Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Die inside.

I was leaning into her car, when she told me. After a weighted pause, I was told that a person I knew had committed suicide. At first, it was quite difficult to take in. She didn't appear the kind. To commit suicide. She seemed so sure of herself. At times cocky, to the untrained eye. However, it would be silly to discount how she wore her chinks. There is no mistaking the vulnerability.

When I knew this woman, she was spearheading efforts to produce a play in which I was cast. It was a good project, it had all the trimmings for one hell of a reunion, if you know what I mean. In short, I really enjoyed my time working on this. I made a couple of friends, met up with others who weren't half as bad to hang out with while I lived (and loved) in this particular city.

She and I never really got on famously; the project however, threw us together and we were quite friendly and tolerant of each other. She was well loved by most of the group. Most of them were her friends. Others, weren't. I was part of the others.

The reason why I mention this is because, it is important to consider this as part of this post. It helps me explain, how I was able to look at her without the rose-tinted glasses and without the several layers we tend to draw as a buddy, lover, relation, friend or wannabe.

It helped me get there faster. I didn't need lifting, you see.

Most of the time, behind her smile - lay this fragile frame of energy. It was almost as if she was drawing all that she could from her source to hold herself together. As a result, her mood swings were excessive. Holding it together must have really taken a toll on her on most days.

The drink sessions or the get-togethers after practice on some days, was an escape. Indulgent and rewarding to her. Balm like. During practice, we would have breaks, and I would see her gnawing at her finger-nails and nodding excessively as the director and production team briefed her on what was going on.

Sometimes, she would walk over to some of us and display paternalistic emotion, asking us if we were doing okay and if we were pumped. I wanted to ask her the same thing, I never really did though...I was scared she's collapse into a heap if I did.

Everyone was going on about how strong she was, how organised, how adept and how she was the only one holding it all together for the project. Self-serving? Maybe, but I also believe that they believed it when they said it. Either they didn't want to deal with what they saw or they didn't see it at all.

She hung herself on the eve of February 14. After a night of partying and a fight with her partner / husband. 20 minutes. He stepped out to buy cigarettes and calm down. She locked her self in and got it over with. She left no note.

In one of my earlier posts, I've indirectly (or directly) blogged about suicide. A self-reflection piece. Yes, I had a lot on my mind. And yes, I have thought about it. Several times. Have I tried to take my own life? No. Maybe, just maybe, I'm chicken. I'm working on a more refined response, but this is what I have so far.

I believe for the next few weeks, the friends and friends of friends must have sat up in shock and tried to play back the hours that led to this catastrophe. Till date, no one I know has come back with an explanation. The last I heard, they say her husband was put behind bars, as a murder suspect. Her family thinks he's responsible. Well, if that's anything to go by he's fucked, for awhile at least.

When I thought about it (suicide that is), I've often considered the inconvenience it would cause others. The messy business of walking the thin red line between what went wrong and what one didn't see and saving one's own ass; since this is an unnatural death, of course.

I've thought about loved ones going in for questioning, dealing with the body, the hunt for personal effects. The hiding of or playing down of the suicide by a landlord, especially when it comes to finding another tenant. If it's your own house, it's the case of the messy memories and scared younger generation, who will never consider sleeping in the room until their over 30 and sufficiently skilled in the whole concept of being balanced when it comes to negotiating childhood fears and family legend.

I think of the funeral and the curious gazes from people who only come to watch the survivors of the family break down piece by piece. And then proceed to eavesdrop on close family and see if they can piece a good enough story to spread out and quench THAT thirst which is never slaked. I think of the wake, the ground, the rotting. I think of how everyone will move on. Most without a scratch. Others with a reality check. And a precious few with their vitals performing below optimal.

What drove her to do it? What was it that snapped?

Was it reason? Was it meaning? Was it feeling?

What does it feel like when your brain shuts down and you're a countdown to self-destruction? Literally.

How do you fashion a knot that won't give through all that rushed and insane breathing? How do you manage it in time? Do you have an adrenaline rush, when you're trying to do this before someone can save you? Do you have the satisfaction of watching them crumble when they find you, eventually?

Was it fear of failure? Dissatisfaction? Lack of purpose? Was it revenge, served cold? Were you tired? Did it not matter any more? Any of it?

