These cheeple are so peep!

Oh, Its serfectly pimple!
No, that’s not a new type of pimple. Well, that’s something which occurs at randomly, uneventful moments turning an otherwise boring event into a ‘funny’ one, one that is meant to be cherished forever. And, all one wanted to say was ‘Oh, Its perfectly simple!’, but ends up like this!

I am a regular at this, I mean the germs in my brain are precision perfect in this. Deep down in my heart, I’m constantly bribing Him for freedom: Oh God, please redeem me. If not completely, at least during interviews and other such discussions in life of the ‘serious’ types.

One such event occurred during an exciting ‘gossip’ session. We were seriously gossiping on the new entrants into our society. I, the smart Aleca, had to come up with my opinions although nobody had asked for it. These new entrants were particularly loud, both in their talks as well as in their home with loud music being played for a happy, peaceful existence. I thought ‘These people are so cheap”, but ended up saying ‘These cheeple are so peep” ! Well, that was the end of all serious gossiping, the audience there rolled with laughter and still remind me of it even after so many years.

Well, I also mix up Hindi and English since most Mumbaiites are used to thinking in Hindi and speaking in English. But, what happens when one particular Mumbaiite, lets say me: thinks in English while speaking in Hindi? Imagine the scene: the topic was something that had occurred and none of us could believe it, saving me. I knew it had occurred. I was adamant and emphasized my point: all I wanted to say was ‘Koi shaq hain kya?” but me, the smart Aleca replaced the Hindi ‘shaq’ with its English equivalent ‘doubt’ and created this whole new sentence: “Koi duck hain kya?” !! I didn’t replace, the germs in my brains did!

And if this wasn’t enough, I do such things with numbers too: 25 becomes 52 and you would ask how? It rotates and replaces positions, much like musical chairs! Hmmm, another disorder, syndrome, crazy mind germs or what. I ‘googled’ as usual.
Google is my rescue center; my friend, philosopher and guide. And hey, lo n behold, there you go; I learnt of the term ‘spoonerism’ named after Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, Oxford. He was notoriously famous for them! Good for me, there are many of ‘my’ types and this guy pledged his name to the cause – wow, an altogether new ‘ism’ !

Some of his famous quotes:
“Is the bean dizzy?” (“dean busy”)
“Go and shake a tower” (“take a shower”)
The Lord is a shoving leopard” (“loving shepherd”)

This ones my favorite: “You have hissed all my mystery lectures, and were caught fighting a liar in the quad. Having tasted two worms, you will leave by the next town drain” (“missed … history,” “lighting a fire,” “wasted two terms,” “down train”)

The Indians that we are, the country with 178 languages, not my stats; that’s what Sushmita Sen said while introducing our country of so many languages; we think in our mother tongue, speak in the local language or dialect of the particular city but write always in English. Surely, each one of us has been a Mr. Spooner or Ms. Spooner at some time or the other. Yeah? Let’s admit it… Look at me, the last two years at Chennai and already I have started mixing up my native ‘Tulu’ with ‘Tamil’ forming two new languages namely: ‘Tumil’ and ‘Talu’!

Now is the time… lets share our personal spooners. A particular boss of mine… lets not name him here…even thinking about him tickles me! He refers to our client ‘Ramona Pires’ always as ‘Pomano Rires’! Hope they never meet in person, but if they do, I better not be there!

He will never redeem us and why should He, its tax-free entertainment na! Some “tips of the slung” are good for everyone!

Manzile apni jagah hain….raasthe apni jagah and GPS !

And whoever had penned these beautiful lyrics to be sung by our evergreen Kishore for our evergreen Big B, surely was a victim of the ‘oh so familiar’ disorder, I too, am a victim of. And before one starts guessing as to what I’m referring to…no, its nothing to do even remotely with that ‘heart’ thing!

