You come crash into me..

“It’s the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In LA, nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” – Graham (from Crash)

These lines so brilliantly capture the essence of city life. A million lonely people alone together. I’ve been as much of a city slick as the next person. It’s not what I really want though. I want to be able to be by the sea when my work day ends. I would trade driving around the city to walking in the sand.. From loud nightclubs to mark my social attendance to open skies with bright moonlight and a landscape like a canvas.. Take my concrete jungle for your mountains and valleys.. From a sea of familiar yet strange faces to strangers unfamiliar but real and open..

Quoting Don Mclean: “For I shall not be part of this cocktail generation, partners waltz devoid of romance, the music plays, everyone must dance, I’m bowing out, I need a second chance”.  The grass is greener on the other side. At least there is grass.

I have duly admired architects and their sheer brilliance, availed all the facilities and comforts and luxuries of modern day living, been lost amongst the crowd dotting the streets, fake smiles at people I don’t care, closet tears for the ones I love, Realized that aspirations are ever evolving and goals are a moving target, lost touch with what’s real and what’s not, enjoyed to the fullest all that city life has to offer..

Just for a bit just, absolutely for the heck of it, most definitely for the experience.. Someone please show me a real existing place inhabited by unmasked people. “You may say I am a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” I want to smile at strangers and I know our smiles are genuine. Where everyone’s not out to get one another but just be and let be. Where there is unbridled joy in simplicity and the energy around is all consuming.

So, that one can glance at their certain someone and tell them

“Oh I watch you there
Through the window
And I stare at you
You wear nothing but you
Wear it so well
Tied up and twisted
The way I’d like to be
For you, for me, come crash
Into me”

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I thought I saw you..

Today when I was driving back I saw you. Sitting in the back seat of this bike looking behind. I know you saw me. Through my wind shield our eyes held each other. I couldn’t believe it was you, I tried to blink away tears and strained my eyes harder to make sure it was you. You were flashing your signature impish grin. You then vanished just as unexpectedly as you had shown up. After gathering myself I allowed reality to sink in. It possibly couldn’t have been you. Perhaps someone who resembled you very closely. Perhaps I  had been thinking about you immensely for the past couple of days. Perhaps I live with someone who reminds me of you in so many ways. Perhaps coz I’ve seen you grown up in my house and the neighborhood. Perhaps coz I had always considered you my own. Perhaps coz by leaving the space you created connected a lot of people. Perhaps I had been in the company of these people a lot lately. Perhaps it was a deja vu. Perhaps I was to see you once again kiddo..

Mihir Parekh (5th feb 1988 to 14th March 2010 to eternity),

I had been meaning to write this to you for so long now and I know that I still will never find the words but I need to reach out to you. Maybe you gave me a sign today. You, cheeky trouble maker, genius, super athlete, prankster, everyone’s kid, gets away with everything he does person! I remember reprimanding you once too often for your mischievous ways. I remember your comeback ‘nothing you haven’t done before’ winking and walking away. I remember never being able to stay mad at you for too long. You were this powerhouse of energy and happy vibes, you lit up a room with your broken toothed smile, the most infectious childish laughter, sometimes sarcastic often slapstick sense of humor, the favorite in your gang. I have seen few people been loved with so much zest and energy. You are such a good soul.

“You got a smile that it seems to me..Reminds me of childhood memories..Now and then when I see your face ..Sweet child o’ mine.. where did you go now?” I miss you in my heart and in my house, I am reminded of you in my brothers growing up and in his face everyday, in your sisters looking at him as if he is you, in the way I look at him realizing he is becoming you too.. I miss you with your friends who talk about you with unstoppable laughter and undroppable tears. I chat with you sitting in your room in your house with your family. I tell jokes about you and your ways with people we know and we still laugh at the big goof ball you always have been. I feel your aura around me when I see your friends arms etched with “RIP MATCH”. I know more so how good a soul you are when I see your friends taking out their first salaries to create a scholarship fund in your name in your uni. I see you every other time in my brothers brave smiles and fogged glasses. And I know you are around when I see your football jersey on him.

