Only questions.

What gives a person the right to act superior to another? What gives them the right to act so selfishly that they wouldn’t think twice before stepping on shoulders to get forward? What gives them the right to cause endless hurt just because they’re hurt themselves?

Why do we have laws that protect such people and such behaviour? Why do we allow this superficial behaviour to exist and there’s not one thing anyone can do about it? Why build structures and regimes that empower these people who don’t have the right to be in power? Why have no accountability for actions? Why have no remorse and penance after walking away from destruction? Why do we turn so dead inside, we might as well be plastic? Why is there no just punishment for actions that cause harm and hurt? Why is there no payback without consequences? Why not say something to my face rather than hide behind a cowardly keyboard? Why not face the music? Why hide behind your false illusions of power and security?

Why are there so many questions? Why aren’t there any answers?

Romantic movies

I like watching romantic movies. I don’t know what kind of an impression it makes but it is what it is.

It’s only in a romantic movie that the guy and the girl overcome all odds and find a way to be with each other. Life has different rules there. Careers don’t come into play. They can just abandon everything and drive off into the sunset. The past doesn’t matter. Because by the end of the movie, the guy wins her over after making her realise its time to move on. life doesn’t get in the way. A road is carved out of nothing and all they have to do is walk that path.

People hate such movies. They say it doesn’t show the truth. Who would want the truth? Who wants to watch more lying, cheating, backstabbing and gut wrenching heartbreaks? I’d rather watch these two come together and find a way to be with each other. It’s the only place left where love has a chance to blossom, even if it is scripted. A place where things actually go according to plan and good things happen. A place where true happiness exists.

There’s none of that here in the real world. We won’t let it breathe.

Lowered expectations

I find that people generally tend to disappoint. But if you expect them to disappoint, they do quite well. So what needs to change? People? Or our expectations?

The path to happiness is following an expectation vs time curve where time tends to infinity and expectation tends towards zero. Lower the expectations, the happier you’ll be. And the sooner you reach that lower threshold limit of expectations, the sooner you’ll be happier. However, if you expect to be happier, you aren’t really following the curve are you? So I think we need a third axis which tends towards increasing magnitude of happiness. Now that is a variable and tends to fluctuate based on a wide variety of factors. Some days you just wake up wanting to superman punch someone in the face. No reason for it. No explanations. Sometimes our hormones create an imbalance. But I suppose that’s expected. So if you expect the unexpected you rule out the unpredictability of it all. Like a double negative.

So the curve now marks you on the time vs expectation vs happiness scale. Time doesn’t stop so it keeps on going. And we know from before that lower expectations equals more happiness. But we have also learnt that happiness is a variable and can’t be predicted. Now, how do you tame a variable? By throwing it into situations where the outcome can be predicted. For instance, alcohol makes me happy. However there’s a point of no return with alcohol where happiness suddenly turns the other way and leads to regret and bodily malfunction. people can make you happy too but only if you don’t expect it.

So, in conclusion, you expect the unexpected with yourself and you don’t expect anything from others. I suppose it all boils down to your own expectation of the world and figuring out how to deal with your variables. There’s something here. Needs more research. I might be on the cusp of a breakthrough. Maybe even a Nobel prize.

End of session. Returning brain function to normal.

What’s your hurry?

We all live hoping one day someone would look at us and see what we are made of. Someone who would understand and listen to our story and just hold on for a second. It’s a Herculean task to have someone stop and stick around for a while. Everyone is so busy running past each other. Like free ions in a lattice. Zooming past each other without so much as a hello or a goodbye.

Everything in the cosmos takes forever to occur. A massive rock called earth takes 365 days to go around a massive continuously exploding gas cluster. Everything took billions of years to transform and end up the way it is these days. Every day of our lives took an amalgamation of chance and luck and metamorphosis. And here we are in this beautiful end product where everything is in abundance. Yet people aren’t happy. More money, the economy needs to grow, we need more jobs, manufacturing needs to go up, our GDP is shit, we need to market this product so more people buy the shit they don’t need, work now, work from home, work all day, work in your sleep, I can’t do relationships, I’m only here for sex, I feel nothing inside, the emptiness grows, my friends have left me, everyone’s married, everyone is in debt, everyone smiles in photos but everyone is cringing inside.

WAIT!!

Slow down. Stay a while. What’s your hurry? The universe takes its own sweet time. Why can’t you?

With great power…

I was working with the fitter the other day. Minor welding job but the location was a bit dicey. It was inside the exhaust line above the exhaust gas boiler. Think of it as a giant exhaust pipe for an engine. A sootblower had come loose and needed to be welded.

While working we took a short break because the inside was about 50 degrees even after ventilating it for an entire night. The fitter, covered in sweat, looked at me, smiled and said “the previous fitter remembers you always. He said this second engineer gave me a life and a livelihood.” I never thought of it that way.

He was a good fitter and did good work, worked hard and I was more than happy with the end result. The company originally hired fitters from an agency in India but now wanted their own contracted fitters. My recommendation and appraisal for this man gave him a permanent contract with Maersk. He got married later; I got an invite too but it was way too far so I didn’t go.

