Wednesday, August 27, 2014


When I asked myself this question, what is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think “PROBLEM”, it was “SOLUTION”. Then when I started asking others I got many such similar responses – “have to overcome”, “possible solutions”, “ways to handle/manage”... So what is this thing about solution? Why do we immediately look for “solution”? Ofcourse we don’t want it to grow, as a stitch in time saves nine. But its also probably because “problem” immediately brings in a sense of loss of control on certain aspect/(s) of our lives and we all essentially want to live with the belief that “we are in control”. Ignorance is bliss...Really!

Then someone said, “A problem is a problem!” How true! Indeed. Then there were responses like “disturbing”, “unhappiness”, “discontent”, “uncomfortable”, “fear”, “anxiety”, “irritation” – all negative emotions that come with problem. And some had very interesting things to say about problem – “its a gift because you learn”, “its a way to expand your horizons”, “its a way to rediscover your own self”. All these are very positive ways of looking at problem. And I so agree. Although “problem” means a hell lot of negative emotions, its also a latent reservoir of enrichment and expansion. When in problem, at some point or the other, we might seek more light, energy, excitement and happiness. We tend to open up more, become less rigid and see how beautiful life is actually. And we definitely emerge out stronger.

But sometimes things are not that easy. Sometimes problem is such that there is perhaps no solution.  Atleast not an immediate one. One has to just live with it, deal with it every single day, face fear thats difficult to overcome and see darkness which is endless. Then susceptibility and vulnerability sets in. We tend to do things which we would have otherwise never thought of doing. Be it out of loneliness, insecurity or a sheer need for support, we seek ways to make ourselves happy or content or atleast add some excitement...something to take our minds off from the “problem”. This can help us forget the “problem” for some time or maybe lead us to a greater problem! Because sub-consciously we are, probably, trying to escape... Distraction helps but I doubt whether looking for a route to escape helps. It just leaves us fragmented as the search for the escape route never ends. Because one cannot escape one’s self! So does that mean we continue living in the “darkness”? Sometimes darkness has its own lure, immobility has its own comfort and one can just want to get lost in it...

My dad says the secret to light is “acceptance” and inculcating a “sense of harmony” within oneself. It will perhaps take me years to really understand the true meaning of this, let alone live it. But what I understand is this: Life continuously fragments us and slowly we give birth to a sense of restlessness and flux. Experiences enriches us, evolves us but only when we don’t lose the sense of harmony within us. So the much-sought-after sense of control is not to be sought outside, it is to be sought within. But yes “acceptance” and “sense of harmony” is the most difficult thing to achieve faced with a problem.

Out of all the positive responses, only one was about acceptance. And strangely nobody talked about COURAGE and PATIENCE. We exist in a time, when impatience is a virtue and courage is “machoism”!  So yes the true essence of these values is fast getting depleted. And with increasing chaos of enjoyment and fun, we keep forgetting our “inner harmony”.

Problem is as natural as life and so is harmony. So the only way to deal with problem is perhaps to live with courage and patience and to keep striving to attain that “inner harmony”, to walk that path of light.



Saturday, August 10, 2013

Colours of life

I had a peculiar hobby when I was 5-6 years old. My dad had a collection of homeopathy medicines and, as most of us would know, those came in tiny cute looking glass bottles. As & when the medicine inside the bottles would get over, the bottles would get passed on to me. I collected them with utmost care. And used to buy sketch pen sets although I had never put them into proper use. (I was never good at drawing or craft). Those sketch pens had a different attraction for me. I used to take out the re-fills and dip them in water to create water of different colours. And then pour them into the empty homeopathy medicine bottles. I can almost recollect the glee I had by just viewing 20-30 different colour water inside those glass bottles especially when I used to keep them against the sunlight. It was probably God’s own way of showing me what life is…I would often change the shade of a coloured water by mixing it with some other coloured water… My parents had thought that someday I would grow up to be a scientist or something like that. I never consciously aspired for any specific profession. Life just kept bringing itself in different colours and I kept enjoying them. Even when I stood in an almost empty platform in Ludhiana on a winter morning waiting for my Shatabdi or when I was duped by a field executive to stay in a hotel room which didn’t have proper lock or curtain or when my feet started bleeding badly on a road of Moradabad and a dog started chasing me…And even when I chanced to enjoy a lazy walk on Kovalam beach or looking at the almost non-existent Saraju river or lying on an unnecessarily large bed of a 5-star room or having a humble meal with a completely unknown family in Varanasi. I am just thankful to life to have made me go through all these experiences. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been what I am today. Yes, I there had been certain periods in my life which I didn’t enjoy especially the ones which made me feel shacked and exploited. But still I feel hard times come with an assurance…the assurance that the colours will soon change and life will again show its brilliance. We just need to open up to the “unknown”…Because in the “unknown” lies a secret that can change life, that can change the “known”…Life is waiting there to show us all the colours of life, we just need to keep mixing the known and the unknown…