I have suffered in silence for the past fifteen years or so, that is since the time I had to travel on my own. Finally, I’m coming out in public, here on my first post. Read on…

I googled the term as ‘directional disorder’ wishing from the deepest pits of my heart that I don’t find even a single entry…. Alas!

There were lakhs of entries, links with concise descriptions of the medical jargon types! I mean… I just had a slight doubt and surely didn’t believe it at all, that such a term truly exists. So, that does it! I always feared this: I do suffer from some kinda syndrome…..only my parents were too busy in my childhood to catch it and take me to the correct specialist. To my utter shock, guess what, there were discussion forums where ‘real’ people with names and email IDs discussed about this disorder, took solace in the fellow sufferer’s plight, provided tips for unguided travel, offered healing words of comfort. Slowly, I came to my senses. I knew at once, yes, this is my world… here are others just like me. I belong here!

This is my Family, here’s where all my ‘so-called’ excuses will be understood as ‘real’ reasons for me losing my way all the time! Now I have the exact medical term too to add to my list of excuses !! I was glad I googled. I thanked for helping me find my ‘true’ family.

Take simple instructions like… take the first left, second right and there you go, your destination is right at the corner, lady! I would nod with gratitude and immediately draw a picture of a road (raastha) with a left turn and later two right turns and my destination (manzil) at the corner. The single, lonely woman traveler is in control… she is not going to lose her way this time…. Alas!

She not only lost her way, she lost it completely since she ie. me was trying to visit my best friend I have visited a million times before…. A few rescue calls later, I was picked up from the place where I was supposed to anchor myself as a reference point for the rescue teams , lest I lose my way again!

Then again, I wont be allowed to travel alone…. Me and be escorted, oh come on… every woman needs to travel alone at times and me, a woman of this world, a smart woman of substance, obviously needed to travel alone. Here, one may think of the adage ‘If you believe you can, then you will’. Only, me, the die-hard believer, the smart Alecca thought that if I believed too hard, I could easily fool the germs in my brain that erased the directional picture map I drew so diligently every time I was given instructions. I was about to prove my point.

Take even simpler instructions like…. take the coming left and keep walking with your eye towards the right…. Stop when you see a bunch of kids coming…. So we know there’s a school nearby.. ask one of the kids where’s the school. That’s all… the lane (raastha) opposite to the back of that school is where you need to go (manzil) ! don’t get confused… there’s also an old tree there. I nodded in chaos, the directional map I usually drew in my brain got null and void, no work here for the germs! As if all the trees are young except for this one.

I mean… talking about trees, I use these gentle creatures as my reference points now. OK, I turn left when I pass the big Gulmohar tree and keep walking till I pass these four, old trees with tiny, yellowish flowers (don’t know the name) and at the end I will pass a Peepul tree, but wait… I’m not supposed to cross it, I have to take the left that comes before it ! One may wonder, what does this smart Alecca do on her way back…. Simple, she does the same things in reverse !

At times, most trees in an area would be the same species or genre or family. But, me the innovative, die-hard, do-it-yourself-and-prove-to-the-world woman found new avenues for guidance. Hoardings, Billboards, Signboards were the new trees for me. Don’t cut down trees… I mean they are good for the health of my city and please don’t stop putting huge Billboards in my city….I mean they are good for the economy. When ‘Philips’ goes like ‘Lets make things better’, I know they mean this! Things can’t get any better than that. Look at me, I’m on my way without a single soul harassed enough to keep tracking my progress. Whoever needed GPS… yes definitely when I’m in the Antarctic region with no trees and Signboards, then GPS or Global Positioning System would guide me. hmmmm…

One may now contemplate the depths of the creative lyricist…. See what I said when I started …the raastha-manzil divide in the brains of the ‘directionally disillusioned’ !

Of reactions and responses, recurring….and how!

I punched and pierced,
banged and beat,
screamed and shredded;
Damn these thoughts, they never still..
My aim being to observe:
Everything As IS.
If only, my thoughts
would permit me this!

