Friday, October 31, 2008

A Pessimist's Antithesis...

Where is the hope in the future if only tears weep today? What is the point of tomorrow if today cannot be lived? Where is the legacy in hiding the adventures to read a book on another man’s adventures? For god’s sake, live a little! Wake up and smell the roses or go bloody skinny dipping in sub-zero weather! But for the sake of your sanity, get out and live!

Everybody walks troubled paths. Everybody has skeletons in their closets. Everybody misses somebody. Everybody has a bloody backache or a splitting headache. But that never stopped the brave from acts of pure idiocy. Yes, it’s true, blondes and idiots or drunken fools have the most fun! There’s no reason to fear the future for if the future fears you, then the world seems a lot more comforting. There’s always a solution for everything or, at least, a breather. Live today like you have always dreamt of living tomorrow. You’ll end up grinning like an idiot.

In a world full of doubters, don’t expect handouts of merciful self-esteem boosts. There will always be sunshine if you only you allow the dark eclipse engulfing your world to be eclipsed. The constant nagging feeling is that you just ain’t good enough to cut the cheese. If the world says you’re a prick, say thank you very much and live the dream. Being a self-absorbed prick is any day better than a depressed home-sick puppy. Don’t look back in anger, but forward in hope.

There will be the days when the sun refuses to come out and the rain just doesn’t stop being dreary. The weather is there to be weathered. Quit thinking that home is a place far away that can only be accessed on an expensive economy-class ticket. Home is where your heart is. Lay your heart down right here right now, for there is the comfort of change even in change. Don’t let your environment dictate your mood; let your mood dictate the environment. If for nothing else, smile more often. At least you give your facial muscles a workout.

Look not for an escape but for the wings of freedom. Except to face the unexpected and accept that the unexpected will always be unexpected. To fly, you don’t need the dosh of Bill Gates or the suave of James Bond. All you need is belief. All you need is faith. Not in the world or the weather forecast or even the Lord almighty. He put you down here so you can face the world not with grim grit but with optimism and hope. Believe in the man in the mirror. Trust his instincts. Embrace his warmth. Confide in him.

Everyday we will fight battles we hardly believe in, think of loved ones but never call them, dream of a vacation and never actually take them, fantasize about that hot brunette by the bar but never approach her or plain ol dream of dancing in the rain but it’s always freezing. Well, it might be time to wake up and actually start crossing off the crap you’ve never done in your life. Or, at least, make a list of crap to do that others might think border on a desperate call for counselling. Yesterday is another day lost to tomorrow, and today is another day wasted regretting yesterday. When is today really today then?

Someone once said, “The pursuit of happiness is the most ridiculous phrase because if you pursue happiness, you’ll never find it!” And that’s it basically. Don’t pursue it or look in dark corners of the world for it. It’s right there in front of you. Confidence is over-rated. Listen to your heart, open your mind and talk to the world. The funny thing about the world is it talks back to you.

Drink alcohol by the barrel. Smoke like a chimney. Act like a complete idiot on your first date and charm your way to another one. Pick up a random card trick. Talk to the next hot stuff that walks past. Greet complete strangers with a hug; at least you’ll have some neat bruises to show for it! Learn a new sport. Pick up a foreign language. Do whatever it takes to bring the magic back. Do whatever it takes to kick-start the magic. But live, for having regrets are bad for your 50-year-old future self. If not for anything else and you end up an old drunk in the local bar, you’ll have stories aplenty to fill the nights of loneliness. Let it not creep in too soon. There’s still half a century to regret yesterday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cultural Differences...

In every race, there's a winner and a loser. The wondrous human mind is as fickle as it is fascinating. We'll leave the wondrous bit to the adoring I-need-to-know faithful of the Discovery Channel. Fickle because, despite it's mammoth capabilities, leans only to remember the winners. No matter what a great loser you are, history favours the winners. The losers are chucked into the dark dungeons of failure. But there is a small loyal population who remembers the losers and even sits depressed and forlorn for weeks, the ever faithful, the fans.

Manchester United is everybody's favourites to win the Premier League. The people, who used to cuss at the very mention of Manchester United, embrace them now! Liverpool fans are probably digging out their hockey sticks to have a real go at me right now, but the truth is you would any day take the Red Devils to the rejuvenated Chelsea. Anyone who is a neutral prefers United to Chelsea, solely because many feel that United played the better football. Chelsea have ridden their luck so many times, you suspect Avram Grant sleeps with Lady Luck herself!

There is a stark difference in culture between Chelsea and Manchester United. Despite the fact that Chelsea boast a sea of international superstars, they play a rather laboured style of football. They'd rather play a lone striker to lead the line and flood the midfield to cut short both central and wing attacks. They huff long balls forward to the dramatic yet magnificent Didier Drogba, who is the brilliant player he is due to Chelsea's system of play. You put Drogba in a classic 4-4-2 formation and he won't be as much a threat. Further back they have an excellent defence which is also blessed in depth of squad. Their midfield is workmanlike and operates like clockwork. There is no fuss about these guys. They get the ball and either pump it up or use the ball efficiently. It is a meticulous system that has served them wonderfully over the years and pioneered by the charming Mourinho. This is the Chelsea culture. They have had many a continental manager over the decades and their style varies depending on the man in charge. Their culture is rather cosmopolitan and chameleon-like.

