Lateral Perspectives

The huge world inside a tiny head

The Before Series

The Before Series consists of three movies – Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight,  directed by Richard Linklater.  In an idle time somewhere in 2012, I believe, I had watched the first two films and fell in love. The plot was quite simple, it’s just two people talking all the time,  but the conversations were so good, with long takes around winding paths, trains, cafes and music shops, it was just brilliant. They have small talk, teasers and serious talks, but the tension between  the two characters is just unbelievable. Such fantastic chemistry, that I hoped to see such people in real life.

This is not your ordinary love story, no strike that, this is your ordinary love story, or how one wishes it would be.  What better than to spend a whole day with your partner and slowly, but surely to fall in love?

I had downloaded the third one sometime back (like 1 or years) and was watching it but got chased away after the first 10 minutes, because I apparently watch too many movies , and someone else wanted to watch a game.  It later got copied to the hard disk and there it lay dormant for months, waiting for me to come back and watch. And today, I did watch the third part, Before Midnight.  The characters have come a long way, more matured, but their chemistry and conversations still have that allure, and gives you a pleasant feeling. It’s a romantic movie, after all. You have discussions, fights, accusations, the whole thing. Some might complain that it feels like drama, but I did not find it to be the case. It felt like cinema, cinema with real people and places and dialogues.  I was surprised to learn that they did not improvise in any scenes, especially the first 15 minutes or so, where they have  uninterrupted dialogues. It felt so natural. I am truly impressed, Mr Linklater. Already been a fan before, and I was blown away by one of his other movies, “Waking Life”, that is equally stunning as well.

These movies have made me reflect a lot on life, especially during this time when many of my friends are getting married, or is planning of getting married. Being from India, some of them are still going through arranged marriages. Though I am not outright against it, it is not a particular encouraging thought. To meet a person and getting married so quickly. But I can’t blame the system either. What can one really do when you don’t have circle where you can’t meet more women, from a guy’s perspective. The women almost have no choice when it comes down to wedding, which I find sad. So many bright women who might get bogged down to being a housewife, it’s really sad.

For me, since I am single right now, I don’t have much conflicting ideas. I do float between thinking about dating a non-malayalee girl and not doing it.  The “What If’s ” are a lot. Again, I won’t rule out the idea. But come, what may.

I just think it would be lovely to have such conversations, in real life. Now this could be me feeling romantic, but it would really really be nice. And when I say in real life, I mean out there, in person. Not in an dating app, even though I write better than I speak. To see a person, to talk to her eyes, watching their reaction, hearing another perspective, that would be just brilliant, won’t it?

Coming back to the movie series, I think these movies portray love, or that inital spark the best. Sure there are different ways to look at it. The setting itself is cheesy, but apart from that, the rest is perfect. The other romantic movies, or rom-coms are just too plain cheesy, and puts a lot of expectation, I feel. They try to divert our attention to the places, the clothes, the sex scenes, flashy scenes, the conversations are more plot based than actual conversations, and you can more or less second guess the next part. And most of them omit the after marriage part. This is where I feel Linklater has ousted his peers by far.

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Quieting the Mind

This is not a post giving you pointers to how to quiet your mind. There are dozens of such posts on the internet, go search yourself.

How does it feel to have your mind talking continuously? Ever got so bored that you just started doodling on paper? You know, just making your pen go round and round and round. Then you start crisscrossing just because you fudged up the nice circles. And now you are going all over the place, you are striking it off, and you have torn the paper, crumbling it now, throwing it at the bin with furious anger, missing it, stomping all over to the  bin, picking it back up, going back to your fucking place, but you just can’t make it and you want to stop, but you can’t. That’s the closest imagery I can think of.

Perhaps it’s this phase I am going through. As you might have seen, I haven’t written much here. I did however scribble here and there on paper, on nights that refused to let me sleep. It seems I am rather concerned about who I am, what I want to become, and what I am doing, in personal and professional life. Currently I am not working, for I resigned from my previous role because there was a job mismatch. I never should have taken the role. There was this gut feeling  that something was not quite right.  And it did turn out that the role was not what I expected, it would end up being a menial job.  Every time I denied my consciousness, this gut feeling, things never worked out properly. From a statistical point of view, it is better to start believing in gut feeling. Wanting to become a logical thinker on the other hand, it does not help to rely on the gut feeling.

