Obeisance to an old friend..


Almost a week ago, an old friend of mine took his life.  It wasn’t anything anyone saw coming. It wasn’t a news I expected to see when I opened Facebook after two days. Of all people I know and have known, it seemed to me, that he may be one of the last ones I’d expect to lose this way. Never mind his love of sports, his clearly rebellious nature. The funny grin & or the jovial nature that defined him. In my mind, he just couldn’t do it..!!

He is not the first friend I have lost in 2013. All of them were so young, so full of life. It is never easy as death of any kind of someone you care for, never truly is easy to accept, no matter what the circumstances are. Without going into detail, I wanted to post about it, because honestly, it has been a hard week trying to cope.

We were not always in touch. It was more of a few conversations once in a couple of few months. But when ever we spoke it never seemed as if there were any gaps in communication. I knew him my entire life. I knew him since I was 3!! We started Pre-school together and went all the way to 4th grade till we changed schools.

Sitting with him in the preschool classroom waiting for our mums to come pic us up is one of my first memories. The last we spoke he seemed cheerful. We had finally decided to meet up for the first time after grade 4th. We were some how in touch through messages on social network sites that it did not seem that we had not met in such a long. It is some how so cheerful to know that your childhood friends are doing well and I was happy for him for I knew that he was doing well all these years or at-least I thought that he was doing great.

He was a strong and gentle soul.. He was not a big part of my life. But a memory, a sweet memory from my childhood.. It did not matter that we are not constantly talking but the thought of him being “alive” and “happy” somewhere on this planet made me content.

The news of him taking his own life shook me so hard that I could not sleep for two days.. the grief was so much that I wept and cried like a little girl who has lost everything. Once the grief subsided a little, it just made me think about my own life. I never considered my life important to anyone other than probably my parents and my kid sister. But then assumed that they would get over my loss with some time and difficulty. because time heals every thing right?? and I was never the best of daughters or the best sibling any one could have. But I never realized that me not being around can bring a little of sadness in other people’s lives too, people whom I have not met or spoken to in years, just the way his death shook me.

I don’t accept deaths so well. My dear uncle died two years ago, still sometimes when I think of him, its hard for me to imagine that he is no more. When I speak to his widow I sometimes worry that I will end up asking her how he is doing without remembering or realizing that he is not around any more. I am yet to fully accept the loss.. similarly I find it hard to imagine that this old friend of mine is not alive any more..and all that he has left for us is a lot of the “why’s” and “what-ifs”.

People say that time is the biggest healer may be its true. Or may be the void may never be filled. None the less it’s also true that life goes on no matter what. I am not a good story-teller or writer that I could write down every thing I remember of them and as the years pass by, as new memories are made the old ones will fade away, eventually. The memories of this friend and my uncle and many other people whom I have lost to death would slowly fade as we do not have them around constantly reminding of us of the good times we shared. But forgetting them completely also seems highly impossible. Only time will show me what is going to happen. Only then will I know how true the saying is, when they say that people live in our hearts, always and for ever.

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Its enough if you just be a person..!!


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As I’m sure you’ve inferred by now (through my near incessant discussion of things in the past) I am not the person I was just a short time ago. A cliché of sorts, sure, but the only words I can find to adequately describe my situation, and believe me when I tell you I’m probably not emphasizing it enough. To understate it gently and vaguely: I struggled with things, and still do.

That’s the foot I try to put forth first: the one that carries the woman who knows what it means to have a heavy weight to bear. But as time has gone on, and as things have eased up and cooled down and smoothed out in my life, I realize I’ve almost lost touch with my old self, and consequently, with the part of me who is more attuned to that which is often still reality for many (most) people. So to keep grounded in that, and not let myself get too carried away with comfort, I write, sure, but I have conversations, and that’s what it’s really about. And it’s been through those conversations with known and unknown strangers that I’ve been able to put words to what I found that changed in me.

Often I’ll receive emails and long distance phone calls from people who want to share parts of their lives with me, usually requesting advice or a third-party perspective on how to handle something. I’m humbled that they’d let me contemplate their lives, flattered that they think I may be able to help. So many of their problems are small but seem large, others life-long issues that weigh with increasing heaviness as the years go on. Many of which I can relate to on some degree, all of which I am completely unqualified to offer console on (though I try my best).