I think as lives extinguish around us. We'll never truly learn the answer to our questions. Everyone has a reason, valid enough for their misery or happiness. When you can't look misery in the eye because it's too ugly, you'll never truly accept who you really are. Cause we all want to be beautiful, the illusion of perfection is such an intravenous addiction.

Being happy is necessary. No doubt. But it's learning to be sad that we need to master. Irrevocably so, and once we have, we must own it. Own it like it's your own. Not someone else's. Feel it, let it wrangle with you, shake your bones and flood your system. Clench hard, focus and coil into a big ball. Die inside. Rising from the ashes is the easy part.

Die outside. And you won't.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

When the penny drops. It isn't always nice.

A few months ago, I tried to get back in touch with a friend. We had met through work and through the rough patches (I assure you there were many at this particular place) we seemed to always end up seeing a big patch of light at the end of it. In short, I enjoyed her company and she mine.

We parted from daily exchange after we both left the company. Distance as the realists will have it, does not make the heart grow fonder. Over the next year we moved on an even orbit, not meeting, yet knowing where each other was and how each of us was carrying on.

We met, a couple of times, and on other occasions we would catch up on the phone. Over that year, I realised that it was the very first time, I missed someone from any place I've ever worked. Genuinely. That emotion, was the catalyst for me thinking up the possibility of a sustained friendship.

Sadly, a few months ago, the penny dropped. It was not her intention to carry on a friendship. In her eyes, I no longer held that lustre. Also, she had bigger fish to swim with now. Also, we both don't really speak the same language effortlessly.

It hurt to think that out of the few people I do really tend to genuinely some really nice ones do a turn coat. Sad, because their excuses are valid and yet so lame at the same time. They're almost relieved that they are busy and don't have to beat about the bush to say it. But I think to myself, if I mattered. Really mattered to you, you'd make an effort. Like I did. Like I dud, rather.

So...plink. The penny has dropped.

C'était génial. Adieu, ma chérie. Peut-être que vous regarderez en arrière et se demander «et si» ... et puis je vais dire ... "Nous ne saurons jamais maintenant, allons-nous?"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Discussions versus Action

As part of my personal strategy of action, I partner with Word Quotient (www.wordquotient.com) as a committed creative professional. As Director, Web Presence Management (WPM) at WQ, my present aim is to find clients and freelancers who are committed to recognising and implementing change (not only from a business perspective but also by being personally invested in it).

Word Quotient is a creative writing company with a difference. We operate 99% virtually.

I recently posted a blog entry on the WQ website blog talking about Discussion versus Action, which is something I feel very strongly about both out of personal interest and also as a professional when it comes to innovation, collaboration and collective action.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Groping for an A-ha.

I think we're all looking for something to believe in. Deep enough that we make it through to another day - looking forward to it.

When we eagerly stare at another and are taken in by their sense of content, we aren't necessarily hating (although there are parts of us that would like to...hate), but sensing something that there is something being believed in.

Is that why chefs wake up to a tumultuous day at their restaurant and loves every minute of it? Is that why audition lines string across the street and around the corner? Could it be the reason for nine year novels in the making and lonely hours spent in space?

Why do we do the things we do?

What is it that compels us so much?

Does it matter to anyone else past a certain degree of obvious? Personally, the feeling is, it doesn't (matter to anyone past a certain degree of obvious). So what makes you or him or her do it?

What I've heard from the handful of people I've seen in this state of zen is, "I couldn't fathom doing anything else, this is what makes me happy."

Okay, but why?

"It matters..."

What does?

"I do, what I do matters, what it does for me matters, what it does for others...I don't know, it's quite obvious to me and therefore I cannot do anything else."


Almost all of the time, I find myself almost willing that epiphany to come to life. forcing it out of incubation or thrusting my hand into a sac of nothing and groping for an a-ha.

Bursts and spurts, bursts and spurts. People and reason. Situations and places. Silence and noise. Sullen and joyous.

People. Situations. Silence. Sullen.

reason. places. noise. joyous.

Patterns out of nowhere. Faces on the bathroom tiles. Messages in condensation. Signs leading nowhere.

