“People think that alien spaceships would be solid and made of metal and have lights all over them and move slowly through the sky because that is how we would build a spaceship if we were able to build one that big. But aliens, if they exist, would probably be very different from us. They might look like big slugs, or be flat like reflections. Or they might be bigger than planets. Or they might not have bodies at all. They might just be information, like in a computer. And their spaceships might look like clouds, or be made up of unconnected objects like dust or leaves.

― Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time

Idealism

When you delve deep into things, simplify and break them apart into their very core ingredients, you’re left with questions which may seem quite rudimentary in their existence, but go beyond our current levels of perception. The answers may not be attainable (that’s up for debate) but these questions have the power to guide us towards the general direction of sought-out states of minds, such as peace and happiness. The simplicity of “What are we doing here?” or “Why was I born where I was, out of all the million possibilities?” is pure brilliance, it prompts the mind to travel to areas which it may not even know it has.

I also believe that there definitely needs to exist obstacles and various intricate challenges, but those are practically the bridge to the palace of everything. Look at the bigger picture. Don’t you want to find an abundance of joy in the smallest of things, such as the green of grass or the blue of the sky? Or rather the black of gardens at night, and the way the night sky opens up another realm of possibilities, each star burning brightly; most of them already dead. The irony of the fact that idealism, in this context, is either laughed upon or thrown aside only to focus on the pile of money that gets bigger, or the increase in convenience is beyond perplexing. It’s an almost; an almost there. Maybe when the next pile comes, it will be bigger, and it can consume you enough for your mind to believe in its power. Or you just keep waiting for all of this to make sense, for your next destination to end, for you to actually BE happy in this moment. But that’s quite difficult isn’t it? When you’re thinking about all the things you need to do and all the things that you could have done differently. Efficiency needs to be worked upon.  Time needs to be managed better.

But when will you be at peace?

Truly, be, at peace?

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If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Don’t make too many assumptions. I believe that instead of assuming something, you should experience it, feel it, involve it. Otherwise let it not exist in the said context. It’s quite paradoxical though, because our lives are based on such large underlying assumptions that we find it hard to hold on to the very fact of the matter. We live assuming our roles in a certain manner, because well, it makes sense. Arguments about society are made on the underlying assumption of an idealist’s point of view; personally, at least. And the harsh assumption that this idealism may never exist is also made. But that’s another story altogether. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that we live our daily lives, constantly making these assumptions, without giving it a chance. About people, about certain scenarios, about the way you want your day to be, and so on. But don’t assume, live it. Make it real without forcing it to be so. I find it is rather intriguing to perceive without these barriers.

Ode to a Nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
         My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
         One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
         But being too happy in thine happiness,—
                That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
                        In some melodious plot
         Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
                Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
         Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
         Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
         Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
                With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
                        And purple-stained mouth;
         That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
                And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
         What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
         Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
         Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
                Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
                        And leaden-eyed despairs,
         Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
                Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
         Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
         Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
         And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
                Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
                        But here there is no light,
         Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
                Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
         Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
         Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
         White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
                Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
                        And mid-May’s eldest child,
         The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
                The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
         I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
         To take into the air my quiet breath;
                Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
         To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
                While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
                        In such an ecstasy!
         Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
                   To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
         No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
         In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
         Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
                She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
                        The same that oft-times hath
         Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
                Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
         To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
         As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
         Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
                Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
                        In the next valley-glades:
         Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
                Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

By
     John Keats

The branches of repression

We all avoid things. People. Places. Situations. Just a little more comfort, just a little more time and then we shall face it. But that time never comes does it? Not in the way that you want it to at least. Because repressing leads to exploding. It’s no longer uncomfortable; now, it is full blown, breathing fire. And it wants you to face it in the way that makes up for all the lost time in which you have sat down and let it slide. There’s only so much you can throw under the rug till it suffocates you, leaving you with no choice but to take it all out at one extreme go. And the irony of it all has always been quite an astounding thing.

I think that it’s actually so fascinating the way things work. What goes around truly does come all they way  back around. And that’s the chaos in its fact, that it will, but far, far, far from what you expect.

To the next

This is my justification to me

This is either an ode

Or an elegy.

Perhaps its a vent

Or if this goes that other way

Then I shall be;

I shall be.

It started with time

When time started to matter

This goes all the way back

Down to the clink of the shatter.

Balance gives me thrill

But thrill does not give me balance

Yet here I am.

Here I shall stay,

Here I shall wallow;

But here I will do anything but follow

All the factors that aren’t here

For its been a long long time, and now my mind is finally clear.

This is a big one

My own personal big bang

Now it is about to explode

And I am still here.

What the future holds, I do not know,

But face it I shall,

For I will grow.

Nature is my constant

It is my creation

And it will be destruction

And I shall decay endlessly

Over and over

And to be everywhere;

To be here.

Berman: All that’s solid melts into air

Somewhere along the line, we have this quality of superiority. Without even realising, we act upon these thoughts which tag us along for a crazy ride where we haven’t a clue as to why we are unsatisfied, or why, we are constantly seeking recognition. Upto an extent, I believe that we don’t just want recognition, but we also strive to be better.  We want the best. For ourselves.

Today in my Indian environment class, my teacher made a simple statement; “The rocks in South India are more basaltic than the ones we find here in Pune.” This sentence marked a sense of pride. I am from South India. I have better rocks.
Seriously?
I don’t believe in recognition; on a large scale at least. But I do admit to wanting it in terms of the people I interact with. Is it just plainly recognition though? Or is it in existence as a complex of the more core traits, present in all of us, dancing in various forms but eventually comes to down to this; arrogance. It fuels our pride; our ego, and our need for being the best. As a species we claim that we are the conquerors. Take a person who has climbed say the Himalayas for instance. He/she claims that he/she conquered the mountain. I would like to ask Bill Gates or Anil Ambani, each of whose net worth is in billions, and who sit on “golden thrones” to hold their breath for over 5 minutes in a small water body.
We are not the conquerors.
We may be great, no doubt, but we are also small. We are tinier than a blip in the geological time scale.

Turns out where I’m currently sitting and writing this (in class) was once, upon the great sands of time, an active volcano.

Turns out there were two mass extinctions that took place for no apparent reason.

Turns out that the Romantic period in literature (1798-1832) was a time in which almost all the authors spoke about beauty in nature, and wrote pieces on how we need to live in harmony and co-exist. It’s strange to grapple onto this because it comes from an underlying assumption that we are different from nature. We act as though we are above it all.
As if the golden throne lasts.
Inspite of the natural cycle of life and death, we choose to ignore. we throw it under the rug and hush people when they speak about death, and then we are heartbroken when somebody dies. Oh, all the things we would have said or done had we known this was the day! It is the day. Every day is the day. And we are not escaping with each living day because there is nothing to escape. Once you look at the bigger picture, a lot of things begin to seem trivial; unnecessary. Know that you are alone and I mean this in the most beautiful and positive way. Which is why, it’s advisable to be the best version of you, that YOU believe it to be.
For we are all here, but not for long.