Unnatural World

Allie: Have you recovered? It has been so long since I have seen you? How are you and how do you feel?

Bella: Can’t you be less direct? People have been asking me this question every day and every minute and I wasn’t expecting the same from you. You know what, I do not want to answer it or what if I say that I am not fine?

Allie: Being not fine is okay and you are definitely allowed to say it.

Bella: But do you know how people panic when I say that I am not fine? They act as if it’s their mistake and they have to make things okay for me. They look at me with sympathy and I do not want that.

Allie: But that is the basic nature of people and what is wrong in trying to make things okay for you or cheer you up?

Bella: Cheering up is different and trying to build an unnatural world around me where everything is okay is different. I do not want to live in that fantasy land so that I can forget my sorrows and my grief. I want to live in the present and feel the grief.

Allie: And that is not how the world works, right? You are supposed to come out of the grief and your dear ones would try to make you feel better. They can adopt different methods which might suit your taste but that is what they have been taught. What you would have done if the places were exchanged?

Bella: Well, I will say up till that day I was doing the same thing. I was the same crowd of people who are approaching me today. I was the person who had helped my dear ones to recover from the shock and grief, but today, I loathe that method.

Allie: Fine then. Let us assume that you have learned something from your experience and now you want something different. But what about those people who have never been through it, how will you explain your feelings to them?

Bella: That’s the point. I do not want to explain anything to anybody because I do not want them to get involved. I just want to stay alone, be in my misery and live in the grief. It is upsetting, shocking, devastating and the comforting words of the people are poking me like needles. I do not want to share my grief by spending time with their unnatural world. I want to make them all go away and cry alone in a corner. Is it wrong to want and demand that? If I say this then people would cling to me even more.

Allie: That is because they love you and they do not want to lose you the way they lost the person who was so close to you. You know the grief will not give you relief, it will taste good at the point where you want to get lost in the thoughts of your loved ones. Eventually, the grief will make you believe that the present is unreal and you will get lost in the world which will be more unnatural than the one that others are trying to build for you. Do you want to do that to yourself?

Bella: No, of course I do not want to live in the past but just this one time, for a few days, can I not let the grief lead me through those beautiful memories?

Allie: You can be in the grief for the memories but how would you know when it’s time to leave it behind and move forward? Someone will have to remind you that you have to come out of it and focus on the future. That someone is not predefined, so everybody tries in their own way to push you out from the misery even before its time to do that.

Bella: How would I know that it’s time to come out of it? Who will help me when I myself do not want to get help? It is tough and you would not know that because you have never lost a person who is very close to you.

Allie: You will not know the time for closure but then that is why everybody is here to support you. They know that you do not want their help right now still they are trying really hard for you. I have never lost a loved one before and the intensity of your pain is intangible for me. But I know for sure that I do not want to lose you in something that is so painful and hurting you so much. Be in the grief for as long as you want but all are going to try to show you the unnatural world that could be your future. You can take your time but the poking needles are imperative as they will not let you drown in your own misery. The reason being that we all do not want to lose you.

Bella (Smiling): When you put it that way, it makes sense. I don’t know what to say to that. I guess let me be me for a few days and eventually your words will pull me out of it someday.

Allie: At least I have convinced you to open an option of the unnatural world. I think my constant nagging will kick the misery out of you someday.

Both started laughing and maybe it was time for the new beginning of the unnatural world.

Slogan – Tagline Of Every Person

‘I don’t have time for this nonsense,’ she said while taking a bite of her toast at the breakfast table. She finished eating, packed her lunch, and left for office. Driving for 30 mins to reach the office was too much for her. She cannot utilize that time to do anything except for driving because it requires concentration. Well, she can think, and she usually prepares a list of topics on which she can think while driving. However, many times, her thoughts would remain in her head and would never come out on paper. Her time was everything for her, and it was so precious that she wanted to utilize every minute of her life.