Scanning: pages, faces, posts, emotions, conversation, noise, colours, textures, food, liquid, pieces, juice, waves, slippers, feet, hands, fingers, ring, nails, brow, mouth, tongue, chin, neck...


I think it starts here.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

What is it that they say about insight? Today, I'm leaning toward Herodotus...“The worst pain a man can suffer: to have insight into much and power over nothing”

I'd be lying if I didn't say it was an ability. Some of us just have it in us to see beyond the layers, hear behind the words and feel behind the projections.

When you're sitting there and you're seeing things for what they are, instead of feeling powerful, you feel overwhelmed with what you're able to discern that others are joyfully oblivious about.

In the beginning, you want it all to stop - the noise, the real words, the hypocrisy of of being in something, knowing fully well that is isn't what everyone thinks it is. You feel alone, despite being surrounded by stimuli of every type, class and form you can imagine.

I see and hear a head talking, its mouth moves and shapes words, and like a badly dubbed movie with a delay, I hear the real thoughts spiral out after their mouths stop moving. I get sucked into their streams of thought, while they sip on drinks and laugh.

I spiral down their water slides. Sometimes its loads of fun...especially when I cannot relate to anyone or anything that I am thrust into/at forcibly. It's like the Simply Red video (pleasure at the fairground on the way...), but only you're in it alone. Don't get me wrong; I do have insane fun most of the time!

About the pain. You do feel that too. Insane shots of it, in your head, your heart, your soul. It tries every portal, shaking the door knobs, rattling the locks, trying to get out and manifest. Harnessing this pain requires immense sacrifice, it is the only way to gain mastery of the ability and reverse your powerlessness.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My expectations from life have been debilitating to say the least. I often out-expect everyone out of the park and end up sitting on a bench all alone wondering why it is quiet and lonesome.

It isn't what but why?

If it isn't the battle against meaningless or the rage against the mundane, I am otherwise consumed with thoughts that have little or no meaning in the cosmos. Except for the odd principle and code, the others are wisps in grey smoke, which I replenish when it is about to disappear.

I upset someone very dear today. It's the smoke! I promise you.
I am addicted to its acrid smell and its foggy countenance. It shielded me from so much; and now I have run out of reasons to envelope myself.

What is down to a few clouds will become mere shadows. All I ask for is understanding and you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Moving Stills

Solitude makes you see how animated your surroundings are when all along you thought it was just you.

The past few weeks has seen me locked up in my room after work, reading or watching television for a few hours or just listening to the silence around me. It was unnerving at first. Discomfort. Pure and unadulterated.

I have grown accustomed to this extended splodge of loneliness; like a heated balm it stung at first, then it burned and now it's a deep and beautiful warm pulse. The stillness around me has lost its inhibition. It now moves, darts and orbits magnificently; and then...suddenly - will lie dead, willing me to believe that I'm seeing things.

But I'm not. I see the dark spots on the marble floor slither to another section of the floor; wisps of shadows dart behind the chairs that face my bed; specks of light bullet into the ether like shooting stars - but only faster.

All of this happens simultaneously or at random and I dart my eye to the motion only to see it settle or hide.

I close my eyes and tried to replay them in my head...and all at once, all of those phantasmal '!did-its?' play out like a complete tape. And it is terrifying and beautiful at the same time.

I once leapt up and switched off the light and lay with my eyes wide open. The pitch black of the room waned to a milky-grey and then a tinge of blue dove into the room. Literally. I could see every square-inch of my cube.

As the coloured light crashed and receded; the decrescent night shook out its music. Zzzzzzzzzz...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Lizard Brain

I believe the first step to my conquering my fear of lizards, is to understand my lizard brain.

I was pleasantly surprised to know that a primitive organ in the brain called the amygdala - the centre of our basic emotions: fear, anger and sexual desire. To learn that this is what we have in common with the lizard was a bit disconcerting.

To think that the reptile has the same 'lack' and 'attack' mechanisms with which I operate in the modern world was bit too far fetched at first. Gradually, though, after thinking and reading further about it, I realised, that it was possible. More so, definite.

I typed 'overcoming fear of lizards' in Google, this afternoon to realise that as I scrolled past the usual online community boards that just affirmed fear and had no real solution to the problem, I was able to find more helpful links to understanding what exactly happens when I am cornered in a room with a lizard.

