Jan 29, 2014

Through Love’s Great Power - A Poem by Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth just sent this to the Times of India. It's a poem on the Supreme Court ruling on Section 377, recriminalizing homosexualilty in India.

Through love’s great power to be made whole
In mind and body, heart and soul –
Through freedom to find joy, or be
By dint of joy itself set free
In love and in companionhood:
This is the true and natural good.

To undo justice, and to seek
To quash the rights that guard the weak –
To sneer at love, and wrench apart
The bonds of body, mind and heart
With specious reason and no rhyme:
This is the true unnatural crime.

Vikram Seth

Forward it to those who matter.

http://krishnakumarv.tumblr.com/post/74921327602/through-loves-great-power-through-loves-great

Jan 26, 2014

The Relative Insignficance Of Everything

Go to a relatively non-urbanized location. If you are in India and you are reading this, you are likely to be in a city, which would approximately be about 50 km from the ideal location for this. Between 9 pm and 4 am, go to an clearing -- a huge lawn, a playground, a football ground, etc. Go to it's center. Lie down on your back. Stare up. At the sky. Look at the stars, planets, and other celestial objects. Now, imagine this. You are lying on the surface of a miniscule lump of rock, with approximately 30% of the universe in your field of vision.

The sheer vastness of the universe vs. the relative insignicance of the planet, the continent, the country, the state, the region, the locality, and you.

The easiest way to recalibrate your brain. Ever.

Jan 20, 2014

Coping mechanism

Once again, something that I posted on my Tumblr may work well for this blog too.

A good coping mechanism in depression?

When in depression, interact with relative strangers. Here’s why I think it will work. Relative strangers won’t judge you. They also won’t hate you because they don’t know you yet. For the same reason, you usually feel more comfortable with them because you have a chance to make a good impression, hoping that this will temporarily convince them into believing that you are a nice person, which you may or may not be. If you are actually a nice person but you don’t feel like one, or if you aren’t that great to begin with but want to try and become nicer, with the support and the reinforcement that you get from these relative strangers, maybe you can fast track your way to getting out of the hole that you are in. 

Jan 19, 2014

Introspection

I posted about suicidal depression yesterday on my Tumblr Blog - Neverlast. I think it's apt here as well.

Introspection - in suicidal depression

I suffer from depression. During the worst phases, I feel absolutely worthless being alive. Yes, I have thought about suicide several times, and was on the verge of it twice.
I have been thinking about ways to teach myself not to be stupid and not be unempathic to your loved ones. I irony of this strategy may not work out well when your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, when you won’t feel that your suicidal thoughts are stupid and that what you are about to do will hurt all of the people who you love and love you.
In a recent such suicidal thought spree, I decided to list down the people who I may hurt. All of the ones that sprung immediately into my thoughts had some kind of negative associations linked to them - e.g., family, boyfriend, ex-es, childhood friends, friends. All of them would hurt, but in ways that can be compensated by them realizing that I was a worthless piece of shit after all.
Then one image started floating, soon followed by some others, and all of them were similar to each other in an unexpected, strange way. All of these “people”were different from those who I mentioned earlier in some way that matters to me.
I started wondering what the underlying commonality in them all? Of course, all of them would hurt if I took my life. However, their hurt for what I did would be too unbearable for me - that is, just thinking about these wonderful “people” hurting because of me made me feel guilty about what I was planning on doing.
Although it is somewhat complicated, but still logical in my fucked up brain. And it worked!

Jan 17, 2014

Don't Stress

People often tell me that I should not stress so much. When most of the stress is caused by the uncertainty associated with miscommunication and lack of punctuality, I don't see a frigging way out

The irony is that some of those who tell me to stop involving with people who don't communicate well and aren't punctual aren't punctual/communicative themselves. What the hell am I supposed to do with them, especially if you are dependent on them for something or the other - love, work, music, friendship, etc.