And what I’ve noticed, from summing up people’s problems and lives so often, is that the things that hurt us most are usually simple. The answers are there always. We like to complicate them. It places that weight on someone or something else that isn’t the truth. But picking off the branches of excuses and side stories and assumptions and irrational convictions brings us no closer to the root.

It’s just about learning to be okay with not being okay all the time, settling into the human condition, making room for discomfort, and allowing yourself to be a person, as silly as that sounds. In fact, I have that written in chalk on the wall right next to where I’m sitting. Be a person.

That’s the simplicity of it– the root of that which most plagues us, but having to accept it is the grandest feat, one that takes lifetimes to perfect. But it’s possible. In fact, my entire transformation of self, deepening of mind and person, expanse of understanding, is that radically simple. I am learning to be okay with being a person, not a superhero, and I am trying to see other people from that vantage point as well. And I think that’s the only way you can learn to love other people, honestly.

Coming to terms with the fact that there are things that might never ease up, things we have, things we’re yet to find, things that will grow with time, is the real crux of it all. Accepting this, as simply and feasibly as we can, is difficult: it closes the avenues of possibility. Avenues that would allow us to run far down and away from the truth, into stories and excuses and blame.

Nobody really has the answers, you know. You may never know what your purpose is, but that doesn’t mean you’re not living it. You will lose most of the people in your life right now. Human nature is a bitch, but so are you for not realizing that the people you care about will be gone eventually. If you want to go, you should go. Let people’s silence be your answer. I believe that Know that letting go and moving on is one tiny gesture of distracting yourself with something better on a moment to moment basis. You’re not a damaged and malfunctioning person because you feel bad or doubt yourself or still love someone or have trouble understanding or changing. That just makes each of us a person. We have to stop getting tied up and bound down to the verticals we associate with what’s happening in our lives, the ways in which we can convince ourselves that we are more than just the summation of our parts. The things that seem insurmountable only ever do because we’ve convinced ourselves that they’re beyond that which we’re capable of accepting. The more radically simple and honest you are about that, the more radically and simply things fall into place. Not because they’re changing, because your idea of them is..!!

Aliens!!


alien-city-black-earth-orbit-planet-planet-wallpapers-space-wallpapers-1920x1200There are certain topics that always fascinate us. Aliens Ghosts and supernaturalism have to top the list, no matter if you are an atheist, scientist or a normal person like me, they will always entertain you and catch your attention. Deep inside we all want to know if they exist or are just figments of our imagination!!

If ghosts exists then imagine an alien landing and realizing that in this planet there are living beings and there are nebulas remaining of these living beings that sometimes tend to haunt the former. There are people who are believed to be able to communicate with these special “energy forms”!! Maybe there is a completely different dimension of space-time where they exist.. is it what is termed as heaven / hell in the ancient texts?? Maybe when the aliens do come here, they will understand! Maybe there are Alien ghosts as well.. we might never know!!

(don’t believe in Ghosts supernaturalism and rebirths?? read books by Dr.Ian Stevenson.. they offer a useful insight on the topic)

Say there is a life form intelligent and accomplished enough to travel so many light years and come to us, maybe they have already solved the problems with alternate dimensions, and parallel universes.!! they could even answer question boggling us right now?? Is time relative? is it experienced the same way on earth as on one of the planets circling around Proxima Centauri (the closest star to us besides the sun)??

Now all this is possible “only” if an alien happen to come to us, say contact us someway or come explore our planet?? what are the odds?? I would say the odds are almost nil ! we might never meet aliens !! not today.. not tomorrow not after a 1000 years.!

This whole hypothesis is based on the assumption that there are more intelligent beings out there..!! If you combine all our current knowledge of statistics and astronomy, it’s nearly comical to believe we’re the only intelligent life in the universe. It’s easy to get lost in the numbers thrown around – there are billions of stars and planets in our galaxy and billions of galaxies. I believe that humans are rather bad at fully understanding such large numbers. again this article is not purely based on science but on the need to think big. Even if aliens existed with the ability to travel such huge distances, we would be too insignificant to come and pay a visit.

