Friday, 5 December 2014

7cups of tea

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Monday, 1 December 2014

Shantaram or appropriately LinBaba

Shantaram by Gregory Davis is one of the longest novels I have read in my life yet. It is just above 900 pages. I finished it in over several months in my free time. It was suggested to me by one of my friend I met at 10 day retreat.  I am not in touch with her anymore and she is not Indian. It is the book that inspired her journey to India.

I wanted to read this book very much knowing it is journey of a traveller. But I strike a discord with novel from the beginning when I found it is the narrative of fugitive. It is the story of some who is paranoid and hence as an escape coming to Bombay, India to make a new beginning. I continued, reading it forward, with a hope of learning about culture of parts of India I may not be aware of. As a tourist, one sees think much more clearly and with a fresh perspective than a person living inside who might take it for granted or may not have observed or thought about. I have never experienced drugs and drugs are such a central component of novel. Cold turkey is what I came to know about. It also includes all the illegal activities like fake passport making, joining mujhahidin in Afghanisthan to fight war… This fictitious novel is story of fugitive who finds a corrupt home in Bombay under the hood of Khaderbhai. Throughout the story, the protagonist claims that he has never killed any other human being and this is the sign of his good nature. All the bad things he does, he feels are only way of surviving and feeling safe in the world.

It introduces me to the culture of philosophical discussions where one discusses about truth, life, moral questions and anything from spiritual to physics. It seems like it is common place culture for Muslims or any religion to sit and discuss about anything. I liked the dialogues and felt attached to reading when there were dialogues. I found very detailed description of places and people, very annoying and repelling and I skimmed through it mostly. It does not see terrorism as bad and must be stopped but the novel brings the inside life of these people which is full of manipulative and deceitful relationships. It is hard to trust anyone.

All and above, it is a love story. There are often sentences shared by one person stayed with characters and they are being thought of when a moment comes that resembles the saying. It is thoughtful, detailed novel. I am awe with the work that must have been gone through to write such work. May be many years. I just found Gregory is writing his second novel since 10 years now. It is incredible dedication. I am inspired by author throughout reading of his work. It gives me understanding how he has placed certain things at certain place, how he is tried to make it fast pacing and interesting.

The end. It ends as the protagonist has forgiven his love partner and they kiss. He look forward to another adventure with his friends. And he rest back in the slums where he found dearest friends and sense of home.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Fighting with one's name

I have been truly seeking some kind of validation. Validation that name of this blog is alright. Because the point is that the name of this blog does not mean anything to me.
I liked the word individual, but since it was not available I used indivisual. It meant someone whith no purpose. But that's how my life isn't. I do thinks and I find meaning in them.
So I am struggling with the name of this blog.
I wanted a name that is closer to me and unique to me.
The dogs outside are barking loudly at racing car. I fear they might not get their legs fractured. The superactive dogs who sleeps during the day.
If the name would be special then I would feel like coming here again and again and writing as often as possible.
I have consistently fought with this space. What this space has become is very much mirror image of me. The kind of struggle I had with commercialization and money seeking activities like adsense and similarly desperately seeking a job. I had come to point where I could have done anything. But thankfully I came out of it and some meaning brought me back. I grew with patience and waiting became name of life.
I am again doubtful about the words I use, about my language. Do we wonder about it? Do I make sense when I write?
This place has become screen for me to be doubtful. To feel how much confused I am with things. How much validation I need? How difficult it is for me to survive alone? The confusions can come to surface only because there is certain validation that is holding me.
To live without validation would mean asking the questions and dwelling into the confusion and reaching somewhere. Does all these movements are realized within or they just are words?
There are days when it feels that I am just right, the way it is. I mean the way things are they are just right and I am good at it. But there are times, like now, when there is anxiety whether it is alright. Am I as grand as I think?
The moving cars does not stop taking my mind away. They invite dogs and with this the test whether dig can differentiate between who is known and who is stranger, hence must be feared and attacked.

What wrongs with name? It does not matter it is not as special as other might have. But it has its own story. I cant find another name could be sign that this is the right one to live with. I feel so shallow and empty. How can I sleep in this dark and dreadful silence?


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

How to feel like traveller at home?

