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.