Many scientists, including Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist, said in an interview that aliens visiting us would be similar to Christopher Columbus first landing on North America (not a good event for native Americans). His idea being that they would come for our resources, not with any particular purpose of friendship. But then, If Stephen Hawking is right, then he is saying that a  race of intelligent species have, at a minimum, perfected faster-than-light travel (or be willing to travel for several thousands of years at sub-light), conquering long-term biological effects of space radiation, and mastered extreme long distance space navigation just to come to earth and steal our water..?? that doesn’t seem right!!

Most of the views on aliens that common people have are based on movies/sci-fi novels. But they are only figment of our imagination. and our imagination is again under the shackles of “small” thinking!

Another idea that I entertain and question all the time is, that they come here for our resources. But this would the need to have an economic model in place. As in they have a need and value our resources . and this seemed the most economical choice?? Somehow, coming all the way, collecting the resources(and killing us in the process) and transporting it back is more economical than gathering the resources somewhere closer to them, or even making them at home??

it definitely is a possibility, but a very very difficult possibility!! both economically and technologically, because we are not talking about gathering a Kg or a Ton of “resources”, but gathering / harvesting enough to sustain them and their planet that is situated far far away!! we are even talking about transporting resources that are as big as our entire planet itself..!!

we are advancing in alchemy at our own phase. but this intelligent race might have mastered techniques that what we cannot even imagine in 1000 years to come. So say, we are so advanced to create matter from energy, and we have already mastered space travel and have mining expeditions in nearby plants, say mars and Venus and Pluto and all… so what seems more practical and cheaper? forge uranium and plutonium at home or send 1000’s of intergalactic spaceships warriors and of course miners to a far off planet??

Say, aliens won’t come to us, what if we go to them?? No offense but I don’t believe that we have even had a man landing on moon yet!! based on current technology the maiden trip to the closest star,other than our sun, Proxima Centauri will take at least a 1000 years!! We need to upgrade everything!! Propulsion, sustainability, radiation protection, nanotech – you name it, we still don’t have it. Our current system involves sending astronauts to space with enough air to sustain for a few weeks and bringing them back before they lose too much of bone mass. Spaceships are still propelled into outer space by putting bombs underneath them. so its safe to say that when it comes to space exploration, we haven’t even learned to “roll over” or “crawl” let alone “walk” or “fly”

Another important theory is what if they are coming here to colonize us?? well they would be advanced enough not to want any human slaves, so its safe to assume that we will all be vaporized before any alien lands on earth. But say they are in search of a colony to settle down in, the travel from their home to their “new prospective home” is definitely more than just a few light years away. Meaning the spaceships/pods that they travel in are advanced enough to provide them with all the resources required for an indefinite journey. When they are advanced enough to make such pods why can’t they just improve their “existing home”/planet to suit their need more. Well its true that living in mobile spaceships that endlessly travel through space is not as appealing as being able to “stand” on a planet. But how homely is coming and invading a new planet and starting everything from scratch?? definitely not as comfortable as living in their own ships. It’s even safe to assume that while their space-propulsion engineers were perfecting faster than light travel, they would likely have quite minimal external environmental needs. Stuff like air and food has long been “technologized” away.

So why would they come here?? When they can come this far, they are definitely not interested in whatever technology we have to offer, and biologically speaking all our advancements in  medicine and agriculture doesn’t mean much to them!!

So the next question, what if they want to study us?? insert small probes into our brain and gods knows where else and study us?? well that seems a probable option, but if these aliens are on a study tour, we probably wouldn’t be the first life form they might have come across!! they would have visited other planets, met at-least some life forms similar to us, so statistically speaking, we might be interesting, but NOT THAT interesting

Ah.. another point, technology, today we all have computers and internet. But imagine telling someone in 1985 that in 30 years, you will have computers as small and thin as a notebook capable of doing what none of their chunky machines could do. Try telling them about google and  internet ! 20 yrs back if you didn’t know something, you would look it up in the library. say 10 years back, we started googling it, now we can ask our smart phones almost anything and get a correct answer. We  are already researching on wearable computers. the need to remember answers would be minimised by a great deal. why would you want to remember anything when you can just look it up.!! who  knows, say in 100 years we will have our brains calibrated to google. Everyone knows everything!! needless to say the way we find our brains capabilities limited – and it leads a way to augmenting our brain, our thinking and finally augmenting who we are!!

How would you change if you had instant brain-level access to all information. How would you change if you were twice as smart as you are now. How about ten times as smart? (Don’t answer, truth is, you’re not smart enough to know).Remember the little grey aliens with large brains?? who says that all this augmentation won’t create different kind of human beings?? but the important question is why would an alien take all the time and effort to come see us??

