“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”
– Deepak Chopra
Taken at Vienna in 2012
I got to know this only after reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The synopsis of this book will make any book lover to pick a copy of it. Why? Imagine your life without any books or even a magazine. I know it’s a sort of nightmare for somebody who eats, drinks, sleep on books and will carry one even if he or she isn’t reading it. This fiction book projects the future of the American society where books or any sort of reading material is forbidden and any house found in possession of them is burnt down by firemen. They even burn down a house with a woman who refuses to leave her home for her sheer love for books.
The protagonist of the plot – Guy Montag is also a fireman and has been a party to the team that burn down the houses with books in the first half but the character witnesses a turn around in the second half where he grows connection with the books. He starts seeking pleasure in them. But along with that the wrath of his own team who starts chasing him down for betrayal and possession of books.
I found this book slightly depressing but it does leave you with a pensive thought. The author compares Humans with the legendary Phoenix that how latter got destroyed in ashes and soared again. Similarly, humans are also a part of vicious cycle. We have a tendency to make mistakes but we also have the ability to remember them and not to repeat our old mistakes but how many of us follow that?
However my imagination takes me to another direction how I was to survive if there actually was a law to burn down books !!
A slight puerile thought while climbing an escalator at 6 a.m. Is there a staircase that leads to heaven too? The thought was much more convincing while listening to Led Zeppelin.
“Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know,
The piper’s calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?”
We spend our lives discovering the worldly knowledge unaware of the fact that the knowledge within us is phenomenal. There are so many people I meet every day who can speak for hours on world affairs and their superfluous knowledge acquired from the books but when it comes to define themselves or about their purpose of living, all the knowledge goes flat. Certainly I am also a victim of this human ignorance. I sometimes go astray from my real objective of life and instead gets too involved in obliging to my materialistic engagements so much so that it becomes difficult for me to take simple decisions of life. Well I do blame my indecisiveness at some points but more than that it is very unfortunate of us who are surrounded with gadgets all the time and I have been noticing that even for a small trivial life queries, I look up on Google which I acknowledge is absolutely preposterous because I don’t want to categorize myself into people who can’t find solutions on their own. I am quite certain that there must be many more people like me who have the ability to take decisions but has somewhere lost their paths for some or the other reasons. So here it is, stop for a while, take some time out, gather your thoughts and listen to your heart and soul. They want to speak with you, give them time or you’ll lose them forever. May be Khalil Gibran could help us.
Self-Knowledge by Khalil Gibran
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.
Ever wondered why all thoughtful and intelligent conversations happen over a cup of coffee and not any other beverage?
India, traditionally is (or rather was!!) a tea drinking country but thanks to the economic boom for bestowing hectic work hours, coffee is now catching up fast as a preferred drink mostly among youth and white collar workers. I was at Starbucks today and watching those young people swarming the place, it struck me that it’s kind of bizarre or at least a trend to note that how coffee can become an excuse for a casual meeting. Some often used expressions these days are ‘let’s catch up over a cup of coffee‘ or ‘You owe me a cup of coffee’ or ‘oh! why don’t we meet at some coffee place‘. Even when I’m meeting a guy, I’m expecting a quite obvious and weary line to seek attention ‘Just one cup of coffee is what I’m asking for‘. Like ‘Coffee’ has a solution for everything. And tea still elite is losing its sheen at least among young people. But these days you would rarely come across somebody who would say ‘Hey let’s meet up for high tea‘. I haven’t heard this in long time now.
Coffee undoubtedly is a magical drink as it lights up your brain and suddenly the most buffoon person will also sound like Einstein. How many of us could not imagine kicking the mornings without a coffee? When my friends and I meet up for a coffee, the conversations we exchange are definitely more constructive and intense. And some memorable moments for sure. Seems there is certainly something special in those dark cocoa beans which get along well with people in any mood. And that’s why Neil Gaiman rightly said “Black as night, sweet as sin” as it’s too complex to understand the very nature of coffee so just enjoy your cup of Kaffe.
“If you’re walking with your lady on the sidewalk, I still like to see a man walking street-side, to protect the lady from traffic. I grew up with that, and I hate to see something like that get lost. I still like to see that a man opens the door. I like those touches of chivalry that are fast disappearing.“ – Betty White
I so agree with this thought. I don’t know what’s killing chivalry slowly – is it feminism or being traditionally chivalrous has gone out of style?
But I am still positive about it.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
This picture was taken in off track Thar desert region of India during the sunset. I am confused about the emotion this picture brings out of me, two thoughts strike me one after the another. First, this picture depicts the energy and zest contained in youth, that feeling of reaching to the sun and whole world clenched in your fist. Second thought is more personal, that how friends become family without even realizing the depth of bonding shared by them. And somehow the second thought overrides the first, may be because of the situation in which this photograph was clicked. It is usual to fight with friends, bitch about them sometime when it gets really intolerable but at the end they are the ones who understand you, like in and out when even your family may fail. Like in this picture we all may have different directions of thinking but it is not bound of any approval. I am lucky to have a pack of such friends in my life.
Since I am travelling for next 6 days, I like to be inspired by this quote from Mark Twain.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
More travels following on from TheReadRovers.
photos and thoughts for sharing
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