Transcendence

Things fall apart. Entropy increases and things just slowly fall out of existence. It makes things a little bit interesting though, doesn’t it? Seeing life like this endless book. Every time things fall apart, a chapter of your life ends and its time to move on. We all live life in such an organized way, that sometimes we just see how beautiful it can be with entropy as a part of it. It is so deviated from reality that it almost seems like a fantasy.

I imagine running through fields. Running for as long as I can, stopping every once in a while to catch my breath. I lie down and let the sunshine get to me. I know that one day, that field might not be there but I have this memory. This memory that helps me hold on to that field. I imagine spending a night under the stars, so many in number that I just can’t keep track. To start a fire, set up a tent with someone, read a book on how to protect myself from bear just in case. But the stars too will fade away one day and we would be aliens on our own planet, distant from civilized. A place so consumed by disorder that you’re unable to see the stars and run in fields seems so colorless.

I cherish the dinners that I have with my family and friends. A safe haven from all the problems in the world and all the calamities that take place. A place where everyone can talk about how their day went and what made them smile today. We eat a lot but we laugh even more. I do all of this knowing that there’s going to be one day where I won’t be able to. But that doesn’t stop me from doing it. Entropy: 0, Ritwik: 1

These situations are so extremely deviated from reality that it seems plausible that I have made them in the corners of my mind. I started out by saying how entropy dictates the chapters in our life and I continue to stand by it but the thing is, it doesn’t make it hard for us to cherish anything just because one day its not going to be there, it just makes it easier. I try. I try every day to make the best of these small moments that I have moments with my friends and family and the extraordinary things. Seems to be working quite well.

For now, I send you my regards from strawberry fields.

-r.chakravrty (Major Beatles fan)

Jhumritalaiyya

“Mere gaav jhumritalaiyya hai. Tere gaav shaayad Timbuktu”

I don’t write on love. I mean, I have included it in as some of the minor themes in my stories but nothing major. But today I’ve decided to break the pattern of the same old things and cherish love. So here I am.

I think at this point we have come to terms with the fact that there are a lot of unpleasant things in this world. We all have to bear through something or the other, so why not try to do something pleasant for a change. Let’s try to fall in love. With someone, something or some place. I’m in love with cloudy nights.

When everything feels really still and I walk on the road that’s still wet due to the rain. I walk for a while and I look back with no expectations of finding someone to look back to me. I hope I meet someone. We talk for a while and then we go sit in their front yard. While they play the type of music that we both like, we don’t even talk. We just sit there and share a glance every now and then. I look at the stars for a while and then I close my eyes trying to picture every single one of them. They are a little bit blurry but it’s still good for me. I begin to feel a little drowsy so I lie down on the grass, it feels a little bit dry. I’m slowly falling asleep and as I lose that second of consciousness, I fall in love.

I fall in love with people too every now and then. I like to cherish the times when they smile at the corner of their mouth and the things that make their skin curl. I slowly pick up their habits. I notice the slight variations in their voice. I pay attention to what they wear. I listen to their problems and try to come up with their apt solutions. I fight with them when I don’t want to. I try to be the best me that I can be but I can’t. I take in their cologne and soak in their scent. I do all of this because I feel that love is incomplete without all of these things.

Love runs through my veins.

 

God? God.

This post is not what you think it is about. It is not about me saying, “God doesn’t exist.” and receiving comments from people who are very angry, presenting all the evidence they could find in the 15 minutes that it took them to read this article to convince a 14-year-old that God exists. We’ve been doing that for so long maybe its time to finally mix things up a bit.

This article is anything but a controversy. 

So a few days back, I was watching this show called, “The Story of God” on National Geographic and it tackles with questions like, Why does evil exist? What is heaven and hell? and Who is god? I think that all the people who’re seeking answers should watch this show but moreover people who don’t have an understanding of God and still have an argument against him/her should watch this show.

The episode started with Morgan Freeman (host) sitting with Sujo, a 9/11 survivor. Sujo was in the North tower when it got hit and his wife in the South tower. Sujo was with a group of people and the fire department truck was unable to reach them. So, he prayed to God. A piece of debris fell on top of him and the group but he was the only one who survived. He says that God spoke to him, not physically but he heard it inside himself. After Sujo survived the attack, he helped many poor families in his native, India and he is trying to eradicate human trafficking in the slums of India. When I watched this video, I thought that it couldn’t have been possible that he prayed and God saved him. But then I realized, there was no force that saved him. It was the divine inside him. He had faith that he would overcome this. All he needed was faith.