Anyway, one month later, I am still jobless, but not to fret, I have a feeling that I’ve been shortlisted for 2 roles, so hopefully, I can take a deep breath by the end of next week.  This one month has seen its share of ups and downs. But to be honest, the thing that surprised me was, and still is, that I am rather passive about the whole thing. The only thing that irks me is the endless answering of all the questions these recruiters ask,not to mention the haggling to lower the salary. In one way, it is good because I am not stressing myself out. On the other hand, it’s not good to take everything so easily. It’s like in the movie “About Time” – a simple movie with a great message. To stop stressing and enjoying your life.  Well I can’t exactly enjoy because finance is pretty tight at the moment, but once a job is settled, that should clear in two or three months time.

Coming back to my main point, as you can see above itself, my mind is drifting all over the place. Many a times, I found myself day dreaming, making grand plans, and ignoring the present. This is particularly frustrating while trying to study.  The technical nature of my job require at most attention, and there are a lot of tiny detail involved. Another reason is the amount of distraction I am getting. I removed facebook, but even then, I find myself peeking at my phone, expecting a message  and don’t know what. I don’t even have a girlfriend damnit. I seriously want to remove whatsapp, but this is my only point of connection to friends and family, so there’s that.

Routine. This is another thing that I have trouble fixing. If I have an interview in the morning, I am up and about running around, after spending a night tossing and turning around, worried whether I would wake up in time. Talk about irony.  If I plan on waking up early and study in the morning, I would end up finding very interesting videos in youtube the night before, eventually sleeping around 2 or 3 in the morning, making waking up early near to impossible. One of my grand plans involve waking up in the morning and going for a run regularly. Now that I am not working this might seem like a distant dream, but getting a regular office hour work should fix this.

Another thing I noticed is that, again, like above, I talk a lot about what I would do. This is something I need to address. The only reason I am writing it here is because in case I still keep the habit, I want this to be a reminder to myself( screw you future Praveen, if  you are reading and you haven’t).  Learning guitar, cooking, a foreign language( french or german), driving. These are the things in pipeline, if you are curious to know what these grand plans are.

To be honest, long term goals never really work out. Perhaps I lack the patience. But this is not the Praveen I remember from my childhood. Somewhere while growing up, that steely resolve, that curiosity that kept the fire, that spirit is missing. After a lot of introspection, I think I have found out the reason. I stopped listening to myself and started listening to others. I found myself comparing my life to others. I envied their lives, blamed everything including me for the life I was having. Is my life horrible? Of course not. I have a loving family, had great friends, have a good career(had for now). By right, I should be happy,right?  This comparison, this, this – I don’t even have a word for it, you see. This frame of mind is not exactly positive. I am challenging this attitude now, I want the old Praveen back. The one who laughed a lot, the one who read a lot, the one who wrote a lot. I am bringing sexy back.(Side note- I found this phrase the other day while watching this seriously funny standup –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-YHuPKNQ_c&t=230s. Gotta love Aisling Bea. Seriously, check it out.)

On further introspection, I found that being myself is what have worked out in my favour throughout the years. Granted, an occasional interesting party(internal monologue- potential girlfriend) might have been turned away, but if they turned away, they wouldn’t end up being us with anyway right? But this doesn’t mean being selfish or pushing everyone away. I was spending time with friends, yet I found time to spend on me own. Perhaps it’s about balance. Another curious , but nonetheless not surprising thing was that, being busy was the best way I enjoyed myself. Inaction made me lazier. The more time you spent home, the longer the nights get, the longer the crazy thoughts persist. Have things to do. If you got nothing to do, find new things. Or get out and do the next level for the things you love. Go to a different part of the city or town. Try out a new food. Call someone you haven’t spoken to for some time. Do something different, something that you makes your body move, if it makes you perspire, all the better. We are still descendants of the great hunters. Idling is not our default mode.

Long story short, please get out of the house more, spend less time on phone(unless you are calling someone).  Make coffee, and most important of all, look at the big picture, and relax. Your life is only your own, be the captain, don’t let others point your way or steer your ship.

End rant.

 

Being Selfish

Sometimes, I do wonder  why is it that we cannot be selfish. Or in my case, why the heck can’t I be selfish?  Up till I when I turned 24, which was last year, I was pretty selfless. I was the good guy, the polite person, the person who never said  “No” to a request for help. I felt that I was obliged to help, that it is my moral duty to be concerned about the lives of others.  I felt good. I was the good agnostic Samaritan.

I did not help in the belief that I would be rewarded for my behaviour.  But then again, life did not return any favors to me. I often helped and went out of my way for friends, even people I barely knew. The days after those where usually hard for me.

Most of the time I would turn to someone else for helping others, and in the end, I would be the one who couldn’t sleep at night thinking about what I owe to others. I would be the one who  would kept waiting and apologize endlessly if I were the one to turn up late. I  was the one who would initiate conversations because I thought it was me who should talk. I would be the one who would remember the birthdays, the one to call and care for others.

