Revisiting an old friend – 3

I used to write My Musings and send it out in an email to a bunch of close friends about 4 years ago. I maintained it for 6 months and then for some reason I stopped. I should’ve continued. Anyhow, I’m reproducing one of the articles written then, verbatim. I hope you like it.


“Move on.”
Tag-line for titan fast track’s ads

Parents – you
Relatives – you
Teacher – you
Friends – you
Siblings – you
Colleagues – you
Money – you
World – you
Religion – you
Beliefs – you
Lovers – you
Spouses – you
You – you

If you’re wondering what is the import of the above list, well, it’s a question – what is the one word that is common to all of the above? I know many of you will say ‘you’. Sorry, wrong answer! Let me rephrase that – what is the one word that describes something important in all of the above? Aah! So are you thinking what I’m thinking? For me that word is ‘relationship’.

Relationships – that cornerstone of our lives. That which defines us, moulds us, shapes our attitudes and in fact how we live our lives. I’ve always wondered at ‘relationships’ especially when they go wrong, terribly wrong. And by wrong I mean, they get derailed,  or evolve, lose potency, lose meaning, lose passion or just spiral downwards into something abominable. I’m focusing on this aspect because of its bearing on the tag-line, so bear with me.

Relationships as we all know are built on trust, respect, love, chemistry, admiration, hate, fear, and many more such emotional intangibles. But the tag-line ‘move on’ is oft used for one of those relationships primarily – the man-woman ‘lover’ relationship. Why?

For those of you who are not residing in India and don’t know the Fast track ads – well, they’re targeting the youth (and by that measure a large part of this newsletter’s readership are eliminated, sorry folks 🙂 ) and want to position it as sassy, hip, cool and whatever other adjective the youth use today embodying the ‘with it’ culture. Fast Track is a Tata company and manufactures watches, bags, sun glasses, belts – all those accessories that go with the urban, modern Gen Y and announces to the world that he/ she’s arrived.  Now many of their ads show young girl, young boy wanting to make out or having made out and just ‘move on’ to another partner, and so on. Of course there are story lines to each of them, but it boils down to one thing; don’t stick with the same person and it’s okay to get dumped or to have multiple partners, it’s not shallow, etc.There are many many many ads that this young brand has to its credit, some superb ones as well. They’re true to their tag-line and show the range of eye-wear, shoulder accessories, etc. So far you’re with me? Good.

Now I’m not being sanctimonious or judgmental about morals or lack of it in these ads or whether they’re good, enjoyable, and if middle-aged folks like yours truly should be talking about it when it’s not meant for me. My contention is with ‘move on’. I’ve picked it because the concept of ‘move on’ vis-à-vis relationships has always had me befuddled. Here’s another why.

Why does ‘move on’ almost always harp on the man-woman relationship? How many times have you heard it, seen it, preached about it when it comes to say, parent-child relationships or teacher-student relationships? At least in my experience, never ever. Why is ‘move on’ almost always (at least it has been so in my experience) associated with a relationship that has a sexual undertone? And more importantly, can one really ‘move on’ once a relationship that you’ve invested so much time, effort, heart, soul, spirit in, dies? Move on where? To another relationship?

Well, of course change is the only constant and if we don’t evolve we’ll be like the dirty pool of stagnant water which attracts disease-spreading flies. But do let me know if ‘move on’ means forgetting about a relationship that you’ve been in. If parents disown their children or there’s a family feud which scars deeply and runs for years, would you be able to ‘move on’? If a person’s raison d’etre keeps the flame of life burning, be it hate or love, with respect to a person, can he/she ‘move on’? If it’s a relationship where your beliefs, perhaps your moral code of conduct, is found inconvenient and it causes you anguish, can you conveniently ‘move on’?

So what is this ‘move on’ pray tell me, because I’ve never understood it. I know each of us has gone through and are living proof of healthy and unhealthy relationships that have lit up our lives or marred it. We’re normal, healthy people. We’ve let time heal our wounds and subliminally allowed it to shape our attitudes. But have we truly forgotten? Or have we blithely dusted the speck of disappointment, hate, fear, deep hurt in a blasé manner off our carefully coiffed hair or carefully constructed ‘look’ and ‘moved on’? Have we lulled ourselves into believing that ‘it’s not worth it, it’s ok, nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so’ and hid behind all such quotable quotes ? When in fact all we’ve really done is just altered our perception, but essentially we’re there where we always were – rooted in our innate humaneness and uniqueness of being? Maybe we’re just repositories of all our experiences and while physically we may alter our geographies, our emotional code remains the same. Or does it? Don’t know as usual. Just thought that it’s a thought worth considering :). Time to move on.