Then we talk about, Meskel. A Roman Empress Helena, went on a journey to find the cross of Jesus Christ. She was told to make a huge bonfire and the smoke from the bonfire would point to direction of the cross. So, she asked the people of Ethiopia to build a bonfire and when they did, the smoke pointed exactly in the direction of the cross. Meskel is a festival where they make a huge bonfire or the Demera and depending on the direction it falls in, it is either considered a good omen or a bad one.

All of this really makes us wonder, how we’ve been only exposed to a certain religion where we only carry out certain traditions and that’s how we slowly lose faith. But certain people all over the world, base all their lives on a God. Whether he/ she exists or not is certainly a question but for the time being let’s just cherish the amount of diversities God has led to.

All we need is, faith.

 

Papa.

I know that this post is coming out a day before father’s day but I shall not let dates dictate my love for my father. P.s if you’re reading this, you’ve given me two hours on the laptop and this is what I’m doing with them, just putting it out there.

We all make so many movies on mothers, write books and spread around books but I believe that dads are a bit underrated. I’m not saying that we should stop paying attention to our mothers, I’m just saying we should start paying a bit more to our fathers. Now, I had some crazy times with my dad. We used to go out for movies and he used to have parties, where he would make everyone sing and dance like anything. He was free. After my dad passed, I would always long for a role model. Who could sit down with me , tell me a bit about life, try to give it some purpose and maybe just hang out sometimes. My grandfather was that person for me, for a really long time. I just want to mention first that my grandfather, is the coolest person of my generation. He has a Facebook profile and I always wait eagerly for his posts. My daadu has seen this whole wide world and he has wonderful stories about each and every place but my favorite ones used to always be about Andaman. How there was a lake filled with crocodiles that people had to cross to go somewhere. As a kid, when I used to sleep with my grandparents, my daadu used to start telling me a story, sleep halfway through and wake up with a completely different story.

After a few years my mom met this amazing person and they got married. I was really happy that all those years that I missed out on with a male parent in my life, I could finally gain them back and till this day I’m gaining them back. My dad is the most wonderful person that I’ve ever met and I’m not just saying it. He is this guy, who knows when to say the right things, he teaches me new things about life every day and he’s a really smart person. We go out sometimes, just me and him to grab some lunch or dinner. Every once in a while, I think that he’s the one that pulls the family together and there’s not a day that goes by when he doesn’t ask me about my day or when I come back from coaching.

I think in the end I can say that I really do believe in happy endings.

Abstract.

A few days ago, WordPress sent me a mail, saying that its been a year since I started writing. I remember when I was writing my first blog, I tried to write it in such a way that everyone would read it and I conveyed that there was some big message I was trying to spread. I never truly grasped the word “abstract” because I was so hung up on meaning. Now it’s been an year and I’ve understood two things about writing. Everything we write doesn’t need to be liked by people or doesn’t need to have meaning, the important thing is that we must not stop writing for ourselves. The second thing being that writing cannot be incorporated to a formula, we must write as we breath.

This post is going to be about utter abstract thoughts and it holds no meaning whatsoever

What if people were like poetry or stories. I know this sentence seems incomplete but no. There is nothing to be added here. People would be abstract. They would all be devoted to a certain genre according to their personalities. They could mean so much with little meant words. They would either have a profound meaning or no meaning at all, they could just simply be. We dwell on reality too much, but poetry and stories transcend the limits of reality and give us this beautiful thing called fantasy. “English cannot be written in bullet points.”, my English teacher used to say when I wrote something in bullets while writing an essay and for a long time I wondered why. Why cannot we write English or any other language in points? It’s because when we write we’re given freedom to do what we want with the means that have been provided to us and it’s not fair to the language that we do not do justice to it.

What happens to us when we die? We’ve been asking ourselves this question since a really long time and we still do. Some religions like Hinduism and Christianity have this whole idea of heaven and hell. If we do good deeds, we go to heaven and if we do bad deeds, then we go to hell. Buddhists say that while the body perishes, the soul still remains in this world which sounds very peaceful. Now my idea of afterlife is somewhat very similar to the Buddhists. After we die we still remain in this world but as a part of nature in some sort of way as the breeze that blows or the trees that remain or the water that flows in lakes, streams and oceans. The Hindus’ idea of afterlife is not my favorite because people should not have a place that either grants us punishment or the wonders to keep themselves in check, there is a certain peace though, to know that your loved ones go somewhere at least.

