The autobiography of things

‚Äč” I’ve always been there for her . More on a few days, less on a few. But have always been there “ 



If you were to ask me the nature of what it was, I’d struggle. I was always there. I didn’t pause to think about what it meant or what I meant to her . I really didn’t have to. We just got along well. 


The oldest memory I have of us when she learnt to ride that pretty blue bicycle. It was a sweet wonderful little thing. It had a colourful basket. We were in Ooty those years. The chill wind surrounded us. The city was still green. The wheels went off balance, I sat with a little fear gripping my heart. Her fragile body came in contact with the fragile ground below. Her skin bust open, drops of blood and drops of dew met that pleasant morning. I was there. It broke my heart. 



As we both grew older together, I took a back seat in her life. She had forgotten about me. I didn’t feel bad. I guess there was this keen sense of blissful detachment at play. In a way I was happy. In a way it brought me peace that she had chosen to move away from me. A little girl in the land of boys. The heart was a fragile work of art. I remember that day. She called out to me. I set aside my pride over not being her best friend the last few years. I was there. I was with her through the difficult night. I kept her company through the darkest day of her life. Now that I look back, It wasn’t a big thing. Back in the day, sure it was. We grew close and our time together reminded me of a fantastic pair that we were. Still, it did break my heart to be there for her. 



As I aged, my thoughts changed. I knew ours was a deal that shouldn’t last. I could never bring her happiness. I could never bring her to smile. It was pain and suffering that I brought to the table. I didn’t have the courage in me to pack my bags and leave. I didn’t know how to either. Deep down, I knew it wasn’t meant to be and I didn’t will it exist. But something wonderful happened one day. 

She had breathed a new life. That little one would go on to live by the name Shalini. It was that day, when she was the happiest. I was there . I witnessed the glow in her face, the pride in her heart, the love in her eyes. I was there and I saw the magic in her bloom. I felt happy. It was probably the first time in a long time when I felt relieved of guilt when I was with her. I gently made a note and reassessed my place in her world. It was the day where I knew that I had the power in me to change what I meant to her. I made a solemn note to change myself. 

That change, that promise was a hard one to keep. It broke my heart and left me shattered to see her in pain. I refused to comfort her. I had cast my heart to stone and endured a silent suffering. I would never sit by a fence and watch her suffer any more. She longed for me. She prayed for me. I never answered. In time, she cursed and hated me. I took it all, I didn’t protest. So be it, I reminded myself. I reminded myself of the promise that I made. 


As days went on, as time went on, the days soon changed and the times sure changed. Shalini was now a beautiful woman in the land of promises and aspirations. It was her time to fly away free from the house of love where she grew. I let myself in that day. I walked in uninvited, and nobody protested my presence. I had found that acceptance. I was finally reunited with my oldest friend. 


These days we don’t spent time together anymore. I come once a while. I see her when we both sit and watch her granddaughter on Skype. I gently remind my friend that it’s for the best. I comfort her. She brushes me gently aside. We both finally did grow old together, thick as friends. Through time, through challenges, we had remained together. Watching over each other. 


For what it’s worth, though I left her blinded, together we did learn to see the world in all it’s glory.

I am what I am. I’m her tears. The salty little rascal, who refused to turn up when her heart ached. She learnt the hard way that I would never comfort her in pain. I was there to remind her about how wonderful life got. She wont admit it, but I know she appreciates my sacrifice. ūüôā
I guess one can say that I’ve always been there for her. More on some days, less on some. But, I’ve always been there for her .


Tears 

Harsh Realities 

‚Äč” Do you call this food mom? Lacks salt, lacks spice. This tastes like cardboard. I don’t want to eat this. You sit and eat this.” , her son screamed and stormed out of the house.


He then paused. ” And listen, don’t you dare waste my money by roaming around the city. Be useful. Sit at home and be productive” , he had concluded as he slammed the door gently.

Mrs Mehta, their new neighbor found this extremely distasteful and disturbing. She couldn’t stop herself from reaching out to the poor mother. No mother deserved to be treated that way. She knocked the door and waited for it to be answered.

A quick introduction later, Mrs Mehta broke through the ice. Why is you son treating you this bad. What kind of a horrible person is he, she asked the mother. 

