Sunday, January 9, 2011

Apocalypse Now. OR Maybe Later.

Silence. Absolute Silence. The night seemed to be still. It was as if time had stood frozen for me. Pitch black never seemed so beautiful. It was as if on my deathbed, the night had given me companionship. I kept my hands close to my chest. It was still beating. Each beat was heavier than the previous. The pain in my chest was rhythmic. It was like a train of impulses. Frequent. Time inter-leaved. Maybe I shouldn’t have made fun of that teacher when he taught me comb-shaped signals. It was as if The Great Dictator had decided to take revenge by giving me a practical example of it – by sticking it straight through my chest!  
Earlier in the day one of my very close friends had told me about a recent event that took place in his home town. A 23 year old guy had died after having a heart attack. My friend’s father who is a doctor told that too much fast food was the reason for this. That had sent alarm bells ringing in my mind. Me being an avid lover of the fast food variety and the Aji no Moto filled Chinese dishes, felt shocked at this great tragedy. My limited knowledge in human anatomy told me that because two arteries went into the left arm and left part of the head respectively as opposed to the single artery together for both the right hand and right part of the head, one was supposed to experience excruciating pain in the left arm prior to any heart attack. It kind of startled me for a bit because I was having pain in my left arm but it was nowhere near ‘excruciating’. I was having a small pain in my chest as well. Baffled by all this I decided to go to the Temple of the all-knowing Cyber-God – The Internet. I googled ‘symptoms of heart attack’. I got a ridiculous amount of hits. This showed me why heart disease was the major killer disease in the States. I clicked on one link. It had graphic representations of pain areas and stuff. One of the first sentences read –

“ Prior to any heart attack, the person usually suffers excruciating pain in the chest region which spreads into the left arm or both arms and then to the neck and jaw regions. Have a check-up if you have sweat excessively or breathe heavily while walking”.

The words gave me some relief. I contemptuously thought of those lowlifes who said the Internet was a bane of life. Yeah, right. Right now it was my saviour. I scrolled down. Then I read it –

Silent attacks:  The most fatal attacks are usually preceded by silent attacks in which the person feels only small, harmless pain in the chest and arms.”

I read it only once but it was doing an encore in my head for the rest of the night. It wasn’t acceptable. I was only 21 years old and this possibly couldn’t be happening. I went straight to my room and fell on my bed. I felt my chest. It was paining. Only a little. The calmness before the storm I guess. Silent attack - these medicine people seemed to have a nice habit of wordplay. I felt my left arm, it was also in pain. I lay motionless in an awkward pose for some time. What did it matter? Nobody cared how the credits rolled after a movie or the curtain came down after a play. Suddenly I checked my neck. It was paining. So was the jaw. Oh no! The end was near.     

The current had gone off. It was as if the KSEB workers had decided to play an inside joke on me on this night. The pain in my left arm was deepening. It didn’t take too much time for me to understand the sheer horror of the situation. I couldn’t resist the temptation of looking back at my life. All my life I was a good son, an OK friend, overall maybe not a mountain-conqueror, but an OK person. Then again, I could’ve done better.  “If only I could turn back time....”. Ain’t that a funny thing? – the mortal man carries the immortal time around with him – just to be pissed off by his own imperfection at the end!  I thought of my parents, my relatives and my friends. Somebody once said your loved ones are strangers you meet in a hotel in the journey of life. Well, it was time for me to check out of this ‘hotel’. I thought of all the women I had ever loved. Nothing had ever worked out successfully. I wondered if any of them would remember anything good about me. How life would have been different if any one of them was with me to endure this last moment?  

I was sweating excessively. All the symptoms seemed to be coming in unison now.  I was feeling sleepy. In some way I felt happy. Dying in your sleep was something that happened to the luckiest people. Lucky me. I dozed off.

I woke up to a bellowing sound. It took me a while to get to my senses. Or whatever’s left of it. The bellowing continued. Was it the gates of St.Peter welcoming me? Or had I done too much evil in my life time for me to face the devil’s whip? I cleaned my ears. The bellowing became ringing. I opened my eyes. I was there on my bed staring at my alarm clock. It seemed to be ringing like an angel welcoming me back to heavenly earth. Never before did the alarm ring seem so sweet. I was back -  alive in flesh and blood. Thanks to the Love of God!

The ordeal of the previous night had me confused. I was feeling okay now. Nevertheless, I decided to take a check-up. I went to the doctor and told him everything. He seemed to have a smile on his face. He said if I was worried so much, a check-up was essential. He took my ECG. And then my blood test. Everything was found to be perfectly normal. In fact, the doctor said the results showed that my health was in perfect shape. The doctor said the chest pain would’ve been caused by gas. The sweating would’ve been because of the current-cut and also due to the hot temperature.   The pain in the arms, neck and jaw would’ve been a result of me turning my attention to my body parts after reading the internet. I was resting in an awkward pose that night. It could’ve caused a minor muscle strain. How ridiculous can I get? I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Then again I had just paid a thousand rupees to my doctor to know that I was in good shape. Smart lad, the doctor.

