In the moment ...

Monday, September 10, 2012

The internal monologue.

All of us have that feature; one feature that takes up a major percentage of our minds. It is the pseudo conversation like thought stream that goes on inside you. It runs in a constant thread in your brain most of the time, sometimes sharp and strong and at other times a little feeble, maybe.

The internal monologue remembers and analyses your past, imagines and plans stuff that you want to do - today, tomorrow, next week and far in the future, it ponders whether what you are doing is really the best thing to do etc. etc.

But, as you can realise if you observe it, rarely does it nestle about in the present; the immediate present, right now, in the moment.

'In the moment' is an altogether different sensation plane.

Its something you will experience when your internal monologue is mostly suspended, but all your senses are awake, and actively attended upon. How can one slide oneself into that state?

Well, you can do it the next time when you take a walk.

Consciously stop immersing yourself in thoughts, and keep walking.

Look at the colour of the ground; the colour of the ground is different from that of the stone lying nearby; look at the grey dark texture on the stone; don't think, just look.

Look at the leaves, see how one bends in the passing breeze but the next one shakes and vibrates instead.

See the ants and insects crawling on the leaves, watch how their legs move in perfect sync.

Listen to the tones in the next bird's call or dog's barking or an engine revving. Hear the twigs crackle under your feat.

Watch how the sky and trees are reflected in the next muddy puddle.

See how the world moves past when you walk forward, changes in perspective and angles and watch how things move into your field of view.

Keep yourself immersed in the sensory world; do not think; just see everything you can watch, listen to everything you can hear, smell every waft of air and observe everything that moves and everything that stands still.

Feel the breeze on your skin, and in every hair strand.

Now when your internal monologue kicks back in, pause a bit;

You were 'in the moment' for a brief while and are now back.

Thought rewinding ...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Try to arrest your constantly flowing thoughts for a moment,

Its like you have been trekking down a heavily wooded hillside and have suddenly come out into a clearing; a grassy clearing with a large something in the middle. The something would be the image of your mind's last thought. That image is very clear in your mind, and mostly the image of the just previous thought also. You may also remember the image of a thought that occurred sometime back; like say when you started the trek, to fit it into this scene.

But can you bring forth into your mind the images of every big stone, huge tree and colorful flower on the path that you just trekked down?

Translating; can you remember all the thoughts, or images of thoughts, that occurred between that old thought whose image is clear to you and the very last thought thats crisp on your mind?

Mostly not, unless you are aregular practioner of the art of thought rewinding.

Thought rewinding should begin, obviously, from the very last thought. Mostly, the image of the just previous thought would also be clear in your mind or you could rather easily recall it. But the image of the one prior to that may not be visible. Do not lose heart, its surely hiding somewhere remote in your neuron circuits. With some effort and a few trials you should succeed in bringing it back. Now look for the previous one, it may get harder as you go back. Sometimes, surprisingly, chunks of thought links may present themselves all in a flash.

This way, slowly, one by one you can complete all the links till the initial one; and you have successfully done what I call thought rewinding. You may also start from the initial thought or explore from both ends and meet in the middle or fit chunks in the middle etc.

And,

You are said to have attained 'Thought Nirvana' when you can rewind all the way back to very first thought that occurred to you when you woke up today!

:-)

Languages, a wandering species of living beings ...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ever considered your mother tongue as a living being? A throbbing, pulsing organism that lives in the evanescent spoken words of its people, sleeping in all the inscribed letters if it has a script, swaying about in the phrases, idioms, sayings, songs and stories, leaving its footprints with the written novels, books and poems; ever growing and expanding.

A language thus viewed more than qualifies to be considered as a species of living being. A species that senses the world around it and processes the inputs through its people, the manifesting extensions, expressing its reactions through them as those spoken words, inscribed letters, songs and stories and such.

How about the evolution of languages? could it be similar to the evolution of other flora and fauna? Maybe; The first type of language that came came into existence might be the sign language, the lean, low-fat, no frills form probably equivalent to single cell organisms which are the forefathers of all living beings today. Then they must have evolved depending upon their environment.

