Sunday, 26 June 2011

Through the eyes of a Stranger

Routine consumes us. It's like termite which steadily eats away. It's creeps on you slowly and without warning. It saps you of energy to discover each day afresh of even the curiosity to do so. With no signs on the surface, it fools us into the trap of knowing and familiarity. And it is this routine, which at many times, blinds you to the little joys and beauty of your world, your cocoon. The Blindness to the Known.

I realized this, yet again, some days back when i spent 2 days in the company of my cousin. I took him all over the city of Chandigarh that i call home these days. Having spent 7 years here now, i tend to believe that i hold a certain authority on things which should be known to a visitor.
And what added to the novelty this time, was the exciting fact this cousin of mine has lived his whole life in a big village in the middle of Punjab and was visiting a city this progressive, for the first time ever. He's 20 years old, btw. Little did i know, that i'd end up being more surprised than him.

My cousin is shy, very sharp and acutely observant. From the moment i took the first turn to the time i saw him off at the bus stand, i saw through his eyes, what i had never seen before, although i cross it at least b-weekly. As his curious eyes pierced through the car windows, my complacent eyes rested quietly in their groove. But once he started voicing his  reflections on the sights and sounds, my eyes bounced forward.
The minuteness and the simplicity of his remarks jolted my lazy, gloating self. It was like being rudely woken up from a long, undeserved slumber.

Suddenly, i was seeing my 'home' in a whole new light and context. Things i had gotten 'used to' seeing and appreciating, i realized, were as pristine and wonderful, only my perception failed to register it so often now. His rural upbringing added yet another dimension to the commonest of things. We take them for granted and falter to discern how the slightest of triviality reflects significant features of its habitat.

His surveillance and our discussions ranged from how girls behaved as pillion riders, in the cities and villages, to how acrimonious impatience is spreading like an epidemic, everywhere. His insights made me rethink on some topics. The Heart of soil knows more about life than the Mind of concrete.

And so, through the eyes of a Stranger, i start re-knowing the Known. And re-knowing Life.

Today's song is by Alanis Morissette, a snappy number with some quirky suggestions, 'You learn'..

I, recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone, yeah
I, recommend walking around naked in your living room, yeah

Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles

1-You live you learn, you love you learn
You cry you learn, you lose you learn
You bleed you learn, you scream you learn

I, recommend biting off more than you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I, recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Feel free

Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears

I, I, oh, oh

Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)
Melt it down (you're gonna have to eventually, anyway)
The fire trucks are coming up around the bend

You grieve you learn, you choke you learn
You laugh you learn, you choose you learn
You pray you learn, you ask you learn
You live you learn...


  1. You are a keen observer too; for so rightfully you spoke; the heart of soil knows more than the mind of the concrete. and yea, sometimes I think whether an off switch on our memory should hav been given... if we did not have any memory; every thing every time would be astounding (i hope)... like a child perhaps. awesome post :)

  2. and sorry to spam your comment area hehe, but the song is one of my all time fav;s of alanis. it is too sweet as i learnt :)

  3. Like a Child, yes. :)
    Haha! No spam at all..i always look forward to hear what people have to say in response to what my mind conjures. Funnily, i don't see too much of a commenting fashion on blogs per se. Not just mine, but others too.
    thank you for enjoying the post Arvind! :D