Sunday, April 19, 2015

Love is blind – blinding love and loving blindly

Note – this is a true story, a short one, verbatim as it happened. Yet the central character of this story, if she is still alive, will never read it. Do tell her of it and that I remember her, if you chance upon her someday. Therefore I retain her real description; I will never look for her but you may. Here is the story:

I was walking along the sunset kissed windswept boulevard of Punta Arenas balancing my camera trying to find a spot close to the sea where a magnificent sun in all its radiance was slowly inching towards the blue horizon of Magellan Strait. Finis Terra as it is often called, or end of the known world, Punta Arenas is the southernmost point of Chile after which only the ocean remains before striking the frozen Antarctica shores. I had been in this tiny picturesque town many times before and hence. On that day I was chasing the sun for a shot when I walked past a girl sitting on the grass, apparently gazing rapturously at the same sun that I wished to capture in my camera.

She was all alone upon the grass, languid and alluring like a siren, her brazen hair galloping into the breeze. The orange glow accentuated her rosy cheeks and her face, eyes covered with big sunglasses, sparkled with the joy of life. She was stunning and I couldn’t just pass her by. I stopped and walked up to her. I stood behind her and coughed, ‘do you mind if I join you and watch the setting sun?’ I asked hoping she would reply in English. She did, ‘sure.’

I sat beside her sinking into the soft grass and even from a non-intrusive distance smelled her fragrance. Rarely had I seen such a joyful countenance. She was beautiful because she was radiant. We sat in silence for a while; she never turned to look at me continuing to gaze at the sea and the sun. ‘What are you looking at?’ I broke the silence.

‘Of what?’ I asked
‘Life; what could be and what is, what should be, what isn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t...’ she replied pensively. Her lilting voice had a smooth cadence.
Her replies were mysterious and piqued my curiosity further. Mysticism attracts me.
‘Life is simple, isn’t it?’ I said. ‘What is, is, what isn’t, isn’t!’

‘You see the setting sun and the sea it sets into, don’t you?’ she asked.
‘Yes that’s what I see and that’s what it is.’
‘I don’t see the setting sun neither the sea it sets into,’ she said, ‘I feel its warmth during the day and now its coolness as it sets, I smell the sea and the breeze and hear the waves crashing on its shore, I can feel the restlessness of time, of the sun to set here but to rise at another place simultaneously. I see possibilities while you see events because you see while I don’t; I feel...’
Only then did I notice a white stick lying next to her lap on the grass.

At that instance I fell in love with the blind girl blindly. I loved her blindly since it was blinding love. There was no reason, no ifs or buts, no conditions, no forethought neither afterthought. I did not see, I felt, I shut my eyes and saw the possibilities.

I did not return to my lodge that evening and I did not leave the side of this girl for the next three days that I was in Punta Arenas. Every waking hour and sleeping minutes I stayed with her as she stayed with me. We talked endless, walked aimless, laughed without reason and loved as if it was our last moment of life. We made no promises, we offered no explanations, we didn’t see. We only felt and saw the endless possibilities of life. We lived as well as died every moment to be reborn in the next. When we parted as we knew we would, we kissed for one last time and said to each other, ‘we tried all possibilities that life has to offer.’

She came to see me off at the airport along with her mother. She hugged me so tight that I couldn’t breathe. She brought her lips upon my ears and whispered, ‘Love is blind, I always knew, thanks to you I now know that it is true. Go my darling where you must and now I don’t really need to see for I feel the possibilities. I will always be blind in love for you.’

Friday, March 6, 2015

Life is a Fairy Tale

Life is a Fairy Tale

Last night I was watching ‘Tangled’. I often watch fairy tales or animated film, those that are captivating not only in their imagery but also in what they teach us. Take for instance Shrek series or Despicable Me, Up or Lion King, Snow white, etc etc. I am yet to see or read one fairy tale that doesn’t have something bad or evil happening. Often someone dies too in such movies and stories. Yet we read these books and watch these movies happily, smiling along with our children. Why don’t we despair when something bad happens to the central characters, why don’t we feel sad when someone dies, why do we keep cheerful and let our children watch all the mayhem and evil doings of the villains. For every fairy tale have villains.

