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I was contemplating on writing this post since I came back from vacation but was not sure what I should write about places already dubbed as heaven on earth or world wonders. And so I write about what I thought as I looked at two wonderful destinations in a way totally apart .

I visited Kashmir when it was not yet blooming in green as expected due to more snow this year. It was all trees with mostly bare branches or buds yet to bloom in their full glory and yet and yet.. it still can leaving you charmed . The mountains as you gaze make you recall why they say Himalayas protect India and their might descends upon you whether you want to or not.
The gondola ride in Gulmarg to Mount Arafat was one the best rides of my life .. so good that when I come back and look at pics I seriously wonder was that true or just a Bollywood movie.

 

Kashmir

The chilled temperatures made me assess my own ability to withstand such extreme weather (never mind that I packed very badly due to a busy schedule for a vacation which I was almost to cancel due to various troubles) . I finalized that for all I talk about nice cool places ,I need the sun every other day if nothing else.
The weather …ah the fresh air , never even realized till I came back that how good and healthy life feels with simple good food
and fresh cool air far away from computers.
That the tulip garden had still not bloomed fully broke my heart enough and as ever it was hard to drag myself off gardens and magnolia trees.
So terrible have we become in these cities that few of my friends  when they saw the vase of a roadside dhaba hotel
with a big bunch of daffodils they were not sure that they were real.

For someone who loves nature more than anything else I guess it will be a understatement but after visiting Kashmir and then going to see the Taj was well seeing the difference between what man can create at his best and what nature can create with such ease.

Taj was certainly a beautiful thing to behold but still , as I was sitting beside a blue river
with trees on the side raising a toast to heaven and surrounded by snow capped imposing peaks a day before
I found it hard to be amazed and fall in love with cold white stunningly carved marble .
That I guess is just me .

I recall the beautiful Shalimar Bagh which even in its state of neglect is more loving than  , if you bother to look at the back of the Taj.  Its gross and extremely sad the way the government there milks the heritage in the city to the max due to it being a top destination for foreigners but does little to beautify the city in any way. Its as sad as it can be.

So we go on and laugh that Jahangir certainly had  more life and loved Nur jahan more to create Shalimar bagh for her than Shah Jahan who created a tomb which while certainly stunning and imposing still feels a tomb only.
It was wonderful though when you walk through a city and fort where just a few hundred years ago kings and queens lived a daily life. It kind of stirs you to contemplate how fast we have moved ahead in just the last few centuries from electricity , air travel to mobile phones .

It was not my best vacation in terms of being able to relax with a mind constantly worried for things back home, and so I stll go by the Milton quote

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven” and that is the struggle of my life for the past few years .

To write Again ?

Its been so very long and Ive been wanting every now and then to sit and write again – may be not the wry humor of office or of the world that were books to me but of listlessness and the dreariness of life and yet I could not bring myself to actually do it. When I went on a vacation , when it was the new year and I just looked back at my blog there were multiple moments and yet a inertia, a hopelessness has taken over me and nothing around helps me get off it. I did not even want to pen a farewell post to Sachin recalling may be some of the most joyous times of my life.

I would have almost forgotten this blog but for the random comments on my most famous post I guess seen by all nostalgic ICSE students remembering-the-roses-and-its-yet-unanswered-question and Caesarean Conspiracies

So many times my thoughts became lines in a post and yet never could get around to actually put the words in.But yet Ive been trapped to have conversations with people and well the more I talk to nice sweet people the more I recalled this quote in my saved notes .

“I don’t hate people. I just feel better when they’re not around.”  Charles Bukowski

And so I thought of getting back to people and yet not having them around I guess in the blog.

Its like the whole humanity seems so lost so miserable or so confused that its this deep wish I feel to see it all over.

May be its just me – despairing over being cornered by life and denied of even hope and yet the more I converse with my dear sympathetic people the more I become averse to humanity ,

their insecurities , their fears, their dogged beliefs in ethics goodness or whatever , the struggle to be good , to be right its all like a mish mash that makes you want to be really blunt . But well ah I am human too !!

So I tag along with all the dear ones and hope  my acerbic thoughts will get the refuge in this blog.

Just looking back so much has changed in the world just since I started blogging  and well truly what wonderful worries I had in my youth huh I think – a great reminder of those as I look at entries in Life_n_all@Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

the heartless life

Its been some 10 days  now and may be writing this post now is a way of consolidating all those thoughts – I would not want to dwell much on the exact issue now – but lets just say – its an event that alters so much – So much of life  – May be its just a fear of a new situation- Some say such is life face upto it  – something like that agneepath poem may be ?