They say only the good die young. I wish there are good souls like you around. The heaviness in the air tells me that there are not. Its amazing no suddenly to be living so many lives? playing so many more diff roles? making people quit habits and change their way? Bringing together so many people? Doing so many great things all at once? Match! you restless you! Bet your still kicking star goals and hacking illegal codes and messing with ex army commandoes twice your size or missing class and drinking beer or potentially failing yet another batch of engineers by showing them everything thats more interesting? I am so sure that you’re still misusing someone’s office? I know for a fact you are playing your usual prank and getting yourself and your idiot loyal friends into trouble? I know you are just gaming, playing ball, being a geek, finally living like a hippie somewhere (i’ll visit) and this time I know you won’t drop the Bong. I know you are still spreading the light and giving people sunshine. That was always you since I knew you and somethings never change.

“And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset
When the rain set in

Your candle’s burned out long before
Your legend never will”

Elton John

P.S. …..

“See you on the otherwise of the river bro”

Oh! Rain Maker

There is nothing quite like the Indian Monsoons.. It’s been a relentless downpour since the past two days and the rain came down quite unexpected.. Complete with thunder showers, lightening flashes, sudden breeze, over cast sky.. the works! I feel like those who love the sun too much have never really danced in the rain. It’s the same for folks who run for shelter spontaneously. They haven’t been “out there” long enough to brave the change of seasons or ways of nature. Indians monsoons come with an unparalleled charm and romance. Remember those train rides just sticking your nose against the glass window to catch a glimpse of the rain on the fields? Or the time you were in school and threw all caution to the wind and played outside with your friends while it rained?

Rain does occupy center stage in the Indian drama. The most celebrated season, the sign of prosperity, the power of destruction, the marking of a new year, Like other mythologies the personification of an element of nature, the subject of songs, the stimulant for artists, the plot for screen writers, dope for environmentalists,  fuel to light the lovers fire.. Rain is that fulcrum which underscores Indian culture..

India has a legacy of Monsoon Ragas given to us by the greats such as Tansen to celebrate the monsoons to quench parched forests and farms…Their music has been a source of inspiration to artisits, dancers and writers for decades. Their ragas have my name as the most commonly used word as do other songs about monsoons in India, getting my attention and patronage automatically. What I find ironical about the battles between the Hindus and Muslims and their staunch stand on supposed diametrically opposite ideologies,  There was a time Hindu-Muslim (Sufi) cultures graciously merged to create a culture of celebration and romance with rain and the monsoons and this common theme united them.. i.e. rain and music brought them together. Translation of

of Kahlil Gibran’s poetry:

“I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven
By the gods, Nature then takes me, to adorn
Her fields and valleys.
I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the
Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn
To embellish the gardens…
The voice of Thunder declares my arrival
The rainbow announces my departure
I am like earthly life, which begins at
The feet of the mad elements and ends
Under the upraised wings of death”

Or Rumi’s writing:

“Of a thousand lifetimes could not explain
If all the forest trees were pens
And all the oceans, ink?”

I think rain is nature’s way of demanding attention. Its her tantrum to get you to snap out of everything and check her out.  For distracting one from the hustle and bustle of their lives and taking a moment to bask in nature’s glory. I’ve noticed while driving in the rain, even though people seem to be really inconvenienced and hassled and delayed by the rain they can’t wipe off a half smile which threatens to break into a smile.. Even when they complain their grudges are more a result of conditioning and now a reflex action..

Rain undoubtedly has the ability to stir your feelings.. good or bad.. depending on your frame of mind and the time of the day.. For those happy souls say in love rain is the single greatest catalyst after music. The spring in the step, the hum of the song, the grin on the face, the sunshine in the heart. Nothing beats sharing the rain with someone you love. It’s happiness multiplies exponentially.. or the adverse effect if its otherwise is just as true.. It is at a summit of emotional submergence the sensitivity to connect with an element/force of nature develops..