I often times get caught up with stuff - and it's very easy to get stuck with stuff in a chaotic metropole like Mumbai. But, almost always, I make it a point to communicate early, with clarity and without ambiguity as to the fact that I may be late. Darn, I even give them an approximate time that I'd be able to make and revise that time if something changes.

I wish people would strive to be better communicators.

Jan 16, 2014

The Eight Qualities of Cultured People - from Brain Pikcings

If you haven't come across BrainPickings.org, this is a good time for it. I was introduced to it by Jay, my partner. Every day, on Brain Pickings, I come across such interesting articles of creativity, books, philosophy, better ways to live our lives, etc.

Today, for example, I stumbled on an article: Anton Chekhov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People. Most of the article resonates with me and my principles. However, the following points need further mention:
They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say “nobody can live with you.” They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
My myriad of idiosyncrasies, neuroses, and depression prevent me from being able to follow this advice.
If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
This is very true for me. Even in my relationship, I sacrifice many things to my love for music and learning.

What is needed is constant work, day and night, constant reading, study, will…. Every hour is precious for it…. Come to us, smash the vodka bottle, lie down and read…. Turgenev, if you like, whom you have not read.
This, I'm able to do - not for reading, but for learning and working on my music. My friends, especially Jay, complains that I drive myself into too much stress with this. I disagree. This is how I do what I do best - try and reform myself and my skills.

Jan 15, 2014

What a disappointment!

On my fifth evening of my visit home for my Mom's minor eye surgery, my father reinforced my mental image about him - as an ill-educated, conservative, uncaring tyrant.

After slyly asking me when I would be returning to Kerala next, he asked me, "I know you have said no previously, but marriage proposals are still coming in. Why don't you get married?"

To this, I said that I'm disappointed at this question and that I thought he had understood what homosexuality is.

He said, "Many people in our family have suffered from this condition?"

I asked him, "What? Homosexuality?"

He said, "Infertility."

I told him, "It's because of people like you that people of alternative sexual orientation commit suicide."

He said, "It will be good for you and solve many of your problems." By problems, he meant depression, which he thinks is caused by loneliness.

I said, "I have my partner now and I'm perfectly satisfied with that."

He had that evil, bull-shitty smile which screamed "You fool!" as a response. What a disappointment of a father!

All throughout this, my Mom was caring and smiling and was agreeing to what I was saying.

She deserves respect. My Dad does not. Period.

Jan 12, 2014

Tumblr Blog - Neverlast

I haven't maintained this blog well in the past couple of years. To make things simpler, I have started maintaining a Tumblr microblog. It's called Neverlast. Go check it out!

Jan 11, 2014

Top 37 things dying people say they regret

I stumbled on this on FaceBook - a list of the top 37 things dying people say they regret.

I do most of these things right - but what I don't is what's worrying. Overwork. Stress. No travel. No taking care of health/teeth. Not cooking. Not learning a party trick.

