Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Ramparts of 2017

Aside from Franck Vergh's magnificent monochromatic memories of the cold war times, Jason Silva's marvellous insights about anything under the sun, George Carlin's timeless, bold, and extremely hilarious views, David Whyte's intensely wise summations of life itself, and some of the finest books that I have so voraciously and passionately consumed, this year has been one of epic passings. What prevailed during the beginning has long since come to pass, and what occurs now was hardly speculated. In that sense, it has brought about such a phenomenal depth of change that the very scale of it seems incomprehensible in hindsight. To sum it up, life's been shaken and stirred!

But, I couldn't be happier to have gotten outside of my comfort zone, that little inconsequential, paltry, and stale cocoon, with its perpetual shadows and inhibited views. It reeked of putrid familiarity and wasted charm to be in there. Some sort of arrested existence, as if a veil had hideously enveloped the senses and prevented comprehension. Inertia couldn't be better defined.

So, symbolic as it seems to welcome a new beginning, it is, for me, equally important to consign away relics of the old and await the promises and possibilities of the new, and that is truly what life's purpose seems - to let go and to embrace in the spirit of worthy passage and to continue a journey of curiosity and contentment.

May we find new horizons!

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Human Faculty

I'm oft left to wonder how the human mind could construct a form in ways that cannot possibly be imagined and yet be thoroughly enthralling, to say the least. Take, for instance, art, literature, music, or cinema. It is ceaselessly amazing to witness and celebrate human creativity and to realize how marvellous our minds truly are.

What would be more wonderful than to feel absolute rapture, exaltation, and awe when one chances upon a good book or when listening to some fine music? You could say the same about a lot of other things - the outcomes of creative human endeavour and the expression that it results in.

I wonder what fuels creativity. Is it passion? Or desire? Could circumstances and the manner in which one's perceptive abilities are oriented contribute to creative expression? But, I suppose my question is rather purposeless. I should be asking if we reward creativity enough, for it to be taken (and pursued) seriously

Sure, it is easy to imagine a world without human beings - but, would it be easy to comprehend a world without the expression of human creativity?

Friday, December 22, 2017


What do you make of silence? The experience of extreme quiet, away from all the mechanized din that takes up every moment of life on the wheel (you know what a hamster wheel is, don't you?). What does it take to stop, to examine, to breath, and to revel in nothingness? To let thoughts flow unremittingly and without restraint or consequence, to let go of plans and desires, wants and needs, ambitions and goals. What would it take, even for a moment?

And then, I pause to look up at those marvellous, tall trees that tower into eternity, uttering not so much as even a whimper about the prominence of their timeless existence, the wind that carries along, all-permeating, and yet subtle, the birds and the beasts, their calls never out of place or unsuitable in the world they are a part of, the elements and their natural accordance, all in perfect symmetry and synchrony. How much there is to celebrate in awe the wonder of the natural world. How magical it seems to revel in the perfection and yet the elementary, everyday occurrences of nature. How proverbial, poetic, and romantic it is to be able to partake in this marvel.

Why is it that the noises we make are so damningly difficult to live with? Why don't we fit into the natural world with the same ease and adeptness that all other beings possess? The answer is perhaps in the understanding that we do not belong in such soulful sanctuaries. And, suddenly this realization, momentary as it is, allows me to contend with the miseries that grip my life - the senseless chatter emanating from the television, the odious ringing and beeps of the cellphone, the inconsiderate, distasteful, and uncharitable garble of people around and about, the nauseating pandemonium of vehicles and everything artificial, the commotion and racket of all farcical, clownish religious establishments (and their equally appalling proponents). I could write endlessly about this.

But, silence or just the thought of it - it is meditatively calming and soulful. In silence, I could live on, forever.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Lone Fox Dancing

Books are gateways to idyllic journeys into far-off worlds. They are expeditions of indulgence, for in undertaking such voyages, one is transported to enchanting places and multitudes of emotions. And, as indulgent I am in such gleeful delights, which is, I suppose, the supreme pleasure, of most bibliotaphs, oftentimes, I find myself buying more books than I can possibly consume.

So, one morning, on a whim, and to fight off a gripping sense of inertia that has overrun me lately, I went about to rummage my stockpile (not a 'collection,' since I haven't graduated to such an exalted stature, nor I possibly will), to find myself staring at the 'Lone Fox Dancing' - The Autobiography of Ruskin Bond, a treasure I had acquired not so long so.

To say that the prose was eclectic would be an act of self-aggrandizement and arrogance on my part (for I possess no skills or qualifications to review such a prodigy). But, say it, I nevertheless will, for that is how this master chronicler has woven his account.

Not so long after, I trudged about on winding paths in the misty hills on which stood tall pine and deodar. Overcome by a deep sense of nostalgia (of times from my own childhood spent in the hills of Ooty), I began to understand the ways of a man who had trounced the oft-inescapable (and enforced) notion of a regular life - to search for freedom, for deliverance, to undertake a peregrination of his longing - 'to put pen to paper', as he called it. It wasn't fanciful or lucrative. Far from it, actually. Steeped in strain and struggle, it conveyed the unbounded eagerness of a man resolved to do what he loved. Not that he envisioned it would take him any place. I suppose he didn't care for the outcomes as much as he was enthralled by the machinations of his life and the blissful wilderness that he was so purposefully ensconced in. I doubt he cares even now.

Bond's account is not macerated with his literary pursuits. While there are rich portrayals of that endeavour, the book is much larger than that effort. It is life itself, the comings and goings of people, the rich description of deep, personal emotions associated with such occurrences, some pleasant, others acerbic. It is a work of outstanding artistry that quite effortlessly articulates the mind of a reticent man (in which, being quite withdrawn myself, I found reassuring comfort and tenderness)

In the end, which came about much sooner than I had expected, I was left feeling joyful and troubled - The first for obvious reasons, while the latter for having finished the book all too soon!

But, deep within my being will remain etched forever those snow-capped hills, bungalows from a distant past, coniferous trees, the taste of tangy apricots, and the astounding views from a window that opens to the mountains.

Long may the lone fox dance!