I’m not whining. No, strike that. This is my blog, I do whatever the hell I want. I am whining. I am sick and tired of people who takes me for granted. Man up! Grow some balls, you might say. Fuck you too. Some stuff are drilled deep down since childhood and its not easy to pluck them apart. Especially when your parents taught and still practises those.

All through my childhood, I saw my parents always helping others. They would worry themselves sick thinking about others. All said and done, they were pretty much left alone when the other parties came out of their troubles and got comfortable. I have seen the disappointment in their eyes when talking about someone. Now,there are few exceptional people in their lives who turned out to be dark horses, and gave much happiness to my parents. I always recall them fondly. And because of these few fellows, my parents are still selfless, maybe a bit less now, now that they had a whole lifetime to see how things turn out, and now chooses people after much consideration.  I really admire those who are still selfless, however, I have witnessed how the lives of very such people deteriorate in front of my own eyes.

Amidst the close  and general friends, there lies a section of people whom we hold a little closer to our hearts, yet lets you down almost every time.Sometimes I am really confused. Am I right in expecting something from them? Doesn’t that make whatever I do selfish?

But then aren’t they selfish too? Then, does that make the relationships merely fake? Is it worth keeping these so called friendships alive? Are we just adjusting ourselves, taking advantage of whatever the other person has to offer, enjoying the brief time, and then move with a glance back occasionally, as if to give out the sense that we will be present in hard times?

Maybe we ought to be more selective to whom we give our time, right? Give it to the right people, who expresses gratitude and won’t take us for granted. However, truth is that sometimes they may not be the company that we want. How confusing is it that the people that we love and hold dear are sometimes very selfish? Does that mean I don’t want their company? No! I like being around them except when they are not selfish. But then that would make us selfish!

Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Either because it actually is confusing, or because I am writing this at 4:30 AM in the morning, Singapore time, after watching 2 movies back to back.

Sometimes I think, fuck these people, I am going to live the way I want, and not care about the little shits. A day later, I will be feeling super guilty, usually.

Maybe, just maybe, once I get married (*audience laughs*), and “settles down” (*laughs again*) I might have a set of friends on whom I don’t rely too much, but enjoy their company as well.  Most probably that might end up being  the neighbours and my cousins.

All these thoughts actually makes me think of the people, who do actually care for me. My immediate family of course, and then there are some dudes back from my high school- dudes who kept the promises they jokingly wrote on the autograph books,  few neighbours, who still gives a shit about me and wonders whether I got fat(which means better in my case), and lovingly advises that my glorious mane looks ugly as fuck.  I absolutely adore these guys.

Wonder if I will find more such people in the days to come.

Ending this scribble with some dialogues  from one of the most beautiful,perfect movie of all time, Predestination.Which  came into my mind for no particular reason, yet somehow, these seems to be a fitting ending for this rant.

✘ Predestination (2014) | #Predestination . . .
#MovieQuote #MovieQuotes #Movies #Films #Like4Like #Quote #Quotes #EthanHawke #SarahSnook #NoahTaylor #MadeleineWestImage result for predestination movie quotesImage result for predestination movie quotes

 

 

 

 

 

Missing hugs

As I am sitting here on the train, after a long day at work, I just want some hugs. I just want to feel the warmth of a human body, a reassurance that I’m indeed alive and walking. 

I think thats why people love pets so much. They can hold, hug, kiss them anytime, anywhere. There is a sense of comfort in that I guess. And no question of labelling the relationship. Wish it could be the same with humans. 

Back home, once the days sets, I would probably be hanging around at my cousin’s house- playing with my sweet little Mabel  and Marvel. Their tiny voice and crazy antics fills up my heart. I especially miss holding her in my arms. Still can feel her head on my shoulder when she falls asleep. Is it selfish to ask that kids dont grow up? Let them be kids! Let them spread joy and happiness and give us all that fuzziness! 

Over here, in Singapore, thats what I miss the most. I live with my friends around the same age. We live harmoniously, is generally happy to see each other, but that sense of  “family” is missing I guess.   

Looking around, I think that is the case with most of the people. All of us just want somebody. Not necessarily to love and make out with, but just need them to be a presence, in an otherwise lame day. 

I just want some hugs very very badly. Missing you a lot more Mom.

Woke up before September

Hello There,

My non-existent invisible readers.

Heh.

It was a huge break this time, was it not?
I have my excuses- I was very, very busy.

I went back to India for a while, hugged my mom and dad so tight,spend time with all I loved,
making sure I valued their presence. As I grow older, I find myself loving deeper and deeper,
caring less about the worldly stuff. Guess what the old people were saying was true.

