Monday, November 29, 2010

Celebrating Calvin & Hobbes

To describe childhood as having been magical is an understatement. In truth, there can be no possible description of childhood! And for those of us who have been fortunate, thanks to a bankable familial structure that remains even now intricately woven around us providing unending comfort and security, yesteryears are moments that are cherished for all time to come!

This post in particular is an articulation of celebrating childhood, or rather the child in us that we eventually come suppress as a result of a failed recognition of what we need to be, as opposed to what it is that we truly need to be, the answer being happy!

So for me, childhood stands singularly apart for one very good and big reason, apart from, of course, the many other wonderful things that went into making it. That one factor, or if I may say avenue, of unending happiness and joy came from William Boyd "Bill" Watterson's epic creation of Calvin & Hobbes, which has to my soul, by far, been the most appealing piece of pictorial literature bearing supreme levels of intellectual excellence, yet so elementary and cheerful. That feeling of bliss, I'm sure you understand, is timeless and shall continue forever! And as this momentously fabulous creation has come to turn 25 (though having ceased to be renewed in 1995), I thought it apt to make a mention of how my childhood has been a celebration of times, thanks to this timeless wonder!

Boy, I cannot tell you how much I admire anthropomorphism, in the way it should be - Just like how it has been depicted as in the case of Hobbes! But just before I close this post, I'll leave you some splendid lines from the mannerisms of an avant-garde post-modern icon, Calvin! :-)

I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.

It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.

Pretty convenient how every time I build character, Dad saves a couple hundred dollars

Are you suggesting that this appliance didn't aggravate me with malice aforethought?

Well, it just seemed wrong to cheat on an ethics test.

If warped values are the price of a vicarious thrill, so be it!

I try to make everyone's day a little more surreal.

People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world

These are interesting times. We don't trust the government, we don't trust the legal system, we don't trust the media, and we don't trust each other! We've undermined all authority, and with it, the basis for replacing it! It's like a six-year-old's dream come true!

If it was completely different, school would be great.

Leave it to a girl to take the fun out of sex discrimination.

Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?

As a math atheist, I should be excused from this.

This one's tricky. You have to use imaginary numbers, like eleventeen ..

I go to school, but I never learn what I want to know.

In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks.

That's the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn't good enough for me! I demand euphoria!

To make a bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible.Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words.

I like maxims that don't encourage behavior modification.

I wanted to be a neo-deconstructivist but Mom wouldn't let me

There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A kiss to build a dream on

Introspection is fantastic! It tells you what the mind had envisioned as against that what the heart wanted versus what actually happened. But before you are about to embark upon that quest, make certain what it is that you'd want to be stronger, the head or the heart! And imagination, mind you, can take you far further than comprehended!

A very long time ago, something changed in a manner that I cannot possibly explain! Days seemed as normal as they could be, but the elements were strong, and I found myself whimsically wondering of how I would contend with the wrangling forces hard hitting within the head, as a result of what happened outside of it. And then, there were dreams that the mind persisted for some reason. Walking almost always alone, thankfully, in the expanses of vivid natural picturesque, every moment meant something, something that bore a strange connection to something that I knew nothing of! Heck, must have been surely something!

Curiosity can sometimes get the better of you and unaided, you find yourself going deeper into realms unknown! Time passes by, no doubt, but there is a complete void that it leaves behind, akin to the feeling of work incomplete at the end of every day!

As the evening unfolds, and sweet solitude dawns, there is a heightened perception of what is and not, against what should and not be. Math, I'm sure is easier. But, such is life too! Debates rage, on how and why, often throwing up more questions than answers! And I set to wonder what difference would have been, if I had the moment, for a moment, to make the moment, or something of that sort!

Today, some three decades have come to pass and I cannot term what it is that connection or the lack of it can be termed as. But I do know very strongly that it is not a figment of the imagination. Maybe it all just happened, as it happened, but no denying that it changed a great deal of what life is! There was some kind of gradual gradient like fill-in that I did come to terms with, but the battle is ongoing and pauses are not longer than the need for catching a short breath and exhaling a sigh! Whatever do I call this? Learning? Experience? Or chance?

Surely, no end to efforts in fitting a square into a circle!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rendezvous with the Realist

It is uncommon to meet someone who has a very realistic perspective of life that is commendable, and therefore to have spent some quality time with such a person is truly a memorable experience, one that will surely be lasting in impression!

