Sunday, September 21, 2014

Gyaan

I read this blog post on the turmoil of the twenties. In an eloquent piece, the blogger captures the pangs that one goes through on the threshold of 'true adulthood'.

The following is my (unsolicited) response:

As a guy on the verge of turning 29, I have gone through the phase you are speaking of. There is no guarantee that I won't go through it again, but it is worthwhile to pen down your thoughts when they seem crystal clear after having gone through a time of muddy swirling nothingness.
1. Disable your facebook account. Humans have survived for hundreds of thousands of years without it. I am sure you can survive the next 20. Alternative is to unsubscribe the 'friends' you speak of. You barely keep in touch with them anyway, just spend precious moments you should be spending thinking of you in thinking and probably cursing them.
2. Decide if you are all about money. You know that already I presume, else there would be no blog entry.
3. Do something. Get off your bum and do something – anything. Fall in love. Write a book. Make a mobile app. Whatever you choose to do, do it well – hell do it the best goddamn way anyone possibly can in this world. “Kaabiliyat ke peeche bhaago, kaamyabi ke nahin. Kaamyabi jhak maarke peeche aayegi.” Quote from a movie, not quite Shawshank, but applicable all the same.
4. Find yourself. While doing things, observe yourself. What is it that you enjoy, what is it that pulls your strings, what is it that you seem to be good at. Identify your temperament, characteristics, classify yourself. Look back, reflect on life, things you did and didn't do. You spend most of your teens and early twenties struggling against being put in any category apart from 'cool'. Time to try the other side. This will help you see what your strengths are and then you can start identifying opportunities.
5. Fill your surroundings with people who don't judge you, rather listen to you and are supportive. You will find your own solutions.
Despite all that I say, it is for you to find what works for you. You own your life. So whether you choose to do or not what I mention, be at peace with your decision. Incessant questioning and self-criticism just bogs you down from living life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In love with Love

Love. It can be fulfilling and frustrating at the same time. Something you wish you had never encountered and yet can't wait till it strikes again. Setting aside all the cliches about the melodrama love entails, it is quite evident that it does not follow the dictum - once bitten twice shy.

It is quite possible for a person to hesitate to confess to the quickening of the pulse and the general debilitation of the central nervous system at the mere sight of another after faltering at a similar endeavour earlier. But, that does not imply the absence of all and any falling victim to the vicissitudes of the villainy of the vain heart, which causes pain not just to itself but to the gullible host as well.

Love is the phenomenon that thrives in adversity. This fact is well documented. You give it war, inter-religion rivalry, societal mores and it will find a way to thwart the odds. But at an individual's level, it shows this fickle nature by springing its cupid head when you least expect it. It mocks at our plans and our 'understanding' of the universe. It can't be explained, predicted, controlled or extinguished. It is the sledgehammer to the nutty idea that is determinism.

The scientist or rationalist still seeks to comprehend its ways and many visages, through experiments in psychology or capturing the causative genes or detecting electrical impulses in the brain. The romantics however try to be one with it by picking up the pen, brush or guitar.

But, I just want to be a test subject to the experiment that is love. I lie restlessly in wait for the emotional roller coaster that it promises, testing my capacity as a rational being trying to ascertain its nature, to be sure of its ways and then be debunked not long after, to ascend the insurmountable, to grasp the unfathomable, to experience what civilization is no closer to understanding - much less control - since its very conception.

I am in love with love itself. But alas, it seldom comes to those who seek it.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Barberity

I tried the hair saloon once. What I mean by that is that I went to the expensive, air-conditioned Britney-Spears-playing stylists as opposed to my regular round-the-corner barber. This was after I came back from France and my long, flowing European tresses were getting stripped away by the minute in the heat and dust of India. As it had been more than eight months since my previous haircut, I was willing to experiment. Besides, there was the little matter of the 50% off coupons in my possession.

I was turned away at first when I reached there since I had not taken an appointment beforehand! Not one to get the hint fate was giving me in the form of the rejection, I scheduled my coiffure at a convenient hour.

At the anointed hour, the first thing I noticed in the saloon was that I was the only male customer there. Of course, there was no dearth of spiky-haired, booted-up, covered in body art, men in black stylists that were present. Once in the hot seat, I got the sales pitch about how so many things are wrong with my hair and how the tattooed, cowboy-shoe-heeled punk had all the solutions. Pun intended. But, since I have been mentally preparing myself for going bald any day now, the impact of his doomsday speech was minimal. After his 10 minute monologue came my polite "No, thank you. Just the haircut please".

Five minutes into watching my hair fall off in bigger chunks than I had experienced during my worst nightmares of going bald, I was in a self-congratulatory mood. Surely, no bald guy can have this much hair!! One never knows how much hair one has on one's head till it has been cut off. I mean the hair, of course.

It dawned on me quite belatedly (since I was still smug with self-satisfaction) that the punk is as limited in his ability to cut hair as he is in his fashion sense. After stressing I did NOT want spikes, despite his protests, I told him I would like hair slightly short. Long enough to be combed. Now as I looked at myself in the mirror, I could see my smug look dissolving into one of resigned fury. The hair was so short that no amount of combing would bring it down. And hence was born mon mohawk.

I have never been tempted by those hair saloons again.