Posted in close to heart, m@dness

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Now why would I write about the famous sitcom when I have enough friends and stories to make a sitcom of my own called MAD Friends!?!?!

So this is about my friends, the family I chose, to keep!

A man is judged by the company he keeps. And so is a woman. If this statement is true then this leads to the most contradictory judgments about me, my character coz I have many-many friends and they have such disparate characters. So if a person has to judge me, how will they? Will they see a common linkage between my friends and try and associate that particular trait to my character. I’m befuddled.. U don’t think this can be the case then just go through this and u would know y I am so muddled…. I am sure everyone has different groups. I mean there is a school friends’ circle, a college group, an office group, a jus for fun friends group for that matter etc.

So as I said, my school group.  Now I studied in 2 schools. 12 years in one and 2 years in another. In my first school were i did 12 years of my schooling, we were a bunch of 1o. We studied together till 8th but I guess we all began noticing each other only during 8th standard when all of us got shuffled into different classes. Guess thats when we realised each other’s existence and importance.The way I see all of them is that they are a bunch of people very liberal and trendy….. at the same time they have a structured set of values when it comes to family, religion, festivals etc…. I mean we go to discs, we go to temples, we booze but we also give up if one of the friends is not present, we would go out of the way to help others at the same time be very protective of each other…. Et all…. And we have grown as individuals…. From silly kids being very competing to teens going through rough times to matured people always there when the other person needs someone. We have gone on our own ways but we all know we will be there for each other when something important is happening in our lives.

Now my  high school  group. I only did 2 years here. I don’t have much to say about this one though coz we disintegrated pretty soon… kinda lost touch… the last thing I knew about them was that they r either getting married or they r cruising through their career…. They were the ones responsible to shape me up…. Somehow being with them gave me courage…. Made me meet challenges head on.. But if I have to associate a particular trait to this group it would be a rebellious attitude. To believe what u think and not what people want u to think. I know where a couple of them are but not very close to them,honestly. Probably coz I was still stuck at my previous school, went out with them more and associated with them much more than I did with my high school….

Then graduation group. It started off with 3 people branched out now to about 12 people. This is one group which strongly believed in simple living high thinking. We would spend days cooking, reading books, writing stuff, listening to songs (same songs over n over again), making the warden go mad, teaching each other, thinking and talking philosophy, shopping, spirituality( not religion) and what not.Strong contradictory characters have been very dominant so the group hasn’t coalesced into one…. As a result this group has many different aspects…. It depends on what faction is dominant or what are the circumstances around… We could be nerdy at times, rash at times, extremely tech-savvy to extreme aversion to technology, have a sporty attitude towards life or gossip/bitch about everything and everyone in life, be very aware of current affairs or be extremely ignorant of life around…. All of us shared the same madness. I still know what everyone is upto, talk once a year and keep in touch with each other lives.

My Post Graduation group. were initially a bunch of 8 which then increased to 12 when the boyfriends/girlfriends joined in.  All in all they are somewhat similar to my school group but with an additional thrust on career.They are extremely objective, extremely organized. I have seen them get obsessed with say a project wit the same zeal as they would be for a person. Viability of everything is of vital importance.. I mean doin nethin for just kicks would be an unthinkable idea for them.

So now what exactly is the judgment doled out to me???? Am I rebellious or am I conservative, am I trendy or am I simple, am I practical in life or am I lost….. For some reason I can relate to all….. All the disparate qualities of these groups and yet so relatable…. I don’t know y I became friends with them…. Just thought that they r like me…. Like they say IT JUST CLICKED….. But in the process did I become like them???? I mean I was conservative but have started being liberal about things…. I have become extremely tech-savvy, I have understood that playing cards with friends on an outing is as much fun as going to a disc with them…. I have started being a stickler where necessary….. I have learnt to think for myself….. et all….. Makes me draw parallel with the TV series F.R.I.E.N.D.S…. extremely disparate people but always there for each other….. each person has maintained their identity yet some effect of the group has rubbed off on them….. so when I see Rachel being organized (just like Monica…) I feel well that’s just like what happened to me…. I became friends with all these people because of the CONNECT I felt with them and with time I have grown, matured and sifted out some of my flaws by takin the good things from my ‘Friends’….. An impulse tells me to ask them, “did they get any good things from me being a part of the group???” and the same impulse tells me ” OF COURSE!!! 🙂 “

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Posted in close to heart, m@dness

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”
Shakespeare

When I hear this I often wonder if Shakespeare actually knew what he was talking about…. If you are wondering what am I exactly ranting about then you have to know this story, my story.

