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 –

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!

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“Faith is subjective. It is subjective to what you let yourself to believe in. You can believe in a Godly existence without physically experiencing it. You can believe in your friends, peers, mentors, siblings, parents and even in your pets. What matters is, you get to hear what you want to hear!”

To me, all the phenomenal entities titled “Gods” or “Sons/ Daughters of Gods” were really wise and intelligent beings who had the ability to think ahead of their time and they devised simple ways to keep the lesser educated/ less wise/ average minded population to stay in peace, love and away from danger. They wrote the “holy books” to define how they thought the society should function in order to create more harmony and love among us. They gave their views on all walks of life – Leadership, Family, Parenthood, Social Causes of their time and matters of the mind and heart. But remember, they never preached! In my personal opinion, their devising of simple ways to make the average population follow them in the time when science was unavailable to simplify the understanding is what caused the communication gap for generations to come. Also, adding to this realization that common folks could be controlled easily with religious beliefs being blown out of their simple form and presented as “unexplained feats” made the rulers of that time take advantage of religion and preach it in a way that satiated the guilty conscious minds of the people to be ruled.

These holy men never preached their teachings, they presented themselves as teachers. These teachings were molded according to the requirements of these rulers with the passage of time. I think religious holy books needed to be updated as the time changed, but that was not done because the rulers started owning and manipulating them. I think everything needs to be updated with time. If a laptop was used only by a few upper ruling class capitalistic society jerks, a huge general population would have easily led to praying in front of these gadgets. But science and freedom of knowledge has led to this plethora of amazingly phenomenal inventions and discoveries being made available to common average human population which makes most of us understand how these gadgets/ commodities work and hence we are not are as amazed by them as we are with the religion we follow. If the same laptop was not updated with respect to time and life’s need and evolving nature, we would never had made such great advancements in such less time in many fields. We are literally disposed to using a vast variety of software to develop products ranging from a safety pin to the cars that drive themselves. Imagine if nobody really knew how these cars are developed, and they were available to only a privileged few, others would consider these as magical vehicles.

But let us not forget how amazingly blind faith works. If you have anxiety, stress or a situation where you feel helpless, you always run to the person or entity you have faith and belief in. The society was knit with the religious wool for so long that these religious beliefs actually make us feel good, if we were made to believe in them as a child. If we were too rebellious as a child and/or our parents were already atheists, then we might have faith in something or somebody else which we have a better understanding of. The point being, faith works wonders, no matter what you believe in! So, stop judging and get on with your own beliefs.  But then if humans would not judge, how will they satiate their gossip appetite. Anyways, the observation that hurts me is that there are still some sects/ groups which carry on this old aristocratic tradition of making people follow blind faith (read without reasonable explanations) to their own benefit. They make it a business of sorts.

An easy way to differentiate a business form of a faith from a true form is to notice if this faith is being taught or preached!

No wise and intelligent being with the slightest intention of only good would ever preach!

Humans tend to follow a herd and so buying the initial set of humans and making them market your beliefs to sell them to a wider market of human population is what works these days.

Also, a few unexplained feats (easily possible with the help deep scientific research) and a few fabled stories of your spiritual success, and we have a new “Son of God” preaching his ultimate teachings!

I do not mind different philosophies of different saints these days, unless they grow so power hungry that they preach until it is down your pie hole!

But again, it all boils down to what you really want to hear, deep down!

You want to hear that everything is going to be alright, everything will fall into place, your life would be perfect, if you performed some rituals!

I know taking a dip in the holy Ganges in India would not make your conscious clear of sins, but I can imagine that in the very old times, when the Ganges was not polluted at all, the passersby would have had an amazingly phenomenal experience taking a dip in it. And not knowing the science of how this took away their tiresome thoughts, they must have considered it a holy river. Adding to the water it must have provided for irrigation (the main occupation of most humans at that time) and how fertile the lands around this river would have been. To summarize, update your beliefs with time.

Your life would be close to perfect if you ever read the Murphy’s Law – “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance,” or more commonly, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”

You cannot control the doings of so many beings around you, which basically leads to what happens to you. But you can keep an eye out for everything you are responsible for. Just what you are responsible for! But now we cannot get everyone to follow a perfect routine, can we?

So we end up having these hiccups in the daily life we like to call fate!

We like to blame, because it kinds of absolves us of our own shortcomings!

But if everybody became perfect, how would we ever define the good from the bad? And then the one who chose to do wrong in this situation, will surprise us to our guts, as we would never have had anticipated even a drop of sin!

The balance of all kinds of energy in this universe is mysteriously (read beyond our understanding because it is just too much data to simplify) maintained by nature. We do understand the micro events and exchange of energies because science has given us the power to do so, but we always tend not to extrapolate it just to get a wider vision of fate!

It is important to have all kinds of energies (read good and bad) because if only white light took over, it would blind us to the beautiful night and the stars!

“A leap of faith can also lead you into a ditch! But have you ever spent a lot of time in a ditch? It could be interesting in its own way if you kept your heart and mind open!”

A couple of poems (in Hindi and Urdu) to further exfoliate my feelings:


“Ganga dhaam par snan kiya, Yamuna nadi ka paani piya, chaaron teerath darshan kiya,

to kya mil gayi tujhe mukti? Dhul gaye tere paap?

Ek dharrale main tu phir, Ban gaya sabka baap?

badal gayi teri soch, lag gayi naiya paar?

Sachai se aankh churakar shuru kiya prachaar?

Ab matki tere paap ki, jab phirse lagi hai bharne!

To gao mata ka mutar peekar shuddhi lagi tujhe chadne?

Baba ji ki sharan main jakar naye challe banvayega?

Janam patri ki gatha sunkar apne log gavayega?

Jai Shri Krishan, Insha Allah, samay tera bhi aayega!

Wahe Guru, Isa Masi milkar tujhe rulayega!

DHONGI hai tu tere Dhong ki soch kaun paltayega!

DHONGI hai tu tere Dhong ki soch kaun paltayega!”


“Aasmaan se khoon baras raha hai! Aansoon ankhon se sukh chuke hain!

Ibadat ka sahara to le lete, Par Khuda ke naam par hi katleaam hai!

Us vakht ko yaad karte hain, jab Vakht ki ahmiyat baaki thi!

Insaan ki Insaaniyat barkaraar thi!

Aur Khuda ki Khudai ISHQ*E*HAQIQI thi!

Ab to bas ISHQ*E*MAJAAZI hai, aur kaartooson ka karvaan hai!

Woh door se nazara dekh hanste hain!

Ki kitna aasan tha insaan ki ROOH ko MAILA karna!”

P.S: These are just my thoughts! Read, Enjoy, Hate, Love or do whatever with them, Just do not absolutely believe them! You got to understand them your own way, if you want to! Perception, to each his own!



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