Why don’t we say whatever the hell we want?

Actually no. We’re careful, very careful. We’re really watchful. It’s almost like the NSA and Edward Snowden telling us, “hey, watch it, you’re being watched!”. What are we afraid of?

Blog – watch it.
Take for example, writing a blog. The blog is not just about me expressing whatever the hell I feel like is it? I know I could get an audience, I could have a “following” in the thousands and someday before I die and do the right things on social media, get the right blog titles with “10 ways to get a fucking orgasm” (shoot, am going to be spammed by all the viagra selling trolls and porn sites, sick!) or “5 ways to tell your boss you are a fucking ass hole”, or “6 ways to become really rich really fast” or sell the right content, put up the right vine videos or emojis or GIFs or what have you, have a lot of track backs, hyperlinks, follow the right people, you know the whole shebang, I could be a internet millionaire. So can I really say whatever the hell I want to, unless I am Ash Ambirge, or Marie Forleo or Erika Napoletano? No way, come on!!! And even they say only for effect because come on they make a lot of sense, money, and fangirls, and they’re fucking good at it. I’m jealous and bitter and old and a fag and I can’t be like them. Ever!

Drivers – mind it.
Or for that matter when you would really like to thulp the auto driver who is constantly checking you out in the rear view mirror and making your skin crawl, you keep shut and look out the open door and suck in the temptation. You’d like to really smash his head in the same rear view mirror, show him the middle finger and say, “fuck off ass hole”, but what happens is you start thinking about how his bloodied face is going to stalk you in your nightmares, how he’s going to corner you with hoodlums in tow and how you’re going to be molested and how your life is going to be a living hell. You let it go.

Relatives – bite (your tongue) it.
When the uncle is too argumentative at home about matters that really are not significant to life as such, all you want to do is yell, “shut the fuck up”. But you know you can’t do that unless you’re really really drunk and have a really really really painful boil in your anal crack that makes you boil over. I mean who in the name of Hillary Clinton gives a flying fuck if the milkman came at 6.00 am with a pushcart or on a cycle and if he comes everyday like that wearing his galoshes? Or was it raining that particular day and if he was carrying an umbrella (or not) and why the milk packets were all wet? Really? And have a 14 mins. 30 secs argument about it? God, I could die! Well you know what I mean for God’s sake, don’t take umbrage I’m just being sarcy.

Mother/ parent – no way you can say it.
When your mother drives you up the wall with her stubborn rigid nature you want to throw things and say, “go to hell for crying out loud” and maybe you do, but what you really want to say and mean are, “please, please please I beg you, just let me do it my way and I’m sick and tired of you”. But how can one say it? She’s your mother after all, the giver of life, the unerring stalwart with great judgement and wisdom, the supportive, unstinting with her love and understanding kind of role model mommy, how can you bitch about her? And if she’s as old as my mom is, with a penchant for getting everything done just as the thought hits her, well, you can bid your patience, peace and “good-daughter trophy” goodbye.
She’ll dump the clothes in the washing machine just when I’m meditating and all I can do is abandon my meditation there and then and watch her as she sulks like a wounded animal because I’ve had the audacity to rudely yell at her. I could be more compassionate and understanding because poor thing she was tip toeing and opening and shutting doors in the innocent belief that it was soundless. Oh my poor old wonderful, amazing, mother! I’m the villain de piece, woe be me! How dare I!! Poor mom!! Tsk tsk!

Friends – lost it.
So you have a friend who you’ve known for years. Both of you move on in time, age, careers and are still single. You try and keep in touch while she honestly doesn’t bother. Not that you do much either, but you know in your heart that it’s over. You want to write to her and tell her it’s over, as you’re not sure if you have the courage to actually have a conversation about how hurt you are. You end up having conversations in your head and you show off your hurt pride and your crib list and your justification notes and comments and the flourish with which you end it. Whoa! It’s all in the head. But you see, you’re fed up of these “caring, cooing, protective, awestruck”  other friends and how she’s always so busy and how her bosses are so amazing and how she’s so indispensable and how much she has to travel, and how she’s lonely too but she’s got so much grace and she manages it all so well, etc. And then of course there is this whole thing about how we’re so connected and how because of our supposed soul connection the underlying message is, “forgive me, I haven’t or couldn’t be bothered to keep in touch, but hey, you’re there, I’m here, and we have an amazing friendship that transcends time,space, eras, lives, so can we get on with it?” (Gauri, for the record if you’re reading this ain’t about you, and am saying it out loud because I know you sometimes read this blog and you may assume that this rant is about you, so no, rest assured it isn’t, I love you). All I want to do is tell my friend, “listen you fraud, don’t pretend, because I can’t anymore, but am not rocking the boat too much because I’m feeling guilty about not doing enough, but I think you should feel even more so if you cared even an iota for me”. “I’ve had enough and our friendship is long dead and gone and I’m not getting anything out of it nor you am sure, but let’s call it quits shall we?”

