Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Time for Some Navel-Gazing

The last couple of months have been way too hectic, been extremely stressful at times and passed before I knew what was happening. Work has simply consumed my life! Not in little nibbles, but in one massive Gargantuan bite.

I have to admit, I've never had to work this hard before. I'm not complaining, just observation. A lot of changes have taken place in my life in the past few months... a young business, marriage and all that both of these entail. I really haven't had too much time for my personal life or time to stop, think and introspect. I enjoy doing that. I'm one of those people who can sit by the ocean, listening to the chatter of the waves by myself for hours thinking of nothing. Just spacing out.

I love 'spacing'. It allows me into a little world of my own. Far away from the 'realities' of life. Spacing is good. It gives my mind room to breathe, clears out the muck albeit temporarily, knocks away my fears and, for a fleeting moment, rids me of my burdensome ego. That's what I love about it.

I want to go back to Rishikesh, spend a month there learning yoga, breathe in some cleaner air and forget myself for sometime.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Fruit of Dedication

While the country basks, vicariously, in A.R. Rahman's and Resul Pookutty's glory, the achievement almost seemed to be a reflection of a train of thought that has been running through my head for a while; the fruit of dedication.

Often, when I introspect and attempt to examine my life objectively, one of the most interesting observations I've made is the effect dedicated effort has on me, the actor i.e. the person propagating the action whomsoever it may be.

Whether it's my work, running, playing football or relationships, dedication and giving my best has always made a world of a difference. When I don't give my best, there are three things that happen:
1. I think about the fruit of the action more than the action itself.
2. The action/effort lacks that edge.
3. I feel unhappy because deep down I know I haven't given my best.

On the other hand, when I do act with dedication and my 100%, those same three reactions turn the other side of their respective coins as it were:
1. Because I derive joy from the action itself my mind doesn't need to go to the fruit in search of more happiness.
2. The action/effort is incisive, effective and more often than not, achieves its objective.
3. There is a sense of calm because I know I have given my everything.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Even the most insignificant actions performed dedicatedly give immense satisfaction. The very satisfaction that I seek every moment of my life. The difficulty though, is being able to perform at that high level thought after thought, action after action.

I realise I'm not writing anything extraordinary or hitherto undiscovered, but it's a thought that's been playing in my head for a while now.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Long Time Coming

It's been a long time coming, this post. There's been too much happening through the week and on weekends, I don't feel like coming back to a screen. More than anything, I think my blogging suffered a brief dip in motivation.

The marathon this year was challenging. I don't think I was fit enough or motivated enough. I found running an effort. I missed playing football, so while heart was on the football pitch, my legs were on Marine Drive. I guess it reflected in my time for the 21 km run, I managed 2 hours 11 minutes and 48 seconds. That's about 11 minutes slower than last year so it hurt my ego initially. At the end of the race though, I felt good I had kept my promise to myself to run the race and complete it. I don't know if I'll run the marathon again next year or ever again. I'll make that decision when I need to.

Otherwise, work is going reasonably well. Interesting projects, a lot of work for me and a fair bit of multi-tasking, something that is new to me. Nothing to complain about in these times of global economic gloom.

As for married life? So far, so good. :) That's my verdict. The happiness and the challenges it offers you are incomparable really. Exhilarating at times, frustrating at others... but definitely worth it. :)

I can say one thing for sure, marriage has done my football a lot of good! :) I'm just loving being out on the ground 3-4 times a week, running all over the place and scoring more than the odd goal. ;) I don't know what it is, but I'm just super motivated to play football these days. My long-term football objective is to get on the amateur team at my neighbourhood park next year. We'll see how that comes along.

I've been away too long to pack in all that's happened into this post but I think I will be more regular with posts. I feel like writing.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Running #37

Today's Run
Distance: A little less than 7 km (not sure)
Time: 40 min and a few seconds (not sure, don't care)

The toughest run I've done in a long time. Towards the end, every step felt like a kilometre.

It was one of those days when you wake up in the morning and the body is saying 'No, not today... please!' But I dragged my ass out of bed and made it to Marine Drive. I ran a shorter distance for two reasons:
1. I didn't have the heart to go by the Oberoi this morning. Dunno, just didn't feel up to passing the scene of so much pain and bloodshed. Not today at least.
2. Zero energy. I was low on energy even before I began the run. I can't explain it. Neither my mind nor my body were willing today. On off days, either the mind powers the body to go on or vice-versa. Today though, both ran out on me. Literally.

