Balanced, or Exciting?

Balanced thoughts are rare to come by. A lot of humans are busy making a life for themselves, pleading ignorance towards their interaction with other human beings and towards the effects of their actions on everyone and everything involved. We relate our stories to other people’s to gain confidence about our own choices, good or bad, and by doing this, a lot of times, we stretch our conscience along the way. E.g. if a sibling broke a glass cup in anger, and the other sibling, just trying to pacify, states that this is alright and that glass cups keep breaking all the time, then this subconsciously or consciously creates a defense mechanism in the mind to defend the action to his/ her conscious and subconscious realm, and move on with the thought that it is alright to break glass cups in anger. Although breaking a glass cup is not something to grind your sibling for, but isn’t “why are you angry?” after the initial pacifism theme a great choice of response? We can use the analogical sense of this example to our everyday activities and easily observe that our conscious has stretched itself with respect to the basic necessities of our life, that our mind dynamically handles through the thick and thin. Excitement is a very satisfying and energetic moment, but Balance is vital for the infinite nature of time. Balance is what teaches us about the effects of our doings on our immediate and far-away environment and everything that entails. Our life consists of many exciting, and mundane moments, but Balance is for the long run of consciousness in this life. Ignorance is Bliss, I agree, but knowledge is power, and consistently updating it might stretch our consciousness towards balance.
P.S – it is also good to walk away from a moment that is unclear of its own problem objective. Not every fight is your own! Perception, to each it’s own!

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Days of the Week

Thursday is the Announcement of Friday.
Friday is the Statement of Fun.
Saturday is the Endurance of Fun.
Sunday is the Mourning of Monday.
Monday is the Existential crisis.
Tuesday is the Revival from Monday.
Wednesday is Mixed Feelings.

The Perceptionist

It smells like a fire, a burning desire, dehydrating my soul constantly.

To Exist, or not to!

To Perceive, or not to!

Choices, they are an amalgamation of thoughts and experiences put to a test.

I Choose to Perceive and Exist, most of the times.

It Opens up the Soul next to me, and let’s me sip the Aura little by little.

The First Name Professionals

Being an Indian, we never get the chance to call anyone, even a senior just by hierarchy, by their first names, traditionally. It is always ‘sir’ ‘Mr. Last Name’ ‘sirji’ ‘seth’ ‘malik’ ‘sahab’ and so on. We, Indians, pride ourselves with this tradition that should be called ‘honor name calling’ in my opinion. I call it ‘honor name calling’ because at most cases, it is ‘name calling’, but with a ‘superficial honor’. The people walking away from calling others by their first names, or endearing nicknames, are considered uncouth, or rowdy at most instances. It works in our traditional setting as we have been taught to respect elders very profusely. I think we do it more than required. Indians, going by this tradition, seem to believe that respect is earned by age, position and power, and not entirely by knowledge. Knowledge and its value is thereby degraded in this setting. We do not call our father or mother, or any family relation by their first names because for them, we have inherent respect of them bearing us until we grew old enough to bear with ourselves at last. I understand that anyone elder in the house has spent more time living and might possess more knowledge than a younger person. However, this does not mean that calling by first name in a Professional setting would bring down the respect towards this person’s knowledge or stature. In fact, it will create a sense of higher accessibility to his knowledge, and vice versa. A nervous young intern with some knowledge that can be very useful, but sounds confusing at first, is most probably going to get lost in translation of this “honor name calling”. This also kind-of binds us not to reason or argument too much with the senior at hand, as we have already submitted to the honor of his/ her name. To further clarify my opinion, assume that we are in an office setting,  and when we give respect to a senior colleague, out of tradition (read: not out of actual respect), we tend to force ourselves to do that, causing visible or invisible emotional imbalance to our mind. This is a big hindrance to how the conversation would go from there. We, sub-consciously, have admitted to a certain authority standing in front of us when we have not even made the point. It is a tool for any Authoritarian to avoid negative feedback. But with the passage of time, this traditional seasoning has led to a lot of sycophancy, or ass-licking or buttering-up as we call it. The original intention of this tradition seems to be keeping an authoritarian happy with respect to his/her superficial honor. At the first look, this tradition is particularly not bad, IF the authoritarians are not egotistically affected if someone calls them by their first name. Jodi Glickman, writing for Harvard Business Review in 2011, noted that calling even the VIPs by first name creates accessibility for both sides. It breezes away the nervous tension that a newbie professional would definitely have while discussing a professional issue with the higher-ups. So, let us break away of these superficial power moves, and be in a more honest professional environment, until we have not done our work on time, then its ‘sir’ ‘Mr. Last Name’ ‘sirji’ ‘seth’ ‘malik’ ‘sahab’ or whatever whets their superficial honor. ☺

