I think as a personal experience there are only four emotions that drive you to share something with the world, in my case “writing”. The strongest is anger, sadness being the close second with concern/ observation/ analytical being the third and last but not the least instinct to share itself (you may also call it animal instinct or sense of importance).
I usually work best when I am angry or analytically observant. Here I am the observer. I could have easily written this as a story, trust me, but here I am writing it more like social commentary so that you get directly where I am coming from.
For a couple of days I have noticed the behavior of my friends, people like you, and have found a huge hollow tunnel in lives of most of them. Some call it a social condition, I call it a phase or syndrome “the nearing thirties syndrome” (copyrighted). Since I am nearing thirties myself, most of the people I know are also the same age. According to the older generations it’s the time to settle, time to be stable. Settle for what and at what cost? No one seems to know. All they know is it’s the time to SETTLE. Ok.
This social phenomena triggers a chain reaction in the society, where everyone even people like us also start feeling the pressure to settle, peers feel it, brothers feel it, even generation younger to us feels it’s time for us to settle, because if we don’t how will they. The autopilot of the society would stop, and in assumption or reality we are like machines, if auto pilot stops it will take huge effort and sacrifice to get it back on track. So the only question remains, why this article.
In due regard of the situatition let me present my case or should I say report.
I am a keen observer, although most of you know I am far from being social. For the ones who don’t know me, let me put it this way “I prefer being alone, and interact only as a necessity, although society keeps challenging me to be part of it and interact. I mostly fail in efforts of being alone, but all of us have to do our bit. So I try.” Having said this I remain a keen observer and by now it should be clear I can only observe people I am in touch with. Hopefully they know this article is for them or should I say from them. Anyways the idea remains the same and I will not name names.
We all are nearing thirties and that’s where the pressure comes in. People, who are in relationships, break-up. People who are single don’t find any suitable match. The choices we made after graduation (for some even before that) have become monotonous, in life, work and relationships. The spark is missing, the fire gone. The friends we thought we will spend our life with, are now married and have their own lives, on top of that, the occasional phone calls lead to conversation with words like “aur bata” and “chal phir”. The rare meetings always reminisce of the past; there is nothing new to talk about. They are simply different people now. You don’t get them, and they don’t understand you. If one is persistent a cordial “hi, hello” relations is maintained at best. You wish them birthday wishes on Facebook wall always doubting whether he/she remembers you or not.
The interpersonal relations are exposed. The girl you met in college or grad school, now you can’t stand her. When she asks a question it feels like nagging. You want to be free again. The small things that you liked when you first met her have started to irritate you. Some of you get married and the high is extended for some more time. If even after marriage the high is not there I am really sorry for you people. You start liking cheesy films. Action and hi-end graphic films, that don’t really challenge your intelligence. You use to look for DVD’s of them once upon a time, remember? The problems is Kashmir don’t bother you anymore. You don’t want to understand why naxalites are behaving like this.
When something annoying comes on TV you simply start a different conversation, like “fuck the politics and do hell with the Indian cricket team” you are more interested in Paul the octopus. All you read is the tablet news paper and that too headlines. Though you check your Facebook account then times a day. Even in your mobile. During office hours all you do is criticize or joke on or about your company or some other. You have lost meaning in your conversations. After office all you want is go to a fancy restaurant or bar and have a nice drink. Some good brand preferably.
Because everyone one is going through the same phase, you usually are alone in the evenings. That’s the worst. You don’t want that. To avoid it, you start going out with some office friends. Later you learn that’s a bad idea. You pick up some American TV show and watch it again and again. Some people look for other stuff as well. Some of the favorite topics are Second World War, travel and living channel, world cinema or GOD and last but not the very least philosophy. You have started equating life and happiness with money. Now you really see the connection between money and happiness.
At nights it’s difficult to sleep and a few hours is enough to keep you going for the next day. Lying in the bed when you light the last cigarette of the day, you really think it should last a bit longer. It never does. Sometimes you forget when you had your last cigarette, although you had it a minute before. You wait for films to release. You really don’t want to understand art. You don’t even want to read this article.
You know age is catching up and when someone refers it you are disturbed. You are jealous of young people vrooming away on their bikes. You don’t feel like riding a bike. You are not satisfied with the car you have, the new model impress you more especially from some other company. For those who are still not able to afford a car, you think you deserve a SUV, but know the first car you buy will be a smaller one. Did you notice people around you and yourself have started telling a lot of truth. You now don’t how to handle so much of truth but when someone tells you the hardcore truth, but you accept it.
