Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Spring of death : Blog # 79

Spring of death

       After a long day at work, I was returning home. As soon as I got down from the bus, I noticed flowers on the road. It did not bring any cheer to me for they were not the fall outs from a vibrant season of spring. Those petals were the harbingers of death. Apparently, flowers are strewn around here in Tamil Nadu as the procession carrying the deceased proceeds to the final resting place.

            Death has always fascinated me. In spite of all the advancements mankind has made, the end of our lives still remains a mystery. We know all about the origin but the destination remains uncertain!

            The interesting thing about death is that in spite of being aware of our mortality, we think we are here to stay! However young or old one is, we do not anticipate our lives to come to an end anytime soon.

At the same time, the unpredictability of it leaves people stunned. The mystery about it adds to it aura. We find the abruptness of it hard to accept.

 I remember a nightmare about death I had a few years before. It had such a profound impact that I still remember the abyss of fear it took me to.  In that nightmare, I knew when I was going to die. Normally, words don’t fail me. But when I try to describe the helplessness I felt then, I am unable to put it in words. The loneliness that surrounded me was so intense and the lack of hope, so severe!

Death is a journey that no one would want to accompany you with. It is a lone path which all of us have to traverse, one day or the other!
                                                                                                                   Arun Babu

Monday, 28 January 2013

Get used to it? : Blog # 78

Get used to it?

            The way to come to terms with Life is by getting used to its ways. I haven’t heard a more passive statement. The reasoning is that however difficult a situation is, if we get used to it, it begins to appear less tough.

                        Getting used to a way of life begins at inaction. Whatever state of being we are in, however miserable it may be, the easier option is to get used to it than confronting it.

                        We shall not confuse realistic acceptance with ‘getting used to’. There might be situations in life where there is nothing much that can be done. In such moments in life, reality should dawn up on us than being stubbornly foolish.

For most situations in life, there is a way out and that becomes visible only through thoughtful, persistent effort. It need not be only when we are faced with a crisis. Even if we are at a good place in life, it can be made better. That’s how the mankind has evolved – through the urge to attain a better state of being.

                        If we get used to’ getting used to’, that is the end of one’s will. And where there is NO will, there is No way - to a good life.
                                                                                                                 Arun Babu.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Water around Ankles : Blog # 77

Water around Ankles

              Many a time, I have sat on the sills of a swimming pool with my legs dipped in it. I have always loved water and wanted to know the feeling of floating freely, but was too scared to go in. All I dared to go was ankle deep. Aqua phobia was the greatest of my fears!

                The fear was so grave that no provocations or temptations persuaded me to even give a thought towards overcoming it. At times, the frustration would reach a peak and I would think of getting rid of the fear only to give up again in the last minute.

            The most unnerving thing about these fears is that they grow with you. I had started thinking that I am going to die by sinking in ice cold water (after reading one of the Dan Brown’s novelsJ ). There comes a point where they start restricting you.

               As you get older, you try and rationalize its existence. I used to think; swimming as a skill, if not mastered will not stop you from anything in Life as in if you didn’t know driving, it might act as a hindrance. Swimming was not such a skill and hence can be done without.

               And then came that day. My friend Bibin and I were sitting on the rails of a bridge across a small stream in our home town. That was our evening hangout place. He looked at the water ablaze with the setting sun’s golden rays and asked “Shall we start taking swimming lessons?”.  I replied yes without thinking for I knew if I thought for even a fleeting second, I would change my mind.

            It took me a great effort to convince myself and drag myself to that pool. I was petrified and I still remember the feel of cold water around my ankles when I first stepped in.
         Fighting my mind and the new by lanes of fear that it opened up every moment, I forced myself to learn. To say it was tough would be a gross understatement. After all, I was trying to tame a fear that was quarter of a century old.

          One fine day, I could float in the water and could cover some distance all by myself. I remember raising my head from water and smiling –a wide contented grinJ.

             The next day, I dived in to the pool and swam across it! Words fail me when I try to describe that feeling. I haven’t felt more liberated in my life than I did at that moment. It was like I was chained in a dark cellar for long and one fine morning, I am gifted free will!

              If at all you are a prisoner to any sort of fear, embrace it ! The choice is yours- to float around freely in the vastness of fearlessness or to confine yourself to ankle deep water!
                                                                                                               Arun Babu.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

I believe : Blog # 76

I believe  

             I used to watch the earlier Harry Potter films and wonder will our newspapers ever give that kind of live –moving image reporting. Starting last week, TOI has been featuring an application called ‘Alive’ where you can watch the video featuring a news item through an App in your cellphone. I say, we have come pretty close. It wouldn’t take much time for the newsprint to come to life every morning in front of our eyes.