Anthony Bourdain – The lost human-ness

The first time I encountered the name ‘Anthony Bourdain’ was when David Choe (an artist of Korean origin based in Los Angeles) did a portrait of him. I am immensely inspired and follow Choe’s work now and then, and his portrait sparked an inquisitive burn in my heart to know more about Anthony Bourdain. The first thing that came to my mind when I started watching ‘Parts Unknown’ on Netflix, since I had the subscription and this series showed up as soon as I typed his name, was ‘This guy knows and understands more than what meets the eye, and definitely been part of a very deep and painful struggle’. Maybe It is the lines on his face, or the audible sound of the concoction of words that leave his wise aura, or simply the feelings of relating to someone’s struggle and celebrating small victories of strangers who are just happy that someone recognizes their pain, that his work speaks volumes about his passion towards understanding and depicting the struggle in different parts of the world and how their cuisines have been part of the struggle and celebration, both. Both of these are virtues, in my opinion at least, and few people use their virtues as a tool, rather than a shield to protect their egos and images. To know that an artist of international capacity is doing such work restored my confidence in human race. The episode on Libya is my favorite because of him and his crew wandering through the conflict zones to tell this brave story of the struggles and wins of Libya and its people. The libyan people winning over Gaddafi and storming of his entire compound, and how it was done, as narrated by the guy who himself sent messages to the U.N. to give directions to the bombs, was exhilarating and goose-bumpy. When the entire world was busy uploading fake happiness on social media, this dude was out there in Libya glorifying their struggle, and understanding the change in their life and making me, and so many others feel so happy about it. This episode was also one of his own favorite, as he wrote about it on his website – http://anthonybourdain.tumblr.com/post/50670679641/libya

Recently, in the Le Chambard hotel in Kaysersberg, France, where Bourdain and his crew were intending to draw attention towards the Alsatian cuisine, he was found hanging dead in his bathroom one morning. His passing away, especially a suicide, left me grieving for a stranger, after a very long time. The feeling that I will never be able to watch Anthony Bourdain visit the extremities of the wake of human race’s hate, greed and contempt and find victories that keep people alive and kicking, along with their cuisines and what not!, made my stomach putrid, and my head fuzzy. David Simon, the creator of ‘the wire’, recently wrote about his perception of Anthony Bourdain owing to their meetings and work together. Being an addict and having quit too, Bourdain, on meeting David for the first time apologized on writing that he could not find heroin easily in Baltimore in one of his pieces, and David hilariously called him the most incompetent drug addict to date. David’s write-up/ memoir is highly recommended for all inspired human beings to indulge in the human-ness of Anthony Bourdain – Link

Committing a suicide is considered weak in the society in general, and although people try to find a very strong reason to justify it, they tend to judge it as an act of weakness. His mother commented that Anthony would be the last person she would imagine doing such a thing, and most of us think the same. But, the message from David Choe on Instagram recently, about his and Anthony’s clinical depression, and how one should fight it by staying in touch with other people suffering from the same problem, touched my soul.

David Choe – Instagram

I personally think it is right to say that people suffering from depression should share their problems within their own genre, and should stay positive by sharing all the time. Isolation is personal, and self-inflicted, and in most cases, owes to the feeling of not being received honestly. However, if you ever found a person to talk to, with whom you can share your thoughts and struggles, and know that the person would understand and share his/ her experiences as well, would be satisfying and positive.

