this is me

This blog is for me and my friends.I don't appreciate anonymous comments.

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Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Nothing can be said in absolute certainity.

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    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    This be the verse

    This Be the Verse

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.   
        They may not mean to, but they do.   
    They fill you with the faults they had
        And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
        By fools in old-style hats and coats,   
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
        And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
        It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
        And don’t have any kids yourself.

    Aubade by Philip Larkin


    I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.   
    Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.   
    In time the curtain-edges will grow light.   
    Till then I see what’s really always there:   
    Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,   
    Making all thought impossible but how   
    And where and when I shall myself die.   
    Arid interrogation: yet the dread
    Of dying, and being dead,
    Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

    The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse   
    —The good not done, the love not given, time   
    Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because   
    An only life can take so long to climb
    Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;   
    But at the total emptiness for ever,
    The sure extinction that we travel to
    And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,   
    Not to be anywhere,
    And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

    This is a special way of being afraid
    No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
    That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
    Created to pretend we never die,
    And specious stuff that says No rational being
    Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
    That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound,   
    No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,   
    Nothing to love or link with,
    The anaesthetic from which none come round.

    And so it stays just on the edge of vision,   
    A small unfocused blur, a standing chill   
    That slows each impulse down to indecision.   
    Most things may never happen: this one will,   
    And realisation of it rages out
    In furnace-fear when we are caught without   
    People or drink. Courage is no good:
    It means not scaring others. Being brave   
    Lets no one off the grave.
    Death is no different whined at than withstood.

    Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.   
    It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,   
    Have always known, know that we can’t escape,   
    Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.
    Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring   
    In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
    Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
    The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
    Work has to be done.
    Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

    The religious experience is shocking. And its very very real. You can feel it.

    But the majority of people who are not religious or spiritual would be extremely hard pressed to ever notice or understand it. That's why very often the experience is described in very sexualized terms. I wan't comment on why this is done. But I find this theme very common to not only some of the Christian religious poetry, but also to some of the Bhakti poets of medieval India, as well as the sufi saints in Islam, in particular Jalal ud din Rumi.

    Just to confirm my views, I had emailed Sister Ananda, my literature teacher, as well as a nun.My email was thus:

    "I am not sure if you are aware or not, but my plans for MA didn't work out as I planned, (actually hardly anything in my life works out according to PLANS). So, now I'm studying fashion designing.We have a module called costume studies, which is basically art and culture of the world, or history of art, its one of my favourite subjects, because it comes closest to literature and history. My latest assignment is to develop a mood board and colour board based on the paintings of Rubens. While I was researching his style, I came across the Baroque sculpture called The Ecstasy of St. Teresa. If you click here, you will be able to see it. If you aren't able to open the link, open the site .

    Sister, what I wanted to ask you was that, St. Teresa's expression of Ecstasy is often described as one of almost physical fulfillment. Now, is this somewhat similar to what the Bhakti Poets were talking about? The sense of being filled with the Holy Spitit? And the Mystic Union? I don't know why this thought just popped into my head while I was reading about the statue. Though Ms. Kanoria taught us this section, I don't know why I thought you were the best person to ask this.
    Please let me know what you think."

    Sister Ananda replied:
    "Yes, you're spot on - the mystical experience is indeed very close to physical fulfilment, and whether we are speaking of the Christian mystics, or the Bhakti poets, the experience is often articulated in physical, even sexual terms. The experience is indeed one of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and one of Mystical Union, where all boundaries of self and other fall away and the divine and the human become one.

    I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply, but I've been run off my feet recently and haven't even had the time to check my mail properly."

    FROM WIKIPEDIA: Description from St TERESA's Autobiography

    The two central sculptural figures of the swooning nun and the angel with the spear derive from an episode described by Teresa of Avila, a mystical cloistered Discalced Carmelite reformer and nun, in her autobiography, ‘The Life of Teresa of Jesus’ (1515–1582). Her experience of religious ecstasy in her encounter with the angel is described as follows:

    “ I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron's point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying."

    Given the sexualized imagery of St. Teresa's written account of the experience, some critics have seen in the statue a depiction of physical orgasm; in particular, the body posture and facial expression of St. Teresa have caused some to assign her experience as one of climactic moment.Jacques Lacan, for example, whilst discussing the female orgasm, said that "you only have to go and look at Bernini's statue in Rome to understand immediately that she's coming, there is no doubt about it."

