Verbatim

Vacation is a wonderful thing… It’s like rebooting a laptop that has been on for days on end with the exception of some passivity at the mercy of the owner’s inactivity.

I too managed to hit a reset button this weekend, it wasn’t a hard reboot, but a little respite nevertheless. I think it’s a good time to try (yet again) to write! Writing is gradually becoming an old itch than a flourishing habit, maybe I could rekindle this old flame too along with other passions I have managed to rekindle in this vacation. Oh and I am going to post this as it is without a single edit.

I am beginning to appreciate the lack of technological penetration that’s still prevelant in the remote places. It’s difficult to manage without Google or Wikipedia or Yelp, without knowing how far or close the next coffee house is, to look left and right at the streets and signs instead of staring at the GPS, to not know if the restaurant you are going to has a 4 star review on Yelp or not. But it also makes one realise how technology is ruling our lives today. An industry that’s just a few decades old has made us so comfortable and cosy in its abundance that it almost seems unthinkable to have ever lived without it. I feel awkward to write with my own hand and I am no longer sure if it will rain or not by just looking at the sky. So being at a place where your cellphone is reduced to an expensive aluminium cuboid really helps putting things into perspective.

We are becoming remote controlled zombies feeding off a plethora of gadgets and apps. I mean there are apps to even tell you how long you have been on other apps on your phone(one of them is called Moment, it’s okay). How lame are we becoming! Even after being in the software industry, when I hear of the grand plans my brethren have with the Internet of Things, it makes me shudder.

I wonder what the impact of this technological revolution is going to have on the old, forgotten but inevitable advancement Darwin called evolution. Which vital part of our bodies would be reduced to vestigial status eventually… If I were to indulge in wishful thinking, I wish there are some altering patterns that result in less fat accumulation. It’s totally unnecessary in today’s greasy fast food world where pizza is just a phone call away and Amazon delivers groceries at your doorstep. We can do without storing fat in our ever expanding waistlines. And perhaps we would need a little more strength in our knees now that we are living longer than ever before.. Oh and as a concession, we could do with less brain space for memory, it’s all in the cloud now, google glass or its cheaper counterparts in their future releases would even ease off the need for remembering people’s names, as long as they had a google plus/Facebook account.. And frankly who doesn’t?

I don’t mean technology is not good. Apart from providing a livelihood for me and my likes it has undoubtedly made our lives very, and I must really stress on it, very comfortable. But it seems like the pendulum is swinging to the other extreme now and has abandoned what one could call the golden mean.

I could go on about how we have become raptured by Technology but I need to wrap this now, I just missed seeing a deer run past because I was glued to the WordPress App writing this. The irony!

So long!

Why did the Ducks cross the Road…??

Why did the chicken cross the road…? Hard to tell…

In my case, I wonder the same about the ducks. It was a usual evening; I was driving back from work, Riptide playing in the background, mundane things playing on my mind, and there they were… two little ducks crossing the busy road. The cars must be going at about 40 miles an hour, I am sure most of the drivers were as lost in their thoughts as I was; we were all brought to a halt by the two chums who decided they needed to get to the other side to chill out.

It was a nice interlude; I wish I had the presence of mind to take a quick picture. I have seen deer and such cross the road, but that’s usually in wilderness. Besides, they are always in a hurry. Ducks are a different matter, they take their time, one tiny foot in front of the other and it takes what it takes to cross a four lane road. Whatever your urgency, it’s not their problem. There is a life lesson here if you want to look for one, especially for the likes of me who want to do everything in no time! It takes one step at a time and it takes what it takes to get there.

Here’s a cute video I found on YouTube, though these ducks are a lot faster than the two stragglers I encountered the other day. 😀

Then and Now

The wind kissed the surface of the sea… flirtatious yet cautious not to unfurl a passion so high that the waves would come roaring towards it, there was still time for that. The sun was setting, stretching and yawning as it strolled home, ready to put its feet up after a hard day’s work. July was a busy month after all.

While the sun had been burning the midday’s oil – so to speak, it wasn’t all that hard for the people lazing by the beach. The sun was setting, the waves were getting perkier by the hour, and the cool wind caressing their skin sang a sweet melody as it touched their ears. It was an ideal Sunday afternoon for everyone. The kids were playing in the sand; the young loves were having a stroll, the more solitudinous were fishing with chilled beer for company.

Months went by, the sun slogged and people enjoyed – with the ice creams, the iced teas, the Pina Coladas. While the people sang merry basking in the glory of long days and varied activities, the Sun counted days, one at a time… waiting for September… then October… then November… which brings us to today. It’s a Sunday alright, but how things have changed. The Sun closed shop for an evening cup of steaming hot coffee and never came back. The people, feeling dull at home, opened their shades to peak outside, and decided to cradle in the warmth of indoors. The long days of sunshine are all but behind; this is the time of hibernation, of cramming excess reserves of fat around the belly, of making solemn resolves of challenging the cold wintry morning tomorrow with a run and never waking up early enough to make it.

As Ned Stark had warned us, the winter has come.

Though it doesn’t quite fit the occasion, but just for the number of times it’s been called out, I would end this with a tribute to my dear old friend in hiding – summer. Hope to see you soon!

