Failing is better than Quitting!

There are so many thoughts running through my mind. I dropped an year again. I’ve gone backwards by two years in my life now. I should’ve taken this time to reinvent myself. It should be “should” but I write “should’ve”. I don’t know why! Why would I give up on myself so easily? Do I not love myself? Do I not consider myself worthy of good things in life? Or do I consider myself incompetent? Yes and No. Both.

But why? Why would I not change? Why do I not commit to change? Why do I succumb? Why do I give up? It’s been so many years! I’ve been reading. I’ve been writing. I’ve been thinking. Dreaming. Analysing. Wanting. Desiring. Wishing to Change! Then why would I not act? What is it that stops me? What is it that I am afraid of?

Failure. Is it failure? But I’ve failed time and again! I’ve failed! And for most of the time I’ve failed without even trying. Actually I think that I’m being unfair. I don’t think it would be right to call myself a  failure.

“Being a failure is a far worthy achievement than being a quitter!”

I’ve always surrendered. Always! Of all the major failures that I can count back in my life, I realise that they were not really failures but conscious attempts to QUIT. Was I so scared of failure that I gave up long before? I feel sad for myself. I feel sad for the numerous occasions where I quit when I could’ve failed!

I remember this quote that I once read,

“The struggles of the battlefield pale into insignificance when man first contends with inner enemies.”

And I think, I’ve got too many inner enemies to recognise and fight them off.

It’s a tough journey.

The one which I’ve not yet begun!

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Scrolling Down

I didn’t fall asleep at night, 

So, I kept scrolling down.

Hoping to find some magic post, 

which could change my state of angst. 

I saw most videos and read all blogs, 

but the rush of inspiration didn’t last for long. 

So, when my eyes were tired enough,

I stared at the ceiling right above.

A series of slides passed through my mind, 

where I was successful and everything was right.

I thought and thought and thought some more, 

and all my thoughts made me feel like never before.

I smiled, I frowned, I laughed and I cried, 

And did live a fanciful life in my mind. 

But, then every night was quite the same, 

With all the replays now seeming to be lame.

And when the rush of adrenaline did subside, 

I was pulled back to reality where nothing was right. 

Three hours had passed and it was already one,

After four hours, I had to see the sun. 

My time did slip right through my fingers, 

I wondered why I didn’t manage it well. 

I groaned over the videos, the blogs that I read, 

When I was supposed to snuggle and sleep in my bed. 

I bargained my time for a satisfaction I didn’t get, 

from all the scrolling down my mind was then fed. 

Night after night, I repeated this course, 

What kept me going? Was it some brute force?

And hence, I lost most beautiful days, 

from where everything was to be right.

The feeling of regret,

Added up to my plight.

A few minutes from now, the clock will strike two, 

To get back my lost time, there is nothing I can do.


-Zaheen Khan

Risk

What is risk? Jumping from a cliff? Surfing on a tide? Walking on a rope? Or hitting a gang of goons, knowing that you’re too weak to overpower them? All of this is risky, that’s right. But is this risk? The real risk?

If we jump off a cliff, we might break our bones. But if we don’t, will we ever rise while we fall? If we surf on a tide, we might be lost in an ocean. But if we don’t, will we ever find our- self? If we walk on a rope, we might fall on our face. But if we don’t, will we ever stand on our feet? If we take on a gang of goons, we might get stabbed. But if we don’t, will we ever heal? And if we die- in all the cases or maybe in none of them, if we die, will we be alive to do any of this again?

“We tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death.”

Risk is not a dangerous action which might cost us our life but it is the inaction which might not let us live. What is a life worthy of if we do not live it?

Inaction is the risk, which if taken, would decay our lives.

A Lazy Day from My Journal!

13-03-2017

Monday

11:50 pm

A few hours ago, I was thinking if its Sunday today. I saw the wall clock, it was 9:30 pm and I wondered if any regular show would be running on the T.V. so that I could occupy myself and watch it. But since it was Sunday, as I thought, I kept laying down unless I realised that everyone at home had been out to work today. Hence, it was just my Sunday!

So, what did I do for most part of the Monday that made me feel as if it was Sunday? Well, I slept for most part of the day, ate for some and lay thinking for the remaining. I also read a bit from the book “The Catcher in The Rye.” I relate to it a bit as it too is about an aimless wanderer just like me. I don’t know of how things would end for Caulfield, the protagonist of the book, as I am in the middle of the book right now but I am certainly uncertain about myself.