P.S: Everything can be cured, or at the least given hope for, except death. Death is final. Choose Wisely!

Read more: https://pagesix.com/2018/06/09/the-troubling-signs-leading-up-to-anthony-bourdains-suicide/

Picture Credit

Murphy’s Law

Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. was an American aerospace engineer who worked on safety-critical systems. He once said “If there’s more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in a disaster, then somebody will do it that way” working at Wright-Patterson Air-force base in late 1940’s, which later was popularized as Murphy’s law. He spent his life working to increase reliability and safety to prevent human error. Overall, it is statement of caution, to prepare yourself for the worst, when the best is expected.

Strangely enough, I noticed that people from both lazy-pessimistic and active-optimistic lifestyles use this quote in their own way. “What has to go wrong will go wrong anyways! Why care about it?” and “If there is something that will go wrong, we need to account for it and at least understand it!” are the most extreme thought examples to support my theory. To the core of its strangeness, human society has remained tolerant of some weird thoughts, but more importantly extremely silent about them as well. The society reveals what it shows, but believes what it does not. So, Murphy’s law might be unknown to some of you, because it is just a saying with no proof, but since the bigger chunk of population is stuck with the 9-5 grind, so Murphy’s law is synonymous with unknown glitches with any kind of work. Ultimately, quoting Murphy’s Law becomes the verbal hunter of all the nervous feelings of unknown failure to shove them deep inside and never to reveal. It makes us believe that the universe a.k.a. nature is out there to get us, so we should not fuss over something that was out of our control and try to learn from it. When I stumbled upon a cool proof recently, I had to write about it.

The most common story capturing Murphy’s subtle rant is of the tumbling of a toast with butter on one side that tumbles down to the floor. It is believed that it always falls butter side down. The toast when tumbles, somehow always falls in the worst condition possible. Robert A J Matthews, who was a visiting professor at Aston University in Birmingham U.K., in 1995, wrote a paper on the proof that the tumbling toast does fall butter down every time. He did this by proving that the dynamics of the toast with butter on one side while it is falling from the table always make it fall butter down. Robert Matthews now works as a consultant in Science and Media across the whole world.

Interestingly, he further goes on to prove in this paper that nature’s or universe’s fundamental constants (like height of an average table from where the toast can tumble which is dependent of average human height) are somehow helping the toast to fall butter down and proving the ‘innate cussedness of the universe’. But the important take away is that as humans, we are supposed to be intelligent enough to not to keep cursing the Universe and find a solution to the problem.

This is for everyone who thinks that the world out there is to get you. This paper, if extrapolated to other human situations, might prove that the world is really out there to get you! But, as humans, we like to stay on top of our life. Ultimately this tussle with the fundamental universe’s constants becomes life! or one may preach ‘ignorance is bliss’ and let the toast fall butter down with not a care! To each his own!

P.S. Nietzsche, a German Philosopher, believed that Struggle is the essence of life. If you are not struggling with something, then you are either on a break, or doing something wrong.

www.aston.academia.edu/RobertMatthews

Tumbling Toast Proof

 

History Repeats Itself!

Millennials quote on the social media today like unicorns in an acid dream. Everyone loves to quote the quotes and hit ‘likes’ like a newborn unknown to the human kind. I hesitate frequently to vibrate on the social media in-sync with the borrowed quotes owing to their linear nature of distribution. By linear nature, I mean no contextual tagging of where, why and how the quote came about. Nagging about the quotes on the internet, I have made it inevitable for myself to not delve into one. I first heard “History Repeats Itself” when I was 12, maybe. However, I remember the teacher sarcastically grinning and blabbering this quote to a student who was failing at that young-age and had remained stationed in the same class for two years in a row already. I understood the concept with respect to this dude’s life, but I was too young to think about anything else for a long time to come. In the process, I did a lot of self-reflection – Do I repeat certain activities unknowingly? Does this habit last the rest of my life? Maybe repeating my own historic emotional, mental or physical activities and their outcomes in different scenarios is helpful, but how do I measure it? How are people repeating their mistakes, or success? What makes humans indulge so much in the history that they repeat it?