But fact is I can only recall the poem I posted long back on my blog so wont repost wholly but its there at the end of this post

the alteration of all of life’s schemes
and all its scope..
all with one tiny turn
of life’s KALEIDOSCOPE………..

And while people talk of miracles and the mind swings from Dawkings to religion to spirituality ,

what remains are the cold hard economic facts of life and the the emotional pain of the heart. All else gets altered.

Let me start with my fragmented recollections.

And so last week as I slept crouched in the floor of the waiting room of a super speciality hospital I recalled Harry Potter – I could only recall the dementors and for the life of me I could not recall with all my tries what they called the spell that drove them away – I simply forgot the word Patronus.

All I was thinking was so many souls must ‘ve left the world here in this place – and then dementors.

I hate hospitals. Does anyone like them ? May be Doctors do ? Not Sure

The last 10 days made me wonder if its the most cold blooded profession ever and be glad that I never ventured into anything close despite my parents hopes. There is something so chillingly inhumane about the medical fraternity – its seems more pronounced these days. In my childhood may be I was not so perceptive or may be the doctors knew to act caring at the very least.

I am not sure what to say – whom to blame and may be we being caught in our own emotions do not understand the importance of being detached in a profession on that sorts. But then its hard when I see professionalism being reflected in the ICU  – by treating the patient as an object.

When the patient groans in pain or says I want to leave or anything the nurses do not even bother to acknowledge his existence – he is an object whose clinical parameters are to be noted – Its hard to decide professionalism OR cold bloodedness or is the overlap now become a merge actually.

At times the Ayahs seem more perceptive and caring – but then whom do we blame . Hiring 18 yrs old giggling students as intern nurses ?

One would want to make noise about one certain hospital or something but one knows its the same state across .

Pasting of right to Information boards – but administering medicines by cutting each and every pill so minutely –  in such a manner that no one can read the labels.

Its the bleeding of the living in the name of the dying – our medical world. So I had my own thoughts of cold heartedness .

Was it better those days when we knew someone would live or die than now – with our great medical advances which try to make some one live clinically and slowly take multiple lives ?

Stories shared that make you chuckle in your worst grief and then realize how easy it seems from the other side – when you listen.

A patient admitted due to seizures caused due to bad liquor – Ok so we know the stereotype dont we ? -

But nah its a lady in a village who is a govt pensioner and loved her liquor too  much to listen to anyone and would challenge the family – whats for you to lose the govt pays my bills.

An absolute arrogant patient who even in the ICU managed to put fear into the police officer there to take down the facts – Oh but then thats a lady shouting “I am a army colonels wife ” who wakes up in the ICU asking – where is my purse ?

A family with its last few savings being spent on ventilator – not having  the heart or the gumption to disobey the almost finished patient.

I am not sure why we remember the good things about someone when critical – when recalling something bad would actually ease the pain we feel about the situation. And so we live on and its all so hazy and no unlike many its not death thats scary I guess for me – its life .

You then understand why religion survives – more so in this part of the world.

The sheer helplessness of life forces you I guess to take refuge in some way.

Life that feels so entrapped and yet somehow its inappropriate even to oneself to mention it – to acknowledge that there are times you want to be so selfish and yet cannot – not sure if its a lack of courage or of heart.

Of iCons

Though I never owned a Apple product have often tried them second hand , loved them and felt sad on hearing news of Steve Jobs demise. But then Facebook posts on and on forwarding his famous speeches esp his Standford one my favorite since I blogged about forwarding it got me thinking me of something quite else.

Humanity loves an icon – something to worship , to inspire , to make you believe in something wonderful and worthy about life.
Powerful inspirational preachings and words can be so wonderful at certain moments in life
but most can only be inspired for that fleeting moment ,
some can seize that inspiration and make something of themselves
and rarely if ever can anyone replicate the inspiration
cause the very inspiring words have a hidden fallacy…
Not that I do not like those quotes/speeches – I absolutely dig many of them and Steve Jobs Stanford speech is still on my list of all time favorite speeches since I first read it in 2005 but yet
I browsed through countless tributes and yet what was in mind was captured here

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/10/why-we-mourn-steve-jobs/246238/

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” he urged the students.
And yet to produce Apple products requires that thousands of workers flawlessly execute Jobs’ business plans, which is to say his life.