Jan 10, 2014

Things that motivate me - in no particular order

I recently posted a random list of things that demotivate me. Since then, several people have request me for a list of things that motivate me. Here it is.
  • The fact that I can listen, assimilate, and play music.
  • My brain.
  • My ability to please/satisfy someone.
  • Fast humor.
  • Science.
  • Sarcasm.
  • Jamming with a like-minded and intuitive musician.
  • Writing.
  • The human frailty to be ephemerally happy with little effort.
  • Kindness, in all forms.
  • Complements in all forms.
  • Wordplay.
  • Brainpicker.org, Pulse.me, Lifehacker.com, Twitter.com
  • Athletic brilliance, in all of its variations, including mainstream sports.
  • Throwing and catching balls.
  • Frisbees.
  • Science Fiction concepts - movies and books.
  • Men with accents.
  • Sex.
  • My resolve.
  • A sexy chuckle.
  • Human touch.
  • A quiet distraction-free working space.
  • To-do lists.
  • Lists such as these.
  • Cricket intelligence and humor.
  • Routine.
  • Clowns and clowning.
  • Scents of all kinds.
  • Dogs and puppies & cats and kittens
  • A clean living space.
  • Twinkling eyes with a smile.
  • Bicycle.
  • Order.
  • Conflict prevention and resolution.
  • Reliable gadgets.
  • Commonsense.
  • Honesty.
  • Someone telling me, "I love you" or "I appreciate your thought/action/gesture."
  • Lucid, prompt communication.
  • Quiet.
  • Darkness.
  • Stillness in the air.
  • Mumbai Winter.
  • Performing music and entertaining an audience.
  • Appreciation and acknowledgment for thing you do/did.
  • Trees and lawns.
  • Sunlight.
  • A joint and/or a drink.
  • Conversation.
  • Second and higher layers of double entendrès.
  • Home-cooked food.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Education and learning.
  • Efficient planning and execution.
  • Reading.
  • Tori Amos.
  • A tactile keyboard.
  • Alice In Chains.
  • Vocal harmonies.
  • Powerful emotions.
  • The bass guitar.
  • Radio, in almost all forms.
  • The guitar.
  • Teddy bears, figuratively.
  • The drums.
  • Hugging.
  • The piano.
  • Groove and accented rhythms.
  • Eccentricity.
  • The harmonica.
  • Cuddling.

Jan 9, 2014

Life In Mumbai

Overheard conversation in the office elevator:

Indian Man 1: "So how was the experience to moving back to Mumbai and India?"

Indian Man 2: "For several years, I was living in war-torn countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo, etc. So I thought it would be a piece of cake. It turned out to be very difficult."

Silence.

Indian Man 1: "If living in Congo is relatively easier, Mumbai needs to really get its act together."

Now I know why Vinokur, when he left from Mumbai, declared that he hated the city and that he would never come back to Mumbai. Ever.

Jan 8, 2014

Imran Khan's vs. homophobia - thanks to NH7.in


Thanks to Upworthy for this article, and NH7.in and Imran Khan for this project.

Chennai homophobic rally

I just read this post on Orinam.net, which is a bilingual website (Tamil and English) associated with the Chennai-based group for social-support-arts-advocacy called Orinam. Similar to the Change.org petition for retaining Section 377, which has been taken down because of complaints, this is the second evidence of such blatant homophobia/regressive mentality displayed in India.

I'm out to my sister, who lives in Chennai with her family. I can completely relate to her mother-in-law and father-in-law, hardcore, conservative, Hindu Brahmins, teaming up with Christians for just this one purpose.

Sad.

(Sources: Orinam.net, @shrisadasivan, @hiyer)

Jan 7, 2014

A Demotivating Motivational

Demotivating things in my life, in no particular order:
  • The battery lives of most electronic devices.
  • Your average littering, spitting, loud Indian, who is not conscious about others in public spaces.
  • Expense-income imbalance.
  • Miley Cyrus.
  • MTV India.
  • The treatment received by Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning.
  • Indian politicians.
  • Random people fighting, shouting at each other, especially on the internet.
  • Apartment hunting in Bandra.
  • Work-life imbalance
  • Indian television.
  • Justin Bieber's manager's refuting stories about Bieber not retiring.
  • Indian asinitude in communication.
  • Commute time in Mumbai.
  • My atrocious slap-pop bass technique.
  • Infrastructure in India, i.e., the lack of.
  • The Sharmas, Ishant in particular
  • Religion and its consequences.
  • My 3-year-old Android phone.
  • Bureaucracy in India, for things such as passport renewal
  • Mumbai traffic.
  • International politics.
  • Lists such as this.
  • Corruption.
  • Reality television.
  • The lack of broadness of broadband internet.
  • Andheri East.
  • My mirror/webcam image.
  • Inability to maintain my blog.
  • Lack of collective conscience about the Earth as a planet, keeping in mind that it's just a tiny speck of dust in space.
  • The Indian bowling attack.
  • Communication breakdown between intelligent people who love each other.
  • Edge/2G.