Home. Sweet home. 

“Happy birthday princess”…..



What a day it was! The house decorated in festoons and colours. Strips of purple and white looms covered every inch of the vast dining hall. Serial LED lights adorned the house and it was a glittering spectacle to watch. The colours formed mesmerising patterns at regular intervals of time. Fat swollen balloons of white and red stayed pasted all over the house. What a day it was indeed! 


The evening brought the animated house to life. Guests poured in hordes. Little girls were all dressed as Disney princesses. Their long gowns of satin blue , pink, and yellow swept the carpeted floor. The boys came in dressed as pirates and super heroes. All of their little faces remained painted in vivid colours. A superman there had his moments of petty fights with a spiderman there. Little boy Batman was a ladies man for his age. He spent his evening crashing into the tea parties that the princesses hosted. Merry was the atmosphere. Merry it stood to be.

The delight of the evening, the lady of the hour, the little girl whose day was as special as it would ever get, was stunningly beautiful. Her innocence adorned her purple princess dress. Purple was after all her most favourite colour. The purple theme was to appease her insatiable love for that shade. The early hours of the evening, the little one greeted all the faces familiar as they wished her a wonderful day and handed her wrapped gifts. 

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

Her mind reached out to her house of colours. There is no place like home, she voiced in her mind. It gave her a sense of comfort and it was her place of peace of sorts. There is no place like home, she muttered. 

The still calmness in her face represented the detached calmness in her mind. 

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

The evening was a smashing hit. The kids had played their silly games. Sugar was served and it was served in vulgar amounts. Kids on a sugar high kept running frantically. The parents had a tough time keeping the house in order. The fights became frequent, wails of tears kept popping now and then. The parents were equipped to handle the situation. Birthday parties did have that effect on them kids and parents had grown wiser too. 

The distracted evening also saw the rise of a sinister plan that loomed around the horizon. As the dusk cleared, it ushered a night of cold winds that viciously howled. 

“Look at the moon. It’s beautiful” the faux selenophile lied. The age of innocence , the age of curiosity , the starless night and the omniscient dark set the stage. The creatures of the night were out to prey. All the creatures of the night were out to prey.

The image of the vividly vibrant decorated house occupied the little mind. Nothing made sense and her mind whisked her away to her happy place, which would now forever be her very own personal dungeon. Her mind kept her protected there. There is no place like home, she secretly muttered.

The wolves had howled. The young mind tunnelled back to the sky of night and moon and it’s entourage of stars. There would be other times when her mind would whisk her away to that point in time, to that decorated home, to that wonderful moment of all things purple and festive.

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

“It took me decades”, she confessed to a room of young girls.She was no longer a little princess. 45 , with a soul as young as young could be, everything about her screamed of life of zeal. “There is no place like home, the fairy tales go. I was the princess of my kingdom. A kingdom that saw the monsters before it saw it’s finest prince charming. It has taken me decades to accept that birthday of mine. Everything had changed ever since. Nothing remained as innocent as I once thought they would forever be.

I felt drowned in fears first. Guilt came in next. I felt ashamed of myself. I felt dirty for the longest time. A kind of stained patch over my soul that refused to vanish no matter how many times I tried to clean it up.

It took me a while to accept the monsters of my world and accept the monstrosity that I was a part of. But that was that. I learnt to live beyond it. I found the courage to exact justice more than vengeance. My numbed patience and years of helplessness helped me build my case in determined secrecy. I finally put the beast in the cage. His days are over. I still visit him in his prison from time to time. I do like to remind him that we are not weak, we are not afraid and yes, we refuse to stay a victim forever.

Take your safety seriously. Reach out, call out. Your safety is just as precious as the air that you breathe. It does not take courage to stay a mute victim. It takes helplessness to stay that way. You girls have the courage in you, just like i did too. It’s a beautiful world out here. A world of princes, princesses and vile creatures. Spot em early on and you’d be fine .”