However brilliant everything he envisioned was fact is to get him that glory and satisfaction of living his life he needed quite a bunch of people to willing be assembly line workers i.e live someone else’s life.
Its not just him , everyone who talks of be yourself , get a life – innovate think outside the box makes me want to ask them – if there is no box at all whats the whole point of it ?
Fact is not all men are equal whatever they say
Some tower over all others and thats the way of life.
But that does not mean those who are not a match to that towering figure are expendable or have a pointless existence.
They are the very lifeblood on which such towering figures subsist

Working in a industry where creativity and innovation is the buzzword I seriously wonder how any thing of worth will ever get done if no one does the implementation of ideas – the execution and some of the necessary boring work . I mean in a team of 10 having 2 or 3 misfits creatives – different thinkers is great but imagine a team of 10 bright innovative huge egotist team members with no respect for rules .
So while we should look up in awe at the gifted geniuses – be inspired to go beyond what is the norm – we should live our very own dream and not someone else’s dream . .
The important thing I guess it to have the right dream . Jobs surely developed the clarity for it

 “It was one of the first times that I started to realize that maybe Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Kairolie Baba put together.” – Steve Jobs

This I say because as many people do forward and  read these famous words of his literally
“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”
They then act and convince their craziness as genius and it may or may not be – but it might not always bode much well for the world I guess
This I thought as was randomly reminded of someone who was crazy enough – has changed the world – died this year and
well has been the worst thing for the US – Osama

Fact is Genius may be good or bad but they will always be rare and will always shine .
Their words are just odes which makes people like moths come to burn in them
not realizing that they were never meant to be the flame.
And then the cliche – flames can light up the world or burn it
Ok as usual I drift in my thoughts and posts but then that is why this blog .
Words are such playthings .

A quick jotting

Somehow was feeling this has been an immensely depressing year. There hasnt been anything good for ages in life but this year it has been like the end of hope.
I was thinking about forcing a change , taking risks and all that and this crossed my mind – Sounds stupid but well !!
To take a risk and jump off too you need a cliff
What can you do in a vast desert – beyond giving up and hoping to die
OR keep dragging yourself on hoping fate lands you at an oasis out of the blue.
But yeah its again onto fate …..What can you do in when all you have is shapeless pointless and endless sand ?
Well as I post this I thought again – May be stare at the blue sky and be delusional that there’s water – all you need is to stare up

Usually quotes come to mind as I write some thoughts but when I started to write this post after much laziness preventing any writing I could not much recall any that fitted the exact thoughts in my minds which triggered me to post this until I found this.

“To praise the sun is to praise your own eyes.” – Jalal ad-Din Rumi

And so you could say for anyone who can really praise anything while not directly involved with it.
While human craving for appreciation is so well known what we do not realize is how few can truly appreciate.
I do not mean the appreciation mailers really I blogged on but more like enjoying something irrelevant really enough to appreciate – not because it is a success or because everyone loves it -But really be able to be touched by something small thats well ignored in general.
May be I am confusing it with many things I think in this respect so lets go to the background that framed the thought.

Someone from our team was leaving – well to build the character first
– the chap can be exasperating in his questioning which is where we started off when he came new
– argumentative when he knows something and absolutely I care a damn about authorities.
He kind of had a reputation for being a confuser – in which I played a good part due to the way he confused me too – but more
esp as somehow his communication style made life worse for him.
But then with time I really could see the passion with which he worked on what he liked even when no one cared and I seriously appreciate that.
One of the downsides of having a policy at work where its like do what you want , how you want as long as what we want is working is no one out there differentiates between how well optimally or precisely someone got it to work.
No one appreciates the finer backend stuff .
So well time went on – we had new manager , new leads and now this guy was leaving and so he arranged a knowledge transfer of his work. There were just two of us me and a new senior lead who was now picking up most of the work writing code and he walked us through – at the end the senior chap just said to me – “he has written it so well”
Something I always knew and saw but there was nothing I could say as in the end its all about what is accepted as working
– in which we had less success
This new senior guy is also a very hard working chap and has made a success out of things so well that stands out. What no one sees is – he writes things to work for that moment – his success is due to his heroic efforts – which in future would be hard to handle by others – unlike someone who wrote it more well neat with a thought for ease and longevity.

But I thought at least this guy had the eye to see the good work – something the so called managers pre-occupied with making ppts dont. And so that incident and another below brought me this whole thought of how
– can we appreciate and – what we appreciate tells so much about us.

My father is one of those persons about whom one of the advertisements jokes – “tab tho un dinon street light ke paas kaafi bheed rahi hogi” (it must’ve been really busy with so many people under the street light)- Yeah he too says I studied there .

