Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Why I stare

Err....I don't stare; though a friend always catches me "staring" at people.

I like to observe at things happening around. I can observe a cow swatting away flies with her tail as she is walking in her own rhythm without being bothered about all those honks on the road with the same interest as I would watch a lady swirling her hair as she talks to her male friend flirtatiously.

One can watch the world go by caught up in a frenzy of activities. You could actually create a humorous situation in your head and place yourself amidst those serious ones and laugh at it. Let me admit; mind you, this is a secret I haven't revealed to anyone yet. As a student; I've often visualised my teachers breaking into a dance in front of the class whenever they would be annoyed at the class and yelling. What I would visualise was an imaginary transition from their tense mood to a jovial one and start to dance! See! this is what I am talking about; it's impossible to ever get bored.

The indulgence I get in a crowded place like waiting at the airport lounge or sipping coffee by the street watching crowds is inexplicable. I get to be myself - being shy and reserved, I can easily hide and be non-existent as I watch the world!. I love the anonymity; times when you don't have to force a small talk or smile or hide your face behind a book.  At such times, there is no need to feel guilty at all. You can just sit aimlessly for minutes if not for hours without someone having to stare back at you and just let your imagination flow.

Watching people and animals - oh! it is so enriching. It has made me undergo a deluge of emotions - from feeling happy to sad, from feeling accomplished to worthless. There was this one instance where I was waiting for my connecting flight from Guadalajara, Mexico to Guatemala. There were this Central American origin American family who were enjoying their pepperoni pizza while the kids played on their respective latest iPhones. My hand involuntarily clutched my 3 year old broken and dented old iPhone and buried it deep in my handbag. I didn't want to be seen with a broken phone. It was a funny reaction of mine! Nevertheless; the after-thoughts were interesting. Why did I feel ashamed? Was it because I felt though I earned; I couldn't afford a latest iPhone? Or was it the thought of feeling thankful that I at least had a phone and was able to travel to my favourite destination? Was it the thought of how could few indulge while the vast majority had no access to basic water and food?

It's the butterfly effect; these observations invoke in me. It could start as a silly thought and end up with "what is our purpose in life?" kind of philosophical question. Like the way it happened last week. I was on my way to work when I saw a dog lying on the side of the road on a flyover. I just had two seconds of glimpse. Right after that; a volley of emotions consumed me. Was the dog alive yet? Why was it on the side lying? How long has it been there? It was hot and the road would be scorching. Did it get hit by a vehicle and put aside to die or was it left there from some other place? Why was a lone dog on the flyover? They don't generally do that! The entire morning went in brooding and a mixture of sadness and guilt for not stopping by. Even as I was commuting; I had to control the urge of asking the driver to turn around or stop. What would I do even if I turned around and went near the dog. Which auto or cab would be ready to transport an injured animal to a hospital.

I actually left office in the noon; unable to control my thoughts. I went back to check and the dog was not there anymore; perhaps corporation disposed off the body. Throughout this ordeal; I was actually contemplating whether had I not been looking around; would I have felt this guilt and agony? What was it? Does it mean these pathetic things don't happen if I didn't see them?

Well, the post turned out to be intense. That's the beauty of observing things around you. You learn a lot, you introspect, you become aware. The spirit of life, the void of lifelessness, the ray of hope and the vacuum of despair - they all co-exist.


Friday, April 21, 2017

An Effort

Writing has been very enjoyable. Its a stress reliever to me; to express your views, to write a poem, to share what you observe and your perspective. I've always looked forward to writing - purely on the basis of sharing my views and my experiences with like minded folks.

However; blogging has turned out to be an effort these past few months. I often make up my mind to write regularly here and then don't turn up. The step motherly treatment meted out to my blog is unfair; yet why am I repeating it?

I was retrospecting; what's making me wary of blogging. I think its more than one factor - firstly; the very thought of signing in, drafting and publishing an article is time consuming. It also means using a laptop or a notebook. Apart from that; the lack of interaction with bloggers and readers here has diminished to a great extent. I remember those heydays 4-5 years ago when people would start pinging me if they didn't see a post every 3 days here. We waited for the posts, commented and shared views honestly and defended the views with passion. The views were very much unbiased and without expectations. A reader didn't comment on one's post to be returned a favour.
And then; it all started tumbling down. You-comment-on-mine and I-will-do-the-same trend started. Some of the posts were totally irrelevant; more like adverts promoting a product. The fun waned. It was no more passionate, no more fun.

