Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dumbledore's Gay!!!!!!

Im a self proclaimed Harry Potter fan. I read the last installation of the series in one 12 hr long sitting. I spent the time between the final two books reading up every new bit of info available on the Leaky Cauldron (Google it). I had very serious discussions with my sister or any other HP fan around me on what could happen, and what would happen.
But nothing prepared us for this. And i must give credit to Ms. Rowling, or atleast to her PR manager for knowing just how to stay in the news. The hoopla around HP7 had just about died out, when another trump was thrown from the Rowling stables (i know i know, bad mix of analogies). Ms. Rowling announced to the world media that Dumbledore was gay. People around the world gasped in unison at this titbit. And then people like my sister shrugged her shoulders and said it wasnt surprising. After all, what could you expect from someone who wore purple robes, took pleasure in wearing a vulture topped hat and cried at the drop of any wizard hat??
So what Rowling has really done here is not shock people with her news.
She has managed to make a fictional character so real, and so alive that people even care about her news.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

अवंतिका Inked

Anyone watching the show Miami Ink (Discovery TLC) should do so at their own risk. Not that i have anything against the show. I love it. Can even be described as a fan. But the long term effects of doing so can only be described as...well...painful.
For the uninitiated, MI is all about tattooing. Actually its about people who make the entire process of getting a tattoo seem superbly simple and thereby instill in the viewer an intense desire to get one too. I too happened to be one of the awed and impressionable viewers. And thus the adjective 'painful'.
What i wanted to say essentially was that I am now the proud (and slightly sore) owner of a tattoo. After months of deliberation and reading up on tattoos on Wikipedia (whatever anyone might say, they do have some comprehensive and detailed info on stuff) and other Google offerings, i finally got myself inked. I voluntarily payed someone a lot of money to puncture my skin with a needle that went in and out about a hundred times a second (this is an arbitrary figure based entirely on the pain). I sat through 25 mins as if in a dream. An out of body experience. It felt like i was watching someone else getting tattoed, except for the pain. That was all mine.
It is that pain in fact that makes this tattoo worth it. Like ive been telling friends, my tattoo's small. But its a real tattoo. Its a pain inducing, skin puncturing, ink inserting, permanently staying tattoo. And its mine. And im proud of it. And myself.
Note: I cant wait to get another one!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Man is Not an Island

Having studied psychology, any student (including myself) will tell you with abslute conviction that any major trauma is bound to have influences on an individual's behaviour either directly or indirectly, and that therapy is a good option to keep in mind to help that person.
I believed it myself till a couple of years back.
Then the earthquake at Surat happened. I met an aunt who lost everything, her home and her belongings a couple of months after the calamity. But she seemed to be very calm about the incident, and was also discussing it in detail with all those around her. She didn't seem to be in any need of therapy. I was starting to study psychology. So i didnt think too much about it. Some years later the answer came to me.
Now, with events happening in my own life, and being witness to trauma and its after effects, im convinced that my answer is the reason why Indians have not caught on very well to the whole psychology and therapy notion, whilst the West seems to thrive on it.
The answer lies in 5 words. Man is not an island. Its as simple as that.
Post dad's accident, the thoughts in my head threatened to engulf and take over. I could see the same pain on the faces of my mother and sister.
And then the people came. Wave after wave of relatives and friends who stood around and talked. They asked questions, talked about what happened, got us to relive what happened. Not once, not twice, but a couple of hundred times. Anywhere else this could be construed as invasion of privacy. A disregard of the family's desire to be left alone. And at times even i felt the same. I just wanted everyone to leave us alone. But now im glad we weren't.
Im glad we were asked to talk. It was cathartic more than anything else. It was literally like extracting venom till there's nothing left inside. We spoke about it so much that all the emotions attached to it were deadened. What a professional therapist would ask us to do in his office, we did in the waiting room of the ICU.
So what i'm trying to say after all of this is that i'm glad i live in a country which believes with all its heart that Man is Not an Island.

The Art of Nothing

I propose to anybody interested (or bored enough to be reading this) the Art of Nothing.

This is not in direct relation to the Art of Living (as may be thought of by the name), but is related to being around people who always have to be doing something!! It started me wondering on how being able to sit, doing nothing productive, and not feel guilty about it is an that needs to be cultivated or atleast honed to some degree of perfection.
How many people do you know who can do this with ease?? A lot of people i know can. But a lot many more start itching if they're not doing something with their hands (and u perverts out there can stop smirking)! They need to be constantly picking up and rearranging things, straightening chairs and playing a wierd sort of musical flower vases around the house. They create work for themselves when the obvious is all done.
For someone like me, who has mastered the art of vegetating that is sacrilege. Its the refusal to allow yourself the time and leisure of doing nothing. It doesnt allow your brain to just let out all its air and uhmmm....deflate?? (I know this sounds potentially life threatening...but im sure people who are well versed in the AoN will be able to picture this process!!)
Basically what i'm trying to put across here is that Im happy not doing anything. When i answer "nothing" to the regularly aked "what are you doing?", i mean it literally. I dont mean it as a plea for u to tell me a hundred things that i could be doing. Nothing means that I am actually doing nothing. And enjoying every bit of it. So sue me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Waiting and Hoping

There is nothing like gaining new perspective on life. There is no better place to do so than the waiting area of the Intensive Care Unit of any hospital. Life has never looked so fragile, unpredictable and totally out of our own control than in the last one month.

I spent the last month in one such waiting area whilst my dad lay enveloped by tubes, needles and machines battling one such unpredictability of life. When he went for his morning walk one Sunday morning, little did anyone know how all our lives were going to change.
But then, little did anyone else in the waiting area of the ICU know how their lives were going to change over one day, one week, or one month.

Families waiting for several weeks continued waiting, continued hoping that tomorrow would give them something to call home and be happy about. Parents experiencing parenthood for the first time were waiting to see their child out of a glass box and hold their child in their arms without having to be careful of all the tubes and bandages. Children living away from home were battling their personal demons about not being there when their parents needed them the most. Family elders were sitting there trying to imagine outliving their children.

Everyone was questioning life and its uncertainity. And in all this uncertainity and doubt, the one thing that shone through was hope. The hope that everyone lived with. The hope that everyone gave the other. The hope that made the waiting a little bit easier.