Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Thug from Taponagara...

'You look a lot tired, with that beard of yours. When are you going to shave it off?'

'Not before 21st dec, 2012...'

'Why're you persisting with this look? You look different, like a ruffian...'

Yes, I do. Like a recluse. Like LCD, who after three years reappeared, with knotted, unwashed hair like a sanyasi, but with a wife and small daughter in tow. My appearance has changed in the past few months, because of my unkempt, untrimmed beard--sparse on the cheeks and lush on the chin. I have no reason not to shave, not look like a decent bummer. But I don't think ones appearance changes just because of a change of hairstyle or by the presence/lack of facial hair. When something changes within, in the attitude or way of thinking of a person, it manifests in his outward appearance in subtle and mysterious ways. So you somehow look different if your inner structures are broken or rebuilt, even if you're all trimmed up and pucca on the outer.

In my late teens I grew long hair falling on my shoulders--I didn't visit the barber for almost two years. That appearance somehow suited the introversion and angst I was going through at that time. Looking back, I think it was an act of rebellion, a kind of asserting my feeble rights that made me not cut my hair. Around that time, there was a classmate of mine in college, who had decent whiskers and was a silent guy who kept to himself all the time. In the final year of college, he did a U turn--shaved off his beard and also became notoriously outgoing. It would be wrong to associate his change in nature with the beard but somehow that connection clicked for me. Without the beard, it was as if he'd kept aside a mask, or had gotten rid of something, some block and soon the energy of life was flowing through him. It could all be mumbo jumbo or maybe there's some stupid connection.

When I see a bearded man, I wonder how he'd look if he had a clean shave. Most of the time it's impossible to imagine, it's like trying to think up someone without their ears or nose--the change in appearance could be that drastic. The beard grower also seems to sense this intutively--very few people with healthy beards shave them off; the beards are a part of their face, their personality and will persist for the entire life. If you remove it, either you're keeping aside something and exposing yourself, or you're getting rid of a past baggage and are starting a new phase. Like it happened with a friend, kitty, who shaved off his beard after years and years of his bachelor existence and entered wedlock, with a clean slate(and clean face).

Of course, all of this has no relation or significance to my small, young whiskers. I'm not growing any blocks within, nor am I putting on a mask. But if I look thuggish with this appearace, Yes! I've become a thug off late. I've become irreverant, with a go-to-hell attitude. Good for me, I guess.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New beginning...

What's the price of independence?

Responsibility! The moment you step out and break free, along with the exhilaration, you also realize that the reins of your life are now totally in your hands. That you have to attend to all the details of life--big and small--and sometimes you never knew that all these details even existed.

We three have now moved out of the city, to a small rented house in Taponagara, close to the new airport. This dream from all these years is
now actualized and with this, there are a number of undreamt challenges. All of a sudden my hitherto sufficient income appears inadequate, and I'm scrambling for more revenues, for more savings, better prospects. Expenses are now monitored; gone are the days of carefree spending. We're setting up a home almost from scratch, deciding on furniture, postponing certain purchases, planning sitting arrangement in the living room, decorations, gardening plans etc. The kitchen looks like a complex jungle, a separate universe in itself, with its own ecosystem--handling and managing it needs a different kind of intelligence. There are new people in my world now...plumbers, electricians, water suppliers, milkmen, newspaper delivery boys, telephone exhange linemen, dhobis...and one needs to be sauve enough to deal with them, get the necessary work done in time, follow up...exhausting at times. A hundred decisions need to be taken and now, it's you who have to do it and you can't deleagate or expect someone else to get it done.

Living in a village also means you're saved from the dirty air, madrush and the congested life of a city dweller. And it also means you're a tad away from the ease and comfort of the modern amenities which you're sure to take for granted in a city existence. Rains are plentiful and torrential. Last week's downpour uprooted several trees, cutting off major electrical lines, and the power was restored after three days, during which we'd to make do with our limited supply of water. Electricity plays hide and seek several times in a day. Mobile phone signals become scarce in the middle of a phone conversation. The nearest market is 2 miles away, so is the hospital. A one way drive to the office consumes a healthy 2 hours through the rush-hour traffic. My parents live at the other end of the city, so a visit to them or a visit from them means you've to keep aside one full day. Nights bring swarms of mosquitoes and packs of vicious dogs whose favourite pastime is to chase any vehicle down the road.

Yet, this is my home, my dream nest, right in the pocket of my spiritual centre. For the past 10 years, we've come to this place every sunday to learn meditations, to understand higher realities, to dream with the masters, sharing the dream with friends...and now we're here, residing in this sacred place. The place of Rishis and Rishi-like people. We're amongst people who are friends for lifetimes. Great energies are anchored here in the meditation halls and towers. Our friends have joined this place and this Work, keeping aside their careers, families and many many dreams ...we can't match their sacrifices but can only get inspired being with them.

Feel good being here. Now.