The seven-letter word that can turn a world upside down

While growing up at home, the parents control you; whether for your own good, or for worse – that’s debatable.
While you are at the house of learning, your teacher / guru controls you; now whether (s)he is right or wrong – that’s debatable.
When you choose to become independent, your employer controls you. Under the safeguarding umbrella of business etiquettes, they decide your work timings, and they tell you what to and how to dress while at work. And why, they even impose millions of regulations in the name of government (ironically, in the ideal world it’s called democracy), taxes, customs and import duties. (Oops, I forgot hidden expenses.)

Whatever happened to terms as motivation, drive, inspiration, and all the ‘self’-inflicting adjectives? Do their meanings exist no more? Well, aside from the prints inscribed in the small somethings issued by the humungous press factories

Everyone follows something that may take them off the hook of the Circle of Control and instead, let them control their lives; the much simpler things as swimming, playing, dancing in the rains, doing movies, cooking. Something that gives meaning to their existence (the meanings of which clearly, the press factories fail to capture). Moments when they can claim to haven taken control of their lives, even so for the quarter of an hour.

Has following trends, researching enough to keep up with businesses, and competition become that important, that there simply exists no more time to be dedicated to oneself? The concept seems long gone. Why isn’t the fact of enjoying oneself done more often?
Or, am I just being an old-school here and these are indeed the newer ways to enjoy one’s time-off(s)?

Stress and anxiety leading to health issues are the new norms that not only sound alien today, rather one is reprimanded of the fact of not being ‘professional’ enough. These are restricted within oneself merely existing as one’s vibes, while on the outside, nobody cares what happened to the next person. There maybe a second worth of pondering and yeah, we move on.
There is just no time and I am simply too busy for all this seemingly namby-pamby stuff – doesn’t this indicate a drastic change in the priorities? What are we controlled by here?

But then, the cost of enjoying oneself and taking the time off isn’t free either. The bottomline – money controls us.

At this point, there are those who I feel must be given full credits for jumping the norms and designing their own path. They lay out theirs, and for all the ups and downs, and the successes and the failures, they are credited of their own accord and not because someone handed it to them on a silver spoon.
As an exception to any of the preset rules of the thumb, there are and will always be those who may abscond from home at a young age. There will be those who will bunk school to draw out their own way. And then there will be those, who may not apply for a job in a reputed MNC, rather choose to struggle days and nights creating a job to suit not only their skill-sets, but also in a manner that they lay the ground rules. It’s their way or the highway.

Such exceptions bear the control of the much superficial terms, fate and destiny. What comes out of them at the end – that’s debatable.


The Serene Brute

The sea makes me want to dive
The ripples glimmering under the cloudless sky
Dancing to the reflecting tunes of the sun
Beckoning me on into, no rhyme or reason

You want to freeze it behind your lenses
Can’t capture a view enough to make your neighbour envious
And that’s when I decide
There is no better lens than the naked eye

This is typically the view that I am treated with almost every morning. Wait…almost? Well, on some days when the visibility is poor, the sea over the horizon looks hazy. Apart from that, the view up here is almost as clear as it may seem while you’re at the shore, watching her play hide-n-seek, beckoning you to embrace her coarse exterior.

There is something about the sea that captivates and trances the naked eye. Given the levels of hydrophilicity in my blood, I simply want to dive inside of her every time I am with her. It doesn’t matter whether with a loved one or a colleague, in company or otherwise. The mere spectacle of the pious-like bluish-green liquid over the seemingly endless horizon is magnanimous enough to take me in even when I am on my own. Spending time sometimes even stretching to hours, is easy with the sea. In fact, she empathises so effortlessly despite having a one-way conversation. Have you ever heard her waves speak as they flaunt the shore? Some lash out with the intention of ‘showing-off’ their prowess, while others simply want you to know that they are angry. Over something, all right. Else, for all you know it maybe an argument amongst themselves. What’s ironical is, almost every time this happens, you just can’t stop smiling. Your insides seem to erupt in joy, whether you are at her helm craving her to give you a rib-cracking hug or, watching her from a distance while she feels all disturbed! And then, there are moments of peace and harmony when her waves caress you calmly. Now, these are what I call as respectful traditionalists – I love you, no doubt, but I place myself at your feet.