         We all know all those futuristic technologies which we can possibly imagine would have reached at least a nascent stage in the labs of the likes of CERN or NASA or better, the military HQs across the world. But the day these technologies become ubiquitous is when it starts helping us, the lesser mortals.

           Earlier, when we watched an English Sci-Fi film, we used to say this technology will come to our lives in the next 50 years. Now the maximum that the soothsayer in us will go is 5 years. Such is the pace with which the technology has been developing.

            There is no such field in our lives which is untouched by the evolution of technology.            Until late 90s, there used to be an exodus of young graduates from the southern states to Bombay and beyond in search of a job. Then arrived, the Information Technology industry. That put a virtual end to this migration in under 5 years. This has lasting impacts on the socio – cultural fabric of the societies of those states. Not to mention the obvious economic changes.

 The USA has discovered large reserves of Shale gas –using technology. In the years to come, let us hope it will develop a means to extract it efficiently – using technology. This means the dependence on oil reduces which in turn means as end to the never ending search for “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. Also the Arab spring might attain full bloom given the lesser influence the royal families have owing to drop in the black gold’s price. The whole dynamics of the International politics and diplomatic relations will change!

            So if someone were to tell me technology is going to dictate the way you perceive and inhabit the world, I believe, eyes shut!
                                                                                                              Arun Babu

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Yours truly : Blog # 75

Yours truly

      Of the many things technology has stolen away from us, hand written letters depict nostalgia like none other.

Letter, Letter Writing, Post Box, Snail Mail, Yours truly
If you haven’t written a letter ever, you are missing out on a very special experience in Life. I am not talking about Love letters; that we all do at one point in life or other ;). The ‘letter’ we are talking about here is the one that is hand written on an Inland or a paper; is affixed a stamp at its top right corner and is posted.

            There is a lot of anticipation wrapped in that envelope. Right from when it is put in one of those red post boxes till it reaches the addressee, there is a hopeful waiting for days on end. 

 . There is a special way of opening an inland letter. You need to cut it out from a side. If you cut the wrong side, the letter will be torn. From the blue seal to the creases to the scent of ink on it, the Letter has an endearing old world charm.

However close two people were, those letters had a beginning and an ending even if it were with terms of endearment. It had a body and structure too, with all the love intact. From today’s inane abbreviations and tardy sentences left unfinished with three dots, those were the days when expression of love knew no laziness and emotions came flowing through beautiful sentences.

Those were the times when the social fabric was woven through letters. Those letters epitomized the time and effort people took to reach out to their beloved, something which we fail to do today in spite of being able to do so at the press of a button!

                                                                                                   Yours truly,                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                  Arun Babu

Friday, 11 January 2013

Penny in the pocket : Blog # 74

Penny in the pocket

        On a lazy Sunday morning, I was clearing my Jeans’ pockets for washing and found a couple of bucks in there. It is one of those little things in Life which we all like. It is not about the amount but it’s the happenstance about it which brings a smile on your face.

            Come to think about it, it is these little things which bring cheer to our lives with utmost ease. 

 Yes, there is the contentment that comes out of an achievement resulting from hard work. But nothing beats a bout of unexpected happiness.

            For that matter, anything pleasantly unexpected has a lot of charm wrapped around it. Be it a high grade or more than anticipated hike, it brings a glee like nothing else. But the trick is to not fall for the wishful thinking- the wishful thinking that it will become routine.

Those who go on long drives would have experienced a sudden pouring rain. It is just something that is beyond words. The windscreen gets all clogged up and two wipes after and a strong push on the pedal later, it is cleaner than ever before.

            Serendipity in life should be taken thus. It shouldn't fog up one’s vision. One cannot afford to get used to it and be laid back expecting good things to happen to oneself time and again. Rather it should act as a pleasant intercession which brings back the zest for Life.

                                                Arun Babu

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Had I known! : Blog # 73

Had I known...

      Would you have liked it, had you known how your Life is going to pan out? Most of us would answer with an emphatic No!

            Life is to be taken as it comes. The ignorance of tomorrow is what makes it so enchanting, the element of surprise is its charm !

Had I known,Life is like that             Then there is the question of whether we would have done things the same way had we known how Life is going to unfold. Personally, I wouldn't change a thing. It’s not that I do not have regrets. There are a few. But those decisions are the choices which I thought to be the best at that point in time and they made me happy.

            Had I known this is how things will turn out to be, would I have traded places with someone else? I thought for long. Not even for a fleeting moment did I consider that option. With all the fallacies and foibles my Life has brought to me, it has made me who I am today , for better or for worse.

            The unknown is what makes our lives an experience. Else it would have turned in to an exercise of endurance.

Looking back, Had I known my Life would turn out to be thus, all that I would have done differently is ; I would have fretted less. I would have enjoyed the journey till now a tad bit more.

                                                                                                                  Arun Babu.