Your relationships have come to a new light. You gather courage to break-up or get dumped. You understand it though. But it still pains. You don’t like Bipasha Basu anymore, Sonam Kapoor or some other simpleton television girl is your choice now. Simple girls impress you more. Although you can still glance at oomph. Some salwar kameez girl in the office has your heart beat racing; you don’t have enough courage to tell her though. The last break-up still pains. You like the rain but hate getting wet now.
You open the fridge and forget what was the purpose of opening it. At times you don’t want to have a nice good meal. At times you want to eat the whole pizza although you can’t finish it in one sitting. Before leaving the house you check the gas knob. Middle of the night when you can’t sleep even staring fan for hours and going through your phone contact list twice, you stick your neck outside the window for fresh air. You turn on the TV, flip through channels and after doing full circle twice, switch it off. Only to turn it again after checking there is no updates on your Facebook.
You tune into India TV just for fun. You go to mall that displays the sales ad, but don’t find anything worth buying. You have started to confuse similar sounding words. You don’t remember stuff. You don’t like when someone cheaply comments on girls, but for being a part of the group you laugh. When you are with a girl, you are still mushy. When you want to be with a girl you follow an article that says “wear red to impress”. Now you read your horoscope. You don’t send personal mails now. Although you wait for someone to comment or at least click the like button on Facebook after you have shared a link. You have lost your interest in pens, it’s all about the striped shirts these days.
You gather courage to call old forgotten friends, if they pick up you don’t have much to talk about. You really think you don’t want to talk but if someone is there you can go on for hours. Emptiness is always there, even when you plan to buy a washing machine, you don’t really need. You make list for the things you want to achieve by the end of the year, the only good think is now more stuff on the list can be taken care of with money rather than effort. Everyone and everything looks lonely, the buildings, the birds, the temple even GOD. Sometimes you pray. All the things you thought “bullshit” in youth you are doing nowadays. You want to get married but not now. All you want to be is heard and don’t want to hear anyone. You miss your mom, but don’t tell her.
You know someone said “The great challenge of adulthood is holding on to your idealism after you lose your innocence.”
THE FACT (Wikipedia)
Loneliness is a feeling in which people experience a strong sense of emptiness and solitude. Loneliness is often compared to feeling empty, unwanted and unimportant Loneliness can result from unwanted solitude. Loneliness does not require being alone and is experienced even in crowded places. It can be described as the absence of identification, understanding or compassion. Loneliness frequently occurs in heavily populated cities; in these cities many people feel utterly alone and cut off, even when surrounded by millions of other people. They experience a loss of identifiable community in an anonymous crowd. It is unclear whether loneliness is a condition aggravated by high population density itself, or simply part of the human condition brought on by this social setting.
Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Many people have times when they are alone through circumstances or choice. Being alone can be experienced as positive, pleasurable, and emotionally refreshing if it is under the individual’s control. Solitude is the state of being alone and secluded from other people, and often implies having made a conscious choice to be alone. In their growth as individuals, humans start a separation process at birth, which continues with growing independence towards adulthood. As such, feeling alone can be a healthy emotion and, indeed, choosing to be alone for a period of solitude can be enriching.
As a Human Condition (Wikipedia)
The existentialist school of thought views loneliness as the essence of being human. Each human being comes into the world alone, travels through life as a separate person, and ultimately dies alone. Coping with this, accepting it, and learning how to direct our own lives with some degree of grace and satisfaction is the human condition. Some philosophers, such as Sartre, believe in an epistemic loneliness in which loneliness is a fundamental part of the human condition because of the paradox between the desire of man’s consciousness to have meaning met with the isolation and nothingness of the universe. However, other existentialist thinkers argue the opposite. Human beings might be said to actively “engage” each other and the universe as they communicate and create, and loneliness is merely the feeling of being cut off from this process.
THE RADICAL (Still Wikipedia)
A loner is a person who avoids or does not actively seek human interaction or prefers to be alone. There are many reasons for solitude, intentional or otherwise, and “loner” implies no specific cause. Intentional reasons include religion or personal philosophies. Unintentional reasons involve being highly sensitive, having more extreme forms of shyness and introversion, or various mental disorders.
The modern term “loner” is usually used with a negative connotation in the simplistic belief that human beings are social creatures and those that do not participate are deviant.