We spent almost all of our lives suffering something or the other. Thinking how we can get out of this sate and we just keep thinking and thinking how its gonna be wonderful  but we really never do. So how are we gonna finally escape this endless chase with happiness. I’ve got it figured out, memories. Why are we so complicated, us human beings? We  have a short lifespan and we try to do so much, get ourselves  together and earn money. Telling ourselves that one thing or the other is gonna lead us down a path of happiness. So if we’ve got all the time in this world, why not try to make memories of something remarkable and finally escape this state.

I guess we’ll never know.

r.chakravartty

Below Sea-level.

Something magical happens when the human body hits the water. It is such an amazing feeling, knowing that so many things can happen while you are down there. You can sink, you can float, you can swim and etc. You feel that you have entered a new domain, where there are no problems that stress you out or any tensions, you just want to keep going further and further. Recently I went diving in the waters of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and I have never lived something so beautiful, so extraordinary before.

Port Blair is the central part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and its the most advanced part of it and that’s saying a lot. We live in a city filled with luxuries. We eat in fast food restaurants, we sleep on good beds and our life is just filled with entertainment. Allow me to tell you that Port Blair has none of these things. There are no fast food restaurants, no supermarkets or movie theaters. It is situated on a hill where the sun goes down by 5 pm. There is barely any cellular network and asking for WiFi is liking talking in a different language with them. Well, for the first few days of my stay in Port Blair I was very frustrated as I had been suddenly disconnected from the world but as the days passed by, I slowly embraced it and that seemed better than cribbing about the things that weren’t there. Our driver/guide was a very friendly person. I got to know that he was a formal football player and had represented his school in many competitions but he had to leave as he had to support his family. Oh how lives change!

This island is also known as “Kaalapaani.” For a very long time, I thought it was so because it is home to the famous cellular jail but when I inquired about it, I came to know that as you slowly travel to this island, you can see that the water starts to look like a darker shade of blue which is as dark as the color black. The cellular jail, is a beautiful structure with a horrible history. It was founded by Lord Barry and it was so built that the prisoners could not even see each other. Early in the morning, prisoners were taken out to the courtyard, tied to a metal stand and beaten with whips. The prisoners were made to do tasks like building road, extraction of oil and were also sold in slavery. When the prisoners failed to do these tasks, they were hanged. Behind the strong walls of this jail, lies blood. What we see now is just a jail but what they probably saw was the end. The next day we made a move from from history to nature in the beautiful island of Neel.

Neel is an island, an hour away from Port Blair. This was my first time travelling through the waters and I had no idea how seasick I would be. (to add to my troubles, the sea was immensely rough that day) After an hour’s journey, we finally reached Neel. Many people are not familiar with this but this island is just 7 km long. The people who live there are quite isolated from the world. There are only about 3-4 guesthouses in Neel and an abundance of trees. It looks so majestic when it’s night-time. I remember going on a few walks through the island, along the shore. It feels so different when you visit places like these, the people you meet, they have been disconnected from all the maladies of the city life, politics, corruption and all the pollution. All they want is a family that they can feed. I wish that we could also be as free as the people who lived there but at the same time I also fear if all of us could enjoy this subtle beauty, could we truly cherish it? For now I wish I could walk the island forever, not knowing what comes next, not afraid of the consequences. Just walk.15590075_10153967045815426_2024270994246981325_n.jpgI admit that Neel is a beautiful island but Havelock really tops it all.

