Monday, January 28, 2013


It is a gift - a mind that thinks and questions. As I walked into that gargantuan marriage function after a train ride, I couldn't help but wonder if the 1000 odd people there actually cared for the married couple. I'm pretty sure they didn't. I disdain this show, this farce, this parade for the benefit of an ogling audience which munches on copious amounts of digestibles. I wore a simple kurta and jeans and I saw people uncomfortable in tight clothes of western origin - I smirked as the wind found its way up my kurta and de-stressed me. A few pleasantries exchanged and luckily I met my childhood friend who was getting married; customs dictate that I wait by and get a photo clicked with him and his wife. Luckily, I didn't care for that. He saw me and I had come there because he was a nice childhood friend, who after years away still took the effort to invite me to his marriage functions. I am sentimental (and mental) and I do these things. I hold on to simple memories and I like keeping my word.
I walked out and decided to walk to the station, through people on the pavements, people huddled around a fire, a naked child and the filth of Mumbai metres away from a lavish spread of people. I sang a little song at my lips, crossed the street and found my way back home.
I had accepted a certain fact - that I was going to be stuck here, but something seems to have changed. It may be momentary but my longing mind reaches out to the years ahead and hopes against logic.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Sickness can change people. Yesterday, I got out at night for a drive and a walk. Jaundice had kept me away from wonderful Mumbai winter nights and yesterday I pushed myself to get out.
As I walked near my school I thought of all the poor rich souls cooped up in their beautiful homes, tired after a long day at work and an even more tiring back home and I thought to myself - what is it worth if you can't get out at night for a peaceful walk?

What do I think of? Nothing really... times gone by, times ahead, changes in my life and how the moon looks in the dead of the night.

We need the simple things - chai, walks, good food, good rest, good work, good growth AND good health.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Avoiding the Mistakes

Humans are fallible and that makes us special because we can reason.

I'm watching Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey - and he said that, look... I've made mistakes, we all do...
Lance said that the word 'cheat' is for people who gain an unfair advantage over others. Based on that, he was not a cheat, he was playing on a leveled field... this is what he said.
To which Oprah said, but you are Lance Armstrong - you are held to a higher standard.

Isn't that unfair? Just because somebody is more popular, he/ she is not allowed to 'cheat'.
It's an interesting conundrum...

And this goes to the effects of popular behaviour... when many people do a 'something', does it become acceptable behaviour?
The broken windows theory - a run down house has its windows intact for a long time until one day, somebody comes by and throws a stone, breaks a window and walks away... Over time, as other people see the broken window, they believe it's OK to break more windows for fun. Eventually, all windows are broken.

We use this in our lives everyday.
Well, that guy just threw plastic on the street - I guess it's OK to do so.
My uncle told me that only fools pay full taxes - hell! I ain't gonna pay up...

We use reason from time to time and say that, 'Well, it's wrong to do so and so...But... just this once."
We succumb to group behaviour.
People are docile when alone and in groups, they can wreak havoc - think gang rapes, looting, rioting, protesting.

We play a game in our lives where we battle with elements much bigger than ourselves - based on that, it is difficult to win; the best that most can do is to avoid mistakes.

The slippery slope - we are all prey to it. We find ways to justify unacceptable behaviour; it may be unacceptable by your mind, your body, by the people around you or by some other barometers.

'Just this once, I am going to cheat on my diet" And there we go... we make it a habit.
Not paying taxes is acceptable behaviour justified easily by saying that the government does barely anything for us. It's as though we take a democracy for granted. Look it countries in Africa, look at Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka - most of our neighbours - many other countries. We have had a 60+ year democracy without military rule - that is an amazing fact. Very few countries make it.
The slippery slope is difficult to avoid.
We make a habit of exaggerations, white lies, falsifying data, self-adulation.

Humans are fallible and that makes us special because we can reason.
Sadly, most people stop reasoning. It's just too hard.

Angry people become stubborn. They create irrefutable arguments. They make their own decisions which may not make sense. They go through with them because ego rears its ugly head.

Avoid the mistakes.
Stay away from negative influences and use a rational head.
Keep a diary.
Question the norm.