Mind matters – Passing thoughts

There’s a lot that has been happening in life – reading wise. It is not a new years resolution like every other person though. I’m officially out of bookmarks. I had two and I’m reading three books simultaneously. So one book does not get a bookmark it gets a place in my short term memory.

Well, now that regular banter is out of the way. I recently discovered Stephen Hawking’s show called the Grand Design. I have only watched one episode so far and there were two things that captured my attention completely.

One of them was when he said, “Although I cannot move and I have to speak through my computer, in my mind I am free.” This is my new defense mechanism. This will be helpful in extremely crowded trains, “Although my physical self is totally cramped up here, in my mind I am free.” 

Even when I sense physical pain, I can use the above. It is especially useful during emotional pain.-  “Although this situation is perceived by me as daunting or terrifying, in my mind I am free as the Voyagers exiting the solar system.”

Second bit that I found extremely fun was when he spoke about natural laws and man made laws, with the example of tennis. This means that only natural laws are constant everything else is changeable and will change. Laws of nature on the other hand cannot be changed, but only understood by us if we put our minds to it. 

One more thing about Laws of Nature is that humans fall upon it only when it is convenient and it does give them a great deal of certainity. For example, when Barack Obama said, “The sun will rise again (or was it tomorrow?)” after Clinton lost the election – he basically wanted to rely on some form of certainity so he could take in the uncertain results that had just arrived
This reasserts a few of my beliefs (win win!). You mustn’t seek for external approval cause it is futile. External approval is changeable. What is disapproved by society today maybe approved tomorrow. Laws of nature don’t care much about criticism and argument. They just are, so must we. So indeed Shakespeare perhaps was right, ‘to be or not to be’.

In the universe the sum of everything is zero. Matter and anti-matter. Space and Energy. So this is why every action has an equal and opposite reaction – in order to reach the ultimate point of  shunya – nothing ness. 

But karma is not that. It is not Newton’s third law. In karma it is said that all your good actions will give rise to good reactions and not the opposite. 

Karma may make more sense if it is not looked as a form of ‘natural or God’s way of dispensing justice.’ but, simply as passing off energy. We are all made of matter and all of matter is just Energy. So whenever we create positive energy in this world it is bound to create ripples and therefore have an effect upon us when it returns. Same with negative etc. But what is positive and what is negative is essentially subjective. Because a negative action may have occurred in order to bring shunya-ness to a positive energy ripple and in order to bring us all back into nothingness and becoming just one with universe. 

Maybe I’m super wrong about all of it. But, my soul yearns to speculate, because in my mind I am free to explore the thoughts that may take me closer to the secrets of the Universe!


Successful navigation

Whenever I got out of a tube station in London, I would spot a newspaper shop/stand that would have a board on it that read, “Don’t ask us for directions.” It was a bit rude for a country known to be polite. I mean this was a country that was also known for voyagers who travelled across oceans to spot a country or a spice rack and they’re unwilling to tell us the location of a coffee shop. Odd, isn’t it? But, you know what I think they’re embarrassed. After the whole India/America mishap by Columbus their confidence level to navigate must have blown over. Not immediately but overtime it kept coming back to them. Especially by their neighbours with those funny accents, “Hey England, remember that time you thought USA was India? That was hilarious wasn’t it? *Laughs* Oh by the way can you tell me which way to Tesco?” *English guy puts the don’t ask for directions sign*

A lot of Indians take pride in the fact that Columbus was looking for India. Like validation from the White Man ‘searching for us’ was wonderful. They also defend the british rule, don’t they? “They gave us railways, some old buildings… And well the English language.” 

Why do we always commend the British on giving us the English language? Were we falling short of languages in this country? We have made so many languages up that after a few kilometers out of your hometown you definitely need a translator in order to avoid getting swindled. I’m sure we could have made up English if we had the time and the British hadn’t got to us.

And what is so great about Columbus searching for India? Do we really not know what he and his people eventuality did with the ‘Indians’ they found? We should thank our stars that they did not find our ancestors otherwise those white folks would be celebrating Thanksgivings day with biryani and without us. 


I go to teach at a shelter home on a weekly basis. I teach them Economics in Marathi which means I am essentially fumbling between two textbooks of Economics – one in Marathi and one in English-as the kids get entertained.

