Waiting For Superman


I want to tie together the collapsing glaciers

I want to save the corals from bleaching

I want the sparrows to nest a family in my backyard

I want to wake up to the childhood winds that flew my paper-planes.

 

I want the birds to lift their heads in pride

I want the fishes to not fear their food

I want the lions to have a territory to protect

I want the butterflies to have flowers to hover over.

 

So,

I’m looking for the magic words,

But I don’t have the right ones.

I am looking for the convenient path,

But I am unaware of my choices.

 

I’m not jumping in

cause I’m too scared I’ll fall behind.

So, I’m waiting for Superman,

Knowing that there is no one coming.

 

-Sonia Agarwal

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Foolish Wisdom.

‘We know the sky to be blue, we know babies cry and we know that every girl at some point in her life has wanted to be a princess’. Ever since we have existed, we have itched to know more. We want to know about nature, understand the human psychology, gather information about life on earth, speculate the possibilities of life outside earth… we want to know about our friends, learn from our dreams, track down our past, and peek into the future.

We, as humans, like to know.

As I scrambled together the pieces of my life- I struggled to complete this incomplete puzzle-I was flapping to get a glimpse, just one glimpse of this bigger picture; but then I wondered if ‘ignorance was truly blissful’?

Someone the other day asked me to play doctor. As a surgeon I had the chance to either save one life or five. Like most people, with a heavy yet pragmatic heart- I said I would save the five. But then, I was asked if I would cut open a healthy patient to churn out a heart, kidney, liver, pancreas, brain…and save five patients who were in dire need for those organs? Now, this seemed just wrong. Why? The logic of five is better than one still prevailed but suddenly, something didn’t fit right. As I ran this question repeatedly, this perfectly sound logic of 5>1 just seemed flawed. I couldn’t unlearn something I once believed in- but as I continued to question what I knew, even the familiar became strange.

We are innately born with the ability to make choices, an ability that helps us shape our entire life. We like to make informed decisions- we do not mind stepping out of our paths to get that extra scoop…But my question to you is would you still want to know? On this over-rated path of self-discovery; I discovered self-knowledge to be nothing but lost innocence. Saul Bellow famously said, “A fool can throw a stone in a pond that 100 wise men cannot get out.”

May be it’s not so foolish to be a fool after all.

-Sonia Agarwal
www.bombay-dreams.com

Inspired by Michael Sandel

Ask.

As I peered through my window, watching the snowflakes helplessly melt in the sun; I asked myself what I wanted to think about today. Wouldn’t it be amazing if- I could self-select my train of thoughts- decide when I wanted to pull the chain and get off –or  choose when I want to hop on to another train. Imagine if you had the ability to lay out the tracks for your mind. I guess, it would be amazing-rather truly amazing; but I had fallen prey to my mind way too often, to know that this ‘illusionary-stoner’ path didn’t exist.

But if this Bob-the-builder resided in me – then somewhere deep down- subconsciously- I was laying the bricks. So I decided to dig- to dig deep-till I found bob. As I unearthed my brain, I found no answers. We always seek answers- so for the first time- I decided to seek questions; the right ones.

I realized that our minds are pre-tuned to give answers to the questions we ask. If you ask yourself “what’s wrong?” you are inevitably going to make a mental list of all the wrongs in your life. If you ask “why did it go wrong?” you will only identify your life as a flaw and find yourself in a pool of excuses; but if you ask “how can I make this right?” then you would find yourself with the answer you were truly looking for.

My mind was not going to be dictated by my thoughts- if I didn’t want to live off fate- I had to start asking. But it’s not all about asking questions.Think about who is planting those question marks for you? If I wanted to drive my own train- I had to ask my own questions.

So, if you seek good answers, ask good questions. 

-Sonia Agarwal’12

Canvas

I gazed upon the infinite canvas above;

I knew, there, I would be allowed to pen my thoughts.

Secretly yet openly so.

I still found it hard to let go.

 

My tame mind had perfected the constellations.

Uncertain about this, I lay on the cold floor

With no golden words to abide,

I ran into my imagination for the first time.

 

Blocking out a poufy bunny,

A childish hour had surely blessed upon me.

The clouds were thinning to a smoky blue;

Circling out those crystal eyes for me and you.

 

My hands twitched for some real work,

But this seemed quite real to me.

I painted to the woodland song,

With my head resting on the edge of my elbow-effortlessly.

 

A few were there to applaud this temporary art;

It would be gone with the rising sun.

A new canvas would roll out tomorrow,

Inviting us to paint something that we really want.

 

– Sonia Agarwal

The Ultimate Series

There are a gazillion people who have tried to disintegrate the meaning of life and I think I know why they failed.

There are way too many people, plants, animals & sea-weeds living life; and it takes something different to get each one ticking. Given that we all have different variables and factors that weigh differently in our equations; we can’t possibly round off ‘Life’ to a definite number.

The equation of life is dynamic. Predictably enough, I am going to pull out the ‘we are what we experience’ argument, but not in the same context as one may imagine. Yes, our past experiences have modeled us into who we are, what we like/dislike, what we desire, what we fear, what we believe in & what we expect from ourselves. However, it is not just experiencing an experience that changes the dynamics of our life, the order in which we experience them does.

Life is, hence, nothing but a permutation series- where order matters.

It’s not so much the Beautiful Mind Effect as much as the Butterfly Affect that plays in. With every cup of coffee, every hug, every smile, every argument we pose, every ‘like’ on Facebook we are adding new elements to our series.

Once we add something to our equation, there is no removing it. MJ famously said, “Everything we do or say goes down in history.” According to me, it seems too unnecessarily taxing to keep a tab on something this powerful and personal.

But here I was trying to care for the first time…over a box of golden fries. I sat there, holding up the act of eating, staring at the small paper tubs of tomato Ketchup, Mayonnaise and spicy mustard. Where do I dip my fries? Had I been on my phone, I would have just made a choice, sub-consciously. But now not only did I have the choice- but I was consciously aware of it.

“It’s always good to have choices”; but what if you don’t know how to choose? What if you are unaware of the factors you should consider while making that decision? I often tell people to make wise choices, but what if they are not wise enough?Making choices is not difficult, if you know what you want more.

Review your equation of life today…Not to go back and change things; but to witness your life permutate forever.

Two Pounds Lighter

We take pride in Mumbai’s fast-beat life. It’s said that Mumbai stops for nothing- pretty true? But why don’t people stop for themselves? In the process of checking off everything from their daily checklist, they checkout before they get to themselves? Our lives are so tightly strapped to our leather titans that we always seem to be running the Mumbai marathon. What are we running for? Are we running for our Bombay dream or are we running away from ourselves?

The recent issues of Cosmo picked on the new global fad, called the Slow Movement. Right after introducing the concept of clearing your agenda; they cluttered it with 101 things to do with yourself. LOL. I say keep this afternoon not for your feet, not for your family/friends, not to catch up on sleep but just plain you. Shut your eyes (Dil Chahta Hai stlye)… You will see glimpses of your checklist…force yourself to get pass that…things you have been wanting to do, people you been meaning to meet, will start flashing. Your recent achievements will fly in. Smiles are bound to follow. But wait…wait for the sour wave to hit you. Don’t worry about what will crash upon you; just flow with it.

We all have something that bogs us down. We all have something that we prefer to not touch upon. But why do we (subconsciously) believe that we are incapable to deal with set-backs? Sure, no one wants to look or sound vulnerable. No one wants to reach out for that bucket of ice-cream, or depend on a movie to restore their faith in serendipity.

We all wish to let go, elegantly and swiftly. With no definite answer to how fast is fast and how slow is slow. I decided to step out and  give myself a chance. I will never forget my walk home. I felt my muscles loosen, allowing all the stress in my body to just drained. It was magical rush. I was unsure if it would last- but O’ I sensed my head clear to an exciting vacuum.

Two pounds lighter; I now had room for so much more.

Take yourself for a walk this evening &  get two pounds lighter.  =) 

Docking

She stood there still with a posture that seemed too dignifying to most.

I didn’t know her- or maybe I did… it would be too harsh to call her a complete stranger. She was beautiful. Although I had seen nothing more than the corner of her cheekbone-I knew she was gorgeous- she had to be.

The peppermint winds lay low- for they were too scared to disturb her serenity. Gently yet playfully they tossed her curls. She stood there too engulfed –too indifferent to everything else.

What made her visit the shore every morning? Did she embrace the shore with an empty mind? Or was she there to unload her thoughts? Was she the armature to enjoy the celestial seascape or was she the troubled who came to trash her concerns? What was she thinking? I wish I knew. Something, even a ripple would do. But, I couldn’t ask her such bold questions, not for now at least.

I sat by the corner, with a few odd crows brooding over some lousy trout…sure the fishermen must have discarded those from the more promising lot. I had missed the fishing fleet; but I am certain she was there to see them dock.  

As I lay on a relatively clean clump of sand, I watched her glaze in the sun.  I felt my skin burn to charcoal… I knew I had to leave soon. She still stood there- as mysterious as one could be.  I didn’t mind waking up for her- I didn’t mind waking up for my sea!

This is for All those who  know what the sea is about! =)

 

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