Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Terms of Love…

The Generation –X has brought with it super fast gadgets, cars, babies and surprisingly – Love. The other day I was watching an interview of a normal couple on the TV who were worried to death that their relationship was now boring may be leading to a condition they called ‘Falling out of Love’. It struck me then that this was one phrase I never quite understood. How can two people fall out of love? It’s as if love was some contract which they decided not to renew after a while. I am referring to normal relationships which are not abusive or mutually hurtful which start out with a bang and eventually fizzle out just because the people involved fell ‘out’ of love. I have a hard time wrapping my head around this phrase which appears to be a convenient way of saying I am bored and need something new but I don’t want to break the vows I took or promises I made.

None of us would disagree to the fact that the initial stages of a love story are priceless and remain blissfully immortal but being the ardent movie buffs that we all are we do realize that every love story should have a plot and should progress towards the climax. I am sure none of us would want to be stuck in the first scene of the movie for 3hours (unless it is a Karan Johar’s extravaganza which he churns out every year in a tribute to his own other flicks). When we demand a great plot and pace in a love story we paid to watch why is it that we fail to realize that our love stories need to mature as well with time and head towards more meaningful lives together?

The phrases ‘excitement’,’ freshness’, ‘boring’ in the context of relationships are so overrated by the television media that it is no longer acceptable for a couple to admit they did nothing over the weekend. It is utterly sad if you don’t spend a fortune and take trips during the long weekends or if you don’t gift expensive things to your partner or even say we are content with how we are with each other. even before you know it, according to the so called law your relationship is hanging by a feeble thread and is at its expiry date. If we could take a minute and think who brought this shift in our perspectives we would realize it’s the clever marketing departments of the rich corporates that thrive on our fears. Starts right with the greeting cards, flowers, jewellery and houses that we are forced to consider as gifts to keep the relationship alive. They have been very successful in driving the point home that your contract is always open ended and up for negotiations and you cannot let yourself settle into the relationship and feel at home.

These things are always good to have in a relationship but they cannot and must not define it and definitely not make you feel as if you have reached the limit in your love for each other. Have we ever fallen out of love with our parents and siblings? We don’t even see them every second of our lives after an age do we? Then why is that we second guess our love for spouse even if we spending every waking hour with them? We have probably heard this a Zillion and one times but - to me Love is what you have when you know the person inside out and still stick around. Love is knowing he is not going to fill the dishes in the sink with water and yet give him a smile when he comes out or knowing she is going to get lost on her way out of the mall and meeting her at the store just to ‘Carry her bags’. Love is saying nothing but still having the best conversation ever. Love is building your entire life around him or her. Yes it does get a little boring but who says electrons in your life should eternally be in an excited state? There is something called a stable state too. Not inert but stable.

We have conditioned ourselves in a way that our relationship never evolves nor does it mature into something beautiful. We want to keep it at its adolescent self where we are eternally young and madly in love for the very first time. I may not be an expert in eternal love but I can say that the crazy love we have in our eyes at the beginning may be exciting but its more rewarding when you see that understanding smile and a look in his eyes that says “How very like you! ..but I got your back!”

Who says love stories need different lead pairs? There can be a new love story every day with the same ones. Have you not EVER learnt something new about him a year or two even after having known him? I know I have and it sure makes you say ‘Wow!!’ (‘Whoa!!’) very promptly. Well, here’s to celebrating that eternal love every time you forget his shirt size, every time he burns down the kitchen, every time you forget the key and make him run barefoot to the leasing office for the spare one, every time he burns the midnight oil finishing an assignment for you and every time you watch his action flick with a hope that someday he is going to join you for a romantic one and every time you tell each other ‘ Let’s grow Old together!!!!’

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Alien Franchise...

"yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham"

Is what Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavat geeta which means “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself” thus giving the Mankind a hope and assurance against anarchy. Almost all the faiths around the world function around an imaginary power they call ‘God’, ‘Messaih’, ‘Prophet’,’Guru’ etc. to create ,protect and destroy mankind. I am sure I would not alone when I hoped my Math paper or a bad code review or at least my performance appraisal would qualify as this rise of irreligion for the God to hit the restart button to life. I am proud of myself for not giving up hope even if there were minor setbacks in my expectations so far.

Not so long ago I came across an interesting article that there are theories furnishing that the Earth was invaded by the aliens not recently but around thousands of years ago who are now being worshipped as Gods by the mankind. The author of the article noticed an interesting behavior from an African tribe which sparked his interest in the research about the subject. During the first world war, the Allies were supposed to have stationed themselves in a remote African tribal village to enable a more clandestine war and accessed the land by special aircrafts which brought in all the necessary food and groceries. Some of them were even shared with the natives who were in awe of the people needless to mention all the modern equipment they never knew of. The soldiers moved on to their homelands after the war while one of them returned after a couple of years to check on a friend he had made during those years. He noticed things had changed in the village and people were more religious now that they had a God. He saw that the villagers were worshipping a wooden aircraft structure at the spot where the aircraft carrying the food used to land during the war with a hope that one day the God would bring them the food as he did during the war. The more I think about this the more sense it makes and the more scary our world looks.