SIDE BAR

Last weekend I went to a Meetup – thanks(name of friend xxx) for introducing me to the concept and you’ll be glad to know it’s caught on fairly well in India as well 🙂 – on Books. Yes, I’ve joined the Bangalore Book Club Meetup, which has regular book critiquing and discussion sessions. I haven’t attended too many, in fact just one, but anyway, last weekend I decided to attend as the topic was ‘crime fiction’. Now at this Meetup, one of the members introduced a young chap, an engineer by qualification, who’d recently come back from Afghanistan where he was stationed for 2 years on a ‘dam building assignment’ near one of the largest cities there called Herat. He was to recount a fascinating tale of life there and of its variegated people. I wish I could have recorded that entire narration interspersed with our questions and you could have seen and heard about the lives of a simple tribal folk who believe there is no other religion other than Islam, who love music, who rival India in their diversity of tribal sects even though they follow the same religion (Sunnis or Shias are the Muslim sects) and watch ‘Tulsi’ (a Hindi TV daily soap) translated into Dari or Pashtun, eat meat meat and more meat, buy guns like we do clothes and very many interesting facets and facts of a war-ravaged but starkly beautiful country.

MISCELLANEA
a) Celebration time! I pushed myself to walk an additional round (of my building perimeter which is part of my daily walk ritual) and so it’s gone up from 9 to 10 rounds without any adverse effects. Yeah!

b) All my pants, jeans, capris, shorts, etc., now slide off or on without me having to struggle to button or unbutton it. Proving what? That I’ve probably dropped a couple of dress sizes. Now give me a high-five!! Yeah!!!

c) There’s actually a ‘Museum of Broken Relationships’ in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital. Wow! Read about it here – http://new.brokenships.com/en/visit. I saw it on a travel channel, and it was fascinating.

d) Feeling of well being and happiness –

  1. When a friend calls up out of the blue and says, ‘I thought of you and I love you’ and shares some hilarious moments of a holiday spent together
  2. When out of the blue another friend texts early in the morning and says, ‘I’m proud of my friends including you ….’
  3. When out of the blue (thanks Aravind) a friend says, ‘hey how about pani puri’ and you say why not and end up having mouth watering pani puris And bhel And sev puri And masala puri. There’s nothing quite like Indian street food.

e) My last Musings asked why people die in love and is it worth it and the different kinds of love. Well, watch and hear this fascinating 20 minute video on this topic by a scientist called Helen Fisher:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/helen_fisher_studies_the_brain_in_love.html

Watch her other video on why we love and cheat. Enlightening

e) Another lovely article from this super journalist called Sevanti Ninan who writes in The Hindu, on our ‘news channels’. Maybe you knew about it, maybe you didn’t. But it’s worth reading about and pausing to muse about what we are fed, and how it influences us. Of course it also begs the question, why are we being fed the staple of news that we are?

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/magazine/article2475946.ece

Recommended: Thirst for learning irrespective of age or background or adversity.
So my mom (yes, you’d have figured out by now that she’s my eternal source of inspiration, simple as she is) goes to learn and chant bhajans (religious hymns) taught by another erudite senior citizen to a group of ladies here in our apartment complex. It’s not every day of the week, but it keeps her motivated and she’s committed to it like no other. She’ll miss dental appointments or even ask God to come later as she’s got ‘bhajan class’. Now this senior citizen, her tutor and a lovely old dictator who makes all these women shiver in their silks is a stickler for discipline. You can’t walk in a minute late or she’ll rip your ego into smithereens with her caustic comments. :). She has given all of these ladies a task. She said: I’m teaching and you all are coming here for so long. But once you go back , you shut your books and don’t recollect any of the shlokas (mantras). So I give you one month and I will take a class (read exam) of about 20 sholkas, Chapter 12, Arjun Uvacha of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Go home and learn.

So off come our ladies suitably anxious as to how to learn and will it stick? So morning, noon and night I see my mother learning, repeating and chanting. And you know what? I took her lessons J, yeah and she has mastered 8 shlokas. Now that’s courage, determination and a whole lot of spirit wouldn’t you agree?

Have a lovely weekend. Vegetate on Sunday. Do Nothing! It works like magic.


Hope you enjoyed a little peep into times gone past of a life 4 years younger.

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