And in a modern context - considering I'm not exactly faced with a Komodo dragon (or a chameleon!) - is irrational. The dread, is related to a single or few extreme emotional experiences, that can either be traced through the parent or the self, depending on the circumstance.

So what am I to do? How the flip does one overcome this?

The article link, I've made as the title of this blog, discusses it from another stand point. It resonated with me because whether I face it as a literal fear or metaphorical, both have a tyrannical hold, which I'm in the process of overcoming. Although I've made major progress when it comes to the latter, the former is a challenge.

Davender is right when he writes 'the lizard brain does not like the unknown'. I agree, I don't like it at all. I've never liked the unknown.

After reviewing major and minor life-incidents of note, I can now say, I don't like NOT being in control of most things. I attribute that to emotionally having to fend for myself from a young age. In other instances, I was able to get things done better and more efficiently when I did things myself. One thing led to another and the reinforcement worked its magic.

I am now beginning to realise that I can let things breathe and work themselves out, especially when it comes to shared experiences and circumstances. Although the maxim 'I can only be responsible for myself' soothes the nervousness that preludes one letting go, what I have come to understand is that when I allow others to do their part (however, well or sub-standard), it has no bearing on me or the circumstance as a whole. It is what it is. Therefore, it is not unknown, but an occurrence.

Wouldn't my lizard brain then immediately react and say, that then each occurrence would present itself as a bomb from which we cannot protect one-self without being smacked with an outcome first?

How does one rationalise one's fear here? How do we prepare for it? The link talks of reducing or avoiding the unknown. Reducing I get. Avoiding...hmmm....how does one do that?

I could let go of the unknown completely. It's like saying I know everything there is to my life - nothing is unknown. It's impossible, so then I do not think about it, but face each part of my life as it presents itself.

Where do I go from here? I don't know, I'm here now typing. I'll probably be assigned another task and then get to go home, bathe, watch some television, read or sleep. Past that and a reasonable expectation of a routine, I do not know what else. It is unknown.

Why does that not induce fear? And yet at the same time, I am that much closer to a heart attack when a lizard presents itself on a wall?

On reading further, I learned that the irrational fear response has a lot to do with my associating reptiles with a/a few extremely negative emotional experience(s) in my life. Possible. One can't rule it out.

I think a major part of my fear of the reptile was passed down to me from my mother. Watching her almost bring the house down when a lizard was either on the wall, floor or behind the cleaning supplies, must have reinforced an extremely negative perception of the harmless thing.

Then on seeing larger versions of it, the fear only compounded itself. Followed by harmless jokes and chiding from friends, made me internalise it further, until it dissolved into my very psyche.

Understanding this, helped me see how deep the rabbit hole can really go. From this branches and roots take form, mutating into other irrational fears, until finally, the real reason for fearing a reason is no longer visible and the lizard becomes the innocent recipient of repulsion, hate and disgust.

I'm only looking at the branches right now. If I have to get to the roots, I've got to start cutting faster. The lizard now presents itself as a reminder of the unfinished business I have inside.

For the most part, I'll probably prefer if the actual reptile and I mutually acknowledge our differences and stay a good distance from each other. Otherwise, I must say, that whenever I have encountered it, my mind immediately brings something I need to deal with to the surface.

If I can continue to look at it positively, I'm looking at making peace with this creature and not have it pop up when I least expect it. I just need to 'remove the risk, and the lizard brain goes back to sleep'.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

As I was going about my work today, I was suddenly washed over by a wave of abject fear when I remembered a faint childhood memory of nearly being kidnapped.

Not only have I never related it in detail to my family, but it happened so fast and my instincts so sound that I passed it off as a phantasmal imagination. Until of course, I played back that memory scene for scene in my head not 10 minutes ago.

I remember walking back from my extra tuition class, which was opposite to my home. And as I was rounding the corner to the main gate, a Maruti Omni van stopped next to me. The right sliding door opened and a man extended his upper torso out of the van with a worn piece of paper in his hand.

His expression wasn't menacing, in fact, it was quite friendly. He was sitting with his back to the driver and interestingly another elongated seat installation faced him; I knew this, because another passenger was seated opposite to him, I could see his legs.