The class sat in silence. A few of them blushing , a few caught off guard and clueless over the brazen reality that was spoken off. A fire raged inside the beating ticker of a silent girl. Her moment of courage had finally arrived. She raised her hand to pop a question.
************

A dark tale indeed. Inspired by the movie Split. Dont really know why I wrote this. Felt like words worth sharing. 


Karthik

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Emperor’s new boots 

The age old tale of vanity which finally leads to a public humiliation of sorts. While the story ends there, the consequences might have been drastically different and beyond the realms of what Disney would want to put on display. A realistic possibility like ‘Off with the boy’s head’. One simply does not mock a king and get away with it. 


The show of power, the might that power provides, they do make a nice blog but I am not in the mood for something that grim especially on a Monday morning. 

I’d like to take a moment to talk about the emperor’s new boots! Not his clothes, not his Gucci (Gucky, as Rachel says it sweet), not his Versace. And the realization dawn upon me that Italian brands are a challenge to pronounce right! It takes me back to a time when I thought BVLGARI was pronounced BA-VULGAR- EEEEE. I did manage to brave that call upon unsuspecting nice blokes in the perfume shop. I learnt my lesson that day. The good blokes at the perfume shop did learn a lesson too!!!!! They were underpaid and under prepared to take on challenges of this magnitude.

The emperor’s new boots. And so the bloke got himself a new pair of shoes. It wasn’t his usual ones. It sure wasn’t his favourite ones either. He wanted to try something new and he did end up tying up the laces of his new pair. The shoes were not the average ones. They were magical shoes. Blessed by the land of magic, the shoes had the power in them to transform the wearer to lands of lush and magic. 

The shoes took the emperor to a market place first. Far away from the oblivious comforts of his palace , the emperor finally had his moment of tryst with the common folks. He saw their usual days. The hard work, the toil under the sun. In their dedicated machine like compliance to a routine of life, the emperor saw something that he had never seen before. He saw his people’s dreams in their eyes. Each of them were struggling and enduring the day in order to build a future of comfort. Their hard work paved the way for a sense of security for the rainy days ahead. 

The emperor had never witnessed that side of life ever before. How could he? He wondered. He was used to the comforts of the palace. Everything that he ever wanted was either annexed or provided. He was still a stranger to a life being denied of needs and wants of things both petty and significant. 

The shoes were working their magic on the novice king. They teleported him to a playground next. A park of green grass and children merrily jumping and playing adorned the place. This was the ground where castles of dreams were being erected every moment. Kids, they were the purest and the bravest form of the spirit of man, the king pondered. The magnificent dreams conjured by simple minds was a sight to behold. Theirs was a dream without fears and had no sense of the coldness that realities usher later in life. 

The king realized the nature of the world that moment. He stood perplexed at how time could force folks to abandon their hopes and dreams and embrace despair. He wondered about the nature of the human spirit. It takes a wild imaginative flight during the formative years. They gradually mellow down and stabilize through early adulthood. By the time we become the men and women of this world, we are but left with traces and shadows of the brilliance these hopes and dreams once were. 

The king felt bad that all his powers, all his magnanimity, all his pride put together couldn’t assure that his people would never go robbed of their dreams ever again. He felt the pain of the world that rested outside the walls of his perfect palace. He realized that his palace was a prison of deception that kept him chained away from the simple pleasures of victory and defeat of struggles waged each day. His people were far richer than him , when it came to life. While they experienced life for what it was, being a king, he had managed to alienate himself from such a simple life. 

The shoes transported him back to the palace. The king stood staring at his reflection in the mirror. 

A smile nurtured in his face. The sun was back in the kingdom once again. He went on to spend the rest of his life in pursuit of making dreams come true for everyone in his kingdom. 


Yeah, emperor’s new boots indeed.

While the tale is one that of fantasy, it has its roots grounded in reality of the world that we inherit. I wore a new hat. A hat of a photographer. My shoes took me to roads that i saw new. I couldn’t help but stay amused at our reluctance to see the world through a different pair of eyes. What do we need to acquire that sight? What does it take to shake that inertia off our eyes? Why do we strain ourselves when we make peace with viewing the world around through blurred eyes? All it takes is a gentle wash to see a brand new world around us.

