abhishake

Rebirth

rebirth

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The science of doing it NOW!

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Who wins in this life? I mean, who really? Is the person who has never seen loss, of life, limb or love considered to be a success story in this material world? Or the person who has faced the most amount of atrocities life can put them through and still managed to keep their head above the water?

Why is it that we are always in two minds about everything? Should we blame it on the dual nature of our being, the divide between emotional and rational? Is that the only reason that we are always one step away from procrastination? And is procrastination that bad a thing? Unless it turns into an endless spiral going nowhere, leading you nowhere either. We should sit and think everything through, I agree, but there should be an in-build alarm that sets off, a deadline, and the guts to go through with whatever we think we should go through. Life cannot be spent thinking over things, life should be spent doing them. So why is that we don’t? Why is there no alarm, a deadline set, or a time period to our thinking? Why is that we never know when to step on the brakes, and when to floor the pedal? Why is it that we find such joy in procrastinating? Is it the fact that we think things will sort themselves out, or that we will be pushed in the general direction of where we should go by the turn of events as and when they unfold? And does the universe really work like that? And what about the universe? Why does it communicate only in cryptic messages? Why isn’t there a glowing red arrow to tell us where the next stop will be? Why does it not show us clear signs as to what we are supposed to do? Is it there to help us find our way, or to confuse the living shit out of us? And if life is made of the choices we make at any given point of time, then isn’t every mistake an eventuality, and a design of the universe? Because whatever the higher power is trying to do, if there is a higher power that is, is clearly not working out for a lot of people. Sheep don’t need the steering wheel; they need someone to guide them through the valley of darkness. And we are nothing if not sheep. We follow, we don’t lead, we imitate others because we feel their lives are more ‘successful’ than ours. And we live in herds so that we stay safe and render an identity from the collective voice. Then why is the universe trying to empower us by giving us choices, we are clearly inept at decoding them, leave alone understanding them. We are not ready to be empowered, to make our own decisions and walk our own path. We are too scared, of the path ahead; we are too sceptical of our own calls in life and we are too distracted to make sense of an abstract sign from the ever so powerful and knowledgeable energies of the universe. We should be held by our hands, and be lead to our destinations, we will do well just by surviving the journey, leave alone understanding it. Or, we should have clear epiphanies, as to how our life will be if we took a decision. About life, love, career, health, relationships, responsibilities etc. We should be given a manual as to how this life will work, and a choice of whether or not we want to be in it. Every child should get one at the age of 10, and asked to decide. Because, it is not the child’s fault that the parents chose to bring their seed into this world. The offspring should have a choice, a say as to whether it wants to really face the consequences of a choice that the parents made. It’s only fair, isn’t it? Otherwise, all that children are left with are the insecurities that they inherited from the parents and their choice of society, and then the repercussions of their calls in life based on those baggages.

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This is what gives birth to procrastination, the inability to live a life that wasn’t our own choice to begin with, and dealing with the results of choices made based on fears, borrowed knowledge and social pressures. No wonder we cant make a bloody decision ever, and be sure about it till later, because we really don’t have much authority on own lives. We are all victims of rational and irrational fears that are handed over to us by our families, society and templated education. Like sheep we follow our parents, sit in classrooms, hang out with peers and then fit into our own respective social atmospheres. We don’t want freedom, we don’t need freedom, what we need is a fixed set of guidelines that tells us what to do, so that we don’t use our brains to think otherwise. Because, we are clearly not getting anywhere with it anyways.

Either that, or we ask ourselves, how long will I keep doing rounds, how long will I keep it on hold and how do I know that it’s not getting too late? Because like everything else, life and it’s events also come with an expiry date.

