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Aviophobia

Things you pass by at times, you don’t take note of. You don’t stop to smell the roses, so to say. Cheesy start, I know. Just can’t come up with anything… I’ll get to the point.

Planes suck. They just do. Falling out of the sky. Prime targets for nature and terrorists too, all of a sudden. People often cite studies stating that statistically, planes are safer than cars on a per trip basis. I read a brilliant counter-argument for the same somewhere, in a simple question – “How often do you drive and how often do you fly?” Granted though, that they are quicker. And they are pretty nifty too, come to think of it; and as of now, I have another reason against my earlier solemnly declared airline-critiquing statement.

I have travelled enough (I like to think I have) to be inured to the usual hullabaloo people fresh on the tube might be busy experiencing. Something caught my eye on my 4th trip to my sister’s place in Hong Kong though. Rather, on the trip back. I did something I believe I hadn’t properly “done” in my adult life. I looked out the window. Of the pressurized metal tube I was riding in, at that horrifying time of the night when everything below you is black bleak ocean, the sole purpose of whose existence, in your self-centred universe, is to swallow you whole if the man you trust your life with commits the slightest mistake because of some weird issues he might be having at home… (I really should not be watching anymore of Air Crash Investigations…) Bottomline – I looked out the window.

And it struck me. Like the bolt that hit Micheal Corleone when he saw that pretty Italian girl on his sabbatical from the mob. And it struck me like little had, in recent times. It just hit the spot.

There it was. The glorious night outside. The moon; no matter how high up you think you are, it’s right there, above you, far away; always beyond your reach. All a humble human can do is (switch off your in-flight TV screen first!) look out, look up, stare into the sole object illuminating the sky, take in its reflections on the wing of your aircraft; and quietly admire it. Soak in a sight, the purity of which is rivaled only by its magnificence. The great moon, humbled by the sun during the day; now in the night, it’s its chance to shine and awe.

It’s not too selfish though. It gives way to the stars from farther beyond once you have given it its due. And the stars; oh, the stars! Sigh.. Looking at the beauty in their chaos, one might wonder whether it’s really us, that the universe goes around? Is this beauty constructed for us so that we might be able to look out of our world, somewhere far far off and for a moment, just a moment, feel a simple joy revelling in our complete, worriless and fortunate ignorance about something utterly out of our control? But, let’s not get into semantics. Let’s let the beauty of beauty stay unblemished by the inherent coldness of reason…

For now, just look outside. It doesn’t matter if you are a few thousand feet above the earth, or under a pile of stress. Look out and see what you can, up there in the sky. See the celestials, observe them, and realize the relief and joy in knowing absolutely nothing about them.

I liked the feelings you evoked
In a heart kept cold
Lest it warmed up enough
To be sliced in two.

But the warmth was worth it
The thawing was bliss
The magic of love flowed
To a place where it was sorely missed

And The feelings you let me
Gather up in my treasure chest
Those memories of happiness
Those memories of love

Shall stay forever
And forever, shall stay
Buried In my heart
For someone to find.

One Hundred and Thirteen

I Have A Dream… (Or Do I?)

How important is a dream? And when I say dream, I mean not the ones you get which wake you up or put you down as you lie down, but the ones you see when you are conscious. The ones you make for yourself, the targets & the goals you set for yourself in the process, and the ones you nurture. Very very consciously. So. How important are they really?

Mind you, when you create these dreams, you do them out of choice. Choosing paths you choose following the dream you created, which now choose your dreams for you. The sacrifices you need to make, the work you need to do. The paths you need to follow,the ones you need to avoid. A measure of control on your life, one which you might never have had, lies with an idea that you created. A simple idea. A simple dream. 

Because, When we start off with our dreams, they are nothing really. Just a sentence. “I want to be a pilot”. “I want to be an astronaut”. “I want to be the next Bill Gates”. But this one sentence has the power of motivation that the rest of the thesaurus might not hold for you. This one sentence makes you DO. It makes you go out, makes you meet people, makes you restless, makes you impatient, makes you work hard, makes you WANT to want it!…. lest it remain untrue, nothing but a prophecy… unfulfilled. 

And that’s where it might get you. Because after all, it was a dream. Always. All along the weary road you travelled. It was a dream. One which you chose to strive for, chose to risk everything for, chose to sacrifice for. It was ALWAYS a dream. And that’s when it hits you hard. When you thought you had it. When you thought, you knew, you had it. All that you had ever really wanted. Because only in loss does one really understand the latitude of that dream. Of that thought…

So should one stop dreaming?

The answer lies within. Cliched, but true. Ask yourself what is it you want. A completely hedged portfolio – no risk, no drama, no possibility of incomprehensible loss, and none of humongous gains? Or would you like (at least) a slight shot at crazy returns, an opportunity to shine, a likelihood of 15 minutes of elation? 

It’s like an intense pleasure. A will to be lost in the melody, the intricacies, the complexities, yet the simplicities of the piece of art being reproduced in front of you. Waves & waves of ecstasy passing through your body reminding you & making you feel the presence of each and every hair follicle, each & every cell, each & every molecule that makes you yourself.