Issam Siddique is not your next door guy, nor is he one who can be considered to exhibit a characteristic mentality of the herd! This perhaps is his greatest strength, of course, combined by his ability to articulate perspectives very very well. In him, there lies a person of purpose, of clarity and persistence which is remarkably appreciable.

Therefore, not surprisingly, we got along extremely well, thanks to a chemistry that was nothing short of being electric! During the relatively short time that we spent together, we spoke about businesses, excellence, inspiration, mindsets, passion, books and people - all of which found commonalities and agreements among us with surprising ease. One can imagine then, the amount of delight when given a chance to meet someone so similar in thoughts and perspectives, despite very different backgrounds and conditioning!

Perhaps, the one thing that I would appreciate Issam the most would be for his remarkable ability to be cognizant of the world around without ever losing sight of the most trivial detail that many would consider insignificant.

It is not often that you meet someone who reflects truly what is within, but that when you do, you surely will know!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beyond Rangoon

There couldn't possibly have been better news emanating earlier this week from the wires than that of the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. I hope this is the beginning of many marked steps towards political reform in a troubled nation, long embattled by strife, war, a worrying social apparatus and most importantly - a people bordering on hope and despair on an extremely thin margin!

I thought it worthy to share excerpts from her 'Freedom from Fear' speech made in the year 1990, which is most inspiring, conveying a sense of hope to the despaired and promising a future to those who have appear to have none!

"The effort necessary to remain uncorrupted in an environment where fear is an integral part of everyday existence is not immediately apparent to those fortunate enough to live in states governed by the rule of law. Just laws do not merely prevent corruption by meting out impartial punishment to offenders. They also help to create a society in which people can fulfil the basic requirements necessary for the preservation of human dignity without recourse to corrupt practices. Where there are no such laws, the burden of upholding the principles of justice and common decency falls on the ordinary people. It is the cumulative effect on their sustained effort and steady endurance which will change a nation where reason and conscience are warped by fear into one where legal rules exist to promote man's desire for harmony and justice while restraining the less desirable destructive traits in his nature."

Today, in seeing a glimmer of hope, Redefining Oblivion pays tribute to this icon and prays for the well-being of the people of Myanmar, who have long been subjected to unspeakable oppression, in the hope that they may soon be able to live in freedom and dignity, removed from the fear of systematic and socially supported mistreatment and exploitation!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cheerio Master Blaster

It was on this day in the year 1989 that Sachin Tendulkar made his debut as an international cricketer!

To witness someone so consistent in performance, to be able to achieve excellence over excellence, and much more, with unfaltering pace and poise, is a rarity, and truly a matter of immense pleasure, something that will stand unparalleled.

I don't quite see the need to wax over his momentous achievements in this post - somethings simply need no elucidation whatsoever! East is east, spoken of, or otherwise! And do remember, this is coming from someone who has not even the slightest inclination to understand cricket!

Next on my list of books to buy; Sachin: The Story of the World's Greatest Batsman by Gulu Ezekiel

Folks, I'm confused really; there are 5 biographies published about this icon! Which one/s do I pick off the shelf? Any thoughts?

Friday, November 12, 2010

A and I

A and I first met in the year 1997! Firm shake of hands, round of introductions and exchange of pleasantries later, we realized instantly that there was a great deal in common, especially in the manner in which we thought, and that set about the beginning of what was to be a very warm relationship, that was truly one of a kind.

The passage of time brought us closer to one another, earning us the title of being 'brothers-in-arms!' In the offing was a friendship that was being built on very strong foundations of trust, admiration and respect. Eventually, it wasn't too surprising to have found an unspoken level of understanding developing among us. It was as if there was a great deal of inherent trust that has been in existence from much long before. Surprisingly, we were very different from one another and I'd like to believe that the strength of being complementary in togetherness was what brought us together and so definitively closer. A had off-the-shelf solutions to almost everything and viewed situations in a very pragmatic manner, much like how a mathematician would study equations with utmost focus on accuracy and logic!

But there are no perfect endings to wonderful beginnings! What began so brilliantly well was eventually brought to ruin owing to my immaturity and insensitivity, and we parted ways, almost in the likelihood of never being able to come face to face again! Years passed, places changed, perspectives altered and yet bygones remained in the mind with an impassable sense of guilt that the past could have been better scripted.

