Friday, 19 July 2013

Im-Perfect Love

I just saw A Walk to Remember tonight for the first time and my first thought was, What a stupid movie! The very fact the leading lady dies in the end is a put off for me. See I love fiction. I love movies and books and poetry and dramas of the fictitious variety. I believe that life is full of too much sorrow and hatred, violence and blood shed to begin with. So in my mind, fiction keeps hope alive. It makes a person want to persevere to be better. To be better daughters or sons, better husbands or wives, better workers or employers, but most importantly better people. When I read a book or see a movie, the eternal optimist in me comes out. I want the hero and the heroine to end up together. I want the world to be saved. I want the strength and dignity of the people in these books or movies preserved. In my mind it is bigger than the story. It is sacrosanct.

And that is why I hate the movie. But beyond that, as I sitting thinking about how much I DONT like the movie, a thought occurs. The movie talks about the concept of the elusive perfect love. A love so deep and abiding it touches the soul. A love so pure and selfless it makes the onlooker envious. It talks of a love that is, "always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." In other words, a love that is perfect.

What I realize is that it is easy for love to be all those things, for it to be perfect, when all it has is a summer. When eventually the heroine is going to die of Leukemia and the hero is all to willing to put his life, his dreams and ambitions on hold, to accommodate her and her dying wishes. For the heroine to inspire the hero to be a better person.

In reality however, I think love is imperfect. There are always going to be times when it all the things the author mentions, but there also going to be times when love is impatient or unkind. When it is boastful or conceited, rude or selfish. All to often it takes offence, and many a times it is resentful. Love is in contradiction. It is contradictory in its outlook and manifestation from moment to moment, and it a collection of all the perfect and imperfect moments that create the epic saga called life.

So how is it that we measure if for the most part love was patient or impatient, kind or unkind? Is there a benchmark that declares, say for instance, that if for 50% of the time love was patient and kind, not boastful or conceited, rude or selfish, then it is perfect? I think for the most part love is a collection of perfect and imperfect moments, and by that definition, for the most part love is imperfect. It will either  make you bend or make you want to make someone else bend. It will either be jealous or make jealous, it be rude or suffer at the hands of rudeness. It will make you want to stand up, or make the other person stand down. For the most part love is in the monotony. It is in fighting over who makes morning coffee (or tea) or who forgot to switch off the lights. It doesn't reside in the short term plenty, but in long term inadequacies.

So given a choice between a short term perfect love or a long term imperfect one, I guess I'm ok being imperfect. I'm ok being rude or jealous sometimes and patient or kind other times. I'm ok as long as in the end through all the highs and lows, through all the imperfections, the love has survived and made me a better person than I was yesterday. That to me is Imperfect Love, and it is better than Perfect any day.
Photo Credits: Alma Wedding Photography

Sunday, 14 July 2013


I am a big time TV buff,and one of the shows I love most on TV is Criminal Minds. The Behavioural Analysis Unit, BAU, is a special unit within the FBI based out of Quantico. The BAU consists essentially of profilers and one computer genius. The team of 7 study behaviour and deliver profiles, that help catch Serial Killers. They work mostly on cases involving serial killers, because the multiple victims, that a serial killer leaves in his/her wake help determine a behavioural pattern that eventually help nab them. The show is of course very Ethiopian in its approach, where at the end of each episode, the team are able to catch the killer (or surprisingly often, he/she kills themselves when they get close enough). However, in this world filled with hatred, violence and disregard for human life, what can I say, I am a sucker for a happy (somewhat happy) ending.

This post in particular, is not about right and wrong, or about the show, or even about my deep dark aspirations of becoming a profiler, even though me and science are like chalk and cheese. This post is simply about a word that is used fairly often in the 8th season of the show.


Zugzwang is a chess term. It literally means, 'A situation in a chess game in which a player is forced to make an undesirable or disadvantageous move.' Zugzwang is a German word and is often also used right before a person check mates another person in chess.

During a recent conversation with someone I realized, my Blog is MINE. What I mean is, it is mine to write what I feel. One of the reasons I haven't monetized my Blog is because it is personal. Simply put, I write because I want to. Of course its an added high when people read and/or comment, but essentially, I do the writing part more for me than the reader. It is the balm to my battered soul.

