What I learnt Inside a Big Glass Building (and a Happy New Year)!

Hello, 

Following bullet points are open to individual perspectives.

  1. This building is a machine. Its fuel is its people. It feeds on their soul.
  2. The only sounds are of beeping automatic locks of opaque glass doors, clicking of heels on an immaculately polished floor and remnants of quick phone calls made by humans who always seem to be in a hurry.
  3. Literally nobody cares. Breaks my heart.
  4. When people smile, they smile out of obligation, not choice.
  5. No love. It is like love arrived at this building’s door and turned away from all the malice.
  6. They’re nice to you because:
                  -they need you to get some work done.
                  -they are professionally obligated.
  7. No empathy. No one even tries to foster any. People make zero efforts to reach out. Zero.
  8. If someone senses you’re distressed, they’ll freeze and become unreachable. 
  9. You have to get used to eating meals alone. I’m sure everyone hates it the same, yet no one barely makes an effort to fix it. 
  10. Cafeterias are some of the scariest places in the world. 
  11. The moment it feels like they’re being too nice to you- be wary, there is some ulterior motive. 
  12. Nothing about the question, ‘How are you?’ is ever, even vaguely concerned with your well being but is asked solely to skip to the real purpose behind seeking you.
  13. You never make friends inside glass buildings. You only get to know a few strangers. 
  14. There is an abysmal lack of human warmth inside this glass castle. Poker faces, frowns, heads bent deep in cell phones or glued to a big screen pepper the hallway 24/7. 
  15. Everyday, I look around and I’m appalled by how badly we, as human beings- the one animal capable of nursing so much joy and affection- have fucked up. We really truly did. Maybe my quarrel really is with the state of the world- and not the glass building. If that is the case, I have a long battle to fight. 

 I miss greeting a face which is happy to see me. 


We have been together for so many years, thank you for being my constant companions.  I hope my blog helped you in some way, or made your heart slightly warmer, or gave you hope where you couldn’t find one.

Let us promise to do our parts in healing through art, through love and by being ourselves. Happy New Year guys. Wish you the best year of your life so far.

Thank you for everything, truly. See you on the other side. 

 

Love always,

Your Blogger. 

Cup of Thoughts- I

Hello all,

It’s been a while since I gathered the strength or willingness to directly reach out to you all. It’s not like I didn’t have thoughts to share (i always have thoughts to share) but I was waiting for something to stir me out of this mental hibernation I had purposely decided to settle into. And today on this rainy afternoon I managed to find it- or rather it found me.

I’m not going to go into detail as to what it is- I’ve decided to save that for some other day, but I do wish to share what it talked about.

While I was growing up, there was a small corner in my mind- one that didn’t indulge in mindless frivolities or amusing every minute of the day with a joke- in which a seed was planted, right at the moment I opened the page of a book. I remember that small corner getting more fertile and rich as I waded through classes, but all the more shoved away as I reached high school- perhaps due to my fear that it might be ridiculed, if exposed.

Now having passed those stages and after having experiences (both bitter and sweet) that honed me into who I am today, that small corner has matured, grown and occupied every rim of my mind, save a little for experience to fill. And now I find myself understanding every facet of life through this filter.

A thought I was fostering for a long time was recently addressed by a person I look up to, through a monthly letter sent to his readers, and that letter forms the content of ‘it’ today.

It spoke of the noise of the world. And by how each passing day that noise seems to grow louder and fiercer to the point that we’ve now chosen to ignore it and function along with it (i don’t know which is worse.)

When we stand on the cusp of adulthood, we’re asked to find our place in this world. Mostly through screaming what we are capable of accomplishing and grappling for that spotlight. We’re told that the world won’t notice us until we grab it by the collar and shake its attention towards us. That this world is a magnificent, malicious giant who won’t listen to you until you’re out there screaming ‘hey look what i can do’ with the rest.

My question has always been plain and simple. ‘What if I don’t wish to scream?’ What if the spotlight never appealed to me? What if in this world of distinguished humans who’re out there scaling new mountains everyday, I simply wish to walk along.

What if I choose to see the glass for what it is- rather than empty or full.

What if what I need in my corner of the world is the ability to simply be; without the looming threat of being ‘left behind’. To exist with art and find meaning on my way, while I try my best to foster love, kindness and empathy, should others ever need it.

I never wish to be part of this disorder. But rather help those who chose to lunge but are suffering. The letter said that beautiful things like art/poetry/love/kindness and empathy often come in a whisper. But since we’re all screaming and the noise is deafening, they whir past us. Some who’re wiser feel their presence at times but are unable to grasp it- the world being too big a distraction.

