Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Take me back to Wonderland

I have learnt many things in my life.
Everyone does. That is what life is for.

Yet one thing that has been a difficult yet path-changing moment - having learnt not to care.

I still need to perfect it. I am not there completely yet. However for the most part, I think I have quite managed. Looking back now, it feels like the only thing I did before was care. Not the tending nurturing care but one about paying heed - to what others might think, what others are thinking, what others would have thought about my actions and so on.

Suddenly realization struck - people do not really think about me so much. No one. No one ever does. Yes, during the 'getting-to-know-you' rosy phase of romance, maybe your eye candy did. Yet usually  seems like 90% of those fantasies were uncalled for. 

This is especially true with those whom we aren't great buddies with. Ironically these are exactly the people we 'think' a lot about. The ones who are already permanent and have been having an established place in our life for a long time - we never actually spend time speculating their reactions - unless perhaps there was some tiff. It is always with the lesser known ones - the ones who have just entered or whom we would like to enter - somehow they seem to matter more.

Another irony - the ones we think about; they never think that frequently about us. The ones who think about us - we hardly pay heed to them. The equation is never balanced.I am yet to confirm if this is a universal pattern or just in my life.

And I am not even talking about those romantic sojourns - just simple everyday actions. Say you are waiting in a queue with many others. Suddenly someone tries breaking the line. Everyone is angry but no one raises their voice. Then you do it - demand that they go back. Here is where the real event ends. Yet, in the mind, the event continues. You think that people are looking at you, admiring your courage, talking about your brave act. You think they are noticing you the whole time. You go over the incident, reveling in self-glory over and over again. You think about the cute guy who was down the line. He must have noticed and admired you. It is a happy day.

Yet, in reality, maybe hardly three people noticed you tell them to go back and even they forgot about it a few minutes later. 

Getting rid of this inappropriate pattern of thought is not just difficult - it is painful. Because though it was a faulty pattern, it had its uses. The world was rosier and interesting with all these hypothetical constructs in the mind - a movie where we decided the characters, the script and the settings - a colorful drama in the landscapes of our own cognitive realms. Our life was tangled with so many people - it gave the rush, the pain, the fantasies, the duets, the tears, the highs. Days had so much more meaning and a reason to live - although the meanings and reasons never existed in reality.

Now, the illusion chord has been disconnected. The movie screen has disappeared. I know that in actuality there aren't so many characters and people who are tied to my life. Very less care and fewer bother. Everyone is leading their own lives or probably playing their own movies. 

I have awoken from the dream but I wish I had slept longer. I liked the dream. I liked the fact that I didn't know it was a dream. Reality seems so boring, meaningless and most importantly lonely - because it simply isn't as crowded and happening as the dream was. The land is barren and the music is missing.

 I cannot enjoy my dreams anymore because I have become aware of the concept of dream. I am unable to enjoy reality anymore because I have had better dreams.


CHIBI said...

I too think there's a pattern to caring and thinking about others stuff that we do, I found that it's 6 months for me.. for every person, every relationship.. the intensity and priority for them changes drastically after a period of 6 months + or - few days (of course, with exceptions like family) and i guess the person who breaks this pattern may be "the one", which every soul is dreaming about.

about the illusions in every day life.. I too agree with your point, but i had this contradictory question.. what if they are not what you Think. for example... the real event ends there for you and it continues in mind, it's the same for others too.. maybe others think you were brave, maybe the cute guy down the line thought about you and admired you. well.. it's something you'd never know. cos it's all in their Mind.

and, I believe it's impossible to Stop Caring or Not to Care.. we are mammals after all, it's one of our natural instincts.. we do care about everyone and everything in life.

Anonymous said...

*Clap clap clap*
That was a wonderful bit of writing; loved every bit of it. My wonderland is in words, a world created by words of others. Thanks for creating one such wonderland.

Chibi too is right - perhaps, you do continue to live on in others' minds, only thing is you'd never know.


bomzie said...

good one

C.V.Varun said...

Hi Sindu,

Your blogs are becoming deeper with each of your new posts, I can't help but see you playing on the brim of the bottomless container that supposedly contains what is the realms of'spirituality'. This particular post vaguely resonated with the film series 'Matrix'. Where it talks about how You lose track of what is dream and what is reality. If you continue probing the topics that you are, you are going to touch upon, what really matters, what is real? What is the purpose? The concept of 'I' and oh god (??!!), the real mayhem begins from there.

And coming to the surface level discussion of the blog, beautifully penned as always. You are right, It really sometimes is amazing how much one changes just in order to be seen (or thought so) in a way by the people around. Sometimes, it is for the people you care about, people who care about you or people you are simply very conscious of. In the mean time, there is a good chance, that you might lose out on your original identity.

If you don't mind a little turmoil, think, what if the reality you are talking about is that of a dream with a dream and not the reality as such. I guess I am touching upon inception now :P (Lol!! too much?)

C.V.Varun said...