The mother got up from the chair, ‘Some tea?’ she offered the guest. Then she headed towards the kitchen to brew a piping hot cup of tea.

Yesterday, the mother started. 

Yesterday, was the day of my fasting. A few times in the past, that fasting has managed to leave me a little weak. My son tried to talk me out of it. I wouldn’t budge. He knows that I’d eat today to replenish my strength. I’m sure my rascal would have walked into the kitchen. He must have noticed that we were low on supplies today. There wasn’t a lot left of it to cater to his breakfast and lunch and my breakfast and lunch. He knows I’d willingly give up my share for him. I know he would too. He just did that. My son has never complained about the way I cook in decades. There were days when I’d forget the salt and he’d still eat without making a fuss. My son would never judge the food I serve.

Mrs Mehta sat surprised.

And yes, the mother continued. He didn’t want me to visit my usual set of temples today. The rains make the roads slippery and I’ve had a fall a lot of times in the past. He wants me to be safe and comfortable.

A message interrupted their conversation. The son had sent a message that read ‘ Reached office ‘ 

The mother read it aloud.

Every single day, for the last 15 years, he has always made an effort to tell me that he had reached his destination safe and sound. We lost his father to the 91. I panic each time my son leaves home. 

Mrs Mehta, when you know you love someone, the magic is not in the words that one speaks. The magic rests with intent. My son’s words sounded harsh, yes, but it also speaks about realities that I would usually choose to ignore. He reminds me that I need to rest from time to time.

Care to join me for lunch? I think we have plenty today..

Karthik

All about the Inconvenience

tvl

 

There is nothing more comforting than the sweet embrace of a lie that keeps us safe, away from the bitter coldness of the reality that we fence off with the wall that we build around ourselves. Truth is an unpopular commodity, and that seems to be the truth around the word truth.

 

If you were to ask me to compare a bit of something true and a bit of something that’s a lie, I’d definitely struggle to call out the boundaries that blur them. In the land of living, truth and lies have their charm and serve their purpose. Artists use a lie to convey the truth. Manipulators use truth to sell a lie. The lambs that we are, we sit clueless to what is what. I guess it’s one of those things where a little context helps sell either of the commodities.

 

I think it was around 2011, when my friends let me in on an inconvenient truth. I was leading a lousy lifestyle back then. I was unhealthy as hell. That day the truth hurt real bad. I hated my friends. The people that I had called friends for years now, the words were daggers and it was cutting through my skin, my heart, my dignity. I felt ravaged from the inside.

 

I endured. Did nothing about it though. But I endured it nonetheless.

 

The next time someone would tell me a truth that would shake the very foundations of my deluded life would come around in 2013. This time it was my sister who threw a little shower on my parade of lies and illusion. It’s your life, go do something about it rather than sitting like some loser, she had told me.

 

Truth hurt.Immensely.

 

I am but thankful today to those moments of absolute truth. The truth set me free indeed. I sit today wondering. In this day and age of friends , acquaintances, BFF for life, Frenemies, digital stalkers, real life stalkers, admirers, followers, we are but surrounded by hearts that like us. I sit today wondering. In this day and age of being drowned with people who ‘Care’, do we really have friends who tell us the things we don’t want to hear?

 

Do we have people who brave that inconvenience to tell us things that would help us get control of our life? Do we have people who put us before their own self, and liberate others rather than keeping others in a stasis of helplessness only to feel better about themselves and swoop in to play the loving kind supportive ears?

 

And that I do wonder.

 

Thoughts took me to another place. Why is it that we don’t let ourselves near the truth? Why is it that we choose to distance such harbingers of truth? Why is it that angels with lies find comforts to our heart rather than the devil that brings us freedom?

 

The deeper our lies go, the longer we choose to live in that lie, the truth stands to stay alienated. Truth becomes the unwanted unappreciated foe who is cast away from the heaven of our hearts. Our attachment to our delusion keeps us distanced from the truth and the bearers of that truth.

 

I do feel lucky that I have people who hook me up with that truth. Yes, I’ve hated them all at some point, but I still love them for what they helped me see. It’s their courage that made me a better bloke. A toast to such daredevils.

 

 

Karthik

Where streets have no names

‚Äč“Karthikkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk” , the voice called out from a distance. 



