Friday, November 18, 2011

Stay young

‘Stay young’, I never really understood what it meant when my Professor told it to us in class repeatedly, emphasizing the two words, making an effort to help us understand the depth of this great secret which would enrich and transform our life in a way we never imagined or perceived. I came across a lady yesterday in an interactive discussion I attended. Though she was not more than 30, I found that she had already aged in her mind. Now what I mean by that? As she spoke I felt her mind was so full of thoughts, opinions, jargon, prejudice and stereotype that there was no place left in there to accept something new or to even consider possibilities which existed. I sensed that she saw the world and individuals around her through the same rusted mindset or outlook. She was unwilling to listen, be open to different perspectives and views, accept that if you look at the cube from different dimensions it will look different each time you see it. That things have multiple facets at times and just not one. Accept that grey is a combination of black and white. She was too filled to take in something new. As she continued displaying her biases with every single act and every word that she spoke, I began to think in the next twenty years I don’t want to be like her. I always want to keep my mind open to accept things that are unknown to me. I need not fear change or difference. I rather enjoy them.
One of my favourite shot from the movie 2012 is when a monk is sitting with his disciple and his disciple is too full of opinions and he also is filled with several doubts and is seeking answers to them. The monk begins to pour tea for his disciple in the cup and the cup overflows. The disciple says to him, “Wait! The cup is full! It cannot hold any more!” The monk says to the disciple, “This cup is like your mind. It is full of your own opinions. There is no room for anything else. You will never learn to have other opinions until you empty the cup first.” When we are young we are willing to experiment, to explore. We are not afraid of making mistakes. We do not fear consequences. We rather believe in learning from our mistakes. As we grow old we abandon this approach to life. We become bitter. We discourage the idea that there are voices apart from our own which are unique in their own way and which could also be right. We become so horribly trapped in our own biases that we miss out on learning so much that is completely new and can add so much value to our own life. In this manner, we age even before we actually have basked in the pleasant sunshine of youth.
And so it all comes back to me when I think of the Crazy Old Man telling us, “Stay young, won’t you?”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hey Jude...

“Hey Jude, Don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Remember to let her into your heart, then you can start to make it better. Hey Jude, Don’t be afraid, you were made to go out and get her. The minute you let her under your skin, then you begin to make it better. Anytime you feel the pain, Hey Jude, refrain, don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.”
As I walk away from you I get nostalgic, I remember the good days…the summers, the monsoon and the winters…you filled each of them with sugar sweet memories. Walking away from you might be the biggest mistake I could ever make in my life and maybe I would never stop regretting it right till the end. I have no clue where life is about to lead you and me. All I hope we are going the right way that is I mean to say, to our destinies. Well, I just want to tell you what walking away from you means to me. For all the love and care, you have given me, I’ve become so attached to you that living without you will definitely be a new and challenging experience. With you I never doubted that I could live a life full of comforts, stability and wellbeing. You held me right before I could ever fall. You made sure that I was always fine in spite of the fact that you suffered the scars and bruises. You were a Father to the child who shun looking at the world, was afraid to let the light of the day shine upon her grim face. You taught her to walk by holding her tiny fingers firm in your strong palms. Every step she walked she grew strong, you grew weak but proud. You looked into her eyes and whispered in her ears, “Don’t be afraid, I’m here (and will always be here)”. You never let her stumble. You put your arms around her when she felt alone. You wiped her tears when her eyes were wet. So walking away from you will mean facing the cold world alone, falling, stumbling, getting bruised, bleeding with pain, bleeding till it doesn’t stop. Maybe for endless days, for sleepless nights. It is like leaving my strongest refuge. The shadow of your wings never let the heat of the sun burn my skin, but now…I have to be on my own. It might mean making mistakes, mistakes grave and deep, mistakes that maybe I won’t be able to correct or will be left behind by time to set right. If I ever try and return from this journey of afflictions, I know not where you will be at that moment in time. Will the distance part you or will the time be cruel? I know that this means losing the one true gem I’ve found for eternity. But it has to get worse before it gets better. I walk away to find new horizons, to take a pilgrimage into my own soul, to dare to meet the devil, to look straight into the face of my fears, to bear the consequences of impulse and ecstasy and to get shattered forever. I hope the phoenix rises from the ashes. I hope I return with the renewed strength of an eagle after I pass through this eternal fire. I hope that the rose blooms even at twilight. I hope I find you back in the door of my heart. I hope to put the broken pieces of glass again together to make a beautiful picture. I hope to write our song when the dawn is lighting up the deep blue sky. I hope…and I am not afraid.