Tyler Durden just staring at your face from the wall poster – This is your Life and it’s ending One minute at a time. And you are never the wiser of it. But is this reminder of life’s frailty doing you any good. Well, why should everything have to? On goodness, I have blabbered before as well. This is nothing new. For better things we all crave and slave off; some hide behind the barb of passion, some enlightenment, and some more in pursuit of happiness. Fallacies; some body rightly said life’s a pursuit – damn right. Why not have some fun on the way? You’re going to regret this later – ah, judgement! Or collective wisdom?
Possession gives purpose to life. For one thing it makes you wiser to the way of world. You learn to hold on to it with the price of your life all the while possessing some more. To what extent? To the extent of securing your future – one percent effort put in extra behind the pursuit will earn you 1481 times the points than the loser at the other end wasting one percent effort doing nothing. Revelation from a Facebook post! Some years back my confused self would have said ‘..and they will take it to their grave!’. But I have wizened up from that. Got myself a couple of oak coloured couches and mahagony bed – next in line is a runner carpet. Should I get hold of a 40-inch flat-screen as well. See right there, purpose defined for sometime. The problem is the effort, rather the cost to it.
For the romantics who are feeling the angst I would recommend ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ – and so for the rationals. It beautifully immerses the reader into an ever looming tragedy and explores this chasm of the two worlds. Was one of the books which can take much more than it can give from you. But then, why else you seek those pages! I now stare hard into the darkness in the living room. Muffled breathing beside. Timer still clicking to remind the mortals. Tick Tock.
What is the one defining characteristic of love? That’s where the discussion ended and the thoughts began.
The secret to a long married life is having the broadness of mind to make compromises demanded by it. Coming from a dutiful, caring wife and a loving mother 30 years into marriage and 27 into motherhood, it merited acceptance from an obedient son. But he was too naive to debate with his mother and argue otherwise. Based on a lofty love which, in retrospect, failed miserably the test of time. Young and stupid love.
Love for a partner. Love of a mother for her child. Love of a teacher for his student. Could selflessness be the defining characteristic of love? Isn’t that the source of making compromises which my mother mentioned? It does sound right. What better could be the ultimate expression of love but to sacrifice oneself for the other. Probably that explains why history and literature is replete with love tragedies. Sacrificed at the altar of love. In our morbid lives it will be being satisfied with a normal 9-to-5 job for the sake of family or letting go of a loved one for her sake which are symbols of love. Selfless acts for the smile on your loved ones face.
But then doesn’t love originate from quite the opposite of this noble quality. Isn’t what triggers love in the first place a fierce selfish act? The act of attracting a partner, likened by many to almost an animal act; quite aggressive with seekingattention, winningover ‘consummating’ in passionate love. The act of bringing forth a child into this world, for fulfilling a marriage; to fill a void; to carry on the family legacy. To create a prodigy on a teacher’s part.
The dichotomy is apparent only if you isolate the process of falling in love and being in love. They are not two sides of the coin. Rather coinciding. Blending pieces. Eva Mendes beautifully puts it when she says,
I love having a man in my life and being his woman by the end of the day. I know its a dichotomy.
A city with no serene beaches or breathtaking mountain views. Traffics a mess here and city planning seems to have been done by underpant gnomes(South Park). A city of blood-sucking-parasite-of-rickshawallahs and dreamy software folks. India’s Silicon Valley with innovations borrowed and adapted from the West & a Garden City bleeding concrete.
Yet the city thrives. With a calming pulse unlike any other city. Its a pulse which is not captured in those wide angle-skyscrapers cityline-flashing traffic-late night shots. Its right here in the middle of this stalling silk-board traffic. Or there by the white sand on the madiwala lake side. Or in any one of the numerous cafes mushrooming in the city. Roll your windows down, shuffle your playlist and zip up your jacket. There is no hurry. Its a city you don’t have to get away from on a weekend.
A romantic’s view this is. Nevertheless I am sure many people will reflect similar sentiments. I have a good mind to call this the Buddha city. That has a nice ring to it. Calm in the eye of the storm feeling.
But then this might be the reflection of the state of my mind. I choose not to believe that as it has been definitely inspired by this place and it has to be given credit for what it is. And I see a cloud creeping into my mind. Is it the place or the people here?
Well lets keep that for another post, another day. For now let me dwell in this calm. Of the Buddha City.
Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. Rumi sounds in my head. Chilly morning breeze freezing my face and hands. I see the field at a distance. It feels warm. Bright as early morning. The breeze is softer. The field was always as I imagined. Endless and golden. I see her. I swoosh past a couple of lorries. And then she’s not there. I am all alone. The gush of air in my ears and revving of the engine. Its not a bad place to be in. The calm lets my mind wander wherever it wants. Memories. Hopes. Freedom. And I head deep into the traffic.
Life is full of contrasts and semblances. Sometimes I feel the world outside to be a projection of my state of mind. It swings from peace to chaos like a pendulum in perpetual motion. Wasn’t the traffic I was heading into a reflection of the conflict inside me? I squeeze my way past two semi-trailers. Why do they let these vehicles within city limits during peak hours? Buggers. One moment I am in a serene field and the next I am searching the skies for the source of disturbance. Reminded me of the calm before the first monsoon rains back in my hometown. A longing to be back in the safety of childhood pangs at my heart. Jerked back by the rickshaw taking a near impossible maneuver to overtake me. Moron.
As all journeys this too has to end. A friend told me recently to count my blessings each day, it will make me a better man. Well I had my share of blessings today; the wonderful thoughts, the drive, the field and most importantly her. I see the field once again. She is there. And so are some others. That’s my field. My world. I park my car happily and head into the house. And I hear a low pitched rumble coming from the sky behind me.