Sometimes in the effort of being genial or correct we walk on the very thin line of being used, misused and taken advantage of. These experiences bring with them pain and denial. The saving grace here is that they serve their purpose of eventual transcendence and evolution. What is the point at which we must concretise the line and not allow ourselves to cross over? What is the criterion of making the distinction between “appropriate” and “nice” ?
When I was given this body to reside in, I too, like most, was not given a choice. I had to live life looking inside out and not the other way because the whirlpools were deep and rampant in the river that flowed inside of me. I could not complain as they were of my own making. I could not undo them as I was unaware of their existence as yet. The journey, even without the choice seemed promising and alluring. I already had five friends. They added so much flavour and charm to everything. They promised to make me experience the beautiful sensibilities that the physical world which I had come back to, for the zillionth time, had to offer. Gleefully, I held their hands and took them to be my own. All five of them.
Today, I go about my daily chores silently, managing the day and the events as they unfold. Some days I simply survive and some I live more deeply. These events and these days were written for me by my own self with a pen that was handed to me by these five. What I didn’t realise until now was that the pen they had offered to me with such a sparkling smile had an blade instead of the nib and it cut permanent vortices instead of making ink marks. These vortices were etched into my life force and were like hungry whirlpools, ready to devour all my energies. Many more are possibly taking shape even as I write because I am still learning to unlearn this way of living. Slowly I integrate into my life’s lessons the way to neutralize the existing ones and nip the emergent ones in the bud.
These five friends gave rise to desires. These five friends conspired with the two most coveted of my mentors, the Mind and the Ego. The Mind that had the power to think, gave rise to thoughts. The Ego gave rise to doubts. Both worked in tandem with the desires generated by the five friends to bring in bouts of pain and pleasure. As much pain and as much pleasure to balance it, such that the law of duality was maintained. Cognizance of the slow damage still did not come as all five of them still seemed to be the very best of friends, bringing in sensual pleasures and reinforcing the feeling that this was the highest form of ecstasy possible, until the day the scales tipped.
The day the scales tipped and the pain seemed too overwhelming to cope with, it brought with it the realization that this life could not just begin and end with flitting between pain and pleasure. There was more to be comprehended yet. This journey was solitary. The five friends who had made life beautiful in their own enticing way, albeit transiently and my revered mentors had to be left behind. There were more experiences to be breathed in, more planes to be transcended. Although we would keep meeting and bumping into each other, the rendezvous would hopefully be more like that of acquaintances.
And thus, the quest for the unknown, undefined and boundless began.
Whilst the quest has gone on and probably will go on for many lifetimes still, the fact that the undulating and meandering path has been unfolded brings solace and peace to the once tumultuous being. The destination may not be close, but the destination has been revealed.
Once in a life time we reach a point when resilience is not enough. We slowly lose our capacity to regain our selves over and over again. We are no longer ready to become how we were and make ourselves vulnerable to the turmoil that we witnessed. We refuse to succumb, once again, to the reasons that diminished us. We become brittle and inflexible.
From here on, we make our choice. We can choose to break. Or we can choose to evolve. The cluttered energies which fill us before we are to make our choice must leave us though, reducing us to a dilapidated and weak version of ourselves. This phase too, is transient. It allows us to cleanse ourselves of doubts and negativities. It leaves with us a huge void and vacuum. The emotions get erased and so does the pain. I believe it’s numbing to such an extent that the pain cannot penetrate and damage us any further. The calculations are immaculate. A glass wall emerges between our soul and that of other entities and we are able to converse freely with the universal soul. It slowly frees us of the struggle that the mind and heart have suffered recently. It undoes all the knots in the mind. Peace begins to fill inside. The new energy entering our being is fresh, calm and devoid of the incessant clamour.
The peace and quiet is calming. It is refreshing. In the tangles of excitement and the roller coaster of emotions, we begin to feel like we are living more of our lives. The peace is something that has eluded us for so long that it feels alien in the beginning. We wonder whether we have become less of ourselves. Are we living a little less than we were?
Less soon assumes a dimension much bigger than that of “more”. Less is more when out of shrewd complexities evolve the most simple yet most profound realizations. Frugality results from abundance and we are able to shred the superficial layers to reach our cores… the core swells and envelopes our physicality and wraps us in its aura and we glow from within. Then, less becomes more. The lesser we are, the richer we are.