What if our Gods really were Aliens who had advanced technology which we never knew existed when they came to the earth? They had a spaceship we call pushpaka Vimana, a glowing weapon we call Vajrayudha, a leaders who had four heads or someone who could play melodious flute that mesmerized people around him or who had a swirling weapon we called Vishnu Chakra? That would make the Prophets /Gurus of the present day ordinary folks who could just ape the aliens in some way thus revered as Gods. What if the story of the tribal village applies to all the mankind? What if the aliens who formed a solid subject to numerous Hollywood and some very bad bollywood movies were not just visitors to earth but a center of the faith system to the entire Earth? Scary huh?

If this were to be true, all hell would break lose. I use the word Hell for the lack of any other word as this would also cease to exist if there were no heaven where the Gods (who don’t exist) live. Then let’s just say All Planet X would break lose assuming the Aliens live on Planet Y. Religion which is an integral part of our lives would be just a joke as they would just refer to an alien creature we thought was God. I could not help but imagine how ridiculous we would look to worship Lord Rama or Goddess Durga if they turned out to be aliens. And the hymns we sing in their praise would be an exponential of the ludicrosity.

On the flipside, it appears to be such an efficient way of bringing order to an anarchy if that's what the Earth was when the Aliens first visited her. If all this is true, then kudos to them for having established their franchise so competent and foolproof in product strategy which custom delivered the form of God, in marketing strategy which invented a form for the earthlings to base their faith up on, and in sales strategy which proliferated the entire planet that it survived thousands of years without a shred of competition. I wonder if the earth was just a project they had to finish to graduate and forgot to ctrl+z it. We would never know. But it sure lays down the perfect Business Sutra to the so called top business schools that churn out the so called cream of the business professionals in this world or should I say on this planet. Harvard, Stanford can you beat it?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Of all the things....

Have you ever wished for a magic potion for Happiness? One which can save you from this eternal roller coaster of emotions? I have been thinking about it lately and realize that it’s not a bad thing to ask for at all if God makes an appearance to me one day. But then again who will remember to ask for a nonexistent potion when there are countless other tangible things you would rather ask Him? Anyway back to the issue at hand. I am sure we have at some point or phase in life asked around for a prescription to happiness in life. Apparently no one has got one or it would have made someone ridiculously rich with a patent.

I would not be completely wrong if I said that the extent of our happiness is often a function of success. The more success we get in life the happier we are or so we think. So what does it take to succeed? Somehow the adage ‘Where there is a will there is a way’ doesn’t always make sense to me. I would say the equation of success is not often a simple expression of will and hard work. There is a hidden variable called Emotions which decides whether the equation equals Success or not. We all agree that when there is a conflict between the heart and mind, it is seldom that mind behaves rationally. I speak for matters other than life and death because then your mind generally puts you in an auto mode giving you only necessary instructions to get through the crisis. But chasing your dream of getting into that top business school, making it big in the career etc. are some things in life though not critical but very taxing because of the sheer effort they demand from us and here I would say we bring them into our lives by choice. Everyone tells us the ways to success but what they don’t tell you is how long the road is and how tedious the journey is. Sometimes on this road you don’t even see a sign saying Way to success until your feet are blistered and you are completely sapped out ready to take the first cab out.

At the end of the day no matter how many successful people we idolize and no matter how many adages we memorize about winning, nothing prepares us for the real test. We all have a prompt home delivery of a personalized question paper called life everyday to solve with only free advices and our own past experiences to count on. Not very promising stationery to take on the paper I would say.
Surprisingly enough we often link our precious happiness to the outcome of this test. Wouldn’t it be great if happiness was an independent function? Something which we could get in small quantities at intervals to keep us going. That brings us back to the magic potion we wished for in the beginning. With all the brainstorming I have been doing these days to cope up with my journey to have a career in the United States for over a year now, I have discovered the two most important things you ought to have in your life in order for you to be even sane to enjoy the success when it finally comes your way.

The first ingredient to our magic potion is Hope. Hope, to hold your hand when you are down and out and to give you a new reason to wake up the next morning.
The second and the most important one is Patience. Patience to not give up when things go haywire. Patience to still love the destination when all the paths leading to it are under maintenance. Easier said than done right?

I would say if we can trick ourselves in to believing that we are actually happy, a little attitude adjustment is a very small price to pay for this magic potion. It would not hurt to try something which can help us bounce back after a setback and not to look for that cab when the destination is just around the corner. On this long road to success and hence happiness, let patience make us strong to wait for tomorrow and let hope make tomorrow worth waking up for. Till then let’s just say When the going gets tough, the patient and the hopeful get going…

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back to the FuTuRe....

