Thursday, August 20, 2009

Desolation Row??

For the longest time, I have been thinking about an incident that a close friend happened to narrate about someone she knew.
He is a 50 year old man, a German by birth; adopted by American parents; happily married for the last 20 years with grown-up children of his own; living the American Dream. For years and years,he had been trying to trace his biological parents. And about a year ago,when he finally did,they were gone. But he could still reunite with the rest of his family including a younger brother he never knew he had.
The whole episode has a bollywoodish tinge to it. Without the theatrics.
Such is reality. Such is life.
I just havent been able to stop thinking about it.
Imagine the joys and fears of finally having traced one`s parents after years and years of struggle and anticipation, only to find them dead. Imagine the horror. Imagine never learning why he was abandoned, while the rest of the family lived on to have normal lives. Imagine not knowing any of those answers at all.

Which brings me to an important issue I have been thinking about for ages now. I still havent found an answer.

Visualize this. You make a huge investment of trust in your parents for several years, only to realize that you dont know who they are at all. Imagine having to return back to the drawing board to restructure them again.
Which brings me to the question I have been asking myself for the longest time now.
Do you think it`s wise for a child to know that he is adopted?
At what age and under what circumstances should he be told?
At what age do you think, a mind develops enough tensile strength to stretch, but not break under the horror of this knowledge?

Monday, August 17, 2009

I, Me, Myself..

After almost a span of five years,I have again felt this need to read 'The Fountainhead'. For me, it is therapeutic at many levels. It has always been.
(For the uninitiated, Ayn Rand is a Russian-American Philosopher/Novelist who developed the theory of Objectivism.)

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." -Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand's endorsement of self-interest before that of others,basically shows her rejection of the ethics of altruism,which all of us are taught since childhood - a moral obligation to live for the sake of others, to keep others` interests in mind before our own, to be thoughtful of others and not selfish.
She said that every individual's own life is his or her own highest value; rationality is every human being's highest virtue, and one's own happiness is the highest purpose of one's life.
That makes perfect sense, doesnt it?
There will be and has always been many to criticize her philosophy. They claim that her vigorous adherence to objectivism can have hazardous psychological effects. Some say that her theories are incomplete and sketchy.Most others claim that her theories are in black and white, with no scope for shades of grey.Whatever the criticism, Ayn Rand continues to influence my life in more ways than one.
Over the years, I have allowed myself to be pulled into the flow,to be dragged into a herd, standing in the line, conforming,bending,evading,pandering to the needs of others before my own,compromising. I can hardly think of a thing that I did for my own happiness and not because others wanted it/liked it/approved of it. And in doing so, I`ve lost track of who I was and what I had wanted to be.
Today I am so lost, that I cant spend 5 minutes of my life without wondering if what I do is going to be liked/approved or disapproved by others who surround me. I cannot think for myself. It could be anything really. Even a simple thing as wearing a pair of favorite shorts on a hot summer day, without the fear of being smirked/talked about by those close to me. A stamp of approval that is not my own,seems so important. Important enough to twist my life in a route such that I might never find my way back again.
There was a time when I had a hand-painted(by me ofcourse!) Ayn Rand quote up on my walls. It made me smile. It made me feel alive. Today, as I`m grappling to resurface, to break free from the rusted roots, I`ve put it up again.

"I swear — by my life and my love of it — that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Most of the Time..

Wednesday April 8, 2009 5:03am
Apollo Hospital, Ranchi – Room no. 203

I sit here typing, while my father lies on the reclined hospital bed in front of me. Once in a while he looks towards me and I ask him if he wants a sip of water. He quietly looks on and I know he`s thirsty. I hold him up and try to force in a sip through his pursed lips. He chokes. I struggle to make him sit up. Tears roll down some more. And he`s found himself another breather. When does it all end, I wonder. Every once in a while he raises his fingers in a questioning gesture, reaching out for my mother`s hands. And I see her caress his chest and tell him that she`ll be fine. He should not worry about her anymore. She will be just fine. And tears roll down some more.
I sit and chant a prayer over and over again.
Om. Aanandmayi. Chaitanya mayi. Satyamayi. Paramay. Om. Aanandmayi. Chaitanyamayi. Satyamayi. Paramay.
It calms my mind. It gives me enough strength to wish for the end to come soon. It gives me the strength to let go.
I look at my parents together. I keep looking. I want to capture it all and bury it deep within my heart, so I never forget. The two of them together. Not like this. But during happy times.
When Dad could speak clearly, all that he asked of me is to make his going peaceful. That`s all he had wished for. And a chocolate cookie.
How does a person die, I wonder. Is it when the soul is satisfied that one`s work on this earth is done and one must now depart? What happens if the soul is not ready to give up just yet, not even when the body has?
I hear my father talking in his delirium. He reaches out his hand and asks for his mother. He shakes me and points towards the door. He asks me to let his mother in. He tells me he`s going home. To his mother.
And I sit here crying in relief. Because now I know that wherever he will be, he will be at peace. Because he will finally be with his mother.

Yet another morbid post,People. But this is something I just felt like sharing. Something I had written when I was with my Dad in the hospital. He left three days later.
Its been 4 months today.
And yet it seems like an eternity since I`ve heard him, seen him, hugged him close.
It still hurts as bad.
I know most of you must be tired of reading such morbid thoughts from my side all the time. BUt bear with me, my friends. This is the only outlet I have. Maybe I do it for sympathy. Maybe I think that some words of comfort might be therapeutic. Different people have different ways of coping with grief. Mine pbly is to fish for sympathy. Whatever the reasons, it helps me unburden. It helps me loosen up. So bear with me. Please do.

"Most of the time
I'm clear focused all around,
Most of the time
I can keep both feet on the ground,
I can follow the path, I can read the signs,
Stay right with it, when the road unwinds,
I can handle whatever I stumble upon,
I don't even notice she's gone,
Most of the time."
- Bob Dylan

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words - Chicago 2009

I`m back,People.
And here are some pictures for you to enjoy, while I`m trying to think of something interesting to write! :)

Dancing in the Rain


Tangled up in Blue

You and I..

Buckingham Fountain

Sky HIgh


And Earth


Monday, August 3, 2009

A much needed Break

Hello People,
I`m off to Chicago for a 3-days trip. Lord knows,I do need a break(if I stay one more day at home cooking,I shall either kill those around me or die trying!). I shall not be reading my favorite blogs for a while. But needless to say, I shall be back. And soon. Until then, here`s something for all of you(the narcissist in me just couldnt resist this!) - its a picture of me on a pontoon. A fabulous afternoon. Just drifting along, as I always have. Shimmering waters. Casual banter. Some music playing in the distance somewhere. The sound of it all reaching my ears. But not quite. More pictures later. For now,I`m signing off. Shall be back soon.

That`s me sitting by myself at the edge of the pontoon

The Pontoon from where we took off