When I was born, my mother wanted my name to be unique. She also had other specifications regarding my name. My brother was named Manu, so she wanted my name to be similar to his. She wanted my name to have only 2 letters when written in Malayalam. They tried and tested multiple names and spellings on me. Tried calling me to see if I responded,not that I had a say in all this anyway but till this point in time I am ok with everything…. Now I wonder why exactly she gave this name to me…. I mean did I do something when I was in the cradle prompting her to give me this name????At some bizzare moment, probably I was hungry or irritated or whatever, when my mother called out the name “Madri”, Iwould have responded with an “huh”. So that’s how I was named.

Did it occur to her what her repercussions are. But before that my first question goes to parents all over. How do they decide on the name of their child??? I mean if the child smiled in the cradle, they will name him Santosh. Or if the child was born in the morning then he is Suraj? I am perplexed. Gods name are given to children. But what is the intention?? Is it that the names will help the child turn as virtuous as Gods???? But who am I to question laws of society and nature…. So coming back to my name…. as I said before…. I am not cribbing about this…. I was the only MADRI in my school, college and my workplace. Having a unique name has its perks in the world where there are hajar Priyas, arjuns, Sudhas. I mean if you find say a book with Madri written on it, u would know immediately it is mine. There won’t be a need to research and know which MADRI this book belongs to, coz it only me in the game. But this unique name (I refrain from calling it unusual) also had a flip side as well….

Now whenever I go and introduce myself, the people are amused. This is evident by the broad smile on their face when they hear my name. Some even go to the extent of saying “oh, like the capital of spain?”. now I am stumped. How am I supposed to react to this. “Yes Madrid minus the d” or just give that silly grin and let him/her decide. People have even asked me y my parents didn’t name me madhuri or madhavi, why MADRI?? LIke I had a choice of choosing my name!! Going to college was particularly dreadful for me coz I always thought I would be ragged courtesy my ‘UNIQUE’ name…. How many seniors would get a chance like this. I mean my name actually gives them ragging material on the platter….

But that’s not all…. I went to Barista the other day…. Now at this coffee joint I have to order, then tell my name, pay of course and finally wait for my turn till the guy calls off my name from the list…. So I go to the guy and say ill have a choco frappe and a grilled sandwich…. So he takes the order and asks my name…. I say, “Madri” he says, “excuse me madam…. Could u repeat that…. I heard the name as MADri….” I said, “yes, that’s correct… that’s my name….” you should ve seen the grin on his face when I confirmed my name…. worse comes next…. When my order was done he goes, “MAAAAAAADriiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”…. Now I would like to believe that was because he had to get through to me despite the din around…. There are many such instances…. All through these years I have seen people grin, smile, laugh when I tell my name…. the positive way of looking at it is that I have made people laugh and then I get content with it…. if you meet me and u would come to know that the MADri aspect of my character is not exactly just limited only to my name 🙂

Probably my name is unique, undoubtedly manipulated several times and hard to get the first time. I may even sound mad or act mad at times. People often ask me, if you don’t like your name why u don’t change it…. But then comes my immediate reply, “What’s in a name? That which we call Madri by any other word would mean the same sweet person” wont it????

For those of you who are wondering what exactly my name means, here goes.

In the Mahabharata epic, Madri (Sanskrit: माद्री Mādrī) was a princess of the Madra kingdom and the second wife of Pandu.

On his way to Hastinapur, King Pandu encountered the army of Shalya, King of Madra. Very soon, Pandu and Shalya became friends and Shalya gave his only sister, Madri to Pandu, as a gift of their friendship. Looking at her beauty, Pandu accepted the lady willingly and took her to Hastinapur.She, alongside Kunti, faithfully accompanied Pandu in his hermetical retreat following his abdication as the king of Hastinapura. One day while hunting in the forest, Pandu accidentally shot an arrow killing a hermit. He cursed Pandu saying that he would die alongside the person he lay with. Both Kunti and Madri were directly affected by the curse on Pandu because they were denied the opportunity to lay with Pandu and thus Pandu’s children. However, a boon was given to Kunti which enabled her to call upon any God to bear her a child. She had used this boon once before with the Sun God and thus gave birth to Karna, a child which no one was aware of. After Pandu learns of this boon he begs her to call upon Gods to bear her with children. She call upon Dharma, Vayu, and Indira and she bears YudishtiraBhima, and Arjuna respectively. Pandu asks Kunti to use this boon for Madri, who then bore twins from the twin Gods Ashvins named Nakula and Sahadeva.

One fateful day, Pandu desired Madri and the memory of the curse briefly eluded him. Death struck Pandu immediately. Madri, filled with remorse, self immolated on Pandu’s funeral pyre.