Growing up in India we all have our fond memories of the rain.. The carelessly walking in the rain skipping school and indulging in the street side delicacies, The water logging of the streets of Calcutta and the paper boats floating on them, the getting drenched on the Marine drive in Bombay staring into the vastness of the sea and the infinite city lights, the driving around Vidya Sagar Setu in the heart of Calcutta yet so away and distinct from it, The suburbs of Bombay and the stand still life forcing time together, The warm cup of coffee and your fave song as you stare out of the window, the cursing in office for feeling the overwhelming need to break out and break free, the endless shots of tea in Pune getting soaked, The callousness of a young student and the brilliance of the Western Ghats, the bike rides and the stubborn mud on the denims and souvenirs of ruined shoes, The feeling dangerous and adventurous and venturing out to places I wouldn’t advise anyone go to, the stillness of the hills in the most torrential showers and the company of warm friends, watching out for the sibling playing football in the mud with the seasoned street players struggling to keep track of his identity under the cloak of mud, the rain dance that worked and the celebration by friends in your honor, all the other rain dances that did not, A rain maker passing by your town, the running to the terrace and claiming each time this is the best rain of the season, the dancing like no one’s watching alone or the embarrassed to be seen with you lover/friend, that thunderstorm in Goa which had an evil soul that lead to a fatal attraction.. it’s an endless list really.. Everyone has this list weather or not they remember it..

Rain melts you into everything.. Rain melts you into nothing.. hmm it’s just depends on what time of the day.. and what you’re thinking then..

P.S. I love my namesake!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Indeed one of the best opening lines of a book that ever is. When I was taking stock of the past year. My birthday month does that to me. I remembered these lines and I realized these words describe what I feel towards the year that was rather brilliantly. In the course of the past year I  have discovered for better or for worse life has been eventful. It most definitely was the best of the times.. Discovered unexpected friendships, crazy connections, laughed like I had never laughed before, danced a lot, fair bit of travel, quit a job which I had been trying to for the longest time, had the best sabbatical after, experienced the high and glory of seeing big dreams and  working towards them, rediscovered my passion for music and dancing, met so many interesting people who’ve left their permanent footprints in my life, loved like a fool, believed like an innocent, deeply connected with spirituality, owing to lots of failed plans became smarter and wiser than all my other years put together, read a lot of different writers and sensitized myself to a lot of diversity.. Really it was the spring of hope.

What I really have discovered is-
Nomenclature is overrated! You know the need to name everything every relationship every sorta work is so unnecessary. Is knowing not more important than naming? Isn’t love a self sufficient definition? Or its sub category needs to be well defined for it to work as well? Why should one need to have to say they are “self employed” or “in between jobs” when they are one a quest to discover self. Why underestimate the learning, the maturity, the wisdom attained by dreaming big, falling hard and picking yourself up? Why should that interim period be named anything. We were in a relationship but now we should just be friends but there is still love? Someone tell me why the by line is so important? A modern day curse of advertising.. To have a rider attached?

Analysis and judgment of another’s rationale behind doing/saying things is pointless. Like many others, I don’t have me figured why must I painstakingly bring upon myself the task of understanding people around me. So much easier to just take them for who they are and be with them.

The simplest things in life are often the truest. Our conditioning is such that simple emotions, pleasures seem to good to be true. We keep looking for a catch and miss out the essence. Accept it some folks are just good souls, some connections were made for you to feel bliss. If something feels like it is for you in it’s most sincere, honest and simple form and it makes your heart glad.. Know you are real fortunate you found that and instead of unleashing the devil in the detail.. just follow it’s bliss.. follow your bliss

