Tranquility in Clamour

The Kashi Vishwanath temple from quite a distance arguably looked magnificent. The Ganges flowing with all its might and majesty and in the due course of time crashing into the rocks which came its way making a gurgling sound dawned the atmosphere. The scenery out there was vivid. An architectural marvel in the background, guides, misguiding the tourists; pujaris doing everything but puja and beggars trying to coax the public for food and money. You could also see faces adorning benevolence of the almighty with bowed heads praying for prosperity and success.
Just before going into the temple and squeezing myself in the queue many questions erupted in my mind “Why can’t religious places and shrines be plain, simple and a little less crowded? Even if there isn’t a rush or queue why do these priests push you around. Isn’t a place of prayer supposed to be a manifestation of peace. I had started to sense the sublime aura of this place yet questioned the motives of people for visiting this old temple. Answers lay a few meters ahead.
I was in the queue, with sweat trickling down my face as I overheard parents trying to calm their children who became impatient and squealed every five minutes if the crowd didn’t move for long. Midst the chaotic disturbances I even heard the elderly narrating the history of this temple to their grandchildren “It is said that the original Shivalinga was thrown away to river Ganga by some miscreants during the last century or so. The present Shivalinga was installed in the same place. Later on the old Shivalinga was found in the river Ganga by some person. It is kept separately as it was not eligible or sacred to be worshiped. Thus the old one is kept for the visitors to see”.
After an excruciating and long wait in the queue I was right in front of the Shiva Lings, there wasn’t anything magical about it yet surprisingly an uncanny wave crept inside my body as if I had suddenly found peace, serenity, composure, and placidity. Satisfaction of granted wishes was the reason for the several smiling faces in the crowd, it however seemed different.
Visiting a temple to many was an obligation, to a few it was their devotion to God and to most, a barter in exchange for milk and savories, but to me, it had a deeper meaning. I could understand what was often lost in translation as I had found ‘Tranquility in Clamour’.

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What is ‘why’?

One of my rather raw pieces, a result of oblivious contemplations and conversations through a dreary summer afternoon. Also a source of inspiration for the resumption of my blog.

 

What is ‘why’?
Perhaps ingenuity,
perhaps an appeal or
simply the question to 42.
How is ‘why’?
Maybe it is inspiring,
maybe thought-provoking,
or simply deceptive.
Where is ‘why’?
It is in religious texts,
in the anthropic multiverse
as well as in quarks and leptons.
Why is ‘why’? So that when we breathe,
for the one last time, before we die,
we don’t ask ‘why?’.

 
References :-
Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy claims 42 is the answer to everything.

An Incomplete Night

An incomplete night, curtains were drawn to escape the shimmering light, complete silence and I. It had been a rather good day at work, under my leadership our company had finalized a record-breaking partnership with the French in rail automation, the annual turnover was around 5700 crores and the stock market seemed pretty optimistic. We were only celebrating our success in my office a couple of hours ago when I could see the first thing most of my colleagues did was to inform the world of their respective feats. I knew my profile today would be filled with congratulatory posts, public tags, and a few messages from people I never had a real conversation with. News spreads fast in the corporate world, and it is sometimes difficult to judge whether people really mean what they say, especially when they are dealing in compliments. Simple human emotions have been twisted by knaves, just like you and me into complexities that transcend mere mortals and startle the perennial. I decided to stay ‘offline’ for the next few days to come. Ever since I had left home, running away had become the easiest form of avoidance, something at which I now held mastery.

The celebrations were soon over and everyone had left for the day but entangled in my own thoughts, I had no eagerness to reach anywhere. Who was waiting for me to return anyway? It was better to pursue tranquility in this empty office than be consumed in the eerie and tense silence back at home. Convincing myself that one extra cup of coffee wouldn’t cause much harm, I lost track of the trips I had frequented to the vending machine. The caffeine wasn’t helping much and the weather had turned gloomy with a heavy downpour as if heavens too had connived to augment my misery. Having failed to sway my mind from the obvious melancholy I turned on the radio, Mirza Ghalib’s Nazm in Jagjit Ji’s voice “Dil Hi To Hai, Na Sangho-Kisht Dard Se Bhar Na Aae Kyun, Roenge Ham Hazaar Baar, Koi Hamein Sataye Kyun” was playing. The world was moving at a fast pace, maybe faster than it could handle and with it accompanied the burden to be politically correct all the time. A rebuke in the form of these lines made me grin a little and the ripples which loneliness had created found some solidity.