The more ‘I’ diminish, the more I grow. Frugality is abundance. Frugality brings clarity. Clarity comes when we are able to listen and when there is abundance of silence within, which is not obfuscated by the din and clutter of struggles and role playing in the quest of owning and possessing. It is in a short span or maybe even a transient moment when we let go of our desire to grasp and hold and trap our dreams and realities, that we ourselves become free. It is in that beautiful moment that we realize the lightness of being. We evolve and transcend.
A relationship is not a way to clench and hold someone. It is a way to experience another soul. It is to cherish and get soaked in the beauty of a soul connect. A relationship is not a journey to be travelled together. It is rather, sharing of experiences on our own paths, sometimes holding hands and walking, sometimes sitting and talking, sometimes just reading the other soul through the eyes and letting yours be read. Our footsteps however need to be distinctly visible on our own paths and not trailing behind those of another individual.
No individual comes here to be owned and objectified by another or even to get completed by another. We tread our paths and experience others on the way. Some souls we feel like experiencing again and again because they feel connected to us in an ethereal sort of way. We try to define this experience by fitting it into a predefined format which is acceptable and recognized by people around us. Then it begins to lose its individuality. It begins to get suffocated in the clutches of that mundane rule book.
Why can we not be so habitual about everything and try not to define every experience and try not to fit it into a stereotypical format from our past? Let’s try to keep some of them out of the clutches of the trite and commonplace definitions. Please, spare me. I am seriously either in need of new definitions or rather none!
Why do all relationships eventually heave towards becoming a burden? Why do they get burdened with expectations and demands and threaten to become a time management exercise? Eventually, they start to reel under the pressures of reciprocation and egos and what is deemed acceptable…falling into line with society’s format and therefore acceptable, till they have little or no strength left in their bones. Weak tired bones, weakened by the struggle that the relationships became, weakened by the stress that the relationships had to bear, constantly trying to conform. Relationships are creators of joys and maybe also those of bigger sorrows, conflicts and harsh burdens. They are a parcel that we don’t want to let go of and toil away in the hope that the scales will tip in the direction of joys. And they do, sometimes.
It’s not the relationship that has the potential to hurt and damage. Neither does the other half in the relationship hold the power. It’s only our own expectations from it that causes the damage. We want people in certain capacities, we desire to own them and cling to them. We tend to fit them into a role we would like to see them playing and fit ourselves into one in reciprocation. Then we expect the ideal. We don’t enjoy the people around us, the people who love us, for who they are and the joys they bring to our lives. We instead want them to be ours, ours to love and to play their defined roles to perfection. We want them to become our crutches and answers to our loneliness. We try to make them the reason for our happiness. We start believing that it is their duty to somehow complete us.
Rarely, we experience bonds that travel beyond. They flout all rules of love, jealously, possessiveness, anger and ownership. The threads are invisible yet strong. Distance and silence do not diminish them. They add a spark to you and cleanse you of doubt and malice. They strengthen and add. They revive our trust in relationships. They hold on to their tags of being beautiful because they are not burdened by the expectations of being perfect and complete.
Sometimes we need shrug off the burden of egos and the stress of expectations. We need to live in the place called “here” and a time called “now”. We simply have to negotiate the distance and soak in the joys that are possible while each of us flows free. We must share all that we can without feeling weak and tired of having given too much and received too little or vice versa. While there is joyful sharing, there is synergy. While there is a mind connect, there is communication. While there is a soul connect, there is resonance. When we can share our daily lives or some snippets of them, when we can bring smiles and sometimes tears to each other’s eyes, when we can feel truly and love gently, without levying the tax of expectations on each other, is when we will set ourselves free.
We come here with a head and a heart and we build ourselves and we become someone we can hopefully relish and cherish. Sometimes we are proud of ourselves and sometimes not; sometimes embarrassed and at other times just tranquil. And although, those moments last for a very brief while, sometimes we are just happy to be who we are and the way we are. Sometimes the two entities, the heart and the head are in conflict and then we are forced to make choices.
We commit our fair share of crimes and mistakes, whatever they may be in our own little dictionaries, for we all write our dictionaries which carry our interpretations and our set of rights and wrongs. We alone have the potential to understand and realize ourselves. We alone have the potential to judge whether our actions are justified or not.
We alone are capable of causing distraught and damage to our own selves. We inflict the pain and heartache on ourselves because of our own actions. Sometimes it is with complete information and calculation that we decide to live out those actions. If we were to evade them, we would be cheating ourselves of some moments we can add to our treasure chest. However, after living them and bearing the anguish which they bring along as a free goodie, they tend to leave a vacuum for the long term.