Before starting to do this fun activity I was given an induction, along with other new volunteers. In the induction we were told how we need to dress up – no shorts and no sleeveless. Now, I wear neither of those even otherwise, but when you tell me not to do something I feel the urge to do it. That is the difference between a ‘choice’ and a ‘rule’. A choice is something you take pride in and a rule is something you always question. 

What is so indecent about anybody (man’s or a woman’s) armpits or legs. Isn’t that how nature made us? Are you telling me that you think the nature did not do a decent job so we need to now hide it? The educational institutions, workplaces, and other institutions that have these dresscodes are essentially embarrassed at how nature made humans. These are the same institutions that keep talking about ‘change’ – “We want to change the world and all the indecent things that nature has done to it, which involves legs and armpits.”

This is all in our head-the dirt. Thankfully, nature doesn’t care. It has slowly begun to consider us as an indecent job on the whole and has sprung climate change to remove us. 

This obsession with dress code does go way back and has its roots in religion etc. But it is not like the modern liberal society does not have dresscode. It is an unspoken law. If you left school thinking you never have to wear uniform now, think again. 

Every place has a uniform. Your home has a uniform which is torn clothes that are on the verge of becoming a dish rag. Even magazines that speak of civil liberties and how they want to rid the regressive rights in the Middle East which forces women to dress a certain way, will have a page on ‘evening dresses’ that work and the ones that don’t. The late fashion police Joan was no different from other dresscode imposers in the world. It was just said differently. 

If I want to wear a pyjama to the store, I don’t want to worry about some ‘fashion police’ judging me. A fashion police is much worse than a regressive religious nut. A regressive religious nut will tell you what to wear but a fashion police will decide why you shouldn’t wear what you’re wearing after you’ve brought it and paid a heavy price for it. The religious nut will target all a bunch of humans, the fashion police singles you out individually. Neither of them are right and shouldn’t tell anyone what to do.

If I want to enter a store in my jammies- I should be allowed! And if they throw me out then they should be allowed to. Cause I am a woman in a woman’s jammies. They know that they don’t have big pockets so I clearly ain’t carrying cash – so the store isn’t necessarily wrong in throwing me out. 

Pockets. They are a blessing in outfits and I envy male outfits mainly for pockets. I saw an ad the other day and found out in South India they are making mundus(dhotis) with pockets! I mean I was standing there in my pocket less pyjama and realising these designers have had the time to put pockets in mundus but not in female pyjamas that is essentially a pant!*

Have you ever seen the mundus and wondered,”This is basically a soft cotton skirt with a big long slit and it has pockets now. They are white and therefore can be worn with anything. Why haven’t women made this their thing yet? They’ve taken it all from men, shoes, shirts and trouser -why not this?”

You know why? Because those tollywood heroes would wrap their mundus like a ‘man’ in all those fight scenes and made sure the women are so averse to it that no woman ever ‘owns’ it. You see, they’ve set the ‘dresscode’. 

*(Yes, I am aware that there are female pyjamas which have pockets – but I won’t stop complaining until they get to all the pyjamas, not a single one left pocket less.)

Passing thoughts – Certified

I come from a generation which started the birth certificate. A government appreciating our birth and wanting to keep it for our records. Before that it wasn’t a thing. When you were born, you were just born. You became an additional beneficiary (burden) on the ration card. That is all. But my generation was appreciated cause we came into existence.

My parents come from a generation that started with  the marriage certificate. Before that you just got married, dowry and done. You got appreciated for nothing. My grandparents never got a certificate for any life achievements. And my great grandparents were just lucky they were alive. They had to always walk miles for places. My great grandfather walked from Burma to West Bengal. Another one walked over 14kms to work as a priest in a temple. 
They never got appreciated and never even expected it. So their priorities was existence. My grandparents’ priority was food maybe cause ration card must have become a thing then. My parents’ priority was marriage, cause government gave you a certificate (which means appreciated) for marriage. 

And my generation demands appreciation for just existing because of our birth certificates. We ultimately think our existence itself is so wonderful that we ought to be more appreciated for it.

I cannot even imagine what my great grandparents must think about the complaints we make. “This train is killing me.” “I absolutely hate walking in these shoes.” “I detest the fact that nobody said a word about how I came and how I looked.” 

We use social media to get appreciation for our existence and therefore we become our own hindrance when it comes to achieving great things.

Maybe the government certificates do not intentionally have an impact on our attitude towards life, but they do somewhere play a role. 

