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September is a month remembered by the US and the world for the carnage and the imbecility. Alas! I wish none of that had happened in this month. For it has been the month of birthdays of my sister, brother, and best friend. Moreover, the number 11 is considered sacred in our culture. Any donation or any good deed that you do that involves numbers has high probability of being 11. The September 11, thus, is auspicious. Let us mark the month and the day, not with abhorrence or anathema, but with affection and adoration - for life and again!
Time is elusive – never tangible. We the humans try to put the time in perspective – we calibrate it, we calculate it, we swear and live by it. The repetitive occurrences of night and day, seasons of the year, etc., are the fundamental forces that have driven the human being to create the notion of time. Time in turn has covertly taken over the life of its creator. In a manner similar to how the human has taken over the earth. Does this prove that any creation ultimately takes over its creator? Who came first - Creation or Creator, a catch-22?
Initially I thought it was the swimming pool water that's blocking my hearing. I had just started swimming and at times the water gets into my ears and suddenly I have this funny hearing impairment. So this time, I tilted my head so that the right ear faced down and jumped around the house hoping that gravity would pull the pool water out of my ear. No luck! I tried jumping around the house, in the mall, in the parking lot. Finally, I accepted it wasn't the pool water but something waxy and greasy. What a relief, its not chlorine!
Difference in life can be intimidating. We all fall into our cozy little environment that is so familiar; we never want to come out of it. We abhor change! Why is the change so daunting? Is it the fear of not succeeding or the fear of being ridiculed? Success doesn't come one's way if one can't adapt. Isn't the journey through woods, mountains, deserts, rapids and valleys more enjoyable than riding the rectilinear highway without any bumps??! Sure it may be comfortable, but would it be memorable? So embrace the change and revolutionize the life as you've known so far.
Far. The word carries insinuation of exoticism; something sensual and pretty yet distant enough to be scary. The fear of not knowing inundate the mind thinking of anything away in geographical distances or time. The romance of the olden times is carried in the bags of ghosts from the past. With them the ghosts carry stories of suffering and tragedies – the very foundation of instinct of fear ingrained in human psyche. A promise of bright future has a disclaimer written by the black words of uncertainty. Dare shall you the past or the future to visit the land so far?
Quoted from BBC's history of WWII, "Nobody could tell what the destruction of places like Würzburg could really contribute to the shortening of the war, but the hostilities had reached a point where the mere possibility of saving Allied lives was felt to justify the death of tens of thousands of civilians in German towns." This very admission by an English news media attest to the fact that the human being is showing a sign of change. Usually, when the winner writes the history, the story from the other side is never heard. Here, BBC proves them wrong! Bravo BBC!
We all act. We act according to how we have been taught to act. It is the generations of learning and teaching that has become part of our being that teaches us how to act. We share almost 99% of our genetic pool with the chimpanzees. Why can't we act like them, then? Like the fictitious character of Tarzan, why can't we all breakaway from acting like "human" and become ape-man? Think of the joy a child would get jumping from one branch to another in lush green jungle howling yahoo. So let's stop acting. Or rather, let's act differently.
Stuff. I have got some stuff. I have got some stuff to do. Sports and stuff is not for me. I am stuffed. That stuff amazes me. The stuff you gave me doesn't work. What stuff? How much do you sell that stuff for? Stuff is like cool. I don't like stuffing on Thanks Giving. It is stuffy in here. I stuffed my sack and left. This is my stuff to write. You're reading this stuff. Stuffing in the pillow is not like the stuff in the mattress. Traveling and such is my kind of stuff. Pig is stuffed. Stuffed??!!
Appreciation is the biggest reward that can be received by a creator. Of course, money and such are always worthy doing any creative work, but words of praise top the list for all creators. Even the God is not barred from this rule as a creator. The ego of a creator residing in the metaphysical world takes precedence over anything this carnal world has to offer. Appreciation aspires too – it fosters creativity and confidence. A fledgling artist in her infancy can turn herself into a legendary creator by appropriate admiration of her work. Appreciation cultivates. Appreciation creates. So do appreciate!
