Thank You

Chipmunks and me

Alvin and the chipmunks, the movie series, brought alive a different world! the world of chipmunks. Chipmunks are from the squirrel family and have impish energy to themselves that is an easy allure. The movie brought them more sheen. I like them for a different reason. There is something that is common between the chipmunks and me. 

Chipmunks hibernate. Or so I thought. They shut down and conserve energy. Then I learnt that they don’t actually hibernate. They get into ‘torpor’. There is a difference between hibernation and torpor. Let’s leave it at, torpor is ‘hibernation-lite’. Heres an excerpt from an interesting essay that I read. “torpor is a survival tactic used by animals to survive the winter months. It also involves a lower body temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, and metabolic rate.”

First, torpor is a survival tactic. It lasts for brief spells. Chipmunks and me share torpor. My version of torpor has been to go silent on social platforms. Twitter. Instagram. Facebook and such else. 

A nightmare as a trigger.

It started with a nightmare I had one night, a few months back.  My recollections of the nightmare are blurred and brief. All I know is that I woke up with a start. In that nightmare, friends appeared. They sported bright red straw hats marching to a tune from a horror movie. A horror movie that was badly made too.  There was venom in their tongue and they kept dipping into a bucket full of poison and smearing it on people. They told me it is a game and invited me to play while jiving to a wicked war dance number. 

I remember waking up with a start and don’t remember other parts of the nightmare. 

Over the next few weeks, there were other pressing demands placed on my calendar.  The intensity of my work and some waves of hospital visits due to family requirements made it apparent that I had to work things differently.  Logging out of most social media and reorganising my time was easy picking.

This isn’t the first time. For the past couple of years, I take 2-3 weeks that I shut down and maintain some level of silence online. It is far from something grand and sexy like a ‘detox’. Closer to being weary, accompanied by a sense of loss and nostalgia of the good old early days of social media and the internet. 

This year, my silence was more pronounced. I would barely surface to write The OWL Despatchthe newsletter for Founding Fuel and a clutch of other commitments like this one. This so happens to be the times of the Coronavirus and the recommendation of social distancing. I am clear that social distancing in the real world does not merit a universal embracing of everything in the social media world. In fact, the social media world has to be handled with even more care now.

Noticing my noticing. 

Looking back, I have wrested peace from the jaws of ceaseless online noise. Vainglory with a veneer of humility. Shameless bigotry, bias and bile. Fake news. All worn with pride. Medal worthy epaulettes if you will. 

When the apps are off the phone and the phone is off my palms there are other things that I am more present to. The love of colour and fear of the that keeps my daughter company. The extra wrinkle in an elder’s face. Kids of neighbours who suddenly seemed taller when I see them in elevators. I have been noticing that I have been noticing far more!  Including the receding sounds of chatter in my mind. 

As I resurface this time, the terms I have set for myself are stiffer. There is an abundant realisation that what gets into my stream of attention should not be only stuff of use, but stuff that keeps me sane. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Linkedin. WhatsApp. All the same. So I have been on a hacking spree. Unfollow. Mute. Exit. Reorganise WhatsApp presence in groups. A few are fun. Some are useful. I have lost count of the useless. 

I resurface yet again from torpor. There is a feeling of greater peace and a sense of what it means to live.

The quiet time has also given me a sense of peace and added to layers of depth to writing and reading. I have plans to read more books than last year and indulge in better conversations face to face. So what if it they are mediated by technology. More writing too!  

For all the lovely folks who reached out and checked if everything was alright, well, thank you. Your mails, texts and calls meant a lot. These days, I am ever so lighter in the mind and wish I could transfer this lightness to the body as well. That is a different story! 

Image Credit : Steve Orlowski from Pixabay 

Owe Post

I knelt down on her command. I followed every word that he said. She made me dream. When i was with him, i saw a future that, till then, seemed far removed. She taught me kindness. He taught me firmness. I learnt the importance of respecting women from her. He made me run the earth. When she pinched me, it hurt.

When he made me run, i wondered why. She gave me killer looks and i straightened up, usually. He simplified. She cast me as James Bond. He made me a cadet captain. She told me, ‘i was a champion. He made me believe so. She caught me lying. He put me under the arc lamps.

Both of them stood by the sidelines. Clapping. Sneering. Cheering. All in my good interest. And helped me become who i am.

To the world, ‘He’ and ‘She’ go by the name of teachers. I call them sculptors. The many who are described above.

To them, i owe.