Say they are advanced enough to travel faster than time, Let’s say they could use their super-advanced Hubble telescope, and see our solar system (at some point in the past). They’d see earth in the “most likely” zone for life. They’d know its land and atmospheric composition. They’d see it’s oceans and know the planet’s temperature variations. They’d see Jupiter acting as a bodyguard soaking up dangerous asteroids.Even today, if we saw such a solar system, we’d have a pretty good idea that life could be there. If our math, statistics and knowledge of other life forms was 1000 times more advanced, how accurately could we predict that the life forms there would have 2 nostrils? How close could we come to guessing exactly what those life forms would be like?And if we couldn’t get exact – how close would we care to? Does it really matter? In other words, with enough data and statistics (the foundation of what humans like to call “machine learning” or “artificial intelligence”) they already know we’re here. Just like we know there was water on Mars or high temperatures on Venus.!

Even with that however, we’re still thinking too small.  The question of why aliens might “want to come here” is probably fundamentally flawed because we are forming that question from our current (tiny) viewpoint. The word “want” might not apply at all to someone 1000 times smarter than us.If we discovered a fish-like creäture on Europa today it would be fascinating for us to study it. If however, we were 1000 times smarter and had spent the last 1000 years finding fish-like creatures across the galaxy, and could with 99.99% accuracy predict the exact existence of such creatures from light-years away, it probably wouldn’t be all that interesting to go study another one.

The bottom line is that if an alien race is capable of getting here, all the other technology they’ve exquisitely developed in the meantime would make the trip unnecessary at best – and more than likely, simply meaningless.We’re just not as advanced or as important as we like to think. In the end, there’s no compelling reason to think they’d be interested in meeting us – we simply think too small.

another interesting thought is – Tourism. Tourism is why they would come to see us. The choice to do tourism is not about the resources and it is not economical (it is often really expensive!). Tourism has not logic, except to brag about it when you come home (I went to Earth. The flight is expensive, but when you are there, everything is cheap, and people are so nice!). For some people, tourism is not about going at the best place. This is to go where none of their friends have went before. And this is here! A possible reason why they might come.

The only reason I could think of is, if intelligent life can not coexist with another intelligent life form. We know that dolphins and whales are considered intelligent, and I agree, but they can hardly be considered any kind of competition for the human race. Its said that There were at least 2 other species of humans that coexisted with early Homo sapiens and now there is just us. I don’t know for sure that our ancestors wiped out the competition but I do strongly suspect that is the case judging from past and present behaviors. In short Hawking may be right and the only reason to visit would be to destroy us, and that would probably not be done personally but with machines designed to seek out new life forms and terminate with extreme prejudice, before we have the chance to do the same.

Maybe we’re really not smart enough to know of a reason why they would want to come here.  Taking it all to the next level, imagine soul travel?? Spiritual form and not in physical form. Space traveling souls may carry knowledge for trade rather than physical things for trade between inhabited planets. A space traveling soul may leave a physical body behind on one planet, travel across space, and then be born into a physical body on another planet. That would solve all the physical problems of differences such as atmosphere and gravity, as well as immunity problems. Then, upon completing a mission, the alien soul returns to its original physical body it left on the planet it came from, or it is born into a new physical body. Soul travel might not be limited to the speed of light, vast distances instantly crossed.

Taking this one step further. Remember Avatar?? We use computers to create virtual reality. I suspect our physical universe is a virtual reality for spiritual beings living on worlds in the spiritual universe, such as perhaps a universe made of super-matter instead of matter. We are them in physical form. We are their avatars. They created us.!!!

As, Arthur C. Clarke wrote in the novel 2010: Odyssey Two: “All we can imagine is probably not half as crazy as the truth.” Of that I have no doubt. Perhaps we have found the aliens, and they are us.!!

Now where did we start this article?? ohh.. yes! Ghosts.. but hey why care about ghosts??they are creepy!! Aliens are way cooler!!

24 hours to live..


FAIR WARNING: This post is highly de-motivational. Please keep away if you are lost and are here looking for candyland.