It was also the season of darkness and being lost. Thinking I’ve found my bearings each time to learn otherwise. Learnt, unlearnt, forget, yet to forget. Experienced for the first time raised eye brows, had shadows of doubt cast upon me, had my fundamental traits revised.. I am now not to be too impulsive, check my spontaneity, get a grip on my restlessness, think passion is over rated, perhaps getting practical and shurgging off the notions of a life less ordinary is the order of the day. Challenged a lot of cliches such as the first heart break is the worst, Now I think we don’t really always know when the first happens.. the real first could happen after several supposed firsts, and yes that real first really hurts. And I have learnt that sometimes one does get to ahead of themselves. But I still don’t know how to confine my dreams and fancies to the threatening realms of reality. I have reluctantly admitted nice guys do finish last and one has to consider cheating when dealt with a bad hand of cards. I’ve learnt sometimes the stakes are so high you got to fold and sit it out till the next game. it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness

I have learnt that I am always learning and I still make claims but when I have to eat my words, well that’s been an acquired taste. I know from my mistakes and those of others that one shouldn’t burn their bridges behind them. Life is too freakin long and unpredictble at every bend for one to do that. One strike of lightening may require refuge in a particular shelter. Not our place to undermine the special protection only that shelter can provide even though the current roof on your head doesn’t have a single leak.. One should be smart and humble enough to know tomorrow is another day and this person they’ve met in their yesterdays could save them in their tomorrows. Yes, life moves on. Moves on best when you have the people who matter to you by your side and you know you haven’t hurt them.. Then it’s a smooth sail otherwise uncalled for storms..

In retrospect for my journey from being 25 to almost 26..
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

Strings that tie to you..

While listening to the song ‘strings that tie to you’ from the movie Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind.. I remembered this trivia I had read somewhere.. The title of the movie is actually a quote from Alexander Pope’s poem-Eloisa to Abelard

The world forgetting, by the world forgot.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!

This song stirs something inside me. His melancholic voice speaks intensely.. sadly.. each word more bitter less sweet..

From the wrinkles on my forehead
To the mud upon my shoe
Everything’s a memory
With strings that tie to you

In my dream I’m often running
To the place that’s out of you
Of every kind of memory
With strings that tie to you

Though a change has taken place
And I no longer do adore her
Still every God forsaken place is always
Right around the corner

Now I know it’s either them or me
So I’ll bury every clue
And every kind of memory
With strings that tie to you

And every kind of memory
With strings that tie to you

I remember thinking to myself when I had seen this movie that if at all such a procedure when on their relationship going in the dumps, a couple clinically erase each other from their memory is at possible? Say it is, though highly desirable if you’re getting over someone but surely not the best way out? As it turns out in the movie they realize  that they cannot completely and entirely forget and  it is through this separation they really understand what they had to begin with..

“Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.” It’s true good memory more often than not is a curse as memories then become stubborn and show up often. I remember when he begins to undergo the procedure even though is brain is not suppose to register what is really going on.. she is so deep into him that his sub conscience fights erasing of the memories.. thus messing with the procedure.. The doctor’s comments such as “We’ll dispose of these mementos when we’re done here, that way you won’t be confused by their unexplainable presence in your home.” terrorize him deep within and even though the only thing that he really wants to do is let go but it’s the only thing he cannot. Everything’s a memory with strings that tie to her..

Is moving on from any sorta loss a function of the heart or mind or brain? Agreed one can consciously to a great extent control their thoughts and actions.. what I am yet to understand is when does one know one has moved on.. What are the telling signs? When the dreams/nightmares/associations/sub conscious thoughts/feelings/love/hurt/half smiles/anger/fear/sleepless nights/fighting another person to fill that space/believing there is no other such person or thing/test of time go away?when these emotions in one by one or in a combination with one another leave you then have you really trully have moved on? Now that’s a tall order don’t you think?