Some names are here. This is my way of saying thank you !

Elango. Viji Seetharaman. Marcus Rodrigs. Prakash Vel. Tirupura Sundari. David Amrutharajan. Vijay Kumar. Subramanium. AS Selvaraj. Ameena David Liolex. Rozarios. Chandra Bai. Thankamani. Seralathan. Alagappan. DeMontee. Prathiba Chaddhar. Vasuki Thai. Martin David. Vasantha Durai. Grace Margaret. Rajendran. Radha Nagarajan. John Britto. Thirumalai. Shanti Mohan. Dhanalakshmi Ravikumar. Rajkumar Gupta. Nedumaran. Revathy. Thavamani. Sudhakar. Gnanam. Manoharan. Vedaraj. Jerelene Rajee. Raja Venkatesh. Lizzy George. Chandrakumar. Mahalingam. Alphonse. Diwakar. Ruth Ashley. Venkat Ram. D Jeevaraj. Malini Renganathan. Mrs.Krishnamoorthy. Mr. Mathai. Graha Rajendran. Prabhakaran. Meenakshi Srinivasan. Joseph Zacchariah. Barnabas. Reuben. Subbiah. Ayyapan. Iqbal. Mohan Ram. Rajendra Pandian. Sudharkar. Eben Jeyapaul. Nagamani. Subbiah Doss.

And many more.

Somewhere in that list dont figure amma & appa. Professors in their own right. Our first teachers & life long ones at that.

Their lives are worth a celebration all year long. Teacher’s day is just a day.

Back To The Future !

After almost a year of browsing on borrowed infrastructure, i post from home. Yes. I am connected on broadband from home. Feels nice ! Very Nice !

It was two years ago that i got started on blogsville. One lazy Bangalore Sunday morning, i asked Kamal who gave me a matter-of-fact ‘have google account, can blog’ kind of answer. In about an hours time, with his help, i had gotten started.

The last two years have seen me look around in awe. Like a kid with a candy bar in the middle of the jungle. The strange noises, the fresh wisp & nip of clean air, the ferocity of the animal who wouldnt bother with you unless you meddle with it, the sanctity of the clean green leaf, the simplicity of the flower, the abundance of plenty & the indifference of nature. These are thoughts that rush to me as i think of a metaphor to describe where i am now and the journey that i have had !

Fellow readers have now become friends and your lives & time zones intermeshed with what i do and how i think. In the discovery of the contours of the beauty of the jungle, i have discovered much of myself as well. The candy bar has long since become irrelevant. In all humility, i must say thank you !

I had no clue as how the journey would be, who i would meet, what i would write about. Its two years now. And i have survived. And more importantly, the second year, without connectivity at home !! With very little understanding of technology and lesser still of blogs, i started with a curiosity about people in the heart and baggage (in truck loads) in my mind. The former contiunes to flourish while the latter is clearly uncomfortable!

I squint my eye at the bright rays of the future and look into the horizon with hope and belief that it would be a great place to hurtle towards. The world has shifted beneath me. And how. Amitabh Bachan has a blog. Amir Khan has a blog. Lalu Yadav writes. Considering these people have ‘mass connections’, their taking to blogging makes me look up. Or does it ?!?

Considering all the competition, i think its time for this space to get a makeover. What can i change ?!? I request you, dear reader(s) / bloggers, to spare a few moments & write in.

Change the name ?
Change the picture going along with the name ?
Change the layout ?
change the colour combinations ?
Change the template ?
Change myself…!?!

Do let me know. And thanks in advance ! For the past, present and the future.

Well, for now, it is back to the future!!

A ‘Thank You’ rant.

Been busy. Extremely busy. Mentally occupied. Physically tired. Every second has made its presence by its sheer fleeting nature ! Time for ‘Kavis Musings’ is becoming a luxury. But then, thats always been the case. And then there are some serious technology constraints that have shown up…!
As i dodge negative thoughts, fight apprehensions, climb imaginary walls ( & real ones too), i sometimes wonder what life is all about. But then, thats what life is all about. Isnt it ? Fighting your own self in the mind. Climbing imaginary walls. And scratching your hair as to what all this is about..?
And oh, by the way, smiling, picking up the pieces, staring into the future with hope while trying the best to live the present moment to the fullest.
And so, this blog lives. To fight another day !
I have been tardy in visiting your spaces and connecting up. Your coming here is valued and encouragement treasured. I will read too.
Soon. Very soon ! Promise.
And thank you.