Archive for love

Messy Affairs

Posted in It's all about the soul with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2013 by Shry

Yes that’s exactly what affairs tend to be. Messy. Affairs of the heart, that is. But in a social sense, an affair alludes to a relationship between two individuals that occurs after social and moral boundaries have been breached. They are the consequence of willful transgressions. But I am not entirely convinced with the moral (nee religious!) argument people generally advance. As a society, we tend to look at things in black or white, often ignoring the grey in the middle, the consideration of which is an absolute must. But when it comes to affairs, especially the extra-marital ones to be precise, we ignore the grey. We Need to ignore it, because examining it would throw open a Pandora’s box that would involve emotions, social mores, psychology, need, want and acceptance. And that just won’t do, would it? That won’t suit the society that thinks of an ‘affair’ only in terms of lust, sex and cheating. But the bitter truth is that when we reduce an affair to just lust or sex, we trivialize to a point beyond redemption. We lose the grey, which is so inherently required to make us more sensitive, understanding and perhaps responsible too. Because an average person doesn’t wake up one fine morning and decide that he/she wants to ‘cheat’ on their spouse! An affair might or might not have lust as its undercurrent, just as there is an equal probability that the undercurrent, the aim being sought is simply comfort, acceptance, security, perhaps love and quite certainly an ever-elusive happiness.

A married woman is ‘involved’ with a man not her husband. Call her a whore, a slut, a woman devoid of character for having desecrated the sacred institution of marriage. Oh look at her cheating! O she will rot in hell! But perhaps, beneath the obvious is a terribly lonely and broken woman. Perhaps she is battling an abusive marriage. Perhaps the man she is ‘involved’ with is not just ‘bedding’ her, but maybe he listens to her when she speaks, comforts her when she is shattered, holds her when she is crying and above all, respects her because she IS. And there is that urban yuppie with a fantastic job, married to a gorgeous goddess. His life has all the pretense of an idyllic postcard. But maybe deep within him is a vacuum that seeks not a body to satiate itself with but a soul to embrace. God forbid if this ‘adulterer’ is ‘having an affair’ with a woman who is married to! And even if she isn’t, he has already been labelled by the self-appointed feminist brigade as the typical chauvinistic pig who heartlessly cheated on his lovely wife with a woman who ‘isn’t worth it’. Nobody bothered looking into the shackles his unhappy and loveless marriage is, held together only by a marriage certificate but otherwise as empty and vacant as death. Or somebody else who is caring for a terminally ill spouse, but needs someone to take care of their own scars, somebody to go home to when it is all over.  Or somebody who simply got tired of making ‘it’ work. Or someone who is simply stuck with a real monster!

Perhaps certain transgressions are wrong, while some are not. Justifications might or might not suffice. Hell, they might not even be needed! Perhaps black is white and white is black. But to lose sight of the grey would be to lose sight of our inner selves. And maybe chasing happiness (but not skirts) is not really a crime. Judging people should be, though.

Perhaps a ‘it’s complicated’ might be the dusk before the dawn.

Thirsting for more…

Posted in It's all about the soul with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2013 by Shry

Your sojourns in far-away lands will bring you face-to-face with hundreds of people. These people will be fellow travellers, tourists, drivers, guides, kids, locals, photographers, newspaper vendors, caretakers of your accommodation, maids, street urchins, etc etc etc.  They pass by you like the gentle breeze. Unseen, but pleasantly felt. If you are a traveller, no experience of yours can be complete without such people. No matter how many places you see, or how much money you spend, none of it will matter if your memories don’t touch upon a soul that touched you in its own way. There must always be that core within you where you safeguard those cherished whispers of the world that were muttered to you through words, smiles and glances.

You come across these people. People you wish you could spend more time with. Perhaps sit down over a meal or a hot chai and talk endlessly. Hear their stories, steal a peep into their lives just as you allow them a few into your own, laugh with them about their wonders, cry with them about their sorrows, contemplate with them about the purpose of life or even why India’s cricket team lost to Australia! It is all a part of our journeys, and the journey of life. It is an insatiable hunger, nearly a lost cause, because you have to forge ahead. You cannot stay at one place for too long. Your wanderlust keeps pushing you and you keep chasing it. But none of this takes away that feeling within you that someday, you must stop and dance before the music ends. Someday, you must sit down with Tashi, your driver in a small kingdom, who drove you around with a gaiety that you are not used to in your part of the world, a hopping walk as he came to you when you beckoned him, him randomly singing along with a song on the radio, and his shy goodbye as he blushed when you gave him a hug for being a sweetheart. Someday, you must sit down with Karma, a mother of 3 working round the clock to make ends meet and to fulfill her lifelong dream of having her own small hotel. Someday, you must sit down with the old, bespectacled caretaker of a guest-house who personifies Tennyson’s “…men may come and men may go, but i go on forever…”.  Someday, you must sit down with another Tashi in another part of the world and laugh in utter amusement and merriment as you see how books and cigarettes can form a bond among strangers in the most inhospitable of terrains! Someday, you must sit down with Torton and perhaps watch him play with his colouring book, feeling your heart melt under his angelic smile. Someday, you must take a walk with the old saadhu and listen to his monologue on religion and modernism…And the list is endless. The Tashis, Karmas and saadhus of the world are many. Everyone has a story to tell that is unique and remarkable in its simplicity, and yet intriguing in its endless diversity. It is upto you to sit down with the patience that travel doesn’t permit, and enrich yourself. You MUST thirst for more.

There is so much more to a place than just the tourist spots. People constitute culture, and the culture makes up a place. And this is undoubtedly the real essence of real travel.

The thirst must remain. To seek more, to know more, about people, about places, the why and how of everything and anything. Because only this thirst can propel you forward towards new frontiers, new shores.

Only this thirst can someday complete you.