On the strangeness of weirdness

“That new girl seemed quite pleasant from afar,
But dude, she spends Friday nights at home reading,
That’s just so bizarre!”

“All the fashion sense in the world seems to have vanished,
Neon tops on faded ripped denims?
Now that’s just positively outlandish!”

“The entire world’s approach to partying is flawed,
Jumping up and down in smoky stuffy room?
That’s not fun, that’s simply odd!”

“Oh! The things that I hear,
They keep snails as pets instead of dogs!
Their culture is just queer!”

“Never have I met people so frivolous,
They pay for other people to entertain them,
Do you believe a thing so ridiculous!

“Of the Holy GIOSGOOP they don’t know a word,
These Earthling species we’ve discovered?
I’m telling you, they’re absurd!”

“They just sit all eternity in the nucleus, resting,
We electrons shift energy levels all the time,
But ugh protons are so perplexing!


All around, all the time
Every infinitesimality exclaims,
Everything is weird, save I.

 

Tldr: there isn’t one sort of weirdness, weirdness is inevitable and it isn’t such a bad thing. Embrace your weirdness, people of the world!

The stars shine for you.

How do I even begin to describe it.

There’s this tingling feeling in your stomach, and you inadvertently lean forward the tiniest bit and your eyes open up wide in a desperate bid to accommodate all of it. For there is a lot to accommodate. It is as if infinity is kept on a platter and served as a feast to your eyes.

I speak of landscapes. You must have seen it; you have to have seen it. It is that unending sea of treetops, accompanied by a wind that can make the heaviest heart fly. Those mammoth mountains which overshadow you and yet make you feel like you belong. It is the sunset sensation that washes over all of you in colours you never knew existed. Or that plain black with a sprinkling of dots somewhere up there that should have no right to affect you, but instead sweeps away your heart and soul in a whirlwind of gasps and gawks.

It doesn’t quite make sense. Why is nature beautiful? Why is it gorgeous stunning mesmerising and every other synonym of pretty? Why do I associate the words I use for human attractiveness for what is essentially rocks and air and water and other mundane stuff? How does suddenly putting a lot of them together in a far off place make me feel like the elements and I have achieved harmony and hence I must stare my eyes out? Why do a bunch of photons captured on a photographic plate and shared with a million people by means of 1 and 0s make me feel like the light reflected and refracted exactly that away just to have a direct hit at my heart?

This seems to be related to one of the fundamental questions every human seems to grapple with. Am I special or not? On one hand, there is pop culture, and its honey coated words, assuring everyone that the stars shine for them. On the other hand, there’s logic and your recently-touched-rock-bottom-self-esteem that points out that all you’ve done in life is eat up a significant share of cocoa and browsed the internet all day and that doesn’t really merit any star-shining for you.

Now I’m going to be entirely logical and concede that the stars probably are not twinkling because they have a special something for me. But yet there is no way I can deny looking at these vast expanses of raw nature feels unquestionably good. So, um, why?

Hypothesis time:

Maybe we stand back with awe at nature because we simply don’t know what else to do. You know how when you’re faced with something really absurd or when someone says something extremely random, your first instinct is to laugh? I think our fascination with nature works the same way. We see a mountain, a mountain that took millennia to build, or we see a sky, a sky that couldn’t be painted by human hands in a millennia, and we don’t know what to do with it. So we stand back and stare.

We stare, we nudge each other to look, we write poems, we compose music, we paint pictures, we travel to seek more and we express our sheer incapability to comprehend the things that exist right in front of us. And if something can invoke us to “feel” so strongly, I think we might just be forgiven the innocent pleasure of thinking that it all exists for us.