It finally happened at the end of the year and the year was the year gone by i.e. 2007. The month was December, a month to sit back and analyze one’s self development, one’s accomplishments or rather the lack of it both personally and career wise. The most vital parameter to gauge oneself by is almost non-existent but I must say it’s gradually picking up momentum. Even as I write this, there are thousands searching for it, more thousands carrying the route map and thousands more struggling to walk the PATH. One may wonder, what is that ‘most vital parameter’? Hmmm… spiritual angle of self-growth!

December had set in like the gloomy results day at school! Looking back at how the year had begun, I was amazed at the sheer human spirit I had displayed! The lone, single woman: me, living alone in an alien city; the ‘committed’ yet ‘so far’ partner wandering to greener, younger pastures… the divine twist in the tale; my faith restored; my dignity safe guarded by the forces; my ever demanding boss… ready to raise the bar (usually at the nearby café). But, a new hassle had set in, a familiar discomfort… I felt like a failure; my insides had compressed, my hair grayed at a faster pace, my entire life flashed like a movie…the more I saw, the more I knew…. I’ve never really walked a path, any path at all… for every two steps forward, hmmmm, Providence pushed me one step backward! This year too is slipping away.

What was wrong? My thought process, my bad luck factor or worst still something eerie, something unknown, something which followed me like a thundercloud when it’s all sunshine for everyone!
I needed help. Had heard about a meditation camp… read more at their website… ten days of monastic life. No lies, no murder, no sex, no drugs, no alcohol, silence of mind and body! Also, in line with my company’s ‘Global Christmas Shutdown’! This was for me, what a way to correct a perfect disaster of a year, I signed up at once! Merry Christmas everyone!

The Teacher said “Observe your breath”.
Hmmm… what the …this is so simple. No deep long breaths, no one nostril breath, no inhuman posture; just plain and simple relaxing and observing one’s breath! I’m game for this… like I knew Providence was guiding me now, at last… kind of late but hey, I’m not complaining… Who knows… I might just live another hundred years or so on this divine Path!

Observe I did, man… so many mosquitoes during evening meditation, horrific stink during early morning meditation given the new ‘simple, divine’ meals, none of us were used to! The men busy observing the seriously meditating Americans, Europeans.. you know basically all the white skinned ones.

The Teacher said “Observe Within”.
Oh !! OK.. That’s simple. No big deal. I observed within……man, I was tired, slept so few hours compared to the hectic meditation for eleven and a half hours every day… my spine felt like a hot rod that needed some molding, my neck wasn’t mine, my knees were major pain centers; but surely Mother Providence loved me now, and soon her hand will brush away all my pain and I could see myself levitating at a higher plane!

Holy Christ … if only had I ceased talking.. talking to myself! Constant chatter…old buried memories got fresher. I began blasting at past people; scolded myself for having made the wrong choices all the time, cried out my heart with every loss I had been through, plotted revenge against lost people who had pierced my innocence, even planned a list of new year’s resolutions filled with conspiracy, lies and deceit!

The Teacher said ‘Only observe; do not analyze or react or respond; you are just an observer here’.
OK, right.
The Teacher said ‘There are no mistakes; only lessons to be learnt from them’.
The Teacher said ‘Everything is impermanent (anicchya); everything an illusion (maya)’.
The Teacher said ‘There are no unjustified acts; everything and everyone enact their respective roles, the director being Mother Nature’.

OK… then what the … am I doing here? How will this help improve my future mistakes..err sorry future experiences; everything I see is an illusion; all my torturers were instructed by God. I’m not supposed to react or respond… just a silent spectator who’s supposedly only allowed to observe her own role. OK then, so be it.

Meditation sure is hard work, one that involves perseverance, discipline, tolerance and sheer grit. I’m game for this but not now. It’s not the right time. I’m young.. I love to talk to myself… I mean despite the failures, loss and grief, I love to scold, blast, curse and pass comments. How could I ever be silent and only observe?