Nevertheless he was viewing the new 5 star add where two guys sat on a wooden horse thing and well he said “what crap is this . They pay lakhs for this nonsense” . Well I thought – Ok he’s off on his usual rant – but then he remembered a ad and appreciated it – a rarity and that would tell so much about him – its not a enjoyable or fun ad but he appreciated it.
“He said that add where a kid takes a wire and makes something like tongs for his mother – how nice that concept was” – It was for Havell’s fire proof cables
The fact is my father is one of those people who loves making things out of such crap which exasperates us no end as this pretty much means nothing in the house can be thrown out – everything could be useful in some way !! . Yup oyr house is full of old wires being used for clothesline – broken shoe heels can be fashioned into door stoppers and what not :(
And so I realised that was why that ad touched him and he liked it .
Just as someone who loves to code appreciates a good code.

Indeed to praise the sun is praising your own eyes – your own love for the light & warmth it bestows

It wasn’t a trip I planned nor would I have.A trip to holy places is never on my agenda. No its not because of my aversion to stringent religiousness . It is more because of what it does to me.
Every time I visit those pilgrimage spot strangely it happens to be some special day when crowds throng more than usual . And then in those crowds I do not see God. I see the lack of what they call God. Yeah I know its all about perception.
I do start out hoping as people say that in places like haridwar etc you find peace , are touched by divinity of the place and so on. And then you get rushed up in trains pushed as you walk through to the aarti, misguided by locals , of the fake ritualistic talk by pilgrims and the whole milling population around does not arouse any divine feeling. It depresses me no end.
The chilled water does bring some peace if you manage to sit calmly at the ghats but every time you see people you see all that is wrong at least what I feel wrong played on like a exhibit repeatedly.
You see the dirt and plastic in the water and then someone calls it holiest of the holy
– its hard to be blind and its worse to see so many being willfully blind.
I would love to be an atheist & some do brand me one but then unfortunately such certainty never sat well with me . I’ve always been the lost agnostic & have reconciled myself that I will stay the same in this lifetime.

The river had its beauty & held its own as you gazed at it late in the moonlight but whenever I saw people in and around it it lost that mysticism. And if you stray away from the river well that was it – I found nothing much in the air whatever they say.

And then there was this quick drive to Mussoorie with a terrible driver who simply refused to take us anywhere & so all we had was a drive up the hills & a walk on the road & a garden.

All I stared at was the trees . Huge tall trees have a way of holding me breathless and making me recall the quote
“Trees are earth’s ode to heaven”

Then tried recalling all my Ruskin Bond stories & the pine trees and was lost in that.
Then there was our very young lil friend all lost worrying about all & sundry in the world & future – reminding me of my myself a decade ago and this quote
“It is an illusion that youth is happy,
an illusion of those who have lost it.”

Innocence is so rare in people though these days that even a semblance of it brings such joyful laughter .Almost poetic.
But then life is on firmer ground -along with us was a family from a small town & the lady and her actions reminded me why ekta kapoors serials work. Throughout the trip there was her frustration with a “devil may care attitude” cool husband while she tagged along with a really troublesome boy & a calm quiet girl child. And everytime she was teased about her angry demeanor with her husband she justified it with her own deep insights on marriage – of how they were not fighting – love is all about differences & adjustment & fights are not really fights. That there can never be a person with whom all your thoughts gel & would be perfect.
The words seems true taken verbally – so logical but its the vibe that gives it all away . She rambles on all the while acting oblivious to the fact that her every word showed her frustration with life & how it had depressed her to no end . Her talk of how her aspirations were stifled and what a brilliant teacher she was – and how despite being someone who handed out corporal punishment at college she was oh so liked…you despise them when you hear them at times & then you think & feel so much pity & you end up in despair deciding on your own emotion.

Then there was the family we visited – for all our talk about all the baba’s agitation & its politics we saw how people believed in them. Some blindly and some with their own twisted logic but one could see the dedication – the need most people have deep within for order & discipline & faith as else they feel lost – and how its exploited.
Then you feel your own hypocrisy at times …whatever we thought we never argued for we do not offend our hosts by cold logic .
Would want to write more but its all so fuzzy somehow.

p.s: the nuggets you listen in train from villagers
“I dont know why they force kids to go to school – its ok for city kids as schools are nearby
but think of the village kids – they spend 3 to 4 hrs travelling – whats the point ?? “
Ah the illusions one India has of another are so bewildering

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