Kya Khaake Aaaya/Aayi Hai Aaj?

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There’s this common expression in India. When a person suddenly starts behaving unlike him/her/them in the manner that they aren’t very visible with on a daily basis — for example someone is very enthusiastic suddenly, or on a roll of doing things, or just happy — people tend to ask Tu kya khaake Aaaya/Aaayi hai aaj? (What did you eat today, that you are so cool / happy / funny / chirpy / enthusiastic?)

Little do we ever put attention to the fact that this sentence that we often use to exclaim the wonder of a change one is seeing in a person, it’s actually quiet true! Among all the things that affects the state of our minds — whether we are properly rested, aren’t on substance abuse, are happy, how we deal with stress, karma; food is one such thing!

Have you observed this? When we eat something — it gets digested quickly and easily and we feel easy in the body. When we eat junk we tend to slack, or become frustrated, or angry quickly without meaning to, or we just do not feel as good.

I just felt to write about this irony, since almost every Indian has at least once in their lifetime, used this phrase without pondering over the science behind it.

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I Slept Inspite Of Father’s Snores

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Father came for his 2 days training on Road Construction at IISC. I met him, we talked and walked after a long while. We joked about how it’s way too easy to mispronounce places in Bengaluru, hearing it from a Kannada speaker’s mouth, and still manage to convey the place by mispronouncing it to another Kannada speaker ( because they slang it in the same way ). The place where his hotel was is called Tharabanahalli, what he heard the bus conductor say? Taramanali 🤣. Tara, like star, in Hindi, and Manali is a popular tourist spot in Himachal Pradesh. I slow clapped for him 😆. It’s kinda like the fact that no one will ever know if our red is also the same hue visually as their red. It’s fascinating.

I remembered the time this had happened to me when I first came to Bengaluru 3 years ago. The place’s name was Hopefarm, what did I listen it was? Ho-pham(ho-fum),  and I managed to keep getting down to that stop just fine. It amazed me how people who sat beside me in the bus that first month, didn’t correct me. Perhaps they thought I was native Kannada speaker (Kannadiga) 😁.

We went to bed at around 12. He immediately started snoring. Having meditated regularly for about 2 months now, I had started observing change in my perception, observation and expression of all things — feelings, emotions, thoughts, the passage of time, how I talked, how people talked, people’s attention when I spoke, my attention when I listened, the tendencies of my mind, and immediately catching them, and seeing them dissolve, etc. etc… I had never been able to sleep if I wasn’t the first one to sleep, before he started snoring that is. I’d always have to get up to bring my headphones on, put them on, and sleep with the songs blaring through them into my ears all night. Last night, I just smiled out of no reason, I smiled at the fact that I was uneasy, I observed it, kept my attention to it, and in no time I was fast asleep. Amazing things happen when you observe and embrace and hug your problems. They either cease by two possible ways

  1. Problem literally ceases to exist.
  2. Problem ceases to be a problem because you stop seeing them as problems 😆, by just being with them, not seeing them as something bothersome. Transcendence happens.

Something similar happened a couple of days back, and I enumerated it over phone to Snehal while discussing a knowledge sheet — an order hadn’t been delivered by Swiggy. I called their customer executive and without any prior notice to even myself, raised my voice up in frustration. I surprised myself. Then as soon as I realised this, I calmed down to my normal polite voice, and Swiggy customer care executive showed surprise in his next words forming the next sentence. It was peaceful and exhilarating at the same time.

 

After Blissing Out

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A lot has happened in the last two months. Somehow I do not feel like writing about it all, it’s too magical to be written at this point of time. I want to write everything in some while, in a year or two, maybe more.

I took a 15 day impromptu detour to Mumbai, and met people, just like that :D. Then with the same spontaneity I came to Bangalore with few clothes and no place to stay to find a job. But I do not want to write about that. O fish, I forgot what I wanted to write about 😅.