He asked me for directions to a place, which parallel to the lane I lived on. That was the first sign. This is when I started to take in everything about the van and how the driver wasn't even idling his engine. He kept revving it for some reason, which I assumed was to keep the battered vehicle alive.

I pointed the man in the direction he was supposed to take. The second sign, was that he wouldn't get out of the car completely, willing an unsuspecting child or teenager to inch closer to him to look at the 'address' he was looking for.

When I noticed how dingy and dark the interiors of the car was, I immediately looked the guy straight in the eye and a very deep rage began to boil inside of me. I know this now, because I was confused by the amount of adrenaline that was suddenly coursing through my veins.

I tentatively took a small step back and kept staring at the man. He didn't notice and then proceeded to ask if I would step into the van to show them the way. Dead give away. I firmly said no and took a bigger step back and instinctively looked over to the balcony and pretended that someone was there and waved.

Before I knew it, the van door slammed shut and the van disappeared out of sight in the exact opposite direction of where it was 'supposed' to have gone. I breathed hard for exactly 2 minutes as I literally strode to the gate. By the time I was upstairs, my mother was too busy screaming orders for chores to even notice my story, which she heard in bits between the piercing whistle of the pressure cooker and the shrill sizzle from the pan.

I remember playing the incident back in my head for exactly 2 minutes again, before my teenage angst kicked in and I was busy defending my 'independence and individuality' that was brought up for questioning with said requests for household responsibility.

With all that behind me now; the sheer force of fortuitousness hit me smack in the face.

Wow. What a rush, knowing that sometimes, when you least expect it, the force remains strong with you. And for that I am eternally thankful.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

As I walk to and from my place of intern-ship, I see different kinds of people. We all do. See each other.

I have been noticed as an anomaly in my building. I am a curious thing to the Gujju wives, who sit on the stairs to catch the cool air that spirals upwards, but never enters their homes for some strange and infuriating reason.

My hair cut in a side-swipe mullet, a swirl that would make Justin Beiber blanch with envy; my penchant for pants and my silent demeanour, all combine to make me a perfect reason to loathe with awe. Don't get me wrong, I'm not pandering to myself. I've done enough of that, with disastrous results for the egos around me. ha ha!

It is this initial reaction to my person, that switched on my observation radar and it has been on auto-pilot since.

So back to my walks.

Today, I watched an old man slowly walk his route around the gated 'society' that he lives in. I overtook him in a few strides, but not before noticing that his thin cotton kurta, worn to battle the heat was soaked to the threads. It stuck to his enormous canvas of a back like wet mache.

His dhoti billowed around him, like he was sitting on a cloud that moved at the pace of snail. His walking stick, an oar.

I realised that he could do nothing about his situation, except to keep walking, until he reached his gate. As I passed him, he looked over at me. A moving pan shot, was my view. What he saw, a passing comet.

His eyes said most of what he wanted to; his eventual avoidance of my returning gaze was the end of the brief exchange.

"I used to walk faster than you; you should know that. I wasn't so big, I had a defining frame. Does it feel good to walk fast? It must, I know it made me feel powerful. We all slow down after awhile, some more than the rest. I am part of the more, the excess. I know that, you don't have to tell me. Go on, there's nothing left to see. Nothing."

For a moment, I wondered what it would be like. Old, without the distractions of our created environments. It would be such deafening silence. The mind would then start to speak again, and all that wisdom we wanted then, would come spilling out now. And we would try and impart it, desperately and as a result look desperate. Trying to claw meaning back with this knowledge. But will it come?

We would be looking at the noise from the outside in. Sadness of knowing would no doubt become our responsibility. Who else would want it? And then in that knowledge, we wait for our next journey out of the inside, out of the outside. To the infinite.

"Then my love, I will be the light; faster, brighter and stronger. I will be the comet."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

People everywhere are living my dream. Right now. As I write this. Every single one of them I thought were only mine have been spliced and diced into tiny shiny cubes that are imploding my dream into the palms of others.

My dream starts with difficulty and then accelerates into sheer raw pain and finally explodes into a gratuitous sigh as all the pain slips away and I am transformed into a ball of light. Free, brilliant, powerful and beautiful.