Yeah, emperor’s new boots indeed. 

Karthik

Into the light

mindfulness

 

Tamaso ma Jyothir gamaya

 

I’ve been wondering about the blissful state of sat chit anand. Sat, refers to eternity. Chit talks about the state of staying conscious. It’s probably along the lines of a state of awakened awareness. Anand is bliss. Sat chit Anand , literally translates to a state of perpetual consciousness and bliss. Who wouldn’t want that right ?

 

 

Or so I thought.

 

In order to comprehend the magnitude of the simplicity of that sentence, I set my thoughts to run wild. Every chain of thoughts that I could muster, I found them limited and confined by the simplest bias that there ever has been. The few conversations that I’ve had with a few nice folks, I saw the obviousness to my thoughts.

 

Happiness vs Sadness : The boundaries that shouldn’t be.

 

Spirituality is beyond happiness and sadness. To a certain degree, and I exercise modesty and humility here because I don’t really know. I think a soul itself is beyond the confines of happiness and sadness. From the moment we are born, we also share the plane with terms like happiness and sadness. All things that favor us, that pleases us, we tend to categorize them into happiness. All things that brings us pain and misery, we tend to tag them under sadness.

 

I’m starting to realize that the happy/sad filter is a result of a lifetime, life times worth of bias. Our time indulging the mind and body steers us towards these filters. All our actions and its consequences contribute towards either of the filter. What struck me odd was the fact  that neither happiness nor sadness is absolute. They vary from person to person. They vary in magnitude based on the maturity of the person. Same contributing factors of either happiness or sadness are perceived and experienced differently by different people. There is a floating baseline at play  here.

 

That established, it is this variance in what is happy and sad made me loiter my thoughts towards rejecting the concept. If my mind and my experience in this life determines what is happy and what is not, the whole notion of happy and false is probably a necessary illusion.

 

The happy paradox :

 

In order to stay happy, I must reject things that are either happy or sad. I must rise above the illusion of what makes me happy and sad. There is a significant possibility that these are just the state of my mind and either state that I embrace, only serves to satisfy my acquired intellect. My soul remains inert to this processing. Hence, there is a state of happiness beyond the rejection of things that we see as either happy or sad.

 

Hence the happy paradox. Happiness is beyond the realm  of our line of sight of what brings us happiness and sadness. Peace seemed to be a better alternative milestone.

 

The entrapment :

 

With renewed assumption, when I began my thoughts keeping peace at the center, a lot of things got resolved quick. I was able to see through the illusion. I choose my words carefully here. While I feel lucky enough to see through the illusion, I’ve still made my choice to stay illusioned at this point in time. I’m not beyond the clutches of the smoke screen.

 

So theoretically, peace seems to be the way. I think peace is a spring board of a transient state. With the flutter under control, a certain stillness experienced in the heart (Not the filmy heart , not the medical beating ticker. The heart chakra and the bonds that we make) , peace is attainable. In pursuit of this peace, I were to abstain from anubhava, I think I’d have failed.

 

Anubhava is the ability to experience. I guess Lahari Mahasaya says one must experience god and the universe. If god and universe and rest of everything that spills under the umbrella of god or universe, our abstinence from experience just feels wrong to me. I believe in saturation. Experience things ample so that they no longer mean anything. That’s my thought.

 

Similarly, Peace, while is a healthy start, finding peace has never been the final destination. Peace is a at best a transient state that facilitates our soul’s progress. We are seduced by the comfort that it provides. We long for that state of numbness.

 

SatchitAnand :

 

To me, to this mind that knows no formal education, my outsider guess is that the state of sat chit anand is beyond happiness, sadness and peace. It does not last an eternity at all. In fact it is experienced for an eternity 🙂

 

sounds dumb right … but see it this way. Instead of considering a span of a month, what if we could experience the state of sat chit anand at a granular level of One day. To me, sat chit anand is a state of sublime MOMENTARY balance. We are aware and conscious. We are at peace. We find bliss. Then comes the next moment, with it comes the next moment’s choice to stay sat chit anand.

