Posted in Being Someone, Questions

The Race to Timbuktu

There was once an old farmer, who worked hard on his lands.  His stature with time had become slightly withdrawn and bent due to the weight he carried for a living. His complexion was of dark hue because he spent many hours in the sun. He had a wife and kids. The cave extended into tunnels that provided shelter. His family ate well. His wife and he worked the farm while the boys hunted. They had good, healthy food; shelter, safety and most of all, love.

For centuries now, man has been a target to modernization, and industrial revolutions, and all such ‘-tions’ have pretty much left him shunned from all hope of the basic necessities of human life. He no longer has farms to till but he wears infamous clothing like ties to work, uses executive desks; or otherwise is unemployed. His food decreases in nutrition day in and day out and he can not do much about it as the whole world is concerned about profit not health. His house is under mortgage and of he takes the leap to the bottom of the ladder, he could easily lose his house and everything along with it; his wife and kids. And so does too, goes love out of the window.

Man left his cave where he had been perfectly happy carving his drawings on the wall, went through various forms of revolutions and reformations; got himself all modernized and finally he realized the basics had started to slip from between his fingers like sand. He thought he was running after success, and just when he thought he could play God and everything was within the palm of his hands, he slowly realized his marathon towards achieving his goals only led him to Timbuktu.

Timbuktu- the land of the all popular, yet unknown, undecided, unfathomed. It could easily be the land of the walking dead. For perhaps, all those who ever get to visit there, are not allowed back, and therein they should live forever in utter torment. As is written so shall it be.

Okay, I agree the last statement sounds rather ecclesiastical, but I really hope you can see through the window I’m pointing out from. And perhaps in time, see what is that I want to say.

Life has a weird way of saying, “nay na na-nay nay”. And as much as I hate to say it though, that is exactly what has happened. Man thought he outsmarted nature by making fruits in labs and babies in test-tubes. But Mother Nature is fierce as it can be. It has proven to man that it can easily outsmart us. At any time, man will be forced to see himself in the mirror and realize that it would have been better to have lived in caves than to ride in vehicles made out of legos that run on solar energy or even air.

Man has finally decided to go back on herbs and roots.  He is forced to find peace in meditation and spirituality or some form of Godliness, surprisingly enough when finally he was able to ‘prove’ that all rationale pointed towards the non-existence of a Higher Power. Man after all was a master of his own destiny, and everything he could possibly own or steal or kill and plunder for, was no longer his to rule and torment. But alas! Man has found himself in a catch 22 situation.

He can no longer go back to the cave, agricultural life he knew, nor can he progress forward without the fear that something, anything, and probably everything is to be doomed.  After crossing the finishing line for man’s race towards the ends of time, he now realizes he no longer has leaps and bounds to overcome, nor can he possibly live a page out of The Jettsons and live in space and quit the earth altogether after its complete ruin because the journey back has become impossible.

Standing still, a mile after the red finishing line, he stands exasperated. He wonders if the abyss ahead which he himself has worked so hard to create is his best option to work forward towards. Or would it be better to turn on his heels and run backwards, backwards towards the starting line, where he might console himself with shelter, food and love and teach himself that this ought to have been enough.

Posted in Poem

They have a lot to say

I find myself alone
 Most of the time
 It would have been sad
 But I like it, "oh, oh."
No people around
 There are still people around
 They have a lot to say
 The words they speak, do bound.
Alone, I find myself
 With a lot of me
 Me has a lot to say
 And yes I listen, "hey, hey!"
The unspoken
 Hit hard at heart
 Then wash off as water
 Me tells me, "There is no other way."
Change is a must
 And I must change
 Change is good
 So they say.
I would live a different life
 I would walk a different way
 But here I am
 I am always here.
There are bridges
The bridges are burnt
I stand at brinks
With no way to return.

Life is a motion
The motion never stops
We stop for an instant
The instant becomes our last.

I was once a woman
A woman I was
She left just for an instant
And gone she was.
Posted in Being Someone, Women

Waiting for godo

I was brought up in a circle. A sphere of customization and conditioning that taught me to stay within the limits of the circle. The circle was a line etched around me. There I sat and waited my turn. My turn lasted a lifetime. So I sat there, because I was told to. I stayed within the circle and never crossed the marked line. I was told to wait. To wait for godo. So there I waited for godo. To come and help me walk the distance from one circle to another. The other circle was also marked out especially for me. There too I was expected to live a lifetime. A lifetime of waiting, till another godo came along to repeat the migration that happened centuries ago.

But this time, the new godo did not turn up. I despaired. I became desperate. The anger and the hatred boiled within me. I waited for over a century for godo but he did not come. The anger changed into something weird. Something I did not think would befall me. Misery. In misery I wept, in misery I moaned. The agony crippled me. I could no longer move.