There are two distinct types of individuals that are called loners. The first type includes individuals that prefer solitude and are content to have very limited social interaction. The second type includes individuals that are forced to be isolated because they are rejected by society. This individual typically experiences loneliness. The first types are not lonely even when they are alone.
In popular culture, however, there is a certain romanticism in the idea of the loner since he or she is seen as special and unique. This can be attributed to the notion that truly great people often lurk in the shadows of societies that espouse corrupt or superficial standards of existence. As a result, the concept of a lonely hero is a recurring theme in stories.
Some people see it as beneficial, viewing things reflectively, maturing much faster, seeking knowledge, reaching their goals easier, and more focused on the task at hand. Disconnected from the people around them, they are more likely to make their own decisions (peer pressure) and go miles ahead of those around them. Some individuals refuse to interact with others because of perceived or actual superiority in terms of ethics or intellect. They relate only to individuals they consider worthy of their time and attention. Therefore, this type of loner will have very few intimate relationships. Loners may socialize greatly with those in whom they can confide. It can take a while for this bond to occur. If someone unknown to a loner enters the social group, the loner may automatically shell up. Shy or lacking self-esteem, some loners can socialize only with people they see constantly. This is in part because many are overly self-conscious and believe people are constantly sizing up their attributes. Insecure loners find it excruciating to be in the physical presence of others because they worry they will be judged negatively. Anxiety is a common feature of their social interactions. Self-hatred is sometimes the underlying motivation for why a person may isolate him or herself. A sense of alienation from society can develop as a result—even though it is self-imposed.
I could have written the above three segment myself, attributed to Wikipedia, but I found their original language more precise to explain the “ALONE” and other segments of this piece.
THE CORE (By Me)
After making you read all this, if I have still managed to get you to this point, I have won a major battle, this is probably the most you have read in a while. I will start from the beginning. My mind started tickling on all these points since I saw “Wanted”. I realized that was the seventh or the eight films with mindless plot and action and still succeed on the box office. There was a pattern. Up till now no film without the brain actually managed to capture imagination of my generation as these films (Singh is King, Gajni, Rab ne Bana Di Jodi and Wanted) did. There was a reason for their success. The economy was doing well, and young professionals of nearing thirties were getting their money in the bank and they were happy about it. The happiness was not mere situational, it was long due. People went through schools, colleges and professional courses before they could get a job. With the job came recognition (some might have never ever experienced it before). And along with social recognition came the salary that bought them the purchasing power. What else could make them happier? They were out of their mamma and papa’s shadows; they could buy anything they wanted. Most of them left their respective cities to work elsewhere, that meant extra freedom. So now they had the respect, the money and the freedom. If I clearly remember all these components made Hippie Revolution possible, the only factor missing here was the cause. That’s where all became stagnant after a point. That’s where the emptiness kicked in. Just to be clear I am not blaming anyone or stating the system is wrong, all I am stating is my perspective of certain time frame.
I recently watched a film called “Once Upon a time in Mumbai”, the intentions of the director were honest, but the film was an action-masala film. People loved it to the core. It further strengthens my belief that something was wrong. I started enquiring and researching. At first I dint get why people of my generation were alone and watching films like these. When they started talking openly, then I realized they were not only watching cheesy masala films but also dinning at places of their fancy or sipping coffee at theatre workshops. They were fed up of all the idealistic shit they believed in. Yes sir I understand you think when you started out there were no ideals, no rules, let me tell you even if you don’t realize you had a plan that was based on certain ideals. Even if you don’t agree at least be truthful, are you the person you wanted to be ten years back. I don’t know, you will have a clear answer for yourself. So now you want to buy a car, or eat that raspberry muffin that you saw on “travel and living”. You were happy with a chai and samosa, what happened?
No one knows why these people need a pub or a fancy car to be happy. I am not saying don’t buy a car, please do that, if you can afford, but if you can’t don’t be sad. You don’t need shit to be happy. Be happy as you were in college or school or probably as a child. Even if you have a certain dream, don’t kill yourself to get there or achieve it. Enjoy the process. That’s important.
Well that’s all I have to say.
Note: this piece is written from a male perspective, frankly because I don’t understand women, then who does?