Manchester United is a whole different proposition. They believe that the boring football should be played by the blue half of Manchester. Even when do play a single man up front, the goal-scoring threat is from all fronts. In Ronaldo, they are blessed with a man in the form of his life and who has thus far plummeted close to 40 goals. That too from the wing! In Sir Alex Ferguson, they have a manager who has managed them for more than two decades. Their cosmopolitan culture is derived from the many legends that have graced the luscious greens of the Theatre of Dreams. They have a culture to always attack. They are successful and to a certain degree short ended because of this culture to play swash-buckling football. Sir Alex has always remained loyal to tradition that is Manchester United, to attack.

That is, until now. In a space of a week, he has demonstrated that the many failures after his maiden European title, he has embraced caution. Caution is actually a good thing, because you can get carried away with the euphoria of the chase and end up empty handed. Arsenal are closest example to playing absolutely breath-taking football, yet having nothing to show for their efforts. Maybe playing Barcelona in cauldron that is the Camp Nou is intimidating even to the likes of the lion-hearted Rooney. Maybe playing going for a draw is throwing caution to the wind. Maybe risking a half-fit Rooney in a defensive formation is Fergie's idea of intimidating the opponents. Maybe Ronaldo isn't superhuman after all. Maybe from where Carlos Quieroz comes from, the men wear the skirts! A scoreless stalemate is the worst kind of result to bring back to Old Trafford! Barcelona are the gods of attacking football, and their arsenal is way way prettier, fancier and more lethal than the best on the planet. They may be having an off season, but they aren't going down quietly!

Many amongst the United faithful were aghast at the display and tactics that was put forward by the genius that is Sir Alex Ferguson. Credit where credit is due, the man is the reference text for success and reinvention. But for once, he shrunk at the possibility of grabbing the bull by its horns. Their display was pathetic! Carrick, Park, Rooney and Tevez appeared lost every time they touched the ball! Carrick's distribution, in particular, kept feeding the ball back to the hungry Catalan wolves. Park looked like a small kid lost amongst grown men. Tevez and Rooney, who should not have been risked with his damaged hip, seemed to be stuck in their own half. Ferdinand and Scholes had an absolutely stellar game. Ronaldo was unlucky but ever enterprising.

If that wasn't depressing enough, Saturday happened! In every United fans' hearts, they knew that the kill was there for the taking and what pride they wore their bedevilled colours! When the team sheet came out even dumbfounded were dumbfounded! On the day when United could put lay to rest that they are the best in the land and do it on the very ground Chelsea call home, Sir Alex dug the burrow of caution. Of course, United lost and now Chelsea have gained all the momentum to go on an grab the league title from under United's noses. United were out-played and out-fought by a very efficient and courageous Chelsea team. The fact that Rooney scored was due to an uncharacteristic blunder from Carvallo. Their goal was coming and for all Sir Alex's arguments, it was a clear handball from the idiot that is Michael Carrick! Carrick had a howler of a game against Barcelona, yet his just reward was a place in the starting eleven for probably the biggest game in the Premier League calendar for United. The fantastic Evra, superhuman Ronaldo and growling Tevez were sat out of this monumental game. In all fairness, Darren Fletcher, as much as he is maligned, had a stellar game. There were two fundamentally shocking decisions that must have left even an idiot pondering, what exactly was going on! The first was the fact that Nani actually lasted beyond half-time and the second was United's non-chalant attitude at risking Wayne Rooney. He is now a serious doubt for the Champions League encounter with Barcelona as is the stellar Vidic.

These men will now head into the most crucial phase of the season with their spirit battered. When the time calls for the brave to stand, this team were ready to play everyday if they had to. They were ready to play through pain and with their heart on their sleeves immaterial how bloody the war gets. They were ready to be counted on. They were ready to be crowned champions as John Terry wept his heart out. He now sits smirking, at the change in culture. Arsenal's fate is creeping up Manchester United's shoulder…

Monday, April 07, 2008

Yesterday's Heroes...

As the days age and our years advance, we realise that life is there for the taking. We tend to believe that we’re capable of achieving that raw dream. The freedom of choice is a liberating experience. The choice of having 3 girlfriends or a weekend trip to Bali for a change of environment or even a night out with the lads for a few hundred glasses of beer. These are the days of looking forward. But what of the days that lie at the back? The days when you were part of a system. The system of a family.

We choose to spend time with a whole legion of dim-wit idiots in a bar, but we can’t spend enough time to have a chat with the woman whom we spent nine months in? You are comfortably able to go for yet another meal with a rude wanker with blood only rushing to one head and it ain’t up north either. Yet you have qualms about sitting down for dinner with your folks at home. The eclipse of rationality happens more often than the moon comes out! Your decision making skills are at an all time low if you still subject yourself to the idiot with all the money and none of the intellect. You want intellect, tradition, and culture and still not scour the planet in hot pursuit? Look no further than those photos back when you were a young little rascal. That is history and they are your legacy.

Every man has a backbone to weather many a storm and mine is family. I have always said I’m blessed with great parents. We may not see eye to eye on everything but they are and will remain in the top bracket of my priorities. I’ve always said, I don’t deserve the people around me. For some odd reason though the big man sees it in his own little perspective light.