Consider languages in geographically and or otherwise separated regions; germinating, incubating and taking birth in unconnected worlds. They evolve in different environments, adding different organs; extenders, antennae, long necks and jumping legs, suited for that environment. They develop a vocabulary, grammar and other arsenal to express complex concepts. Separately they grow into completely different unconnected organisms, but living in the very same universe.

What happens when two unconnected and different species of languages come into contact? How would they interact? Can we compare that with with way two previously unknown biological species interact?

Could they be staring at each other intently at the beginning? They may growl at each other, uttering different sounds mostly meaning the same thing. They may just turn around and go on each others way. But what could they do if the circumstances demand them to interact? Would they then circle around? watching and observing, forming an impression of the other? trying to learn what the other is doing?

They might have to try and find a common ground, any common ground, a basis to start reconciling with each other. They may have to resort to sign language itself, the most basic common ground, to make one meaningful to the other.

Then it may progress, words for the different signs, pointing to the same things and uttering words for them in each others tongue, connecting them and understanding sentences, comparing alphabets, vowels, consonants and more and more ...

:-)

Are all your love songs in the same key?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Are all your love songs in the same key?

maybe ... :-)

It nevertheless might mostly be true that nobody acts in the exact same manner in any life situation if it chooses to repeat itself after some time.

So why would all love songs of one be in the same key?

Firstly, what is the meaning of that hypothesis?

It means exactly the same as in the music realm. Two songs in the same key can sound and feel very different, but one is able to extract an underlying theme that connects them.

Along the same lines, a common theme could probably be extracted from the various apparently unconnected amorous exertions of any personality. The self's intangible amorphous 'definition' of 'love' would be that common theme. All those amorous exertions probably can be linked as different songs composed in the key of this particular amorphous definition.

One could postulate that some extensive introspection would be needed on the person's part to decipher this common key. Individuals who would not want to bother with this would mostly keep singing all their love songs in the same key. The key itself probably might change a little with time, but solidifies more and more as life progresses.

But, as any learned musician can, an enlightened self can consciously keep altering the key once in a while, giving the songs different feels, spice and variation.

Also, do remember that a myriad of wonderful songs can be composed in the same key itself.

... :-)

Imagination and Improbability Drive ...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Infinite Improbability Drive, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is a wonderful new method of crossing vast intersteller distances in a mere nothingth of a second without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace.

It is based on a particular perception of quantum theory: a subatomic particle is most likely to be in a particular place, such as near the nucleus of an atom, but there is also a small probability of it being found very far from its point of origin (for example close to a distant star). Thus, a body could travel from place to place without passing through the intervening space (or hyperspace, for that matter), if you had sufficient control of probability. This way the drive “passes through every conceivable point in every conceivable universe almost simultaneously,” meaning the traveller is “never sure where they’ll end up or even what species they’ll be when they get there” and therefore it’s important to dress accordingly.

In essence it is nothing but a contraption that attempts to create a probability field of infinite improbability. This field can make things happen; things that have the remotest, minutest, infinitesimal chances of happening in normalcy. As said before, the travellers of the infinite improbability drive can have no idea what they will be holding when the drive is turned off.

A point worth deliberating at this juncture is that the human brain, through the travails of evolution, is already capable of employing such a drive.

Imagination.

Think of that micro moment at which you had the stellar idea that lead you to the Nobel prize, or, mm, your girlfriend's undulant adoration would also do. At that very fine, thin moment, your brain clamps to something that previously was not anywhere in the remotest realms of your consciousness.

It can be said that in such moments the brain micro momentarily switches to near infinite improbability drive and comes out with something unknown before, something un-conceived and completely new, something that only had the remotest, minutest, infinitesimal chance of residing in your thought-space.

Think of the micro instant; instant when Newton thought why the apple should fall down, when Einstein thought that light's velocity should be constant, when Michelangelo thought that Monalisa should contra-smile, or, rather, something very recent,

when me postulated that the human brain has an improbability drive, 

:-)

and such, and such ...

The most vital ingredient in cooking ...

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Cooking is an art, at the very least.

The art of picking and selecting, preaparing and processing, and serving up the most wholesome and succulent recipes; which are, in other words, a harmonious mix; of ingredients.

Ingredients play a vital role in determining the palatability of the product of the cooking act. They have to be carefully chosen, per-processed and mixed in proper proportions so that the recipe under making attains its full vitality.

