Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Tight Slap!

            Rajesh was packing his bag with alacrity. It was his last day of college before winter break. He was going to take a bus from Pune to Bombay where his parents were living. He had been waiting for this break ever since his previous holidays. It was already 8 pm and his bus was going to leave in an hour and he was hurriedly reaching out for shoes, he had to walk to the bus stop from where he would catch a bus to the bus depot where buses to Pune depart from. He managed to get on the bus to Bombay before time. He was seated in a window seat and next to him, a middle aged women sat down. He had bought himself some stuff to munch on the way during his 5 hour bus ride. He started munching his chips and flipped through a copy of reader’s digest he had bought some time back. He become engrossed in reading the magazine and meanwhile the bus had already left the bus depot. He didn’t realize that the bus had travelled about a third of the distance until the conductor announced a dinner break coming up in about thirty minutes. He started staring outside the window, in darkness outside there was very less he could see, thanks to the lack of or actually no street lights on that road, the only light on the road was the moonlight. He assumed the bus was crossing some rustic area.
A few minutes passed by and the bus came to a sudden stop. Rajesh and the other passengers wondered what had happened. His next seat neighbor was still fast asleep. People in the bus started enquiring the conductor as to what had happened. The conductor informed them that the driver was looking into the problem and the bus would leave in few minutes. Some of the passengers got down from the bus. Rajesh who was getting bored and hungry got down to get some fresh air and a little walk. He decided to saunter a little bit under moonlight. He walked a little distance trying and turned back every now and then to ensure he had not moved a lot away from his bus. At a distance, he saw something like a woman like structure in a distance. He turned back to see if his bus was still there and to his surprise this time, he could only see darkness and what seemed like an empty road. Slow and steady fear started gripping him. He tried to run back to where he thought his bus was but he found nothing on the road, not even any oncoming vehicle.
              Terrified, Rajesh remembered the woman like structure and decided to walk towards that thinking he would find some place, some human contact. His fear was increasing with every second. His head was also scaring him about trying to go find the woman like structure. Nevertheless, his legs were pushing him in the direction where he saw a woman like structure walking. He told himself, that it must have been some real woman and she might have family and home around and they would be able to help him. Full of fright, as Rajesh started walking further, suddenly he feels a hand on his shoulder and it completely startles him. He turns back and next to him standing is an old village man, who asks him as to what he was doing alone here. With fear and a slight relief he explains to the old man about getting down from his bus and his bus vanishing. As Rajesh was talking, suddenly, he felt some insect moving over his feet, trying to see what was it, he looked down at his feet and incidentally his eyes fall on the old man and Rajesh realizes the old man had no legs. Almost nerve wracked, he looked up to see no one standing there. He is scared to death and starts running away from there, turning back not even once. He fearfully moves ahead in search of some oncoming vehicle or some real human. He was running as fast as he could and sees a river like body towards his right. Having run for a long time, he was really thirsty and with fear, he decides, he could drink a little water and might come across boat in the water body. He goes to the river and bends down to drink some water and suddenly a hand pops out from inside the water ,he feels a chill in his spine again and without even drinking the water, he starts running away as far as he could from the river. He runs faster and keeps running. After several minutes of running, he sees light at a distance. This time he is scared of going towards the light, but nevertheless, his fear drags him towards the light. Slowly he sees a huge bell and realizes, the light was coming from a temple. His joy knew no bounds as he now got the confidence of seeing some real human and if not anything else, his heart was telling him that god would help him.
                He is so overjoyed seeing god’s idol that he goes and hugs the idol. Suddenly he feels a tight slap on his face. Startled he opens his eyes wondering why god slapped him, only to find the woman sitting next to him on the bus glaring at him. It was then that he realized that all this while he had been dreaming and thinking it was god, he had hugged the woman sitting next to him who promptly slapped him on his face.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