Before the next flight

I had a turbulent landing a while ago – almost like a free fall for a few seconds – a woman was crying, the couple next to me were holding each other tightly, and to bring a finality to the pending doom the air hostess began speaking in an urgent, disturbed voice.

I was thinking “So this is what it feels like!” I thought what if this was it? Me alone on a plane, middle of nowhere – that’s it. How long before my family would know? Would they find me? I know it has happened with many, the missing Malaysian airlines being the most recent example, but there is a difference between when it happens on the news and when it happens to you.

I was wondering if I had said a proper goodbye to my husband before leaving in the morning, and calling out to God, since I have heard that if your final thoughts are about God you go to heaven(and I still maintain I’m not overtly religious). I also realized how much I love being alive. I am grateful that I lived to write this, and hopefully there will be more.

This also made me aware of the fact that I haven’t written about my marriage yet, and it has been exactly 7 months today. I got married in December last year and am in the “happily ever after” phase of my life. It has been the most interesting part of my life so far, has made me acutely aware of myself than anything else ever has. My husband stays as far away from books as I cling on to them. The only exception he makes to reading anything except news is my blog. He is practical while I am dreamy; I am thoughtful while he is impulsive. Together, we are making each other better people with every passing day.

I don’t have my wedding picture handy, but this is a picture of us from last weekend.

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Vegas, Baby!

For a vacation filled with booze and gambling, it’s only fitting to be stuck at the freeway with a bag of Doritos and an empty stomach.

Now that I have a good opening line, I can straight head to a mundane account of my July 4th weekend. Yes, there was booze.. Lots of it? Perhaps not by comparison of the fellow street strollers in the Sin City.. But enough to give a buzz, brighten the glittering silhouettes of the imposing casinos, give a spin to the walk… And yes, there was gambling… lots of it? Definitely not by comparison of the thousands fellow casino convicts had put on the line.. And there was a minor loss, too minor to be mentioned without an indulging grin.

This was my third trip to Vegas. I think it’s about time I form my opinion of the city. I like Vegas, it’s festive undercurrents, the grandeur, the overall carelessness and live-like-there’s-no-tomorrow attitude. I am not a big fan of gambling, I have never relied on probability to pass a math exam and money is by far a more serious stake. So that leaves the strongest reason to go to Vegas out of the picture. I am also not into sleaze which leaves the enticing strip clubs out too, but I have to say – all the men and women calling out at you from the posters with their perfect figures and chiseled bodies are quite a sight. I love the architecture of the casinos, I love how each one is different from the other and yet matchlessly majestic. And more than anything else, I like the feeling of freedom that the city exudes in abundance. Where else can you walk about flaunting flasks longer than a crane’s neck filled with margarita?

If I was asked what was the one thing that I liked the most in Vegas, it would be the abundance of art in every part and pocket of the strip. Then be it the decorations or themes of various casinos or the shows playing all around. I think it is the city you can visit when you haven’t planned a long weekend ahead of time. There will always be something to keep you interested.

It would be naive to end this post without mentioning the glitter and glamour of Vegas ends with the strip. The rest of the city is an all engulfing hostile desert. There are a few things outside the strip too, like a shooting range and a few streets, but I don’t think anything else matches the tourist pull of the strip.

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A Childhood

Some chatter, a caress
Laughter, eyes rolling
Secrets, Promises
Curious exploring

Vivid dreams
Active passive
Books, board games
Cartoons, comics

A brother, an angel
A baby, so beautiful
A tear, a smile
A friend for life

Singing, Dancing
Playing, Fighting
Forgiving, Forgetting
Being, living

Ideas, imaginations
Future evaluations
Philosophical dabbles
“Serious” discussions

A childhood, a flashback
Maddening, blissful
Unthinking, unflinching
Confusing, simple

On a Personal Note

I haven’t written in the longest time, and it has been much longer since I have meditated.

I meditate, not as much as I want to, but enough to realize what I lose when I am not meditating. I lose the power to solve my problems. I also lose the power to not conjure up problems where none exist. I think all the time; the amount of time I waste thinking and the monsters I create in the stories I whip up inspired from the happenings around me, make me think even more – on how to deal with these monsters and how to get myself out of these stories. But I can’t get out of something that’s inside my head, can I?

When I meditate, I can think clearly. I can tune out the noise, see things more objectively and hear the feeble voice of reason tell me what to do.

People often scoff at me; meditation to them is a retirement indulgence, when there is plenty of time to kill and nothing to do. I am too young for all that stuff I am told. Some even confuse it with religious activities. Meditation actually, is a state of thoughtlessness. Just listening to your surroundings, becoming aware of the present rather than chasing unseen butterflies your mind conjures in thousands every minute. It doesn’t need elaborate setups or yoga mats or Gurus or music or incense sticks. It just needs you to close your eyes and not think. And then you will be able to hear the thoughts that truly matter, that have been long waiting in line for your attention but you have been too distracted to notice them. For instance, I just meditated on a plane. That’s when the thought of writing this post came to my mind, among other productive thoughts that I haven’t had in a while. So I am writing it while I am in flight. I had been so involved in the thought of not liking the book I am currently reading and not being able to buy a new book before getting on the plane for a 6 hour long flight that I didn’t realize there were other things I could do too – like write this post! At least I am solving my other, more important problem – of deserting my blog.

Here is a very nice talk on Meditation: Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes