Matheran: Abandoned Homes- A Testimony to Time

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Sometimes when I travel, there a certain moments when I have an amazing experience that is hard to describe. I come across certain things that make me feel a lot of emotions without any rational reason. These experiences are not something that I can portray while recounting the stories about my trips with my friends, but are secret memories that are recalled every so often in the privacy of my thoughts.

During my trip to Matheran, I experienced one of those moments when I was hiking with my travel partner, with no objective of getting anywhere, but just exploring the areas beyond the points where the paths ended. We came across two or three abandoned houses. It looked like these houses were abandoned a long, long time ago. These homes looked loving and comforting, from whatever was left of them, but they weren’t cared for; there was an air of melancholy around them. These bungalows weren’t creepy like most abandoned places are doomed to be. They felt sincere, resilient and that had they been given a chance, they would be a doting home to a happy family.

If you would let your imagination run free, you could almost see kids running around in a large front yard, wearing bright raincoats and wellington boots, building mountains and digging wells in the wet mud. You could picture the parents sitting on the beautifully tiled front porch, drinking hot tea and watching over the kids. You could almost hear the calming music drifting from inside as it floats through the cold, moist air. With nothing but trees and clouds around, nobody disturbs the dream that this, now broken down, home lets you live in. 

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To some these houses are just walls covered in moss; or maybe even an eyesore in a picturesque wilderness; they could be perceived as a consequence of the hardships of inconvenience because maintenance in a no-vehicle ecosystem is hard. To me, these houses stand as a testimony to time- houses that have perhaps known love and lost, lived through centuries. They are now destined to wear out and be forgotten, except in the minds of the few who will still choose to see them through the eyes of a dream.  

 

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Logical Fool

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I have been having certain conversations with friends recently and my idea of how people reason is slowly being broken. Being a logical person, I assumed that most people think logically. I thought that emotional people, although I acknowledge their existence, are few in number. This might not be true, I’m learning. When I talk to these friends, they tell me about the problems they are facing in their lives, mostly relationship-wise. I tell them what I would do if I faced the problems they do. I tell them I would use my brains. The strange thing is that they agree with my version of the solution as being the right thing to do, but eventually, they can’t help but take decisions influenced by their emotions. And that annoys me. I think, ‘Why can’t they think rationally and stop being such emotional fools?’ (I love them, of course).

I don’t discredit emotions at all. They are a big part of defining us as human beings. We are only persuaded by logic but most of our decisions are based on emotions, consciously or sub-consciously. Logic tells us the reality but we act on our emotions. The logical thing to do at a friend’s party would be to greet people; how we extend that greeting- do we shake hands? Hug?- depends on our level of intimacy with the person. Emotions influence a lot of our decisions everyday, we don’t even realize it.

With that said, when it comes to problems, I believe that emotions should take to the back-burner. Emotions are temporary, the decisions you make in the moment of emotional weakness can leave you with a lot of questions and maybe even regret. On the other hand, there is no weakness in rationality. As a human I have emotional responses to everything too, but as a rational person, I know when to push it aside. That is what it means to be logical- knowing when to let your emotions guide you and having the power to know when to not.
I’m a minority, I’m aware.

The World I Want

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Very recently I quit my job. Yesterday when somebody asked me what I was going to do next, my reply was “I want to get away!” “What from?” he asked. “Everything,” I said. Of course that answer isn’t sufficient when somebody is genuinely looking for a way to help you. I knew that. Although, I’m very sure that my inability to explain myself, made me look like an idiot. I couldn’t help it. I have always felt distressed when a conversation gets private and personal about me.

My sad attempt at making my thoughts clear to this person prompted me to write about it. I have always been clearer on paper (or e-paper for that matter).

I don’t want to live a life that the world expects us to live. I’ve tried, but realized that my priorities are very different. Work, for me, is not my life. It is a part of life, but nobody sees it like that anymore. If you’re not killing yourself over your job while hating it, you’re going nowhere professionally.

I’m tired of all the selfishness and the greed that constitutes the world. People function on the default setting of being mean to each other. Today, even a smile is not always reciprocated. How have we come to be consumed with so much indifference? Why is everyone a lying, hypocrite? Why are we so quick to pass judgement and hate each other? Why are we proud of the things that we should be ashamed of? Why have we become so jaded that apathetic behaviour seems normal to us? Why do we have to put “Learn to say ‘Thank You’” on a list of things to do? Where did we lose all the goodness in us?

So, when I say that I want to run away from everything, this above, is what I mean by ‘everything’.

I want to build healthy relationships with people who can help me grow as a person and vice versa. I want to be a part of a simple society wherein people truly care about each other, without any ulterior motives. I want my life to not be driven by money and popularity and public image, but measure it by the lives I have touched. I don’t want a list of random acts of kindness to do once a week or over a month, I want my everyday life to be a series of acts of kindness. I want as much truth in what I get, as in what I give. I want to live a valuable life. In the end, I want to be able to look back at my life and be proud of myself. And make my Creator proud.

Maybe I might find this. Maybe I wont. But I will keep searching. And I am.   

Less Is More Than Enough

I believe in the ‘less is more’ theory. I believe that less is enough. I like simple, un-complicated, and minimal. I think less is underrated in this capitalistic world of commercial, feeble happiness. I want a simple job that pays the bills, with fewer work hours, lesser stress. My dream home is a tiny living space that I share with my dog(s). I want a small car that gets me to where I want to go. I want less ‘things’. I believe that when we have less ‘things’ to steal our time from us, we have more time to invest in ourselves. We are more real. We are more self-aware. More mature. An honest hug and a soft kiss is more sincere, more assuring, more loving than a thousand words of comfort. A simple smile from a stranger makes our day a little better. A small act of kindness melts hearts.

Then why do we waste time on constantly wanting more? More money, more control, more watches, more gadgets, more shoes? What drives us to want more? Why aren’t we ever satisfied? Maybe the media is to blame for showing off the wealth of the world, telling us we’re incomplete without certain ‘things’. Or maybe it’s the leaders, parents, teachers, celebrities, hypocrites. But aren’t we responsible for allowing them to feed on our insecurities?  Look at the thickly veiled lives of the people who have more. Now look at the kid playing with a rag doll or a football. Less is more than enough.

Amidst all this though, we have lost our judgment of what we should want more- faith, knowledge, love, happiness, courage, truth and strength. And it is only at our lowest that we come to the realization of the vanity of our lives and the meaningless nonsense we obliviously waste it on. I know this because I have been there.

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