Oh, and yes, starting to agree that my parents were right most of the time.

Then I came back and started preparing hard for one of the Cisco exams – CCNP Switch. And I passed!

The thing is that, I will cherish the time I spent studying. Because in the beginning, it was so freaking hard.
I couldn’t concentrate for more than half hour, (I still may not be, but that is not the point),
had doubts about myself, and was generally not in a great mood for most days. Committing or aka forcing myself
to study was a huge task, and eventually, I got the better of it.
And once I started preparing, other things started falling into place. Started realizing that I was just
making bullshit excuses and whining instead of just doing stuff.
Been practicing simplicity lately. Don’t need it? Throw away, remove it from your life.
Make it a lot easier to search through the rest of the stuff.

So yeah, here I am wiser(hopefully), smarter(hey some more modules to go before I graduate with a degree),
and working better. I didn’t need someone to wake me up before September- random fact just because I goddamn
love that song so much. And oh, I did write some stuff, but most are in Malayalam and spread across the pages
of my real life scribbling books.

End rant.

Digital Memories

You exist,deep down
in a folder hidden so well
With distractions along,not because
other might find you,
but so that I shall lose
my way, from keep going back

You exist, hidden among thousand pictures
your laughter, gay and static
beside the beach, and with me
somewhere in the corner
and because of the thousand pictures,
I won’t pretend to see it

You exist,far back in my brain
as dreams and moments and memories
like waves in an ocean,
you come back at night,
during high tide,
many a sleepless night

you exist, among the hundred commuters
on the train, in the mall,
all the places that I go to
I try my best not to glance at them,
out of fear, what if i see you?
And sometime, I do see-
bits of you in the smile,
part of you in the child’s dance
the lovely glance of the old couple

And why do I keep all these memories,
these digital memories of you?
I tell myself I don’t want to look back
Yet, destroy them, I do not

So I will let those , let be
souvenirs of a bygone time
A happy time, nonetheless
a dot in my past,
A digital memory.

Blocking

There is something that is blocking me to be productive. I cant place my finger on it. It prevents me from thinking logically. It is preventing me from memorizing stuff.

It is not allowing me to do my assignments. I need help it seems. Or am I just being paranoid, because there is too much stress I cant handle?

I fear failure. I had an assumption that I was brilliant academically and that notion is shattering to pieces day by day.

I badly, badly need a break. Unfortunately, I won’t be getting that until after May, after the University trimester exams.

Then I’ll be going back to India in July.

Oh how I wish to lay my head on my mother’s lap!  My heart earns for her gentle caress on my forehead, that chases all negative thoughts away.

Missing you very badly Mom 😥

വിത്തുകൾ

ചില വാക്കുകൾ വിത്തുകളായി മനസ്സിൽ പതിച്ചു. കണ്ണുനീർ അതിനെ നനച്ചു. വെന്തുരുകിയ നെഞ്ചു ചൂടേകി. ആ വിത്തുകൾ വളർന്നു, അവയുടെ വേരുകൾ ആ മണ്ണിലേക്കാഴ്ന്നിറങ്ങി. ഋതുക്കൾ വന്നു പോയി. ചെടികൾ വളർന്നു മരങ്ങളായി. കായ്കൾ കായ്ച്ചു. പക്ഷികൾ ചേക്കേറി, അവിടമിന്നൊരു വനമായി. അതിലൂടൊഴുകുന്നൊരു പുഴയുടെ തീരത്തു, ഒരു വാക മരത്തിൻ തണലിൽ ഞാൻ മയങ്ങി. സ്വപ്നങ്ങളില്ലാത്ത ഉറക്കം. ഉറങ്ങി എഴുന്നേറ്റപ്പോൾ മുൻപിൽ മറ്റൊരു തൈ വളർന്നു വന്നിരിക്കുന്നത് കണ്ണിൽ പെട്ടു. ഞാൻ ഒരുപാട് നേരം ഉറങ്ങിയിരിക്കണം. എങ്കിലും ഇതു ഞാൻ പാകിയതു തന്നെയോ? ചെറുതെങ്കിലും, അതിൽ പൂക്കളുണ്ട്. സായാഹ്ന സൂര്യന്റെ ചുവപ്പു നിറമുള്ള പൂക്കൾ.

Childhood

Came across this video below a few days back. To say I was stunned would be an understatement. This is what I love best about cinema- the visual art. It stirs and moves something inside you. It makes you writhe with pleasure to see something you can identify with. Something you long to return to, something that has been lost ever since you grew up. Something this current generation will never be able to understand. Our childhood, the safely kept aside, hidden, sweet childhood.