I think and so do the Beatles “Life goes on within or without you” So for sheer momentum and friction and other logical concepts physics explains..its only natural you do move on one day one way or the other.. But if it was something real and something spiritually stunning then it stays but not in a perpetual longing or grief inducing way.. Eventually in a sort of acceptance that you have to live with this and its not so bad coz what happened was pretty darn great.. You just got to realize you were freakin charmed for such an experience to have happened to u at all! The war within trying too hard to move on or denying or undermining what it really was so that playing the fool makes it easier… just messes things up further.

If I was to be stuck in a situation where someones used by heart as a bait and cast their line and hooked on to my deep deep sub consciousness and  no matter how hard I fought for freedom the line just wouldn’t break.. I’d acknowledge that that was one helluva fisherman and be done with it.. I’ll learn how to make my peace with it.. and figure out how to best live with it.. Every kind of memory..With strings that tie to you


Let it be!

Cars wheezing by, relentless honking, an angry dog, people talking, faint sound of the TV…     Complete silence..

Done this, tried that, wanted this, desired that, regret this, aspire that, love this, trusted that, stuck on this, can’t let go of that, deciding this, told that…      Got nowhere..

Friends calling, people talking, reading, music, writing..     Doing Nothing..

I hear  “Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.”

And pray “For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,  there will be an answer. let it be….Let it be, let it be, …..”

“How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew?”

I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.

Che Guevara’s last words..

Brave? Realist? Fatalist? Rebel? Psychopath?

“How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew?” This is one of my favorite lines. I guess we’ve all felt a strange sense of deja vu in absolutely unfamiliar places.. You walk into a room you’ve never been in before and know for a fact that you have.. You stumble across a stranger and feel a connection stronger than what years of knowing can bring.. You miss people who briefly grace your life and feel a sense of nostalgia in everything and everyplace that you never shared with them.. You see a picture of a place you never visited only to realize you have.. Familiarity in newness, knowledge of the unknown/unseen, ever lasting connection with a stranger, a vibe in foreign land that it isn’t foreign..

Reminds me of this book recommended to me.. Many masters many lives.. When I read it.. It reinforced some thoughts and discussions on the “soul”.. I am not sure if I believe in the cycle of birth and re birth but I do believe that the soul transforms itself over a period of time which is longer than one’s physical existence in their present form.. Perhaps that is why the deja vu/nostalgia for what/who was never yours in the form you see or encounter them..

It’s strange how this thought surfaces in different people through different mediums..  How a public figure like Richard Gere strikes a chord with a Buddhist ideology that says “When someone has a strong intuitive connection,  it’s because of karma, some past connection.” What past connection? How an intuition so strong? Can the 6th sense be more sensitive and sensible than the other 5 put together? How an author/think like Richard Bach who searches for his calling all his life realizes that our soul mate is the one that makes life come to life? How does one recognize and acknowledge a connection so strong?

They all seem so interrelated these concepts of nostalgia, connections,  karma, soul mates, many lives.. Each has a cause and effect equation with one another..  Rephrased in several ways by several authors, artists, religions, thinkers.. Underlying ideology being the same.. the meta physics of it all..More often than not logic works, rationality makes sense but meta physics contemplates..challenges..questions..

These lines from a book I am reading by Murakami struck a chord with me “Its leading me somewhere. I can sense it, very strongly. For the last few months I had this constant feeling. And little by little I have been reeling in a line. It’s a very fine line. It got sagged a coupla times, but its gotten me this far. It brought me in contact with a lot of different people. You. You are the central figure in this drama. Still I can’t get a grip on whats going on. I don’t know whats going on but something is. Clinging on the line is all I can do for now. it sends me signals, these messages. So I stay tuned in.”

The power of the sub conscious mind when it is alert and aware.. when it is giving and receiving vibes.. when it is sensing and responding to sings and signals.. invisible lines of communication..

Even though you always stay real always try and believe what meets the eye.. some people..some events.. some serendipity.. some accidents happen which expose a different you to you.. which makes you take a step back and think.. Are these things really a figment of one’s imagination including yours or could they be for real?

But really.. I wish I knew the answer to this one question “How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew?” It would be the missing piece of my puzzle..