She reached her desk, booted her PC, and waited for her phone to load all the messages after turning on the wifi. While both the gadgets performed their task, she decided to clean her table, instead of waiting. Again, a waste of time, she hoped that somebody would clean her table and booted her PC before she came. In this way, she can save her time, but what about the time of the other people? Will they think that they are wasting that time because of her? She has the same 24 hours as others, but somehow she felt that she has even lesser time than others. 

Suddenly, she remembered the morning fight with her mother. She was talking about going to some antique auction in the afternoon with her friends, whom she did not like. She suggested that if her mother did not want them, then she should not go with them. But then her mother started talking about passing her time because she does not have enough work to do. She knew that her mother did way more household chores than any other woman in the surroundings, and she still has so much time left. So, is it in her head? She feels that she has time, but she doesn’t.

Slogan - Tagline Of Every Person
Slogan – Tagline Of Every Person

With a jolt, she started remembering all the people who have different taglines in their life. Some have too much work, and some feel tired and sleepy all the time. Her boss is a workaholic who feels that tomorrow you may get new work and workload will increase, so you need to finish the work today itself. She remembered other people who always get bored, no matter how active they are in daily life. Some people think that they are prone to get sick and do often fall ill. Some believe that they are not good enough to work on some jobs because they think less of themselves?

She has always observed these taglines in all the people. She always wondered what made them think that, and now, she wonders that what makes her feel about herself. Eating, driving, and waiting for different things is a waste of time, then why are these things essential in a person’s life? Is it in her head? Is it playing with her so that she thinks she cannot accomplish something in her life because of time? Is it her way of blaming things on time instead of on herself or her poor planning? So, everybody with the tagline blames things on those taglines instead of themselves? Maybe every person has this default system, and they get used to it because everybody around them has one such slogan in their life.

Decipher Your Inner Self

No, I cannot do that!! The instructor has gone nuts!! Who would let go of the boat in the middle of the sea? I knew I had signed up for this but no, now I cannot do it. But, they don’t leave you so easily. With dejection, I did let go of the side of the boat and it felt like my life was about to end with the increasing distance between me and the boat. 

Yes, I know I am exaggerating but for someone who is scared of water even in the pool, scuba diving was way too much! I felt challenged when I was signing up but later, at this stage, I felt like its hard for me. The waves made it even harder by dancing around and splashing salty water at me. All I can see around me was the prolonged sea that shared no promise of ever ending. It felt like there was no hope of survival in this dreadful sea. Yesterday, in the pool, I felt the same way even when it was not so deep. There too, I was not able to let go of the float. Even if you are in a depth that supports your height, you would feel force of the water. The water has so much pressure that it can make you move and you lose control over your body. 

Decipher Your Inner Self
Decipher Your Inner Self

I felt more miserable because I could not control my movements and the waves made my body move abruptly. My feet could not touch the land and my hands cannot hold on to something for support. The sense of losing control made me nauseated and it made it harder for me to breathe through the mouthpiece. The artificial liquid oxygen was yak!! I cannot afford to lose control but I convinced myself to try one last time and the instructor told me to ‘Let It Go’. 

The words hit me hard. I went to the pool yesterday so that I can get used to water and it would somehow help me in diving. I was not able to move in the pool without a float and I assumed that I would get something to hold in the sea. The sense of support helped me in signing up for diving and to reach this stage. However, I did have a plan B and letting it go was the only option for me.

So, with a heavy heart, I went down and when the pressure increased, I followed all the instructions given in the training. I was surprised to see so much crowd in the sea. No, not people, the crowd was of aquatic animals and plants. They were roaming around as if they own the place and they did not give a damn about who visits them. I think I was rewarded with this aquatic beauty when I decided to let it go. I learned that you cannot achieve beautiful results when you have control but only when you set yourself free. The freedom was not for the body but for the soul and thoughts that clung to the body by creating an illusion of safety. Safety is abstract and sometimes taking risks can help in getting freedom and mesmerizing results. After coming back, I did feel foolish of being so scared. I hope with these thoughts I would be able to learn swimming soon.