When I left the doctor’s place, I still had one more doubt. The pain in my left arm. I had it even before I read the internet. It baffled me. Regardless, I went back to my room and continued my favourite past time – FIFA 11. Then it struck me. I was so powerfully stroking the keys (A,S,D,F) on my keyboard while playing FIFA 11, that it would’ve been a miracle if my arm showed no pain. Just when you think you couldn’t be any more ridiculous!

NOTE: So after this horrendous experience, all I’d like to say is : get your facts right people, before you start looking for symptoms. Hypochondria itself is a disease. Be sure NOT to succumb to it. I also in no way mean to make fun of the killer that is heart disease. Get your check-up regularly if you are over 40 years of age. It is very important that you eat healthy and stay healthy. Happy living. J  

Peace Out

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Anomaly called "Love"

Love. If one were asked to write down one word that encompassed all that mattered in a human's life, the answer would be unmistakably simple. Love. Everyone feels it, everyone needs it, everyone treasures it. Without Love, all the sufferings in life wouldn't be bearable nor would the happiness in life be enjoyable. There is so much of Love around us in this world - Love between a mother and her child, Love between a father and his child, Love between siblings, Love between a husband and his wife, etc. Amidst all these types of Love, there is one kind which stands out from the rest - the Romantic Love between a man and a woman.

While growing up, it is impossible to ignore the power of Love. It is seen everywhere from movies to music albums to what not. In fact, almost every movie in India has a romantic subplot. The movie concept is simple - the hero and the heroine fall deeply in love with each other. Then, they run around trees or out in the Swiss Alps or in between the pyramids of Egypt, singing songs and dancing all the way, celebrating their love. The pair are convinced that they are madly in love with each other and so, they go to any extreme to ensure they are together forever - as they say "Happys Endings". The growing generation considers them as demigods who could do no wrong. They have a profound effect on us as we grow up. When hormones start kicking in, one develops 'feelings' for certain individuals of the opposite sex naturally. Then comes the sacred, ever-remembered first "love letter" followed by the first "I Love You". This holy mantra is treasured by people of all ages and even more so among young people. The seriousness about 'relationships' increases as one grows mature. When one becomes an adult, 'relationships' get entangled with words like 'commitment','heart-break', 'break-up', 'make-out', 'experience' and so on. Suddenly, the whole concept of 'Love' doesn't look so simple after all.

What is Love? Can you define it? No. Can you draw it? No. Can you feel it? Yes. Can you make someone feel it? Yes. Can you show it? Yes. Then why is it an Anomaly?

What does one mean when one says he/she is 'committed' to somebody else? Does it mean that he/she is planning to be with his/her companion forever? Does it mean that he/she is willing to die for the other person? If you truly love somebody, how can you 'break-up' with that person? Isn't Love supposed to be more important than any individual's ego? Isn't one supposed to bear everything for the sake of Love? If parents come as a hurdle and one has to decide, which Love will he/she decide? Either way, one will have to leave somebody whom he/she supposedly 'Loved'. So where is Love here? How can you love someone, break-up and later love somebody else? If Love is the be all and end all of life, then why is it treated like a joke? Is Love just a cover to satisfy one's hormones? Or is Love like your favorite song which changes from time to time but satisfies you nonetheless?

I thought I had an answer for this i.e. bear anything to ensure that Love reigns supreme, to go to any end to ensure we are together forever and after - "Happys Endings" just like the movies tell you. What the movies don't tell is that man is fundamentally a flawed creation. Nobody's perfect and hence, such an ideal scheme of things may not be possible. Or is it?

So many questions. No concrete answers. Now why wouldn't Love be an Anomaly?

A wise man once told me - "One loves nobody more than oneself". The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to make sense.

Am I being naive about it? Am I being over-sentimental? Am I being ridiculous? This is for you, the reader to decide. Your opinions are most welcome.

Peace Out.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A small boy in a big world

Do you still remember the first day you went to school? I still do. It was the beginning of many the great things in my life. I was a very shy boy back then (even now am so :) ). Things like the water bottle, school bag and multi-colour umbrella became my first possessions. Having lived my toddler life as a well caressed kid, moving away from my parents even for the shortest second was something that never crossed my mind. I was so attached to my parents that i would cry the instant i lost sight of my parents.

