Humility

I think life will continue to beat us down until we acquire a little bit of humility.

-JMKhapra 2013

We Will Manage

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The future used to worry me. I used to lay awake at night concocting in my mind all possible evil scenarios that can befall my family and me. Things like losing our jobs, our home or even our lives. What if one of us have an accident that will prevent us from living our lives fully? What if Babar, our dog, falls ill and die? I try to imagine how I would deal and cope in these situations. My heart would race, and I would become very agitated. I would feel helpless and desperate as if those things were already happening to me right there and then.

Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher, had said that we human beings, true to the definition of our nature as ‘ beings’, constantly project ourselves in the future; wanting things, expecting things. Ahead is where we truly live, not in the present. We exist in our imagination of things we desired to do, and what we desired to be. The same can be said of our fear of misfortune falling on us. It holds our emotions captive, wasting our time and energy. A happy day can turn sour in a snap of a finger just by worrying about the future. Continue reading

The Unbending Laws Of The Universe

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Do you have foresight? Given your current situation, are you able to predict where your life would be in ten years? It is eerie how the vision of the future unfolds clearly before my eyes. It makes me believe even more that life is not random. It moves in a neat, straight path, unbending and sometimes unforgiving. I am tempted to throw physics in the equation again. Please don’t roll your eyes, I know I talk about that a lot. It just that the universe is so exact in all the laws that govern it. It can be very stifling.

There are times my mind would open up. I can calculate human nature, plus a given situation equals the inevitable result. Older wiser people will say, oh, that is just what we call experience. Human actions and their consequences always fall into some kind of pattern that makes it easy to predict the outcome. I guess so. Still, I find that fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Rebels of the rigid rules of life always end up defeated in the end. There is no way to cheat the system. Continue reading

How I Applied Newton’s Three Laws Of Motion To Improve My Life

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One morning on our way to McDonalds for breakfast we passed by the remnants of demolished car repair shops along the road. It rained the night before, whatever was salvageable in the wreckage now buried in muck. Among the rag pickers scavenging the area were some shop owners sitting dejected and hopeless staring in front of the rubble. With their source of income now wiped away they must be feeling that life has dealt them a bad hand. I thought of the families they have to feed. Of their kids who have to go to school. Of how they will manage now.

” But they knew it is illegal all along.” replied my husband when I told him I felt sorry for them.

Which is true. Sometimes we make decisions to do something even though we know we would be on the wrong track and would try to risk it, crossing our fingers, hoping that just for us the universe will adjust and give us the outcome we hope for. This never works. The universe is governed by its own law. Like the law of gravity, what comes up must come down. Except of course if you are a satellite in space. So if it is illegal you will get caught. And if the clouds are dark it will rain. Continue reading

A Parallel Life

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Ashok stared for a very long time at his computer. He hesitated before clicking an e-mail coming from someone whose name he thought he will never come across again.

A bright smile eclipsing the sun tickled his memory. From another time, from another universe, a parallel life he long buried in his subconscious.

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Her sweet laughter echoed inside his head. A bright summer day at the beach. The gentle lapping of the waves on the shore. A deal was made. Insane, surreal but a pact that colored his many days and made his otherwise humdrum life livable.

“ Ashok?” his wife called out from the kitchen pulling him back to the present. He rapidly closed his computer.

“I’m coming. Was just browsing through some e-mail.”

Ayesha laid down his dinner in front of him in the dining table.

“ what’s wrong with you? “ Nothing escapes Ayesha’s vigilant gaze.

“ Oh, kuch nahi, just thinking about some problems in the office.” Ashok stuffed the rotis in his mouth absentmindedly.

“ Office, office. When are you taking me to ma and papa’s house for a vacation? It’s been a very long time.”

“ You know we can’t afford that now.”

“ We can’t afford anything. I wished you had at least taken me on one of your trips abroad. I am so bored here.” Ayesha complained. A new twist to her litany of grudges on the same subject.

Ashok sighed. “ Maybe in the next trip if my boss will be more lenient. I can’t mix business trip with a holiday tour.” But oh he did. So many, many times. He smiled at the memory.

That night Ashok found it hard to sleep. He turned his back from his snoring wife. The lid on his memories he kept carefully sealed had been uncorked.

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That smile…those eyes…how long has it been since he last saw her? That he last kissed those lips?

©JMKhapra

* ‘A Parallel Life’ is a mini series composed of non linear mini stories about the life of Ashok, his wife and his lover. I trust you my readers to be intelligent and imaginative. I will leave you to decide the beginning, the ending and what story comes after the other. In literature and in films the continuity of stories have been manipulated in many different ways to enhance the effect of emotions the narrator is trying to evoke. We can do the same here.

You can find all the stories I’ve written of this mini series under ‘ A Parallel Life’ in categories.