I heard the feeble call. I quickly paused the things I was engaged with. On the way, I cried out loudly. The age of smart phones and the debate over carcinogenic EM waves was yet to see the light of day. 


It’s always been a wonderful feeling to have your name called out. It shows that there is someone out there waiting for you. It shows that you are alive in the world of the living. It shows that you had better things to do. Against the best wishes and caring intentions of the world around me, I’d set out to brave the roasting rays of the sun. Time was pertinent. Time was yet to be squandered. Regrets were yet to be made. Life was yet to be lived to the full.

“How long maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan” , the voice reached out again.

“Cominggggggggggggggg”, I’d scream back.


Bailing out has always enforced a neat protocol to be followed. There was this mandatory round of questions shot from a few directions. I’d skilfully deflect them. It took a lot of practice. On good days, the jailbreak was smooth and easy. On the bad days, A palm would find comforts in my chubby cheeks and their guilt would set me free. I’d walk out a hero. A hero put to a challenge, a hero who’d survive a hurdle and walk out with head held high. A hero nonetheless.


The questions were usually the same. Where are you going? Whom are you going with? Did you finish your homework? When would you be back? What are you going to do? 

It was all a routine to me back then. The questions never varied. Depending on when the exams were around, the order of the questions changed. Usual suspects would crop, usual activities would be outlined. Homework was always a no. Yeah, some things never changed. 


“Fine,, you take your sweet time. We are leavningggggggggggggggggggggggggggg”, the voices now joined to a chorus and had issued their final warning.

“Dei… I’m cominggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg” , I’d reply agitatedly.


The warning served one and only purpose. It meant that the time was up for my parents, or the elders in the house to wrap up their twenty questions. They knew their time was up. I knew their time was up. We both always knew the answers would be extremely short and attention span even shorter. 

Fine, get lost, my mom would issue her order. That was the first time I learnt the meaning of the phrase ” Music to my ears”. 

I’d smile warm and wide. Thanks Ma, I’d leave her with a smile. My mom would nod her head defeated. It was not all that bad a deal after all. There would be the much needed peace and quiet in the house hold.

“I’m comingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg”, I’d announce my arrival as I usually jumped down the stairs to speed up my descent. 

********************

The car behind me honked furiously. 

I had taken a detour from my usual route last night. I happened to pass the playground which I used to haunt once upon a time. I took a good look at the deserted playground. That night, promises were not being made. Two best friends did not promise to grow up together and live a life of being best friends for ever. 

There were no pacts made that night. That night was not about the petty filmy fights in the playground. That night was not about kids gathering around and sitting and chit chatting away after a tired evening of playing cricket. It was not kind of night were one would kick start the game of Hide and Seek. The playground remained deserted. There was no laughter in the air.

The young spirits had vanished. I felt the void of emptiness in my heart reflect on the emptiness of the playground. 

I sat staring at the vanished faces. I sat staring deep into the horizon. Lost in time, lost in thoughts, lost to myself. 

The car behind me honked furiously. I quickly apologized and put my car to the drive mode and hit the gas.


Now that I think about it, it was not a car that had honked. Time had honked. Time reminded me to move on. Time was reminding me that it had not robbed me of memories. It reminded me that I had grown, I had changed and I had to go on and find newer meanings to the deserted playgrounds. 

A wistful smile on my face, I inched towards my home.


I waited by my gate. I opened the door of my car to walk out and get that gate open.

I saw a little boy in the neighbouring building. 
“SHASHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII”,
 his little voice screamed. 

“Dei.. I’m comingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg”, came a meek reply from a distance. 


I don’t know about the gates that I managed to open. I sure did open my heart and my mind. Life always finds a way.


Karthik

In words I trust

I don’t want to write stories that delude life. No boy meets girl. Boy fights and girl fights and universe does a maktub. I take comforts in writing about losing things that hurt the very fabric of being us. I want to write about that loss, that sway of emotions and that struggle one chooses to wage, in order to celebrate life. Ya, that’s the shit I’d love to sit and write about. – katz

 

I don’t believe in coincidences. We coast through a lot of seemingly random events and witness the miracles of those events when they converge into a point, into a moment in time. All it ever takes is a leap of faith and an open mind to see them through.