But, I think at the end of the day, there are two realities for happiness, one internal, one external, if being perceived better makes you happier, go for it. Else, be who you want to be :) Maybe, we don't need people who don't accept for who we are!

Between life's doings said...

My "dreams" were never as good as reality-the understanding that we make the elaborate dramas in our heads came as a huge relief and freedom to me. Probably because growing up Ive always felt the strain of "what others might think" in every aspect of my being. Shedding it was a relief for me. Its interesting how we are on flip sides of this perspective :-)

Arumugam said...

Our life seems so interesting,our roles so central,our presence so indispensable that it can come as a rude shock to realize that life goes on as usual irrespective of whether we are alive or dead. Buddhists meditate in cemeteries sometimes for exactly the same reason

I too used to think,my life is so supremely interesting that a movie can be made on it,or I can write a memoir.Wisely I realized later that if I do write a memoir,it will have sales of 3 copies /year (the one which I force my parents and better half to buy:D).

Our "ego" /self-conception is best pictured as a leaking balloon, forever requiring the helium of external love to remain inflated, and ever vulnerable to the smallest pinpricks of neglect. We see ourselves in the mirror in which others see us.The attentions of others matter to us because we are afflicted by a congenital uncertainty as to our own value.

I will leave you to ponder with William James finest quote on the Human Condition:

"No more fiendish punishment could be devised, were such a thing physically possible, than that one should be turned loose in society and remain absolutely unnoticed by all the members thereof. If no one turned around when we entered, answered when we spoke, or minded what we did, but if every person we met 'cut us dead', and acted as if we were non-existing things, a kind of rage and impotent despair would before long well up in us, from which the cruelest bodily torture would be a relief."

karthick r said...

//On - hypothetical constructs
At times, during my [bike]ride back home I rehearse a complete accident scene in my head [blaring sirens, gushing blood, crying people et al]. I throw in scenarios and imagine how I would react to each one of them. I used to do this pretty often and one fine day it almost happened for real. I hit a barricade and almost toppled. It scared the very soul out of me.
Thankfully, it was only for a brief period. :)

// I am unable to enjoy reality anymore because I have had better dreams.
Naaice and very true.
~ cheers.!

Anu Krishnan said...

I think I've said this before; I love how you put MY thoughts that I've always known but failed to acknowledge, into words. Your last few posts could very well have been titled 'Straight from Anu's psyche':).

You make Blogger worth it. Really.

Tangled up in blue... said...

A friend of mine texted me a quote once. It went - "When we're 20, we don't care what the world thinks of us. When we're 30, we wonder what it thought of us. When we're 40, we realise it wasn't thinking of us at all."

I think the world we create for ourselves in our minds is a wonderful one. We're the star of our own show. We're the leading men and women of the movies our mind creates.

I agree. The dream is very lovely. Sometimes it makes sense to not choose the red pill. :) You have a lovely blog, Sinduja.

Sinduja said...

@Everyone: Thank you so much for the very encouraging responses to this post. I am so glad you could connect with it. For a short while, I seemed to be back in Wonderland indeed.

Sinduja said...

@Chibi: Six months? You actually calculated? :) Hmmm.
"what if they are not what you Think?" - Ah, really? I actually tried NOT thinking. So you mean, what if they are not what I am not thinking? Lol.

My point was, yes, they too might still have the movie on. Yet, I have come to understand that the chances that they are thinking the same thing I think they are is really low. Disappointment. So better not to assume anything at all. Right?

@V: Others' words - ah, it can be quite a misleading wonderland too V. You got to be very cautious. As for your other statement - Nooo. Lol, I am bringing myself to this form after a lot of fall and realization. Don't make me have to start all over again. :)

Sinduja said...

@bomzie: Flattered :)

@Varun: Okay. Two things. Firstly, boy, you write beautifully. Secondly, you really give vigorous fodder for thought. Ah! You made my head reel with that one. As far as I know, yes, nothing is absolute reality but I will try my best to get the most real reality. ;)

And interestingly, it is always more in the internal rather than external.

Sinduja said...

@Aarathi: "My "dreams" were never as good as reality" - Really? Woah! What an interesting life you must be having then. :) Perhaps 'created' is a better word. I am glad you have come out of your illusions. Knowing how hard it is, I can only say - wait, I can't say anything. It is just *Hugs* :)

@Arumugam: Where do you get these beautiful quotes from? You store them all in a book? They are fascinating! Your entire comment seems like a splendidly penned cliff notes version of the post - perhaps better than that. Simply feel like reading it over and over again. Thank you for that one! :)

Sometimes I feel like I need that punishment. Once I get through it, I will be closer to the light I seek.

Sinduja said...