Will I ever have an exclusive projection that is solely mine? Will I ever find a calling that no one else is plagiarising? Bloody shit!

Must I be reduced to rehashing my dream after it was eaten and passed through someone else's gut?

Frustration, what's not to know? It's balled up inside of me like a twisted globe of rubber bands. Bruising my innards like a rancid, hardened hair ball. I cough, but all it does is nestle stubbornly against the folds inside. It's a tumour. That moves.

I want to spit it out on a carpet and watch it writhe and become still, without a host. But how? Where is that idea, that magical moment, that light bulb? I almost feel like we're fresh out, because of those damned idiots! Idiots who won't let my ideas be. Why won't you go die in a jungle somewhere? Away from me! WHY?

I must become quiet and drown out the noise in my head. That way you won't be hear me, hear my ideas, steal them, feed on them. I must become quiet. I must focus, I must cough up the tumour. I must kill it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'd like to say...

I'd like to say, that you know me.
In reality, it is not true.
You may think that you know me.
It's pretty clear, you think you do.

For all the scheming and the plots,
For all the mindless games you play
You may think that you've got me
But in time, you will despair.

For when a gyre spins it's endless
When the torture starts to prick
You may think it an indulgence
To sit back and watch me sink.

But a gyre is as treacherous
As it's creator, did you not know?
You'd like to say that it was for me,
But the gyre will never think so.

Come in, love, join me.
The gyre's got room for two.
Let's dance this little dance shall we?
And see who comes out true.

For the gyre is an endless spiral
Until the maker decides its end.
I'd like to say that you know me,
In reality, let's not pretend.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeoning of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.


-          William Ernest Henley


I'm staring at the books that line the shelf above my computer.

It's packed and house many that I have not read yet. I keep staring at them wondering about the times I will pick up one and read it cover to cover. I look at them with longing, with want and yet I do not reach out for them.

Is it because I'm looking for that perfect moment when I know I can read in peace and not be disturbed? Could it be that I'm just procrastinating?

Why would I procrastinate about a book, though? Why would I NOT want to read??!

I grew up with books; it gave my adolescence meaning, reason even.

What exactly am I waiting for?

I have no answer that satisfies.

I used to be able to read one book from cover to cover - now I read books in pieces and halves and slivers. Leaving odd bookmarks in over 3 titles. One in my work bag, another in my jhola, and one more around the house. Like string around my finger, to remind me that I must read, I must re-connect with the page, with the words again.

There's so many of them, I wish you could see! So many of them to dive into, so many of them to gain inspiration from.

The book in my work bag inspires me everyday; because each story reveals the extraordinary in things we deem mundane. It finds and tells it's essential story and I realise that my life and times could very well be the same.

What a decision!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You who didn't, don't and won't bother.

Understanding what you do and why you do it, is very important. It determines how the entire effort turns out, it also determines whether you could do it over again, a sequel to excellence.

It's not easy when people don't appreciate what you do for them. When the grudgingly have to accept that you did a good job, because someone else was kind, nay, gracious enough to applaud your efforts against a lot of odds to come out and deliver something that despite every possibility of failing comes out trumps.

Say you've put in 100 per cent and then someone just for the sake of it decides, they'd like to rain on your parade - because they just couldn't spoil it for you while you were neck deep in shit anyway - to really make it sting by looking the other way, instead of having the balls to appreciate something well done.

What would you do? How would you take it?

Most often than not you would silently revel in the fact that you pulled it off, despite people hoping, praying that you would mess up. But you would also, feel incomplete? Yes?

A niggling, irritating feeling that it isn't complete unless this effort, this pure energy filled input is appreciated.


Well, I had a bout of 15 minutes; where I felt so completely unappreciated.

I then sat and thought about it. I worked with different people, different back grounds, respected them, shared laughs, even common irritations. Had met and shared good moments, and experienced different people coming together out of mutual respect to help each other out and make it happen.

The ultimate result was better than expected and the response, better than what everyone thought it would be.

You know what? I didn't do it for anyone. I did it for me, and it was good.

When I do something...anything...I'll make sure I do it for me. Then it will matter and be appreciated. It doesn't matter if the end result benefits me directly or not.

