Human beings are social animals and to be a social butterfly these days is unleashing your basic politeness and a bend over backwards attitude. It is truly a phenomenon. If you don’t keep up with the norm, you are most likely an outcast. For eons we have been taught, preached and commanded to follow rules. Being normal is the fashion – ironic isn’t it? As a young kid, you follow rules to avoid punishment from teachers and parents and as a young adult you avoid punishment from the Big Brother (“the law”) and at the ripe old age you fear punishment from Him. Fear of being discarded as an outcast is ingrained in us. Anything new needs to be vetted by the common majority. Maybe Copernicus can rant about this topic better. Maybe it is the herd mentality that runs deep in our veins. But we are rational beings capable of questioning our existence. Humans are so proud of teaching their offsprings and call it their heritage. Scientists now claim that dolphins can do that as well. We don’t see dolphins waging wars or are they? Have they achieved the idyllic evolution state? Is it just a bunch of scientific breakthroughs or pervasive technology that serves human decadence or economic equality? Is it going to be collective or an individual achievement?
Unconditional love. Yes, that’s what they have to offer. No another human on this earth can love without reciprocation. Humans are biologically selfish or survivors if you will. A pet does have some expectation. Some food, water and a roof over its head can buy all the love you want. Yes, you can’t read their minds and of course they don’t speak English. But we had the Huog! When I first met him – he was a ferocious one, a German Shepherd known for his kind’s astute intelligence and sensitivity. His ears always perked up always keen to learn and always active. He was also funny/stupid sometimes – trying to swat mosquitoes without any luck and falling for the doorbell prank all the time. His stance scared away the meek but the brave ones could pet him like a bunny rabbit! He’s irreplaceable. Well, maybe someday when I find someone exactly like him. Doesn’t everyone have that special filter?
The title was inspired from a book called “The Sicilian” by Mario Puzo. He writes about kidnapping as a cottage industry – “They would “invite” a rich person to be their guest, and he could not be released until he had paid room and board, as in a fine hotel. The rich of Sicily had come to think of this as a sort of unofficial tax for their living in the land they loved, and since they paid so little taxes to the official government, they bore this cross with Christian resignation.”
The global market caters to everyone. In a free market, it is the prudence of a buyer or seller that puts him on an economic scale. Into this equation, comes the Big Brother. We have waged wars and handed over the law and order of demarcated geographical areas to specific people and have ignored being bothered about it afterwards. These specific people with their specific leanings have contributed to shaping the free market. So when the discontentment rises, other specific people take law into their own hands. It is improbable that the specific people of any kind in power can work for the general benefit of all people unless of course they are the satiated to the brim. And of course human propensity to benevolence sways multiple times in a day which is why the title.
I discovered the “zen” art from of running two years ago. I knew at some level I was born bipedal even if my ancestors disapproved. So I dabbled. At first, it seems impossible. But once you master the verb of life sustenance – “breathing” and are willing to resist your body weight as reaction force on a single leg, you are running! Simple physics makes it sound excruciating, nevertheless it is just that simple. Our body is designed to take the pounding force when we hit the ground each time with one foot. The heavy weight muscle that sits on the top – ” brain” also needs practice. It gets better with time.It knows it has no business turning on while you’re running. The healing power of this machine is incredible too. Well, if you don’t mess with it like I did!
My first visit to a chiropractor made me speechless when she pulled out a model spinal cord. The damn thing has curves, dangling nerves and joints and all. This thing adjusts itself with every move you make. Somehow I can only think of it as a huge software framework with bug fixes happening as fast as holes emerge. What a clunky thing! I’m not a professional at skeletal business – maybe this was the most elegant solution our ancestors could come up with! I wonder whether they thought about security issues called injuries! Microsoft did not 🙂
I had a sprain which I assumed was going to go away bearing a testament to the magical healing powers of the human body. It didn’t. My resentment has now grown for this set up.
I write about myself yet again. Why shouldn’t I ? I have had all the time in the world to observe the subject in close quarters. It is one of those nostalgic moods, listening to songs reminiscing school days, watch tv and go to bed with only one worry – how many teachers are going to be absent?! Life was so peachy and cocooned that even the thought of missing it was ridiculous. Now, not so much. Life has passed in a blur. Even the modest beginnings of growing wings, flapping and falling down has left no scar. But today, one of these bleak moods, makes you realize that the wings weren’t real. You were hallucinating while being in crutches the whole time! When in doubt, I would usually ask my mother for advice, simple because I had no internet and the unfaltering faith in her judgement. Today I’m able to see a gut wrenching post about a hungry orphan in the streets of the war torn parts of the world and a happy couple welcoming their new bundle of joy. I’m compelled to do my part for the less fortunate, those without mothers to depend on. However, some invisible force holds me back. I can’t break the shackles of my origin. My future success or the lack of it is going to be graduated on a rusty old scale of customs and norm. My existence right now feels futile.
Cynthia and Dave owned a mediocre inn on the highway to nowhere. Criminals on the run, lost foreigners , cops on duty can vouch for their service better than me. Cynthia was a stubborn calculating woman and Dave was..well, a man. “There is always room at the Potterheads’ ” – this was their motto. It was the afternoon when they were bickering about chores. A man in shabby clothes walk-ran towards the reception desk and yelled above their voices asking for a room. Dave waved him off angrily while Cynthia paused, looked at him and blurted 100 pounds. The weary traveler who now revealed his name to be Joe, threw the money on the table and grabbed the keys. They resumed their yelling and got interrupted again by another guy looking for boarding for a night. This fellow was well groomed and carried a suitcase – probably on business. They attended to him and sat at the desk contended at the unraveling of the day’s events. It was almost sunset when a sullen looking cop roared in and locked himself into a room quickly. Supper was served to guests and Dave finally retired to his room after closing the kitchen. It was after midnight, when Joe began snoring loudly. The inn was naturally blessed with good acoustics and hence the noise wafted into the adjacent rooms. The cop whose slumber was broken, yelled at the cardboard of a wall. This awoke the businessman in the next room. The cop trampled onto the corridor and banged on Joe’s door. The businessman was just a step behind. They looked at each other’s faces at the same moment when Joe opened the door. Imagine their priceless faces!
Let’s go meet princess Elsa, says my friend. I trudge along. I take a picture with her and it feels wonderful. What a snob! There are these humans whom I sometimes hang out with and take them for granted. F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
As children we make friends very easily. Anyone who plays run and catch with you after school is a friend. As we grow older, things change. Wariness of pride, success, competition sets in. The ego flag flutters high and mighty. People use friends as their stepping stones. Some have the fortune of having a true friend. Some have mothers. In my case, I must have gobbled up some cantankerous introverted monster who is scared about touching anything for the reason it may leave. Like Ross, I wonder how many will shed tears when I’m gone! I don’t need to fake a funeral service though. Seems like a bunch of them still want me to break a leg at the Austin Full Marathon 2016! So I’m going to be there for them and try to be an awesome FRIEND.