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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Heaven's Choice

In a candid discussion with one of my friends, this topic came up, as whom should you choose as your life partner?Some one who is very similar to you or someone who is dissimilar to you?
While it so emerged from our discussion that both of us are kind of skewed towards two opposite ends of the spectrum, the topic didn't phase out from my mind in the following days.
Broadening the topic, this seems to be existing in case of all relationships, basically the question is whom do you choose to be a part of your life?By part of your life, it may mean friends, life partner(s) or , for that matter anyone for whom you have the leeway of choosing( hence blood relations are out of scope).

Going into any kind of relation requires a certain degree of change in your own life. Be it lifestyle, food , work, sleep, entertainment or other bigger things as ideology .
Change is something we all yearn for and yet sometimes are so reluctant to. We choose our jobs that give us a reasonable degree of change, we choose our academics that enables us to learn new things.
When it comes to people and relationships, you may accept the change because of primarily 5 reasons.

1.The person is very similar to you, hence change is minimal.
2.The person is quite different, a considerable change might be needed,but then you are in love, and just accept the change.
3. The person is quite different, change is required, but acceptance of the change ensures bigger profits, primarily materialistic profits
4.The person is quite different, change is required, but acceptance of change is the best option in the situation you are into.
5. The person is quite different, and you are very confident that you can change the person.

Similarity, of-course has multiple dimensions, social, economical, educational, professional,ideological, sexual, and many more.Let's look at some of the use cases in each scenario.

So when a person is very similar to you, he or she  and (you) don't need to change much. He comes from a similar background, shares similar perspective towards life .Dealing with him becomes easy.And most importantly, he doesn't do stuff because he loves you, but its just innate to him.This model , on the face of it seems to be more reliable, stable.It seems to be sustainable in the long run.It ensures that you are not coercing someone to change and hence he remains in his comfort zone, you, in yours.
One of the reasons why same caste, religion marriage ensued in society , apart from ensuring that the total net worth of the community remains within the community, was this. It is a harmonized solution that ensures not only stability within the couple but also among their relatives.

On the other hand, if you are dissimilar, things are different.So if someone is doing something for you, it is because he had taken the onus to change and make you happy.There is a remarkably greater degree of passion involved or hormones , you name it!This model, does ensure that you are able to learn from each other.It also compels you to go beyond your own comfort zone and change for the other person.And hence somewhere the bond gets stronger.But having said that, this is a highly unstable model, as people will burn out soon, tired of changing and satisfying others needs.

While the above correspond to #1 and #2 and resemble a more utopic scenario, #3 ,#4 are more practical .You may "ideally" want a healthy mix of #1 and #2 , but knowingly or unknowingly you will end up somewhere in the zone of #3 or #4.

By my own choice I would not want a #3, as this implies strictly materialistic profits creeping in..like say you get married to a person , and your father in law is a real whose who in your field and you have the intention of fully monetizing this!

I would say #4 is the most common and most normal thing happening. You may simply like or dislike a person or a thing based on the situation and make the calculations to maximize your returns(be it mental peace, happiness, or anything else but strictly intangible(we covered tangible benefits in #3)).And parting situational behavior with raw preference is really impossible.How would you or can you say that you would have loved the same person if you were in a different set up or at a different point of time in your same life? Our preferences change and there is no reason to believe that what/whom we choose today would have been same 10 years back or 10 years down the line.

As far as #5 is concerned, there are a bunch of overconfident people, who themselves are reluctant and stubborn enough not to change, but yes , they are forceful to ensure that others change. Dealing with such people is very difficult if you are in love with yourself and your individuality.You might feel claustrophobic with this lot, and if you want to be "you" these people should be avoided.
While we all have our optimal mix of similarity and dissimilarity , and most of us belong to somewhere in between range, what matters to me most is, whatever be the reason of choosing a person, once chosen, we should be able to say, that we did the right choice and would want that person to be a part of our life for a long time , unless something drastic happens.So decision followed by overall acceptance.People change , situations change, but there should remain some stability and coherence to deal with the choices we have made.After all when individual becomes more important than the incentive he or she yields, it is then we meet life!

Whats your pick??

A Piece of My Memory

Well all of us are more or less, obsessed with the devices of our life. Be it our laptop or our mobile or iPad or anything else.Yesterday when my most recent mobile's LCD display started going crazy, I too realized this.