Passing thoughts – metaphysical

I have put a part of me flying outside and beyond the Oort cloud (imaginatively or maybe really). So whenever I’m distressed or even physically sick I just imagine or remember the part of me floating outside the Oort cloud exploring and the part of me acknowledges me. It waves happily and excitedly from that part the universe, cause it is kinda done with all this crap and has flown awaaaaaaay.


Passing thoughts – Ultimate retirement plan

My life’s ultimate retirement plan would be where I finally get to living in a place on my own. I live a life of solitude where I recuperate from all the drama and other bs I’ve faced which were thrown by the human society collectively and unintentionally to me. 

I read books, live in a comfortable house and do my regular chores. I keep healthy and go out for long walks. Maybe there is a dog with me. I also travel once a year. Have human contact but not excessively. Cause that could be the time where I find the financial  independence to study sciences more deeply and understand more and more about this universe. Probably join a senior citizen science club (on start one) instead of some religious nonsense.

I’ll come back home after a long day lie down and prepare myself for the one thing that has been consistent in all our lives. Death. The ultimate peaceful restitution from life. 🙂

India’s Trump problem

A friend of mine wrote in an essay, ‘Indians don’t take responsibilty for *anything*’. Guess who else does not take responsibility? Trump. I’ll tell you the connection after explaining how I got to the conclusion. (A good way to get you to read? Or maybe you can just scroll down and get to the end?)

It was for the first time I noticed this annoying trait of ours. As I am going through the CBSE NET exam booklet it is funny how all of it is so true. The exam is supposed to be for those who wish to teach in Indian universities as Assistant professors and also for those who wish to apply for Junior Research Fellowships. This form has distanced itself so far away from responsibility of anything! This exam basically helps shape the education system of our country. And here we are wondering why it is the way it is.

I will show you some pointers from the form itself. I have spent good amount of my morning with this form’s booklet.

So the first three sections are important instructions, junior research fellowships and conditions of eligibility. That is alright — nothing to see there except for the fact that the categories of people appearing for the exam are — General, Other Backward Classes(OBC), and “non-creamy layer” Scheduled caste/scheduled tribes, persons with disability.

Non-creamy layer?! I mean what does that even mean?! Firstly it is an insult to those who are not General or OBC, the institution just blatantly described them as ‘non-creamy layer’ of our country. Secondly, you are not baking a cake. It is not to be sugar coated (no pun intended) so heavily. Call it like it is, “the people against whom we have discriminated so heavily for ages that they are now underprivileged because of those above who wish to classify themselves as ‘creamy layer’ of our country while basically they are all just completely unethical pricks living under the unethical-privileges gained by their ancestors!” I mean I am sure the ‘creamy category’ has some hardships, but an institution trying to recruit professors for our country is not doing justice when it comes to language.

sugar-coating is strong with this one

But the point is about responsibility and not language. I should not divert from there, so let’s move on.

Let’s go way below to section 12-General Instructions.

This really did tick me off because how can you just flip the city the exam will take place and not state any reason for it? And how must the applicants comply with such uncertainty?

Not all of those who are taking the exam are made of money-so people must be booking their tickets way before the exam. Also, they are probably employed elsewhere and must need to have applied for leave. There have been many many people who have complied with uncertain norms set by the institution. A classic ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ case. Many take pride in coming first in the exam and they sure as hell should. If you followed these rules and took the time and energy to invest in it anyway and came first then you deserve another award on side-highest tolerance award. This can be given to those people who followed our government’s procedures and came out of it meritoriously.

And this well, ‘our word is final’ and all you can do in order to get them to hear you is basically take them to court. And they do know nobody has the time/money for that. It is all fine though. As an Indian we have go through most of this in any government office. So we do have a tolerance for all of the above. Our rage will be subsided immediately because there is no other alternative. So as I finished reading the rules I was still accepting of all of them-after all what choice do I have? Like many of those complying with our government’s circulars I, too, will give in to all in order to gain very little (Yes, our university pays very little and sometimes not at all to the professors. Why do you think your prof went on strike so often?) But I decided to go ahead with it anyway and then I read this:

OF COURSE NOT. They sent out the notification but will not be credible even towards something they themselves wrote! You think Donald Trump is bad? Most of our institutions/organisations like above run on his ideals! They refuse to be accounted for when it comes to anything-even their own word. So don’t smirk at America when they have a Trump-problem in their election. In our country we have institutionalised this very problem so deeply that we have stopped noticing!