Oh right! I remember! Things I want to organise —

  1. A Yoga Rave Party, So What Project Style
  2. A Wireless Headphone Antarctica Climate Themed Dance Party.

That’s all for now 😀

Last Night’s Wind Brought A Familiar Fragrance

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I live in a small basement flat towards the edge of the building, so that my room’s windows give me an open view of the mountains that the building overlooks. My room’s door to the outside opens to a wall whose top end joins with the ground floor. As I went outside from my room’s door to look at the hotel lights, at the top of the mountain ahead of me, that shimmer in a distant dream, I smelt of a nostalgic fragrance — a body odour.

To know me, is to know that I’m a very forgetful person. Google keep and Google Allo reminders are akin to life savers for me. But there I was standing with my chin up, letting the cool monsoon breeze play with me, suddenly aware of this fragrance, and that too nothing other but a body odour. I even asked myself in the initial moments, out of disbelief — How do you know its body odour? I couldn’t answer, but I knew it was that.

I closed my eyes and I saw a familiar face of a now dead person — Malvika Khurana, the first love of my life (1st grade — 5th grade). Slightly plagued teeth, thick lips such that the saliva would often find ways to stick while the lips parted, like pizza cheese struggles. Shoulder length hair, mouth never stopping speaking. Unusually big brown eyes, cold skin whenever one’d touch. She used to threaten so perfectly, it left I was with a troop leader – I felt like following her all the time. My favourite time with her used to be Saturday end of the day hourly activity periods, where she would take my sweaty hand, not minding the wet, and we’d rush to the activity room together. My most jealous times used to be when my classmates would pair her up with Suryansh.

I do not know how I remember her exact body odour, a mix of sweat + the innate body fragrance (I like how bodies smell). I stood there, wind present still, bringing this odd fragrance after all these years, like it was yesterday that I left our school to join a new one in 6th grade. It’s been 7 years since she died in a car accident, it’s been 15 years since I last saw her. I do not know why the wind would bring me a fragrance so familiar, memory so fresh that I’d question my mind’s sanity. I think, among the dreamy lights that were on the top of the mountain, I myself went into a dream for a while, or perhaps time traveled a certain way which is yet to be explored by science fiction writers. I could taste her fragrance on my tongue.

My mother called me inside for dinner, I sighed. Only if I could have been with her a little longer. Would that have made a difference?

The Nights Where I Gave Up Sobriety

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This is a very difficult and ironic post. A few days back I wrote a blog post that I was so proud of, I wanted to give myself all the hugs and kisses that I possibly could. I’ve been a porn addict for as long as I can remember from 7th grade, from the time internet came along. First it was the pictures, then as the bits per second started increasing from the local internet service providers, thanks (really?) to the technology advancements of silicon chips, optical fibres and memory hardware, it was video, streaming, steaming hot (really?) videos of naked women grinding over naked dudes, as though the women were their slaves or something.

On one of my sobriety streaks (I didn’t really keep a count, because I was afraid to also unintentionally then keep a count of how many times I’d failed), I was interested to see the background stories of female porn stars. So I started reading and watching documentaries. At the end of it all, I was perplexed, because while many of the porn stars tried to tell how searingly consuming this industry is, and how hopeless this business is in terms of actual human growth, some of the porn stars were the complete opposite — they enjoyed their work, wrote best selling books about their lives! When statistics come out from popular porn websites and search engine giants, telling the world that the majority of the internet traffic searches for porn, I’m not shocked, I’ve never been shocked, because for a long time, I’ve had been one of those persons. I never told anybody this, but the reason I requested a laptop while I was studying in Kota, taking prep classes for IIT JEE, was mainly for this purpose. I was consumed by it to the point where my conscience would fight with the part of my mind that was addicted. The addicted part always won, and went away for a while, leaving my conscience seething, so much so that I’d be upset with what I’d done for a long time — not able to study, not able to do anything really. Just fingers massaging the forehead a little too tensely, almost grappling. No word jumping out of my mouth for the lack of them, not being able to express or answer what have I done, why do I do this?