On Sunday night, I thought of transforming my Monday morning, I wrote peculiar details about Monday; of what and how I would be doing my regular tasks with great enthusiasm. And then there was the alarming sound of the alarm at 6 in the morning. My room was dimly lit by the morning light and I was awake, wide awake for a few seconds, unless some part of my brain decided that I should go back to sleep. I obediently obliged to that autonomous centre of my brain which made the unanimous decision. No reasoning done.  But I wonder if it was my conscious mind or the sub conscious one which made me sleep again even though I had reiterated to myself the night before that I should wake up early in the morning. I think that I lie to myself when I say that, “I will wake up early in the morning and then do this and this and this!” Even though I behave like a spoilt brat, I feel sorry for myself.

Anyway, at 7 am, my sister came to wake me up and at 8 am I could hear the songs she had plugged in with the treadmill during her workout (which supposedly was my Monday morning plan) while I still lay in bed. By 10 am I had to be at my workplace which is currently like my study space. I am self-employed as I dropped another year out of my education. Frankly speaking, I couldn’t clear my semester as I was busy doing nothing throughout the year and as my exams approached, I was convinced that I wouldn’t clear them. It would be better to say that I flunk them on purpose because I was too unwilling to take the pain to study or be hard on myself. This is the reason that I identify myself with Caulfield from Salinger’s book. Okay, coming back to the point, at 10 I found myself in the bed but I wasn’t sleeping this time. By this time of the day, I had evolved myself to the thinking phase. So, I must congratulate myself. But, what was I thinking about? Of course, all that I mostly think about!

‘It’s the story of a handsome man whom I meet at some point in my life. Actually, it’s the present phase (in my imagination)  of my life but in my mind I am a fit, beautiful and a lovely person that he immediately falls for (in some altered versions of the story, since I keep editing it over and over again, he doesn’t immediately fall for me. In fact, in some more altered versions, we happen to be rivals who later begin to lust each other!)’

I honestly feel funny while writing this.

‘The lust of course is followed by certain developments and sometimes the story becomes too hay wired that I get pretty bored with the tangled mess. Sometimes my wild imagination makes me high while at other times I wonder of what should be the next step. Passionate! Married! Had sex! Lots of t! Had kids! Now what? That’s when my wild imagination comes to a stop. So, this was the regular stuff that I kept thinking about till 10 in the morning.

Now, it doesn’t matter if you’re 110 kg, food is the fuel for the body and as my primordial need of hunger called on me, I decided to get ready. And since I had already screwed up for being late, I decided not go to work today. While I was getting ready, I thought of going on a food sabbatical and make it a “detox drink day” and then do “this and that and this” to mend the rest of the day. Moreover, if I’d get hungry till the evening, I’d likely sleep early and hence wake up early. Tada! Great plan! I dropped it as soon as I heard a disapproving growl from my stomach!

After breakfast, I surfed the internet, slept some more and spent some quality time with my pet rabbit. This whole charade lasted for 4-5 hours unless the primordial need of hunger called on me again. It was 4 or 5 in the evening by this time. I cooked some amazing ‘stuffed paranthas’- ‘Indian stuffed flat bread’ for me and my family, had an amazing cup of tea and surfed the internet again.

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My rabbit sleeping over me ❤
When there was nothing left to surf and when my imagination had desolated me for creating an entangled mess throughout the day, I decided to read “The Catcher in The Rye’ which was coincidentally about a slack and lousy person like me. This is when I saw the wall clock reflecting 9:30 pm. I had my dinner, watched a T.V. serial and now I am back in my abode (my messed-up room), jotting down this journal, while it is 12:30 am.

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My messed- up room which I never feel like cleaning!

The good thing is, today I did not lie to myself that I will wake up at 6 on Tuesday morning.

But who knows, I might!! 😉

Truth- A Rare yet Compelling Expression!

The act of offering is Brahman, that which is offered is Brahman, the sacred fire is Brahman, the one who makes the offering is Brahman and Brahman is nothing but the personification of truth.

The human civilisation has transcended in the ‘Kali Yuga’ where the significance of truth and humanity has reduced to ashes in the clamour of the corporate world. In the midst of change, which is the law of nature, our minds are ravaged by the tyranny of immediate present. Insecurity and insensitivity have embedded a deep and highly negative belief system in our mindset, i.e., a virtuous lifestyle produces non-competitive and unsuccessful individuals. Entangled among the cobwebs of life and over that such obscure theories of life, man becomes completely oblivious about the path on which he is trading and focuses his sharp eye on the destination. The destination of our ancient sages like Mahavira and Buddha was Liberation by knowing the ultimate truth; and our national heroes like Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda were an epitome of truth. But in the 21st century, the tables turned drastically and so have the mindset of people.

