Right side up – 2

It is a unique belief throughout history that we humans who haven’t seen war or devastation or hunger for 70 years irrationally hold.

Even the last war for our own country was fought 20 years ago far away on an unrelated border and its been 47 years since our people have had a real war.

Peace feeds delusions. Peace fattens us up the way a goat is fattened before Eid or a Turkey before Thanksgiving.

And the belief is – Tomorrow will always be better than today.

Let us not call it a belief. Let us call it a conviction, it is that unshakeable in most people.

Tomorrow will always be better than today. There are better things to come for us. If today is a bad day, we tell ourselves that its just an off day.

We are in a perpetual bull run of life, with a couple of bear signals and one or two major selloffs but generally, our life is going to get cushier, we are going to get more successful, the people are going to get more rights, more equality, justice, blah blah blah.

And we make this belief into a virtue by saying you cannot live without hope. But that isn’t hope, what good is hope without preparedness?

And we make the same fallacy about our individual life, we believe that the pursuit of whatever is a noble goal which cannot but help being fulfilled in the long run.

And we become cushy, fat, complacent. We drug ourselves with the anesthetics of familiarity and comfort and that dull feeling of pleasure which is absence of thought and general merriment. When we become too numb, we take a stimulant shot of a holiday or sex which only lasts so long.

And those that think things aren’t hunky dory – we label them sick with a disease called clinical depression.

But what if your life isn’t a straight uphill climb, a straight velocity graph with y axis at infinity going on and on?

What if the party is over and no one bothered to tell you this and all you have left to do in life is wash the dishes?

What if the best, the very best your life could be is right now, this week this month this year this decade? That things are NEVER going to get better than what they are today, at this very moment?

Why are we afraid of entertaining this thought? That maybe we have reached the peak and all now is a plateau followed by downhill? Why are we do afraid of letting go that one thing, that single thing so dear to us?

The goal isn’t to be a cynic or a sceptic. Both are as idiotic as being an epicurean or a hedonist, whatever your fix maybe. Maybe the world will never read kierkegaard but there has to be a middle way.

And the only middle way, the only thing which is there in your own hands, the only goal worth pursuing in life is to get stronger tomorrow than today.

That’s it. Be stronger tomorrow than today.

Be stronger physically tomorrow than today. Work out, be physically stronger. People do idiotic things like cardio workouts and crunches and sugar free diets and all nonsense when the simple way to look at exercise is something that makes you stronger. Cardio makes your heart stronger. Crunches and crossfits and aerobics and pilates and zumba make your core stronger. Lifting weights make your muscles stronger. Climbing mountains makes your will stronger. And so on.

Be stronger mentally today than yesterday. A situation in which you would have reacted a year ago would maybe draw the exact same urges in your head but strength is always in what you do than what you think. The goal is to be stronger today than yesterday, and expect worse tomorrow than today and strengthen yourself for it. Chase out every delusion in the farthest recesses of your head as ruthlessly as you chase a cockroach out of your house.

Be stronger emotionally today than yesterday.

Be stronger financially tomorrow than today.

Be in a stronger relationship tomorrow than today. Those cords which aren’t strong enough, those invisibly fraying or those that appear to be fraying while actually being as strong as yesterday – don’t pull too hard on them for support – they aren’t there to bear your weight. And at the same time, weave as many webs as a spider so you can float in air on many rather than hanging on few.

The best is not yet to come. The best is over. Done and dusted. There’s nothing more to look forward to.

So be strong. It sounds like a nike commercial but wisdom in this modern age isnt found in books, it’s apt that the wisest sentences are the cringiest and no one listens to them because they are always on tv. It’s how our age is.

Of fat men hanging on spider webs and believing they are floating.


Right side up – 1

No one ever said life was fair. Life is inherently unfair and time and again it is good to be reminded of this simple fact which we know but often forget.

To take decisions under uncertainties and often living with unknowables is the one thing that often separates the men from the boys. And the only way to get the ability to do that is by being thrust into uncertainties time and time again.

And often you learn that sometimes taking no decision under uncertainties is the best decision.

Making sense of madness

I met someone who has passed the point of no return today. An irredeemably ruined life – one without any hope. I met a mother who with tears streaming down her eyes stated the obvious – at a level, there’s nothing at all you can do to really help a person, however good your intentions. You can just sit and watch from the passenger seat while the car hurtles down at the speed of 100 in front of the incoming traffic.

I came face to face with mental illness and I didn’t like what I see. Somehow I have always harbored this belief that medicines for depression, panic etc can easily be avoided if you will yourself. Not will yourself to be happy, but will yourself to just get on with it without making a fuss about it. We all have those days but the best of us neither think nor act their worst moods out nor write about it, some of us act it out in front of loved ones spoiling their day, some of us write about it and at a later date it feels awful to read. But some people are literally helpless against our own minds. And I am trying to separate the person from their minds. It’s so easy to say xyz has fever or diabetes but to say xyz has a mental illness without saying she IS mentally ill, is so difficult for me. My mind always goes, but why can’t you solve what is bothering you and she says but I am what is bothering me. And then I think of those 2 or 3 same weaknesses which I live with and wonder what if I was only those weaknesses and nothing more? How awful would it be?

“You can’t help me. No one can help me. No one is willing to even try. Even my friends are afraid of me.”

The meeting also brought to me with the deceptive nature of social media. If you look at the social media of this person, it’s all happiness. Everyday a lot of smiling pictures with a lot of different happy people. Travelling the country, unlocking achievement after achievement. Literally one of the most beautiful woman in town. Social media influencer. Much sought out. But broken. Beyond redemption. (Incidentally once I talked about this topic with another supremely beautiful woman comparing their entering adulthood but the words came out all wrong and I got a dressing down and a silent treatment i shall probably remember for ages and ages).

I’ve yet to come across such a massive contradiction between a person’s real vs virtual life but it serves to remind me that nothing and no one can be as good as they seem to be or pretend to be.

But then I’ve never come across such squandering of riches in my life. People spend away their money recklessly. Who spends away their entire self?

The ambition

Let me be a little girl with a soap bubble blower in my hand.

And my words be millions of bubbles, tiny little rainbows surrounding you.

And may you dance in between them with abandon and laughter.

It’s impossible that they will touch you in any meaningful way without bursting.

But let you be the one unweaving the rainbow.

The fleeting bubbles didn’t create the dance though the little girl doesn’t know it.

The dance came first and will be there after they burst and become one with the dust, the letters crumbling in a moment into nothingness.

Yet. For a moment. Let you feel as if you are floating on air.

That moment is the ambition.

The scent of imagination.

I dreamed a scent. I scented a dream.

In my dream there was an unfamiliar room with a subtle yet irrepressible whiff which I couldn’t locate.

Faintly familiar at its edges not the room but the scent.

Maybe I had landed up in a painting.

Like a hound I sniffed around almost hungry and desperate.

There it was.

On the floor.

A dress. Crumpled yet spread out as if discarded in a hurry.

Yes. That was the magnet.

The floor wearing the dress, way erotic than the woman wearing it or the woman without the dress.

And that aroma. That killing tantalizing murderous perversion of my senses.

I had the urge to touch it. To brush the tips of my fingers over it. To crumple the fabric in my fist.

Should I give in? Or should I resist?

Tell me. Tell me. Tell me now.

Should I undress the floor? And bring it to my nose and toss it in a corner far far away?

There it ended. With a gasp. I woke up with a massive massive hard-on.