Friday, May 01, 2015

Random Thoughts


There comes a point in your life when u realize that all the things you thought you needed to be happy are irrelevant and all you could ever want, is to be loved.
For much of our life, we seek admiration.
And then respect. Appreciation.
After a point, we begin to notice love.
And one day we realize, love was all we ever needed.

People who take the path of least resistance.
There are different ways of doing it. And there are different lengths to which you can take it.
Saying and doing things that would be agreeable to others, things that wouldn’t hurt or annoy or provoke others.
Always presenting a side of yourself that’s agreeable, that the other person would like.
But I realized it can drive me mad.
To know that I don’t know your true self at all. That you are impenetrable. In a way, a stranger to me.
Eventually I want to know you for what you are, whether I approve of you or not.
It’s important to achieve a balance between being agreeable to others and being who you are.
And it’s fair to people, that in the end, they know who you really even if it means they will hate you.

Let us not become hardened.
People hurt us and let us down all the time. Let us become strong but not insensitive, not immovable, not hardened.
If we allow people and situations to harden us, then we have lost the battle. And they who tried to hurt us have won.
For, that part of us which is tender, gentle and innocent, which trusts, hopes, loves, weeps and gets hurt, that part which is naïve and vulnerable and continues to become attached even after being betrayed, that sensitive part within us is what makes us human.

Infatuation, crush, flirting, ‘seeing’, ‘going around’- all these I understand not.
Love. That’s the only way I know to like a man.

Shared memories. They bind people like nothing else I think.
It’s wonderful to have people in your life with whom you have shared memories.
It’s wonderful to have a sibling, for instance.
I and my brother. We are close and we are not.
But at times when we are watching TV, there appears on the screen, for just a few seconds, a now forgotten song or ad that we both had watched 15 years ago in an old home at an old place in an old life.
We don’t say anything, but look at each other, smiling a knowing, nostalgic smile.
It is at such a moment that we come closest.
That moment of a shared memory, a shared past, a shared home, a shared time and shared life belongs to just the two of us, no one else.
That look you give each other when you catch onto something no one else gets. That perfect moment…

Every desire has a validity period. If it does not find fulfillment within that period, it expires. Unless there is fresh hope, fresh revival that gives it a new lease of life or a new promise that keeps it going on.
Make a wish and wish that it comes true before you no more wish the wish.

Some people are a good work of engineering but without a hint of art.

The power of a caustic tongue is much greater than that of many a good actions.
O friend, your many good deeds, favours – thank you for them but I could do without them.
But your caustic, abrasive tongue – a few minutes spent with you vex me for the next few weeks, and that is something I would definitely like to do without…

It’s good to be very sure of yourself. But always leave room for doubt. To be too sure of yourself is one way to stop growing.

"So much of what you are is where you've been."
ABSOLUTELY! and 'where you have been' need not be co-ordinates far away from your own - there are people who go to America, live there for 20 years, and come back without having 'seen' much, because they did the same thing they used to here, lived the same life, mingled with only those from their own community/ethnicity, ate the same cuisine, etc; and there are people who have not gone out of their town since they were born, but went to 20 'different' places in it and explored all of them to the full. Which means, you have actually 'been' to a place if you have stepped out of 'your domain' into the 'domain of that place' even though it be a small step.

I try to look at the brighter side of things. I am an optimist. There is always hope. But there are certain things in life that do not have a brighter side. And I don’t imagine that there is one. My optimism is based on reality not on delusions.

Love is its own reward, its own punishment.
Matters of heart should not be judged. They should only be understood, sympathized with and forgiven. Yes. Forgiven.

Listening. I have moved a step ahead. Rather than telling the speaker whether I agree or not immediately, I try to find ‘where’ this is coming from.
Also, I realize that people don’t have a ‘listening problem’. It’s just that when people are full of themselves, they are incapable of sparing time or thought for other people’s stories.

I don’t understand why and how people find it difficult to tell the difference between, love, attraction, infatuation and sweet nothings, when love towers above them all and stands apart so distinguishably! The litmus test is - love hurts, the others don’t! Also, love stands the test of time. Others don’t.

Addiction to melancholy
Melancholy is a dangerous thing. Not so much because of the suffering it causes. But because it is addictive.
When you suffer the fate of unrequited love, and all you have had is a bleeding heart for days and weeks that eventually turned into months,
when you have gotten used to the arrow stuck in your heart,
burning in separation has become an everyday habit,
the silent suffering, the song of your heart, the melancholy, the sad love songs, love letters, love poems and love stories your companions,
you start liking it and the thought of not having it in your life from tomorrow is saddening.
Still when you get over the person, when you drop him from your heart one day, more than the relief from all the burden you have been carrying all these days, what you experience is a sense of emptiness, a void, an emptiness.
That’s being in love with love itself.
Melancholy is addictive. There is so much more beauty in the suffering of the heart than in its freedom from attachment.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Ladhak & Kashmir 2010 - Day 6 - Pangong Lake


5th July 2010

It had been a difficult night. For all of us.
But I did not know at that time, it was fluid in our lungs. The result of poor or failed acclimatization.
It affects different people differently – headache, dehydration, fever...some people have fluid in their lungs.
The key to acclimatization is gradual gain of altitude. Gain 150 meters a day, no more.
When you fly from Delhi to Ladhak, you fly from a few hundred/thousand feet to 11000 feet.

When you have fluid in your lungs, you can’t sleep in the night. During daytime, the fluid rests at the bottom of your lungs and you are able to use the top part for breathing.
In the night, when you recline, the fluid spreads all over the lungs and you can breathe effortlessly, you have a ‘Sinking Feeling’.

So, all three of us were awake, almost all through the night.
At one point, I turned to look at my father and did not see his body heaving up and down and I feared.

I sat up at another point thinking aloud of Hitler’s poison gas chambers and how those victims must have struggled for breath.

We woke up to a grey morning.
There were thick clouds all over and silver grey lake beneath.
The waiting began. For the clouds to part, for sun to show, even through a tiny hole in the sky and for the lake to turn blue.

The local folks knew from one look at the sky it would not happen until the next day but I hoped anyway.

I waited and prayed, in turns.

After a while, I asked the driver to take us to Spangmik. I hadn’t been there the previous year.

We drove. There was no road but a trail along which an SUV could move. After a point, it was uphill climb.
It gave us a view of the lake from above and what a sight it would have been if it were blue!

And then we returned.
We ambled along the lake for sometime, sat on its banks here and there.
There was ray of hope. But just a ray. For just a few seconds it turned to a shaft but no more.
The lake was grey to silver to pale, pastel, powder blue but not a patch of peacock. (that's 2 more p’s than I need for an alliteration!)
What disappointment it was!

It was with a heavy heart that I sat through the journey back.