We all nurture a huge vacuum within ourselves. Most of us, just like the icebergs, are more unrealised than realised. The only apparent way to diminish such vacuum is by filling it with little pockets of happiness and tiny transient joys, even though sometimes these transient joys may lead to not so transient sorrows. Yet, the treasure chest must fill. Finally, the vacuum gets filled with little pockets of substance and reduces in volume. With time then, within the substance more pockets of vacuum emerge. The actions are still justified. In retrospect, they have let us live our lives a little bit more.
Can I then, even remotely, try to understand or judge anybody’s actions? Can I or you decide whether what they do is right or wrong? Our characters and personalities are shaped with time and circumstances which envelope us. Only we can redeem ourselves and we can only redeem our own selves.
If we do decide to redeem ourselves, at best, someone can walk beside us, hold our hand and tell us that we are loved and cherished whether we are able to cross over or not. We are precious as we are. We are treasured and indispensible because of who we are and not because of who we are trying to become.
Coffee is a beverage that holds my imagination. I believe it does the same of many more. It has some qualities that I have been searching for and to my disappointment and relief, never found a blend so wholesome and rich.
Coffee does make up for all that is missing in people. The enticing color of the beans, the rich fragrance which fills the air when they are crushed, the intoxicating aroma of a fresh brew, the smooth invigorating texture and a natural unadulterated flavor, all in one hot cup. I have often felt that coffee has a personality of its own…an inimitable one, at that.
Whichever pedestal I may be operating from; happy or soulful, wild or tame or the numerous shades that lie in between the extremes of these spectrums; this is one steaming hot cup that holds its space…in the mind, heart and in my hands. It provokes the mind to think more than what meets the eye. It provokes the eyes to see beyond what is visible in tangible space. It initiates my conversations with myself and adds to the substance of the dialogues. It breathes in emotions into the heart and lends an unfathomable depth to those emotions. It also, ironically gives me a zilch moment or two here and there when the mind is without a thought and the heart is without an emotion.
Although, I absolutely adore all moments filled with thoughts and soaked in emotions, sometimes, these zilch moments are even more coveted than the fuller ones. They make up for the lack of my juvenile mind’s potential to meditate and become a thoughtless non entity for a brief while. They breathe the much needed space into a day which otherwise promises to be choked for its supply of oxygen. They make me free…to flow and breeze away into oblivion. How much more meditative and therapeutic can a cups contents be?
Is there one? I have often wondered. For wherever I reach, there is always more to do, more to see, more to express, more to desire, more to achieve, and more to experience. The zenith just keeps moving further and further away. The sun and the moon have their moments when they touch their zeniths, but that is because we have defined their zeniths for them. We have given this identity to those points. How can we ever give an identity and definition to the ever elusive place called zenith? It’s just a myth, as is completion.
Zenith is an evolutionary space … a momentary experience, at best … as is the nadir. These are spaces where we find answers to our questions and set new ones before the universe. These are the spaces where we can hope to capture some fragments of new ideas floating, new pictures we want in our lives, new ropes if we take hold of them promising to take us on our quest for a new zenith, after we have experienced our new nadirs … breaking us and making us a stronger, more resilient version of ourselves …. and welcoming us, once again to the roller coaster ride that life is.
The nadirs and the zeniths are not here to stay. They are like the breaths taken which will never return. You may only experience the déjà vu moments when you touch your new sets of these extremes. Love the high points, love the low points … love the ride, love the stops, jump the gaps, cross the rivers, lose yourself in the thick forests, go in circles till you reach the foothills … scale the mountains, let yourself drown in life so that you can learn to float … and then occasionally, life will send you underwater just to touch the nadir momentarily, and dig out those obscure treasures that you find only there. Pick up the threads … to be able to reach the zenith for a moment, just before the zenith moves beyond. Erect the flag to see how far below the zenith was, the last time you touched it. Get charmed by the beauty of this sensuous life, because there is nothing more charming and nothing more cleansing, nothing more purifying and nothing more meditative than living this precious life to the core. Precarious, yet strong. Bold, yet shy. Fluid, yet firm. Soft and radiant this moment, treacherous the next. You cannot predict what comes from that blind alley you are about to turn into.
I cannot put into words what life feels like to me when I embrace it passionately and let it unfold it’s mysteries into my heart and converse with my soul. Live with your soul. Right here, right now. Love it … live it … to the core. Just pick up the threads that life offers to you because whether they lead you to your transient zeniths or nadirs, they are the means to unlocking the mysteries to this breathtakingly beautiful universe.
