Go-to films.

I don’t remember who and how I got introduced to the world of Kore-eda. To the world of Hirokazu Kore-eda. And that added a dimension to my life that I never knew existed.

The very first film of his that I watched was Nobody Knows followed by Air Doll. Air Doll left such a long lasting imprint on my heart that I kept going back to it over the years. I found Nobody Knows hauntingly beautiful and eerie. I have never gone back to watch it but I have thought of it over and over again that I have lost my way through my own thoughts.

Still walking and like father, like son, flowed in and I could see myself in the web that Kore-eda created for little, important human emotions, relationships and existence. Something was beautifully crafted out of those little ‘not to be told secrets’ or those ‘we don’t talk about these’ sentences. The stories had their own unique space but his narrative lingered on for days, months and years.

Kore-eda’s films, till date, are my go-to films; of course I need subtitles to understand them but beyond a point I think his work blends in with the need of the hour too .. where we need to acknowledge these little emotions that made us humans to start with.

Facing the fear.

There was a time when I thought and wished if all problems disappeared somehow without me having to deal with any of them. There was also a time when I felt that running away from everyone and everything that was unpleasant, challenged me and made me feel like an idiot was the way forward in life. In the process of running away and turning my back at everything that wasn’t in sync with me, I found myself in a big dark patch of life. In a patch where nothing could touch me but everything felt nice momentarily. Also, in that patch, I no longer knew who I was and where I wanted to go.

Like when things work in moments, the art of collecting those moments to make a life is when living and knowledge play a crucial role but if I have been keeping myself away from all criticisms and shielding myself from the negatives, then what knowledge would I have gathered? None, I believe. Hence, I never knew how to turn moments into life because by and large, while I ran very hard from everything that bothered me momentarily, I also found places to hide momentarily. Neither the run led me to a destination and nor did I know what the journey I was on.

Then one fine day, my tired senses retaliated. I had nothing left in me but the desires to just be. That’s when I took the biggest test of all. I had to face my fears and there was no way out. Every single thing that I felt was unpleasant, I had to reason it out as to why and amicably detach. In the process, I realised hardly anything was and is unpleasant. It’s just the state of mind that I was in at the time of dealing with that person or the thing. The more negative I was on the inside, the more bitter my circumstances were on the outside. The more expectations I had on the inside, the harder no-treats zone I bumped into on the outside. The more I thought I could sail through easily; the vastness of the water made it awkward with the massive winds.

I paused and wondered.

In the process to just be, one of the key component was to know that the option to run away doesn’t exist. The way forward is to face the fears, nurture the pain, embrace the learnings and move ahead in strength.

Running is always easy. Ignoring is even cooler. But if one has to embrace knowledge than both running and ignoring need to be embedded in the knowledge of ethos not just based on feelings related to the state of mind.

What if ..

If you think of yourself as a railway station or an airport; then all the planes, trains become the thoughts that come and go. Some stay longer than others. Some break down on your platforms and some need that extra time to clear your tracks. But they all eventually go and pass. Just as time and thoughts in a human.

The toughest bit is to be that station or that airport day after day, night after night, year after year. Maintaining that infrastructure, letting people and circumstances work on you, expanding and shrinking, perhaps at the same time. Having engineers repair your base, having someone put more bricks on you or even having someone to colour your walls for you can be daunting and exhausting for long.

If the mindfulness remains that you are not to convert yourself into one of your own passengers or into one of your own carriers, then whoever jumps on whatever vessel, is exactly like watching the world go by in its thoughts and battles without you being a part of the circus.

Most of the times, the loss of this mindful living is lost and the tendency to jump on that train in a search towards that destination is way too tempting than just to watch it go by.. And what does it bring? The destination still remains a far fetched dream and the journey becomes complicated without a reason or a cause.

Hence, to watch the world go by and being that station or that airport or that platform to let things be in the lap of time is a way into peace.

The damn space.

This damn space that is provided by time

Is uniquely boring, subtly breakable as it concedes in life

Something remarkable makes this space

A terrible feeling of owning, disowning, price and theft

Watch the space – they say

Trust the wait and add a pray

Neither the space gets a makeover

Nor the endless smiling face

It just remains a broken machine far from even willing to race

The clock ticks

The days go

Months pass and years flow

The space never gets filled

Playing the wait game just gets skilled.

Best advice.

I have always wondered why everyone jumps in with an opinion on everything on everyone all the time? The standard rule has become to advice. To give advice all the time. At times adding that personal line – ‘I know. Been there, done that.’ Or ‘I exactly know how you must be feeling’. My question is how can I exactly know how anyone feels because they are not me and I am not them as well?

There are always several layers of permutations and combinations that get thrown in for every individual at even exactly same conditions. These differences do nurture dependencies between individuals but to expect them to be exactly identical, so that one can step in to feel for the other, is absolute foolish to say the least.

Hence, the biggest drawback in the sentence – ‘please follow my advice’ are the missing words; ‘choose’ and ‘feel’. ‘If you feel like or choose to, then please follow my advice’ seems like a more contained statement to throw at someone.

I think the lesser importance one attaches to ones own opinions, the lesser urge one has to throw it at someone else because an opinion always queues up first in the line of choice. Perhaps then this unnecessary rise in hatred would reduce because most of the time feelings are able to set themselves right on their own rather than having to force them.

Success. Failure. Life. 

By and large the screaming reality that one gets drawn to is to value oneself based on the worlds’ definition of success and failure. One, often is thought to be the reverse of the other. The very nature of the definitions aren’t contained or bounded by defined limits and ranges. There are abstract deductions on what might appear to be a success through the world lens and what might not and vice versa. Most of these parameters being covered in materials. This then begs to question the very existence of these definitions and then to question their impact on an individual’s self belief. 

At the core sits this notion of impermanence very rigidly which even applies to the brain. The brain starts decaying gradually with age as has been shown and published in the literature. Attaching value or worth  to impermanence then seems to be an interesting phenomenon of feeling good and worthwhile. Whereas in reality, this attachment in itself crawls on the shoulders of lies. Perhaps this is precisely why every definition and structure handed by this world runs out to change at the face of slightest threat. The torch bearers of such definitions run for covers when their lies and make belief stories to success are exposed. The failed ones, of course, stand no chance to voice their opinions because the materials aren’t drool worthy to report. 

In these circumstances, where death is our only reality and a mark of pemanence, shouldn’t success and failure simply be left onto love and thoughts  to judge rather than fame and materials? Because come to think anout it, a healthy mind and a loving heart are all that an individual needs to live barring all definitions. 

Letter 1.

Dear life,

You seem familiar but do I know you? I live in you or maybe you live in me; howsoever true the nature’s be. Of fleeting thoughts and the composed theories. Life, you are still a mystery.

Remember the times when I have run into you? The days when I have cried relentlessly. The nights that wouldn’t turn into days and the days that would burn the eyes.

You said that I could touch the sky. I believed that I could. Somewhere I forgot to ask the belief on why I should? From heartbreaks to rationalisation, bridging to separation; you have seen it as I have lived it.

If I were to ask you, what more there is to you would you care to reply or would you smile and glide the question into our known void?

Yours T.