My Reality Check..

The torn rug is placed in the middle of the street in front of the two twin old buildings which seemed to be separated by this particular dark narrow street. A black board stands on one side of him which has “Palm Reading for 50Tk and Change your future” written with chalk on it. On the other side sits his parrot in a golden cage and has cards kept in front of his “Fortune green bird”.

His clothes seem to be of very old fashioned while his age is not more then fifty. He seems to be fascinated with what he is seeing in his customer’s hand which he holds in one hand while with the other he points at the lines of the palm and defines them accordingly.
The customer (a young man in his early thirties) smiles in hearing his good fortunes and frown while he hears the bad ones.
After the analyzing hand for a while the reader looks at the parrot excitedly as now he is going to show his client the magic of his uniqueness. He opens the cage; the tamed bird comes out and surprisingly moves towards the cards.
He then announces his client “Ask the bird anything and you will get your answer”. The client now excited then ever before grins even wider as if he is about to open his birthday gift. He closes his eyes tightly crossing his finger he whispers something to him self and then opens his eyes looking at the reader who now pokes the parrot which seemed to know its move very well.

The parrot picks the card with its beak and puts it in front of its master while he opens it cage and puts it back to its place. He then picks up the card and then after 1minute of suspense look he finally smiles and hands the card to his client.The client now seem to be happy with his fortune gets up and hands Tk100 to the palm reader and leaves.

The reader now gleams into the busy street of elephant road and waits impatiently for his next customer.

Some quotes that actually touched me so thought of sharing with everyone.

“A tree is known by its fruit, a man by his deeds”

“Two thoughts that decide your attitude in life – one, what you think of yourself when you do not have everything and two, what you think of others when you have everything”

“There are two ways to attain the number one position – one, do it more than anyone else and two, do it first and before anyone else does it.”

“It is hard to wait for something you know might never happen – but, its even harder to give it up when you know its that very thing you wanted”

“To ask for respect is like begging for it ! Instead if you keep giving respect to everyone, they will automatically give respect to you”

“Love yourself. Flirt with your understanding. Romance with dreams. Get engaged with simplicity. Marry genuineness. Divorce the ego. That is a good life !”

“Words are under your control until you speak them; but you come under their control once you have spoken them.”

“The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.”

“The road to fulfillment is never a straight line; learn to navigate the twists and turns and you will find something of value in every result.”

“Achievers never expose themselves. But their achievements expose them.”

“When God drops needles and pins along your path in life, do not avoid them. Collect them. They were designed to teach you to be stronger.”

“If you find the whole world against you and you are alone, what will you do ? Just turn around and you will become a leader of the whole world.”

“Never design your character like a garden where any one can walk. Design it like the sky where everyone aspires to reach. Aim high. Reach high.”

“You give little when you give of your possessions. You truly give when you give of yourself.”

“Never criticize in anger but criticize constructively.”

“ To be kind is more important than to be right. Often people need a patient heart that listens, not a brilliant mind that speaks.”

“A beautiful relationship does not depend on how well we understand some one. It depends on how well we avoid the misunderstanding.”

“It’s the constant and determined effort that breaks down resistance; sweeps away all obstacles.”

“Luck has a particular habit of favoring those that do not depend on it.”

I wear six colors, all in different times. I feel happy when its winter. I’m pissed at summers and I cry when it rains. I feel uncannily resurrected when a season is changing, I smell it, feel it in my skin. Memories from the distant past creeps onto me. My mind flies like thistledown, flies further away from faraway. I wear colors and that’s the springtime of my heart!

Then I’m sad when the nights are long and breezy. I’m the solitary soul in search of solitude. My thoughts meander around “like a restless wind inside a letterbox” across the universe. I’m lonelier as the nights get longer hovering against the walls. At times I’m so happily sad! And when it starts to rain I feel the tears. It’s such a delight. I go out in the rain, touch it, feel it, smell it.

Lonely Friday afternoons are mine. I lie on my bed beside the window. Sunlight comes in like half-spoken words through the opening of the curtains. I read my favorite book. The pages fill my thoughts and my surreal existence. I go to this magic world of melting time and never want to come back. I feel happy.

And then I’m angry. I’m infuriated at the dryness of summer. I long for the rain like a frog. I long to go for a drive in the rain with my right shoulder soaking wet from the rain sneaking in through the window. I’m angry at summer for not raining!