Posted in close to heart

Adaptation

Remember when we learnt about solid,liquid and gas. Thats when I learnt about a particular property of water…in standard two. It takes the color of the thing it’s mixed in and it takes the shape of the container that holds it…. Very mundane, very simple and very commonsensical isn’t it…. And imbibing this very property makes life slightly complex, if not entirely complicated….

This property of water is nothing but one quality that I can safely say, is common to everyone “living”: Adaptatio. Prnoven beyond doubt by Darwin’s theory of evolution and tested easily when you changed a bit of yourself to get accepted into a group. We have thus, evolved and adapted in varying degrees to become what we are today…. The level of adaptations could range from linguistics adaptation (where you use the slang that group uses often) to behavioral (where you tend to alter your behavior to give “acceptable” reactions to certain events.)Every group you were a part of throughout your life would have been distinctly different from each other…. And as a result, you would have modified yourself over and over again.

Some people weed out the unwanted qualities through these adaptations and become better individuals while others go to an extreme and become clones of the most influential person in the vicinity completely losing themselves…. The net result is that there are many aspects – which are not completely you – that now form a part of your personality- The new you!

At this point, I wouldn’t dare generalize but just talk about how I have adapted in due course of time (may be some people identify with it). During the first few years of schooling, I was with this guy, y very own dear brother who was creatively “gifted”! While I did have some potential, my association with him made my “music” good.  Not stopping there, I went on to take my talent serious and learnt music for 14 years… During the later years at school, my gang was heavily into sports,volleyball and basketball. Net result, I was a part of both the teams . At this point I wonder, had my group been the studious, teachers’ pets kinds or the culturally inclined kinds – would I have done these things? Is me becoming good in music and sports – intentional or associational?

During graduation, my group was this simple living, high thinking sort of a group. It was with them that I was exposed to giving back to the society bit and I started doing volunteering work. Well yes there were bouts of shopping sprees etc. But you gotta admit that was part of growing up. College was primarily about writing (again my group had elements very active in it) ,reading (my beat friend was an English graduate and I became a voracious reader) and cooking (very good friends who were amateurs themselvesbut great at experimenting. )SO, after 3 years when I graduated, I was a tomboy who was not literally challenged and a decent conversationalist . My final year roommates were avid photographers and I learnt the basics from them. I must admit I am good now!!Ms. A, I must thank you for the little knowledge you shared with me now and then…I know aperture, shutter speed,lenses etc 🙂

RSOM came and I was placed with the CROWD as everyone puts it. With such high standards, came a serious jolt to my personality as well. I became intensely competitive (everyone was just so good, that becoming better needed constant reminding), was prey to the hunger to make my mark… But the most prominent was becoming immensely practical bordering on callousness about things. My dear and near are still bearing the brunt of this change…

As I write this today, I am reminded of this conversation with a very old friend. She asked me for some advice and when I proffered she exclaimed, “What kind of advice is this? The mad I know would have never said something like this”.

I was forced to think that while I have adapted every time to find myself in this “grey” zone (sort of acceptable to all), is it the case that I have lost my “blacks” and “whites” (the core which defined me). Is it that in process of weeding out and becoming better, I have just lost what “Mad would have said/done”?

Is it fear or is it not knowing yourself??

Posted in close to heart

Old at heart….

The Protagonist in the movies, especially when there is a moment of realization is shown as the one person in a crowded street, facing a sea of humanity as they rush past her   (look i chose to make the protagonist a she coz I can write and relate to her well) in their black or grey clothes, while she looks perplexed/afraid/annoyed/whatever based on her histrionic abilities, while a bright coloured scarf unwinds itself from her neck. Cue the inspirational/sorrowful/suspense music.

Truly I am in such a close up and then tracking shot right now. Except, maybe if the production values were reversed, I am the one in the black dress looking perplexed, as people, family, friends, acquaintances rush past in their colorful chic clothes, creating this storm of chatter and yet not really calling out to me. I think it suits me just fine. I want to be left alone. I do not want to make meaningless conversation.

All I feel like doing is to just sit on my bed, watch marathon TV shows, drink endless cups of tea and occasionally check phone or facebook. Nothing interests me any longer. Nothing except music and maybe food to an extent. But that’s it. I find most people tiresome, boring. I can’t talk about my feelings or dreams because I fear they will not be understood.  The fear is from the fact that I did try talking to a very very close friend but he didnt get it. I can’t blame him coz he is not used to such complexities in life.

