Myriad Musings

Meeting monsters

 

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I seem to have an inexplicable desire for pain.

More than curiosity. More than fascination. A strange craving, almost.

The way you’d try your hand at a spicier cuisine or experiment with a new hobby, to test your limits.

Perhaps, it’s my ardent interest in Psychology (one of my majors).

Maybe it stems from my belief that I am truly alive when I experience the A-Z of emotions in palpable intensities.

Or is the source subconscious guilt which makes pain feel right, even relieving?

I play with pain, the way a child blows air into balloons until the loud pop!

I am my own rubber band. I fiddle, pull and observe to see how far I can stretch, until the snap.

The breaking point is yet to be found.

Maybe, the reward is in that after feeling gutted, tortured, confused, I can surface up and claim, “That wasn’t so bad.”

We treat certain parts of ourselves as inner graveyards, with unimaginable ghosts.

Meant for paying an occasional, wary visit.

It is freeing to know that the darkness in me is tame in comparison to the illusory demons I suspect I will discover.

Maybe it’s time to invite the monsters under the bed to lay next to us and start a conversation.

You never know. You might just sleep better at night.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

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Myriad Musings

New Year is a myth

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I’m all for burying the old and heralding the new.

Any reason for hope and celebration? Count me in!

Yet, as an Indian, it baffles me that we privilege the Western construct of the New Year over the different dates and traditions indicated by our cultures.

I’m also stumped by the naivete that one can truly expect Jan 1 to be different from Dec 31, the previous day. 2018 and 2019 are mere numbers unless we make it different.

What also bewilders me is that it takes a ‘construct’ to trigger man’s inner clock to pause and take a good, hard look at his own life.

I don’t look at the date and decide whether or not to evaluate where I’m at and take the necessary steps to move forward.

Here’s my year-long loop: Mark a habit, mind map a routine, evaluate, modify, try again.

I agree that we cannot be on at all times but it’s key to work towards the changes we really require a lot more frequently. I’d argue that self-reflection works miracles if it’s at least weekly, if not daily.

Becoming better is a constant; it is a state of mind and not a point in time. 

Let us determine to live consciously, with intention and awareness, and create a New year for ourselves.

Best of luck. I have faith in you. Time to make a happy 2019.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

 

 

 

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Myriad Musings

Travel

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I never understood why travel was so hep. Is it hip? Whatever the kids are calling it nowadays.

Don’t get me wrong. I relish new experiences to the core. But, I don’t need travel to feel that high.

Learning a skillset that takes five minutes, fondly gazing at the patterns the sun makes on the greenery and creating art give me that high.

Accomplishing a goal and hearing a refreshing perspective puts me on cloud nine. Maybe I’m easy to please.

Travel is associated with exoticism. Nature and culture can be found closer to home if you watch with a painter’s gaze and a poet’s soul.

The most precious thing about travel to me is uninterrupted time with your friends or family. This, I agree with, if you commit to going Wi-Fi free.

My concern is that most people I’ve spoken to, seem to equate travel with an escape. I think time, energy and money are better spent fixing your day-to-day life over planning fancy vacations.

I’d take an escape if my world would turn topsy-turvy while I’m away. But, when I return, my mess is still mine to clean up and I find that nothing has changed.

While weekends are precious, let’s create Monday mornings that make us look forward to the wonders weekdays can bring.

So, the next time you travel, ensure that you soak in that novel adventure, without worrying about being insta perfect.

The next time you long for travel, remember that there are multiple adventures hovering around you waiting to be experienced.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

 

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Myriad Musings

What to blog on?

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As regular bloggers, we’ve all had moments when we’ve put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, utterly clueless as to what to blog on.

Let me weigh my options :

Dabbling in the French Dizain or the Korean Sijo, for foreign always equals exotic, and poetry is no exception to the rule.

Delving deep into unfamiliar territory: perhaps, a horror story, with a twist. How about an innocent exposition, supernatural action and a scientific denouement?

Exploring themes that are plausible only in the canvas of imagination. Parallel worlds, reversal of history and defying the laws of nature.

Expressing a controversial opinion. A niggle that has bothered you, and only you, finally set free for strangers to peek.

Carving a genre, a pattern to serve your needs, for all that has come before us has been engineered by a mind. Why not be an architect instead of an imitator?