I'm going to run tomorrow again. Maybe I'll run some other place tomorrow morning just for a change of scene. Let's see.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Dazed and Confused

The last week flew by in a daze. The terrorist attacks have been numbing leaving me angry, helpless and confused.

Fortunately, our TV wasn't accessible because of some painting work for most of the days the siege was on, but the entire episode has left a mark on me. The mere thought that most of the places that were attacked are places my friends and family frequent really shook me. Plus the added necessity of remaining indoors for three days and not being able to do much was extremely depressing.

Friday evening, I decided to step out for a run with my iPod. I wanted to run away from all this violence and death and gloom to another world. So I put on my headphones and hit Marine Drive. The city was enveloped in an eerie silence. Few people out on the streets and fewer cars zipping by. It was like a ghost town, relatively speaking.

My mind was numb as I pounded away with my back towards the Oberoi. It was ironic that I was enjoying a "pleasant" evening run while a game of life and death unfolded less than a kilometre away. I was torn. A part of me wanted to go there and kill the terrorists, but another part of me knew I would harm innocent lives if I did. That apart from having zero knowledge about guns. I'd be a liability. But it was that feeling of not being able to do much that really got to me.

While I continue with work and try to get on with the rest of my life, there is still a lingering sense of frustration and helplessness that bothers me. Usually I'm out like a light by 10.15 pm, but these days I stare at the ceiling or the light creeping in from the windows.

What do you do when there is all this blood, gore and death around you and the only survivor amongst the terrorists really believes that jannat (heaven) is waiting for him in the after-life for his 'noble acts for Islam'? Is this what Islam has been reduced to? A manual for death? And it's not just Islam really, we have successfully destroyed the true spirit of every existing religion.

Without doubt, we are a race in crisis and I believe that if we do not mend our ways, we will self-destruct like earlier life forms that have inhabited the planet.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Waking Up in A New Country

I definitely did not go to sleep last night in this country.

The country I went to sleep in had the Rajabai clock tower chiming merrily every 15 minutes. Over there, the dome of the Taj Mahal Hotel near the Gateway of India shone brightly in the evening sky, people enjoyed their drinks and music at Cafe Leopold and Colaba Causeway was a great place to hang out.

Today though, Taj Mahal dome did shine, but not because of the bulbs that usually lit it up, Rajabai clock tower's chime had lost its cheer, the only music playing at Leo's was a death knoll and Colaba Causeway became a place to hang out, not for common citizens, but for the National Security Guard (NSG) Commandos who have flown in from across the country to fight these mother-fucking terrorists.

In this country, they've even imposed curfew so we can't get out of our homes and endanger ourselves and others.

I pray for those who lost their lives and for their families fighting for their old country.

I, no, We, want our country back, the country we went to sleep in.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Life In Longitudinal Waves

So much has happened in the past two years of my life and it has led me to the conclusions that life unravels itself in irregular longitudinal waves. (See image below.)

While image above is of a more regular pattern, with compressions and rarefactions interspersed at regular intervals, life's rarefactions and compressions are quite irregular.

If I were to describe the last two years of my life, it would definitely be a compression. Papa's passing, a broken engagement, meeting my to be life partner, starting up my own business, getting married (in less than a month)... it's overwhelming when I think about it.

Before that, college life and a few years after college felt like a rarefaction. Yes, there were changes and important events, but none that affected me as much as those in the past couple of years. Life seemed to be dawdling along.

I guess that's how life is. I know I'm not making any earth-shattering revelation. Just a mundane observation.

It can be one long rarefaction until you hit a tumultuous series of compressions with tiny rarefactions scattered in-between. Or sometimes it feels like this never-ending compression until you discover you're suddenly in this little rarefaction.

I don't think one is better than the other i.e. a compression is better than a rarefaction or vice-versa, but they're undoubtedly different.

Together I think they make life a wonderful journey. One long longitudinal wave. Or short. But longitudinal and interesting nonetheless.

Running #36

Today's Run
Distance: 8 km
Time: 47 min 32 sec

A faster pace than the last 8 km I did so I'm satisfied. The rhythm is definitely back, so is the pleasant weather in Mumbai. I think that is definitely helping.