Friday, May 15, 2009

Love is sacrifice? I think not!

True love : defined by a pathlogical need to distance oneself from one's own ego that one may let another's feelings define their life. Or so generations of star-crossed lovers' stories would have us believe. The gullible among us fall for the sales pitch, of course. And so... we are now in a position to enumerate the two forms this gullibility predominantly takes.
1. Those that let their muses move them into the center of their (the muse's lives) lives and feel indebted to said muse for said act.
2. Those that move their muses into the center of their lives and start to believe that they have loved (and probably lost) and are much the better for it.

The former set of people exhibit a condition commonly known as stupidity (and associated with species of lesser native intellignce... and gults! - come to think of it. The latter set of people exhibit all the symtoms of pure unadulterated megalomania. Beg to differ, do you? Well! Let's see...
The typical lover tends to believe that he / she is the centre of her partner's existence. Accepted? NO! Ok let's take a questionnaire.
Q 1: The fastball! What do you (as a lover) believe?
A 1: I believe I can make the world a happy place for my girl / guy / sigh!-don't-bother.-It's-gonna-take-long-to-explain-my-partner's-gender
Strike 1: Strong belief that one can do the impossible!

Q 2: The curve ball! Your lover is happy / sad / angry / feeling victimized. Who caused this?
A 2: Must have been Me!
Strike 2: Claim (unsupported by any known evidence) that one defines the other person's very existence.

Q 3: The Slider! For your lover's life to change what one significant event would be sufficient?
A 3: If my life changes, my lover's life will to! I quit smoking, and she is so much happier now. I started spending my evenings at home and she feels so ALIVE!
Strike 3! My life defines hers! Biologial and evolutionary evidence not withstanding.

The only true self-sacrificing love is instinctive; mother-to-child or elephant-herd-to-calf. Any "love" based on choice (and not instinct) is not self-sacrificing; it is truly and distinctively megalomaniacal.

Go get your head checked... By a jumbo jet... (my apologies to Blur)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The God of Punchlines is bested.!

I always used to blieve that if there was one thing I was good at, it was the ability to pull out a punchline. Well, Whaddya know! I've been bested. And here is the one that bested me...
"I'd much rather be hated for who i am than loved for who i am not."

Touche to the MAX!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Indulge me!

An armchair philanthropist (my boss, incidentally!) was talking about how he felt this intense guilt eating out when he saw hungry kids. As if he was cheating them when he partied or had dinner at a posh place. I think he expected me to click my tongue and empathize or possibly even tell him what a good person he was. You bet he was surprised to hear that I had no sympathy either for the hungry kid or for the guilt-ridden man. (Oh I wish the chap had been of telugu-origin. I would have referred to him as the guilty gulti. But life gives me not these silly pleasures! c'est la vie!)
Bach to ze ztoree ... Fact is that I indulge myself: more than most people I know. 'Indulgence for its sake' is one of my axioms. Probably not the most glorifying of axioms: probably not the most soul-stirring. Definitely one of the more satisying. 'Greedy sonofa-bleep!', do I hear you say? Well, you are right. Have your laugh.
Indulge me, for a minute while I take a hypothetical. Three people come to me. They want money. They all tell me that I should give them the money today or there will be untold grief. One of them is a local politico who wants me to pitch in for the local Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. The second is a little kid who expects to be given money because he is hungry. The third is the local drunk; a ruffian, and a wife-beater. He is begging at the bus stop. His next stop, I know, is going to be the local wine shop. One quart of the cheapest whisky! So who do I give the money?
Nobody! I have a drink myself on behalf of the drunk! I dont do equality. I dont do justice. People only deserve what they are smart enough to get. The hungry kid plays on your guilt. The drunk plays on your sympathy. The politco plays the dual card of religion and fear. I understand the cards they all are playing. And I don't fall for 'em.
Its interesting that you will ask me next why I dont care for the kid. In return, I'd love to ask why you dont care about the drunk, but that is another post. (Oh, I'll just be lazy and ask you to look up the views of Alfred P Doolittle on "morality and being deserving". His views are mine, in thihs case.) I hope that we all agree on why the case of the local politico is being dismissed outright.
Yes. I understand that there is a very distinct possibility that the kid isn't acting; that the kid is really hungry. I know what hunger is. And I understand the pain involved in starving because you can't afford to eat. I understand why people would be interested in feeding the kid. It's hard-wired by evolution. If mother's didnt find breast-feeding to be arousing, that would be the end of the gen-nxt. We are, as humans, hard-wired to take care of the child. But I've learnt how to overcome that instinct. As a matter of principle, I will zealously make everyone EARN their winnings. No freebies here! I can be exceedingly open about how much I'll give, but I wont give unless you can give me something in return. You have to realize that there is a value system, and that everything has its value (if not a price). MY generosity has its price.
How disgusting of me!? Well, not really. What is the price you are looking for? You want to be a "Good" person. You want to go to heaven. You want to feel good about yourself. That you have done a "wondrous" act of selflessness... and hence you are a much better person than those around you. You want to feel all this in return for a loaf of bread. What do I want? I want the kid to tell me what he will do for me in return for the loaf of bread. I ask you! Which is the higher price?
The only thing in your favour is that you arent asking the poor kid for anything in return. But I cant help that. The kid is the only person I can ask from. No one else owes me anything. :)
As it happens, this kid looked at me startled and said, he couuldn't do anything. I showed the kid where I lived. And I told him he could get all the money he wanted from money if he could find something that I would be interested in, in return. He didn't come for two days. Yesterday, he came over to tell me that if I could let him clean my bike, he would let me make breakfast for him! Those were his words! He turned the damned thing around. IT wasnt about "need" anymore. IT was about opportunity. If I gave him the opportunity to clean my bike, he would give me the opportunity to feed him breakfast! Smart kid. HE aint going hungry for too long! He;s learnt how to survive.
Oh btw, the reason I dont have any patience for the guil-ridden among you is this: Life presents you with problems everyday. Now, when the problem appears, you have four choices:
1. you can solve the problem.
2. you can deny the existence of the problem.
3. you can acknowledge that you cannot solve the problem and you learn to live with it.
4. you can whine about how life has given you or someone else a shitty deal.
The first two are my favourite choices. I have patience for anyone who takes options 1 through 3. I shan't give the time of the day to one who takes option 4. Because this person is not part of the solution, and doesn't even merge into the landscape. HE is part of the problem.
(Oh! Just remembered an old chemistry joke. If you aren't a part of the solution then you are a part of the precipitate! One of Dad's best. Though I dont know if he made it up.)
Oh! A friend wrote a piece that touches upon a similar theme. You might want to read the piece. Her take is very different take from mine, and I promise that it will be far gentler on your mind and eyes than this one.
Another double large Smirnoff please. Dont bother with the ice. I have mine neat.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Missing a part of me

I know this path -
I've been down it before.
It ends in lonelineness -
I know.

You walked there once -
with me.
As I was learning to walk -

You held my hand and smiled -
By the rose hedge, you turned around -
and kissed me.

The hedge is still there -
the roses still bloom.
The garden is still beautiful -
just not so much without you.

I miss your loving eyes.
I miss your silly smile.
I miss your hug.
I miss your touch

I know how much it hurts.
I know the pain will never dull -
for I'm missing a part of me.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Ammamma says goodbye

Ammamma passed away on the 28th. I made it home in time to ask her one last time if she wanted to play chess with me (on the condition that I be allowed to cheat, of course!). I don't know if she heard me, or understood. I hope she did. I hope she smiled and said "I'll beat you yet!" Because that is the kind of woman she was.

Ammamma lived to a ripe old age - though she would (like my mother) insist that she was always 16 years and a few months old. She lived her life by her own terms. Failing eyesight and a rasping cough were the only signs that age had caught up with her. At an age where Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are par for the course, Ammamma beat the odds. Her memory was intact - as was her ability to control the world around her. Right till her last moments she never groaned or moaned or complained. She took all that life and death had to give her and faced it with a determination not to let it overpower her. WOW! What a way to go!
Will I have the same courage when it's my time. Probably not.
Tata! Ammamma! Love you.