To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Sunday, February 29, 2004
A friend was telling me that these days I seem to blog because I have to blog and not because I want to. I don't know if my posts reflect this, but I do hope not. It’s not that I have nothing to say, just that so much of effort goes into mulling over the whole thing and culling out right words, that the lazy me conquers always.

Since a very long time one topic has been on my mind, but somehow never ended up discussing it here --
Love Marriages vs. Arranged Marriages.

Its funny the way our own opinions keep changing. Being a very conventional-minded person right from my cradle, so to speak, I was always in favour of arranged marriages. Don't remember what exactly my arguments were in favour of them, but the fact that my parents' marriage was an arranged one may have everything to do with it (not because it was the happiest but something of the like-father-like-son syndrome).

Coming to the present, I would neither vote for the one or the other. I cannot even see how a 'type' of marriage itself can guarantee success or failure of it.

Sometimes people give examples of certain very successful arranged marriages to prove how infallible it is, and then some others give examples of certain love relationships turned into matrimony to prove their cause. There are examples to the opposite effect too in both cases, but these they would tout as exceptions, depending on which side of the fence they are favouring.

I myself have come to the belief that be it a love marriage or an arranged one, as long as certain ingredients are present, both hold equal chances.

If two people were to simply see each other and confess themselves in love with each other, I would have to wonder why there should be any reason why a marriage between these two persons should be successful unless it were pure luck. They might continue to be in love with each other for some time but don't they say, "Love is blind". In this blind state the couple would carry on magnifying each other’s perfections and ignoring like so many spots on the moon, the not-so-desirable traits and one day reality, or rather, marriage, sets in.

The perfections appear in their normal hues and the spots do not become smaller because there is no moon. They wonder what they ever saw in each other in the first place but no answers come, other than the obvious.

On the arranged marriage front, two people meet each other, are more or less satisfied with each other’s personal attributes, speak a few words (not having been in like position yet, can't tell what!) and confess themselves not displeased. The parents arrange for everything, and the D-day is done with.

The couple slowly get to realize in their day-to-day lives that there is not a thing in common between them. No ground at all where they can meet. No wonder they never meet.

I myself feel that whether it is 'love' or whether 'arranged', as long as there is mutual understanding and trust, a practical assessment of each other’s compatibilities and a consciousness that no matter how hard, the relationship is worth all the effort to make it work...not for now but for ever...there is every chance that it will succeed.

I believe in emotions tested by time…not like the intense but momentary flame that starts up, burns bright and flickers away...but calm, constant and ever-present like the sun…

Saturday, February 14, 2004
If you ask me about my most horrible nightmare till date, it would be the one where I dreamt that my front teeth were falling off. Loosening bit by bit, then falling apart, and off.

I was so deeply involved in the dream at the time that I remember being close to tears, and then suddenly, as it usually happens, I realise its only a dream and am as happy as I would have been if someone had sewn the teeth back in their place and set them straight!

Maybe you're wondering why all this talk about "teeth" or for that matter, "nightmares"...well! I had another one yesterday and this time it was for real. :(

I walk into my office oblivious of this dental check-up that was arranged at our place. It seemed like a funny coincidence since I had been feeling a slight tingling sensation in my teeth for a few days now, but as ready to be patient in this particular matter as anybody else, I had been telling myself, "It will go away if you let it be."

I nervously go into the check-up room; the lady asks me to open my mouth now, now to close it, now prods my teeth, now glares in with something like a torch, now marks something in her sheet.

Her face grows graver and graver and mine correspondingly turns paler and paler (What do you expect?)

I pray for the best but then God has these ways of frustrating your prayers sometimes (Mine, most times). I know it will be the worst.

The lady calmly tells me I need to get my wisdom teeth removed or I might have to get more of them removed later. It wasn't exactly a choice, when you think of it. "Do you want to jump into a well now or would you rather be washed away by the sea later?

Knowing a few people who have had such atrocities done to their teeth, I wondered if it might help talking to them a little. Maybe I'd feel a little better when they told me there wasn't much to it.

I go to friend X and she says, "You don't even feel a thing when they pluck your teeth out. It doesn't hurt at all". You would have thought there was a gentler word for "pluck" in the dictionary.

I go to friend Y and she says, "They inject you with an anesthetic on your jaws first and then your whole mouth goes numb. You don't feel a thing really". That was supposed to comfort me??

Well...maybe it won't be so bad after all... :(

Forgetting that, want to wish everyone a very happy Valentine's Day and in tune with the occasion, a lovely poem...

"Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a heaven in hell's despair."

So sung a little clod of clay,
Trodden with the cattle's feet;
But a pebble of the brook
Warbled out these meters meet:

"Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another's loss of ease,
And builds a hell in heaven's despite."

-- William Blake

Sunday, February 01, 2004
Read "The Catcher in the Rye" sometime back. A great book; though very different from the books I am used to reading, especially in terms of flow and language.

Holden Caulfield, a 17-year old, recovering from a nervous breakdown, speaks to us of his adventures and thoughts just before he suffered from the collapse and as his narrative progresses it is difficult to decide if it is Holden who is going insane, or is it the society that has lost its mind. I would go with the latter!

Following is an extract from the book; put here out-of-context, but will surely give a taste of what the book is about.

"Even though it was so late, old Ernie's was jampacked. Mostly with prep school jerks and college jerks. Almost every damn school in the world gets out earlier for Christmas vacation than the schools I go to. You could hardly check your coat, it was so crowded. It was pretty quiet, though, because Ernie was playing the piano. It was supposed to be something holy, for God's sake, when he sat down at the piano. Nobody's that good. About three couples, besides me, were waiting for tables, and they were all shoving and standing on tiptoes to get a look at old Ernie while he played. He had a big damn mirror in front of the piano, with this big spotlight on him, so that everybody could watch his face while he played. You couldn't see his fingers while he played--just his big old face. Big deal. I'm not too sure what the name of the song was that he was playing when I came in, but whatever it was, he was really stinking it up. He was putting all these dumb, show-offy ripples in the high notes, and a lot of other very tricky stuff that gives me a pain in the ass. You should've heard the crowd, though, when he was finished. You would've puked. They went mad. They were exactly the same morons that laugh like hyenas in the movies at stuff that isn't funny. I swear to God, if I were a piano player or an actor or something and all those dopes thought I was terrific, I'd hate it. I wouldn't even want them to clap for me. People always clap for the wrong things. If I were a piano player, I'd play it in the goddam closet. Anyway, when he was finished, and everybody was clapping their heads off, old Ernie turned around on his stool and gave this very phony, humble bow. Like as if he was a helluva humble guy, besides being a terrific piano player. It was very phony--I mean him being such a big snob and all. In a funny way, though, I felt sort of sorry for him when he was finished. I don't even think he knows any more when he's playing right or not. It isn't all his fault. I partly blame all those dopes that clap their heads off--they'd foul up any-body, if you gave them a chance. ..."