Online dates – forget it.
I’ve had my share of online dates. Of course “dating” is not the acceptable term for women my age and generation, though it may be for Gen Y with Tinder or OK Cupid or Match.com or even Ashley Madison ruling the online world. For women like me who’re single, we’re on the lookout for (or supposed to be) men who are eligible grooms, companions, boredom breakers, singledom hackers and so on. When ever I’ve been attracted to a guy, I’ve convinced myself that this is “the guy”. I’ve been desperate, low on self esteem, self-worth and never really said what I’d love to say to them after about 5 emails, 2 phone calls and when they immediately ask me to come on Whatsapp and want an intimate chat and if I don’t, of course I’m the prude and they’re men of the world. Wow! At that moment, all I wanna tell them is, “Swines, can’t get enough of yourselves in the mirror, then why don’t you have a secret ceremony with yourselves and marry your alter ego, why do you need a woman, because it must be such a high to go to bed with someone you love, you?” Or, “just buy an inflatable doll you puffed up prick!” Really, the number of times I’ve felt like screaming and saying “listen I don’t really care about your children or your golf or your cooking skills, you are boring boring boring” but I haven’t, is beyond belief. Now when I look back, I wonder what was I afraid of? Of remaining single all my life? So be it. God saved me from insufferable ego maniacs because I’d have died of insanity, divorced or been accused of murder if I’d actually gotten together with any one of them. I must be insane to actually have thought of making it with any of them. Thank God literally and figuratively for saving me. Shmucks!

Well the list goes on. The guy snoring in the seat next to you in the aircraft, the man who looks at you in the elevator and feels his crotch, or the waitress who pretends you’re invisible, or that neighbour who dumps her little 3-year old pesky brat in your living room while she goes to get a pedicure, or or or..the list is endless.

We just shut up. The words are swallowed hard, the tongue gets bitten, the pride takes a beating, and the anger and frustration is always on the boil. There’s no closure unless of course you burst one day like a volcano and people look at you like you’re bat shit crazy, and you end up alone, loathed, avoided and socially ostracised. While there may be relief for you at that moment, it’s the beginning of the end of life as you knew it.

But think about it. Is life as we know it now, with the constant carousel of energy-sapping, mind-numbing anger towards people who we’ve allowed to get under our skin, hidden behind a veneer of pretence, really worth it? Isn’t honouring oneself more important than being in the good books of those who perhaps don’t count? I am sure there are different yardsticks for people who matter, be it spouses, parents, children, grand children, friends. But let’s face it, even they, every one of them can take you for granted if you let them. In fact it’s the people you care about who hurt you the most. And it’s the people who care about you who’ll stand up and respect you if you tell it like it is. Because while honesty is not the best policy in this 21st century for most things, (that’s the cynic in me), when it comes to honouring yourself vis-a-vis your relationships, it still is. It will give you more than a 100% ROI in the long-term. Go on try it. I might not live long enough to hear you shout Yay!, but I promise you, as I discover it for myself, that it’s the only way. Say it like it is, if it matters to you. Or you’ll never be heard. Only herded. You choose.


The Inconvenience of Truth!

 “It’s mercy, compassion, and forgiveness I lack. Not rationality.”                  The Bride in  Kill Bill – Vol.1 

The Inconvenience of Truth 1:
Firstly, apologies that I’m a day late on my writing schedule. The ‘silver lining’ way to look at it? Thank God, just a day late and I’ve got something to say :). My mother and I went to see this Hindi movie called ‘City Lights’ on Sunday last. The movie had got great reviews and the actor is from among a new breed of actors in the Bollywood pantheon who’s a find, a bundle of skill and talent, he’s the reel and real deal – Rajkumar Rao, take a bow. The movie lived up to some of the reviews and I liked it. Gritty and real with some extremely fine acting.