Indians need to step up and start taking responsibility for their word and actions. CBSE is just a tiny example of a bigger system that is so inherently reluctant to take any responsibility even when it comes to errors!

And Trump needs to step up and start writing such disclaimers, “It is a verbal error and I take no responsibility for it.” Learn from us, bro (sarcasm has made an appearance here please note).

P.S. The words — institution and responsibility is used too many times and I apologise if that hurt your eye.

Ideas approved

You cannot ever reject another person’s existence. We live in a world where (thanks to filter bubble and such things alike) we are heavily divided in opinion.

While rejecting someone’s thoughts we must realise that we cannot reject their existence. You can’t simply say person A is horrifying simply because of an idea or a belief they hold closely. A human being is a collection of ideas and thoughts and all of that is constantly evolving and developing. 

So the ideas sort of exist separately than his/her material being. They are although a product of it and vice versa. Hence, “I think therefore I am”. 

Also you can only ever disagree with someone’s ideas and thoughts but never ever dismiss it as untrue cause nothing is absolutely true.

It is said that you must not seek approval from others. But to make that work we must first approve the idea that we don’t need approval. Tough isn’t it? Something that claims we should not seek approval itself needs approval first.

But it is true. Humans don’t need your approval to exist. They exist because mainly that they possess a capacity to think. Their thinking does not require approval as well. Collective societal norms and rules require approval though and not personal thought. This is why Hillary Clinton is right a politician does hold two opinions public and private. One that does not seek approval and therefore is a personal journey and other that requires approval and hopefully is for the greater good.

Nevertheless personal thought/consciousness lives freely beyond the confinement of the material world and no matter what changes occur in it. 
P.S. The above is just me blogging nonsense at a time where I should be deeply asleep. My one eye has already shut close. Dont mind the nonsense typing. I just required to empty my mind and rid thoughts that keep encircling like hawks eating up my productivity. 

Liberating consciousness

The end of history will be a very sad time. The struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism, will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands. In the post historical period there will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual care taking of he museum of human history. I can feel in myself, and see in others around me, a powerful nostalgia for the time when history existed.  – Francis Fukuyama

There are many ways to interpret Fukuyama’s concept of end of ideolgy/history. This work has inspired many to think of ideological values differently. One of the best things Fukuyama has done for me is break down Hegel’s philosophy on separation of consciousness and physical reality.

“Indeed, Hegel the professor was temporarily
thrown out of work as a result of a very material event, the Battle of Jena. But
while Hegel’s writing and thinking could be stopped by a bullet from the material
world, the hand on the trigger of the gun was motivated in turn by the ideas of
liberty and equality that had driven the French Revolution.”

That means inspite of being physically out of an institution that claimed to perpetuate philosophical thinking or academia, Hegel was still very much in thought present as a philosopher even though he physically was out of the institution.

Consciousness is causes and not effect, and can develop
autonomously from the material world, hence the real subtext underlying the
apparent jumble of current events is the history of ideology.

This whole piece made me dwell deeper into the difference of consciousness and material world. My consciousness has thoughts regarding such philosophical questions which the physical self does not allow to be vocalised publicly. Why? Because of the judgement thrown in on it by the physical world. The idea that philosophy has to be rendered as a pointless subject and we must all only focus upon economic gains has already progress in this period  called ‘end of history’ and Fukuyama is indeed right. Art, philosophy etc are all denigrated as a pointless endeavor. The human world therefore will not consider consciousness as something to be addressed but as the nagging speech that would not let us sleep at night. A condition that is not an extension of human life but an obstacle.

The voice you hear inside your head is the part of a consciousness that exist separate from the physical world. That is not to say they both cannot co-exist. They very well do.

For it, the law of universe does not necessarily apply. It is aware of the laws yes, but those laws are not applicable. The thoughts don’t weigh differently in space than on earth. They are different in the sense, “Wow so many stars!” and “Wow this CO2 level is choking my lungs out.”

You know which is where. First thought will occur at Hollywood and second one on a planet which has 96% CO2 in its atmosphere – Venus.

Thoughts may or may not die with you. They don’t have a voice unless you are physically present – so the consciousness need not necessarily be limitless. But it is limitless because we have found ways to record consciousness (which I plainly have interpreted as thoughts) in books, audios and mundane blogs such as this one. Not to forget ‘social media’.