So today I'm going to do just that, I am going to write for myself. I feel Zugzwanged. I don't  know how to explain it. My mind is working a million miles a minute, and I cant really concentrate on any of the things going through it. I feel like my brain matter is expanding, and if this doesn't stop, my brain is going to explode any minute. So I am, as they say, venting constructively.

Have you ever been in a situation, when a word, just ONE word seems suffice to explain where you are in life or what you are feeling? It doesn't happen that often to me. Mostly there are so many words that I cant put them all out there coherently so I just keep quite when I feel like this. But there is that odd moment or two, where just one word is enough to explain everything.

How many times have you been in a situation where you have had to make decisions you don't want to, but still had to, because someone or something is proverbially twisting your arm up your back, because you realize, you have no say in this situation. That feeling is Zugzwang, and its (excuse the language) a bitch.

I don't even much care if I'm making sense right about now. I don't know if I want anyone to read this or not. The fact is I dont know, and so I'm sitting here, doing what I do best. I'm writing, I'm trying to communicate by means of my writing, in the hope that someone out there will read it and maybe realize. I don't quite know what they are supposed to realize or even who they are, but I'm just... I'm letting my fingers run across my keyboard and I'm trying to prevent my brain from exploding.

I'm feeling Zugzwanged, and I'm saying that its not important why I am feeling this way. It's just important that I do something about. I can shout. I can cry. I can sit down and I can chant. But right now, I prefer to write about it. In the hopes that if someone out there is understanding my muddled thoughts and has ever felt like this, maybe you can relate..... maybe you can offer advice. Maybe, just maybe it will make you realize, you are not alone.

Writer's Block

Those of you who follow my Blog (ya I know wishful thinking) may or may not have noticed that I am a rather infrequent Blogger. On an average even doing one post a month is a great feat. Although this started out as a pass time hobby. I really enjoy writing my Blogposts. Its my very own Chicken Soup for the Soul.  The problem however is that mostly I just can't come up with topics that excite me, and even though in the past I have come up with some interesting topics, I have been struggling with a major writer's block. I haven't written a word, on either my Blog or the 3 books  I am working on for the last month.

So I am hoping my week long vacation to Shimla will be the ideal respite and I will hopefully start writing. The idea is to do at least one post each day about my vacation, if nothing else. The problem however is, since my life is only moderately exciting (read not at all) a post a day about my vacation will mean more fiction than reality, but then, really how will you know one from the other?

So here goes nothing. The decision to come to Shimla was taken about a month back, a week or so before my birthday, but something or the other kept coming up and I kept postponing the trip. Not to be deterred in the slightest by my evasiveness, my Masi (mum's sister), who raised me from the time I was a month till about 3, kept up the constat nagging about coming home. So finally I wrote the mail to my boss requesting leave. When I didn't hear back form him after 2 days, I finally sucked it up and went to him. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: George, you haven't replied to my mail.
George: Which one are you referring to? You send me enough mails.
Me (a little red faced): The one with the subject line, "Application for Leave".
George: hmm.. I seem to have missed it. Let me go back and see it, I reply to it.

2 hours later.....
Me: George, you still havent replied to the mail. I need to book my tickets!
George (In total "Dil Wale Dhulaniya Le Jayege's" Amrish Puri Fashion): Ya Go ahead and book your tickets! (In my mind it sounded eerily like: "Ja Simram Ja Jee Le Aapni Zinddagi!") 

Fast forward 3 days later and here I am sitting on the Old Delhi Railway Station, the train 3 and a half hour late and my mood down in the dumps. It is midnight, and I keep looking up ominously to a bunch of guys standing near by. One of them kicks a dog, and I am about to go kick his add before I realize I am alone and he is with 4 other guys. So taking a deep breath I send some daggers his way, make sure the dog is ok and go back to my book.

 I swear the Indian Railways have it against me! From spending 6 hours at the station one time, to spending 36 hours in the Mumbai Rajdhani (when it should only take 14), to sitting on the station for 3 hours while my train stood in front of me for an hour and went its merry way, without me being any the wiser. Me and the Indian Railways have a hate-hate relationship, and maybe one of the reasons I'm contemplating taking a job and running away to another country is just to get away from this ancient, sadistic, rustic, hulk of metal!!