Relationships are like edifices, when they collapse the world says that they have been reduced to debris but there is a time before they subside. When cracks emerge in pillars, dampness adorns the walls, bricks begin to fall and when the foundation weakens. A time when they can be saved, rescued from falling and turning into dust. Real life isn’t as dramatic as we have been made to believe by popular culture. Everyone does not experience betrayal, not everyone is wronged and a lot of people maybe don’t even know what separation means. At least I liked to believe so, before I had the privilege of first and experience. “Why privilege?” You might ask, another philosophy I believed in was to treat every experience as in instruction from a higher authority, something over which you had no eventual control. After all, how you play the hand matters more than the cards you are dealt.  Throwing a stone inside a well isn’t enough, the only obscure knowledge one gains is that it is pretty deep. The courage to jump inside and the hope to come out, a little wiser than before is a powerful impulse of the human spirit which many do not possess.

I have always had a flair for theatrics and hysteria but life it seems had other plans. It was like the evening which came every day but belonged neither to the dark nor to the light. The solitary confinement where I had myself chosen to be reverberated with the clanking of the chains as if wanting to be set free, the iron bars squeaking as if being pulled apart to create way and a light at the end of tunnel softly whispering my name. It was supposed to be a happy day, and I was supposed to be making a toast to it yet the idea of having no one to celebrate with was baffling. It wasn’t the first time this had happened but something felt different. The urge to turn things around, break free from monotony and do something differently was overpowering. I hastily opened my phone, glanced through the several WhatsApp contacts. Much to my expected dismay got a bleak reaction from few, they weren’t interested. The notifications of messages in my so called group of friends echoed in the silence. By this time the madness to change things had consumed me and it was not long before I had tried to reach out to people through all forms of social media known to me. The aftermath was devastating, it felt as if my cry for help was left unheard or maybe ignored.

Composing myself and regaining sanity I was re-assured of the hollowness of these social networking sites and how they were an illusion. A mere reflection of a person’s state of being, worse than shadows for at least they had something different to offer and if at all there is something we humans crave is a piece of ourselves to be found in others which will complete us and not because we are incomplete and shed our individuality but because the purpose is to lose and find each other within. This was the basis of relationships which the world had started to forget in the process of being connected. Little they did know that they just created more connections between wires and disconnected souls.

Resolute to let things be the way they were for nothingness still had more meaning in my life than being surrounded by charlatans, I was disappointed for having broken my promise of staying ‘offline’, being my own mentor chided myself and soon forgave this act of immaturity. I was forgiving too, it is easier to pardon others but people struggle to get over their own mistakes.  It is okay once in a while; after all, sometimes you have to lose yourself completely before a new dimension to the same old heap of mass can be discovered.  I wasn’t morose anymore, felt way more contended than after having secured one of the biggest deals in my career and a sudden calm set over my heart. Loneliness no longer felt as a miserable condition but rather a choice, a pragmatic decision I had no regrets taking. Like an old friend, with which I had just resolved a brawl and like every time pledged not to fight again, despite knowing deep in my heart that this promise would be broken too, they all are. It was getting late and the office security staff almost ready to leave. I quickly secured my laptop inside the sleeve, grabbed my keys and rushed to the car parking. It was going to be a beautiful drive, the sky was clear despite being dark, refreshing smell of the rain had seized control of the fresh air.  Switching on my radio, “Kal Aur Ayenge Nagmon Ki Khilti Kaliyan Choonewale, Mujhse Behtar Kehnewale, Tumse Behtar Sunnewale. Kal Koi Mujhko Yaad Kare, Kyon Koi Mujhko Yaad Karey, Mashruf Zamana Mere Liye Waqt Apna Barbadh Kare…”, Mukesh never disappointed!