 

One such convergence was meeting a few friends over the Story Mirror event. Armed with thoughts in my mind, dreams in my heart and a dedicated conviction to my words, I sat through an evening that would go on to remind me the my drive to write. I would write even if there was no one to read what I write. My faith was rewarded that wonderful evening.

A hall is just a hall. Sans life, sans emotions. It comes alive when there are people who make an effort to bring the inanimate to life. The evening didn’t disappoint. I’m bad with names, i’m worse with faces. What stood to be the biggest takeaway of the evening was a wonderful conversation that I happened to be a part of.

 

“I grew tired. I didn’t want to do it anymore”, the sweet lady said. (Sweet lady coz I’m guilty of not remembering her name. Her smiles, yes. That i remember).

 

Bragadeesh’s words also haunt me. “I do things. Then I dont. I leave a mark and move on to the next” .

 

Two distinct personalities. Two distinct spirits with one thing in common. They both chose to soar free along the towering heights of life. Icarus was a tale of the bloke who burnt up. Wish he could see these friends of mine. They’d challenge the sun any day!

I silently made a note of never living in fear anymore. There comes a moment in life when we dare to utter the words “So be it”. I made a note.

 

Writing is a blessed curse. An idea seeded into the fertile soil of the mind, it gnaws to grow towards the light of words. That is the journey of anyone who dares to flirt with words. The session was a constant reminder of that. One write because one writes. It’s a voluntary choice to embrace the exile from norms of social living. It’s like falling in love at the first sight. Consumed by stirred emotions, fearless to causes and repercussions, oblivious to pains and hurt that might ensue some day. Writing is that moment of love, which dares you to defy the odds. Are you ready? Will you leap away from the promising comforts of a cliff?

 

The crux of what I learnt can be described as following

Set yourself free – Time and again, I was burdened by choices and forced limitations of the freedom that words provide. Time and again, I was reminded that writing need not have to be restricted by acceptance. One writes and one writes. That’s all there is to it. I learnt to set my words free. I could breath life into characters and put them through whatever I chose and fancied. Who was I to judge them?

What do u stand to achieve with your words Р Delusion is a world that is painted through words. Delusion should not become the world that holds our hand when we paint those words. There is no right and wrong to intentions behind our words. Some write to make money. Some write for that shot at glory. Some write to sell books and Some write to write. I soon learnt that writing is a choice towards that destination. What our words mean to us , in terms of a final product, will go on to determine what we choose to write. There is no judgement. We are free to pursue dreams in the way we see fit.

 

Textures – One of the most important aspect of writing that i learnt was around textures. It’s the ability to transform readers into believing that they are a part of the world that we create. Be it the place where characters visit to unravel plots, be it the prison of their minds, words must hold the power to transform readers into those open spaces or claustrophobic hell. Texture plays a vital role in holding the plots and characters together. An environment becomes a secondary character that keeps all characters connected and living.

 

When you struggle, either learn or keep the hell away – The coldest and cruelest lesson was along the lines of playing to our strengths. One mustn’t ape the popular choices to words. If a certain genre sells, it makes financial sense to capitalize on it. ¬†There is but a question of skill and competence towards it. I never give up. That being said, failure should never be consistent. When we consistently fail, it’s time to up skill ourselves. Writing is the form of spiritual awareness where one identifies oneself better and is both awake and aware of one’s capabilities. Writing helps keep that delusion away from within.

 

No delivery under 30 minutes – There is no 30 minute guarantee to the world of our making. It takes time. It takes an effort. It takes consistent investment in terms of time , and dedicated pursuit. Give yourself that time. When we rush things, it becomes obviously visible in the way our words start to expressing themselves. When plots get rushed, it reflects our restlessness. Like everything around to our life, a little planning goes a long way indeed.

 

 

I don’t want to write stories that delude life. No boy meets girl. Boy fights and girl fights and universe does a maktub. I take comforts in writing about losing things that hurt the very fabric of being us. I want to write about that loss, that sway of emotions and that struggle one chooses to wage, in order to celebrate life. Ya, that’s the shit I’d love to sit and write about. – katz .¬†

There might come a day when I get interviewed about my book. That’s probably what I’d say. It’s not arrogance, It’s not a cocky confidence. It’s a clarity in what I’d like to do with my words. Confidence is part arrogance, part delusion, part pessimism , part being a realist and above all, a sight of giving our dreams a little pair of wings to fly.