Sorry for wasting your time
“A letter to myself”
There has been a lot of buzz of films or of everything nowadays, with Facebook and twitter it seems we are at the comfort of having tea with Mr. Bachchan and enjoying a silly joke with Salman Khan. Music release events are unfolding right in front of our middle class eyes. Actors seem to take the film promotions right into our lap(top). The irony is that we as a society are elated and happy just feeling a little bit more closer to the dream than ever. The problem with being closer to the dream is that at the end of the day it’s merely an illusion. Just like Mr. Cobb planted an “Inception” in our heads, and our natural reaction is taking the illusion for real. The problem was never of communication or the technology, and it never is, it’s about our zest and zeal for knowledge.
I don’t know but now I feel in this great process of churning RESULT centric education has left us (or me) a bit less inquisitive. The lack of interest and negligence of not-understandable has been the single most deterrent in the social, economic, ethical and moral progress of this nation or world (or me) or us.
Just to be very clear I am not against education, internet, Facebook or any communicating platform. On the contrary I am all for it. Internet has been one of the greatest inventions (or discoveries) for the world since the printing machine and computer itself. It has put people back on the forefront and they don’t have to depend any X Y Z for information and don’t have to be spoon fed by some crappy news channel. It has given us the freedom, the choice. Now it’s up to us what we make of it.
Back to the point…
By now you have understood that I am pissed at something or someone. Bang ON!!! I am really pissed at myself, quiet pissed actually. The reason is that a person like me who is not just obsessed by CINEMA and life, but is actually living it can be so ignorant. I saw a film (documentary for some, they really think there is a difference?) today “LEAVING HOME” Life and Music of INDIAN OCEAN. I was astonished how unaware I was and while I keep searching international websites for films that suited my palette, there is a bunch of people who are not just creating stuff of such good quality that incites international interest, but also doing it with their middle class sensibilities and charm. The discovery was monumental. The more I (we) try to raise the bar for myself in the intellectual realm and the more I try and collect information (that I think is making me smart) or in plain simple words the more I try reaching somewhere, anywhere the more lost I am.
I know you think this is about some nerd sitting at his computer and keying in something that makes some or no sence to him. There, Right there, you see that’s the problem “ignorance” and unwilling to put in the “effort”.
What Indian Ocean teaches me is that the journey I am so desperately seeking outside is actually inside. I got the direction completely wrong. For most people it is “how much I have travelled”, for me it always was “how was I travelling”, “how much fun was the journey”. My interpretation of their (INDIAN OCEAN) way is enjoying without moving an inch. Experiencing what are you and simply looking inside and outside with an easy stubbornness. Just observing and that’s it. The movement begins itself. The flow gains potential and flows to the bottom of existence, comforts you, lets you to be at ease with yourself.
I would like to suggest something to myself (if I may of course)
DON’T BE NAÏVE
Learn who you are (by you I mean ME). Learn to like yourself and give yourself sometime please. There has to be comfortable understanding of who I am before further complicating my life with the choices I make. No wonder the choices will always be there and that’s the beauty of it all. Just don’t hesitate to try. Don’t be formed by notions and patterns. Don’t confine yourself to established domains. Try. Live. Experience. Do not fear.
Look inside without any perspectives and look outside without any manifestations. Don’t form opinions about the “khichdi” without even trying it. Do not follow. Understand. I say this to myself because we (I) have been so engrossed with “popular” that we don’t even pay attention to what we like. Sometimes things happen without a reason, like you following a particular song or band or musician cause someone else liked it. How many times have we asked our friends where to go to dinner? Why? Because we can’t risk a simple meal. Why not risk, see what others have to offer, see for ourselves. For the silliest of reason we are dependant.
Our understanding is simple if so many are doing it must be good. It’s not all that shocking for a generation that was brought up by television, satellite channels. We are so use to following that we don’t notice. That’s the reason we (by we I mean ME) have so much trouble reading anything. We have almost stopped reading.
“How many of us read real books. Look at us, we eat like the tube, dress like the tube, think like the tube, live like the tube, for heaven’s sake we are the real people tube is the illusion”. (Tube is TV)
Simplicity evolves from the heart and that’s real. Look at Paul the octopus (Worldcup) his simple choice of picking food and our simple choice of finding something so without any reason, so pure, so vivid let the whole world into hysteria. He is not popular because he knows something, or because you believe it (him). His global fame is reflective of two simple facts: A) His simplicity in eating his food (without fuss): B) Worlds simplicity in accepting they like Paul without any reason.
Sometimes shit happens. Let go of yourself. Feel free.
By any chance if you have come this far reading my personal letter, please…
Do yourself (by yourself I mean YOU) a favor watch this film “LEAVING HOME Life and Music of INDIAN OCEAN”.