My life shines and then fades away. My mood wears different tones and then withers away. I look for solace in every fold of season that brings me colors. Colors that I use to paint my whole life.

Are we really what we are or are we everything we are not?

What exactly are we? Are we what we think we are or what others think we are? Perception or reality? What’s the difference? Or what does it matter!

How we long to know ourselves, day after day, forever! How many “selves” do we have? And which one dominates? If 10 people think of us in 10 different ways are we all 10 of them? Or are we sum of all?

Is our very existence relative then? We exist, or we believe that we exist through the eyes of beholders. If all on a sudden, they cease to acknowledge that we exist, do we still exist?

Our existence is confirmed by the fact that people see us and recognize us to be existent. Our life is essentially a journey for recognition; recognition for our “selves”, our state of being alive, marks that we left on the paths that we had started our journey on. We don’t exist in us. We exist in others. The feeling of “me” is obscure. It loses its strength when it resides in “others”. And the others tell us what we should be and should not be, what we should do and shouldn’t. We believe that we are pretty because we have heard others tell so. At one point that becomes conviction. Perception becomes reality. We try to please others, we try to be others. Others become our identity. We become labeled. Mother thinks I’m an incomplete person, my friends think I am too naive. The maid who does all my work thinks I’m funny; two signals away, the little girl who sells flowers thinks I am the sweetest! Which one is real? Who I really am?

We don’t know what we are. We don’t know what we want. We meander around and try to find the meaning of it all. What is the driving force? What exactly is “us”? At times, when we wake up deep at night, our soul has left our body and raised above, we get a glimpse of our soulless body down below. A sense of innate wonderment as to who we are overwhelms us. The body with no sense of belonging tries to attach itself with the soul, the very “us”, raised above. In that electrifying moment, for a few moments, we become the “others”, and see how “others” see us. When we wake up the next day, it’s all gone!

The universe conspires to make us believe in a certain way. One day, in a winking moment, that changes. The gentlest boy in the class begins to kill while a serial killer sheds a tear for a puppy that was run-over at the dawn. We change our “selves”, the labels.

We are angels, we are demons. We are soulful, we are wistful, heartless. We are all we are not, we are nothing we are. And when the door of perception closes, we cease to exist!

I don’t like changes. This is something so weird about me. I heard this saying that ‘change is the spice of life’ but this never really convinced me. I hate changes. Even a simple change bothers me such as the color of my curtains or relocating furniture in my bed room. I hardly ever try to change my look or my hair style. I like things the way they’ve always been, the way I am used to with them.

I do sometimes wonder why am i like this? Is it because I am an insecure person and my biggest fear is losing things and people I love the most. Because I feel too many changes can sometimes change some very important aspects of our lives without letting us know.

What I don’t like the most is when people changes. It hurts, it so hurts when people who once used to be our loved ones, who would once make us feel like the happiest persons in the world all of a sudden changes and becomes this new person we cannot even relate to. It is a human nature but is this really how we should be? I try to remain the same, I never treat a person extra special on his or her birthdays and treat them in a less precious manner the moment their birthday is gone, people I love are always precious, I always make sure they know their position in my life.

Anyways, I did not mean to sound dogmatic nor am I asking anyone to agree with me on this ‘no change’ campaign of mine, it’s just me and one of my silly thoughts.

I’ve been wondering, how fine is the line, between here and faraway, now and forever, time and the lack of it! What does it take to make life happen? what does it matter if you don’t. aren’t we supposed to roll like a stone on the bent of time anyway? I’m so confused! about myself and everything! i have a problem, a huge one!!!

I’m caught between now and forever. i don’t see the line, and i can’t tell the difference. i have my today now which falls into the abyss of eternity the next moment. And then the moment is gone and creates another. i look around, try to hold on to something. If only i could keep it from hastening away! the moments seem like eternity. its the repetition of the same moments that freeze me, take away the words and push me back in the abyss i was already idling in! the moments are moving, moving away from me, leaving me behind.

The weary age of time tires me. it makes me sad and my existence short of purpose. What is it that i live for? love is waning, losing its charm, taken away by the “moment”. My over-exhausted heart wanders about to have a shelter, a place of its own. There have been too many tears, too many hearts broken, clobbered, bent out of shape. I end up being at a place I choose to lock myself in with impermeable layers of heartlessness. The moment exists! it moves, without me. I stay motionless, somewhere between nowhere and goodbye!