Compared to Neel, Havelock is a bit advanced. It is larger in surface area and it has a few more accommodations. It’s also amazing in terms of food in fact I remember having the best meal of the trip in a small restaurant in Havelock. The prawns and the lobsters in Havelock are to die for and they’re the ideal things to have when you’re enjoying a cool drink. The people of Andaman catch fish from the waters and then cook it. You can also see that food in Andaman has a touch of both South Indian food and North Indian food. So my vegetarian mother didn’t have much of a problem as there was plenty of good vegetarian food too. It’s also the place I went for scuba diving. So, in the last days of my trip I thought that I should go for scuba diving as I heard it’s quite popular here. I went for a 45 minute training session and then it was time for me to enter the waters. I was sitting on top of the boat and I fell back into the water. As I said, there’s something magical that happens when the human body hits the water. It felt like I was in a new world, that had been hidden from me for such a long time. I swam through, clear of the fishes and plants. There were swarms of fishes and plants that could stick to your fingers. I closed my eyes for a while and just floated there, I could feel the water at every inch of my body and I didn’t wanna swim anymore, I wanted the water to take me to my destination. It didn’t matter where I was going to, all that mattered for now was that I was going. I could stay there for all eternity, with the silence and it was such an abstract feeling. It felt like it was right outside the pages of a book or a scene from movie or music. It felt exactly like music. The notes playing in my ears, strings of a guitar being stroked slowly and a small hum. For once things seemed beyond the confines of reality.

When I came out of the water, I was silent. On the way back, I didn’t say a word and even my thoughts were silent for once. All I could think about was the things I had felt and experienced down there. Sometimes I dream about being there and it never changes in my dreams. I could never really describe how I’d felt about it but now as I write about it all the words come to me automatically and as I write about, I slowly relive it. But all things must come to an end, so it was time to go back. I think about coming here again.

Maybe one day, I will.15284181_10153967045650426_5231264188869806174_n.jpg

The Hayfield.

 

If your heart calls for adventure then why don’t you listen to it for a change?

“Does he live here?” I ask the gentleman standing by the bus stop. “If you’re talking about Chip Underwood then yes. Since a long time.”, he says. I walk slowly to his house. This is my first field job and I’m trying not to mess it up. I finally reach his house and muster up the courage to ring the doorbell. He opens the door and gestures for me to come inside, if he had been expecting me all morning. What do I say? How do I start? Will I be able to do thi–“Hello.” he says, interrupting my thoughts.

“Hi. I’m John Diamond from the Daily Herald and since you’ve been here perhaps for the longest time, we’d like you to tell us some of your stories about this place”, I said. I saw that it was very dark, despite the fact that it was afternoon. He sat in the center of the room on a rocking chair and I sat on an old sofa with a small notebook and a pencil in my hand, waiting for him to break the silence. He said, “There’s nothing much to tell about this town but the attempts at escaping it” I waited for him to continue but when I realized he had stopped talking  I timidly said, “What about 15 years ago? What about Clive Morgan?” I thought he was going to freak out or tell me to get out of his house but he didn’t. He just took a deep breath and said, “Well that’s one story to tell.”

15 years ago.

I wasn’t very sure how to start. The things we did everyday weren’t what you’d call eventful. The town was deserted half of the time, there were empty houses and silence engulfed us. We all knew that we weren’t going anywhere if we stayed in that town. There were people who had grown adjusted to the town and there were people who wanted something more out of themselves. With all of these things I did not know how to start. So I decided to start from the beginning, as most stories do.

I was the son of a local farmer. We used to sell produce and make a living, we won’t do that good but we’d get by. My father left when I was 6 and it was just me and my mom. My mom used to lift rocks so that I could afford an education so I started going to a small school nearby and didn’t have many friends, until I met Clive. People didn’t sit with me in lunch because I wore tattered clothes and Clive was the first one who did. He didn’t say anything for a first few times but then he did and thank god he did. After school, we used to go to a hay field not that far from Clive’ house. In that moment, when we used to run across the field with the wind hitting my face I could forget the world for just a moment. Clive came from the other side of town. He used to walk till school, in good clothes and good everything but never for once did he make me feel like we were different. We were the best things for each other. For eight years

One afternoon, I was sitting in class, trying to focus on the subject at hand but I just couldn’t. All I could think about was not being able to breathe in this classroom, just seeing the teacher’s lips move up and down unable to hear his voice and that’s when I saw the hay-field. I looked at it, trying to recollect my memories from so many years ago. I looked at it with a dream in my eyes. A dream to run across it, with the wind trying to suppress me, my eyes are closed but I can still see the scenery, feel it and it’s magnificent. A dream to feel that one moment again. I asked myself, “What if I could be free again but forever now”  I get hit by a chalk and hear a loud voice, “Mr Underwood!” I forgot that I was actually in class. My best friend, Clive Morgan, is sitting two rows away from me and he loses it when I am being lectured. I head home after the last class, a thought constantly bothering me, thoughts actually. Silence is a very difficult thing to deal with. It seems so perfect at times, when you can hear your own thoughts but sometimes it is our own thoughts we don’t want to hear. It feels..empty. When I had seen that hay field, I felt that there was something more to life then the emptiness. I had felt that this small town was slowly caving in, trying to suffocate me and that hay field felt like a way out, an escape. But why now? After years of living here, why now? It was an epiphany. That hay field, in a brief moment had taught me how to dream.

