Tat Tvam Asi

There are these recurring phases in my life where I engage in short bouts with spirituality. I am currently going through one such phase which led me to the the sacred texts of Hindu ideology – The Upanishads. 

I haven’t gone full hard-core enough to learn Sanskrit and dive into the original texts. I am on the easy trek with a translation by Ekanath Easwaran. It’s still seems a trek nonetheless and I am standing at the base trying to get a glimpse at the peak. 
Ekanath was kind enough to put in an introduction to prepare me before the dive. While going through the introduction, with a certain lax I must admit, I stumbled on this word “Tatvamasi”. 

Somehow there was a strange connect that I felt with this syllable. This word seemingly so small that it’s meaning is just three words “Thou art that” (there is something about spirituality and archaic English) had such profound impact on me that it’s still echoing inside me. 

Tatvamasi – so much meaning lies between those words. The singularity of the world. The oneness in all beings. The alpha and the omega. You are one and the whole. 

Meditate on this word until it reverberates your whole and look around. Aham Brahmasmi! 


Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club 

Last night I was shuffling through some random playlist. I didn’t even realize I was listening until I heard the line “Don’t, Don’t, Don’t… Don’t you forget about me” and found my fist up, hitting the air. 

Breakfast Club is one of those movies that I watched with no clue whatsoever about what I am getting into, and ended up making a sort of profound impact. 

For those not initiated into the Breakfast Club, please do sit yourself down and watch it. It’s about 5 kids, teens with their trademark angst, who couldn’t have ended up in the same room, if it was not for the fateful Saturday detention. These are five who are so different from each other that they soon bond over their common dislike for one another. 

The movie closes with one of the most iconic scenes I’ve have ever seen. Backed by the theme song by Simple Minds it’s one of those scenes that instills a sort of nostalgia in me. 

Till last night I saw this as a moment of hope, protagonists leaving the hall as unlikely friends, if not more. Each one gaining something in place of something about them that they had shed. Judd Nelson’s iconic fist-to-the-air. His character, John Bender finally getting a break in his life from the most unlikely of sources. 

But last night something shifted and I saw this scene for what it really was. It stands for that momentary bliss that we feel when something happens in our life, but may never happen ever again how much ever we want it to. 

The day ends with each of them learning something about themselves and one another. Another day starts and who knows what entails. This is even addressed in the movie when Brian asks whether they would actually look out for each other once they are back in their hoods. Disguising the real them in a visage of false laughs and desperate friendships. 

The fist bump to the high seem so much more right now. So much depth in that momentary high. 

The masks we were

Everyone puts on a facade at some point. To cope with something past or to gain something new. Every thought, every whisper gets filtered through this film, a haphazard attempt to convince people around you that one they knew has evolved in and out.

But as you let out, so do you let in. The mask seeps into you. And slowly you find yourself standing at the wrong side of your own deception. You stare at the stranger who smile back at you. But it just seems implausible that you were ever that person. But howmuchever you deny,  they are still there at the back of your head gnawing at your thoughts, infecting them with with their innocence. 

The mask is ruthless though . It tears apart all your thoughts, picking on them to keep the mockery going. You refuse to believe that the mask has now a life of its own. And if ever a thought escapes, you find that so alien that it conflicts your very being. Denial, anger and confusion ensues. You scramble among the people around to make sense of it all. 

The facade has become you, an ego of your own making. Whatever remains of  yourself get molded by the cancer. All the world’s a stage…. And one man in his time plays many parts. 

The Bygones called

My mom put down tea for me bedside and tried to wake me up. My grandmother, hearing this trudged towards me as fast as she could manage now. I could hear her mumbling some story that she had dreamt up hoping to pour it out on me. I already hated this day. It was hot, my grandmother’s place was facing an almost-draught situation and moreover it was Monde-Thursday which meant I had chores to do from the moment I woke up. My grandmother’s ramblings were the least of my worries,  but if I could manage to pretend-sleep through that, that’s one less. 

Soon I heard my father calling. Apparently there was someone at the door and I was asked to give him some money. It was ‘Krishnan Chettan’,  way over his prime. He used to tend to the fields here. I laughed inside. How come he was always this old? I couldn’t remember a time when he was younger. There was a smile on his face. Something more than mere recognition. 

As soon as he saw me, He started telling me stuff. As if his mouth had an automatic trigger. I had to stand there nodding and smiling because of the pretences that I had to maintain. He told me of how he it was harder for to breath and how he could no longer work with his old sickle as he used to. Eventhough he worked the fields still, I didn’t think people gave him money because of the work he did, atleast anymore. I guess it was more of a sentimental charity. 

While I was thinking that, he went on to make me realise how much of an asshole I was. He told me that he needed to some more money from somewhere to buy a new kind of sickle that he could use with ease. It suddenly hit me that he still saw it as his job. He was still working hard for his bread. He could just stand there and he would be given the same, he had that strong bond with the people here. But no, he still wanted to earn what he ate. No matter how hard it became he was not going to accept anything that he didn’t feel earned. 