So came the day of reckoning. I didnot know why my mother was dressing me up in those new clothes but I found the greatest pleasure in suiting up with the newly bought apparels. My parents took me to a place they called "school". It was strange to be there in an alien land full of people and other children . [Little did I know then that later I would treasure this place in my heart forever!]. So there I was shy, insecure and curious. As always, I stood behind my mother biting the hanging part of her sari. Entering the school was intimidating to say the least because of the sheer size of the school gate. Now when I'm almost six feet the gate is an ordinary gate but back then, it seemed as if it was HUGE. Then my parents took me to a room, left me there and told me they'll be coming only in the afternoon to get me. I cried the life out of me. When you are a kid, the only people in your life are your parents. So when they said they'll be temporarily abandoning me, I couldn't help it. I had never cried so much in my entire life [when I look back at it]. Finally the teacher pulled me away and took me to another room. The room was full of children sitting in small red coloured chairs and each of them crying their guts out. When your 3 years old, you're not so into group dynamics and politics, and I guess that's why seeing others cry made me feel more insecure. The room was filled with pictures of animals and all kid-stuff but no one seemed to really care. You cry for so long, eventually it is going to stop. So, I stopped crying and started to look around. One of the boys was a gentle kid who didnot cry that much. He came and sat next to me. I don't remember what we talked about but I knew it was the start of something great. He then became my best friend and would be so for all the years to come.

Afternoon seemed like eternity but when it arrived and my parents dropped their idea to abandon me, I was greatly relieved. Life was back to normal, albeit temporarily and I was happy. Day one had ended.

My journey had begun....

Peace Out

Monday, December 7, 2009

From Theism to Atheism and Back Again

Hey there folks.... Sorry but my first proper post has taken a very loooooooooong time. As they say "Better late than Never"...

Over the past 6 months or so my belief in God or rather my belief in God's Love has gone through a inverted Gaussian curve. I've always acknowledged the fact that there is a Creator who created all the diverse things we see around us today. However, just a few months ago I started to question the fact whether this "Creator" whom we call God really cares about us or not. Let's say there were certain things in my life that I craved for that didn't go according to plan. Me being as impatient and childish as I am, started to think that God doesn't care about me and I believed that everything was in my hands and in the hands of Lady Luck. One of my friends told me maybe this Lady Luck is God Himself. Although the notion seemed possible, an atheist like my then self dismissed the thought like he calls fate a coincidence. I complained like Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty - "If God really loves me, then he can fix my life just like that..... But he doesn't!". So I decided to do things on my own not in the least bit concerned about God. However, I still believed that you should never hurt anybody or do anything that is against human morality (A concept I am sure God would've been proud of 'coz I didn't look for His reward when I did  good deeds). It is an inconvenient truth that I have not gone to a temple which is 5 kms away from my home for 3 about years now although I'd like to admit it is not my atheism but the age-old human drawback of laziness that has caused this. I took Satan's word from "The Devil's Advocate" to heart - If God gives you what you want - then "Oh! The Lord is merciful.", if he doesn't then "The Lord works in mysterious ways....." .

Thankfully God has given me an inherent quality of self-correction. i.e. If I am following a path that is not right, I will eventually correct myself without anybody telling me to do so. So then I started to see things in a  different perspective. When I was in one of my darkest hours and I was so alone, I felt that there was somebody else or some other force with me, in various forms which I could see, I could hear, I could touch, I could feel. I started to have the "Half-glass full" perspective and then happiness followed me wherever I went. I counted all the  blessings that God has given me and I found that the happiness in my life overwhelmingly outweighed the sadness. There are so many people in this world who are suffering far more than you or me and God has given them so little and still they live life with optimism and are thankful to Him. So there I was, back to being a  believer again.     

In school, a teacher had asked my class "Do you love God or Do you fear God???"... This question had me confused at the time. I didn't know my answer 'coz I wasn't sure. Now I know, there is no point in fearing God. But Love him... Not for any reward that he might/might not give, but for the fact that He has given you whatever He has given you as of now. Know that he cares about you. Even though your life maybe going a rough patch right now, but He will make it right. Maybe God is just a concept, maybe He is not real, maybe God resides in all human beings..... but love him the same.. 'coz if you love God, you love humanity and if you love humanity... humanity loves you 100 times as much......

I'd like to quote a few lines from the Christian Song "Who Am I" by Casting Crowns

"Who am I?
That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I?
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wandering heart.

Not because of who I am,
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done,
But because of who you are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling,
And you've told me who I am.
I am yours.
I am yours."

DISCLAIMER: To Love God, you don't necessarily need to go to places of worship. You can go to such places if it gives you comfort and satisfaction. Loving God is all about being thankful to Him in your heart and in turn showing kindness and love to other human beings.

And Oh one word before I go to to Satan - " The Lord DOES work in mysterious ways....!"

Peace Out.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

VoilĂ .....!

          This is categorically my first post in this blog. The first question any reader of this blog would ask is :

Why is the writer writing this blog?
a. Because he is bored. And writing a blog is the only thing which will give this poor soul a means of adding some spice to his melancholy life.
b. Because there is a  volcano about to erupt in his inherently complex mind and it is looking  for an exhaust to take out the fumes.

Is the writer of this blog so desperately bored that he would take time to pick his bum (which weighs quite much, I can tell you that!) up and then rest it on a chair in front of his comp and let his fingertips keep up with the tremendous overflow of deranged thoughts? The answer is a big YES!!!! As you continue to read  the forthcoming posts, you would understand that I'm desperate in a lot of things at the moment.

Hope you all would enjoy this blog as much as I did in writing it.

Peace Out.