What is, or could be, the most vital ingredient in cooking? The one which can, by it's sheer magic, turn even an under average product into a tasty dish? The silver bullet in the chef's arsenal? 

What could it be? pepper? garlic? parseley? cloves? ... na, nothing of the sort. 

It is, love.

Love, for her who is gonna taste the dish. Love, that wants to make her go 'mmm...'  with the first mouthful. Love, that likes her to lick her fingers in total satisfaction. Love, that yearns to make her smile.

Love tenders the spices, adjusts the thickness, restores the flavour and heals the recipe.

The silver bullet in the chef's arsenal that, by its sheer magic, can turn an under average product into a tasty dish.

That love, is the most vital ingredient in cooking. 

:-)



why? why? why?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Wheels of change and relics ...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Jalahalli is an area about 30 kms from the centre of Bangalore, or so to speak.

Kenneth Anderson, the famous Irish hunter-writer who lived in British India before the 70's writes about an incident in Jalahalli. This must have happened somewhere in the 60's. He talks about a Jalahalli that is a mildly forested area with lots of wastelands and areca nut plantations. Large areas of scrubbed thorny land merging into the forests. There, he tells the story of a leapord who strayed into one of those plantations, and the story of the people who try to get rid of it. The leapord fights valiantly and mauls and kills a number of people though he himself gets badly shot, incarcerated and injured, and dies of blood loss and fatigue.

Turn forward for just about fifty or so years, which is well within the range of an average person's life, and look at Jalahalli now.

Now Jalahalli is a bustling suburb, buildings and shops and broad roads, apartments and maddening crowds. Not even a remote sign of shrub lands and such. Leapords live only in children's stories and the Discovery channel.

The turning wheels of change have rolled them far back and away. They are now old, forgotten;

They have been made relics.


and yet, in this turning wheels of change, something remains the same, constant, immutable throughout;

which is, open your mind, and see, the land, the canvas, the earth ...

and one Malayalam poem snippet,

Physical reminders ...

Monday, August 06, 2012


There are many devices and schems people use to remind them of things to be remembered, done, despatched etc.

When thinking about reminders, I am reminded of some particular sort them that I often use, and I think most people do in one form or another, which I call 'physical reminders' ...

Now what in the very milky way is a physical reminder? Let me explain with an example ...

Sunday morning, I have washed clothes in the washing machine and have put them in the clothesline on the terrace. Now they have to be taken back in the evening or else they might get wet again in a chance rain in the night or from the certain dew of the next morning. Now I could certainly set an alarm in my mobile phone at say like 5.30 in the evening or so to ring me and remind me to tackle the clothes. Instead, I do something else; I keep the washing machine lid open.

Now, an open washing machine lid is an abnormal thing, an anomaly in The Matrix. Whenever I see the open lid, I am reminded that the clothes are on top, and to decide whether I want to take them in now! I, then think, how was the amount of sun today, was it cloudy etc. etc. and whenever I feel that the clothes would be dry enough, I go up and take them back and close the lid.

That's what I mean by a physical reminder; a physical unusualness, abnormality, or anomaly, to remind you of something. Since its an anomaly, you are certain to remember what its supposed to remind you of.

Another one; When am in bed in the night, about to doze off, I remember that tomorrow I have to take two passport size photos of me to office. Now, I dont want to get up and put the photos in the backpack then, instead I throw my purse which is sitting on the bed side stand to the center of the floor. That's certainly an anomaly! When I get up in the morning, the first thing I see is the purse lying on the center of the floor and am immediately reminded to put the photos in the backpack. Purpose achieved!

And I have a bunch of such contrivances in my repertoire.

One antagonist anecdote here; in the film 'The Day I Became a Woman' by Marzieh Makhmalbaf, the third part, a rich elderly widow who inherited a lot of money decides to buy and get everything that was denied to her in her youth and her childhood by the rules of the society and religion. She ties many colored ribbons to every one of her fingers to remind her of the multiple things she wanted. She hires many boys to help her, take her to the market, carry the things for her etc. She goes about buying and getting everything, ribbon by ribbon ...

till one last ribbon remains ... but for the life of her, she can't remember what it was supposed to remind her of.

:-)

Entertainment for the kid ...