But understanding that consciousness is limitless and not confined to physical structures. And yes, Hinduism has always spoken about the above but there is a flaw. It has attributed consciousness to specific gods such as Krishna, Vishnu etc. It has made the whole philosophical concept to perpetuate a divisive industry by which it can profit. It seeks donations – talks about a limitless consciousness then divides people immediately by speaking of eating habits, gender, caste and other such flaws.

Therefore, as a Hindu who cannot read Sanskrit in order to get the unadulterated idea of what the core philosophy is – I have understood the idea of limitless consciousness with the help of Fukuyama and Hegel. So religious people be careful before you start taking credit – knowledge is as limitless as consciousness is (although intellectual property rights exist in the material world of course and must be respected.)

My main takeaway from this idea is a very personal one. Even though there is a limit for me performing with regards to my thoughts in the real world. Performing as in publishing pieces, speaking at events or making videos – my thoughts or consciousness is not limited. I have no business pushing them down or repressing them simply because of the physical circumstances I am face. Also, to think the part of me (my mind) is limitless is so very liberating!

P.S. The above interpretation of Hegel, Fukuyama and Hinduism is very personal. If you were offended then I apologise.

Source for the quotes: https://ps321.community.uaf.edu/files/2012/10/Fukuyama-End-of-history-article.pdf

Silent resistance

​Recently I visited a hanuman mandir in Chennai with my grand aunt. Since I was exhausted post vacation and had been to three airports in two days I was in no mood to dress ‘traditionally’. So I wore my brick coloured pyjamas, black T-shirt and covered my ‘top’ with a colourful scarf so as to not invite any criticism.

We entered the temple and I enjoyed listening to the history of the place by my grand aunt. We finally find a priest who disapproves of my outfit, as predicted by my grand aunt before we left home. I still insisted on wearing the outfit cause it was comfortable. Turns out my comfort was ‘offensive’. The poor old priest started the sentence by saying, “I know it is personal but this is not an appropriate outfit for the temple.”
Little did he know I was hiding something even more ‘offensive’ inside me. Or rather it was flowing outside of me. Yes, I was on my period.
I have always somehow ended up visiting temples during my period. Initially it was a coincidence. The first one being on a summer camp I went to while I was in school. The campsite had a temple in it which was where the morning prayers were held. 

I would be so petrified entering the temple on my period and at the same time I would love breaking the one rule I always hated. Soon I found out there were many other teenage girls like me on their periods attending all the religious activities. Thanks to natural synchronization and the fact that nature does not give a damn about where you are. It does whatever and whenever it has to. 
And since then it hasn’t changed. I would have to lie to my grandmother and other family members on some occasions when a temple visit etc is unavoidable.
Maybe my granny is looking at me from up above and either frowning in anger or understanding the joy I have in doing this.
Sabarimalai, a temple run by heavily laden sexism, does not allow women during their adult age or ‘period age’ inside. The sanctum is solely reserved for ‘pure’ men. I have followed a silent resistance, by choice and at times by mere coincidence, since my summer camp incident and visited temples, attended religious ceremonies during my period.
Being an atheist the temple visit has no meaning for me. In fact the act standing in front of an idol and saying prayers seems useless. I’d rather learn sing those songs for the joy of singing and not because my plea will be heard by the God and somehow would magically grant me my wishes.
But the only time any religious event holds meaning for me is when I am on my period. As I bleed through I feel utmost happiness of breaking a small barrier silently. Creating a small shift in the system by telling my body that the flow has no negative connotation to it. Rather it is a very important characteristic provided to us as opposed to the characteristic of a priest chanting endless mantras and asking money at the end of it. So technically they should respect what we go through and not let the religious ones amongst us be shunned from religious spaces on “those days.”
I am confident that I am not the only woman who does this and there are many more like me who do the same.
So here’s to us ladies! Teaching sexism in traditions that no matter what nature will flow through us and some day you will have to respect it. But until then it will flow through me and several other women silently watching you trying to make it a taboo. 
*Draws a doodle of a calm uterus on period dancing in a temple and enjoying the silent resistance.* Silent because nobody knows that I have crossed the border and entered the space while I’m on my monthly no fly zone. #liberation #IWishICouldDoodle