We don’t despair because we know that it is a fairy tale, where in the end good will triumph over evil and the princess will be rescued by the fair prince, we know that no matter how much the evil forces try, in the end the good will win. We have that faith in fairy tales. Then why don’t we have that faith in our own lives!  Why do we cry and worry and fret when something bad happens to us or our loved ones. Why do we want to constantly shield our children from failing, from experiencing something that we consider unpleasant! Why don’t we have that faith in life that in the end everything would be fine and if things are not yet fine then it is still not the end; there is much more life beyond where it is bad.

I think it is time we learnt from the fairy tales and the animation movies and cartoons. That in life good will eventually triumph over evil. Periods of sadness should not make us worry too much.

Life is made of opposites, so it is important to know evil to realize goodness and grief to enjoy happiness. Someone will always die yet we must remember that death is only sad if you think it is physical, no one ever dies since they live in our memories and what they created are all around us to enjoy and cherish. We cannot change life, since life is what it is and to me it is simply a fairy tale. 

Married or Single - Unbiased View

Marital Bliss

I agree I am putting my hands deliberately inside a hornet’s nest but then someone has to, especially someone like me who is totally unbiased, have equal number of married and single friends and I don’t really see one as better than the other in anyway whatsoever. It all comes down to individual choices after all. Some of us learn the hard way that we might have made a wrong choice while some just never learn or realize so they either stay single for their entire lives or they keep getting married again and again. No wonder human are fundamentally masochistic. This is a fun post so take it as one since life itself is fun with all the intended pun. I am not a marriage counsellor and certainly not a ‘single’ advocate. But I can tell you a lot about both the statehoods, since I observe keenly. And yes, for those who do not know me, I am very much single and intend to stay that way for the rest of my life; yes I haven’t learnt anything and yes I am masochistic as well.

Why this post? Well since I am have neutral point of views on almost everything on earth I am often called in to air my views on these two most debated topics, especially when someone is about to step into matrimony or one is contemplating giving up singlehood or when one is about to get into a messy divorce or just plain befuddled by society’s way of treating someone’s propensity to either get married or stay single. I am sure you all would agree that no  matter what your current state is, whenever you want to or think of changing it, some will oppose it some will support. You will never have a complete consensus one way or the other, which actually leads you to even more confusion as to the veracity of your intentions. Often thus confused you do not take the step towards salvation (either way). Whereas if you seek my opinion, I would simply say follow your heart my friend. After all you will find in this post that at the bottom of it all lies the heart.

Friday, February 13, 2015

In Love I Believe

I do everything for love since I exist because of love and I will die one day for love

My obituary should read: on the journey of love he kept on climbing

There is no love without freedom and no freedom without love

I am happy to live as I am happy to die since I love death as I love life

No point in living if I do not live for love

I cannot make someone love me nor how nor when nor why she chooses that love to be. I can only love fully with my mind body and soul and hope that she will recognise it even if she cannot reciprocate in equal measure or manner

Love is the only action that need not have a reaction. Love is complete in itself.

I'm grateful that I discovered love because she passed by and does it matter if she never noticed me bloom within that love!