As a result I was forced to use my old mobile, that I hadn't used since March this year. And well, it seemed a piece of my memory has been lost.My old mobile did not have any of the contacts, messages of last 9 months, phenomenal 9 months.Last May, I had moved to a new job, new city and I have been trying to build a new and partly old but comfortable realm of friends around me.It is not that my old mobile reminded me of my life in Beaverton, yes it did, but anyways my memory is not so bad that I need a mobile to remember that! And nor that the memories are so traumatic that I would be so sensitive about them! But the point in question is, I realized my mobile is kind of a part of my entity. As a result, I was behaving more like I have lost a part of my memory and as if I am placed in a time frame 9 months back.All the messages , call history , everything in the old one witnessed about me being working in my old company, living in Beaverton.It reminded me of the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a movie that I really really liked a lot..,

Also it made me think, that how , we , in our modern day world are living being traces of us , in bits and pieces and unknowingly how we are getting attached. Specially for people like us, living miles away from family and familiarity, the mobile device is unquestionably a testimony to who we are!May be it occurred for a small period of time, and as soon as I started getting calls and messages from my present, I was pulled away from that phase, but it did give me a taste of moving back in time. I was feeling claustrophobic and uncomfortable. ..may be that's why we say being with time is the best thing, you cannot lag behind it!

On the other hand, sometimes I have dreamt where I could see myself in a flashback time, of more happier moments. I felt happy during those times. and woke up with a refreshed mind. But when it comes to reality, going back to time seemed like scary.

For now, planning and forced to buy a new phone,during the thanksgiving weekend..

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Who

Some faces are still so familiar
Some eyes are still so mesmerizing
That can peek through your heart
That can look beyond what is dissimilar
Some smiles are still so much incandescent
Some frowns are still so sweet
That can make you cry and laugh
Some fights are still so deliberately irrelevant
Some days are still so full of nothing
Some flowers are still so fresh
That they never fail to be fragrant
That they never fail to lose their colour
Some gestures are still so beyond everything
Some stories are still so alive and overwhelming
Of him , of her, of them,
Of the innumerous people in the crowd
Some spirits are so always unyielding

Anonymous

If you are in me,
And still I can't feel you,
I shall let you go.
If you are holding my hand ,
And still the piercing cold scratches me,
I shall let you go.
If you are with me,
And still your search is not over,
I shall let you go.
If you hold the light,
And still I can't find you,
I shall let you go.
If the hours with you have to be filled in,
And do not glide on,
I shall let you go.
If I yearn for you,
And still am incomplete,
I shall let you go.
Even if I know,
I will be broken without you,
I will let you go.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I and Me

I lie beneath me
I sleep under me
My burden is so huge,
I can hardly breathe,I can barely see
I can't remember when last was I with me?
Or am I trapped in my own subterfuge?
I was never outside the realm of me.
World is like a multicolored show to me
With my inflating ego to satisfy
I have forgotten to care for the me
Overwhelmed by my layers,I succumb to me
Is there a truth that I defy?
Someday I hope to elope with me
Someday I will set myself free
And then I will never turn back again
To you, to them or to me
I will be at peace with me
In the lightened solitary lane


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rusty Wings

Disclaimer: This post might seem to be offensive to many, however , if you understand the true meaning of what I intend to say, it should not be offensive.

For quite a while now I wanted to write about it. The question is of women education, and particularly with respect to women education in India.In the last couple of years, I have started to look upon things in a different light which is quite different from what I used to when I was back in my school or engineering days. In those days, I had never considered this, or it never came to my mind "what next". Being a girl and getting myself educated had absolutely zero correlation in my mind.It never occurred to me, that there are different ways and different goals of getting educated.This blog particularly deals with the kind of education that is meant for marriage.

We must confess that a majority part of women education in India today is meant for getting a good husband instead of a good profession- off-course if you consider being housewife a full-time profession then it would be getting a better employer. So getting a Google vs some local grocery retailer.So parents of this category start nurturing their daughters right from childhood in the absolutely goal oriented way( as they do not want to get a low ROI in return of their investments on daughters' education).Because otherwise, if you look at it from purely practical point of view, leaving aside the parental love, spending money on daughters' education turns out to be perfectly a bankrupt business! You have to anyways pay dowry for her, expenditures on marriage ceremony are always twice on brides' side than on grooms',you are never supposed to accept any money from her(even if she earns), and also, there is the long term risk of EMI dowries that might continue to n number of years to come.

Let's look at it the other way round.Many of such girls who have been "granted" the privilege of education by parents on the sole reason that they will get a "good" husband,do turn out to be good students as well.At some point during their educational years, they become more focused on the short term goal of getting good marks, getting through competitive exams, getting a good job, than what they are finally destined to do.This creates a problem, in the sense, that these girls, who are master degree holders or PhDs,do end up taking the seats which could have been "rightfully" of some hardworking guy who could be the breadwinner of the family and could have contributed to the GDP.
Aren't those guys deprived in that sense?These Phd girls at the end , mostly end up reaching their long term goal, either get an NRI husband or getting married to some ex-zamindar family! They can elevate the status of their husbands by being highly educated, proficient in English,smart, having good sense of fashion , yet not earning or earning very less,and being always available to act at husband and in-laws' discretion.Basically they are like organic vegetables with unknown side-effects.

We do also have parallel education meant for these girls like those of correspondence course, and open university degrees.Those are perfectly alright. Every human being has his or her right to do what they want. And it does not waste a seat that could have been potentially used by a guy.But then what about the good college, good degree holders - the capable housewives! One may say that it can be solely her decision..I completely agree..I have seen my mother as one of them, who in-spite of going against every one's wish(including my fathers) decided not to work.And the same applies to all those who had to decide in the greater good of the family.This blog is not about them. Because they took their own decisions. It is about those girls who have been educated but education gave the powers only to get an NRI husband and not the confidence to decide and be herself.

One may debate that right to education is one of the fundamental rights and one cannot be denied with that, even if the goal is to get married.In my personal view, I would say the same too. Because, even if these girls lack in their individuality, but still , at least they have the means to regain their individuality, at any point when they so decide.Education opens to them the means of reaching far ends, knowing what is happening, what are there options.And at any point, be it for family emergency or their own need, they can fly with those rusty wings...they are still wings you know!



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not grey, but black

Are there , or can there be pockets in your heart that no one knows except you? Not complete black holes, because you know they exist , and some of them have really been forceful enough to change you for life. Some things you would really like somebody knew!
This has happened to me many times and I am sure happens to others also. I have thought meticulously and lovingly of gifts that I would like to give to someone(sometimes even bought them), I have composed my feelings into well crafted words to be communicated to someone, I have planned of activities to be performed with certain people, all of which never happened nor will they ever happen.No one knows, but I have shared those experiences with those people which never took place in real.The people- friends, relatives,more than friends, they still exist but they never have come to know what I had gone through.
And so they are my black holes..some of them being so dark and long that I can't take the risk of peeping into them. Not that all of them are sorrowful, yes some have been so joyous like when you discover your child walking for the first time..but nevertheless,  humans, at least most humans  remember mainly the sorrows.At least people who cannot legitimize the reason of sorrows and that what should not have happened to them remember sorrowful black holes more than joyous black holes.One of the reasons I started writing , long back, and in those times , on pen and paper is that I wrote letters to several people to whom I had something to say.People and god(well I used to be a strong believer once) who made difference in my life . Some of those feelings could have been actually communicated though , but back those days I was not so infused with skills of saying something in well packaged manner.And also, somethings could not be told. But yes, I don't want any corner of my heart to be un-revealed to no one.Not necessarily single person should know it all, but at least some things to some people..those things which have changed me, those people who have made impact on me..shouldn't there be at least one other person who knows about it? Or may be this blog or some bundle of papers?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Let the light come in

Sometimes when I am sad, people advise me to practice the "switch off" and "switch on" strategy. Its just like switching off that circuit in your heart that's hurting.In a recent encounter with heart break with one of my friends, I too very wisely suggested her this option.Indeed this is a good option and will help her to come out of the situation, I thought. When she can't just stop thinking about it, and if those thoughts are doing nothing but making her more fragile, more vulnerable to anything and everything that comes across, even in day to day life, I thought it is just good to disconnect the circuit and let nothing flow through it. And not only me, many other well wishers of her did actually suggest her this. However, when I asked her , she said that it is not possible to switch off , because if she does so, it kills her very own self.It disconnects her from life itself, because she could realize love in every tiny bit of life.

This statement made me think on the topic , it made me ponder a lot. Is it truly possible to cut off , from a situation, if that involved matters of love? Well it depends on how much we, as individuals are filled with love, how much we have grown up being nurtured in love and perhaps, how much we , in our daily lives, imbibe, experience and give back love. Love, this word in itself states nothing. It has a different meaning to every person. I had a friend once who could be in love with leaves, roads, bus, mountains . A favorite person for being mocked at, but truly I believe that is possible. On the other hand, if you have grown up as "nothing" and "ignored", and if your inferiority complex gets satisfied only if you ensure that you are around people who never have the ability or willingness to "know"  you,then the love you experience is the love for anonymity.This is also a kind of satisfaction of not having to take any exam ever and at the same time getting just the pass marks. You are trapped in your mediocre life with no intention of being happy.This life may be pitiful to most of us. who , kind of magnify love, and die and live for love. But, there is a good number of people who are actually happy with this kind of life. And happy by their definition.

And again there are passionate people, who are never satisfied, with whatever they get- in career, in personal life.They aim to break their "middle class" stature for ever and look for more and more.They too love, and sometimes very deeply, but they can never let go their urge to become the so called "successful" for the sake of love. They put forward calculated steps and take back the steps that do not yield any incentives.

Exaggerated or not, love is over hyped. Yes my friend is right. Love is a way of life. You cannot switch it on or off. If you do switch it off, it squeezes away all kinds of interests from your life.If you are just the kind of person who can never realize love, it does not matter. But if you understand and realize love, you are devastated without it.It does not matter if a heart break means a single person, but that heart break can't take away your entire sense of love. Love for your work, love for friends, family, for the beautiful weather around, for the sunny  morning, for a good night's sleep, for a good movie, for food,for your hobbies,for your home, for yourself.Surely next time when I will want to comfort somebody going through a heart break (and I hope that situation never comes), I will not recommend the switch off strategy. All MBA concepts are not applicable and right.I will recommend to fall more in love, so much so that the heartbreak becomes just a minuscule part of the entire world of love that can  just be ignored. Everyone has his or her way of happiness and lest not try to attempt on something that's not our cup of tea.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Duality in Truth

Would you do things in a comparatively free society that you would have considered not doing otherwise?

There can be several reasons as to why you would consider not doing something.Might be because you feel it is unethical, or because your loved ones feel it is unethical or may be just your social structure does not endorse it.When I say "unethical" vs "non-endorsement", there's a difference.You might feel marital rape is wrong and thus unethical but Indian law does not criminalize it. That's one example.

In US we do certain things with such grace and innocence, that we might not be able to do back in India.
Keeping a close watch at the dustbin to get hold of any thrown away materials like sofa,mixer etc is one example. All to  save some dollars.And not to mention,buying used stuff from the nearest garage sale.In India, our inflated ego doesn't simply allow us to buy or use used stuff or thrown away stuff.We are taught to think that the family background we have come from , is more at ease to "give" than to "take".I feel this is an example more of social stigma or social "way of living" and does not correspond to facing one's deeper self.


Dating++ with any girl/guy giving a damn to what "ye zamana" says is another example.In this country it doesn't matter who is doing what with whom.So people try out things which might be simply grave , when they are back in their homes.It is not just a social stigma in that case. The entire definition of ethics or values changes.You might not be able to face your near and dear ones , if they come to know about your "karnamas", but simply because there is no chance of the information reaching to them, you feel comfortable.

This country also endorses free style fashion which means wearing any funky stuff, any combination of colors and exposing of course!!Any fashion that is different and makes you stand out, is a "yoyo" here.It doesn't matter if you have "red lips" tattooed on your cheeks or if your trousers is almost slipping from your waistline or if your jeans is ripped off at strategic places.I was wondering if I litter in India, would I feel the same amount of guilt compared to if I do it over here? Or would I not give myself  a pat on the back if I cross the busy road in India in between traffic.But here I would be afraid of the comment from the by stander, that because I am not from here, I don't even know this country's rules.And for sure, I am never taught to hold the door for complete strangers , in malls, in restaurants, in airports and if I do this back home, it is going to evoke lot laughter at my "USish" behavior!

The list is endless. But what surprises me is how do we determine that something is apt in some place at some point of time and the same thing is not at another instance.Is there anything that has an universal definition of right or wrong? Things that are not social stigma, that are not loathed or mocked by others gain the right to be right and others are wrong.

Nothing has an absolute definition.The same activity experienced by different people, in different places or at different points of time gives rise to different situations and states of mind.So if  in a relationship, someone experiences sheer love, the other person may just have a time pass to overcome his or her loneliness. I tried thinking again...killing? Is it not a heinous crime and beyond doubt that it should be universally bad? But then again, we do respect our great soldiers.So killing under a specific cause under certain circumstances is not bad.But that means, killing is not bad if you are part of a collective goal, like our freedom fighters had, like our country's soldiers have. But don't terrorists also have a collective goal? Is all collective goal good? Even rioteers have a collective goal be it in the name of religion.And I believe people who are part of such crime organizations actually have very strong collective goals to achieve.Otherwise such organizations wont be able to sustain.They have vision, mission!! This is what makes it difficult to  fight against them.They have a collective truth which is perfectly legitimate to them.Because it is collective, social stigma is not experienced.We learn to despise something or follow something based on how much social stature we gain out of it or how much positive attention it gives to us. And if some truth is collective , then it is really difficult to break that chain.

Everything in this world is dual in nature. Truth has many colours. For truth between two people, it is only them who can know it and appreciate the truth of the truth. For collective truth, it is more complex .If only we can find a way  amongst the different versions of truth....
Having said that, I , personally believe that changing oneself as per the requirements of a new place is apt.But as long as that does not change the morals or values which are so intrinsic.So if it is some change of fashion or food habits or lifestyle or courtesy related then it is welcome.But if it leads to something that you are changing your values, that is unwelcome and not endorsed.