I'd like to thank the persons who appreciated what I did. It made me feel good about myself and finally worked out for everyone in the end.

To those who didn't even bother...fadafishkyaooboink!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Experiencing that Instant.

I had a rough day today; in terms of work I was completely overloaded right from the time I stepped through the door. I had a set-back, left work late and generally had one of those days that conjure up a real scanner-darkly kind of post.


I also had an epiphany this week.


That epiphany enabled me to enjoy - a magical moment. I was in that instant.

If I were to describe the circumstance; it would most definitely be droll to most. If I were to explain the moment, it wouldn't really register with most either.

But it did with me; and that's what I care about. And that's what I'm going to share.


A radio spot. That's the premise for this story. A radio spot here, where I live and work, is no biggie. It's a print ad in audio form. At my place, we try and keep it minimal, uncomplicated and hint at sophistication, because it is the easiest thing to do.

The brand expects it, we can't flog the brand. And so it's reasonably quiet, our radio spots.

Historically speaking, many radio spots have re-defined the way products have been marketed. The radio ad's versatility, it's pure power to transform a simple text message into an aural wham! sits high atop a snow clad mountain somewhere, where only the brave, the crazy diamonds, the swashbucklers tread.

That's historically and quite literally speaking.

Let's move on.

So. The magical moment.

Notice how I'm breaking it down. Drawing out all possible air, wings, legs this experience could use to show you how magical this moment was.

The English talent was perfect, he always gets it pat in one or two takes, he's pleasant, charming, no-nonsense and a complete gentleman.

He left with a hand-shake, well wishes for the weekend and a nod. The more we see and work with him, the more we like the guy. He's swell.

So, the next talent was the Arabic talent. He wasn't here yet. No biggie, we still had time - the takes were perfect for the first spot remember?

I sit down to a nice tall mug of hot, black coffee. I like it here, it's quiet, it's good wooden panelled floors, the couch is perfect. I strike up a conversation with our producer.

We start with work, as always, meander through simple conversation about the weather and life and then I ask the question I always ask, "Do you love what you do?"

"Yes, of course! This is what I've always wanted to do"

Our exchange is half an hour opened a portal. To another dimension in my head. I started hearing between the lines, every simple story or anecdote had a hidden message, it was spiritual, it was direct. His take on his life choices, and his thoughts about people, situations, unravelled into another script that made a whole new set of thoughts for me.

"Take marriage, for instance, when you marry for love, he could be a pauper and you'll still stay, because you love him. Doing what you love, is pretty much the same thing, you're never in it for the money," he said.

"When you start organising a marriage alliance, then there's a whole lot of research into whether the person can provide for you, partner with you in achieving a certain status or life goal, matches up to your reputation of who are what you represent, which is nothing, you're just trying to set something up for yourself. It almost feels like one of those dead-end job hunts."

"One small mistake with a person you don't love, is a huge issue that you carry with yourself, if it was someone you loved, your ability to accept that flaw, overlook it, forgive it even, is infinite."

"When you do something you love, the darkest days, are just challenges, just another few hours in your journey toward something you know is so worth the pain. Marriage, love, investments, emotion - take anything you want as an example, and the allegory, it's the same."

Dark days are dark days no more. They are just nights of patience. When you do something you love. When you find someone you love. When you know what you want. :).

And so it continued, our conversation travelled on.

"Having passion but no science to back it, only results in an adrenaline rush."

You could have all the intention you want, all the ideas in the world...but if you have no science (knowledge) to give this intangible intentions life, then it is a waste.

"Experiences makes you, your ability to observe and internalise them and convert them into something useful, creative, experiential, your own - that elevates you to a view that only you can have. It's called vision."

It is here, me hearties, that our second talent walked in.

My mind was racing. Positivity, the sheer brilliance of the exchange, the feeling like I had a conversation not with a person, but a fellow soul. It was heart warming, reassuring and most importantly powerful.

I smiled and shook hands with our talent, he was peaceful and ready.

He took the script after having a leisurely catch-up with everyone, stepped into the voice booth and did a mock take. 25 seconds. The producer and I watched the console and measured the seconds. I furrowed my brow for exactly 5 seconds, I mumbled, about 20 seconds to myself, just a quick mental note.

