Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stand By Me

A story of four young boys on the brink of adolescence, sharing an over zealous quest to find a dead child's body, Stand By Me explores the purity of childhood friendships. A recounted narrative, the film ends with the protagonist saying that he never had friends the way he did when he was twelve. 'Does anyone?', he asks. True, maybe it was the innocence of the early years or the inability to understand how the world functions, but there was something that reflects in the warmth one feels on hearing an old friend's voice albeit 2000 miles away.  You probably dont cry to them about break ups the way you can cry to your college friends and its not watching endless hours of movies together but the 5 minute catching up sessions are like spa treatments. College friends are great, grown up and capable of handling grown up messes (very effectively, I must add) but probably feeling twelve again helps one reconnect with the non-messy side of life that used to be.
One can never have friends the way one did at twelve. No one can, or so he says,
But while the ending did remind me of old friends and brought a smile to my face with memories of carefree times, the words Stand By Me made me think of the friends here who have stood by me through really rough times. They know this is to them. Love  you all :).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Karma Circle

Flipping through Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the nth time, came across the following lines:

Draco Malfoy was no longer strutting about the school as though he owned the place.
On the contrary, he looked resentful and sulky.
On the other hand, Ginny Weasley, was perfectly happy again...

Loved it. Life's little pleasures. :).

Friday, October 23, 2009

For Everything Else, There's Mastercard

Auto Fare Round-trip to Cream Centre: Rs 120
Refried Bean Tacos: Rs 125
Half-and-half Enchiladas: Rs 220
Total expenditure on the Thursday lunch: Rs 696
Authentic Mexican Meal after having craved for a month: Priceless :).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Of Seances, Spirits and the Subconscious

Lemme begin by asking, Do you believe in ghosts?In black magic? In God?
This post probably stems from the psychological and para-psychological turmoils  of the last few weeks. The recent bouts of insomnia ravaging my being have presented me opportunities to meditate upon excruciatingly weird issues, for reasons still unknown.
A rational scientific mind might argue to the non existence of such entities. But has it never happened that you do feel an unexplained presence in your life, even if it is your guardian angel? I have been blessed with an above average intellect and by virtue of pursuing my education in applied sciences, I have been bestowed with a pretty rational mind. But, yes, I do believe in the paranormal. Whether it happens as a result of the manifestations of the human brain or the existence is for real, not sure, but I do not deny the effects of such phenomena on life as such.
Possessed by an incessant urge to speak with a dearly departed, I began researching methods. Seances and planchits have been long advertised as means to do so.But whether they establish a communication channel between the spirit of the actual person or are just a manifestation of our hearts deepest desires is still unclear (ref). A friend recounted a story told to him by his father about a seance having gone horribly wrong, with  an uninvited invisible guest showing up and refusing to leave; they were later rescued  by an ancestor, who in their dreams told them never to do it again. That did it. Seance was out of question. Then I wondered if simply praying would work. Maybe it did, maybe not. I'm waiting for a reply. And something tells me I shall receive one ( Worry not, I am as sane as you are).
While we are on the subject of spirits, what are they precisely? Remnants of a life? Or the very life itself? Or the energy that makes the hydrocarbon matter come alive? Dan Brown's Angels and Demons presented theories drawing parallels between concentrated energy fields and the soul. Brown's latest, The Lost Symbol, puts forth a similar view point. Are we coming close to understanding the concept of God and divinity? Or are we just trying to explain it using what we already know? I remember Papa explaining to me the concept of wave-particle duality using the same funda, that people had tried classifying light as either a wave or a particle in the same way man had tried describing God as a human incarnation or a heavenly bright source of light. The Lost Symbol talks of divinity being intrinsic while Eric von Danniken talked of the Gods as being extra terrestrial colonizers. Is it really a mere energy field running through us all that makes sure all modules of this super program function without a glitch?
Speaking of inner manifestations and the hidden signals transmitted by our subconscious, I remembered this book I had read back in the summer of my freshman year. I dont recall the title but it had something to do with Wicca, as the practitioners like to call their craft, which is witchcraft or black magic to the unaware. It talked of how it was possible to program any human mind into dying of its own accord, apparently there lies a hidden, teeny-tiny portion of resentment in all our lives which when excited and nudged into wanting release, starts walking upon a path of self annihilation purely by choice. The hocus pocus of voodoo dolls and chants is to create the suitable atmosphere thereby allowing the victim to submit his mind willingly to the  influence of the practitioner. Needless to say, the above cited was an example of black magic. The counterpart white magic uses the same technique for healing purposes.
Exploiting the power of the subconscious mind was branded witchcraft in the medieval times. When Rhonda Byrne packages the same as the Secret, she delivers a new kid on the block, something that has actually been around for ages. The Law of Attraction poses interesting questions, the first being why not a law of repulsion. Several interesting conversations circled around with the typical IIT minds trying to find a catch in the same. One argued using the string theory, while one tried to figure out if neurons could actually be radiating systems despite being covered with mylein sheaths.
Zillions of ways, countless cures to try to soothe pain and offer hope, each weird in its own way. Maybe they are all the grown up versions of the chocolate Mom gave you as a kid when you were crying, just to make you feel better. And, it works, even if for a very short span of time. So what if it might just  be a temporary escape route, it helps, like booze. And frankly between booze and this nameless, faceless entity, most of us will always prefer the latter.
PS: Why am I writing this? Scroll up. The insomnia demons are on rampage and I'm so high on lack of sleep!!!