******** to life!

For the past twelve months of life, I have been struggling with the hassle of passwords. I have a user account that demands a monthly change of password, something that hasn’t been used in the past ‘x’ months. Security policy! I acknowledge the goodwill but that does not make me any less frustrated of remembering a mindless combination of alphanumeric, case specific and some special characters! Around that time, roughly an year ago, I came across an article that was a relief to all this distress!

Being in the same lines of password dilemma, the writer described how he came out of his chain smoking, and made up to his broken marriage, all with some random alphanumeric! And special characters. He started off with his password set as ‘QuitSmoking’ or something similar. And boom! He quit it..Exaggeration.. Level – Expert. That’s exactly what I thought. Then he went on saying, how he brought back the romance in life, controlled the temper, and finally made peace with the passwords! Of course I smirked and scoffed. And let it go. But the day came again, prompting for a new password. Scratching my head to find a pattern, I stumbled upon this write up once again. Giving it a shot, I chose an immediate life goal as my next password. Adding some pattern to the digits and the special characters did the trick. Twelve month down, and I still remember my password set last January. Not just easy to remember, these passwords did make an impact on my life. 

Through the past year, I smiled bigger, talked less, and said ‘not later’ to kill my procrastination. I told myself to keep calm for a month, and when it didn’t work, I said to myself again,  to keep calmer. I tuned my mind for a competitive exam, and reminded myself to not lose focus. All through these passwords. That’s one thing that I’m taking with me into 2017. ******** to life! 

22fk again!

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Vestiges of a messed up cake! This might not be anything more to anyone else, but me. To me, this the ultimate embodiment of love and care that could never be contested or questioned! I am elated by this. This mass of fluffly spongy sweetness means so much to me, for it was given to me, specially chosen for me, with utmost care and immense love. Don’t you dare question the ‘taste’ and the ‘quality’, for those are beyond any judgment! This was for me from my dear mama and mami! The delicacy of the cake and the worth of the ‘aashirvadam’ from my chachummai and thatha totally made my day, pushing my mood atop a sharp incline, from a very deep fall.

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And now that’s my petite little pendant of ‘Poornathrayeesan’ from mom and dad and Vidya. It made me so happy she remembered, that she even ‘made’ me an earring all by herself. I felt all the more loved! It totally was a birthday to me!

Is it so ridiculous of me that I find happiness in all these and go upto putting up an image and such pompous words about it? I am not sure how this might look like. As though I am the only one with birthdays or gifts! Besides the silliness, (and my mom’s complaints that I don’t know what to write about and what not to!), I find immense happiness and satisfaction in such infinitesimally small expressions of life and its being. I am very glad a friend so close, remembered my star and wished me! Aren’t friends just expected to know your date of birth from Facebook calendar’s afterall! I am so much more elated by that end of the day birthday wish. Isn’t that quite something to know that you were in somebody’s last thoughts of a day! So much more to be happy, when people could even spare that one moment to wish you, despite the strict uncompromised schedules! And naturally, I feel so blessed when I get a blissful poem as an apology for a forgotten wish!

What more can a person ask for? What made my day, or what makes my life, are fundamentally and ultimately in my little brain and how it interprets things! When I look at this post as my token of gratitude towards this existence, then so be it. And if I look at this as one of my many countless blabberings about insignificant details of life, then so be it!

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Life is but not an empty dream!

I was often caught off guard with this line! Tell me not in mournful numbers, life is but an empty dream! More often than less, I preferred the predicate than the subject itself! And today, a very dear one gave me an eye opener by making me read the complete verse. I see the subject now, with much clarity and bliss.

To my soul and my soulmate, for making me relate to this, and giving me those silent smiles of understanding, over the long long seven-eight or nine-ten years!

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

– H W Longfellow (Long sighted and large hearted indeed!)

The irrelevant void

Voids. Those tiny little empty spaces between life and its monotony. There are way too many voids in each person’s life. Some get filled. Some may not. And some others, may even go unnoticed as they get filled without our knowledge or appreciation. I have been thinking of such ‘irrelevant’ voids in my life, say, for past two weeks. Now, two weeks is fairly a fair amount of time to spare on ‘irrelevant’ things!