The long and short of the storyline – a young man, his wife and his young daughter leave their village in Rajasthan, a state in North Western India, come to Mumbai seeking hope, love, dreams and fulfillment – trying to live an honest dream. What the city does to them as a family in search of living, is the crux of the movie. The movie held me in thrall, most movies do as I’m a lover of movies and if a movie doesn’t hold me in the vortex of its storytelling then it’s a truly truly truly awful film. Because I can sit through almost any film, barring horror. That’s a genre that I abhor and have stayed away from. I value my sleep and I don’t need horror films to teach me about  beauty and love and gratitude and forgiveness and I don’t need arguments that without darkness there can be no light. Thank you, but no, thank you! Aah, I digress, woe be me! :). Blame it on the lure of the words and the seduction by the keyboard :).

So to get back to the movie ‘City Lights’, the movie asked me a few questions to which I honestly had no answers:

a) What is it to be homeless and would I be able to sleep on a pavement besides a garbage dump with my mother if I ever found myself to be in a situation like that? {she’s the only immediate family though my close knit and extended family of aunts and cousins might take umbrage to that statement, but you know what I mean – like I have no siblings or a father (at least I don’t know if he’s alive and I’m hoping if he is that he’s fine, God bless his soul!)}

b) What kind of person does it take to cheat a naive, simple, poor soul of all his monies and leave him and his family dejected, homeless and bereft of hope or belief in the goodness of humanity? What would I do in circumstances like that?

c) Would I be able to dance in a strip club and have men leching, lunging and lusting after my body and objectifying me as a pure sex object? So what if the money’s showered on and over my titillating body? Would my pride, ego, intrinsic cultural ethos and conditioning prevent me from doing what it takes to survive especially if I was a mother with a young child?

d) Why do we teach “honesty” as a value? Why don’t we temper these values with riders and caveats with a dose of practical reality? It’d be so much more easy to live down our own truths. I mean, really, how honest can a person be in this world that we’ve ensured is dishonest? And then to seek honesty and goodness and spirituality in the Himalayas or Hawaii by doing yoga or becoming a monk or whatever else that you’ve identified is food for your soul, isn’t going to cut it is it? if it does, why are we all always seeking? I’m not deriding seekers, no, not by a long shot. Please continue to ask, seek, search and find whatever it is you are seeking to give you peace, purpose and pleasure and make the world a better place. I’m a seeker too for cyring out loud and it is in that seeking that these questions emerge. Why don’t we teach our children therefore, that be ‘as honest as you can by weighing the circumstances and the context’?
Because let’s face it, there are no absolutes, are there? We’ve all cheated, lied, and been dishonest at some time in our lives, white lies et al. So who are we kidding when we say, ‘be honest, don’t cheat, be good’. Really?

e)  Would you make peace quickly (I dare not say easily), with your spouse’s death even after realising that it was a deliberate sacrifice on his/her part, so that you could live with dignity and purpose, with the monies that can afford you those twin attributes? In fact would it be okay to live on the monies that are in effect ill begotten wealth so to speak, and on the memories of a sacrificed, tarnished life?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. The world we live in is the same. But it isn’t right? Because the prisms through which each of us lives it is so different. Therefore there are a billion plus realities, not just one. Your reality is different from mine. And yet, we come up with a Standard of Values, that’s supposed to be the underpinning of societal mores and values that drives us, helps us (supposedly) live civilised lives. Hrmph!!! What baloney! That’s why perhaps it’s liberating when we ‘break the shackles’, ‘break the rules’, and ‘do your own thing’ and sing ‘it’s my life’! And yet without rules and values where would we be? Still bludgeoning women with a stony club or a hand axe I guess and have incestuous lives or adulterous lives and run amok looting and plundering and not adhering to any rules I guess. Hmm…come to think  of it, put like that, it sounds terribly akin to 21st century no? Oh the conundrum of being human!

The Inconvenience of Truth 2
During my morning perambulations yesterday and my usual routine of listening to a podcast, I had an epiphany. The podcast I was listening to was The Unmistakable Creative’s interview with this amazing modern-day monk called Dandapani. During that interview, he asked a simple, oft-asked question: what do I really want? It’s not something that I hadn’t asked myself before, but there’s always something about the timing, the place, the context, the mood, that all adds up to a connection and a sudden burst of clarity – in short, an epiphany. What did I really want? The answer was: to know if I mattered!

——————————————————————————————————— Truth is inconvenient. Truth gives us an ulcer which no amount of Eno or other antacids can assuage. Truth is a tool for manipulation. Truth is malleable. Truth is bitter. Truth hurts. But in the end…

The truth always sets you free.

And while you mull that, here’s a query that can perhaps help you in that quest of the Truth.