsibility, we excelled in the art of remembering and did not think about forgetting. So, it involves some effort to practice the art. There was a beautiful article that I read in a daily newspaper: Teach me, Lord, to forget. It was published in the Hindu on September 01, 2000. In fact, I have a clipping of this article with me and I certainly treasure it till date.

With respect to the reason for being unhappy, it is primarily because you do not get what you want, which leads to disappointment, and it paving way to unhappiness. Probably, when you do not expect anything, you keep raising your disappointment crossbar. So, you are safe and far away from the realms of being disappointed.

But then again, there are two aspects to it—emotional and non-emotional.

Let’s deal with the non-emotional aspect of expectations, disappointments, and being unhappy. To achieve anything, you certainly must expect that you must reach a benchmark. So an expectation from self is a critical factor for progression. Which brings about a topic of striking a balance between expecting something before an event happens and accepting the situation as-is, after it has happened. So, which means are we are talking about interpreting and dealing with the results? Then what about things such as, not receiving something that you deserve? Don't we have to fight for our rights? So, is it that we will need to accept things that we cannot really change? Then, what exactly are the things that we cannot change? How exactly can we classify the things that we cannot change and things that we can change? Is it defined by the number of times you try to change a state of affairs to attain what you wanted?

And talking about the emotional things, it is pretty hard to explain to someone the extent to which one must be detached and not expect things from others at an emotional level. I suppose, one must not expect anything from the other to the level where they can keep themselves unhurt. Or, is it that you bestow all the love and support and not expect anything? How can that possibly be? If you smile, won’t you expect someone to smile back at you? I suppose smiling is a pretty simple, straightforward, and easy equation.

I guess it is also with respect to how one has defined a universal object. One person could have defined happiness as two kilograms of sugar, whereas, the other could have defined it as having two ten dollar bills in the trouser pocket purse. And what happens when the two of them try to share happiness? It is meaningless. So, how do we solve this conundrum?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Quote

They cut the grass to make it greener. Likewise, to grow continuously and sustain, make people feel insecure; insecurity breeds growth.


I was thinking as to how I can make sense out of this quote. It kind of kept me haunting, because it has always been the case that I either like a quote or don't like it, or the quote would be really dumb. It has never been the case where it has made me think so much. Something like, you either like a person or don't like the person. And another category is the one that is very confusing. This one falls on the last category which is confusing, and made me think a lot. I mean, this quote is something that is debatable, because standing all by itself, it does not convey the meaning. I somehow feel that there is something that remains unsaid.

In fact, I was reminded of Keats' verses from 'Ode on a Grecian Urn': "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unhead are sweeter."

And so I started writing about this... I am looking at it from one's profession point of view...

May be starve them to boredom by not giving them work? May be that is where the concept of Bench comes. And as you well know, human mind thinks faster and instills in itself a sense of urgency when it sees suffering—both self and of others. In this case, may be laying off other people might cause insecurity. See, again it depends; some minds may work in one direction and others in a different direction. Say, one might feel insecure on seeing something, the other might feel depressed, or some other can feel instigated?

I mean, forget insecurity being a factor of motivation or growth. Looking at it philosophically and psychologically, the basic thing that causes insecurity is the fear that you are going to lose something that you have, and if not something that you treasure, at least losing something that causes an imbalance or taking somebody to a new low. I do not see any other reason that can cause insecurity.

So, it pretty much explains the fact that, any action that might cause you to lose something of yours, be it self-respect, respect, money, time, effort, relationships with your peer, a poor performance or appraisal rating, not enough recognition for your work etc. But all this, I see it only leading to searching for a better option or a setup, rather than trying to perform better in the same setup.

One more thing is that, you really cannot trigger an event or an act that can cause insecurity under the pretext of being altruistic. That will be the cruelest of things that you can do to someone, when at work. I guess insecurities are again, all in the mind—someone can feel insecure all by themselves. Another aspect is that you cannot make someone think that the other person is creating insecurity for them, so that they flourish. One gets detached and develop hatred towards the other person, once they know that the person made them feel insecure deliberately.

And as I think, it is not single event that can make someone feel insecure, but a combination of various disconnected acts that reinforces, and makes someone feel that they are insecure. Also, to artificially create those kinds of activities, and instigate or expect the same kind of reaction, to make them feel insecure might be difficult to attain. First time around, they may feel insecure; the next time they may feel that, 'no, may be it is for our own good that it is happening so, etc...

Or maybe, editing the quote for its sentence structure could have made more sense? I mean, if it were constructed in passive voice? Something like:

Cutting the grass makes it greener. Likewise, an insecure feeling makes people to grow continuously and sustain; insecurity breeds growth.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

analogy

You are as best as the grape that i am eating now, which has the right

sourness,
sweetness,
size,
shape,
succulence,
wellness,

and

seedless.