Well, the answer is simple; quotes get thrown around frequently these days without acknowledging the philosophical and worldly context and set up behind it. The original quote in our case is just not “History repeats itself”, it rather is “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Penned by George Santayana (1863-1952) (https://www.iep.utm.edu/santayan/ ), an American Writer born in Madrid, Spain in Dec 1863, in a book called “The life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress”, this was not his only quotable text. Along with the philosophy of ‘not remembering the history condemns one to repeat it’, he also notably asserted, “happiness is the only sanction in life, and where happiness fails, existence remains a sad and lamentable experience” and “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness.” (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Santayana). Combine just these three thoughts – Progress requires retentiveness, Happiness is the only real reason of life, and not remembering history condemns one to repeat it. Pondering reveals a life pattern and a certain vision of it. These three statements, collectively, state that life is all about happiness (in whatever you can find and make meaning for yourself). Life where happiness does not exist for you makes one stress and overthink, and a push to try to find a meaning in life. Progress happens, in general, when the next level is reached, however small or large it may be. The jump to the next level, nevertheless, requires the knowledge or rather the remembrance of the history. History of all people who have tried to achieve this level, and history of the one who is now trying to achieve it. I rather started reading history as lessons learnt. History prepares us like nothing else! The best example is that I remember passing many courses based on previous year’s question papers and frequently asked questions and knowing numerous people who excelled at this art. We cannot quantify its meaning because we are not keeping detailed logs of our own or someone else’s history, and not evaluating every moment in life with respect to what has happened in the past and how it affects our jump to the next step. So, as clearly as the mirror shows you your own reflection processed through your own eyes and brain, the dialectic needed for history is limited for teaching and debating purpose, mostly. But, how do we use history on a personal level to enhance our present? Personally, I think it comes down to Emotional Intelligence (EI). Why EI? Because EI is the power to understand other people’s emotions and then regulate your own to gauge their emotional and mental frequency. (http://ei.yale.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/pub184_Brackett_Rivers_Salovey_2011_Compass-1.pdf ). It is the skill to understand anyone’s behavior and more interestingly, the probable reason behind any yelling, love, pleonasm, one-word answers, storytelling, silent treatment and other inarticulate gestures. So, remembering history and using EI together helps understand the plight of others through a much broader perspective and prepares one to act accordingly. Normally, humans like to judge each other with respect to their own experiences in past and their own ability to cope with them. Hence, the next time your parents are lecturing you about the dearth of opportunities in their own time, and the sea in front of you, you just need to understand that they judge you with respect to their own ability or dis-ability. Reasoning is when one looks beyond his/ her own life and takes fact-based examples to understand someone else’s plight. Discussions are healthy when one keeps their own perception of the whole-world at the base level of understanding, and add the facts gathered as layers to the base level, to come to a decision or judgement. Otherwise, the history will just keep repeating itself owing to your judgement of yourself being the barometer of judgement for everyone else. So, do not give a chance to history to ruin your present.

Or, just indulge in your character and purely bi*ch about people being unfair a**holes because that works on a larger level of current-human-understanding perfectly!

P.S:

Murphy’s Law “Things will go wrong at any situation, if you give them a chance”

A good-read is the book “History repeating itself” by Gregory M. Pfitzer that incinerates the idea of twentieth century social studies tampering the history ideologically to make it ‘appropriate’ for the future generation. http://www.umass.edu/umpress/title/history-repeating-itself

 

 

 

Image Acknowledgement – http://axtschmiede.com/history-repeats-itself/

Thoughts linger in the cold emptiness of the jungle of memories,
This illumination is a discourse of a bag of emotions run by the myriad colors of the memories in focus,
Tears fall across the subliminal lines of a smile on the caricature of facial skin,
Mixed emotions, but no regrets!
Pure Nostalgia!

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