Saturday, August 04, 2012


The middle aged man sat in the train trying to engross himself in the day's edition of The Economic Times. His head, where baldness had started making its very slow ascend, did not have many of the grey strands yet. His family sat around and across him which included his middle aged wife, who was herself buried in some kind of magazine; a teenage daughter, elder one, busy herself with a book, and two boy kids - one probably has just started to go to school, and the still younger one maybe is of three or four years of age.

He is immersed in reading. The two kids are quarrelsome, a rather obvious case of sibling rivalry. He gets irritated at times by the ruckus the kids are making - and shouts at them to behave. He goes back to his reading, jumping from one article to another one. He is probably aware of me squinting at him and the whole scene intermittently but clearly has no difficulty in ignoring me.

One could postulate that he, his adult self rather, is trying to provide itself with 'entertainment' by the reading that he is performing. This may sound like and injustice to the conventional sense of the word - 'entertainment' - but deep down the psychological purpose probably is the same. The adult self is getting entertained. He is completely in control of himself, prim and proper; no emotional surf breaking the placid sea of his face.

The scene changes after some time. The two kids start playing the game of cricket using their fingers. One is the batsman and the other the bowler. Both have to show, at the same instant, a number, using the fingers of one arm only. Thats one ball. If the bowler manages to show the same number as the batsman's, then the batsman is out. If they are different the batsman gets a number of runs equivalent to the number he has shown. One bats till he gets out, then the other bats and tries to outscore him. They shout, the younger one sometimes screams, with a raw pleasure in each show of fingers.

The father looks up at times on this game. He seems to be slowly picking up the rules, without any conscious trying, from the ongoing exchanges. The elder kid is psychologically advanced, and often cheats the yonger one by employing a very minute delay in showing his fingers. The younger one wants Daddy as the referee and prods and pulls him into their middle. The father, having almost finished his Economic Times, obliges rather gingerly. Now frequently during balls where he loses out, the younger one looks at Daddy and questions, "Papa, late show?". Papa thinks for a a few seconds, and acknowledges sometimes, othertimes rejects vociferously with a vigorous shake of head. Couple of cliffhanger matches and the Papa is soon engrossed in the whole thing.

Now the younger one wants to play against Papa. The elder one takes up the referee role. The game ends up being a close contest - Papa is batting to outscore the kid. Now all three of them are excited and make noise at each ball. The kid hits Papa out just when he needed couple more runs and wins the game! Ha!

As he was slowly recovering himself from the excited state he catches a glimpse of me squinting at him and sheepishly tries to hide an automatically creeping smile from his lips. 

Now its the kid in him, the child self, that is getting entertained. The difference is stark - his self is more prone to surging emotional waves. His whole being is at instants catapulted to exalted states of consciousness. His face is no more placid.

A joyous state, this is - one very mellow, plesant, sparkling and bubbling inside with laughter - from my own experiences of this.

...

Pace of life ...

Friday, August 03, 2012


pace of life ...

its a very volatile thing ... every night when you sleep, really sleep, it almost diminishes to zero as much as you can sense it ... then in the morning it starts again ...

and among the metro dwellers, its not uncommon for the pace of life to accelerate dizzyingly, just after waking up ... engines revving, rubber screeching on the asphalt ... the surroundings whirring past ... fast, blazing .. as randomly errupting emotions try to cling on to the speeding apparition in vain but steadfast ...

this might go on ... sometimes slowing down a bit, other times at max rotations per minute ... till you hit bed again ... common, very common ...

but then there is the other side ... when you really get a chance ... a break for a week or so ... in some idyllic .. or just relaxing, soothing place ... no violent noises ... no constant interrupts to process ... slow breath ... feeling the sips of a cool drink in the mouth ... expecting the next salubrious meal with a tingling tongue ... softly purring happy stomach ... slow turning sun ... breeze .. shades, glades ... and trees soaked in light ... blue sky and cushy puffs of clouds ... sound of flowing water ...

now this is slow pace ... which quite obviously is more regenerating ... detoxing, calming ...

but is there a natural fequency to life?

and if there is, if our pace of life accidently matches it, will there be a resonance?

and if it contiues for long enough .. will life shatter like a shiny champange glass?

... into a thousand glinting randomly shaped pieces??