I can only make myself worthy of love and wait till someone recognises that

It is possible to discover love in one but find it in another. Discovery of love is not always finding love

It is not possible to love truly without living truly

Love just like happiness is an act of choice and not of compulsion

Not all love will be reciprocated but those that will be are worth waiting for

I can love more than one with equal intensity at the same time since the way I love will be as different as they are 

In Life I Believe

I believe only in two things or rather experiences since they both essentially are just that, and everything else evolve out of them: I believe in being alive and being in love; and today on Friday the 13th, 2015 I would like to share few beliefs about my two experiences. Here is the first one: - 

I am and will always be the luckiest person in the world

Miracles happen all around me every moment

There is no one in the world who hates me or dislikes me or bears any ill towards me

Everyone I have met or meet or will be meeting were, are and will be friends. No one is or will ever be a stranger to me

I can only live in and for the moment; past is irrevocably gone serving only as meaningful lessons and the future is nothing but another name for hope

Life is what it is, and only I can find a purpose or make it meaningful; though sometimes it is best to be purposeless and meaningless; like a sail boat without sails amidst a tempest sea

No matter where I am, I am always home

True freedom can only be derived if I am not rooted to a place, person or object

Fewer options lead to simpler life

Money by itself has no intrinsic value; it is either a piece of paper or a piece of metal, it’s what you do with it; and so is life, it has not intrinsic value what matters is what you do with it

That there is no paradise more bountiful than a loving heart and no hell more tormenting than a hating heart

That we all should endeavour to dissolve the boundaries within our heart, mind and soul and only then can we survive and exist as a race

Purpose of destination is to initiate the journey. It’s not about arriving but the desire to reach

Every day is the last day of my life and also the first day for the rest of my life.

Every morning gives me one more opportunity to do something exciting and worthwhile with my life

There are no problems in my life, only situations that need to be faced and when I die there won't be any situations either
Sharing my time truly with someone is the most precious gift I can offer

That I always speak, act and express from the heart, saying exactly what I mean and meaning exactly what I say

That every person in this world is amazing and has an amazing story waiting to be heard and all I must do is to listen

Only I can say if I truly lived because only I can justify my life

I'm on an endless journey upon a mountain the summit of which I would never reach

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Summing Up 2014

Lago Torre, Patagonia Argentina
This time around while summing up the year 2014 that just whizzed by I am completely determined to avoid intricate statistics lest it leads to three mainstream reactions among my readers (like it usually does) – one of admiration (I like this one, especially when I get those delicious mails from delicious women); one of envy; and one of utter disbelief (many believe all these travels and climbs of mine are pure fiction and products of my over productive imagination).

Suffice it to say that I did not travel much in 2014, barely 10 countries in four continents and crossed the Atlantic only four times and kissed the Pacific shores twice. Climbed very moderately and only till around 7000m. Visited only two places that are rarely visited by human.

Air miles covered must be in the region of 100,000 if not more but then this is merely an average human being I suppose. Despite all precautions taken, the year ended with a black tipped nose due to carelessness on my part and a very cold storm in the mountain’s part.

The highlight of the year as always were the wonderful new friends (read women) I made and the old ones I connected with and rejuvenated from the point where we had earlier parted.

My writings suffered obviously as ideas and stories kept cramming my empty head but I simply found no time or means of putting them down in black and white. I wonder how soon I should call my vagabond life to a much needed pause and get down to writing.

Literal high of the year being the summit of Aconcagua in Argentina and the literal low of the year being the shores of Baku in Azerbaijan.

Some mega budget proposals came my way though none of them materialized due to various reasons; either I wasn’t available or the proposal didn’t pass my ethical standards or the proposer thought I was too cocky for my boots. Sometimes I do quote an astronomical figure when I don’t want to do something yet don’t want to say ‘no’.

The saving grace though were a series of 50 short articles I wrote for India’s prime online travel portal; each measuring 600 – 800 words outlaying some of my travels and climbs and also tips for adventure travel.

Nothing more to add and nothing less to subtract and I hope I achieved my mission of keeping it short sharp and snappy. Wishing you all an exciting 2015 full of dreams and drama, adventure and adrenalin (mine surely is).

And to all my friends: keep rolling for rolling stones gather no moss and they remain fresh and shiny, while to all my enemies: go climb a mountain.   