Filling in Colours

We all need to fill our lives with colours. That’s why we are here, that’s the very purpose of this unending journey between birth and death. That is the only reason we exist. That’s our duty towards our soul, as we try to reach from one end of this spectrum to the other.  
See, the universe is symbolic. You can find the biggest answers in the simplest of places. You’ll understand the architecture of the infinite space by looking into a telescope, as well as looking into a glass full of water. You have the opportunity to look at it from both sides and understand. Because you, the little speck of organic matter, have the privilege to be in the journey for now. The answer is just as much out there as is inside you.
Like the darkest depths of the sea have its own specks of light, as does the deepest expanse of the universe. The opposites mirror. Black and white. Darkness and luminosity. Colours are in between, during the journey.
So swim up or be in a freefall; the closer you get to the surface, the vibrant the spectrum becomes, and so does the canvas. But at both ends, there is nothing but black and white, the light & the lack of it, and the way it balances itself out.
And that is why we travel, especially when the colours around us are getting dull. We travel to let experiences fill our lives with newer shades. We travel to complete our journey, from one end of our rainbow, to the other. Or just to the nearby city. So we did too.
It was 5:00 in the evening when we decided to move our asses out of the house and into the car. The plan was to drive till Daman, stay for a night, and come back the next day, since servitude of our souls still lay faithfully in the hands of the those who sign our cheques. In short, employment blues. So will filled the tank up, and left. It was a clear night, with cool winds, and a straight stretch of tarmac that led us directly into the union territory within few hours. The drive wasn’t taxing, the distance wasn’t much, and we were quite simply beaming about the fact that we had indeed reached an individually unexplored city in the same time it takes to travel back home from work during the festival days.
Anyhow, we checked in, stepped out, had a rather conspicuous dinner, and somehow found the hotel room to be quite interesting in a functional sort of way. The slumber that night was peaceful, and the morning was late. We checked out, went to see a fort, got mildly fascinated with the architecture, spoke a bit about the historical significance and the faded spirit of adventure in mankind.
Sarcasm apart, it really was quite fascinating to realize that people came in boats from Portugal, parked their floaters on the shores, saw the land and thought – ‘We are going to build a fort here. No two. We shall build two forts, one of either side of the bayou. And we will build a 110ft tall church with our bare hands, and cover it with mysterious Christian symbolism, sculptures and frescos. We will also build an entire city inside it, and wait till the time the locals get powerful enough to overthrow is and take away all of our stuff.’  
All we did was gawk at it, walked about, got tired, urinated all over, found the sun to be too harsh, got hungry, clicked a few pics and then broke for lunch. All in a matter of few hours, so it was quite clear that we wouldn’t have cut the cheese if we were to live in that era. It’s just too much hard work. Hence a sense of guilty respect for the ones who did.
I think I digressed a bit. So getting back to the road trip. We had lunch and left Daman. By night we were back to her apartment. I don’t think the dog even noticed us gone. We settled in, spoke about how refreshing the trip was, and then prepared for office the next morning.
I know this sounds very cut and dry, unromantic even. Why didn’t I write a suppler piece, you would ask. Why didn’t I elongate the moments, why didn’t I find nuances and funny perspective to life in a small town? Why didn’t I include all the small adventures that were a part of it? Why didn’t I mention the moments of love and affection, of joy and passion, or humour and warmth? There surely must have been few.
Yes, there were. Lots of them. Very special moments. Some of them firsts even. But that’s the whole point of all this gibberish. To remind you and ourselves what travel does to you. It adds colours to our dulled our lives that dehydrate under the artificial illumination lamps. It makes us want more of life, and hope that there surely must be. There must be something more to life than just pent up anger, workspace agendas and nagging chores. And these little flakes keep your mind unjulating, keeps you feeling alive, makes you get up in the morning the next day with some fluid hope running through your veins. And also, it keeps the human connections exciting, especially if you are the kind who has a tendency to get polarized over time, like we do.
 
Here are some of the images we clicked. Hope you like them, we did. 
 
 
 

How I found my faith back

I was at a nearby celebrity filled puja pandal when faith hit me. Actually, it was an elderly gentleman with the new iPad who did, faith happened on her own. And it was quite liberating, I must say. It was like waiting for an era, and realizing, the wait was over. For those who are not able to understand what I’m all about, let me take you a few years back.
I shifted to ‘Digital’ around 6 years back, and everyone thought I was professionally suicidal. And why not? At that time, digital was nothing more than that booty call you would make at 2:00am, drunk and desperate, when all other ways of getting laid had turned sour. And she would serve you with a smile, like those underage Thai girls, for nothing more than a cheap Tequila shot, always happy you came. It was a place you would visit in secrecy, and leave before dawn, back into the arms of your ‘Above the line’ girlfriend. But today, it’s a slightly different story. Today that geek with braces has matured and gotten all the right curves, and everyone seems to know a lot about her suddenly. You like her, you ogle at the ways she moves, you fantasize about doing things with her that no one has ever done before, but most of all, you want her by your side, on your arm, you live in her afterglow. Don’t get me wrong, you might want her because everyone else wants her, but you really don’t understand her more that you did before. It’s just that she is desirable now, immensely so. You think about her while your latest brand film dances seductively to bring some excitement back into your relationship. But all you can think of is whether digital will approve of it, or not? Every time you do something new, you run to her, you want to share it, you want her to like it and give you an infectious viral, like an unstoppable STD, oh you want that viral so bad, don’t you? Yes, you do. And you try so hard for it too. But, at the end of the day, you still don’t understand what is it that will keep her satisfied, make her your woman.
So anyways, having come from the time when we sold 100 licks for 100 bucks, to a place where my kind is a novelty today, I can say all this. And I can tell you why and how it was so difficult to keep faith in a miracle that still hasn’t happened, at least not in the way it was expected. Maybe, soon there wont be anymore looking down on my kind, maybe the underdog will succeed, maybe my kind wont have to wipe the plates for bits of food after the lords of mainline are done devouring the better half of the turkey. And most importantly, maybe, just maybe, we wont have to fight tooth to nail with OOH, Radio, DM, CRM, ORM for a share of the left overs. Maybe, online will seem to be a better option than offline, if you get my drift.
Anyways, where was I? Oh ya, faith. She hit me. Right there, in that heady mix of incense, drums, chants and the smell of eggrolls; in the form of a thousand glowing screens around me. Yes, I could see the orgy of content shared, captured and created, by every one, every section, every age group and every demographic the planners can cook up. I could see it first hand, that she has infected every part of the society, there was no escape. I could see that the people are today equipped for multimedia story telling, I could see that it was no more a thing of novelty to anyone. I guess this is what it feels like to have fought for a cause, and have won it. Well, almost.

