Tag Archives: stories

City Animals and Bangalore Traffic

Have you observed how the animal kingdom adapts to our city life?

I remember reading a story about City Mouse, Country Mouse when I was very young. To the best of the memory, that story was about how the country mouse, initially in awe of city life, finally comes to realize that his country life is much better than the cut-throat pace of the city, where you can be run over by a vehicle before you know it.

Sometimes, when I am on my way home from office (fortunately, a walk-able distance in the crazy Bangalore traffic), I feel trapped like a country mouse. There are days when I wait for minutes before I find a narrow scope to cross the super-busy ITPL Main Road. The incoming traffic never stops, you just have to wait for the right gap between scores of vehicles of all forms and shapes and run for your life when the opportunity opens up. Just like you have to wait as you search for jobs, or when you want to buy that newly-launched mobile phone available exclusively on Flipkart or Amazon. Imagine my frustration when I hear from my friends settled in America how the traffic stops should a pedestrian be spotted on the pavement. In India, pedestrians belong to the least important category in human race, almost at par with the city animals.

Anyways, coming back to the topic, last couple of days, incidentally, I ended up crossing the road with a fellow four-legged pedestrian. I watched closely as the dog kept a watch on the incoming traffic, and at the first signal of thinning traffic, he sped up. And guess what, I ended up following the dog’s lead as I crossed the road!

It’s curious how the structures of human existence impact the animal kingdom. As the city dogs and cats become more adept at crossing roads, perhaps new nerve connections form in their brains, enabling them to get better at surviving this. Which makes me think, should there be a re-enactment of City Mouse, Country Mouse story in real life, would the story still stay intact? What do you guys think? Comment and let me know! 🙂

Some nights speak to you in poetry…

Some nights speak to you. It sits with you, as you hug yourself and tell yourselves lullabies.

Some nights watch you like a predator, a big cat in the night. Shiny eyes sparkling through a tiny gap in the bush.

Some nights writhe in pain, and ask you questions. Why? Why? Why? The sound of your heartbeats. Dum-dum-dum-dum-da-dum-dum.

Some nights listen to you as you tell the stories.

Some nights break into a million tears, and vermilion paints the sky red.

Some nights the moon is oddly absent, and big cities do not see the soul of an owl.

Some nights gasps for breath, as you await the final word.

Some nights, after all is said and done, and goodbyes float, some nights, they lull you to peace.

 

Date: 23rd March, 2019

Written within half an hour of watching Masaan. Inspired.

Why would you make actors act if you don’t point the camera at them? Sometimes, it is good.

Stories are powerful

As a kid, when anyone came into our house, I used to bug them to tell me stories. I don’t quite remember the stories that my these people told me anymore. Looking back, I don’t even understand why I wanted to listen to those stories. As it was, it was not the age of deep thinking. I guess what I craved for was a a glimpse into a world that was not mine, something different, something wonderful.

I began writing for my school magazine in my third grade. The first few years were poems, and then I graduated to writing fiction. I was never good with storytelling; even today, I am not. I derive heavily from the life that I am part of, which is why, my stories are always, in some form, about me. I know for a fact, I could never spin up a world like Harry Potter’s. I think I do not have the imaginative mind to do it.

I have not written stories in a long time, even though I want to. I have always wanted to write good stories. But somehow, I always struggle with a good ending. Or if I have the right ending, I don’t know the story that led to that ending. Sometimes, I feel I am too young, I have not seen life enough to write anything meaningful.

It impacts how my relationship with this blog has also changed over time. There was a point when I wrote anything and everything here. These days, I don’t feel like writing unless I really feel like I have something to say. Even that is filtered to an extent. A lot of my writing are now personal, diary entries in a folder in my laptop. At this stage of life, that’s what feels right.

When I was younger, stories were independent things, with a life of limited duration. They began in the time that I started reading a book or someone started telling a story and ended when the story ended. The life of the story was within the duration of when it was told. But as I grew, as I watched movies and TV series, as I read more books (currently reading The Kite Runner), I realize that the stories we watch/read become a part of our everyday life. They somehow manage to creep into the fabric of our lives, and come back to us in their own time or affect the way we deal with our lives. As I grow, I realize, we all are also living some form of stories. Why do we want to be friends with different types of people? Because we want to witness a version of life that we are not living. We want to see how different life can be, when the actors are different. We take lessons from other people’s lives, we discover ourselves in the lens of other people’s lives. That’s why we write stories. That’s why we read stories.

Even businesses, at the end of the day, are stories. When you have a bunch of data and want to find some insights from it, what do you do? You try to visualize a story that the data can help you tell. That’s what analytics is all about. That’s why modern corporates stress so much on the art of storytelling. Analysis, done in silos, findings found in disparate chunks of data, do not make any sense unless they tie to the story that depicts the current state of the business, or tells it where it wants to go.

That’s why storytelling is powerful. That’s why art will always be counterpart of science.

What Nobody Told You About Happiness

Some days, you see/experience something that changes you in a fundamental way. Today happened to be one of those days.

For the last few days, I have been feeling restless. Heck, I have been restless all my life. I have an itch inside me which drives me to solve problems as soon as possible. I pay my bills almost as soon as they arrive in my email. I like to keep no debts. If a call has to be made, I would do it sooner than later. Finishing things make me happy. Accomplishments make me happy.

I am told multiple times that I talk too fast. Yes, I do. Because I trying to hard to keep up with the train of thoughts in my brain that is rushing so fast that I struggle to keep up with them.

I love flights. I love how quickly you can reach from a city that has burned you to a city that smells of love.

I am always in a hurry. Always. In. A. Hurry.

Today, I chanced upon a wonderful TEDx video of Saisha Srivastava from 2015 (when she was 20). Saisha is a dancer who collaborated with blind schools in Kolkata to teach visually impaired kids how to dance.

As I watched the video, the familiar sensation of time flying by held me and shook me up. She spoke fast, almost as fast as I speak when I am trying to catch up with my thoughts. And in those 17 minutes, I felt, once again, there is just so much left to be done in this life and I have probably not even started.

I keep watching these videos about solo travel, where people talk about staying the nights with random strangers and receiving kindness from the most unexpected places. That resonates with the core of my being. As humans, we die to hear good stories. It is ingrained in our genes – we live in our stories, we live through our stories.

We want more intriguing stories. We need more intriguing stories.

Saisha’s is a wonderful story to tell. Is yours?

If you have been part of something this beautiful, share your experience with me, down in the Comments.

See you in another blog.

Until then, either tell a story, or live one! ❤