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Being simple

Very recently while chatting with a friend, I happened to say, “Probably I am living my life in reverse”. That was a strange thing to say perhaps. But there was so much of truth in it. When I was young I desired for adventures, mysteries and mischief in life. But today there is a desire to lead a simple and calm life devoid of any kind of complexities. I have realized that life is good on its own and it does not require any stimuli or excitement to make it lively. These days a pleasant breeze when I return home or a whiff in the air of the approaching rains or a sudden early leave from office makes me happy. When I was young my senses were too numb by the otherwise “fun” in my life probably.

Back in 1998 when I was having my first tequila shot of my life, a Chinese friend of mine had suddenly said that back in Sweden (where he used to work) boys and girls stopped having “fun” once they cross the age of 18/19 years. That’s because by that time they had kind of finished having all kinds of “fun”. I didn’t know why exactly he had made that comment. Probably because he had felt that an Indian girl (me) was having too much ‘fun’ by the then Indian standards. I mean a 17 year old Bong girl from a ‘decent’ family sitting in some remote resort and having tequila with some 10 years older guys could have been considered kind of ‘bravado’ then.

And it was just the tip of the iceberg. In the next 10 years, I had seen myriad facets of enjoyment, fun, pain, complexities, desires and depression. Sometimes I had failed to segregate the incidents and the emotions. It seemed like one solid whole. I had borne the burden for a long long time and then one day I just got tired and thought of putting it down. And from that day I feel so much lighter. I feel smile and laughter is just so easy. Being spontaneous is such a fantastic feeling. Having a simple life is often such a difficult task and I had spent a decade of my life just to realize that. And now that I have realized it, I make an effort to keep my life simple everyday. Now I have few friends, few places to go, and few people to meet. I have planned routined days and try to go to sleep early at night. At times it becomes monotonous. But looking back I feel this life which I have today is so much better than the maddeningly fast paced and complicated life that I once used to have.

The other day somebody told me about life getting complicated once we grow old. I feel all human beings have this urge to “return to the innocence”. Being simple is not that simple though. It requires a kind of maturity and an understanding of life. Understanding that there can be happiness in just having a walk on a cool evening, or having roadside biryani when budget-to-enjoy is limited or just listening to music on the mobile phone. Life perhaps tries to give us a lot of happiness in simple ways but our complicated (or rather uninitiated) mind often fails to register them. We miss out a lot when we fail to respect and cherish SIMPLICITY. I also feel that everything successful and great is all essentially very simple.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sometimes some songs just express what we feel...

Thanks Smita for sharing this and thanks Ms. Chapman for this wonderful composition:

There are locks on the doors
And chains stretched across all the entries to the inside
There's a gate and a fence
And bars to protect from only God knows what lurks outside
Who stole your heart left you with a space
That no one and nothing can fill
Who stole your heart who took it away
Knowing that without it you can't live
Who took away the part so essential to the whole
Left you a hollow body
Skin and bone
What robber what thief who stole your heart and the key
Who stole your heart
The smile from your face
The innocence the light from your eyes
Who stole your heart or did you give it away
And if so then when and why
Who took away the part so essential to the whole
Left you a hollow body
Skin and bone
What robber what thief
Who stole your heart and the key
Now all sentiment is gone
Now you have no trust in no one
Who stole your heart
Did you know but forget the method and moment in time
Was it a trickster using mirrors and sleight of hand
A strong elixir or a potion that you drank
Who hurt your heart
Bruised it in a place
That no one and nothing can heal
You've gone to wizards, princes and magic men
You've gone to witches, the good the bad the indifferent
But still all sentiment is gone
But still you have no trust in no one
If you can tear down the walls
Throw your armor away remove all roadblocks barricades
If you can forget there are bandits and dragons to slay
And don't forget that you defend an empty space
And remember the tinman
Found he had what he thought he lacked
Remember the tinman
Go find your hear and take it back
Who stole your heart
Maybe no one can say
One day you will find it I pray

Thursday, February 10, 2011

In this zombieness

I go to office and I come home. And in this continuous repetitive action, I feel I have become so much like a zombie. For 8-9 hours everyday, I am surrounded by many other zombies - both living and non-living. I end up spending most of my time with a demonic machine called computer, trying to exchange thoughts. And in my effort to interact with this machine, I feel my ability to interact with humans has lessened incredibly.

