Tag Archives: life

Kintsukuroi

Why do we fall, Bruce? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.

~ Thomas Wayne

The Internet is a treasure chest full of amazing things. Often we stumble upon things, in this wonderful maze, that are so stimulating and intriguing that they catch our attention at once and leave us pondering about their beauty, infiniteness and the sheer subtlety. One such thing I found was a word. Yes, a word. A specific sequence of alphabets set to convey a meaning. But this word does not just conveys an expression or describe a process, it professes a philosophy.

Kintsukuroi is a Japanese technique of mending broken vessels and pots by joining the broken pieces using lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. The concept, considered by many as an art form, originates from the philosophy that breaking and repair are part of the object’s history and that the object is now more beautiful for having broken. Take a set of glass bowls from the same pack. They all look the same when they leave the factory, packed nicely, protected by Styrofoam peanuts. Now drop the bowls, one by one, from the same height and in the same way. Each of them breaks differently. The way the cracks develop and the way pieces fall apart, everything is different. Now try to take the pieces of each of the bowls and try to put them together. If you manage to do that, you will find that they are not similar anymore.

Why does it so happen that the seemingly identical bowls break in a different way under the same conditions? In this answer, lies the most innate quality of human nature. Our skin color, the languages we speak, the countries and cities and homes we live in, the families we belong to, they are just one side of our personality. Our names, identities, jobs, relationships – they don’t define us. What defines us is how we react to situations under hardships. How do we break when we fall? Most importantly even, how do we mend ourselves after being broken?

Kintsukuroi teaches us that if you are broken, pour in gold in the cracks. Let the beauty and happiness in the world become your healer. And there is enough of it, should you choose to seek it. Each person may do it in his or her own way. And that makes us rare in our own light. You were sand and fire before. Now you are sand, fire and gold. You are more beautiful than ever because you got back up. You mended yourself. And in that process, may be, just maybe, you inspired someone else to take that step – to heal. You let your light liberate others from the darkness they were suffering in.

In this eternal cosmic play, that could be your verse. And wouldn’t it be a beautiful verse

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THE CHENNAI AFFAIR

‘The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye,
the story of love is hello and goodbye…
until we meet again’

Jimi said it right, as always. 6 months ago, when I landed in Chennai, I was not in the most jovial of moods, having said goodbye to my friends and my beloved city – Mumbai. Little did I know that life was going to throw a bouquet of pleasant surprises at me.

We are slaves of our minds, more importantly, our biases. I was told by a lot of people that Chennai is a land that fun forgot. So, let me say this, once and for all – they were wrong. Yes, the city IS different. But that’s what makes it unique. It is quiet yet bustling, relaxed yet diligent and chilled out yet not without purpose. It’s not Mumbai or Delhi or Bengaluru, but then again, it doesn’t have to be. The food, the air, the people, the beaches, the sunsets .. In it’s own way, mark their impressions upon you, ones that would last for a lifetime.

In and out of office, life could not have been more fun. I was a lucky bastard who got into a company of some amazing friends. Shubhra​, Nehal​, Robin​, Akriti​, Sonal​ – together you created an invisible time machine that slowed down time to seem like eternity with awesomeness all the way through. We kept trashing the same place till they threw us out, literally. Our Plan B’s became our Plan A’s. Our Whatsapp chat group, called “Friendships and Serendipity” because it was mere chance that brought this crazy bunch together. I also had some interesting encounters along the way and each was a memory worth cherishing.

But now, as I bid adieu to Chennai, and even though I’m moving to my happy place again, I feel a pang in my heart. For time flew by a bit too quickly – the Srilanka trip that never happened, the gourmet at Fisherman’s Cove that was always on the itinerary of every weekend, the early morning run at Besant Nagar beach that was quashed by laziness… *sigh*. But as Jimi said “until we meet again”, I place a bookmark on this chapter, to be continued later, some day.

Till then, it’s Au Revoir and Muchas Gracias. 🙂

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Of the Desired, the Destined, the Denied and the Derived

The Alchemist was, indeed, the epitome of Paulo Coelho’s witty and crafty genius. One particular reason why this book is hailed as a modern classic, “The face of contemporary literature” according to Vir Sanghvi, is that it is based on the aspirations of the human soul. Santiago’s arduous journey in search of treasure is portrayed as the journey of one’s life, which can be a very arousing and touching sentiment, spiritually as well as physically.

All lovers of the Indian cinema, or let’s say SRK in particular, must be aware of the famous dialogue from the silver screen catastrophe Om Shanti Om – “इतनी शिद्दत से मैंने तुम्हे पाने की कोशिश की है, की हर ज़र्रे ने मुझे तुमसे मिलाने की साज़िश की है”.  To my greatest surprise (actually, not really), this dialogue has been ‘inspired’ by the converging idea of The Alchemist – “When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”. But I often wonder if that were the case, why doesn’t everyone gets what they want? Does the son not cry loud enough for his dying mother to be saved? Does the heartbroken romantic not wail hard enough to be reunited with his love? Or does the derelict not pray urgently enough for a couple of meals for his family to get through just one more day? They do. We all do, to fulfill our basic needs and desires. Although, I don’t really differentiate between the two terms unlike some who associate needs with sustenance and desires with indulgence. Nonetheless enters the villain to the party – destiny. I often feel that the universe does conspire when you really want something. But until you get that thing, you always feel that the conspiracy is versus you. Desire against destiny is one battle that has been going on since biblical times. Both are hailed and both are cursed. What we derive is finally the net result of an intricate balance between the former two. What is denied is often discarded as something that was not meant to be.  However, we don’t understand the need for denial until we’ve derived our benefits. Well… how can else we differentiate a man from a saint!

There’s this wonderful movie I saw again recently – 500 Days of Summer. One of its soundtracks just touched my heart for its sheer simplicity and honesty. Yes, an honest song. Hard to find… huh! I dug a little deeper and found that the song was composed by The Smiths… a very popular English rock band of the yesteryear. The lyrics are so piercing that they just grab your jugular vein and stir you from within…. which in the context of this post I find very relevant! Here they go….

Good times for a change,

Can make a good man turn bad

See, the luck I’ve had,

 So please please please,

Let me, let me, let me,

Let me get what I want…. This time!

 

Haven’t had a dream in a long time,

See, the life I’ve had,

Can make a good man bad.

 So for once in my life,

Let me get what I want,

Lord knows, it would be the first time!

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