If I had a time machine

Me when I was 3-4 years old
What would I do if I had a time machine? Obviously I would travel in time, either in the future or in the past. I am still often skeptical about the ability of time machines to travel back in time, as much as I am skeptical about time machines themselves. Either ways, assuming time machines work and that I am in possession of a time machine, I would choose to travel back in time as opposed to traveling in the future. I like the present for several reasons which compels me too as believe that future would be great too. Unlike several human beings, I am not too inquisitive about knowing the future. Future is going to show up anyways. Instead I would rather go back in time and re-enjoy some lovely moments. I wish I could go back to the age of four where I was loved by one and all, not that people hate me now, but, those days as I hear from stories from parents and other relatives, were awesome. I was the apple of not just my parents’ eyes, but of most people in the family. I used to be extremely talkative. People in my family still remember those days. I used to even sing out aloud and needless to say, it used to sound disgusting even then J, but I had an aplomb during those days, which I very much miss. I never had a care in the world as to what others would think of me. I was able to talk to anyone and everyone, I was able to sing, jump around. Probably most children do it, but my parents had made recordings of all my talks during those days and when I hear them, I really wish I remained younger. I could always run around my parents with no responsibilities, no bounds on my thoughts or my talks or my actions. I had to study but not work; often my parents would feed me with delicious food. I was surrounded by people all the time, sometimes just because they wanted to amuse themselves talking to me. When I was bored, I could go out and play as opposed to breaking my head with a laptop. Above all, I didn’t have to use my brain too much and there was relaxation all in the air, no tension of insomnia, no tension of having to wake up soon in the morning, no stress of loneliness, no anxiety, no voices in the head. One thing I enjoyed the most about being a kid was the relief from stress of being atleast near to perfect. As I grew up, I have always had a stress about perfection. So given a time machine, I would go 22 years back in time when my life was so much more exciting and so much more interesting. Where in time would you go?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Celebrate Independence!

While today may just merely be a national holiday for some, for most Indians, today means a lot. This day marks the independence of our nation and the independence that we enjoy. While we keep taking from the nation, there is very little we give back to our nation. In all cases, I don't think it is fair on my part writing about giving back to the nation, because I am also one of those several irresponsible Indians who don't care much about giving back to the nation. But talking about independence, independence of nation was struggle by several freedom fighters and we succeeded. Meanwhile independence of our minds is still a constant struggle for most of us. We are bound by so many things in life. Take this for instance, I would like to study fine arts. But then the reason, I took up engineering and then Masters in Engineering Management and then the job with Deloitte was only because I wanted to make money and wanted to get myself a name in this so- called society. I was very well bound by my own thoughts and paradigms. So many us become lawyers, doctors because we either think that is the right thing to survive in this society, or because our parents wanted us to become lawyers. But few of us have independent thoughts and allow them their thoughts to remain so and follow their hearts and go on to do what they love to do in life. While I do understand that several of us are bound by situations like poverty, family issues etc where money is more important than our thoughts, but for all those people for whom it is possible to follow their hearts, independence of mind should be no struggle. While part of me feels I have taken the necessary steps towards following my heart by quitting my job and getting back to India, yet, I personally feel that I still have a long way to go and I would not forget the gratitude I should have for several good things in my life, including great parents and god of course because of whom, I can follow my heart and do things I love as opposed to doing things for society, for others etc. So many of us possess so many talents inside us and fail to nourish them because of a complacency within ourselves or because of the fear of being different or because of unforeseen circumstances. Parents and family play a major role in independence of our thoughts. For instance, several parents have paradigms that their kids' academic performance alone is an indicator of how good their kid is compared to other kids in the society and also feel it is an indicator of how good parents, they themselves are that they have provided great education to their kids. Some parents however instead of trying to find their own successes in their kids allow their kids to think independently and act accordingly. Independence definitely comes with responsibilities. Obviously if in the name of independent thoughts we know we are marching towards our own destruction, then there is no point in claiming any independence. So it is time to nourish, nurture and celebrate independence of both our nation and our minds.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A New Beginning!

I managed to reach India and quenched my sleep thirst too. After a long time, I was able to sit quietly and reflect upon how my life has been in the last couple of years and how I should I take it from here on. I had ample time back in the US too, to do this, but I could never even successfully attempt it, thanks to the million thoughts and voices that would flood my mind and make me lose it. Here in serenity, I was able to placidly think about what I am going to do in life going forward. While there is a lot of anxiety involved, this activity is definitely better than working in an office and feeling stuck and not being able to do anything about it. I was sitting and discussing my various thought out options with my mom today. I also looked for some volunteering opportunities so I could do some volunteer work to both feel good and also to while away some time with a sense of having done something worthwhile. While I have not yet completely decided what my future plans exactly are, yet, I am weighing my options carefully this time and I really want to do things which will make me happy and peaceful in the long run, unlike giving me a lot of money but stealing my peace of mind from me. That being said, I am off now to calculate my options for a new beginning.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Acme!