The youth and the elderly have participated in a race which has no track, the rules of this race are “as per convenience” and the destination is to reach on the top, either by hook or by crook. In such a situation, the noble virtues like strength of character, morality, truthfulness, humanness and humility have gone to the backstage and now in the limelight we have name, fame, wealth and luxury.

The complete precis of human existence is expounded in the mantra from Mundaka Upanishad, ‘Satyameva Jayate’ which means ‘Truth alone Triumphs’. Along with the eventual victory of truth, there is also a conquest of falsehood and elation in the conscience of the speaker. This sanctity and power of truth can be understood from the very fact that not even the most impressive liar will admit of being Untruthful. A Hadith (sayings of Prophet) in Islam mentions a legend regarding a thief who confesses his crime of stealing to Prophet Muhammad and asks for his guidance to shun the ill habit. As suggested by the prophet he took an oath of not lying, so every time he was suspected of stealing, he had to publicly confess his crime with honesty. To avoid public humiliation, he slowly and steadily renounced his habit. Such is the profound impact of truth on a person’s life and character.

In today’s time, our conscience has been smothered by the easy rewards that come along with falsehood. But these rewards are not like the eternal sunlight; they are as transitory as a day consumed by night. ‘Sayad-aste-nasti’ is a concept in Jainism which means, ‘in some ways it is true, in some ways it is not’. It means that what we presume to be true is only our part of the truth, whereas the universal truth is a multidimensional concept. So if we consider truthfulness only as an aspect of speech, then we only know a part of truth about truth. Truthfulness is not only a part of speech but an integral facet of our mind, intellect and action. It is this aspect of the truth, also known by our saints, which smothers the rough edges of our character and imbibes in us moral excellence and incorruptibility.

In the Chaos of the glamouring world, there has been a complete obliteration of the highest truth, which is, that the life of man is dictated by his own ‘Karma’. Since Karma is a thought metamorphosed into action so our thoughts guided by untruthfulness lead us to a path of ignorance where are human tenderness leaves us to make cold and insensitive just as a soul leaves the body to make it lifeless. Truthfulness with the emotions of others as well as our own emotions is the foundation stone of every human virtue. Without truthfulness benevolence is malignance, cooperation is competition, courage is cowardice, love is attachment, and generosity is greed. Our humanity has seen a visible degradation with the concomitant downfall of our virtues as a result of which there has been an upheaval in vice and immortality. Humanity is considered as a baggage to be born which yields no results. But no matter how prevalent dishonesty may become, a single ray of light like a true word spoken with conviction is enough to annihilate falsehood.

In today’s world, truth has become an expensive luxury to be proved, yet, it is strong enough to make the roots of falsehood tremble. It should be remembered that only the dead fish goes along with the flowing river. So for those who have the conscience alive; and it frequently murmurs in faint voices in the hope of being heard; should remember that being true is a sign of bravery, compassion, strength and morality- all of which are noble virtues of being human.

“My Will” metamorphosed to “I Will”

It has been months and I have not moved a muscle in my body. My knee joints hurt terribly. I feel like my body needs to be stretched from all ends so that I feel some relief. I literally can’t explain the jamming which I feel in my joints all over the body due to months of inaction. I wish I could just tell someone to stand on my knees or give me a good massage so that some blood circulation helps soothe my pain. 

I remember the kind of pain I had in my body when I started gymming. When I would open my eyes in the morning and made an effort to get up, every inch of my body would hurt due to the previous day’s workout.

When I would take a step forward, my shins would hurt terribly.

When I would bend to pick up a fallen object, my thighs would curse me.

And when I would rise again after a bend, my abs in the making would weep for the pain that I was causing them.

But one thing which didn’t hurt me at all was the contentment and the satisfaction of my mind. Every time my body ached my mind was proud. It felt happy and ecstatic. I was working towards a change I deeply desired.

But I didn’t realise when “My Will” metamorphosed into “I Will” of the future tense. I paved way for a series of delays. 



“After five mins”, “In the evening”, “Definetely tomorrow”, “On Monday, for sure”, “Next week; perhaps”, “1st of the next month”; “Forget it, you’re not going to do it!” 

And here I am, in the future designed by my past. Full of sorrow and remorse. I wish the “me” in my past would’ve done something for the “me” who is here living in the present. 

But I also ask myself,

“What is the ‘me’ of my present doing for the ‘me’ in my future?

