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Getting Zen’ed!

Had this book gifted to me almost a year ago by my cousin with a quote on it “Enjoy the ride and share the adventure.” I am talking about Robert Pirsig’s, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

I guess you need to mature and the book has to grow on you. You cant force it upon yourself. The very fact that this is the 3rd time I have started reading it. And it make more sense every time I read it (I did not read the book in its entirety in the 1st two attempts).

Here I am now, sharing a few quotes from the same.

“At first this difference seemed fairly minor, but then it grew . . . and grew . . . and grew . . . until I began to see why I missed it. Some things you miss because they’re so tiny you overlook them. But some things you don’t see because they’re so huge. We were both looking at the same thing, seeing the same thing, talking about the same thing, thinking about the same thing, except he was looking, seeing, talking, looking from a completely different dimension.”

“The world of underlying form is an unusual object of discussion because it is actually a mode of discussion itself. You discuss things in terms of their immediate appearance or you discuss them in terms of their underlying form, and when you try to discuss these modes of discussion you get involved in what could be called a platform problem. You have no platform from which to discuss them other than the modes themselves.”

“When you look directly at an insane man all you see is a reflection of your own knowledge that he’s insane, which is not to see him at all. To see him you must see what he saw and when you are trying to see the vision of an insane man, an oblique route is the only way to come at it. There is only one access to him that I can see as passable and we still have a way to go”

… to be continued

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Walk of life.

Happy New Year 2014.

The walk of life, Now why exactly did I  name it this way? I dont know, it was spontaneous. January has been kind to me providing experiences of innumerable forms. Walking through it I realized if you want something you can just have it. Just need to desire and direct your energies to towards it.

More than that, as you walk further on you push yourself into various loopholes and corners, the answers of which are within yourself. I felt it is the way you interpret the question that is being asked and how hard you can push yourself to answer it. I mean answer it, outright straight. The more twists and lengthier the answer, more energy is wasted in coming back to the same point. Coz no matter how badly you avoid it, one fine day you have to answer it being true to yourself. Quicker the better.

Pushing yourself hard is another thing. Probably the most important of all. You have to hit the limit. That is when your mind starts playing tricks on you. All sorts of tricks. As a trekker, that may be something like, making you realize how hot/cold the place is, how dark, scary and steep it is, how physically weak YOU are. It will present to you all a platter full of excuses. You choose one/many or throw away the platter and march on. You will have to sometimes literally instruct your legs to keep stepping forward. May be screaming at them at times. A test of mental strength, determination and instinct. You know you have worked hard to reach here. Do you want to go straight ahead or just take detours and be at the same place or rest or return back is your choice.

There will be moments when you feel left behind, but there will also be moments when everyone is behind you. When you are burdened with the former thought, you would probably feel weak, depressed, may be dejected. But moments when everyone is behind you, you will know that the crowd really doesn’t matter. You will have your own weaknesses to confront with. These moments may bring out your strengths as against the others, but it will also bring up your own weaknesses. The weaknesses you had kept hidden inside or some which you may not have been wary of. How you battle them, is again up to you.

Concurrently you will meet a lot of supporting hints. Some call it cosmic, some call it instinct. How you interpret these also makes a difference. They help you either answer the question or sometimes help you interpret the question in a manner you had not thought of.

All of these will eventually help you reach the top. What is top, I leave to an individual’s perception.

Auf Wiedersehen!

 (PS: Not an attempt at Evangelism. But experience.)

A walk in the park (literally)

It does not take much effort to get up and get going with the things that you really want to do. All you need is zeal and a little push upfront. The laziness that we tend to inherit with ease should be put up against a passion, an obsession of sorts. That’s a real deal, a challenge where the chances that passion will come second best are a bare minimal. This what I thought while sipping through the last bit of tea left.

I headed to Cubbon Park this morning. Didnt have anything on the agenda. Just picked up the camera and I set off. And I believe it always works best that way. I didn’t know what to expect, so the fear of dejection is left at home in the first place . That is what traveling gets to you. You tend to accept what around you, get awed, amazed, surprised and sometimes motivated. 

Walking along the long, crisscrossed jogging tracks takes you through a number of stories untold. Some are on the verge of getting buried, seems more like that they want to. So that the park is cleansed and rejuvenated again. While there are some which are etched on the bamboo stems, tree barks and the sun bathing rocks.

As you move around the place, you are left wonder-struck to see how elegantly the sun rays kiss the earth. Several of them together escaping through the majestic trees form a scene worth capturing. The trees must have seen generations of humans, animals and birds here. The have stories to tell, about seeing children learn to bicycle with their parents, see them grow up and after a few years in the parenting/teaching role themselves. Stories about how a few colonies of birds first came in, grew up and are now a diverse community.

I captured a few images and walked aimlessly. I didn’t know what would come next, but the present itself was so enthralling that sometimes a step forward would try and negate with a step back.

May be I didn’t explore the entire park. But then I wanted to live in the things I saw and imagined to be. One of the most pleasant experience was standing amidst the bamboo plantations. The breeze, the light, the music, it was perfect. By music I mean the sound of the leaves and the tall bamboo stems make when up against the wind. Bliss!

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. – Henry David Thoreau

It is, indeed!