Testing the waters with a form your audience is unaccustomed to. Either you’re in for a surprise and your readers are thrilled or you’re thrilled to speak to a wider audience.

Finding a purpose. Write for the readers’ joy, moralise, inspire or obfuscate. Direct your nib at hearts or shoot at minds.

In all honesty, it matters not what we write on, as long as we keep the ink flowing.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

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Life lessons

Life lessons #1

These are entries from my journal that I endeavour to consciously follow/ practice and I share them in the hope that they resonate with you. Here’s my first listicle on WP :

1. Life owes you zilch. You owe yourself everything.

2. Remember your roots. They speak volumes about why you are the way you are.

3. Run away from toxicity. Avoid it like the plague.

4. A therapist and a hundred self-help books, podcasts and films can’t change your life. You can.

5. The only way to find out if a technique, a habit or a piece of advice works, is to implement it.

6. Be you in every situation.

7. If being you doesn’t sound appealing, become a better you.

8. If you keep fighting losing battles, you won’t have any resources left for the ones you can actually win.

9. It is okay to have bad days, bad weeks and even bad months. What is not okay is denying that’s how you feel.

10. Emotional blackmail gets you nowhere.

11. For every reason there is to lie, there is a better reason, to tell the truth.

12. To identify the truly trivial, ask yourself if a bad experience is going to matter in a week, in a month and in a year.

13. Everyone’s path is different and equally important.

14. But, it helps to remember that you have it better than so many others.

15. Equality is a conscious choice. Practise it every day. Don’t be ageist, racist, sexist, homophobic etc. Inegalitarianism looks good, said no one ever.

16. Care enough to extend a helping hand.

17. It’s so easy to break someone. Try keeping them whole.

18. Being ‘manly’ is more about manning up to your flaws and being a man of your word, than any cultural stereotype.

19. If working at what you love is draining, reconsider it.

20. If you keep making excuses to postpone what you say you want, maybe you don’t want it all that bad.

Feel free to add to the list …

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

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Myriad Musings

Religion

You ask me to seek the Lord in a distant temple on a faraway hill, a herculean climb, convincing me that I can please God only with the pain of my labour.

You demarcate places of worship to fuel the fire of exclusion and build walls to serve casteist and anti-woman agendas.

Can’t I find him in the sanctuary of my own devout heart? Didn’t you say He was Omnipotent?

You discriminate the disabled, reassuring me that their past birth karma has earned them their troubles.

Religion is your tool to make me feel ashamed of my festive womanhood.

You assert that my flamboyant sins would weaken the Lord. Didn’t you say He was Omnipotent?

You cloak yourself in the Just World phenomenon. Tit for tat.

You refuse to believe that life isn’t always fair.

Instead, you fancy that the Omniscient above holds weighing scales and strict calculators of Virtue and Vice.

Believe what you will. Worship a stone as the mighty lord, or elevate a philosopher or a God-man to an all-powerful entity.

Let me believe what I choose to. Don’t force your rigid rules and hidden agendas on me.

If you try to contain religion in a matchbox, it’ll combust and set you aflame.

 

Author’s note:

I’m a firm theist and this is more of a critique on the deliberate misuse of institutionalized religion, especially through beliefs and practices perpetrated in the Indian context, where there is no healthy distance between the State and Religion. For me, religion is very personal and pure and it is gut-wrenching to see it contaminated by underhand schemes for epistemological, economic and political power

 

 

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Myriad Musings

How’d you like to die?

I’m sure you’ve ruminated a great deal about life: pondering, planning, plotting how to make the most of it.

Have you ever thought about how you’d like to die?

Would you fancy a soldier’s death? You’d have won many a battle but lost the last one against the usurper of breath.

Or is it a sailor’s death that you fancy? You’d kick the bucket doing what you do best, pulled into the arms of the sea mother, you spent your entire life worshipping.

Would a famous person’s slow death be up your alley? Celebrated long after your physical absence, strangers will mourn you like their own, until trenching hoes of time bury the memory of you underground.

Or is it a rebel’s death that you prefer? A death charted out with cunning by those who unfairly wield power and hang justice, the last trace of your murder will be invisible. You’ll meet the maker, hoping at least he’ll mourn you.

Me? I favour an activist’s death, basking in the rapturous knowledge that I left the world more equal than I found it.

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