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    Relationships - II

    I was going through some old posts today, and found this- weird how some things find relevance in your life at odd times.This was written in 2007, a long long way back. I can't actually figure out if I'm talking about relationships in general or about one relationship in particular. So, anyway...five years back, I was of the opinion that 

                 "I always thought that if you have to work at a relationship- that you have to make a special effort at keeping it going, then it's just not worth it. What's the point of such a relationship, I would ask? In my mind it is always effortless and completely perfect. But Aditi says that you can't just give up at relationships, if things don't work out; that you have towork at all your relationships- no matter what kind they are. That got me thinking. Maybe there is something to it. 
    Perhaps there's something seriously wrong with my attitude. Maybe I'm too lazy/weird/idealistic or something. I find that I get very easily discouraged. I need to think about the reasons for this."

    Anyway, five yeas hence, after gaining a world of knowledge... and still being as single as ever, I decided that   maybe, there was a possibility that once you are in a relationship, and you want to make it work, you just do it. Why do you need to keep questioning yourself?

    And presently, when I am in the first relationship of my life...he he he... which also happens to be the most significant relationship of my life...I can tell you all out there...Be unafraid. Be shameless in trying to make it work. Just be sure that you want to make it work. I don't have a perfect relationship. It's far from idealistic. But then, when I think about it early in the morning, I realize that for such a perfect and idealistic relationship to happen, I would have to be in a relationship with myself...or at least a clone of myself. No one can know exactly what I want or need or desire at all times. Its not humanly possible... And it's unreasonable to expect this from someone. Even I don't know all that about myself.

    Perhaps I feel that relationships need work because I realize that we put so much of a pressure of expectation on them... And then we have to work on them to make them live up to those expectations. If we don't put in that work, we feel like failures and insecure in the relationship. Ego comes into play... We get emotional and when emotion clouds the rationality of the brain, that's a classic recipe for disaster. A lot depends on destiny, if you believe in destiny, that is. I've always found it a comforting and convenient thing to believe in. So you let things happen at their own pace... easier said than done... don't we all live our lives in a sense of urgent expectancy? But should you succeed in developing that strength of forbearance, sweet rewards await you at the end of the arduous journey. It was when I was least expecting it that my relationship deepened and moved forward significantly...

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    The Primal Debt- II

    As I was saying in the previous post, my mind and my heart has certainly benefited from reading this. I no longer feel obliged to hate people who have wronged me. I mean what can someone take from me that I didn't owe them in the first place? Along with this is also gone any resentment that I used to harbour for the things that others have and which had been denied to me. A deep sense of peace settled in me once I realized that no one can give me more than I deserve and no one can take away what is rightfully mine.

    All the suffering that I've had to go through is a result of my own actions- whether in this life or the previous ones. I don't blame anyone. I'm happy that the suffering happened and those whom I had wronged in the past have had a chance to settle their debts with me, so that I'm now free of the karmic debt.

    I always wondered why are some people able to make me do certain things for them? Why did I not say no- for doing something nearly impossible? Or that why some complete strangers have gone beyond the call of duty to help me out. But I understand now. Its because we were all connected somehow.

    I quote from Aghora: "Suppose I know I have a rnanubandhana with you.If I am wise, I will ensure that the debt is paid off; it will mean one less bondage to the world and will bring me closer to my goal of self- realization. People enjoy being repaid but usually balk when it comes to paying out. the result is karma.

    In my case, I am very anxious to finish off my cycle of births and deaths so I allow every person who has any rnanubandhana with me to take from me whatever they are entitled to. Whether they are entitled to make my life miserable, or to make me poor, or whatever, I don't mind. Let them do it; they cannot take from me any more than the value of the debt I owe them. The moment I object in any way, even mentally, then karma has begun."

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    Friday, January 27, 2012

    The Primal Debt

    Two books that I'm reading at moment have completely churned my mind out of its inertia. The first is "Aghora At the Left Hand of God" by Robert E. Svoboda and the second is "Shiva to Shankara" by Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik.

    The philosophy of the world discussed in the books, especially the latter is so profound and so plausible that my brain is still reeling from it.

    In the first book, I'm reading a chapter called "Rnanubandhana" or the obligation/bondage (anubandhana) of debt (rna). The debt talked about at length here is the debt of karma that we carry over from all our previous births as well as that debt that we accumulate by our actions in this life.

