Wednesday, October 25, 2006

David Swan

Been thinking of writing this for a while but time hasn't permitted me to write a new post.

I am not sure how many of you have come across the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne ...
He was an American novelist and short story writer.

We had his short story - David Swan - in one of our literature books in the 10th standard. It is a remarkable story ... umm ... it may be easier to take the gist out of the story itself .. and i quote:

"We can be but partially acquainted even with the events which actually influence our course through life, and our final destiny. There are innumerable other events--if such they may be called--which come close upon us, yet pass away without actual results, or even betraying their near approach, by the reflection of any light or shadow across our minds. Could we know all the vicissitudes of our fortunes, life would be too full of hope and fear, exultation or disappointment, to afford us a single hour of true serenity. This idea may be illustrated by a page from the secret history of David Swan."

The other day, on orkut, I realized that every item that we enter in our profile under interests etc. becomes a hyperlink that allows us to find other members with similar interests. This intrigued me, and as I had some time available, I decided to check on the results for the people who liked the same books that I do.

The lists were huge, and after clicking on a couple of profiles, I realized (with some sadness), that there was no point in pinging any of these people .. for given my history of maintaining (or not maintaining) my existing friendships, it was hardly logical to try and acquire new ones.

I couldn't help thinking however of all the people in the world I haven't met who would have been as good friends as the ones I already have ... of all the people that I shall never know ... whom I might have liked knowing, and of all those people who shall go through life without the privilege of having had my exalted company =/;D

That is what reminded me of David Swan ... not with respect to events .. but with respect to people ... there are so many people that we almost meet and we don't .. so many people that we do meet but never really get to know ... perhaps because we are too caught up with our daily lives ... or maybe because of certain social prejudices ... out of distrust of strangers perhaps ...

And that made me think of the friends that I do have ... the ones whose presence we take for granted ... the ones that have always been there. Isn't it mind boggling ... the probability that this person would ever be in your life given a slightly different set of circumstances?

Here is an idea ... as usual, the bulb lit up as I was typing ... and I'll probably be too lazy to do anything about it myself:
Can you think of the first time that you ever met some of your friends? Recall the circumstances that led to the meeting and calculate, what are the chances that you'd actually ever have met!!!

(oops!!! the language is a little convoluted up yonder... especially at the end ... but try and get the soul of it without getting into the language)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

a why to live ....

If I remember right, and if it is not a figment of my imagination, there is a saying that goes something like .... if you have a "why" to live for, you can answer almost any "how".

So, this morning, I was trying to figure out what my "why" is ... and whether I can see a "why" in the lives of the people around me ... and it struck me, though I realize that this may be just a perception based on my own state, that most people probably don't have a "why" that they really feel is worth it.

Given my tendency to generalize, I think that this may be a root cause of all the turmoil we see around ... people searching for a "why" a reason ... a cause .. if you may ... to help them answer the "how"s that they need to answer on a daily basis.

I am not very comfortable discussing my "why" or the lack thereof at present ... but this sort of leads me to another question ... something based on the end of the Lord Of The Rings triology ...

I do not have the LOTR with me, and despite googling for it high and low, I was unable to find an e-text version of the same. However, if I remember correctly, just before Frodo takes off for good, he leaves the book that he was completing with Samwise ... so that he may add his bit to it. Which presumably Sam does, and then sends to a publisher and he lives happily ever after on the proceeds from the sales. Evidently, whatever Sam himself does after Frodo leaves is not worthwhile or interesting enough to be in the LOTR ...

The disturbing part is that Frodo having completed his quest leaves ... Sam, is stuck here. In a book, it is very convenient for Frodo to disappear into the blue ... but, in real life, every "why" that we have may not last a life time ... every reason, every cause, every quest may and eventually do come to an end. What then?

In LOTR, Bilbo Baggins faces that problem ... but we are so caught up with Frodo, we don't realize this till ... well, I realized it now as I am typing this out. So, even for those that have a quest, a "why", there may come a time when there is nothing left to do.

It is therefore not enough to have a "why". One has to continually re-invent this "why" ... probably through introspection ... which unfortunately, we don't seem to ever have enough time for... and so, slowly over time, we slip into a world where there are no quests ... and unless you have been on a quest that has given u enough satisfaction to last a life time (I doubt this is possible), you are haunted by a vauge formless unease which (today I feel) may be your realization that there is a big un-answered question ... what is my next "why"!

So ... do you know your "why"?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

found a shamrock ...

This morning, on my lawn, to my surprise, I found shamrock growing in small clumps scattered all around ... I even photographed one! Add to that a single forlorn daisy ... the first I have seen since coming here ...

The shamrock reminded me of ireland. I would like so much to believe that somehow a few seeds came with me and that is how these flowers have suddenly appeared ... though that is so far fetched!!!

In a while, my posts will probably again take on the usual hues ... at the moment, my vacation is still very much in my mind.

Here is my favourite kitten ... this one kept me company almost all the time that I was at home, following me around like a puppy during the day, and even following me to the bed at night to snuggle by my feet ...

The bigger one ... She'd come over too but generally preferred to keep to herself apart from meal times ... here she is raising a friendly paw ...

The dog took a long time to get used to me ... allowing me to actually touch her only on the last few days. It is kinda weird to see two cats and a dog living in harmony ... there is so much we can learn from animals ...

Here she can be seen sniffing the air suspiciously and pretending that I am not even there taking the photograph.

Cute things aside, why do you think so many of the rich and the famous are so concerned that you and I have our daily dose of Cola? From early in the morning to late in the evening, they keep appearing in the middle of myriad programs to remind us that they are still taking their daily dose and it is recommended that we take ours. I can't help wondering whether it has to anything to do with the fact that we have to pay for drinking the concoction ... sometimes shelling out an additional buck to have it chilled ... whereas these big shots get paid for taking their little gulp infront of the camera (and spitting it out as soon as the camera stops rolling (perhaps))!

Assuming that these Colas do get manufactured under stringent conditions and are not the bane that some would have us believe they are, could the point of contamination be the bottling plants... and the bottle re-cycling process ... what sort of water do they use to wash and clean the bottles? What do they do to ensure that there are no solids in the bottle ...

Why does any one drink colas at all? (apart from adding it to old monk or whatever)

Getting there :) getting into form ... juss gimme a lil time!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

been a while

itz been a while ... a pleasant while.
not much to write really (as usual) ... just getting used to the feel of the keyboard again.

the break was great ... as was darjeeling ... as were the 2 cats and 1 dog that kept my company for most of the last coupe of weeks.

add to that meals cooked by mom, fruits from trees that grow in your own back yard, afternoon naps, blue skies, snow capped mountains in the distance, and an irritating wasp trying to build a ... what do u call em ... nest? ... in the room. if this isnt a picture of heaven as it ought to be .... picture the room itself ... absolutely crammed with books from my childhood ... from the entire set of britannica to other assorted new age encyclopedias to enid blytons to george g gillmans (edge and adam steele) ... cowboy comics and commandos ... you name it ... i even found a richie rich lying in the stack :)

yeah ...

i'm back!