The year which marked a decade of the new millennium is a few days shy of slipping into the past. Looking back, I realize that this year was different and not so different from the others .There were “Ahh ..My life is Awesome !!” moments and there were “What???? “ moments in all our lives. Yet we found time to create a Facebook account and I am sure most of us have managed to upload albums with the names ‘I, Me,Myself’ , ‘Fun times’ or know at least one person who did. We pondered the dismal skills of India during the Common Wealth games and what it would take for the nation to tap its true potential. We watched with horror the damage we did to the ecology in the name of technology with the BP oil spill. We managed to watch movies with strokes of brilliance like ‘The Inception’,’The Social Network ‘and also the ones which made us want to change our profession and enlighten the film fraternity. No matter how the grave or how silly it was, life still went on and before we knew it, it was already the end of the 2010.Do you happen to remember your last year's resolution ? I know I don't ..

It’s a New year folks. Making a resolution is such a passé. Your life is as meaningful as you make it. This year allow yourself savor things you shied away from. Renew things you always did but somehow let them take a back seat in this eternally busy life. Grab those bags and go on a world tour,go bungee jumping, go back to your books, paint the beautiful face you always admired, write the song you wanted to play with your guitar. This time of the year is often to go back reminiscing the year that was. But this year lets go back to our dreams , our future.So what’s your 2011 going to be?

Monday, November 29, 2010

MindBlowing Movies !!

When I was 15 I participated in a debate about how serious and sensible the movies should be .I argued that the movies should be made with a sense of social responsibility. As expected, I lost the debate. I am 26 now and still cannot get used to the fact that movies are entitled to show us an imaginary and unreal world where everything is sweet and the hero bashes up the 7 feet villains ,who apparently look like they know kick boxing /kung fu / at least street fighting .All he has to do is tap on his thigh or remind them that he eats Indian green chillies.I wondered if the movie makers were allowed to take the liberty to show us the gory lives of the underworld with a pretext of making real cinema without considering its impact on the young minds .All this has been written about the movies for a long time now . However I noticed a new form of storytelling among the so-called new age movies and I should admit they manage to tell a story which isn’t remotely around.

I happened to watch the movie “Break ke Baad” last week and wondered if the Indian society was really ready for this kind of cinema as it was claiming to be. There has been an outburst of such movies in the recent years and still the movie makers seem to be struggling to actually drive the idea of casual relationships home without resorting to lectures on Indian ethics and values in the end. BKB is a movie which deals with a couple Abhay and Aaliya wanting different things out of life. Aliya wants to take up a mass communications course in Australia while she is still in a relationship and Abhay wants to get married. She goes away to explore new things in Australia with a promise to maintain the relationship. Meanwhile the guy gets insecure and feels left out of her life and goes to Australia to be lectured by the girl about the need of space in a relationship which leads to an eventual break up. What follows is how the guy finds himself while trying survive in an alien country(without even a legal immigrant status ) and befriends his love again eventually making her realize that she loves him and wants to get married to him.

It appeared as if the director tried too hard to make the girl look rebellious by making her puff a cigar, wear skimpy outfits even at an Indian wedding and announce when she lost her virginity. Why does she have to smoke to come across as level headed? If she is, then why does she scream and yell like a little girl even in a serious situation like a break up? And since when is chasing the girl to the other end of the world even if she isn’t interested in you cool? How does claiming to not let go of the girl because you made a promise fit into the modern ideology of the plot? Looks like the movie makers are either lost in figuring out what exactly is the “GenX” about or they have been watching their own movies to churn out the same thing with different lead actors.Agreed that love stories resemble each other at some point but don’t you think DDLJ differed from Hum aapke hain kaun ? I am not trying to establish these movies as a standard to measure others against but they were the beginnings of the so-called big budget feel good movies all the film makers claim to look up to.

I miss the movies like “Mirch masala” where the female lead did not have to ape the west to come across as a woman of substance. She could still belong to a poor rural family to stand up to her values and question the exploitation of the Subedar. She could look like she came out of the coal mines as long as she looked convincing in the character and brought life to it. The locations did not have to be splendid and breathtaking to keep the audience hooked to the movie. The costumes did not have to be taken out of a fashion magazine for the characters to be noticed. All it took was a sound storyline and actors who knew what they were doing .Trust me I spent three quarters of my time In BKB looking at the locales and the costumes and the remaining trying to figure out the story. A simple love story like “Katha “could leave you feeling all mushy and positive for life even without a skimpily clad girl, a boy looking like a chiseled statue or both with an accented English.

Sometimes I wonder if it is us who have given into the fake world that these movies offer to live a life we know is not possible for us. Why else are we ok with shelling out $15 for a movie which shows nothing but confused yelling youngsters or murderous factionists or characters too young to even mention the words true love? High time the movie makers made changes to the thought process that they claim to put in to making a movie and put to use the creative liberties that we have generously allowed them to take so as to relieve us from our real life stress and anxieties.