I glanced over to the booth window, smiled a little, and waited for the producer to say his peace.

The talent spoke before that.

"You want 20 seconds? You've got it."

I raised my eyebrows in surprise. How the hell did he hear me? Did he hear me? I glanced over to the producer, who for some reason, flicked the switch, without a second thought and said, "...and we're rolling..."

What happened after that, people, I cannot describe, but can only say - was magic.

In one full swoop, Talent 2, read from a script he barely had for 2 minutes, with such familiarity, speed and confidence that it created a zing not only in my brain, but the entire room.

For one complete moment, everything, and I mean everything, just came together - fused into one pulsing ball of energy. And it was done.

I almost jumped from the couch, but I stood up like spring and started to clap with such joy, I have not experienced in years!

I strode up to console and waited with bated breath. "Was it okay, is that 20 seconds?!," I asked.

Producer, incredulous himself, slowly selected the recording bar and then looked up and said, "20 seconds..."

I had to laugh. I don't why, I just did. It was one of the most amazing moments of clarity, strength and joy. I didn't know why, I just felt elated!

I shook Talent 2's hand, shook my head, and paced the room for a good 5 minutes, before the energy dithered around me. Like fairy dust.

I had experienced magic in a completely ordinary moment.

I had experienced that instant.

Post script:
The set-back? We got two digits wrong - in the telephone number. Usually, that would have completely bogged me down. But here's the thing, it didn't, hasn't and still won't. I'm still high from that moment. And two digits, hell, nothing (!) is going to take that away from me. Whoo!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The day does not unveil what it holds in store.
To fill the fear of the unknown, we fill it with meaningless actions.

A force field of useless to stop our ears and eyes from what actually is out there.

No more.

I will find meaning in a material world. I will embrace a new way of life.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

No more drama.

Sure I have. Many times. I don't dwell on it long, and I don't plan out the details. But I have thought of it.

I then realised life as it were, on earth, others, the universe will still carry on like nothing happened. My disappearance would mean a loss for some - for awhile - a lesson or tortured memory they would carry in their souls and then life would go on.

Just like that.

In a way, I am both integral and secondary to the larger scheme of things. A hurtful yin yang.

At dinner last night, my conversation with Adhitya was quite interesting, for the first time (the very first), I found myself listening to what was being said, rather than drafting a response in real-time.

I'm always drafting a response in real-time; a ready answer for every clever, stupid, wasteful, intelligent, boring, dumb, insightful...

What he said suddenly revealed another side to myself that I had not really looked at before. I was allowing myself to be a victim to the circumstances around me. And I gloriously wallowed in it.

For every joyous possibility, I drugged on the morose opposite, simply because it so much easier to get attention that way. It is. Look around us, and you'll see people finding it a much easier game to be in problems, irritation, nit-picky situations. In the grander scheme of things none of what we do in these situations will even matter. None of it. But yet, we thirst like leeches for an endless supply for the complicated.

Some of us come hard-wired with it. Maybe my grander purpose is to show what a colossal waste of time being that way can be.

My gene pool is teeming with dramatic. We're dramatic about going to a movie as much as we can be dramatic about death in the family. Would it be funny if I said that is a constant I grew up on? I don't blame anyone from the gyre, it's just that - that was we knew.

When I broke that cycle and went to the quiet for awhile, I was unable to comprehend people's nonchalance to everyday life. In fact, I hated it. So much, that I tried to create a huge din, so that I could feel at home. Safe to say, not many people joined the train.

But the few who did, liked it for awhile and then left.

I believe this was the pattern I refused to see.
I guess life doesn't hand you a platter with the coordinates to where you're heading. I also learned (the painful way) that 'din' does not help you get anything.

So am I settling then? Din-makers, am I?

I don't know really, I think I'm stepping into the unknown, where din is not allowed. A new set of rules apply, or maybe there are no rules, just no noise. No more drama.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The honeymoon is over.
Take your head out of the sand.
Shake your lids free of the grit, the sandman so generously poured into your eyes.

Arise from your sleep,
Awake from a dream, you called reality.
Pinch yourself, bruise your skin. Make it purple, so you remember.

The yawn of agony. The stretch of settling.