Were you expecting this?
When you don’t have it, you crave it. And once you get it, you fantasize about a life without it. In simple words, you are a freaking psycho. According to recent statistics, nearly 15% of the world doesn’t have access to electricity. Imagine living in the Dark Ages in 2021. And yet, there are millions of people who find candlelight dinner romantic. If you ask me, I find this association-cum-infatuation with candles—when electricity is abundantly available—a mental case of wanting to enjoy the thrill of jumping from the airplane without wearing a parachute and most importantly, without jumping at all. It’s ridiculously sweet. You can notice this trend acutely even in the enviable progress of Scandinavian countries. In Denmark, the average person burns almost 6 kg of candles—it’s the highest in the whole of Europe. Outrageous.
A society that becomes more and more aware of itself is already on its way to excuse itself out of the room. At the risk of sounding anti-natalist, that’s exactly what’s going on with us. Compared to the previous, you see a drop in young folks between the age of 25 and 35 hoping to have children. Whatever people decide for themselves, what’s majorly interesting about this particular pattern is nobody else should decide for you, especially in matters of progeny. Why? Because it’s not about you anymore. In my limited exposure to the realities of the world, I concluded over a decade ago that educated folks want kids while the uneducated folks have kids. I don’t think this observation has changed much over the years.
Are you one of those dreamy victims of literature who hop on a plane wishing to sit next to a gorgeous person? If yes, you aren’t alone in this. If not, nice try. Well, I just wanted to share a shorter-than-short story about a fellow who has flown around a lot but never next to a beautiful lady. It was always someone who either left no mark on his memory or smirched his mind with unpleasant thoughts. Now, imagine his surprise one afternoon when a flawless skinned creature sat next to him on a flight home. He couldn’t believe his luck and as the plane took off, he imagined several conversation starters inside his head but none of them made sense to him. A few minutes into this self-conversation, he was mentally exhausted. At this point, he prayed that the plane would go through some turbulence. Well, that way, she might panic and hold his hand. You never know. And if that happened, he would have wished that the plane crashed. Because it’s never getting better than that.
Speaking of planes, I recently flew to Delhi for work and was fortunate enough to eavesdrop on an imaginary conversation.
Girl: "Who will fly our plane?"
Mother: "A pilot."
Girl: "Will there be red signals?"
Mother: “I suppose so.”
Girl: “Will the plane stop?”
Mother: “Let’s see.”
I recently watched a faint dream where I was riding a bicycle and noted you on the side of the road. You were walking very slowly. I stopped and asked if you needed a lift. You nodded without saying anything, and calmly got on the backseat of my bicycle as if you knew exactly where you wanted to go and more importantly, I would take you there. Quite pleased with myself, I started cycling and after a little while, I realized there was no added weight at all. Weird. So I turned around to check whether you were comfortably seated. Guess what? You weren’t there. As usual. That’s when I woke up.
My brother has two young cats (Pili and Giri) and they are siblings and extremely fond of each other. They fall asleep together in each other’s company, wake up together, eat together, sleep again together, play-fight together and then go back to sleep together. What’s immensely adorable about their camaraderie is they are prime examples of what love is all about. Let me break it down further for you: it’s about letting the other person be. If one of them wants to eat from another’s bowl, the other one doesn’t mind. And vice versa. Also, they greet each other warmly. Every single time. I wish people greeted me with such enthusiasm. I don’t know how cats figured out that licking each other’s neck and head is the nicest thing they could do. Like, at what point did they learn that their own neck/head is inaccessible to their tongue? Amazing discovery.
The difference between a good idea and a great idea is that the latter is seldom heard on time. Similarly, the difference between a good memory and a great memory is that the latter is seldom lost on time. At the end of the day, just like at the end of life, our memories are what we are left with. Let me give you an example to help you absorb this sentiment better –
Sept 19 highlight: Pili rubbed his face against mine.
Sept 23 highlight: Remembering the highlight of Sept 20.
There are many ways to celebrate your birthday. However, if you are the kind type, you could be keen on celebrating this day with the underprivileged kids. The orphans whose birthdays are less of a day to rejoice and more a reminder of their bereavement. It’s a hearty way of making a tiny difference by sharing your good fortune with others. And if somebody tries to tell you that it doesn’t make any difference to those kids’ lives if somebody shows up only once a year, just tell them two things:
They are being idiotic
One day is still better than zero days
She never had elaborate plans about anything in life. Yet, she is damn clear about what should happen after her demise. For one, she is certain that she will die before her husband. For a follow-up, she is also certain that he will die in less than a year after she is gone. During her funeral preparation, she wants to be draped in the same saree she wore on her wedding day, with loads of sindoor on her forehead. It’s very important to her that she looks the way she did on her happiest day ever: the day her husband liberated her from the shrewd clutches of her siblings. She doesn’t want any jewelry on her body when it’s burning on the throne of sandalwood. But she wants her sons to keep them safe to hand them over to her grandchildren. Not her daughters-in-law as she is sure their taste would be too advanced whereas her granddaughters-in-law would appreciate the retro nostalgia. Oh, she wants her immediate family to follow every single ritual that is humanly possible.
All cities that were great once eventually decayed and declined and vanished from the map. For practical reasons, obviously. That’s the nature of law: every little thing that goes up has to subside. There is no way around it. Angkor Wat (Cambodia) used to be a magnificent city and long before, so was Mohen-ja-daro (Pakistan) and that was the same for Petra (Jordan), and from a recent example, Kolkata (India). The sheer magnitude of a city’s greatness is its ability to travel. As ironic as it may sound. Although millions of humans might desire to travel to a great city, only few manage to reach. But the greater magic happens when the city reaches people. Which is why somebody from Jodhpur can sound Bambaiya even though he has never been to Mumbai. That tells you the role popularity plays in the greatness of a city: it can reach people even if the people don't reach it.
Nowadays, millennials rule. They do it subtly though. From saying stuff like “I will retire early” to actually meaning sentences like “we are expecting a child” to not really meaning phrases like “let it go”. Quite an entertaining manner of doing things and saying them somehow, even if you yourself belong to the same category of human chronology. Since we started this blog with a grim view on offspring, let me end it on a positive note. My current favourite millennial folks are the married ones, especially the ones who are about to have their first kid. Interestingly, the man might even gain weight and if you ask him, he would say, “I didn’t want her to feel alone in this.” Cutenessness.