My parents have always supported me in everything I’ve done from the plain stupid to the extraordinarily insane. They’ve voiced their concerns when they’ve had to, but always stood there to welcome the bruised ego back with open arms. They’ve sacrificed their lives for the sake of their children. People always ask me how is it that I’m not in the least bit a god-fearing man when I’m surrounded, at times, by the extraordinarily religious. My answer has always been simple, as I’ve never really had a reason to chant mantras in an altar in a bid to get god to listen to me or be kind to my soul. See, I don’t need to, because I have god’s avatars in the form of my parents. We may have our spats and disagreements, but my gratitude is eons beyond the failings of my monumental ego. For as long as I’m able, I will do everything I can to make them happy.

I believe there isn’t a season for loyalty. You can’t be loyal and disloyal as and when it suits you. You are either loyal or disloyal, there isn’t a grey area as neither is there switching sides to suit your whims. In my eyes, a man who can’t be there for a parent is hardly a man. You can blame the modern lifestyles we lead as excuses for your shortcomings, but the fact is you have a choice. A choice to do what’s right, not what pressure dictates. When your parents pass, you must not regret then at the magnitude of your folly.

Maybe the view is too skewed, as many have disagreements with their folks that make that impasse of loyalty impossible. There are grey areas and we must accept that not everyone has the same priorities. It is true that it’s impossible for every child to worship their parents like I do. Having said that I strongly believe that you must at least try, to find a solution to keeping the relationship harmonious.

Many amongst us find a reason to be kind to strangers, yet we are snappy or impolite to the very people who spent their lives raising us up. We may argue and fight but at the end of the day, at least with your parents, don’t carry grudges. Leave that ego at the door. Realise that you stand the man you are because they molded that man.

However, there are some parents who are like little kids themselves and make it impossible to be an adult. Maybe then just like any other relationship, it’s best to keep your distance. Lack of communication can be interpreted both ways. A lack of communication is usually seen as a bad thing as it leads to breakdowns in relationships. A lack of communication can also be interpreted as good if in the long run it is beneficial. Beneficial because it creates the space that allows you to carry on without the distractions of conflict.

We’re all intelligent in our own right. We’re all mature in our own right. Sometimes parents can be conventional in their thinking and unreceptive to change. But if ever there is a need for patience, practice it in abundance when dealing with your family. Don’t succumb to the folly of youth and dismiss their advanced years as inexperienced or backward. Always give them the benefit of the doubt. Listen more than you speak.

In a world that is shrinking at a ferocious pace, let’s not lose out our identity. Our parents are family and family should always remain on the forefront of priorities. When your children ask you tomorrow where you came from or who they are, you will regret not having an answer. The key to those questions lie in the grasp of our parents. They are your identity. Civilizations are judged on their history. Ignore that at your peril for you could get lost in history.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Unfulfilled Promise...

There will come a time when the sun eventually sets on you. During those last few days of mortality, you’d look back at your existence and wonder, if your life amounted to a legacy to be left behind. During those last few hours, the milestones of joy and the despair of regrets with preoccupy your mind. The micros and the macros will be out in equal force as your mind races at speeds from which your ailing body will never recover. This is all assuming that you’ll have the time to reflect at your deathbed. It is always been assumed that we will have normal deaths. But, in a world of many a premature death, what is the certainty?

The one thing that I’ve always been unafraid of is death. It doesn’t bother me that I’ll die one day. The one thing that I’m continuously afraid of is being branded a failure. From the most minute of situations to the grandest of responsibilities, I’ve always been this arrogantly cocky person whose bloody sure I’ll accomplish whatever is set before me. Alas, I’ve yet to come across any accomplishment that I value enough to be even satisfied. My consensus is that for all my ambition, my actions of time past are dwarfed by the standards that I continually set myself. Which translates to simply having not accomplished anything.

I find this surprising though, because in my youth I’ve participated and experienced things people my age can only dream of. I’ve always had opportunities so young that many would be envious of. Somehow, the big man’s been kind enough to present me with numerous opportunities to fulfill my enormous potential. I say enormous because, besides me, everyone seems to believe in me.

When I was younger, I was a rather introvert person but as I grew I became an extrovert. But because I was an introvert as a kid, I’ve always believed it’s either my way or the highway. Yep, I’ve arrogant since I was a kid! During my high school days, I developed a belief that nothing is impossible. During that period, I used to be synonymous with a sharp tongue, raging temper and a rather passionate persona. I’ve always refused to back down and have always been up for a confrontation, physical or otherwise. Irrespective of the consequences, I’d have to have my say or have it done my way. Looking back, I feel I was rather immature, selfish and outright stupid. But those days shape the person today.

In all that has been through all these years, I’ve been blessed with people who genuinely believed in me and continue to fight my corner without ever flinching. During my very early days, when I almost died from asthma, my mother believed I’ll make it. Not only did I, obviously, not die but was cured of asthma, through the sheer determination of that woman. At every turn, I’ve had people who’ve believed I could.

The only reason I wasn’t expelled from school was the fact that despite most teachers hating me, the disciplinary head and headmistress believed I’d come good though the verdict is still out. Thus they continually would find an excuse for a stay of execution. This ensured I didn’t end up sweeping roads like my mom always threatened if I didn’t study. I still didn’t and till today it’s a mystery that I didn’t flunk miserably. My dad, surprisingly, didn’t throw me out when my one year of engineering culminated in me failing miserably. He nudged me along a path of the creative arts. I must add that he was a vociferous critic of the arts, for like all good Indian families he felt the Sciences was the future. He somehow had the foresight to believe that despite having misgivings of the arts, I might actually make it in the scene. Thus, he spent his hard-earned money and set me on a path that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Then I started doing pro-bono work and this provided a wonderful avenue to learn my trade on an exponential experimental learning curve. Even here, I had the upper echelons of the organization put their reputations on the line to provide me with the freedom to work within my capabilities. They’ve always stood by me, despite my misgivings about their beliefs and my unpredictable ego. Eventually they provided me with probably the steepest learning curve I’ve ever been through via commercial work. Now the protection of the organization wasn’t there anymore but they still stood with me while risking their money by commissioning me on commercial projects. Eventually this led to graphic design, branding and culminated in video production where I single-handedly managed them all. Of course this was unheard of for someone so young and inexperienced. This was probably the beginning of my infant ability to multi-task and handle overbearing stress. I eventually won most battles, but I still lost a few but they never begrudged me. Eventually, partly due to my overbearing ego, we parted ways and I embarked on my journey into the employee world.