The world always seems too daunting to me. Too big for someone so small, so insignificant. I know that should I ever choose to scream along, my voice will be hushed before I’ve even opened my mouth, because I won’t.

That’s why I choose to remain in this corner, playing my part through what I write, hoping somewhere someone who’s stuck in the disorder bumps across it, and finds a moment of peace. Until then, I shall sit and nurture and grow as much as I can.

Go out there and make your mark. Look up at the stars more often.

If the disorder becomes too wild and you choose to look away from it, I’m right here waiting.

 

Until then.

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Small People; Big Hearts

This post is not against any particular category or race of people, just a mere conclusion from a recent experience. Rather, experiences. I had two of them, both of them contrary to each other.

I

I had taken a day off from college and was lying clumsily on my couch watching T.V and munching potato chips. Mom had gone to work and there was no one home except for my housemaid who was doing the dishes in the gallery. I don’t know her exact age, but she’s very old, she must be in her 70’s, has a happily married daughter and a proper home. She has been working for us for more than 10 years and has become an integral part of our family. It’s hard for me to picture her any other way. It’s like she has been that way forever. Spectacles drooping on her wrinkly nose, a small, humped and fragile figure neatly wrapped in a saree

The best thing about her; her indestructible ambition. You see, she’s poor, old and weak and she could beg on the streets if she wants to and often we had asked her to maybe quit as she’s old now and take rest but she always, ALWAYS refuses. She says she likes her work and it keeps her busy and gives her income.

But that’s not the only thing great about that lady. Keep reading.

When she finished her work she made her way to the door and asked me to close it after her. I followed and as she was leaving, she picked up a bag she had kept aside, stopped midway and rummaged it’s insides. I watched the scenario thinking she might have forgotten something, when she took out two ripe guavas and offering them to me asked, “Would you like a guava?” and gave me a toothless smile.

I was speechless. No that I hadn’t seen a guava before or I hadn’t been offered a gift before, but this made me struggle for words. At first I thought I should refuse as she already was struggling with poverty and it would be mean to take whatever little she has. But then I thought I’d hurt her even more as she might think that I rejected thinking she was below me or something.

“Sure!” I said as I let out my hands. She gave two of the most ripe and best ones in the 4 she had in the bag, looked at my face with pride and went away.

And I’m not exaggerating or saying it out of empathy but those two were the most amazing guavas I ever had. Sweet, tangy and and full of flavor.

II

I was making my back from a stationary store. The weather was soothing and I was on foot. As I approached near my place I saw a lady on her balcony negotiating with someone on the ground.

“30! That’s the final offer!”
“Please make it 50 and I’ll mow the entire lawn!”
“30-I said it’s final”
“Okay make it 40?”

“You can go away, I’ll find someone else to do it.”
“”Sahab please, I need the money”
“I said-You can leave!”

I slowed my pace a little to see what was going on. On the balcony of the most sumptuous and one of the biggest houses in my locality stood a woman in her early 40’s. Stern and obstinate with a few loose strands of hair from the neatly tied bun; chiding the person below.

Below on her ramp, I saw an old man in ragged clothes and a pleading face. His hands were black from filth and he looked up with expectations and maybe some income. He looked tired and had drooping shoulders covered in a worn out white cloth.

After the lady asked him to leave, she went inside with a scowl. The man lowered his gaze in disappointment, got on his rusted bicycle and rode away.


I don’t even know how to put it. These two incidents happened on the same day. It’s like God was trying to teach me something. An invaluable lesson;something we don’t realize in everyday lives. I’m guessing you must have got an idea of what I’m about to say.

I know that lady from the magnificent house and I also know she’s perhaps one of the richest people in our locality. Now I don’t know what goes on inside her house or how the situations are, but I didn’t see any harm in giving that man a 50 Rupee note considering the line of cars she had parked in her driveway. And it’s not like the man was begging, he was rendering a service in return.

I’m pretty sure giving away a mere 50 rupee note wouldn’t have changed anything in her life; but it sure as hell would have made the poor man’s day. The thing that bugged me was, if you ask all these people, all these artificial, successful snobs what all they have achieved in life, I assure you they will all quote their achievements one by one with inevitable pride and a high nose. But when it comes to helping the needy and the poor, no one has a dime.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you were returning from the Supermarket with a bag of oranges and gave two of them to a beggar or someone needy? Have you? If yes, then you’re a wonderful person and have a very big and a kind heart. If not, then you need to reevaluate your actions.

My maid didn’t think twice even though I have everything and could buy guavas any day. Now I don’t find any reason for having second thoughts.

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Picture Courtesy: Cartoonmovement.com