The night before yesterday, it resurfaced. I found myself home alone, and there was this innate unexplained desire to just open a porn site, and masturbate. I did, and then I spent the rest of my day angry at myself and irritated, to the point that it triggered a chain reaction — because I didn’t feel like doing anything because of wanting to be accompanied with my conscience for as long as possible, I felt more irritated, because being with the conscience was extremely painful. Being with that part of the mind which told me  — What have you done again? felt like scrunching my nails off the wall, just to be able to not be bothered about it for a while. But without it, without my conscience, I’d return to the same old vicious cycle where I would want to be accompanied by the painful conscience. It was and is an endless cycle.

On top of that and very unintentionally Aum told me the exciting news that arre.co.in had accepted an article titled How My Grandmother Became a Feminist that she had written. She followed that I should send the one I had written about my porn addiction, and how the human society (most of it) today is programmed to feel horny, sexually aroused only to a particular set of humans shown in advertisements and magazines designed to sell because of the very same fact. I got really upset after she suggested that. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I shut down my laptop, shut down the book that I was trying to read, and just kept jumping around, not even able to cry. It was a state very close to an angry soul / spirit but having no body to express the anger with. It’s the most dejected and sad place to be. I couldn’t tell something from the other for a while. It was like I had the body of a primate, but not a mind of it. So I tried to shut down by sleeping. Sleeping when I’ve been distressed or dejected with myself, whether because of low exam scores, or something else, has always worked. It didn’t work that day. All I could do was scrunch my nose up, letting my forehead be a giant ground of tense frowns and ask myself — why why why, repeatedly, while my heels of palms dug deep inside my eyes, scrubbing them endlessly.

Last night, I was alone again. I did it again. My conscience couldn’t take it, I couldn’t take it. I felt I needed to be checked, but there was no one I could tell that to. I’m too embarrassed to tell anybody anything about this. So in the fit of that moment, I did what I thought was the only possible rigorous punishment I could self inflict on myself. As I was trying to failingly distract my mind by a re run of The Shawshank Redemption, I paused the movie and started slapping myself, as hard as I could. I can not tell how, or why, but it felt good to be punished. It felt good that I had something to do which could tell my addicted part of the mind, that it was doomed to be fucked, and that I was to not partake in any of its activities from now on.

I’m alone again today. I remembered having seen a movie ( Thanks For Sharing ) about sex addiction and sex addicts, where people formed groups and shared their addiction dilemma with everybody, in the hope that sharing would help, that experiences exchanged from people who found themselves in the same God forsaken place in the mind would help. Today, I wanted to do it again. I can’t explain what this sudden urge is. I guess it’s called addiction for the exact same reason — it is unreasonable, you can’t explain why you choose to act on it anymore. At one point of time, it is not even the pleasure that one could hope for at the end of it. After that point of time, it’s even more unreasonable, and because it’s inextricable, it fucks up with the mind, with conscience even more than before. I decided to see that movie again today, in the hope that I’ll continue to fight it, by starting over. I’ve started over so many times it feels hopeless. But I can’t not fight. I can’t go back to the night where I have to resort to slapping myself to break this weird feedback loop that my dopamine has trained itself on — to seek pleasure over and over again, not for the sake of the pleasure anymore, but because it has become an addiction, without which my mind could feel not right, that’s the trick that addicted mind deludes/dupes itself into — that somehow if it doesn’t do it, it’s going to keep prolonging until the mind gives in and do it anyway, like the torture technique armies around the world deploy.

I’m writing this to refrain, to pull myself back and not open a porn website, and start masturbating. When I start to masturbate while watching porn, my conscience is pushed away into dungeons far away, and it returns as soon as I’m about to ejaculate, which makes the pleasure seeking addicted mind very weird, in that, at that point of time, I experience both pleasure and the guilt for it. It’s the most mind fucking thing in the world. I do not want to experience it again, ever ever again. I can’t lie to myself anymore.

The most astonishing thing about all of this is, that none of this even exist when I’m in front of women. In fact I loathe it at the back of my mind. That’s the disease, it makes you violate everything that you believe in. It’s all very confusing.  So I’ll stop writing now and resume the movie.

