Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Art of what?

Hi all, this is my first attempt at story writing (if you can call that), so be brutal with you feedback, don’t waste comments being polite or diplomatic.

Although the work is purely fictional, its of course inspired by real-life people, situation and events while working with the Art of Living.

I am the absolute last person to do a 'course' on spirituality

I really dont care about saving the planet, its too late anyway

And unless I’m doped or drunk, I don’t usually smile at people

And to tell the truth, I don’t want to change the way I am either.

And if I am to believe in news (which I don't) and media, Guru's don't have the best reputation!

I just like to know certain things and there are times I go a little overboard finding out. Like the time when I suspected my mom was mixing curd, in everything I ate, which I hated a morbid passion, I actually took food samples from home to my lab in 8th grade to test whether they contained the lactobacilli bacteria.

But before I go into anything to do with Art of Living or Breathing, I needed to find out about the person who was teaching it. And no, I did not hire a PI, with social networking sites, and 6 degrees of separation, almost anyone can turn into a PI. But something, I have no Idea what, makes me insanely curious about knowing more, the same insane curiousness that made me test my home cooked food samples for lactobacilli.

But I am a hard nut to crack, it will take me more than a seven day crash course on spirituality and an irritatingly happy instructor to turn me into one of them ‘save the planet evangelist’ .

So I thought, If not for anything else, I could spend a few hours everyday for a week for a memory of comic relief in future.

The curiosity started the day I met Bindi

I met Bindi on a rainy afternoon, struggling with three over sized bags and a dysfunctional umbrella. I think I know her, I said to myself, and went to help her out with her bags, in a tearing hurry, she handed me her bags and said, “are you going to Bhannerghatta road”, “yes", I said, without thinking, the poor girl needed help anyway.

“Great, then we can take this Big 10, its about to leave. Oh look, there’s even place to sit! I so hate it when it rains in Bangalore, the roads are jammed, and the buses get over crowded.”

I hope she knows she just met me

And it was that fateful bus ride that changed my life. But like I said, this isn’t my story, and for my own reasons I’d like to remain anonymous.

“you want to know a secret?” she asked invitingly

“okay (like I have a choice?)”

“I am a new person right this moment on”

“really (did u get like a sex change operation)?”

“I finally, finally quit my job, to do what I really love to do.”

“and what’s that?”

“Teach people how to breathe and be happy, I teach the Art of Living workshops. Oh my stop is here, I need to go, it was great meeting you, you should really learn to breath", she said, handing over a contact number and disappearing into the crowd.

If someone can look so ridiculously happy after being drenched in rain, and carrying 30 kg weight, there has to be something. Thats when I grudgingly accepted her friend request on Facebook.

And she knew her stuff alright, so it wasn’t easy to be her friend.

a) You had to had to be a vegetarian

b) You had to agree with her most nonsensical, impulsive of ideas

c) You’d have to be okay with phone calls at 3 am, and listen to her business plan

Bindi was a business freak, she’d wanted to be an entrepreneur since the age of eight. At school, she’d sell stuff like Barbie clothing’s she got her maid to make, and wrote poetry for other people and sold them. As she grew older, she wanted to own a juice shop, a dessert shop (sugarfree, eggless, vegan, healthy), a shop that sold gadgets , one that sold jute bags. Her profession as a software engineer was a complete anti climax to who she was as a person. But that’s what set her apart.

This is what she said in the ‘about me’ section of her Facebook profile.

And they say, I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one……..

Right now three things rule my life

The Art of Living courses,

Yes! I teach them, unfortunately it aint one of those plush studios in upmarket areas that rakes in loads of moolah. In fact I teach more as a volunteer, as it totally opposes my ethics of commercializing something that is such an ancient and a beautiful science.

My work, that is the unglamorous part. I work as a software Engineer at one of the biggest software firms in Bangalore, they say if you throw a stone in Bangalore, chances are that you’ll hit an engineer. This is my story. There’s nothing great about my life. I haven’t changed the world (yet), I am certainly not someone famous (again, yet!).

And finally remember watching Captain Planet on cartoon network, when everyone wanted to be engineers and doctors, I wanted to be a Captain Planet, with a band of planeteers, saving the earth. And I guess I can proudly say that this is the closest to being one.

(to be continued)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

forever 24

As a 16 year old I was obsessed with Backstreet boys and Harry Potter, I thought being a cricket commentator was the perfect career choice, and if you were unfortunate enough to be my parent, the most random question would evoke an emphatic 'no'.
The only purpose in my life was how-to-look-cool-in-front-of-people-who-I-thought-were-cool'

And now at 24.....
Everything has changed, the purpose of my life, my obsessions, my likes, dislikes
but something in me hasn't.
That something which was there in me as a naive 16 year old, as a mischievous 12 year old, and as a 24 year old.

Its been almost a week since I turned 24. And I celebrate in silence. No matter what happens, there is something in me that will remain eternal in this ephemeral world.