Waves have nothing to do but crash

Waves have nothing to do but crash.
Pound the shore eternally

Jagged rocks wait at the margins
The waves always come crashing for them

Even in the deep dark night
The waves have never stopped their crashing

Light lazily vanquishes the dark
No thing can restrain the waves from crashing

A city wakes up, groggy
The waves can only crash intently, intensely

Some skip breakfast, some skip hugs
The waves haven’t skipped a single crash

People rush about, going places
The waves are there where they have to be, crashing

We work dance work play
The waves crash crash crash crash

Emotions run mad through the city
The waves come crashing steady and sane

Today, someone lived their dream
Their heartbeat fluttered along with the crashing waves

Today, a dream shattered
The frustration of a heart saw itself in the crashing waves

An aching longing came crashing today
The pain was soothed by the passage of time and waves

Someone, dulled with drudgery
Dramatically ignited under the influence of the thunderous crashing

So many different people
The waves crash, the waves crash the same

The waves have nothing to do but crash
I wish the waves never find anything else to do.

Note: This was inspired at Marine Drive, Mumbai (Future literature teachers, note that down (Chill, I’m kidding)). I do realize that this is a very whimsical piece of writing in that this has absolutely no structure or form or conventionality whatsoever. I think that this (whatever this is) does not even meet the qualification criteria for free verse. The reason I did write this though (and although the non-cheesy part of me refuses to admit this), I have come to find the sea irresistibly beautiful. And if I could express even a tiny part of that beauty, then booyah!

Switch It Off and Switch It On Again

Earth has had a shortage of many things,
But never a shortage of mysteries,
We have inconsistencies, littered
All over our histories

Mysteries like to taunt human curiosity,
And drive anyone mad with suspense.
How? What? Why? Reveals no answer
Within the realms of common sense.

Yet the determined human prods,
Pokes and picks and pries and probes,
Uses logic and fancy Latin words,
Confers with people in fancy robes.

Voila! The human solves it all!
Every problem known to humankind.
And Earth explodes in a fury of progress,
Struggling to keep up with this human’s mind.

Everything makes sense to the human!
This human knows Pi like an old pal
Higgs boson calls this human its secret keeper,
So do antimatter, duct tape, quarks et al.

Well, almost everything makes sense.
One peculiar phenomenon
can’t fit into this human’s head.
Scientific name: Switch-it-off-and-switch-it-on-again

It is a rather marvellous effect,
Proof that science is magic,
It enchantingly revives situations,
That would have otherwise turned tragic.

Picture a troublesome electronic,
A device that’s in no mood to run,
Just switch it off and on again,
And it’ll do all the work under the sun.

Phones, computers, laptops, tubelights
All must obey this dictate.
It is now a universal requirement,
Every gadget must have this trait.

Techie people have term for it,
They suavely call it “reboot”
But when you ask them why it works,
Far, far away they scoot.

This isn’t just an electronics thing,
(It’s wrong to be elitist that way.)
This curious conundrum
Applies to people too, everyday!

Human head not working?
Oh, Sleep over it.
Eight hours of switch off and
Suddenly, you’ve never been so fit.

This is the most spectacular gift of God
But it makes our smart human sigh.
Cause benefits and all are okay,
But the human needs to know WHY
 
How does turning off a kaput device
Make it work again???
Our poor human is stumped.
Where’s the logic, the sense?

The gritty human still tries,
Reads several million books,
But there is just failure waiting
Everywhere that the human looks.

Then one day, the human hears
That Himalayas are the place to be
“Go talk to The Great Mountain Spirit,
And enlightenment will come for free!”

Our brave human sets out at once,
Trudging through the bitter cold,
The human meditates for twenty years,
Eating only herbs with the taste of mould.

After an eternity of austere living,
When our human is literally in tears,
The sky thunders and shudders, and
The Great Mountain Spirit appears.

The Great Mountain Spirit is wise
Nothing can hide from its icy soul
Our human chatters out the question,
Shivering, but so close to the goal.

The Great Mountain Spirit ponders,
Thinks with the air of a savant,
Then says, after like forever,
In a manner most nonchalant:

“Don’t ask too many questions,
Don’t break this bubble,
If switch-it-off-and-switch-it-on stops working,
You’ll be in trouble.”

What’s your favorite season?

A seemingly innocuous question, right? This is how my answer typically goes:

“Well, I love the summer season because its my birthday season and plus its so bright and sunny and warm and fuzzy and optimistic and its like sunshine in your face and cheery smiles everywhere. (Not the best sentence construction, I know). Its like happy time, you know.