Anyways, that being said, it not actually 24 hours. Its more like say, 11 hours 23 minutes and 16… no… 17 second *(tweaked this info right before publishing this post)*

Another MEMO : I am NOT going to kill myself today!! the deadline is just hypothetical!

how many times have we wondered, or been asked this completely rhetorical question, “You have 24 hours to live, What would you do in those 24 hours” : – answer – well.. I would LIVEand breathe for those 24 hours..!! NO seriously!!.. jokes apart, I would live and tie up as many loose ends as possible..

having said that, I have heard people giving me answers ranging from “completely stupid” to ” Ohh.. that’s so sweet.. that makes so much of sense” category.

216648_1298584551582_453_300You ask me to quote some, is it?? then here you go –

“I will go loot a bank”

“I will kill my mother-in-law”

“I would just have lots and lots of sex (I am intentionally avoiding the explicit details)”

” I will spend it with my family, saying good byes”

” I will apologize to people I’ve wronged”

” I will spend it praying to god for forgiveness”

“Get my stuff in order, decide who gets what, write a will, hand over my pets.. blaah blaahh…”

I am not judging anyone, its YOUR last day, so it’s completely up to you on what you want to do!! another one recently told me that if they knew they just had 24 hours left, they will go and hang themselves. Why wait and go through an agonizing anticipatory misery of “will it, won’t it, and when will it??” – now that makes sense!!

Again I am astonished by the number of psychopaths we have around us!! All kept under the leash of morality and an indecisive future that awaits them IF they ended up doing something stupid.. many told me that they would go on a KILLING SPREE.. killing and causing pain and harm to everyone they dislike till day, some were even “ok” with killing random strangers – may lord have mercy on us.

Saying “good byes” means a sensible thing for some people.. I don’t believe in goodbyes..and I am never good at goodbyes. Saying goodbyes just gives the people around you another reason to remember you fondly by, just increasing the pain when you are gone, and making the process of moving on harder.

Once dead, I would like myself to stay dead – meaning, no reminders that I even existed. If say I die tonight and I had about 12 hours to live, I would start deleting all the things that would remind others that I ever lived. I would give away my clothes, burn all the painting that my mum has hung around the house, destroy the craft projects that I took up, and importantly commit an “internet suicide” first.

I know that internet notoriety thrills some, but whats once on internet will always stay on internet!! (that is unless someone deliberately brings it down).

so I’d DELETE myself from : Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Orkut, hi5( ohhh yes they are still active), LinkedIn, Flickr, MySpace, PayPal, eBay and any other online shopping/auction sites, Craigslist and all other advertising groups, all my email accounts,(Gmail, yahoo, and aol, msn accounts), from my Alma Maters(school college, university), gaming sites, all 3rd party accounts, delete all the texts and emails on my phone, burn the stuff that I cannot give away, you get my drift don’t you, I will delete everything!!

I would probably go and “un-Google” myself, format my computer and delete all my blogs….., well.. on 2nd thoughts maybe not! I would probably just keep WordPress, it’s not as if many people who know me in real life know that I blog and I haven’t even used my full name here, that it would turn up on searches..

Then I would probably write a self destructive time delayed note to someone I could Trust, telling them that I don’t want a funeral and that I don’t really care much if they would burn me and just scatter my ashes, feed me to animals, or even bury me. I wouldn’t even mind it if they would donate “me” to research, or even let a poor doctor in making practice his/her sutures and autopsy on me. But if they are stuck in an ethical and moral conundrum on what to do, I would suggest just put me in the ground and plant a tree on top, but that would stay a reminder, so, burn me and scatter the ashes seem viable.. Not that it matters much, say a decade or two later, no ones even gonna remember me. That is unless I go and blow up the parliament building or say find cure for cancer, both seemingly unlikely at this moment.. so scattering the ashes it is.!!

Phew that seems an awful lot of work for me to do in 12 hours !!

Ohh yes I would probably tweak in Laundry and cleaning my room somewhere in between, It’s awfully sad that they gotta deal with a dead body, I don’t want to burden them with My laundry and the despicable task of cleaning my room after me. and I would give, mum dad & sis , a “normal”call just so that I could hear their voices one last time. Then sit on my couch in my PJs watching some sad romantic movie (on second thoughts, A sitcom probably.. wouldn’t it be fun to go rolling on the floor laughing :P) with a bucket of ice cream, and NOT waiting for the inevitable to happen.

Adios