Here my boss, despite my rawness and naivety in both character and work, nurtured me without ever making me feel inferior. He is the closest person to a proper mentor I’ve ever had. He eventually left to pursue his career, but left me with a mindset and skills which would have taken others eons to assemble. This has nothing to do with my ability but rather with his ability to impart his monumental knowledge effectively. He, somehow, always trusted me to make the grade. Eventually my company, moved me onto bigger responsibilities in another department. Despite personally knowing that I let them down on occasions, they’ve never once allowed me to bear the brunt of criticism. They’ve always either absorbed it or refuse to bring it up. They’ve provided me a defensive shield that is almost virtually unheard of in this cut-throat industry. This is even more surprising given that they’ve never been too kind when others have failed them. The people I work with have become more like a family to me. I don’t think I’ll ever come across the fulfillment like I feel here. This comes from a man who constantly wants a change of environment or challenges.

In between these various periods, I have friends people can only dream of. I can’t emphasize this enough, I’m virtually impossible to put up with. The tantrums, mood swings, misgivings, public rebukes, stay-aways, silence, ignorance and plain ol bein an ass, I’ve done it all to every one of them. But, these people have always stood by me. Always there, irrespective of the damage I’ve caused. Through some sheer luck or odd karma, they are connected to me via a bond that’s far greater than the superficial relationships people have these days. These friends also include members of my family. Every uncle, aunty and cousin has nothing but praise for me despite my many flaws.

I’ve always said, I don’t deserve the people around me. Family, friends or colleagues, I’ve been blessed with fortune beyond the realms of mankind. Despite never ever mentioning it, I’m deeply indebted to all of them for being there. I believe there isn’t a season for loyalty. You can’t be loyal and disloyal as and when it suits you. You are either loyal or disloyal, there isn’t a grey area neither is there switching sides to suit your whims. Thus, my gratitude will always ensure, despite the circumstances, that I’ll always stand amongst you on your side immaterial of the odds.

Herein lies my greatest fear. When you have so many people rooting for you and continually believing in you, is there room for failure? Being a perfectionist, I’m usually my worst critic but far worse than letting myself down, I absolutely dread letting them down. I’ve accomplished nothing yet they feel I will succeed to the extent of resulting a paradigm shift.

Maybe where I’m getting at is that how is it possible for one man to lead such a charmed life. How can a man have the perfect parents, siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles, friends, colleagues all in one lifetime? Everybody’s looking over your shoulder for you and never really expecting anything in return! How can so many angels continually protect you when all around you the world experiences otherwise. What can one man possibly have to be so well sheltered? Of course, I know it’s a good thing, but why? I guess only time will tell…

Being abashedly confident of achieving anything and everything, might have consequences far greater than the fall of just my ego. My one outstanding quality is fearlessness. I’ve always adopted the “live by the sword, die by the sword” mantra. Over the years, I’ve become more conservative in my ambitions and less passionate of achieving them. I’m slowly losing the fire that has always raged within me. As age and laziness sets in, will my inability to fulfill my potential harm much more than just my pride. Is fear beginning to make me ordinary?

For all the talk of being extraordinary, I’m actually very average. But for an average man, I have extraordinary standards. I pick various outstanding qualities in different people and set them as personal standards for me. Of course, it’s impossible to be perfect, but you must always strive and why not strive for the very best. I’ve always been told that I set my standards too high, but to lower them would defeat the purpose because I can’t do average! For an ordinary fellow, I’m definitely over-ambitious and maybe flawed in that respect. Flawed because there isn’t a single extraordinary quality about the man to even contemplate aspiring beyond ordinary.

I’ve learnt a few things along all these years though. I’ve learnt no matter how hard you try and control destiny, you absolutely cannot win them all. You must learn to accept defeat, even if it feels like the end of the world. Sometimes, you must understand that this is the end. You cannot expect everyone in the team to fight or strive as hard as you do. Everyone has, at least, one flaw and the trick is to work around it, not point it out. No matter how right you are, people will always act within their best judgments. Most of them have poor judgment, but you must afford them time to learn. However, you must remember, not everyone has the same timeframe for a learning curve. Not everyone understands the bigger picture. Patience is of paramount importance when the path seems completely futile. Actions must always be your marching line, for words will only inspire armchair fools. Don’t ever do something because it’s easier, the harder is it the more worthwhile the result. Not every door of opportunity is your door of opportunity.

Despite the profound lessons, I’ve never ever really felt I have much to offer. Yet I’ve always claimed to have it all and continue to brag that I will achieve it all. I do honestly believe that I will be super successful because my ego wouldn’t agree otherwise. Many know the extraordinary standards I use as yardsticks, thus success can only be something beyond ordinary. But will this grand a pursuit come at a price?