I walk a decent distance of half a kilometer every morning, towards my bus stop. And one my way, I have quite a lot of ‘irrelevant’ details to look at and often smile at. The ‘petti-kada’ auntie, the ‘chechi’ by the corporation water supply, the repeated questions about my college and morning greetings from a acquaintance, and the occasional black dog and the dark faced man. And there are (scary) dogs and cats and scary hussle of bikes and cars. And there’s the occasional glimpse of the black dog and the dark faced man. Nothing specifically that I look forward to, but all the more a part of my mornings.

And then one fine day, I walk along and see a black flag by the black dog’s and dark faced man’s house. There’s death in the air, but no matter what, I get my daily bus. So I walk past the house, not looking out for anybody in specific. And so passed a week, and I wonder where the dark faced guy disappered, along with the dog! A death at his home and all I see are stangers around, and kids performing the final rituals. Funnily now, the obvious still hadn’t struck me. And on the seventh day ritual, ‘sanjayanam’, I walk by the place again. Dramatically, through the gathered crowd, I see the dark face photographed and framed, with a garland around it. The obvious finally occured to me. And for the first time, I gazed at the board that bore the dark face’s name and occupation. He was an LIC agent. The irony didnt stop me, but something else did. I was tansfixed for a breif moment, for an awkward amount of seconds.

It is irrelevant, isnt it? Someone I haven’t talked to, have had no association with, whose name I didn’t even know while he was alive! It was just a ‘someone’ who died. But suddenly, it gave in for a large void and deep flow of thoughts. Thoughts that took me in for two weeks or more, and I have been thinking of the dark face and the black dog that suddenly vanished. I wanted to ask around. Did he have cancer? Did he die of a tragic accident? Did he commit suicide? I wanted to ask a lot of things. Almost a month, and I have been still thinking on it. And finally today, I got the answer. He just fell in the bathroom, hit somewhere and just simply died! A plain simple death!

It’s not the death. But the absence. The sudden void that shook me. I am not even sad for him. Come on! I didnt know him at all! But I miss some presence in that road, in my mornings. A haunting feel that makes me realise how many such irrelevant voids make up our lives! Or my life atleast. I missed my acquaintance’s queries and greetings. He too passed away, but the absence wasnt felt this intense.

It’s often not how much you talk or how much you know, but simply if the absence is noticed. I choose to believe my presence may go unnoticed but not my absence. For me, I have always mourned upon absences even when I missed to relish the presence! To go back and look at someone else’s life, and see if your absence is felt, may be a crazy thought. Dare not to do it, anyway. It hurts like hell when the realisation strikes hard! Most presences in life are unacknowledged. Even more, most absences are unnoticed. Voids are, after all, irrelevant by nature!

Yet another year..

All those optimistic ********, stay away. This is so not for you. This is not happy new year. It is just another year. Just another night giving in, and a morning taking it over, in an overly repeated boring cycle of ‘life’! Aw! That’s just dusk and dawn! Not life or anything! Well, my bad I guess.

So people! What’s the whole hungama? I just wanted to cuddle into my shell for one single day without disturbance. And the whole world was out celebrating! Ah come on! It was just another night. Okay, pathetic self realisation. This is not about the world. This is just me. Haven’t you quite heard of ‘denial’? Even the brightest of the world’s minds are found to be intimidated and victimized by denial! So it’s not surprising that a humble soul as mine gives up too! (If you haven’t, you must quite give a read on denial!)

I have been having a rough patch in life. And this is what I do these days. Read about ‘denial’ and Doom’s day! Talk about ‘Inferno’! And in this mindset, when I think about new year, ah chuck that! I dont even think about it! (Denial again? Perhaps!)

One major thing about 2014 – I no longer have a classic phone. My last C5 died of a heart attack on 31st December, 2013. Now that the company has stopped production of the model, I guess, I am left with 2 choices. Either, enter the ‘touch’ era! Or, step back to the ‘classy’ 1100 days! Ah denial!

Hola! Happy New Year pal, for reading thru and not frowning yet.

Retrospective

On a second thought, I was wondering if we should be going at all. Running way late from the schedule, there was hardly anytime to actually spend there. But then again, I thought, we might not be getting another comfortable day like this. Then it was a jet flash spree to get there. Seeing the others already leaving, I was skeptic again. Go in! With a quick hey-bye to the leaving group, I rushed in. The once familiar place now left me (us) wondering. Where to begin from! This stairs? That corridor? The new block? So many new rooms! So many new boards. The trademark aquarium missing. The omnipresent blue and white replaced with unidentifiable hues, and kids walking around in such shades! The place is very much our own, but yet to be disowned in so many ways, for so many reasons! The home to our dreams, passion, spirit, and oneness.

