A clean house

A clean house

Things in place

People in quiet corners

Stuck to their poison

Laptops, mobiles or television

It’s a clean house

No sign of anything amiss

Bedsheets tucked, clothes folded

Utensils washed, windows cleaned

It’s a very clean house

Donned with polite smiles

And goody small talk

A diplomat couldn’t be prouder

One step in

And you’d be wowed

The open floor

The gleaming surfaces

Except for the cobwebs

Hidden in the corners

Or under the table

Or the dust beneath the carpet

Open the closets

You’ll see the grime

The rust that rots the iron

And the rancid acid

That dissolves from the inside

Within the wardrobe

Are stuffed

The broken hearts

Dreams and trusts

Inside the mind

That’s forgotten kinship

Empathy and compassion

Only apathy lies

Behind a face plaid with make-up

Designed to beguile

Designed to dazzle

But it’s a very clean house

Oh, yes indeed

Who teaches you to come back?

Travel—it’s a common theme these days. So many of the inspirational posts doing the rounds these days are about letting go of the vagaries of life and travelling.

Travel to your heart’s content. Travel until your feet can’t move anymore. Travel until your heart expands to fit the whole world in. And then, travel some more, they say.

It’s a beautiful concept. And travel one must.

But who will teach you to come back home?

Home with it’s chores and daily schedules. Who will remind you of their urgencies and the reason why you withstood the painpoints?

Home with it’s shackles and binds, heating your skin up that was, until a split second ago, cold from the breeze blowing against you on the tall cliff.

Home with it’s dull grey skies and polluted city centres, where only the young and foolish think they’re free. Wasn’t it not too long ago until you were one of those?

Home, where the parties have come to an end and the after-parties only rise and ebb in the chorus of the sonorous snores.

Home, where the 5.00 am alarm rings you, and you don’t jump out, excited about chasing the sun rise from the east. No, instead you drag your feet to the bathroom and drape yourself in the anonymity of dreary clothes.

Where all texts you get are from colleagues and a handful of friends left in the drainage pipe, ready to ride away the time train. Not, from friends made a few minutes back, making excited plans to discover a pristine hidden beach or get up close to a tall mountain peak.

No. How do you get back?

When all you’re faced with is the list of compromises you made to stabilize reality. When you have to relive the decisions—the friends cut off, the people you retain; the habits newly formed at the behest of old ones gone. Everything that formed the new skin you sew for yourself over time, shedding bits and pieces of the old one again and again, minutes and hours at a time.

Will you agree with each of those?

Would you take the time to mourn what you left behind long before you travelled? But adhere to what’s left?

Or will you rethink your life, change the compromise that’s no more comfortable, and chase after what you decided to leave behind?

How do you answer all your questions about yourself, the people and the world around you, when all you’re expected to do is be normal…again?

And so, you escape. You relive your travels again and again in your mind, avoiding the realities unfolding before your eyes. You forget the life you’re living, and love the past, holding onto it with a desperate vigour, all the while being painfully aware that those memories are fading.

Going, going…. Gone.

There. Now you’re back to reality.

Or are you?

Vision

Source: http://cs.brown.edu/courses/csci1430/
Source: http://cs.brown.edu/courses/csci1430/

In the film ‘Matrix’, we were told our idea of reality is skewed; it is just an illusion. In a way, it hit the right chords if we take into account the different perspectives of a human mind. Some of these we brush away as figments of imagination; some we celebrate as creativity; some we meditate upon as the ‘inner-eye’ or ‘subconscious’, and some, we tolerate as reality – something we are part of, but is out of our control.

To those who are aware of these, it will feel like there is a constant buzz in your head. Like a desktop window with multiple operations under process.

In reality, at the click of a button, you push one up; prioritize one—albeit temporarily—over the others.

But, what if we did not have this option? What if the default setting was that all these perspectives were constantly at work in non-hibernation mode?

Imagine a world, where you wade through every moment of life across three-four layers. Imagine if your vision was divided into four sectors (vertical or horizontal as you please) – one, where your imagination unfolds, is portraying night time; the one, which deals with creativity, is a mosaic of bright, interchanging colours; the subconscious or inner-eye, a dull throbbing gold, and the reality reflects the normal landscapes that mark your life – like a local train, your workstation, television, etc.

The idea seems, at once, enthralling and perverse. Enthralling, for who would want to not live not one, but four vibrant lives at one, especially in a state of higher awareness and consciousness? But perverse all the same, because it will make you realise how hopeless and powerless reality is; also because, there will come a time when you would want to switch off, for it would simply feel overwhelming, like your brain is about to burst.

I am sure the creative sort of people would relate to this, those who have powerful urges to step out of reality and capture their imagination and thoughts by penning down (or painting). Those whose brains are bursting with too many thoughts and feelings.

Perhaps, this is what we already do unconsciously, though, on a smaller scale. This is why we box sections of our lives into categories, and make sure they are processed in hibernation mode.

Who knows!

Drawing lines

I remember, as a kid, lines were the easiest to draw. Simply take a scale, measure the length required and draw.
Even then, many children got it wrong. I assumed that, caught up in drawing the line, they removed the pressure on the scale, which then moved in tandem.
At that time, I wondered, how could you mess up something as simple as drawing line?
Flash-forward to ‘reality’ as an adult. Lines are everywhere; and most usually, screwed up.
Imagine, each life is a hollow, transparent sphere. It’s a world in itself. These spheres intersect with each other.
The degree of intersection shows close the relationship is or how much effect you have on that life.
Now, every sphere has two other spheres inside — one stands for your private life at the core of your being, while the other (slightly bigger one) represents your personal life.
All these are separated, figuratively, by a single thin line — a boundary. This line helps keep unwanted elements out. It also jails you in.
Often, this line blurrs. Sometimes, it repels. Sometimes, it hardens. Many times, it weakens with time; you start letting people in.
Like the boundaries of most countries are a war-zone, these lines in your life are too. They are quite unstable.
Take a relationship between two people; there’s always a line separating their individual wants and needs. Often, this line is forgot, allowing you to fulfil the other’s wants. You compromise. Or is it a sacrifice?
Where’s the line that separates a compromise from becoming a sacrifice? When is it asking for space and when is it self-centered-ness?
These lines, in your personal relationships, are invisible and grossly misplaced. Finding where it lies, and where it should rightly lie, is one of adulthood’s biggest challenges.
And even once you have found it, it redrawn anew, enforcing it is a real test of wills. This struggle is ongoing — within yourself, your friendships, your love life, and all other relationships.
Reminds me of something my professor had once said:
“Freedom is never absolute. It is a constant power struggle, where two people determine whose freedom and needs are more important.”