 

Karthik

The bear necessities 

‚Äč” And don’t spend your time lookin’ around

For something you want that can’t be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin’ about it
 ” – Baloo the bear! , Bear necessities 


And how true indeed, I wonder as I run that song in my head again. I was probably ten when I watched Disney’s Jungle book for the first time. I was blown away by the adventure. It did make a compelling drama. A sinister tiger. A vicious yet loving panther. A cool dude of a bear. A boy lost in a world that’s not his. 


Years later. I try to see myself through the filters of that movie. What am I? Am I the cynicism of the tiger hell bent on a self destructive revenge? Am I vicious on the outside and fragile and fuzzy on the inside like the panther? Am I in the zen like peaceful state as the bear? am I still the lost clueless boy lost in a world that was not his?


Now that I have your attention. While the thoughts are true and I’ve been thinking about them since I started this blog, this very blog is not about that! It’s still about the bear necessities of life.

“Lunch ho gaya sir”, (have you had your lunch yet?) , a question that I’m comfortable and accustomed to now. The years I’ve spent in this organization, the rapport I’ve built with a smile and a few words over the years, has always ensured that I’ve always been surrounded by a concerned heart that would pause me and ask me that question. The friendly neighbourhood security dude. 

Each time he’d pop the question, that very instant, I’d forget about deadlines, the mess that requires cleaning, the damage control mode, the fixer thoughts running in my head. I’d stop them all. I’d offer my warmest smile. HAAN Bhiayya,(yes bro_, I’d answer. I’d proceed to swipe my card to gain access to the ODC. Everyday, I also make that last minute effort to pause. I’d casually turn to him and ask, Aap ka bhiayya (and you?, have you had your lunch yet?)

It would be his turn to smile and nod his head. We shamelessly exchange this conversation everyday. Be it 4 PM or the peak lunch rush of 1:30. If our paths met in and around lunch, we’d definitely talk about lunch.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. It’s the same question different day. It means nothing. Some days when I skip my lunch, I still tell him yup and ask him. Maybe similar to me, there might be days when he skips and he’d probably tell me the same. Yup.

There is something very beautiful at play here beyond mere words. It’s those 30 seconds of detour from the million thoughts grinding away in my head, do I get a breath of fresh air and I’m given a brand new start to revisit all my thoughts. The derived happiness in those extremely short moments, helps me get rid of the anger, frustration, disappointment or what ever grudge that I might be harbouring in my heart which I’d have accumulated throughout the day. 

It’s that moment of peaceful wilful wish of a smiling conversation that sets me back to a cheerful grin and a cheerful outlook towards life again. The cynic in me dies, the realist and pessimist in me take a break. The good in me stands tall. It’s that good that helps me sustain the momentum for a few more good thoughts.

Those, I’d say are the bear necessities of life. My case, maybe the quintessential feline necessities of life. I don’t want to inspire the world to change. I don’t aspire being a hero. I don’t want to be the man who sold the world. I’m content being the idiot who pauses a second later , turns back and asks, did you have your lunch yet???? There is so much content and satisfaction to what I am, in that given moment. That, I’d say is very much a necessity.


and now I’m humming the epic song : Trust in meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Just in meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee , Kaa ūüôā I love that movie ūüôā

Karthik

When a love dies…

dying-rose

 

” Nothing had changed. The world had remained the same. Time did not pause. My heart continued to beat it’s bohemian rhythm. It was in¬†this unassuming normalcy did I realize that nothing was ever going to be the same again. The wondrous splendor of the world was lost to a void in her absence ” ¬†Karthik

 

He remembered the first moments that gripped his heart. A moment that defied the grounds of science and all things logic. His heart felt heavy and empty. An acute sense of sadness burdened the heart and an ushered void had left his heart empty. How could science prove that feeling? Science reduced the heart to a pump that kept the fluid of life in motion. Science knew nothing of a void. Science could define emotions and articulate the chemical reactions that the miracles of the human body plays around with in abundance. Science could never articulate what it meant to feel something. The blips of colors helped science to map the neurons triggered in the mind. Mind, the proverbial heart without the recognition that science felt that it deserved. All the wonders of science , and still clueless to what it meant to quantify a feeling.