And..., i am yet to find You.

Now, this is what I call pure distraction. The scenario: it is in the evening and I am analysing a set of very complex data and was completely immersed in a line of thought pertaining to it. I happened to unmindfully reach for a few grapes from the packet of grapes that I have been munching since morning.
And the above analogy is a result of the distraction. I guess, this is what they refer to as 's e r e n d i p i t y'...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Translation of Nee Partha from Hey Ram

Epitome of Passion - A translation of Nee Partha from Hey Ram
Thanks to those fervent gazes that fazed us.
Thanks to the night that brought togetherness in us.
Thanks to the enduring wildness within us.
And, thanks to each of the immortal memories between us.

What is the need for the word, 'I'?
I am nothing but you, and nothing without you.
I bother not to beseech for boons anymore, 'cos
I can't feel any blissful than this seventh heaven.
I pray, let me have you always near me...

Why are we continuing this act,
even after the play is over?
I can go on forever, with memories of this one-act play.
Your thoughts would be alive till the last breath of my death,
I pray, let me have you always near me...

Thanks to those fervent gazes that fazed us.
Thanks to the night that brought togetherness in us.
Thanks to the enduring wildness within us.
And, thanks to each of the immortal memories between us.
I pray, let me have you always near me...

Most often you would find desperation or bereavement intertwined with passion in most of the passionate love songs. Of the very few songs that express totality, bliss, and serenity through pure passion, the song 'Nee paartha paarvaikku...' from Hey Ram just takes me on a high.

And, I have never heard a song where the orchestration is powerful enough to act as the third voice, falsifying the definition of a duet. When I say orchestration, Ilaiyaraaja just scintillates with his intelligent and creative use of just the piano. The few seconds of flute and an immediate follow by the violin, act as the transition elements handing over the song from the introduction phase to the next higher plane.

I would certainly place the piano prelude and motifs very close to Beethoven's masterpiece: Fur elise. The piano amazingly blends with the emotions of the vocalists. Rani Mukherjee's husky voice for the narrative in the beginning of the song adds genuineness and innocence to the fervent nature of the song.

Do I have to say anything about the Kamalahasan's lyrics at all? It is one of the rare songs that have short, simple, and straightforward lyrics. Kamalahasan has done an amazing job!

Monday, January 01, 2007

what do i have for this new year?

Well, it is strange... last year this time, I was in a different state as mine; and this year too I am in a different state—a different place altogether. A place where,

no two haircuts and no two car models are the same,

fast cars on the road make you think of a roaring seashore nearby,

roads are so clean and neat that you think it is so artificial and almost out of the ordinary,

you do not see as many as bikes as you are used to seeing in a metro in India,

the bikes are as fantastical as they could get as on English movies; well, to quote one such movie, it would be like the yellow super-hero bike that Uma Thurman sports in Kill Bill Vol 1,

the bikers ride as... well it isn't exactly rash, perhaps rude, as on a racing track. And yes, they do really kick off as the bikes do in Kill Bill.

the buses are without a conductor and the bus fares are flat and are not based on place you go,

you see a smile, and a 'hi' and a 'howaya doin' from every person you want to smile at,

it takes some time to comprehend that people are really joking and even more time to understand the pun in that joke.

people can sting you if they really want to and you would not notice a thing cos they do even that with a smile! believe me, life can get miserable, if you wanna think that they really do mean to hurt you. You can be really happy if you are ignorant, in all such cases.

So, these are the fresh memories of my really really late Q4, 2006.

And I know that there are umpteen things to set straight in the coming year. All I can do now is to sit, think, and then when it comes to it, execute. For the records, for my consultation, and my well being, I would want a few thoughts up here for my brand new year. Hope it does some good to people who get to stumble at my door.

And yes, there is a lot of running to be done this year!

“When you put yourself on the line in a race and expose yourself to the unknown, you learn things about yourself that are very exciting.” - Doris Brown Heritage

"Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." - Lou Holtz (Notre Dame football coach)

"You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside." - Wayne Dyer, runner and author

“What I learned from a 16 mile AM training run with Gerry Lindgren... ‘your legs aren't tired kid... it’s only your head telling you!’” – Gerry Lindgren to Tom Fleming

"A man is a success if he can wake up every morning and do exactly what he wants to do each day". - Bob Dylan

Courtesy and thanks to... www.londonrunner.ca for the quotes above.

And thanks to Bruce Lee for this:
I fear not the person who has practised ten thousand kicks once; but i fear the man who has practised one kick ten thousand times.

and last but probably the best..., here is my Serenity Prayer:

"God, grant me

Serenity
to accept the things i cannot change

Courage
to change the things i can, and

Wisdom
to know the difference. "


Happy New Year 2007!