Kendriya Vidyalaya Ernakulam is not anybody’s private property. But so many of us still claim it our own. To the extent that, you feel comfortable to run the computer lab and mock at Radha madam for still being stuck with the same clerical chores! Or to walk into library and put your friends as prey to Jikki madam’s never ending lecture, and smoothly slide into the books. Pull ‘your’ chair, (I had my own chair at our library hours!) and grab a book, stare at the wall hangings and decipher meaning out of horribly lengthy quotes! To walk into Physics lab and look around as if you are looking for a friend, go in and seach all nook and corner, (actually searching for Suresh sir!), like you own the lab! Barge into staff room and ask for teachers, like they once did to us and took us to the ‘task’! And last (totally not the least that we can do. We are capable of so much more in the school!), wait outside the Principal’s office, talk, giggle, laugh, jibber-jabber, do whatever. And distract the Principal’s meeting to bring out Samuelkutty sir out of the meeting! And finally, just stand suspiciously along the corridor or staff room door. Betty madam or Nambiar sir might have something to tell you.

And of all things said and acknowledged, I never expected to hear, “You should have taken English or journalism. That was the expectation from you.” Wasn’t I elated to hear that! Rajalakshmi madam says how would I be ever forgotten! (My companions might have felt bad. But I felt uber good! Hope you girls ain’t reading this! 🙂 ) What about me makes them remember me? Rosily madam of all teachers! I was surprised she remembers us! (read ‘me’ :P) I should have done something more worthwhile than B.Tech! No matter what technological marvel I ‘might’ be a part of, I don’t ever think that any such achievement can replace the disappointment from my English teachers. It is not regret, but ‘missing’ English!

At the end of the day, I am glad. To have had such a pleasant retrospective. To have ran through the corridors once again, and jumped up the stairs, and wandered across the auditorium. Reminded of a past. Of innocence. Of happiness. Of dreams. Of satisfaction. Of friendship. Of the awesome days. Without regret. Bliss.

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In the company of..

“Avasanam njanum unnikuttanum mathram aayi. Njan pinne avante koode maari oridathu irunnu.” (In the end, I was left alone with Unnikuttan. So, I went on with him to sit down at some corner.) My friend complained about her loneliness in a family trip to a relative’s place. The man of the house engaged her dad in a conversation, parallely as her mom was comforted by the woman of the house. The newly wed sister was given company by the husband. So my lonely whiny friend was left alone with Unikuttan, the cat of the house. The imagery of her description was utterly hilarious. But that doesn’t diminish the intensity of the emotion. Walking alone, and being left alone in a group are totally different things. The awkward fitting in is a miserable fate.

To be there always and to be stopped being cared for. To be replaced. I no longer call it people’s selfishness. Once I did. But now I know. People change. So do demands. Situations change. So do priorities. Life has always been a tiring hunt of the priorities. Ever changing and never lasting. For now I think from both the ends. To be ignored by someone and, to ignore someone. Both quite doesn’t seem easy. People still do both. Unfailingly. For that’s how life has taken people thru. Being there forever doesn’t count as much as being there when most wanted. I’s never the duration in time, but the depth in impact.

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Echoes of the silence!

Can silence echo? Does silence take a form of sound? I am wondering. How do mute people think? I mean, I think in English when I communicate in English, or Malayalam or Tamil, or whatever is relevant. How does a mute person think? Aren’t thoughts associated to words? And words to language? And language to syllables? And syllables to sound? Don’t we all need sound to think?! Obviously, no. I know. It’s not the knowledge. It’s the amazement. It’s the sheer marvel of life around you. I see a lot of mute people here. In bus. In the road. Mostly, coz there’s some school/institute for them nearby, which I haven’t come across with yet. So my awe is not totally out of place. I always see them communicate with each other in those crowded buses. They want a seat to sit down so that their hands are free to communicate thru their gesture. I used to feel bad. But then thinking about what might they do in the dark, I often let the thought just pass by and close my eyes in silence.