Likewise; reading a post and interacting with each other is not instant here. And it is not easy to have a n-way conversation. To grab attention is one thing, to manage to keep a party interested given the medium is impossible. And then I wonder; do I write for myself or for others? Of course; a verbal diarrhoea of my views and thoughts does make me feel lighter; but I would love a chatter, a discussion. It definitely soothes - to be heard, to be encouraged, to be criticised. We humans thrive on interactions isn't it?

I noticed my medium of sharing and participating has shifted from blog to facebook. I dont think it happened suddenly - the ease of use, the interaction and accessibility has made it compulsive for me to share more on Facebook than here. No! I dont have thousands of friends; i have a hundred. And yes, I know each one of them; I am not someone who would friend a total stranger. Facebook for me is not to show my day to day activity; unless its beautiful and it can motivate others. I share my poems, haikus, sketches and photography there. I write posts, share my opinions and at times engage in passionate debates - all those things that I was doing here!

Perhaps; its a natural transition and I shouldn't be too worried unless I stopped writing. Writing matters; not the medium of sharing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Direction

Crunch of the snow as I walk on them
Muffled by the howling wind.
Air wet and frigid; I bend my head down
Protecting my naked face from the biting cold
As if in respect to the harsh weather.

Rhythmic marching; one step at a time
Not a creature in sight; an unwelcome eerie.
This night seems to be long.
Awaiting in anticipation; a flicker of light,
The warmth and the coziness of bed.

I wish someone was walking with me.
My hurried steps wander; homebound.
The blurry slush, squelching as I drag my feet.
I’ve defined my path, so no turning back.
I’ll defend it; until I hit the high wall.

Crossing a bridge; rickety and narrow.
The black of the water shimmer
The moon’s imperfect reflection; dances.
Teasing me of my situation. Ah! An irony.
Wait in the wings I will; quiet and patient.

Squeezing the compass in my hand, I continue.
I turn a bend and find myself at crossroad.
Two narrow path fork; which one now?
Halting in my footsteps, I gaze as far as I could
Do I see any signs of light? Far away?

Those thoughts reach me again.
My fingers caressing your face.
The scar on your nose; you were conscious about.
I really liked them. Have I told you that?
Sure, its not relevant now; is it?

I cast my eyes again on the forks.
I need to pick a path and continue.
Its gotten late. I feel so lonely.
Guess I should keep walking.
And I wish you were walking with me. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tomorrow


Picture clicked by me at Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka back in 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 in review

A lot happened this year; a mix of positive and negative things. It was nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. Few things worse which I hope wont repeat. Anyway, I am going to leave out the unpleasant ones; instead remember only the nice ones. This year has been a blessing. Started few new things, came across few amazing people and kept myself busy overall. 
  • It was an year of crazy travel; diverse, adventurous and fun - Kerala, Kashmir, the USA, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and Laos. Mayan ruins of Tikal, subterranean caving in Laos were the highlights. Many have this wrong notion that travel needs lot of money. Its not true; tickets and daily expenses cant be avoided but no! they are not expensive unless you want to travel luxuriously. 
  • Spent time with close friends after years during my California visit and also got to meet friends from the US here in Bangalore after couple of years; so good to reminisce over a beer or two! 
  • Finally read the Harry Potter series after years of dismissing them; thanks to a friend who kept nagging me to read them
  • Started watching TV series. I didnt understand why people were mad about them; but must admit few ones are awesome; sensible and actually challenge the intelligence of audience as compared to the Indian serials that is a mockery of everything.
  • Got introduced to another form of art - painting. It was surprising to know the various forms, media, techniques; appreciate the talent and creativity. I learnt about more artists and their works; now regular visitor to art galleries in Bangalore and places I travel. 
  • Started sketching; for someone who couldn't even scribble a line; to start sketching and zentangling is a great start!
  • Started writing Haikus. Combining it with pictures to convey my thoughts better worked; because not many understand Haiku. 
  • Wrote more poems this year; as compared to articles. 
  • Started a FB page for my Haiku, Photography and Sketches. Not many followers but the act of starting something new is so refreshing!
  • Started a Youtube channel Bindu's Wanderlust to log my travel stories; because apparently visuals attract better than words  
  • Got myself a new job; learning and settling down apart; made new friends. 
Here wishing you all a great year 2017. Cheers!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Idealist?