I dont know how many times I have actually thought about it...but at times it bothers me. Cant remember when it started happening, what were the initial syndromes, what were the causes... But I can see the result. It grows in me everyday. This thing which I have recently detected in me, but I realise that it has already spread its deep root inside me.

This thing inside me which I call "zombieness"....

Sometimes it feels like a disease which I am suffering from. This disease which kills emotions inside me. It kills at a drastical rate and relentlessly. And I can feel the damage.

Like I can remember crying for hours over a heart break. But that was years back. Now it just does not happen. Sometimes my eyes do get moist or I shed a drop or two of tears. But I dont weep. Or when I do its more out of a need for catharsis. Lot of things pile up - stress, loneliness, neglect. And probably only sometimes in the privacy of bathroom or a cab ride, I cry. But there is hardly any sense of acute pain. Only a feeling of barrenness, a void inside.

Sometimes I feel its like a comfortable habit...this sense of zombieness. I have got used to it so much that I dont even feel the need to recover. It has made me form my own shell. And once inside, a lot of things do not bother me anymore.

When I get home these days there is hardly any exchange of words with anybody. Its not that I am not conscious of the warmth that presence of family gives me. But I feel my shell too around me all the time. Not that I am so immersed in my world that I am oblivious of everything else. I dont even have a feeling of my own world. There is this dearth of passion in most of my actions. Sometimes I feel I have become like that PC in my office, dynamic but yet so mechanic.

But this zombieness is not always that bad. At times it saves me from expecting. It also saves me from anger. Something snaps inside me at the right moment and stops me from getting angry or even expect. Then I am left with just a feeling of detachment.

Not that I have no reason to get angry. Rather I have so many that I fear they might just drive me to insanity. So, the shell helps, zombieness helps. I can just cut the cord inside me and set myself free. This freedom which is the essence of my whole existence today makes me write my mind. It gives me the courage to live my life on my own terms, it gives me the strength to fight my fears.

I dont believe in the concept of forgiving because I have never consciously done that. I have just forgotten. All the pain and bitterness, all the tears and tortures. And in the process I caught on to this zombieness. Not that it does not have any impact on my happiness. It has curbed my sense of happiness. I laugh and smile with honesty but I generally monitor my happiness, my involvements. I have this hard shell around me which no happiness, no pain, no anger can break. Inside that shell I am free, free from the world around.

But there is this feeling of nostalgia, this desire for a "return to innocence", which makes me hate my zombieness a bit. I wish I could know whether I love my zombieness or I dont. I sometimes wish I didnt have this sense of zombieness. I wish I could connect with my family and friends the way I used to some years back.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Its been a long time after sunset
The darkness has promised me loads of magic,
I ponder over the gaps in between my fingers while I wait for the footsteps to be heard.
My luggage is not yet packed but there is this vision of a 'new'.
I try to think of a destination,
I shiver in the cold
I look away from the window, the darkness now scares me
The rhythm of my heart beat.....
Now I hear two hearts beating
I strain my ears for the sound of footsteps
I feel your hot breath
I hear people calling outside
Your breath is so warm
They bang on the door...
Let's take the other door...

We can make it happen.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hoping to burn again

In the swirls and turns of Sufis and Bauls

In the music of Fakirs and Ektara

Sometimes when I keep lying on my bed awake till late in the night

Sometimes when I forget to take the next bus and keep walking for long

And when I stand alone in my terrace and get drenched in a sudden shower

And when I sit in a crowded night lounge getting blinder by the disco lights

I see you, I see him.....

Much familiar, much stranger

I do not see your face but I often rest my head on his chest

I know he is real, I know you are my imagination

I have walked with you for miles but have hardly spoken to him

Your mystery haunts me at night, his smile makes me happy

I see your strong arms and I wish he holds me forever

There is a train waiting, I listen to the whistle

Where is this train going?

Is the train moving?

Which station is this?

I get down and walk to find out....

I am lost....

I run to catch the train, I board it

And now I forget my destination

I look at the next station and the next...

All station looks the same....Where do I get down? Am I lost?

Should I stop waiting for a station?

Should I just take a leap

Probably I know you will hold me

I know you arms are strong

You shine like a golden man and I burn!