What astonishes me is the total lack of applause for this visual treat. It speaks tons, my readers, tons!

My own childhood is very well a blend of this, heavily leaning to the rural side.

It shows the life of two girls growing up. One, a rural life, a conformist, the other, a rebel.Even at this time, the director was able to portray the rural life quite accurately. The visuals might resonate best with women from Kerala,India.

The actors, the growing up phases. Even the scene where the milk glass is on the ground and biscuits around it  is oh so lovely!  How both women looks at the world around them, their doubts, their anxieties, the curiosity about their bodies, Aashique Abu, you deserve a golden globe, sir.

There exists a third category,  a blend of these two. I am one of them. Sometimes I feel this identity crisis- am I a village   boy, or an urban one?

You can check out the lyrics here.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-English-translation-for-this-malayalam-song

The Earthly Connection

I moved my house recently to Marsiling (Singapore).  Even though its a bit further in than I wanted, I simply adore the location. Just outside the house, there is a kids play ground. I could just sit in my room and hear the tiny joyful noises. I miss my little cousin so much!

Also, its like a garden over here. Not sure if it is done by the residents or the government, it certainly is a beautiful site to behold everyday. Bougainvillea looks so pretty. And to top that, we have an actual hill just near the house.

I was always fascinated with hills. Something about it makes me wants to climb it. There is not a hill I haven’t climbed in a 5-mile radius back home.  I just climbed the hill day before yesterday. At 4 AM in the morning. I had come home after night shift and was trying to sleep. But ended up tossing and turning. That’s when I decided to climb the hill. Though not windy, it had good breeze that helped to calm my mind. Went over to a secluded area, and just laid down on the grass and stared at the sky. The moon was full, the sky clear. Couldn’t have asked for a better setting.

Why I am telling you all this?  Because during that time, I felt something I have experienced only few times in my life. The “Natural High” , I call it.  A state of complete peace. Serenity.

Previous time was June 2015. When we went on a bike trip. 3AM. in the Munnar hills. Sitting on a viewpoint, gazing out to the valley below me, mist slowly twirling, I went in to that state. I remember my friends shaking me up. They said I was sitting motionless for around 15 minutes and did not respond to their calls. Loved it.

20150606_060549The next day, climbing down another hill, tea leaf plantation on side, a green plateau down below being graced by morning sun, wind on my face.

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Before that, 2014 New Year’s day in Singapore- at Siloso beach. After the new year party, we had gone to the beach side to chill. The rest of them were still dumb from all the drinks. Since I don’t drink, I was much alive. Simply sat at the shore, leaning against a tree, stating at the sea. I recommend this to anyone and everyone. Do this at least once in your life. Stare deep into the sea, feel the waves rolling into the shore, listen to the sound of the sea. And watch that while the dark night slowly starts to brighten and day comes in. Simply magical.

Time now goes back to teenage. Quite a jump there heh.

I’m outside the house. Mom’s shaking her head because it was exam time and  this little boy wanted to play. Went to my friend’s house, but was chased away by their parents because apparently, they had to “study”.  Off, the little boy dashed to the hill. There were no houses near it, and it was pretty deep into the thickness. On one note, it was pretty dangerous for me to be there. Anywayyy,  strolled around for a little bit. It was around 5 PM then. Layed down on the grass so green, erm..it was like 1080p HD blu ray IMAX green..well, you get the idea…

Ever noticed the evening sun? Evening sun is Midas. It turns everything into gold. I wish I could show you the picture that I am reviving from the memories. Golden light diffused, sharp smell after the rain, and beautiful clouds. This was my first high.  Just lied down there, watching the clouds trying to hide behind the big tree.

Why am I saying all this? Because I realized I had lost my connection with Mother Earth for a long time. Apart from the occasional trips that we go  on during holidays, rarely do we take the time to sit down and just do nothing.  That sense of restlessness that you often feel? I believe much of it has to do with being away from nature( or because we don’t have a gf/bf – single people unite!). We ty to distract ourselves with movies, books and music. Not that they are not needed, but everything has its place.

We humans evolved from being hunters to localized civilians only in the span of a few lifetimes. We still have strong connections to our mother Earth.

So dear reader, do yourselves a favor – you don’t need to go to exotic locations to feel nature.

Go to a nearby hill or park, lock your phone( no instagram shit please). And just be there. Open your eyes, watch the clouds, hear the birds. No cigarette, no whiskey, get your natural high right there.

Like Beethoven said, Muß es sein?

Es muß sein!

 

 

 

 

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