There is also the breeze that accompanies these waves, exhibiting its mood based on the force in which your hair sways, sticking the sand to your face. And yet, you are at all liberty to remain comfortably blank without feeling an ounce of guilt, only to hear the sea with that cursory whisper – I feel you, man. She doesn’t propel you towards or away from anything. Why, the sea-lovers are at complete mercy to soak themselves in or run besides her at the break of the day. Or, they may choose to spend a rather lazy evening strolling relaxedly besides her. The reddish golden ball of glow sinking into the unseen horizon and that onset of dusk transitioning into twilight when the whole stretch seems gold-plated is some reverie indeed. That moment is just there, between you and her, and what’s best is that she allows you to let it stretch slowly and steadily, for as long as you want it to.

Nature – every one enjoys her in some way or the other. There are terrains around a cliffy coastal while there is also the tropical beach. There is the wilderness out in the jungle and it may not get more vulnerable while in there. And then, there are mountains. And snow-clad mountains.

While these lands bring serenity within, it is the salt water that brings out the emotions.

Monday Blues? Really?

There is a crabby vibe in many of us the moment we realise that it will be soon a dawn to another Monday. Grumpy Monday, Monday Blues, Oh Gosh it’s Monday – gloom-mongering phrases as these rent the air on a Monday morning, typically when there is a routine that needs to be adhered to. In most households, there is a rush that storms in after the seemingly calm and unsurprisingly quick weekend. Of course, the story of rushing to where? varies in different residences. Some rush to get to work on time, while others rush to pack tiffin boxes. Some rush through their breakfast to hit the road, while others have just enough time to grab a coffee and bagel en route. Why this peculiar behaviour to Monday? Is it because the two-day leisure just passed off and that the prospect of yet another one seems far, far away? Or, is it because of the monotonous drill that forces us to come back into a routine lest we take the latter for a ride making survival difficult for ourselves for those five, long, glorious days? Regardless of this custom-suited reasoning, there will be someone in almost all these households who, in all probabilities, can’t overcome that sinking feeling – here comes another set of drill – by the time they hit the bed on Sunday night.

Personally, I have never had an issue with a Monday morning. After all, I was given the very equipments I required, to recharge myself with, namely Saturday and Sunday. Now, whether I spent them lazing around, running errands, drinking away to glory, or being a couch potato was completely my choice. I was given a break of forty-eight hours from everything that I connect with ‘being at work’ – including the time I wanted to snooze away. When the horizon breaks into the blue purple after a Sunday night, I feel okay enough to be back, after having the time to myself. No doubt, I wish the weekend bliss could continue. Alas, there is something called ‘five days of productivity’ that is defined by our ‘policies at workplace’. To re-stress, I do not complain on a Monday morning as I feel thoroughly in control of my routine, right from the time I want to wake up to the time I go to sleep. It’s a new week, and here is a chance to start something new. Last Friday took away the week’s anxieties and worries, and I have entered into a fresh stretch after forty-eight hours of much-supposed recharge. What’s bad about that? After all, I decided the crate of batteries I wanted to recharge myself with! Instead, I’d happily pass the baton of Grumpy Monday to Weary Wednesday.

Yes, I have a problem with Wednesdays. I could easily feel my lowest on a Wednesday morning, and why not? It falls right in the middle of the working week, and carries along with it a state of limbo. It is three days since the week began and there are still three more days (technically) to go. How much more lousy can it get? Added to it is the ironically uncanny workplace where most of the processing, catching-up, status checks, and to-do enhancements happen. Wednesday, hands down, is the busiest day of my workweek. It’s a Wednesday when my calendar is blocked to the brim. It’s a Wednesday that decides the fate of the workload for the next two days; all closure items are frozen on that day. It’s a Wednesday when my partner and I decide the to-do sheet for the weekend (and we can’t seem to wait for it). Wednesday is neither here, nor there. To quote DJ from Rang De Basanti “O yaara, ik pair past mein te duja pair future mein, tabhi to hum apne aaj pe moot rahen hain.” Translated: Bro, one leg in the past and the other leg in the future, that’s exactly why we’re peeing on our present. Bottom line – that’s exactly how Wednesday makes me feel.

Although, in the recent times a decent share of research refers to Wednesday as being the saddest day of the week, they also compliment this lack of reasoning with handy amp-up facts and feel-good factors. In fact, it is quite interesting to see a report infer that it is the writers that feel low on a Wednesday and high on a Saturday (as per the report, Saturday is the best day of the week – which I do not deny either), while the temperament of chronic Facebook users varies. They feel the Monday blues, and Friday makes them happiest. Naturally, these are sourced from round-the-clock buzz on social media and custom searches on these platforms that relate to keywords such as ‘happy’ or ‘sadness’.

Shakespeare may have written “O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes” but he apparently never met many psychologists, a good number of whom have been attempting to do exactly this for some time!  To each, their own.

So, what’s yours?