Shrubs, roots and bushes became to grow around me. They thought I was like them. That I could not move. I belonged in the dirt within a circle etched out for me. Like the plants. I was made to fit in it. I still waited. Godo never came. Agony and misery made way for something new, glistening. The unspoken words of horror and anguish started to well up in my eyes. I was so tired of waiting, that I could no longer move a muscle to wipe what ran down my cheeks. My wait seemed to be useless now, for godo was not showing up.

I let the tears fall and let them become a well around me. It swirled like waves of the ocean, making complete rounds around me like I was some sort of a sink unplugged. The tears swished and swooshed. But I did not stop. I cried on for another century, because a tiny part of me still said that godo might come.

Then there came a time, when instead of the torrents of tears, locks of white hair took their place. Age had changed me. The water had run dry. Godo did not still come. My hiccups of sobs were replaced by a sharp breath of courage. The ground beneath me became my only anchor. The sky above became my guide. I wringed myself out of the roots and the shrubs that had found a place around me, prisoning me, strangling me. I broke free. Stood up.

I felt the hard ground beneath my bare feet. Godo had not come for eons till now, because godo was not going to come. He had never intended to. He never existed. It was an old woman’s tale. I looked over my head at the blue sky and for the first time in life, I smiled. I picked up my right foot and stepped outside the circle they had made for me. I was no longer going to wait for godo to help me. I was not going to wait more. I smiled yet again, beaming with my knowledge. I was the one I had been waiting for. I was godo.

Posted in Questions

The Damned

We wonder why we are damned? We are saints, all holy and justified. Wearing green robes, and eating from what passerbys hand out of mercy. Mercy. We think we need to be shown mercy.

We sin. Then we sin some more. Unabashed. The sense of shying away from people due to extraordinary verbosity of thought- out there, in the open, is exhausting. We are not to be blamed. We do not shy away from ourselves with unclean and sinful thoughts.

In fact, for most, this is a thrill. It is the next roller coaster ride. Yippee or Hallelujah! We are no saints. We never intended to be one. Instead, we thought of degrading ourselves to the lowest depths of self love.

Self love out of improvement is something else. Self love to trade your mighty soul for a dirty, smelly slave is different.

We are slaves to our instincts. We are slaves to our emotions. We are slaves to our desires. We are slaves to the things we covet. We are and always have been slaves to the world of people. The people we hope to get love from. The people who just might show that they do after all ‘care’.

The one thing we ignore or forget is that we could attempt to choose to be slaves to our souls. The one and only harmonious core of our being. The only thing that would never lead us astray.

Unfortunately, the volume of the soul has long been muted and replaced by a rather assumptious price of the fashionable slave of today.

Still, we wonder why we’re damned?

Posted in Work

BAD BOSS SYNDROME

Guest Post by Brig ® Naeem Ahmad

Bad bosses can be nightmarish and are not very difficult to find. Sometimes in life, therefore, we encounter a bad boss. If you have a good boss, you must thank your stars, give it your best and cherish your job. However, if you have a bad boss, you surely would need to learn to handle him or her.

Bosses are of many kinds, incompetent and harsh, bully, humiliating with mood swings, withholding praise or playing favorites, etc. At one end of the spectrum is a boss with good values and good performance and at the other end is the worst type with bad values and bad performance. In between are two main types, with good values and bad performance and with bad values and good performance.

Let us analyse some difficult types of bosses. The “Screamers” seem to feel they will get their way if they raise their voices to unconscionable levels. Screamers yell at almost everyone, in office, on the road or in the house. They feel that the higher the volume of their voice, the higher is their commitment. However, just the reverse is true. They can demoralize others. Viewing it psychologically, screamers want two things, being heard and recognized. They see other people as either “for them” or “against them”, so you are either their friend or their enemy.

“Fearsome” bosses also exist in many organizations. When bosses rule by fear they tend to loose a lot of people, either they fire them or keep the fear quotient up, or they loose them because good people are not stupid enough to keep working for such a boss. By constant threatening, such bosses turn the place a lousy one to work.

“Manipulators” are some of the most dangerous amongst the difficult bosses. They always have a plan, which is secret. Such bosses can stab you in the back. They usually look at people as a means to an end and they do not care what happens to the people they touch or harm along the way. Often, manipulators are people who do not get along well with others. Many are loners and have learned this simple approach to life. They tend to loose friends, family and spouces. Best solution to working for a manipulator is to be open, honest and forthright.

The first thing to remember is that do not become a victim of a bad boss. This would not only affect your career but also your personality and may be health. Analyse as to why is your boss acting in an abnormal way? May be he is having problems with his boss/owner? Nevertheless, if you are being unnecessarily pressurized, see if you are the cause? If no, do not be defensive. Say clearly, politely but firmly that you are finding it difficult to pull along because of his attitude. See the reaction. Then decide to change your job or seek other remedial measures.