Today, seems a day when words have left my side…realizing perhaps that I use them just to unburden myself. They carry the sometimes unbearable weight of my thoughts and just stay where I put them, like little black beasts of burden, who obediently listen to their unrelenting master. They bear, carry and embody my person, my feelings, my joys and my sorrows. They alone have the power to represent all my shades, making them a party to all the crimes I commit on paper and in my mind. Silent, soulful, vibrant, bold, beautiful and yet unassuming. They are the fragments without which I am expressionless and pointless, for even though, experiencing the boundless emotions maybe an unparalleled treasure in itself, being able to put a pen to paper, form words out of those alphabets I learnt in kindergarten and phrases out of the words and full bodied sentences from those phrases is what shapes me.
Time and time again, I have been told by some to write…to try and express more than my eyes can with the help of these little friends of mine called words which connect mysteriously to form sentences and have the potential to soak in all…or almost all of my feelings inside of them. I use them not only to unburden myself but also to enhance whatever goes on in this sometimes corrupt and sometimes childlike mind of mine. Howsoever unassuming they may look, once set on paper, they assume a power over me…and transcend me to the heights of expression that would not be possible were I left to do the task with my eyes alone. Being verbal also diminishes my energy whereas writing down the same enhances it. Words are slowly seeping into me and becoming a part of my soul…they are becoming my soul mates…again…transiently. At least for now….at least in this moment in time. Tomorrow, they may abandon me, but will surely come back to nourish me and replenish me whenever I need them the most.
Sometimes, every word that I write is so heavily embroiled and soaked in emotions and feelings that it synergistically stands out in the sentence that it figures in. It seems to breathe and has a life and personality of its own…a multidimensional one at that!
So give me the power, once again, my little friends…make me worthy of you. Give me the strength in mind to put you to paper and understand once again how precious and complete a shape you take when you dawn upon yourself to do justice to the emotions of a non entity and sum up a person, an event, a thought or a feeling and become much more in sum total than any of these are worth without you.
Give me the strength to walk on…on my path…breathing in the beauty and breathing out the pain. And, give me the clarity and vision to reject such beauty to seep in, where the beauty has more potential to damage than soothe.
Give my precious ones a better reason to go on. Give them a reason from within and not without.
There is a circle. Not yet a circle. And not likely to become a circle. It’s incomplete. These incomplete circles lead to a lot of dissipation. Dissipation of my energies. Dissipation and loss of my life force energy. I want to close these circles too. Just that I don’t know how. I try to make peace with the incomplete forms…with non closure. Depending upon time to close them for me…as inevitability will take its course. And time will heal. This is what life has to offer to me as yet and I cannot struggle and fight the battle to snatch more than what is being offered. For, what comes to me without struggling is mine and what does not, is not meant to be. I will learn to deal with this circle too…longing to join its two open ends, but will wait for them to close naturally, if it does. I make my peace with this incomplete piece.
Hope is gripping. Hope is annoying too. Hope gives us the strength to walk on. Hope also makes us linger on for too long. Much longer than the potential of hope. But, hope we must, for there are many more complete circles on our canvasses than there are open ones. These closed ones are the ones we take for granted, even though one day, long back, these were the ones we were hoping to close. They are dreams fulfilled. They are beautiful and complete. They are the reason we identified with hope, in the first place. These circles are indispensable and priceless. Why then, don’t we see them as clearly as we see the incomplete ones? The complete ones bring joy but we choose to feel pain over joy…pain brought to us by the incomplete ones. We languish over the incomplete ones. We brood, we lament and we complain.
I will take some moments today and from today, everyday, to think about and thank those beautiful complete circles where the ends have met and closure has been achieved. The incomplete ones, like a love unrealized, shall always be etched in my mind sharply and will bring their share of pain, longing and trauma along for the unrealized and relinquished always promises to offer more than probably it can…if it were to be realized. Perhaps because they do not have to carry the burden of being tagged with the fairy tale one liner, “happily ever after” and can get away with a dreamlike and surreal quotient of happiness which they carried and which might have been, had they witnessed the “after”. They do not bear the brunt of evolution the way the realized dreams do. They do not have digressed paths and lost wandering souls for they stagnate and freeze in time. Do they really deserve that much focus and attention as they seem to demand?
After pondering over the open circle for a tad too long, I realize that, I will argue endlessly over why I should not hover around it. And being my incorrigible self, I will again and again hover over it, ponder over it, trace its path, savor the longing and the taste of desire, for the dreams dreamt and unrealized are too overpowering and intoxicating to the mind that loves to flirt with life! From circles…back to squares…Square one!!!