Focus is the biggest challenge for creators. Most of prolific minds are fickle – like a shadow under a candlelight, dance all over the wall casting an impression here and then jumping over there the next moment. To be successful requires focus – but when you have so many creative ideas flourishing within you, it is hard to remain focused. The result is, you lose it all. I have done such mistakes so far in my life. Doing so many things, and most of them I'm good at. But I lacked focus – a single tract mind. Recognize this persona within to succeed.
Pranayama – a method of fulfilling your body's need for oxygen. It was immensely practiced in ancient India, and now lives in oblivion in the contemporary culture. However, just like any trend, it seems like it is on revival path. Many young Indians are getting the breath – the special rhythmic practice taught by Pranayama – to inspire the life within. Even in the chic journals and magazines in the western world, the practice has been very popular. Especially now, when the oxygen levels have fallen below what the human body was designed for, regular Pranayama is a welcome change to daily rut.
How sure are you? How sure are you that you are who you claim you are? How sure are you that there is no parallel you how is ruling the parallel world? How sure are you that the miseries of your life are not so limiting? How sure are you that your own bonding to the world around you keeps you from realizing your intimate power? How sure are you that if you break lose you won't fly? How sure are you that you are the owner of your own destiny? It never hurts trying. And keep trying your best!
Am I afraid of myself? Am I afraid of exposing me? Is there anything to be ashamed of in whom and what am I? Do I feel naked? Will my inner instincts flow out of control? Shall I fall over the edge? Will I stand by my words? Will people like it? Will people abhor it? Who are these people? What do they want? Am I not one of those people? Do I not know what I want? Can I keep my ‘real me' separate? These are the questions I myself when I think about writing fiction. Shall I write?
Eating right has always been a challenge for the present generation. The pressure of work or study, the ambitions of status and money, and many a times, pure laziness leaves individuals with almost no time to eat right. And why should one? There is so much quick and easy food at every corner of the city and every aisle of the neighborhood grocery store. Pity – isn't it? By making it easy, ultimately we're making it difficult for the human race in general to eat healthy. A lesson learned for me is eat the apple before the candy bar. Works wonders!
Hunger is a problem of the world. Or is it, really? I believe greed is the problem of the world with a byproduct of hunger. World produces more than enough to feed every mouth on the face of this planet. However, a major part of it is destroyed to keep the prices at a level the money-hungry merchants want them to be. India, for example, produces more grains than it needs. So do the economists say. Go in the streets of India, and you'll find millions of people malnourished and hungry. What an irony for a country that exports food.
I ate too much this morning during lunch. Lunches are the opportunity I take to eat a bigger meal so that I remain full for the rest of the day. I have noticed that by having lighter supper I have managed to take the stubborn fat off my waist. I used to not regard the warnings given by the dieticians about eating in moderation – especially during dinnertime to cut the intake of the sugar. That was the good old time when my body had high metabolism. Now the age has taught me a new lesson. Eat light and sleep tight!
Forgetting to write is often the worst thing that a writer can do. Just like any other skill, writing needs to be sharp – all the times. I have been the person, who is starting out this monthly writing things very enthusiastically, but then just around the middle of the month, I forget once…twice…thrice….and lo another month passes without me having entered a single word in a few days. So this time, I am in a do or die situation when I shall keep writing until the end of month….get that practice under my belt. Writing 100 words is the best!
Motivation is something that can not be driven from outside. It must come from within. Sometimes it is difficult to persevere in a long task that spans over a few hours or days or months. However, making the commitment to the self and keeping the commitment is the single biggest achievement of an individual. For one can lie to others but one cannot lie to one's own self. One can try, but one shall not succeed in such undertaking. So once a promise is made, keep working until you have fulfilled it. Keep at it, and rewards will be immense!
Counting words was such an immense task. The evolution of counting words is of immense proportions. Initially I wrote on a paper with a pencil or pen, and then carefully counted every word. This was the drill during the high-school era, when we had to write an essay with specific word-count. Next came money and the computer with it. Mr. Microsoft created the Microsoft Office and the Word program. You initially had to hit the Tools button and then Word Count button. But now, with the latest edition, I just put it on the toolbar, and it counts words automatically!
Another day, another drill. So much to do, so little time. Can we, as human beings, adapt our bodies to the new levels of stresses that we put ourselves under? It is quite astonishing to see how much we can endure. Our evolutionary forces are the fast paced present day life that has demanded the average human being to change so rapidly from a gatherer to a hustler! A hustler, is not a lewd person – it is more of a word of choice for myself (lack of English language knowledge requires me to invent words and their usage every day).