 

It was not a day to debate the limitations of science or praise the dominance of emotions in a world that neither cared for either. His was a world kept beating alive by a broken heart. The cracks went deep and wide. Eyes continued to cry to offer a solace to the intensity of the moment. His arms and limbs had gone numb. He stood for a while. The notion of time had skipped past him.

 

It took him a while to gather his wits. He knew he was in no condition to get any productive anymore. Carefully, he drove his car back to the comforts of a blanket and an air conditioned prison of his room. He lied on the bed with his eyes gazed upon the circling blades of the fan. The mind had run blank. It was in the moment of his crushing, had he reached a zen like stillness in life. A moment of perfect union with the universe. Void of thoughts, void of a spatial sight, void of emotions, void of desires. The overwhelming sadness left him void of that pain of being hurt and broken. A near cathartic moment it had panned out to be.

How could love die ? he wondered. How could any one kill it? How does one keep it alive? Why does one experience euphoria and the miracles of god on mortal earth when there are no words to challenge that love? Why did it feel like hell when there were words that crushed the words of love?

 

Wasn’t it the case of words squashing words? He wondered. A yes, a no, how could they throttle a feeling? How could one embrace the hypocrisy of calling an emotion beyond the realm of words and yet choose to mourn over the same emotion through a death by another word? Wasn’t it a mere case of convenience of letting a few words instill a deep profound meaning and still stripping the worth of another few words. The new balance made no sense to him.

 

Love ain’t dead. What’s dead is the expectation that a connect carried, he concluded. The bridge severed, and a mighty ocean roared past the brick and concrete. That’s exactly what it was, he had come to realize. A bridge over a roaring ocean never defined the tenacity of the ocean. The ocean never really adopted the bridge as it’s own. Their’s was a story of tolerance.

 

The moment of clarity helped him from his emotional coma. It was not a feeling that had died. It was not what it represented that had died. It was not the feeling’s meaning that was put to sleep that day. It was the mutual conveyance of that feeling which was culled.

 

 

asato mńĀ sadgamaya ¬†: From ignorance, lead me to the truth.

The truth to those emotions don’t fade to circumstances. They are, and will be and will ever remain in context. It’s the ignorance of wishes and desires that live and die with time.¬†

 

11:11 AM

11:11 AM
***************************
It was the worst day of his life so far. Fragile hearts so shatter upon impacts. He knew things would be bad and just that he didn’t expect things to be this bad. Numbers were not his friend that day. 18 spoke a lot. He wasn’t even 18. It was a number that sealed his fate over a test that graded him against another number. Funny how things panned out. 18 made him a failure. 20 would have helped him pass and he’d still be considered a failure. 

He could see the look on his parent’s face. His mother would be disappointed. His dad would probably beat him up. He knew all the comforts and privileges he enjoyed in life would come to a grinding halt. His friends had already giggled and teased him. He had made his choice. He had found a new best friend in a rope. Liberation!
**************************** 

Her heart fluttered. She knew such a day would be inevitable. Every night, under the safety and secrecy of her bedroom, the mirror bore witness to her. It wasn’t a tale of the ‘Oh mirror mirror on the wall’. It was a simpler fable of wanting to brave the odds. Hers was not a gift of her choosing. Her heart held on to a million thoughts and expressed an acute desire to express them. A mic was all she ever craved. She had a demon that haunted her every day. Her demon was not confined to the darkness of the night. It bullied her during the day. World called it STAMMERING. It pained her to be ridiculed. The impatience around her robbed her of dignity at times. The mirror was her one great friend who listened to her words with open ears and in gracious patience. 

She had stayed up all night. She had practiced her speech. The microphone buzzed. She cleared her throat. 
A standing ovation awaited her. Life didn’t disappoint. 