“Would I still be remorseful tomorrow as I am today?”

“Where would I have been if I had been consistent for the past so many months?”

I weighed myself as 107.6 kg today morning. And on somedays I even go upto 109 kg. I had gone down to 104 kg and it was a huge achievement for me. But, here I am. Again.

Black and White!

If everything was black and white

It would’ve been easy for me to decide.


Which dreams to sow

Which path to go.

What realities to reap

Which memories to keep.


I wish the new

But I want the old too.

A wish for the promising future

But a memory from the past I want to nurture.


The past I want in a pretty knitted mesh

But the future- Alas! It wants me fresh.

Choosing one over the other

Is choosing love over the lover.


I wish I could keep both- the future, the past

The choice will steer my life as a mast

I wish I could keep both- the lover, the love

The pain to choose agonises to speak of.


Failing to decide what is Black and White

I wonder if I would ever be right.


ZK.

The Phases of Relationships

The introduction of facebook gave a new dimension to the “realtionship status”. We made a huge leap from being either ‘single’ or ‘committed’ to a huge number of variations like ‘complicated’, open realtionship’, ‘domestic partnership’, ‘civil union’ and the list goes on. But the influence of these variations has not just been on the name tags but also on our perception and attitudes towards relationships.

Relationships are either the most simple or the most complicated processes we all have to go through in our life. There is no middle ground; and if you’re trying to find one, then most probably you belong to the complicated category. 

What broadly are these phases of the relationship? As my perception, we often go through the following phases-

The budding stage- 

Most of the relationships begin as beautiful and fresh buds, eager to be nurtured by the tender rays of the sunlight to mature into blooming flowers. 

This stage where two people glance and try to un- glance when the other looks, when they manage to notice the intricate details of the actions of the other, when they manage to sit in a class facing the board and training their eyes to match an owls precision to take note of the “other” and the numerous other things one does when consumed by the fresh flame of Love is what can be called as a budding stage.

The blooming stage-

And then the bud matures to bloom into a flower to relish the nectar of companionship. The wildness as well as the tenderness of this companionship is beyond ecstatic.

It’s a stage in which a person can see the best display of all their virtues. We are ready to compromise, sacrifice, love unconditionally and forgive mercifully.

But, just like every dark cloud has a silver lining, all good things too come to an end; ofcourse our approach towards our life can ensure that the good things which come to an end are replaced by better things. But let us agree, most of us have a crooked approach towards life unless we are hit hard by the circumstances to get it straight.

The rotting stage-

It’s very hard to analyse any phase of a relationship as a rotting stage but hard as it might be; it is also true. Any relationship begins to and is bound to rot if either of the partners begin to take the other for granted. 

The reason due to which the budding stage is so beautiful is that we are ready to go to any extremes to make the other person feel special and loved. It’s not necessary that we do this for the joy of the other person, in fact, the reason we do it is because watching our attempt to be successful in making the other person happy makes us beyond happy. Man is selfish by nature, we’ve all heard that and its quite true too. We don’t love someone for them but for ourselves; loving someone gives us immense pleasure and joy. Its our own shining light that makes us happy not necessarily the reciprocation of the other.

As long as in a relationship, making someone makes us happy too, we’re on the right track. But this effort has to be mutual and unsaid. The moment it turns into- Am I the only one who has to do this? The relation needs to be nurtured or it soon begins the journey towards the next stage.

The withering stage-

It’s primarily characterised by indifference and contempt. We’re so much hurt either by ignorance or lack of effort by the other that there can be days and months that could pass by and yet we would refuse to look at or talk to the other. Our partner has failed to meet our expectations and we refuse to be the bending twig which is always the one to hold the things together. And any effort made by either at this stage would not bring happiness but burden to both because most efforts done now would because of two reasons. First, to give a satisfaction to ourselves that we tried to save it. Second, to prove a point against the other they did not even do as much an effort as done by us.

As a consequence, if we decide to stick together life might be a series of unfortunate events and if we decide to move ahead then there are equal chances of the repitition of the same phases with another person.

So, does that mean we might never have a good companionship?

Not really.

The truth is that many people live these phases everyday in their lives; sometimes the whole cycle ends in an hour, sometimes a day and if we are not sensible enough or responsible enough towards our lives and our relationships then these phases might as well never come to an end. 

But the effort for anything in this universe that includes more than one person needs to be mutual. And if on someday we know the love of our partner and yet they fail us- we should rise higher, forgive them and help them save themselves and a beautiful aspect of their and our life.

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