Life is much like a song. In the beginning, there is mystery; in the end, there is confirmation… but it’s in the middle where all the emotion resides to make the whole thing worthwhile. Some people have lives; some people have music. Music is in fact a higher revelation than all wisdom & philosophy. Even the great Albert Einstein quipped: “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
Music is to the soul what words are to the mind; it is the wine that fills the cup of silence. Like it’s said, everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances. And this rhythm gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything. It can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable. It is the universal language of mankind.
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you
because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.”
Silence. Have you ever heard the mystifying silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you don’t have the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak; or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully. Autism is one such silence.
The world’s continual breathing is what we hear and call silence. And the language of this unexpressed silence is autism. It is neither a disease nor a disorder. It is about having a pure heart and being sensitive… It is about finding a way to survive in an overwhelming, confusing world… It is about developing differently, in a different pace and with different leaps. I believe God created autism to help offset the excessive number of boring people on Earth. In fact, nobody is purely autistic, or purely neurotypical. Even God has some autistic moments, which is why the planets spin and the galaxies swirl.
The reactions of the many should not affect the actions of the few. Being different is what sets you apart from everybody else in this world. It allows you to be unique. It allows you to process information in ways that people will never understand, and see things in ways that others would find unimaginable. It allows you to break free from the mould of society. You are beautifully unique and uniquely beautiful. You are not the same as anybody else, yet you are not different from them either.
Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it. This verse is one such moment of secret expression of love between a soul who is deemed ‘silent’ and another who could read the silence.
Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that were supposed to define us as human beings, and propel us to greatness. But have they? We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but we haven’t yet valued humanity. We assign numeric values to each other, demarcating our universal existence with lines and borders that have no meaning. The chaos, despair, and senseless destruction we see today are a result of the alienation that people feel from each other and their environment.
We are all equal in the fact that we are all different. We are all the same in the fact that we will never be the same. We are united by the reality that all colours and all cultures are distinct & individual. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all held to this earth by the same gravity. We may not share blood, but we share the air that keeps us alive.
From cosmic perspective, every one of us is precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another. However, there are people who are discriminating by nature. They live inside a box and think people who don’t fit into their box are weird. I believe this lot of morons are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.
Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human – in not having to be just happy or just sad – but in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time. We are all ordinary. We are all special. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all zeroes.
Zero is the number people often feel, more so than one. This verse is the retelling of the story of an entity that’s considered a ‘nullity’ by the society, but through determination, courage and love, it proves: even ‘nothing’ can truly be ‘something’.
“Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.
The real miracle is the love that inspires them.”
Miracle. Serendipity. Divine intervention. These often define the willingness to see the common in an uncommon way. Most people’s lives are a series of little miracles – strange coincidences which spring from uncontrollable impulses and give rise to incomprehensible dreams. We spend a lot of time pretending that we are normal, but underneath the surface each one of us knows that he or she is unique. Each one of us experiences miracles of some form, but we don’t realize when we do – miracles of healing, an answered prayer, an unexpected happy ending. Each comes quietly and simply, on tiptoe… so we hardly get to perceive its occurrence.
In fact, miracles are everyday things. Not only the sudden, great good fortune, wafting in on a new wind from the sky. They are almost routine, yet miracles just the same. Every time something hard becomes easier; every time we find a solution which until last week was non-existent; every time a kindness falls as softly as the dew, or someone we love who was unwell gets better; every time a blessing comes, not with trumpet and fanfare, but silently, at night… we have witnessed a miracle.
To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others. This verse is a reflection of one such moment of serendipity when love decided to work in unknown ways:
“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”
Balance… Balance is not symmetry. For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love, there is anger; for the wing of destiny, there is fear; for the wing of pain, there is healing; for the wing of hurt, there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride, there is humility; for the wing of giving, there is taking; for the wing of tears, there is joy; for the wing of rejection, there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment, there is grace; for the wing of honour, there is shame; for the wing of letting go, there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings, and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance.
Having two desired wings is perfection. And perfection is not balance. Nature seeks balance. You cannot have two coveted wings at the same time, nor can you equilibrate with just one wing. A bird with one wing is imperfect; an angel with one wing is unblessed; a butterfly with one wing is dead. Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain, every situation in your life serves a purpose. So there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale.