*****************************

There was a fear in his heart. It gripped him tight. How could he? The mere thought left him feeling violated. He had not signed up for such a life. Life had not prepared him for that moment. It happened. It was a nightmare beyond his wildest imagination. He never thought such things happened. He never thought such things would happen to him. The folks were nice. He thought he had made wonderful friends. His boss, he was like a cool dude bro to him. Hi 5’s around the corner, notes of appreciation galore, he was sitting on a promising career. And then life took a turn which caught him off guard. 

His boss was in love with him and wanted to ” express that love” . Kindness now ceased to be an act of generosity. Kindness , he learnt, came with a hefty price tag under the guise of obligation. A career was in question. A life was in question. A predator was on the prowl, the prey realized that it couldn’t out run. 

In silence, he buried a helpless guilt as he rang the doorbell that night.

*****************************

Eyes were failing. It was not her age that failed her vision. Tears tend to do that. She had locked herself away to protect herself from yet another alcohol fuelled rage. If the scars in her body could write, they would convey a story of love, betrayal of that trust and violence. She cried for as long as she could. Like most days, she was curled into the foetal position and her tears left a salty stain on her pillow. Love was her only sin. 

She could walk away from it all. It was that easy. She knew her friends would feed her the courage she needed. She worried about her dad. His last words haunted her. ‘You never come back to his house” he had screamed. That was two years ago. Words had failed to heal that broken relationship. She felt helpless. Her tears had dried out. In silence and broken pain , she packed her bags. She paused a second and stared at her wedding photograph. Tears rolled down her eyes. She refused to pack it with her belonging. 

The next morning, there were more tears. A heart broken father met his heart broken daughter. Their tears acknowledged the love that they had for each other.

*****************************

I’m sorry , the message was typed. I’m going to have to let you go. We’ve had a lot of wonderful moments together. It breaks my heart to let go. Had to be done though. I no longer feel the warmth in my heart. I no longer feel the magic in the moments. I am but reminded of the million things that went unsaid. I’m thankful for the ugliness that couldn’t find words. The more I thought about it, the more it left me barren. So full of life, yet so void of it. I cant take this any more.

There was a pause. The loneliness ahead was daunting. What would our friends say? how will I explain all this to the world? Am I still doing the right thing? I’m unhappy now, but wouldn’t I feel unhappier by walking away. 

A decision was made. The message was deleted. Hey, what are you doing? , the new message read. 

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Different stories. Different people. So many thoughts that took years, months, days to help form a decision. for all the million moments spent contemplating the what’s next to life, all it took was a minute, JUST A MINUTE, to commit to that decision. The tale outlines the battle that a few minds raged between 11:10 and 11:11. Some braved to a better world. Some gave up to a life in continued misery. 

So much to them 60 seconds huh!


Karthik

This illusion meant nothing at all!!! 

‚ÄčThe tile was a word play on the word that I want to write about. This illusion meant nothing at all. Many of us would have woken up to that phrase at some point or the other. Oh the word is here to stay and the word of the day, the word of my thoughts this moment is DISILLUSIONMENT.



The meaning goes something like this : It is a feeling of disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be.

How did I stumble upon this wonderful word? The credit goes to a little wiki crawl and a movie, whose name I don’t remember now. It started with Malcom X. There was a time when Malcom X believed in something with all his heart and intent and mind. And then this illusion meant nothing at all moment later, he moved on. 

From Malcom X, I saw my heart reach out to this fantastic movie of violence calledAmerican History X. A wonderful tale of all things neo-Nazi, the violence and hate that we breed in our hearts, how traumatised minds are attracted and vulnerable to wolves with a sheep-like voice! The longer I sat with these thoughts, the stronger I could relate things in my life

Yes, I’ve felt that disillusionment a few times. Contrary to popular belief, my blog  story of my life  was not about me having a little beef with my managers. I giggled each time I got a call asking if I was ok. Sarcasm, Storytelling and my integrity all shared a smile that day.


That story, now I can declassify, was about disillusionment. It conveys the wonderful aspect of evolving in life. As we grow, as we see things around us, as we spectate and participate in the changes that go around us, we evolve in that journey. The way we think evolves around people. Our judgement either gets rewarded or we are put in a spot to reassess everything and everybody around us. That is the door that disillusionment opens!

Be it the real life bloke, Malcom X, or the fictional damaged bloke Derek from American History X, they reflect what is life. 