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ten Reasons why Flying is riskier than climbing Everest

Crossing crevasse on Everest

I often have discussions with friends and well-wishers about the element of risk involved in my ordinary day to day life and I always insist that my life has far less risk than a regular city dweller; where she crosses the roads, drives, drinks tap water, etc each such so-called mundane activity that is actually very high on risk element. We simply do not realize this that your life is at a much higher risk than mine, especially when I climb those stupendously steep walls of ice or step into the death zone. So to give you a point by point comparison, I have picked up two supposedly diametrically opposite activity that can be grasped by all. Let’s say I am climbing Everest and you are just boarding a flight to a vacation or work; here are the ten reasons why you are taking a much higher risk than I: -

Saturday, November 15, 2014

All about Self

Two days back I received a message from a friend who I hadn’t met or communicated for a good number of years. We were in love once. I still am and I am guessing she too is though it’s now more like you love a fool since he is a source of entertainment. The message in exact these words –

“People say you are still alive and I hope you are, yet I think you must be dead frozen stiff actually stuck to one of your silly vertical ice walls in some silly godforsaken corner of the planet. I don’t think you would ever read these words, at least not in your earthly avatar and being dead why would you even care to read mails even if you had the technology to do so. Do they have internet in heaven or hell or wherever in between places you might be? Oh goodness, what a silly question. Now the real question is if you are already dead, according to my presumption, why I am even writing this message to you! I am writing to you because I need to write to my own self, to my soul and I can only do so by writing to you; the only man who reached into my soul and discovered me to me. I cannot write or talk to my own self since it doesn’t listen but when I write or talk to you it goes silent and listens. You are the only one who can silence me into hearing what I need to say to myself. You fathomed me you discovered me you expanded me you buried me annihilated me made me extinct and only after that did you bring me alive to show me what it is like to be me. It was never about you or us, it was always about me, even when you told me your stories of madness and laughter, they were all about me. When you glorified your mistakes and underplayed your triumphs it was still about me. When you kissed me and held me in your arms and whispered that you loved me it was all about me because only by making it all for me made any sense to you. When you left me for the mountains not telling me where you went and if ever you would return it was again for me and when you returned or appeared like a ghost out of my dreams into my life it was all for me. As long as I had you with me I didn’t realize that all I had to do to keep you with me was to keep me with me so I suffered in anguish and pain each time you left and since you never said what was meant to be. I realized all this when you were gone without promise to return. Faced with an emptiness I knew not how to handle or if I even needed to I turned to every word you had ever uttered and to every gesture you ever made or words you wrote and slowly like an archaeologist sifting and brushing through immense debris of time I found that I had you always with me even before I knew you existed since I always had me. You may ask do I need you now and honestly I must tell you that no I don’t need you like I need air to breathe or water to live but yes like I love the scent of a fragrant rose in the air I breathe it would be wonderful if I could breathe you. If you are dead I wish you eternity of love and life and if you are still alive then I wish you many more years of silly craziness. You will never be me and I will never be you; I will always be me. Since I don’t thank the air I breathe every moment I am not going to thank you, acknowledgement of the obvious is neither needed nor desired. It is only to be acknowledged as being there. You are there because I am there. You are not there for me because you are there for you as I am there for me. If you ever read this message then perhaps you would smile and think of me but I know that you will never reach out to me since I already have me. When we love someone or something even beyond the point of necessity then it is enough to just love and be. Let us just be.”

Sometimes even that is obvious must be stated, so as you can see – I am very much alive, I will not respond to this mail, I will not correct or edit her grammatically challenged message and the only reason I put this here is to increase the number of posts in my blog by one. As it so happens I have so much to write in so many platforms these days that my own blog is suffering my procrastination so there it is. Like they say (I still don’t know who this ‘they’ is) – live like you will die right now and love like you never will.

I am out of here, seriously!

Live UP Don't Give up

Einstein once said that we truly fail when we give up; as long as we do not give up we continue to progress and learn and even if we do not achieve the desired outcome at the end of the day, we do not fail.