 

With this balance, one can stay sat chit anand for as long as it takes.

 

The balance of the mind , body and soul hinges on a moment rather than lives and life times around.  With each moment, if we could see it for that it is,

 

  1. Whatever is happening, it’s there to facilitate the healing of the soul
  2. Not every moment has to mean something. Not everything must carry a meaning.
  3. Happiness or sadness, our choice to deal with it, either heals or fractures the soul
  4. The realization that nothing we do , changes the choices around us. We are the master of our own choices and hence CHIT
  5. With that thought, happiness and sadness that is beyond us is really beyond us. We are free to stay numb to it. Hence probably Anand

The words are littered with I. It’s not because I feel arrogantly confident. It’s because I’m reinventing the wheel without a master. Guided by thoughts, I deem myself unworthy to generalize my anubhava and dictate this as a means that satisfies us all.

 

In a strange kind of way, things are starting to make sense to me. I hope I’m on the right road. Then again, as long as I’m a traveler, right or wrong doesn’t matter anymore.

Sarvam Krishnarpanam karishye kinda deal 🙂

 

Karthik

To the depths within

Thank you.

 

Yeah, I’d like to start there. The many folks who have passed me by, touched my life, left a lasting impression, left me in a state of disarray, been with me through my phases, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

 

The more I’ve run from it, it feels like I’m an addict who is hooked. I’m a house that seems to be haunted. Maybe plagued by it. Those are still not the right set of words that I’d use to describe it. It’s always with me. It has always been by my side. It has stood by me patiently over the years of my evolution. It waited in silence when I rejected it and exiled it away from my life. It gave me a glimpse of it’s infinite vastness when I pursued it and lost myself to it.

 

As fate would have it, I chose to walk it’s road. The choice was not a planned one. It happened as I happened to be. There is a sense of staying awake in me. I’m groggy. I’m neither fully awake nor are my eyes shut close to the darkness of ignorance and denial. I’m caught between faith and callousness.

 

It was with a very heavy heart where I moved bases from Chennai to Sheffield. I had become a stranger to my own spiritual ways. I wanted to pursue it earnestly. I had lost sight of purpose. I had lost the desire to grow and continue my evolution. It meant nothing to me at that point in time. I still do not deliberate any thoughts or actions to acknowledge my attraction towards being spiritual. I am me. Unapologetic, Unashamed of a keen realization that I’ve squandered away a gift, if I could call it that. Maybe a calling. It had to wait.

 

I don’t believe in coincidences anymore. I don’t question the ‘Flow’ of things. Things happen and they happen for a reason that we either comprehend, accept and appreciate, or we don’t see the whys of its occurrence. I’m not free yet. My mind finds solace in justifying my unworthiness. My heart puts up a losing battle. I am torn between loss and at the same time, the ever present, ever annoying phrase ‘all for the good’.

 

I am now a reluctant wanderer. While I could argue that I’ve been one all my life. I’ve enjoyed being an outcast and a misfit. These traits of mine have always kept me alienated from the joys of a common world. The denial of acceptance has nurtured me to find myself better. In my struggles, I’ve accepted myself. I still yearn for an acceptance, but I’ve come to realize that it’s in the nature of my soul to learn, endure and survive acceptance. This life and probably a few ones, I’ve come to believe that the very desire for acceptance, or denying someone their acceptance has fractured my soul. It is this acceptance that both serves to hurt me, the body and my mind , and at the same time offer me a means to heal my soul.

 

The key I guess rests in forgiveness. My ability to forgive myself is being put to a test. My ability to forgive others is testing me too. I don’t know how I’d fare. The anger that I once was, I now see a change. The heart no longer burns in rage. I am now a cinder, a reminiscent of great fire that once was.

 

The move to Sheffield stands to nurture me in ways I’m starting to recognize. Far away from a world that I left behind, far away from faces familiar, I’m growing warm and distant. It’s not detachment, it’s not apathy. There is a warm numbness that I feel. The heart grows warm over momentary thoughts and that’s that. I’m no longer gripped by memories. I’m no longer confined by strings of chords that once bridged hearts.