From social networking to social revolution

This right here is the psychological evolution of a human being in the world of changing social platforms, and what goes on in his/her head. We are all averse to change, you know. Mental inertia.

So, do you remember how hard it was for you to upgrade from Yahoo messenger to Orkut? It was too much of change, was it not? Suddenly you had the power to share your pictures, and see what everyone you knew was up to, and with whom. It was exciting, and confusing, was it not?

And do you remember how extremely confusing it was when you first got your hands on Facebook. So many options, protocols, and above all, the setting seemed to be something you would never be able to get your head around. People were tagging, sharing, writing on walls. And you, the fresher into the world of social networking, was trying to understand why the hell would someone try to make their lives difficult, when there was a simpler option. Some of you might still feel the same, but the current Facebook stats prove that you are a minority now. Then slowly, you got the hang of it. The games, the tags, the likes. It all had suddenly made sense to you. You realized how better it was to have privacy settings, so that ‘Fraadnship’ requests were kept to the bare minimum. And how it is great to have control over you content, to share it with the ones you like, and hide from the ones you don’t. Facebook didn’t make it very easy for you either. Constant changes, in user interface aka ‘how it all looks’, to changing privacy norms aka ‘how come suddenly everyone can see my pictures again?’ phase. But you sailed through just fine. It was like learning something new, something specialized, and you took pride in your knowledge of it. And much before you knew it; you were spending all of your spare time on a site that actually doesn’t have anything of its own. You might still not know, but you had become just as much of a part of the Web 2.0 wave, as you are of the traffic jam you face every day trying to go back home.

But while you were still awed over the fact that people had actually geo tagging their whereabouts, and how great all this really was. Another wave, a much bigger, better and stronger wave was already racing you to the shore. You did see some mentions of it here and there. People taking, news channel mentioning celebrities using it, and possibly tried it yourself once in a while.

Wow, there were so many people here, and they were all saying something, or quoting someone. But why? I’m sure you asked yourself that. Why in the earth would people find this Twitter thing interesting? It’s just words, and links that did not have .com at the end. Why would people choose this, over my precious Facebook where there were games, and pictures, and videos, and likes. This will not fly, you told yourself, while all the people who followed your to Facebook, followed you here. The reaction was never neutral. It was either a fan boy or a cynic.

There were some more, Linkedin aka the place where all the professionals were, Flickr aka where you saw people put up really cool pictures and Youtube aka where videos played. And not in that chronological order either. So as life went on as usual in the farms, and the mafia worlds, there was something that you did not notice. A step forward. A step towards the general evolution in a society, a community. A step towards taking, sharing and creating social responsibilities. A point of view for everyone to see. A step forward from the individual democracy to political democracy. It was step from social networking to social revolution.

And to think, that here, in this country, marketers are still trying to figure out on whether online is the right media mix, is nothing but sheer ignorance.

Some strokes from life

Okay, before you people judge me, please note that your’s truly is a person of words, a writer by profession, and has never gone through any art training in his life. So apologies to the hurting eyes of the ones with evolved tastes and likings.
But just like singing, and tapping of feet, drawing come naturally to all of us. The good, bad or ugliness is of course individual.
So here are few of my afternoons and evening of nothingness, but an art pad and HB lead graphite pencil 🙂