Maybe this grand pursuit is why many believe I lead every chap’s dream lifestyle, maybe because of the advertising. Allow me to pour cold water on many myths that carry my name. Firstly, I’m not the player the world makes me out to be. Not the entire female population is falling head over heels for me. And women don’t find me good-looking or suavely charming. I don’t randomly sleep with women as is so very popularly advertised. I know, many men would be ecstatic to be linked with bedding countless hot women, but I’m not exactly too enthusiastic about it because they are all lies. I don’t go home because there’s some sultry woman waiting to meet me there! I’m the exact opposite of it all in fact, a lazy, rude, egoistic, arrogant, beer-bellied male chauvinistic pig! Most women can vouch for this!

Secondly, I’m not the boss at my workplace! I have to go into work in all sorts of hours as and when the job demands it. My odd work hours are due to actual work and not an office affair. I don’t have a secretary and don’t have the power to fire people! I’m an ordinary employee who has the same responsibilities as anyone else. I’m also not as talented as the world makes it out to be. I’m as good at my job as any other average Joe. There are nothing extraordinary about my creative abilities, they are very much average by international or even national standards.

Thirdly, my alcohol tolerance isn’t exactly non-existent. My housemates can vouch for this because there have been times I’ve come home and puked. What is true is the fact that, I tend to look very sober even when I’m completely wasted. And, very much contradictory to popular belief, I certainly don’t drink everyday!

There are no strengths in lies, strength only lies in the truth. People have always been given a frank point of view from me, no matter how painful. One day I might turn and be honest with you, which might either send you away or bring you closer. Alas, the risk-taker in me fears not the consequences, even if it goes all the way to bruising my ego. The man’s conscience takes precedence over his mammoth ego, it must. One day you might turn up dead, it’s better to be honest today than have a regretful soul tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s compromise...

As the parties die, the girlfriends become better conversationalists, the loans start to crop up and an actual career kicks off, you’d think you already have more than enough on your plate to handle. I mean, how could you possibly tackle sterner stuff in this fragile time of character building? So you knock off your shoes and snuggle under the blanket in your rented apartment and tell yourself that maybe this week, in spite of all your debts, you can actually afford happy hours with your friends in some fancy place in town. And then they tell you, “We think it’s high time you settled down!”. Suddenly you see the world around you crumbling to mere dust.

You haven’t even hit your thirties yet, the girls are too gorgeous to commit to one, you don’t have money left in your bank account for yourself by the middle of the month, you haven’t had enough time to travel, you haven’t visited the Playboy Mansion, you just aren’t ready for marriage. You see you life flashing before your eyes. All hope of smiling and laughing is fast evaporating. That happy-go-lucky attitude will have to be strangled to death. The dreams of shagging in Venice with some brunette on a gondola are but on a wish list that will remain unfulfilled. The very people who’re supposed to love you utter the question you’ve always dreaded. This would be a good time to contemplate suicide!

Dramatics and death of wish lists aside, it really isn’t reason to contemplate suicide if you had a partner in your life. Someone whom you’d want to love and cherish and hold for the rest of your life. Someone who’ll stand by your side through thick and thin, that special someone to exchange vows with and sail off into the sunset like all good fairy tales. Alas, what if you don’t have someone! This is the cue for your parents to play matchmaker!

Imagine this, your folks introduce you to nice girls and you eventually choose one that you like. You know, like catalogue shopping, look at the photo, dial the number and order! Then, after getting her parents’ seal of approval, you guys start dating. This is where the word “compromise” takes over. You guys start dating, notice that each of you has flaws that either of you absolutely despise, but compromise because the astrological charts spell absolute bliss! Once you start dating with your folks approval, there is no really turning back coz they’ve already set the wedding dates! Unless she’s actually an alien in a human form waiting to take over the world and your folks saw her metamorphosing out of her human form to report to Captain Zakoora!

This whole thing where they tell you that we’ll only be happy if you’re happy is more or less a myth. The fact that you agreed to go out with some chick you met over an hour of coffee in a restaurant, means they’ve managed to compromise your defences and you are about to raise the white flag soon. They figure he’ll go out with her and we’ll proceed to arrange the dates for the wedding, and he’ll shrink at the notion of hurting his parents’ feelings and eventually marry “the compromise”! They would’ve flourished as white collar criminals in Bogota!

Although we've never realised it, we’re actually getting older than we imagine ourselves to be. Our parents will always be proud of us and will invariably lend their support in all endeavours that we undertake in this lifetime. Like all humans, they have hopes and expectations. What we never realise about our parents is the fact that as we grow up, they grow up as well. When we were kids we always wanted to play as they worked hard to feed their young family. As we started hitting puberty and looked at girlie magazines, they were contemplating our future careers. Now we’re all grown up and we don’t need them anymore?

As surprising as it sounds, that’s in effect what we’re telling them, to bugger off when they start talking about marriage. We, and only we, decide whom we will spend the rest of our lives with. Whilst they have more or less lived all their lives in anticipation of seeing their children grow up to be men and women, we unassumingly cut them off probably the most important decision of our lives. And they say Brutus killed Julius Caesar…

Maybe what I’m getting at is that it isn’t their fault they want to see you flourish into life’s next hurdle, it’s ours. They figure if you get married now, you’ll have enough time to build your relationship, focus on your careers and eventually have kids. Every parent after becoming a parent dreams of having grandkids, something to do with their fascination for birth. There isn’t exactly a ripe age to get married. However, what most of us never realise is time is ticking on us as well. They are just doing what they feel is their parental responsibility. They’re just carrying out their duties.