Takes me back to the way of the lamb. We are but lamb seduced by the cold shimmering shining sharp blade of steel

Our innocence and naivety gets rewarded by the crimson of our innocence or the emotional heart. 

Our world gets painted red. Once the shock clears, the surprise wanes off, the horror in that disbelief lifts off , we are left with a simple choice. 

Accept or Pretend. 

Both are extremely hard choices to make. Both question our comfort zone. Both question our experiences and judgement. Both force us to a change that we did not volunteer to. Both will go on to define what we eventually become. 

The more I thought about the disillusionment, things were getting clear. Pretending that nothing had to change, nothing was wrong, disowning the realization and robbing it the credibility that it deserves is a means to delay the decluttering of the mind and lengthen the misery that we so carefully refuse to discard.

Acceptance on the other had , would subject us to pains. It will keep us deserted from the dream of a reality that blanketed us. It would make us feel even more vulnerable. It would test the strength of our value and belief system. Acceptance, once endured and survived, leads to liberation.


Disillusionment. I think it’s like learning to ride the bicycle for the very first time. We will fall. There will be blood (just not rasam waiting in the kitchen), but in time, we will enjoy the freedom and exhilaration of learning to fly on two wheels.


Have you ever felt disillusionment? Have you fallen from grace only to realize that yours was but a false god not worthy of dedicated faith and devotion. Real life is all about such disillusions. A lot that we hold precious, unless put to tests, are only illusions followed with a tenacious conviction.


Karthik

M. S. Subbulakshmi and the IT way of life

‚ÄčStarted my day at 5 today. A jog, a surprise meet with a friend by the morning beach, a sit down with music composition later, I learnt or rather I reassured myself about the IT way of life. When we have an early start to the day, I guess we are left with ample time to enjoy the abundant hours!



My mom loves all things carnatic. MS is magic and nothing I say will ever do justice to the beauty of her voice and the divinity through her expression of music. I’ll leave that to the experts. Since I had all the time in the world this morning, I decided to keep my mom connected to one of her loves. A quick chit chat and KT gyan to my dad later, he asked me a question that made me both smile and reflect.

‘Is the internet inside my phone da?’ , my dad asked. It was his childlike innocence at play. I must admit. I am extremely guilty of not spending Tech times with my folks. Today I helped him understand how the WIFI works and introduced him to the world of Youtube and the million hours of engaging entertainment that it provides.

It was a daunting experience for my dad. He’s never been internet or tech savvy. He takes comforts in doing things the right way. That’s by hitting the world, meeting people and sharing conversations. The comforts of the world at our fingertip does not appeal to him. I remember such a similar daunting experience. We are technologists, we as predictors of trends and enablers of businesses across the world, when we started, we sure felt daunted on the first day.

I was introduced to mainframes. It had no visual directory structure. CD.. made no sense in mainframes. I struggled to navigate from one screen to another. Fetching a data involved something called a SPUFI!!! It sounded all spurious to me at first. I struggled. I felt dumb. In time, I got used to the environment. I got comfortable and today, I’ve forgotten all about it. One more skill rusted away in time.


KT is a daunting experience. Lets never forget that. The fresher the folks are to the world of KTs, the more daunting they feel about it. As seniors, sometimes the young naive novice’s questions crack us up. Agreed. That’s no excuse to treat them different. A minute to reflect back on how we started, really helps them have a better start. Laugh with them. It’s not about laughing at them.

The purpose of KT is not to dump knowledge into a new mind. The purpose is to maintain the momentum of running a business even when board up a new team. That’s the purpose. Knowledge facilitates that activity. Unless we train our team to perfection the way we expect perfection and certainty in our deliveries, there is always going to be gap. Time and again, there is conflict of ideologies that one confronts. Fresh blood is aggressive, they are more curious, they are extremely ambitious and most importantly, it’s their brave new world of opportunities. Those of us who have clocked a little time, we are aware of our opportunities, life cycle of deliveries and our life has taught us to sometimes slow down, think long, think deep before we rush into actions. The novice among us, they are yet to learn that lesson. Such important lessons in life cannot be rushed.


As I explained to my dad the way to log in, not only did I help him be a little more independent, I did make him feel a little empowered as well. Aint that the spirit of KT as well?

Karthik