Inner Voice

The girl sitting at the temple looked upset because she was feeling the pressure of her conscience on her thoughts. No matter how hard she tried, she could not ignore the constant nagging of her conscience. A French pastor John Calvin quoted that ‘The Torture of a bad Conscience is the Hell of a Living Soul’ and she can completely relate to this as she can feel the hell herself. She could feel the turmoil in her head where all the thoughts from the incident were revolving around the core of her mind. The thoughts were a combination of the things she could have said to prove her points or not have said to ease the tortured pain later.

She can still see the hurt and disgrace in her parents eyes when she told them those brusque things about them being selfish and not letting her live her life. Those were not the only things she said, infact she cannot remember the exact words which caught fire through her anger at that time and now lay like ashes in front of her, even more black than usual. This all happened just because her parents refused to let her take the camp at the National Park because it was not safe for her. The employees at the National Park department were careless enough to let the wildlife wander in the area of human camp residency which has been in the top five news for months. She knew that from the beginning but the extremity of the fact that she has turned eighteen and can live her life on her own terms forced her to make a fool of herself by disrespecting her parent’s decisions. She was culpable about her behavior but she could not find a way to unshackle it by being sagacious.

She was now looking for options to avoid the topic completely but then the saying from Indian protagonist Mahatma Gandhi transpired in her mind which stated that ‘There is a higher Court than Court of Justice and that is the Court of Conscience. It Supersedes all the other Courts.’ She banged her hands in frustration on the bench she was sitting. She cannot avoid the topic was for sure because of her active conscience.

She cannot ignore her conscience even if she tried to because it attributes to moral values which are incorporated in an individual from birth till they die. The actual meaning of conscience is to introspect oneself and make oneself aware of the good or evil things performed by oneself. Religiously, it could be defined as ‘God’s Voice’ or ‘Inner Voice’. The knowledge and respect of oneself could only be achieved by listening to your conscience and respecting the decisions of your moral values. If she ignored it then it would mean that her childhood had no purpose as she cannot support her own conscience which has been growing up with her. Also, it would notch up a level of disrespect for her parents, teachers and all the other elders who had contributed towards her mental growth in the past eighteen year. She was stubborn and wanted to be independent but not to an extent where she loses her conscience in the process. Infact, she would need her conscience even more to make decisions when she would be independent enough to support herself.

She has to learn to use it as a positive thing because conscience can also act as a motivational force to encourage oneself or to do some work as sense of duty. She has to take it as both, get motivated from it enough to distinguish between good or bad and make it her duty to follow all the good indications. The motivation has definitely given her a path and to trigger her sense of duty she has no other option but to apologize for behaving like a brat. This would also mean that she supports the quote from an American writer Richard Bach which says, ‘Your Conscience is the Measure of the honesty of your Selfishness. Listen to it Carefully.’ She is happy that atleast she is not selfish and was proud that she has given herself this time to think and come up with a perfect answer to her problems.

Depression – a Myth

‘Depression means feeling of severe sadness or in normal circumstances it would mean a thought, that would move around and around in your head and you could not do anything to stop or overcome it.’ This could be the actual meaning, she concluded after about an hour of her research.

She was not doing this research because she felt depressed or in other words crazy but because she was reading a book whose plot revolved around depression. Actually, she was reading two books with this themes. She was so much surprised to find that people had such type of depressions that those topics we might have not even heard or thought of before.

Turtles all the Way Down by John Green focused on a type a depression where the character’s thinking process arrived due to extra thinking and smartness. Google is the major source of depression as nowadays people have a habit of searching their doubts on google and believing the stuff published there which ultimately made the character believe that she could get infected by bacteria anywhere. This could be a small thought for some people but for the character it was a gyre of thoughts. She was so obsessed with this thought that she could not touch anything because of the fear of getting some infected bacteria.

Its Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini portrays a character who wants to kill himself because he got admission in a very talented high school where a person has to study a lot, but now that he got the admission he could not cope up with it and that fear turns into depression. He has to get admitted in a psychiatric ward in order to get help to make him believe that he is worthy of everything and there is no harm in lacking behind sometime.