@Karthick: Wait, you used to imagine situations involving you in an accident or some accident involving some random person? Because if it is the former, dude, I need to do some psychoanalysis on you. :D If it is the latter, hi-fi - because I imagine that too a lot. Lol. Some big mishap and a lot of adventure and I am the ernest smart woman who saves the day with a group of other 'stars'. *Sheepish smile* He he...well, at least there are a lot of heroes and stars in my dream. You got to give it to me for not being self-centered ;)

@Anu: Gosh, I thought you would never come back here after my wicked motherhood post :D but seriously, I am glad you did. Thoughts from Anu's psyche is it? :) Yeah, I should have known that when I noticed the fast solitary walker with the ear plugs and a thoughtful look all the time :)

Sinduja said...

@Tangled up in blue: Welcome here Doc :) Always been a frequent visitor to your blog. As for the quote - I am glad I didn't have to wait till 40 to get some sense. However, I am also resenting that the burden of maturity deserving of a 40 yr old has been thrust a bit too early. Sigh!

karthick r said...

// involving you in an accident
unfortunately yeah :)
i don't want to take chances with other's lives. let'em all be happy.
~ cheers.!

CHIBI said...

@ sindu: Ya.. i am sort of a Pattern freak, sort of an obsession that i see and try to find patterns in everything in and around me. this is one of stuffs i researched about for quite a long time, after i found a pattern in my relationships. it happens to be quite true.

it is often utter disappointment when others don't think the same thing.

Just for fun : According to section clause, that "Great minds think alike". we can console ourselves that maybe we lack great minds around us..!

@ Karthick R : do you see things happening to you in First Person's view? It could be ESP.

Arumugam said...

Just like how they say a smile is the shortest distance between people,I feel quotes are the shortest way to deeply feel and express something.

Just realized,its kinda oxymoronic as the first part of that statement is already a quote:-)

And some of them are not even quotes in the traditional sense,just a line or two that I read somewhere and which remains long after the page is turned simply because they make me feel less lonely in the world:D
and Thank you!

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

"I once dreamt I was a frog. Suddenly I woke up and found myself to be a man. Now, I am not sure if I am a man dreaming of frog or a frog dreaming of man"

Have you read up on something called 'Law of Diminishing Utility' in economics? BTW.. I think I will write about it.

C.V.Varun said...


What can I say? coming from a writer like you, I am truly honored. And I suggest, you think about it, but don't delve into it!!! Its some serious s**t!! Not easy to be back once you are in. I will be happy to give you pointers though :P lol!!! Anyways, keep writing my dear sis!!!

Dobby Severus Salazar said...

Liked the profile description.

Nod frantically to this post :-)

sumitra said...

This was an extremely candid post, you've literally bared your deepest thoughts and you know what, I can safely say you aren't alone. For most people, including me, the illusion exists that others are thinking about them and what they think seems to matter a lot.

While this trait will not die so easy, the best we can do is recognize it for what it is and not pay any attention to it. It's commonly said that we shouldn't be caring about what others think of us. But it takes a completely different level of maturity to realize that people aren't really even thinking of us. :) Congrats on getting there.

Sinduja said...

@Karthick: Ha ha.. don't try masking the unusual with compassion ;) Hmmm.Anyways, glad that with a minor incident you have learnt to be careful of what you wish for :)

@Chibi: Interesting. I should have guessed this trait of yours from an old post where you found patterns with some online love compatibility software if I am not wrong. Haan. Genius huh? :D

Sinduja said...

@Arumugam: Oh yes. Sometimes others' words can be great friends. And someday you will be quoted, mark my words. :)

@Vicky: Law of Diminishing Utility - ah, yes! Vague memories. Never been too good with economics. So enlighten me soon with your post :)

Sinduja said...

@Varun: Hah, look at you - giving me pointers as though you have seen all of life. Poda. Lol. :)

@Dolby: Hey, have seen your blogs from Amudhan's links. Welcome here! :)

@Sumitra: "It's commonly said that we shouldn't be caring about what others think of us. But it takes a completely different level of maturity to realize that people aren't really even thinking of us." - From where do you get these stuff? I mean, seriously, amazing thinking Sumitra! :)

Anonymous said...

Super post - equally super comments.
Amen. :)

-A drunken fan (drunk figuratively and literally).

Priya Gopinath said...

Wow Sindhu hats off to u and ur friends! What an amazing post and comments! A real place for anyone to indulge and enjoy themselves in the flow of the language! U all are too strong and express ur views in an commendable manner..U all rule over each other!! luv it !

Sinduja said...

@Anonymous: Ahaan :) Thank you so much. Hope you had a great night. Ah, the joys of non-sobriety! :)

@Priya: Hello! Glad you liked it. Yeah, very humbling comments, aren't they? You are one of them too - strong, thoughtful and supportive. This place is empty without you. :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

Arumugam, I do agree. The words you quote are incredibly reassuring at times and simply amazing at others. It does make one feel less lonely in the world to read a more articulate and deeply-felt version of one's own nebulous thinking. It is one reason I really love some quotes while others are so well-observed and clever that they really do teach you something.

And Sinduja, I think it's a good thing to mature young. Maybe I'll take a page of Arumugam's book and show you a quote that explains why, "The tragedy of the young is that they are reckless and not wise, the tragedy of the old is that they are wise and not young."