Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wet earth and rain and home

It is amazing how some whiff can take you back in time within a moment. Miles away from the place you are standing, months and days away in time. It is the rain and the wet earth and that smell which is doing this trick to me. I am sitting here writing this in Tucson, thousands of miles away from my home, remembering the days of rain in my home town. My balcony, that wooden swing, the rain, that fregrence of wet earth, that melodious sound of rain drops hitting the earth and bouncing on the puddles, that favourite tree of mine in front of my house, swinging back and forth to the tune of rain and lightening sounds. Mesmerising visuals being drawn in front of my eyes.

I remember how I used to enjoy the rainy days back home. The memories go as far back in time as schooling days. I remember coming back home from school in those rainy days. It used to be so much fun, walking through the small streams of running water on the roads, clasping mother's hand, walking besides her. The green trees, bathing in the pure elixir of God, the rain. And the smiles on everyone's faces, silently thanking the mother nature for her blessings.

After those memories, my mind is flooding with the days spent at my native place called Sihor. It is a beautiful place surrounded by hills. I spent most of my vacations there. This place becomes amazingly attractive during the rainy season. The river overflows. The mountains look charming. And the festive mood accompanies the weather. I remember going to those fun-fairs during those days as at this time, ther is one of our celebrated festivals called 'Janmashtami'. The fun fairs were always very alluring because of the attractive toys, food and above all, going out with the people I love most.

Then there is this celebration of breaking the 'Matki' (A pot filled with butter). This pot is hung high on the street and the youth forms a scaffold and one young boy climbs this human scaffold and breaks the pot. It holds a religious significance in Hindu mythology as the Lord Krishna performed similar rituals. My uncle's old house used to be 4 sotries high and we used to stand on the terrace and watch the whole celebrations at night. People used to throw buckets full of water on the boys to disrupt their formation but they used to persist and achieve their target. Fun, frolic, faith and joy. They used to characterize the mood of those days.

After that I remember my long drives with friends a year ago during the rains. The highway used to be flooded with water sometimes and it was a difficult drive. But it was pleasent as light drizzling and cool breeze made up the mood.

Good old days....

Life as a drama on this world's stage

After three months or so, I am reading something of my interest. After last night's submission, I got a chance to breath and read some literary work. As always, I resorted to Oscar Wilde whom I consider one of the finest writers of the past few centuries.

I am reading his essay on importance of costumes in drama. He mainly talks about how Shakespeare described the costumes and masks of his characters to the utmost accuracy and detail.

Take a look at this sentence. "... But with the stage, how different it is. The ancient world wakes from its sleep and history moves as a pageant before our eyes, without obliging us to have recourse to a dictionary or an encyclopaedia for the perfection of our enjoyment. "

I somehow always believe that the whole life is a drama. And this world is a stage, we all being actors. Compare it with every characteristics of drama. As Wilde says, the drama is always an elaborate depiction of what is written in the book. In life's case, the drama of life is an elaborate depiction of what is there in the 'book of life'. We can assume every person's life to be a biography written by God. And then when the time comes, this biography is performed on the stage of this world.

And the more interesting part is, all these biographies being performed interact with each other and make a complete play. And this play is so very interesting. The more you are involved in some events of life, the more you enjoy musing about them in retrospect. Some parts of your life, you can actually re-live when you think about them in your quietest of moments.

We all are actors and the God is the writer director of the drama. But one stark difference between the life and drama is that in a drama, all the actors have known the script a priori. And they know what is going to happen in the subsequent scenes. God's drama is much supirior in this respect. In the drama of life, noone knows what is going to happen to their character in the subsequent scenes. And this makes it so much more interesting.

Such uncertainty bring about the most natural 'acting' possible from the characters. The contemporary drama directors should actually try this strategy. Do not give the script to the actors. Just tell them the immediate sequence and make them act accordingly. In this setup, the actors will have no prejudice towards the coming sequences and will be most focused on the current scene.

Or thinking in reverse direction, how would it be, if God gave us the entire script and asked us to act accordingly? How would it be to act all your life knowing that you are acting. We all act even now, but we just don't acknowledge our behaviour as acting. If we knew what is going to happen in future, in other words, if we had the script of the drama called life, then everyone would be acting.

The world would become so unnatural and appallingly boring. Imagine a boy acting to be in love when he knows that his love is not going to last for ever. Imagine a farmer acting to be anticipating the rains for his harvest when he knows that it will be a famine this year. Imagine a soldier bidding goodbye to his fiancee and promising her to return soon when he knows that his 'role' will compel him to die in the 'war scene'. I would actually say it is not only boring but it is sad.

Another interesting aspect in comparison comes to my mind and that is re-takes. Imagine having re-takes in our lives. If you make a mistake, the director - God will give you another chance to correct it. Will it be good? Will it be bad? What will happen to the consciences of people if they know that they will have a second chance always? Will they be less judicious in their behaviour? Will they be less burdened? But again, one similarity here is that an actor learns from his mistakes in the previous scenes and becomes more careful in his subsequent scenes. Life also teaches lessons at every step. We learn from past and correct our mistakes in future.

Going back to Shakespeare's style of writing, he assumed the most ornated and elaborate stage setup available while writing. Therefore we see many complaints in the literature form the directors of such drama that it was extremely difficult to recreate the magic of Shakespearian dramas on the stage. God is one step ahead than Shakespear. He not only assumes the grand stage for performance, he creates it too. Now think about this, would God have created the stage and then written this drama called life? Or once the God wrote this drama, then he created the stage and selected actors?

If given a chance, would you take up a different role in this drama? Or would you like someone else in your life to take a different role? Would you ask God to change your part of the role slightly?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The taste of failure

It was a bad start of the day today. Barely I had woken up from last night's slogging till 3a.m. in the morning and I got a mail saying I had lost one more opportunity today.

Not that I was very sure of getting the position, but still deep down inside of heart, I had a feeling that I might be able to grab it. But once again, luck decieved me. As a coincidence, I came across a song by Fort Minor which had lyrics which accurately described my day.
He says, "It's 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will , 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the day!"

So that 50% of pain clearly dominated the day today. But yet, doesn't every pain make a man much stronger everytime? Failure makes you realize the true worth of yourself. This would sound negative but clearly that seems to be the case with me. It makes you more realistic about your own self. Cut down to size.

But yet, it doesn't dampen my spirits. Those moments of blues will fade with time. Let the melancholy befriend me for sometime. But I will emerge from that. Rise up to the new horizon. New challenges facing me. Or me facing new challenges !