These topics were unusual and she had never thought of these things and then looking into her past she could list out about 10 topics in which she could think that she was in depression. She could remember her fight with n number of people where after the fight when she was back to her normal life she would get a tornado of thoughts stating her that she could have said this or that, the planning for regular life that her mind did everyday, the thoughts that she had to do something for herself, etc etc.

These were the regular thoughts that she has on a daily basis and she did not mind these thoughts much, so then how can she know what type of thoughts would lead her to depression. She can relate her reading to depression in the past events of her life but for current events she cannot.

Maybe depression is a vague idea then. The idea where people want something but they cannot have it or cannot let it go or in which people are stubborn. The regular treatment is to talk to a psychologist which would mean that this particular person would round you up in your own thoughts and would force you to believe those things by yourself. But again a thought crosses her mind, is it so hard to accept somethings or are people too stubborn even it hurts themselves mentally? Is it not important to believe in yourself and live your life to the fullest no matter how hard it is? She had been brought up with confidence and warmth of people around her so may be for her this was a myth.

Dreamy Mornings

The chirping of birds jerked her awake from her sleep and after rummaging through the covers she was able to locate her mobile which showed that it was just 6 am on a Sunday morning and no way was she going to wake up this early on her only weekly holiday. Still, she was contemplating the reason for waking up with a jolt from such small voices. She was wondering about the dream that she had before she woke up or rather those small noises which somehow felt gigantic screaming voices in her dream.

She started with her usual habit of organizing her daily routine in her head, by preparing a mental list of things that she thought were important enough to be completed today itself. The list in her head was long enough to occupy her day and she had to leave her bed this early in order to fulfill the targets that she had set for herself.

She decided to climb up the stairs to the terrace in order to have a look at the plant that she had started nurturing just yesterday. The light outside was a bit dim as the sun was due to follow its own daily routine. The air up in the terrace was mist because of the early morning dew which also gave a watery layer to the stairs as well as to the leaves of her plant.

The sky was blue with a pinch of yellow shaded here and there, which allowed it to be picturesque when flock of birds pierced through those colours. She observed the variation in colours for some time and started wondering about her dream. Along with the dream everything came up in her mind all at once, the list that she had made for the day, the screaming voices in her dream which were her own panic screams that came out because of the nearness of the deadline on her work.

She was very specific about her deadlines, even though she herself has set those in order to stay organised and to complete her work before time. She liked to work that way, ahead of time and finishing off in advance which made her feel like an achiever and maybe sometimes as an over achiever. Now after seeing this morning sky and the birds, she thought that like her the sun has to rise everyday because it is his only duty, birds has to fly everyday in order to search for food but none of the two were looking to be any hurry to start their day and were merely enjoying the colours and freshness of the morning.

She recalled her love for the mornings when she was younger, she did have her daily routine and studies to deal with at that time but still she used to squeeze out time for mornings which made her day less stressful than these present days. She craved for those days with lower level of stress and maybe she can make that happen today itself by making it a bit easy for herself, after all there are limited number of mornings left in everybody’s account for one lifetime and she intend to utilize all of those. She looked at her plant whose leaves were now waving at her due to the misty breeze then at the colourful sky with the birds that made her smile and she made her decision that would lead to a long waiting period for her list and also would hopefully bring those screaming dreams to a stop.

Hurdles with Peace

The people these days are so much obsessed with technology that they breathe through these technologies. It would include everything from computers, laptops to smart phones, even headphones. Earlier when there were no smart phones people used to make conversations with the people sitting beside them during their journeys but now smart phones are used as a best excuse to avoid talking to people.

Let us forget about talking to other people and think about talking to ourselves. Yes, we do talk to ourselves when we need to make decisions, calm down ourselves or think about some particular topic. But have you ever given your mind a space where it can hurdle through a long way in peace? Hurdles with peace is a rare combination but I have observed that mind needs that or rather our body also needs it.