It’s our fault because we’re still at a stage where we want the smartest, hottest chick who’s culturally blessed and will roll over every time we tell her to. Maybe its time to grow up and actually get a reality check. You don’t really have to marry some chick your parents introduce you to, you can actually look for a partner on your own. It is time that you compromised on certain things and actually try to make things work with the lot you have around you. Connect with the person who comes closest to complimenting you as a person and actually work on the relationship instead of waiting for some supermodel to fall on your lap!

It’s our fault because it never occurred to our simplistic mind that time will catch up with us as well. Well, time has caught up because they’re getting restless. The thing with all romantic stories is that they never really focus on the little compromises for relationships to work, they just focus on that morning after the great sex. With all the divorce cases keeping lawyers well-paid, lets try to avoid being a statistic. Lets not put off till tomorrow what we can do today. Who knows, it might work. If it doesn’t, well at least you can’t blame your parents for introducing you to a monster!


Why is humanity’s most powerful emotion also the most painful? The depths of despair are reality in a world where we seek partners for our souls. The quest for the other half is riddled with treachery, confrontations and heartbreaks. From making grown men cry to popping pills to end it all, love seems to be at the forefront of the threshold of pitting man against man. We play funny games.

Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Girl’s interested in boy, but due to social stigma, she waits for boy to make his move. Boy contemplates if he should go ahead, make a fool of himself and woo girl. Boy decides foolishness is a small price to pay for girl. Boy sets about on pulling all stops to woo girl. Boy looks like a complete idiot in the process. Girl resists until she knows he’s running out of ideas. Girl finally caves in. Boy and girl are in love. And they lived happily ever after. The End. Well, that’s what the movies will tell you anyway.

Ever after isn’t really happily ever after. In the real world, everything significant happens after they fall in love. The fairytales are fairytales because they don’t dwell in the reality of falling in love. They entrench themselves only in the notion of falling in love. They embrace the concept of finding that perfect partner but never in the reality that that beautiful woman is also human. Like a good man once said, “It’s only human to err”. In matters of the heart, man tends to err more often than not.

Love is like the bliss of sunshine yet it entails the emotional whirlwinds that only hurricanes bring. Like all extremes of nature, they leave a trail of things broken, damaged or expired. Fortunately, like in the aftermath of all extremes of nature, there’s rebuilding and the renewal of hope. Only in keeping the faith do you do justice to both yourself and your partner. Notice they always say “fall in love” not “climb in love”.

Logic will never be able to sensibly give you an explanation as to why people become irrational when they’re in love. Neither reason nor sensibility will ever justify a man’s actions when he’s in love. The saving grace however, is that you’re allowed to be an emotionally charged idiot when it comes to matters of the heart. Using love as an excuse seems to get you off the hook more often than not. We’re all suckers for romance.

How come is it we always say we’d die for the people we love but continue to hurt them with our words and actions? How is it all right to sweep a woman off her feet and then leave her to wilt in emotional baggage when another gorgeous woman walks into our lives? How is it okay to consistently doubt her loyalty when you’re sleeping with half the female population? How is it fine to love someone but pretend to walk away because courage fails you? How is it right to continually live in denial? How is it right to laugh when you’re crying inside?

You want to know why we constantly fail to find the right person. It’s because we’re looking for the wrong person! We seem to be looking for someone to sleep with, someone who’s the first one through the door, someone who’ll compliment our social status, someone who won’t question us, someone who’ll pretend to care when we’re down on our chips or someone who just says you’re beautiful. When all that we should be looking for is someone who keeps us happy! That’s it, just plain happy! All we need to do is find someone who complements us, completes us.

Unfortunately, for the goons who’re stuck in the current generation, we look for someone who’s going to keep us happy today and not tomorrow. But, dear god, how would you know that unless you start dating her, get into her pants, make her cook for you and clean your room? This is the part where you take a swipe on your head with a frying pan. You don’t need to do all that, all you need to do is use your damn head! The one that isn’t stuck in your pants, that is. The problem isn’t your little brother or your excess of hormones, it’s the fact that you can’t think two steps ahead. Her breasts aren’t really reason enough to drop singlehood.

Let’s face it, the objective is to have a long and healthy relationship that eventually ends up in the ultimate commitment of marriage. To have a long and healthy relationship, you always need to look into the baggage your partner brings into your life. It isn’t as easy as “I like, I buy”! Baggage is anything that they bring into the relationship that affects you psychologically and how you deal with it. The behavioral traits, her friendship with the cheating ex-boyfriend, her alcoholic father, her religious beliefs, her love for flashy cars or even her dislike of your sloppy dressing. They are all baggage! If you know you can handle all her baggage, you’re good to take the plunge. This goes without saying, she’s got to be comfortable handling your baggage as well. Otherwise, it’s a wee bit of a one way street to a disaster. Unless you’ve got a fetish for heartbreak and alcoholism.

Relationships are all about growing up together. They aren’t about changing either of you or the fights or even the sex. Relationships will only work if you constantly work towards understanding each other. Two people don’t always have to agree, they can even pull each others’ hairs out. All that matters is that if at the end of it all, you still want to spend your life holding her when she’s annoying or kissing her when she’s embarrassing! When you have that, you really should stop looking and start consolidating.