A Night Where I Abandoned Giving Pleasure To My Mind

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I’m on a streak — to meditate everyday and to go running every morning, thanks to my mother’s constant disappointment in me, I decided to give her two less reasons to scold me, which otherwise would have contined — to not wake up in the morning and waste half of the day, to not live up to what I believe in.

Right from the day when I got slapped by my KG class teacher, for singing Tu cheese badi hai mast mast for her in the class without any prompt, without any solicitation, I remember I’ve always fantasized about girls — about spooning with them, cuddling them, kissing them, and when I got to know what sex was (whole different funny story), having stupendous sex with them.

This habit had stayed with me. Until, I started being up at very late hours, and slept only when I couldn’t take wakefulness any longer. Fantasies had no time anymore. But only in the night, for they continued if and when I had time in the morning, in the half wakefulness on the cozy bed and duvets / sheets.

A week ago, it stopped. Because I couldn’t get a line I read in Yoga Vashitha out of my system (it was not like I was trying to, the line is so addictive of sorts, that it killed a habit a lifetime long. Imagine the power!). It was like it became a part of me, and that part of me is trying to live up to something it has learnt anew. The text said —

Moksha or liberation is the total abandonment of all vāsanā or mental conditioning, without the least reserve. Mental conditioning is of two types — the pure and the impure. The impure is the cause of birth; the pure liberates one from birth. The impure is of the nature of nescience and ego-sense; these are the seeds, as it were, for the tree of re-birth. On the other hand, when these seeds are abandoned, the mental conditioning that merely sustains the body, is of a pure nature. Such mental conditioning exists even in those who have been liberated while living: it doesn’t lead to re-birth as it is sustained only by past momentum and not by present motivation.

Every time I was tempted to fantasize before sleeping (now that I’m sleeping early to get up early), the bold styled line above automatically came all over me and inside me (no pun intended). And I’ve been having the most peaceful sleep I’ve ever had. Breaking old habits through ancient knowledge, when things make more sense, as if we always have had subsets of knowledge, it is liberating already.

When The 🌬️ blows 🎐

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I picked up guitar after a really long time, after half a year. Today the wind blows hard, so much I want to surrender to its wavefronts, stand so still that it feels I’m flying. Sit so still, that my fingers and hands feel missing. Today, there is this light orange shade all around, like the bad crayons during school time — orange would turn out very light, so you’d colour by pressing the crayon candle really hard, before giving up.

Fast blowing winds are like a slap to me — they order me to wake up and slow down. Unlike the breath of a person, this wind doesn’t know how to negotiate for which spaces to touch, the wind has no hole source, it’s created as if by magic, out of nowhere, only if science was not there to explain it.

Don’t you feel so? Things keep getting explained, either by demands of the world, or one’s emotions, or by loose motion like persistence to name things, know them. Know them. Why?…Why? Know them.

The wind’s music, amidst the thunderstorms and the light all around which would make just woken up person confused — what time of the day is it?, shuns everything down — people’s chatter, my mind, the road beneath the landslides somewhere, water pipes blocked because of it, time. Yes time. The winds blows at a time akin to the shedding of the scab over the wound — things are okay, finally, totally, before they are no longer. Before the sun will steam us mid air, before the winds would have no control over their temperature. But what a wind it was, and it will be, ah… the wind that places cherry on top of the mountains, the wind that takes you places, with your feet at a standstill.

Sanjay Uncle’s Ignorant Bald Face

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Song to listen to while reading this — Society by Eddie Vedder

Being unemployed, especially when you are ‘educated’ and living in a society could be a nightmare. Not as much because of the lack of salary, but because of how people start seeing you suddenly — Loser oozing out of their eyes and head bobs and false nods.

Sanjay uncle is father’s old colleague. They used to work together at a different place from where father is now. I had to give father’s left over clothes to him, because Sanjay Uncle was going where he is now — in Shimla. As soon as he saw my face, my grown unkempt beard, my long scrubby hair, he scrunched his nose almost automatically, I can only guess, in disgust.

I only smiled and answered the same question over again, when someone at the back seat of the car Sanjay Uncle was sitting in the front of, asked me —

Beta, what you are you doing these days (which implicitly means, where’s your job at?)

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