Teenage love, fleeting as it is, happens to be the most powerful, passionate love of all. Wise people dismiss it as mere infatuation, but for all its novelty and youthful naiveté, the romance that surrounds it, fleeting as it may be, is unmatched. Indeed, a youthful crush is the sweetest taboo.

Teens usually have crushes on classmates, senior students or even on teachers. These crushes usually occur in school, and they might be very short-lived, but when Cupid’s arrow strikes, well the world seems different. Life takes on a colour and flavor of its own.

Prior to The Crush, life is all about waking up in the morning, cursing the school for starting so early and dressing up lazily, wishing it was the weekend so that they could have slept for a longer time. They wear their uniforms, boys tucking in their shirts, (ironed or wrinkled, who cares?) so that ‘Rozie Miss’ doesn’t give them detention, and girls clipping their nails to look neat and tidy . School life is all about books and studies, grades and sports, bunking class or playing pranks on teachers. Conversation flows freely about subjects like music and hobbies, and how perfectly frightful Trigonometry is.

Everything changes when The Crush happens. It’s like the Celine Dion song:
‘Hush now, I see a light in the sky
It’s almost blinding me
I can’t believe, I’ve been touched by an angel with love.’

Now the same people who hated the alarm clock for ringing are up at the crack of dawn, preparing for a big day at school. For boys, the shirts mysteriously fall out over their suddenly baggy trousers, refusing to be tucked in, and their hair, in an amazing indifferent to gravitational forces, rises up in spikes. Girls discover the magic of make-up, and instead of the school libraries, the washroom becomes a favourite haunt, as it is the perfect place to secretly experiment with lip-gloss and mascara without being caught by the eagle-eyed teachers. Scrunchies, rubber bands and all other forms of hair fasteners are forgotten as they discover the Hair Straightener.

Conversation that once revolved around things like Science and Geography, cricket and basketball, now is carried on in blushing whispers, and the topics under discussion are mostly the members of the opposite sex who’s hot, and who’s not. Interestingly enough, if you listen to girls talking about their crushes, you’ll find that though every third sentence they speak refers to the ones they like, they display a curious inability to pronounce the loved ones’ names, be they close acquaintances. Instead, they find interesting nicknames for the ‘Crushable One’. Examples include names as bizarre as ‘Mr. Hot’, “the guy who smiles a lot”…

As for the boys, they’ll first withdraw into themselves and pretend that they don’t have a crush on Amina Miss from History Class (yes, they frequently fall for older women at this stage, but this is a broad generalization). If someone asks, they’ll be very vociferous in their denials. Then gradually, pressure builds up, and they confide in their close mates that ‘The chick in my coaching class is very cute.’ Sports and studies take a back seat as the number one priority for both sexes becomes to impress those on whom they have a crush.

Now, this whole situation would be rather amusing where it not for the fact that these crushes cause the particularly foolhardy ones to take some dangerously reckless steps. Girls usually do stupid things like going on crash diets to lose weight, with a bit of TV influence which shows ‘Thin is in’.

Boys try to impress the girls in a different way. Some will take up habits like smoking to ‘look cool’. Others might try to give off an air of being ‘macho’ by suddenly developing a disrespect for authority. By flouting school rules or being cheeky towards the teachers, they try to show the girls that they are the ones on top. Those that can afford it will show off through their gadgets. Snazzy cell-phones with built-in cameras and polyphonic ring-tones, souped-up cars with fancy (and often unbecoming) lighting, mufflers, howlers and cacophonous sound systems suddenly become mandatory. Friends become rivals as they end up having crushes on the same girl or guy. For some it leads to serious depression as usually these “Puppy love” turns out to be negative.

Before one starts to think about imposing a ban on crushes altogether, rest assured that it is perfectly possible for a crush to have a positive effect on a young person, and it does happen. The smart ones, instead of neglecting important things to waste time on looks and toys, will try to hone their skills and talents to win the limelight. They study harder in order to secure the best grades, or pick up on new interests and hobbies, so that, in addition to admiration from the Crushable One, they also win approval from teachers and parents. Talk about having it all and all it takes is a little guidance.

At the end of the day, after weighing the pros and cons of crushes, there’s no denying that life is more interesting because these things come and go. When a crush happens, everything seems so beautiful, sweet and fresh, and when the crush crashes, as they often do, for a while, life doesn’t seem worth living. At the end of the day, one should remember that IT’S ALL PART OF GROWING UP!

October 2016
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