I am losing interest in my job. I do not want to be told sit here, walk there, eat now, pay now. Money I earn is not even a feel good factor these days. I think twice before putting up a blog post, worrying people will say I am selfish, I am a horrible person, how dare I write such things etc. Imagine that. I fear the potential words of strangers I probably will never meet. Every word I think of is analyzed carefully to ensure there won’t be anger as retaliation. I am a coward. I am terrified of confrontation. I hate it when I intently explain something that means a lot to me to a friend, and then get a pale washed out opinion in response. Why can’t people try harder? Here I am, telling you why something made me think out aloud, why that something made me care, and all you can say is oh okay? Oh okay? What sort of response is that? Why are people so lazy that they have stopped thinking? Or caring?

50 days before I turn 25 and a quarter life crisis already. Great.

Now does that mean I am getting Old??

Posted in close to heart

>Soulmates

>

Know, therefore ,that from the greater silence I shall return…Forget not that I shall come back to you…A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me. “

—Kahlil Gibran


There is someone special for everyone.Often there are two or three or even four.They come from different generations.They travel across oceans of time and depths of heavenly dimensions to be with you again.They come from the other side, from heaven.They look different but your heart knows them.You heart has held them in arms like yours, in the moon filled deserts of Egypt and the ancient plains of Mongolia.You have ridden together in the armies of forgotten warrior-generals, and you have lived together in the sand-covered caves of the Ancient ones. You are bonded together throughout eternity, and you will never be alone.
Your head may interfere: “I do not know you.” Your heart knows.
He takes your hand for the first time, and the memory of his touch transcends time and sends a jolt through every atom of your being.She looks into your eyes,and you see a soul companion across centuries.Your stomach turns upside down.your arms are gooseflesh.Everything outside this moment loses its importance.
He may not recognise you,even though you have finally met again,even though you know him. You can feel the bond.You can see the potential,the future.But he does not.His fears,his intellect,his problems keep a veil over his heart’s eyes.He does not let you help him sweep the veil aside.You mourn and grieve,and he moves on.Destiny can be so delicate.
When both recognise each other,no volcano could erupt with more passion.The energy released is tremendous.

Soul recogniton may be immediate.A sudden feeling of familiarity,of knowing this person at depths, beyond what the conscious mind could know.At depths usually reserved for the most intimate family members.Or even deeper than that.Intutively knowing what to say, how they will react.A feeling of safety and a trust far greater than could be earned in only one day or one week or one month.

Soul recognition may be subtle and slow.A dawning of awareness as the veil is gently lifted.Not everyone is ready to see right away.There is a timing at work and patience may be necessary for the one who sees first.

You may be awakened to the presence of your soul companion by a look, dream,a memory ,a feeling.You may be awakened by the touch of his hands or the kiss of her lips, and your soul is jolted back to life.

The touch that awakens may be that of your child, of a parent,a sibling or a true friend.Or it may be your beloved,reaching across the centuries, to kiss you once again and to remind you that you are together always, to the end of time.



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Dr. Brian Weiss is a traditional psychotherapist. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School, Brian L. Weiss M.D. is Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. He is also the author of several to books which have all been International best-sellers.

I have read most of his books and what he has to say in indeed extremely interesting.

I am a firm believer of the fact that science,even though has advanced so much, is yet to discover answers to so many many questions. Like I have said before, a hundred years back,people would have laughed at you if you had said that it is possible to land on the moon. Five hundred years back, when Galileo said that the world was not flat,but round, he was persecuted by the Catholic Church.

Today when we think of it, we say “Of course, the world is round. How could they have believed it was flat. How foolish and ignorant they were!”

Who knows maybe 100 years from now, people will say the same thing about Past lives.

Just like there are many Medical miracles for which there is absolutely no logical explanation, so too, there indeed exist many ‘feelings and connections’ which people are unable to find an explanation for.

Some people believe in karmic connections and others feel it is your mind fooling you and there is nothing like that.

But mostly all of us agree that towards some people, we feel an instant like, and towards some people, an instant dislike. One could argue that it could be because of subtle sizing up that happens when one meets an individual, yet many a time, there would be ‘nothing wrong’ with the person, yet one cannot put a finger on why one does not like them Similarly, sometimes, we like someone a lot even after talking to them for just 5 minutes. And sometimes weird coincidences happen which feel completely bizarre as though it has been cleverly orchestrated.

Brian Weiss and scores of others would probably explain it as a past life connection.I do not know how much of it can be proved without an iota of doubt or skepticism, but I do know one thing for sure:
No matter what, no matter how much you try to fight it,some things are just meant to be.

Faster one accepts this Truth, the more peace one feels with oneself.