Today marked a pinnacle point in my life. I submitted my resignation at work this afternoon. While I could go into details of what provoked me into quitting my job suddenly today, I personally don't want to discuss about my well my ex- firm here. I always felt that I was not the employment material, probably because of my very nature and the type of person I am. I am more of the person who would rather do something which is all mine, like run my own business or conduct research or may be sit and counsel people but not fit for being employed by somebody and working under them. I am not the strongest self these days and did cry this afternoon following the submission of the resignation email, but I feel much better since evening. I got inspired to write this blog post  from a blog buddy's blog post (http://kaushiknarasimhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/flight-to-freedom.html) which upon reading, made me feel was written for me, considering my present state of mind. I am soon on my way to catching the flight to my freedom. While this resignation may not really be an end of US forever for me, however for the time being it definitely is, even if I am coming back to the in coming years. As of now, I want to go back home and rejuvenate myself and fill up my creative well again and enjoy my freedom. I am tired of losing my mind and losing my sense of self and reality, my confidence and several of my abilities. It may be unfair to put all the blame for my emotional unhealthiness on the US, but for the time being it is convenient for me. I have been away from home for almost 8 years now, but my life changed completely after coming to the US. I came here chasing my dreams of higher studies, completed it successfully. Then I wanted a job with an H1B visa, and I was one of the first few in my class during Masters to get a job and that too with one of the Big Four Consulting firm. But none of these probably gave me peace of mind or a sense of satisfaction and as a matter of fact the effects on me were only depressing. The sense of freedom I had while I was a student since I loved studies and loved what I was doing was almost never there. There was of course a lot of money, but that was overwhelming too, and all I did was throwing around money extravagantly. Money is an important part of life, but I have lived, experienced and now totally believe my thoughts which I have always had, that money is not going to bring you happiness, money is not going to take your loneliness away from you, money is not going to shower you with love and support when you need it. I am sure this is a marking a new beginning in my life. My ticket to freedom is now just a day away.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cough and depression

I am in a total rambling mood right now and planning to BS all over this blog post.There is already sufficient depression in my life and adding fuel to the fire is cold I caught in Harrisburg over the weekend, I don't know how. Theraflu, NyQuil , DayQuil, Tylenol Extra Strength and what not, nothing really seems to be helping though. Life sucks in the US, not that I don't catch cold in India. I have a defective nose - a deviated septum and sinusitis too and no wonder, catching cold takes less than seconds for me, but it takes sometimes weeks together to get rid of it. But coming back to catching cold in India. Doctors are definitely more accessible and easy to get to as compared to the US and I am sure people living in the US would agree. You have to call a doctor and wait for an appointment even if your illness is being very difficult to manage. Meanwhile in India, as much as we criticize the huge queues of people waiting in the doctors' clinics, there is always access to a doctor when you need it. I began this blog post by connecting depression and cold. I would be a great candidate to discuss depression in detail, infact I might be able to dedicate one whole blog to it, but that is not the point here. When you have a cold, you feel stuck and you feel low, particularly because you are not sick to the core of being bedridden, but at the sametime normal functioning becomes really difficult which is what happens when you are depressed too. You keep hoping for things to be fine one day just like you wait to get rid of the cold soon. When I have a cold, I find everything gloomy, dull and sad completely similar to how I feel when I am depressed. I feel like doing nothing, but at the same time, I find it difficult to sleep or speak. There are outbursts in the form of sneezes which can be compared to emotional outbursts and there could be constant coughing which can be compared to periods of constant crying in depression. I guess I  am rambling endlessly about cold and depression because right now, I am stuck up with both depression and cold. Cold is being helped by medicines and as for depression, I have found a good solution for it, which will be implemented soon and I will post about it on my blog. I am moving closer to my road of freedom.