Patience isn’t in great supply in modern day relationships. Maybe that’s why we fall out of love so easily and the ever-escalating divorce rates certainly seem to concur. Maybe that’s why we jump into a relationship with every hot chick that comes into our lives. There isn’t a pause button to contemplate, there’s just play and replay! If you’re fighting now, then you’re definitely going to be at each others’ throats when you’re married. The yardstick should always be how you deal with each other in the aftermath of these fights while you’re still unwed. If you aren’t climbing on each other or continually having make-up sex, you’ll be fine. However if you are, dump the denial routine and break-up for the sake of your sanity at least.

Mostly falling in love is painful. Sometimes courage isn’t as abundant as it seemed to be. Sometimes it’s too difficult to forgive and forget. Sometimes, she’s standing right in front of you and you’ll never realize it till it’s too late. Sometimes she’s so near yet so far. Sometimes we forget, why we fell in love in the first place. Sometimes all we’re doing is just crying and not actually working towards fixing our relationships. Sometimes we just lack the strength to fix it. Sometimes love just ain’t enough.

Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. Courage and hope are strong advocates to have when you are in love. They say love gives you wings to fly. To fly, you need courage to take those baby steps. Its okay to cry or fall flat on your face in the name of love, at least it proves you have the courage to live life. Not everyone has the courage to come out of his or her rut and actually fall in love. But as they always say, never say never…

Sometimes it just rains...

There were times when the world just seemed perfect. There are the days when all people want to do is laugh and be merry. There are the times when you sit on a table and all the chaps talk about are the good ol times. It’s like sleeping through the night as the raindrops ruffle the feathers of your rooftop as the wind gently eases the droplets over our terrain. As the heavens hasten to shower our humble homes, you lay snugly tucked in bed comforted by the security of being home and surrounded by love.

But somehow they never do last, do they? Somehow the peace and serenity will come to an end. Somehow, just somehow, there’s something up ahead that isn’t all peace, love and harmony. The warmth and comfort will never be there forever and deep down inside, as much as we conjure it up in our dreams, it’ll just never last. Somehow, you just seem to have some karma to fulfill.

As much as we’d love to accept and roll with the good times, we have to accept and endure the bad times. One of Newton’s Laws states that “For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction”. Ever wondered how this term applies in our everyday lives? Ever pondered whether there’s a reason for all that bad luck and crappy situations? Or maybe we’re just victims of god’s cruel games!

Fair enough, if it is that the big man’s out for our blood, how come is it that all we come up with in response is to sit around and whine about it? Why can’t you change your bloody luck? Why can’t you put an end to the rot and emerge to take on the world? When the good times are rolling, you sure as hell not complaining bout all the good luck! When the good times are rolling, it’s not even good luck, it’s the “I’m the blessed child” or the “I deserve this” routine. We will always come across adversaries, mountains, idiots, and an exhausting list of daft fools who are all out to make your life a miserable cold, damp hellhole.

There will be the times when the whole world’s out for your blood. There’ll be times when all you stare at for long periods are mountains, with no hope of knowing what’s on the other side. Some days the weather will never be fine. There’ll be times when everything will go wrong from spilling coffee on the presentation paper due in the morning that you spent all of two sleepless weeks preparing to your car breaking down in the midst of a thunderstorm right smack in the middle of a jam. From breakups to thrashing your dad’s antique car, the list is exhaustingly endless. In the epicenter of all this chaos is you! Right smack in the middle of what seems to be a bloody war zone. What do you do? Pack up shop on life and take a plunge? It’s a choice as is everything in your existence. The trick is to never give up hope. Never ever stop trying or wanting! As you grow, you learn from the bad and apply it to the good. In the end you come out of these thunderstorms a better man, a much wiser man too. Just trust your instincts and stick it there. Everything balances out.

Don’t ever let your problems get bigger than yourself. Remember, no matter how big your problems, you are a bigger man. You’ll always be stronger than adversaries or tragedies. As we trudge along our respective paths, we have but one powerful weapon to counter anything thrown onto our path, hope. Don’t ever lose it. Don’t ever want to never stand up again.

The Courage to Paint...

Every painting, they say, is a collaboration of different strokes. Every once in a while comes along a masterpiece to sweep your breath away. Along the footpaths of your disillusioned life, you find the magic that makes it all worthwhile. Some stop to ponder the effects of great moments on their ever-maturing experiences, yet some choose to walk along the side path for contemplation will only accompany complications.

Have we chosen to fail to dream for fear that the expectations will stifle us in our quest to lead a contented life? Have we chosen to ignore love for fear that heartbreak will only further drown us in the depths of emotional storms? Have we forgotten to smile instead of faking it? Have we forgotten the dreams that occupied our childhoods? Are we betraying our dreamy, ambitious and courageous 5-year-old selves?

If you search your soul, there were always times during our existence that we felt fulfilled. We never saw obstacles, only goals. There were days when it would pour outside, and all you saw was a puddle of water to exhaust your imagination. Never did it occur to you that your mom would probably scream her lungs off or that you’d catch a horrible cold. They were the days of unlimited friends and unforgettable memories. You used to have purpose no matter how mundane the routine. You used to have hope no matter how futile the terrain. What happened to that kid?

In pursuit of our careers and our worldly objectives, we seem to have forgotten who we were. All we want to do these days is get that job, buy that car, find a bigger house, make all that money and live the dream. The day you become rich enough to have a snazzy jacuzzi in your backyard is the same day you realize it is not all what it’s made out to be. You actually ain’t that happy and you ain’t broke either. So what’s missing then?