I wonder how can I have this feeling of being traveller, by being at home? How is it possible? When travelling life becomes outdoorsy. It can be exhausting. But there is something keeps going. How does the same energy can be replicated at home?
All the people around me gives me this feeling. As if they are settled. I hate civilization or settlement. A human being is not meant to be a person who can settle anywhere. He can keep moving. And wherever takes rest becomes his home.
This I think is very natural to us, to wander.
And recently I have come upon this experience that how alive and natural it feels to wander and travel.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

All the boy love Mandy Lane

Since it's a high school movie, I could compare it with another high school movie I saw recently The Kings of Summer. How different can adolescent be?
In one there is all sexual desire, drugs, alcohol, partying and killing. And in another, there is friendship, heartbreak, freedom, independency.
The second one is more mature than the All the boy love Mandy Love.

I do not know whether there is any story. I would have to assume a lot to bring coherence to story. I don't understand why Mandy and her friends would kill their friends? There could be no justification for crime or murder but yet there has to be depiction of deeper motives of characters. So the character were loosely created, only rested upon desire for sexual energy, libido.

Well after seeing this, high school may think twice before inviting any hot looking girl with good tits. I think that is the message. In this way it is humorous.

The director might wanted to release his sexual energy and there fore stereotype of high school boys with sex drive comes. Of course there is more to growing up. This movie only depicts one side of growing up, which is major.

It stereotypes the character of women, Mandy lane and when it is found that she is killer too, it may come shock to audience. The character which was developed on physical beauty, excellence in sports and right mind comes across as murder. This could stir anybody whether they identified with beauty or was chasing the beauty.

It was not really scary. What more can I say? There was no character history or their environment. I think without bringing families, the story of adolescent is incomplete.
Not a good movie. It is a fantasy to see a beautiful woman as murder and this image of both in woman is what movie rests on. She is so smart that she cant be caught. An anger with knife.
The idea that what may seem like or look like may not be as it is from inside. Look for beauty inside rather than only outside, A message for high schooler.

Friday, 19 September 2014

where is my friend's home? by Abbas Kiarostami

The movie was made in 1987. It is Iranian product. One of my friend suggested me this film, as he introduced me to inspiring and great Iranian films.

Where is my friend's home is the story of a 8 year old child Ahmadpur frm Kokar who studies at institute of intellectual development along with other students. One of theme is Mohammad reza. Reza does his homework in a different copy because his book was with his cousin. Upon checked by his teacher, he was punished for not doing the work in the book. It was final warning and further not doing work in book could expel Reza. The same day Ahmadpor accidently brings Reza's notebook along because they looked similar. And then his journey begins after school to find Reza's house (where is my friend's home) so that he return the book and prevent Reza from expelling.

There are various moments that touches me and introduces me to Iran's rural life. The participation of kids in home life, helping mother and going out with father for work. The grandfather who sits useless whole day, wishes to teach discipline to kid by asking him to bring cigarettes and beat the child every fortnight as important part of teaching the kid.
The door worker who does not listen to kid, and forcefully takes a page from his book and also forces the old chaps to get the door work. Very business minded.
An old man without children have desire to speak and narrate his story about his life.
All this and a kid, who is seeking his friend's home.

A random thing. A flower in the book. And it comes back in the last scene and it surprises as if it is presented to us. It was beautiful.
Another random thing. the continuation of story of old man as he takes off his shoes and we see his worn socks and until we close the door.

The father who does not speak to child and keeps himself occupied with a radio, only to reach to a time to sleep. A storm comes tells us the inner world of child who feel tormented as he is afraid and guilty that because of him, his friend will be expelled.
 next day he reaches school late.
A sweet, slow, honest, simple cinematic experience.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Home or traveller

At home I could feel that I am comfortable, secure and protected. It could get boring, dull and careless.

When travelling I feel like explorer, independent, alive and hopeful. It could also get risky, dangerous and also carefree.

There are two sides of both travelling or at home. I enjoy being careful and yet exploring. With travelling, I bring this sense of travelling at home because I do not home as I believe. When I say home, it means Delhi or my home in Delhi.