Or do me a favor puff a drag, roll a joint, eat a chocolate or have a drink and experience what freedom is.
“This was never intended to be read by you, if I have wasted your time I am sorry”.
‘…phir ek din’ (15 min) DV: The film is an expression of loneliness in the middle of a busy city. It is shot in one single room and captures activities of a person on a particular day. Film explores the complexities of one’s inner self caught between world and him. The film looks at the circumstances which change personal perspective of individuals and also make a difference to their view on life.
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September 27’ 2005
As we got out of the station, it was dark. Everything seemed like perfect. Buildings stood amongst trees in military order. Silence was true and peaceful, ethos could only be experienced. As our auto rickshaw rode towards the Ashram, Bhabhi and I, both could sense calm. A quiet place, with roads leading to nowhere, all proper and clean, free from all the chaos of a big city. Sewagram ashram is peaceful place. It’s not an “ashram” “ashram”!. It’s almost like a resort, not so well done up. Mud huts and trees on the both sides of the road, and bricked huts in the Ashram. This was Gandhi’s laboratory, and his science was Truth.
But the question we were looking at was “Can Gandhism keep the pace with the modern life?”, “how relevant is Gandhi?”, “can we adapt his principles into our fast paced, result oriented life?” During 4 days of our stay we tried to talk to villagers, people of Sewagram, engineering & medical students, intellectuals and researchers. Until the very last day we were not clear where we were heading.
Bhabhi (Madhavi, SRFTI), earlier she was teaching Mass Communication in Bombay, wanted to make a Documentary on the subject. Officially I accompanied her for help. We all always in some way or the other have our IDOLS and we always crave for an Idealistic Life, I was no different, and Gandhi was the best to follow. But! After I met this old fragile human something’s changed forever.
Ramji Bhai: Is Gandhi relevant
A meeting of old Gandhian’s was held at the ashram to discuss about poor conditions of inhibiting rural areas. We dinned with them that evening. After finishing our dinner, as we strolled to our HUT, we saw this old fragile man who was trying to pick 2 chairs, we don’t know for what, but he really wanted to do with it, we offered help and carried the chairs to his place. He wanted to tie rope of his mosquito net to the chairs. As we turned to leave, he stopped us, and said he wanted to pay us back, Bhabhi resisted, I could see what he was getting at.
And he sparked… He says we need to know ourselves, Who are we, and why we are Am I the name people refer me with? Am I a Hindu/ Muslim/ Christian, or else Am I a cast?
Be sure he says, it’s not the outer cover we are talking about, not the body. We are human…this is the first truth that we need to know. We are existence (jeevan, chetna), we are life. Body is a cover, it’s not me, it’s an envelope, it’s the tool through which needs of life can be achieved. What jeevan wants? Its wants to be in a constant state of peace (anand). Can we do it? Yes it’s possible…
There is difference between what jeevan wants, and the body demands Body wants all the comfort, and pleasure We have to decide what we want, comfort or peace We can use this body as a tool for achieving peace Respect the body and Take its care And once your goal is clear, how will u achieve this peace Work with all your energy towards it
But yes in social language body will mean ‘me’ Others will refer to me through my body Once this is realized and known that we r or I am jeevan than other things can b determined Life (jeevan) is not soul, soul is part of it
Than he goes on to talk about what are relations and between whom?
In body, as we figure this than we refer to them as same “Human”. So jeevan + body = “human”
Now what is the relation between …? One human n the other An individual n family Family n society ….. Human n nature
He says we need to understand all these relationships. Bhakti, Bhog, and Virakti all have mislead human race. “They” said that it would lead us to peace of mind but that is not the case. Now we need to realize that we should live in present, and respect relationships. Love is his answer.
He is critical of words “ideal’ and “idol’s”. By ‘ideal’ we only talk of past, because what ever is ideal was in the past. How can u compare past with today, today is different. This ideal worship has caused many problems. In an ideal state “We worship the past and try to achieve it, that simply is not possible. We ignore the present and we r always doubtful about the future”
According to him: “We should analyze the past, Live in present and plan the future”
When we asked him about “Gandhi’?
He said “Gandhi can inspire you”, he will not have your answers. If one goes looking for his answers in the life of Gandhi, it will not help. Gandhi had his problems, he searched his answers. You will have to find your truth and look for their answers.
This was my experience of Gandhi land. I just wanted to share it with you all, that’s it.
I don’t know what you think about it, but I thank you for reading it.