Tackling a bad boss is an art. First solution is an honest analysis of your own actions. How are you doing in your job? Are you on top of your performance or under? Try ignoring distractions created by the boss and focus on your work and simultaneously finding other sources of positive reinforcement. If you have a bad boss, one natural reaction could be that you also become like him and become a source of botheration for your subordinates. Do not let this happen. Try to be a good boss and you will find a positive response from your subordinates.

Some traits of a good boss depending on the type of outfit you are heading are:-

  1.  Be light hearted
  2. Be firm but benevolent
  3. Learn to say ‘no’, to unreasonable demands
  4. Keep a balance between office and domestic life
  5. Try to know the names of as many subordinates a you can. Look into their domestic problems and if possible, help- even if it just a trivial advice.
  6. Have a system of rewards and punishments
  7. Be enthusiastic
  8. Encourage subordinates to come up with new and innovative ideas
  9. Make a happy team
  10. Be a motivator and lead by example
Posted in Mysticism

Keep up the Tread

And they say that once the journey has been completed, you come to the place from where you first started. Having completed a circle, you once again embark on a new voyage. The scenes might recall a distant memory, long gone, colours of water and air- though nothing, yet it was something. The warrior starts over, afresh for he never quite learnt to ‘give in’ nor did he ever ‘gave up’.

Posted in Questions

Brave the World

How does one find the courage to get out of bed everyday? To change? To work? Do something? Create? Breathe?
After a defeat, after failure, to get up and ‘be’ once more is not easy. To be hammered into box, to fit into a pulpit, to sing a song taught not out of love but legality, how does one begin about the business of everyday? To go back being who you once were. And then while trying to immitate yourself and follow your own footsteps, you come across someone rather familiar.
Amazingly, you had a lot in common with him. He wore the clothes you used to wear. His shoes were not unlike yours. Not a single hair out of place, he looks at you. And this is what he sees; a shrivelled figure in some faded and torn hand-me-downs. A mouldy cabbage for a face, and rotten lettuce leaves for hands. His tread is like that of an old man. Every step causes him to whimper. So, he limps in hope the pain might ease just a bit.
These two look at each other in amazement. Mirror images parted but by time.
Braving the world was never easy. Truth be told, the actual truth was never told. Whispered perhaps, but never spoken out, aloud.
Braving the world, living in it, surviving it, breathing and being- would cost you everything you ever had on you. Including the very flesh, and the blood within, the dreams once aspired, the keen hopes, the spark that beckoned you to keep fighting, everything. Everything, but the soul. Only that is left once the world is braved. And only that too if you don’t sell it to the devil for an easy pass.

Posted in Learn How to be Great

Chapter 12: Owning Emotions

Dear Child,

At times we have a hard time nailing down what is bothering us. Is it the weather? Is it that new pair of shoes? Is it an annoying neighbor? Putting a finger on a certain emotion can be difficult especially when so many other emotions hover over the root cause of distress. I’ve learnt a simple crash course in helping you to deal with your emotions.

  1. PUT A FINGER ON IT

    Scrap away the debris of emotions; peel away the coatings of camouflage. Look beneath all the mist and the smoke to see what is it that is really bothering you.

  2. ACKNOWLEDGE

    Acknowledge what you feel. After you have successfully dug out the dirt to find the feeling you have, you need to acknowledge it. It is not important that you might like it. But if it was such a trouble to feel what you could not name, therefore it is all the more reason to acknowledge that there is an emotion that you’re feeling.

  3. NAME IT

    Once the root cause of your particular anguish is acknowledged, it is about time that you give a name to it. Name that emotion; resentment, hurt, pain, love, jealousy, complexes, etc. Whatever it is, name that particular emotion. Naming the feeling helps to know what is bothering you and then you can go on to the next step in order to own it.

  4. STRIP YOURSELF OF EMOTION

    In management they teach you that the best way to troubleshoot a problem is to think out of the box. The box, here meaning your mind. So the case is not very different when it comes to feelings. Strip yourself off of all emotions and then watch yourself examine your feelings from two feet away. Like is meditation you let the thoughts drift over you as clouds till the time the mind is empty of thought, similarly, separating your emotions from yourself would help you realize, that on this side is you and two feet away are the emotions you happen to feel.

  5. ANSWER THE 5 W’s

    Two feet away from your emotions will give you perspective. You will see that what bothered you within is now away and out. You have successfully named it, and now you can examine it. Why do you feel like this? What is causing this pother? When did it start? Where does it drive its energy from? Once you can answer all these questions, you will be ready for the next step: to learn to own it.

  6. OWN YOUR EMOTIONS

    There is a difference between acknowledging a feeling and owning it. While acknowledging means that you understand that there is a problem, owning it means that you have learnt that is yours to begin with and yours to deal with.