I sat there with tea staring at the green shrubbery. The birds had started their rhythmic chant. It was beautiful how so many of them managed to keep to the rhythm, rising and falling like a wave. My grandmother was in the kitchen making ‘Indreyappam’. The unique flavour spread around, it was almost done. Suddenly my cousin shouted from the other side, Krishnan Chettan had come. Hope he had a new story to tell us…  He was drawing a grid on the ground, Haha nice! A new game!! This guy is a genius! 

The dating conundrum 

We have adapted lot of things from globalisation. Every field of human culture, be it law, fashion, art or music, everything has been influenced by the same from somewhere else. We bring in to foreign trends a blend of our own cultural influence, creating a grand motley mixture of fusion trends that have always awed me.

Consequently it was not long before the same fused into relationships and the like. But when it came to dating and the whole process of finding your mate, it moulded into this unholy alliance that defied it’s very purpose. Somehow when the moral codes in my neighbourhood mixed into this, the following amalgams spewed out:

  • Post-relational dating – The one where the couple settles the fact that they are starting a relationship and then start on with the dating. I wonder how that works. In my understanding, it’s supposed to be the other way round,right? No? Yes? 
  • Camoed dating – The one where the couple brings on a whole array of friends to camouflage the real purpose because “log kya kahenge” (what will people say). 
  • And finally Sanskari dating – The one where every possible combinations of the couple and parents are figured out to that start a drawn-out process of who meets who and when. 

    Now I am no expert in dating or what it stands for, but I tend to believe that dating is a way to get to know people and then figure out whether he/she is worth the trouble of being in a relationship with. It’s a practice of learning about others, whereby you learn more about yourself and what you are looking for in your partner. 

    Messy things do happen and it may be tedious as hell. But you got to go through a whole lot of dresses before you decide what you are gonna wear when you say “I do”. 

    Buoyant Bubbles

    In what certainty do we believe in tomorrow. The one day that everyone is optimistic about. One more day to make things better. What we have and how much we have doesn’t matter, morrow is the day to make them better. Stability and staticness of one’s life is just an illusion that we have created for ourselves, for the better or worse.

    Complaceny is a lie and Stasis, a state of frustration. Subconsiously we are all thriving for change. Denial of which stimulates anger and disappointment into myriad forms of itself, eating away at our core. Slowly turning us into hollow shells, denied of purpose.

    The beacon of light far away, a mirage that we call purpose. A lie that we keep on telling ourselves, to convince ourselves that our lives matter. Our lives are like the bubbles accompanying a wave. Singularly we don’t matter, a part of the collective froth. Our bursts – mere vibrations felt by the nearbys. But waves come and go, sprouting new lives with each fall. Screams drowned in the din of crashes.

    We play our role still, half of our actions mechanical driving us to that beacon distant. Hoping to be the one bubble that stays ashore.

    The Dark Sky Tag

    Thanks a lot for this tag, Chaos. My first tag! Gonna have some fun with this 😁

    • Books or movies?

    Books. More room to flesh out characters.

    • What’s your favorite tv show at the moment?

    Breaking Bad, Friends, Game of Thrones, Attack on Titans, Death Note, FullMetal Alchemist. Oh there sure is whole lot.

    But I would have to go with Friends. Never fails to crack me up.

    • List three things/people who you can’t live without

    I am an all-out peoples person. Need their presence, need their attention. The who doesn’t matter much.

    • What makes you happy?

    Staring out to vast expanses with coffee/tea in one hand and a book in the other.

    • What makes you sad?

    Lies. Something I got from my dad – “I would stand by you whatever happens, as long as we are honest to each other”.

    • If you could change anything in this world, what would it be?

    The world with all its imperfections is the best teacher we’ve got.

    • Camping or five-star hotels?

    Camping. Wilderness, bonfires and merriment all over.

    • You’re on a roof with someone you love around midnight. What do you talk about?

    Probably embrace the silence, with a drink in hand.

    • Why you started blogging?

    I reached a point when I seemed to have lost everything I held dear. I was trying to grasp on to something and this happened.

    • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    Would have learnt a couple more lessons.

    • How do you describe yourself?

    I am a hypocrite with thoughts to change the world but too complacent to actually do anything.

    • What is your overall goal in life?

    To be known, to be remembered with a smile.

    • Would you like to be famous?

    I’d like to make a mark in the few lives that I have crossed.

    • What natural disaster are you mostly afraid of?

    Draught. Somehow the idea of waterless expanse frightens me. Always been a rainguy.

    • Are you an introvert or an extrovert? 

    Been an intovert, now a conscious extrovert.

    • Favorite quote? 

    You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes, you will find, you get what you need.

    • Favourite colour?

    Blue, the deep dark kind.

    • Werewolf or Vampire?

    Always thought I liked vampires more. But somehow my mind keep saying werewolf now, maybe coz of the whole wild and free thing.

    • How many imaginary friends do you have? Describe at least one’s personality.

    I do have this guy in my head whom I talk to from time to time. But he doesn’t have name or persona of his own.

    • Describe some features of your future house.

    A room just for books with huge shelves and a place to sit and read. Empty otherwise.

    • What do you dislike the most about humans?

    Selfish beyond repair.

    • What is the one personality trait that makes you unique?

    I adapt

    • What is the most important thing that you’d like your partner to have?

    Independent, confident and funny.

    I tag :