It’s a vicarious pleasure known to a few, yet coveted by many. People might have searched high & low just so that they could feel the exhiliaration that you are getting right now, sitting in your seat, beer in hand, jaw on the floor, as the music unfolds. There is an intense empathy you feel, towards the artist who made it, to the band playing it & to the experiences that they might have faced individually. Ever want to understand the true beauty of a musical piece? Just look at the person standing there with his eyes closed, playing his heart out. He might not seem too ecstatic, not too jovial, not too jumpy. But what “he” is feeling is what it is all about.

It’s all about the will to understand. It’s all about trying to grasp the meaning of it all. Trying to understand the melody, the harmony, why this, why that? A need for uregently wanting to understand what the artist wanted to portray. Who’s the heartbroken one, & where can I find him/her to bring some comfort to.

This, in my opinion, is the beauty of music, or for that matter, any artform. You don’t need to know the person, or his language, or his skin colour, or his race, or his nationality. He doesn’t even need to have to be alive! But despite these obstructions, you know what it is he wants, what it is he pines for, what it is that makes him jovial, what it is that angers him, what it is that broke him down & what it is that brought him up.

You know, he knows, & so do you wish could each & every person sitting in the room!

Note: This post has been written for DailyPrompt, an amazing idea, which can be followed right here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/daily-prompt-beauty-2/

Music: A Perspective

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Craft of Writing: Down with Adverbs?

The Daily Post

For most people the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Author Stephen King says that, for writers, the road to hell is paved with adverbs. Let’s do a quick refresher on what an adverb is, learn why adverbs get such a bad rap, and why you might choose to think very carefully before you use adverbs in your writing. (See what I did there?)

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The Bend In Time

The Bend In Time

In this fast-paced day and age when we set out to explore new avenues & rid ourselves of our woes, we forget sometimes, to explore the true meaning of life. The true purpose of it.
We were made to be complex beings, yet the true nature of fulfillment & happiness comes from our experiences, so minute & austere as to be indescribable in the language of complexity we have woven ourselves into.
However, there are certain moments like these when time slows down & comes to a stand still. Cherishing such moments is what it should be all about!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/daily-prompt-waiting/

Just a thought

Its a classroom, though not with a class in progress. Today, it’s the HR team of the reputed multinational firm XYZ that has graced us with their presence along with their technical experts to ease some of us into deciding whether or not to go through the transition to being “one of them”. People look forward to getting placed there, being inculcated into their amazing office culture & of course, grabbing their lucrative package.

It all starts off fine. People are on time, which itself is a positive sign in institutes like ours. After all, everybody’s time here is too valuable to waste on listening to the nitty-gritties of a company’s working. Just a wham-bam-thank you ma’am would be fine, if you could please!

Anywho, I digress a little. So the session starts on time. A nice little video comes up on the large screen set up to facilitate the students to be able to look at the larger-than-life picture of XYZ’s happy productive workers & their utopian stories describing the kind of work they have been doing, just so that the ignorant (read, us) could get a picture of the kind of job we would do, albeit a biased one.

The video goes off as planned, starting off with a bang, with a meaty middle & a resonant applause to top it all off. The HR guy comes up on stage, brimming with confidence, riding on the success of his video, trying (& secretly hoping in his own little world), to dazzle the audience in front of him. Just another day at the job after all, isn’t it?

But there’s a slight problem. He’s inexperienced. He’s lacking. He’s gramatically incorrect. Most importantly, HE’S NOT INTERESTING! And that, of course, is a deal breaker. How could the firm send an uninteresting person to lure us in? It shouldn’t matter after all, that the guy has prepared a presentation to try & answer as many queries he can, to help sort out doubts that we might have. I mean, it IS his fault that he has come all the way to campus leaving his comfortable desk just to present some stupid facts about his company which no one cares about, isn’t it? Of course, it is. And hence, we are absolutely justified to go ahead and do something about this.

It is our duty of course to try and tell him that “Beta, tumse na ho paayega”. It is our moral obligation to point out his flaws to him so that he can improve the next time he dares to come up and engage in such preposterous behaviour. After all, how dare he try to educate us intellectuals about XYZ?!

So what do we do? The one thing we truly know best. We talk. We chat. We clap. We do everything we can to not listen to him. Not just that, we try our best to make sure that we disturb everyone around in doing so. We are not interested in the company, man. You ARE? What, are you actually interested? You MUST be joking surely?! *insert judgemental-auntie-face* Leave it dude, he sucks and is uninteresting. Here, listen to me jibber-jabber about this free chocolate I got lying on the ground which has just about lit up my monotonous life!

I don’t really wanna go ahead & preach anything more with any more sarcasm but would just like to ask something. Are we really that immature? Are we so full of ourselves that we can’t even offer the common courtesy to a fellow altruistic human being trying to talk, trying to explain & trying to answer our queries for no good of his own?

I really hope to be able to answer the above questions negatively someday.

Repetition

Repetition

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens” – Helen Keller 

Choose your doors wisely, however. You never know behind which door lies happiness & beyond which, compulsive obsessions.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/daily-prompt-repetition/

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