You! That’s the missing piece of the puzzle! You have forgotten your dreams, because you have adapted to accept that they will never find a home in your modern life. You have chosen to shine your light on the well-lit road of modern materialism. You have left that kid in the dark groping in thin air because it was easier to leave him behind and follow the herd rather than find his path.

You used to love that girl, you used to want to make her the nucleus of your life, you used to want to write her letters, you used to tell her you loved her no matter what she said in return. You used to have courage. Today you lie amongst the rubbles of broken dreams and hope that amongst the scatter of a turbulent lifestyle you find peace. The girls seem to be the ones you pick up at bars on alcohol fuelled nights and they can’t seem to see beyond your expensive shirt. You embrace her as your new trophy and sooner rather than later, you part ways because it just didn’t work out. You’re back to square one, but hey, you’re the player! You’re the pride of the block in an alley of drunks. Who cares, you’re still the man to them. Your principles have compromised to a lower standard without you ever realizing it. But hey, let’s blame the damn female population; they’re the reason why men treat them like dirt. They asked for it! You sure as hell sound like the man! The man in the mirror has a clear conscience and that’s all that matters. Maybe, just maybe, the man found a substitute for courage, his ego.

The girls seem to have forgotten that love wasn’t just another elusive dream, it was reality. Today the lure of the chap’s credit cards, his nice jeans, his won’t-break-down-anytime-soon car and probably-rich-enough-to-your-liking parents seem to occupy your hunt for the man. Maybe it’s growing up, maybe the hippies who write crap like this will never grow up. But have you ever stopped to ponder, just because someone broke your heart, your heart never healed enough to have courage?

The world will always throw a spanner in your works, it will always say you’re too fat or you’ve got no more doors left to open. Trust me, the only person in control of opening doors to opportunities is you! The only person who’ll ever have the courage to stop silently crying and laugh at the top of the world is you! The only person who’ll be able to stand up and be counted is you. You may not be all that, but you’re something! And, I may be wrong, but that’s special enough to feel like you’re king of the world.

Quit thinking of your parents, go up to them an tell them you love them! Quit mailing or sending SMSes to your old friends, visit them! Quit stalling on that vacation, take it! Even if it means going on your own, what do you think is the worst that’s going to happen? You make new friends! How revolting! Quit giving a damn about your chances of a heart attack, eat the damn red meat! Quit hoping that cute chick’s going to walk up to you and ask you out! Ask her out! Quit thinking that boy only wants to be friends when you want more. Ask him to sweep you off your feet. Demand it! Quit taking shit from your boss, he doesn’t have the right to treat you like you don’t exist! Walk out and find a job that puts a smile back on your face. Quit drowning your sorrows, embrace it! For today you earned another painful tattoo in the body art of life. And every time you look down on those markings, you see a better man in the mirror.

Quit having the courage to not have courage. Courage is the only thing that will save that child you seem to have forgotten. Don’t forget your duty, but never neglect the heart, for dreams and aspirations are the sum of inspirations you derive from within you. You need to fly again. They say time flies, but have you ever realised that you are the pilot. Where are you flying?

This way to Suckeyville...

You take a walk anywhere and you begin to wonder, maybe they are right, maybe the world is going to the dogs. But then you look in the mirror and standing right in front of you is a model of this system, a system that stands to suffocate you till you lie in your deathbed with regret. You toil everyday in anticipation that this sweat will lead you onto a plateau of fairytales, but at the back of your mind you refuse to believe in fairytales.

If I seem to indulge in many a metaphor, pardon my sense of irony.

I’ve come across many people content on toiling day and night, suffocating the bonds of family and friendship, in lure of the “promised land”. Breathless weeks of toil eventually result in a burnout and you lumber down to a walking wreck. Its fine to toil in one direction, but it seems as we pursue goals afar, we toil aimlessly. I’m not saying that its wrong to be a “I’ve gotta work like a bitch” freak, but I think it’s wrong if you ain’t got direction. Doesn’t everything need justification?

Why are we afraid of just bloody stopping on our tracks to freaking think! There aren’t too many excuses that you can conjure up to your depressed 40-year-old self you know. Do what you have to do, but always understand that there are lines to draw. If not for the world, then for the sake of you sanity! If people see no boundaries then they know there’s no boundary to push you over!

If you think you’re doing such a great job, then why the hell are you afraid of the next dude your boss hired. Of course, he’s there so that you’ll be on your bloody toes! But being on your toes doesn’t mean flipping out and pulling out all stops to be employee of the month. There are people who’s worlds revolve around you, there are places that will take your breath away, there are gorgeous people who need to be swept away and there’s still so much alcohol to consume!

I know it hints at a damned revolution to overthrow the corporate world. I’m not asking you to quit your job and go backpacking around the world nor move in with the hot chick next door. All I’m saying is bloody live a little, give time for your sanity to breathe again.

Someone told me recently that people will never change. The meek will always be meek and be taken advantage of. Maybe as a rebel with revolutionary tendencies, I’ll never agree that a man can never grow beyond his walls of despair or escape the chains that bound him to slavery. I honestly think that you can change if you truly want to. Some people are born with courage, while some acquire it over time and yet there are some that will build empires with courage they found yesterday.

Men need only one reason to cry yet you seek countless reasons to do yourself a favour. It isn’t about building tomorrow, its about building a better tomorrow.