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Archive for November, 2008

are you lonesome tonight?

I lost. I lost miserably. I was almost shattered. In spite of knowing that it won’t last long, this pang of defeat, I was still shattered. And I thought she would feel so too. But she didn’t. She had a life of her own. She was listening to an entirely different song, registering totally different emotions from the situation. And I felt so lost, so lonely. And the weird part is that I didn’t blame her for not being sympathetic to my situation. It was more like a realization. Of what? I am not too sure. Let’s say it just brushed past me and I was too meek to look at it in the face.

The realization:

It is a very unpleasant fact as facts many a times are. Harsh truths. Unspeakable realities. We are on our own in this world, have always been so. We were born alone, we die alone and loneliness or rather aloneness touches us every now and then throughout our life too. And many a times it’s not a very pleasant emotion either. So the struggle to brush it off.

a_room_nearby

Loneliness can be quite an ordeal at times. It is one of the most profound and disturbing of human experiences to strike people in their lifetimes. If we look closely into this sense of loneliness, we find that it is composed of several elements: nostalgia, sadness, silence, and a yearning imagination for “something else” not here, not now. These are probably the times when we wake up from illusions that life has to offer, with all the relationships and emotions, which have people in them. So much is the dependence on them that our story is incomplete without them. The absence of these characters can shake the very basis of our play.

But then, many a times it’s not so unpleasant either. Our language has widely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone. The puzzle is, why is it so pleasant sometimes and so unpleasant on other occasions?

Being by ourselves means no pretensions, no following unwritten codes of social conduct, no expressing interest in something just because you are expected to, no flattering others just so you don’t end up hurting someone. On the contrary being ourselves is being original and honest. We know everything about ourselves, well, better than what most other people do anyway, we agree with whatever we have to say (like duh!) so no arguments. We love ourselves (at least I do). So there you go, you are as such the best company you can ever have.

“We wait all these years to find someone who understands us, I thought, someone who accepts us as we are, someone with a wizard’s power to melt stone to sunlight, who can bring us happiness in spite of trials, who can face our dragons in the night, who can transform us into the soul we choose to be. Just yesterday I found that magical Someone is the face we see in the mirror: It’s us and our homemade masks.”

Ending on a philosophical notes, a few lines from Siddhartha.

Over the earth there lead
Many roads and paths,
But all have
The same goal.

You can ride and travel
By two and by three,
But the last step
You must go alone.

So there is no knowledge
Or skill or ability so good,
But that everything difficult one must
Do alone.

-Hermann Hesse

However uncalled for it might be, or however desirable at times, loneliness is a part of our life whether we like it or not. Ok, now you may yawn.

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king’s cirlce

Some places are special to you. They remind you of memories which have as if frozen. You can’t get hold of them. And they only get distant with time.

King’s Circle hasn’t been renamed as most other places in Mumbai/Bombay. So it somehow manages to sound Victorian and ancient though it’s actually not the case.

King’s Circle, where I would go for evening walks with my grandparents, tiny fingers curled up around their soft palms, jumping a few inches in the air as both would lift me up a bit. That was when I was a five, dependent of older people’s mercies to go places. :P

Then came those visits to buy books with mommy dearest. It started with Enid Blytons and Judy Blumes and by the time i reached Sydney Sheldon and John Grisham, the sister replaced the mom.

King’s Circle is a brilliant place to buy novels. Second hand as well as err… pirated versions.

And books is not all! New shops open up almost every month. There is Madras Cafe, New Yorker, Birdy’s (i think). An evening out with friends wandering about in cafes and book stalls, when we are supposed to be attending classes. I have done a quite few of those :D

The ‘circle’ is in fact a garden named Maheshwari Udyan. A jog in the garden followed by a coffee in Madras Cafe is my idea of a perfect start to the day. I had to take my mom to Madras Cafe to make her believe that coffee is indeed made that dark in some places! It is a struggle forcing her to make strong coffee at home. But yeah. It’s nowhere close to Tiff kaffee :D

If you ask a random Mumbaikar, she/he probably wouldn’t think that it’s such a great place after all. But it has a special place in my heart :)

Boohoo. I miss Mumbaaaaaai :(

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