Monday, November 02, 2015

The Sound of Silence

Phew. This has been a silent space hasn’t it?

I have seen graveyards that have seen more action than this blog. I mean that more as an analogy than as an “I am so cool, I go to see graveyards in the night”. I am not. Cool I mean. I can’t sleep alone at night without keeping the light on, let alone visit graveyards at night.

So that’s that. Now that we have established how sepulchral this blog is and the fact that I am probably the only person who will read this I am going to go ahead and say a lot of nonsense. Just in an attempt to revive this blog which used to such a happy place once. At least for me.

1) The last time I wrote on this space I was 26, unmarried, carefree, stupid, had long hair, was staying in Chennai and teaching children. Three years and one month later ALL of that has changed. I am now 29, very married, more mature than I want to be, have a boy cut now (which I think suits me a LOT :P), living in Hyderabad and not teaching children.

2. So what made me stop blogging. Nothing actually. Just that life caught up. And a more demanding job happened. And the mind became preoccupied with things that I will not even remember 5 years down the line and then feel sad that I left my life largely undocumented. And twitter happened. And suddenly it felt like 140 characters were enough to talk about everything that mattered in my life. Even for a locquacious person like me, twitter worked. It was easy, it was fast, it required less effort and it gave me the false sense of accomplishment of writing and being read.

3. Non sequitur, but I don’t know why people in India are celebrating Halloween. Like really guys. Are the state of affairs in this country not scary enough that now you want to dress up and paint yourself to look scary and go to a party? Now before you read further, let me tell you, I hate parties of any kind. Halloween or otherwise. I hate socializing with people I don’t like or in some cases I don’t know, I don’t drink and it makes me nauseous to stand in a crowd of drunk people who don’t really care whether I exist or not. I prefer one on one conversations in a quiet place where people are genuinely interested in knowing each other and are sober.
My idea of a perfect Saturday night is snuggled under a bedsheet reading a nice book or watching a nice movie or talking to a good friend.

Now that, that is established let me proceed to tell all the zero of you why I have a problem with Halloween.
a) I can’t stand it when people don’t question stuff and do something blindly. Blame it on my teacher genes that I NEED people to question and argue and think for themselves. If more people questioned and thought for themselves, religion wouldn’t exist, caste wouldn’t exist, gender inequality wouldn't exist, the beef ban wouldn't exist, BJP government wouldn’t exist and Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi (puke!) wouldn’t exist. So my fundamental problem with Halloween is not why not? But really why? There aren’t dearth of festivals to celebrate in India. There are too fucking many of them anyway. There isn’t a dearth of opportunities to meet people. We are a bloody overcrowded country. It’s not like we don’t get enough opportunities to look scary. We take enough opportunities to cake our faces with make-up and scare little children and finally we would all do well to eat less chocolate, prevent diabetes, get some exercise and NOT celebrate Halloween. Phew!

b) No one has ANY idea why people celebrate Halloween. As research (cough) for this post I looked it up online and THIS is why Americans celebrate Halloween. It is apparently celebrated to denote the end of Summer. . And people in Chennai are celebrating it. Honestly it doesn’t get funnier than this. Chennai makkal, if you start putting on scary make up to celebrate the end of Summer, you need to drive yourself to the nearest mental asylum because end of summer for Chennai is like end of intolerance in the BJP regime. It doesn’t exist.

4) I have been reading this book called “The Difficult of Being Good” by Gurucharan Das and honestly the book speaks to my soul. It is the quintessential problem I have. When does one stop being good and start being selfish or start doing things that may not be for larger good but for personal good?

I am the last person on this planet to be religious (I am an evangelical atheist) but the book really made me question “what is my dharma”. Is it to do things that are for the greater good of the universe, is it to do things that are for my good or is it to do things that for the greater good of the people I serve. It explores the concept of dharma from the angle of various characters in the Mahabharata (which is my MOST favorite epic btw)

What makes a person good and why be good if it doesn’t come with any tangible “benefits”?  I know that I do what I do in every aspect of life because I think it is the right thing to do and because my conscience would kind of eat me alive if I did something it doesn’t fully agree with. I do believe that I am very intrinsically motivated and extrinsic factors like people, money, fame, popularity do not bother me at all. Especially money. Of the 101 future plans that I have making money doesn’t feature in the top 200 things to do before I die.

But there are times where I ponder about the why? Why do I do it when the only thing I “get” is a deep sense of satisfaction and a sense that I have upheld the values I hold close to my heart.  Which is basically a lot of bunkum if you ask me!
Which then makes me think that maybe I am not as intrinsically motivated as I thought myself to me. Maybe I do seek some sort of validation or external reward because otherwise I wouldn’t feel that way.
Things have always been very black and white for me and I have always thought that gray areas are areas of self-doubt  and uncertainty but this book has really made me think!
It ALMOST made me believe in karma. Do read if you are in the mood for some deep thinking and reflection.

5) In the past 3 years I have stopped doing things that I like doing. Namely

Playing (any game)
Watching plays
Writing to friends
Talking to friends

It could be because work is now SUPER exciting BUT all consuming and work + domestic chores (did I mention I am now married!?!) take up all my time, but I GENUINELY believe that if you want to do something you WILL find time to do it and if you find excuses to not do something then chances are that those things are no longer priority for you. This makes me sad. To realise that the above list of things are no longer a priority for me because other things like cooking, reading books and teaching I still find time to do despite my schedules. I know that as we grow older priorities change, we become different people, our interests and desires change but I do want to go back to a time when all of these things AND work AND people were a priority for me. Pch. This growing older business can really suck.

For the fact that I have not written anything in the past 3 years, I think this is a decent effort and I will try to write more often so I don't come in here three years later and think about how I have not written anything. 

P.S: Why the title for this post you ask? (I know no one's asking but I will still tell. Yes?) 
I always think silence makes the loudest sound and just by virtue of it's presence it makes the absence of sound felt. Like an argument with your spouse when the silence is so LOUD you want to scream or the silence in an exam hall which is filled with the noise of working brains. Like the silence on this blog. Which is screaming with past memories and nostalgia :)