But I really like the winter too. It’s probably the influence of popular culture of snow, snow fights, snowmen, snowwomen, snow angels, snowfall, snow sledging, snowboarding and the entire snowscape of words starting with snow. (You get the (snow)drift, don’t you? No?)

But I don’t even get snow where I stay. Nevertheless the cool winds, the thankfulness at not sweating every second, the presence of fresh strawberries make winters worthy of being my favorite.

And then the monsoons. How can one not like them?  The pitter, the patter, the rhimjhim, the jhimjhim, the tip tap tap, the thashooom (that’s not rain, I just fell down) and the splitshy splish splash. If seasons were people, the Mr. Rain would win the Grammys 3.6 billion years in a row. Also, he’d have the best perfume ever manufactured.”

I could similarly tirade about autumn season, spring season,  pizza season(ing), open season, bugs bunny in duck season, and so on, but then I realize my audience has wandered off in search of better conversation long ago, and that I am a blithering, blabbering idiot.

Now, I don’t like to be blithering, blabbering idiot, so I decide that I am a genius of the most profound order.

I start wondering why it is so hard to choose. And I’m not just talking about seasons here, I’m talking about everything. All the hundreds of this or that questions we have to answer everyday. Will your lime soda be salted or sweet? Do you want the New York Chocolate or Dutch Truffle? Should I read Fahrenheit 451 next, or The Fountainhead? Should I become a Computer Scientist or a Mathematician?

I’m not talking about The Road Not Taken-esque scenarios where one path is done and trodden and the other is difficult and exciting. I’m talking about two paths, that sound equally good, have the potential to take me anywhere and have no significant difference in a pro-con analysis. How do we then decide anything?

(At this point I should mention that I blabber, and I don’t really know an answer.)

But I have this new trick to deal with such situations. Just don’t think. I think its a perfect solution. Just don’t bothering thinking, cause it isn’t worth it half the time anyway. (After typing all this I wonder if I’ve accidently inspired the entire human race to get dumber, but I don’t believe this blog has that kind of a following. Also, I believe I am right. We humans think way too much about inconsequential stuff.)

So, remember, think before you think.

One engineering masterpiece, please

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I’d like to see a marvellous machine,
A mystical contraption that would fly.
A gentle beast, that soared,
And wouldn’t hurt the environment it went by.

It would exhale no noxious fumes,
Nor gulp down tankers of fuel.
A legion of photons from the Sun,
Would power this gritty tool.

Hop, skip and jump around the world,
Day and night it’d traverse the skies.
The mission will start slow and steady,
But it’ll swiftly enrich our future, Surprise!

The undertaking is surely a challenge,
It would take years of tireless labour.
Conception, construction, design, detail,
Together create a machine to savour.

Its recipe would be an intricate combination,
Of strong fibres of courage and vision.
Behind the strength of its pioneering pilots,
A team of thousands would make this mission.

News! This fantasy is real,
Watch as it quickens your pulse,
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you
The Solar freaking Impulse.


Note: The Solar Impulse is the only airplane of perpetual endurance, able to fly day and night on solar power, without a drop of fuel. It is currently attempting the First Round-The-World Solar Flight. Do check out their official site for knowing more about their endeavour.

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Rusted

Its been some time,
Since I’ve practiced rhyme,
But now that verse tempts me again,
Not returning might just be a crime,

The exuberance that I had earlier seems to have faded,
My style appears to be a little dated.
Yet in sudden fit of determination akin to that of dogs,*
I am taking up a quest to clean up the mental cogs!

I shall polish the grey cells and exercise the hand,
Even if my words don’t have lustre to reach the fabled Good Poetry Land.

Rust is corrosive, a narcissistic abomination,
It suppresses capability within its encrustation.

Yet rust is that honest villain that reminds me of when I worked not,
And with some laborious scraping, it can be disposed of.

*I honestly don’t know if dogs have sudden fits of determination. They must have some determination though, they’ve lived so long. I mean, Darwin can’t be wrong, so apply weird extension of logic.