But that was until now! As is always the norm after a rainy squall, the glorious sun comes up to accentuate the life cycle. Clouds part and there is light, there is a new glimmer of hope and a promise of a brighter future. The storm withers and the beaten path begins to take shape again!

Today, some 13 years after, I couldn't ask for more than our momentous coming together that is historic! Having shed away the bygones, I find myself being welcomed with more than just open arms. My sense of elation cannot be described. There is only so much that I can conjure up in words to tell you how I feel - to be able to relive those wonderful moments once again knowing fully well that this 'homecoming' is a path charted out by destiny rather than by chance!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Rendezvous with the Spider

How someone so wonderful as Vimal (aka Vimmuuu), of the V-Lokam fame became the spider can be read about here and here! But that is beyond the point and not withstanding!

It thrills me beyond words to tell you about a truly wonderful meetup with a fellow blogger, something which was much like the coming together of old friends who have known each other and their ways, comfortably, for a very long time!

Vimmuuu is one of those people who is remarkably composed and characteristic of his display of tranquil poise, something that will win over even the most toughened heart! His ability to be grounded and yet remarkably eloquent is an attribute of charm and character that is rarely seen! Now, add a great deal of affability to the equation and who you meet is someone very warm, cognizant of the many multitudes of life's prevail and most importantly as real as reality itself, without any prejudices whatsoever!

Over some truly heartening southern fare, we found instant bonding that grew in proportions during the terribly short rendezvous that turned out to be a very momentous occasion for me! I can at best describe this as akin to meeting a childhood friend who carried with him a wealth of goodwill and warm gestures that made me feel happy and prized beyond expression!

Truly, it is destiny and not chance that brings people together!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Wishes on Deepavali

Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation! 

-- James Turrell 

Redefining Oblivion wishes you and folks a very happy Deepavali. Please accept my hearty wishes on the occasion, with prayers for good health, well being and prosperity! May the goodness of light and wisdom prevail in our lives enabling us to be better people, always!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Madras Central

Chennai, (erstwhile Madras), is a confluence of many cultures and ideologies, thronging from regional politics of the Tamil Dravidian kind to almost insanely iconic references to Rajinikanth! Being the idl-vada-sambhar capital of the world, it, perhaps, can be accorded as being the titular abode of the quintessential south Indian who oscillates from between Tanjore and Tennessee! So, when the winds of change directed my sails to head to Chennai, a little something spoke from within, in a mix of ecstatic enthusiasm and cautious optimism, and here I am, in a place unknown, calling it home for an indefinite period of time!

At 371 years of youthfulness, this bustling beacon of the South is a behemoth that never sleeps, allowing it's perpetually milling-around denizens to constantly make routine journeys within and outside it's confines that would put cross-country marathon men to shame! It is in this bustling metropolis that I have come to realize how nomadic we have become in the quest for a purpose, an exercise - every once so often, almost always invoked by destiny! One gets a mix of reactions upon landing here, some of which evoke old time charm and yet others that propel in the mind an urge to immediately be part of an expansive stream of professionals living hi-speed lives in a never ending quest for sustenance and success! Visiting Chennai, one immediately feels that there is an ample measure of tradition co-existing with modernity, which is among the many elements that make up a place, as well as the many definitely vivid and stark dichotomies echoed by the dualities of life! Rapidly coming to terms with a vast and ever-changing assemblage of people and prospects, diluted with multitudes of culture and customs, one attempts, in a very personal yet imitable manner, to seep in and become part of the flow that is surely overwhelming in scale.

But there is much more to this place, than just being India's second largest exporter of IT enabled services or being known for culinary delights that appeal to the inside or being an important host of Indian classical and carnatic music! And that is unique, something that is arrived upon differently, purely aided by perspectives and understanding, on a very personalized and individual basis. During the course of my stay here, it is that differentiating factor to myself, that I hope to understand through rich measures of experience and happenstances in my life, along with the many peculiarities that my eyes will so meticulously feed to the mind in order to make a definitive comprehension!

I look forward to very refreshing times, and most importantly to the prospect of being able to meet some very dear fellow-bloggers, here in Chennai, with whom I've shared such a wonderful equation! Suddenly, it appears that there is a whole lot to do, at the mercy of such less time, probably an overcoming feeling that is as a result of the effect of change! This is certainly the beginning of a new era, one of new promises, new challenges and hopefully new avenues of happiness!

So, Chennai, here I am, or must I rather say Vanakkam?