Technology has affected everybody in its own way and even I am trapped in its perturbed wave. I realized short after I started working out. Normally, I would go for a walk or a run with my smart phone and my earphones on but when you go to the gym for the first time, you have no clue of the type of workout you are going to do. So it is always better to not take your smart phone along with you, as such you have no clue about the safety of your phone either. So it started this way, first day at gym – a trainer was allotted and he asked me to do warm up on treadmill for 15 minutes. I thought yes that I can do as such I used to walk for an hour earlier. But the thing here I missed was I used to walk with earphones on and not without them.

As I started my walk on the treadmill and after what felt like hours I glanced at the timer and saw that it has just been a minute. A minute felt like so long because I had no idea what to do with myself while I walked. Earlier I listened to music or read something when I sat waiting for somebody. This was the first time that I had to spend 15 minutes but without my smart phone.

I was so shocked at this revelation that I could not occupy time with myself without my phone. My mind was racing in my head giving me ideas about what shall I do to pass these 15 minutes. It gave me ideas to stare at the windows or balconies which were in my view, what I have to do at work, what I will do after work or after one day or two day and so on and so forth. Those were the longest 15 minutes of my life. That day I decided that no matter how bored I get but I will find a way to spend time with myself or my mind.

I started with baby steps by trying to meditate. Not exactly meditate but to let my mind focus on usual things like breathing or my steps or counting steps while I worked out and eventually I reached a point where when I looked at the timer, 5 minutes would have passed. Now, I found out that while working out I am in a state called BLISS. I used to wonder how some people go for a run to calm themselves down, but after achieving BLISS, I thought that it is possible.

While working out I let my mind wander and think about beautiful things. Firstly, beautiful things related to myself. We all have a physical capacity and my mind thinks about some beautiful things or focuses on counting during that time and after that I use my mind to motivate myself so as to reach a point above my capacity, beyond my comfort zone. After relaxing when I think back on that time, I only remember some glimpses of myself which shows that I had reached that state where everything is marvelous, palatable, and pleasant as if I can do anything, achieve anything and that makes me call that location BLISS.

Maybe this is my idea of hurdles with peace.

Choice – Route of life

She was all teary eyed when she finished the book while sitting at the corner table with the book still in her hand at her favorite library. The book was all about a man who was kidnapped when he was a child and later adopted by a rich family thousands of miles away from his original family. Somehow, he was lucky enough to find his way back to his family after some years. No doubt the family who adopted him was rich and that improved his and his original family’s life. Still, this story left her teary eyed not with tears of happiness but with tears of sadness. The only question occupied her mind was that what if the man was not successful to find his original family or what if the choices which were made on our behalf by others when we were very young to understand were wrong according to our believes?

She thought that the ‘what ifs’ in our life are always left unanswered, the man in the book has almost all the answers to the ‘what ifs’ in his life. That is not the case in real life. We are always left behind to wonder what would have happened if we had selected this option instead of that or if we had chosen some other career option. It is hard to imagine the consequences of the choices when we actually have to choose from two options but when we have made one choice and somehow that does not end up well then we are compelled to think about the results that would have erupted from the other option, even though there was no guarantee of the success of the other option itself.

Moreover, thinking back when we were young enough that others decided for us, what was the guarantee that what they thought was beneficial for us, was actually what we want now? It is complicated to think that during those days if we were allowed to make choices then our choice would have been good compared to theirs. As such in the book there was a person who decided that the child’s future would be better with other family than his family. But the child at that point thought that he wanted joy with his family rather than the richness. He was confused about how he would have felt about it now when he grew up and got hold of his history. This confusion would have stayed adamantly on his mind even if he would have grown up with his family and thought about the probability of the other option.

She thought about the probability of how her life would have been based on the other options she had and she recalled a quote from the author Catherine Pulsifer, “And in life, it is all about the choice we make. And how the direction of our lives comes down to the choices we choose.” Ultimately it is all about the choices we make and so it was useless to think negatively about this choice and this life. With that, a smile came her face and she stood up to choose another book to read, that would probably make her feel happy.