I think experience of living outside home for some time brings that sense of traveller to home.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Melancholy and Writing

It is such a melancholic mood that I want to keep it to myself. Firstly I want to get rid of it. It is such  a sad atmosphere. I begin to feel what I was feeling and there was such comfortableness in this neutrality. I do not know whether this is neutrality but it is very poker and without any superficiality. It takes certain strength to feel this stance and be with it.
I have been here, in this mood, a lot of times before but not recently. I have found out that it is one of the best mood to write. It is best moment to feel. I think I can see the world clearly in these moments of sadness.
I often try to distract myself from it. Like by switching on a cricket match or something random nonsense. It is so strong that I feel that I miss someone. And I have to contain it. It is when I read I feel the length and breadth of the moment of sadness. The writing, watching cricket match and watching advertisements becomes a way of distracting away. Why? in this moment, it feels like staying within and taking all of that is outside into the breadth. It is moment when I am closer to myself.
As if I remember that I had lost this feeling of melancholy and was never alone. I have always been occupied with something or other and when alone I did not face it. It is end of the week and it might be right time to feel it. People might use the weekend for party and get away with it but I wish to nurture it because I am sure there might be a humour in it of different taste. It is that I was looking for this mood to bring me back to writing. I think I like my writing when I am under such clouds. I also feel like writing. It does not matter if other judge it as poor but best thing is to enjoy.

“What if everything in the world were a misunderstanding, what if laughter were really tears?”
― Søren Kierkegaard

I have been becoming used to living more in social spaces than in the inner world. Though inner vice is always a companion and guide but sometimes I really have to be out. In these social times I have begin to value the inner voice that exists during social spaces. It is very satisfying to hear it during a conversation with someone. I feel good.
It is similar feeling when for the first time I begin feeling my voice. It felt like I am closer to people. It is similar feeling when I hear myself during the conversation. It comes to me, like it came before to me. And I valued those moments.

Melancholics are arguably the most talented of all the personalities. They often have a natural bent toward artistic expression, including writing. They’re detail-oriented, patient, and idealistic. But in spite of all their talent, they’re often prone to feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. Their perfectionism and mood swings can cause them to feel they never measure up, which can, in turn, keep them from completing projects.              -  London 

“Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad.”
Victor Hugo 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Friends and their Friendships

What are friends? who are they?

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born" Anais Nin

It is reinforced that thought can development through emotional exchange between two or more human beings. This another person with whom we share a relationship is our friend.
A friend with whom we share moments regularly. They keep us in movement in a world and hence we grow and we meet again. There are friends with whom we never meet again, we met before because we went to same college or we worked together.
With most we never here them again. But I hope and wish they are doing well.

A loner has less friends or may be none. There are friends we never see but we talk to them over phone or through messages. And when we see them physically in person, we hardly know them. We find that there can two different persons, one who talk over the phone and other whom we meet.

There are friends who are there, whenever we call or message. We hardly talk to them in everyday basis but they have become our back up.

We cannot meet all the friends in one day and we can also not meet new friends everyday. There is some regularity with some friends and others are sporadically met.
This also applies of me as friend to other. Usually I have friends who talk to me sporadically once in a while with whom I have shared many good and bad times. Others do not reach out to me even if there is occasion, like my book launch, or silly birthdays and festivals. So do I.

There is kid in the neighbour who has some friendship going on with me. He comes to play video game. It is a different kind of friendship, more emotional than verbal. Some times we play games together. Other times I ask questions to have some exchange of words between us. He brought a friendship band on a friendship day. Cutie pie.

Some friends stay inside long after they are gone and we hope we could have met them last time. We could have spend some moments with them, before we say goodbye. Some moments where we can talk about tomorrow, about each other and where do we see each other in tomorrow. And other things to hold each other until we meet again or not.

With friends, there is no friendship. Friends are more important than friendship. Just like a person is more important than the relationship. 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Strategy to withdraw Psychiatric drugs

I have not yet withdrew from medicines. I am taking Amisuphride 100 mg for schizophrenia. I take a tablet each night. It makes me drowsy in the morning and I find it difficult to wake up. Besides it is preventing me from a relapse.

These days I am thinking about developing a strategy for everyday basis to keep myself fit and awy from psychiatric drugs without developing the illness again.

Over the past year I have gone deeper into the cause of schizophrenia. I have became aware of what happens to my mental state during the illness. I have also pondered on things I need to do on a consistent basis, every day, if I wish to stay fit psychologically, emotionally and physically.

The three question, I think, are very important and I need to become aware about them in my psyche as if they must be deeply ingrained. It requires lot of active self in day to day life.

The three questions are:-
 1) What are the causes of mental illness?
I need to trace back my life history. I have done mostly in my thesis work "closer to schizophrenia" and I have still filling the gaps. There are still parts that I need to be sure and comfortable of. I need to work on them with someone, preferably a therapist.

2) What happens during mental illness episode or relapse?
After continuous going in relapse for some time, I have some understanding of what it feels like in my psyche. I cannot have the experience of episode or relapse in any book or paper or recorded ,manner. It has to be ingrained in my psyche, in my memory which is available and I can be sure that it is there. The currents needs to be there in psyche to signifying whether there is something that needs attention. The vigilance needs to be there.