We can pause, we can ponder, we can change our tactics and strategies, we can rest and recuperate, but we can never give up. Giving up is a finality like quitting, to not continue to pursue what you truly wish to achieve leads to real failure. As long as you do not give up you are on the journey of discovery.

Life is such that almost nothing would ever happen exactly the way you plan or wish it to happen. You never made a plan to read these words, but you are here right now reading this post. And you have no idea how far or close you might be to your goal. You don’t know when things will start turning your way and which doors will open when you knock hard enough. You do not know what the horizon will bring you unless you have climbed high enough to peek beyond. The goal of having a goal is only so you begin the journey. The journey is important and the only way you can keep it going is by never giving up.

The initial goal with which you might have started your voyage would eventually shift, transform and modify, so even if you don’t achieve that goal it is not a failure since it isn’t a goal anymore in the present. But what is important is the journey that you began and upon which you are embarked right now. There’s no way you can give up on the journey just because you didn’t find the milestone on the way that you wanted to cross. Because I am sure you have crossed that milestone already or soon you would but your eyes didn’t sense it or you crossed it far high above. If you walk along a meridian in a perfect straight line; you would keep crossing latitudes every moment, which means that you are crossing every point on earth that lies on that latitude. You won’t see most of these points, yet you have crossed them.

There is no fixed goal there is no constant ideas or unchanging dreams. The failure in life is to believe that there are. All we have and would ever have is the journey upon which we are. Upon which you would always be no matter how fast or tardy you move or in which direction. Just do not willingly stop the journey. As long as you live the journey must continue and there is no giving up on it.

Like the rabbit told Alice: if you don’t know where you want to go then any direction you walk is fine and you will certainly reach a place that you don’t know if you want to go if you walk long enough.

The walking part is vital in our lives. Everything emerges out of it.

Once someone asked me if all my philosophies on life and living comes from the mountains and nature and I assured him that they most certainly do.

Look at a trickling stream that emerges out from the snout of a Himalayan glacier; when it did, I am sure it did not plan nor did it have any idea of where or how it is going to go. The cliffs it would cascade from giving birth to enchanting waterfalls, gurgling brooks through the alpine meadows, sinuous trails through villages and then forming a frothing river through valleys and towns finally joining the great oceans of the world.

The entire journey happened at random yet it is perfect. We cannot plan a better journey for that little trickle from the glacier snout.

Perhaps physically it is not possible for humans to be like this trickle but mentally and spiritually we should strive to be such. To be ready to follow the fancies of nature and mind and to keep moving and forever changing; expanding to embrace horizons as well as shrink into a snowflake if necessary. Who can tell if you succeeded or failed? What could define if goals were met or not? How can we say if you lived for a cause or in vain?

All we can say is that you lived; and that my friend is more than what can be said for many of us.

If you truly lived you succeeded. Don’t give up. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Who Defines your Reality

Many years back I met a recently crowned Ms World, whom the media had touted as the most beautiful woman in the world (obviously). So I asked her if she really believed that; and she said an emphatic ‘Yes’. I took another ten minutes to show her that it wasn’t an objective truth and there’s no way that she was the most beautiful woman on Earth. Her title was true only after applying so many variables and factors and limiting criteria that by the end of our discussion the poor girl was literally walloping in her real tears. So I consoled her by saying that it really didn’t matter what I or anyone else said, and she really did not have to go for a breast lift or dental fix to be truly the most beautiful woman; all she needed was to believe and that’s all. We became friends and very soon she totally felt as the most beautiful woman ever in the history of mankind and didn’t give a damn to her title or to the media or to anyone saying anything at all. Even after all these years, with a twenty year old kid and a belly line that slightly bulges around her bikini bottoms, she believes that she is still the most beautiful woman on Earth. And I totally agree.

That’s the power of positive belief that creates your own realities. Your reality is what you want to believe.