(The book – The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright)

Racism – Gift from Unknown

Racism is a common problem in India, even the educated category believes in it and says proudly that they are Brahmins and they think that these casts that they claim to belong to are because of their ancestors. But is it really true that everything they have got, heard or believed has been gifted by their ancestors?

Peeking into the famous Indian mythologies Ramayana and Mahabharata revitalized the fact that there were no cast discriminations in the Era of Ram and Krishna, as Ravana himself was a Brahmin but was still labelled as Rakshsa. Also, the Myths described by our ancestors were very rich in agriculture, art and Sanskrit. The ancestors never focused on castes then who could be the possible parents of this orphan named Racism that has been raised in India?

The answer to this was very simple but difficult to acknowledge as people were busy believing in it rather than investigating its depth. Indian people have been largely influenced by British as they had ruled the country for about a century. British were famous for their titles King, Lord, Duke, Marquees, Earl, Baron, Viscount, Prince etc. which were used by some rich people in the country and those without titles were either in their army or slaves. These titles were awarded on richness, caste or patriarchy. Whereas in India no such cast titles were given apart from King as such they used to run the nation and Indian patriarchy insisted on proper flow of their knowledge and art to next generation.

Similarity between today’s Indian thinking and British thinking could be easily depicted instead of the Indian thinking portrayed in the very famous mythologies. British history states the existence of a long line of children in order to get heir to their name similar to some Indians in 20th century which shows the use of females as a production system. British used to show respect to the upper class people by prefixing their titles while in India some suffixes are still used. Moreover the thinking, government, political tactics that are seen in the people today were actually used by British in the past. While in mythologies they had respected the females without using any annoying suffixes, also they did not question their King and the King never played dirty politics.

The British influence on Indian society can be easily visualized and still the present educated generation think that whatever they have without earning in terms of name, fame and popularity is because of their great-great ancestors. Either the generation has gotten so engrossed in their life that they did not make any effort to visualize the similarities or the education that they have received had not taught them to accept the truth.

All these facts throws some light on the other problems that are faced by our country such as the Kashmir quest – whether it belongs to India or Pakistan, disrespecting farmers, un-employment, corruption, poverty, believing in different Gods rather idols, not able to choose a proper government and the most chanted sentence like a mantra “India would never come up as nothing good can ever happen here”. Could these things also have same parents as Racism?

Childhood – No Regret

Everybody remembers their childhood, even though it was at a very young age and it is known that normally people do not remember things which happened to them when they were too young. There are those blur images in everybody’s mind related to their childhood, let it be favorite toy, their bicycle, doll, playgrounds or some scenes at random which usually flash in their mind at some situations. The childhood is the most beautiful phase of a person’s life which cannot be differentiated as good or bad because at any case it is good.

When you were young you always wanted to be a grown up and when you are a grown up all you want to do is to be young again and that makes you miss your past days instead of enjoying them. Missing something that you cannot hold for life is defined as ‘regret’. In order to enjoy present one must be free from regret. The best thing you have left behind even after knowing that it was the best, is your childhood as you knew that you cannot hold it forever. Similarly there are many things in life that one needs to let go as such regret would not let you leave it mentally.

It seems obvious that moving forward without regrets is quiet tough but if still you go with it then instead of moving forward one might get stuck there. It is tough to leave a job, person, even some of your favorite things behind and move forward but there are some demands of your age or maturity that requires such sacrifices from you. Those who get sentimental about leaving get stuck and they suffer a lot before moving out of it which they have to learn to do eventually.

The best thing would be to move forward and at a later stage try to recollect all your old memories which gave you happiness or even sadness at some point. Reliving those memories would make you realize a gap between that person and this present person which would ultimately lead you to believe that if you would have carried your regret about leaving it then you would not have enjoyed reliving it. This would make you believe in yourself and make more such memories by living in the present without regret.