 

It’s not a coincidence that the book Aleph is now in my hands. It’s not a coincidence that I see the characters as both a part of me and part of the world that I’ve known. I feel connected to it. The nature of travel, the nature of my travel is now clear. I had to travel. The soul cannot heal in the comfort zone of the mind.

 

This forced maverick life of sorts has been one which I’ve both desired and feared. The few chapters of Aleph opened my eyes to the realities of the depths within me. I am this today, because there is a part of me which has been this a long time ago. The desire , the fears, they seem to be a accumulation of experiences across possible lifetimes which have brought me peace and misery.

 

As I lose myself to being me, the roads broaden and the miles ahead are starting shape up.

 

How can I find myself if I’m trapped within my own walls? It’s time to walk free. I thank you all for setting me free and showing me the way that I so reluctantly once took. Today , I think I’m going to enjoy walking down that road.

 

Karthik

One true love. 

Been a while since I wrote anything. I decided to break that dry spell on the celebrated day of love! 


Ah tricky stuff that love is. The eternal conflict between Yes or a no is a classic tale of gaps in communication that drove Devdas to hooch and a million other young romeos living with a heart bleeding red. None of that for the day today though. 

Through words and music, I’ve come to understand the kind of a lover that I am and the nature of the lover that I’m usually in search for. The balance hinges on the word , DRAMA.

There you go. I’ve said it loud and clear. As a musician, or a budding Hans Zimmer wannabe, I long for dramatic themes in music. I do get bored of the normal happy ones. The ting-a-ling a lings of popular Punjabi/Hindi numbers to the countless YOs shoved down our throats in the form of rhythmic rap, I’ve always found myself extremely judgemental of them genres. The popular ears of the world , I couldn’t help but smile at their appetite for something fast,cheesy and junk that lacks soulful nutrition.

A classic retro rocker at heart, two years ago I branched out to western classic. Carnatic was soon added to the bandwagon of what would get stamped by my high levels of condescending approval. The thematic drama the sounds produced, yeah , they kept me wanting for more. A thirst that I couldn’t quench. And that goes on to describe the madness that I want out of love. 


While music takes up a significant chunk of the proverbial heart, words take up the next big slot. The obsession that is seen in my characters, the convoluted plots, the dilemma, the pains and joys of hopes crushing and moments cherished, they are all a part of me. I’ve lived through most of my plots. I breathe life into characters and blend fiction to help me narrate a tale that is both me and not necessarily all of me. The excessive rifts in boundaries is a reflection of the intensity of the obsession that consumes the heart. Music and words, a pair made in heaven indeed. 


With each sentence that I write about love, couple of things are popping out time and again. Words like , Obsession, Intense, Madness, Consume. To me, if a certain relationship of love robs us of these emotions and sentimental states of the mind, my book says that there is something amiss. So this valentines day, I took another step towards that blind faith in all things ever consuming obsession. I found a gym, worked out the plans, and all set to kick start another routine of weights, sweat and broken bones and torn muscles.

What is love if it doesn’t consume you? What’s the point if that madness does not hold you a volunteering captive to be torn within by a conflict of one versus the world. What is love if it doesn’t reduce your wits to match that to a fool in blissful oblivion. I’m a purist when it comes to love alright. Exceptionally in love with myself 🙂


When you love yourself unconditionally, you also give the world around you a reason to fall head over heels over you. There is a difference between accepting oneself and running blind in arrogant vanity. The nature of that love goes on to define what is what. Enjoy the madness. Live through it. Endure, suffer, or don’t. You go on to define the terms and conditions of the single most important relationship that you’d ever be in. The one that you have with yourself. 


Karthik


Oh, almost done.  A quick word from the festival Lil group that I’m a part of.  Chennai bloggers. 


This post is written for the ‘love theme’ contest by The chennai bloggers club chennaibloggers.in

in association with woodooz http://www.woodooz.com/

and 

Indian Superheroes http://indiansuperheroes.com/ )