I've been often told by my partner that I am idealistic. No, not in the way of "I know the best" or "Holier than thou" creepy kind but in a way that masks the reality and practicality of life.

Being idealistic is not "real world" is the argument. And I always disagree. Of course; one needs to be aware of the situation, of the limitations of real world and act accordingly. But I would also argue that dismissing idealistic thoughts is looking for an excuse to not try the best. Of course; trying to do one's best is not an easy task. Not to be mistaken; its not that people are intentionally giving in. Its only natural that the path we tend to follow is of least resistance; of accepting limits easily and thus deciding to be "realistic" could result in mediocre results.

Coming to my thought process; I often envisage a world as it should be than the world it is now. BUT; I think I am doing just fine as long as I am not in a dreamy world having lost all reality. I would like to use my emotive state to make things better, to make people around me feel better. My state I believe would turn into actions that would encourage people. However; if any of my beliefs are an hindrance; than I have a problem that should be fixed.

I don't think there is a single one of us that looks at our own life, our situations and society at large and not think "I wish this was not what it is" or "I wish this was better". Idealism can co-exist with realism and cynicism. As an attitude; idealism could instigate to pursue the best path rather than the most accessible easier path. But if its substituted with realism; basing policy on what is "appropriate" or "accurate" or what people "should" do instead of what it is or what people do; it can have bad consequences - the "holier than thou" phenomenon I mentioned earlier.

On the flip side; there are these rich emotional and passionate convictions that I share with very few people. My core values and my principles are things that I wouldn't stop believing in how much ever I am tested, beaten and battered. I would just be grateful for all the good things.

Amidst mounds of negativity and horror around you; when life knocks you down as soon as you are up with no respite; hopefulness gets you through your worst and helps moves forward to the best. You can either be bitter about it or try your best to see if there are alternatives. Seeing the world the way it is and still hoping for the best is nothing short of a gift. To see that silver lining in the cloud, to see a helping hand in that chaos, to see a pathway of compassion and understanding is a blessing. Seeing imperfection in perfection and accepting flaws and limitations while striving to be better allows one to find that inner self control, a conviction that defines the strength. Seeing humanity in everyone and seeking the best for others, believing that others' dreams and hopes can be enriched with your presence and to be able to love unconditionally, to be more accepting and forgiving is hope. And to be hopeful is a great strength that can take you a long way. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gypsy's Friend

He was brought to my area by a family who were hired for a building construction as a 2-3 month old pup; about 3 years ago. He is an Indie; used to be tied up outside their shanty temporary home in the construction site; watching me and Gypsy everyday whenever we would go walking. His thin tail would wag vigorously every time he saw Gypsy. Once the building construction was complete; the family abandoned him and he made this area his home.



He would never come near us; now that he was free. He would stand at a distance and continue to wag his tail and run away. He didn't become part of any pack; though he is amicable with every other dogs in the area - be it stray or breed. He is fed by many people; his territory stretches long and wide on all four sides.

One can see a guy feeding biscuits every morning or a lady feeding him rice or a shopkeeper spreading out gunny sack for him to sleep on. He has many names, now has a collar around his neck. Very well behaved; this pup has earned trust, love and respect of everyone. As days passed by; he got a bit more confident to come near Gypsy. Gypsy considers him as best friend too; he gets restless if he does not meet this guy at least once in a day. He would sit on the road and wait until his fellow turns up. The same with him; wherever he is; he would for sure come running as soon as he recognises gypsy's scent; like the way you see in movies how two long lost friends run to hug each other. They play for a while. He does not let any other dog intimidate Gypsy and if any stray barks at Gypsy; he is always there to protect.

On one of our walk evenings; Gypsy waiting for his friend to turn up.

If it's just me walking on the road; he would come up to me and push his snout into my hand or rub his head against my leg. A pat and a rub and he would walk with me for a while and let me go. Today he came till the gate and was waiting; wouldn't go in spite of me nudging him. Strays are fed at times or they scavenge but finding water to drink is hard for them. Fed him and gave him water to drink; looks like it was thirst. He drank until his thirst quenched and off he went. I've thought many times to bring him home. But he may not like it; he is a free spirit; loves his freedom. May not like being cooped up.

I haven't named him; just address him "DA" - a self made alpha 😊