    I quote from the book "For example, if I steal something from you in this lifetime the opportunity for me to steal from you can arise only if a debt exists between you and me; only if you owe me something....And if I steal from you, instead of receiving from as a gift the thing I want, of your own free will, it is highly likely that you must have stolen from me in the past. Your past action creates a like attitude in me.

    My theft from you is not karma: it becomes karma only when I identify myself with the act of stealing. As long as I do not self identify with the act of stealing. it is no karma for me...It is only a past rna working its way out.

    The difficulty is that the ego not only self-identifies with the body, it also self-identifies with all the actions performed by the body.The ego tries to protect itself by preventig the repaying of karmic debts which have fallen due. Thus, new karmas are created."

    This is such a beautiful and hopeful philosophy. i find that it has freed me from so many expectations from myself as well as from other people. More on this is my next post....

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    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Reaching Equilibrium

    Just heard some where there each and everyone of us has to go through the suffering that has been destined for us. If this doesn't happen, we don't get the ultimate salvation- Mukti or Moksh. If we look at it from a more basic view, going through the suffering eases a bit of the load- some of the burden that we carry; both in this life and what we have carried over from all our previous lives. Till we reach a zero balance. Reach the point of perfect balance or harmony- the Equilibrium that all creation strives to.

    Every one of us has our own brand of things that are our own personal hell- for someone it could be the fear of humiliation at the hands of others, or being ignored or disrespected, or even finding yourself all alone... It could be physical or mental, and I'm sure that it must vary in degrees for everyone. I might think that I'm going through the very worst a human can endure, but that's because I'm going through a personal suffering- that can't be shared and divided and consequently perhaps lessened. The point is we need to accept the bitterness in our life so that we see it for what it is- our own doing (whether from the actions of this life or the previous) and only then can we get past it. I don't know about any one else who might read this- but this theory made me feel a bit better about my life and my future. I'm learning to focus on the bright and beautiful new day ahead, and not the dark, lonely night that lies behind me.

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    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    sunshine on my shoulders

    Sitting on the verandah, with the sun warming my back and my insides. Drinking a cup of green tea. My sweet Phoebe for company. Its idyllic, but I'm a little afraid to be alone with my thoughts. They lead to the same person and the same situation in a very irritating recurrent manner. I have admitted my feelings and thoughts to myself and to God, and no one else. I miss that refrain that was taught to me at college... I think it was "I cast my burden upon God and walk free"... It had really helped me out then, and it helped me sleep last night after a week of sleeplessness.

    But that burden of thought has found its way back into my mind where its repeating itself like a bad tune. I'm becoming a bit too self involved and a tad obsessive. All this in the space of but three days. This has to be the longest week of my life. And its only wednesday! Please God, if there's something better up ahead for me, let me see it now, before I go out of my mind with the waiting and disappointment- if thers going to be any...

    Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
    Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
    Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
    Sunshine almost always makes me high

    If I had a day that I could give you
    I'd give to you the day just like today
    If I had a song that I could sing for you
    I'd sing a song to make you feel this way

    Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
    Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
    Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
    Sunshine almost always makes me high

    If I had a tale that I could tell you
    I'd tell a tale sure to make you smile
    If I had a wish that I could wish for you
    I'd make a wish for sunshine for all the while

    Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
    Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
    Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
    Sunshine almost all the time makes me high

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    Monday, January 23, 2012

    An year's journey

    Its been about a year now that I haven't unburdened here. That was a sad, pathetic decision... I might have a fewer white hair on my head if I had!! Actually I can't really blame myself, it didn't happen consciously. My life stopped revolving around myself and my thoughts, and a lot more on the peripherals. I seem to have become the very thing I have always abhorred- a creature who lives for the superficial; no great thought or emotion are evoked from it... Always there is an all pervading sense of age, neglect and raggedness about it. My mind seems to have lost itself in some murky water, and doubts its ability to ever find a clean shore- or even that it will one day surface and come to a new day.

    The lack of anything new is just so tiring... The sheer LACK... I feel really tired all the time. It tires me to write any of this out. My mind has forgotten these intellectual exercises. I don't know if I actually "feel" exhausted or if my mind has shut itself off to shield my consciousness from the hollowness of my existence. So this is how it feels to live on autopilot.

    For some reason, when I'm writing, thoughts never appear cogent and clear. I have to make an effort to understand what I want to tell myself. And most of the time I forget what I'm saying or reach a conclusion completely at a tangent from where I had started out.

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