Never really took it that seriously. Never realised that my words have the power to make a life. They have given a family a source of income, a job with dignity and respect and a man with a means to provide for his loved ones. It felt odd. To have such a power or influence over a fellow human being’s life. And why? What gives me the right? Why is it this way and not the other way around?

We all like to complain about things but fail to realise how easily it could’ve been a lot lot worse. Every action has invisible ripples that can affect a lot of people. We just don’t know.

These immortal words echo in my head as I write this: with great power comes great responsibility. I always thought of this line as something from a superhero movie. Just that. Only now do I understand it’s gravitas.

Post #101

WordPress recently notified me that I have now posted 100 times on this blog. I remember when I started blogging a long time ago. What spawned out of a necessity became a way of life for me. I have always enjoyed writing freely and speaking my mind out. Some of them have been well thought out posts. Others have been rants. I’ve been through many ups and downs with this blog and it has always been a silent partner in my life. A comforting presence I turn to whenever I feel the need.

Today I find myself in Xiamen, China. My company flew me here so that I could join my ship. Only thing is that the ship isn’t going to berth till tomorrow evening. I had two back to back reasonably decent flights. Reached the hotel and hooked onto the WiFi. Only trouble is, nothing works here. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flipboard, WhatsApp, YouTube nothing. It’s almost pointless to be online. Can’t download podcasts, I can listen to Apple Music for some reason. I can download torrents here.

I stepped down for dinner and I have only seen such places in movies. One wall comprised of several transparent tanks containing a variety of sea creatures with their tentacles and claws etc. I have honestly never seen anything like this before. There were lobsters, crabs, eels, some kind of a fresh water fish, sea cucumbers and other things I didn’t recognise. I browsed through the food menu and everything had something dead in it. Not that I’m a vegetarian, I just don’t experiment with my food. Even my safe choice of chicken was being served with some sea going monstrosity. I picked something with rice and hoped to god that it would be what I imagine it to be. The plate showed up with something on top of the rice and it was covered in some sticky salty gravy. I knocked that thing off the top of the rice mountain and dug in. Had some jasmine tea as well. Came back rather refreshed. I don’t want to know what that thing was or what that gravy was made of and I don’t want to find out either.

It also happens to be a weekend which means premier league football in my world. I manually scanned through all 89 channels and found one sports channel which was showing the local Chinese league instead. Back to the days of relying on text commentary for football games. Most of the channels were in Chinese and I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. I found one English documentary channel and that one sports channel. That’s basically what I’ve watched all day. I was smart enough to download a ton of podcasts at the airport assuming a similar situation. Glad I did that.

Usually, I speak to one particular friend of mine who has always been by my side and understands what I go through whenever I leave to join my ship. It’s a combination of fear, anxiety and sadness. She also knows it only lasts one day and she’s always been patient with me and allowed me to rant useless nonsense even during her work days. But I couldn’t speak to her this time. There is still a communication blackout in Kashmir and I haven’t heard from her in two weeks. I am really worried about her and her comforting presence is being missed a lot especially now. The government is slowly phasing in phone lines and networks back into the valley but I think it’ll be a while before they’ll get internet back. And now that I’m at sea, I can’t reach her unless she has access to the internet. I’m really unhappy with this and I wish things were different. Actions of strangers have led to this massive disruption and have affected so many lives in return. I wouldn’t be here writing this normally. I would be on the phone with her. Just knowing that she is on the other end of the line helped me calm down. But this time I’m on my own.

It’s been a weird day. Nodding off here and there. Airline breakfast and lunch. Watched Avengers Endgame on the flight and got all misty eyed when everyone turns up to fight the army of Thanos. Such a powerful scene. Got dropped at the hotel. Lovely evening rain right before sunset. And that’s been it so far. I board my ship tomorrow and the next three months will be set in stone.

Adios. Thanks for listening.

Random rants : 15th August 2019

I feel like writing today. Nothing particular in mind and no particular direction to follow. It is that time of my life again where I bid adieu to my current status quo and uproot my existence to another location. It is time again to transform myself again to carry on another role I signed up for in my alternate existence. A role I have played well in the past and has led to many self discoveries. In under 24 hours, I am wheels up again, this time to China where I meet my second home.

Doubt always clouds me and it’s a touch demon to overpower. The grass seems greener over here for now. I don’t see a point in leaving. I tell myself things like I have to do what I have to do and drag my zombie steps towards my ship where my transformation happens. Only to do the same thing again in three months only this time when I return from my ship to transform again. It would appear that change is the only constant in my life. Nothing else is constant. Nothing.

I spent majority of my break in Mumbai for a course and I had a fun time. I didn’t speak to anyone, I didn’t go out much. I went to class and came back. I was surrounded by my own thoughts all the time. People around me stared in bewilderment. But i was happy. My life packed nothing. I had peace. I was surrounded by beauty. It was a life I could’ve lived forever. But the circle of life never lets the good times last. You have to earn these moments. You have to work to live such days as a reward. I don’t work for money. I work for peace.

