Life, Transformation

Proof #Day 16

100% (1)

I was humming the opening of Bob Dylan’s song today, on the pavement. I was on my way to Spinney’s, which is in my neighborhood.

How many roads must a man walk down,
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail,
Before she sleeps in the sand?

Yes, and how many times must a cannonballs fly,
Before they are forever banned?

As I walked on the paved, with my hum, I noticed a group of teenagers. Slight distraction to boast about my abilities, people around me would be glad that I was humming because last time when I sang, that day, I was banned from future social gatherings. There was nothing special about today’s Thursday, it was a usual buzz in flashy Dubai downtown district, where Burj Khalifa outshines everything around. Every time, I look at it, I’m reminded of tall human ambition. Most glorious sight on earth. It wasn’t the first time that I saw the teenagers, they would be there every Thursday, with no parents and having the first taste of independence and adolescence. As I watch them, I couldn’t fail to notice the latest fashion or gadget, and at the same time I would get a feeling that I’m definitely born in a wrong generation. Boys and girls had his/her own individual hairdo, music and banter. They were having fun.

The most usual about them, a burning white stick between their fingers; the one that is lit is passed across the group. They wouldn’t be more than 14-15 years old and seem to be enjoying the moment. I could see something big going up in smoke.

It was for the first time that I could witness to a deep apathy within me and my inability to reverse any of these happening. I couldn’t go up to them and tell them not to smoke and like every other day, I let it pass. How does it concern me? I’m stranger in a strange land. I realized, I wouldn’t feel for them unless I would see in that group, anyone I knew.

How much proof is needed for us to start acting?

The cigarette packet has a vivid, horrid looking image on the pack, and says “Smoking is injurious to health.” CDC (center for disease control and prevention) quotes following statistics…

  1. Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths.
  2. Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined:
    • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
    • Illegal drug use
    • Alcohol use
    • Motor vehicle injuries
    • Firearm-related incidents
  3. More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States.
  4. Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths. More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
  5. Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.
  6. The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in the U.S.

However, someone, in the shopping counter selling cigarettes wouldn’t have these statistics handy. Or would be short on his/her sales target. Or would have put the best foot forward to service the customer. My rational thought fails, probably I’m trying to put more reasoning in it than required. It only a weekend and kids are having a good time, would you do the same. Better thought prevailed and I walked on. Rationality for an irrational universe. Yet again, I failed to stand up for a cause; if I were to test my agreeable  quotient, I would have score my highest ever. I didn’t want to be embarrassed socially. I better stay silent than speak up.

How much proof is needed for us to start acting?

How any times have we found ourselves to be in such situation, where we feel from within, yet fail to act? Family, work or otherwise. How does it matter, unless it happens to me? How many times our supreme intelligence fails to show up?

As I encounter these absurd thoughts, I hum the last few words of the Bob Dylan’s song. Ironically it says,

The, answer my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind.

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Life, Transformation

Labyrinth #Day 9

FLOW (3)

Have you ever had a feeling of being consumed, completely? With no track of time, and hours pass like seconds? It means that you haven’t played Labyrinth yet.

Labyrinth may be in a position to beat Game of Thrones, if you ever thought GOT to be the ultimate gift to mankind. The unassuming innocuous board game has the capacity to consume you and have you split your hair, till to reach the end at least one time. The objective of the game is very simple to start from no.1 and reach 36, surpassing all the holes in between. There are two levers, one on the right had side and the other facing you. You can twist and incline the surface and make the ball move. You can’t touch the ball on the board and if you go into the hole, you start again.

There are holes which have had maximum number of people getting frustrated, these are no.3, no.6, no.16, No.23 & no.33. You would want to bet on people who are able to get by these easily.

The game requires umpteen amounts of concentration, no lesser than playing a video game. It requires immense hand-eye co-ordination. This would be exact intension that Dhriti would have got this game as a gift on her 7th birthday.

Labyrinth was not an instant favorite. When the young ones ran out of Monopoly, Guess Who, Labyrinth was used as a new novel challenge, which of course I had to demonstrate. The first attempt was not more than 6. Predictably, the kids got bored in 30 minutes, and that was when I introduced the game to the adults, who were couple of drinks down. Sadly none of them could better my score.

The following night, after challenging Dhriti, I decided to have a go at it. It was late in the night at 10.00 pm. There were many success on the way by 11.00, more determination by 12.00 and at 1.00 am I decided to take the break. By this time I had been able to cross no.27 but got into the 31st hole. I went to the balcony which has a wonderful view of the Burj Khalifa, with no thoughts on the game.

I thought I was taking it too hard.

It was getting too late and in the interest of a peaceful morning, I gave myself another 30 minutes to complete the challenge. I tried to reflect upon what had not gone right.

All this while I have been focusing on not getting into the hole and never focused on the black line.

This could be my only chance and I went back to the board, letting my subconscious take over. I was not trying to move the ball, or make my hands stable. Nothing at all. I was only looking at the big broad black line, and my subconscious was doing the rest. I crossed No.31 and finally reached no.36. I tested my hypothesis by going back from no.36 to start. Though it took me couple of times, but the hypothesis was correct.

When the mind agrees, body follows.

When you focus, every inch of you is dedicated to the goal.

Isn’t it uncanny that if you your life has happened the way you wanted it to. You may not realize that very second, but when you look back, you will find that it went exactly the way you have thought about it. But all this while you have been focusing on the hole and not the black line.

To which Mr. Steve Jobs in his famous address said “Dots connect.”

When you don’t focus on the holes, life happens. Maybe, there are other ways of conquering Labyrinth, but this is the most novel one.

Life greets you in the most unexpected circumstances.

What are yours and how did you welcome it?

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