Errors do teach us. But errors do make us angry. So how many times has anger solved our problem? Interesting question. Yet, how many times do we ask this question to ourselves when we get angry? The trick to remember is to think from the front of your brain. The front of the brain requires you to reason and then take action. While we employ this friend of ours to work everyday, he becomes more powerful in our actions and reactions. We tend to make less errors and become less angry. So let those brain waves to the front first.
Zen is my cat. It is about 5:42 pm in Arizona, and in our kitchen it is getting dark towards the end of September. Zen, as a cat, sleeps during the day and plays during the night. She has very soft fur, with patterns that make her look like a tiger cub. She is very playful and affectionate. There is a stool in our kitchen with a green color top on it. The top is soft, and is a favorite place for Zen to sit during the day and night and observe people. She is currently curled up and sleeping.
As I mentioned earlier, September is a month of birthdays in my family and friend-circle. My brother and sister both were born in September, and so did two of my best friends. Does that say that September minus 9 is the month of mating in India? There certainly does seem to be a pattern when people prefer to pay more attention to their lovers during certain times of the year. I know that rainy season in India is called the season of love. That I haven't experienced much since I've left India since 1992 and come to the United States.
It was a dark alley that not many people would venture to peep into even during the daytime. Chicago holds many secrets of its dark alleys into its gut. One such secret is about to unfold itself this night and then be gobbled up in the guts of Chicago forever. Or is it? I for sure didn't know how it all will end up, but I was told that I was born to undertake such tasks. Born to be a defender of our freedom. Born to be a good man who fights the evil. But my tactics might be evil.
The previous day's paragraph that I wrote is sort of my dabbling into writing comic books. I work in the same building as Todd McFarlne's – and he has this comic book business called Spawn. People from his company come to the toilet with those books and do their business and then leave the books in the toilet for the benefit of the other users. I have read many of them and fantasized about writing my own. It sure sounds like a fun job to have. Soon, one of these days I shall muster enough courage to follow the voice within.
Ok I have to pee. So this one is going to be fast and simple. I wonder how do we actually get this pee signal in the middle so something? We are giving important speech of our lifetime (for example John Kerry during the Democratic National Convention), and suddenly our bladder fills up and tells us to quite anything and everything important that we're doing and pay attention to the pee. Peeing is an art, too. For many men, they don't understand how to finish the task – may be they didn't have proper guidance. Alright, I gotta go really, now!
The sun is setting, and the chill of the autumn night is fogging the view. Everyone else is tucked in their garbs to warm themselves up. However, Gandhi is setting out for a walk in the woods. He has overcome the elements of the nature and his body boasts a thin yet stern stature to nip the cold. As he breaths out, the body heat steams out of his nose, fogging his tiny red spectacles. The road is not clear, but his determination to walk is. His thinly wrapped body takes strides up the hillock in Virginia's west side woods.
Focus in life is such a difficult thing – isn't it? Well, for most of us. The problem is that we think we might lose all the fun that the life has to offer if we just dwelled in one channel that life has to offer. Explore, unravel and relish – is what we crave for. But in reality, even one single track can offer multitudes of opportunities. It doesn't have to be boring. The idea is to pick one track and stay on it. Keep traveling and explore what that infinite track has to offer. Write, speak and teach about it.
Smell is probably the strongest of my senses. I can smell foods and memories of past experiences emerge. May be it reminds me of a wonderful restaurant I ate at, or a wonderful company I had, or just how well did I relish the chef's magic. Other than this obvious aspect of smell, I also smell people and automatically define their personality. For example, while working in my cube, when I smell certain types of perfumes, I can imagine what type of a person with what personality and job is walking by. We all must enhance our understanding of smell.
Last day of the month! I made it! Isn't this a great adventure? For me it was. I went through many emotional turmoil and battles – many won and many I conceded. But even more so interesting is that many I actually scribed here on this website. It is like exposing your inner-self for the rest of the world to look at. The initial shyness is due to the fact that people might judge us. But heck with the people, for true freedom is to do what you deem is right. People will judge always, some positively some not so positively.
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