Soon I’ll be in another realm where I’ll be with my thoughts again amidst a lot of responsibility. The page has turned. The lines are written in stone. Time to go back to sea again.

Departure

One of the sad truths about life is that you’re going to lose people. Im not referring to death in this case. One way or another people find a reason to leave or you find a reason to leave them.

It could be a matter of being unsure and not taking the adequate steps to keep that person around. It could be giving into your insecurities and doubts and taking the easy way out. It could be an assumption that this is the best course of action for the both of you. It could be a million different things.

No one is going to pause their life forever for you. People have their own paths and their own destinies. Everything worth having in life is worth fighting for. But you can’t have everything either. That’s just how it works. One choice will be good news for some and the opposite for everyone else.

Doing nothing and waiting to see what happens is a popular choice among those shrouded in the clouds of self doubt, confusion and a general need to find the best way out. It’s about looking beyond the short term selfish motives and focusing on the bigger picture. We can’t predict the future. And we mustn’t turn back either. Life is all about making choices. You make one and you don’t look back. For at that moment, that was the right choice.

Most people won’t get picked. They will be sidelined. You’ll miss them and think about them and wonder many years later where they ended up. You’ll wonder what might have happened if you just had the courage to take that step. If you had just not been too picky and full of yourself. If you had found a good clean heart and decided to let it go for a fictitious another.

People will leave you and make their own way. No one will stick around and nor should they. I mean look at the bigger picture. There are bigger things afoot. No one cares about you. Except the person who sat in front of you one evening many years ago. But you were too much of a coward to do anything about it.

Battered, bruised and broken

Life has taught me to be cautious. My overzealous heart has often fled the comforts of solitude and chased dead ends, returning battered, bruised and broken. It was a lesson I had to lean the hard way. No one could’ve taught me this. No human, no textbook. It’s one of those mistakes I had to make to learn. I knew that this could no longer be done. The world was different. The people were different and I had to recalibrate.

I’ve been on dating apps for a while now with a moderate level of matches. I’ve met all kinds of women. In 90% of the cases they do end up liking me and want to take things further. But my experiences have made me apprehensive. I am no longer adventurous in the matters of the heart, nor do I want to hurt anyone in the process while I deal with my dilemma. My screening process has slowed down. My level of judgement has skyrocketed. I tend to seek flaws and reasons for not pursuing a particular match. Women have expressed what they feel and in my hesitation and confusion I have kept my distance. Just today, someone told me she likes me. But I am unsure. I have insufficient data. And while I like to take my time now, I feel if I end up spending more time being with them, I’ll end up sending the wrong signals. In the end if I feel that she isn’t right for me, I’ll end up leaving her high and dry. And speaking from experience, it’s not a good place to be. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I can’t have that on my conscience. Not that I haven’t hurt people before intentionally or unintentionally. I don’t feel great about it.

I do wish that women were more open about these things. Like if a particular match doesn’t work out, the possibility of being friends exists as well. I had matched with a lady officer in the Navy a few months ago. She was sweet and I had a good time talking to her. I didn’t feel I was that into her but I could tell that she was. I would initiate a conversation or send pictures of the sea but she would almost always start flirting and ask for pictures of me instead. I had met her once and I didn’t feel that drawn to her. In my apprehension, I distanced myself slowly. Six months later, she was married to someone else. I found out through Facebook.

Friends and family have told me to be selfish in this selfish world. But I’ve been at the receiving end. I’ve suffered, I’ve endured, I’ve built myself back up again. I can’t put someone else through that process. I just don’t have it in me. So, to the handful of matches who liked me, I’m sorry. I guess I am still healing. My spirit of adventure hasn’t returned and I don’t know if it ever will. Although, you deserve to be with someone who is sure about you. Someone who wakes up with that clarity every single morning. I will remain a well wisher and a friend if you need me. I am a damn good friend and I can be counted on. I always reply even when I’m thousands of miles away in a different quadrant of the world.

I wish things were different and I didn’t have to keep the reins of my wild heart tight. It wants to gallop away but I know it won’t survive the next time it returns battered, bruised and broken.

People are like footballers.. and not in a good way!

People like these have become like modern day footballers. And not in a good way. Any football fan out there will know what I’m talking about. There’s a tendency for modern footballers to dive at the slightest contact. Right after they go down, they look to the referee with a shocked expression asking for a foul to be given. That’s how people are these days.

They no longer want to stay on their feet and fight. They feel entitled and any sign of life throwing tackles at them, they fall to the ground looking to be appeased. They post stuff on social media. They call their friends. They reach out to anyone who will listen. And they want to be held and comforted. They want to hear that they were a victim and everyone who gets a little tough with them is an asshole who deserves to disappear from this planet.

You might think you’re doing the right thing by being there for a friend but you’re making them more and more dependent on others making them feel good after a setback. Tell them instead to grow up and fight their own battles and not go on rolling on the floor the way Neymar does. He doesn’t get anyone’s respect and neither should anyone who behaves that way.

Get your shit together, dust off your clothes and get back in the game like you’re supposed to. Don’t be a modern day footballer.