 I went to my terrace and confronted these thoughts. Clive was sitting next to me and I was looking up, at the night sky, crowded with the beautiful celestial. I couldn’t stand the silence anymore and I said out loud, “Clive, do you think we’d ever get out of here?”

“I dunno. But I’m hopin’ that the day’s not far.”

That sentence was about to change everything.


“The day’s not gonna come, if we don’t try our best. Eh?” I told him. He nodded with agreement. “Look Chip, there’s no one in this world I’d run away with other than my best friend. So I guess we should pack our bags.”

It is said that caged birds are the ones that sing about freedom in the most beautiful way. So, me and Clive, the two caged birds decided that we couldn’t just sing about freedom, we wanted to experience it. We decided that one night we were going to run, as far as we could, with the limited resources we have. I was supposed to meet Clive at any alleyway between our houses. I reached before time and waited for Clive there. I had never thought twice about what I was doing before now but it didn’t feel wrong, it felt so pure. Maybe that’s what I did wrong.

I thought about the places where we could go. I wanted to open a bookshop by the sea. There would be a small restaurant, where they would serve all types of cuisines. Me and Clive would be the only people who would work there. We would have a small boat that we could take out in the waters and the water below us would be crystal clear. I waited for another hour and there was still no sign of Clive. I was beginning to lose hope now. I told myself that he would come and the bookshop wasn’t too much to ask. Was it? I went back home after hours of waiting. Maybe Clive hadn’t waken up in time, he’d explain everything to me tomorrow. Yes, he’d explain everything to me tomorrow.

I was sitting on the breakfast table in the morning, gulping down a cup of coffee while simultaneously trying to pack my bag. My room was clean for the first time, everything was where it was supposed to be. I hurried till the bus stop and a nice lady stopped the bus until I made it. Clive wasn’t there but the whole day wasn’t completely going to shit and things were nice for a change. I returned home and saw a man in a brown uniform, the local sheriff sitting on the couch. He looked at me like he was examining me and said with a deep voice “You Chip?”  “Yessir.”, I said.

“Well, I’m here to tell you son that yesterday Clive Morgan was found dead in the alleyway.”

No. No. No. NO. This couldn’t be happening. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t do anything so I just cried. I cried and I screamed. How could something like this happen to Clive? Who would do this? I stopped crying for a second and asked the officer, “Was it a suicide or did someone kill him?” He shook his head and told me that they were looking into it. I ran upstairs and stayed in there for a long time. I used to imagine a life without him and I cried. I repeated the whole thing again for the coming days. Mom used to come by once in a while and tell me that things are gonna be alright and give me food. I went to Clive’s funeral, I saw his family there crying loudly as they good. I looked at his grave stone and thought that he truly was a good son and surely an amazing friend. A few days after the funeral, the officer came by and said he wanted to talk to me. He came in my room, sat on my bed and said, “Look son, I know sometimes things don’t exactly go your way and some dreams remain dreams. But time heals all wounds both physical and emotional. We just need to wait and for now you need to grieve. Things will get better son. Just wait.”

Present.

“The officer was right. Time did heal all wounds. I grieved and I do feel guilty about the fact that I slowly started forgetting him. I found new friends, graduated school, went through a college and worked as a clerk at one of the banks in the town. I still wonder if I would remember him as often as I do now or I will just remember him on death anniversaries? To this day, I don’t know how Clive Morgan died on that alleyway. I tried everything to find out but all it did was cause me pain. All that he left me was that hay-field. I could never really get out of this town without Clive. That was the story about 15 years ago and my best friend.” He finished.

I was left speechless. I couldn’t speak anymore. So I just said that his story would be published in the coming issue. And I left. They could conquer the world but it got the better of them.

The End.

-r.chakravarty