3) What are the needs to keep me fit on a daily basis? (to withdraw psychiatric dugs)
 On a daily basis, I have a begin a note that I need sleep (and be aware of dream world), food, something to read and food for my mind, I need to write, need to interact with people and communicate,  it is important that I go out and have some physical exercise.

I can develop answers of understanding of these question as I am yet to start on a journey to withdraw my medicines. I will do it from my next meeting with psychiatrist. I will tell him that I plan to leave and will ask him to guide if in anyway he could. Lets see. There is still over a month before I visit the psychiatrist. Till then I need to keep practicing the questions.

This article can be helpful for those who are looking to withdraw medication:

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nature of Success

What is success? It has to do something with achievement, to start with. It could be completing education with positive results or getting a job of choice with handsome salary. Money has gender and it is masculine. Handsome, not beautiful. Success could also be from other factors like finding a suitable partner in relationship. For a baby, successfully learning toilet training. Being able to walk. Being able to exist in a group and have an identity. All the developmental milestone could be success when achieved.
The dictionary meaning of success is "An event that accomplishes its intended purpose" (WordWeb).
Anything that I or you wish or plan to do and by following sequence of actions by us, it has been achieved then it will be success. Success is so much over rated term because in everyday, every hour of life, we achieve so much successes. The strive to  wake up early in the morning is often one of our first battles where we achieve success or failure. Right from brushing teeth to taking bath and dressing up, we run through a series of battle we accomplish sometimes easily and other times forcefully.
In order to be live a life, one has to carry on each day with certain amount of success that are taken for granted. This brings to the idea of saying Thank you to everyone you know in the evening and it releases so much stress and makes one feel at ease with life. Refer to this
Thanks is one of the insights, mentioned in this blog. From this blog:
Simply saying 'Thanks' in the evening. The gratitude. For reflecting that it was difficult and we lived along and fought them. The fears we faced and reached somewhere. We know it was hard for you. And it is still for you, You still have been trying hard. We want to say "Thank you" to you. Besides many difficulties you have kept on going. We thank you.

This is absolute success. I mean it is real success, of course not absolute. We feel so tired and there is nobody to appreciate us. These success are taken for granted. We see bigger things, and yes they matter to us. Sometimes losing the bigger things, like not getting perfect job, or separation in a relationship affects us deeply and we give up eating, sleeping and all those small achievements that lays our foundation to live functionally in society. It makes us ill, according to society and self. Either we choose to play the society's game or we quit and became outcast or suffer discrimination in the form of illness. Nobody likes a loser if a loser is shouting and is angry. Everyone likes a loser who congratulates a winner. A loser who loses but plays according to society. Some one who appreciates what society values even if he/she was not able to achieve it.
A failure to not able to get a good job. Is it a real failure? It does feel like. But a good failure will not stop you. You will not give up, this is what a motivational and inspirational gurus teaches you and me.
Can it ever stop from endless success? If we stop ourselves then it is possibility that we might decay. It is like a college student who stops education and does not pursue any activity in group like job or studies. One who begins to stay away from any contact. It is like a gap year which is very much sold these days like go on backpacking, etc. But the real gap cannot be filled by ways of society. It is struggle to reach a point zero. It is an effort to become deprived.
Could it result in death? Certainly coming back is difficult and one might go through mental illness.
Nobody likes a failure who choses failure. Nobody like a "real gap".
There is no end to success. Like there is no end to money. One has to decide for one self that what is their optimum level that can guide them in living a optimum life. Neither too flourishing nor too declining. Just in-between. This is for one of the reason why being in between is important. It means being closer to truth without losing capacity to survive.
Many people live their whole life being successful until they get old and realize that they have lived their whole life and they are now bounded by their old body and then they attempt to get free and live like a bird. Then society has plan for it. The travel itineraries and train journey in comfortable AC first class. One realizes one has worked so much and accumulated so much money for what? This is the time. It is false freedom.
The "real freedom" to let oneself free from society but it has to be done 'in-between' without decaying too rapidly. It is knowing and travelling the world without a physical map. It is living among locals and talking their language. It is without losing connection with society. So it is okay and healthier to be on Facebook and posting updates sometimes and other times just living freely.

This post inspires me in two ways. One is to write a diary about my gap years and second to really not bind myself and go travelling. :)