Ganesh chathurthy. Grand procession was on its way from the heart of the city, to the beach nearby for the auspicious ritual. Huge statues of Lord Ganesh would be thrown into the sea in reverence. The festive mood had stricken the city and the crowd hustled in the backdrop of deafening audio systems. Devotion was at its peak, with the blaring woofers. And I was to get a phone call exactly then, as I maneuvered myself out of the chaos, of noisy people and shrieking sound systems. I could do nothing but to put the caller on hold until I was out of the vicinity. On the way, I spotted two people. Probably, somebody whom I have already met but hard to recollect. The one thing I could connect, however, was that they were mute. They were talking. Calm and uninterrupted. The deluge of the sound systems hardly made any impact on their conversation. Life stood still. As the moment passed, I walked away, turning back at them once more. They were still talking. Unaware of the deafening sound. Unaware of the marvel. Unaware of the admiration.

A Saturday.

A plain usual Saturday. Like just any other day. But suddenly, it’s like one single day just changed lives for a couple of us. Being a regular working day, we should have been at college, celebrating our final ‘pookalam’ at college. Instead,three of my friends and me set off for an adventure. And so was it indeed. An amazing adventure, transcending our perspectives!

What after college was a very challenging question to each one of us. But now, we have something at a distance to point at. Inspired by innovations and ignited by the spirit of a group entrepreneurs, our paths are lit brighter than ever. Venturing into something different, thinking out of the box, and actually working for it, is no longer a distant dream. Seeing people of same wavelength, with similar aspirations and interests, the enthusiasm has touched a record high! We met people. Few of them like us. Few of them better than us. And most of them, nowhere near any comparison benchmark. We made contacts. We got exposed. And that’s uber exciting. To quote an incident that marked the gravity of the event in my brains. The speaker asked, “Have you heard of *so and so*?”. And my instant response, “Hey isn’t that *xyz*’s seminar topic in class?”. Letting the speaker complete his words, I got to know that I was in the same room as someone else who actually works hands-on on *so and so* in real life! And that was the master blow, about where I was then! We see people who talk about things others do. And we also see people who act upon things and make others talk about their acts!

Now the question is simpler. What do you want to be? Talking? Or acting? The dream is still distant. And the hurdles are still strong. But the passion is stronger. No matter the distance, no matter the obstacles. There’s always a chance we might make it. A faint little chance. A chance worth striving for. And that’s the passion we gained. On a plain simple Saturday.

Time-worthy-time!

My dad is a typical average earning Indian. Not too much but just enough, is his shopping slogan! Of most things I am intrigued about him, his where-does-each-penny-go is the one that draws me more! Everytime I ask for something, he gets it for me, but only after his tiring set of tests. First question, “Unakkithu venama ippo?” (Do you actually want this now?). “Enna vilai? Ivvalavu aavuma? Innam rendu kadayila kettu pakkalaame!” (Does it really cost so much? Why don’t we just ask around a few more shops!) That’s pretty much all you need! The question keeps echoing, ‘Do I need this now?’. And if for the nth time, if the answer is still yes, yes, I am getting it from him! He never forgets to add, “Nyayamana karyam naan orikkalum venda chollamtten.” ( I never say no to your fair demands!) And that, to this day, he sticks to his word! The only thing he rejected outright was pizza, which, however, he accepted in a later period of time! The value for money, the need for self evaluation before throwing your wallet across the counter and the judgment of product utility – they are all things he taught me, without his own knowledge. Last week I go home to see this thing, hanging on the wall in our hall! The old rickety clock looked odd there, but I loved the tick-tick and the ding-dong! So I casually asked dad how much did it cost him. He said 1.5k. Silence. I didn’t ask anything more. The more I contemplated on it, the more interesting and funny it seemed! My count-every-penny dad bought this clock! I kept staring at it. Dad somehow felt the scope of an explanation, and he did. “I know its expensive.But it was just a craze to me, to own a mechanical clock”. He started explaining how it needs to be wound only once a week, and how the ding-dong startles him in the middle of the night and on and on. I though of mentioning the mechanical wrist watch we gifted him, but later thought otherwise. It was a man’s passion. To own a piece of elegant excellence, from his earlier life and past. I just had to smile! 🙂 Only to irritate him, I said how nice would it be for me to realise my passion too, by holding a 40k phone, despite the ‘expense’! And right came the response. A more advanced 45k thing would be out on the market, the moment I buy the 40k product. Things keep changing, improving upon their own predecessors. But nothing is ever gonna improve and replace the mechanical ding-dong wall clock. Somethings acquire worth, just be their being, from the past, thru the present, into the future. Beyond the transience of times, beyond the worth of time itself!

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