“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always … so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.”  – Yann Martel, Life of Pi

“Music is a bird’s answer to the noise and heaviness of words. It puts the mind in a state of exhilarated speechlessness.”  – Yann Martel, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

― Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore

Random hedgehog

It was all going round in his head..Circling like hands of a clock..well not necessarily with the rules that the clock adheres to.. this motion was random.. Nothing seemed right and nothing wrong.. His heart and head had lost the co-ordination. The thoughts were not coming out.. It was all getting messy inside..in a trap of cobwebs sort of.. The thought was stuck in it.. The webs were getting all the more stronger.. The more the thought tried to escape through..the more entangled it got in the web..

He needed to vent out his thoughts.. show his emotions.. He didn’t know how to.. The more he thought about it, the more hazy the frame would go. He didn’t want to think anything. He wanted to be just plain intoxicated. He knew that the time was difficult and some day it would change.. His mind would accept these notions but his heart would be in a blunt denial. Hard facts over hard opinions, each trying to outweigh the other. The balance was lost. Was he thinking too much or was it all just noise blurring out his own voice.

As we looked upon..

They held each others hand and started to run. They had always dreamed of climbing the beautiful mountain which was right now in front of them. They looked at each other and with a glee continued to run.

Their first hurdle was a vast spread of land covered with tall grass. Infused with the excitement, they ran. Neither of them complained. He held his sprint to match her speed but she too was quick. He held her hand firmly which made her run faster. She believed in him.

As they neared the end of the grass, looking over was a rivulet. Her excitement knew no bounds now. He felt it was surreal. But the happiness in her eyes brought a greater joy to him. The rivulet had boulders and pebbles in it. The water was crystal clear. She sat down on one of the boulders and dipped her legs in the water. The water was ice cold. The long run had warmed her body which made the water feel all the more biting cold. He sat besides her holding her hand and looking at the majestic mountain.

“Its been so long we had this dream, today it is coming true” he said to her softly.

“Yes. This place. It will be our symbol of togetherness” she said as she rest her head on him.

“You know, I always wanted to go there on top and shout aloud to tell the world how much I love you. Today I want to live it.” he said to her pointing at the mountain.

r_71

Karma..

After having decided to visit a local book store to purchase some study books I set off for the market. At the door, Guttu gave a sad look to remind me that his dog food was over. I gave a peck on his forehead and promised him his fav pedigree. With the cycle, scooter and car conveying options clipped off the only one left was bus. It was early evening and monsoon had just hit Goa.  Battling the wind and rain with my umbrella, I reached the bus stop.

I boarded the bus half drenched and my cellphone set abuzz. It was Azhar on the line asking about my whereabouts. Due to problem in the network I told him I ll ring up once I reach the market.

As I was purchasing the books my cellphone rung again. It was Azhar and he informed me that he was around the area where I was. So we decided to meet up for sometime. I was craving for chicken shawarma for the past two days. We eat at The Roosters at Colva coupled with some BR ice-cream and head back home.

As soon as I enter the house, Guttu jumps onto me and sniffs the two bags that I was holding. He was waiting for his food all the while. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to get it. The bags that I was holding had my books and sharwarma parcel for Saurabh. Mom came out from the kitchen and gave me a good stick for not getting the Guttus food.

But fortunately for Guttu, there is a pet shop just a km away. It was drizzling a bit and breeze was chilling. As I was jogging off to the store, I noticed cute dog on the road side. It was soaked in rain. I continued my jog to the store, purchased the dog food and started to jog back home.

I noticed the dog again. The dog was sitting in the very same place in the rains getting wet and shivering. I crossed on to the other side of the road and tried to get near it. It started running away. I quickly opened one of the tin food cans, emptied half of its contents on the paper bag and pushed it towards the dog. The dog came closer and started eating the food hurriedly. I petted twice on its forehead and it responded by wagging its tail.

I remembered, Guttu was at home waiting for his dinner. I jogged back home as fast as I could. As I entered, mom told me she mixed some of the chicken pieces from the shawarma in rice for Guttu. Guttu had already eaten his dinner by the time I was home.

At first I was mad at mom for making me get the dog food in the night midst the rains. I came to my room and set back.
I looked back at the entire events and thought may be this whole thing happened only so that the dog on the road side could for once taste and eat tin food. May be it was destined to eat that share. A share that may help it to beat the cold for a day. It was all in his fate, just written somewhere that a person will come and give it some food. Its all Karma I thought, you do good and someday the good will find its way back to you.

(PS. Ignore the grammatical errors and typos and use of slangs. I do not own the copyrights for the image used here. It is clicked by Saurabh Naik.)

Getting Started…

This is first of the many posts that shall follow.. Random, mad, a little cranky thoughts..

Been off this platform for more than a year..

Haven’t been reading and traveling as much as I did before.. But the journey that I look forward for holds a lot of promise…

In the last 6 months, a lot of things have changed.. Or may be my perception about them has…

The road since then has been getting narrower…footsteps tend to fumble over loose gravel..

You need a clear mind and a firm grip to balance and take you forward.. One wrong foot and you are all out.

Back to level 1 with 1 life less.

Only thing that has remained the same is the determination and the force to achieve.

Technically, A push or pull is called force..

But this one has been only pushing me to limits. Making me dream. Making me believe, that the dawn tomorrow will be better than this dark night.

And at this moment if one were to ask me…What is it that is driving you? … I would say it is THIS force!

It has always been there… And I hope it does forever.

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