In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. This verse is one such moment of discovery of the self from a shackled state of inactivity to a long-desired flight.
“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’”
Life has no rules. It can be a complicated and bitter journey, or it can be a happy rewarding one with simple answers. Over the years I have come to believe that life is about choices. And the choices you make eventually shape your day, shape your views, shape your experiences, shape your thoughts… and shape your life.
There are some life choices over which you have no control or which others will make for you – like when and where you are born, the family you are born to, your life during childhood, the school you went to, etc. etc. etc. Beyond that, there are several other important choices that you make in life. And those choices define you.
Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with. If you believe it is a world of choice, you regard your life as a product of your own decisions. If you believe in destiny, you suspect there are greater forces defining your life’s story. Even if we are a part of some grand master plan, our unique journey has more personal meaning when we choose it for ourselves.
Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. We don’t get to choose what is true. We only get to choose what we do about it. At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become.
Life is a test. It was designed to be so. Few lines conjured up as I meandered into the world of choices that define our lives… or rather, we let them define our lives:
Gift. The greatest gift you can ever give another person is your own happiness. And that’s what Aditi did. “I have nominated you for a bunch of awards,” is what she wrote, and Voila! The moment I read it, I was like … (yeah exactly, it was … !) Stunned to silence for some few good minutes, before I gained my mortal status, owing to an infallible power cut and a jealous tropical summer.
Say ‘Hi’ to Aditi Mittal! A charming young lady who loves travelling, is opinionated and headstrong, and can be brutal if required. (Beware!) For she can charm you not only with her demeanour, but also with her words. And so, getting nominated for a platter of awards from such a graceful and vibrant personality like hers is a treat indeed. Thank you Aditi for the multiple honours! To read her tales, visit her lovely web journal here. 🙂
Now coming to the Awards, there are FOUR of them. Mighty ones! I was a bit curious about what they actually stand for. So I did a bit of research on them and came across some interesting details. Some are directly explained and some inferred. A charming collection, no doubt!
“Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment.
There is no why.”
Time and Life, whether you want it or not, have a way of going in circles. Ideally, you’d want it to be a linear path—you’d always know where you were going, you’d always be able to move on and leave everything else behind. Instead, you always find yourself where you had begun. You forget things you try to remember. You remember things you’d rather forget. The most frightening thing about memory is that it leaves no choice. It has mastered an incomprehensible art of forgetting. It erases, it smudges, and it fills in the blank spaces with details that don’t exist.
But however you remember it—or choose to remember it—the past is the foundation that holds your life in place. Without its support, you’d have nothing for guidance. What defines you isn’t “where you’re going”, but “where you’ve been”. There are things that will never change, things you will carry along always.
Time is an equal opportunity employer. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. What you perceive as precious is not ‘time’, but the one point that is ‘out of time’: the Now. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.
Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decrease, regrets mount. Time is such a waste of time to think about, because the longer you reflect on it, the more of it you lose. Yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream. So, flow with the rhythm and start counting how many Now’s you’ve collected and preserved yet!
Owing to some liminal displacement, my thoughts got a bit carried away. Hence, this poetic outcome:
“Your life is your life
Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
Be on the watch.
There are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.
It may not be much light but
It beats the darkness.”
(Charles Bukowski, ‘The Laughing Heart’)
How many of us today are ready to be bogged down by cockeyed conventions? How many are ready to accept established norms just for the sake of obeisance? How many will wholeheartedly oblige if some drag king decides to rule nonchalantly? Hardly a soul I believe; just those who proudly flaunt their cultivated masks of fake conformity, and those who sit and whine when things fall apart.
The truth is: genuineness and unconventionality is what helps in making a mark on the world. If you go down just one corridor of thought, you never get to see what’s in the rooms leading off it. Beyond all our actions stands the larger shadow: How are we to choose between what we have been taught to think ‘right’ and something else which ‘might’ be? Real, constructive mental power lies in the mental conduct and the creative thoughts that eventually shape our destiny. So, develop a train of thought on which to ride. Change your perception and you change your world. You just have one mortal life in hand. Beat it! Beat it well!
Flow of thoughts got overflowed, and led to this small piece of verse: