Tag Archives: humanity

On departures and social constructs

Waking up at a different hour than your usual can sometimes be cathartic.

Since the Covid situation started, I have been working out of my home. I no longer have a job which requires me to wake up at 7 AM in the morning to take calls with the onsite. No longer do I even need to wake up at 8 AM, so I can finish breakfast and leave for office on time.

My morning routine these days consists of waking up at an hour which the young me would have been shocked at and wouldn’t have been allowed anyways in my parents’ house. Yet, the whole world is reeling under a pandemic and wake-up hours may be the least of concern to anyone involved.

However, this morning, couple of my flatmates left the flat as they are going back home. To see them off, I woke up at 6.30 AM. They left about 7 AM. Just having woken up at an hour which you probably have not seen for the better part of a year, you have no idea what to do.

I spoke to my mother for an hour, grateful that some people still wake up at decent human hours and are available for a chat. We talked about people leaving and the emptiness left behind – the suitcases that no longer crowd the hall. The utensils which have magically disappeared, the shoe racks which just hold some blank shoe boxes and dirt from the shoes that no longer belong.

Having spent five years in this city, I would say I have grown to not being affected by departure. I have learnt to shut the lid on memories and reopen them when they are convenient or simply gushing into the mind-screen. The weekends past spent on pizza parties are just that – past. I know now that these weekends are not to come back, but what will indeed come by are new people and new memories which come with them.

This pandemic has taught me the importance of being around people in life. In some ways, I am saint-like in my life. I could go hours without talking to anyone, thinking to myself, reading something or just generally doing things which do not matter in the grand scheme of life. Yet, in the handful of parties that have been held in the house in the last month or so and a game of monopoly which I have gotten great at over the period, I realize the importance of the social construct.

I did not grow up learning to respect friendship. It worked back in the day, because we lived in houses filled with nosy relatives or pesky neighbors, people who made your business their business. But here, in the high-rises of Bangalore, no one really cares. If you ever exchange any words, that’s perhaps because you haven’t been responsible with your trash or you cost your neighbors their sweet sleep with your loud music. We are generally good tenants, which means, we don’t often get called out for the two behaviors mentioned above. Which means, we live in a three-bedroom flat, my flatmates and I, and we are pretty much on our own, on our own routine.

And within that, when people come and just fill up your lives, in the form of a maid or a random co-worker of a flatmate who you’ll never see again, somehow it feels good. The world is a beautiful place, but it is made all the more beautiful by the sheer variety of people living in it. In some ways, even the pesky neighbors feel like a fixture of the past era now. There is an odd pain in everything being perfect, without a bother. I do love my solitude, but we will continue to be social creatures until perhaps the end of this civilization, in spite of our machines ripping us off our human interactions. In between, perhaps these pandemics will serve us with a reminder of who we ought to be and what we really need to thrive in the world that we have made up to be so complex.

Are we just numbers?

In this age of technology, are we today reduced to just numbers? We are our phone numbers to our contacts, a unique ID to the government, numbers in hospitals as we wait for our turn to see the doctor and numbers in correctional centres. Numbers, today, have become our identifications. It is necessary for our communication. Numbers are easy to code, easy to store and easy to process. It preserves uniqueness to a large extent.

But what does being a number do to the self? When we treat someone as a number, somewhere we end up de-humanizing them. We reduce them to an object, devoid of feelings and awareness. We treat them likewise. Does this make us less human, less empathetic and our businesses more fierce, more profit-oriented?

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the Comments below.

Of Wiccan beliefs and feminine thoughts

I started reading The Wiccan Waltz by Pragya Vishnoi today. Pragya was one the beta reviewers of my second book, How I Tamed the Dragon Named Fear and I was happy to be able to give back by reviewing hers.

Since I have just started reading the book I can’t go into details about the plot, but the book sure got me interested to look up Wiccan beliefs. I spent close to an hour today watching videos about Wiccan culture.

I found it interesting how Wiccan beliefs stress on the power of the feminine energy. It got me thinking: fundamentally, would the world have been a better place if it were women who were the forefront, writing the history of the human civilisation? I am not a feminist. I believe in the equal rights of the individual irrespective of their gender. At the same time, I take pride in being a woman. In my own family I have seen how women have been the pillars of strength and how much they could sacrifice.

The male ego is that of a conqueror. They are the dominant force. Since women are go through the pains of labour, they are naturally inclined towards being vulnerable, providing and caring. Due to this, I feel naturally women are more tolerant than men in many cases. In today’s world of hate crimes and terrorism, maybe if our history was primarily written by women, we might have been a little more compassionate of other  people’s needs and not our victory over others.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

Happy weekend!

P.S: For those who likes some magic and fantasy, please give The Wiccan Waltz a try. As a first impression, I thought it was a well-written book. I will probably do a detailed review later. But if fantasy is your genre, you should definitely give it a try.